Friday, December 16, 2022

Muslim Women in the Family: Domestic Violence Is Not Always Overt; Traditional Patriarchal Supremacy, Whether Emanating From Religious Or Ethnic Sources, Must Be Challenged

By Grace Mubashir, New Age Islam 16 December 2022 Islam Sees Remarriage As A Very Simple And Natural Thing. It Was Very Widespread In Islamic Culture. Therefore, Divorce Is Not A Life-Changing Event For A Woman ------ Some instances of domestic violence do not take the form of overt assaults. It may be a look, a word, a facial expression, or mere silence. There will be many suppressed rights, needs, dreams and desires. This passive violence often takes the form of oppression that women experience in the home. Because it does not seem like violence and injustice, many people face such open statements with the questions 'What is your problem here?' Homes are an important site of violence against women. Male-centred family structures and concepts of family are often discussed through experiences of the role they play in disenfranchising women and through art forms that express such experiences. Such discussions, which challenge patriarchal supremacy, often lead to differences in religion and customs. An analysis of the family structure and the rights and responsibilities of women and men in the family is going to be discussed in this article. Reading Islamic law from a social environment where women are oppressed within various power structures can seem discriminatory. Because in the social environment practiced according to the concept of Islam, whether Muslims accept it or not, woman has individuality, freedom and dignity. It is relevant to inquire whether what appears to be discrimination is discrimination based on religious practices where a woman is not able to enjoy the benefits of Islamic culture and move forward. Or is it emanating from local culture and traditional ethnic practices? Islam does not approach things as if men and women are equal in everything. There are complementary rights and obligations. In that, the woman is legally bound by very minimal obligations according to her physical and familial characteristics. If we look at the Islamic teachings on family life, we can see a life of dignity, pride and independent individuality is guaranteed. Marriage is an important occasion in one's life. Both men and women can make a free decision on who to take as a life partner. Parents have no authority over it, though in practice mostly parents make the choices. If the marriage takes place without the girl's interest and consent, or before her marriageable age, she has the right to terminate the relationship. The right to determine and receive the Mahr is entirely hers. After the marriage, her food, clothing and shelter are his responsibility. Those who are capable of fulfilling these obligations can only marry. The ability to provide food and clothing is generally considered most important in our country. But, generally, one's own accommodation is not considered at the time of marriage. In a social environment where the joint family system is considered sacred, even those who are not capable of owning their own houses should live away from the family for a few years. Those who move away soon after marriage will be labelled as having no family love. But the Islamic culture gives more importance to the privacy of the couple. Once married, couples are encouraged to transplant their lives into their own private spaces. If she finds it difficult to live in a joint family, it is the responsibility of the financially capable husband to arrange for his own accommodation. Fiqh scholars or Islamic jurists have clearly pointed out this condition. Two reasons are important for not promoting joint family system. The first is privacy for couples. In situations where we have to share everything with each other and live together, we are unable to express our love and affection. That is why, according to some, there is a need for a separate kitchen for couples who are unable to move in on their own. People who practice it can be seen in some states of India. The latter is part is of the moral teachings of Islam. It is difficult to live in a house where Namahrams (those who are not forbidden to marry) including the husband's brothers, hide the body and observe the limits of relations with other men. Moral boundaries are often violated. To avoid it, it is said to move to private places. When it comes to a wife's obligations to her husband, consideration of his sexual needs and preferences is counted as a significant obligation. Mahr is also associated with it. Half of the Mahr can be bought back if the relationship ends before physical intercourse. The ruling of Shariah is that one should not buy anything from Mahr after physical intercourse. Prophetic teachings forbid men's one-sided passions in sexual relations. It is demanded that the tastes and pleasures of women should be fully considered. This ensures that her sexual rights are not violated and mutual love emerges in the family life. Fiqh scholars point out that the wife's duties include not letting people disliked by the husband into the house and protecting his wealth in his absence. Anything beyond that is not taught as obligatory duties to be performed by the wife. Cooking, washing clothes and other cleaning activities are not taught as duties of the wife. If there is a practice of hiring domestic servants, if she demands, a maid should be assigned by the husband if it is within his capacity. Some scholars of Fiqh also suggest that if the wife takes care of the housework herself, she can ask for wages for housework. Legal maintenance of children is the responsibility of the husband. Therefore, if the wife belongs to the category that is not used to doing housework, then the husband should make other arrangements for it. Imam Qasani, a prominent scholar of Hanafi jurisprudence, says in the book 'Al Badaa', "If the husband brings food that needs to be cooked, if the wife finds it difficult to cook it, it is the responsibility of the husband to bring food that is ready to eat." Abu Ishaq Shirazi of the Shafi'i Madhhab says in his Al Muhaddab; "Grinding rice, cooking and washing clothes are not the wife's responsibility. What is not the husband's sexual needs does not come under the category of obligation”. The Maliki Madhhab also holds a similar opinion, but a distinction can be seen between wives who require servants and wives who do not. Housework is not the wife's responsibility in the Hambali Madhhab, if such is the practice of a country. But some have suggested that when Fatima (RA) approached the Prophet (PBUH) asking for a servant, the Prophet (PBUH) refused her and taught her some Dhikr (oral chanting) to lighten the burden of work, so that the housework should be done by the wife. But others have considered this hadith not in the sense that housework is an obligation, as it is generally done by women, but as a form of advice for daughters. If it is in the sense of obligation, then the dominant Mazhabs should have seen it that way. In short, there are no definitive Shariah rulings that legally oblige women to do housework. But, the husband's obligations have been clearly stated in Sharia. In the discussion whether breast-feeding the baby falls under the mandatory obligation of the mother, Fiqh law states that it is the right of the baby to have breast milk available and the obligation to provide it is the duty of the father. Find other people to breastfeed if the mother refuses. A mother is obligated to breastfeed only when no one else is available. Surrogate breastfeeding was a widespread practice in Arabian culture. Islam did not abrogate it but defined the relationship of weaning as sacred as the relationship of blood. As there are no such practices in our country, it naturally becomes the mother's responsibility. The man bears all the significant responsibilities for obligations in the marital relationship. Therefore, corresponding powers are also given to protect the coherence of family. A man's guardianship over women does not deny her right to individual space and identity. Women's proportional reduction in property rights and man's right to parentage are not discriminatory as men are more heavily burdened with responsibilities and obligations within the family structure envisioned by Islam. Understanding the husband's life's work and the burden of compulsory social work interactions, although not from the legal framework of obligations, treating him well and making him happier and easier should be understood as a part of coexistence in married life. But the reality is that when women are not accorded any dignity and individuality in this sense, all views of male-female inequality are perceived as discriminatory. Islam sees remarriage as a very simple and natural thing. It was very widespread in Islamic culture. Therefore, divorce is not a life-changing event for a woman. But our society has made remarriage a very difficult and complicated situation. Naturally, in such a situation, divorce in Islam is understood as misogynistic. Even when things are as described above, marital relationship and family life is not an area to proceed only on the basis of rights and obligations and law. Love and compassion are the foundation of that relationship. Love and mercy have no rules in Fiqh but it is totally subjective and emotional. It is important to move forward in mutual understanding and cooperation. Because men and women have complementary duties to fulfil the tasks of this world. Since the husband has the financial responsibility of the family, going to work is mandatory. It is a part of cohabitation that the wife relieves other burdens and makes it possible for him to go ahead with his work happily. It is important to give the wife due respect as she is the one who helps her husband by doing housework and doing things beyond her obligations. Now, if both of them are going to work, they should cooperate and help each other in household matters. On the issue of joint family too, compromises beyond the rules would be necessary. It is the interest of Islamic teachings that parents should always be with their children in situations where they need their presence and should be very careful and considerate to activate the relationship when they are not. Along with that, Urf (practices of each land) is considered by Islam. In terms of housework and joint family, our country has different practices from Arabian Muslim cultures. Such practices are not necessarily exempt as long as they do not conflict with Islamic Sharia. To be able to build a house during marriage is something that only a very small minority in our situation can do. If you insist on it, things will get complicated in the current situation. But the environment that understands its importance should be consciously created and there should be preferences in the form of making everyone aware that joint family is not so sacred and that spouses want a life where they get more privacy. It is not against the Sharia to follow local customs regarding housework. But the most important thing is that there should be no denial of justice and no violence while following the practices. When examined at that level, it is a reality that violence often arises in the name of protecting conservative norms. It is not permissible. A peaceful environment is important, but peace without justice is the peace of the few. It should be seen as a problem that women are overloaded with work at home in such a way that they do not have time for the relationship with Allah, the meticulousness of rituals, and spiritual matters such as Dhikr, Dua and Salat. It is in the interest of justice for her to realize that there is injustice if she loses her own spiritual rights and freedom of expression because she has to engage in things that are not legally binding. Where the Qur'an speaks of marriage, it refers to spouses as 'Min Anfusikum' (those who are from you, 30-21). That is, the person who comes into your life is a person with skills, flaws, desires, dreams, sorrows and joys just like you. One should proceed by understanding and understanding each other and making compromises. Respecting each other as independent individuals and treating each other accordingly is important in relationships. ----- A regular columnist for, Mubashir V.P is a PhD scholar in Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia and freelance journalist. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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