It’s all just a misunderstanding. These are just local, cultural practices… that curiously keep coming up in Islamic communities far removed from one another. Why might that be?
Qur’an 33:21: “Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah. ”
Sahih (“sound,” “reliable”) Bukhari 7.62.88: “The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).”
Qur’an 4:34: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great. ”
Sahih Muslim 4.2127: Aisha recalls a time Muhammad “struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?”
Sahih Bukhari 1.6.301: “‘O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).’ They asked, ‘Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle?’ He replied, ‘You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.’ The women asked, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?’ He said, ‘Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?’ [Qur’an 2:282] They replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?’ The women replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘This is the deficiency in her religion.’
“UN report: Afghanistan must stop practices that harm women,” from Trend, December 9 (thanks to Twostellas):
Afghanistan must eliminate pervasive traditional practices that violate the human rights of women, a report by the United Nations said Thursday.
The report published by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said traditional practices like child marriages, forced marriages, “honor killings” and giving away girls to settle disputes were rampant, DPA reported.
“These harmful practices are widespread, occurring in varying degrees in all communities, urban and rural, and among all ethnic groups and these practices have been worsened by more than 30 years of insecurity and poverty,” Georgette Gagnon, UNAMA’s director of human rights, told a press conference.
The practices are rooted in discriminatory views and beliefs about the role and position of women in society, Gagnon said.
The report said such customs are not only crimes under Afghan law but also inconsistent with Islamic law.
In reality, the U.S.-backed Afghan constitution makes Sharia the supreme law of the land, making it far more difficult to challenge laws like the Shi’ite family law that legalized marital rape by allowing men to deny food to wives who would not consent to sex.
It said religious and community leaders sometimes reinforced the customs by invoking their interpretation of Islam. The report said those leaders were key to ending such practices.
The plight of women has seen little change since the ouster of the Taliban in 2001 after a US-led invasion and it remains one of the biggest challenges, according to human rights activists.
Only 12 per cent of adult women are literate compared to 40 per cent of adult men. According to a United Nations Development Fund for Women report published in April, almost one-third of women are exposed to physical and psychological violence, while an estimated 25 per cent suffer sexual violence.
The report published Thursday condemned the Afghan government’s inability to fully protect the rights of women and girls, asking it to expedite the implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women.
“The Afghan police and judiciary require far more guidance, support and oversight from national-level authorities on how to properly apply the law,” Gagnon said.
Underage marriage, one of the issues raised by the report, is common, in all regions and among all ethnic groups. The report said half of all girls are married under the age of 15.
“As long as women and girls are subject to practices that harm, degrade and deny them their human rights, little meaningful and sustainable progress for women’s rights can be achieved in Afghanistan,” the UN official said.
And as long as wishful thinking is the strategy for combating these problems, there is even less hope for progress.