Does Islam allow men to beat their wives?

But the Qur’an says to strike!

“Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research is a research institute which aims to instill conviction and inspire contribution based on mainstream Islamic texts.”

One of the most common claims made by Islamophobes is the misconception that Islam allows for men to beat their wives with impunity. This is typically based on verse 4:34 of the Qur’an, where men are instructed to deal with a wife’s persistent misconduct by first persuading and advising them, followed by deserting the marital bed, before being given permission to take the last resort of darb—a word that literally means ‘to hit’ in the Arabic language

However, not only is this verse being misinterpreted, there is a mass of evidence that points to the contrary when it comes to the relationship between spouses.

  1. Islam affirms that marriage must be based on love and mercy:

“And amongst God’s signs is that He created for you spouses from amongst you and placed between you love and mercy”

(Qur’an 30:21)

  1. Islam unequivocally condemns all forms of cruelty and abuse:

The Prophet ﷺ state that “there is to be no harm nor reciprocating of harm.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah, 2341)

  1. Domestic violence is explicitly forbidden in Islam:

“Do not strike the female servants of God.”

(Sunan Abi Dawud 2146, Sunan al-Darimi 2122)

“Do not hit them and do not revile them.”

(Sunan Abi Dawud 2144)

In one incident, the Prophet ﷺ invoked God’s wrath upon a man who beat his wife.

(Musnad Ahmad (1303))

  1. The Qur’anic verse (4:34), often used to justify hitting wives, CANNOT be understood to permit any violence.

The famous early Makkan Qur’anic exegete said about verse 4:34:

“A man does not strike his wife, rather he may only show his anger.”

Ataa ibn Abi Rabaah

  1. The Prophet ﷺ NEVER raised his hand against his wives.

His wife, Aisha (RA) said he “never once hit a servant, a woman, nor struck anything with his hand.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah, 2060)

All Islamic texts and the incidents from the Prophet’s life clearly and unequivocally forbid any type of violence against women.

Read more in “Women in Islamic Law: Examining Five Prevalent Myths” by Nazir Khan, Tesneem Alkiek and Safiah Chowdhury

These are all the countries that have banned the Niqab

Not the first, and others are on the way.

Denmark is the latest European country to take part in a string of discriminatory bans on the religious headwear favoured by some Muslim women, known as the Niqab.

Whilst bans have been in place in the continent for the past decade, the trend has recently picked up, with new bans being implemented after a controversial ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that banning the veil did not breach human rights.

This has led to a wave of full and partial bans across the continent, with Denmark being the latest.

Muslim organisations and human rights groups, such as the Danish group ‘Kvinder | Dialog’, have protested the bans, accusing legislators of targeting Muslim women. Legislators have claimed their policies are non-discriminatory, and apply to people of all religious denominations, despite the bans mainly affecting Muslim women who wear the niqab.

Amnesty International described the latest ban as a “discriminatory violation of women’s rights.”

“If the intention of this law was to protect women’s rights it fails abjectly,” said Amnesty International’s Europe director Gauri van Gulik. “Instead, the law criminalizes women for their choice of clothing and in so doing flies in the face of those freedoms Denmark purports to uphold.”

May Allah protect our brothers and sisters in Europe!

Mesut Ozil quits German National Football team

Mesut Ozil Quits German National Football Team

Star footballer, Mesut Ozil has just stepped down from the German National Football team after citing reasons of disrespect and racism in a lengthy three-page social media post.

His statement follows Germany’s early exit out of the World Cup this year and the subsequent media backlash Ozil faced.

German media had earlier run a campaign against Ozil for posing for a photo with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The photo led to many media commentators and Football higher-ups criticising his actions and even questioning his loyalty to the German National team. He was even heavily blamed for the poor performance of the German team in the World Cup by the German Football Federation (DFB) President Richard Grindel, who not only condemned his actions but also questioned his loyalty to the club.

“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose. This is because despite paying taxes in Germany, donating facilities to German schools and winning the World Cup with Germany in 2014, I am still not accepted into society…  Is it because it is Turkey? Is it because I’m a Muslim? I think here lays an important issue. By being referred to as German-Turkish, it is already distinguishing people who have family from more than one country. I was born and educated in Germany, so why don’t people accept that I am German?” Ozil stated.

In his statement, Ozil also highlighted the hypocrisy of the media backlash, particularly considering the fact that Honorary German Footballer Lothar Matthaus had just recently posed for a photo with Russian president Vladamir Putin, without any criticism of his loyalty.

Ozil also highlighted the racism shown by Grindel earlier in 2004 during his time in German Parliament.“To you, Reinhard Grindel, I am disappointed but not surprised by your actions. In 2004 whilst you were a German member of Parliament, you claimed that “multiculturalism is in reality a myth [and] a lifelong lie” whilst you voted against legislation for dual-nationalities and punishments for bribery, as well as saying that Islamic culture has become too ingrained in many German cities. This is unforgivable and unforgettable.”

We ask Allah to bless Mesut Ozil in his decision and rid Germany of all forms of racism and discrimination against Muslims.

Jewish Nation-State Law

Israel is a state solely for the Jews!

Coalition members standing together after the nation-state bill passed on July 19, 2018. Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

The Jewish nation-state law was passed yesterday by a vote of 62-55 and two abstentions in the 120-member Parliament after months of political argument.

 

“Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people”, Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset after the vote.

Palestinians view the Jewish nation-state law as another instrument of apartheid.

Benny Begin, son of former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who was the founder of Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party, abstained from voting, warning of the party’s growing disconnect from human rights.

Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List of predominantly Arab parties, waved a black flag in protest moments after the vote.

Ahmad Tibi, a veteran Arab legislator, wrote on Twitter, “The official beginning of fascism and apartheid. A black day (another black day),”

Yael German, a lawmaker from the centrist opposition party Yesh Atid, called the law “a poison pill for democracy.”

The Bill has passed, despite thousands protesting in Tel Aviv earlier this week rejecting the proposal.

Clause 7B of the Bill allows the state to “authorize a community composed of people having the same faith and nationality to maintain the exclusive character of that community.” The law also states that Hebrew is the official language in the state.

This will create more discrimination against the minorities in the community especially towards Arabs who are continuously being forced to leave their homes.

With the Trump administration providing a never-before-seen degree of American support, Mr. Netanyahu’s government has advantages on multiple fronts.

Commenting on the new law, Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu said, “This is our state, the Jewish state.”

 

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2018/07/israel-passes-controversial-jewish-nation-state-law-180719050559316.html
https://www.timesofisrael.com/thousands-protests-against-nation-state-bill-sanctioning-segregated-housing/
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/world/middleeast/israel-law-jews-arabic.html
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-19/israel-passes-controversial-jewish-nation-state-law/10014970

Farewelling Murabit Al Hajj

Farewelling Murabit Al Hajj

One of the greatest scholars of the modern era has just passed away in Mauritania.

Muhammad bin Salek Bin Fahfu also was known as Murabit Al-Hajj, has passed away at 111 years old. He was a master of the Maliki school of thought and a leading teacher in many Islamic sciences. Teachers and students from around the world would often travel to study under his guidance.

Yet despite his excellence in the various Islamic sciences, above all, he was a master of disciplining his soul. He was well known for his piety and his strong connection with Allah.

In the early 1920’s as a young man, he traveled on foot to complete the Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah. Upon his return, also by foot, he dedicated his life to worship, solitude and teaching. He was in fact rarely seen outside of the tent in which he taught or the local Masjid in which he prayed in.

He nevertheless spent most of his time teaching with little time for sleep and basic necessities. He would teach late into the night and would never refuse a student who came for a lesson.

He was listed as one of the top 500 influential Muslims this year.

One of his close students, Salek Bin Siddina commented on his passing “I challenge anyone by Allah, to find a day in his life that he did not use it in his preparation to meet Allah.”

His passing is a striking reminder of the narration of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:

“Allah does not take away the knowledge by taking it away from the people, but rather He takes it away by the death of the scholars.”

(Bukhari and Muslim)

We ask Allah to have mercy on him and grant him the highest stations of Paradise. May Allah make the knowledge he left behind a continuous charity for him and a beacon of light for him on the Day of Resurrection.

As we came into Tuwamirat, I was completely overwhelmed by its ethereal quality. It was the quintessential place that time forgot. The entire scene reminded me of something out of the Old Testament. Many of the people had never seen a white person before and the younger people had only heard about the French occupation, but never seen French people or other foreigners for that matter. I entered the tent of Murabit al-Hajj. My eyes fell upon the most noble and majestic person I have ever seen in my life. He called me over, put his hand on my shoulder, welcomed me warmly, and then asked me, “Is it like the dream?” I burst into a flood of tears. I had indeed experienced a dream with him that was very similar to our actual meeting. #murabitalhajj

A post shared by Hamza Yusuf – Official (@shaykhhamzayusuf) on

This is how France won the World Cup.

Does France respect its own winning team?

In one of the most widely acclaimed finals in recent decades, the French national team has won the 2018 FIFA world cup, beating out the best teams from around the world.

However, when one looks at the makeup of the team, something becomes undeniably apparent. The team is composed primarily of people of African descent, with the majority identifying as Muslims.

In most cases, this would be a cause for celebration, as it would point to a tolerance and acceptance of diversity in the nation’s wider society. This is not, however, a typical case. France has one of the most gruesome colonial histories of any European nation, a legacy which continues on until today.

France’s history in Africa can be seen clearly in the makeup of its soccer team, with 15 players hailing from an African descent. The nation is infamous for its struggles with immigration from the continent and has been heavily criticised for its Banlieues, suburbs which surround Paris and are home to many disenfranchised and impoverished migrants.

Muslims in particular have been the target of discriminatory policies and rhetoric in recent decades, with the banning of hijabs, niqabs and burkinis in different sectors of French society, a concerted push to “change the way Islam is organised in France” by the current President, and a recent election in which the main opposing party ran on a heavily anti-Muslim platform, and almost won.

This may seem very strange in contrast to the recent images of the French team being welcomed back home to enormous crowds of cheering supports. The President, Emmanuelle Macron, hugging Muslim players from the national team, and the Arc de Triumphe, one of the most iconic symbols of Paris, projecting images of the Muslim players, sit uncomfortably with the rhetoric that was apparent only months ago during the election.

This is a chance for France to identify this inconsistency, and to embrace its immigrant and Muslim populations in a way it never has before.

Why we will always need the Haram Police

Why we need the Haram Police

Let’s face it – we’re all sick of the Haram Police.

You know those guys that come along when you’re out and about just enjoying your time, and all of the sudden decide to tell you that whatever you’re doing is Haram.

Now, a lot has been said and rightfully so about the Haram police, whether it’s about their arrogance, aggression or the fact that many of them come across as self-righteous as though they are better than those they are advising. That’s not what I’m here to talk about.

I’m here to talk about the fact that we actually need the Haram police. Yes, I said it, we need the Haram Police, and it’s about time we start appreciating them.

Now when I say this I’m not talking about the rude, arrogant, self-righteous Haram police, that you’re probably thinking about. I’m talking about the need of having a group of people of good character who are knowledgeable and courageous enough to do the not-so-popular job of advising us right from wrong and enjoining the good and forbidding evil.

You see, such people are important – and it’s about time we stop writing such people off. Especially when Allah praises such people in the Quran.

And while many of us would love to believe that our sins are nobody else’s business and we’re only harming ourselves and only God can judge me, therefore everyone else should back off. That’s simply not true.

The fact of the matter is, our sins, whether we admit it or not, do well and truly affect those around us, and advising them to stop sinning, is not just to save them from harm but more importantly to save ourselves.

How do I know this? Let me explain by way of an analogy given by none other than Prophet Muhammad ﷺ himself.

Imagine you are on a ship with an upper deck and lower deck with people occupying both floors. Now imagine for a second, that those in the lower deck have a wild idea to attain water by busting a hole in the bottom of the ship. It’s a stupid decision, I know. But what if those in the upper deck were to leave them alone? The fact is the cracks at the bottom of the ship will eventually lead to everyone being harmed and of course drowning. Regardless of whether or not they partook in the stupid decision.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said,

“The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by Allah and that of the man who transgresses them is like the people who get on board a ship after casting lots. Some of them are in its lower deck and some of them in its upper (deck). Those who are in its lower (deck), when they require water, go to the occupants of the upper deck, and say to them : ‘If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship, we shall not harm you.’ If they (the occupants of the upper deck) leave them to carry out their design they all will be drowned. But if they do not let them go ahead (with their plan), all of them will remain safe”.

[Al- Bukhari].

And likewise, such as the example of those who sin in this life. While we may think that such sins don’t affect us, or aren’t any of our business. The fact is public sins, especially those which we can all agree on are clear-cut sinful – when they are performed in public and we do nothing about it – we are all thus exposed to harm, and we will be held accountable by Allah if we don’t do anything to stop them.

In fact, Allah in the Quran mentions that one of the reasons Bani Isra’il were cursed, was for their inability to advise their wrongdoers to stop their actions.

لُعِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَىٰ لِسَانِ دَاوُودَ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا وَّكَانُوا يَعْتَدُونَ

Cursed were those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed.

كَانُوا لَا يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ

They used not to prevent one another from wrongdoing that they did. How wretched was that which they were doing?

In another verse, Allah states:

لَا يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ

Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided.

Quran 5:105

At first glance, this verse gives the impression that the actions of those around us won’t affect us so as long as we’ve been guided.

But when Abu Bakr Radi ‘Allahu Anhu heard this verse, he says no, you’ve got it misunderstood. For he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say in reference to this verse.

That “If the people see evil and they do not prohibit it, I fear Allah the Almighty will encompass them in His punishment”.

Musnad Ahmad (Sahih).

It’s scary, but this is the reality at the end of the day.

The Prophet ﷺ also stated in another narration:

والذي نفسي بيده لتأمرن بالمعروف، ولتنهون عن المنكر، أو ليوشكن الله أن يبعث عليكم عقابًا منه، ثم تدعونه فلا يستجاب لكم‏”

“By Him in Whose Hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted”.

Sunan Al-Tirmidhi (Hassan)

A clear-cut warning on the need of having people to enjoin good and forbid evil.

So while yes, we do have a problem with a branch of the Haram Police that are arrogant, self righteous and down right void of knowledge, at the end of the day we do need a group of people to do the job of advising others and of course in a manner that befits the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with mercy, compassion and wisdom.

So the next time you think that the random friend advising you needs to mind his own business when you’re openly sinning in public, the fact of the matter is, public sins are our business because they affect each and everyone single one of us.

 

This is Sydney’s First Muslim Aged-Care Centre!

One of the biggest needs in our community is being addressed.

The first Islamically-oriented aged-care centre in Sydney has just opened, introducing an innovative and culturally-sensitive way of looking after the elderly in the Muslim community.

Gallipoli Home is located next door to the famous Auburn-Gallipoli Mosque.

The centre, Gallipoli Home, caters for up to 102 residents and is located next door to the famous Auburn-Gallipoli mosque in Sydney, Australia, allowing for a community-integrated approach to aged-care.

“When we look at our elderly here, we want them to be respected”, said Dr Abdurrahman Asaroglu, the Director of the centre. “And we don’t want anyone to be able to speak disrespectfully to them.”

Dr Abdurrahman Asaroglu is the Managing Director

Costing $33 million AUD in total, the project has taken 4.5 years from its inception until the first residents arrived on Monday, with $29 million AUD going into the 16 months of construction. Alongside community organisations and fundraising, the centre received $10 million AUD in a capital grant from the Department of Health, which has subsidised the construction.

The centre also received financing from the National Australia Bank that is compliant with Islamic law, or Shari’ah, which is the “first Shari’ah compliant offer for construction financing in the country”, according to Project Director Abraham Hammoud.

In an industry as strongly regulated as aged-care, the centre is required to function according to the high standards of any aged-care home. It therefore incorporates state of the art technology and medical systems to cater for its residents. However, the difference between Gallipoli Home and other nursing homes comes in its approach to culture and tradition, which is evidenced both in its clear Ottoman design inspirations, and in its practices on the ground.

As an Islamically-oriented centre, all staff and carers are required to know about and respect the religious requirements of their “residents”. Halal food, prayer responsibilities, and privacy are all respected and provided for. Most of the housing is individual, with some rooms accommodating for 2 residents, be they a married couple or close friends. Every room has its own private bathroom and washing facilities to ensure the privacy of the residents, as well as the typical fittings of modern comfort, such as Wi-Fi, TVs and heating.

The architectural design incorporates many traditional elements of Islamic art, such as geometry and light

A core part of the centre’s philosophy is their “Permanent Rahma Partners” initiative, which will ensure that each resident has the same small group of people looking after them every day.

“On average in day care 28 people will see that resident in their most vulnerable times every day,” says G.M Andi Richardson. “What permanent Rahma partners does is it basically decreases that number to 6.”

The initiative works closely with the families of residents to ensure that they have regular, scheduled visitors throughout the week. Families are responsible for finding replacement visitors if they are unable to visit.

One of the biggest challenges for the centre was combatting the strong stigma in the Muslim community against institutionalised aged-care. Due to cultural and religious pressure, the responsibility of caring for the elderly typically falls on the shoulders of children or close-family, which can be a dangerous situation for those with special medical needs.

“Let’s make something very clear,” said popular Islamic teacher Mohamed Hoblos. “This aged care centre is not a dumping ground, because I’m sure many people will be thinking ‘Muslims embarking on an aged care centre, what has the ummah come to.’ No this is not the case… Rather we are opening a door for people who can not look after the most beloved thing to them [their parents], and give them peace of mind that we will look after them like our very own.”

“Our duty to our elderly is paramount for the reason of the religious purposes… so the whole thing has to be in a halal [religiously permissible] mentality”, said Dr. Asaroglu. “When they want to practice their religion, as it’s their home, we have to provide, and that’s what we were looking forward to.

The centre will cater for Turkish, Arab, South Asian and many other ethnic backgrounds, making it one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse aged-care centres in the country.

The centrepiece of the building is the central courtyard and fountain, which can be seen from all levels of the building.

Here Are Three Ways to Overcome Your Desires

Here Are Three Ways to Overcome Your Desires

Ramadan is a time devoted to overcoming our base desires, by abstaining from food and drink during the daylight hours. Here are some tips to help us in this month, and to carry on the practice after it is over.

“Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research is a research institute which aims to instill conviction and inspire contribution based on mainstream Islamic texts.”

In today’s world, we are faced with an onslaught of temptation and desire each and every day. The challenge of staying connected to the religion of Allah has never been more difficult, and yet it is still open.

One of the great scholars of our history, Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, was influential in our approaches to contemplation and spiritual psychology. He identified a number of different Prophetic and Qur’anic approaches to controlling our minds and our hearts in order to help us on our journey to Allah.

In his book ‘Iddat as-Sabireen, he put forth a number of strategies for reminding ourselves of the knowledge and beliefs that we hold, particularly in the face of temptation and desire. He referred to this as Tadhakkur, in reference to the verse of the Qur’an in which Allah says:

‘Certainly, those who are righteous, when a party of Shaytaan touches them, they immediately remember (Him i.e Allah SWT), then they gain insight’

(Surah A’raaf: 201).”

To achieve this, he recommended those struggling to bring to mind different thoughts to their conscious awareness, three of which we will mention here:

  1. Remember Allah’s countless blessings upon you and that your disobedience will erect a barrier between you and them.  
  2. Remember that through your fulfilling desires and attainment of temporary pleasure you will lose out on goodness both in this world and in the next.  Faith, Providence, and wealth all decrease as a consequence.
  3. Remember that Allah has promised to replace what you leave for His sake with something much better. It is worth the struggle.

May Allah give us the ability to act in a way which is pleasing to Him and to make use of the scholars of our present, past and future.

Read more in The Lost Art of Contemplation: Spiritual Psychology by Zohair Abdul-Rahman