Peace and blessings be upon you my master Ahmad Al-Hasan.
Since I was young I was always interested in issues of social justice and human rights. The suffering and injustice in our societies pained me a lot and still does.
I worked in a number of social organizations in the area of human rights. But lately, my work was focused on women’s rights in Islam specifically.
I believe that the jurisprudence of God and the rule of God most high is all mercy and all justice and guarantees dignity to all humans in every place and every era, but through my work, I came across a few questions pertaining to women’s rights in Islam which confused me and I found no answer to.
I direct myself to you my master with these questions because many times religion is used to justify the injustices against women and the oppression of their rights.
I direct myself to you, my master because I am looking for the will of God and the wisdom of God sincerely, and I sincerely want to understand, because in the will of God and the wisdom of God is the only way to lift the suffering and injustice against humans.
I apologize in advance for my ignorance and seek to discipline myself with your knowledge.
I ask God to be an adornment to you Ahlulbayt and to grant you, my master, the clear opening, by the will of God.
1. It is written in the book of jurisprudence in the chapter of marriage that it is not permissible to have intercourse with a woman before she is 9 years old. I understood from this that it is permissible to have intercourse with a girl starting 9 years old.
Through my work, I encountered many cases where girls would be subjected to extreme bodily harm because her body is not yet developed to handle sexual intercourse with the husband. Also in our societies and in our era today a girl in this age is still considered a child and does not yet have the mental and physical maturity to bear the responsibilities and duties of a contract with such importance. So why did God make permissible the marriage of a girl at such a young age? And is it true that a girl can be married off as soon as she is born?
2. Do some jurisprudential rulings regarding family laws change in certain situations due to the social and economic changes over time?
I understood that a man has more rights than a woman because his responsibilities and duties are more than hers, but what if the man does not perform his responsibilities, do these rights remain or do they fall?
For example, the husband who does not provide for his family and does not care for his children and has no moral nor physical presence in their lives, so the burden of providing for the children and raising them all falls on the woman, is such a husband still entitled to rights such as obedience, guardianship…etc?
In the Arab and Muslim societies, unfortunately, there are the phenomena of families that are supported by women, either by herself due to the shortcoming of the husband or his absence, or in partnership with the husband due to the harsh economic circumstances and the reign of tyrants, so how does this affect the equation mentioned above (the husband has more rights because he is responsible)?
3. God Almighty has said: “And if a woman fears Noshooz (non- compliance, ill-conduct or veering away) on her husband’s part, there is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves; and making peace is better. And human inner-selves are swayed by greed. But if you do good and keep away from evil, verily, God is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do (Al Nisa:12)
What is the Noshooz of the husband exactly? And is there a punishment for the Nashiz husband (one who is in the state of Noshooz) in the jurisprudence (Sharia)? And what is the ruling of the husband who neglects his home, wife, and children?
4. When we talk about wife beating of the Nashiz wife in the religious context everyone agrees that it should not be severe, but when we come to the lived reality the situation is very different and severe beating and bodily harm of the wife is widespread. What are the limits of beating the Nashiz wife exactly and what is the punishment for the husband who exceeds these limits? Isn’t it more effective and more suitable for the fixing of the souls to happen with patience and good treatment rather than bodily harm which causes feelings of humiliation, especially when it is against a person who is weaker than you and who is in your care?
5. What is the role of the women, who believe in the blessed Yamani call, at the time of the rise of Imam Al-Mahdi PBUH and the start of the wars against the enemies of the family of Muhammad PBUT? Do they have a place on the battlefield? And how can they be true soldiers to Imam Al-Mahdi pbuh in this stage?
Hadil El-Khouly- Egypt
Answer: May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you.
1. Regarding the permissibility of the marriage of a 9-year-old girl in Islam, it is a clarification of the limits of the lawful status and not the law that the divine government would work with if the Vicegerent of God was enabled to enact the family law.
If it was facilitated to the Vicegerent of God, he could enforce restrictions that would forbid the marriage of a girl beyond an age that would generally guarantee the completion of the genitals of the human female. Such as stipulating that there must be a necessity for this marriage and that the physical condition of the girl is suitable for marriage, according to an official medical test…etc.
In general, legislating the permissibility of this type of marriage in the Islamic jurisprudence does not mean that it is the normal state as clarified, but it is merely the maximum limit in which a girl can marry when necessary. So for example, if we imagine that a catastrophe happened on earth and only a few individuals of the humans or believers remained, in this case, the matter of early marriage or early reproduction- while taking safety precautions- is necessary to preserve the human race or preserve the believers. Otherwise, the possibility of the human race extinction would increase. Whoever understands evolution and how the genetic system works naturally would understand what I am saying. So if there was no importance for early marriage- or let’s say- the human females readiness to be impregnated at an early age, in order to preserve the human race from extinction at an earlier time prior to the evolution of the Homo sapiens, the body of the female would not have developed in such a way so that it is ready for impregnation at an early age.
As for the implementation of this law by some Muslims by themselves with no regulations, and them causing physical damage to the girls, this is their fault and not that of the Jurisprudence (Shariah). Neither they nor their scholars are qualified to implement the jurisprudence nor do they know its complete limits. God made its implementation the task of the Vicegerent of God on his earth.
2. The change of rulings goes back to the Vicegerent of God in every age. The rulings can change and can be abrogated and this is something I have mentioned before.
3. The matter of the Noshooz of the husband is something I have mentioned in the Jurisprudence, which is to deny her, her rights or some of her rights, and she can sue him.
4. The beating of the wife is not a normal condition, or it is not the condition with which it is correct to work with usually. Rather, in the divine just state, if a wife sues her husband for beating her, this lawsuit will be reviewed, and if the husband is found guilty he is punished.
5. The woman can have roles in many places in the divine just state if God willed and it is established at a certain time. For the woman is not less qualified than the man in many places and works. Rather in some works, the woman is even much better than the man. And Islam does not put restrictions on women taking over positions even where she leads the society, as long as she is qualified to do this and fulfills the work in a complete and correct way.