other sad reality is the socio-economic
effect of Islam on womenís lives. In Islamic countries all doors are
closed to women. There are little to no opportunities available for women
to live a productive and independent life. They have little education and
no job training. All they know is household chores. If women do not marry
and do not find a husband who will take care of them, they will have a
very difficult life. Marriage is the only hope a Muslim woman has for her
own survival. She knows that perfectly well. She knows that she has to
marry soon and that if she is dumped, her future will be ruined.
Islamic countries, the patrimony of the family is not divided equally
between the estranged husband and wife but rather, the man keeps
everything, as everything has been his earnings. The Qurían makes it
clear that everything is his property and a good woman is one who takes
care of her husband's property.
work of the woman in keeping her husbandís house orderly, cooking for
him and raising his numerous children is not recognized as valuable and
hence after a divorce she is entitled to nothing. She will also lose the
custody of her children as in Islam women are nothing but incubators for
the children of men. All she can get is her mahr
(a fee agreed upon prenuptially) that often is only a token and sums up to
nothing. It could be something as insignificant as a dress. Women often do
not demand too much for mahr,
not only because Muhammad insisted that good women should also be cheap
but also because they risk not marrying at all and that would be a great
disgrace to them and to their families.
divorce could mean disaster for a Muslim woman. It not only means she will
lose her social status but she could actually face starvation. If she is
not young enough to re-marry, she will be forced to find menial work. Work
is not readily available to women in Islamic countries. The only work
available is domestic and janitorial work, which is extremely poorly paid
and very demeaning. Only the lucky ones can get jobs as maids. Many
divorced women will end up in the streets as beggars.
it is understandable that Muslim women prefer an abusing husband who beats
them regularly to divorce. This also explains why women consent to sharing
their husbands with second, third or fourth co-wives. They know that the
alternative is getting divorced and that means facing a very bleak future
of uncertainties and assured poverty.
is just one dilemma that a divorced woman faces. The real challenge is
survival after the divorce. Only after we take into consideration the
psycho-religious and the socio-economic factors that subjugate Muslim
women can we appreciate the gravity of the problem and can understand why
Maryam would be happy if her husband beats her only once a week instead of
Only then do we understand why she says that she still loves him. Maryam
knows perfectly well that if her abusive and savage husband dumps her, she
will have to either commit suicide or live a life of abject poverty and
misery. All Maryam wants is to live. Isnít this the basic instinct of
all living beings? Thus, she is willing to be beaten once a week for that
privilege. Maryam is willing to keep her psychopathic husband content by
allowing him to beat her regularly so she can continue to live her
Maryam and to millions of Muslim women who live in abusive relationships and in
abusive societies, life is not a right but a privilege. It is a privilege
that they have to earn by pleasing their husbands even if it means
enduring their violent tantrums.
women with no husbands have no hopes. If they are divorced or if they are
widowed, if they have no huge inheritance and if they canít find another
husband, they have no future. They are outcasts and burdens to the society
and to themselves. Death is far more enticing to them than this dismal and
miserable life. Perhaps this explains the raison
d'Ítre of the Chechen Black Widows. These women have lost their
husbands and being Muslim women there is nothing left for them but to die.
However, as good Muslims they want to take their revenge and kill as many
innocent people as they can before they face their own coveted death.
of women is one of the problems facing the Muslim world and it is not a
minor one. Unfortunately there is no resolution to this problem unless
Islam is eradicated from these societies. Misogyny is just one of the many
symptoms of the sick Islamic world. The disease is Islam!