In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh –the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad –who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.

                       ALLAH or TALIBAN
The Taliban in Afghanistan has barred women and girls from higher material education –secondary and university– excluded women from public office; banned them from certain public places –amusement parks, gyms and sports clubs.

  1. Wall women inside the house:
  2. Shroud women head to toe:
  3. Deny women education:
  4. Women and Employment:
  5. Remove women from their employment:
  6. Forced marriages:
  7. Women going to Masjid:
  8. Honor killing:
  9. Stoning:
  10. Divorce:
  11. Woman cannot travel alone

Allah enjoins:
“And We have enjoined on man concerning his parents — his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years —saying: Give thanks to Me and to thy parents…” –(Qur’an 31:14).
   And Prophet Mohammad explained to a man who inquired from him:
“Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man said, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man further said, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your father”–(Bokhari Vol. 8, #2). 
Evidently, a mother has three degrees of excellence over a father –she having carried us, gave birth, and nursed us.

Aside from woman having three degrees of excellence over man
   -Woman and man are created from the same substance–(Qur’an 4:1; 7:189, this verse establishes that from the beginning women have equality with men)
   -Woman and man are friends and protectors of the other–(Qur’an 9:71. Friends and protectors do not oppress/suppress the other).
   -Woman and man are garments to the other (to protect, comfort, beautify, and to cover each other’s faults–Qur’an 2:187);
   -Woman has rights as those against her–(Qur’an 2:228. People of mutual rights, one cannot be subjugated by the other);
   -Woman and man are controllers of their respective earnings–(Qur’an 4:7, 11, 177; 4:32);
   -Woman is a source of peace and comfort, and Allah has put between them love and compassion–(Qur’an 7:189; 30:21. It is not love and compassion to suppress/oppress. That woman is a source of peace and comfort condemns the act of marital rape, for any man who forces himself upon his wife, abuses her, causes her distress, or places her under duress, he cannot find peace and comfort in her).

1. Wall women inside the house:
Allah instructs the wives of Prophet Mohammad:
“O wives of the Prophet, you are not like any other women. If you would keep your duty, be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a word of goodness. And stay in your houses and display not (your beauty) like the displaying of the ignorance of yore;…”-(Qur’an 33:32-34).
   This injunction to the Prophet’s wives to “stay in your houses and display not your beauty like the displaying of the ignorance of yore”, does not mean that they are to be walled in. These wives of the Prophet were “not like other women;” they are like the “mothers” of Muslims–(Qur’an 33:6). They were not to be frivolous and wandering about; they were role models for the women of Islam; as such they had to be virtuous, and deport themselves with dignity. It was better that they stay indoors instead of being in public behaving like women of the past.

Women can go out by themselves to take care of their needs:  “O women! You have been allowed by Allah to go out for your needs”–(Bokhari Vol. 7, #164). During the early days of Islam, Muslim women going about alone were molested by the disbelivers. This permission for them to go out by thmeselves must have been given after women were no longer in danger of being molested. That women were molested seems evident in this verse: “O Prophet, tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of believers to let down upon them their over-garments. This is more proper, so that they may be known, and not be given trouble”–(Qur’an 33:59).
Do Afghan women go out of their homes to display their beauty and/or ornaments like the women of old, or do they go out for their needs –education, employment and business ventures? Seeking knowledge is a “need.”

Prophet Mohammad said:  “The best women are the riders of the camels and the righteous among the women of the Quraish. They are the kindest women to their children in their childhood and the more careful women of the property of their husbands”–(Bokhari Vol. 7, #19).
Why then can’t Afghan/Muslim women drive a car?

Prophet Mohammad and his wife, ‘Aishah, engaged in foot race–(Abu Dawud Vol. 2, #2572).
Why then can’t Afghan/Muslim women take part in track and field race? (And this is keeping one active/ physically fit. Playing basketball and soccer, though not known during the Prophet’s time, would also be allowable. She can also go to (all female) gym and swimming. 

Women are not forbidden to speak to men, but, as a safeguard against temptations, they are told not to indulge in soft and amorous conversation with men. There would be no point in telling women to “be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a word of goodness”–(Qur’an 24:31) if women were to be walled inside the house.

Allah also tells men and women to “lower their gaze and restrain their sexual passions”–(Qur’an 24:30-31). There would be no question about men and women lowering their gaze and restraining sexual passions if women were to be walled and not be in contact with men.

Islam enjoins modesty on women as well as on men –men also have a dress code: to be covered from, and including the knees, to the navel and half of the upper torso, diagonally.
Women and men are to deport themselves decorously. Allah requires Muslims to be our own moral police: “And go not nigh to fornication: surely it is an obscenity. And evil is the way”–(Qur’an 17:32). The Arabic word zina means sexual intercourse between two people who are not married to each other and covers both fornication and adultery. Going not near to fornication/adultery means to not even indulge in acts that lead to them, such as intense staring, amoral speech and touching.

2. Shroud women head to toe:
Allah Instructs: “And say to the believing women ….let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms”–(Qur’an 24:31).  “O Prophet, tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of believers to let down upon them their over-garments. This is more proper, so that they may be known, and not be given trouble”–(Qur’an 33:59).
   Elderly women can dispense with the overcoat:  “And as for women past childbearing who hope not for marriage, it is no sin for them if they put off their cloaks without displaying their adornments”–(Qur’an 24:60).
   The Muslims woman’s head-covering and overcoat are an identification, a mark of excellence and a symbol of magnificence. (See Hijab/head covering).

Islam does not require the Muslim woman to veil her face.
Prophet Mohammad is noted as having said to Asma, who was wearing thin clothes at the time: “O Asma, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands”–(Abu Dawud Vol. 3, #4092). This is in accordance with Qur’an 24:31 and 33:59. These verses and hadith also show that the Muslim woman’s face is to be uncovered.
   That when the verse on hijab was revealed women cut cloth and covered their faces except their eyes, this was only the women’s understanding NOT THE REQUIREMENT. As clearly shown in Qur’an 24:31 women are to “wear their head-coverings over their  bosoms” not over their faces.
   That women are “to let down upon them their over-garments,” this is a clear reference to their overcoat/jilba and not to covering their heads and or faces.

Islam does not require Muslim women to shroud themselves from head to toe: “The muhrima (a woman in the state of Ihram during the Hajj) should not cover the face”–(Bokhari, Vol. 3, #64).
   Since the woman is not to cover her face at the Hajj, where she is in mix with a multitude of men, there seems hardly any requirement for her to cover her face elsewhere. As Muhammad Ali points out:
“This injunction rather shows that the veil (at the Hajj) was adopted simply as a mark of rank or greatness, and the unveiling was required in order to bring all on a level of equality. However that may be, the order to remain unveiled in the pilgrimage (Hajj) is a clear proof that wearing the veil is not an Islamic injunction or practice. And the verses requiring both men and women to keep their looks cast down (Qur’an 24:30-31) show clearly that, when the two sexes had to intermingle as a matter of necessity, the women were not veiled, for otherwise there would have been no need for the men to keep their looks cast down”–(The Religion Of Islam, pp. 636-637. Muhammad Ali has dealt at length with topic in his monumental work, The Religion Of Islam, obtainable at

3. Deny women education:
Prophet Mohammad declared through Divine Revelation: “Allah has made subservient to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth”–(Qur’an 31:20; 45:13). One could not make subservient “whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth” without knowledge.
The Prophet Mohammad charged Muslims to ‘seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave,’ to go to China if need be–(Baihaqi) Mishkat Misabih, Vol. 1, p. 361, #111 W); and that ‘the superiority of the learned scholar over the pious worshipper is like the superiority of the (full) moon over the stars’–(Abu Dawud Vol. 3, p.1034, #3634). 
   Muslims are enjoined to seek Allāh’s help in obtaining knowledge: “My Lord, increase me in knowledge”–(Qur’an 20:114).

In Islam there is no such distinction as “secular” knowledge. All knowledge is from Allāh: “Read in the name of thy Lord who creates…Who taught by the pen, Taught man what he knew not;” “I, Allāh, am the Seer. A Book which We have revealed to thee that thou mayest bring forth men, by their Lord’s permission, from darkness into light, to the way of the Mighty, the Praised One”–(Qur’an 96:1-5; 14:1).
   This knowledge is designated into two groups (1) material knowledge which provides nutrients for the body (2) religious or spiritual knowledge which provides nutrients for the soul. 

Muhammad Ali notes in his The Early Caliphate that ‘Umar, “When as a Caliph he made education compulsory in Arabia, it was made so for both boys and girls”–(p. 120).
   And the Prophet advised the educating even of slave-girls: “The man shall have a double reward who has a slave-girl and he trains her in the best manner and he gives her the best education, then he sets her free and marries her”–(Bukhari Vol.; 3 #720; Vol 4 #655).  This saying of the Prophet is in agreement with the Qur’anic instruction for him (and for us) to pray: “My Lord, increase me in knowledge”–(Qur’an 20:114).
   The noble Messenger of Allāh did not relegate woman into solitary confinement.

Muhammad Ali notes in his The Early Caliphate that ‘Umar, “When as a Caliph he made education compulsory in Arabia, it was made so for both boys and girls”–(p. 120). And, as noted, the Prophet advised the educating even of slave-girls–(Bokhari Vol.; 3 #720. Vol 4, #655).
   As noted above, Women can go out by themselves to take care of their needs–(Bokhari Vol. 7, #164. Going to school/college University is a “need.”).
   As noted, seeking knowledge is a lifelong endeavor –‘from the cradle to the grave.’ Denying woman an education is also a disservice (and even an injustice) to children. When the father is at work and the mother has no education she is unable to school the child/children.
   Allāh is Just. Allāh will not discriminate against Woman because of her gender –a factor she had no control over; a form and physiology He gave her. 

4. Women and Employment:
Employment for women is voluntary, as men are the maintainers of women–(Qur’an 4:34). While their primary function is the molding of the family, women are not barred from education and employment. This is clear from the Qur’anic injunctions that “for women is the benefit of what they earn”–(Qur’an 4:32). Woman can be employed in any field that is suitable to her.

Women can also work alongside men, the only prohibition is that they do not engage in amorous and frivolous conversations with the male sex, as the injunction to the Prophet’s wives clearly show:  “be not soft in speech, lest he, in whose heart is a disease, should feel tempted; and speak decent words”–(Qur’an 33:32).
Muhammad Ali has noted in his The Religion of Islam: “A study of the Tradition literature shows that, notwithstanding her rightful position in the home, as the bringer up of children and manager of the household, woman took interest in all the national activities of the Muslim community.”

-Women took part in “congregational prayers,” “join(ed) the soldiers in the field of battle”–“carrying of provisions, taking care of the sick and wounded, removing the wounded and the slain from the battlefield, or taking part in actual fighting when necessary.”
-“Women also helped their husbands in the labour of the field, served the male guests at a feast and carried on business, they could sell to and purchase from men, and men could sell to and purchase from them. A woman was appointed by the Caliph ‘Umar as superintendent of the market of Madinah.” (pp. 628-629). (Bukhari, 56:66, 67, 68; 56:62, 63, 65; F.B. III, p. 228; Bukhari, 67:108, 78; 11:40; 34:67).
-“A woman is also spoken of as acting as an Imam, while men followed her, though it was in her own house”–(Abu Dawud 2:58. The Religion Of Islam, p.385).

Perhaps the above positions held by women may be claimed to be exceptions, but it does highlight that all professions were open to the Woman of Islam. The reason why some positions such as head of state, leader of the armed forces, imam and judge are not delegated to women can be explained.
   Unlike other subordinate positions, leadership is a full time responsibility to the community. If Woman is exempt from these positions (at least in her child-bearing years), it is not because Allāh or because Islam discriminates against her on account of her sex; it is only because of her nature. For it is Woman who experiences menstruation, which is a time of ceremonial impurity and perhaps of pain; pregnancy and its discomforts and restrictions; childbirth and post-natal care; and caring for the child; all of which would leave her absent for these vital services to society.
Perhaps it is for the above reasons also that Woman is not appointed the role of prophethood, though Allāh did give revelation to Moses’ mother–(Qur’an 20:38-39; 28:7).

The Prophet’s wife, ‘Aishah, who probably knew the Qur’an more than any other, lead an army against the assassins of the Caliph ‘Uthman, as noted by Muhammad Ali in his The Early Caliphate.
   Also, regarding ‘Aishah’s opposition to ‘Ali and leading this army, Muhammad Ali notes that if “she had any design on the Caliphate…” It could not be suggested that ‘Aishah “had any design”–i.e. any intention on being ruler– on the Caliphate if woman was excluded from being “head of state.” (p. 182).
   Again. If the Muslim Woman was to be walled in, Lady ‘Aishah could not have lead an army against the assassins of the Caliph ‘Uthman -she would be guilty of acting against Islam; (and it is doubtful Muslim men have aligned themselves behind her). Nor would the Prophet have taken her on jihad–(Bokhari Vol. 4, # 130. Also #’s 131-134).

5. Remove women from their employment:
That men are the maintainers of women, this is the default position/situation. Whereas a wife can quit her job and be at home. The husband cannot quit his job and be at home and demand that the wife support him. Though if the wife decides that they switch roles, this is acceptable –husband and wife mutually agreeing to reverse domestic roles do not militate against Islam.
That man has a degree of superiority over woman, this is so only in home affairs. As every ship/organization has a head/captain, man, by virtue of him being the maintainer is given this degree of authority. However, if the wife’s suggestion is superior, the wise husband would defer to it.

 Allah says for men is what they earn and for women is what they earn. There would be no question of women earning and to “be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a word of goodness,” if she was to be denied education and be isolated from men.

(Unless the woman assents to it), there is no justification to remove the woman from her position and put the man in her place. Let the man find employment elsewhere. If this is not possible, the man (and family) becomes a ward of the State; until he can find employment.
   The following incident illustrates, and may serve as precedent, the injustice of arbitrarily taking one person’s right and giving it to another:
“Allah’s Apostle was offered something to drink. He drank of it while on his right was a boy and on his left were some elderly people. He said to the boy, “May I give these (elderly) people first?” The boy said, “By Allah, O Allah’s Apostle! I will not give up my share from you to somebody else.” On that Allah’s Apostle placed the cup in the hand of that boy”–(Bokhari, Vol. 7, #524; Also Vol. 3, #541).
   The Messenger of Allah did not even discriminate against a “boy” to the benefit of his elders.

6. Forced marriages:
That women have the right to choose their husbands is made clear by the Qur’an which shows that widows and women divorcees have the right to choose their husbands–(Qur’an 2:232; 2:240), and by the Tradition of the Prophet:  Says the noble Messenger of Allāh,
-“A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission”–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 67, 68;  Vol. 9, # 98, 100);
a virgin’s consent, because of bashfulness, is expressed by her silence–(Bokhari Vol. 7,  # 68; Vol. 9, # 98, 100-101);
-and that “If a man gives his daughter in marriage in spite of her disagreement, such marriage is invalid”–it notes the dissolution of such a marriage by the Prophet on behalf of a “matron” who disliked the marriage her father had arranged–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 69; Vol. 9, # 78).
   -A woman may also propose to a man–(Bokhari Vol. 7 #’s 48, 53, 54). There is a report of a woman proposing marriage to the Prophet–(Bokhari Vol. 3, # 505).

7. Women going to Masjid:
Prophet Mohammad pronounced:
-“If your women ask permission to go to the mosque at night, allow them”–(Bokhari Vol.1, # 824; Vol. 2, #22).
-‘If the wife of anyone of you asks  permission (to go to the mosque) do not forbid her” (Bokhari, Vol. 1, # 832. Also Vol. 7, # 165).
-“Allah’s Apostle used to offer the Fajr prayer when it  was still dark and the believing women used to return (after finishing their prayer) and nobody could recognize them owing to darkness, or they could not recognize one another” (Bokhari, Vol. 1, # 831. Also # 826, 827).

While women are to pray in separate rows from men, there was no barricade between them, they only formed a line behind the men: “In the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle the women used to get up when they finished their compulsory prayers  with Taslim. The Prophet and the men would stay on at their places as long as Allāh will. When the Prophet got up, the men would then get up”-(Bokhari, Vol. 1, # 825).
   It was compulsory that women –matrons and virgins, menstruating or not– attend mosque on the days of Eid; though the menstruating women could not offer the prayers–(Bokhari, Vol. 2, #’s 88, 97).  Even if a sister had no veil, she had to come to the mosque on the Day of Eid; sharing a veil with another sister–(Bokhari, Vol. 2 # 96).

Two hundred and forty years after the Prophet, “ropes” were used to separate men and women; the “ropes” were subsequently fortified into a “wooden barrier;” but “by and by the pardah conception grew so strong that women were altogether shut out from the mosques,”  as Muhammad Ali has noted in his The Religion of Islam (pp. 381-382).
   Not even the mighty Caliph, ‘Umar, dared to go against the instructions of the Messenger of Allah, and prevent women from the mosque (or consign them behind walls); even though he disliked women being at the mosque; why not?: “The statement of Allah’s Apostle: ‘Do not stop Allah’s women-slave* from going to Allah’s Mosques, prevents him” (from barring women from the mosque)–(Bokhari, Vol. 2, # 23. Though, perhaps women may be supportive of the barrier in the Masjid as it gives them privacy).
   *(We are not “slaves” of Allāh: we are servants of Allāh. Islam abolished slavery. A servant has the choice of leaving the employ of his master –a Muslim can at any time renounce belief in Allāh– but a slave does not have the choice of leaving his master).                      

The Women of Islam are not footstools of their men, neither are they prisoners:  “And the believers, men and women, are friends one of another.  They enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer and pay the poor rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger”–(Qur’an 9:71).

8. Honor killing:
While Islam enjoins purity in matters of sex on both male and female, there is no ‘honor killing’ in Islam. The Arabic word zinaa signifies sexual relations between people who are not married to each other, and covers both fornication and adultery.
   The Qur’an states that the al-zani –the adulterous/fornicating– people are to marry among their kind only–(24:3). There could be no question of the adulterer/fornicator having marriage if Islam had sanctioned “honor killings.”
  “Honor killings” are the Jewish, and the Christian law. (See Islam-honor killing).

9. Stoning:
There is no “stoning” to death in Islam. The punishment for adultery in the case of men and free women is a maxi-mum of one hundred lashes–(Qur’an 24:2); and in the case of slave-women the punishment is half that of free women–(Qur’an 4:25). And stoning to death “could not be halved;” but flogging can be halved.

That the early caliphs carried out stoning, Muhammad Ali writes:
“It is generally thought that while the Qur’an prescribes flogging as a punishment for fornication, i.e. when the guilty person is not married, stoning to death is the pun-ishment for adultery, and that this is allegedly based on the Prophet’s practice.  But the Qur’an plainly speaks of the punishment for adultery in the case of married slave-girls as being half the punishment of adultery in the case of free married women (muhsanat), and therefore death or stoning to death cannot be conceived of as possible punishment in case of adultery as it cannot be halved, while imprisonment or flogging may be. Thus the Qur’an not only speaks of flogging and not death, as punishment for adultery, but it positively excludes death or stoning to death.”

“…stoning was the punishment of adultery in the Jewish law, and that it was in the case of Jewish offen-ders that this punishment was first resorted to by the Prophet when he came to Madinah.  There are other reports which show that the same punishment was given in certain cases when the offenders were Muslims, but apparently this was before the revelation of the verse (24:2) which speaks of flogging as the punishment for both the adulterer and the adulteress, it being the practice of the Prophet to follow the earlier revealed law until he received a definite revelation on a point.  A suggestion to that effect is contained in a tradition: “Shaibani says, I asked ‘Abd Allah ibn Abi Aufa, Did the Holy Prophet stone to death?  He said, Yes.  I said, Was it before the chapter entitled the Light (ch. 24) was revealed or after it?  The reply was, I do not know” (Bu. 86:21. [Vol. 8 # 804]).  The chapter referred to is that which speaks of flogging as a punishment for adultery, and the question shows clearly that the practice of stoning for adultery was recognized as being against the plain injunction con-tained in that chapter.  It is likely that some misunder-standing arose from the incidents which happened before the Qur’anic revelation on the point, and that that prac-tice was taken as the Sunnah of the Prophet.  The Khwa-rij, the earliest Muslim sect, entirely rejected stoning to death (rajm) as a punishment in Islam (RM. VI, p. 6.) 

The question seems to have arisen early as to how an adulterer could be stoned, when the Qur’an prescribed flogging as the only punishment for adultery.  ‘Umar is reported to have said that “there are people who say, What about stoning, for the punishment prescribed in the Book of Allah is flogging” (Ah. I, p. 50.) To such ob-jector’s ‘Umar’s reply was: “In what Allah revealed, there was the verse of rajm (stoning); we read it and we understood it and we guarded it; the Prophet did stone (adulterers to death) and we also stoned after him, but I fear that when more time passes away, a sayer would say, We do not find the verse of rajm in the Book of Allah” (Bu. 86:31 [Vol. 8 # 816]). According to another version he is reported to have added:  “Were it not that people would say that ‘Umar has added in the Book of Allah that which is not in it, I would have written it” (AD. 37:23).  The argument attributed to ‘Umar is very unsound.  He admitted that the Qur’an did not contain any verse prescribing the punishment of stoning for adulterers, and at the same time he is reported as stating that there was such a verse in what Allah revealed.  In all probability what ‘Umar meant, if he ever spoke those words, was that the verse of stoning was to be found in the Jewish sacred book, the Torah, which was undoubtedly a Divine revelation, and that the Prophet stoned adulterers to death.  The use of the words “Book of God” (Kitab Allah) for the Torah is common in the Qur’an itself, the Torah being again and again spoken of as Kitab Allah or the Book of God, or al-Kitab, i.e., the Book (Qur’an 2:213, etc.). In all likelihood ‘Umar only spoke of rajm as the punishment of adultery in the Mosaic law and he was misunderstood.  At any rate he could not have spoken the words attributed to him.  Had there been such a verse of the Qur’an, he would have brought it to the notice of other Companions of the Prophet, when a complete written copy was first pre-pared in the time of Abu Bakr at his own suggestion.  The words, as attributed to him in some of these reports, are simply meaningless.  How could he say that there was a verse of the Qur’an which he would have written down in the Qur’an, but he feared that people would say that he had made an addition to the Qur’an, that is to say, added to it what was not part of it?  A verse could not be said to be a part of the Qur’an and not a part of the Qur’an at one and the same time.

There is further evidence in tradition itself that ‘Umar himself, at least in one reported case (and it is a reliable report), punished adultery with flogging as laid down in the Qur’an in 24:2, and not with stoning to death.””–(The Religion of Islam, pp. 730, 731, 733, 734, 735).
The Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance. The Prophet governed only according to the Qur’an (Qur’an 10:15). What ever goes against the Qur’an is to be discarded.
toning to death for adultery (and death for other sins) is the Jewish and the Christian law (See Islam-stoning). 

10. Divorce:
There is no “easy divorce” in Islam.
Marriage is a sacred contract–(Qur’an 4:21). A sacred matter is not dispensed with lightly. And the Prophet Mohammad is reported as saying: “of all things which have been permitted divorce is the most hated by Allah”–Abu Dawud 13:3 (M Ali, comm. # 293).
   It is doubtful that a person of dignity would undertake a “hated” action without first giving it lengthy consideration. Or that Allāh would allow a “most hated” thing to be annulled by a superfluous expression –I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you– considering that even an oath made against one’s-self needs compensation in return for its expiation–(Qur’an 5:89). And a marriage covenant is not only sacred but unites the man and the woman socially, morally, spiritually, and intimately.

However, while divorce is “the most hated” thing, there is no ‘till death do us part’ in Islam.  If a couple cannot live in harmo-ny, it is better for them to part in peace than live in misery. Islam enjoins counseling.  A divorce is allowed only after all avenues of reconciliation have been explored–(Qur’an 4:35).

Since woman has rights as those against her–(Qur’an 2:228) and since marriage is a contract–(Qur’an 4:21) either party may file for divorce: “And if they separate, Allah will render them both free from want”–(Qur’an 4:130). And, “if you fear that they cannot keep the limits of Allah, there is no blame on them for what she gives up to become free thereby”–(Qur’an 2:229).
   There is a report of Thabit ibn Qais wife’s seeking permission from the Prophet to divorce her husband; which permission was given on agreement that she return the wedding gift to her husband–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 197). 

Reading the relevant portions of the Qur’an 2:228 -232 on divorce Allāh enjoins:
“And the divorced women should keep themselves in waiting for three courses. And it is not lawful for them to conceal that which Allāh has created in their wombs…And their husbands have a better right to take them back in the meanwhile if they wish for reconciliation…(228)
Divorce may be (pronounced) twice; then keep them in good fellowship or let (them) go with kindness…(229)
“So if he divorces her (the third time), she shall not be lawful to him afterwards until she marries another husband. And if he divorces her, there is no blame on them both if they return to each other (by marriage)….(230)
“And when you divorce women and they reached their prescribed time, then retain them in kindness or set them free with kindness….(231)
“And when you divorce women and they end their term, prevent them not from marrying their husbands….(232)

As emphasized, “Divorce may be (pronounced) twice; and “So if he divorces her (the third time).” It is a mistake to take Allāh’s saying that divorce may be pronounced “TWICE” and if he divorces her the “THIRD” time and group these two to mean that the utterance of the word “divorce” three times dissolves a marriage.
   Firstly, the word “pronounced” in the statement is the translator’s opinion: it is not part of the Qur’anic text. The translator could have alternatively used the word “undertaken” or “effected” which would then render the two statements thusly: “Divorce may be (undertaken/effected) twice” “So if he divorces her (the third time).” In which instance there would be no question of the husband “pronouncing” I divorce you “three” times.

As noted, Allāh, says, “Divorce may be (pronounced) twice; then keep them in good fellowship or let (them) go with kindness”–(Qur’an 2:229, and 2:228 says reconciliation is allowed during the three-month waiting period); and, “So if he divorces her (the third time), she shall not be lawful to him afterwards until she marries another husband. If he (the latter husband) divorces her, there is no blame on them both if they return to each other (by marriage)”–(Qur’an 2: 230).   

After the first intent to divorce, there is a waiting period of three months before this divorce is finalized; within this three-month waiting period the couple may resume married life, or end the marriage after the waiting period; and may remarry each other–(Qur’an 2:232. Bokhari Vol. 6, #52). This is allowed for up to two times.
After the third intent to divorce they may reconcile during the waiting period; but if the divorce is finalized this third time, they can only remarry after the wife has married someone else, consummate that marriage and is divorced from the latter husband–(Qur’an 2:230. Bokhari Vol. 3, # 807).

The reason that it is mandatory for the wife to marry another man after the third divorce before remarrying her former husband seems obvious. Since carnal intimacy is the closest a man and a woman can be physically, and since a man, generally, would not want another man to touch his wife, then he must really need/love the woman to still want her after knowing that she had been intimate with another man. This almost impossible condition for them to remarry seems to be a red flag against hasty divorces.

The reason why a divorced woman must wait three menstrual courses before remarrying–(Qur’an 2:228) would seem to be a guide to find out if she is pregnant or not as the continuing words of this verse (2:228) show: “And it is not lawful for them to conceal that which Allāh has created in their wombs.” Bokhari Vol. 6, #431 notes the Prophet declaring as illegal a divorce which was enacted while the wife was still menstruating. The prescribed waiting time is, generally, three months–Qur’an 2:228; 65:1, 4).

Allāh mandating against preventing the couple to reunite, even into the third breach of the marriage highlights the expanse to which Islam goes to fortify the marriage-bed on its foundation. Wife and husband are garments to the other –to protect, beautify, comfort, and conceal flaws–(Qur’an 2:187).
Allāh enjoining arbitration to prevent dissolution of a marriage and the Prophet’s saying that a divorce is “most hated” in the sight of Allah, either saying taken singularly, has enough weight to crumble the notion that there is “easy divorce” in Islam.
Saying “I divorce you; I divorce you; I divorce you” to sever this sacred covenant and rent this beautiful garment of marriage is not only “easy,” but absurdity.

11. Woman cannot travel alone:
The Muslim woman’s movement is restricted only to the degree of her personal safety. When we hear about women in modern “free” society –Britain, Germany, Canada, the U.S., and also in India– having to band together in “marches” to take back their neighborhood from rapist(s) and girls being preyed upon, one can greatly appreciate the wisdom of Islam that women not travel about (in certain unfamiliar areas) unescorted, by a male companion of her immediate family (a member of the family whom she is not permitted to marry).

Even the Canadian government recognizes the danger to women traveling alone. The Toronto Star, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, p. A 10, carried the article by Richard J. Brennan, “National Affairs Writer,” titled: “Don’t forget to pack a fake husband, federal guide tells female travellers” which states that “Foreign Affairs Canada” encourages single women traveling by themselves abroad to wear a “fake wedding ring” and carry a picture of an “imaginary” husband [married women are to carry a picture of their husband] to ward off unwanted male attention. The travel guide is said to note that “women face greater obstacles [than men] when travelling alone””

The Toronto Star Saturday, November 3, 2012 in the article Top 10 safety tips for women travellers by Evelyn Hannon, notes the vulnerability of women traveling alone.

As late as 2015 women were warned against travelling alone. The Toronto Star, Friday, September 18, 2015, under the article “U.S tourist in India says she was gang-raped,” page A12, written by  Fred Barbash of the Washington Post notes:
-“A 46-year-old American tourist” says she was “gang-raped” in India. The rape is “one of several” reported by female tourists; plus many rapes of Indian women
-“A 30-year-old American woman” was said to be gang-raped in 2013
-Japan warned its women visitors to India after “two rape allegations” by Japanese women
-In 2012 “tourists from Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark” reported they were raped
-“The State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs” urges women to “exercise vigilance” and warns against using
 public transport at night without “known and trustworthy companions,” to restrict “evening entertainment” to familiar venues, and to avoid “isolated areas” when alone at any time, the article notes.   

Even in local schools (and colleges) girls are molested, and perhaps raped and forced to perform oral sex on boys. (This violation of girls can be eliminated in a well-secured all-female school).

Women can go out by themselves to take care of their needs: “O women! You have been allowed by Allah to go out for your needs”–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 164). She can go to the cemetery–(Bokhari Vol. 2, #’s 368, 372; Abu Dawud Vol. 2, # 3161). There is no teaching against her offering the funeral prayer.
   While there is probably no environment that is completely safe for a woman (or man), Islam has given severe punishment for violating a woman; which crime may fall under ‘mischief in the land’ and carries up to the maximum penalty of death–(ref; Qur’an 5:33).

   -Muslim Women can earn, and can inherit and own property–(Qur’an 4:32, 7, 177). have exclusive right to utilize her earnings however she pleases–(Qur’an 4:4, 32).
  –Islam-liberated women and has given her equality with man in financial, property, moral and spiritual matters.
  -Man and woman being created from the same essence, both have the same faculties and potentials. If one develops himself/herself and the other does not, then either may be superior to the other.
Men cannot defy Allah and deny women their Allah-given rights and yet expect Allah to grant them Jannah!
Woman’s evidence half of man’s (See Woman’s testimony-half of man’s).
Woman’s inheritance half of man’s (See Woman’s inheritance-half of man’s).
Beating wife (See Islam-wife-beating/chastisement).
Dismembering the thief (See Islam-amputation, dismemberment).
Intoxicants/alcohol (See Alocohol & gambling).