What M.A.Khan says

The attacks of September 11, 2001, changed the way the world looks at Islam. And rightfully so, according to M.A. Khan, a former Muslim who left the religion after realizing that it is based on forced conversion, imperialism, and slavery: the primary demands of Jihad, commanded by the Islamic God Allah is totally false propaganda to enslave more people and specially women. No other religious leader used any weapons to forced people to convert or follow his or dictate as it always propagate by perverted Muslims. Even few Muslims admit it and reject violence in spread of religion.

Close to 200,000 people have been killed in Syria’s three-year civil war, according to the United Nations. 521 ISIS, 57 Al Quada and few civilians kill so far. As a whole this number will make them further frustrated and will be more violent and slowly and surely all pervert and its supporters will be finish.
In this ground a path breaking book written by MA Khan (EX Muslim) demonstrates that Prophet Muhammad meticulously followed all misguided principles and established the ideal template of Islamic Jihad for his future followers to pursue, and that Muslims have been perpetuating the cardinal principles of Jihad to kill innocent, enslave women ever since its inception.
Find out the true nature of Islam, particularly its doctrine of Jihad, and what it means to the modern world, and also learn about

  • The core tenets of Islam and its history
  • The propagation of Islam by force and other means
  • Islamic propaganda
  • Arab-Islamic imperialism
  • Islamic slavery and slave-trade
  • And much more!

The commands of Allah are perpetual in nature, so are the actions of Prophet Moha mad. Jihad has been the way to win converts to Islam since its birth fourteen centuries ago, and it won’t change anytime soon. Find out why in Islamic Jihad.

 

 

Today 4 terrorists killed and last week a car bomb detonated in a crowded market killed 89 people in this way they are reducing their number and will doom their families financial and mental frustration and will leave the cult Islam.

M A Khan’s has written a very good book. Lots of specifics and specially found dictate he has found.  Where all the evils in the name of Allah traced back to directly to Moha mad. His rage at being persecuted (i.e. they ignored him) led to his wars and assassinations on everyone who disagreed with him on anything. Followed by hundreds of years of unprovoked invasions, slaughter,  mass slavery and today’s massive cover-ups of said mass murder and slavery. However the writing style should have been edited by someone else. Every other page has syntax or grammar errors, or left out words. Most places you just glide on through, automatically filling in missing words or putting words in the right order in a sentence in your mind as you read. But once in a while you have to read a sentence two or three times to really get it. I also wonder which translation of the Bible he read to get the interpretation of Matthew 18:25. “For example, Jesus advised people in debt to sell themselves along with their family members into slavery to pay up.”

ALL INDIAN PEOPLE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. M.A. Khan has done a great service not only to India, but to the free world in writing this amazing work. He directly and clearly exposes history of jihad and how it is rooted in Islam itself, the devastating effects of jihad around the world (especially in India), and gives a detailed background of the cost of Islam to art, civilization, academic thought, religious freedom, and humanity as a whole.

It is likely that even educated Indian people who grew up in India don’t know the horrors that their ancestors suffered because of Islam. M.A. Khan, through his book, will open the eyes of those very people and expose the lies that the media, apologists, and politically correct elite have forced upon them.

This is a must read. Buy it now and if you have Indian Friends please make them read this eye-opening book.

KARACHI: 17.2.2014 toi

Pakistan’s Hindu minority is angered by “forced conversions”, with leaders of the community saying girls as young as six years were being pressured to change their religion.

“Can you accept your daughters being forcibly married to Hindu men?” said Raj Kumar, whose niece Rinkle Kumari was allegedly forced to convert and marry a Muslim man in 2012. Rinkle’s case made headlines and was even taken up by the Supreme Court.

Speaking at a seminar at the Karachi Press Club on Sunday on the theme “Hindus in Pakistan – issues and solutions”, Kumar called six-year-old Jumna on to the stage and said she and her 10-year-old sister Pooja would have been forced to change their religion if the media had not raised their case.

“What do children as young as Jumna and Pooja know about Islam and their own religion, for that matter, that they’d want to convert? This is the height of injustice,” Kumar was quoted as saying by the influential Dawn daily.

Jumna’s mother Marju and father Soma, residents of Mirpurkhas city in Sindh province, were present at the event.

“We are poor people. My little girls helped supplement our income by selling clay toys and utensils door to door. On February 4, they left home as usual with their basket of toys but didn’t return. We raised an alarm,” Soma said.

“After several reports in the media about our missing girls, it was found that they had been staying with a man named Rajab Pathan. The police of our area later produced them in court as Muslim children. We were prevented by the police from seeing them too.”

Soma said the court sent the girls to a Darul Aman or womens’ home following suspicions they may have been subjected to child abuse at home.

“Little Jumna has been given back to us now but Pooja is still at the Darul Aman. She seems to have been brainwashed into saying strange things about us. Her mind seems affected by the trauma,” he said.

All Hindu Rights Organisation chairman Kishan Chand Parwani, one of the organisers of the seminar, said it was sad to see the problems of Pakistan’s minorities “multiplying instead of decreasing”.

Former lawmaker Safdar Abbasi said it was a sad reality that not just Hindu temples but mosques, imambargahs or Shia prayer halls and churches were no longer safe in Pakistan.

 

In very short, some kind of trap was forced to them to convert or they could be eliminated or forced their women to marry Muslims etc. Different type of mechanism used to do such act in Paki’s, Bd etc. If Muslims convert to other religion then they will threat them harass them and all kind of bad means they will use against them.

Contrary to the imagination of some Hindus, Muslims do not worship the black stone. No Muslims ever believed that the black stone can benefit him or harm him in any way. The Stone is not being worshipped or regarded as anything but a marker. While there are traditions about kissing or touching the Stone, its real significance is as marker of the point at which one starts the Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Kaaba as part of Hajj or Umrah.) Even the traditions which talk about kissing or touching the stone are VERY CLEAR that the Stone is JUST A STONE. (Saheeh Bukhari Volume 2, Book 26, Number 667): Narrated ‘Abis bin Rabia: Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said “NO DOUBT, I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A STONE AND CAN NEITHER BENEFIT ANYONE NOR HARM ANYONE. Had I not seen Allah’s Apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you.” The Black Stone has had an interesting history during the Islamic period. In 930 CE, a ruler of Bahrain – who belonged to a branch of Ismailism known as the Qarmatians sacked Makkah and carried the Black Stone away for some 23 years until it was ransomed. Qarmatian leader Abu Tahir al-Qarmati set the Black Stone up in his own mosque in Bahrain, the Masjid al-Dirar, with the intention of redirecting the Hajj away from Mecca. However, this failed, and pilgrims continued to venerate the spot where the Black Stone had been. The fact that Islam was able to function without the Black Stone for 23 years is one of the best illustrations that it is but a marker for Tawaaf – and NOT an object of worship.

JIHAD: DESTRUCTION OF NON-MUSLIMS: There is extreme Islamic violence in the world in the name of Jihad. So what exactly is Jihad ? Most Muslims do not have a precise answer to this. A deep study of Quran and Hadiths provides the shocking truth about Jihad which Muslims either don’t know or lie about. There are three components in Jihad 1) Imperialism of Islam over non-Muslims: Allah gives sanction to Muslim’s to impose Islamic Imperialism over non-Muslim’s in the Quranic verse. “(Allah) hath made you (Muslims) His agents, inheritors of the earth’ and ‘promised to…make them rulers in the earth” [Quran 24:55, 6:165]. Guided by this verse, Muslim’s are continuously waging wars against non-Muslims and killing them to establish Islamic rule 2) Forced Conversion of Muslims: This is sanctioned by the following Quranic verse “slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate (i.e., they become Muslim),leave their way free to them”[Quran 9:5].Guided by this verse Muslims have been persecuting non-Muslims to convert them into Islam 3) Enslaving the non-Muslims: Allah guides Prophet Muhammad on HOW to enslave the infidels, in the following verse: “And He (Allah) brought those of the People of the Scripture (i.e., Banu Qurayza) who supported them (i.e., the Quraysh) down from their strongholds, and cast panic into their hearts. Some (adult males) ye slew, and ye made captive some (women and children)” [Quran 33:26–27]. The whole Islamic history is filled with Muslims enslaving Kafirs and exploiting them. So according to the doctrine of Jihad 1) Muslims must attack non-Muslims to rule over them 2) forcefully convert them to Islam and 3) enslave them (including women and children) by treating them as chattels. AND JIHAD IS MANDATORY FOR MUSLIMS. Prophet Mohammed set an example of HOW to follow Jihad by doing all these three things repeatedly in his life, which is a template for all Muslims to follow. An Indian ex-Muslim M.A. Khan has brilliantly described the ideology of Jihad in his classic book “Islamic Jihad: A legacy of forced conversion, imperialism and slavery”. Islam is a threat to humanity and it must be banned in the world.

WHY MUSLIMS ARE INTELLECTUALY BANKRUPT: It is well known that Islam has not produced any great man of intellect and their contribution to science, technology etc. is NIL. What is the reason? Well, the reason is that Allah is NOT in favor of creative pursuits, such as in science, philosophy and intellectual learning. Allah proudly glorifies the illiteracy of the Prophet: “Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel” [Q 7:157] Allah also warns Muslims against being inquisitive and asking creative question about the world: “O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things, which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble…Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith” [Q 5:101–02]. Allah is worried that muslims may lose faith if they start questioning. Its funny that the most perfect book Q (as claimed by muslims) sent by Allah to humanity cannot withstand simple questioning by its followers.

WHY MUSLIMS ARE INTELLECTUALY BANKRUPT:  Muhamad also advised his followers against asking creative questions and to follow pliantly whatever Allah had revealed: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Satan comes to one of you and says, Who created so-and-so? ‘Till he says, ‘Who has created your Lord?’ So, when he inspires such a question, one should seek refuge with Allah and give up such thoughts”  [Buhkari 4:496; Muslim 1:242–43]  A muslim has spent his entire life without deep questioning and has lost the capacity to come to independent conclusions based on logical reasoning. Naturally, a society filled with such people cannot produce great thinkers, philosophers and scientists. Those muslims who have preserved the capacity of logical reasoning soon leave Islam. This is how Ali Sinas, M.A. Khans, Anwar Shaikhs, Wafa Sultans, Ayaan Hirsi Alis and Ibn Warraqs of the world are created. These questioning muslims is Allah’s biggest worry as revealed in [Q 5:101-02]. So Allah advises muslims to remain dumb and utilizes kafirs to do all the creative and intellectual pursuits. Even on this forum, if you write anything against Islam, muslim would simply DISAGREE but they will not provide a reason WHY THEY DISAGREE. These are the perfect intellectually bankrupt muslims produced by Islam.

 

ISLAM DESTROYED BUDDHISM IN INDIA: Who destroyed Buddhism in India ? Muslims and Christians have created a propaganda that Hinduism destroyed Buddhism in India. The truth however, is that it is ISLAM which destroyed Buddhism in India. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, a convert to Buddhism, Dalit icon and the chief architect of the Indian Constitution reveals this evil truth about Islam. He writes “Islam came out as the enemy of the ‘But’. The word ‘But’ as everybody knows, is the Arabic word and means an idol. Thus the origin of the word indicates that in the Moslem mind idol worship had come to be identified with the Religion of the Buddha. To the Muslims, they were one and the same thing. The mission to break the idols thus became the mission to destroy Buddhism. Islam destroyed Buddhism not only in India but wherever it went. Before Islam came into being Buddhism was the religion of Bactria, Parthia, Afghanistan, Gandhar, and Chinese Turkestan, as it was of the whole of Asia…….. The Mussalman invaders sacked the Buddhist universities of Nalanda,Vikramshila, Jagaddala, Odantapuri to name only a few. How the Buddhist priesthood perished by the sword of the Muslim invaders has been recorded by the Muslim historians themselves….Such was the slaughter of the Buddhist priesthood perpetrated by the Islamic invaders. The axe was struck at the very root. For by killing the Buddhist priesthood, Islam killed Buddhism. This was the greatest disaster that befell the religion of the Buddha in India”. [Ambedkar BR (1990) Writings and Speeches: Pakistan or The Partition of India, Government of Maharashtra, Vol. III, p. 229–38]……….. The reason why Islamic armies overran the Buddhists so easily is that Buddha did not allow Buddhists to keep any army. This is also the reason why Buddhism was wiped out from Afghanistan and north west India (currently Pakistan) by Islamic invaders. Hindus consider Buddha as one of the avatars of Hinduism. The Chakra (wheel) in the Indian national flag is actually a Buddhist symbol. Buddhism is part of the rich cultural heritage of India.

ISLAM HAS SPREAD BY VIOLENCE: Muslims do not tire of shouting how Islam is the best religion in the world and it spread by peaceful means. However, a study of Islamic scriptures and history proves the opposite. Let us start with Mohammed. He proudly declared that “I have been ordered to fight people until they say: La ilaha illallah (convert to Islam)” [Sahih al-Bukhari 6924] which makes it clear about the method he intended to adopt to spread Islam. Mohammed fought 70-100 wars in the last 10 years of his life and converted the whole of Arabia into Islam by sword. A study of Quran shows that many muslims converted by Mohammed were faking to be muslims due to fear of persecution by true fellow muslims. For example, read this verse “And they swear by Allah that they are most surely of you, and they are not of you, but they are people afraid (of you). If they could find a refuge or cave or a place to enter into, they would certainly have turned thereto, running away in all haste” [Quran 9:56-57]. This verse means that many people “swear by Allah” i.e. declare they are muslims “but they are not of you, but they are people afraid (of you)” i.e. they are pretending to be muslims out of fear. If they could find a place to escape, they would run away. Prophet Muhammad had instilled in his followers such dedication and bravery for fighting in the interest of Islam that, within a century of his death, Islam had created the world’s largest kingdom (caliphate) spreading from Arabia at a whirlwind speed to Transoxiana and Sindh (India) in the East, conquering all of Egypt and North Africa and had reached the heart of France in Europe. Despite this long list of aggressive and bloody wars against non-Muslims, waged by Prophet Muhammad, the succeeding caliphs and other Muslim rulers, Muslims have their way of explaining away those blood-letting atrocities and are still able to argue that Prophet Muhammad was a peaceful man and that non-Muslims all over the world accepted Islam because of the essence of peace and justice inherent in the Islamic creed. In fact, Quran makes it mandatory for muslims to kill kafirs or get killed by them in war to spread Islam. Read this verse “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah , so they kill and are killed” [Quran 9:111]. Need I say that Islam is an evil religion which promotes unending violence to spread itself by killing innocent people. Do you understand now why muslims are butchering non-muslims relentlessly ?

HOW HINDUS SURVIVED ISLAM IN INDIA: Muslims often claim that the existence of so many Hindus in India is a proof that Islam was not imposed by force in India. How come so many Hindus exist in India? Let me explain this. Although Muslims theoretically ruled India for over 762 years, they hardly ever managed to secure a complete hold over the entire country. During the first three centuries after Qasim’s invasion in 711, Muslim rule remained confined to a tiny Northwest area of vast India. The fact that a huge majority of the population in those parts are now Muslims proves that Muslim rulers could impose Islam more effectively in areas, where they had strong political power over a longer period of time. Only under Akbar, most parts of India came under the sway of Muslim rule. But then, Akbar was an apostate of Islam and did not help the cause of spreading Islam. Following Akbar, his son Jahangir and grandson Shahjahan did not pursue the policy of Islamization of India. Even during the period of most firmly established Mughal rule of Akbar and Jahangir, their influence across the country remained rather fragile. Jahangir wrote in his memoir, Tarikh-i-Salim Shahi, that “the number of turbulent and disaffected never seems to diminish; for what with the examples made during the reign of my father, and subsequently of my own, …there is scarcely a province in the empire in which, in one quarter or the other, some accursed miscreant will not spring up to unfurl the standard of rebellion; so that in Hindustan never has there existed a period of complete repose”. When Akbar’s grandson Aurangzeb captured power, Islamization and forced conversion became the focus of the state. But during his reign, revolts were taking place in all corners of the kingdom. According to Bernier, during Aurangzeb’s brutal reign, the powerful and defiant Rajput and Maratha princes used to enter the courtyard of his palace always mounted on their horses, well-armed and well-attended by their men. When Aurangzeb banned non-Muslims from carrying weapons in conformity with the Pact of Omar and Sharia laws, the defiant and dangerous Rajputs had to be exempted. Hindu rebels like Shivaji and Rana Raj Singh protested Aurungzeb’s re-imposition of jizyah. When his officers (amin) went to collect jizyah, one of them was killed and another was humiliated by Hindus pulling by his beard and hair before sending back empty-handed. Summarizing the Hindu defiance, notes Dirk H. Kolf, “millions of armed men, cultivators or otherwise, were its (government’s) rivals rather than subjects”. According to Badaoni of Akbar’s court, Hindus often warded off attacks of Muslim army from their jungle hideouts. These examples would give one sufficient idea about how some 80 per cent of the population of the sub continental India remained non-Muslims after so many centuries of Islamic rule.

 

   
Christianity 70092100000000000002.1 billion
Buddhism* 7008400000000000000400 million–70091700000000000001.7 billion
Islam 70091500000000000001.5 billion
Secular*/Nonreligious*/Agnostic/Atheist ≤ 70091100000000000001.1 billion
Hinduism 70091000000000000001 billion
Chinese traditional religion* 7008394000000000000394 million
PrimalIndigenous religions 7008300000000000000300 million
African Traditional & Diasporic religions 7008100000000000000100 million
Sikhism 700728000000000000028 million

The number of ethnic Muslims in Russia who adopted Christianity is 2 million, while the number of the Orthodox who have been converted to Islam is only 2,5  thousand…The proportion of Muslims in North Ossetia has decreased at least by 30%, while in Beslan itself, where Muslims had comprised from 30 to 40% of the population, their number has decreased at least by half.”

Roman Silantyev: executive secretary of the Inter-religious Council in Russia

Islam used to represent Africa’s main religion and there were 30 African languages that used to be written in Arabic script. The number of Muslims in Africa [a land of 1 billion] has diminished to 316 million, half of whom are Arabs in North Africa…In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. These numbers are very large indeed”.

 

The number of Muslim-born converts to Christianity in Egypt, who are keeping their faith secret, has reached several million. Due to the State Security’s persecution, torture and rape, they have established outside Egypt an organization called “Freed by Christ” as well as “Way TV” to speak on their behalf to the West, and expose their sufferings at the hands of State Security. It is headed by the Christian convert Dr. Mohamad Rahouna, ex-dean of the Faculty of Arabic Studies, Minya University, who fled to the United States.

 

This translation of a televised conversation reveals a rare glimpse into the outlook of Muslim scholars who are concerned about Christianity’s growth. The invited guest is Sheikh Ahmad Al Katani; the president of The Companions Lighthouse for the Science of Islamic Law in Libya, which is an institution specializing in graduating imams and Islamic preachers. Katani starts off describing the overall problem:Islam used to represent, as you previously mentioned, Africa’s main religion and there were 30 African languages that used to be written in Arabic script. The number of Muslims in Africa has diminished to 316 million, half of whom are Arabs in North Africa. So in the section of Africa that we are talking about, the non Arab section, the number of Muslims does not exceed 150 million people. When we realize that the entire population of Africa is one billion people, we see that the number of Muslims has diminished greatly from what it was in the beginning of the last century. On the other hand, the number of Catholics has increased from one million in 1902 to 329 million 882 thousand (329,882,000). Let us round off that number to 330 million in the year 2000. As to how that happened, well there are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people. In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. These numbers are very large indeed …..

From what I have heard from reliable sources, six million may be too low. Reliable accounts say that one hundred thousand Africans convert to Christianity per day, though not all of them come from Islam.

 

Juche* 700719000000000000019 million
Spiritism 700715000000000000015 million
Judaism 700714000000000000014 million
Baha’i 70067000000000000007 million
Jainism 70064200000000000004.2 million
Shinto 70064000000000000004 million
Cao Dai 70064000000000000004 million
Zoroastrianism 70062600000000000002.6 million
Tenrikyo 70062000000000000002 million
Neo-Paganism 70061000000000000001 million
Unitarian Universalism 7005800000000000000800,000
Rastafarianism 7005600000000000000600,000

 

Then Katani says Muslims should build schools before mosques, in order to build the worshipper (Muslim) before the building. Why? To stop the the dangerous “Christian missionary octopus”

This happens often! The wealthy Arab builds a mosque for himself or one of his parents of his friend, but my dear sir, building a mosque comes as a second stage. In America, the price of building an Islamic school is 5 million dollars. In Africa, 50 thousand dollars are enough to build a very reasonably sized school. I say this and I take full responsibility for it; building a school comes before building a mosque. Build the worshiper before you build the mosque. Take for example yourself; you go to the mosque five times a day and if you added all that time it would equal an hour or maybe two hours if you include the Friday prayer. However, if I ask you how long you stayed at school, you will reply that you spent years in middle school and years in high school. Likewise the African goes to the mosque, but if we built him a school where he could spend most of his time, and provided specialized educators we could at least stop this dangerous Christian missionary octopus.

Katani states the purpose of his school:

The truth is, the institution that I administer is considered pre—college. As for the subject of attracting and preparing specialized missionaries to bring them from their countries to Libya in order to train them and return them back to their countries, that is done through the Islamic Propagation Organization. This organization has graduated a number of classes, some of whose students had masters and doctorate degrees. These efforts were fruitful in that these graduates were able to attract people from their lands and countries because they spoke the language and understood the customs of the people they were proselytizing. This way, the missionary is not a foreigner to the community he is working with, contrast that to what would happen if I went to the Philippines for example. I can’t speak a single Philippino word; much less invite people to the faith.�

By now other Muslim leaders have joined in. Abbas Hamid lives in Holland, and he deplores the un—Islamic way of life:

My brother may Allah reward you. We muslims in Holland suffer a lot when we see issues like this and we really suffer when we see a muslim, as the sheikh said, who spends millions in bars and entertainment while other muslims are lost and cannot find a translation of the Koran. Even their children who are able to learn cannot memorize the Koran, they can’t find a translated Koran or even any translated book. The first thing we must do is mend our selves; the Islamic countries must fix themselves first and then they can look at Africa. May Allah reward you and this issue is interesting.�

Later, an Arabic—speaking Christian discusses how Islam must preach peace and love. No one denies, as none of the Muslim scholars do, that a religion has the right to spread his faith (except in hard line Islamic countries), but these leaders seem panicky. They express frustration at Islam’s disorganized efforts to maintain Africa. But this one idea eludes them: Islam itself is the problem because it is a burdensome and harsh religion. This is apparent when one Muslim scholar talks about implementing Shari’ah as if it is self—evident that it benefits society.�

The whole conversation is fascinating. Though the scroll bar indicates that it is a long dialogue, much of the file includes threads or comments at the bottom. So read the whole thing, please. We must educate ourselves about Islam, and with the worldwide web, we have unprecedented opportunities.

James M. Arlandson��� 5 03 06

Muslim apostates cast out and at risk from faith and family

While Christians who turn to Islam are feted, the 200,000 Muslims who turn away are faced with abuse, violence and even murder

By Anthony Browne

 

Husain and his family have been regularly jostled, abused, attacked, shouted at to move out of the area, and given death threats in the street. His wife has been held hostage inside their home for two hours by a mob. His car, walls and windows have been daubed in graffiti: “Christian bastard”.

The problem isn’t so much what Mr Hussein, whose parents came from Pakistan, believes, but what he doesn’t believe. Born into Islam, he converted eight years ago to Christianity, and his wife, also from Pakistan, followed suit.

While those who convert to Islam, such as Cat Stevens, Jemima Khan, and the sons of the Frank Dobson, the former Health Secretary, and Lord Birt, the former BBC Director-General, can publicly celebrate their new religion, those whose faith goes in the other direction face persecution. Mr Hussein, a 39-year-old hospital nurse in Bradford, is one of a growing number of former Muslims in Britain who face not just being shunned by family and community, but attacked, kidnapped, and in some cases killed. There is even a secret underground network to support and protect those who leave Islam. One estimate suggests that as many as 15 per cent of Muslims in Western societies have lost their faith, which would mean that in Britain there are about 200,000 apostates.

For police, religious authorities and politicians, it is an issue so sensitive that they are accused by victims of refusing to respond to appeals for help. It is a problem that, with the crisis of identity in Islam since September 11, seems to be getting worse as Muslims feel more threatened.

Muslims who lose their faith face execution or imprisonment, in line with traditional Muslim teaching, in many Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and Yemen. In the Netherlands, the former Muslim MP Ayan Hirsi Ali had to go into hiding after renouncing her faith on television.

The Prince of Wales recently held a meeting with religious leaders to consider ways to stop former Muslims being persecuted in other countries, but Britain itself is also affected.

Mr Hussein told The Times: “It’s been absolutely appalling. This is England — where I was born and raised. You would never imagine Christians would suffer in such a way.”

The police have not charged anyone, but told him to leave the area. “We feel completely isolated, utterly helpless. I have been utterly failed by the authorities. If it was white racists attacking an Asian guy, there would be an absolute outcry,” he said. “They are trying to ethnically cleanse me out of my home. I feel I have to make a stand as an Asian Christian.”

Yasmin, who was raised in the North of England, has been forced out of her town once, and is now trying to resist being chased out again. Brought up in a Muslim family, she converted after having a vision of Jesus when she gave birth to her youngest son, and was baptised in her thirties.. “My family completely disowned me. They thought I had committed the biggest sin — I was born a Muslim, and so I must die a Muslim. When my husband found out, he totally disowned my sons. One friend tried to strangle me when I told him I was converting,” she said.

“We had bricks though our windows, I was spat at in the street because they thought I was dishonouring Islam. We had to call the police so many times. I had to go to court to get an injunction against my husband because he was inciting others to attack me.”

She fled to another part of Britain, but the attacks soon started again as locals found out about her. “I wasn’t going to leave again,” she said, adding that it was the double standards of her attackers that made her most angry. “They are such hypocrites — they want us to be tolerant of everything they want, but they are intolerant of everything about us.”

Former Muslims Who Are Male

I left Islam after being skeptical for years. I did thorough research and had discussion with countless religious people and listened to many lectures by noble muslim preachers, and ironically still doing so. I just can’t live with thinking that it is okay to see others as people with less rights than me, even in the claimed “after-life”. I could never see any religion anything more than a system of thoughts that was laid down by a great thinker and evolved from previous philosophies. As long as my brain is on, I won’t give up to myths.

Tareq Sharafy, 24, Israel, now an agnostic

I used to be a good Muslim until I grew up and searched for the truth. I learnt a lot about Islam as I’m in the most populated Islamic country. Thanks to the internet I found many facts against what I have been previously taught before by Islamic scholars. I found that Islam is full of fallacies and leads to insane and satanic behavior, really inhumane and crazy. Then I started thinking and decided that everyone is born as an atheist. I do hope that god exists but I can’t deny that god is not, well, at least I don’t have the proof so else millions like me. So I will just keep my eyes of mind open to think and live my life free from burden dogmas. Thanks to WikiIslam and all atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists for keeping up the fight against terrorism and educating those who are blinded by faith.

Gon Candu, 33, Indonesia, now an atheist

When I came in touch with the sites faithfreedom.org, islamwatch.org, wikiislam.net, mukto-mona.com, I started to think differently. These sites helped me to find the gaps of all religion including Islam.

Fawad Ahmed, 23, Bangladesh, now an atheist

I left Islam because of my sister. She refused to accept a rival wife to share her husband. This was an eye-opener to me. Other factors which made me to hate Islam were the oppression of women and the killing of innocent people in south of Sudan in the name of Jihad.

I have written a novel which reveals the cruelty of Islam towards women. It is called: Intisar: A Story of a Muslim Girl.

Dr. A.A.Ahmed, Sudan, now a Christian

I was born and raise a Muslim. My father had no problem with delivering harsh beatings on me for making mistakes when he was teaching me the Quran. Naturally, I spent the first 14 years of my life thinking that this was the true religion, and that I would go to hell. I was always convinced that Islam was true due to the ‘Quran miracle claims’ which were all over the web, which satisfied me into thinking that I was definitely following the true religion, despite the fact that, being the fool I was at the time, I had not even bothered to READ the ‘miracle claims’.

Ironically, it was Wikiislam that caused me to have doubts about my faith. I stumbled upon it while searching for information about my religion, and decided to ‘have a look round’. I came across the page detailing scientific errors in the Quran. Being the naive person I was, I couldn’t believe that the ‘Holy’ Quran would have scientific errors. I began investigating further into these errors, and I soon found that these WERE genuine errors, meaning that the Quran was indeed false. Therefore, I secretly declared myself an apostate, and became a supporter of Ali Sina, Richard Dawkins and the Council of Ex Muslims.

Ultimately, I am glad that I have left Islam, and am happy at the freedom I now have since leaving this religion. I would like to thank Wikiislam for providing me with the turning point in my life, and giving me the information I needed to leave this awful Religion.

Lord Demahom, 14, United Kingdom, now an agnostic

9/11 probably opened my eyes. I realized that Islam at its best couldn’t re-invent itself or adapt to the changing world. I realized also, its the reason for all failures of Arabs and Muslims. Yet Islam is apologetic to every medieval notion, the way it treats women, other non-believers and religions, solving simple problems of life other than Halal/Haraam and just branding others as blasphemous. This religion goes against my mind and values, that is why I left it.

Zaheer Ahmad, 29, Pakistan, now a Catholic Christian

I was always questioning shariah law and several Islamic law toward women such in heritage, polygamy, full obedience toward husband, etc. But my clerics always said that it’s only Allah knows what is real justice and fairness. Basically they said that I should not trust my conscience….

Then I was disturbed about some news about acid attacks to women in many Islamic countries just because they wanted to go to school, do not obey their parents or husband, I said enough is enough. I use google to find the answers and somehow I found this website. Everything becomes really clear to me that actually that’s how the Muhammad’s teaching. Violence towards women is actually part of Islamic way of life even during Muhammad’s era. I opened my collection of Islamic literatures, surprisingly, they confirmed what is written in this website.

I was a shock revelation really. I feel cheated. After all these years of suffering just to find our that my religion is false…

Revelation, 50, now an atheist

I read the material in the debates section 2 of faithfreedom.org. It was enough to see that Islam is not a divinely inspired religion. Since the Qur’an has been shown to contain errors of anatomy, geography, history, biology, astronomy, grammar, logic etc. it cannot be from God.

If there are so many errors it must be man-made. So if the Quran is man-made, then the whole Islamic religion is man-made. While I believe God could exist, He may also be just human mental construct. I do not know, so I am an Agnostic. I am open to further information to prove it one way or the other.

I found numerous Qur’an chapters (Surahs) to be extremely hateful and violent. Thus if being a Muslim means I cannot have friendships with Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or Atheists, etc then I do not want Islam to imprison me. I love Muslims but I hate Islam.

Bread, China, now an agnostic

I used to be a devout Muslims, until I started reading the six Hadiths (Al-Kutub al-Sittah). As I read, I realized that sociopath could not be a Prophet of God. In most religions God is good, God wants love, God wants peace. The God of the Qur’an does not. He wants death, war, and hatred. I know this by what is written about Muhammad in the Hadiths and Qur’an.

Fight and kill the disbelievers, slay and are slain, kill and are killed, Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission, Muslims, fight in Allah’s Cause, Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah, So fight them until there is no more Fitnah, Fight the unbelievers around you, and let them find harshness in you.

Looking back this looked so normal to me, so necessary.

Mohammad, 26, Pakistan, now a Christian

I just used common sense to move away from religion. I was born in a Muslim family, hence I was a Muslim till I became an adult. Had I been born under any other religion, I would’ve been a follower of the same. And all my life I heard that Muslims would have the first right to heaven. That sounded very absurd to me and as my brain opened up i realized it was not my achievement of being born in a Muslim family that I had a birth right to heaven. Surely God cannot be so unfair. Furthermore, the history of Islam is full of bloodshed and war, and the Quran clearly allows jihad on one side and then says all humans are equal. Surely God could not reveal such hypocritical statements and I openly challenge the validity of the book. I am a God fearing human who believes every human is equal, be he/she from any religion, caste or creed. I freely choose not to follow Islam anymore as the concept is against my altruistic views on life, where a persons life and faith should be governed by his/her own free mind and logical reasoning. Not by the way of birth or what the ancestors have always believed in.

Arsalan Chatha, 24, Pakistan, now an agnostic

I left Islam. I always thought that Muhammad can not be God’s messenger or a holy man! By looking at his personal affairs, especially with women, I can not follow a man who marries each woman he meets! Also the contradictions in the Quran and the way it was written – in a way that is so difficult to understand, made me believe that this is a man made religion . Also, Islam has NO tolerance for other belief systems, and the argument that Muslims are very lucky that they were born in Muslim countries got me convinced that Muslims are so closed-minded and forgot that there are many wonderful people on this planet who are not Muslims. I think Islam is the worst thing that happened to humanity. It pushes Muslim’s backwards and that is why there is no single Muslim country is advanced or even civilized! Also on the question of prayer, they say if you do not pray 5 times a day you will be burned in hell for ever! I tried prayer of course when I was a Muslim, but I did not feel anything, I felt I am just exercising or in the Gym, I felt I am like a robot. No feeling at all. This is pure brainwashing. Now I am not sure if there is God or Not, the theory of evolution blew my mind and the fact that there are so many religions in the world and so many problems in the world made me believe that Man created God not the other way around.

Hussein, Egypt, now an agnostic

The reason I left Islam is mainly Islam’s attitude toward free thinking. I mean, if Islam is a religion standing on a very solid ground, and that it is absolutely convincing and the righteous religion as it claims, then why threaten those who would think of leaving it and scare them with Hell and Fire and blah blah blah?!! It’s like saying “I’m right, I know you would follow me, this is the only logical thing to do,” and then two day later saying “Don’t you EVER think of deserting me or I’ll burn you IN HELL!” This is pathetic and stupid!

This is only one reason, not to mention wife-beating, degrading of women, and the many restraints and unneeded rules! And the reasons go on and on and on…

I’m now an atheist.

Mamduh (Prince of Egypt), Egypt, now an atheist

As for me, becoming just a servant of god is not something that can be proud of, but, having an ambition to be one of god’s sons, is, the supreme pride for all creation on Earth and Sea. And for this, the majority of the Christians do have the same thoughts as me. You can’t tell unless you tried it first and he or she has to be entitled for all the deeds in the day of the resurrection. The day what being so-called as the day where all men and women will rise and that day is the here after. Learning from my past experience there must be agencies that take fully responsibilities for all new apostates of Islam worldwide; especially in the Islamic countries. Not just only relying on the church or the temple or maybe perhaps the cathedral to perform such activities, as it is the place for worship and not for dealing with or battling problems. So as for this, I called upon all empowered men and women worldwide to take this movement and make this new idea to be practiced professionally as soon as possible.

Shamal, Malaysia, now a Christian

I was tired of living a lie – of pretending to be straight, of praying and reading the Quran in Arabic; a language I didn’t understand. Tired of being offered bribes by my mother to pray, just so that SHE can go to heaven, tired of being part of a group of people who seem to be saying and doing things that even they don’t fully understand; of being pressured to believe in things or explanations that just doesn’t make any sense. I was just tired of being herded around like a flock of dumb sheep. While I respect the idea that religion might be good for some people, I don’t think that religion is for everyone. In a lot of instances, religion seems to be the root cause for hatred, bigotry, war, and human atrocities. People can have their religion as long as they don’t shove in my face,

Degheygh, Malaysia, now an atheist

I knew all along that Islam was not a religion of peace. In fact it is not a religion at all, but a cult inciting hatred and violence. Even at a very young age of just 10 or 12 years I could not understand the notion of having a personal god. We don’t really need one, especially not a sadistic Allah!

Arshad Ahmed, India, now an atheist

I left because of the hate and intolerance. I wanted to marry a Christian woman, but my family didn’t allow it. They tried to kill me because I didn’t want to marry the woman they had chosen. I fled with my wife to the south, which is a war zone! We felt safe there??? irony. As I have grown, the changes that have happened in my country are built on hate. When in Kenya with my wife, which is where I live now, I had a chance to read the Koran myself what I found was shocking. The biggest was the falsehoods that had been told to me as a child about Christian and other belief systems, and the continual tread of any form of natural justice in this book such as forgiveness and understanding of others. I am now a happy person I have a educated confident wife and this is the first time i have been open about my conversion.

Sadamn Refos, Sudan, now a Christian

After actually getting around to reading the Qur’an in English (N.J.Dawood), realized what was in this book. I had tried to read other translations with Arabic text, but found it difficult due to the restrictions put upon the reader. To me it seems like parts of the Qur’an had been copied from the BIBLE and a lot of the chapters were just repeating the same message over and over again. I had of course gone through the whole process of learning about Islam and the do’s and don’ts and had always tried to practice it but always was struggling as if I was forever carrying a great load on my back, as if I was in a prison. After I left I felt as if I had just been released from Prison.

Sinbad, India, now a Christian

The reasons of applying double standards, hypocrisy, bullying, aggression, uncritical analysis and phobia of all other religions and values are the start of a rather long list about why I left Islam. If I had regularly experienced the peace and tolerance Muslims claim are an important aspect of their religion, I probably would never have left- but I heard too many adults discussing the depravity of non-believers & Christians and the evil nature of Jews. And the Koran seems to be obsessed about non-believers, nearly more than any other issue. I couldn’t take the hatred and dislike of ‘others’ anymore, so gradually struggled out of the suffocating embrace of Islam. And God, do I feel good. Additional comments: My advice to anyone contemplating leaving Islam; give yourself a secret non-Muslim name, to be used whenever you can without endangering yourself. It is quite liberating.

Lyalpuri, Pakistan, now a Christian

I don’t see anything in Islam which makes sense to me.

I was born and have been raised in Muslim family, although we are pretty liberal Muslims. Leaving Islam still seems to be a big and a quite risky step. My parents will be disappointed in me. That is the only reason which I will keep my decision secret as long as my parents are alive.

Approximately two years ago I started to think critically about Islam. I began to read articles and books critical of Islam.

If one thinks critically and rationally about Islam one will see that Qur’an is a self made book. Besides, some of Mohammad’s actions are not acceptable for a rational person who reckons human dignity and respect for fellow human which is most important.

If one doesn’t consider Mohammad as a prophet and the Quran as a divine book, then there is not much to believe in. Therefore I left Islam and I believe in humanity.

Yama, Afghanistan, now a Humanist

I disagree with certain things:

  1. Cutting of hands
  2. Stoning to death
  3. Killing of non-Muslims is “jihad”
  4. Non-Muslims will not enter heaven
  5. How a man age of 50 can sleep with a 9 year old girl.

Get rid off Islam. It’s a religion of fear and sex

Akhtar Hussain, Pakistan, now a Christian

Well, I never understood what kind of an insecure God wants me to worship him 5 times a day, in a language I don’t speak, to a place called Makkah. Technically, its not even worship, because worship is voluntary. This God wants you to do it or else you burn up in hell.

I enjoy drinking and going out with girls, which, surprise surprise, Islam seems to have a problem with. I do not enjoy being told what to do and how to live, and the fact that Islam says a woman is worth half a man.

Islam is as flawed as all other religions, except Satanism, which isn’t really a religion – it basically says: Enjoy life and don’t waste it worshiping thin air.

  • ting, Pakistan, now an atheist

I was never really into Islam much but when I was 12 years old I suddenly started questioning.

I started asking the anti-questions. How was God created if everything needs to be created and that was the start of my atheism.

Since that day no one has answered my question and I have remained a humble atheist.

Sabih Bob, Pakistan, now an atheist

What is Islam? How did I know it? The answer is I was born into a Muslim family. I used to believe in the Arabian Bedouins’ Fairy Tale “Quran”. I did not even know it well. When I was 16, I asked myself why Islam is so aggressive. Since then I started to read the Quran in English, I stopped trusting Muslims’ folk stories and the Qur’an. Later on, in April 2003, I found websites such as FFI. I found that the Qur’an is a textbook of terrorism, and Islam is always bloody. In April, 2003, my doubts about Islam came true. So, I am not a fool or stupid enough to believe the Fairy Tale “Quran” by not having read it. My suspicion about Islam began at the age of 16 and I left the religion of peace at the age of 21- I am really proud of this. I will show up here with my pen in near future. Additional comments: Watch out for pure Muslims. They would not mind to do Jihad on you guys.

Imran Hossain, Bangladesh, now a Humanist

Hello, I found your site a few weeks ago on the internet. I am impressed and really feel happy that you are trying to educate Muslims. I was born in a Muslim family and was a practicing Muslim until I read the Koran. When I read the Koran for the first time, I was terrified because of its threatening language. On the next Ramadan, I read the Koran again and finally discovered that it is nothing but a book used to confuse and terrify people so that they obey it and do not question.

I have been in the UK for last 5 years. This opportunity to live in a free society gave me a chance to analyze Islam without any influence of a Mullah. Obviously I do not say things against Islam openly as I know someone desperate to go to heaven, or someone desperate for having sex with 70 women in heaven will just kill me but however I always try to educate people who are willing to listen. I shall be grateful to you if you kindly give me permission to copy and reproduce some material from your site, not for publication but just to show it to a few Muslims who do not have access to the internet.

Regards

K A S, United Kingdom, now an

Islam is pain, suffering, deception, wolf in sheep’s clothing. It doesn’t make sense, it never did! I think this explains why I’ve never had an interest in reciting the holy Quran since I was a child. I knew that someday I would come across this kind of site(the first one I know is FFI) and it has opened up my eyes and my mind entirely on the true face of Islam. Islam is truly based on second hand stories and not facts and reasons. So Muslims, wake up! Open your eyes. Realize that you have been indoctrinated by some crazy old Arab guy who was just crazy for lust and power.

Dhimmiologist, Malaysia, now an agnostic

Why I left Islam:

  1. Self-righteousness of the followers of Islam.
  2. The Muslim’s belief in the superiority of Islam and hatred for others.
  3. Islam’s cult-like expectation of unquestioning faith in its teachings.
  4. Lack of tolerance of Islam and its followers.

Jay McAdam, Pakistan

Islam or I can say, all the world religions are just made up to rip people off. Religion is just a mind control drug to use and control people – and Islam is worse than all of them – after Hinduism, which I think is worse. Islam has its own evilness, from gender discrimination, inhuman punishments, unscientific, etc. In short, all the religions are basically the same fruit but with different colors.

Naxus, Pakistan, now an agnostic

I left Islam, the religion of my forefathers at the age of 17. I was born out of wedlock and throughout my growing up years, I heard that we will never go to heaven simply because of what our parents had done. I asked myself is it my fault? I don’t blame my parents for doing what they had done..after I became a christian, my Muslim friends told me that I’ve created a big sin of which my mother will have to bear the sins that I’ve done. It’s not her fault. It’s my choice..

Dom, Singapore, now a Christian

I should say that I left religion in general. I came to realize how much humanity is suffering because of our reliance on supernatural power to help us, rather than taking our destiny in our own hands. Not believing in the supernatural has lifted a great burden off my shoulders and I feel a sense of freedom I never felt before.

Mohammad Reza, Iran, now a Humanist

I left Islam because I grew up with it, and I am totally aware of how nasty it is. Islam destroyed my country – Iran – about 1400 years ago as soon as they gained power. Muslims attacked us, raped our women and destroyed our culture and country because they wanted us to change our religion to their fucking shit, Islam. Many years later, in 1979, another Islamic regime took power in Iran. Again, they did exactly the same things. Later on, when I did more in-depth research about Islam, I found out that Mohammad was a terrorist himself; he killed and raped a lot of people! I even read somewhere that he was Gay! Look at his followers who are leaders in Iran – they are gay terrorists, a bunch of animals. We Iranians hate Islam. We have suffered at the hands of Islam throughout our history. That’s more than enough of Islam for us. We will remove all Islamic traces from our country as soon as we can get rid of our evil Islamic government.

Hadi, United Kingdom, now an atheist

It has been a long time, I am studying the characteristics of the countries and the people who have a religious government instead of a secular one. It has been obvious to me that in all the religions, beliefs and new modern adoptable conveniences, there are many obligations without any sold reasons and their consequences. Why should we follow some commands without any clarifications about them? I found that in the most of them, we can find many lessons that you can learn in order to live a better life and contribute to a better society. Most of these are common in different religions. The rest of the rules and commands are the way to hold the people under control; to obey the leaders; and, in this way, guarantee their societal coherence. I think that we must also respect religious people, because they believe in something that they can not prove, and we do not believe something that we can not accept to be present because there is no evidence of it. An apostate is also somebody who believes something.

Reza, Belgium, now an agnostic

My experience was that Islam is the most incompatible, intimidating and fearsome religion I have come to know. I was brought up as a Muslim and I denounced it as soon as I developed the confidence to question it. I hope that one day all humankind can transcend the barriers and chains that religion imposes, and I await with glee the day that Islam as a religion, has diminished to nothing but a distant memory – when our children of tomorrow can dismiss Islam as a religion of a bygone age.

Khalique, United Kingdom, now an atheist

There’s nothing to be said: Islam is full of bullsh#t nonsense and there’s no reasonable person, who can understand the stupid language of the Qur’an, that can bear to stay in such religion for more than 2 seconds. Also, the ethical behavior of the so-called Prophet of Islam “7amada” – he was a bastard who needed nothing more than SEX & Murdering. So, to hell with that ideology I would kill myself first.

Exhausted Mind, Egypt

To make a long story short, I was really put off by the cruelty in the Koran and I was also disgusted by the actions of the so called “prophet”. Another thing that really shook my belief was this verse in the Koran (Qur’an 5:116 – And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah ?). I knew the Christian trinity didn’t include Jesus’ mother, and when I asked why I was told to shut up. After being told over and over the Koran is perfect, I had proof it wasn’t!

Another thing that turned me away was the Islamic concept of predestination. How can Allah destine me to go to hell and be sent to hell when I really couldn’t help but me “bad”. Is Allah really merciful who gives justice to all? The final straw was the contradictions on the Koran. I saw as many as three contradictions in just one verse! Is that what Muhammad called “perfect”?

There is more to my story but that is all I can remember from the top of my head.

The Happy Infidel, Somalia, now an atheist

Islam makes life worse. When you pray things become more agitating and also you lose valuable time. The belief of Islam is wicked and must be taken care of. I was betrayed by Allah and betrayal can only have one reaction.

The Corrupt, Turkey, now a Nihilist

I left because of the following reasons:

  1. Self contradiction in the Quran and Hadiths
  2. Inequality among women and men
  3. The issue of abrogation it seems the God of Muslims is not all knowing
  4. Unforgiving God
  5. Mohamed never set a good example
  6. God who justifies murder can’t be true God
  7. Islam encourages enmity in this world

These are the main elements which led me to leave Islam totally.

God bless you all

Garane, Kenya, now a Christian

Life should be based on love and compassion and the golden rule, not on fear and childish superstitions. Islam, like most orthodox religions, is based on tribal myths and irrational thinking. It is not an epistemology for a modern evolved society or individual.

Being a gay man, I also reject Islam’s vicious homophobia and bigotry. It condemns me to burn in hell without even trying to understand me.

I hope Islam disappears from the face of the earth like the cancer it is.

Naufal Yusufzai, Pakistan, now a Humanist

By birth and by Moroccan fascist Muslim law, I lived as a moderate Muslim all my life until I took the time to read the Quran – and be honest with myself. I was shocked to find out that the Qur’an (Mohamed’s Mein Kampf! was full of nothing but repetitive garbage, hatred, lies, contradictions, luring and threatening verses. When I read stuff like: man (not woman) will get virgins and even good-looking boys in heaven, men may beat their wives if these refuse to obey them, when I found out that a 54 year old pedophilic Mohamed slept with an 8 year old Aisha, when I found out how Islam was actually spread (through violence, murder, rape etc to North Africa, Persia etc), and when I read about all the violence and techniques of torturing/killing non-Muslims, and the hatred the Quran preaches towards Jews, and the list is endless. I KNEW I WAS WORSHIPING A MAN/EVIL NAMED MUHAMMAD, BUT WHO WAS INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO HAVE A GOD (ALLAH) SERVE HIM AND SERVE HIS CAUSE.

Mohamed “wrote” the Qur’an, he used Allah so that people fear him.

Islam does preach violence against non-Muslims: ” Islam toslam”: become Muslim and you’ll be left alone. Islam’s goal is to recreate an Islamic ummah like the one that Mohamed and his buddies started in the 7th century. THANK GOD IT STOPPED AT SPAIN!

Mohamed, United States, now an agnostic

I have always felt there is something wrong with Islam, ever since I was a little girl. I have never thought it right that a man should have four wives, I was traumatized by my circumcision. I was rebellious that my religion tells me that the moral police have rights over my body, with regards to being with men, what I chose to wear, and what beverage I prefer. When I decided enough was enough, I was outraged that I did not have rights to get a divorce, after years of mental abuse by my ex-husband. I am saddened by Muslims mentality with regards to women having to be obedient to their husbands, and vice versa is not expected of the husband. That women can only stand by and watch their husbands take two, or three other wives. I am saddened by Muslims’ hypocrisy, and their tendency to interfere, and make judgments on another person. After researching Islam, and the prophet Muhammad’s life, I realize that Islam is not for me.

L Omar, Malaysia, now a Buddhist

Well it’s a long story really and I don’t know where to begin, so to make a long story short. I started having seeds of doubt so to speak ever since I was born. After a long period of research; reading and personal experiences, I realized that Islam or the belief in it is completely irrational, illogical and just utter garbage. Keep in mind that I was raised according to Islamic traditions and customs, studied the Quran and hadith in elementary school right up until high school, and is also living in a 100% Islamic community. Nevertheless, I have managed somehow to resist all this brainwashing and think for myself for once. I haven’t met anybody in my community who even has the slightest doubt in Islam to this very day and it really amazes me I can’t figure out how they can still have solid faith and carry on I guess logic and reason is dead in this part of the world and religion ((any religion)) is truly the opinion of the masses.

Rational Khalid, Saudi Arabia, now a Nihilist

I was born and grew up in Islamic family. At the age of 15, I joined an Islamic preaching organization an after that I observed almost all of Islamic jihadi organizations working in Pakistan. I was a fundamentalist Muslim. First I started thinking about different sects of Islam, which one is right? I studied the Qur’an, the ahadith and Fiqh thoroughly. Then I realized that there is something wrong with my beliefs. I started studying other religions too; and I discussed religion with Islamic scholars, Muftis – as well as scholars of other religions too. It took more than a whole year of depression and fear, but finally I left religion. I am an Atheist now. Like all other apostates of Islam I can’t express my beliefs and feelings openly, and I am facing a lot of hardships and difficulties. But I am proud to be an Atheist.

Zubair, Pakistan, now an atheist

I live and work in Malaysia and became a Muslim for the sole purpose of marrying a woman I loved who for obvious reasons could not marry me otherwise. She was well aware of my thoughts on the subject and the circumstances. My acceptance of Islam involved nothing more than saying the profession of faith and signing a piece of paper, no circumcision or religious instruction, I’ve never been in a mosque, as far as I’m concerned I left Islam the day I joined it. 3 years later I find myself in a Shariah court divorcing this lady and trying to figure out some way I can protect my 30 month old daughter from from being used as a pawn in this situation and having to suffer the damage that being bought up with this stifling religious nonsense inflicts, missing out on so much that life has to offer.

Sharky, Malaysia, now an agnostic

The concept of predestination in Islam is absurd. A person’s destiny is already predetermined and cannot be changed. For example if Allah already determined a person end up in hell even though he/she did not commit much sin. But a sinful person can enter heaven if Allah choose so.

Aziz Yunus, Malaysia, now an atheist

On my own volition I converted to Islam in 1993. As a typical Muslim convert I became quite observant, I learned the Qur’an, spent a lot of time at the Masjid, started hanging out with some fellows from the Tabliq Jamat and at one point in enthusiasm for my new faith, I was ready to go to Bosnia to fight the Serbs. While studying the Hadiths and the biography of Muhammad, I came across some pretty shocking stories. Soon after,  I admitted to myself that it was impossible that a man with so little scruples could be a Prophet of God; so I left Islam soon after. I still have many Muslim friends and my wife is a Muslim of South Asian background. She knows of my apostasy and has taken it very hard (her father leads Friday prayers at the Mosque)

Steuart, United Kingdom, now a Christian

Converted to Islam and I was only shown the good side. I was encouraged not to question the pointlessness of some rules i.e. grow a beard,wear Arab dress – even being told to remove family pictures and get rid of my dog. I began to feel that I was damned to hellfire alongside my non-Muslim wife, as I could not follow all the restrictions perfectly. I also could not give up drinking the occasional beer or looking at pretty women. Why do Muslimah’s have to cover up? Why should I hate my gay friends? It was beginning to make me depressed and my family miserable. I had closed my mind and it hurt. After more study and much thought, I have broken away from the Muslim’s I knew, and feel liberated from this mental slavery. But I am very careful and hope my constant excuses for not meeting them will stop them contacting me before they ask my reasons for avoiding them. I feel I made a mistake in converting and worry about consequences of leaving.

Talib, United Kingdom, now a Humanist

I find that religion separates people too much – especially in Islam. I do not want to be part of a group. I’d rather be an individual, but a human individual; not an animal who hurts people in the name of “Allah”. It’s a load of nonsense. I stopped believing from an early age because my parents were thankfully not too strict on religion. They let me have my own views, which is something that not even Allah allows.

Jafar, Iraq, now an atheist

I was born into a very religious Islamic family. My parents wanted me to be an Imam. I moved to Mumbai and, as I grew up, I began to mix with Hindus, Christians, and Jews. While in Mumbai I began to start reading the Qur’an and I realized that it was full of horrible deeds and lies and hypocrisy. Later on, I started to learn about other religions such as Hinduism and Christianity. On the 23rd of March 2003 I finally decided that Islam was not the religion of peace but it encouraged violence, polygamy, slavery and pedophilia. I attended a Church mass and was Baptized as an Anglican. About one month later my friends and family found out, my parents wouldn’t speak to me and I received death threats. I feared for my life and moved to New Zealand. To this day I am a proud Kafir and ex-Muslim, I attend Mass every Sunday and I have never regretted my choice.

Proud to be Kafir, New Zealand, now a Christian

Could God really be bothered with laying down so many rule’s, do’s & dont’s. Does God really hate those who don’t follow Mohammed? If the Qur’an is eternal and universal, how come it has so many references to only Arabia or to particular incidents? There are so many questions.

I still believe in the one God,though I completely reject Mohammed’s preaching. He had noble intentions, but catastrophic consequences.

Goodbye Islam, goodbye formal religion. I don’t think either of you have a place in the 21st century, when I think (I hope) individuals have the knowledge, enlightenment to think for themselves!

Rafi, India, now an agnostic

To put it bluntly, I left Islam because I realized that I have a conscience, and almost everything about my former faith, and quite a few of its followers, violated my conscience. I decided to pull my head out of the sand and face the truth; hard and painful though it was (and is) – that Islam is largely a false faith teaching few virtues and which was founded by a false, self-proclaimed prophet. I have decided to seek God in my own way, following my heart and my conscience, and see that He continues to bless me despite my turning away from Islam.

K.G. Malik, United States, now a non-Muslim theist

I always believed that Islam was the one true religion, but I was basically lazy in praying in fasting. Then September eleven happened, and I took the side of USA in opposition to my friends and family. Surfing one day I came upon Faithfreedom.org and the change was dramatic, it bothered me that I had left Islam but logic always wins over faith.

Saad Ahmed, Pakistan, now an agnostic

Thanks to books written by early Islamic historians like Ibn Hisham, “Essira Annabaouia”, al Tabari and many others who lived in the first three centuries of Islam, I understood from second thoughts which were inspired into me from their writings that Muhammad was an impostor.

Amr ibn Hichem, Tunisia

I found Islam full of lies and hatred towards non-Muslims, Mohammed was a selfish person. The day I left Islam I felt I was newly born and do support the people to come back to the truth and leave Islam as soon as possible.

Sipan, Kurdistan

Religion is a childish period of the development of humanity and personal conscience.. a drug or a dream but it is not reality.. God does not exist now if he did exist some day.. religion is not a source of morality..morality finds its source in the social rules that humanity accumulated to preserve its existence..we can live well and serve humanity without believing in miracles and a supernatural power that does nothing.

Metoo, Morocco, now an atheist

Hello Everyone, A friend introduced me to Faith Freedom. The site opened my eyes. I started to question Islam – the guts I never had. As I did more research and studied more, I realized that Islam was the biggest Fairy tale in the world. Now I am researching how the Roman empire created Islam to control the other sects of Christianity. I wish peace and happiness to all.

Sabbir Ahmed, Bangladesh, now a Christian

There is no reason why I shouldn’t (leave Islam). The religion has been forced on me since I was a child. I find no sense in it and I find a great deal of nonsense in it. It’s a way of life for people with limited heart who suffer lack of brain and sense. As I don’t believe in any religion because I believe they are all big lies to humanity. I specially define Islam as a violent religion which is against any aspect of human right to be free.

Reza Nia, Iran, now an atheist

I was born in the Maldives, where all citizens are forced to adhere to Islam to maintain the so-called 100% Muslim character of the country. Brainwashed by what I had been told by my parents, I had no reason in early childhood to doubt the truth of Islam. I faced the moment of truth when I was in 7th grade in high school. I got an English translation of the Quran, and read it with great expectations, looking for infinite wisdom. But what I saw in the book was incoherence and stupidity. Thereafter, I did a systemic study of all material on Mohammed and Islam available to me and satisfied myself that the religion was not just stupid, but dangerously stupid. In the Maldives, it is dangerous to let anyone know that you are not a Muslim. Even a few years back, a group of men and women who converted to Christianity were kept in solitary confinement in jail till they re-converted. For this reason, I am still forced to show outward appearance of being Muslim, while in the Maldives.

Manikfan, Maldives, now an atheist

I can only find the teachings of Sikhism with no contradictions and total humanity as well as strict belief in One God, just like the Jews, Christians and Muslims. A through study of Sikhism, shows that love and peace is the ONLY way to meet with Allah.

Wahid Mohammed, Saudi Arabia, now a Sikh

I left Islam for a large number of causes. Very briefly, they are:

  1. The repression of women
  2. Has no respect for humanity
  3. It was established on violence and killing after 23 battles
  4. The Quran is full of scientific historical numerical errors that are very obvious.
  5. The daily massacre that happens in Iraq in the name of jihad. Example: Killing of 5 year old boy because his mother stood up as a candidate in the general election.

Ahmad, Iraq, now a Christian

I was born into a typical conservative Sunni Muslim middle class family, and naturally the cyclical brainwashing process (which afflicted my ancestry) started early in life. Thus I was your model Muslim boy who never questioned his teachings and even propagated hardcore fundamentalist beliefs myself. That was until I actually read the English translation of the Qur’an and realized it was absurd, and that no merciful God could possibly be the tyrannical megalomaniac portrayed in the Qur’an. Furthermore, I found the unquestionable Laws to be no more than tribal honor codes with the sole reason of sustaining power for the powerful.

Azad, Pakistan, now an agnostic

I was taken up with Islam, and spent a long time studying it. I was very carefully introduced to it, and then finally took Shahada in 2001. After 3 years in the faith, I realized that it didn’t solve any of my problems, nor is it the truth. The Sahih Ahadith are testament to the lie that is Islam, and the liar that is Mohammed – who actually sanctioned the murder of two innocent poets. Mohammed was simply a smart man, who after some persecution, got ahead of himself, and went on a rampage, in Al Madinah. Bear in mind, the Muslims in Madinah, had no means of subsistence, and had to raid and rob first the Meccans and then just about anyone else they felt like, they were thugs and robbers.

Gared, United States, now a Christian

I left Islam because I didn’t find peace with it. Since my childhood, I had a lot of questions in my mind about human rights in Islam, women rights, eternal life and about the life of Mohammed.

I started looking for answers, by reading the Bible and comparing the life of Mohammed to that of The Lord Jesus Christ. I found my self far from Islam and enlighten by the Gospel and the truth of the word of God.

I accept Jesus in my life and I left Islam. I’m happy and at peace with my decision and I hope every one in Islamic world will know that the religion of Islam is from evil and not from the loving compassionate God who gives rain and sunshine to every one regardless of whether he or she believes in Him or not.

Ibn Zakaria, Morocco, now a Christian

It was a hard struggle. I had been raised in a religious family, but any question about religion was countered with an admonition not to ask such questions. The injustice I saw around me spurred the need to find why, if Islam was the true religion and Allah was “the Beneficent, the Merciful”, there could be so much suffering and injustice because of God’s will? Thus began the quest to look for “the other view” on Islam. It wasn’t long before the chink I had in the wall of the intellectual prison Islam had placed me in became a huge gap and, with more reading and more research, the walls tumbled down altogether. I feel free and proud to be free of the idiocy of Islam.

Hamid Islam Renouncer, Afghanistan

I first lost my belief in my Sufi-master and Sufism, whereafter I began questioning the fundamentals of Islam as well. Especially the “fact” in Islam, that most of humankind are doomed to live forever in Hell repelled me, and it was impossible for me to believe that any longer.

Abdullah, Turkey

It was after 9/11 that I realized how intrinsically evil Islam was. On the surface, my fellow Muslims in Ottawa reacted with appropriate shock at the events of that day. Privately, many said they were glad and that America deserved the attack and were only saddened that more infidels weren’t killed. I realized at this time that my parents had indoctrinated me into a cult of hate, violence, repression and evil and I had lived my entire adult life living in a sham belief system. Let’s be clear about this – Islam stinks – and I was both a victim and perpetrator of this evil.

Abu Al Masri, United States, now an agnostic

I left Islam because I have read the Quran. It is the sickest book I have ever read. Islam’s main foundation is built on fear, and it definitely stops the thinking mind. Islam makes good people do bad things and it’s loaded with mumbo jumbo crap.

Tamar Sarikan, Turkey

I left Islam because I was shocked and disgusted when I discovered the sick, cruel and inhuman actions of Prophet Mohammed. I did not want to be part to a religion that endorses, and encourages such intolerance and cruelty to others. Mohamed sealed his fate when he married Aisha.

Dawood, South Africa

I came across the faithfreedom.org website run by Mr.Ali Sina. I was a little angry at first to see this website, but then I went through it, I felt that this man is making some sense. Meanwhile, my father asked me to get married. I protested. I said that I wanted to complete my studies first, only then will I marry. My elder brother married a Hindu lady and my family kicked him out. I got enraged by this bullshit. My father also asked me not make friends among “kaafirs” as one of those infidel ladies corrupted my elder brother. When I refused to obey my father he kicked and slapped me a lot and said you are disgrace to Islam. That day I decided not to follow Islam anymore. I am not a practicing Muslim. I live with my parents without letting them know that I have left Islam.

Taufiq Ahmed, India, now a Rationalist

I was brought up in a Turkish family in Germany, nothing out of the ordinary. However, when I went to university I studied English and History; and studying history and thinking about Islam opened my eyes to the horrors that this religion has brought upon mankind. True, there were some benefits, but they are outweighed by the ignorance, repression, fear and death that Islam causes and has caused to millions. My family is Islamic thoroughly. They do not comprehend my decision – I am a stranger to them. My mother weeps and my father would beat me, but he does not, for he knows I would fight back. I cannot wait to leave home. I wasted 24 years of my life in Islam; now is the time to start living true.

Free at Last, United States, now an agnostic

Uhm, just like what was said previously: How could Muhammad be ‘The One’ when he marries a 9 year old kid while he could be her grandfather? And DO WE HAVE TO CUT ONE’S HAND IF HE STEALS A BUNCH OF THINGS? Since my early childhood, I have been thinking about everything we see and hear everyday, ISLAM, and unfortunately was forced to learn it in school, but last two years I was strong enough to refuse to learn that crap and lead my self to satisfaction that I got out of that bluff.

5C4N, Spain

After learning biology lessons at high school, I began to think that religions and the sacred books are all lies. In turkey, there are lots of poor women that I feel sad about them who has very bad conditions of lives because of religious rules.

Kadir Beseri, Turkey, now an atheist

I was born and raised in a Muslim family in Pakistan, and everyone around me expected nothing but a Muslim. But they forgot that they can try to control what they want, but they will never be able to control THOUGHT, the human process of critical thinking. My elder brother played an important role in my critical thinking process. He left Islam long before I was able to do so. My discussions with him on religion, brought me to the realization that I was not a Muslim, but just a human. Today I call myself Humanist and Atheist. I believe in free thought and free speech.

I believe we don’t need any religion. Particularly a religion like Islam, which is based on fear, hate, killing, injustice, dictatorship and so on. Islam does not recognize human rights, particularly the rights of women as equal humans.

I would also like to dismantle the country which was created in the name of Islam i.e. Pakistan. I believe a country should be for its people and the people should be for their country.

Khalid Saeed

Khalid Saeed, Sweden, now a Humanist

I was born a Muslim, parents and whole family is very religious , I also liked being a Muslim, I prayed read Koran without understanding, but there were lots of questions without any answers, which i ignored because of my faith. But as the time went I wanted to find the answers for those questions, and on my journey of investigating and research I lost faith in religion, as I got more knowledge on Islam I found more and more loop holes, I could not believe that Koran is written by a GOD. Because I found too much of illogical stuff. As a studied more about religions I lost my faith on GOD too. Now I am firm believer in NO GOD. and I am happy to be like that , I feel lots of sympathy for those who pray any GOD , I am sure that If any one does an Honest study about religions and GOD’s with reasoning, NO one will believe any religion or GOD.

Ahmed 2, Maldives, now an atheist

Well, I never thought there would come a day that I’d come this far. I used to love Islam.

The fight between Sunni and Shia makes me sick. I always fought for the Shia side, only to know how silly it really was, the Sunni’s, well I shouldn’t even start to talk about those retards.

I converted to the old ways where everyone is treated equal, loved, cherished, honored and especially respected, whether male or female, the deities i follow possibly might not exist, but at least they are not judgmental and paedophilic and most importantly they make me happy.

If Islam WAS indeed true in the end, I’d choose it’s hell any time of the day, who the f*** would want to spend eternity with stinky dumb Arabs humping 72 virgins the thought of it just disturbs me. I have Persian ancestry, just a Kuwaiti passport and i will never consider myself to be one of them.

Sadeq, Kuwait, now an Asatruar

I have always had a nagging doubt about Islam and religion in general. When I was young, I asked my Aunty if my friends who were non-Muslims, would all go to hell as they were not Muslim? This is what I was taught in Arabic class. After a moments thought, the answer was Yes. Also, I am left handed and I used to get scorned whenever I ate with my left hand because that’s the part the devil has control over!! There were many other questions that I asked which I couldn’t get answered satisfactorily.

Since then I have never felt religious as I was never satisfied with the logic. I went to Umrah with the family a few years ago with the family but never at any point felt spiritual.

I have researched Islam in detail and find it painfully obvious how false it all is. I’m glad I left at a young age (22) but unfortunately I have to live under the facade of being a Muslim man. Day to day, I come into contact with Muslims all day and I see how submerged they are with the religion and how much theirs lives have been affected due to the actions of one man, Muhammad.

Peacebeuponme, United Kingdom, now an atheist

Question: a sentence worded or expressed so as to elicit information.

Questions are not accepted in Islam, knowledge is frowned upon and ignorance is considered a miraculous blessing.

Thence I started asking question, I found no answers. I asked those who were considered superior but to no avail, no one knew the answers.

Then it happened, my questions were blasphemous and my persistence began to anger those around me.

So I did my research and found that those same unanswered questions existed in all faiths, theological beliefs began to disgust me.

Here I am, a living breathing ex-Muslim. I have not suffered nor have I been affected by my loss of faith.

In any case peoples ignorance and morals will keep them in check, but the day will come when the whole world will realize how stupid their ideals are.

Maybe judgment day is upon us, maybe this is hell, we are all suffering are we not?

In science I have found evidence and peace, in religion I found doubt and hatred.

Darwinist, United States, now an atheist

I’m not officially leaving Islam yet because I am stuck in Malaysia. I don’t have money to flee the country and everyone around me is extremely religious. I don’t have a father and I am currently living with my mother. My mother has a lot of siblings (all religious) that think there is something wrong with me.

They sent me to the an extreme religious recovery centre, or, as it is known in Malaysia: Pusat pemulihan akhlak. There is no need to tell you how much I had to go through while I was there. When that didn’t work, they tried to “treat me” (or so they claimed) by using traditional methods, such as bringing a witchdoctor (bomoh) to my house. That obviously didn’t work either.

The only reason I said that I left Islam at age 15, is because at that age, I started not to see myself as a “Muslim.” I don’t have a computer, so I am using my cellphone to write this.

Ash, Malaysia, now a Christian

Looking back, I was really stupid to convert to Islam, luckily I stopped practicing Islam before it developed into full-blown Islamism (Which I would like to say, develops extremely quick.). Like all religious people, I only looked at the things that claimed to prove my faith was right, not the things that made me question my faith. Now I find it funny how these Muslims try to make the Qur’an seem like it is full of scientific miracles, when in reality it’s full of scientific errors. I left Islam because I realized it was a religion on hate and intolerance, and is based around the fear applied by this “Allah” deity. Those ideas stand against my ideas. Realizing I wasn’t meant for Islam (Neither is anyone else, unless they strive on intolerance and using fear to make people do your wishes.), I quit being a Muslim with no hesitation. I now practice Zen Buddhism like I had before, which brought me happiness, while Islam only applied strict laws and made my life more hectic, and now I do not follow any deity figure. Thank you very much for hearing my story.

Kenzo Ishihara, Japan, now a Buddhist

I was born into a Muslim family. but not all of my family member were Muslim. Only my father and mother, and of course my brother and sister. My grandma from my father was Christian and my father’s and my mother’s father practicing Kejawen (Javanese spirituality)…even if we were living in a family with different religion, we live in harmony. until I went to school…Like any other school in Indonesia, Religion Education is a compulsory subject. every student MUST get good mark for this subject (at least 6 of 1 to 10 score), if they could not achieve they will not get upgraded. Religion Education really sucks, because of Muslim are the majority in Indonesia, so the students from other religion should leave the class during the session. Religion Education is such kind of indoctrination. it promotes intolerance. students are taught to be a mindless fanatic. they taught that their religion is the only truth while others are wrong. but they are not allowed to question why. When I was in the college I start to question my faith. Critically I learned Quran more, and I found so many controversies and contradiction (specifically on gender relation). Muslim is not taught to be good or moralized person, he or she merely motivated by heaven and hellfire. Conscience does not exist in Islam. It is fear based religion.

Indonesian, Indonesia, now a Kejawen

It’s neurotic to believe and follow regulations that are tailored for 7th century even they would have been working back then.. Islam is based on the thought that a person shall get perfect by deeds and constant halal/haram assessments. You need Islam everywhere even in your bed and in the toilet. The good deeds for their part don’t even count as “good” but neurotic (praying in Arabic, washing, eating in some manner, walking in one manner, denying some normal or enjoyable things as listening to music). In addition some of those rules and even ideals are against human rights, lack individual freedom, the ideal of equality of both sexes in decision making. Furthermore, Islam inspires people to be suspicious and intolerant, even racist towards other religions and encourage to so called narrow thinking. There is no pure and unconditional love, love and hate is for the sake of Allah and hence, love’s not free and real but must follow Allah’s rules. I really dislike animistic habits the effect of which has no logical explanation, I cannot accept inequality and suppression of sexes and praising of martyrs, and cannot categorize people according to their religion and limit anybody or my own freedom. Also, I don’t think sex must be related to each and any communication and cloth. I want to be me, praise my Lord with music and singing, be independent, express myself, make decisions…etc..

Friend, Finland

I have been a fanatic believer for most of my life. A couple of years ago took a risk – to do a critical study of Islam, including an in-depth study of the history of the emergence of Islam. I found that the very values Muslims claim to be representative of Islam were violated by Muhammed himself. He turns out to be a scam artist who got away with a hoax.

Raja Wahid, Pakistan

I could not bear the stupidity of Islam anymore, after reading Qur’an and hadith and biography of Mohammad with meaning.

Forhad, 54, Bangladesh

Because Islam is false doctrine of hate and terror ! for me Islam is a disease and must be recognize as a disease !!

Mazdak Sasani, 28, Pakistan, now in Afghanistan

What is there to say, just read the quran and you’ll find out.

Ray, Australia, now an Agnostic

Why I left Islam: Intolerance of its teachings and its followers self-righteous claims that it is THE TRUE religion.

Jay, Pakistan, now an Atheist

My father was and still is imam in a mosque. I had many questions but there was no answer.

Mounif, Morocco

I think its too rigid and just dont make sense. Islam has become an Arab paganic religion.

Amr, Palestine, now a Christian

Simply because I could not delude my mind. I am an analytical mind.

Salim, Saudi Arabia, now a Rationalist

A lot of reasons. This religion stole my infancy and youth. I denounce this irrational, anti-scientific, barbaric, insane, dangerous, harmful, stupid, corrupted, superstitious, filthy religion, Islam, and its Shariat laws. I am a peaceful person and I love humanity. People must be aware of the truth of Islam, Mohammad, Quran and the history of Islam. BAR ISLAM-SHARIAT LANAT

Cafer, Azerbaijan, now an Agnostic

I left islam when I became old enough to think rationally and reason. But especially when I had enough courage to do so, its about courage and defiance more than it is about anything else. Don’t be afraid to think !!!

Aba Lahb, Kuwait, now an Atheist

Because I’m Arab and we are at the lowest level of civilization, I wondered why we are like this. The culture is the main reason which is 1400 years old and the results have shown nothing at all.

Awwa7, the Gulf region, now an Atheist

The Quran is written by people who did not know what they were talking about. WE HAVE NEVER BEEN CONTACTED. NO ONE KNOWS THE TRUTH. That is what I realized after years of studies.

Badwi, Egypt, now a Theist

I cannot agree with a violent religion that claims to have a ‘most merciful’ god. I am now personally an Atheist and I now see the world in a whole new different better way. I invite you to join multiply.com and join a group where theists and atheists debate beliefs and science. It seems that I’m the only Muslim apostate there.

Fadhail, Singapore, now an Atheist

I am 39-year old ,from south Sudan. Now every time I look back to years I spent in this life I regret because of my connection to this religion they call Islam. It brought hell to my home land that I do not believe in hell any longer. One needs books to tell how this creed did to me personally and my generation!!!!

Muzamil , 39, Sudan, now a Humanist

I have left Islam because Muslim can’t make a pencil of their own.

Ehsan, 28, Iran, left Islam aged 20

I was born Muslim but I left Islam after 4 years of thought and reading many Islamic books. I finally found that Islam was not a religion from any God and that Muhammad was an impostor. Now I’m 23 and I’m living a great life and every time I look back I laugh at myself and feel very stupid for accepting Islam as a religion. I want to say to all the people that are still afraid of coming out: Do it, you’re not alone!

Ashraf

“There are too many reasons. I’ll just sum it all up, Islam is the worst thing ever happened to mankind.”

Surfer1, Egypt, now an Agnostic

Prophet’s Pedophilia, Scientific evidence against the Quran’s miracles, and the general attitude of muslims around me including parents

DJ MSI, Egypt, now an Atheist

I can not compact all the things into texts, but it was like that: after growing up I saw that I became more intelligent than the others.. then I woke up and was grown.

Azgyl, 28, Austria

Understanding what the Qur’an is trying to convey and what the political Islam is doing, the inconsistencies, the hatred, the self pity, the blaming tactics, the refusal to look internally to see the rotten interior of the whole religious establishment, the constant persecution of the conscientious and the ‘intellectuals’ within and the suppression of the common folks by the religious establishment.

Anonymous

It deprived me of the things that made life worth living: hanging with friends, going to parties, girls during the teenage years. This misery caused me to examine Islam and I found that Islam was violent, intolerant and a plague on mankind.

Anonymous, Canada

Religions were created by humans for positive and negative purposes, Islam has very few of those positive so I don’t need it.

love and peace for everything, Algeria

Because of what it preaches – violence, concept of Hell, Punishment, fear- overrides any other human needs like Love and caring for others. it’s always about doing This or that or else… Rituals even in the prayers And fasting, korban etc. And the treatment of Women…. It’s a cult alright.

Malay freethinker

I left Islam because I found that Islam is the motto of terrorism. It spread terrorism in the world. Mohammed was a hypocrite, womanizer, rapist and a murderer.

Imran, Bangladesh, now a Buddhist

Because I am no longer comfortable in it, and I discovered that I am more comfortable as a Christian, as Christian teachings made more sense to me than Islamic teachings.

Adam, Malaysia

The main reasons I left Islam are because I found out that it allows wife beating, sex with prisoners of war and sex with children and I cannot accept a prophet who allows this. Other reasons include the intolerance of other religions, an imperialistic foreign policy and the belief that all non-Muslims are going to hell.

Ben Rukhsana, Britain

Islam didn’t make sense in many ways, and then I saw the so-called “miracles” of Qur’an are exaggerated stories. By knowing these 2 facts, I knew Islam was not a religion from God, but a creation of mankind. I believe Islam is not right for me, because I believe humans are born free, and for Allah to impose laws on us is unfair. Sure, breaking the speed limit is also a law but it helps protect other innocent civilians. Following Islamic rules like eating Halal food, Prayer and Hajj doesn’t protect or benefit people in any significant way.

Sheraz Malik, United States

Islam is suffocating. Everyone, up to and including god is watching your every move. Did you pray five times today? Did you fast today? Been a good slave to Allah lately? To be fair, a lot of other religions are somewhat like that, because religion, when used as a method of crowd control, requires oversight.

Amin, Canada

I left Islam because it did not fulfill, or go along with my desire for love of the world. Ethically the concept of hell started my kufr.

Abu Lahab, United States

It’s oppressive, restrictive, anti-humanism, stagnant, anti-progress, anti-joy, anti-women, and very violent and discriminatory in practice.

Ampbreia, United States

I left Islam because of glaring intellectual inconsistencies within the Quran and the Hadiths; because of the judgmental and angry way Islam deals with problems both internal and external.

Bean, United States

Because I became convinced that what Isa said in the Bible was true.

Anonymous

I started to realize how much hate there was in Islam. Especially after September 11th. I couldn’t believe the support from a large number of Muslims for Osama bin Laden had for his crimes. Overtime, I started to have doubts about certain hadiths and ayats – later I found a website of other stories of people who left Islam. I looked closer at the ayats of scientific proof, I researched the “Satanic versed”… Everything just piled up against Islam… I just woke up…

Anonymous

Hello. I am a Muslim born with no choice. I am 14 now and am starting to realize the truth about Islam thanks to your website. But, as my mother allows me no free will to leave Islam, I need your help. I need you to tell me how to confront my mother about Islam and explain that I no longer want anything to do with this way of life. I tried telling her about some of the stuff on your site and she just kept on telling me that I can’t trust sources on the Internet. Also, she says if I go on your website again, she’ll remove some off my belongings (including the Internet). However, I do know how to clear my history and she doesn’t know that much about computers so I know I’m fine. My mother is also a Muslim born without choice, but she is a devout! She sings songs about Islam everyday and it drives me insane. She also won’t shut up about Islam and Allah. It drives me insane! She must be stopped! I have to tell her that I need to leave Islam because I won’t become a mindless drone of Allah. I want to be free. I want to feel liberated.

Anonymous

i simply educate myself and notice the non-existence of a god including allah…

Uyar, 39, Turkey, now an Atheist

It defies logic.

Edo, 23, Bosnia & Herzagovnia, now an atheist

I’ve looked at Islam with an objective viewpoint and found no proofs. In the only thing that pretends to be proof – Qur’an, I found many elementary mistakes. For example: (86,5-7). But I am disturbed by that so many young people become fanatics and fundamentals. They forget about real life and live for praying. They are simply brainwashed.

Juancarlos, 19, Kazakhstan, now an atheist

I am Shahidul Islam, born in Bangladesh. I am a studying in Journalism & Mass Communication in Daffodil International University, Dhaka. I am converted to Atheist at the age of 25. I hate all kind of extremism & religion.

Shahidul Islam, 25, Bangladesh, now an atheist

Islam is based on barbarism, male chauvinism, racism [in favor of Arabs], censorship, lack of freedom of thought and terrorism.

Hale, United States

Leaving Islam was an outcome of a long process of thinking and analysis, a process that took many years. For me Islam is a religion based on hate, it does not believe and respect human rights based on humanism, and women`s rights. In Islam there is no space for democracy. It tries to survive through creating constant fear and providing dreams based on a fantasy world called heaven.

Shabir, 47, Pakistan, now a Humanist

I left Islam after realizing that it is false in everything, it doesn’t create civilized societies, it makes Muslims live centuries behind others in everything, it contradicts science and common sense. I live my life now in peace with myself and with others, I feel so happy for that.

HMS, 43, Jordan, now non-religious

I hail from a long line of non-believers. My great great grandfather was a chinese born atheist living in India. The story goes that he had run away from China and into India at a very early age. We have no record of our ancestors since before him. Not even his real name. He fell in love with a Muslim Indian girl and that’s how it all began. My grandmother says that Atheism is in our blood, there’s no getting away from it.

I was never forced to pray or into any other religious stuff by my father. But I was always under pressure or at war would describe it better, from my mother’s side. That didn’t work either. I guess I knew what was right for me all along.

I believe that every child is born free from religion. Hence it should be the right of the child to chose. I was told that at a very early age. Tried to find the right religion for myself, couldn’t. I didn’t agree with the whole Holy book theory. Why would a god.i.e. if there really is one, need the help of a man to spread his word? Why can’t he do it himself? If there is a god, why doesn’t he make an appearance? Why the mystery?

Aiax Muir, 35, Pakistan, now without faith

I was born in an Islamic country but I didn’t have any knowledge of Islam. After I read the Qur’an I found this book to be absolutely rubbish, and in context it encourages its followers to kill and terrorize, thats all.

Shahin, 40, Iran, now an atheist

I was in turmoil with question, swinging toward modest and Sufism, until one day I met a friend my age. He gave me a French book about the origin of religions, then I started to go further and further in reading. I found out that I spent too much time defending religion without trying to find out about it. Many times I argued with atheists without asking myself about the reason for their atheism. Sometimes this arrogance in my belief made me unable to imagine a world without religion. And so it was, I spent year after year digging, until I found myself in peace. I am out of the gate of the so called heaven of believers. I matured, I am free, I have my conscience and my ethics.

Now, I don’t ask about if the religion is true or not. I am trying to find out how people can live there life and find meaning without connected all the time to a religion, that determine there life, drag them out of it in the most cruel way; life is about living, not denying the living and wishing for another life after death.

Voltaire, 42, Egypt, now an agnostic

When I was 14, I began to realize how profoundly different Islam was from what I had been taught about it. I had been told that it is a religion of peace, democracy, scientific progress, humanism, etc. But it started to become clear to me that what I have been taught during my first 14 years of indoctrination was nothing but a lie generated by Muslim scholars to cover Islam’s ass. I began to notice significantly ignorant and superstitious Islamic claims that include: the prohibition of music and art, the oppression of women, the lawfulness of slavery, the belief in other superstitious statements like witchcraft and demonic possession, etc. By the time I turned 15 I began to seriously doubt that the Quran is the word of God, mainly due to my realization of the scientific as well as historical errors in its context. However, I did hold on to the idea that the universe could not have created itself from nothing, therefore believing in a creator deity. Finally, I started to see how the latter claim is explicable, by the laws of quantum physics and string theory (as well as the emergence of life according to the Theory of Evolution). These creation myths in religion no longer meant anything to me. What is God then? If the universe had to have been created by a supernatural creator, doesn’t that also mean God must have been created? Who created God’s creator then, Ad Infinitum… The idea that before the Big Bang, time didn’t exist also made more sense than God having existed forever. That is why the Big Bang Theory is such a profound scientific and reasonable claim. So I became and atheist. I have also come to notice that religion is the only burden to human happiness.

Nebras AlKhani, 15, Syria, now an atheist

I was only 10 years old when twin towers destroyed. All Muslims were happy. They supported Bin Laden though they were not sure whether he did it. I started to come to know about brutality of Islam. Can a god give permission of rape? Allah did. Can a god hate? Allah does. Al Quran cannot be word of god. It is possible that it is a word of Satan. I think it is word of Muhammad. When I was 16 I left Islam.

Md. Raihan Uddin, 21, Bangladesh, now a Humanist

As a kid I was skeptical about Islam as the true religion. I could never understand why i had to recite Quran multiple times or why do i have to go to a masjid on Friday where all they teach is hatred against humanity. I was never a true Muslims but kept up with the religious festivities due to having a Muslim family. I moved to United States with family when I was 18 and was a closet Agnostic till November of last year when I got to my conclusion on Islam through Quran and Ahadith. I found these scriptures to be illogical, irrational, anti-humanity and truly a threat to the rest of the world. Now, I am an atheist and have been studying more about science which back up my claims. I feel like I am in peace with this universe and I am a free man now, slave to no-one. Looking forward to my life, without God or Islam always having a problem with it.

Arslan, 25, Pakistan, now an atheist

I just got tired of being asked to believe things that didn’t make any sense to me. Here is a short list of these:

– Whoever doesn’t accept Islam after hearing about it and dies, he or she will go to hell even if he led a virtuous life. Yet a tyrant like Saddam who killed thousands will eventually go to paradise for the simple fact that his last words were “La Ilaha Ila Allah, Muhammad Rasulu Allah”…

– Jews are cursed and some of them were changed into apes and pigs. sounds like backward evolution to me.

– Women are “incomplete” in their intellect and religion. Most of them are in hell. I wanna go to hell then!

– Apostates should be killed. Yet the Quran says that there is no compulsion in religion.

– and of course all the stories of the prophets from Adam to Jesus that the Quran is full of… A lot of imagination.

Al-Ma3ari, 36, Morocco, now an agnostic

At the age of 14, after I found out that much of the problems in our culture is directly or indirectly related to Islam and religious views, I started to research about Islam and other religions. I read a lot of books about Islam and criticism of Islam from Persian writers like Ahmad Kasravi. I also discussed it with many people with different viewpoints from my own, especially communists and atheists. I’ve now learned it is possible to live with no faith in God.

Nima Kheradmand, 23, Iran, now an atheist

My family left Sudan during the war in Darfur, when we managed to get all the way to Kenya. The conflict in Sudan was highly ethnic, between the black people, Muslim and non-Muslim in the south against the Muslim Arabs in the north. I guess this is kind of what started my interest in the matter. I knew Islam was an Arabic religion, and considering how the Arabs had treated my people, I couldn’t really find myself in anything of it. When I started reading into it in one of Mombasa’s many libraries, I found out some more choking truths about Islam. Including the slavery, especially of African women, who were used as sex slaves for Arabic merchants. I shared my discoveries with my parents, but they didn’t really seem to think about what I said. As time progressed, I realized all the hardship Islam and Muslims have caused Africa, and my people in particular. From just viewing it in an ethnocentric manner, it kind of grew on me as a criticism of islam as a religion overall. I couldn’t find anything positive about it in the end of the day. Islam feels cold and inhuman for me. Today I am trying to turn to Buddhism, I say TRY because it is indeed hard.

Malik Adewa, 25, Sudan, now a Buddhist

It is an absurd idea that someone will eternally be burned and tortured in the hell because of not believing in someone else.

Kaan, 43, Turkey, now an agnostic

There is too much religion in the world. I started researching all religions 5 months ago. In these 5 months, I have read books, internet articles and Islamic web forums. I came to the following conclusion: if I was born a Christian family, my religion would be Christian, and if I was born in an Atheist family, then I would probably not have a religion. This is the fundamental reasoning that distances me from religion.

Ali, 22, Turkey, now an Agnostic

“Well, as happens with any person leaving his religion, I had this passion with that my religion and I was defending it seriously and objectively. I did not remember that I insulted any one in the arguments which I’ve had. I always hear different opinions. Then I saw things I’ve never seen before in my religion. Somethings I did not pay attention to before. Then I realized that my religion is full of superstitions and legends and Muhammad was a charlatan and he was mentally ill and all what he said was superstitions and that his religion calls for hatred and enmity for other nations”

Hazem, 14, Egypt, now a Deist

I belong to a Shi’a Muslim family. Unfortunately, there is even less Shi’ite material translated into English than there is Sunni material. Due to which it is harder for Shi’ites to find out what their religion is truly like. In my late 20s I started learning Arabic to read some of the primary texts on my own, and that’s when I came across a lot of objectionable material. (Mis)Treatment of women, homosexuals, slaves, apostates, etc. The philosophical justification of the existence of the Islamic deity is also very flimsy. After a while of first doubting the infallibility of the Shi’ite Imams, followed by doubts about the infallibility of Muhammad himself, and then doubts about the historical accuracy of the Qur’an, I became a Deist. After doing more research about the evolution of humanity and several other related topics for a couple of years, I became a confirmed atheist.

  1. Abbas, 31, Pakistan, now an atheist

I was born into a Muslim family. For many years I was a devout believer, always praying, fasting and prostrating in prayer. But until recently, I have had much doubt and cognitive dissonance. I could not accept miracle claims anymore, could not accept that the prophet flew on a winged horse and could not believe God occasionally sends down books without updating them or preserving them. I discovered a vast ocean of truth, I discovered science and reason and the ability to know why things really happen. Islam may be good, comforting or cozy for some people but unfortunately that does not make it true.

Hasan Mohammad, 14, Australia, now an agnostic

[edit] Former Muslims Who Are Female

I realised Islam was a fake religion, created only for Arabs (and other similarly-minded people) to gain power.

What God would want His creations to be beaten or executed for sinning? It’s in our nature to sin – we’re human beings. What God would clearly state that women are worth half of men? For me, it was obvious that a power-hungry Arab wrote this to control women and society.

I feel that Matthew 7:15-20 describes Islam and Muslims. I am not into proselytism, but could not be happier with my decision.

Daena, 18, Iran, now an Orthodox Christian

After 9-11, I became fascinated with the destructive force of the belief system those religious fanatics wielded. At first when I began to learn about Islam and decided to convert, my views became very anti-American. This was due to ignorance and naivety on my part. Eventually, I moderated my beliefs and that was when I began wearing the hijab; getting involved at the mosque, and praying/fasting – although I only fasted one time, as I was only Muslim for about a year. The more I learned, the more brainwashed I became. However, I soon began to realize that there were indeed inequalities in this religion, as well as contradictions. As painful as it was, I renounced my faith after a lot of thinking and soul searching. It was hard letting go, but I have stopped mourning and I have never felt as liberated as I do now.

Crow, United States, now agnostic

I was born in Pakistan, my mother’s family were Catholic, and My father is Jewish. He converted to Islam and, at my birth, I was converted to Islam, I did get Quran lessons as a child but I was more in tune with the teachings of the Catholic Church. At this point I have come to realize that spirituality and religion are two different schools of thought and one does not have to involve the other. I started studying paganism, and found it far more empowering to women then any other major religion I have encountered. I would like to express my happiness at finding more like minded people who think with their hearts and minds, instead of being fed religious garbage by the clerics. Women have suffered all over the world in the name of God and culture, it’s about time we put an end to this and elevate the Goddess Within each and every women. Blessed Be!! Taslima Nasrin, you are truly an inspiration to women all over the world. Blessings upon your brave and courageous soul.

Saira, Pakistan, now a Universal Spiritualist

Although I had had doubts since I was in my teens about the divinity of Islamic teachings, the straw that broke camel’s back was reading about what is really in Quran and what Muhammad did in his Medina stay through websites like FaithFreedom.org and books by Ibn Warraq and Anwar Shaikh. Particularly disgusting was his massacre of all Quraiza tribesmen and taking beautiful Rehana – the wife of the tribe leader – to bed the same night; and sex with 17 year old Safia after killing her husband Kinana and his people in Khyber. Other disturbing revelations were Muhammad’s marriage to 6 year old Ayesha, his sleeping with slave girls and concubines,his assassinations of his critics, the Quran’s declaration of violence against non-Muslims, raping of captive women and slaves & looting of non Muslims as pious act worthy of paradise. That left no doubt in my mind that Islam is not divine, it is a dangerous cult.

Ayesha Ahmed, India, now an atheist

I was a Saudi muslim. I have read and understood the teaching of Islam since elementry school and I have been given high doses of the Quran and ahadith, but I could not be convinced to believe in everything. It is simply because it is against logic and science. Thanks.

Shitan, Saudi Arabia

I was forced into Islam because I was underage and because of my father who thought it can help him in his work. I have longed and wished to be a Christian since I was in Primary school, but I had to wait until I was old enough to decide for myself. My dad never forced me or helped me to learn about the Islamic religion. We never even talked about it. I am disappointed there is still a religion like this forcing apostate to remain as a Muslim. Only God can decide one’s life and only he can decide we live or die. The law is written by people. Shouldn’t we discard what is not applicable to this century instead of killing or forcing people just because of something that is written a long time ago. Cruelty should not be a religion. The world will have no peace if we fight just because of some holy scripts written by our forefathers. Where do we seek help to be a free citizen in Malaysia disregard of what religion and race?

Marianne, Malaysia, now a Christian

There are many reasons why I left Islam, but the biggest was the violence and hate! I didn’t realise how much hate was in the Quran until I actually read it page by page! Also I didn’t get any respect, even though I tried my best to be a good Muslim. I lived in Egypt and I saw first hand how the Mullahs in the village mosques were spreading hate! I also couldn’t be proud to call myself a Muslim especially when a lot of child abuse goes on in Islamic countries and hypocrisy!

Amanda Ueta, United Kingdom, now a Jew

If I believed in God and Satan, I would be sure that Islam is the religion of Satan, and Muslims are devil-worshipers. Of course, most Muslims are not evil by nature. Most of my friends still call themselves Muslims because they identify the religion with their cultural roots. However, they have no clue what the religion is truly about, and will probably never find out as they don’t bother to attend mosque or read the Quran. In the end, these friends are actually apostates like me. They just have never bothered to label themselves as such due to complacency or disinterest. What scares me is not this multitude of quasi-Muslims, but the multitude of real Muslims. They are the one’s that can do the damage. I left Islam after listening to a few of them speak at a CAIR convention. They horrified me with their hatred and bigotry. I went straight home and researched the religious reasoning behind their words. I was shocked to find out that it was these hate-filled monger’s who were following Islam, and not I. So now I am an apostate.

Fatima, Morocco, now an atheist

I’ve always felt restricted among the Muslim society and my family. I stopped praying years ago. I began to realize my lack of religious belief, because I didn’t feel any remorse or fear of “Allah” for not being a good Muslim. And when my parents or Sunday school teachers would tell me of stories and miracles of the Quran or Muhammad’s life, I saw them only as childish exaggerations that didn’t make sense or align with human nature. Even passages from the Quran sounded like something out of a child’s book. I felt handcuffed and gagged. The times I did speak up and express my opinions to my parents, they completely freaked and then dismissed my curiosity as being of a “foolish uneducated child,” I was not born to submit my free will to God or any religion. I have freed myself emotionally from the bondage of religion. I count the days till I am also free physically.

Julia Potter, Egypt, now agnostic

I don’t hate Islam – that is a fact. I just couldn’t find peace there. The fact that I was always punished for everything, that I have to pray 5 times a day, that I can’t drink one glass of wine, can’t have a boyfriend, can’t wear what I want; all that just annoyed me and then the fact that most Muslims view other non Muslims as atheists and think that non Muslims will go to hell, this just doesn’t seem right. To be honest, I didn’t officially leave Islam because people here would kill me, but I have cut all relations to Muslims and Islam, I am going to church now, I am happy there, I am waiting till I graduate from university and leave to the states so I can officially convert.

Dima, Palestinian Authority area, now a Christian

I struggled with myself for a few years before leaving Islam. My conscience led me out finally. Islam is a scary religion – often accepted by people with good intentions and a real lack of information. I left basically because I discovered what being a Muslim means. Had I a better understanding when I accepted Islam, I would have NEVER have converted. I believe most converts suffer from great ignorance. Good people who think freely cannot maintain peace of heart and mind in Islam.

Once I left Islam, my Muslim husband starting treating me very differently. Suddenly I didn’t deserve his goodness. He once even told me that he couldn’t look at me because my hair wasn’t covered. Ultimately we divorced.

Kat

Kat, United States, now a Christian

After reading Surah Al-Nisa (“The women”) in the Quran, I knew that Mohamad was not God’s messenger and I believe that Islam was a religion only for the barbaric Arabs at that time not civilized nations such as Persia.

Maryam, Iran, now a Christian

It all started 6 years ago when I met the man who would become my first husband. Though I respected Islam, I didn’t really want to convert. The local MSA found out and promptly pushed me to “save” myself from sin.

Needless to say, I felt I made a mistake when 2 weeks after my conversion, I was nearly raped by a Muslim man. My first marriage failed and I hastily married another Muslim man who claimed to be a Sufi. As it turns out, he was addicted to pornography and had no respect for women at all. So I came back home after a few months of marriage. Living as a Muslim was hell. I couldn’t find a job because I wore a hijab and 9-11 didn’t make anything easier for me.

I met my current husband a few years ago. We suffered a lot of mistreatment at the hands of the Muslim community. Finally things got so bad we decided to save ourselves – so we left Islam.

We are Buddhists now and much happier. We have learned how to live again.

Laughingbuddha, Canada, now a Buddhist

I have been Muslim by name, but day by day I was growing up and seeing the real face of Islam. Proudly I left it. I don’t want to be a Muslim. Who would be part of some bloody and stupid religion. NO ONE!

Nazanin, Iran, now a Humanist

I converted to Islam some time ago, and been a steadfast observer for four years, in which I spent much of my time extensively reading the Qur’an, and the explanations available, articles from Islamic sites, counsels given by Imams to different people on those sites and discussions between Muslims on forums. I got to know other converts and Muslim people, but slowly, I started to realize that even if i try my best to fit in, I would not be able to.

I browsed for ‘feminist’ Islamic sites and modern-progressive Islamic sites, but they seemed to be a drop in an ocean of misunderstanding and blind following of traditions. Sometimes some explanation given to me to ‘excuse’ something, I would find difficult to digest, it would seem flimsy to me, but I`d just force myself to believe it. But at one moment I stopped and realized that if I could go on like this, it is not the life I would like my children to have, that if I will ever have children.

So I stopped lying to myself, and here I am.

I don`t think Islam is plain wrong, many people find peace and illumination in it, but I just did not find anything better than in my old beliefs, nothing inspiring.

So I quit trying.

Fatma, Romania, now a Christian

I always had doubts ever since converting to Islam around 2 years ago. However, the turning point was when I began to learn some Judaism and Hebrew. Well, according to Islam, Jews are the enemies, so I got even more interested in the matter. I ended up realizing the illogical nature of Islamic theology, e.g. the Most Merciful G-d burning people forever just because they did not testify the authority of Muhammad. I certainly believed in G-d but when i began to realize how much arrogance, hatred and corruption Islam actually involves, I gradually moved away from my belief that Muhammad is the prophet of G-d. It naturally caused some problems with Muslim friends of mine but it was a step I had to take. I don’t regret being Muslim for 2 years, because I learned a lot, and there was lot of good stuff in there to learn as well. Oh, and that constant labeling of people into kafirs and such. It’s just unbelievable what was going on in my life.

Shimon, United Kingdom, now a Jew

Why I left Islam? Simple, I read the Koran and Sira of Mohammad for the first time in my life and realized that this cult is an insult to the dignity of all human life and intelligence. One does not have to be a scholar or an intellectual to understand that this religion is based in fear, stupidity, and bigotry. We just have to look at Islamic countries to see this. Three other members of my family have also apostatized for the same reasons and we are working on the remaining members by encouraging discussion and raising questions about Islamic practices and by critiquing the personality of Mohammad and his sahaba. I’ve seen that this helps sew the seed of doubt in people and induce further research on the subject by them who would other wise rely on so called Ulema to answer questions for them.

Saba Khan, United Kingdom, now an agnostic

As Muslims use to say: I was born as muslim among a religious and traditional family. But I grew up in a western country and at young age and progressivly I got interested in the real and true issues of life and sciences that I couldn’t bear the darkness, hatred and cruelty neither of Islam nor any other religion. All religions are manmade because humans need something to rely on due to their fears and disability to rely on their own and on rationality. As a woman I had the “delightful honour” to experience the peaceableness and justice teached by Islam and it’s devotees. Advice to muslim readers: the last sentence contains irony.

Lily, Germany, now an atheist

My parents tried to force this religion on me, but what I saw of their religious dedication was a radical and mean-spirited fanaticism that did not embody any attributes that I would ever aspire to. I never embraced Islam and have felt much pain from my parents as a result. My parents threatened to have my friends killed, they have beaten and abused me, threatened my friends and have held guns to my little sister’s head when they found that she had a boyfriend. This religion is divisive and dangerous.

NYCGIRL, United States, now an agnostic

I believed my life was made into a lie by the religious rules which makes nothing of me real. I found that religion had provided very little space for individualism and vast majority of the practicing Muslims were too suffocating with their need to impose their views on others. I found the religion suppressive to my level of intellectual capacity apart from devaluing my existence as a woman. I also felt there was very little room for discussions at an equal level which allows healthy respect for differences amongst Muslims when it comes to rules of God. I found the rules of God very contrived and very often lack common sense. I believe God has nothing to do with Islam, and Islam is purely one of those political ideologies which originated in the Middle East with strong Middle Eastern values which are not 100% applicable on others especially in these day and age.

Ninetta, Malaysia, now an agnostic

Getting married to a strict Muslim man made me think and leave Islam. There is a hadith that wives must be available to her husband whenever the mood struck him. “I asked my husband and he told me that this was true.” I realized that I could get raped because it was allowed in the Koran. I could not leave the house without my husbands permission. When I married I was forty-three years old and had a five year old son and before I became a Muslim I was independent, and I was not going to let some man tell me what I could or could not do. I decided that there was a lot of misogyny (female hatred) in Islam and I was not going to be controlled and told what and how to think by my husband or any religion. God gave me a mind to think and I feel that being a Muslim makes one stop thinking.

Awake, United States

I entered Islam several years ago in the belief that it was a peaceful religion. Had I known it was the HOTEL CALIFORNIA. You can check in anytime you want but you can never leave. I NEVER WOULD HAVE REVERTED. I was abused by a Muslim man and lost myself inside this insipid religion. I am happy to be out and although I lost a big support network of so called friends, I found myself again..

If you are a Muslim wanting to get out you can do it. You need to start building a Christian network of friends and talking about it with Christians and other non Muslims. Go slow and take your time.

But take precautions..They especially hate former Muslims when they speak out big time traitors I guess. HAPPY TO BE GONE.

Margaret, United States, now a Christian

I cannot trust that God would send a book that is racist and sexist if he created us all. God should not be jealous and mean if he has power over all things. He should not change his mind to please a mere human (Mohammad) so on and so forth. This is not a religion but a cult based on fear.

Clara, Canada, now a Christian

I reject this religion of injustice, only made for men, of aillor. I never chose my religion. One imposes it on us at our birth. It is a religion of violence and of non-comprehension. In any case, the Islamic religion is being rejected more and more by all categories of people. I am happy in my new religion.

Khadija Leben, Algeria, now a Christian

Islam is nothing but a headache and a biased, disrespectful, unequal religion that leaves women out, and is only beneficial for Muslim men. Why the hell should we women cover ourselves if the men cannot control themselves? Why is it that women get the death penalty when they have made a mistake or been raped, and men get away with marrying 4 women and having sexual intercourse with 4 different women at the same time? How does this make things equal between men and women? Islam is nothing but a whole load of bull shit (excuse my language). Why do we have religion in the century we are in? Don’t you think people have evolved and have an understanding of what is right and wrong? I totally understand why religion was there before Christ was born, and that was to lead our people to a good way of life and to be good, but why do we need it now? Just be good to each other and not commit a bad deed.

Unknown1, United Kingdom

My story is long, but I will make it short. I was tired of seeing how the so-called men (brothers) were treating the women (sisters). When the women were divorced too many of them were not maintained like they were supposed to be. I went to help a sister out and she was in such disrepair that I could not allow myself to leave my husband and marry someone else just because they are Muslim, and maybe he may end up and treat me bad like so many other women. The other reason is that there is so much backbiting/slander/fitnah in the communities it just doesn’t even pay to have friends anymore. So this means you are stuck inside your house all day everyday just to avoid drama in your community. What type of life is that? I refuse to let some man do as he wills to me and I’m suppose to just roll over and take it and not complain. Short as I could make it. I left so much out, but these two problems are what ended my Islam for me!

Na’weh, United States

Hi I left Islam last year because I couldn’t be bothered, and got fed up with praying five times a day, and mosque and all, because I realized it did not benefit me and it was a waste of time. It is boring and I now don’t practice Islam. I asked Mohammed and Allah to help me and they did not, so I am not Muslim now. I’m good and now I have more time to play games and do my schoolwork. I told my parents. They said nothing and so I now do not believe in Mohammed and Allah, unless he helps me. I am now what they call an Atheist and I don’t care if I go to hell because I think there is no hell and when die I just rot and decay and my existence ceases.

Zezima, now an atheist

The teachings are against my emotions, intelligence, beliefs and needs.

Paars Ruby, Malaysia, now an atheist

I think the position of women in orthodox form of Islam is not what a true Creator would want, if one exists. Though my feelings are not as strong as Salman Rushdie or Taslima Nasreen, my bonds are so weak that I consider myself more secular than a proper Muslim.

Khaleda Zia, Bangladesh, now an agnostic

Islam doesn’t agree with my beliefs. The whole dog thing and then the sacrificing. Argh! I can’t handle that! I’m a vegan!

Sarah, United States, now a Wiccan

I have no hatred toward the Muslims, rather I love them and hope one day they will wake up from their Utopian dream and embrace rest of the human race with love and compassion. Long Live Secularism.

Fariel, Bangladesh, now an Atheist

“I never was really in to Islam but due to the love for a Muslim I tried my best to see good things in Islam. When I read about the prophet and the marriage with young Aisha I began to understand that this religion can’t be from God. ”

Peace4u, Germany

“I felt stifled by constantly having to cover up. That may be all right for some Muslim women, but not for me. Also, I felt restless and bored sitting in Mosque, I don’t know Arabic, so why should I sit in Mosque and be bored?”

Illyria, Canada

“Martial rape, being controlled. Not able to think on your own. Misogyny. hijab. Also more importantly I have a five year old son and I do not want him thinking that everyone who is not a Muslim is a ‘Kuffar’ and should be hated and killed.”

Vivian

 

“If you truly follow Islam, that means you must live in fear of hellfire all the time. Even though Islam dictates every aspect of your life, it fails to promote the most important values, like honesty, respect for all of humanity, individual choice and accountability, love, and I could go on. ”

Eva, United States

“Their teachings goes against many human rights.”

Elixx

“I learned that according to Islam, non-believers are going to hell no matter what, which is not fair, it is a religion that is hard to follow and time consuming. Plus, as I women I couldn’t accept the need to wear the veil (Q 4:31) and that men can beat women (Q 4:34).”

Murtad Mama, Canada

Islam has shown me judgment, fear and guilt. No rights as a woman and a coldness… It did not offer the answers I sought…

Anonymous, United States

I left Islam because my soul was screaming for release, I intuitively knew it wasn’t holy.

Drak, Australia

I divorced a brother that tried to, if not almost, killed me. And I met someone who is now my husband and knew that it was true love I saw in him.

bonuke, United States

I left Islam when it dawned on me that women’s thinking mattered less in the Arab culture. I began to think whether I should accept that way of life. As I began reading Middle Eastern and Western feminists, I realised how irrational Islam is in the context of today’s women. Gradually, after much consideration, I came to the position of an atheist.

Shazna Begum, 28, United Kingdom, now an atheist

I’ve always questioned Islam as a little girl. I used to pretend that I’ve prayed by arranged the prayer mat in a certain manner to get my parents off my back. When my parents married me off to my religious first cousin at age 18, I started to hate Islam. He opened my eyes to this hate, and I started to reflect my disgust on my cousin-husband especially after he started quoting the Qur’an and the Hadith for his own end. “Oh you don’t sleep with me then angels will descend upon you and curse you until you wake!” I soon got divorced at age 22 and that’s when I started living. I took off the Hijab and I’ve never been happier. My family disowned me but that’s their own loss. I’m living happily with my husband -who’s not a Muslim- in the United States. Wake up people, Islam is a disease!

An Infidel, 24, Bahrain, now an agnostic

In my country everybody is Muslim but no one really bothers to read Qur’an. They believe in a book but they don’t know what’s written in it. So I read Qur’an it was far more different than what I was expecting. All my life I was thought that Islam was a religion of peace, the more I read it, the better I understood that it was all a lie. I was expecting something like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but it tells you about wars and that you should die for God, you’ll be in heaven with voluptuous young girls, threatens you with hell if you don’t obey his rules, that women is beneath men and some supernatural stuff.

Yasemin, 20, Turkey, now an atheist

The main reason was losing my best friend when he became a Salafi. I tried to show him that Salafism is not Islam, that Islam is about peace and loving others. This is when I started reading the Quran with my head, not my heart. I was shocked with the awful truth that islam is really a violent religion which disrespects women. Deep down I hope he realises the same thing, but I know he won’t. Anyway, that’s what religion has done best, destroying lives.

Serena, 18, Tunisia, current beliefs withheld

I never said the shahada, so I suppose this is an “aborted very serious investigation.”In reality, it came down to female circumcision.

I discussed this with a few people, who started off with “noooo, that is just a regional African thing” but changed their tune once some Hadith on it surfaced. Yeah, it’s just fine, but it is optional (but pleasing).

Yeah…no. I liked praying, I liked the regimentation even, could cover with no problem, but I was easily an angrier person. Gone back to my atheist roots.

Also, there is Mohammed’s pedophilia. Can’t handle that. I would rather worship a zombie than a pedophile who condones beastiality.

DoNotWant!, 46, United States, now an atheist

[edit] Other Former Muslims

I grew up Muslim, and until the time I was 13 I never questioned it. My very first doubts came to me around that time, when I first learned what homosexuality was (though I was mainly raised in the US, my parents kept me very ‘sheltered’). So after I learned what being gay was I thought it was no big deal and moved on until I realized many religious groups opposed homosexuality in general, and I though Islam possibly couldn’t be the same way- well, yeah, it was and is. But I ignored it. Time went by, and as I got older I started feeling rather oppressed since the harsh rules of women in Islam started getting pushed on me (I’m actually gender non-binary, but tough luck explaining that to Muslim parents). Again, I just googled it. And…that pretty much put me off from being religious. But still, my faith persisted out of fear. I finally realized around my 15th birthday that I just couldn’t ignore all the moral faults in Islam (which isn’t the main reason I’m a non-Muslim today; read: no proof and scientific contradictions). I remember just crying like crazy that night, realizing that my family will never, ever accept me like this. Anyways, since then (1 and a half years ago), nobody in my family still knows (I think), and I’m just waiting for college so I can get up and leave this place so I can live a life worth living.

Vanessa, 16, Bangladesh, now an atheist

 

 

Pakistani account total 460 Innocent people (308 civilians, 114 military, 38 police) have embraced martyrdom and 1,264 ( 684 civilians, 531 military, 49 police) were injured due to terrorists act throughout the country since the September APC,” a senior military official said on condition of anonymity. They claim Muslims increasing let it decrease like that and finish and only Indian Muslims will survive and rule other molla countries.

People love their religion more than their children so are it so easy to convert such a vast number of people so easily? Unbelievable theory does not work all the time. If you love your religion others also do the same but due some reason people change the faith to a good one if they understand the religion and its basics culture and its people behavior etc. Some people love education may be all so people take that to enlightened and automatically people attract the good one. Some people hate their own religionist then how can they claim equality for them in the different spare of life. It is more than 2000 years one fourth of population suffers due to perverted theory in the name of religion. Which is not religion at all? It is only anarchy in the name of religion. That must be abandoning.

 

This perverted ideology is responsible to this innocent killing in both ways. Then what is the solution?  Muslim leaders should denounce violence in their joint statement but will it be effective?  You have to come out from this ideology and love human life all over the world. How can others believe a person with this ideology? They will pretend to be good but they will accumulate weapons and some moment they will start to kill. Now find a path is also difficult. They have to find out themselves their way.

 

The fighting in Syria has killed more than 100,000 people, according to activists and the U.N., and has forced 7 million to flee their homes. Five million Syrians have been displaced inside the country and more than 2 million have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, according to the UN.

Read Wikipedia to know more than 45 Buddhist countries in the world? There is no History of Bloodshed to spread it. Now they have to defend it by any means as per necessity. Their leaders never preach violence see the Dalai lama is the most popular religious leader in the world. Few people is habitual liars spread rumors by false propaganda.

Will this also go without trace the perpetrators? It shows whoever done this they are professionals.

 

They will get a reply. Tit for tat is very old saying. These states deserve it. Only Israel is enough to destroy these demons. Are they religious? Not at all.  They wanted empire in the name of religion. They want power in the disguise of religious leaders. This is their character.

 

 

A single mad can say anything will you believe it? You want to make it a point because it suit to defend your perverted act.  If another man says against you then will you believe it? U has to believe what that organisation is telling. Otherwise you use your full force to destruction as you people are doing and failed and will be failing in future also. Previously it was not able to know the public as you people at first kill the witness. Now somehow or the other things are coming out because of electronics age where you people have zero contribution.

 

This is their personal affairs and as a man we know how man looks the women in public places. This is a high profile one. It is better to leave them alone.  Those who are telling against Yukta  or her personal carriers etc. these people will be forefront to see her , talk her, if she only touch them they will forget everything in the world. It will be a mad mad world.   Few people take all in religion line or against women. Law will take its own course of time to give a judgement.

 

Who are all people converting? Micle Jaction was in the influence in Drugs, court case and he wanted to take shelter.

Throughout his childhood, Tyson lived in and around high-crime neighbourhood’s. According to an interview in Details, his first fight was with a bigger youth who had pulled the head off one of Tyson’s pigeons. Tyson was repeatedly caught committing petty crimes and fighting those who ridiculed his high-pitched voice and lisp. By the age of 13, he had been arrested 38 times.

A rapist converted to Islam.

Born Cassius Clay,   He subsequently converted to Sunni Islam in 1975, and later to Sufism( Is it Islam)

Ali has two other daughters, Miya and Khaliah, from extramarital relationships. (Is it allowed in your Islam)

On November 19, 1986, Ali married Yolanda (“Lonnie”) Williams. They had been friends since 1964 in Louisville. They have one son, Asaad Amin, whom they adopted when Amin was five months old.Is it allowed in Islam?

 In 1975, Ali began an affair with Veronica Porsche, an actress and model. By the summer of 1977, Ali’s second marriage was over and he had married Veronica.  At the time of their marriage, they had a baby girl, Hana, and Veronica was pregnant with their second child. Their second daughter, Laila, was born in December 1977. By 1986, Ali and Veronica were divorced. Laila later became a boxer in 1999, despite her father’s earlier comments against female boxing in 1978: “Women are not made to be hit in the breast, and face like that… the body’s not made to be punched right here [patting his chest]. Get hit in the breast… hard… and all that.” Is it allowed in Islam?

  1. S. Dileep Kumar was introduced to Qadiri Islam (is it Islam?)when his younger sister fell severely ill in 1984. Subsequently, Rahman along with other members of his family converted to Islam, his mother’s faith, in 1989, when he was 23 years old. He changed his name from R. S. Dileep Kumar to Allah Rakha Rahman. His mother was a Muslim. This is the reason.

Throughout his childhood, Tyson lived in and around high-crime neighborhoods. According to an interview in Details, his first fight was with a bigger youth who had pulled the head off one of Tyson’s pigeons. Tyson was repeatedly caught committing petty crimes and fighting those who ridiculed his high-pitched voice and lisp. By the age of 13, he had been arrested 38 times.

Tyson was arrested in July 1991 for the rape of 18-year-old Desiree Washington, Miss Black Rhode Island, in an Indianapolis hotel room. Tyson’s rape trial took place in the Indianapolis courthouse from January 26 to February 10, 1992.

Desiree Washington testified that she received a phone call from Tyson at 1:36 am on July 19, 1991 inviting her to a party. Having joined Tyson in his limousine, Washington testified that Tyson made sexual advances towards her. She testified that upon arriving at his hotel room, Tyson pinned her down on his bed and raped her despite her pleas to stop. She ran out of the room and asked Tyson’s chauffeur to drive her back to her hotel. Partial corroboration of Washington’s story came via testimony from Tyson’s chauffeur, Virginia Foster, who confirmed Desiree Washington’s state of shock. Further testimony came from Thomas Richardson, the emergency room physician who examined Washington more than 24 hours after the incident and confirmed that Washington’s physical condition was consistent with rape. A rapist converted to Islam.

 

Born Cassius Clay,   He subsequently converted to Sunni Islam in 1975, and later to Sufism.

He was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title. He did not fight again for nearly four years—losing a time of peak performance in an athlete’s career. Ali’s appeal worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where in 1971 his conviction was overturned.

Marriages and children

Ali has been married four times and has seven daughters and two sons. Ali met his first wife, cocktail waitress Sonji Roi, approximately one month before they married on August 14, 1964.  Roi’s objections to certain Muslim customs in regard to dress for women contributed to the breakup of their marriage. They divorced on January 10, 1966.

On August 17, 1967, Ali married Belinda Boyd. After the wedding, she, like Ali, converted to Islam and more recently to Sufism,changed her name to Khalilah Ali, though she was still called Belinda by old friends and family. They had four children: Maryum (b. 1968), twins Jamillah and Rasheda (b. 1970), and Muhammad Ali, Jr. (b. 1972). Maryum has a career as an author and rapper.

In 1975, Ali began an affair with Veronica Porsche, an actress and model. By the summer of 1977, Ali’s second marriage was over and he had married Veronica.  At the time of their marriage, they had a baby girl, Hana, and Veronica was pregnant with their second child. Their second daughter, Laila, was born in December 1977. By 1986, Ali and Veronica were divorced. Laila later became a boxer in 1999, despite her father’s earlier comments against female boxing in 1978: “Women are not made to be hit in the breast, and face like that… the body’s not made to be punched right here [patting his chest]. Get hit in the breast… hard… and all that.”

On November 19, 1986, Ali married Yolanda (“Lonnie”) Williams. They had been friends since 1964 in Louisville. They have one son, Asaad Amin, whom they adopted when Amin was five months old.

Ali was a resident of Cherry Hill, New Jersey in the early 1970s.  Ali has two other daughters, Miya and Khaliah, from extramarital relationships.

 

What is caste?

Foreigners of course know of the existence of untouchability. But not being next door to it, so to say they are unable to realize how oppressive it is in its actuality. It is difficult for them to understand how it is possible for a few untouchables to live on the edge of a village consisting of a large number  of Hindus, go through the village daily to free it from the most disagreeable of its errands of all the sundry, collect food at the doors of  the Hindus, by spices and oil at the shops  of the Hindu Banias from a distance, regard the village in every way as their home, and yet never touch nor be touched by any one belonging to the village. The problem is how best to give an idea of the way the untouchables are treated by the caste Hindus. A general description or a record of cases of the treatment accorded to them is the two methods by which this purpose could be achieved. I have felt that the later would be more effective than the former. In choosing these illustrations I have drawn partly upon my experience and partly upon the experience of others. I begin with events that have happened to me in my own life.

 

WOMEN IN JAINISM

WOMEN IN JAINISM

The Jain religious scriptures define religion as a source to attain spiritual uplift, eternal peace and happiness during one’s lifetime. It says “Speak the truth, Practise dharma”.  It is a religion of non-violence, which paves the way to universal happiness and peace. It is one of the oldest religions practiced in India. It gives greater importance to the human life. It believes that human birth is the first step towards achieving ultimate liberation.’

In Jainism women need not be necessarily just housewives, but have freedom to renounce the world to attain salvation. Mothers of Jain priests are shown utmost reverence.

The Mahapurana is the accepted sacred work of the Jains. It clearly says that women have the same rights as men, to get educated, take up work and so on. Vrishabha Deva, the first Thirthankara, is said to have imparted knowledge of language and mathematics to his daughter before his sons. He taught the Jain alphabet to his daughter Brahmi, the famous Brahmilipi is named after her. He taught mathematics to his other daughter Sundari. This religion has given equal status to men, women, monks and nuns. A contemporary of Mahaveer, Chandanabale, who was also his aunt, became his first disciple. She built an organisation of 36,000 Aryikas in order to propagate Jainism more effectively, and succeeded in her endeavour.

This religion deserves appreciation for its remarkable high philosophy. It provided an alternative vocation to those women who wished to disassociate themselves from the usual roles fixed for women in the society.

 

WOMEN IN ZOROASTRIANISM

ZOROASTRIANISM has originated from Persia and under pressure from Muslims, its followers migrated to India. In Avesta, the word women means maiden. Now let us examine their literature, it has written that,

“We esteem and revere the virtuous woman, Time and Leisure, Virtuous, Like Spentas Aaramaiti, the Queen of womanly Ideal, and such as are Thy feminine aspects, O Mazda”, e.g. Aban, Ashish-Vanguhi, Daenaa, and Paarendi (the genious of keen Intelligence!)”  (Aiwisroothrem Geh, V, para 9. S.B.E. Vol. 31,386)

Both boys and girls undergo the sacrament of Navjote, without any difference. The Tennysonian statement conveys the idea more clearly,

For woman is not an underdeveloped man, nor yet man’s opposite!”

The Prophet Zarathushtra, in the Gathas, has laid stress over and over again on the equality of man and woman in every sphere of life. Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian concept of God, has been described in terms of six attributes: three male and three female. The God Mind, Moral Strength, and Righteousness are the male attributes, whereas, True Devotion, Perfection, and Immortality is the female attributes.

The strength of the followers of this faith is coming down heavily. 10 years back there were about 90,000 followers in India. Now the number is considerably less. Therefore, this community must think about its survival. It should think about its disabilities and try to work for its greater interest, before it is too late.

Zoroastrianism allowed marriage as well as polygamy. The King awarded a prize, annually, to the subject with the largest family. Judaism, Christianity & Islam were influenced by Zoroastrianism. This ancient culture was practiced at the time of need. Due to the changing situations its philosophy has been accepted by different faiths in various ways but the same faith is on the verge vanish from the earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOMEN IN SIKHISM

 

Founder of Sikhism Shri Guru Nanak Dev. found to his dismay that woman, who is an essential part of the human society, was considered inferior to man, and treated badly. He protested against this. He says in Vaar Asa:

From the woman is our birth and in

 the woman’s womb we are shaped.

To the woman we are engaged

and to her we are wedded.

The woman is our friend,

and from woman is our family.

If one woman dies, we seek another and

Through woman are the bonds of world.

Why do you call her low?

She gives birth to Kings and Prophets.

(Guru Granth Sahib P.173)

As it consider a revolutionary change in the male dominated world, but unfortunately some of his followers are not following his dictate and even they were unable to keep the sacred birth place of Guru Nanak into India.  Religious Dictation and use of it in practical life is different as we observe all wrong doing by others are still prevailing among the followers of Nanak dev. which include casteism, killing fetus etc.

A fetus takes shape in the mother’s womb.  Her body and soul helps it to grow and took all pain till give birth to the baby. A lot of them died in the child birth related complication in the village. She gives birth to it, she bears the birth pain, and then she cares for her child from its formation her womb. She cares for her child after birth; she helps the child to grow-up. Now if it is a male child he will learn to hate his mother’s community as a whole. He will be loved by his sister, he will enjoy it, but at the same time he will also criticize his sister’s community as he learns the trends of his society.

He will grow-up, he will get married to a woman and will love her, he will enjoy her, but at the same time he will hate the women community. Even several religious leaders who were given birth by their mother, loved by their sister, loved by their wife will not support the cause of their mother, sister or wife. Why has this happened to man?

Guru Amardas did not allow any woman with a veil or purdah to visit him or enter Sangat and Pangat. He also eradicated the custom of female infanticide. He appointed 52 women preachers to preach Sikhism. How the spirit of this broad minded Guru’s views and news not spreading fast in other conservative society in this subcontinent? If I say this is the failure of their followers, will it harm them?

Women were considered impure when they gave birth to a child, but this natural or divine act should not be considered as polluting. A generalization is drawn that even the most saintly individuals are born of women and the process should not be treated as an event bordering on sin:

Man is born of woman,

develops from the foetus in her womb:

He marries a woman;

Life’s activities depend upon woman,

who is man’s true companion.

 If he loses a woman, he seeks another.

He can be moral only if he is faithful to his wife.

Such is the place of woman.

The great ones of this earth are born of her;

So how can we talk of her contemptuously!

Women is born out of woman.

None is born out of man.

God alone is eternal and hence unborn.

Saith Nanak: that mouth alone is blessed which

utters words of demotion to God:

Only their faces glow with bliss at the Divine Assembly

(Asa di  Vaar)

 

A house is treated as polluted for a number of days, after a child is born in it. Guru Nanak has said:

 

If it should be believed that birth renders a place impure,

Then it should be known that birth take place

everywhere and all the time.

Cow-dung is treated as pure but breeds maggots;

Every grain of foodstuff contains worms.

Water is something alive for it imparts life to vegetation.

When the kitchen is full of such births but is considered clean, how can we treat human birth as defiling?

Saith Nanak, defilement is not washed away by rituals; Enlightenment of the soul alone purifies it. (Asa di  Vaar)

 

This above statement is important because women are often treated as the carriers of impurity; menstruation is generally treated in this manner. Hence, Guru Nanak added:

 

Birth and death occur by divine decree;

Creatures enter life and leave it as God wills.

Food with which God blesses man is pure.

Saith Nanak, No impurity attaches to those  Enlightened by God’s grace. (Asa di  Vaar)

 

Whether a man or a woman, the noble and pious path is the same though their tasks and roles are different. The things very from person to person, self-rectification is very much necessary in this case. So Guru Nanak has advised his followers as below:

 

Some women seek beauty and indulge in pleasures.

Eat betel leaves, use the fragrance of flowers, and chase pleasures of the flesh;

But these are like diseases of the spirit.

Pleasures soon produce suffering;

They alone find fulfillment who seek refuge in God.

O thou, my daughter princess!

Meditate on the True Name, Make thy life fruitful;

Get rid of the lust for worldly pleasures;

Medutate on the Divine word.  (Raag Basant)

 

Also the women are asked to follow the path of devotion:

 

God asks the happily married wife,

How she and her husband have a joyful life;

(She said) through the decorative ornaments of mental poise, contentment, sweet speech.  (Adi  Granth,  p-17)

 

A woman who is abandoned, what life does she have?

She is miserable, wears soiled clothes Her nights pass in agony.

(Adi  Granth,  p-72)

 

In the above mentioned text the loneliness described for woman is to be similar for man also. If a woman suffers due to her loneliness, then the same may be applicable for a man. As man cannot live without the company of a woman, it is similar in the case of woman. Renunciation of sex does not dim the passion:

 

By living away from human concourse,

one sheds not the slumber of ignorance,

nor does one outgrow temptation of lust for women.

Without absorption in God,

mind does not find rest nor is desire stilled;

Lord created for me seclusion in my own herewith;

In following the eternal, amidst normal living,

is true commerce with God.

Nanak, with sleep abridged and spare diet can contemplate Essence. (Sidda Goshti)

It is the human nature to appreciate beauty. There is emphasis upon self-restraint and continence, so that men should look at women, however attractive, as primarily either sisters, daughters or mothers except the woman whom one marries, but she is also a mother on one’s children. This excludes a purely romantic or erotic society. Thus, the Sikh saint, Bhai Gurdas in his Vaar, emphasises:

 

He who forsakes father and mother, and yet listens to religious scriptures, is ignorant of the core of religion;

He, performing austere rituals, wanders in wasteland;

God does not accept his prayers;

His ablutions at the sixty-eight sacred bathing places

Do not win him release from the cycle of birth and death;

His charities, as those of a misguided person, are not accepted;

His fasts and vigils are all delusion,

annulling not his karmic cycle;

He does not know the way of Guru or God.

 

Guru Amardas, Nanak III, strongly condemned the practice of “Sati”, self-immolation of the wife on the burning pyre of her dead husband and advocated “Widow Marriage”.

 

 Sati is not one who burneth herself on the pyre of her dead husband.

Sati is she who dieth through shock of separation.

Sati is she who bears the shock of separation with courage and lives contented, and embellishes herself with good conduct, and cherishes her Lord ever and called on him each morn.

 

The word of Guru Arjun describes Sati burning in these words:

 

The true Satis are not they who burn themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre.

The real Satis are not they who patiently bear the pains of separation from their beloved.

The real Satis are they who live the lives of sweet self-discipline, serve their lord and bear his memory in their hearts forever.

(Adi Granth p787)

 

Therefore, the Sikh movement had comprehensive, egalitarian objectives. Raising the status of women formed an essential part of its philosophy. The status of women raised by the movement is reflected by the growing atmosphere of social changes, they have participated in the revolutionary struggle on equal footing with men. Social barriers were minimized under the Sikh scripture and traditions played an important role in uplifting woman’s status.

However, despite all the religious injunctions the Sikh chiefs practiced Sati. After the tragic death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh eleven women burned themselves with his dead body. According to Seinbach the queens exhibited the most perfect equanimity but were less enthusiastic. His son Maharaja Kharak Singh left four widows on November 5, 1840, but one of them Isher Kaur, a pretty Rajput woman and a Chadra Dalna wife, and eleven slave women died with him. A large number of similar cases have been recorded, though the British Government had banned the Sati practice in 1829.

 

 

WOMEN IN JUDAISM (JEWS) The Role of Women

Level: Intermediate

 

• In Judaism, G-d is neither male nor female
• The Talmud says both good and bad things about women
• Women are not required to perform certain commandments
• Certain commandments are reserved specifically for women
• The first of the month is a minor festival for women
• Men and women sit separately in traditional synagogues
• The idea of Lilith as a feminist hero is based on a questionable source

The role of women in traditional Judaism has been grossly misrepresented and misunderstood. The position of women is not nearly as lowly as many modern people think; in fact, the position of women in halakhah (Jewish Law) that dates back to the biblical period is in many ways better than the position of women under American civil law as recently as a century ago. Many of the important feminist leaders of the 20th century (Gloria Steinem, for example, and Betty Friedan) are Jewish women, and some commentators have suggested that this is no coincidence: the respect accorded to women in Jewish tradition was a part of their ethnic culture.

In traditional Judaism, women are for the most part seen as separate but equal. Women’s obligations and responsibilities are different from men’s, but no less important (in fact, in some ways, women’s responsibilities are considered more important, as we shall see).

The equality of men and women begins at the highest possible level: G-d. In Judaism, unlike traditional Christianity, G-d has never been viewed as exclusively male or masculine. Judaism has always maintained that G-d has both masculine and feminine qualities. As one Chasidic rabbi explained it to me, G-d has no body, no genitalia; therefore the very idea that G-d is male or female is patently absurd. We refer to G-d using masculine terms simply for convenience’s sake, because Hebrew has no neutral gender; G-d is no more male than a table is.

Both man and woman were created in the image of G-d. According to most Jewish scholars, “man” was created in Gen. 1:27 with dual gender, and was later separated into male and female.

According to traditional Judaism, women are endowed with a greater degree of “binah” (intuition, understanding, intelligence) than men. The rabbis inferred this from the fact that woman was “built” (Gen. 2:22) rather than “formed” (Gen. 2:7), and the Hebrew root of “build” has the same consonants as the word “binah.” It has been said that the matriarchs (Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah) were superior to the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) in prophecy. Women did not participate in the idolatry regarding the Golden Calf. See Rosh Chodesh below. Some traditional sources suggest that women are closer to G-d’s ideal than men.

Women have held positions of respect in Judaism since biblical times. Miriam is considered one of the liberators of the Children of Israel, along with her brothers Moses and Aaron. One of the Judges (Deborah) was a woman. Seven of the 55 prophets of the Bible were women (they are included in the list of biblical prophets).

The Ten Commandments require respect for both mother and father. Note that the father comes first in Ex. 20:12, but the mother comes first in Lev. 19:3, and many traditional sources point out that this reversal is intended to show that both parents are equally entitled to honor and reverence.

There were many learned women of note. The Talmud and later rabbinical writings speak of the wisdom of Berurya, the wife of Rabbi Meir. In several instances, her opinions on halakhah (Jewish Law) were accepted over those of her male contemporaries. In the ketubah (marriage contract) of Rabbi Akiba‘s son, the wife is obligated to teach the husband Torah! Many rabbis over the centuries have been known to consult their wives on matters of Jewish law relating to the woman’s role, such as laws of kashrut and women’s cycles. The wife of a rabbi is referred to as a rebbetzin, practically a title of her own, which should give some idea of her significance in Jewish life.

There can be no doubt, however, that the Talmud also has many negative things to say about women. Various rabbis at various times describe women as lazy, jealous, vain and gluttonous, prone to gossip and particularly prone to the occult and witchcraft. Men are repeatedly advised against associating with women, although this is usually because of man’s lust rather than because of any shortcoming in women. It is worth noting that the Talmud also has negative things to say about men, frequently describing men as particularly prone to lust and forbidden sexual desires.

Women are discouraged from pursuing higher education or religious pursuits, but this seems to be primarily because women who engage in such pursuits might neglect their primary duties as wives and mothers. The rabbis are not concerned that women are not spiritual enough; rather, they are concerned that women might become too spiritually devoted.

The rights of women in traditional Judaism are much greater than they were in the rest of Western civilization until the 20th century. Women had the right to buy, sell, and own property, and make their own contracts, rights which women in Western countries (including America) did not have until about 100 years ago. In fact, Proverbs 31:10-31, which is traditionally read at Jewish weddings, speaks repeatedly of business acumen as a trait to be prized in women (v. 11, 13, 16, and 18 especially).

Women have the right to be consulted with regard to their marriage. Marital sex is regarded as the woman’s right, and not the man’s. Men do not have the right to beat or mistreat their wives, a right that was recognized by law in many Western countries until a few hundred years ago. In cases of rape, a woman is generally presumed not to have consented to the intercourse, even if she enjoyed it, even if she consented after the sexual act began and declined a rescue! This is in sharp contrast to American society, where even today rape victims often have to overcome public suspicion that they “asked for it” or “wanted it.” Traditional Judaism recognizes that forced sexual relations within the context of marriage are rape and are not permitted; in many states in America today, rape within marriage is still not a crime.

There is no question that in traditional Judaism, the primary role of a woman is as wife and mother, keeper of the household. However, Judaism has great respect for the importance of that role and the spiritual influence that the woman has over her family. The Talmud says that when a pious man marries a wicked woman, the man becomes wicked, but when a wicked man marries a pious woman, the man becomes pious. The child of a Jewish woman and a gentile man is Jewish because of the mother’s spiritual influence; the child of a Jewish man and a gentile woman is not. See Who Is a Jew? Women are exempted from all positive mitzvot (“thou shalts” as opposed to “thou shalt nots”) that are time-related (that is, mitzvot that must be performed at a specific time of the day or year), because the woman’s duties as wife and mother are so important that they cannot be postponed to fulfill a mitzvah. After all, a woman cannot be expected to just drop a crying baby when the time comes to perform a mitzvah. She cannot leave dinner unattended on the stove while she davensma’ariv (evening prayer services).

It is this exemption from certain mitzvot that has led to the greatest misunderstanding of the role of women in Judaism. First, many people make the mistake of thinking that this exemption is a prohibition. On the contrary, although women are not required to perform time-based positive mitzvot, they are generally permitted to observe such mitzvot if they choose (though some are frustrated with women who insist on performing visible, prestigious optional mitzvot while they ignore mundane mandatory ones). Second, because this exemption diminishes the role of women in the synagogue, many people perceive that women have no role in Jewish religious life. This misconception derives from the mistaken assumption that Jewish religious life revolves around the synagogue. It does not; it revolves around the home, where the woman’s role is every bit as important as the man’s.

Women’s Mitzvot: Nerot, Challah and Niddah

In Jewish tradition, there are three mitzvot (commandments) that are reserved for women: nerot (lighting candles), challah (separating a portion of dough), and niddah (sexual separation during a woman’s menstrual period and ritual immersion afterwards). If a woman is present who can perform these mitzvot, the privilege of fulfilling the mitzvah is reserved for the woman. Two of these mitzvot can be performed by a man if no woman is present. The third, for reasons of biology, is limited to the woman. All of these mitzvot are related to the home and the family, areas where the woman is primarily responsible.

The first of these women’s mitzvot is nerot (literally, “lights”) or hadlakat ha-ner (literally, “lighting the lights”), that is, the privilege of lighting candles to mark the beginning of the Shabbat or a holiday. The lighting of candles officially marks the beginning of sacred time for the home; once candles are lit, any restrictions or observances of the holiday are in effect. The lighting of candles is a rabbinical mitzvah, rather than a mitzvah from the Torah. See Halakhah: Jewish Law for an explanation of the distinction.

The second woman’s mitzvah is challah, that is, the privilege of separating a portion of dough from bread before baking it. This mitzvah comes from Num. 15:20, where we are commanded to set aside a portion of dough for the kohein. This mitzvah is only in full effect in Israel; however, the rabbis determined that Jews throughout the world should be reminded of this mitzvah by separating a piece of dough before baking it and burning the dough. You may have noticed that on boxes of matzah at Pesach, there is usually a notation that says “Challah Has Been Taken,” which means that this mitzvah has been fulfilled for the matzah. Note that this mitzvah has little to do with the traditional Shabbat bread, which is also called “challah.” See Jewish Food: Challah for more information about the Shabbat bread.

The third woman’s mitzvah is the obligation to separate herself from her husband during her menstrual period and to immerse herself in a mikvah (ritual bath) after the end of her menstrual period. The Torah prohibits sexual intercourse during a woman’s menstrual period. This ritual immersion marks the end of that period of separation and the resumption of the couple’s sexual activities. For more information about this practice, see Kosher Sex: Niddah.

Some sources point out that the name Chanah is an acronym of the names of these three mitzvot (Challah, Niddah, and Hadlakat HaNer). In the Bible, Chanah was the mother of Samuel and a prophetess. She is considered in Jewish tradition to be a role model for women.

Women’s Holiday: Rosh Chodesh

Rosh Chodesh, the first day of each month, is a minor festival. There is a custom that women do not work on Rosh Chodesh. A midrash teaches that each of the Rosh Chodeshim was originally intended to represent the one of the twelve tribes of Israel, just as the three major festivals (Pesach, Sukkot and Shavu’ot) each represent one of the three patriarchs. However, because of the sin of the Golden Calf, the holiday was taken away from the men and given to women, as a reward for the women’s refusal to participate in the construction of the Golden Calf.

How do we know that women didn’t participate in the Golden Calf incident? The midrash notes that Exodus 32 says that “the people” came to Aaron and asked him to make an idol. Aaron told them to get the golden rings from their wives and their sons and their daughters. Note that the biblical verse doesn’t say anything about “the people” getting the rings from their husbands, only from wives and sons and daughters, from which we can infer that “the people” in question were the men. Then Ex. 32:3 says that “the people” broke off the golden rings that were in their ears. The bible does not say that they got the gold from their wives and sons and daughters; rather, it says that “the people” (i.e., the same people) gave their own gold. The midrash explains that the men went back to their wives and the wives refused to give their gold to the creation of an idol. As a reward for this, the women were given the holiday that was intended to represent the tribes.

The Role of Women in the Synagogue

To understand the limited role of women in synagogue life, it is important to understand the nature of mitzvot (commandments) in Judaism and the separation of men and women.

Judaism recognizes that it is mankind’s nature to rebel against authority; thus, one who does something because he is commanded to is regarded with greater merit than one who does something because he chooses to. The person who refrains from pork because it is a mitzvah has more merit than the person who refrains from pork because he doesn’t like the taste. In addition, the mitzvot that were given to the Jewish people are regarded as a privilege, and the more mitzvot one is obliged to observe, the more privileged one is.

Because women are not required to perform certain mitzvot, their observance of those mitzvot does not “count” for group purposes. Thus, a woman’s voluntary attendance at daily worship services does not count toward a minyan (the 10 people necessary to recite certain prayers), a woman’s voluntary recitation of certain prayers does not count on behalf of the group (thus women cannot lead services), and a woman’s voluntary reading from the Torah does not count towards the community’s obligation to read from the Torah. The same is true of boys under the age of 13, who are not obligated to perform any mitzvot, though they are permitted to perform them.

In addition, because women are not obligated to perform as many mitzvot as men are, women are regarded as less privileged. It is in this light that one must understand the man’s prayer thanking G-d for “not making me a woman.” The prayer does not indicate that it is bad to be a woman, but only that men are fortunate to be privileged to have more obligations. The corresponding women’s prayer, thanking G-d for making me “according to his will,” is not a statement of resignation to a lower status (hardly an appropriate sentiment for prayer!) On the contrary, this prayer should be understood as thanking G-d for giving women greater binah, for making women closer to G-d’s idea of spiritual perfection, and for all the joys of being a woman generally.

The second thing that must be understood is the separation of men and women during prayer. According to Jewish Law, men and women must be separated during prayer, usually by a wall or curtain called a mechitzah or by placing women in a second floor balcony. There are two reasons for this: first, your mind is supposed to be on prayer, not on the pretty girl praying near you. Second, many pagan religious ceremonies at the time Judaism was founded involved sexual activity and orgies, and the separation prevents or at least discourages this. Interestingly, although men should not be able to see women during prayer, women are permitted to see men during prayer. This seems to reflect the opinion that women are better able to concentrate on prayer with an attractive member of the opposite sex visible.

The combination of this exemption from certain mitzvot and this separation often has the result that women have an inferior place in the synagogue. Women are not obligated by Jewish law to attend formal religious services, and cannot participate in many aspects of the services (traditional Jewish services have a very high degree of “audience participation” — and I’m not just talking about community readings, I’m talking about actively taking part in running the service), so they have less motivation to attend. Woman’s obligations in the home (which are the reason why women are exempt from time-based mitzvot like formal prayer services) often keep them away from synagogue. In several synagogues that I have attended, the women’s section is poorly climate controlled, and women cannot see (sometimes can’t even hear!) what’s going on in the men’s section, where the services are being led. This has improved somewhat in recent years, but men: if you think I’m lying, ask your wives.

But as I said before, this restriction on participation in synagogue life does not mean that women are excluded the Jewish religion, because the Jewish religion is not just something that happens in synagogue. Judaism is something that permeates every aspect of your life, every thing that you do, from the time you wake up in the morning to the time you go to bed, from what you eat and how you dress to how you conduct business. Prayer services are only a small, though important, part of the Jewish religion.

Lilith

Lilith is a character who appears in passing in the Talmud and in rabbinical folklore. She is a figure of evil, a female demon who seduces men and threatens babies and women in childbirth. She is described as having long hair and wings (Erub. 100b; Nid. 24b). It is said that she seizes men who sleep in a house alone, like a succubus (Shab. 151b). She is also mentioned in midrashim and kabbalistic works, in which she is considered to be the mother of demons. Her name probably comes from the Hebrew word for night (laila). She is similar to and probably based on a pagan demon named Lulu or Lilu that appears in Gilgamesh and other Sumerian and Babylonian folklore.

In recent years, some women have tried to reinvent Lilith, turning her into a role model for women who do not accept male domination or a rival goddess to the traditions that they think are too male-biased. For example, a number of female musical artists participated a concert tour called “Lilith Fair” a few years ago, and the name “Lilith” was clearly chosen to represent female empowerment.

This revisionist view of Lilith is based primarily on a work called the Alphabet of Ben Sira, which portrays Lilith as Adam’s first wife who was rejected because she wanted to be on top during sexual intercourse. Lilith was replaced with Eve, a more submissive second wife. The complete story is presented here. Many modern commentators describe this as part of the Talmud or midrash, or at least a traditional Jewish source, and claim that this story reflects the traditional rabbinical understanding of the roles of men and women. Feminists reject the negative characterization of Lilith’s actions in this story. They claim Lilith was a hero who was demonized by male-chauvinist rabbis who did not want women to have any sexual power.

Actually, Ben Sira is a much later medieval work of questionable authorship. Ben Sira appears to be a satire or parody, possibly even an antisemitic one. It tells many stories about biblical characters envisioned in non-traditional, often unflattering ways, often with slapstick humor at the expense of traditional heroes. Frankly, to treat Ben Sira as a reflection of traditional Jewish thought is like treating Cervantes’ Don Quixote as a treatise on chivalry, or Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles as a documentary of the American West. See this scholarly critique of the use of Ben Sira to turn Lilith into a feminist hero.

Links for Further Reading

Project Genesis offers an online course on Women in Judaism, covering subjects such as equality between men and women in Judaism, faith, prayer, relationships, and feminine intuition.

Kresel’s Korner, written by an Orthodox woman, addresses many of the questions that people have about the role of women in Orthodoxy. Kresel is an intelligent, well-educated woman who responds to many feminist critiques of Orthodoxy and illustrates a very different kind of female empowerment.

 

 

WOMEN IN CHRISTIANITY

 

It  would be very interesting to study the tenets of the Christian doctrine of marriage which tried to introduce strictures in the Roman laws. In doing so, according to Worsely Boden, ‘there is evidence that the influence of the Church in the Empire led to women’s degradation”. Further, Even St.Augustine, whose ideal of asceticism caused him to regret his own marriage, put polygamy and prostitution in the category of marriage, and described them as being as necessary to man as a sewer is to a palace. At best he regarded marriage as a remedy against sin: it would enjoin upon a married woman a kind of debased slavery, and require her to endure joyfully the debaucheries and ill treatment of her lord”.   “The recognition of any divorce went with the implications that every ground for divorce was a crime.

 

Analysis of the passages in the Bible will highlight the role and actions of women and also the interactions of Christ with women in the events narrated in the gospels.

 

God created man in the image of himself,

In the image of God he created him,

male and female he created them

God blessed them, saying to them,

“Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it”. (Genesis 1:26-27)

 

The second narrative of the creation of man and woman, in the Yahavistic tradition, which is a simpler and anthropomorphic description, shows that woman was fashioned from the rib of the first man, for he was alone and had no companion.

 

“Yahweh or God said, “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a help mate”.

 

So the writer says that Yaweh sent sleep to Adam, took out one of his rib bones, and fashioned woman as his help mate. The description brings out one thing clearly: woman is the companion of man; she comes out of his side; and stands by his side always. The reaction of Adam after seeing this wonderful creature was amazement, ecstasy and joy.

He says, ‘’This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. This is to be called woman, for this was taken from my flesh. ‘’The writer adds, ‘’This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife and they become one body’’.    (Genesis:  2:18-25)

Adam called the woman Eve. They would have lived happily ever after in the beautiful garden of Eden, if Satan had not appeared to Eve and tempted her to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. He came in the disguise of a serpent and challenged the woman to defy God’s order (Why Satan did not go to man is an unsolved mystery).

“The Serpent said to the woman, ’God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.

When the woman saw that the tree of knowledge was good for food and pleasant to the eyes and to be desired to make one wise, she ate the fruit and gave it to her husband.’’ (Genesis:3:5)

Then God was angry with Adam for disobeying him, Adam made the excuse, “The woman whom thou gavels to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat”.  God expelled both of them from the garden and told the woman, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and be shall rule over thee.” (Genesis: 3:16)

In Ephesians 5:22-24 he admonishes the women,

“Wives submit yourselves to your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife,  even as Christ is the head of the Church, and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore, as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything”.

In his Epistle to Titus, Paul writes in Chap. 2:4-5,

“That they may teach the young women to be sober,  to love their husband, to love their children. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their husbands, that the word of God may not be blemished”.

St.Paul dictates to women,

“To adorn themselves in modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety;  not with broidered hair, or gold or pearls, or costly array, but with good works. Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But, I suffer not a woman to teach, not to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression”. (1Timothy 2:9-15)

The present days women must judge this dictate in terms of their act and action whether this is to make them always obedient for a single sin by a single woman. Aquinas went so far as to describe women as ‘defective males’ Marie Assasd in her book “Should We Be Angry?  Quotes:

‘Any woman who acts in such a way that she cannot give birth to as many children as she is capable of makes herself guilty of that many murders’. –St Augustine.

‘Are women human’? (In the year 584, in Lyon, France, 43 Catholic bishops and 20 men representing other bishops, after a lengthy debate, took a vote. The results were 32 yes, 31 no. Women were declared human by one vote) – Council of Macon, France.

‘Among the savage beasts, none is found so harmful as women.’—St.John Chrysostom.

‘Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children…If a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing-she is there to do it.’- Martin Luther.

‘Woman, in her greatest perfection, was made to serve and obey man, not rule and command him.’ – John Knox

‘The souls of women are so small that some believe they have none at all.’ –Samuel Butler.

Slavery was common among the Hebrews and a father could sell his daughter to another man either as a slave or a concubine. A woman did not inherit her husband’s property unless she had her own, nor daughters acquired their father’s property, unless there was no male heir.

Thus,  in the Hebrew and Jewish society of the Old Testament times, woman did not enjoy equal rights with man. Some women played national roles and achieved national status by their strength and political astuteness. The rich widow Judith, by her sheer courage killed Holoferness, the Assyrian General, and saved her nation from defeat and destruction (Judith).

From the New Testament we can learn about the miracles performed by Christ for the afflicted women. For instance, once an adulterous woman was brought before Christ by the scribes and Pharisees. However, Christ put all of them to shame who had accused the woman and wanted to kill her. Later Christ asked,

“Woman where are they: Has no one condemned you?” “No one Sir”, she replied, “Neither do I condemn you”. (John 8:10-11)

In this passage the attitude of Christ is clear; he upholds the dignity of the woman, her person and life. He has accorded an equal status to women with men, and has fought for her dignity and social position. Hence, the New Testament has re-established the lost status of woman in her roles as a companion, helpmate, wife, mother and an associate in the work of Christ.

We assign to woman an inferior position in the scale of being, consider her creation as an afterthought and the cause behind the fall of man, believe her as cursed of God in her maternity, a harlot in the life of Solomon or a Samson, unfit to stand in the Holy of Holies, in the cathedrals, to take a seat as a delegate in a synod, to preach the gospel and administer the sacrament. The Church and Bible make woman a football for all the odds and fears of the multitude.

“The sentiments of men in high places responsible for the outrages in the lower orders in the haunts of vice and on the highways, when in the marriage service woman must promise to obey, she is made the inferior and the subject of the man she marries, when the passages of scriptures are read from the pulpit they make woman a mere football of a man’s lust. All our efforts to suppress prostitution are hopeless until a woman is recognised in the canon law and Church disciplines as equal in goodness, grace and dignity with bishops; archbishops, yea, the Pope himself. We must have expurgated editions of canon and civil law, of Bible, catechisms, creeds, codes and constitutions and of Paul’s toilet directions as to covered heads, long hair, and sitting in silence and subjugation, hanging on man’s lips for inspiration and wisdom. The chaotic condition of society can never become harmonious until the masculine and feminine elements are in perfect equilibrium.” (Mrs.Elizabeth Mallet in the Women’s Question in the Light of the New Testament)

In the ritual of Christian marriage the man is called the head of the physical body and the woman is asked to obey her husband. (It was reported that in her wedding ceremony, Princess Diana stayed silent over the word obey while taking her marriage vows with Prince Charles).

Bigamy, under the English law is a punishable offence as the essence of the English concept of marriage is a ”voluntary union of life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”.

Section 57 of the 1861 Acts say: “Whosoever, being married, shall marry any other person during the life of the former husband or wife shall be guilty of felony”. Further, in the Outlines of the Criminal Law’, the reason for the punishment of bigamy is given as “the broad one of its involving an outrage upon public decency by the profanation of a public ceremony”.

In France, a prediction, that the European legislation will adopt polygamy in the future, has been made by Bonn. More recently, it has been advocated by Georges Anquetil who says: “A return to polygamy, the natural relationship between the sexes, would remedy many evils; prostitution, venereal disease, abortion, the misery of illegitimate children, the misfortune of millions of unmarried women resulting from the disproportion between sexes, adultery and even jealousy”.

Though some faith practice polygamy since long but the problem as cited is exist in that society also and invite some new problem in the life of women.

According to Section 10 of the India Divorce Act, a husband may seek divorce if his wife has, since the solemnisation of the marriage, been guilty of adultery. Whereas a Christian wife may pray to the court for divorce only if her husband has committed incestuous adultery, which means with someone with whom he could not lawfully contract a marriage, by reason of her being in the prohibited degree relation. If adultery is not incestuous, it should be coupled with other reasons such as bigamy, cruelty, desertion, etc. Adultery alone is not a sufficient ground for a Christian woman for divorcing her husband, though for a husband, it is a sufficient ground for divorcing his wife.

In the Churches there is sexual segregation which makes women sit on one side of the aisle and men on the other. Though women are principals and managers of girls ’institutions, their boards of governors and managing committees are nominated by men with Bishops (all men) as Chairman. In conferences and committees men take the platform and women hesitate to speak, mostly due to inhibitions which culture and society have deeply inculcated in them.

A top Catholic Church official in the eastern Philippines evoked the biblical lesson of Adam and Eve in urging women against tempting priests to abandon their vows of celibacy.

Cebu Archbishop, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said that women should not tempt them (priests) but instead support and pray for them, for they are only humans and are weak. He also exhorted priests nationwide against following the example of Reverend Hector Canto, who married a 24 year old civil Engineer. Reverend Siva, who officiated at the central Philippines wedding, has announced that he too will marry before the end of the year.

It was the first time a priest got married in his Church garb before hundreds of parishioners and journalists in a ceremony performed by another priest in Asia’s only, predominantly Catholic country.

Vidal said women should give priests the support they need to maintain their strong faith instead of being an obstacle to their vocation. Both Canto and Siva said that they want to remain in priesthood and hope the Vatican will alter its position on mandatory celibacy for clergymen. The two received praise from the Philippines Federation of Married Catholic Priests. However, Church officials in the Philippines said that Canto ceased to be a priest once he married.

Former priest Justino Cabasares, the federation’s President said that the decisions of Canto and Siva will inspire more priests to speak out, who are silent victims and suffering from mandatory celibacy (HT 09.06.98).

Christianity has the largest numbers of followers all over the world. Its zeal for missionary work has earned its name and respect. A large number of women are also involved in serving the poor and deprived class of the society. Christian women are, in general, more forward than their counterparts in other religions. As the trend shows they will, probably, be able to overcome the few disadvantages which these fairer sexes are still facing. Another important fact is that in certain countries the Protestants are comparatively more liberal that the Catholics with regard to the freedom of the fairer sex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women 4th part

WOMEN IN JAINISM

The Jain religious scriptures define religion as a source to attain spiritual uplift, eternal peace and happiness during one’s lifetime. It says “Speak the truth, Practise dharma”.  It is a religion of non-violence, which paves the way to universal happiness and peace. It is one of the oldest religions practiced in India. It gives greater importance to the human life. It believes that human birth is the first step towards achieving ultimate liberation.’

In Jainism women need not be necessarily just housewives, but have freedom to renounce the world to attain salvation. Mothers of Jain priests are shown utmost reverence.

The Mahapurana is the accepted sacred work of the Jains. It clearly says that women have the same rights as men, to get educated, take up work and so on. Vrishabha Deva, the first Thirthankara, is said to have imparted knowledge of language and mathematics to his daughter before his sons. He taught the Jain alphabet to his daughter Brahmi, the famous Brahmilipi is named after her. He taught mathematics to his other daughter Sundari. This religion has given equal status to men, women, monks and nuns. A contemporary of Mahaveer, Chandanabale, who was also his aunt, became his first disciple. She built an organisation of 36,000 Aryikas in order to propagate Jainism more effectively, and succeeded in her endeavour.

This religion deserves appreciation for its remarkable high philosophy. It provided an alternative vocation to those women who wished to disassociate themselves from the usual roles fixed for women in the society.

 

WOMEN IN ZOROASTRIANISM

ZOROASTRIANISM has originated from Persia and under pressure from Muslims, its followers migrated to India. In Avesta, the word women means maiden. Now let us examine their literature, it has written that,

“We esteem and revere the virtuous woman, Time and Leisure, Virtuous, Like Spentas Aaramaiti, the Queen of womanly Ideal, and such as are Thy feminine aspects, O Mazda”, e.g. Aban, Ashish-Vanguhi, Daenaa, and Paarendi (the genious of keen Intelligence!)”  (Aiwisroothrem Geh, V, para 9. S.B.E. Vol. 31,386)

Both boys and girls undergo the sacrament of Navjote, without any difference. The Tennysonian statement conveys the idea more clearly,

For woman is not an underdeveloped man, nor yet man’s opposite!”

The Prophet Zarathushtra, in the Gathas, has laid stress over and over again on the equality of man and woman in every sphere of life. Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian concept of God, has been described in terms of six attributes: three male and three female. The God Mind, Moral Strength, and Righteousness are the male attributes, whereas, True Devotion, Perfection, and Immortality is the female attributes.

The strength of the followers of this faith is coming down heavily. 10 years back there were about 90,000 followers in India. Now the number is considerably less. Therefore, this community must think about its survival. It should think about its disabilities and try to work for its greater interest, before it is too late.

Zoroastrianism allowed marriage as well as polygamy. The King awarded a prize, annually, to the subject with the largest family. Judaism, Christianity & Islam were influenced by Zoroastrianism. This ancient culture was practiced at the time of need. Due to the changing situations its philosophy has been accepted by different faiths in various ways but the same faith is on the verge vanish from the earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOMEN IN SIKHISM

 

Founder of Sikhism Shri Guru Nanak Dev. found to his dismay that woman, who is an essential part of the human society, was considered inferior to man, and treated badly. He protested against this. He says in Vaar Asa:

From the woman is our birth and in

 the woman’s womb we are shaped.

To the woman we are engaged

and to her we are wedded.

The woman is our friend,

and from woman is our family.

If one woman dies, we seek another and

Through woman are the bonds of world.

Why do you call her low?

She gives birth to Kings and Prophets.

(Guru Granth Sahib P.173)

As it consider a revolutionary change in the male dominated world, but unfortunately some of his followers are not following his dictate and even they were unable to keep the sacred birth place of Guru Nanak into India.  Religious Dictation and use of it in practical life is different as we observe all wrong doing by others are still prevailing among the followers of Nanak dev. which include casteism, killing fetus etc.

A fetus takes shape in the mother’s womb.  Her body and soul helps it to grow and took all pain till give birth to the baby. A lot of them died in the child birth related complication in the village. She gives birth to it, she bears the birth pain, and then she cares for her child from its formation her womb. She cares for her child after birth; she helps the child to grow-up. Now if it is a male child he will learn to hate his mother’s community as a whole. He will be loved by his sister, he will enjoy it, but at the same time he will also criticize his sister’s community as he learns the trends of his society.

He will grow-up, he will get married to a woman and will love her, he will enjoy her, but at the same time he will hate the women community. Even several religious leaders who were given birth by their mother, loved by their sister, loved by their wife will not support the cause of their mother, sister or wife. Why has this happened to man?

Guru Amardas did not allow any woman with a veil or purdah to visit him or enter Sangat and Pangat. He also eradicated the custom of female infanticide. He appointed 52 women preachers to preach Sikhism. How the spirit of this broad minded Guru’s views and news not spreading fast in other conservative society in this subcontinent? If I say this is the failure of their followers, will it harm them?

Women were considered impure when they gave birth to a child, but this natural or divine act should not be considered as polluting. A generalization is drawn that even the most saintly individuals are born of women and the process should not be treated as an event bordering on sin:

Man is born of woman,

develops from the foetus in her womb:

He marries a woman;

Life’s activities depend upon woman,

who is man’s true companion.

 If he loses a woman, he seeks another.

He can be moral only if he is faithful to his wife.

Such is the place of woman.

The great ones of this earth are born of her;

So how can we talk of her contemptuously!

Women is born out of woman.

None is born out of man.

God alone is eternal and hence unborn.

Saith Nanak: that mouth alone is blessed which

utters words of demotion to God:

Only their faces glow with bliss at the Divine Assembly

(Asa di  Vaar)

 

A house is treated as polluted for a number of days, after a child is born in it. Guru Nanak has said:

 

If it should be believed that birth renders a place impure,

Then it should be known that birth take place

everywhere and all the time.

Cow-dung is treated as pure but breeds maggots;

Every grain of foodstuff contains worms.

Water is something alive for it imparts life to vegetation.

When the kitchen is full of such births but is considered clean, how can we treat human birth as defiling?

Saith Nanak, defilement is not washed away by rituals; Enlightenment of the soul alone purifies it. (Asa di  Vaar)

 

This above statement is important because women are often treated as the carriers of impurity; menstruation is generally treated in this manner. Hence, Guru Nanak added:

 

Birth and death occur by divine decree;

Creatures enter life and leave it as God wills.

Food with which God blesses man is pure.

Saith Nanak, No impurity attaches to those  Enlightened by God’s grace. (Asa di  Vaar)

 

Whether a man or a woman, the noble and pious path is the same though their tasks and roles are different. The things very from person to person, self-rectification is very much necessary in this case. So Guru Nanak has advised his followers as below:

 

Some women seek beauty and indulge in pleasures.

Eat betel leaves, use the fragrance of flowers, and chase pleasures of the flesh;

But these are like diseases of the spirit.

Pleasures soon produce suffering;

They alone find fulfillment who seek refuge in God.

O thou, my daughter princess!

Meditate on the True Name, Make thy life fruitful;

Get rid of the lust for worldly pleasures;

Medutate on the Divine word.  (Raag Basant)

 

Also the women are asked to follow the path of devotion:

 

God asks the happily married wife,

How she and her husband have a joyful life;

(She said) through the decorative ornaments of mental poise, contentment, sweet speech.  (Adi  Granth,  p-17)

 

A woman who is abandoned, what life does she have?

She is miserable, wears soiled clothes Her nights pass in agony.

(Adi  Granth,  p-72)

 

In the above mentioned text the loneliness described for woman is to be similar for man also. If a woman suffers due to her loneliness, then the same may be applicable for a man. As man cannot live without the company of a woman, it is similar in the case of woman. Renunciation of sex does not dim the passion:

 

By living away from human concourse,

one sheds not the slumber of ignorance,

nor does one outgrow temptation of lust for women.

Without absorption in God,

mind does not find rest nor is desire stilled;

Lord created for me seclusion in my own herewith;

In following the eternal, amidst normal living,

is true commerce with God.

Nanak, with sleep abridged and spare diet can contemplate Essence. (Sidda Goshti)

It is the human nature to appreciate beauty. There is emphasis upon self-restraint and continence, so that men should look at women, however attractive, as primarily either sisters, daughters or mothers except the woman whom one marries, but she is also a mother on one’s children. This excludes a purely romantic or erotic society. Thus, the Sikh saint, Bhai Gurdas in his Vaar, emphasises:

 

He who forsakes father and mother, and yet listens to religious scriptures, is ignorant of the core of religion;

He, performing austere rituals, wanders in wasteland;

God does not accept his prayers;

His ablutions at the sixty-eight sacred bathing places

Do not win him release from the cycle of birth and death;

His charities, as those of a misguided person, are not accepted;

His fasts and vigils are all delusion,

annulling not his karmic cycle;

He does not know the way of Guru or God.

 

Guru Amardas, Nanak III, strongly condemned the practice of “Sati”, self-immolation of the wife on the burning pyre of her dead husband and advocated “Widow Marriage”.

 

 Sati is not one who burneth herself on the pyre of her dead husband.

Sati is she who dieth through shock of separation.

Sati is she who bears the shock of separation with courage and lives contented, and embellishes herself with good conduct, and cherishes her Lord ever and called on him each morn.

 

The word of Guru Arjun describes Sati burning in these words:

 

The true Satis are not they who burn themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre.

The real Satis are not they who patiently bear the pains of separation from their beloved.

The real Satis are they who live the lives of sweet self-discipline, serve their lord and bear his memory in their hearts forever.

(Adi Granth p787)

 

Therefore, the Sikh movement had comprehensive, egalitarian objectives. Raising the status of women formed an essential part of its philosophy. The status of women raised by the movement is reflected by the growing atmosphere of social changes, they have participated in the revolutionary struggle on equal footing with men. Social barriers were minimized under the Sikh scripture and traditions played an important role in uplifting woman’s status.

However, despite all the religious injunctions the Sikh chiefs practiced Sati. After the tragic death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh eleven women burned themselves with his dead body. According to Seinbach the queens exhibited the most perfect equanimity but were less enthusiastic. His son Maharaja Kharak Singh left four widows on November 5, 1840, but one of them Isher Kaur, a pretty Rajput woman and a Chadra Dalna wife, and eleven slave women died with him. A large number of similar cases have been recorded, though the British Government had banned the Sati practice in 1829.

 

 

WOMEN IN JUDAISM (JEWS) The Role of Women

Level: Intermediate

 

• In Judaism, G-d is neither male nor female
• The Talmud says both good and bad things about women
• Women are not required to perform certain commandments
• Certain commandments are reserved specifically for women
• The first of the month is a minor festival for women
• Men and women sit separately in traditional synagogues
• The idea of Lilith as a feminist hero is based on a questionable source

The role of women in traditional Judaism has been grossly misrepresented and misunderstood. The position of women is not nearly as lowly as many modern people think; in fact, the position of women in halakhah (Jewish Law) that dates back to the biblical period is in many ways better than the position of women under American civil law as recently as a century ago. Many of the important feminist leaders of the 20th century (Gloria Steinem, for example, and Betty Friedan) are Jewish women, and some commentators have suggested that this is no coincidence: the respect accorded to women in Jewish tradition was a part of their ethnic culture.

In traditional Judaism, women are for the most part seen as separate but equal. Women’s obligations and responsibilities are different from men’s, but no less important (in fact, in some ways, women’s responsibilities are considered more important, as we shall see).

The equality of men and women begins at the highest possible level: G-d. In Judaism, unlike traditional Christianity, G-d has never been viewed as exclusively male or masculine. Judaism has always maintained that G-d has both masculine and feminine qualities. As one Chasidic rabbi explained it to me, G-d has no body, no genitalia; therefore the very idea that G-d is male or female is patently absurd. We refer to G-d using masculine terms simply for convenience’s sake, because Hebrew has no neutral gender; G-d is no more male than a table is.

Both man and woman were created in the image of G-d. According to most Jewish scholars, “man” was created in Gen. 1:27 with dual gender, and was later separated into male and female.

According to traditional Judaism, women are endowed with a greater degree of “binah” (intuition, understanding, intelligence) than men. The rabbis inferred this from the fact that woman was “built” (Gen. 2:22) rather than “formed” (Gen. 2:7), and the Hebrew root of “build” has the same consonants as the word “binah.” It has been said that the matriarchs (Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah) were superior to the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) in prophecy. Women did not participate in the idolatry regarding the Golden Calf. See Rosh Chodesh below. Some traditional sources suggest that women are closer to G-d’s ideal than men.

Women have held positions of respect in Judaism since biblical times. Miriam is considered one of the liberators of the Children of Israel, along with her brothers Moses and Aaron. One of the Judges (Deborah) was a woman. Seven of the 55 prophets of the Bible were women (they are included in the list of biblical prophets).

The Ten Commandments require respect for both mother and father. Note that the father comes first in Ex. 20:12, but the mother comes first in Lev. 19:3, and many traditional sources point out that this reversal is intended to show that both parents are equally entitled to honor and reverence.

There were many learned women of note. The Talmud and later rabbinical writings speak of the wisdom of Berurya, the wife of Rabbi Meir. In several instances, her opinions on halakhah (Jewish Law) were accepted over those of her male contemporaries. In the ketubah (marriage contract) of Rabbi Akiba‘s son, the wife is obligated to teach the husband Torah! Many rabbis over the centuries have been known to consult their wives on matters of Jewish law relating to the woman’s role, such as laws of kashrut and women’s cycles. The wife of a rabbi is referred to as a rebbetzin, practically a title of her own, which should give some idea of her significance in Jewish life.

There can be no doubt, however, that the Talmud also has many negative things to say about women. Various rabbis at various times describe women as lazy, jealous, vain and gluttonous, prone to gossip and particularly prone to the occult and witchcraft. Men are repeatedly advised against associating with women, although this is usually because of man’s lust rather than because of any shortcoming in women. It is worth noting that the Talmud also has negative things to say about men, frequently describing men as particularly prone to lust and forbidden sexual desires.

Women are discouraged from pursuing higher education or religious pursuits, but this seems to be primarily because women who engage in such pursuits might neglect their primary duties as wives and mothers. The rabbis are not concerned that women are not spiritual enough; rather, they are concerned that women might become too spiritually devoted.

The rights of women in traditional Judaism are much greater than they were in the rest of Western civilization until the 20th century. Women had the right to buy, sell, and own property, and make their own contracts, rights which women in Western countries (including America) did not have until about 100 years ago. In fact, Proverbs 31:10-31, which is traditionally read at Jewish weddings, speaks repeatedly of business acumen as a trait to be prized in women (v. 11, 13, 16, and 18 especially).

Women have the right to be consulted with regard to their marriage. Marital sex is regarded as the woman’s right, and not the man’s. Men do not have the right to beat or mistreat their wives, a right that was recognized by law in many Western countries until a few hundred years ago. In cases of rape, a woman is generally presumed not to have consented to the intercourse, even if she enjoyed it, even if she consented after the sexual act began and declined a rescue! This is in sharp contrast to American society, where even today rape victims often have to overcome public suspicion that they “asked for it” or “wanted it.” Traditional Judaism recognizes that forced sexual relations within the context of marriage are rape and are not permitted; in many states in America today, rape within marriage is still not a crime.

There is no question that in traditional Judaism, the primary role of a woman is as wife and mother, keeper of the household. However, Judaism has great respect for the importance of that role and the spiritual influence that the woman has over her family. The Talmud says that when a pious man marries a wicked woman, the man becomes wicked, but when a wicked man marries a pious woman, the man becomes pious. The child of a Jewish woman and a gentile man is Jewish because of the mother’s spiritual influence; the child of a Jewish man and a gentile woman is not. See Who Is a Jew? Women are exempted from all positive mitzvot (“thou shalts” as opposed to “thou shalt nots”) that are time-related (that is, mitzvot that must be performed at a specific time of the day or year), because the woman’s duties as wife and mother are so important that they cannot be postponed to fulfill a mitzvah. After all, a woman cannot be expected to just drop a crying baby when the time comes to perform a mitzvah. She cannot leave dinner unattended on the stove while she davensma’ariv (evening prayer services).

It is this exemption from certain mitzvot that has led to the greatest misunderstanding of the role of women in Judaism. First, many people make the mistake of thinking that this exemption is a prohibition. On the contrary, although women are not required to perform time-based positive mitzvot, they are generally permitted to observe such mitzvot if they choose (though some are frustrated with women who insist on performing visible, prestigious optional mitzvot while they ignore mundane mandatory ones). Second, because this exemption diminishes the role of women in the synagogue, many people perceive that women have no role in Jewish religious life. This misconception derives from the mistaken assumption that Jewish religious life revolves around the synagogue. It does not; it revolves around the home, where the woman’s role is every bit as important as the man’s.

Women’s Mitzvot: Nerot, Challah and Niddah

In Jewish tradition, there are three mitzvot (commandments) that are reserved for women: nerot (lighting candles), challah (separating a portion of dough), and niddah (sexual separation during a woman’s menstrual period and ritual immersion afterwards). If a woman is present who can perform these mitzvot, the privilege of fulfilling the mitzvah is reserved for the woman. Two of these mitzvot can be performed by a man if no woman is present. The third, for reasons of biology, is limited to the woman. All of these mitzvot are related to the home and the family, areas where the woman is primarily responsible.

The first of these women’s mitzvot is nerot (literally, “lights”) or hadlakat ha-ner (literally, “lighting the lights”), that is, the privilege of lighting candles to mark the beginning of the Shabbat or a holiday. The lighting of candles officially marks the beginning of sacred time for the home; once candles are lit, any restrictions or observances of the holiday are in effect. The lighting of candles is a rabbinical mitzvah, rather than a mitzvah from the Torah. See Halakhah: Jewish Law for an explanation of the distinction.

The second woman’s mitzvah is challah, that is, the privilege of separating a portion of dough from bread before baking it. This mitzvah comes from Num. 15:20, where we are commanded to set aside a portion of dough for the kohein. This mitzvah is only in full effect in Israel; however, the rabbis determined that Jews throughout the world should be reminded of this mitzvah by separating a piece of dough before baking it and burning the dough. You may have noticed that on boxes of matzah at Pesach, there is usually a notation that says “Challah Has Been Taken,” which means that this mitzvah has been fulfilled for the matzah. Note that this mitzvah has little to do with the traditional Shabbat bread, which is also called “challah.” See Jewish Food: Challah for more information about the Shabbat bread.

The third woman’s mitzvah is the obligation to separate herself from her husband during her menstrual period and to immerse herself in a mikvah (ritual bath) after the end of her menstrual period. The Torah prohibits sexual intercourse during a woman’s menstrual period. This ritual immersion marks the end of that period of separation and the resumption of the couple’s sexual activities. For more information about this practice, see Kosher Sex: Niddah.

Some sources point out that the name Chanah is an acronym of the names of these three mitzvot (Challah, Niddah, and Hadlakat HaNer). In the Bible, Chanah was the mother of Samuel and a prophetess. She is considered in Jewish tradition to be a role model for women.

Women’s Holiday: Rosh Chodesh

Rosh Chodesh, the first day of each month, is a minor festival. There is a custom that women do not work on Rosh Chodesh. A midrash teaches that each of the Rosh Chodeshim was originally intended to represent the one of the twelve tribes of Israel, just as the three major festivals (Pesach, Sukkot and Shavu’ot) each represent one of the three patriarchs. However, because of the sin of the Golden Calf, the holiday was taken away from the men and given to women, as a reward for the women’s refusal to participate in the construction of the Golden Calf.

How do we know that women didn’t participate in the Golden Calf incident? The midrash notes that Exodus 32 says that “the people” came to Aaron and asked him to make an idol. Aaron told them to get the golden rings from their wives and their sons and their daughters. Note that the biblical verse doesn’t say anything about “the people” getting the rings from their husbands, only from wives and sons and daughters, from which we can infer that “the people” in question were the men. Then Ex. 32:3 says that “the people” broke off the golden rings that were in their ears. The bible does not say that they got the gold from their wives and sons and daughters; rather, it says that “the people” (i.e., the same people) gave their own gold. The midrash explains that the men went back to their wives and the wives refused to give their gold to the creation of an idol. As a reward for this, the women were given the holiday that was intended to represent the tribes.

The Role of Women in the Synagogue

To understand the limited role of women in synagogue life, it is important to understand the nature of mitzvot (commandments) in Judaism and the separation of men and women.

Judaism recognizes that it is mankind’s nature to rebel against authority; thus, one who does something because he is commanded to is regarded with greater merit than one who does something because he chooses to. The person who refrains from pork because it is a mitzvah has more merit than the person who refrains from pork because he doesn’t like the taste. In addition, the mitzvot that were given to the Jewish people are regarded as a privilege, and the more mitzvot one is obliged to observe, the more privileged one is.

Because women are not required to perform certain mitzvot, their observance of those mitzvot does not “count” for group purposes. Thus, a woman’s voluntary attendance at daily worship services does not count toward a minyan (the 10 people necessary to recite certain prayers), a woman’s voluntary recitation of certain prayers does not count on behalf of the group (thus women cannot lead services), and a woman’s voluntary reading from the Torah does not count towards the community’s obligation to read from the Torah. The same is true of boys under the age of 13, who are not obligated to perform any mitzvot, though they are permitted to perform them.

In addition, because women are not obligated to perform as many mitzvot as men are, women are regarded as less privileged. It is in this light that one must understand the man’s prayer thanking G-d for “not making me a woman.” The prayer does not indicate that it is bad to be a woman, but only that men are fortunate to be privileged to have more obligations. The corresponding women’s prayer, thanking G-d for making me “according to his will,” is not a statement of resignation to a lower status (hardly an appropriate sentiment for prayer!) On the contrary, this prayer should be understood as thanking G-d for giving women greater binah, for making women closer to G-d’s idea of spiritual perfection, and for all the joys of being a woman generally.

The second thing that must be understood is the separation of men and women during prayer. According to Jewish Law, men and women must be separated during prayer, usually by a wall or curtain called a mechitzah or by placing women in a second floor balcony. There are two reasons for this: first, your mind is supposed to be on prayer, not on the pretty girl praying near you. Second, many pagan religious ceremonies at the time Judaism was founded involved sexual activity and orgies, and the separation prevents or at least discourages this. Interestingly, although men should not be able to see women during prayer, women are permitted to see men during prayer. This seems to reflect the opinion that women are better able to concentrate on prayer with an attractive member of the opposite sex visible.

The combination of this exemption from certain mitzvot and this separation often has the result that women have an inferior place in the synagogue. Women are not obligated by Jewish law to attend formal religious services, and cannot participate in many aspects of the services (traditional Jewish services have a very high degree of “audience participation” — and I’m not just talking about community readings, I’m talking about actively taking part in running the service), so they have less motivation to attend. Woman’s obligations in the home (which are the reason why women are exempt from time-based mitzvot like formal prayer services) often keep them away from synagogue. In several synagogues that I have attended, the women’s section is poorly climate controlled, and women cannot see (sometimes can’t even hear!) what’s going on in the men’s section, where the services are being led. This has improved somewhat in recent years, but men: if you think I’m lying, ask your wives.

But as I said before, this restriction on participation in synagogue life does not mean that women are excluded the Jewish religion, because the Jewish religion is not just something that happens in synagogue. Judaism is something that permeates every aspect of your life, every thing that you do, from the time you wake up in the morning to the time you go to bed, from what you eat and how you dress to how you conduct business. Prayer services are only a small, though important, part of the Jewish religion.

Lilith

Lilith is a character who appears in passing in the Talmud and in rabbinical folklore. She is a figure of evil, a female demon who seduces men and threatens babies and women in childbirth. She is described as having long hair and wings (Erub. 100b; Nid. 24b). It is said that she seizes men who sleep in a house alone, like a succubus (Shab. 151b). She is also mentioned in midrashim and kabbalistic works, in which she is considered to be the mother of demons. Her name probably comes from the Hebrew word for night (laila). She is similar to and probably based on a pagan demon named Lulu or Lilu that appears in Gilgamesh and other Sumerian and Babylonian folklore.

In recent years, some women have tried to reinvent Lilith, turning her into a role model for women who do not accept male domination or a rival goddess to the traditions that they think are too male-biased. For example, a number of female musical artists participated a concert tour called “Lilith Fair” a few years ago, and the name “Lilith” was clearly chosen to represent female empowerment.

This revisionist view of Lilith is based primarily on a work called the Alphabet of Ben Sira, which portrays Lilith as Adam’s first wife who was rejected because she wanted to be on top during sexual intercourse. Lilith was replaced with Eve, a more submissive second wife. The complete story is presented here. Many modern commentators describe this as part of the Talmud or midrash, or at least a traditional Jewish source, and claim that this story reflects the traditional rabbinical understanding of the roles of men and women. Feminists reject the negative characterization of Lilith’s actions in this story. They claim Lilith was a hero who was demonized by male-chauvinist rabbis who did not want women to have any sexual power.

Actually, Ben Sira is a much later medieval work of questionable authorship. Ben Sira appears to be a satire or parody, possibly even an antisemitic one. It tells many stories about biblical characters envisioned in non-traditional, often unflattering ways, often with slapstick humor at the expense of traditional heroes. Frankly, to treat Ben Sira as a reflection of traditional Jewish thought is like treating Cervantes’ Don Quixote as a treatise on chivalry, or Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles as a documentary of the American West. See this scholarly critique of the use of Ben Sira to turn Lilith into a feminist hero.

Links for Further Reading

Project Genesis offers an online course on Women in Judaism, covering subjects such as equality between men and women in Judaism, faith, prayer, relationships, and feminine intuition.

Kresel’s Korner, written by an Orthodox woman, addresses many of the questions that people have about the role of women in Orthodoxy. Kresel is an intelligent, well-educated woman who responds to many feminist critiques of Orthodoxy and illustrates a very different kind of female empowerment.

 

 

WOMEN IN CHRISTIANITY

 

It  would be very interesting to study the tenets of the Christian doctrine of marriage which tried to introduce strictures in the Roman laws. In doing so, according to Worsely Boden, ‘there is evidence that the influence of the Church in the Empire led to women’s degradation”. Further, Even St.Augustine, whose ideal of asceticism caused him to regret his own marriage, put polygamy and prostitution in the category of marriage, and described them as being as necessary to man as a sewer is to a palace. At best he regarded marriage as a remedy against sin: it would enjoin upon a married woman a kind of debased slavery, and require her to endure joyfully the debaucheries and ill treatment of her lord”.   “The recognition of any divorce went with the implications that every ground for divorce was a crime.

 

Analysis of the passages in the Bible will highlight the role and actions of women and also the interactions of Christ with women in the events narrated in the gospels.

 

God created man in the image of himself,

In the image of God he created him,

male and female he created them

God blessed them, saying to them,

“Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it”. (Genesis 1:26-27)

 

The second narrative of the creation of man and woman, in the Yahavistic tradition, which is a simpler and anthropomorphic description, shows that woman was fashioned from the rib of the first man, for he was alone and had no companion.

 

“Yahweh or God said, “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a help mate”.

 

So the writer says that Yaweh sent sleep to Adam, took out one of his rib bones, and fashioned woman as his help mate. The description brings out one thing clearly: woman is the companion of man; she comes out of his side; and stands by his side always. The reaction of Adam after seeing this wonderful creature was amazement, ecstasy and joy.

He says, ‘’This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. This is to be called woman, for this was taken from my flesh. ‘’The writer adds, ‘’This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife and they become one body’’.    (Genesis:  2:18-25)

Adam called the woman Eve. They would have lived happily ever after in the beautiful garden of Eden, if Satan had not appeared to Eve and tempted her to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. He came in the disguise of a serpent and challenged the woman to defy God’s order (Why Satan did not go to man is an unsolved mystery).

“The Serpent said to the woman, ’God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.

When the woman saw that the tree of knowledge was good for food and pleasant to the eyes and to be desired to make one wise, she ate the fruit and gave it to her husband.’’ (Genesis:3:5)

Then God was angry with Adam for disobeying him, Adam made the excuse, “The woman whom thou gavels to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat”.  God expelled both of them from the garden and told the woman, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and be shall rule over thee.” (Genesis: 3:16)

In Ephesians 5:22-24 he admonishes the women,

“Wives submit yourselves to your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife,  even as Christ is the head of the Church, and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore, as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything”.

In his Epistle to Titus, Paul writes in Chap. 2:4-5,

“That they may teach the young women to be sober,  to love their husband, to love their children. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their husbands, that the word of God may not be blemished”.

St.Paul dictates to women,

“To adorn themselves in modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety;  not with broidered hair, or gold or pearls, or costly array, but with good works. Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But, I suffer not a woman to teach, not to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression”. (1Timothy 2:9-15)

The present days women must judge this dictate in terms of their act and action whether this is to make them always obedient for a single sin by a single woman. Aquinas went so far as to describe women as ‘defective males’ Marie Assasd in her book “Should We Be Angry?  Quotes:

‘Any woman who acts in such a way that she cannot give birth to as many children as she is capable of makes herself guilty of that many murders’. –St Augustine.

‘Are women human’? (In the year 584, in Lyon, France, 43 Catholic bishops and 20 men representing other bishops, after a lengthy debate, took a vote. The results were 32 yes, 31 no. Women were declared human by one vote) – Council of Macon, France.

‘Among the savage beasts, none is found so harmful as women.’—St.John Chrysostom.

‘Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children…If a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing-she is there to do it.’- Martin Luther.

‘Woman, in her greatest perfection, was made to serve and obey man, not rule and command him.’ – John Knox

‘The souls of women are so small that some believe they have none at all.’ –Samuel Butler.

Slavery was common among the Hebrews and a father could sell his daughter to another man either as a slave or a concubine. A woman did not inherit her husband’s property unless she had her own, nor daughters acquired their father’s property, unless there was no male heir.

Thus,  in the Hebrew and Jewish society of the Old Testament times, woman did not enjoy equal rights with man. Some women played national roles and achieved national status by their strength and political astuteness. The rich widow Judith, by her sheer courage killed Holoferness, the Assyrian General, and saved her nation from defeat and destruction (Judith).

From the New Testament we can learn about the miracles performed by Christ for the afflicted women. For instance, once an adulterous woman was brought before Christ by the scribes and Pharisees. However, Christ put all of them to shame who had accused the woman and wanted to kill her. Later Christ asked,

“Woman where are they: Has no one condemned you?” “No one Sir”, she replied, “Neither do I condemn you”. (John 8:10-11)

In this passage the attitude of Christ is clear; he upholds the dignity of the woman, her person and life. He has accorded an equal status to women with men, and has fought for her dignity and social position. Hence, the New Testament has re-established the lost status of woman in her roles as a companion, helpmate, wife, mother and an associate in the work of Christ.

We assign to woman an inferior position in the scale of being, consider her creation as an afterthought and the cause behind the fall of man, believe her as cursed of God in her maternity, a harlot in the life of Solomon or a Samson, unfit to stand in the Holy of Holies, in the cathedrals, to take a seat as a delegate in a synod, to preach the gospel and administer the sacrament. The Church and Bible make woman a football for all the odds and fears of the multitude.

“The sentiments of men in high places responsible for the outrages in the lower orders in the haunts of vice and on the highways, when in the marriage service woman must promise to obey, she is made the inferior and the subject of the man she marries, when the passages of scriptures are read from the pulpit they make woman a mere football of a man’s lust. All our efforts to suppress prostitution are hopeless until a woman is recognised in the canon law and Church disciplines as equal in goodness, grace and dignity with bishops; archbishops, yea, the Pope himself. We must have expurgated editions of canon and civil law, of Bible, catechisms, creeds, codes and constitutions and of Paul’s toilet directions as to covered heads, long hair, and sitting in silence and subjugation, hanging on man’s lips for inspiration and wisdom. The chaotic condition of society can never become harmonious until the masculine and feminine elements are in perfect equilibrium.” (Mrs.Elizabeth Mallet in the Women’s Question in the Light of the New Testament)

In the ritual of Christian marriage the man is called the head of the physical body and the woman is asked to obey her husband. (It was reported that in her wedding ceremony, Princess Diana stayed silent over the word obey while taking her marriage vows with Prince Charles).

Bigamy, under the English law is a punishable offence as the essence of the English concept of marriage is a ”voluntary union of life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”.

Section 57 of the 1861 Acts say: “Whosoever, being married, shall marry any other person during the life of the former husband or wife shall be guilty of felony”. Further, in the Outlines of the Criminal Law’, the reason for the punishment of bigamy is given as “the broad one of its involving an outrage upon public decency by the profanation of a public ceremony”.

In France, a prediction, that the European legislation will adopt polygamy in the future, has been made by Bonn. More recently, it has been advocated by Georges Anquetil who says: “A return to polygamy, the natural relationship between the sexes, would remedy many evils; prostitution, venereal disease, abortion, the misery of illegitimate children, the misfortune of millions of unmarried women resulting from the disproportion between sexes, adultery and even jealousy”.

Though some faith practice polygamy since long but the problem as cited is exist in that society also and invite some new problem in the life of women.

According to Section 10 of the India Divorce Act, a husband may seek divorce if his wife has, since the solemnisation of the marriage, been guilty of adultery. Whereas a Christian wife may pray to the court for divorce only if her husband has committed incestuous adultery, which means with someone with whom he could not lawfully contract a marriage, by reason of her being in the prohibited degree relation. If adultery is not incestuous, it should be coupled with other reasons such as bigamy, cruelty, desertion, etc. Adultery alone is not a sufficient ground for a Christian woman for divorcing her husband, though for a husband, it is a sufficient ground for divorcing his wife.

In the Churches there is sexual segregation which makes women sit on one side of the aisle and men on the other. Though women are principals and managers of girls ’institutions, their boards of governors and managing committees are nominated by men with Bishops (all men) as Chairman. In conferences and committees men take the platform and women hesitate to speak, mostly due to inhibitions which culture and society have deeply inculcated in them.

A top Catholic Church official in the eastern Philippines evoked the biblical lesson of Adam and Eve in urging women against tempting priests to abandon their vows of celibacy.

Cebu Archbishop, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said that women should not tempt them (priests) but instead support and pray for them, for they are only humans and are weak. He also exhorted priests nationwide against following the example of Reverend Hector Canto, who married a 24 year old civil Engineer. Reverend Siva, who officiated at the central Philippines wedding, has announced that he too will marry before the end of the year.

It was the first time a priest got married in his Church garb before hundreds of parishioners and journalists in a ceremony performed by another priest in Asia’s only, predominantly Catholic country.

Vidal said women should give priests the support they need to maintain their strong faith instead of being an obstacle to their vocation. Both Canto and Siva said that they want to remain in priesthood and hope the Vatican will alter its position on mandatory celibacy for clergymen. The two received praise from the Philippines Federation of Married Catholic Priests. However, Church officials in the Philippines said that Canto ceased to be a priest once he married.

Former priest Justino Cabasares, the federation’s President said that the decisions of Canto and Siva will inspire more priests to speak out, who are silent victims and suffering from mandatory celibacy (HT 09.06.98).

Christianity has the largest numbers of followers all over the world. Its zeal for missionary work has earned its name and respect. A large number of women are also involved in serving the poor and deprived class of the society. Christian women are, in general, more forward than their counterparts in other religions. As the trend shows they will, probably, be able to overcome the few disadvantages which these fairer sexes are still facing. Another important fact is that in certain countries the Protestants are comparatively more liberal that the Catholics with regard to the freedom of the fairer sex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women 5th part

WOMEN IN ISLAM

SUFFERING OF WOMEN

The following words of a married woman from the tribe of Banu Ämir ibn Sa’saá aptly describe her position.

 

“Never let a sister praises a brother of hers: never let a daughter bewails a father’s death; for they have brought her where she is no longer a free woman, and they have banished her to the farthest ends of the earth.”

 

The virtual captivity of the wives by their husbands existed even where the marriage was performed by contract.

 

The pre-Islamic social structure was tribal as mentioned in the Islamic literature. Women were glorified and praised the poetry by their lovers, their physical charms were described in embarrassing details, but they failed to find any appreciation for their moral beauty.  Here is an example:-

“Woman marble white and fair Trailing fold-fringed raiment rare Opulence, luxurious, ease,

With lutes soft melodies

Such delights hath our brief span”.

 

According to Zamakhshari, females were allowed to live until they attained the age of six, “then adorned and let forth by their father and cast into a pit in the wilderness”.  Here the question remains that if all the girls were killed at the age of six, then from where did the next generation of and women came to the Arabian state? Therefore, it may have been a practice only among a small group of Arabians as it is understandable for all that without woman man can’t born. It is also stated that on that time Arabian women followed men to the battlefield and fought along with them, if necessary, all sexual distinctions dissolved in the heat of the war. However, women certainly would not be spared in the hot blood, and when made captives they were often slain or may be kept as a slave and produced more children with them for the future war. Ibn Hasam also mentions “the vow of a mother to drink wine from the skull of the slayer of her son”. Women were also in the forefront to take revenge against enemies in the Pre-Islamic days.

Robertson Smith defines the Muta marriage as a matriarchal system. In this form of marriage the woman did not leave her home, her people retaining their rights over her, and issues from such a union belonging to the wife.

“Muta marriage, in short, is simply the last remains of that marriage which corresponds to a law of mother kinship”.

He also says, “it was purely a personal contract founded on the consent between a man and a woman, without any intervention on the part of the woman’s kin”. Further he mentioned, ”that no witness was necessary to the contract and that no father or guardian of the woman appeared”. The only requirement to construe such a marriage was that “the man should say ‘suitor’ (khitb) and that she should reply Í wed’ (nika) and the marriage was straightaway accomplished without a witness or wali.” (ibid, p-70, Quoted from ‘Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia’ by W.R.Smith, Cambridge 1885).

 

Women are treated like commodities and disposable containers in Salafi society.  Throughout the world different kinds of legal opportunities have been provided for Salafi men to exploit women in the name of Islam. Saudi/Salafi scholars have issued many Fatawas to allow several kinds of deceptive and fake marriages to use women as sex slaves for as long as they wish.

 

(a) Misyaar -It is a temporary relationship between men and women for sexual pleasure. In this relationship the woman relinquishes all her rights that are available to her in an Islamic marriage.

 

(b) Urfa -In this relationship, arrangements are made as a customary marriage but there are no official contracts signed and this relationship also does not give women any rights whatsoever. She is kept as along as the man wishes to use her for sex.

 

(d) Friend Marriage – This is a special marriage where the bride does not go out of her house. The male goes to her house in the night or meets with her in a hotel and have sex with her, after which she goes back to her home. In this relationship the woman does not have any legal maintenance from the man. In most of the cases the woman demands a certain amount and gets it in advance.

 

(e) Misfar – (Foreign study and Business Trip marriage) Misfar refers to a deceptive marriage contracted by a Salafi for sexual gratification so that a woman may cohabitate with him for the period of time he is visiting a foreign country. These women are formally divorced after a short period that ranges from a week to a month.

 

Most alarming in this context is the latest Fatwa by Shaikh Adil Al-Kalbani, the Imam of the Grand Mosque of Makka issued on July 16, 2010. This Fatwa was published on net, Shaikh Kalbani, proclaimed this fatwa after receiving an email from an overseas Saudi male student studying in the ‘West’. The Saudi student, who is married and living with his wife, claims that he is worried about controlling his desires when he sees ‘Western’ females wearing seductive semi-naked clothes that arouse him,. He goes on to ask the Shaikh if it is OK to marry one of those women in a ‘Misfar’ marriage, which means marriage based on travel, because he claims that he can’t fight temptations and also accuses his wife of being frigid. The old Shaikh Kalbani posted on his own website his fatwa that permits Saudis marrying Western women with the intention of divorcing them when they are finished with them without the pre-knowledge of the women of their deceitful plan. Meaning, the Imam has given green light to Saudi overseas students and traveling businessmen to use women as disposable containers to relieve themselves sexually. WHO SHOULD GUIDE WHOM?

 

Various form and categories of sexual union also existed where mutual attachment, respect, formation of a household the complexity of domestic feeling had little or no recognition. Abdul Rahim, examines the other forms of sexual union as follows.

 

The first of this form was known as Nikah ul-Istibada where a man desiring a more noble lineage for his descendant called upon his wife to cohabit with a man of his choice. The husband then remained aloof from his wife until her pregnancy was established after which he returned to her and resumed cohabitation.

 

Another popular form was where a number of men, less than ten, gathered and cohabited with a woman and when she conceived and gave birth to a child, she called upon all the men and made a pronouncement as to the paternity of the child. Her decision was binding on the man she referred to, who could not then disclaim paternity.

 

Another practice concerned prostitutes who had a number of visitors to their tents which had a flag fixed to it as a sign of their calling. When one of them bore a child, a man known as Qaif (Literally one who recognises) was invited and his decision, regarding the paternity, based on the physiognomy of the issue, was final and binding on the man concerned.

 

The Fatuh al-Sham, Burkhardt and Ibn al Mughawir give instances where, “ In old Arabia a man was so indifferent to his wife’s fidelity, that he would send her to cohabit with another man to get himself a goodly seed; or might lend her to a guest, as Asr did up to the time of  Wahhabites… and the people of Dhaban must have done once according to Ibn al Mughawirs’s account….. or going on a journey might find a friend to take his place, as the Yam did in the time of Burkhardt… or might enter into a partnership of conjugal rights with another man in return for his service as a shepherd, as we read in the Fatuh al-Sham”.

 

Another popular custom was that the wife could be inherited by heirs of the deceased. Wahidi and Tabari relate the instance of a widow, called Kobaisha, who came to the prophet with the complaint that she had been “taken as wife” against her will by the son of her deceased husband who would neither live with her as her husband nor set her free.

 

Some such marriages, according to Ibn Qutaiba, were performed. One of the wives of Caliph Ali, called Molaika, had been married to a Fazarite, and then to his son. Among the Meccans, Amina, mother of Abu Moáyyit, was married first to Omayyib Ábd Shams and then to his son Abu Amr… and Nofail, grandfather of the Caliph Omar, left Fahmite widow who was married by his son Amr.

It should thus be noted that a marriage bestowed on the husband rights and privileges over the wife who could be transferred to him by another and passed with the rest of his property to his heirs.

Ibn Hisham mentioned that captive women of the war became the wives or mistresses of their captors against their own will in keeping with an Arab tradition contending that “the best and stoutest of sons are born of reluctant wives”. It is natural that no woman can agree on her own will to share her husband so stoutest of sons are born of such reluctant wives even today.

 

The most important thing that has happened is the invasion of India by the Muslim hordes from the north-west. The first Muslim invasion of India was by the Arabs who were led by Mohommad Bin Qasim. It took place in 711 A.D. and resulted in the conquest of Sind. This first Muslim invasion did not result in a permanent occupation of the country because the Caliphate of Baghdad, by whose order and command the invasion had taken place, was obliged by the middle of the 9th century A.D. to withdraw its direct control from this distant province of Sind. Soon after this withdrawal, there began a series of terrible invasions by Muhammad of Ghazni in 1001 A.D. Muhammad died in 1030 A.D., but within the short span of 30 years, he invaded India 17 times. He was followed by Mahommad Ghori who began his career as an invader in 1173. He was killed in 1206. For thirty years had Muhammad of Ghazni ravaged India and for thirty years Mahommad Ghori harried the same country in the same way. Then followed the incursions of the Moghul hordes of Chenghiz Khan. They first came in 1221. They then only wintered on the border of India but did not enter it. Twenty years after, they marched on Lahore and sacked it. Of their in roads, the most terrible was under Taimur in 1398. Then comes on the scene a new invader in the person of Babar who invaded India in 1526. The invasion of India did not stop with that of Babar. There occurred two more invasions. In 1738 Nadirshah’s invading host swept over the Punjab like a flooded river “furious as the ocean”. He was followed by Ahmadshah Abdalli who invaded India in 1761, smashed the forces of the Mahrattas at Panipat and crushed for ever the attempt of the Hindus to gain the ground which they had lost to their Muslim invaders.

These Muslim invasions were not undertaken merely out of lust for loot or conquest…………… Mahommad bin Qasim is quoted to have said: “The nephew of Raja Dahir, his warriors and principal officers have been dispatched, and the infidels converted to Islam or destroyed. Instead of idol-temples, mosques and other places of worship have been created, the Kutbah is read, the call to prayers is raised, so that demotions are performed at stated hours. The Takbir and praise to the Almighty God are offered every morning and evening.”

After receiving the above dispatch, which had been forwarded with the head of the Raja, Hajjaj sent the following reply to his general: “Except that you give protection to all, great and small alike, make no difference between enemy and friend. God, says,’Give no quarter to infidels but cut their throats’. Then know that this is the command of the great God. You shall not be too ready to grant protection, because it will prolong your work. After this give not quarter to any enemy except those who are of rank.”

Muhammad of Ghazni also looked upon his numerous invasions of India as the waging of a holy war. Al’Utbi, the historian of Muhammad, describing his raids writes: “He demolished idol temples and established Islam. He captured…cities, killed the polluted wretches, destroying the idolators, and gratifying Muslims. ‘He then returned home and promulgated accounts of the victories obtained for Islam….and vowed that every year he would undertake a holy war against Hind’.

Muhammed Ghori was actuated by the same holy zeal in his invasions of India. Hasan Nizami, the historian, describes his work in the following terms: “He purged by his sword the land of Hind from the filth of infidelity and vice, and freed the whole of the country from the thorn of God-plurality and the impurity of idol-worship and by his royal vigour and intrepidity left not one temple standing.”

Taimur has in his Memoir explained what let him to invade India. He says: “My object in the invasions of Hindustan is to lead a campaign against the infidels, to convert them to the true faith according to the command of Muhammad (on whom and his family be the blessing and peace of God), to purify the land from the defilement of misbelieve and polytheism, and overthrow the temples and idols, whereby we shall be Ghazis and Mujahids, companions and soldiers of the faith before God.”

Mahommad Bin Qasim’s first act of religious zeal was forcibly to circumcise the Brahmins of the captured city of Debul; but on discovering that they objected to this sort of conversion, he proceeded  to put all above the age of 17 to death, and to order all others, with women and children, to be led into slavery. The temple of the Hindus was looted, and the rich booty was divided equally among the soldiers, after one-fifth, the legal portion for the government, had been set aside.

Muhammad of Ghazni from the first adopted those plans that would strike terror into the hearts of the Hindus. After the defeat of Raja Jaipal in A.D. 1001, Muhammad ordered that Jaipal “be paraded about in the streets so that his sons and chieftains might see him in that condition of shame, bonds and disgrace; and that fear of Islam might fly abroad through the country of the infidels.”

“The slaughtering of ‘infidels’ seemed to be one thing that gave Muhammad particular pleasure. In one attack on Chand Rai, in A.D. 1019, many infidels were slain or taken prisoners, and the Muslims paid no regard to booty until they had satiated themselves with the slaughter of the infidels and worshippers of the sun and fire. The historian naively adds that the elephants of the Hindu armies came to Muhammad of their own accord, leaving idols, preferring the service of the religion of Islam.”(Dr.Titus: Indian Islam p-22)

Not infrequently, the slaughter of the Hindus gave a great setback to the indigenous culture of the Hindus, as in the conquest of Bihar by Muhammad Bakhtyar Khilji. When he took Nuddea(Bihar) the Tabaquat-i-Nasiri informs us that: “great plunder fell into the hands of the victors. Most of the inhabitants were Brahmins with shaven heads. They were put to death. Large number of books were found…..but none could explain their contents as all the men had been killed, the whole fort and city being a place of study.” .”(Dr.Titus: Indian Islam p-22)

Summing up the evidence on the point, Dr.Titus concluded: “Of the destruction of temples and the desecration of idols we have an abundance of evidence. Muhommad Bin Qasim carried out his plan of destruction systematically in Sind. We have seen, but he made an exception of the famous temple at Multan for purposes of revenue, as this temple was a place of resort for pilgrims, who made large gifts to the idol. Nevertheless, while he thus satisfied his avarice by letting the temple stand, he gave vent to his malignity by having a piece of cow’s flesh tied around the neck of the idol”.

“Minhaj-as-Siraj further tells how Mahommad became widely known for having destroyed as many as thousand temples, and of his great fear in destroying the temple of Somnath and carrying off its idol, which he asserts was broken into four parts. One part he deposited in the Jami Masjid of Ghazni, one he placed at the entrance of the royal palace, the third he sent to Mecca, and the fourth to Medina.”(ibid pp22-23).

It is said by Lane Poole that Muhammad of Ghazni “who had vowed that every year should see him wage a holy war against the infidels of Hindustan” could not rest from his idol-breaking campaign so long as the temple of Somnath remained inviolate. It was for this specific purpose that he, at the very close of his career, undertook his arduous march across the desert from Multan to Anhalwara on the coast, fighting as he went, until he saw at last the famous temple:

There a hundred thousand pilgrims were wont to assemble, a thousand Brahmins served the temple and guarded its treasures, and hundreds of dancers and singers played before its gates. Within stood the famous linga, a rude pillar stone adorned with gems and lighted by jewelled candelabra which were reflected in rich hangings, embroidered with precious stones like stars, that decked the shrine….Its ramparts were swarmed with incredulous Brahmins, mocking the vain arrogance of foreign infidels whom the God of Somnath would assuredly consume. The foreigners, nothing daunted, scaled the walls; the God remained dumb to urgent appeals of his servants; fifty thousand Hindus suffered for their faith and the sacred shrine was sacked to the joy of the true believers. The great stone was cast down and its fragments were carried off to grace the conqueror’s palace. The temple gates were set up at Ghazni and a million pounds worth of treasure rewarded the iconoclast.” (Medieval India, p-26, by Lane Poole)

The work done by Muhammad of Ghazni became a pious tradition and was faithfully followed by those who came after him. In the words of Dr. Titus India Islam, pp-23-24. “Mohammad Ghori, one of the enthusiastic successors of Muhammad of Ghazni, in his conquest of Ajmir destroyed pillars of foundations of the idol-temples, and built in their stead mosques and colleges and the precepts of Islam and the customs of the law were divulged and established. At Delhi, the city and its vicinity were freed from idols and idol worship, and in the sanctuaries of the images of the Gods mosques were raised by the worshippers of the one God”.

“Qutb-ud-Din Aybak also is said to have destroyed nearly a thousand  temples, and then raised mosques on their foundations. The same author states that he built the Jami Masjid, Delhi and adorned it with the stones and gold obtained from the temples which had been demolished  by elephants, and covered it with inscriptions (from the Quran) containing the devine commands. We have further evidence of this harrowing process having been systematically employed from the inscription extant over the eastern gateway of this same mosque at Delhi, which relates that the materials of 27 idol temples were used in its construction.”***********

“Ala-ud-Din, in his zeal to build a second Minar to the Jami Masjid, to rival the one built by Qutb-ud-Din, is said by Amir Khusru not only to have dug stones out of the hills, but to have demolished temples of the infidels to furnish a supply. In his conquests of South India the destruction of temples was carried out by Ala-ud-Din, I as it had been in the north by his predecessors.

“The Sultan Firoz Shah, in his Futuhat, graphically relates how he treated Hindus who had dared to build new temples. ‘When they did this in the city (Delhi) and the environs, in opposition;n to the law of the Prophet, which declares that such are not to be tolerated, under Divine guidance I destroyed these edifices. I killed these leaders of infidelity and punished others with stripes, until this abuse was entirely abolished and where infidels and idolaters worshipped idols, Musalmans now by God’s mercy perform their devotions to the true God.”

Even in the reign of Shah Jahan, we read of the destruction of the temples that the Hindus had started to rebuild, and the account of this direct attack on the piety of the Hindus is thus solemnly recorded in the Badshah-namah:

“It has been brought to the notice of His Majesty, says the historian, that during the late reign (of Akbar) many idol-temples had been begun but remained unfinished at Benares, the great stronghold of infidelity. The infidels were now desirous of completing them. His Majesty, the defender of the faith, gave orders that at Benares and throughout all his dominions in every place all temples that had been began should be cast down. It was reported from the Province of Allahabad that 76 temples had been destroyed in the district of Benares.”

It was left to Aurangzeb to make a final attempt to overthrow idolatry. The author of “Ma” athir i –Alamgiri dilates upon his efforts to put down Hindu teaching, and his destruvtion of temples in the following terms:

In April, A.D. 1669, Aurangzib learned that in the provinces of Thatta, Multan and Benares, but especially in the latter, foolish Brahmins were in the habit of expounding frivolous books in their schools, and that learners, Muslims as well as Hindus, went there, from long distances….The  ‘Director of the Faith’ consequently issued orders to all the governors of provinces to destroy with a willing hand the schools and temples of the infidels; and they were enjoined to put an entire stop to the teaching and practicing of idolatrous worship….Later it was reported to his religious Majesty that the Government officers had destroyed the temple of Bishnath at Benaras.”

As Dr.Titus observes:- “Such invaders as Muhammad and Timur seem to have been more concerned with iconoclasm, the collection of booty, the enslaving of captives, and the sending of infidels to hell with the ‘proselytizing sword’ then they were with the conversion of them even by force. But when rulers were permanently established the winning of converts became a matter of supreme urgency. It was a part of the state policy to establish Islam as the religion of the whole land.

“Qutb-ud-Din , whose reputation for destroying temples was almost as great as that of Muhammad, in the latter part of the twelfth century and early years of the thirteenth, must have frequently resorted to force as an incentive to conversion. One instance may be noted: when he approached Koil (Aligarh) in A.D. 1194,’ those of the garrison who were wise and acute were converted to Islam, but the others were slain with the sword’.

“Further examples of extreme measures employed to effect a change of faith are all too numerous. One pathetic case is mentioned in the time of the reign of Firoz Shah (A.D.1351-1388). An old Brahmin of Delhi had been accused of worshipping idols in his house, and of even leading Muslim women to become infidels. He was sent for and his case placed before judges, doctors, elders and lawyers. Their reply was that the provisions of the law were clear. The Brahmin must either become a Muslim or be burned. The true faith was declared to him and the right course pointed out, but he refused to accept it. Consequently he was burned by the order of the Sultan, and the commentator adds, ‘Behold the Sultan’s strict adherence to law and rectitude, how he would not deviate in the least from its decrees’.”

Muhammad not only destroyed temples but made it a policy; to make slaves of the Hindus he conquered. In the words of Dr.Titus: “Not only were slaughter of the infidels and the destruction of their temples resorted to in earlier period of Islam’s contact with India, but as we have seen, many of the vanquished were led into slavery. The dividing up of booty was one of the special attractions, to the leaders as well as to the common soldiers in these expeditions. Muhammad seems to have made the slaughter of infidels, the destruction of their temples, the capturing of slaves, and the plundering of the wealth of the people, raids. On the occasion of his first raid he is said to have taken much booty; and half a million Hindus, ’beautiful men and women were reduced to slavery and taken back to Ghazni.”

When Muhammad later took Kanauj, in A.D.1017, he took so much booty and so many prisoners that ‘the fingers of those who counted them would have tired’. Describing how common Indian slaves had become in Ghazni and Central Asia after the campaign of A.D. 1019, the historian of the times says:-“The number of prisoners may be conceived from the fact that each was sold for from two to ten dirhams. These were afterwards taken to Ghazni, and merchants came from far distant cities to purchase them;…and the fair and the dark, the rich and the poor were commingled in one common slavery.

“In the year A.D.1202, when Qutbh-ud-Din captured Kalinjar, after the temples had been converted into mosques, and the very name of idolatry was annihilated, fifty thousand men came under the collar of slavery and the plain became black as pitch with Hindus.” Ibid, p-26.

Slavery was the fate of those Hindus who were captured in the holy war. But, when there was no war the systematic abasement of the Hindus played no unimportant part in the methods adopted by the Muslim invaders. In the days of Ala-ud-Din, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, the Hindus had in certain part given the Sultan much trouble. So, he determined to impose such taxes on them that they would be prevented from rising in rebellion.

The Hindu was to be left unable to keep a horse to ride on, to carry arms, to wear fine clothes, or to enjoy any of the luxuries of life.”

Speaking of the levy of Jizyah Dr.Titus says:-

The payment of the Jizyah by the Hindus continued throughout the dominions of the sultans, emperors, and kings in various parts of India with more or less regularity, though often, the law was in force in theory only; since it depended entirely on the ability of the sovereign to enforce his demands. But finally, it was abolished throughout the Moghul Empire in the ninth year of the enlightened Akbar’s reign (A.D.1665), after it had been accepted as a fundamental part of Muslim government policy in India for a period of more than eight centuries.”

Lane Poole says that

“The Hindus was taxed to the extent of half the produce of his land, and had to pay duties on all his buffaloes, goats, and other milch-cattle. The taxes were to be levied equally on rich and poor, at so much per acre, so much per animal.  Any collectors or officers taking bribes were summarily dismissed and heavily punished with sticks, pincers, the rack, imprisonment and chains. The new rules were strictly carried out, so that one revenue officer would string together 20 Hindu notables and enforce payment by blows. No gold or silver, not even the betel nut, so cheering and stimulative to pleasure, was to be seen in a Hindu house, and the wives of the impoverished native officials were reduced to taking service in Muslim families. Revenue officers came to be regarded as more deadly than the plague; and to be a government clerk was disgrace worse than death, in so much that no Hindu would marry his daughter so such a man.”

These edicts, says the historian of the period, “were so strictly carried out that the chaukidars and khuts and muqaddims were not able to ride on horseback, to find weapon, to wear fine clothes, or to indulge in betel…No Hindu could hold up his head….Blows, confinement in the stocks, imprisonment and chains were all employed to enforce payment.”

All this was not the result of mere caprice or moral perversion. On the other hand, what was done was in according prudence with the ruling ideas of the leaders of Islam in the broadest aspect. These ideas were well expressed by the Kazi in reply to a question put by Sultan Ala-ud-Din wanting to know the legal position of the Hindus under Muslim law. The Kazi said:-

They are called payers of tribute, and when the revenue officer demands silver from them they should without question, and with all humility and respect, tender gold. If the officer throws dirt in their mouths, they must without reluctance open their mouths wide to receive it….The due subordination of the Dhimmi is exhibited in this bumble payment, and by this throwing of dirt into their mouths. The glorification of Islam is a duty, and contempt for religion is vain. God holds them in contempt, for he says, ‘Keep them in subjection’. To keep  the Hindus in a basement is especially a religious duty, because the Prophet has commanded us to sly them, plunder them, and make them captive, saying,’ Convert them to Islam or kill them, and make them slaves, and spoil their wealth and property.’ No doctor but the great doctor(Hanifah),  to whose school we belong, has assented to the imposition of jizya on Hindus; doctors of other schools allow no other alternative but ‘Death or Islam’. Dr.Titus Indian Islam p-29

Such is the story of this period of 762 years which elapsed between the advent of Muhammad of Ghazni and the return of Ahmadshah Abdalli.

The methods adopted by the invaders have left behind them their aftermath. One aftermath is the bitterness between the Hindus and the Muslims which they have caused. This bitterness, between the two, is so deep-seated that a century of political life has neither succeeded in assuaging it; not in making people forget it. As the invasions were accompanied with destruction of temples and forced conversions, with spoliation of property, with slaughter, enslavement and abasement of men, women and children, what wonder if the memory of these invasions has ever remained green, a source of pride to the Muslims and as a source of shame to the Hindus?

It is natural that no woman can agree on her own will to share her husband so stoutest of sons are born of such reluctant wives even today.

 

This also right in the case of reluctant Hindu/Buddhist etc  women’s captured and produced stoutest of sons of those reluctant women in these invasions and forced slavery and conversion.

Shahrastani contends that the law of triple divorce, which still survives in Mohammedan law, existed in Pre-Islamic Arabia. He narrates an incident concerning the post AI-A’sha during the days of Jahiliyya, where divorce was exhorted from the husband by the relatives of his wife who had other plans for her. Hence, to make her repudiation complete, he was compelled to repeat the word thrice. Till the third pronouncement, the husband was still áchaccou 1’-nasi biha’ or had more right to her than anyone else’. ’These practices, effecting divorce or separation, seriously challenging the position of woman as wife, require special mention. These are commonly referred to as Tahil or Halala, Ila and Zihar.

Hence we see that the woman, generally, had no right to divorce. In exceptional cases, women of nobler families reserved this right through contract.

Ila literally means swearing. It signifies the taking of an oath that one shall not go into one’s wife.

The Pagan deities best known in Mecca at the advent of Islam were Lat (Lat represented Sun worship, Origin may be Greek ‘Leto’, the mother of Apollo, the sun God), Uzza (Planet Venus) and Manat (it may be Astra the symbol of fortune), all being female deities. The strange reason offered for this paradoxical belief was that the mother’s blood rather than the father’s blood formed the original family bond among the Semites.

This shows that it was a matriarchal society in Arabians       peninsula before advent of Islam.

As Islamic Law was changed and reformed, various basic concepts which were accepted and practiced in the pre-Islamic Arabia were modified. These modifications were a natural extension of the progressive ideas introduced at that time. But legal rules pertaining to family law, especially those regarding marriage and divorce were also common. Prohibition to marry within a certain degree of affinity, the three-month Iddat period or waiting period for the widow, and similar conditions pertaining to divorce, the nursing period of infants for about two years, were a few laws common between the Islamic jurisprudence and Judaic laws.

These resemblances, however, should not be surprising, as Islamic Laws always claimed to be a confirmation and an extension of the old religions. The Quran says:

We believe in God, and the Revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord: we make no difference between one and another of them: and we bow to God”. (The Quran 2:136)

Can the position among the Muslims, so far as child-marriage goes, be considered better than the position among the others?

For them (women) there are rights (against men) that are exactly commensurate with their obligations (towards them)”. (The Quran 4:228)

“From what is left by parents and those nearest there is a share for men and a share for women”.  (Ibid p-180)

Take the position of women. The Muslims insist that the legal rights given to Muslim women ensure them a greater measure of independence than allowed to the women in the Eastern countries for example, Hindu women, and are in excess of the rights given to women in some Western countries. Reliance is placed on some of the provisions of this Muslim Law.

Firstly, it is said that the Muslim law does not fix any age for marriage, and recognizes the right of a girl to marry any time. Further, except where the marriage is celebrated by the father or the grandfather, a Muslim girl, if given in marriage in childhood, has the power to repudiate her marriage on attaining puberty.

Secondly, it is held out that marriage among the Muslims is a contract. Being a contract, the husband has a right to divorce his wife but the Muslim Law does not place the wife on the same footing as the husband in the matter of divorce.  Unconditional right is given to a man, i.e. he can divorce his wife without any explanation.   That he is not pleased with her is enough justification to pronounce divorce. It is claimed that the wife under the Muslim Law can, at the time of marriage, or even thereafter, in some cases, enter into a contract by which she may under certain circumstances obtain a divorce. But in that case the woman who has the right to divorce needs to establish some fault in her husband. And such a divorce is to be ratified by the marriage registrar.

Thirdly, the Mohammedan Law requires that a wife can claim from her husband, by way of consideration for the surrender of her person, a sum of money or other property-known as her ‘dower”.  The dower may be fixed even after marriage and if no amount is fixed, the wife is entitled to proper dower. The amount of dower is usually split into two parts, one is called “prompt” which is payable on demand, and the other is called “deferred” which is payable on dissolution of marriage by death or divorce. The wife’s claim for dower is treated as a debt against the husband’s estate. She has complete dominion over her dower which is intended to give her economic independence. She can remit it or she can appropriate the income of it as she pleases. Granting all these provisions of law in her favour, the Muslim woman is, yet, the most helpless person in the world. To quote an Egyptian Muslim leader:-

“Islam has set its seal of inferiority upon her, and given the sanction of religion to social customs which have deprived her of the full opportunity for self-expression and development of personality.”

No poor illiterate Muslim girl has the courage to repudiate her marriage, although it may be open to her on the ground that she was a child and that it was brought about by persons other than her parents. No Muslim wife will think it proper to have a clause entered into her marriage contract reserving her right to divorce. In that event, her fate is “once married, always married.” She cannot escape the marriage tie, however irksome it may be. While she cannot repudiate the marriage, the husband can always do it without having to show any cause. Utter the word “TALAK” and observe continence for three weeks and the woman is cast away. The only restraint on his caprice is the obligation to pay the dower. If the dower has already been remitted, his right to divorce is a matter of his sweet will.

This latitude in the matter of divorce destroys that sense of security which is so fundamental to a full, free and happy life for a woman. This insecurity of life, to which a Muslim woman is exposed, is greatly augmented by the rights of polygamy and concubines, which the Muslim Law gives to the husband.

Mohammedan Law allows a Muslim to marry four wives at a time. It is not unoften said that this is an improvement over the Hindu Law which places no restriction on the number of wives a Hindu can have at any given time. But it is forgotten that in addition to the four legal wives, the Muslim Law permits a Mohammedan to cohabit with his female slaves. In the case of female slaves nothing is said as to the number. They are allowed to him without any restriction and without any obligation to marry them.

No words can adequately express the great and many evils of polygamy and concubinage, especially, as sources of misery to a Muslim woman. It  is true that just because polygamy and concubinage are sanctioned, one must not suppose they are indulged in by the generality of Muslims. However, the fact remains that they are privileges which are easy for a Muslim husband to abuse to the misery and unhappiness of his wife. Mr.John J Pool, observes:-

“This latitude in the matter of divorce is very greatly taken advantage of by some Mohammedans. Stobart, commenting on this subject in his book, Islam, and its Founder, says: ‘Some Mohammedans make a habit of continually changing their wives. We read of young men who have twenty and thirty wives, a new one every three months: and thus, it comes about that, women are liable to be indefinitely transferred from one man to another, obliged to accept a husband and a home whenever they can find one, or in case of destitution, to which divorce may have driven them, to resort to other more degrading means of living. Thus while keeping the strict letter of the law, and possessing only one or certainly not more than four wives, unscrupulous characters may yet, by divorce, obtain in a life time as many wives as a they please.’  In another way also a Mohammedan may really have more than four wives, and yet keep within the law. This is by means of living with concubines, which the Koran expressly permits. In that Sura which allows four wives the following words are added, ’of the slaves which ye shall have acquired.’ Then in the 70th Sura, it is revealed that it is no sin to live with slaves. ‘

The very words are: “The slaves which their right hands possess, as to them they shall be blameless.

In the present day, as in days past, in multitudes of Mohammedan homes, slaves are found; as Muir says, in his Life of Mahomet, ‘so long as this unlimited permission of living with their female slaves continues, it cannot be expected that there will be any hearty attempt to put a stop to slavery in Mohammedan countries.’ And women, as usual, are the greater sufferers.”

A man more or less enjoys absolute right over his slaves. The Quran (4:3, 23:5,6, 70:29, 30:33:35 cf. Ali.M.op.cit.p-549) mentions, á master may have sexual relation with his slave girl simply because of the right of ownership which he has on her.” It has also been elucidated that there is no limit to the number of women with whom a man may lawfully have sexual intercourse by virtue of the right of property. A slave girl married to another slave cannot have sexual intercourse with her master at the same time. Strict monogamy is demanded from her even in such cases. There is, of course, a caution to the master that he has no right to sexual enjoyment with a married slave girl. This caution, in turn, implies that in all other cases he has a right to enjoy slave girls sexually.  It thus seems to be just a measure to prevent a slave woman from becoming bigamous. Here it should be mentioned that a Muslim woman who is free can marry her own slave if she can obtain the approval of her guardian. Here also restrictions for the women but men are free to do whatever he can do.

ADULTERY

Adultery is another aspect where discrimination is explicit. In the Quran there are many verses where punishment for adultery is stated to be equal for man and woman. But we should keep in mind that the chances of and the need for committing adultery are much less in the case of a man as compared to a woman. A woman is much more vulnerable to adultery in her peculiar situation. She is bound to share her husband sexually with other co-wives, and also, with slave girls and female war prisoners in some cases. The chance of a wife remaining sexually dissatisfied is certainly obvious in such cases. It is also enjoined in the Hadith that a woman has to remain chaste and is not allowed to remarry for one full year even if her husband’s whereabouts are untraceable, i.e., if he is missing. On the other hand, a man has access to four wives from regular marriages and other irregular one, over and above, his slave women, to enjoy sexually. He hardly needs to be adulterous. (A double standard is too obvious) In the case of homosexuals it is probably different. But in such a case too, women are placed in a situation with much greater opportunities and temptations to become homosexuals as they spend most of their time among fellow wives and slave girls.

Another important point to be noted is that a husband can suspend all sexual and related relationships for a consecutive period of four months with any of his wives if he doubts her chastity. After this period, either he will have to divorce her or retain her as his wife. A woman cannot deny the rights of her husband even if he is adulterous unless she can prove the accusation. All the above injunctions show in egalitarianism to the extreme. A woman’s position in Islam is like that of a tool in the hands of a man. She is treated as an object or only as a source for the pleasure of men and for procreation.

WORSHIP OF FOREFATHERS

Regarding the worship of forefathers in the Arabian tribal society, as they had no written or revealed laws, only customs and usages were prevalent. Hence once they argued with the prophets, “How can we forsake what we found our forefathers upon?” They asked “Hast thou come unto us that we should serve Allah alone and forsake what our father worshipped?” (The Quran 7:70 also 11:62, 14:10, 16:35)

‘For each (community) we have appointed a divine law and a way of life. Had Allah willed He would have made you one community? He may try you by that which he has given you, so vie one with another in good works’. (The Quran 5:48)

According to this text, Allah did not intend to appoint one uniform law for every person for all times. Allah did not make one community.

The Quran declares in unambiguous terms, And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.’ ‘(The Quran 2:228)

This statement is contradictory. It say that women have rights similar to men and yet claims that men are a degree above women.

Again the Quran says ‘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 obedient (to Allah), guarding in the secret that which Allah had guarded.’ . (The Quran 4:35)

This text of Quran is almost similar to the text of Manu of the Hindu religious law given as below:-

The father of a woman shall protect her in her infancy; the husband, in her youth; and her son, in her old age; in absence whereof the duty of maintaining her shall devolve upon his friends and relatives. (Garudu-95; Dutt p-27)

The laws of Manu  against women are of a piece with this view. Women are not to be set free under any circumstances. Manu says;

IX2. Day and night women must be kept in dependence by the males (of their families), and if they attach themselves to sexual enjoyments, they must be kept under one’s control

IX3 Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.

VEIL or PURDAH

Now let us consider the question of veil in the spirit of Islam. The verse quoted in support of the veil is as follows;

Ó Prophet ! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (udnina) (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may not be recognized and not annoyed.  (The Quran   33)

It seems that there were anti-social elements during that time that used to harass women. Therefore, the Muslim women were instructed to draw their cloak closer to the face in order to protect themselves. The context of the verse is thus very clear. Firstly, there is no mention in veiling the face and secondly, it is not an obligatory order for all time to come. If the context changes, the reason adduced disappears, it would no longer be binding, as observed by Asghar Ali Engineer.

Another important verse in this respect is from chapter 24. It says:

‘And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof, that they should draw their veils over their bosom and not display their beauty except to their husbands their fathers, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments.’                         (The Quran 24:31)

Again the Quran says: ‘Say to the believing to note that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them.’  (The Quran 24:30)

We find that in the Muslim society. Women are put under the veil and men are free from any binding. There can, thus, be no manner of doubt that the Muslim Society in India is afflicted by the same social evils as afflicts the Hindu Society. Indeed, the Muslims have all the social evils of the Hindus and something more. That something more is the compulsory system of veil or purdah for the Muslim women.

The existence of these evils among the Muslims is distressing enough, but, far more distressing is the fact that there is no organized movement of social reform among the Muslims of India on a scale sufficient to bring about their eradication. The Hindus have their social evils but there is a relieving feature about them. Some of them are conscious of their existence and a few of them are actively agitating for their removal. The Muslims, on the other hand, do not realize the existence of evils and consequently, do not agitate for their removal. Indeed, they oppose any change in the existing practices.

It is noteworthy that the Muslims opposed the Child Marriage Bill brought in the Central Assembly in 1930, whereby the age for marriage of a girl was raised to 14 and of a boy to 18, on the ground that it was opposed to the Muslims canon law. Not only did they oppose the bill at every stage but also, when it became law, they started a campaign of Civil Disobedience against that Act. Fortunately, the Civil Disobedience campaign of the Muslims, against the Act, did not swell and was submerged in the Congress Civil Disobedience campaign which synchronized with it. But the campaign only proves how strongly the Muslims are opposed to social reform.

The question may be asked that why are the Muslims opposed to social reforms?

The usual answer given is that the Muslims all over the world are an unprogressive people. This view no doubt accords with the facts of history. After the first spurts of their activity- the scale of which was undoubtedly stupendous leading to the foundations of vast empires-the Muslims suddenly fell into a strange condition of torpor, from which they never seemed to have awaken. (Dr.BR Ambedkar’s writings and Speeches. Vol-8, p233)

As a consequence of the Purdah system a segregation of the sexes is brought about. The ladies are not expected to visit the outer rooms, verandahs or gardens, their quarters are the backyard. All of them, young and old are confined in the same room. No male servant can work in their presence. A woman is allowed to see only her sons, brothers, father, uncles and husband, or any other near relation who may be admitted to a position of trust. She cannot visit the mosque and must, wear Burka (veil) whenever she goes out. These Burka women walking in the streets are one of the most hideous sights one can witness in India. Such seclusion cannot but have its deteriorating effects upon the physical constitution of Muslim women. They are usually victims to anemia, tuberculosis and pyorrhea. Their bodies are deformed, with their backs bent, bones protruded, hands and feet crooked. Ribs, joints and nearly all their bones ache. Heart palpitation is very common in them. The result of this pelvic deformity is the untimely death at the time of delivery. Purdah deprives Muslim women of mental and moral nourishment. Being deprived of healthy social life, the process of moral degeneration must and does set in. Being completely secluded from the outer world, they engage their minds in petty family quarrels with the result that they become narrow and restricted in their outlook.

They lag behind their sisters from other communities, cannot take part in any outdoor activity and are weighed down by a slavish mentality and an inferiority complex. They have no desire for knowledge, because they are taught not to be interested in anything outside the four walls of the house. Purdah women, in particular, become helpless, timid, and unfit for any fight in life. Considering the large number of purdah women among Muslims in India, one can easily understand the vastness and seriousness of the problem of Purdah.

The physical and intellectual effects of purdah are nothing as compared with its effect on morals. The origin of purdah lies, of course, in the deep-rooted suspicion of sexual appetites in both sexes and the purpose is to check them by segregating the sexes. But far from achieving the purpose, Purdah has adversely affected the morals of Muslim men. Owing to purdah a Muslim man has no contact with any woman except those who belong to his own household. Even with them his contact extends only to occasional conversations. For a male there is no company of and no commingling with the females apart from those who are children or aged. This isolation of the males from females is sure to produce bad effects on the morals of men. It requires no psychoanalyst to say that a social system which cuts off all contact between the two sexes produces an unhealthy tendency towards sexual excesses and other unnatural and morbid habits and ways.

The evil consequences of purdah are not confined to the Muslim community only. It is responsible for the social segregation of Hindus from Muslims which is the bane of public life in India. This argument may appear far-fetched and one is inclined to attribute this segregation to the unsociability of the Hindus rather than to the system of Purdah among the Muslims. But the Hindus are in a way right when then say that it is  not possible to establish social contact between Hindus and Muslims because it can only mean contact between women from one side and men from the other.

Not that Purdah and the evils consequent thereon are not to be found among certain sections of the Hindu society in some parts of the country. But the point of distinction is that among the Muslims, Purdah has a religious sanctity which is missing in the case of Hindus. Purdah has deeper roots among the Muslims that it has among the Hindus and can only be removed by facing the inevitable conflict between religious injunction and social needs. The problem of purdah is a real problem with the Muslims-apart from its origin-which is not the case with the Hindus. Moreover, there is no evidence of any attempt by the Muslims to do away with it.

POLYGAMY

As for polygamy the Quran says:

They ask you concerning women, say Allah gives you decree concerning them and the Scripture which has been recited unto you (give decree) about orphan women to whom you do not give back what is due to them (namely their properties which are under your charge) but you would rather marry them, and also (concerning) the weak among children, and that you should deal justly with orphans. You will never be able to deal equally between (your) wives, however much you wish (to do so), so do not incline away completely from one, leaving her suspended.       (ibid 4:127:129)

Another verse on polygamy is worded thus:

Give unto orphans their wealth and do not exchange (their) good properties with your bad ones, nor consume their properties by mixing then with yours; it is indeed a great sin. But if you cannot do justices to orphans, then you marry from among (orphan?) women such as please you-two, three or four. If however, you fear you cannot do justice (among co-wives) then marry only one or (marry) women slaves; this would be nearest to avoiding injustice. (The Quran 4:2:3)

If here we say that one does not have any such problem of looking after orphans, the question of taking more than one wife does not arise at all. But in the present society we find that most cases of polygamy do not follow this direction of the Quran. Some people marry because they are rich man; some people marry when they see some beautiful girl and so on. Why is this verse from the Holy Quran not interpreted properly to control the evil of polygamy existing in the Muslim society? It has clearly mentioned that it will never be possible to deal equally between wives. It has not mentioned the number of woman slaves that can be married by a man.

Regarding the reward in terms of religious merit, it has been mentioned: Lo! Men who surrender unto Allah and women who surrender, and men who obey and women who obey, and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth, and men who persevere (in righteousness) and women who persevere, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and man who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their modesty and women who guard their modesty and men who remember – Allah and women who remember Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward. (The Quran 33:36)

These verses maintain the equality of men and women but with an advice to the women only which is not acceptable to the present day generation and as a result the collision among men and women are increasing day by day.

The Quran said Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those of (men) over them in kindness. (The Quran 2:228)

Another verse it says: ‘Divorce must be pronounced twice and they women must be retained in honour or released in kindnesses.  (The Quran 2:229)

It is crystal clear from all those verses that women will depend upon the kindness of men. As all this are man-made books and one can hardly ignore the fact that it was a man dominated milieu and jurists could not but give more benefits to men while using their opinion on various matters and their details whether pertaining to maintenance, custody of children, different forms of divorce, marital options, guardians ‘right, etc. So, equal status for women would not have been accepted by society at large. Men can pronounce divorce but what about women? It is very clear from the quoted words. One thing is certain that as long as women do not come out in large numbers in defiance of their own freedom, male domination will continue. It is said that, God helps those who help themselves. On the other hand their counterpart in Christianity and Jews has forced to change their male’s mentality towards women in respect of their right whereas Muslims women are lag behind of them.

SOCIAL REFORMS IN ISLAM

Begam Roquia Sakhawat Hussain, (1880 – December 9, 1932)

Begam Roquia was a prolific writer and a social worker in undivided Bengal in the early 20th century. She is most famous for her efforts on behalf of gender equality and other social issues. She established the first school aimed primarily at Muslim girls, which still exists today. She was a notable Muslim feminist; modern feminist writers such as Taslima Nasrin cite her as an influence. She also wrote short stories and novels. Her important books are Sultana’s Dream and Paddorag.

Roquia Khatun was born in 1880 in the village of Pairabondh, Mithapukur, Rangpur, in what was then the British Indian Empire and is now Bangladesh. Her father   was a highly educated zamindar (landlord). Roquia’s eldest brother Ibrahim, and her immediate elder sister Karimunnesa, both had great influence on her life. Karimunnesa wanted to study Bengali, the language of the majority in Bengal. The family disliked this because many upper class Muslims of the time preferred to use Arabic and Persian as the media of education, instead of their native language, Bengali. Ibrahim taught English and Bengali to Roquia and Karimunnesa; both sisters became authors.

Roquia married at the age of sixteen in 1896. Her Urdu-speaking husband, Khan Bahadur Sakhawat Hussain, was the Deputy Magistrate of Bhagalpur, which is now a district under the Indian state of Bihar. He continued her brother’s work by encouraging her to keep learning Bengali and English. He also suggested that she write, and on his advice she adopted Bengali as the principal language for her literary works because it was the language of the masses. She launched her literary career in 1902 with a Bengali essay entitled Pipasa (Thirst).

In 1909, Sakhawat Hussain died. He had encouraged his wife to set aside money to start a school primarily for Muslim women. Five months after his death, Roquia established a high school in her beloved husband’s memory, naming it Sakhawat Memorial Girls’ High School. It started in Bhagalpur, a traditionally Urdu-speaking area, with only five students. A dispute with her husband’s family over property forced Roquia to move the school in 1911 to Calcutta (now known as Kolkata), a Bengali-speaking area. It remains one of the city’s most popular schools for girls and is now run by the state government of West Bengal.

She also founded the Anjuman e Khawateen e Islam (Islamic Women’s Association), which was active in holding debates and conferences regarding the status of women and education. She advocated reform, particularly for women, and believed that parochialism and excessive conservatism were principally responsible for the relatively slow development of Muslims in British India. As such, she is one of the first Islamic feminists. She was inspired by the traditional Islamic learning as enunciated in the Qur’an, and believed that modern Islam had been distorted or corrupted; her organization Anjuman e Khawateen e Islam organised many events for social reforms based on the original teachings of Islam that, according to her, were lost.

Begum Roquia remained busy with the school, the association, and her writings for the rest of her life. She died of heart problems on December 9, 1932. In Bangladesh, December 9 is celebrated as Rokeya Day.

Begum Roquia was an inspiring figure who contributed much to the struggle to liberate women from the bondage of social malaises. Her life can be seen in the context of other social reformers within what was then India. To raise popular consciousness, especially among women, she wrote a number of articles, stories and novels, mostly in Bengali.

Begum Roquia used humor, irony, and satire to focus attention on the injustices faced by Bengali-speaking Muslim women. She criticized oppressive social customs forced upon women that were based upon a corrupted version of Islam, asserting that women fulfilling their potential as human beings could best display the glory of Lord.

Begum Roquia wrote courageously against restrictions on women in order to promote their emancipation, which, she believed, would come about by breaking the gender division of labor. She rejected discrimination for women in the public arena and believed that discrimination would cease only when women were able to undertake whatever profession they chose. In 1926, begum strongly condemned men for withholding education from women in name of religion as she addressed the Bengal women’s education conference:

“‘The opponents of the female education say that women will be unruly…fie! They call themselves Muslims and yet go against the basic tenet of Islam which gives equal right to education. If men are not led astray once educated, why should women?

 On the basis of the doctrine of the Hanabalis, several countries of the world have now decreed in different ways that a Muslim woman can hold against the second marriage of the husband in her life time. This doctrine was initially adopted in the Ottoman Law of Family Rights 1917, where Article 38 says, “If the wife stipulates in the marriage contract that in the event of the husband’s second marriage she or the second wife would stand automatically divorced, the stipulation shall be judicially enforceable”.

Article 21, of the Jordanian Code of 1951, In the text of the Jordanian Law of Family Right 1951, a stipulation against polygamy is permissible. Article 21 says:  “If a stipulation is made in the marriage contract for the benefit of either party, it must be complied with”. For example, a stipulation that the wife should have the power to divorce in specified circumstances or should live in a specified place or that the husband should not have a co-wife. But such a stipulation can be enforced only if it is incorporated in the registered marriage deed and also in the certificate issued by the Qazi. The violation of such a stipulation shall give to the wife a right to seek for dissolution of her marriage. (Mohamedan law(A) p-260-261)

Article 31, of the Moroccan Code of 1958, says “a woman may stipulate in her marriage contract against her husband’s right to contract a bigamous marriage; in such a case, if the stipulation is violated, the wife shall have a right to dissolution of her marriage”. (Mohammedium of Fatimid law p-6)

Article 14(2)(3) of the Syrian Law of 1953 follow the same rule. It says “stipulations not opposed to the Sharia are valid in a marriage contract. Conditions opposed to the Sharia will be held void while the marriage is held operative. It is further specified that a stipulation for the wife’s benefit which, although not opposed by the Sharia, affects the legal rights of the husband or a third person, cannot be enforced, but the wife can demand dissolution of her marriage if the husband violated such a stipulation. (A digest of Mohumudan law (B) Part I p-5)

Such changes has been made in Muslims countries and India also but in practical purpose are the Muslim society is prepared to change is a very big question?

In 1996 a revolutionary step had been taken in the month of Ramzan in Kerala, a state of India, which will be remembered in history for the bold decision taken by Md.P.K.K.Ahmedkutty Maulvi, the Chief Imam of Palayam Mosque. He opened the doors of the shrine for women and allowed them to offer prayers along with men.

Undeterred by the frenzy sought to wipe off the matter in the name of Islam, Ahmedkutty Maoulvi is determined to proceed with his decision, expanding the facilities in the Palayam Mosque to accommodate more women coming for their daily prayer, especially on Friday. He reminds his opponents that women have not been barred from the holiest shrine of Mecca and Madina and it is a common practice in the other parts of the country too.

Echoing his sentiments, liberal Islamic scholars and some Muslim women in public life maintain that the restrictions imposed on women should be removed, if only to foster a sense of Islamic sisterhood. When they pray together, women get a sense of inner strength, which is so vital to sustain their identity in the face of various forces assaulting it.

As comparing to the Muslim women’s followers of other religions are enjoying more freedom in practice their religious functions and visit their religious places often for salvation of their soul and mental peace which is very important to any religious minded human being.

 

 

 

SOUDI KINDOM ALLOW IT GIRLS TO PLAY

The orthodox Muslim kingdom has begun allowing its girls in private schools to participate in sports. It is still has a long way to go, but at least it is a beginning towards long-awaited gender equality.

Under international pressure, Saudi Arabia for the first time included two female athletes in its team to last year’s London Olympics. Though the teen-aged girls, track athlete Sarah Attar (19) and judo player Wojdan Ali Shaherkhan (16) didn’t win any medals, they’ll remember the encouraging cheers for the rest of their lives. Sarah was a lap behind the rest on the track, but she had a cheer all to herself from the crowd. Wojdan, a novice at this level of judo, also helped make a point for Saudi women in the 82 seconds she lasted in her bout against a Puerto Rican opponent. Now, there’s more good news.

The ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom will let girls in private schools take part in sports and physical education. The measure appears to have left out the majority of girl students in state-run schools, but now that a beginning has been made, hopefully it will not be long before the winds of change reach millions more of Muslim women, not only in the Gulf but also elsewhere. In fact, the welcome winds already have started gaining strength, with Saudi Arabia soon likely to throw its football stadiums open to women fans of the world’s most popular sport. The country will be host to the Asian Cup in 2019, and the rules of the Asian Football Confederation require women not be kept out of the stadiums.

Many had seen the change coming when an unknown Saudi Arabian girl, Dalma Malhas, won a show-jumping bronze medal in the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, with President Jacques Rogge of the International Olympic Committee exclaiming that Ms Malhas’ achievement made the IOC “absolutely happy.” The girl was not an official Saudi Arabian entry. She had entered the Singapore Games at her own expense.

The Olympic charter states that “the practice of sport is a human right” and that any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on ground of race, religion, politics, and gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement. To be part of it, a country should include women athletes in its Olympic contingents. Not only Saudi Arabia, Brunei also sent women athletes to London for the first time.

As for this matter of the shariah dress code which requires women to be covered up, the views of the orthodox are being increasingly accommodated. The international weightlifting federation decided to alter their rules to allow Muslim athletes to compete in the London Olympics with their arms and legs covered, with Khadeja Mohammad, 17, of the United Arab Emirates being the first to do so. Even FIFA, the world soccer federation, has changed its dress rules so that Muslim women may play with their heads covered in hijabs. In fact, innovative fashion designers are applying their minds to create playing kits to meet the religious requirements of orthodox Muslim women.

Come to think of it, there were cases of Muslim women athletes winning Olympic gold medals a few decades ago without wearing a hijab or covering their arms and legs. The most celebrated of these great athletes is Nawal el Moutwakil, who won the gold medal in the 400 metres hurdles the first time the event was introduced for women in the 1984 Olympics at Los Angeles. Our own PT Usha missed the bronze medal by a hundredth of a second in the famous race. Nawal ran in the Moroccan colours of green singlet and red shorts. No one in the packed Los Angeles Coliseum cared what kind of dress she wore or which religion she belonged to. All that they cared for was how well she ran and how smoothly she sailed over the hurdles. Inducted to the Hall of Fame years later, she now heads IOC’s coordinating committee for the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro.

In the 1990s there was middle-distance runner Hassiba Boulmerka, who won the 1500 metres in the 1991 World Championships before picking up the gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. An Algerian Muslim, Boulmerka too ran in sleeveless vest and shorts like any other woman. Like El Moutwakil, Boulmerka went on play her part in IOC’s affairs. To revive recent memory, there were a couple of Muslim Kazakh women, namely Maiya Maneza and Zulfiya Chinshanio, who won weightlifting gold medals without drawing any notice to the dress they wore on the stage in london.

Away from the Olympic arenas, Muslim women have emerged in games like soccer, Fatima Bajramaj being a star midfielder in German women’s league. Sania Mirza, leading player in Indian women’s tennis, has met with disapproval from Muslim clergy of the country, but that has not stopped her from making a name for herself in the sport of her choice.
With Saudi Arabia changing its rigid stand, there is hope that more and more girls from the Islamic world will be seen on the playing fields and physical education classes. The Saudi kingdom has a special place in the Islamic world.

This writer knows of a girl who leaves home for school all covered up, but takes off her burqa once she is there, attending classes like all other girls. After school and sports, she covers herself up again on nearing her village home. A time will come when she may no longer have to do so. Literate enough to read newspapers in her school library, she must now be inspiringly aware that a certain Raha Muharrak created history on May 17, 2013 when she became the first woman from Saudi Arabia to climb Mount Everest, the ultimate achievement for any mountain climber. “I don’t care about being the first so long as it inspires someone to be the second, ” said the 25-year-old from Jeddah. Convincing Ms Muharrak’s family to let her climb was as a great a challenge as the mountain itself. Now they are fully supportive.

In fact, a second Muslim female has already repeated Raha’s feat, though she may not belong to Saudi Arabia. All Pakistan was thrilled when Samina Baig, 21, from the village of Shimshal in the Karakoram Range, reached the world’s highest peak with her brother Mirza Ali, 29. She remarked that together they had promoted gender equality.

STILL WOMEN  SUFFER :

 

943 WOMEN ‘KILLED FOR HONOUR’ IN 2011: HRCP Staff Report (Daily Times March 23, 2012)

Violence against women is increasing in Pakistan as at least 943 women were killed in the name of honour in 2011, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s (HRCP) annual report.

Of the 943, 93 victims were minors, seven Christian and two Hindu women, said the report, and titled ‘State of Human Rights in 2011’.

It said that around 4,500 cases of domestic violence against women were reported. The country’s first woman ombudsperson was appointed to receive and examine complaints of sexual harassment and other grievances, it said, adding that the provisions of Sexual Harassment Act had not been implemented by many ministries. “Only three hospitals nationwide had adopted the law.”

The report indicates that 1,715 people were killed in sudden flare-ups of violence in Karachi. Crime remained rampant while poor investigative methods prevented bringing criminals to justice. In cases of extra-judicial killings, 517 people were killed in drone attacks, 337 in police encounters and 173 people were abducted and murdered in Balochistan.

At least 2,307 people were killed and 4,341 injured in terrorist raids, including suicide and sectarian attacks.

The report said that an overwhelming majority of nearly 78,000 people being held in Pakistani prisons were under trial. Some 92 inmates died in prisons across the country in 2011. The plight of Pakistani and Indian fishermen detained and jailed for fishing in the other country’s waters continued, it said, adding that 313 people were sentenced to death by various courts in 2011, including six women.

The HRCP also verified 62 new cases of enforced disappearance, 35 of these disappearances occurred in Balochistan and 20 in Sindh. Bodies of 173 victims of enforced disappearance were also recovered in Balochistan.

According to the report, military operations and actions of terrorists prevented citizens from venturing into large parts of the country. “Ethnic, sectarian and political violence and crime feuds made parts of Karachi no-go zones for a large section of the population,” it said.

Despite official claims of putting in practice the rules for regulating the Exit Control List, arbitrary restrictions on travel were reported. Excessive delays in issuance of passports proved a hindrance for those who wished to go abroad.

It said 600 clerics were barred from various districts during Muharram in a bid to prevent sectarian tensions. The population of Kurram Agency remained besieged amid regular attacks by terrorists on the road connecting the region to the rest of the country.

The report said 389 people were killed and 601 injured in incidents of violence against various Muslim sects in 2011. More than 100 Hazara Shias were killed in targeted attacks in Balochistan and a large number were reported to be fleeing the province. At least six Ahmadis were murdered in target killings on account of their faith. The Hindu community’s concerns over the abduction and subsequent forced conversion of girls and young women were not addressed. At least eight people were booked under the blasphemy law. Another three were given capital punishment under that law.

In flood-affected households, many children were pushed into hazardous labour or beggary because of a lack of any means of sustenance. As a result of floods, nearly 500,000 children under the age of five were at risk of contracting serious diseases. Chronic malnutrition among children in Punjab increased to 39% in 2011 from 32.5% in 2001. In Sindh, 17.5% children of under-five suffered from acute malnutrition, and nearly 7% were severely malnourished.

According to HRCP, 15.1% children in the country faced absolute food scarcity. Infant mortality rate was 63.3 deaths per 1,000 births. The under-five mortality rate was 89 deaths per 1,000 children.

About education, the report said that at least 33% children were believed to be out of school, and drop-out rate from primary to secondary schooling was nearly 50%. It added 542 primary schools for boys and 108 schools for girls were dysfunctional in FATA due to threats by terrorists. Only 16%  rural women in Sindh completed primary schooling and only eight women did so in Balochistan.

According to the report, 1.5 million houses in Sindh and over 7,000 houses in Balochistan were destroyed or damaged during the floods in 2011. Some 12,279 houses were destroyed or damaged in the militancy-hit Bajaur and Mohmand districts of FATA. At least 137 people were killed and 291 injured in the collapse of poorly constructed and maintained structures.

The report said that 16 journalists were killed in the country in 2011. In addition to the considerable risks, journalists often had to contend with non-payment of their salaries for months and sudden retrenchment without any severance pay.

 

 

 

Women 3rd part

WOMEN IN BUDDHISM

The magnificent personality of Bhagwan Gautama Buddha and his brilliance of teaching created such a stir in the country that it attracted a massive following, which included a large number of women from all walks of life. Here is a recount of a few incidents described in the Buddhist scriptures.

  1. Bhikkhuni Sangha: Women held a position of subservience and were excluded from worldly occupation or religious education. The establishment of the Order of Buddhist Nuns gave women an opportunity for spiritual practice and enfoldment. And this opportunity was eagerly taken advantage of, often with remarkable success.
  2. Law of Karma: Women were always in fear of the condemnation they would face if their child happened to be a girl. Woman’s role as a mother commanded veneration, but society generally expected her to give birth to a son, so that he could perform rituals for the salvation of his ancestors. So the women engaged themselves in hectic prayers and rituals like going round the trees with a hope to be blessed with a male child. The Law of Karma, ‘’as you sow, so shall you reap’ was made the main issue of the teaching of the Great Gautama Buddha, and this refuted the efficacy of the rituals. It declared that the ancestors fare according to their desire, and not due to the performance of rituals by the sons. Many were relieved of the anxiety about the birth of a baby. It also said that family lineage could continue through daughters too. King Pasenadi was disappointed when Queen Mallika gave birth to a daughter. The Buddha said, Ä woman child, O King, may prove even a better offspring than a male. For she may grow up wise and virtuous. The child she may bear may do great deeds, and rule great realms yea, such a son of  a noble wife becomes his country’s guide’’.
  3. Unmarried women: Some women seeking freedom from the drudgery and meaninglessness of life, and desiring to gain higher spiritual experience preferred to remain unmarried. But an unmarried woman has always been looked down upon by society. The Order of Buddhist Nuns was a boon to such women. It was thus that Subha became a nun.
  4. Bhaddha Kundalakesi: She was so intelligent that she was able to hold a meaningful debate with the Buddhas’s chief disciple, the Venerable Sariputta. Subsequently, she heard a discourse given by the Buddha, and that was sufficient to affect her enlightenment. Hers was a rare case of one becoming an Arahat before being ordained in the Order.
  5. Prakati: Besides being a woman, she suffered the handicap of caste. When the Venerable Ananda approached her at a well and asked for water to drink, she was taken aback. “How can I give you water, sir? I am a Matanga”. To this the Venerable Ananda replied, Ï asked for water, sister. I am not curious about your caste”. Being accustomed to being treated as an outcaste, it was a noble experience for Prakati to be treated as a human being. It is no wonder that she took refuge in the Buddha.
  6. Family prosperity: Women might bring prosperity to a family. “All families that have attained great possessions have done so far one of the following reasons: they search for what is lost, repair what is dilapidated, eat and drink in moderation, and place in authority a virtuous man or woman”.
  7. Women in general: Regarding most women it is said, “A woman’s goal is man, her ambition is for adornment, her resolve is for a child, her desire is to be without a rival, her fulfillment is authority”.
  8. Happy Married Life: The Great Buddha liked marriages to be happy If husband and wife share the same beliefs, ethical behavior generosity and wisdom, they will have a happy marriage.

“Therefore girls, train yourselves thus: To whatever husband our parents shall give us for him we will rise up early, be the last to retire, be willing workers, order all things sweetly and speak affectionately.”

“And in this way too, girls: we will honour and respect all whom our husbands honour and respect, whether mother or father, a recluse or a respectable person, and on their arrival offer them water and a seat.”

“And in this way too, girls, we will deft and nimble at our husband’s home crafts, whether they be of wool or cotton, making it our business to understand the work so as to do it and get it done. Train yourselves thus, girls. And in this way too, girls, whatever our husband’s households consist of –servants and messenger and work people-we will know the work of each one of them, what has been done, and their remissions by way of what has not been done: we will know the strengths and weaknesses of the sick; we will portion out the food fairly. And Train yourselves thus, girls. And in this way too, girls, the treasure, grain, silver and gold that our husbands bring home, we will keep safely, acting as no robber or spendthrift in regard to it. Train yourselves thus, girls”.

If all goes well, then the wife is called the ‘’comrade supreme’ and a number of devoted couples are mentioned in the Pali Canon.

One ideally matched pair was Nakula-Pita and Nakula-Mata. Neither is aware of having transgressed against the other in thought, much less in person, and each expresses the longing to be together not only here and now but in the future state also. The Bhagwan Buddha reassures them on this point, and gives the reason that both of them are on the same level in regard to; their belief, their ethical conduct, their generosity and wisdom. In these respects, therefore, a woman may be the equal of a man.

  1. The power of the Vajjians: King Pasenadi of Kosala had planned a military campaign against the Vijjian Republic, and he went to the Buddha to seek his blessings. In the presence of the King the Buddha put several questions to Ananda and he answered all them in the affirmative. Then, in each case the Buddha pronounced the Truth. One such question referred to women. “Do the Vijjians treat their women with honour, O Lord?” was the question. The Buddha then declared, “The men who do not maltreat their women, but treat them with respect will have better lives and not decline”. What the Buddha tried to impress on the king was that the noble quality which Vijjians possessed constituted an invincible power. The King gave up the idea of attacking the Vajjians.

Buddhism did not indicate inequality; on the contrary it treated women at a par with men for all practical purposes, except for those differences which were caused by nature. It allowed women to participate in religious discourses and also allowed them to deliver religious discourses. Some more citation can be noted here which are best guides from the Pali Canon:-

  1. When we hold consultations about the status of women, it means that their present status is not good enough. They are unhappy. So, improving their status means making them happy. The highest form of happiness is Nibbana, and this is the happiness Buddha gave to his disciples. Can we too give our women this happiness? There may be some women who would very much like to get away from it all-even from a preferred status.
  2. Most women seek worldly happiness only and not Nibbana. So let it be clearly understood that worldly happiness can never be unalloyed. In the world of phenomenal existence, women (and also men) have always suffered, suffer now, and will suffer in the future. But even in this dismal state, there is room for well-meaning people to act and effect a modicum of improvement in the status of women. And this has to be done.
  3. “First Comprehension”: It is the clear comprehension of the goal. For this, one has to be very clear about the satisfactoriness of the status of women, and what is desired to be achieved. The attainment of the goal may be in phases, with intermediate goals. All human problems are inter-linked in some way. The problems have a tendency to gang-up frustrate solution. So the problems of the women should be broken up into minute parts and each one should be tackled separately.
  4. “Second Comprehension”: There should be a clear comprehension about the method to be adopted for achieving the goal. There may be several methods but the best one has to be selected. The right method is the one that has no adverse side-effects and produces lasting results.
  5. An effort to improve the status of woman should not degenerate into a fight for equality with men, for it will only lead to confrontation, rivalry and competition. Despite equality, it must be remembered that, women are fundamentally different from men. The Buddha lays great stress on the complementary nature of their personalities, which forms a beautiful human relationship. A powerful weapon in the women’s armory is her feminity, and this should not be jeopardized.
  6. Internal-External: The deficiency in the status of women may have internal or external causes. That is to say, women themselves are responsible for some of their miseries. These areas should be identified and corrected first.
  7. Sila or morally upright behavior is the foundation of all spiritual endeavour. A truly high status can be gained by a woman only when her character is of a high quality.
  8. Harmonious development is necessary. The baby may need a wash, but the baby should not be thrown away with the bath-water.
  9. Causes: Every problem has some cause behind it. Wisdom lies in correctly identifying and eliminating this cause. With the cause gone the problem goes. If a remedial action does not touch the cause, the so called remedial action is just a ritual.
  10. The blind cannot lead the blind. One who is going to lead women to a higher status must herself/ himself possess a status to do so. There should be no discrepancy between what the leader says, does and thinks. One having a discrepancy is a hypocrite. The motivation factor should be compassion.
  11. All women are not equally amenable to uplift. A wise farmer will choose the most fertile field for cultivation. Similarly, it may be advisable to determine priorities in selecting areas of action for the advancement of women.
  12. Decay is the law of nature. Everything decays including a success in the uplift of women. Unless what is gained is consolidated and maintained by constant vigilance the gain will soon be lost.

 

 

 

Buddha allowed women to use robes meant for monks. During those days, the status of the monk was the highest possible social privilege. It was approved and accepted by the then existing society. This was because of the acceptance of the higher social status of woman in Buddhism and the equal treatment they were given with men. Sopaka, Angulimals, Sokpal, Asang and Sujatha were the Buddhist priests. The Buddha once compared his teaching to a great Ocean. “As the great Ocean has but one taste; the taste of salt, so has this Dhamma but one taste, that of freedom”. The freedom is called Nibbana-freedom from suffering immortality. Nibbana is the ultimate focal point of topics dealt with in the Tripitaka.

An entire book of the scriptures, the Therigatha (The Psalm of the Sisters) refers to such worthy women. This Buddhist literature of Therigatha (verse 4.01) describes the story of the rape of Uppalavanna which possibly let Buddha to prohibit forests as a dwelling place of alms women. Buddha probably realized the undesirability of a solitary forest life for women when some alms women were sexually abused by men in the forests. The  definite omission of a rule for alms women, while it continued to be allowed for alms men, could not have been made solely o;;n account of any hypothetical occurrence, but  more probably as the result of some particular happenings. Before the rape of Uppalavanna it was not forbidden for women to dwell in the forest. So Uppalavanna went to live in the dark forest, built herself a hut, set up a bed in her hut and hung curtains on her doors and windows. One day a previous lover of hers, who was also her kinsman, came to the forest in search of her.  He found the hut and hid under the bed. When Uppalavanna, who had gone out, returned to the hut she was overpowered by him. The man raped her and left. Thereupon she narrated her woe to other alms women who told the alms men who, further, told Buddha about it. The incident gave rise to a great deal of discussion and Buddha, the Blessed one, praised in his verses the flawless character of Uppalavanna, her innocence and her restraints in relation to the pleasures of the senses. However, least the situation led to further awkward conditions, Buddha summoned the King of Kosala and said to him: ”Your Majesty, in this religion young women of family, as well as young men of family, renounce many kinsfolk and much wealth, and retire from the world, and take up residence in the forest. In case women reside in the forest, it is possible that evil minded men inflamed by passion may conduct themselves towards them with disrespect and arrogance, do them violence and bring their religious life to naught. Therefore, a place of residence for the community of alms women should be erected on one side of the city”. It is recorded that since then the alms women stayed only within the city or just outside the city walls. Similarly, women were instructed not to go about singly. When Dhammadinna asked her teachers if she might go into retreat in a village abode, she was allowed to go, but accompanied. She had a companion even when she returned back. Such precautions were thought to be necessary for the safety of the weaker sex.

WOMEN IN TAOISM

A positive attitude toward women, or feminine qualities, has been characteristic of Taoism from the beginning. The first chapter of the Taode jing and several other chapters refer to Tao as “the Mother of all things.” “To play the feminine part” (Ch. 10) is a constant theme of the text. Chapter 28 opens with the lines, “Know the masculine/Keep to the feminine.” The rationale for assuming a feminine role is made clear in passages like this one from Chapter 61: “The Feminine always conquers the Masculine by her quietness, by lowering herself through her quietness./ Hence, if a great country can lower itself before a small country, it will win over the small country . . . ”

 

 

The idea of balancing male and female energies is fundamental to Taoism, and applies to women as well as to men. One early practice was ritual s exual inter course between men and women who were not married to one another. These rituals followed strict guidelines, and the goal was the union of yin and yang energies. The act of intercourse was not motivated by lust or desire, men and women were equal partners, the experience was not centered in the genitals, and  s exual climax was not the end or goal. Climax would be a way of squandering, rather than retaining, vital energies.

More frequently practiced were forms of internal alchemy that involved uniting yin and yang energies within an individual’s body. Divine marriages with deities were one very ancient version of this practice. Another form of internal s exual alchemy involved cultivating the ability to direct the circulation of several types of body energy, then refining those energies within an internal “crucible,” and directing the refined energy toward the brain. A special kind of saliva was created, which was then swallowed and again directed appropriately such that a divine embryo was created; this was then gradually nurtured until one’s individual energy had merged entirely with one’s original nature, creating an immortal being.

Equality of men and women was an essential tenet of the early Way of the Celestial Masters movement. Women could become priests and assume any rank. In the 2nd century C.E., the mother of the third Celestial Master, also the wife of the second Celestial Master, was an influential leader in the movement. In the 4th century C.E., a Celestial Masters priestess who had received several scriptures and instructions from divine beings during her lifetime became after her death one of the sources of the Shangqing revelations. She was only one of a number of female deities who revealed these scriptures to Yang Xi.

Sun Buer (1119-1182) was a key figure in the Quanzhen Taoist movement, one of the “Seven Perfected” who was initiated by the founder, Wang Chongyang, to spread the movement after his death. She was also a famous poet who left fourteen short poems about internal alchemy as well as several “secret” texts on the topic.

These are just a few of the many women who achieved fame within the Taoist tradition. Women became Taoist priests or nuns for a variety of reasons. Some were widows or former concubines seeking a way to live independent lives, some were women who wanted to avoid marriage, and some wanted an education that might otherwise not be available to them.

In addition, there are a large number of female divine beings associated with Taoism including Xiwangmu, the Queen Mother of the West; Doumu, the Dipper Mother; and He Xiangu, the only female member of the famed eight immortals of popular culture. Of these Xiwangmu is perhaps the most prominent, and her reach extends far beyond Taoism. Like all female deities, she is available to both men and women, but for women these deities are both sources of spiritual sustenance and role models.

Interestingly, women have never appealed to Xiwangmu for children, as women did to the popular Buddhist deity Guanyin, nor have they asked Xiwangmu to make them better wives or mothers. Taoist women have been more interested in spiritual techniques, power, and the ability to live independent lives. Perhaps this is one reason that issues surrounding gender and sexuality that are prominent in other religions—issues such as divorce, abortion, and homosexuality—do not play a significant role in the Taoist tradition.

From the beginning, the goal in Taoism has been to unite male and female energies. Just as men were encouraged to be more like women, women were encouraged (at least theoretically and doctrinally) to be more like men. Under the influence of culture and other religious traditions there are notable exceptions, and far more men than women became leaders within the tradition. Equality was an ideal, rather than the norm, and Taoism was certainly not able to transform the lives of Chinese women as a whole. Nonetheless, Taoist organizations were, like Buddhist monasteries, an essential outlet for women who wished to live more independent lives than the culture in general afforded them.

Since 1949, the government of the People’s Republic of China has actively promoted the cultural, social, economic and political roles of women in order to improve women’s liberation. The new government of the People’s Republic made a commitment to achieve equality between women and men. While advancing towards equality among men and women, the efforts met resistance in a traditionally Confucian society of male superiority.

Although equality amongst men and women has been a long term goal of the People’s Republic of China, the dramatic reformations that followed the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) have inconsistently affected women’s empowerment and status in China.  Studies show that Chinese women experienced rapid progress in terms of gender equality during the Cultural Revolution. When the People’s Republic of China was established, employed women accounted for only 7 percent of the workforce; whereas in 1992 women’s participation in the workforce had increased to account for 38 percent. Women’s representation in higher educational institutions has also increased since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Reports of female infanticide following the execution of the One-child policy indicated the persistence of women’s low status in China

Gender discrimination has contributed to the millions of missing women of China. Amartya Sen, the Noble Prize-winning economist, asserts that, over 100 million women are missing globally, with 50 million women missing from China alone. According to Sen, the current deficit in the number of women in Asia is due to many factors including, sex-selective abortion, the One-child policy, female infanticide, abortion of female fetus, and inadequate nutrition for girls. This trend of missing women contradicts biological research, which suggests that men are more susceptible to certain illnesses than women, resulting in lower male survival rates.

Marriage and family planning

Traditional marriage in prerevolutionary China was a contract between families rather than between two individuals. The parents of the soon-to-be groom and bride arrange the marriage with an emphasis on the alliance between the two families. Spouse selection was based on family needs and the socioeconomic status of the potential mate, rather than love or attraction. Although the woman’s role varied slightly depending on the social status of the husband, typically her main duty was to provide a son in order to continue the family name. An arranged marriage was accomplished by a matchmaker who acted as a link between two families. The arrangement of a marriage involved the negotiation of a bride price, gifts to be bestowed to the bride’s family, and occasionally a dowry of clothing, furniture, or jewelry from the family of the bride for use in her new home. The exchange of monetary compensation for a woman’s hand in marriage was also utilized in purchase marriages in which women were seen as property that could be sold and traded at the husband’s whim.

John Engel, a professor of Family Resources at the University of Hawaii, argues that in order to redistribute wealth and achieve a classless society, the People’s Republic of China established the Marriage Law of 1950. The law “was in-tended to cause … fundamental changes aimed at family revolution by destroying all former patterns and building up new relation-ships on the basis of new law and new ethics.” Xiaorong Li, a researcher at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland, asserts that the Marriage Law of 1950 not only banned the most extreme forms of female subordination and oppression, but also gave women the right to make their own marital decisions. The Marriage Law specifically prohibited concubinage and marriages when one party was sexually powerless, suffered from a venereal disease, leprosy, or a mental disorder.

Article 2 of the 1980 Marriage law directly states, “the lawful rights and interests of women, children and the aged are protected. Family planning is practiced”. Adults, both men and women, gained the right to lawful divorce. In a vigilant effort to fight the tenacity of tradition, Article 3 of the 1980 marriage law continued the ban of concubinage, polygamy, and bigamy. The Marriage Law of 1980, Article 3, forbid mercenary marriages in which a bride price or dowry is paid. Although the law also generally prohibited the exaction of money or gifts in connection with any marriage arrangements, bride price and dowries were still practiced customs. According to Li, the traditional business of selling women in exchange for marriage returned after the law gave women to right to select their husbands. In 1990, 18,692 cases were investigated by Chinese authorities Bride price payments are still common in rural areas, whereas dowries have not only have become smaller but less common. Similarly in urban areas, the dowry custom has nearly disappeared; however, the bride price custom has transformed into providing gifts for the bride or her family. Article 4 of the marriage law banned the usage of compulsion or the interference of third parties, stating, “marriage must be based upon the complete willingness of the two parties,” As Engel argues, the law also encouraged sexual equality by making daughters just as valuable as sons, particularly in regards to potential for old age insurance. Article 8 of the 1980 Marriage Law states, “after a marriage has been registered,  the woman may become a member of the man’s family, or the man may become a member of the woman’s family, according to the agreed wishes of the two parties.”

Second wives

The phenomenon of de facto polygamy, or so-called “second wives”   has reemerged in recent years.  There are many villages in southern part of China where predominantly such women live.  This situation has created many social and legal issues. Unlike previous generation of forced or purchased women to become rich often older men for status symbol, the modern polygamy is voluntary. Some modern women also take advantage of the opportunity to have another lover when the live-in is away.

One-child Policy

In 1956, the Chinese government publicly announced its goal to control the exponentially increasing population size. The government planned to use education and publicity as their main modes of increasing awareness. Zhou Enlai launched the first program for smaller families under the guidance of Madame Li Teh-chuan, the Minister of Health at the time. During this time, family planning and contraceptive usage were highly publicized and encouraged. The One-child policy, initiated in 1978 and first applied in 1979, mandated that each married couple may bear only one child, except in the case of special circumstances. These conditions included, “the birth of a first child who has developed a non-hereditary disability that will make it difficult to perform productive labour later in life, the fact that both husband and wife are themselves single children, a misdiagnosis of barrenness in the wife combined with a passage of more than five years after the adoption of a child, a remarrying husband and wife who have between them only one child.”

However, other Asian regions also have higher than average ratios, including Taiwan (110:100), which does not have a family planning policy. Many studies have explored the reason for the gender-based birthrate disparity in China as well as other countries. A study in 1990 attributed the high preponderance of reported male births in mainland China to four main causes: diseases which affect females more severely than males; the result of widespread under-reporting of female births; the illegal practice of sex-selective abortion made possible by the widespread availability of ultrasound; and finally, acts of child abandonment and infanticide.

Women migrant workers outnumber males 2:1. In the Nanshan district of Shenzhen, 80 percent of the migrant workers were women. A preference for younger women over older women, has led to a predominantly young population of migrant workers. Married women have more restrictions on mobility due to duties to the family, whereas younger women are more likely to not be married. Also, younger rural women are less likely to become pregnant, possess nimble fingers, more able to work longer hours, and are less knowledgeable about their statutory rights. For the women who are able to gain employment, they then face the possibility of being forced to sign a contract prohibiting them from getting pregnant or married during their period of employment.

Women in politics

Women in China have low participation rates as political leaders. Women’s disadvantage is most evident in their severe underrepresentation in the more powerful, political, positions. At the top level of decision making, no woman has ever been among the nine members of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party’s Politburo. Just 3 of 27 government ministers are women, and importantly, since 1997, China has fallen to 53rd place from 16th in the world in terms of female representation at its parliament, the National People’s Congress, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The trend will likely continue due to a low proportion of women heads in villagers’ committees.

Human trafficking in the People’s Republic of China

Young women and girls are kidnapped from their homes and sold to gangs who traffick women, often displacing the women by great distances. In order to ensure that the women do not run away, the men who purchase them do not allow the women to leave the house. Oftentimes the documentation and papers are taken from the trafficked women. Many women become pregnant and have children, and are burdened to provide for their family. In the 1950s, Mao Zedong, the first Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, launched a campaign to eradicate prostitution throughout China. The campaign made the act of trafficking women severely punishable by law. A major component of the campaign was the rehabilitation program in which prostitutes and trafficked women were provided “medical treatment, thought reform, job training, and family reintegration.” Since the economic reform in 1979, sex trafficking and other social vices have revived.

Prostitution in the People’s Republic of China

Shortly after taking power in 1949, the Communist Party of China embarked upon a series of campaigns that purportedly eradicated prostitution from mainland China by the early 1960s. However, since the loosening of government controls over society in the early 1980s, prostitution in mainland China not only has become more visible, but also can now be found throughout both urban and rural areas. In spite of government efforts, prostitution has now developed to the extent that it comprises an industry, one that involves a great number of people and produces a considerable economic output. Prostitution has also become associated with a number of problems, including organized crime, government corruption and sexually transmitted diseases. As the Chinese favor a son more than girls in the family, there is a disproportional larger marriageable aged man with no prospects for finding enough women, they also turn to prostitutes. This is accentuated many married men and wives do not live in one city together and they turn “consultants” for help.

 

 

Women 2nd part

WOMEN IN HINDU RELIGION

People has to be train and give value base education and teach the male child to learn that women’s are your mother, sister, grandmother are also human and they have wisdoms to decide what is right and what is wrong.  It is their choice to decide their personal affairs and their decision leave it to her.  Men should stop to interfere in women’s personal matter. All religions are manmade and actual disease is hiding there to defame women. Bengal’s famous writer Sarat Chandra Chatterji has written a lot of noble based on Indian society as a hole and open the ugly face of Indian subcontinent’s society irrespective of any religions. It is easy to give power but difficult to give wisdom. Treatment of disease is essential than cover-up the cancer by plastic surgery of a society unless and until  proper treatment is there then no improvement can expect whether it is 65 years or 100 years the situation will remain same.

Due to social and religious stigma and poverty and lack of education facility to the women in the year 2013 India is in the bottom of the world’s maiden nutrition barometer along with countries like Angola, Cameroon, Congo and Yemen.

The barometer — announced by Save the Children which — has analyzed the governments’ commitments and outcomes in improving nutrition in 36 countries, which are home to 90% of undernourished children. The study has also compared the governments’ performance in tackling under nutrition and child mortality. It has found that India’s spectacular economic growth has not translated into better nutrition outcomes for many of her children.

The data shows that almost half of Indian children are underweight and stunted, and more than 70% of women and kids have serious nutritional deficiencies such as anemia. The report says that children in poor households are more than twice as likely to be stunted as those in affluent ones.  However, even in the wealthiest 20% of the population, one child in five is undernourished. India’s performance in the barometer indicates both “frail commitments and outcomes”.

The number of children dying before their fifth birthday declined from 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011 globally. In contrast to this overall positive trend, progress in reducing childhood under nutrition has been tardy. It remains the underlying cause of more than a third of all child deaths worldwide at around 2.3 million in 2011. India’s neighbours like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal are also part of the report, but they fare better than the big brother in dealing with malnutrition.

Save the Children India’s CEO Thomas Chandy said, “We know the geographic areas and the social groups where malnutrition levels are the highest. We also know the reasons. The report is a pointer to the need to back political commitment with adequate resources and effective mechanisms.”

He added, “In India, states that have supported their policies and schemes with adequate resources and political will have done much better in dealing with malnutrition and child mortality and maternal mortality.”  India’s spending on health is abysmally low, only 1.67% of the GDP has been earmarked in the 12th Plan. The report warned that India is likely to miss the Millennium Development Goal on child mortality.

While under-five mortality declined from 107 in 1995 to 64 in 2009, at the present rate India will reach 54 against the target of 42 by 2015. Malnutrition is one of the biggest underlying causes of child mortality in India. According to the report, maternal under nutrition, long-term exposure to a poor diet and repeated infections have also left 165-170 million children under-five stunted, preventing them from reaching their full potential.

“Stunting is a ‘hidden’ problem in many populations, and children may not appear undernourished. However, stunting indicates impairment to both physical and cognitive development, which can have lifetime consequences for a person’s health, educational attainment and economic productivity. Alarmingly, the proportion of wasted children (suffering acute weight loss) actually went up in the second half of the 2000s,” the report added. It cited that growth has lifted millions out of poverty but it has also been largely unequal, with the benefits accruing to a small segment of the population.

The report quoted PM Manmohan Singh, who recently referred to under nutrition levels as a “matter of national shame” with enormous costs in terms of health, well-being and economic development.

Save the Children recommends that countries revising or drafting nutrition plans should include national and sub-national targets for improving nutrition and reducing stunting.

This year has been a critical year for action on nutrition. In May, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, including a target to reduce the number of stunted kids by 40% by 2025.

This is not the first time that such a depressing picture has emerged on India’s social reality. Even so, it’s a shame for a country that boasts of being a top emerging economy with ambitions of being a world player. The fact remains that there is still shocking poverty in the country which, unless addressed, will stymie growth and kill our ambitions. The report draws attention to India’s ill-fed underbelly and exposes the failure of several schemes to address healthcare issues among the poor. Instead of reacting negatively to such assessments, the government should take them seriously and take up the challenge of providing basic nourishment to the poorest of the poor. If corruption is springing leaks in the delivery systems for the poor, it should be dealt with ruthlessly. Responsibilities for delivery need to be fixed and people held accountable.

66 years after British left this country, this report prove how the so called self-proclaimed rulers who suck the juice and throw the rind to the face of the poor? The intellectual class of a society is responsible to uplift of the society as a hole but Indian Intellectual class has prostitute their intellectuality towards uplift of downtrodden class. This will continue as long as hatred of country men will continue on the name of gender in all religion in India.

VEDAS NOT FOR WOMEN

In  Madras a controversy arose on whether women can read the Veda or not. “No was the answer by the vedic scholars, who were consulted by the Tamil Nadu Government headed by a woman. Disclosing this in the State Assembly on 24.03.1995, in reply to a question raised by a woman AIADMK member, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister, Mr.M.Natesan Paulraj, said that according to the Agamas the Vedas should be taught only to men after their “Upanayanam” (thread ceremony) which is entitle Brahmins men only and without this nobody can read the Vedas. Those reading the Vedas should follow certain vigorous rules and it was impossible for women to observe them. As such the question of imparting training to them on the Vedas was ruled out. This clearly shows that except Brahmins men no other persons is allowed officially to read or recite the Vedas whatever mighty she or he is.

The study of the Veda was forbidden to her by Manu as it was to the Shudra.

II.66. Even for a woman the performance of the Sanskaras are necessary and they should be performed. But they should be performed without uttering the Veda Mantras.

IX.18 Woman has no right to study the Vedas.

That is why their sanskars are performed without the Veda Mantras. Women have no knowledge of religion because they have no right to know Vedas. The uttering of the Veda Mantras removes sin. As women cannot utter the Veda Mantras they are as UNCLEAN as UNTRUTH.

Offering sacrifices according to Brahmanism formed the very soul of religion. Yet Manu will not allow women to do that. He ordains that;

XI.36 A woman shall not perform the daily sacrifices prescribed by the Vedas.

XI.37. If she does it she will go to hell.

To disable her from performing such sacrifices Manu prevents her from getting the services of a Brahmin priest.

IV.205 A Brahmin must never eat food given at a sacrifice performed by a woman.

IV.206 Sacrifices performed by women are inauspicious and not acceptable to God. They should therefore be avoided.

A woman was not allowed to have any intellectual pursuit nor free will, nor freedom of thought. She was not allowed to join any heretical sect such as Buddhism. If she continued to adhere to it till death she was refused the libation of water after her death.

Following are the words which were expressed for the womenfolk in different manmade Hindu religious scriptures out of deep rooted hatred and jealousy to control them:

“With women there can be no lasting friendship;       hearts of hyenas are the hearts of women”.

(Rig Veda 10.95.15)

“Truly there is no friendship with women, and theirs are the hearts of hyenas”. (Satapatha Brahmana, 11.5.1.9 cited in Pinkham, 1941;61)

(A woman) is the embodiment of rashness and a mine of vices. She is hypocritical, recalcitrant and treacherous…she is an obstacle to the path of devotion, a hindrance to emancipation…she is practically a sorceress (a magician) and represents vile desire. (Brahma Vaivarta, Prakriti Khanda 16.52-60, Sen, I, 132-133)

What do these biased observations made by the religious authority signify? It means that woman is born with evil inclinations and, therefore, all failings like craftiness, vanity and wickedness are seen as her natural endowments.

According to the Mahabharata the vices and faults of women were so many that a man would find it inadequate even if he had a hundred tongues, lived for a hundred years and did nothing else but narrated all of them. Among all her vices, her sensuality came in for the sharpest rebuke.

Woman’s role as a seducer of man is stressed and she is compared to the gateway to hell. She is accused of being lascivious, devoid of love for her husband and always tempting men. Her traits of inconsistency and fickleness are emphasized. Manu says:

IX.15 Through their passion for men, through their mutable temper, through their natural heartlessness, they become disloyal towards their husbands, however, carefully they may be guarded in this (world)

IX.16. Knowing their disposition, which the Lord of creatures laid in them at the time of creation, to be such. (every) man should most strenuously exert himself to guard them.

IX.17. (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love for their) bed, (for their) seat and (for) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.

In the Ramayana woman is described as unstable and restless:

This had been the nature of the fair sex from the commencement of creation, that they gladden him that is well of, and forsake a person in adversity. And women imitate the instability of lightning, the sharpness of weapons, and the celerity of the eagle(guruda) and the wind. (Aranya Khand, 3:13; Dutt II 535)

Woman’s love is very dangerous said the Puranas:

The three kinds of wine are called Gaudi, the Paishti and the Madhvi, the forth sort of wine being the woman. It is the wine of woman’s love alone that can intoxicate the three worlds. Wine, only when drunk, produces intoxication whereas a woman, simply being looked at my madden the senses of man, and enshroud his consciousness in the darkness of nuisance. Hence a man should refrain from even beholding a woman, as she is wine to his eyes. (Agni 353,9-15 Dutt II 1301)

The Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas give the same verdict for woman, let us examine their verses:

The father of a woman shall protect her in her infancy; the husband, in her youth; and her son, in her old age; in absence whereof the duty of maintaining her shall devolve upon his friends and relatives. (Garudu, 95; Dutt p 27)

The slave, the son and the wife, (these three) are always dependent. They can have no wealth; for, whatever they possess belongs to their master. (Mahabharata, Sabha Parva 2.17.2; Dutt II 94)

One of the refuges of woman is her husband. A second is her son, and a third is her relatives; and a fourth she has none. (Ramayana Ayodhya Khanda 2.61, Dutt, I 362)

Women’s sexuality is seen as aggressive, therefore, the religious writers,  most of them are men, lay down very strongly that a woman should always be protected by a man and never given independence because they cannot control their lust towards men. They declare that an ideal woman is the one who does not break this rule. But the men are free from all bindings, Why? There can be just one answer which is might is right. Physical control of women is the main reason for all kinds of harassment on them, though the women are biologically stronger than men. Their only fault is that they have womb to carry the child and bear the pail for whole life by that male child. If they decide to fight against all this unfairness then they can abort the man’s zygotes before the occurrence of such cruelties against them.

In Western society now the women prefers not to marry instead they choice to live together or get their children even without any wedlock as it suit them to be independent and brought up the children due to non-adjustment as being a husband. But being a boyfriend there is no problem to adjust and help.

Who is the ideal wife as per the Puranas?

She, who speaks sweetly to her husband and is a clever manager of household affairs, is a true wife. She who is one in spirit with her lord, and devotes her whole self to his happiness, is a true wife.

He whose wife decorates her person with sandal paste, and perfumes her body after her daily ablutions, talks little and agreeably, partakes of small quantities of food, is very fond of him and is constantly engaged in doing acts of piety and virtue with a view to bring happiness and prosperity in the house, and is ever ready to yield to procreative desires of her lord, who is not a man, but the lord of heaven. (Garuda 108; Dutt p-350)

Chastity is the most important component of the wife’s behavior but what component is important for the husband? Let us examine more about women in the context of Hindu religious scriptures.

Though destitute of virtue or seeking pleasure (elsewhere) or devoid of good qualities, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a God by a faithful wife. (Manu V, 154)

To a woman, her husband constitutes her God. The husband is as pure as the Gods, and represents all virtues, (Brahma Vaivarta Krishna Janma Khanda, 57. 15-25, Sen II 329)

The sacred and imperative duty of a wife is to carry out the commands of her husband, and to live in perfect obedience to his wishes. (Garuda Purana 95 Dutt 270)

All these verses, from different sacred books of Hindu religion affirm the deep seated Hindu conception that a husband is a woman’s greatest deity and she should worship him, whatever his failings and short comings. Once he becomes a husband he is free to do whatever he likes with his wife, he will always be her God. What a tremendous freedom for the male? On the other hand what a good slavery for the women?

Religious barrier is one of the various obstacles which resist the uplift of the womenfolk. In Hindu religion which is governed by the Manu Smriti, its code of conduct is still alive in most of the villages in the Indian subcontinent. Manu can hardly be said to be tenderer to women. He starts with a low opinion of women.

II.213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this (World) for that reason the wise are never unguarded in (The company of) females.

II.214. For women are able to lead astray in (this) world not only a food, but even a learned man, and to make his a slave of desire and anger.

II.215. One should not sit in a lonely place with one’s mother, sister or daughter; for the senses are powerful, and master even a learned man.

IX.14. Women do not care for beauty, nor is their attention fixed on age; (thinking); (It is enough that) he is a man; they give themselves to the handsome and to the ugly.

IX.2 Day and night women must be kept in dependence by the males (of their families), and if they attach themselves to sexual enjoyments, they must be kept under one’s control.

IX.3 Her father protects her in childhood, her husband protects her in youth, and her sons protect her in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.

IX.5 Women must particularly be guarded against evil inclinations, however trifling they may appear; for if they are not guarded, they will bring sorrow on two families.

IV.147. By a girl, by a young woman, or even by an aged one, nothing must be done independently, even in her own house.

V.149. She must not seek to separate herself from her father, husband, and sons; by leaving them she would make both her own and her husband’s families contemptible.

Therefore, women can be free only if they desire to become free from the clutches of men and throw away the instructions of these man made scriptures. But if the slaves enjoy their own slavery then nobody can save them.

Due to these above mentioned social and religious sanctions against women, dowry deaths are increasing, the demand for dowry is mounting high and sexual harassment is going up. It is coming on news and highlight the matter, it was persist in the society earlier also in one form or the other and high society people were involved and the news of their misdeed generally not allow to come out in the public.

Discrimination starts from the very moment a girl child is born. A girl child is always unwelcome in India, where the traditional blessing to a bride says, “May you bring forth a hundred sons,”.

The Atharvaveda says:-

“The birth of a girl grant it elsewhere, here let a son be born”.

Even today the tendency towards the abortion of a girl child is prevalent. Though the child’s sex depends exclusively upon a man yet the victim is always a woman if she gives birth to a girl child. She has to carry the wish of her husband. No body hears her cry whether she is right or wrong.

Woman should not have a right to divorce as Manu Smriti says:

IX 45. The husband is declared to be one with the wife, which means that there could be no separation once a woman is married.

Many Hindus stop here as though this is the whole story regarding Manu’s law of divorce. They keep on idolizing it and comfort their conscience by holding out the view that Manu regarded marriage as sacrament and therefore, did not allow divorce. This, of course, is far from the truth. His law against divorce had a very different motive. It did not tie up a man to a woman but it tied up the woman to a man. Thus the man was free, for Manu does not prevent a man from giving up his wife. Indeed he not only allows him to abandon his wife but he also permits him to sell her. But what prevents the wife from becoming free? See what Manu says:

IX 46. Neither by sale nor by repudiation is a wife released from her husband.

The meaning is that a wife, sold or repudiated by her husband, can never become the legitimate wife of another who may have bought or received her after she was repudiated. If this is not monstrous nothing can be. But Manu was not worried about the consideration of justice or injustice of his law. He wanted to deprive woman of the freedom she had under the Buddhist regime. He knew that by the misuse of her liberty, by her willingness to marry a Shudra the system of gradation of the Varna had been destroyed. Manu was outraged by her liberty and so he deprived her of it.

A wife was reduced by Manu to the level of a slave in the matter of property.

  1. 416 A wife, a son, and a slave, these three are declared to have no property; the wealth which they earn is (acquired) for him to whom they belong.

When she becomes a widow Manu allows her maintenance, if her husband was staying with her. In case her husband was living away from her then she is entitled to a widow’s estate in his property. But Manu never allows her to have any dominion over property.

A woman under the laws of Manu is subject to corporal punishment and Manu allows the husband the right to beat his wife.

VII.299. A wife, a son, a slave, a pupil and a younger brother of full blood, who have committed faults, may be beaten with a rope or a split bamboo. In the other matters woman was reduced by Manu to the same position as the Shudra.

Finally, a word regarding the ideal of life, Manu has sought to place before a woman. It had better be stated in his own words;

V.150 she must always be cheerful. Clever in the management of her household affairs, careful in cleaning her utensils and economical in expenditure.

V.151. Him to whom her father may give her, or her brother with the father’s permission, she shall obey as long as he lives and when he is dead, she must not insult his memory.

V.153. the husband who wedded her with sacred Mantras, is always a source of happiness to his wife, both in season and out of season, in this world and in the next.

V.154.Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure elsewhere, or devoid of good qualities, yet a husband must be constantly worshipped as a God by a faithful wife.

V.155.No sacrifice, no vow, no fast must be performed by women; if a wife obeys her husband, she will for that reason alone be exalted in heaven.

This is what Hindus regard as a very lofty ideal for a woman!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the days of Manu the position of woman was far better at the time of Yagnavalka, Gautama, Kautilya etc.

That a woman was entitled to Upanayan is clear from the Atharva Veda where a girl is spoken of as being eligible for marriage having finished her Brahmacharya. From the Shrauta Sutras it is clear that women could repeat the Mantras of the Vedas and that they were taught to read the Vedas. Panini’s Ashtaadhyai bears testimony to the fact that women attended Gurukul and studied the various Shakhas of the Veda and became expert in Mimansa. Patanjali’s Maha Bhashya shows that women were teachers and taught the Vedas to girl students. The stories of women entering into public discussion with men on most abstruse subjects of religion, philosophy and metaphysics are by no means few. The stories of public disputation between Janaka and Sulbha, between Yajnavalkya and Gargi, between Yajnavalkya and Maitrei and between Shankaracharya and Vidyadhari show that Indian women in pre-Manu’s time rose to the highest pinnacle of learning and education.

Saga Yagnavalkya considers women as being always pure, as Soma gave them purification, The Gandharva sweet speech and Agni the perfect purity. (yagnavalkya Smriti, I-71)

The Gautama Smriti says;

In the olden times, girls also used to wear the sacred thread on the shoulder and the munja-grass string round the waist, and to study the Vedas and recite the Gayatri. Aditya purana “permits Widow Marriage, 2nd marriage of women”.

Therefore, women in pre-Manu days were highly respected cannot be disputed. Among the Ratnis, who played so prominent a part in the coronation of the King in Ancient India, was the Queen. The King made her an offering as he did to the others. Not only did the King elect pay homage to the Queen, he also worshipped his other wives of lower castes1. In the same way the King offered salutation after the coronation ceremony to the ladies of the chiefs of the guilds2.

In the days of Kautilya, women3 were deemed to have attained their age of majority at 12 and men at 16. The age of majority was in all probability the age of marriage. That there were post-puberty marriages is evident from Baudhayanas Grihya Sutras4, Where an expiatory ceremony is specially prescribed in the case of a bride passing her menses on the occasion of her marriage.

Kautilya’s time there is no law for the age of consent. That is because marriages were post-puberty marriages and Kautilya is more concerned with cases in which a bride or a bridegroom is married without disclosing the fact of his or her having had sexual intercourse before marriage with another person or a maiden in menses having had sexual intercourse. In the former case Kautilya says 5.

  1. Ibid part ii, p17
  2. Ibid part ii, p82
  3. Sham Shastri, Kautilya’s Arthashastra p 175
  4. Buddhayana I.7.22
  5. Sham Shastri, Kautilya’s Arthashastra p 222

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Any person who has given a girl in marriage without announcing her guilt of having laid with another shall not only be punished with a fine but also be made to return the sulka and stridhana. Any person receiving a girl in marriage without announcing the blemishes of the bridegroom shall not only pay double the above fine, but also forfeit the sulka and stridhana(he paid the bride). In regard to the latter case the rule in Kautilya1 is: “It is no offence for a man of equal caste and rank to have connection with a maiden who has been unmarried three years after her first menses. Nor is it an offence for a man, even of different caste, to have connection with a maiden who has spent more than three years after her first menses and has no jewelry on her person.”

Unlike Manu, Kautilya preaches monogamy. Man can marry more than one wife only under certain conditions. They are given by Kautilya in the following terms2;

“If a woman either brings forth no (live) children, or has no male issue, or is barren, her husband shall wait for eight years (before marrying another). If she bears only a dead child, he has to wait for ten years. If she brings forth only females, he has to wait for twelve years.

Then if he is desirous of having sons, he may marry another. In case of violating this rule, he shall be made to pay her not only sulks, her property (stridhana) and an adequate monetary compensation (adhivedanika martham),  but also a fine of 24 panas to the Government. Having given the necessary amount of sulk and property (stridhana), even to those women who had not received such things on the occasion of their marriage with him, and also having given his wives the proportionate compensation and an adequate subsistence (vrutti), he may marry any number of women; for women are created for the sake of sons”.

 

Unlike Manu in Kautilys’s time women could claim divorce on the ground of mutual enmity and hatred.

 

  1. Ibid part , p259
  2. Jaiswal, Indian polity part ii p-16

 

 

 

 

 

“A woman, hating her husband, cannot dissolve her marriage with him against his will. Nor can a man dissolve his marriage with his wife against her will. But from mutual enmity, divorce may be obtained (parasparam deveshanmokshah). If a man, apprehending danger from his wife, desires divorce (mokshamichchhet),  he shall return to her whatever she had received (on the occasion of her marriage). If a woman, under the apprehension of danger from her husband, desires divorce, she shall forfeit her claim to her property. A Wife can abandon her husband if he has a bad character”.

 

“A woman who has a right to claim maintenance for an unlimited period of time shall be given as much food and clothing (grasacchadana) as necessary  for her, or more than is necessary in proportion to the income of the maintainer (yathapurushaparivapam va). If the period (for which such things are to be given to her with one – tenth of the amount in addition) is limited, then a certain amount of money, Fixed in proportion to the income of the maintainer, shall be given to her; so also if she has not been given her sulka, property, and compensation due to her, for allowing her husband to re marry. If she places herself under the protection of any one belonging to her father-in-law’s family (svasurakula),  or if she begins to live independently, then her husband shall not be sued for her maintenance. Thus the determination of the maintenance’s is dealt with.”

 

In the days of Kautilya there was no ban on a woman or a widow remarrying:

On the death of her husband a woman, desirous to lead a pious life, shall at once receive not only her endowment and jewelry (sthapyabharanam), but also the balance of sulka due to her. If after obtaining these two things she remarried another, she shall be caused to pay them back together with interest on their value. If she is desirous of a second marriage (kutumbarkama), she shall be given on the occasion of her remarriage (nivesakale) whatever either her father in law or her husband or both had given to her”.

 

“If a widow marries any man other than of her father in laws choice (svasurapratilomyenanivishta), she shall forfeit whatever had been given to her by her father-in-law and her deceased husband.”

 

“The kinsmen (gnatis) of a woman shall return to her old father-in-law whatever property of her own she had taken with her while re-marrying a kinsman. Whoever justly takes a woman under his protection shall equally protect her property. No woman shall succeed in her attempt to establish her title to the property of her deceased husband, after she remarries.”

“If she lives a pious life, she may enjoy it (Dharmakama bhunjita). No woman with a son or sons shall (after remarriage) be at liberty to make free use of her own property (Stridhana); for that property of hers, her sons shall receive.”

“If a woman after remarriage attempts to take possession of her own property under the plea of maintaining her sons by her former husband, she shall be made to endow it in their name. If a woman has many male children by many husbands, then she shall conserve her property in the same condition as she had received it from her husbands. Even that property which has been given to her along with full powers of enjoyment and disposal, a remarried woman shall endow in the name of her sons.”

 

This practice was valid till the date of Drapadi who was married by 5 husbands and got sons by all of them as cited in the Mahabharata.

 

“A barren widow who is faithful to the bed of her dead husband may, under the protection of her teacher, enjoy her property as long as she lives; for it is to ward off calamities that women are endowed with property. On her death, her property shall pass into the hands of her kinsman(Dayada). If the husband is alive and the wife is dead, then her sons and daughters shall divide her property among themselves. If there are no sons, her daughters shall have it. In their absence her husband shall take that amount of money (sulka) which he has given her, and her relatives shall retake whatever in the shape of gift or dowry they had presented her. Thus the determination of the property of a woman is dealt with.”

 

“Wives who belong to Shudra, Vaisya, Kshatriya or Brahmin caste, and who have not given birth to children, should wait as long as a year, two, three and four years, respectively, for their husbands who have gone abroad for a short time; but if they have given birth to children, they should wait for their absent husbands for more than a year. If they are provided with maintenance, they should wait for twice the period of time mentioned. If they are not provided with, their well to do kinsmen should maintain them either for four or eight years. Then the Kinsmen should leave them to marry, after taking back what had been presented to them on the occasion of their marriages. If the husband is a Brahmins, studying abroad, his wife who has no issue should wait for him for ten years; but if she has given birth to children, she should wait for twelve years. If the husband is a servant of the king, his wife should wait for him till her death. Even if she bears children to a savarna husband, i.e. a second husband belonging to the same gotra as that of the former husband, with a view to avoid the extinction of her race, she shall not be liable to contempt thereof (Savarnataschaprajata na pavadam labheta). If the wife of an absent husband lacks maintenance and is deserted by well to do kinsmen, she may remarry one whom she likes and who is in a position to maintain her and relieve her misery.”

 

Unlike Manu, every precaution was taken to guarantee economic independence to a married woman. This is clear from the following provisions in Kautilya’s Arthashastra relating to a wife’s endowment and maintenance:

“Means of subsistence (vruti) or jewelry (abadhya) constitutes what is called the property of a woman. Means of subsistence, valued at above two thousand, shall be endowed (in her name). There is no limit to the amount of jewelry she could get. It is not wrong on the part of the wife to make use of this property in maintaining her son, her daughter-in law, or herself, if her absent husband has made no other provision for her maintenance. In calamities, disease and famine, in warding off dangers and in charitable acts, the husband, too, may make use of this property. There shall be no complaint against the enjoyment of this property by mutual consent by a couple who have brought forth a twin. Nor would there be any complaint if this property has been enjoyed for three years by those who are wedded in accordance with the customs of the first four kinds of marriages. But the enjoyment of this property in the cases of Gandharva and Asura marriages shall be liable to be restored together with interest on it. In the case of such marriages, as are called Rakshasa and Paisacha, the use of this property shall be dealt with as theft. Thus the duty of marriage is dealt with.”

 

Surprising as it may appear, in Kautilyas time a wife could bring an action in a court of law against her husband for assault and defamation.

 

In short in pre-Manu days a woman was free and an equal partner of man. Why did Manu degrade her?

 

 

Aryan ancestors practices:-

 

The following are the recorded meaning of verses from different sources in the ancient books. There is nothing new and nobody should feel hurt to read it. Truth should be reveled and this is only my Moto to record few of them.

 

The following cases show that there was no prohibition against a son cohabiting with his mother. There is the case of Pushan and his mother, Manu and Satrupa and Manu and Shradha. Attention may also be drawn to two other cases, Arjuna and Urvashi and Arjuna and Uttara. Uttaara was married to Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna, when he was barely 16. Uttara was associated with Arjuna. He taught her music and dance. Uttara is described as being in love with Arjuna and Mahabharata speaks of their getting married as a natural sequel to their love affair. It is well known that Indra was the real father of Arjuna.

 

Consider the paternity of Yudhishtra. He was known as the eldest son of Pandu and Kunti. However, before marrying Pandu, Kunti had borne a son Karna by Dhurbasha. Pandu had been cursed to impotence. Under his instigation Kunti agreed to have intercourse with Dharma i.e. Bidur, who gave her Yudhishtra. Bhim through her  intercourse with Karuti and Arjuna through her intercourse with Indra. Kunti’s co-wiffe Madhuri had relation with twin brothers and bore Nakul and Sahdev.

(Writer Kalkut has given details of this in the book names Pritha.)

Parashara Muni(Sage), on one of his travels across the country, halted for the night in a little hamlet on the banks of the river Yamuna. He was put up in the house of the village chief. When dawn broke, the chief asked his daughter, Satyavati, to ferry the sage to his next destination. When in the ferry, Parashara was offended by the stench of raw fish. He asked Satyavati as to from where the foul stench was emanating. Satyavati was a fisherman’s daughter, and pursued the same occupation. It was from her the stench emanated. Realizing this, Parashara gave her the epithet “Matsyagandha”, meaning “one with the smell of fish”. Satyavati was thoroughly ashamed. Parashara felt sorry for his cruelty, and instantly granted her the boon, that the finest fragrance may emit from her person.

Parashara grew attached to Satyavati, and desired to perform coitus with her. But Satyavati was terrified of him and gave an excuse that there were many people present on either sides of the Yamuna. So Parashara Muni, with his mystic power, created a dense sheet of mist around the boat. He then took her to an island on the Yamuna and in due course, they had a son, by name Vyāsa. But Parashara’s wandering ascetic life did not suit Satyavati, and the couple separated. Satyavati returned to her father after this, and in due course, married  Śantanu.

Pandu’s own paternity was equally eccentric.  His father had two wives Amba and Ambika. He was besotted by them and he died of over indulgence in sex without either of his wives bearing a child. Parasara and Satyavati had a son Vyas before she got married. Vyas had relations with Amba and Ambika. Ambika bore him Dhritrastra, who was born blind because she kept her eyes shut while having intercourse as Vyas was ugly looking.

 

Then we come to Draupadi who is described in the following words: “her complexion dark as the wood fuelling the fire, her eyes large as lotus petals, her locks blue and curly, her eyebrows arched and bosom deep, her nails convex and bright as burnished copper.”

 

She was won by Arjuna at an archery contest. But at the behest of her mother-in-law she agreed to become the wife of all the five brothers. Arjun was her first love but she had to serve the eldest brother Yudhishtra as a matter of duty. Dutifully she laid herself with him. However, he sensed that though she yielded her body to him, her heart and emotions were not in the act. Was this the reason behind Yudhishtras foolishly gambling away his kingdom and then Draupadi to the Kauravas?

 

Yudhishtra may have possessed her body but he failed to conquer her mind. Draupadi says:-

“”A woman is not merely, O Yudhishtra, the space between her legs she hides so carefully. Her mind is of her body, her body of her mind seamless, and mysterious, lovely and kind”. (Yudhister & Draupadi By Pavan K. Verma.)

Satyabhama asked Draupadi the secret of her power over her five husbands. According to the  Mahabharata Draupadi warned her against talking or staying in private with her step-sons.

 

The case of a father marrying his daughter is reported, by the Matsya Purana, King Taittiri, an ancestor of Krishna, married his own daughter and begot on her a son by the name Nala. The case of a son cohabiting with his mother is found the conduct of Samba lived an illicit life with the wives of Krishna, his father, and how Krishna got angry and cursed Samba and his guilty wives on that account. There is a reference to this in the Mahabharate also. This corroborates what the Matsys Purana has said about Samba. Samba’s is not the only case. His brother Pradyumna married his foster mother Mayavati the wife of Sambara. (The book Samba by Kalkut has described in details)

 

Promiscuity in matters of sex becomes quite apparent if one were only to examine the rules of Niyoga which is the Aryan name for a system under which a woman who is wedded can beget on herself a progeny from another who is not her husband. This system resulted in a complete state of promiscuity for it was uncontrolled. In the first place, there was no limit to the number of Niyogas open to a women. Madhuti had one Niyoga allowed to her. Ambika had one actual Niyoga and another proposed. Sarandandayni had three. Pandu allowed his wife Kunti four Niyogas. Vyusistasva was permitted to have 7 and Vali is known to have allowed as many as 17 Niyoga,s 11 for his first wife and 6 for his second wife. Just as there was no limit to the numler of Niyogas so also there was no definition of the cases in which Niyoga was permissible. Niyoga took place in the life time of the husband and even in cases where the husband was not overcome by any congenital incapacity to procreate. The initiative was probably taken by the wife. The choice of a man was left to her. She was free to find out with whom she would unite a Niyoga and for how many times, in case she chose the same man. The Niyoga was another name for the illicit intercourse between men and women which lasted for one night or twelve years or more, with the husband a willing partner in this trade of fornication. (Dr.BRA, Maha Govt publication).

 

There was prevalent among the Aryans the practice of renting out their women to others for some time. As an illustration may be mentioned the story of Madhavi. The King Yayati gave his daughter Madhavi as an offering to his Guru Galav. Galav rented out the girl Madhavi  to three kings, each for a fixed period. Thereafter, he gave her in marriage to Vishwamitra. She remained with him until a son was born to her. Thereafter, Galav took away the girl and gave her back to her father Yayati.

 

There was no rule of chastity for maidens. A girl could have sexual intercourse with and also progeny from anybody without contracting marriage. This is evident from the root meaning of the word Kanya which means a girl. Kanya comes from the root Kam which means a girl free to offer herself to any man. That they did offer themselves to any man and had children without contracting regular marriage is illustrated by the case of Kunti and Matsyagandha.

 

In the Rig Veda there is an episode related to Yama and Yami brother and sister. According to this episode Yami, the sister, invites her brother Yama to cohabit with her and becomes angry when he refuses to do so. Examine the conversation:-

 

(Yami speak). “I invite my friend to friendship, having come over the vast and desert ocean of Vedas, after reflecting, place in the earth the offspring (of thee) the father, endowed with excellent qualities.”

 

(Yama speaks). “Thy friend desires not this friendship, for although of one origin, he is of a different form; the hero sons of the great Asura are the upholders of heaven, enjoying vast renown.”

 

(Yami speaks).  “The immortals take pleasure in (a union) like this which is forbidden to every mortal; let thy mind then concur with mine, and as the progenitor (of all) was the husband (of his daughter), do thou enjoy my person”.

 

(Yama speaks). “We have not done what was done formerly; for how can we who speak truth, utter now that which is untrue? Gandharva Ithe sun) was in the watery firmament, and the water was his bride. She is our common parent, hence our near affinity.”

 

(Yami speaks).  “The divine Omni form generator twashtri, the progenitor, made us to husband and wife, even in the womb; none frustrate his undertaking; earth and heaven are conscious of this our (union).”

 

(Yama speaks). “Who knows anything of this (his) first day (of existence)? Who has beheld it? Who has here revealed it? The dwelling of Mitra and of Varuna is vast. What sayest thou, who punishes men with hell?

 

(Yami speaks).  “The desire of Yama hath approached me, Yami, to lie with him in the same bed; I will abandon my person as a wife to her husband; let us exert ourselves in union like the two wheels of a wagon.”

 

(Yama speaks). “ The spies of the Gods, who wander upon earth, never stop, never close their eyes. Associate quickly, destructress, with some other than with me, and exert yourselves in union, like the two wheels of a wagon.”

 

(Yami speaks).  “To him (Yama) let every worshipper sacrifice both day and night, on him let the eye of the Sun repeatedly rise; for him may the kindred pair (day and night) unite with heaven and earth. Yami will adhere to the non-affinity of Yama.”

 

(Yama speaks). “The subsequent ages will come, when sisters will choose one who is not a brother “(as a husband); therefore, auspicious one, choose another husband than me, and make thin arm a pillow for thy mate.

(Yami speaks).  “Is he a brother whose sister has no lord? Is she a sister (on whose brother) misfortune approaches? Overcome by desire, I strongly urge this one request; unite thy person with mine.”

 

(Yama speaks). “I will not unite my person with thine; they call him who approaches a sister, a sinner. Enjoy pleasure with some other than me; thy brother, auspicious one, has no such desire.”

 

(Yami speaks).  “Alas, Yama, thou art feeble; we understand not thy mind or thy heart. Some other female exuberances thee as a girth a horse, or as a creeper a tree.”

 

(Yama speaks). “Do thou, Yami, embrace another; and let another embrace thee as a creeper a tree; seek his affection, let him seek thine; and make a happy union.”

 

Brahma committed adultery with his daughter Saraswati. Shiva married his creator Devi and two other sisters ( from Devi Purana). Vashishta married his own daughter Shatrupa when she came of age. (Harivansha Adh ii). Manu married his daughter Ila (ibid Adh x). Janhu married his daughter Janhavi (ibid Adh xxvii). Surya married his daughter Usha (Yask Nirukta Ah V khand vi).

Dhahaprachetani and his son Soma cohabited with Marisha the daughter of Soma. (Haribansha adh ii).

 

Instances of a grandfather marrying his granddaughter are not rare. Daksha gave his daughter in marriage to his father Brahma and from that marriage was born the famous Narada. Dauhitra gave his 27 daughters to his father Soma for cohabitation and procreation.

 

The Adi Parva of the Mahabjarata gives a genealogy which begins from Brahmadeva. According to this geneology Brahma had three sons Marich, Daksha and Dharma and one daughter whose name the geneology, untortunately, does not give. In this very geneology it is stated that Daksha married the daughter of Brahma who was his sister and had a vast number of daughters. Other instances of marriages between brothers and sisters could be cited. For instances of marriages between brothers and sisters could be cited. For instance that of Pushaan and his sisters Accohoda and Amavasu, Purkutsa and Normoda, Viprachiti and Simhika, Nahusa and Viraja, Sukra-Usanas and Go, Amsumat and Yosoda, Dasaratha and Kausalya, Rama and Sita, Suka and Pivari, Draupadi and Prasti.

 

“Devi Bhagwat”,  a prominent scripture, says that a Devi called Shri, created the whole world and that it is this Goddess who created Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The book goes on to state that once the Devi desired to rub her palms. The rubbing of palms produced a blister. Out of this blister was born Bramha, Devi asked him to marry her, he refused saying that she was his mother. She got angry and burned Bramha alive by her wrath and he was reduced to ashes then and there. The Devi rubbed her palms a second time and had a second blister. Out of this second blister another son was born. This was Vishnu. She asked Vishnu to marry her. He also decline saying that she was his mother.

She got angry and burned down Vishnu  to ashes. The Devi rubbed her palms a third time and had a third blister. Out of this third blister was born the third son, Shiva.   She asked Shiva to marry her. Shiva replied: “I will, provide you assume another body”. She agreed. Just then Shiva’s eys fell on the two piles of ashes. The Devi replied that they are the ashes of his two brothers and that she had burnt theml because they had refused to marry her. On this Shiva said, ’How can I marry alone? You crate two other women who can marry my brothers. The Devi did as she was told and the three Gods were married to the Devi and her female creations. What is the moral of this story?

 

What was the role played by the Goddesses is a puzzle. When Gods were there to fight the Asuras, why were the Goddesses enrolled for this purpose> Why was Shiva’s Shakti dwelling in the Parvati, so dull, so dormant, and so inactive as to be non-existent?

 

Nowhere else have prostitutes consented to submit to sexual intercourse in public. But the practice existed among the Ancient Aryans. The Vedic Gods drank wine. Even Brahmin women were addicted to it. Drinking was not regarded as a sin; it was not even a vice, it was quite a respectable practice. The Rig-Veda says: ”Worship the sun before drinking madira (wine)”.

 

The Yajur Veda says “Oh, Deva Soma! being strengthened and invigorated by Sura (wine) by the pure spirit, please the Devas; give juicy food to the sacrifice and vigour to Brahmanas and Kshatriyas”.

 

The Mantra Brahmana says “ By which women have been made enjoyable by men, by which water has to be transformed into wine for the enjoyment of men…..”

 

The Aryans of pre-Buddhist days had no such ruled of prohibited degrees, as we have today, to govern their sexual or matrimonial relationships. When the Aryan community was engaged in worst kind of debauchery; social; religious and spiritual, then Buddha started the mission of his life.

 

At the time of Buddha every king had a hall attached to his palace, where he enjoyed gambling. Gambling had become as widespread among the Aryans as drinking. They staked kingdoms, dependents, relatives, slaves, servants. King Nala staked everything in gambling with Paskkar and lost everything except himself and his wife. Dharma gambled with such disastrous consequences although he was warned, and lost even his wife Draupadi. Rig-Veda contains lamentations of a poor Aryan ruined by gambling. In Kautilyas time there were gambling houses licensed by the king.

 

The Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata says: “Arjun and Shri Krishna drank wine made from honey and being sweet-scented and garlanded, wearing splendid clothes and ornaments, sat on a golden throne studded with various jewels. I saw Shrikrishna’s feet on Arjun’s lap and Arjun’s feet on Draupadi and Satyabhama’s lap”.

 

According to the Sankhyana-grahyasutra (I.22.13), a Mantra (X.184.1) accompanies the garbha-ceremony, suggesting that Vishnu is the efficacious protector of the embryos. In (Av-vii.17.4), Vishnu is clearly connected with the sex function as the protector of the semen, and Samajjani (I.156.2) facilitating easy birth.

 

The Ramayana, Uttar Khand says, “”Like Indra in the case of his wife Shachi, Ramachandra saw that Sita drank the purified honey called wine. Servants brought for Ramachandra meat and sweet fruit”.

 

There are instances which show that Aryan women were addicted to drink. Sudeshna, the wife of King Virat, tells her maid Sairandhri to go to Kichakas palace and bring Sura as she was dying to have a drink. Kausitaki Grihya Sutra I.11-12, describes an occasion where “Four or eight women who are not widowed, after having been regaled with wine and food are to dance, for four times, on the night previous to the wedding ceremony”.

 

What made the Aryans dissociate Vishnu from linga worship and associate it with Shiva?

 

There is a story; once Sarasvati, Laxmi and Parvati suggested their husbands to have Anusuya seduced. They went to Anusuya and persuaded her to serve them food in a naked condition. Her husband Atri arrived at that time and the three Gods turned into babies with one body three heads i.e. the Trimurthy.

 

The writer of Purana did not stop with degrading Brahma. He vilified him in the worst possible manner. He narrates the story of his having committed rape on his own daughter Sarasvati. The story appears in the Bhagwat Purana.

 

In Tantrik worship, even sexual intercourse with a woman is prescribed as part of the Puja. “”Megasthenes”” recorded that the ancient Brahmins were distrustful of their wives and did not communicate their metaphysical doctrine to women on the ground that being talkative they would communicate their knowledge to those who had no right to it.

 

Putrikaputra means a son born to a daughter. Its significance lies in the system under which a man who had a daughter but no son could have his daughter to cohabit with a man selected or appointed by him. If a girl gave birth to a son through such a sexual intercourse, he became the son of her father. It was because of this that the son was called Putrikaputra. A man’s right to compel his daughter to submit to sexual intercourse with a man of his choice in order to get a son for himself continued to exist even after the daughter was married. That is why a man was warned not to marry a girl who had no brothers.

 

The old system, the two stages of Vanaprastha or Sannyasi, did not involve any hardship or cruelty to wives and children. The new system introduced by Manu did. For to force a person to marry and then to permit him to abandon his wife is nothing short of cruelty if it did not involve criminality.

 

Nothing illustrates better the complete disregard for consanguinity in cohabitation in ancient India than the following story which is related in the Second Adyahya of the Harivamsha. According to it Soma was the son of ten fathers-suggesting the existence of Polyandry-each one of whom was called Pralheta.  Soma had a daughter Marisha-the ten fathers of Soma and Soma himself cohabited with Marisha. This is a case of ten grandfathers and a father married to a woman who was a grand-daughter and daughter to her husbands. In the third Adhyaya of Harivamsha the author says that Daksha gave his daughter in marriage to his own father Brahma on whom Brahma begot a son who became famous as Narada. All these are cases cohabitation of Sapinda men, with Sapinda women.

 

What were the morals of the ancient Aryan Society? To tell the truth, nothing better than those of the common men. The looseness of morals among the Aryans is evidenced in many instances. But a few will suffice. Utanka was a pupil  of Veda (the purohita of Janmejaya III). Veda’s wife requested Utanka to take the place of her husband and “approach” her for the sake of virtue. Another case that may be referred to in this connection is that of Uddalaka’s wife. She was free to go to other, either on her own free will, on in response to invitations. Shwetketu was her son by one of the pupils of her husband. These are not mere instances of laxity or adultery. These are cases of recognized latitudes which were allowed to Aryan women.

 

Mamata was the wife of Utathya. But Brashaspati, the Brother of Utathya, had free access to Mamata during the life time of Utathya. The approaches were considered as neither improper nor unlawful. The only objection that Mamata had once raised to him was to ask him to wait on account of her pregnancy.

 

Such immoralities were so common among he Brahmins that Draupadi, when she was called a cow by Duryodhana for her polyandry, felt sorry that her husbands were not Brahmins.

 

Let us examine the morality of the Rishis. What do we find? The first thing we find is the prevalence of bestiality among the Rishis. Take the case of Vibhandaka. In Adhyaya 100 of the Vana arva of the Mahabharata it is stated that he cohabited with a female deer and that the female deer bore a son to him who subsequently come to be known as Rishi Shranga. In Adhyaya 1 as well as in 118 of the Adi Parva of the Mahabharataa there is a narration on how Pandu, the father of the Pandavas received his curse from the Rishi Dama. Vyas says that the Rishi Dama was once engaged in the act of coitus with a female deer in a jungle. While so engaged Pandu shot him  with an arrow before the Rishi was spent as a result of which Dama died. But before he died Dama uttered a curse saying that if Pandu ever thought of approaching his wife he would die instantly. Vyas tries to gloss this bestiality of the Rishi by saying that he and his wife had both taken the form of a deer. Other instances of such bestiality by the Rishi will not be difficult to find if a diligent search is made in the ancient religious literature of India.

A necessary part of the Ashvamedha was the introduction of the Sepas (penis) of the Medha (dead horse) into the Yoni (vagina of the chief wife of the Yajamana (the sacrifice), accompanied by the recital of long series of Mantras by the Brahmin priests. A Mantra in the Vajasaneya Samhita (xxiii.18) shows that ther used to be a competition among the Queens, as to, who was to receive the high honour of being served by the horse. More instances are available in the Yajur Veda.

 

Another heinous practice which is associated with the Rishis is the cohabitation with women in the open and within the sight of the public. In Adhyaya 63 of the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata there is a description of how the Rishi Parasara had sexual intercourse with Satyavati, alias Matsya Gandha a fisherman’s girl. He cohabited with her in the open and in public. Another similar instance is to be found in Adhyaya 104 of Adhi  Parva. It is stated, therein, that the Rishi Dirghatama cohabited with a woman in the open. There are many such instances mentioned in the Mahabharata. There is however, no need to encumlber the record with them. For the word Ayonija is enough to prove the general existence of the practice. Most Hindus know that Sita, Draupladi and other nernwned women are spoken in relation to Ayonija. What they mean by Ayonija is a child born by immaculate conception. There is, however, no warrant from etymological point of view to give such a meaning to the word. The root meaning of the word Yoni is house. Yonija means a child born or conceived in the house. Ayonija means a child born or conceived outside the house. IF this is the correct etymology of Ayonija, it testifies to the practice of indulging in sexual intercourse in the open with the sight of the public.

 

Another practice which proves the remolting immorality of the Rishis is mentioned in the Chandyogya Upanishada. The Rishis  had made a rule that if while they were engaged in performing a Yajna, a woman espressed a desire for sexual intercourse, the Rishi who was approached should immediately, without waiting for completion of the Yajna and without caring to retire in a secluded spot, proceed to commit sexual intercourse with her in the Yajna Mandap and in the sight of the public. This immoral act by the Rishi was elevated to the position of a religious observance and given the name of Vamadev-Vrata, which was later on revived as  Vama-Marga.

 

This does not exhaust all that one finds in the ancient literature of the Aryans about the morality of the Rishis. One phase of their moral life remains to be mentioned.

 

The ancient Aryans were possessed with the desire to have better progeny which they accomplished by sending their wives to others and it was mostly to the Rishis who were regarded by the Aryans as pedigree cattle. The number of Rishes who figure in such cases form quite a formidable number. Indeed the Rishis seem to have made a regular trade in this kind of immorality and even kings asked them to impregnate the Queens.

 

The Devas were a powerful and  the most licentious community. They even molested the wives of the Rishis. As a community they appear to have established an overlordship over the Aryan community, quiet early. This overlordship had become degenerated and the Aryan women had to prostitute themselves to satisfy the lust of the Devas. The Aryan took pride if their wives were in the keeping of a Deva and was impregnated by him. There is a mention in the Mahabharata and in the Harivamsha of sons born to Aryan women from Indra. Mention about Yama, Nasatya, Agni, Vayu and other Devas is so frequent that one is astounded at the scale on which such illicit intercourse was carried on. In the course of time the relationship between the Devas and the Aryans became stabilized and appears to have taken the form of feudalism. The Devas exacted two boons from the Aryans.

 

The first boon was the Yajnas which were periodic feasts given by the Aryans to the Devas. The Devas, in return, protected the Aryans in their fight against the Rakshasas, Daityas and Danavas. The Yajnas were nothing but feudal exactions of the Devas. If they have not been so understood it is largely because the word Deva, instead of being thought to be the name of a community, is regarded as a term for expressing the idea of God. This is quite wrong, at any rate, with regard to the early stages of the Aryan Society.

 

The second boon claimed by the Devas against the Aryans was the prior right to enjoy the Aryan women. This was systematized at a very early date. There is a mention of it in the Rig-Veda, in X.85.40, according to which the first right over an Aryan female was that of Soma, second of Gandharva, third of Agni and lastly of the Aryan. Even Aryan woman was hypothecated to some Deva who had a right to enjoy her first on becoming puber. Before she could be married to an Aryan she had to be redeemed by getting the right of the Deva extinguished by making him a proper payment.

 

The description of the marriage ceremony,  given in the 7th Khandika of the 1st Adhyaya of the Ashvalayan Grahya Sutra, furnished the most cogent proof of the existence of the system. A careful and critical examination of the sutra reveals that at the marriage three Devas were present, Aryaman, Varuna and Pushan, obviously, because they had a right of prelibation over the bride. The first thing that the bridegroom does is to bring the bride near a stone slab and make her stand on it telling her “Tread on this stone, like a stone be firm. Overcome the enemies; tread the foes down”. This means that the bridegroom does it to liberate the bride from the physical control of the three Devas,  whom he regards as his enemies. The Devas get angry and march on the bridegroom. The brother of the bride intervenes and tries to settle the dispute.  He brings parched gram as an offering to the angry  Deva with a view to buy off their rights over the bride. The brother then asks the bride to join her palms and make a hollow. He then fills the hollow of her palm with the parched grain and pours clarified butter on it and asks her to offer it to each Deva three times. This offering is called Avadana. While the bride is making this Avadana to the Deva the brother of the bride utters a statement which is very significant. He says “This girl is making this Avadan to the Aryaman Deva through Agni. Aryaman should, therefore, relinquish his right over the girl and should not disturb the possession of the bridegroom”. Separate Avadana are made by the bride to the other two Devas and each time the brother utters the same words. After the Avadana follows the pradakshana round the Agni which is called Saptapadi, afte which the marriage is complete. All this of course is very illuminating and throws a flood of light on the utter subjection of the Aryans to the Devas and the moral degradation of the Devas as well as of the Aryans.

 

The Aryans allowed their women to have sexual intercourse with any one of the class of Devas in the interest of good breeding. The Devas came to regard prelibation in respect of the Aryan women as their prescriptive right. No Aryan woman could be married unless this right of prelibation had been redeemed and the women released from the control of the Devas by offering what was called Avdan. The Lajja Hoame (akind of sacrifice) which is performed in every Hindu marriage and the details of which are given in the Ashwalayan Grahya Sutra is a relic of this act of redemption of the Aryan woman from the right of prelibation of the Devas.

The Avadan in the lajja Hoame is nothing but the price for the extinguishment of the right of the Devas over the Bridge. The Saptapadi, performed in all Hindu marriages and regarded as the most essential ceremony without which there is no lawful marriage, has an integral connection with this right of prelibation of the Devas.

 

We all know that Saptapadi, is the most essential ceremony in a Hindu marriage. But very few know the reason why it has so great an importance. Saptapadi re refers to that part of the marriage ceremony whe the bridegroom and the bride walk seven steps with each other. Why is this essential? The reason behind it is that the Devas, if they were dissatisfied with the compensation, could claim the woman before the seventh step was taken. After the seventh step was taken, the right of the Devas extinguished, and the bridegroom could take away the bride and the two would live as husband and wife without being obstructed or molested by the Devas.

 

The Mahabharata refers to two reformers Dirghatama and Shwetaketu. It was laid down by Shwetketu that marriage is indissoluble and there was to be no divorce. Dirghatama stopped polyandry and declared that a woman can have only one husband at a time. He also laid down conditions for regulating Niyog.

 

The story in the Buddha Ramayana is natural and not inconsistent with the Aryan rules of marriage. If the story is true, then Ramas marriage to Sita is no ideal to be copied. One of the virtues ascribed to Rama is that he was monogamous. It is difficult to understand how such a notion could have become common, for it has no foundation. In fact, even Valmiki refers to the many wives of Rama. These were of course in addition to his many concubines. In this he was the true son of his father Dasharatha who had not only the three wives often referred to, but many others.

 

It is Sita who expresses to Hanuman her desire to see Rama. Rama does not go to Sita, his own wife, who was kidnapped and confined by Ravana for more than 10 months. Sita is brought to him and what does Rama say to her when he sees her? It would be difficult to believe that any man with ordinary human kindness could address his wife, in such dire distress, as Rama addressed Sita when he met her in Lanka, if there was not the direct authority of Valmiki. This is how Rama Addressed her. (Yudhakanda sarga, 115 slokas I-23)

 

I have got you as  a prize in a war after conquering my enemy your captor. I have recovered my honour and punished my enemy. People have witnessed my military prowess and I am glad my labours have been rewarded. I came here to kill Ravana and wash off the dishonor. I did not take this trouble for your sake”.

 

Could there be anything more cruel than this conduct of Rama towards Sita? He further tells her:

 

I suspect your conduct. You must have been spoiled by Ravana. Your very sight is revolting to me. O you daughter of Janaka, I allow you to go anywhere you like. I have nothing to do with you. I conquered you back and I am contented, for that was my object. I cannot believe that Ravana would have failed to enjoy a woman as beautiful as you are”.

 

Quite naturally, Sita calls Rama low and mean. She tells him quite plainly, that she would have committed suicide and saved him all this trouble if she knew that he had abandoned her as she had been kidnapped. To give him no excuse Sita undertakes to prove her purity. She enters the fire and comes out unscathed.

 

Valmiki also gives a detailed description of how Rama spent his life in the Zenana. This Zenana was housed in  a park called Ashoka Vana where Rama used to take his meals. The meal according to Valmiki, consisted of all kinds of delicious viands. They included flesh, fruits and liquor. Rama was not a teetotaler and drank liquor copiously. Valmiki records that Rama saw to it that Sita joined him in his drinking bouts. The Zenana had Apsaras, Uraga and Kinnari, who were accomplished in dancing and singing. Rama sat amidst these beautiful women. They entertained Rama and he garlanded them. Valmiki calls Rama a ‘Prince among women’. This was not a day’s affair. It was the regular course of his life.

 

Krishna was born at Mathura at midnight on the 8th day of the month of Bhadra. His father was Vasudeva who belonged to the Yadu race, and his mother Devaki, the daughter of Devaka the brother of Ugrasen, king of Mathura. Ugrasens wife had an illicit relationship with Drumila the Danava king of Saubha. From this relationship was born Kansa who was, in a sense, the cousin of Devaki. Krishnas youthful career was full of illicit relationships with the young women of Brindaban which are more popularly known as his Rasalilas. Rasa is a sort of circular dance in which the hands of the dancers, men and women, are joined together. Krishna, it is stated, often enjoyed this dance with the young Copies of Brindaban, who loved him passionately. These dances have been described in the Vishnu Purana, the Harivamsa and the Bhagavata. All these authorities interpret the Gopi’s love for Krishna as piety-love for God-and see nothing wrong in their amorous intrigues with him. However such affairs in the case of any other person would be considered as highly reprehensible. All the sources agree as to the general character of the affair-the scene, the time and season, the drawing of the women with sweet music, the dance, the amorous feelings of the women for Krishna, and their expression in various ways. But while the Vishnu Purana tries, not always successfully, to keep within the limits of decency, the Harivamsa is almost plainly indecent, and the Bhagavata throws away all reserve and revels in indecency.

 

Krishana’s illicit relation with the Gopi, Radha, is mentioned in the Brahmavaivarta Purana. Krishan was married to Rukmini the daughter of King Rukmangad. Radha was also married. Krishna abandoned his lawfully wedded wife Rukmini and seduced Radha, wife of another man and lived with her in sin without remorse.(Vol-4,p333-336 Dr BRA (W&S)

 

NAYARS IN MALABAR:-

 

In the land of Malabar there is a caste called the Nayars and among them are noble men who have bo other duty than to serve in war. They always carry their arms withrsoever they go, some swords and shields, others bows and arrows, and yet others spears. They all live with the King, and the other great Lords. They receive stipends from the King or from the great Lords with whom they dwell. None can become a Nayar, save only he who is of the Nayar lineage.  They are free from stain in their nobility. They will not touch anyone belonging to a low caste. Neither will they drink or eat save in the house of Nayar. These men are not married, their nephews (sister’s sons) are their heirs. The Nayar women of good birth are very independent, and dispose of themselves as they please with Brahmins and Nayars. However, they do not sleep with men of caste lower than their own under the pain of death. When a girl reaches the age of twelve years her mother holds a great ceremony. She asks her kinsfolk and friends to get ready to honour her daughter. She then asks of the kindred and especially of one particular kinsman or great friend to marry her daughter. The man willingly promises to do so and then he has a small jewel made. It contains half ducat of gold. On the fixed day the daughter is adorned with rich jewels and brought amidst as assembly of people. There is great rejoicing with music and singing. Then the kinsman or friend comes along with that jewel, and going through certain ceremonies, throes it around the girl’s neck. She wears it as a token for the rest of her life, and may then dispose of herself as she wills. The man departs from sleeping with her if he is her kinsman, otherwise, he may sleep with her, but is not obliged to do so. Thence forward, the mother goes about searching for some young men who would take away her daughter’s virginity. And when anyone has slept with her once, she is fit for association with men.

 

Then the mother again goes about enquiring among other young Nayars if they wish to support her daughter, and take her as a mistress. Three or four Nayars agree to keep her, and sleep with her, each paying her so much a day. The mores lovers she has the greater is her honour. Each one of them passes a day with her, from the midday of one day till the midday of the next day, and so they continue living peacefully without any disturbance or quarrels among them. If any of them wishes to leave her he leaves her, and takes another. The girl is also free to leave the man in case she is weary of him. If there are children they may have to stay with the mother who has to bring them up. The men are not given the responsibility of rearing the children, nor do the children become the heirs to their estates. The rule was, perhaps, established with a greater and deeper meaning. It is believed that the Kings of the Nayars instituted it in order that the Nayars should not be held back from their service by the burden and labour of rearing children. There are many such stories connected with the Malabar state. (Vol-3,p137-336 Dr BRA (W&S)

 

In Malabar, where the Sambandham form of marriage prevails, the servile classes, such as the Nairs, regard it an honour to have their females kept as mistresses by the Brahmins. Even the Kings invite Brahmins to deflower their queens on prima noctis. ( Dr BRA (W&S) vol-9, p451)

 

FROM OLD SCRIPTURES

 

Prof. Indra, M.A., Sastri Kavya Tiruth & Vidyalankar M.O.L. has published her work entitled ‘The status of women in Ancient India.’ The author has collected some statements about women from the scriptures of religion texts. Some extracts from her book (page no. 11 to 26 ) have been quoted below.

 

  1. Women have unsteady brains. They are untrustworthy. (Rig Veda 8.3.17).
  2. The friendship of women does not last long. Their nature is like that of the hyena. (Rig Veda10-95-10)
  3. Indra gives us the wives we want. (Rig Veda 4.17.16)
  4. The prayer offered to Indira by the sages: Indira! There is no one more exalted then you because you give wives and concubines to those who have no wives.( (Rig Veda 5.31.3).
  5. In the Vedic period women were among the awards given to those who were victorious in wars.
  6. After a victory the victorious men forcibly take away the women from their husbands and share them among themselves (the victors) just as robbers share the loot. ( Prof Ludwick says that for statements 5 and 6 there is evidence in the Vedas)
  7. Women will be adorned and taken to the camps of the victorious heroes. (Rig Veda 4.48.88).
  8. In the Vedic period women were treated as the property of men. (The Author)
  9. One should safeguard the fortresses one has captured just as a man (the common husband) safeguards his concubines. (Rig Veda 7.2.63).
  10. The above principle has been adopted by those who have enacted laws and by those who have composed epics. (The Author)
  11. Man should hold women among his possessions.
  12. Don’t leave the three things, namely, property, books and women under the domination of another man. (The Dharmic principle enunciated by Yagnya Valkiar).
  13. In accordance with the command of the Vedic scholar, men should consider their wives as pieces of property that have come to them as a result of the merit won by them in a previous birth or by God’s ordinance. (Bhismas pronouncement)
  14. We can learn from the Vedas that women lost their dignity step by step and became the objects of men’s indulgence. (the Author)
  15. According to a verse in Adharvana Veda, a wife is given by God to a husband to serve him and to bear him children.
  16. Further, she is referred to by her husband as his subordinate and slave. (Adharvana Veda 14.01.52)
  17. Even in later times, women were considered only as objects of men’s indulgence. (The Author)
  18. Women are born only to give pleasure to men and satisfy their lust. (This is the conviction of the authors of the Upanishad)
  19. Man suffered long without help. Finally, he got something in the shape of a wife to satisfy all his desires and give him every pleasure. (Pira Hatharanyaka 1-4)
  20. Later, we can see in the Dharma Sastras that the situation of women went down to a shockingly decadent state.(The Author)
  21. In ways, that will not suit human intelligence, imaginary blemishes and consequent censures have been associated with women. They are unlimited. (The Author)
  22. In demeaning women the Mahabharata and the other epics do not lag behind. (The Author)
  23. There is no need to worry about women because they are considered as domestic utensils. (The Author)
  24. Look at what Manu has said: Since women are by nature endowed with the ability to rob men of their morality, the men who live in the midst of women, have to protect themselves.
  25. In this way women will attract even educated men, tempt them to evil ways and enslave them to their own passion and lust. (Manu 2.24)
  26. Manu has not merely attributed imaginary qualities like love of lust, love of jewels and love of idleness to women but has described as their special characteristics, impure thoughts, anger, dishonesty, deceit and immorality. (The Author), I think this is now applicable for men only, who one way dislike women and on the other hand want’s to force themselves on her without her will, which is inhuman and called rape.
  27. This epic (Mahabharata) pours disgrace on women just as a serpent emits its poison on its victim. (Mahabharata Anushasanam 38, 12, 25, 29)
  28. No birth is worse than the birth of a woman. “Women are the root-cause of all evils”. If so then without a woman how can man will born or exist?
  29. Fire will not be satisfied with any amount of firewood. The sea is not satisfied with any amount of water the rivers bring. A murderer is not satisfied with the slaughter of any number of animals. Similarly, women are not satisfied with any number of men.
  30. Women are capable of producing harm equivalent to the combined effect of poisonous fungus, a tempest, Yama, the god of the underworld, a fire pit that throws out fire continuously, the source of a spring, the sharpness of a razor, strong poison, serpents and fire. (The Mahabharata)
  31. Yudhishtra, who lived in the Vedic period, has also condemned the nature of women as being very low and hateful. ( The Author regarding Mahabharata)
  32. A women’s intellect is too deep and too cunning to be grasped by others. (Mahabharata Anushan parva 39-8)
  33. We learn that Prahasbathi and other great intellectuals have derived the intellectual principles only by studying about the mental power of women. (the above 39-40)
  34. No creature is more sinful than a woman. She is like a burning fire. A woman’s constitution has in it qualities like deceit and also a razor’s sharpness of intellect. (the above 43-22)
  35. Women are terrible creatures and possess wild powers. They will not love or even like anyone other than those that give them sexual pleasure. (the above 43-23)
  36. Women are the Adharvana mantras that destroy life. (the above 43-24)
  37. Even if they agree to live with a man, later they will befriend another and get ready to desert the first companion. (the above 43-24)
  38. They will never be satisfied with one man. (the above 43-24)
  39. Men should never love them. They don’t have any quality that will excite the envy of others. Men should make use of women for sexual pleasure without developing any affection for them. Instead of doing this if a man trusts a woman, he will be definitely ruined. (the above 43-24)
  40. When the Devas found all men like Gods, they were disturbed and met the grandfather. The grandfather understood what was in their minds, and created women for the downfall of men.
  41. Therefore, it is believed that women have been created to cause the downfall of men.
  42. Women are considered unsteady because they are not strong and sturdy.
  43. Even if the women are kept well protected, because they are not by nature capable of steady and deep love, they will develop love for other men and prove disloyal to their husbands (Manu 9-15)
  44. Since the inception of the world, the nature of women has been full of cunning. Their minds are unsteady like water drops on a lotus leaf. By nature they are wicked and they can injure men like a sword. (The Ramayana, Aranya Kanda 13-5-6)
  45. The faces of women are like flowers; their words are like honey; but their minds are capable of causing injury to men like a sharp razor. Nobody has sounded the depth of their minds. (The epics that came after the Ramayana)
  46. There cannot be anybody who is truly loved by a woman.
  47. A woman will not hesitate to kill her husband or her children or her brothers or any other person in order to fulfill her aim.
  48. Women have been mercilessly compared to a tiger and have been ill-treated and disgraced. (Bagavatha skundam 4-14,42-8,4-36)
  49. Women are erratic and unsteady. (Sukra)
  50. The following eight qualities are the characteristic qualities of women. They are: uttering lies, unsteadiness, deceit, stupidity, greed, impurity, wickedness ad rashness. (Sukra 3-163)
  51. When women go wrong, you can give blows on their lips with a bamboo strip or a rope or with your hand. (Arthasastra 3-3-59)
  52. If a wife commits a mistake, she can be beaten with a bamboo plank or a rope.
  53. If women are proved to be dangerous and ruinous to the society, they may be killed.
  54. Chakra had killed a woman called Mandhara who wished to swallow the world.
  55. Because Kavya Madha did not want the people of the world to have any sleep, she was killed by Vishnu.
  56. Because Thadakai obstructed the performance of yagas in the cottages of hermits, Rama killed her. (Ramayana 25-17)
  57. The birth of a female child in a family is an occasion mot for rejoicing but for sorrow.
  58. In Adharvana veda male children are declared desirable and not female children.
  59. Let a female child be born somewhere else; here, let a male child be born. (Adharvana Veda 6-2-3)
  60. The prayer to God Bunga contains a wish that a male child and not female child should be born. (The above 8-6-25)
  61. Girl children should die. (kadabasan Hitha 27A)
  62. But because a daughter is given in marriage o somebody, in practice, she loses contact with the parents and is considered dead. (The author)
  63. The women captured from the enemy during a war and the women subjected to compulsion in connection with marriage should not be considered human and should be treated as household utensils. (Dr Abinash Chandra das who has written about the Rig Veda)
  64. This could be seen in the Vedic period. When Yudhishtra gambled with Sakuni, he used Draupadi as a stake. (the above)
  65. Valmiki has written that when there was no request from anybody, Rama orally declared that voluntarily and cheerfully he was giving his wife, all that he valued and his right over the administration of the land to Bharata. (The Ramayana 2.19.14)
  66. What other example are needed to show that is those days a wife was considered no more valuable than a vessel or an article.(The author)
  67. Unable to bear the separation from his wife, a gambler is sad. He is sad not merely because she is beautiful and he is attached to her but also because she is a fitting companion and a servant. (The Rig Veda 10-31-24)
  68. A gambler remarks in some other place that when he is engrossed in gambling, other people lay their hands on his wife.
  69. We can’t say that in the ancient days the status of a wife was better than that of a servant. (The author)
  70. The love of a woman is never constant. Her mind is donkey like.

 

In the Chandagya Upanishad, chapter II, Part -13, the following verses have been chanted as mantras:-

 

  1. Himkar is when one summons (the wife), prastav when he makes a proposal (to her), udgitha when he lies down (with her), prafihar when he lies down with her lying upon her nidhana, when one comes to or attains desideratum, nidhana when he, finishing, comes out of it. It is the vama devyan as interwoven into the copulation.
  2. He who knows about this Vama devayan as interwoven into the copulation becomes a partaker in the copulation, procreates himself out of every copulation, lives the full duration of life, lives long and becomes great in his posterity and in renown. His maxim is that he never withdraws or abstains from women.
  3. Indeed, the women, O Gautama, is the sacrificial fire, the lap or sexual organ its fuel, when one appeals to her, it is the smoke the vulva and flame, the insertion the coals, the sexual pleasure the sparks. (Chapter5, part-8)
  4. Into this fire, the Gods sacrifice the semen. Out of this sacrificial offering arises the foetus.(do)

WE can find the following in the “Brahdaranyak Upanishad”6th chapter, fourth Brahmanan:-

  1. Indeed, the essence of the created being is the earth, the essence of the earth is water, the essence of water are the plants, the essence of the plants are the blossoms or flowers, the essence of the flowers are the fruits, the essence of a fruit is man, the essence of a man is semen.
  2. Once Prajapati(Brahma) thought; “we;;, I will prepare a dwelling place for this (semen!”and he created woman. After he created her, he sat down near her to copulate. (‘adhah upasta’ which is explained by Sankara as he did the act of sitting down near her, this action is called the copulation-translator) And he stretched out to insert this soma-pressing stone which was directed in front and created with it. That is why man should adore the women in the lower (privy) parts and consider reproduction as an act of religious adoration. Sankara interprets the soma-pressing stone as the erect male reproduction organ, which as he further interprets, was inserted into the organ characteristic of the female.
  3. Her genital part is the sacrificial alter, (9) if he desires that she should love him, then after having inserted the thing (the reproductive organ) in her and after having joined his mouth with her mouth, he should stroke or caress her genitals and mutter the following verse:- “You originate out of every limb, you arise forth, out of the breath, you are the quintessence of the limbs, like a wild animal(which grown wild) hit with an arrow smeared with poison make her intoxicated and mad towards me.”
  4. Or if he wishes that a learned and celebrated son should be born to him-the son who would continually visit the assemblies of councilors, and who would be a popular orator (making speeches which people desire to hear) and who would study all the Vedas and attain the full duration of live-both should eat rice cooked with flesh and poured over with ghee, so that they would be able to get such a son, the flesh may be of a stud-bull or an (grown up) ox.
  5. Then he clings to her and says; I am ama(he), you are sa (she); you are sa on which ama depends. I am the heaven and you are the earth.

So let us proceed with the act and direct the semen in each other, as a preparation for a child, the son.

  1. Then he makes her thighs apart and says, “Make you asunder O heaven and earth!” Then after he has inserted the thing (the organ) and joined his mouth with her mouth, he strokes her thrice along the growing hair (anulomam-pubic hair), i.e. from above towards below and utters.. (Rig Veda 10-184) (These are some of selected extracts from the Veda Sastras, Puranas and epics of Aryan religion)

 

SOCIAL CUSTOMS IN THE NAME OF RELIGION TO KILL WOMEN

Sir John Aunstruther, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1797-1806), banned Sati (widow burning on her husband pyre)) in Calcutta and ordered “Whoever was found to be a party to any Sati in Culcutta should be indicted for murder in the Supreme Court”. (John Clark Marshman, op.cit,vol.II, p404). But unfortunately, a case of Sati took place on September 4, 1987  at Deorala in Sikar district of Rajasthan. Even after the passage of 200 years since the ban of this evil rite, it is still being glorified in some parts of the country. Here we must mention that no husband was even forced to burn himself with his wife’s pyre, since the practice of Sati began.

 

Charles Grant, in his treatise “The  State of Society among Asiatic Subjects of Great Britain’, wrote that not less than 25,000 women were annually burnt in Bengal. When Bentinck passed his legislative enactment for the abolition of Sati, his order was given to Carey for translation by Henry Shakespeare, Secretary to the Government. It was a Sabbath day but Carey did not want to wait. He acted promptly as he thought that a day’s delay would cost a few more lives. He was happy to note that for the first time the Ganges flowed unblooded to the sea’.

 

But a Hindu intellectual, Mr.Rdhakanta Dev, came to resist this legislation and went to the court with his supporters. The Privy Council dismissed the petition on July 11, 1832, and the legal battle ended. Raja Rammohan Roy’s role in the abolition of Sati was also somewhat limited. However, he did play a vital role after Bentinck’s legislative enactment. Edward Thompson, an Oxford historian, advised his friend Jawaharlal Nehru to accept the fact that the entire credit for the abolition of sati must go to Bentinck alone.

 

Gladstone composed a long poem “The Suttee’’ and paid a glowing tribute to Bentinck:-

 

BENTINCK:

It was thin the bloodless crown to win,

Proud victor over deeds of death and sin.

Spirit of England’s fame, no longer dim,

A voice of thunder, thou didst speak in him;

Echoed the glad command from shore to shore, And murder’s ghastly flame ascends no more.

 

When Raja Suchet Singh, Brother of Raja Gulab Singh, was killed at a place few miles from Lahore, his ten wives and three hundred unmarried ladies of his Zenana committed Sati. Mr. James Erskine, the British Agent who was in the neighbourhood, moved with a force to Ahmednagar to prevent the Ranis from committing Sati when Karan Singh, the Chief of Ahmednagar died. The Ranis were dragged to the river despite their loud cries and appeals. The unfortunate Ranis were “stupefied with narcotics and immersed in alcohol”.

 

When Raja Budh Singh of Bundi, who was one of the generals of Aurangzeb, died, eighty–four women committed Sati. On the death of Maharaja Ajit Singh of Marwar sixty-four women burnt themselves. The records further show 237 Satis taking place with the death of nine Maharanas of Bundi.

 

In Sind Bentinck’s regulation of 1829, was not operative. The priests said that it was a very sacred religious rite which must not be meddled with and that all natives had customs which should be respected. TO this Mr.Napier replied:

 

Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom, prepare the funeral pile. But my nation also has a custom. When men burn women we hang them and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall, therefore, erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let everybody act according to national customs.” Sati, disappeared from Sind, thereafter.

 

There is no doubt about the fact that a large number of lives were saved by this noble legislation.

 

Emperor Akbar said: “It is the custom in Hindustan for a woman to burn herself however unwilling she may be, on her husband’s death and give her priceless life with a cheerful countenance conceiving it to be the means of her husband’s salvation”.

 

He discouraged the practice of Sati, and on one occasion rode nearly a hundred miles at utmost speed to rescue the daughter of the Raja of Jodhpur. He exercised, as was his wont, a judicious restraint in the criticism of the rite of Sati. He had no sympathy for the practice and pitied the lot of the helpless widow who sacrificed herself. He ordered that the kotwal be instructed not to allow women to be burnt contrary to their inclination.  He also encouraged widow-remarriage.

 

But in the 762 years of Muslim rule, this inhuman act was going on without any resistance from the ruler whether by a country law or by a personal virtue. This was a tragic history of the Muslim ruler’s in such a long period in India.

 

Thevenot and Careri confirm that after the performance of Sati the Brahmins had the right to touch the ashes and gather all the melted gold, silver and copper. The Brahmins received from wealthy families as much as two hundred rupees on the occasion of widow-burning.

 

The Brahmin priests had knowledge about the juice of some herbs which when mixed with sandal paste and rubbed over the body would render the Sati insensible to heat. The juice can be comparable to an anesthesia.

 

INHUMAN ARGUMENT IN FAVOUR OF SATI

 

Advocate: I alluded to the real reason of our anxiety to persuaded widows to follow their husbands, and for our endeavours to burn them, pressed down with ropes; viz. That woman is by nature of inferior understanding, without resolution, unworthy of trust, subject to passions, and void of virtuous knowledge. They, according to the precepts of the Shastra, are not allowed to marry again after the demise of their husbands, and are consequently deprived at once, of all worldly pleasures. Hence it is evident, that death to these unfortunate widows is preferable to existence; for the great difficulty which a widow may experience by living a purely ascetic life, as prescribed by the Shastras, is obvious. Therefore, if she does not perform concremation, it is probable that she may be guilty of such acts as may bring disgrace upon her paternal and maternal relations and those that may be connected with her husband. Under these circumstances, we instruct them, from their early life, in the idea of concremation, holding out to them heavenly enjoyments in company with their husbands as well as the beatitude of their relations, both by birth and marriage, and their reputation in this world. From this many of them, on the death of their husbands, become desirous of accompanying them; but to remove every chance of their trying to escape from the blazing fire, in burning them we first tie them down to the pile.

 

HUMANTARIUN ARGUMENT AGAINST SATI

 

The reason you have assigned for burning widows alive is indeed your true motive, as we are well aware; but the faults which you have inputted to women are not planted in their constitution by nature. It would be, therefore, grossly criminal to condemn that sex to death merely as a precaution. By ascribing to them all sorts of improper conduct, you have indeed, successfully persuaded the Hindu community to look down upon them as contemptible and mischievous creatures, hence they have been subjected to constant miseries. I have, therefore, to offer a few remarks on this head.

 

Women are in general inferior to men in bodily strength and energy. Consequently, the male section of the community, taking advantage of their corporeal weakness, have denied to them those excellent merits that they are entitled to by nature, and afterwards they are apt to say that women are naturally incapable of acquiring those merits. But if we give the subject consideration, we may easily assert whether or not your accusation against them is consistent with justice. Look after the merit list of modern day school/collage results, you will find out they are outnumber in merit list among their counterpart means male.

 

As to their inferiority in point understanding, when did you ever afford them a fair opportunity of exhibiting their natural capacity? How then can you accuse them of want of understanding? If, after the impart of knowledge and wisdom, a person cannot comprehend or retain what he has been taught, we may consider him as deficient; but as you keep women generally void of education and acquirements, you cannot therefore, in justice, pronounce on their inferiority. On the contrary, Leelavatee, Bhanumat, the wife of the Prince of Kurnat, and that of Kalidas, are celebrated for their thorough knowledge of all the Shastras; moreover in the Vrihadaranyak Upanishad of the Yajur Veda it is clearly stated, that Yagnavalkya imparted divine knowledge of the most difficult nature to his wife Maitreyee, who was able to follow and completely attain it.

 

Secondly, you charge them with want of resolution, at which I feel exceedingly surprised. We constantly perceive, in a country where the name of death makes the male shudder that the female, from her firmness of mind, offers to burn with the corpse of her deceased husband; and yet you accuse her of deficiency in point of resolution.

 

Thirdly, with regard to their trustworthiness, let us look minutely into the conduct of both sexes, and we may be enabled to ascertain which of them is more frequently guilty of betraying friends. If we enumerate such women in each village or town as have been deceived by men, and such men as have been betrayed by women, I presume that the number of the deceived women would be found ten times greater than that of the betrayed by men.  “Virginity no longer precious for modern women”  but what about men?  Males are conscious about their honesty of loyalty towards their womenfolk. Men are, in general, able to read and write, and manage public affairs, by means of which they easily promulgate such faults as women occasionally commit, but never consider as criminal the misconduct of men towards women. However, it must be acknowledged that women have one fault. By considering others equally void of duplicity as themselves they give their confidence too readily, from which they suffer much misery, even so far that some of them are misled to suffer themselves to be burnt to death.

 

In the fourth place, the question of their subjection to the passions can be judged by the custom of marriage and its effect on the respective sexes. A man may marry two or three sometimes even ten wives or more; while a woman, who marries but one husband, desires at his death to follow him, forsaking all worldly enjoyments, or chooses to lead the austere life of an ascetic.

 

If a man can marry two women at a time then why can’t a woman marry two men at a time? Biologically women sexuality are more powerful than men, even some occasion they alone at a time are force to manage more than a dozen or more normally satisfying men’s sexual act.  Are men capable to do it?  Like Devdasi System, Devadasi means the servant of God in the Hindu temple who marries the God. She dances, plays songs before the God, the priest and before other notable persons who give her the necessary amount to maintain her daily livelihood. Anybody can enjoy these Devadasis as it is their duty to serve the people as an offering to God. Think of in the name of God this abuse against womanhood has got recognition in temples. Old Devadasis in the Tirupati temple were marked with a hot iron rod on their breast and buttock to identify them and this mark was called the ‘Seal of Lord Venkateshwara’. The new name given to these Devadasis is ‘Kalijug Laksmi’ which means Goddesses of the Dark Age.

 

Jogini system exists in Andhra Pradesh in the the district of Telengana & Nizamabad. It has been recorded that there are 10,000 and 25,000 Joginis, respectively, in these two districts. This news was published in the National Institute of Social Science Action and read by the then Governor of A.P.Smt.Kumudbin Joshi. Under this system a poor villagers sell their daughters to urban landlords who take the charge of the girls and arrange for their marriage with God when they are about 5-9 years old. Later when they reach their puberty age the moneylenders possess them. The children born out of these girls have no right over their father’s property. The female child follows her mother’s footstep. (Change of Society by Jatin Bagchi (Bengali)

 

 

Fifthly, the accusation of their want of virtuous knowledge is an injustice, observe what pain, what slighting, what contempt, and what afflictions their virtue enables them to tolerate.

There are many Kooleen Brahmins who marry ten,fifteen or more wives for the sake of money, who never see the greater of them after the day of marriage, and visit others only three or four times in the course of their life. Still most of those women, even without seeing or receiving any support from their husbands, living dependent on their fathers or brothers, and suffering much distress, continue to preserve their virtue. As recorded by the then noted writer Iswar Chandra Bidyasagar, the 55 years old Iswar Chand Mukhopadhyaya had 107 wives. The wives were aged between 3 months to 20 years for a 60-70 years old Kulin Brahmin. He has given a chart with names and addresses of some more people.  (Bidhya Sagar publication p-201-208, 2nd part)

Bamuner Maya (Daughter of a Brahmin), Is one of the famous noble by Sarat Chandra Chaterji he has describe in this noble the system of Kuleen in Bengal practiced by Brahmins and Kayastha’s . In this book Sandha forced to tell her story to her lover Arun that she is not a daughter of a Brahmin.  She described that her grandmother has narrated her life story, unknowingly she was forced to sleep with a barber instead of her husband Mukund Mukherji. This barber Hiru was the helper of her husband Mukunda Mukherji. Hiru was deputed by Mukund Mukherji to collect money from his young wives.

Hiru was used to come and introduced him as Mukund Mukherji, as no body then identify him and he used to come to Sandha’s  grandmother’s house as she was very beautiful and in this way she become pregnant by Hiru barber. By the time few people has identified Hirus real caste and exposed his identity. In this way Sandha’s father Prianath was born and both mother and son left in Varanasi to hide the story.

When Hiru exposed then he admitted all what he has done and how he followed the instructions from his master Mukund Mukherji. He also admitted that he used to collect money from 10-12 places by using this same tricks as Mukund Mukherji.  Hiru explained that he is not alone in this business and many more kulleen Brahmins are doing the same things.

When Indians, bring their wives to live with them, what misery do the women not suffer? During marriage the wife is recognized as the other half of her husband, but afterwards she is treated worse than animals. For the woman is employed to do the work of a slave in the house. She is made to clean the house very early in the morning, to scour the dishes, to wash the floor, to cook night and day, to prepare and serve food for her husband, father–in-law, mother–in-law, sister–in-law, brother–in-law, friends and relatives. For amongst Indians, relatives reside together, and form large families. If in the preparation or while serving the victuals they commit the smallest, fault, what insult do they not receive from their husbands, their mothers-in-law, and the younger brothers of their husbands? After all the male members of the family have satisfied themselves, the women content themselves with what is left, whether sufficient in quantity or not. Where Indians are not wealthy, their women are obliged to attend to their cows, and to prepare the cow-dung for fuel. In the afternoon they fetch water from the river or tank, and at night perform the office of menial servants in making the beds. In case of any fault or omission in the performance of these labours they receive cruel treatment. Should the husband acquire wealth, he indulges in criminal amours to her perfect knowledge and almost under her eyes, and does not see her perhaps even once a month. As long as the husband is poor, she suffers every kind of trouble, and when he becomes rich she is altogether heart-broken. All this pain and affliction her virtue alone enables her to support. Where a husband takes two or three wives to live with, they are subjected to mental miseries and constant quarrels. They virtuously endure even this distressed situation. Sometimes it happens that the husband, from a preference for one of his wives, behaves cruelly to another. Amongst the lower classes and those members of the better class who have not associated with good company, the wife, on the slightest fault, or even on bare suspicion of her misconduct, is chastised as a thief. Respect for virtue and the concern for reputation generally makes them forgive even this treatment. If, unable to bear such cruel usage, a wife leaves her husband’s house to live separately then the influence of the husband with the magisterial authority is generally sufficient to place her again in his hands. In revenge for her quitting him, he seizes every pretext to torment her in various ways, and sometimes even puts her to death. These are facts occurring every day and are not to be denied. What I lament is that, seeing the women thus dependent and exposed to every misery you feel for them no compassion that might exempt them from being tied down and burnt to death.

 

One common image of a woman, which is neither Hindu nor Muslim, nor Christian and others is that of an Indian woman as an embodiment of suffering, self-sacrifice and self-effacement.  This is very obvious in Indian movies, literature and art. An Indian woman is overtly or covertly told that she is a true woman only when she suffers in silence, toils and labours and serves herself last. It is a very noble image, which many women have accepted as their sacred role, and perhaps this is the secret behind many a successful marriage. But what has it done to women?

 

The Constitution of India has given equal rights to every citizen irrespective of sex, religion, Caste etc, and our women should work to uphold the probation for their benefit. By imparting proper education and providing equal facilities the condition of the fair sex can be improved.  Until or unless it provides equal opportunities to both sexes there is little hope to improve the condition of the women.

 

SOCIAL REFORM LIKE HINDU CODE BILL

 

Once Dr.B.R.Ambedkar the first law minister of free India and the chairman of Constitution draft committee, an architecture to frame the modern Indian constitution, which helps to build the modern India as we experienced today. He argued to the Hindu social reformists regarding the uplift of women and downtrodden people in India from the period Hindu rule to Muslim rule then British rule. He said that Hindus say that their civilization is older than any civilization, Hinduism as a religion is superior to any other religion. If this is so, how is that Hinduism failed to elevate these people, bring them enlightenment and hope; how is it that it failed even to reclaim them; how is it that it stood with folded hands when millions and millions were taking to life of shame and crime?  What is the answer to this? The only answer is that Hinduism is overwhelmed with the fear of pollution. It has not got the power to purity. It has not the impulse to serve and that is because by its very nature it is inhuman and immoral. It is a misnomer to call it religion. Its philosophy is opposed to the very thing for which religion stands.

 

Further he said, “In our Constitution we adopted a middle course; the course that we adopted was this, that while we will permit people to practice and to profess their religion and incidentally, to have their personal law because the personal law is so embedded in their religion, yet the State has retained, all along in article 25, the right to interfere in the personal law of any community in this country. There can be no argument against that. That is my point. The only question is the time, the occasion and the circumstances.

 

I want to assert in this House, while I am here, that I shall here no argument from any community saying that this Parliament has no right to interfere in their personal law or any other laws. This Parliament is absolutely supreme and we deal with any community so far as their personal law is concerned apart from their religion. Let no community be in a state of mind that they are immune from the sovereign authority of this Parliament.

 

Then the President of India was threaten that if the Hindu code bill passed in the Parliament then he will send it to reconsider again as this bill to modify and codify certain laws pertaining to marriage, divorce, adoption and property rights for the female child.

 

Here I have quoted some important portions of the debate in the Parliament regarding the Hindu code bill, submitted by the then law Minister Dr.B.R.Ambedkar.

 

  • B.R.Ambedkar:…….. The original Bill said that the daughter shall get a share equal to half the share of the son and in order to make equity equitable in devising the line of succession to the stridhan property of the woman they had also provided that in that case the son will take one half of what the daughter takes, so that the daughter will take one half of the father’s and the son will take one half of the mother’s property. I can’t say that was an inequitable propositions but somehow the Select Committee…. And I believe I can say, against the best part of their judgment increased in their enthusiasm the share of the daughter in the father’s property from one half to one full share, equal to the of the son.   (An Honourable Member: “The son is also given.”)

I am aware of that. With regard to succession to females there are only two changes which the Select Committee has made. Under the existing rule the husband of a woman, in the case of succession to females, comes much later under the Hindu law and that provision was included by the old Rau Committee. The Select Committee felt that it was rather unjust, because it may be it is often possible that much of the property which is called stridhan property or property which comes into the hands of a woman may and perhaps does, to a very large extent come from the husband and if the husband is the principal source of the property, that comes into the hands of the woman, it is not proper that it should be passed on to other stridhan heirs, so that the husband now shares the stridhan, simultaneously, with the other heirs of a woman. Since the Bill increased the share of the daughter in the father’s property  they also pari passu made the share of the son in the mother’s stridhan property equal to that of the daughter…………

 

  • Vol-14, part -1 of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar’s Writings & Speeches.

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar: ……..   Consequently, what will happen in the Hindu society as far as marriage law is concerned if there will be a competition between the old and the new systems? We hope that those who are following the new path will win subsequently. But, as I say, if they do not, we are quite content to allow two parallel systems of marriage to be operative in this country and anyone may make his own choice. There is no violation of  Shastra, no violation of a Smriti at all.

With regard to Monogamy it may be said that it is a new innovation. But I must point out that I do think that any member in this house will be able to point out, having regard for customary law or having regard for our Shatras, that a Hindu husband had at all times an unfettered, unqualified right to Polygamy. That was never the case. Even today, in certain parts of South India there are people who follow this, for instance a section of the Nattukottai Chettiyars. The case has been reported in the reports of the Privy Council itself and I am not depending on mere hearsay evidence.  Among these people there is a custom that a husband cannot marry a second wife unless he obtains the consent of his first wife. Secondly, when consent is obtained he must allot to her a certain amount of property which I think is called moppu in the Tamil Language. That property becomes her absolute property so that if after her consent the husband marries and ill-treats her, she has a certain amount of economic competence in her own hands to lead an independent life. I cite that as an illustration to show that there has not been an unqualified right for Polygamy.

A second illustration which I would like to give would be from the Arthashastra by Kautilyla. I do not know how many members of the House have perused that book; I suppose many of them have. If they have, they will realize that the right to marry a second wife has been considerably limited by Kautilya. In the first place, no man can remarry for the first ten or twelve years because he should be satisfied that the woman is not capable of producing children. That was one limitation. The second limitation imposed by Kautilya on the right of the second marriage was that the husband was to return to the woman all the Stridhan that she had acquired at the time of marriage. It is only under these two conditions that Kautilya’s Arthashastra permitted a Hindu husband to marry for the second time.

Thirdly, in our own country, in the legislation that has been passed in various provinces, monogamy has been prescribed. For instance, both the marumakkathayam and the aliyasanthanam law prescribe monogamy as a rule of marital life. Similarly, the recent legislation that has been passed in Bombay, Madras and Baroda prescribes monogamy.

 

I hope the House will see from the instances I have given that; we are not making any very radical or revolutionary change. We have precedent for what we are doing, both in the laws that have been passed by various states in India and also in the ancient shastras such as Kautilya’s Arthashastra. If I may go further, we have got the precedent of the whole world which recognizes monogamy as the most salutary principle so far as marital relations are concerned.

Shri Deshbandhu Gupta (Delhi):  What about the Mohammedan Law?

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar: We shall come to Mohammedan law later. Coming to the question of divorce, here again I should like to submit to the House that this is in no way an innovation. Everybody in this House knows that the community of the Shudras has customary divorce. However, no body has even probably made any calculation as to the total number of Shudras who go to compose the Hindu society, but I have not the slightest doubt in my mind that the Shudras form practically 90 percent of the total population of the Hindus. What are called the ‘regenerated’ classes probably do not fill more than ten percent of the total population of this country, and the question that I want to ask you all is this: Are you going to have the law of 90 percent of the people as the general law of this country, or are you going to have the law of 10 percent of the people being imposed upon the 90 percent? That is a simple question which every member must answer and can answer.

So far as the ‘regenerated’ classes are concerned there was a time, if one refers for instance to the time when the Narada Smriti or the Parashara Smriti were written, when the smritis recognized that a woman can divorce her husband if he has abandoned her. If he dies or if he has taken parivraja then she was entitled to have a second husband. Consequently, at a later stage I may read to you some extracts from your Shastras. (A member: “Your Shastras?”.  Yes, because I belong to a different caste.

I shall read the extracts to show that what has actually happened in this country is that somehow, unfortunately, unnoticed, unconsciously; custom has been allowed to trample upon the texts of the Shastras which were all in favour of the right sort of marital relations. My submission, therefore, to the house is that whatever new principles have been introduced in the laws of marriage or divorce are both just and reasonable and have been amply supported by our Shastras as well as by the experiences of the world as a whole.

With regard to adoption, there are again three points of controversy. One point of controversy with regard to adoption is this, that like the old Hindu law we do not make similarity or identity of caste a requisite for a valid adoption. We follow the same rule that we have followed with regard to marriage. Here again, I may say that if a Brahmin wants to adopt a Brahmin boy, he is free to do so. If Kayasth wants to adopt a Kayasth boy, he is free to do so. If a Shudra wants to adopt a boy of his own community he is free to do so. If a Brahmin is so enlightened as not to adopt a boy belonging to his own community but adopts a Shudra, he is even permitted to do so. There is therefore, no kind of imposition.

Now, I come to woman’s property. I do not know how many members of this house are familiar with the intricacies of this subject.

So far as I have been able to study this subject, I do not think that there is any other subject in the Hindu Law which is as complicated, as intricate as the subject of women’s property. (A Member: “As the woman herself?”) As the woman herself. If you ask the question, what is stridhan, before answering that question, you have to ask another question and find an answer for it. You must first of all ask, ’whether she is a maiden’ or ‘whether she is a married women’. Because, what property is stridhan and what property is not stridhan depends upon the status of the woman? Certain property is stridhan if she has obtained it while she is a maiden; certain property is not stridhan if she has obtained it after marriage. Consequently, if you ask the question what is the line of inheritance to the stridhan, you have again to ask the question whether the stridhan belongs to a maiden or the stridhan belongs to a married woman. When you come to the question of succession to a married woman’s property, you have again to ask the question, does she belong to the Bengal School or does she belong to the Mitakshara School. If you ask the question whether she belongs to the Mitakshara School, you will never be able to find a definite answer unless you probe further and ask whether she belongs to the Mithila School or the Banaras School or some other School…………….

The committee, in my judgment, very rightly, came to the conclusion that if in certain cases women were competent and intelligent to sell and l dispose of their property, they must be held to be competent in respect of the disposal of the other property also. That is the reason why the committee has made this rule that women should now possess absolute property.

The other question that arises on this issue is that women’s property is the share of the daughter. I know it would be a very great under-statement to say that this is a ticklish question; it is a very anxious question. Today there are many people in this world and in India, both orthodox and unorthodox, who cannot help producing daughters: they do. I do not know what would happen to this world if daughters were not born. At the same time, they do not want to extend to the daughter the same love and affection which a parent is bound to extend both to the male and female issue………………..

She has always been there both according to the Mitakshara and according to the Dayabhaga. The only innovation which the Bill seeks to make is to raise the status of the daughter. Under the Bill she becomes a simultaneous heir, along with the widow of the predeceased son and the widow of the predeceased son of a predeceased son………………….

There is no doubt that the two Smritikars whom I have mentioned, Yyagnavalkya and Manu, rank the highest among the 137 who had tried their hands in framing Smrities. Both of them have stated that the daughter is entitled to one forth share. It is a pity that somehow, for some reason, custom has destroyed the efficacy of that text; otherwise, the daughters would have been, on the basis of our own Smritis, entitled to get one fourth share….. I have not the least doubt about it that if the Privy Council had not given the decision, that custom will override text, some lawyer, some judge would have found it quite possible to unearth the texts of Yagnavalkya and Manusmriti, and women today would have been enjoying, if not more, at least one fourth of the share of their property.

The original Bill had raised the share of the daughter to one half. My Select Committee went a step further and made her share full and equal to that of the son…………

Shrimati Renuka Ray (West Bengal: General): Unanimously!

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Was it a compromise between twice the share of a son claimed and half the share provided in the Bill?

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar:    It was not a compromise. My enemies combined with my enthusiastic supporters and my enemies thought that they might damn the Bill by making it appear worse than it was.

Shri H.V.Kamath: Have you any enemies?

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar:    However, this is the position, namely, so far as the daughter’s share is concerned, the only innovation that we are making is that her share is increased and that we bring her in line with the son or the widow……………….

We examined the Muslim system of inheritance, the Parsi system of inheritance, the Indian Succession Act and the line of succession that had been laid down and we also examined the British system of inheritance, and nowhere could we find any case where a daughter was excluded from a share. There is no system anywhere in the world where a daughter has been excluded…………………

Shrimati G. Durgabai (Madras: General):…………………………

May I ask what sort of affection it is on the part of the brother’s if it would not sustain a little more strain on their own self-interest? May I also ask that if no share is given to the daughter will the brother’s love increase?   …………

What they mean by fragmentation I feel, is the diminution of the share which they will get if the daughter is also given a share, the daughter being of the same flesh and blood, should there be so much uproar, I ask, if a share is sought to be given to her?  ……

Pandit Lakshmi Kanta Maitra:   ……………..

A man had the Mahabyarata and the Ramayana recited in his house for six months. Thereafter, he asked his daughter, “You have heard the story. What is the lesson you derive?” “Well,” replied the daughter, “from the Mahabharata I learn that I can have five husbands as Draupadi had five husbands.” From whole of the Mahabharata this is all that she learnt. Enquired about the lesson she derived from the Ramayana the daughter-in-law replied, “It is very clear. As soon as my husband dies I can get married to my husband’s brother. You know what happened after Rabvana dies, his widow Mandodari married his brother Bibhisan.” ………

Smt Kamala Chaudhari (UP General):-…………………………..

If, however, a widowed sister happens to come and live in that very home, her place is in the kitchen and her lot is none better than that of a cook. In the home where, the brothers enjoy life on the strength of the father’s property, the father’s wealth, in that very home I have seen, with my own eyes, the sister pining for milk for her young children. She too has the desire that her children should have good things to eat and good clothes to wear and that they should receive good education in the same way as her brothers children. But the law has sealed her mouth. She is tongue tied and dare not give vent to her feelings. I would like, very respectfully, to ask those people, who are opposing this provision today, whether this is in accordance with Hindu law and, if so, which school of our philosophy sanctions this injustice towards woman. Hence, I think that the provision related to the daughter having a share in her father’s property is very much in consonance with the times and compatible with our faith and culture and I hope it will be considered in a very generous spirit.  …..

Nature has made a boy and a girl equal in the eyes of their parents. Then why is it that a boy should have a share in his father’s property but a girl should have none? I feel that is also a kind of injustice. This is another matter that in view of the present set-up of our society some people might, per chance, be entertaining doubts and anticipating difficulties with regard to the practical application of this Bill, because the position occupied by a “”son-in-law”” in our society is rather peculiar. All his life he is called Jamai babu or pahuna (the Guest) and never becomes a member of the family he marries into. I feel that if the daughter is conceded this right, the result would be that the son of another family who comes in as the son-in-law could also live as a member of the daughter’s  family as if he were a third son to the father who already has two, and this should encourage mutual love and affection. The argument that this would strain relations between brothers and sisters or break them for good cannot appeal to me.

 

Shrimati G.Durgabai: ……………

It is said that the greater prosperity of the people in Bengal and their increasing commercial enterprise is to a large extent due to the Dayabhaga system.  …….

A FLUID STATE

Women in India is honoured and venerated, exalted to the status of Mother Goddess and is worshipped as Durga, Kali, Lakshmi and in various other forms. This deification celebrates her universal power which evokes both fear and reverence. The concept of ardhanariswara is a symbolic representation of the fact that man is incomplete without woman, and yet, she is treated as an animal on an inanimate commodity. She is castigated for her assumed fickleness and fragility. Being supposedly inconsistent she needs protection at every state of her life. Perhaps this belief tries to justify the authority of the father, husband and son, on her entire existence.

The ideology of female subordination has been weaved into our social-political fabric. It is pervasive and has penetrated into every layer of our society affecting our views and ethos. From birth the male child is conditioned to expect that his every wish will be fulfilled. On the other hand only women have the child carrying womb and it is absent to the male. Sex determination start to detect whether the new formed embryos is male or female and some cases force the woman to  abort it if fined it is a female.  After birth she start to suffer, neglected and crushed one way or the other, she comes to expect very little from her life in the patriarch society which rule by law made by male. In most cases by the time she is an adult, she loses all self-worth or respect for herself. She falls in the habit of accepting all the humiliation heaped on her. The social system is predominantly characterized by patriarchy. After marriage a girl finds herself in a new home amidst absolute strangers. The children born to her belong to her husband’s lineage. The male members of the family, generally, possess all power. Of course, a female headed household is not unheard of, but matriarchy is a concept prevalent in just a few pockets of the society. Northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya and adjoining state report less violent against women due to influence of matriarchy.

Women are more readily defiled. They become easy targets of biased social attitudes. There still exists a strong sense of restrain on any action taken by a woman. Even today unfair rules and restrictions are imposed upon her all in the name of culture, tradition and religious dictation.  The patrilineal part of the society expects several virtues in a woman. It has set up double standards in maintaining different yardsticks to measure the degree of chastity in a man and a woman. In this context a hypocritical attitude is sharply evident. Man claims to the open-minded. He presents himself as promoter of gender equality. But on the question of adultery he refuses to compromise with any weakness shown by his counterpart. It is most ironical how he himself indulges in similar acts of immorality and usually manages to get away with it without even feeling the slightest pangs of conscience. While the men make could proclamation before their girlfriends that they love them for their unconventional sexual mores they readily submit when their parents fix up their marriages with virtuous young maidens of the appropriate cast and community.

Distinction is made even in the allocation of duties to both the sexes. The management of the house hold is considered invariably, as the woman’s responsibility. Demands of higher standards of living and increasing costs have forced women to share the burden of earning livelihood. Apart from this in a good number of cases it is the urge to make oneself self-sufficient which has inspired the fair-sex to enter the professional world of hardships. Whatever the cause may be, it has made life more difficult and of course, challenging for women. Now a day they have to work equally hard both at home and outside. Even daily laborers both works hole day and women used to come back and do all the house hold work and to do all duties for the children on the other hand men used to drinks and sometimes beat the wife.

At home they have to care for the needs of every family member. Any lapse on their part is seriously condemned. Outside the four walls of the house they have to cope with every stress and perhaps more than what a man does. Moreover, a man will never accept the fact that his wife earns more than him or is more competent than him. Numerous expectations from all fronts leave her drained of all her energy and spirit. The mindset of a large segment of the society has not changed or will not change automatically as they enjoy the life on the cost of others hard work. Only revolt can change the mentality and teach them the language of equality, liberty and fraternity. It is not uncommon for men to watch their favourite programs on television, while their wives, at that very hour, prepare dishes and wash utensils. This simple instance from everyday life reveals a lot.

Wives normally end up playing nurses and maids to their husbands, besides of course, being the outlet of sexual urges for them. They expect no gratitude or praise for combining their many roles as income-providers, super-moms and efficient housekeepers. If they slip up any one role, it becomes a matter of life and death for them.

Modern man is supposedly enlightened. But even today infertility of a woman is considered a curse. She is expected to give birth to a male child. No family is complete without a son. The scale tilts in favour of boys. This bias remains in the minds of those who otherwise claim to be the supporters of gender-equality. The age-old, deep-rooted, traditional prejudice against girls still persists. To have a son is considered as a privilege and is a cherished notion with even those people who are moderately free from a narrow-mindedness. The attitude of the people remains almost unchanged-the jubilations on the birth of a girl child are perfunctory as compared to the absolute ecstasy at the birth of a male child.

It’s long since women have been discriminated and marginalized. Their oppressed state has attracted the serious attention of many social reformers who have done substantial work to support women’s emancipation. The strong urge to break away from a life of disrespect has inspired woman, now and then, to rise in revolt against any effort to subdue and exploit her. But even today, due to some loopholes, women’s complete liberation remains an unfulfilled desire. Any attempt by the fair sex to secure for themselves a life of pride and recognition has earned them innumerable challenges. Even no, the story of a woman ‘making a mark’ leaves many of us amazed and quite a few of us insecure and bitter.

In the last few decades the general awareness about the degraded status of women in society has become quite prominent. The vital role played by women in various national liberation movements shows that they are genuinely capable of acting with courage and conviction. If the goal is to end inequality and injustice then the first step towards fulfilling it had been taken long time back. Various women’s movements have given voice to the suppressed status of women, each carrying its own ideology, perspective and approach. Serious attempts have been made to draw attention towards lack of education among women, unfair religious customs, social beliefs and superstitions.

Despite constitutional mandate and court judgments providing gender equality, instances of discrimination against women are routine. One frequently reads of bride-burning and dowry deaths. The laws prohibiting it, are comprehensive, the penalties are stiff. Yet, we see an increase in dowry-related violence. As long as men-women relationships are built on an edifice of inequality and fear, such forms of violence will remain an ugly reality in our lives.

The promotion of gender equality and the advancement of women are fundamental issues for any society that hopes to make social progress and achieve human rights goals. New ways need to be found to maintain the momentum for the attainment of women’s liberation. It is impossible to end gender biased violence without the unadulterated involvement of men. There has to be a transformation in the gender stereotyping that has kept women confined to subservient roles and has made men to believe that violence is an acceptable way to deal with problems at all levels. All barriers to full equality have to be repealed. Social and traditional obstacles to women’s education, employment and all other aspects are to be eradicated.

The present picture is grim. There has been progress with regard to gender issues but a Herculean effort is still needed to hasten change. In order to make man-woman equality a reality, the human mind will have to liberate itself from many obsolete concepts. This will allow the egalitarian principles to elevate our social life. The phenomenon of women’s oppression is deep-rooted and old and specially it is supported by the religious dictate. Compared to this the changes made are neither long-lasting nor omnipresent. The eternal question remains unanswered as to how and when will women ultimately achieve the unfulfilled dream of a completely free and respectful life. All we can do is to move ahead with a strong hope that twenty five years down the line man and woman will stand on the same platform to make this world a better place to live in for all.

 

 

 

 

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HINDU CODE BILL

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar said: No law passed by the Indian Legislature in the past or likely to be passed in the future can be compared to it (Hindu code bill) in point of its significance. To leave inequality between class and class, between sex and sex, which is the soul of Hindu society, untouched, and to go on passing legislation relating to economic problems is to make a farce of our Constitution and to build a palace on a dung heap.

He asked the opponent that they have forgotten the provisions contained in the Indian Constitution. Article 15 of the Indian Constitution which we have passed says, in definite and clear terms, under Fundamental Rights:

Article 15 says ”The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them”.

MAN AN WOMAN ON EQUAL FOOTING

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar said, “Our progress will be greatly accelerated if male education is pursued side by side with the female education, the fruits of which you can very well see verified in your own daughter”.

  1. The Hindu code places women on per with men in matter of property, adoption and marriage. She can now choose her spouse from any caste, high or low, a privilege previously enjoyed by man only.
  2. She has been given absolute right on her property.
  • Can inherit as mother, sister, or daughter in the property of the deceased, equally with the sons.
  1. The adopted son cannot deprive her of her share in her husband’s property.
  2. A girl can also be adopted.
  3. For adoption the wife’s consent is necessary.
  • A destitute man can claim maintenance from his more fortunate wife.

 

Later Dr.B.R.Ambedkar was forced to resign from the Cabinet since he was not allowed to pass the Hindu Code Bill. It can be easily judged that he was fully committed towards the development of the fair sex and their equal rights.