A Husband’s Role in Islamic Marriage

Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made one of them to excel the other and because they must provide for them from their means; the good women are therefore obedient to Allah, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

We have all heard these words. We all know how male scholars have interpreted them to mean that men in islam are the guardians of women, leaders of the family, and women must obey their husbands because their husband excel them in strength and reason. But look again. Is that what it says. Islamic scholars are amazing in their ability to interpret the Quran to their liking. But why not simply read what it says? First of all, it says men are to work, and maintain women. And it says they must do this because “one of them excels the other”. But who excels?

“…and beat them”

Well, most of us know that intellectual work is considered a degree above manual labour. In the surah Allah clearly says that menial work, manual labour, is meant for men and men must work to maintain women. The obvious interpretation here then is that men are commanded to do manual labour to maintain women, since women excel in every other aspect than raw muscle. So Allah is demanding that men do the manual labour because women are meant for better things. Men are the worker bees to the women’s queen bee. So: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made women to excel men, and hence men must serve and maintain them, just like slaves did the work for Pharaoh. And this is why men have to spend out of their pocket – their labour belongs to their mistresses/owners. This also means that we must read the rest of the surah differently. It says good women are therefore devoutly obedient to Allah. Women must be obedient by keeping men as their labourers. And the rest of the surah is written in a way in Arabic that makes it impossible to understand if it addresses men or women so men have naturally read it to say that it means men can punish women. BUT it could just as correctly be read the other way around! So this is what An Nisa 4:34 really says:

Men are the maintainers (labourers belonging to) (of) women because Allah has made some of them (women) to excel others (men) and because they must provide for them from their means (give up their salary to them, i.e. men are as slaves to women); the good women are therefore obedient to Allah, guarding the unseen (things men don’t understand) as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those (husbands and other men) on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

Polygamy – My Husband’s Wedding Night

S%C3%A9pulcre_Arc-en-Barrois_111008_12The most difficult night was not my husband’s wedding night.
The most difficult night was the night before.
When he was with me, but he was marrying another woman the next day.
When he made love to me saying I should never forget how much he loves me, but he was going to make love to another woman the next day, opening his heart for her to enter.
When he was sleeping beside me and I was watching his face thinking that tomorrow night another woman will be lying beside him with his semen inside her and new love for him awakening in her heart when she watches his face while he sleeps.

That was the really bad night.

On his wedding night, at least I could scream my pain.

(By: Jemima on Polygamy911)

Q&A Can’t You See That Polyandry Can Make Victims Out of Men?

Red_Spider_Icon_Larger_by_RedSpider2008Hello Fiona

I have read just about every post on this blog – it’s addictive!

I am an American male, I grew up in the bible-belt and had really hard-core old fashioned parents. I was told the word of God can never be questioned and I was taught to obey the hard way. The church we belonged to was really more of a cult, but it took me some time to realize. Breaking up from that world meant I had to leave everything, my family, friends everything. I decided to leave for good and came to the UK. I got a job doing constructions at Lampeter, settled down, built a new life for myself. After a couple of years I met a woman. She was wonderwoman to me, everything I had ever wished for. She was strong, beautiful, smart, funny, she soon became everything for me.

She belonged to a religious order, a kind of Druid order. Most of it is about meditation, I’ve come to love this beautiful religion of peace and harmony. It’s so right in every way, it’s about self respect and respecting others and this wonderful world of ours. So I joined too, in 2011, the same year we married.

Since then, she’s become a priestess. Among other things, this means she has a responsibility to be polyandrous. Through her, her husbands can reunite with the earth godess. I understand this, and I can see the beauty of it. But she’s my wife, and the thought of sharing her is killing me.

She is being very considerate. She says she’ll wait til I say I’m ready. And she isn’t pushing it. But I know she’s waiting because of me, and I’m keeping her from fulfilling her duty and I’m keeping some man, or men, from uniting with her.

I just don’t know how to make myself tell her to go ahead, marry another man. I don’t know how to do it.

You write a lot about islamic polygyny turning women into victims. Well polyandry can make victims out of men. Did you ever thin about that?

And what am I to do? Can you please give me some advice?

Two Wrongs Don’t Make One Right in Polygamy

S%C3%A9pulcre_Arc-en-Barrois_111008_12According to the main body of muslim scholars, muslim men have a right to marry up to four wives.

Most of these scholars also agree that men don’t need the consent of a prior wife to marry another, nor are they required to inform their wife that they have married another, even if it might be considered good manners to do so. Isn’t this wonderful? That his could be regarded as ethical is completely beyond me, but this is the religion of rights my friend where we all should want for our sisters and brothers what we want for ourselves – wives excluded of course.

Some people try to argue that marrying another wife without informing the woman you’re already married to isn’t really honest, or just. But muslim scholars simply say that it must be regarded as just and honest since it is allowed in islam – because anything allowed by islam is inherently just and honest. Voila! Some people even dare argue that marrying another woman behind your wife’s back might actually be a violation of wanting for your sister what you want for yourself. But if this is what you claim you’re wrong. You see, wanting for your sister what you want for yourself only applies to women having to accept that other women want to be fucked and maintained by their husbands. It does not apply to men and any idea that men should want the same kind of honesty, fidelity and respect for their wives as they want for themselves. Noooope. Because you see, this is islam. Rights are for men, sacrifice is for women.

But then again, women have a right to keep their own money, don’t they? Men have to support their families with what they earn, women can keep every penny they own. After all, this is given as the reason why sons inherit twice as much as daughters. And women are told they must obey their husbands in everything and fuck him whenever he gives the order because men are the maintainers and protectors of women because they excel over women and because they spend on them. So women should be allowed to keep what little money they have, don’t you think?

Well, think again. Suddenly, muslim scholars say that well yeah, men are supposed to maintain their families. But women are supposed to want for their brothers what they want for themselves. So she should not be niggardly, but share her wealth. And if her husband uses her money to marry another woman and maintain her using the money of his first wife – well she should remember to want for her sister what she wants for herself.

If a woman stands on her rights in islam, she is niggardly, mean and unwilling to love for her husband and his other wives what she loves for herself.

If a man stands on his rights to marry other women without informing his first wife or asking for her consent – he’s a real man who takes care of the ummah. Even “moderate” muslims agree polygamy is a man’s right, so he is not accused of being greedy if he marries woman after woman to have as much sex as he wants, he is not accused of being greedy if he uses his first wife’s money to keep his second wife, he is not accused of being insensitive and mean if he causes his first wife lifelong misery and pain by giving half his life away to somebody else. But a woman who stands on her right to keep her own money – oh, she is mean, niggardly, cruel, insensitive and simply a bad muslim.

A man is right and has rights, a woman is wrong and has no rights. In islamic polygyny, there are only wrongs, and for women – not a single right.

Polygamy – What are we Sharing?

ThreeringsI have two husbands.

I love them both dearly. Not in the exact same way, but equally.

I try to be fair in all my dealings with my husbands. I try to keep my marriages separate. I don’t want to flaunt my life with one husband in front of the other. I don’t want one husband to fear an invasion of his integrity by knowing I might share our secrets or intimate bonds with the other. I want both my husbands to feel safe in my love and friendship.

True, polygamy sets boundaries to our lives together. I must be very careful so as not to hurt their feelings by comparing, being unfair or taking from one to give to the other. I must be very careful so as not to accidentally divulge details from one marriage to the other. So, I keep secrets. I cut some discussions short. I know my husbands find this painful, because they both know that when they run into the wall of silence, my love for the other husband is on the other side.

I love making love to my husbands. I love the strong bond that develops from making love, the moments of total seclusion and extreme intimacy. I also know that both my husbands suffer because even in our most intimate moments the image of me with my other husband might invade their minds, their hearts. I can’t help that. It’s just the truth of polygamy.

I love sharing moments of joy with our daughter with both my husbands. They have managed to find a way to share their love for her, and I love them for it. She calls her father papi, and my other husband athair, as she has heard her second cousins do. It’s all good. If you could see my daughter and the way she loves her two fathers  you would understand why islam allows polyandry!

We share our lives, our love, our pain. If you listen to male polygamists they often claim that what you share is not a husband’s love, but his time. This is not true. You can not share a spouse and say it’s only about sharing time. No, that’s a blatant lie!

In polygamy we share love, lives, body-fluids, mistakes – all of it.

We can not however share secrets or dreams. That’s the brutal truth.

I’m still happy I found two loves.

I didn’t choose polygamy. Now, I can’t see myself living any other way.

People, Polygamy, and Prayer

400px-Young_Saudi_Arabian_woman_in_AbhaA woman I used to work with is muslim. She is a great person, smart strong and funny, I always enjoyed working with her and we’ve kept in touch.

She reads my blog. Sometimes she has sent me private messages, commenting on posts. She has given me lots of support, but chided me at time too. That’s fine, we’re friends and some of the times she’s right. She has told me several times I should come with her to the masjid, listen to the service try to understand and see for myself the beauty of islam.

Finally I said yes. Yesterday I went with her to the masjid. Dressed in a headscarf and a black coat, I tagged along, trying to keep my mind open.

There was a long line of people entering the masjid. Or no, my mistake – a long line of men. They were queueing up to enter the beautiful main hall of the mosque. My friend and I went aroung the corner to a back door where a throng of women were trying to get in through a very narrow doorway. Many wore niqab, a cluster of unidentifiable people. When we finally got in, a narrow flight of stairs led to the first floor. A small room without any kind of beautification was full of women sitting everywhere, most of them on the floor or on folding chairs. My friend took me up front and showed me that through a kind of roster I could see a couple of people below – the imams. We went to the back of the room and sat down. And so the service began. We could herar through loudspeakers what went on downstairs. Still, it was kind of difficult to hear since many women had brought little children who found it very difficult to keep from playing and talking. Some of the women mumbled quietly to themselves, others sometimes clapped their hands. I could hear the man downstairs talking, sometimes in Arabic, sometimes in English. It was on the importance of zakat. When the service was over, the men downstairs crowded around the imam, to discuss religion said my friend. Of course, the women were not allowed downstairs for this. Some of the women handed out bread and candy. A small group of women were sitting around a young woman who was crying. My Arabic is good enough for me to be able to understand that she was sad because her husband doesn’t allow her out of the house except for the occasional visit to the masjid. Another group of women that I had noticed before because they had changed places mid service were talking angrily amongst themselves. My friend explained that the women were angry because a new wife had chosen to come to this masjid, the masjid of the divorced wife who had not wanted a divorce. They were saying she came only to flaunt herself before the first wife.

My friend was very silent. Afterwards, we went for a coffee. We sat silently, drinking bloody expensive Starbuck lattes. Suddenly she looked me in the eyes and I could see she had tears in hers. “Look” she said “I have never before seen my masjid through somebody else’s eyes. I did today because you were with me. And it hurt. I could see us huddling upstairs in that ugly little room, shut out from taking part, shut out from being a part of it. Just a sorry group of malcontent women. I’m sorry I brought you.”

“If that is what you finally were able to see” I answered “I’m very glad you brought me. That’s exactly what I saw too”.

Oxford Union: “Feminism has been hijacked by white middle-class women”


I argue that likewise, feminism has been hijacked by middle class muslims. If my white privileges make me unable to understand the struggle, and show solidarity with the struggle, of muslim women of colour, the same is true in the opposite direction. If white feminists look down on muslim women who try to become equal within their own cultural setting and belief frame, the same is true of muslim women who claim that their struggle for equality within the belief frame is of higher value, as here. Every woman who claims that gender segregation is her right, not a means of oppression, fights for a world where women are considered as OTHERS, a world where my right to walk side by side with men, pray side by side with men is trampled. Every woman who claims her RIGHT to be secluded in her husband’s home and says this is equality, is hijacking the concept and arming patriarchal men who want to say I am an unnatural woman for wanting to work. Every woman who claims the veil is her right and a means to be equal, is giving weapons to men who claim that women are the OTHERS and must assume responsibility towards the sexuality and morals of men and must behave and dress differently because she is the OTHER. Every woman who claims that a difference in biology should also mean a difference in society is claiming that racism and apartheid is intrinsically right. So the sisters in the global south who are claiming women’s OTHERNESS is a right are contributing to the on going subjugation of all women. In this article, white women are called to respect the cultural frame works of the global south. We are asked to respect people and not come and project. So why not call for muslim middle class women to respect our cultural frame work and not come and project? There are plenty of well educated, middle class muslimahs who are not individually oppressed, but have a choice. Why should not they, when they come to my space, show solidarity with my struggle within my cultural sphere but in stead scorn the struggle for equality that I have to endure? No – to all muslimahs in the West: If you come to my space, respect me, do not come and project!

Originally posted on myriamfrancoiscerrah:

This is the transcript of a speech given by Myriam Francois-Cerrah in an Oxford Union debate on 12 Feburary. She was speaking in favour of the successful motion “This House believes that feminism has been hijacked by white middle class women”, alongside Ava Vidal and  Linda Bellos OBE. In opposition: Inna Schevchenko from FEMEN, Michael Kaufman and Natalie Bennett (Green Party).

Ladies and Gentleman, it is a pleasure to be here with you this evening.

I know, I know – the apparent irony of my being a white middle class woman who believes feminism has been hijacked by white middle class women will, I’m certain, not be lost on you.

But – it is in many ways a vindication of my case.

After all, I am a minority within my own community – unrepresentative of Muslim women either here or in the global south, in terms of my either socio-economic profile…

View original 1,303 more words

Ghairah in Polygamy

If I were to order anybody to do sudjud to another I would order husbands to prostrate before their wife, because of her immense rights over them.

If I were to order anybody to do sudjud to another I would order husbands to prostrate before their wife, because of her immense rights over them.

Mark was very upset with me yesterday. He came and asked me for a fishing rod of his, one my children and I gave him for his birthday many years ago. I told him I had lent it to Graham and he had taken it to the Chilterns. Mark exploded. He was furious, screaming things like I have given Graham everything else, couldn’t I at least let him keep gifts from his children. I apologized. I can understand his anger. But still, he has to accept that we are living polygamy. I can’t keep my two lives completely separate. He must learn to keep his jealousy in check.

A kind of Ghairah is unique to men whose wives are married to more than one husband. This kind of Ghairah takes the form of jealousy in a man, of a degree of resentment towards other men who are also married to his wife. A man is naturally disposed to this kind of Ghairah, and as long as he does not go too far with that Ghairah, his wife should be patient with him and advise him with gentle words. Muslim men must remember that An Nisa 4:24 clearly gives a woman the right to marry as many men as she chooses, as long as she gives herself to them to be what their right hands possess. Men must accept this and understand that women have been granted this privilege because they are physically and mentally able to keep many husbands, and govern them justly.

The Warped Wickedness of Mr Khalid Baig

The right to beat your wife, to have plural wives, to keep slaves and fuck them...

The right to beat your wife, to have plural wives, to keep slaves and fuck them…

I wrote earlier about gender apartheid in islam, and I mentioned an article by Khalid Baig. In another article by the same author you can see that he claims that the family in the West has been ruined by female emancipation. He says that families are divided by emancipation, women suffer from demands they are not equal to meet, men suffer because they haven’t got women at their disposal in the home and children suffer because they are abandoned by their mothers.

First of all I would like to state a few obvious truths that Mr Baig has overlooked. One: If women work it means that the family has a double income and can provide better homes, better food and better education to their children thus giving them a better start in life. If a mother works while her children attend their better school, the children are winners not losers. Two: if men started to own up to their half of the work in the home, the women would be sufferers no more. And by doing so men would come to know their homes, their children and their wives better and respect their wives more and women and men both would be winners. So: if men put their big boy’s trousers on and start acting like men, doing their half of all work in the home – everybody would be winners.

One thing that strikes me while reading Mr Baig’s article is that he calls the home “the home of the husband”. Like: “the wife should stay in the home of the husband”. Did you hear that? Not her home. Her husband’s home. And this of course is at the basis of Mr Baig’s warped and misogynist ideology. The wife must obey the husband because he spends on her. Because his work has a value and is paid, her work has no value and is not paid. If a woman in the West divorces her husband, she gets to keep half of the family assets. Because of course the husband can only earn because the wife takes care of home and family. The value of her work is equal to the value of his – in the West. In the warped and disgusting views of Mr Baig her work is worth only empty words like “being a mother is an honour and gives her high status” while in reality it gives her nothing, not even a part in owning her home. She lives in her husband’s home. His only. Because his work has a value, hers has none. He spends on her, no matter how much she works and slaves away she does not spend on him. That is Mr Baig for you.

He says that when women were given freedom, actually they became enslaved. Society broke down. Divorce-rates and social problems reached an all time high. Mr Baig: with the same kind of warped logics you can take a look at what happened to coloureds when slavery was abolished. Look at crime-rates among the coloured community in the US, look at adultery and domestic violence among the coloureds. Obviously slavery was better. Freedom has not given the coloured community a perfect life. So, we should reinstate slavery. Do you see Mr Baig, how sick and horrible your argument is??? I suppose you can’t because if you could you would not have written these sickening articles.

Mr Baig. Your ideology is the toxic medicine that keeps women in slavery and your part of the world in misery. Your ideology is what gives air to ISIS and Boko Haram.

Mr Baig. You are the stuff nightmares are made of.