I must say I wrote this a while ago and was very apologetic to different views on the Quran, but it is a matter of opinion.
I must have been seventeen when my friend gave me Islamic advice on marriage. It was a book called “How to Win the Heart of Your Husband” although I can’t remember the author. I was excited when I first read it, hoping to get Islamic advice on how to have a good marriage. What I read was the most far fetching, dubious and the most ridiculous and ludicrous piece of work that I have ever read. It left me in bouts of laughing hysteria, tears of bafflement and above all, a great amount of spiritual conflict. Previously being Sunni, of course I was interested in the women’s obligations in the Sunna, but what I read was something that made me sick to my stomach. This author (and many others I might add, of similar books) had twisted the whole concept of compassionate wifely obedience (in apologetic religious terms) into disgusting subjugation, oppression and marital horror. Most of its marital advice stemmed from hadiths and traditional teachings of the Quran. What I read here was the torture and subservience of a slave. To put it bluntly, women according to this conservative author were not to have any say or any sort of authority or opinions with their husbands and were to be there in dutiful silence. Much like a miraculous walking vagina.
The first issue I will start with is sex in the marriage bed. After quoting numerous sex hadith manuals on how to mount your wife, (do you really need instructions? Sexual Education in High school is good enough) I came across one that particularly caught my eye. “When a woman spends the night away from the bed of her husband, the angels curse her until morning”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Now of course much research has been done into the issue and I am pretty sure this is the main hadith that prevent wives from refusing their husband’s sex.
Apparently not being in the mood is not a valid reason to refuse sex and so just because your husband didn’t get ‘any’ for a few nights because you were pissed or tired, Allah is apparently petty enough to order some angels to curse you till kingdom come. Well does a husband get cursed for refusing his wife sex? Women have just as much rights to enjoy sex in the marriage bed and are not 24/7 incubators for a men to dip their wicks. I am sure no matter how engorged his penis is, he will live. Another similar hadith to go along with this one is depriving women the right to be able to enjoy marital sex, “When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire, she must go to him even if she is occupied with the oven”. [At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i]. What about her desire? It is very selfish of a man to call a wife for his sexual pleasure while she is making food most likely for her children, just so that he doesn’t cream up his pants. For goodness sake, act like a real man. I don’t think I need to say this, but any civilized and respectful person would know that sex in the marriage bed is mutual, consensual and both are to enjoy it. But I am not here to give sex advice.
So after skimming through the sexual obligations, which unsurprisingly did not mention a woman’s right to enjoy sexual intercourse with her husband, I went to wifely obligations. So at first hand they talked about religious duties and I got smacked in the face with this: “It is not lawful for a woman to observe (voluntary) fasting without the permission of her husband when he is at home; and she should not allow anyone to enter his house without his permission.”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. That particular hadith made me snort, but is an example of women subjugation even when it comes to serving God!
Now we are well aware with the problems and contradictions as well as validity surrounding hadith (and Quran), but from the Quran it is made clear that shirk is the most unforgiveable sin. We all know it. The Sunna make noise about it all the time (usually to attack people) and make shirk out of the stupidest things from voting, putting up posters, to simply sending a smiley to someone on msn (yes even that). I will remind people that shirk according to Muslims is ONLY ascribing partners to Allah and worshipping something along with Allah, making it seem as great as he. Not hard to grasp, but as usual Muslims wish to make things more complicated and out of sexual repression and frustration, make wars on the msn smiley face (poor little guy). I think I have made my point, shirk is the most unforgiveable sin in Quran and even in the questionable concepts of shirk in hadith. However with their woman subjugation comes more shirk in the following hadith: “If I were to order anyone to prostrate himself before another, I would have ordered a woman to prostrate herself before her husband”. [At-Tirmidhi] Firstly, ordering women to bow to men like they are gods when most of them are in fact pigs (good men the exception) is not only misogyny, subjugation and a form of involuntary slavery, but is SHIRK. It is idolatry even if it is metaphorical. Women are not commanded to bow down to their husbands, merely obey the righteous men that bring in the money and take care of them. I sort of wish Tirmidhi said something a bit more interesting like, bow down before KFC (whatever ancient KFC was called back then.) But I will make it clear; men and women are to bow down to no one but ALLAH as the Quran commands (yet their sunnah making it a massive contradiction in itself).
Finally skipping through another load of bullshit, I came to women in the afterlife as narrated: “Whenever a woman harms her husband in this world (that is without any due right), his wife among the (Houris in Jannah) says: `You must not harm him. May Allah destroy you! He is only a passing guest with you and is about to leave you to come to us”. [At-Tirmidhi]. What about men who harm their wives (as we have seen in the Islamic world it is a big problem)? Does she get to flip him off with a group of sexy men? For some reason partners for women aren’t mentioned in the hadiths. Firstly spouses die hating each other all the time, that doesn’t mean they were unrighteous people or that it is always the woman’s fault. My point here is that this hadith is again to make women subjugated to their husbands with the fear of been humiliated in paradise (which is strange because apparently it is a place of no anguish or grievance) and yet again it only refers to the woman. Because honestly what sort of woman would agree to beauty in return for watching her husband shag 72 prostitutes in the afterlife in alcohol induced orgies?
So this is the first part on that stupid book with the opinions on the common hadiths known. Next time I will elaborate more with the hadiths and traditional views of the Quran that most people don’t know and are kept hidden. These hadiths and traditional views on Quran are the cause for wife beating and ill treatment in households as well as women been treated like animals and walking vaginas.