Monday 3 May 2010

The Rights of Muslim Women.

I had a strange dream the other day...I am not sure if it was a dream or a vision or what exactly...I was half awake, or maybe fully awake...I cannot remember exactly...
But what I do remember is that I woke up thinking of "milk". I am not a milk drinker I was not needing milk so to speak...

I thought of milk, I saw milk, and by association I thought of the millions of cows that produce this nourishment daily...I thought how many tons of milk are produced worldwide each day, and how many cows it takes to produce this milk...then I thought of the millions of cows that are slaughtered/sacrificed daily to give even more nourishment, in terms of meat...then of course my thoughts took me to the hamburger chains and the amount of reconstiuted beef they sell daily...

All these cows and all this milk and all this meat...

So I shared this vision/thought with a friend of mine and he said --see how much human beings take for granted what is generously provided for them by God ?!

Even though the answer was sort of satisfactory, it did not satiate me...

So I read Surat Al-Baqara (The Cow) from the Holy Koran. It is the second Surat, right after the Fatiha. I read it in Arabic and I read about 5 English translations of it  (this is a good Koranic website by the way for those who are interested, it has different translations into English and transliterations as well)

I must read it again and again...for it is a known fact that each time, a different meaning or a different level of understanding will be manifested...

In any case, when I finished reading that Surat - Al -Baqara, the Cow, I was left with this bitter feeling that there was/is a strong abuse/violation of Muslim Women's rights, due to a) an outdated, limited literal interpretation of the text  b) male theologians who seem to collectively hate/fear women or should I say the Feminine c) by Muslim men themselves and the societies they rule and d) last but not least by the women themselves...

What comes out from that first overall reading of this Surat are the concepts of (and in no chronological order)

- sincerity
- honesty/truthfulness
- equity
- goodness
- fairness
- justice
- kindness
- generosity
- compassion
- charity
- humility
- purity/cleanliness
- protection/self-defense

And what is clearly admonished against are

- concealment
- untruthfulness/lies/dishonesty
- inequity
- arrogance/haughtiness
- gratuitous aggression
- transgression
- cheating
- unfairness
- oppression
- corruption
and more ....since I don't know this Surat by heart...

And what has become transparent for me is that the context in which this Surat was revealed -- its aim was/is to re-establish what is Right...or what was forgotten, ignored, deformed...or concealed...

And I realized that the context has not changed much since that first revelation...

But then that same Surat tackles that too...when God says to the effect -- and many say that they are believers but they believe not...