Saudi Women Talk Rights

Category: Life & Society, Middle East, Women Topics: Women

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Saudi women cannot check into a hotel without a male family member. Stories about the right to drive and spousal abuse are often kept out of the kingdom's media by editors concerned for their jobs.

But in the past year, some of those taboos have been lifted, at least temporarily. In fact, when the first government-sponsored conference on women's issues was announced early this year, there was a spontaneous and unprecedented outpouring of public support.

Groups of women, individuals, and members of charitable and cultural societies from across the country flooded the council's offices with working papers, surveys, suggestions, and demands. "The announcement made women act on a need that has been building up for years," says Fatima Naseef, an Islamic scholar and university lecturer. Dr. Naseef got together with 32 women from different parts of Saudi Arabia and put together a seven-page document of their requests, including a safe house for battered spouses and a female-staffed office to advise women on their rights under Islamic law concerning divorce, child custody, support and alimony.

The three-day conference on women, which ends Monday, is the third in a series of forums initiated by the country's reform-minded Crown Prince Abdullah. It follows previous meetings on political reform and combating terrorists. The forums' recommendations are nonbinding, but are part of the House of Saud's strategy to pressure militant religious figures and the extremists who have attacked the vital Saudi oil sector, killing and kidnapping foreigners. The fact that the conferences are being held at all, say some analysts, is an indication that conservative clerics are on the defensive.

Spurred by the coming conference, women's issues have been given unprecedented attention on Saudi television programs, radio shows, newspapers, and private meetings in recent weeks. Saudis have seen debates on the pros and cons of women driving, how the court system and divorce laws are skewed in favor of men, the high unemployment women suffer, and whether desegregated workplaces violate Islamic law.

Earlier this month the Council of Ministers - the most powerful government body - issued a nine-point plan urging the creation of more job opportunities for women.

Saudi authorities have just approved the establishment of an all-women industrial city that will host training centers and employ approximately 10,000 women at more than 80 factories, the city's main investor announced Saturday. Hessa Aloun, who runs an investment company and is also a member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, told the Associated Press that two companies, one Chinese and one Malaysian, have already signed agreements to start training programs in early 2005. "We have a large women cadre that wants to work in the industrial field, but without proper training this is not possible," Ms. Aloun said.

Still, even the nine-point plan includes the caveat that all reforms must be in accord with sharia or Islamic law. And what is permissible in Islam is open to interpretation. Saudi activists say that is precisely why progress has been so hard to come by.

"In Saudi Arabia it's taking us a long time to move forward because we're still discussing basics. We're still debating whether it's permissible in Islam for women to drive or to work alongside men. Neither is against our religion, the taboo has only been passed down through local traditions and customs," says Maha Fitaihi, one of the conference's participants.

Though reform has been on the Crown Prince's agenda for years, the events of Sept. 11, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, and a campaign of violence by militant extremists in Saudi Arabia that has taken the lives of at least 80 people, have accelerated the need for change.

While just as many females graduate from college as men, they have limited job opportunities, and make up just 5 percent of the private work force. Most women work as teachers but there are a growing number of doctors, journalists, and television presenters. The problem is not only minimal work opportunities, but also logistics, argue women. Saudi women are not allowed to drive cars, and cannot travel, marry, or get identification papers without the permission of a male guardian.

"This extreme dependence on a male guardian is a handicap," says Johara al-Angary, head of the family section of the newly formed Human Rights Commission. "The women who most need work are often those who don't have a husband or male children, and there are many of them," says Mrs. Angary, who's been working with charity organizations for more than 20 years.

According to a survey of 150 women printed in the al-Madina newspaper, women complained about the lack of a judicial entity to help them learn about and apply their rights, unemployment, the inability to travel and represent themselves in court and other official offices without a male guardian, and a lack of recourse in case of violence against them.

Television anchor Rania al-Baz says one of the most important things Saudi women need is social awareness. Mrs. Baz gained notoriety in April when she was brutally beaten by her husband, and photos appeared in the local papers of the TV personality lying unconscious in a hospital bed, her face battered and bruised. The fact that she allowed her picture to be published and was willing to talk to the press broke a social taboo and shed a spotlight on the widespread problem of physical abuse.

"The reason more women don't complain about physical abuse by their husbands is social conditioning. We're not taught to speak out and ask for our rights. We need to change the way we view ourselves and our lives. We need change from the inside out," says Mrs. Baz. She is now working as a consultant with the Human Rights Commission and the Committee of the Muslim Woman and Child.

Mrs. Baz, who suffered eleven fractures and will undergo another operation next week, is optimistic about the future.

"I'm not sure I can go back to television because my face might not be the same again," she says. "But I will continue to try to educate women. The fact that we're even having this conference on women is a big step forward. It's a success not only for the 35 [female] participants but for all Saudi women," she says.

But not everyone in Saudi is pleased about the prospect of empowering women. On Saturday, a petition in the name of 32 women was circulated among the conference participants, al-Watan newspaper reported.

The paper printed a copy of the petition which asked the conference's participants to stand against "the coming flood of negative changes facing women .. The purpose of women working and driving cars is to get women out of their homes, which would have negative social effects and .. lead to immoral behavior," the statement said. Mixing between the sexes and desegregation of schools is against Islam, the statement said. Those asking for change were a minority not representative of the majority of Saudis.

Despite such views, Mrs. Angary says that change is coming. "For the first time I feel really optimistic. I think now's our time. Rights are not given, they're taken. And we're at a turning point. This is our moment. We need to seize it now. Otherwise future generations will never forgive us," she says.

 

Source: The Christian Science Monitor


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  57 Comments   Comment

  1. Alli Farrah from USA

    It seems impossible to me that women who are without male sponcership are left in a postion of begging their neighbors for help. This help can only be forth coming if their neighbors male heads agree. (Unless the female of the home is willing to go aginst her husband and smuggle her crumbs to her sister.) How can a government allow it's citizens to suffer so? A woman produces sons for her husband, nutures both the husband and the children, and yet her mind and heart are concidered to be of less importence, to be weaker of moral intregrity then the men that she brings into the world? This is not the Islam I was tought.

  2. Haifa Osra from Saudi Arabia

    No one can feel what a Saudi woman feel like a Saudi woman. I am one of who suffered from the situation of physical and social abuse. I believe if the Saudi society believe we do not have rights to be taken, those rights should be forced to establish. In Islam everyone is responsible of their actions and choices. if we are wrong then God who would judge us. no one can prevent people from behaving according to their beliefs as long as they are not abusing others.

  3. Rahman from Bangladesh

    I am so glad the women in Saudi Arabia finally made an effort to talk to their rights.

    I lived in Saudi for nine years. Women in Saudi need to join the workforce and be a bigger part of decision making.

  4. Lulu-UK from UK

    What planet are we living in when we say that muslim women can not do this and can not do that. Have we forgotten that muslim women were leaders well beyond this century since the beginning of Islam. They commanded armies and kingdoms across continents. One needs to read history. Some how we are rcycling ideoligies that are not in the spirit of Islam that relate to culture hence hindring women from progressing. There is no way women can work on their own without mixing with society. God created man and woman to work together and advance civilization. Anyone who has an issue on that need to reform their thinking and reflect on the reality that is existing today.

    Muslim civilization need the support of both men and women and hopefully we will all support each other without any division. Those who think otherwise will be left behind having only themselves to blame.

    We need more muslim women judges, more muslim women pioneers who can work side by side with the rest of the world not only to advance humanity but also to uplift the status of the muslim soceity at every level. So far we have muslim women who are advancing 21st century be it in Malaysia, Germany, Africa, USA or the middle east. Sadly they are minority and their work need to be supported more both by muslim women and men.

    The good news is that muslim womens' work have been slowly emerging in the international arena. Let us not forget that there are leading muslim women working side by side with the international community be it in the UN, World Bank, universities and so on. Surely with time changes will take place that will help muslim countries with leadership.

  5. Marwa from South Pacific

    First and foremost is the fact that in Islam women are allowed to be educated, to work and to consent to marriage. However women are not allowed to work alongside men. why? because if it were, they would be working with non-mahram men, that is to say breaking one of the Islamic Laws.

    Women in Islam can be; Doctors,teachers,nurses, anything that is in relation with women. But their outmost and important job is in the home.They must be good mothers and wives.

    In Islam God gives the responsibility of supporting the family to the man, so a job is optional to a woman, God has not said, "Women are the maintainers and supporters of the family".

  6. H.A. from Yathrib

    I challenge the current court-appointed (NOT "pepocratic") U.S. gov't to over the the Kind Fadh regime in Saudi Arabia for such cruelty toward Saudi women.....but I wonder

    who is goint to invest billions in Bush-affiliated companies? ....& Who is going to keep the long-lasting "CHEAP OIL FOR THUGS' PROTECTION" program alive and well?

    ----------------------------------------

    Why ask why? Try Bud Dry! Take advantage of freedom! You gotta be a freedom-loving person. Go out alone at night, you women! Be devil's guests!!! No life after death; only LITE&DUFF!

  7. Lulu-UK from UK

    Salaams. I feel that Saudi women just like other women around the globe will embrace changes in their society at a pace that suits them. With time history will witness how Saudi women will embrace change bottom up which will suit their culture and needs.

    Allah has blessed us with faculties of reasoning and surely the muslim nation wherever they reside on this planet should welcome changes that will support 21st century civilization.

    As a sister and a mother I feel that men should support women without debating on issues that are specific to women. Women wether from Saudi Arabia, Malaysia or Africa are finding their own ways of sharing their rights within the societies that they live in be it muslim countries or living in the West.

    Change, creativity and benefiting from changes through time are some of the elements that will support women shape their lives within the societies that they live in. I for one would like muslim men to discuss more issues related to leadership and decision making than how women should dress up. This issue should be left to women alone who are intelligent enough to decide for themselves.

    Poverty, illiteracy and abuse of humanrights are the issues that are important around the globe to muslim women and surely muslim women are doing incredible job of moving forward with time.

    Peace.

  8. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Wassalam alaikum brother Akbar. I just saw your message to me. Jazak Allah khair - for your kindness and help. May you be rewarded for good deeds and intentions.

    My understanding is that Allah has told Muslims (via the Qur'an) to the ponder the affairs and fates of ruined empires and so on. According to Ahmed Rashid in his book "Taliban: Islam, Oil, and the New Great Game" the primary reason why the U.S.A. did not recognize the Taliban government of Afghanistan was political activism by American feminists (think: "Hilary Clinton").

    Should I presume to tell the Lord of the Worlds who is and who is not permitted to assist Muslims? (What if the Lord of the Worlds disagrees with me?) If there is trouble in my very own neighborhood is it no business of mine - according to Allah?

    I am not really expecting any answers to these questions. I am merely submitting them for my brothers and sisters to perhaps consider if there might be any merit to the questions themselves.

    Massalaam.

  9. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Assalamu Alaikum Brother Hudd D'Alhamd. Why did you think I had said "most knowledgeable" when I had only asked for help from someone "knowledgeable" on Islam?

    The best I can seem to do would be the following:

    Nafi', 'Abdullah ibn Dinar and Zayd ibn Aslam reported from Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah will not look at someone who trails his garment out of arrogance."

    Salim ibn 'Abdullah related from his father ('Abdullah ibn 'Umar) that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If someone trails his garment out of arrogance, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Rising." Abu Bakr said, "Messenger of Allah, one side of my waist wrapper hangs down if I do not attend to that." The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "You are not one of those who do it out of arrogance."

    I have perceived arrogance in responses from those who appear to be more knowledgeable on Islam - in response to comments submitted by those who seem to be less knowledgeable on Islam - particularly in response to submissions by reverts. For what it might be worth, I pray I would drive no one to arrogance.

    Wassalam.

  10. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Assalaamu'Alaiykum br. D'Alaxa (Hudd D'Alhamd).

    Jazak-Allah Khair for your good words.

    To get back to this discussion we are having about commands ordained by Allah (SWT), or commands ordained by a man telling a woman she is allowed to do this or not allowed to this, is a matter of great care, that, like you said, we as Muslims do not begin to subject women to making a choice that she should be making on her own. Again this illuminates how beautiful the message of Islam is. Rasool-As-Salam (saaw), reminded us that this religion is easy. If we begin to make it rigid and impossible to live, how are we ever going to exist in this duniyah without learning from our mistakes, to learn to control our nafs? For a muhajabah to have a strand of hair showing from under her hijab, and for someone to pass judgement upon seeing this, is like someone saying that they know what her niyyat is...thus becoming judge and jury of her actions. I believe this is a level of subjugation.

    I myself do not prescribe to the teachings of the Salafi way or the Wahhabi way...I merely wish to rely upon the teachings of the true Salaf As-Salih (righteous predecessors), who brought great wealth to the body of Islamic understanding, such as Sayyidina Bayazid al-Bistami, Maulana Chisti (ra), Imam Ghazali (ra), Maulana Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra), Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi...I could go on and on. My question is...why are these great Muslims and their writings from the past so often frowned upon by members of Ummah today?...When I hear people telling me stories about crazy sufi's...I think to myself, it's like they're referring to him/her as Faasiq or Mushrik... It does sadden me to think that there would be such judgement being enforced against the teachings of these great masters of ascetisicsm and dhikr.

    Right now in this time, whether we all Muslims have differences in even Aqeedah...it is not the time for us to be disputing with each other about such matters, right?

  11. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Assalaamu'Alaiykum dear br. Yahya,

    It's been a while since we've discussed. I believe that we should look towards the following ayat in the Qur'an:

    "Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who pleads with thee concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to Allah. and Allah (always) hears the arguments between both sides among you: for Allah hears and sees (all things)."

    Surah Al-Mujadilah, Ayat 1.

    Another translation of this beautiful ayat I found at beliefnet.com, by Robert Van der Weyer, in "366 Readings from Islam":

    "God hears the words of the woman who complains to Muhammad about the cruelty of her husband; God hears her words when she complains directly to him. God listens to everything that is said; he hears all and observes all."

    Obviously Yusuf A. Ali's translation is the popular choice, but I just thought I would post the second translation in order to exemplify the meaning of this Ayat.

    To answer your question as to why believing men should not let their garments drag on the ground - are for a few reasons...in the Jahiliyyah (age of ignorance before Islam), the arabs in Makkah used to wear very long garments that would drag behind them. The first reason would be that, it is a showcase of pride, that you are so wealthy that you can buy so much cloth to wear, and the other reason would be connected to that, that it is simply a waste of cloth, that gets dirty, and instead of spending your money on wearing a big giant cloth that drags behind you, you could spend that money in a more useful manner. Nowadays when people wear pants that hang down below their ankles, now personally I would say there is nothing wrong with that, considering that these garments are not dragging below the ankles for the purpose of showcasing how rich you are and then to be proud and boastful about it. I hope that is a good enough explanation, I am not so knowledgable but this point I have down, lol.

  12. D'Alaxa(Hudd D'Alhamd) from Toronto, Canada

    Br Yahyah Bergum, I find your comments rather ethereal, not a very good practice while dealing with concrete matter. There is nothing vague in Islam, don't try to introduce this eery Edgar Allen Powe sort of narrative in serious matters. I definitely dislike your tone,"the most knowledgeable on Islam" , you should know by now, there is only one person that would fit this description among humans:Muhammad,pbuh! So, please do not invoke this again in your search for answers from the brothers because you make me lose my Islam and tell you things you didn't opt for! I will attempt to answer your dilemmas,"Would someone knowledgeable on Islam care to explain why believing men should not let their garments drag on the ground?" #1-Somebody knowledgeabale on Islam might be of no use to somebody not from his ilk. If someone is knowledgeable on Wahabi tradition(call it Islam) is of practically no use to me! He could be the custodian of the al-Haramein! #2-Allah says in His book, "I have revealed to you a message without ambiguity(mubeen)". In another place,"Follow the prophet(e.g.,Muhammad,pbuh)for he is delivering My message". #3-God, Allah, gave you reason and the means of getting to knowledge, you need nobody to instruct you except Allah and his messanger. Maybe you don't know certain basic things after which the Muslims are supposed to guide themselves. I teach my children like this, 'we submit to one: Allah, we guide after three: 1-Quran,2-Hadith,3-Fiqh, from the three an Ijma is drawn for things that are 'grey'. Back to your question, there is nothing haram to drag your clothes(pants) on the ground if that is your culture. In the Fiqh(jurisprudence) is said that the dirt clinging on your garment is purified by the earth as you walk. You my brother have to make the distinction between the following: Islam on one side and popular traditions, regional cultures, tribal believes, personal convictions, atavistic practices, ignorant assumptions and superstitious phobias!

  13. D'Alaxa(Hudd D'Alhamd) from Toronto, Canada

    As-Salamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi Taala wa barakatu. Brothers and sisters, Islam is the light of the world, let not shadow it with our personal frustrations. Umm Muhammad, Akbar Khan and Adam Ibrahim, with all due respect, personally I shun Wahabism, although I admit it had some merits in the beginnig, when Arabia was in the period of the new jahilia(ignorance). Like any revolution in history, the Wahabism came violently and compelling. "There shall be no compulsion in religion". A difference must be made, not from a Wahabi point of view or defending Wahabism, but from a pure Islamic perspective of the woman and the woman in the West. I will not say that there is nothing wrong with Wahabism, because there is, in my point of view, and the state of affairs in Saudi Arabia are deplorable, not only from the woman's side. Br Adam Ibrahim and Umm Muhammad, I do not endorse leniency in matters of faith. If we say, oh a little strand of visible hair from under the scarf is OK, to please the kaffer's curiousity of the hair colour. An alcoholic beer is OK once in a while when with work colleagues, etc. But to become rigid and narrow down the huddud Allah is not good for the Umah! There is a treand to even the differences between Muslims and non-Muslims. If we did that, what else is there for us to support? On the other other hand, to create an unnecessary chasm is ludicrous! Muhammad,pbuh, said,"when you go among the nations, do not try to change their lore for yours, unless is a forbidden act, nay if it is good and pleasing to you adopt it and thus increase your own lore." The light of the soul is the eye, said Jesus,pbuh, and you need feed back from the other person's eye alongside with his verbal statement. More than often the two don't jibe, if you know what I'm saying. The position of the woman in the latter days Islam is questionable, let's face it guys. Again, I do not advocate for a Muslim woman to embrace Western values, that would be indecent.

  14. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Assalamu alaikum. Would someone knowledgeable on Islam care to explain why believing men should not let their garments drag on the ground? Why not also perhaps consider showing at least a little more patience with reverts?

    Hopefully this is not too far off the current track but - while I was defending the merits of Islam (insha'Allah) - an "evangelist" brought to bring my attention to the following ayat. After expressing my gratitude to Allah (for my would-be antagonist's efforts) for a hopefully better understanding of Islam, the "evangelist" seemed to lose interest in that particular discussion (masha'Allah).

    [Quran 80:5-10] As to one who regards [h]imself as self-sufficient, to him dost thou attend... But as to him who came to thee, striving earnestly... of him wast thou unmindful.

    For whatever it might be worth, my thinking would be that before I challenge wisdom (such as that received by the Ulema) I should first carefully (re)consider my own motives in doing so. If the most knowledgeable on Islam would care to consider whatever reasons I might be able to offer them, regardless of the limits of whatever knowledge I myself have received, it would be as Allah willed - would it not? Actually, my "fear" here, in challenging wisdom, is of somehow leaving the less knowledgeable with the impression that I am more knowledgeable than I actually am.

    My question remains, do you suppose that a number of Muslim women might be praying for help from their Lord? If you suppose this might be the case then who might you perhaps hope would be helping them? Or do you suppose they would not receive any help (beyond better guidance)? In any case, have hope! To Allah we return.

  15. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Assalaamu'Alaiykum sr. Umm Muhammad,

    I personally never attacked brother Adam Ibrahim, I just personally have a different view than him. Please note, br. Adam also stated that the first five commentors "exhibited their ignorance of the religion of Islam." If this is not a personal attack then I don't know what to say.

    Personally I would like to see a time where Muslims can get back to the age where they respected their rights to have differences of opinion, which did exist for hundreds of years with much peace between schools of thought. Why is it that now, all of a sudden, that so many muslims have this misconception for example, that sufi's are somehow not "real muslims"...just for exampes sake? What about those people who say that when you say Ya Nabi, or Ya Rasool-Allah, that you are saying something wrong? Don't you think that's kind of ridiculous when people do things like this. I mean how many of hte ahadith begin with the words, Ya Rasool-Allah (Oh Messenger of Allah?).

    I personally was upset with some people who did make personal attacks of br. Adam Ibrahim. I myself never did so, because that is not how I talk to my Muslim bro's and sisters.

    There's an saying that goes, "I agree to disagree." Siser Umm Muhammad, you might agree that what br. Adam is saying is correct, but I do not agree that what he is saying is entirely correct, so I agree to disagree. But, the moment you start to conclude superiority over the human race by saying, "I'M RIGHT, YOU'RE WRONG!", is the moment you lose all credibility. I am not an islamic scholar. I have not dedicated my life to studying Islam in a Madressa, but I have read the Qur'an over hundreds of times.

    My main points of disagreement, not I did not say he is WRONG, are that it seems as if he is using the "nakedness" of hte West, exposure of women in the West, as an excuse for the behaviour and treatment towards women in Muslim countries. Let me continue in hte next box...

  16. Umm Muhammad from USA

    As-salaam Alaikum brothers and sisters.

    I have read all of the comments by Adam Ibrahim Muhammad. I find him to be 100% correct. Why are you guys attacking this brother?

    He has not said anything outside of Islam.

    We must not condemn our brothers with mean, hateful language. If you don't agree with something someone has said you don't have to attack that person personally.

    The sad thing is many of you do not want to acknowledge that what he says is the truth. Heck, I live in America, so I should know about some of the things he is talking about.

    Maybe some of you should change your mentality and look at what the brother is saying!

  17. Um Muhammad from USA

    Nicolette did it ever occur to you that we dress this way in our "uniform" because we ARE DOING OUR JOB? Which is to serve our Lord and obey Him?

    I am not one bit sorry that a Muslim womans dress code doesn't conform to the Western brainwashed idea of fashion.

    So you don't see us as people huh?

    You are right about one thing though my dress code does constrict my choices in life, (i.e. swimming at the neighborhood pool, ain't gonna happen)

    BUT THAT IS WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO DO!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Djebbar from Uk

    Asalam Alikom well i think we need to read our kouran what ever god and our prophet told us to do our best to acheive our goal jana incha allah .

    Doyou best mt friends is better then nothing .

    Respect to all women .

    Salam Alikom

  19. Buzayed

    I agree, for women protection a spouce should be represented with the women.

  20. Paul from Uk

    Peace,

    Adam Ibrahim Muhammad.

    We might Read and See what we want.

    We might See, but with a myopic view.

    We might Feel, without Compassion.

    We might Listen, but Scream back.

    We might Preach, but fail to Understand.

    We might Judge, without Knowledge.

    We might Submit, but have a Opinion.

    We Might, but is it Righteous?

    Peace for All.

  21. abdul azziz from usa

    Salaam-

    Response to Br. Adam Ibrahim Muhammad:

    Please read my comments again. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is not whome I disagree with.

    I am disagreeing with the words of the Ijma you endorse, (the concensus of the Ulama) as you put it.

    I have a problem with Fatwa happy mullah's who distort my religion, who endorse the opression of my sisters. MEN who encourage behavior counter to the teachings and general tone of Al Qur'an.

    Anyone whose read any ahadith knows Khadijah was a business woman...but still Prophet Muhammad (SAW) married her, she was his favorite wife as is reported.

    Any clear minded Muslim would have to stop and ponder how the current treatment of sisters in Arabia is in keeping with this reality of our Prophet's (SAW) life.

    The list goes on and on....but that in itself is one of the sickness we are warned of by Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

    You have a difficult time seeing the definitive line between the words of the Ulama you follow and the teachings of Al Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

    The fact that SOO many Muslims are out there and don't know where Islam begins and their CULTURE ends....or where the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) begins and the teachings of their local Imam's end is the issue I raise.

    Lastly, unlike you, I don't judge what is in anyone's heart or claim to know if one believes in the Kalma or not.... that's between you and ALLAH (SWT), regardless of how you practice your Islam.

    It would be polite if you returned the courtesy 🙂

    Salaam...

  22. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Assalaamu'Alaiykum br. Adam Ibrahim,

    I have no problem with you being a Wahhabi. Yes Al-Wahhab is one of the 99 names of Allah (SWT), but if you are insinuating that this is where the Wahhabi's get their name, well then you're mistaken. Wahhabi's are an offshoot of the Hambali school of thought, and follow the leadership of Muhammad bin Abd' Al-Wahhab. It is from his alliance with Ibn Saud, that the british helped to install the family of Saud as the ruling government in what is now known as Saudi Arabia, but is truly just Arabia, which includes the Hijaz (area encompassing Makkah and Medina), and then you have the Najd (everything of Arabia East of the Hijaz). The very intolerable following of Wahhabi's is also influenced from the writings of ibn Tammiyah...whereas the followers of the foundation built by Muhammad bin Abd' Al-Wahhab on the other hand reject the writings of some of the greatest Islamic scholars of the past, such as Imam Ghazzali (rahmatullahli). This is where I think a lot of people are confused about certain schools of thought amongst the Ummah. My point being, did you know that there are many who follow the Wahhabi way, who insult the followers of Ahl As-Sunnah Wa'l Jam'aah? Literally to the brink of accusing them of committing shirk, or being a kaffir.

    Listen brother Adam, I have no problem with you if you profess to follow the Wahhabi school, I just ask you to be respectful of the ways of other members of Ahl As-Sunnah Wa'l Jama'ah who do not wish to insult their Muslim breathren by accusing them of committing shirk or of being kaffir.

    Please forgive me if I have said anything to upset you, as this is not my intention. My niyyat is that I may learn to live with one another among us nations and tribes, as the Glorious Qur'an Al-Karim commands me to do. Subhan-Allah. Wassalaam.

  23. nicolette from usa

    Sad that its the 21st centrury and women are not seen as individuals. You know, all the stuff I read about a woman rode up on a camel and asked to perform her dad's hajj, women came up to the group of M. and his men and asked questions, emigrated on their own (ie no mahram), could've accepted a ride from a non-mahram male, did hard physical labor... etc. would be forbidden in muslim countries and according to islamic authorities.

    Even the dress code is made to confine/restrict/ and de-individualize them. Its a uniform where you don't have to see them as people and where wearing it constricts their movements/choices in life.

    yeah, I can already hear the comebacks of western women as sexualized toys- apparantly we're all 20-something porn stars who dress as toy for men. Again measuring women not as individuals but as objects of men.

    Ever occur to you that the woman in a flight suit dresses that way to do her job? Or the 240lb 40 y/o woman in shorts and T-shirt working in the garden isn't dressing 'for men' but because its 95* out?

  24. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Assalaamu'Alaiykum sr. L. Alahem,

    Please do not make sweeping statements about all of us posting messages here. If you read carefully you would see the brothers like Abdul Azziz, Paul, Ja'far defending the rights of Muslim women vigorously. I myself was very upset as well to the statements made by br. Adam Ibrahim Muhammad - maybe that is where you should direct your claim of shame. I myself do not fall into your category of being "ashamed of yourselves" as you made that blanket statement about all of us.

    Below is part of the comment I posted previously, just so you know that not ALL us brothers are handing our sisters "second-class citizenship" okay?:

    "In no place among the majority of Ahl As-Sunnah Wa'l Jama'ah, are women forbidden from driving, forced to wear nikab, and Muslim men are FORBIDDEN from laying a hand on their wives. You want ot follow the Sunnah of the beloved rasool-Allah (saaw)? Then you must understand, that he never raised his hand on his wives. He brought dignity and raised the status of women to that of men."

    If somehow you perceived that women are not allowed to provide for the family, then I don't know where you got that from sister, because I never said that! I did say though that it is the responsibility of the husband/father to provide all financial needs for the family. I never said that a wife not allowed to do so also; it is just that the compulsion to provide lies upon the husband, meaning, he has no choice but to take upon the duty to provide for his family. Guess what, my wife has certain rights over me. If she wishes to provide, or not, that's her right to choose!

    Blanket statements like yours are part of the negative image Islam receives in Canada and the United States. your comments damage the credibility of good Muslim men who demand the rights of Muslim women be respected and sanctified. Try to understand that, for the sake of the true believers. Fi Eman Allah.

  25. Ihsan Abdur-Rahman from United States

    As salaamu Alaikum

    I lived in Saudi for five months studying at a woman's liberal arts college, and I am all for the Saudi women securing their rights to education and employment so as long as there is a balance with any other responsibilities they may have. We all have a role to play in our societies and it is about time that Saudi women are given an equal opportunity to contribute to their country. I met a lot of accomplished sister's who have so much to give and are giving to Saudi Arabia and to the world.

    With regards to women driving that is a minor issue compared to many other social problems that are in Saudi Arabia. Quite frankly, driving in Saudi is not the safest activity. I met alot of people who have had tragedies in their families because of the lack of respect drivers show to eachother and pedestrians.

    I think before we judge any country we need to actually look at the situation in our own homes. Saudi Arabia is the birth place of Islam and with that in mind we should want it to be a progressive nation . You can't have a functional society without the participation of women.

    "Those who let themselves be oppressed are equal accountable for their persecution as the oppressor."

  26. Adam Ibrahim Muhammad from Nigeria

    Br Akbar, thank you for your observation. But what is wrong in being a wahabbi(ie is if that is really what I'm). After all Al-Wahhab is one of the names of Allah. The truth of the matter is that I don't belong to any group in Islam, I'm a muslim who has submitted to the will of Allah compeletely, period. However, any proclamation, from any group, that is within the Islamic tenets(Qur'an and Sunna of the Prophet(SAW)), will be accepted by me. Cos that is what Allah demands of me through His Messenger.

    To Paul, please don't quote the Quran out of context to try and prove a useless hypothesis. When I said read Quran:4, I was talking to real seekers of truth who will read Quran with understanding.

    Abdul Azeez, you have one of the beloved names the Prophet(SAW) adored. But your general comments of not to accept any human sayings makes me wonder wether you have any respect for the Prophet(SAW) ie if you are a muslim of course. Or are u one those Quraniyyun? The Prophet at his death ordered us to remain with the Quran, his sunna and the Sahabas foot steps, and the Tabiun. Ijma was practiced by Umar(RA) on his verdict on three divorces given at once, also by Uthman(RA) on the issue of the second Adhan during the Fajr(Subhi) prayer. So what is wrong if we copy this for the benefit of the Ummah, especially women, now?! Whatever decree issued by the Saudis you can bet it will not be out of their customary practices, but rather to strengthen the Deen. And who says that all customary practices wether Saudi or from any part of the world are disregarded in Islam. As long as that custom conforms with the principles of the Deen the community concern can practice it after all Allah says He created us into dissimilar communities. Quran: . Using this similie one can see that it is binding on all muslims of concience to fight against the export of the wanton destruction of womanhood idea, from the "US Democrazy" to our communities' values which we held so dearly.

    <

  27. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Assalamu alaikum. Do any of these women pray for deliverance? If they do then are they disobeying Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala in doing so? If they pray for deliverance then from whom perhaps might the Saudi authorities hope they receive it?

    Allah maak.

  28. L. Alahem from USA

    Asalaam alikum,

    Brothers:

    Do you really think that it is Islamic to subject your sisters to second class citizenship? Do you think that you would flourish is such an environment? If it were you who could not earn a living, would that be "the way it should be" ?

    I think not, but you would subject us to such a life, but "for my own protection". How very noble of you.

    I am a happily married, devout, muslim woman in hijab, and I drive a car, alone. I go to the grocery store, without my husband, who is working to support our house. I work outside my home, and my income enables our house to be able to afford the necessities. I am a true partner to him, and he to me. I am able to transact business for the good of our family. I am an asset to him. My husband, may Allah bless him, is not threatened by my abilities, but gladdened by them, and our life is richer for it. But you, brothers, would have me a prisoner in my house, subject to rules that are NOT Islamic, and then use Islam to justify them. Why are you threatened by us? If something happens, Allah forbid, will YOU pay the bills, and feed us. You haven't so far, but you would restrict my ability to do so. Shame upon you, brothers.

    It is said "wish for your brother what you would have for yourself". Perhaps you should think about your sisters, also.

    Wasalaam, and may Allah guide you better.

  29. Abdul Azziz from usa

    Salaam-

    Adam Ibrahim Muhammad wrote:

    >In Islam we have as a secondary source for Sharia what is known as Ijma' (the concensus of the Ulama).

    >It is under this principle that the Saudi >society decided that for woman protection....

    >For a woman to rise up in Saudi Arabia and >challenge this ruling simply cos she has been >influence by the West is disgusting and >tantamount refusing Allah's decree.

    And there you have it brothers and sisters...the reason this Ummah is misguided and lost. The very reason we are the doormat for the rest of mankind to wipe it's feet. The reason people like Bin Laden can do what he did in the name of Islam and no voice from the pulpit denounce it.

    The IGNORANT WORSHIPPER...he who puts the rulings of a MAN, be he a rightly guided scholar or not, above the rulings of ALLAH and Prophet Muhammad.

    These are the people that mean to currupt Islam just as the Jews and Christians did with their religions.

    They give devine obedience to the words and rulings of HUMAN BEINGS as though it is the world of ALLAH (SWT) and Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

    It's the politically motivated that has ruined HUMAN BEING that has worked against the word of ALLAH since religion found mankind.

    Rabi, Prests currupted the Torah and Bible to serve the Jewish interest in the Mid-east and the Church in Italy respectivly.

    Today we have Imam's who do the same...and WE STUPIDLY FOLLOW LIKE SHEEP.

    The sad thing is these "religious leaders" believe the filth that escapes their mouths...and the IGNORANT WORSHIPPER follows them.

    Adam Ibrahim Muhammad is not at fault....it's the fault of the rest of this Ummah for not doing something about this misinformation.

    It's sad when the words of HUMAN BEINGS that are in keeping with their own adgendas is viewed as THE WORDS OF ALLAH!

    We were warned that if we don't do justice with Islam....we will be replaced with a nation that will..... and we're well on our way!

    WA

  30. Paul from Uk

    Adam Ibrahim Muhammad,

    You show great disrespect for our Sisters past and present. Can I remind you that the Prophet Muhammad's first wife Khadijah, was a very successful business women.

    Peace to all

    "Unto men a fortune from what they have earned and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned" (Q 4:32).

    "Whoever works righteously; man or woman, and has faith: verily to him/her will We give a new life, a life that is good and pure. And We will bestow on such their rewards, according to the best of their actions" (Q 4:124).

  31. Paul from UK

    Adam Ibrahim Muhammad,

    Your fantasies about the 'evil demonic whoring West' make me laugh and sad at the same time. Please do not point your finger with one hand and then cover your eyes with the other. Why according to the latest UNAids report are 5% of Nigerians or 3.8 million people HIV positive? Already there has been 2.3 million Nigerian deaths from Aids and 800,000 children are orphans. Sad times indeed.

    Peace for all

  32. Ja'far from U.S.

    Salaam-mu-aliikum I agree with the passage, I to believe is time for the muslim world to give women the rights they deserve, the rights granted to them by the glorious Quran. I am a proud devout muslim, am tired to hearing all this Kafirrs( unbelievers)always talking about how women are threated in the muslim world. When Islam was the first religion to grant women rights they never had before,( ex: the right to own property). It is also my belive that the bad threatment of muslim women is due to local, tribal rules that in many cases is not in accordance with the Glorious Quran. Muslim countries especially Saudi Arabia should grant women their right. I am for women right so long as it is in accordance with the Glorious Quran, not tribal or local man made laws made by a group of men, who what to control their women. We as Muslims must all unite and show Kafirrs the true beauty on Islam.

    ma-as-salaam

    your fellow muslim brother Ja'far

  33. Abdulghaffar Muhammad Aliyu from nigeria

    assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

    All Praises to Almighty Allah.

    Whomever Allah Guides right non can mislead and

    Whomever Allah misleads non can guide right. May Allah(SWT)Guide the Saudi Government on this delicate issue of women right initiated by the Western world.

    Democracy practised to the latter will not give women the right Allah (SWT) constituted in His Divine Law, Shareeah.

    May our Lord not make our heart waiver from believe to disbelieve. Ameen

  34. Gaille Tinihau from New Zealand

    I would say I am very weary of feminist leanings.

    I am from the west and have been illegally occupied since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

    For democracy we recieved and continue too recieve lip service .We have the highest % of all thats bad,illiteracy,youth pregnancy,(P) usage amongst young maori mothers,prostitution,imprisonment.This is democracy which was to give Maori and women a voice.Well the west move's the post's suffers selective memory when it suits them.

    Our men and women played different, but vital rolls in our families back then but our women were smoozed by the western women into believing we were oppressed by our men.Yes they did do all those things,but when our men were secure in the position and role and had a purpose,we never experience such violations,which in Maoridonm was fround upon and punishable.

    Don't buy into feminism,it is the begining of the breakdown in the family.Anyone can be a C.E.O a mother or minder roll is alot more challengeing exciting ,responsibe and rewarding.

    A happy well balanced bright child outways a corporate deal and surely your children deserve more than mum being away from them for factory labor.

    So you single women support the women who have children,help educate and maintain them.

    Or become like us and have naked women advertising lollies and inview of all kids as they enter the shops.

    The men need to clean there act up for the sack of the family,women need to stay away from western feminism.Creat your own without selling your sole to the western way.

    I don't mean to upset anyone but that is my experience with the uncaring double tongue westener.

    Gaille

  35. Adam Ibrahim Muhammad from Nigeria

    Salamu Alaikum Ya Yahya, No you don't just accept Ijma' without questioning it, infact you don't accept anything in Islam without question ie if you can be patient enough. But to challenge any Ijma you must be ready with reasons, and this by implication means being an Ulema yourself. Hope you got it!

    Mohammed and Kim, birds of the same feathers? I guess, Yes. I don't have to pay for any movie to see an advertisement. In this part of the world postards are everywhere. And I happen to have travelled to the US, UK, Italy and Singapore so you can see 'm not saying things I have not experienced. It is you guys that need to open yourselves and reason, think Allah first for once, then take a deep breath look at the next woman you jamn in the street. Read Surah Nisa'(the chapter of the women); Quran:4 ponder for a while, then give us a feedback.

    Islam tells me (AND I BELIEVE) if somebody abuse you and you retaliate it is now that you abuse yourself, and he who abuse himself is condemned.

    Hope you take heed.

    I still stand by my words those fighting for woman rights outside the rights Allah gives women in Islam, stand CONDEMNED. And we shall all be ask about our actions, on that day when kinship, place of origin, race , creed etc does'nt matter a bit, ie the DAY OF JUDGEMENT .

    Peace.

  36. Akbar Khan from Canada

    I must say br. Adam Ibrahim Muhammad, it is very wrong of Mohammad A. to accuse you of looking at pornography and then making fun of you out of it afterwards, because simply put, two wrongs do not make a right.

    I do disagree with you br. Adam Ibrahim, because you see you are just giving people to attack your comments, because in fact you do reap what you sow. In no place among the majority of Ahl As-Sunnah Wa'l Jama'ah, are women forbidden from driving, forced to wear nikab, and Muslim men are FORBIDDEN from laying a hand on their wives. You want ot follow the Sunnah of the beloved rasool-Allah (saaw)? Then you must understand, that he never raised his hand on his wives. He brought dignity and raised the status of women to that of men, but states that at a certain degree women are different from men and vice versa, so therefore at these certain degrees, you must understand that according to the Ijma of the majority of the Muslim Ulema in the entire world, women are the ones who are given custody of their children, that men are responsible for all financial and living expenses for his family; that a woman's personal earnings/income/monetary value is of her own to keep and to be used according to her own wishes (this is all within halaal practices mind you). In fact, If you read the writings of Imam Shafi'e, he said that the most you can do to your wife is to tap her (and the examlpe of this tap is like that of taking a miswaak and tapping ur wife on the shoulder for example with it) only if she is being uncooperative while she knowingly in the wrong. ANDDD this is only after two other warnings before that, and this very light tapping is a last resort. Some of the Holy Prophet Muhammad's (SAAW) last words of advice to his sahabi (companions) were to be kind to their wives and to not hurt them because it is disliked by Allah (SWT).

    The practices in Saudi Arabia represent the Ijma of the Hambali-Wahhabi-Saudi interpretation, and

  37. Shakirat Folake Olawale from Canada

    It is unfortunate that there are always mixup between modernization and westernization.Similarly it is unfortunate that such reports of family violence is tarnishing the image of tranquillity that muslim homes should portray

    while aiming high though women leaders and all other people responsible for shaping the future should be cautious. Unbiased and true interpretation as well as sensible implementation of the Quran and Hadiths is the key to homes where tranquillity reigs.

    Changing things around should not necessarilly means westernization or filty social awareness. Here in the west where there are women empowerement as it is often called things were not any better around the homes. Kids still do suffer custody problems, effects of divorce and psychological sufferings due to the facts that parents were not there when they need them.

    At this junction I think what is needed in the Kingdom is true interpretation and implementation of the divine injuction on family relative to life of today not necessarily importing feminism. Men and women as well as the authority should take heeds of their roles and responsibilities to ensure harminious family life.

  38. kim from USA

    Adam Ibrahim Muhammad you are an

    embarrassment to the Islamic world. Actually,

    you sound more like a Western man than you

    would like to think. When was the last time

    you were in a business office in America and

    saw a half-naked women? Since you live in

    Nigeria, where education is limited, my guess

    is the same as Mohammed A -- you just look

    at Western porn and think it's real. I can

    forgive your ignorance based upon where you

    live but please listen to Mohammed A, who

    knows what he's talking about and other men

    who are intelligent enough to know that

    custom and religion are two different things. I

    have worked with abused women throughout

    the world and the truth is there are 20 times

    as many women in Islamic countries who

    have suffered abuse and torture then in

    Western countries. I've seen limbs cut off, the

    effect of acid thrown on a women's body, sick

    maimings, mutilations of all kinds - all in the

    name of a higher being. None of these

    criminal men who did this were prosecuted

    because it is either legal or the law looks the

    other way. Be a real man, Adam Ibrahim and

    think a little bit if you can. The girlie movies

    are made to take your money - they are just

    made for entertainment purposes. Open your

    eyes and your heart to the plight of poor

    women instead of defiling and spitting on

    them with your amazingly stupid and ignorant

    comments. Bravo to all you Muslim men out

    there who want to see the torture and

    discrimination of women end. I have nothing

    but respect for men who dare to speak up.

    Thank you.

    Kim

  39. Yunus Patel from New Zealand

    The group which is seeking their rights is actually seeking the wrath of God.

    Can you tell me where in the world women are safe without their Husbands. In western society, children are brought up without their Father or mother. Is this common in the Islamic society as much as it is in the Western Society?

    Would they call this Freedom? Rights? ???

    A women in Islam is a jewel. Why do we keep our jewel in safe lockers, after all if they are lost or stolen they are replaceable as money can buy any worldly thing.

    I feel that this group is in dark and influenced by others to stand up and ask for something which is not good for them.

    I feel pity for them and pray that they be guided by Almighty Allah.

  40. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Masha'Allah Adam Ibrahim Muhammad. I am to understand that willing submission to Allah would include accepting the consensus of the Ulema without question? Perhaps willing submission to Allah might mean accepting each and every article of Islam without question or else planning to be held accountable for not having done so. In truth I am never completely comfortable with the reasons I am preparing to offer (I would suppose on a case by case basis) on the day of recompense - for which I praise Allah.

    Actually, I thought I had heard stories about women in the kingdom driving around without a man in the car and finding themselves being tailed by strange men. First, why are women driving in the kingdom if no woman is legally able to do so? Second, why would the Saudi authorities allow women in their country to be stalked? Here in America people have actually gone to jail for stalking. What is the reason for allowing women to be stalked by strange men in Arabia - does it make the women more afraid to leave their homes or something? I apologize to the Saudi authorities if my questions are unwarranted.

    Wassalam (and peace).

  41. Mohammed A. from Canada

    Adam Ibrahim Muhammad, please stop watching Western pornography while thinking it represent reality! Your little story shames you.

    Your story is the average life of the western woman? How would you know? I'll tell you - you don't!

    You say about abuse - 'Don't we find this aspect of human behaviour in greater scale in the West?' An honest and thinking man would questions that statement. We know that the openess of the West means that we hear more about it, but an honest and thinking man knows that it happens in their country too. Be brave, talk to your mother or sister, they will tell you, if you don't already know. It might not have happened to them, but they will know someone to who it has happened. Do not close your eyes.

  42. Adam Ibrahim Muhammad from Nigeria

    contd..

    These are the values that they want our(Muslim) women to copy from without.

    In Islam we have as a secondary source for Sharia what is known as Ijma' (the concensus of the Ulama). It is under this principle that the Saudi society decided that for woman protection that she should not drive and it is for the same reason when condition warrants the ban will be lifted and no more. For a woman to rise up in Saudi Arabia and challenge this ruling simply cos she has been influence by the West is disgusting and tantamount refusing Allah's decree. Willing submission to Allah means accepting each and every article of Islam without having a second thought. Yes, a woman can work according to the tradition of the Prophet(SAW) but this should be when taking care of her(or her children) has become impossible due to (1)death of her spouse, and (2)she has no relatives and (3)the state's treasury cannot afford to take care of her. Tell me how these three conditions will befall a Saudi woman at a time.

    Muslims are the best of creation they encourage doing good and forbids the doing of evils and they believe(totally submit to) Allah . This is what Allah says. The woman is the pillar of the family, destroy her then family values become non exitent as we are witnessing in the West. As muslims we should resist the influence of teachings that tend to destroy women values. Rights of both men and women are spelt out clearly in Islam. Allah knows us (His creations) better, His design for us is the ultimate any pursuit of our whims and caprices will only lead to doom.

    Imagine in this period when we are trying to reconcile with Allah, we keep going backward. It is most unfortunate. We should strive to educate ourselves the more. Submitting to the will of Allah means acceptance of all His decrees not taking some and leaving some.

    Peace.

  43. Mark Paris from USA

    The recognition of women's rights is an international issue. In the US much is yet to be accomplished on this front including ecomomic and social equality issues. Furthering the rights of woman in Saudi Arabia and the US can only bring the people of our countries closer together -- something that is needed now more than ever before. Peace.

  44. Sammer M. Elwasila from United States

    Mashallah,Completely relevent and agreeable in a time where the voice of women needs to be heard to supress false Urban Legends. Positive and informative, answering almost all questions.

  45. Shuja from Toronto, Canada

    I did not appreciate the picture. It is attractive and naughty.

  46. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Wassalam Adam Ibrahim Muhammad. Allah be praised I was guided to include a salutation of peace - in a comment that so clearly exhibited ignorance of submission to Allah.

  47. Abdul Azziz from usa

    1400 years after the prophet of Islam enlightened the mid-east THE ARABIANS finally get it!

  48. Marian Awad Musse

    Salaam Alaikum,

    I hope the Saudi's seek more knowledege about our blessed religion. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Religion is very easy

    and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded."

    Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Hadith 38

  49. Adam Ibrahim Muhammad from Nigeria

    The first five comments and the author of the article clearly are exhibiting their ignorance of the religion of Islam. Though Yahya, try to show how less knowledgeble he is of the subject.

    First, who said wife beating is part of Islamic teaching? Don't we find this aspect of human behaviour in greater scale in the West? What is wrong if women are prevented from going in to hotels alone(for their safety being the weaker sex) and from working where their husbands are able to maintain them fully(as part of an article of their belief)?

    All I know is that the abuse of women started(or became prominent) in the West after the second world war, when a lot of women became widowed. They can not fend for themselves, and nobody to take care of them. So they were enslave to work night clubs(naked), work for wages half that of men, made to be objects of advertisements for soap, toothpaste, pepsi, coca-cola etc. In Islam it is not like that women must be protected and taken care for, by the men folks or the government. So who is abusing women?

    A woman at the age of 18 is already into prostitution in the west, seeking for men jobs that are not there. If she is lucky she gets a job as a receptinist/secretary to a Boss, who will want her to come out half naked every morning to attend to customers. If she is lucky to maintain her body for the next twenty years or so, she is dump and her daughter will now be prefered by the same Boss. Now she cannot take care of herself using whatever paintings or skin tight close she wears. Her body full of wrinkles she now retires forsaken to await death. Mean while the same man that useless this woman will go for the daughter and the grand daughter and etc. This is the average life of the western woman. WHO IS ABUSING WOMEN?

    I can go on and on. It is a shame that even some Muslim women are in the vanguarg to supporting this so call "womanrights" in the not too functional Islamic setting where their true rights are being assure

  50. Abubeker Osman from Ethioia

    What surprising to me on this article is that the fact many women preferred to remain to be slaves? The whole world knows the treatment of women in rotten system like Saudi Arabia; and like many women around the world the Saudi women are defenseless and are a second citizen in their own country. By and large the United States and the so called free societies are ignoring the Saudi women plight for the cheap oil they are getting from the bloody oppressive kingdom. Because no Muslim nation is better than the western hypocrite nations the change in Saudi may not come as quick as in needs to be. Well, just wait until the Saudi oil wells dried up.

  51. Mariam from SPAIN

    bismilah arah-man arah-him

    In my point of view, i am getting shock. I feel so sad how the muslim societies arabs try to liberate to the woman,at the labour of market as the case in Saudia, critic the regimen of islamic dicipline.

    I think that arabs countries will convert as wester countries and as i see the behavier in Europeam from arab muslim,finaly they will losse the behavier and practices of Islam.

    I would like that a woman saudia is living in wester country, working, driving,not having time for the family and husband, limiting the number of children etc.

    I am sure that Saudies women and others arabs muslim could apreciate what Allah left written for all us.

    Thats All

    thank you

  52. Andaleeb Hossain from Australia

    I say congratulations to the Saudi Arabian women for getting up and protesting against this social injustice! It is not right that Saudi Arabian women be forbidden from driving; indeed there is nothing even alluded to this in the Qur'an. It is not right that women have a minimal, if any visible, presence, in public life of the nation, and it is wrong for the system to created so many institutions which makes the woman utterly dependent on the man. These institutions are not based on Islam, as the chauvinist and male-dominative society purports; these are the product of centuries of taboos and local customs.

    I extend my fullest support to these social reforms. Recall:

    - when Prophet Muhammad (Sm) performed his last Haj and addressed the Hajees, he stated that while men have rights over the women, women have rights over the men.

    - all are equal before Allah. This includes the two genders.

    - Prophet Muhammad (S) sought the permission of his other wives to stay with a specific wife of his when he was near death. Khadija herself worked, and SHE was the first convert to Islam.

  53. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Assalamu alaikum. I ask you to endure me (to some extent) for I am relatively new to Islam. It might seem that suppression on the part of a mahram (or some other kind of a guardian) - out of some sort of necessity - might perhaps indicate some sort of weakness on the part of the community as a whole. My thinking would be that where and when such suppression could be safely lifted then perhaps the community might enjoy an increased level of prosperity (insha'Allah). If perhaps Allah wills that those who generally oppose oppression normally enjoy increased prosperity then perhaps by eliminating arguably oppressive policies - that we tend to follow, for example, on account of our limitations - perhaps we might as a community enjoy increased prosperity.

  54. Sameena from US/India

    Thank Allah, Saudi Arabia is finally waking up to its abuse of women. I hope the rest of the Muslim world wakes up too.

    Frankly, nobody can abuse and violate the rights of Muslim women without their consent. If we dont try to make our presence felt in Islamic society, most of all by making sure that in our mosques and social centers, we insist on being treated fairly and having our voices heard and our rights respected, then we bear the most blame for the way Muslim society treats us. The responsibility of how we get treated by Muslim culture is ours. And its about time we take back our religion from men using it to reinforce their misogyny.

  55. Shawn from USA

    Alhamdulillah, this is finally happening. Our Saudi sisters need much more attention then they are given. Insha'Allah, this little wave may help create a better atmosphere for other regions to advocate women's rights that Allah has long since given them, but that local culture and custom have clouded due to ignorance.

    Islam came as a progressive religion during the age of jahiliyya, and now we must reclaim that progressive spirit that we have, unfortunately, neglected or even lost.... May Allah guide us all.

  56. Alia from United States of America

    As Muslims we are suppose to follow examples of our beloved Prophet Muhammed's character. No where in hadith is there an incident when the prophet humiliated, beat or refused to let his wives work. As a matter of fact if we study the history of his beloved wife who was significantly older than him and a prominent business women she is a stark contrast to many of the muslim women today. We tend to rather stay home nice and safe and turn our heads to the disfunctions of our Muslim societies that are disfunct not because they are Muslim as many of other faiths would like others to beleive, but because we allowed our socities to take what they find benficial from Islam and leave what is not. This has left us vulnerable and weak as an Ummah. Until we stand up and take a look at our demons in the closet and get rid of them by truly dealing with the problem by helping our brothers and sisters we will be held accountable. Insha Allah we will see more Imans condeming this abuse of women, and children and programs established that help those victims.Instead of reading it in the christian science monitor.

  57. H.A. from Falujah

    It is kind of sad that Saudi Women are not allowed to drive to work and to school. Also, the two sexes are completely separted in colleges and universities (as far as I know).

    Why the heck adult women need permission to go out? If the women in Saudi Arabia really understands the Koran, they will never behave like the lost creatures/sweethearts of the West when they out alone. If anyone knows the messages of the Quran, he or she would never do anything stupid...

    The stupid men who are responsible for such strict enforcement are the ones who are real infidels; Jus observe how they behave on their way from Riyadh to London....drinking, gambling, fooling around with other women....all become legal and sharia compliant. It's very sad.

    People in the Saudi Arabia need to avoid the extremes and apply common senses. I agree that the Saudia Arabia should not become a society of nudes and full of drunken Johns and Jeans like the West, but the women at least deserve more freedom of movement. Adult women do not need permission from no one to do anything.

    The women Saudi Arabia of Should also be blamed. Many are so depenedent on men and have become so lazy that do not want any changes....

    DON"T BLAME ISLAM FOR IT, JUST BLAME YOURSELVES.