Islam Without Muslims; Muslims Without Islam


"What happens if a woman goes to court here [Saudi Arabia]?" asked my father.

"What do you mean?" I counter-questioned.

"What I mean is that if a woman goes to court is she treated as an individual or are her rights based on her gender?"

"Depends on the case, I guess," I said.

"Come on," he interjected sarcastically. "Don't start telling me that women are treated in the manner that has been commanded by God. According to His Law they should be treated as equals. You know that that's not the case here."

"You just have to look around at the horrific miscarriages of justice to know that that's definitely not the case," he emphasized. "My point is that as much as we try to find fault with the West, one thing is for sure: I would feel far more secure with their system of justice if I were a woman than I would with the one we have here."

"Yes, in a way you're right," I began, "but Islam did give women rights over 1,400 years ago that the so-called civilized world has only started to recognize recently."

"You're intelligent enough to know that having rights and not being entitled to them is just as good as not having them at all. In the Qur'an, when a man decides to divorce his wife, God Orders him to leave his wife on an equitable basis and is required to support her. Am I right?" he asked, quoting the verse and chapter.

"Of course," I agreed.

"So if we are really honest with ourselves, does the law here enforce that or even recognize it in part?"

"Not that I know of," I admitted.

"Alright. This means that a woman can quite literally be booted out of her house on to the street with nowhere to go; and if she tries to extract any right or entitlement from her husband, will the court support her in this? Have you ever heard of a Saudi man who is scared of the consequences of not paying his wife alimony or stealing her dowry because he might be taken to court?"

"No," I conceded thinking of all the women I knew who had had this scenario forced upon them without any hope of recourse.

"Exactly," he said, having won the argument. "It's disgusting to think that the courts can overlook the word of God when it comes to preserving and upholding the whole concept of male domination. Judges relish sentences that chastise women for petty matters. You see the way the outwardly pious love to stop women in the street to point out strands of hair that may have escaped their veils or question the identity of the men around them; but when it comes to guaranteeing them their God-given rights they miraculously disappear!"

"Yes," I said, reflecting upon what he said. "You're right."

"A woman cannot even gain custody of her children in a court of law. What sort of a mandate gives the automatic guardianship of little girls over to the hands of a father and stepmother even when a mother is perfectly capable of looking after them? You of all people should know what that feels like. What's more, the status and importance of a mother in Islam is such that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself said that paradise lies beneath the feet of one's mother and that a mother's value is three times greater than that of any other individual."

"Yes," I agreed.

It was this very conversation that played in my head when I read two articles printed side by side in the paper this week. One of them highlighted the fact that there are many single mothers and divorcees in society who are denied welfare due to trivial bureaucratic matters and thus forced to live below the poverty line. Imagine that. In Saudi Arabia, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, women are reduced to begging on the streets because the law does not recognize their needs. What kind of an interpretation of Islam is that when our faith is based on a spirit of egalitarianism? When verses upon verses of the Qur'an command us to look after the wretched of our society?

As if that was not bad enough, the adjacent piece highlighted the obstacles that Saudi women married to foreigners have to endure. Whereas a Saudi man may obtain citizenship for his wife and his children, a Saudi woman is not entitled to the same privilege if she marries a non-Saudi. Upon what spurious logic this decision is based upon I do not profess to know, but what I do know for sure is that it has nothing to do with religion.

The great Islamic scholar of the 19th century, Muhammad Abdo wrote that when he visited the West he found Islam but no Muslims and upon his return to the Arab world he countenanced many Muslims but no Islam. 

I am beginning to see his point.

 

Lubna Hussain is a Saudi writer based in Riyadh.


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  75 Comments   Comment

  1. nefertiti from USA

    It is not surprising since we all know that the Saudis and Arabs in general have infused Islam traditions with their Bedoui culture which is still barbaric like before the Holy prophet's time.

    Most of us Muslims around the world do not really consider Saudi Arabia the Seat/Beacon of Islam anyway.

  2. Victor from Australia

    SalamAlykum,

    I am a Muslim living in Australia. I see this hypocrisy on daily basis. They take the parts of Islam that suits them and part of their culture and brand it as Islam. The rest don't exist. Once you add or subtract anything to/from Islam, it isn't Islam anymore. Thats why there is so much misconception about this beautiful religion. They think have fooled everyone. only if they knew, they are just fooling themselves. May Allah guide us all.

    Jazakallah Khair

  3. mohammed from KSA

    I agree very much to the aricle as much as I'm glad that writer did mention reading such news in the papers. Debating such opinions openly is sure a sign of a change to the better, ameen

  4. Saleem Baig from India

    It is really illogical that if Saudi women are married to foreigners, their husbands do not get citizenship.

    There are many such issues in Saudi.

  5. Afreen Ishaque Inamdar from India

    Yes,I totally agree with the points and scenarios mentioned in the article.If we go through the details of Islam and the sharait Woman have equal rights as that of the men,but unfortunately the male scoiety has been dominating the women by not letting them raise their issues or concerns.I have met with so many women who do not even know that they have the right to speak against anything they feel is going wrong.I Personally think its time for the women to know their rights and fight for it.

    Afreen Inamdar

  6. khanum [email protected] from india

    Luba husssain has really pen down the appreciating points in her article--we admire it

  7. Imam Kamara AbdilHaqq Muhammad from USA

    Jazaakumullahu Khaira,

    Please continue to agitate this situation and any other that does not adhere to the Truth of the Qur'aan and the correct Sunnah of the Prophet-saws.

    Your Brothe,

    Kamara AbdilHaqq Muhammad

  8. Liman Halidu from Nigeria

    The writer is absolutely right only that it is important to treat this issue, most especially the accusations lebelled agianst the Saudi authorities.

    We are Muslims but in most cases our selfish interests never allows us to be just enough.Women deserve more thatn we are giving them. Let's not reduce ourselves to the same level with western male cheuvinists.

  9. Muslimah from India

    Saudi Arabia is not the only Muslim country which says it implements Shariah and then looks the other way when it comes to women's rights.

    I think this is a matter that should be taken up at the OIC (organization of Islamic countries)sessions.

  10. Fardeen from India

    A beautiful article. The author has showcased the future events that have a very strong possibility of occurring by taking examples from the past. the conspiracy against Islam grows. My only question to all: Islam exists from 1400 years, we were living in peace, only recently form last 5-10 years are we hearing about "Islamic terrorism", if Islam really preached hate and what most of the Western backed media portrays what were the Muslims doing for the past 1385 years?

  11. Raheleh from Islamic republic of Iran

    This is actually what im suffering of for years.there is no real muslem left in muslem countries, being married to a foreigner , my islamic country is not giving my husband or children any right , even by knowing that my child will have to be citizen of a country where islam image is totally ruined ,but my country lawmakers have made a law that citienship will not transfer from mother , and what hurts me more is in the name of ALLAH and QURAN they do all this nonsense.i have suffered so much that sometimes i think it would be better if i was never born a muslem ....

  12. Nusrat-un-Nabi from India(jammu& kashmir)

    Dear Lubna,

    Your comments about the conditions of woman in islamic world particularly in Contry like Saudi Arabia which is refered as model for islamic world,seems very strange.It really hearted me personally as women that such worst things are being done with the women evenafter islamic rules always protect women in every manner.hope your article will bring some difference in thier idealogies,Best of Luck for your Future.

    Khuda Hafiz

    Yours reader

    Nusrat

  13. Abd'Allah from South Africa

    I have recently reverted to our Deen, Islam. I have constant arguments with born muslims who, unintentionally, destroy the deen by subverting what Allah has commanded of us. They talk about how wonderful Islam is and the sunnah of our Nabi (s.a.w) and yet they turn around and abuse their wives, practice racist discrimination against other people, go to Juma'ah and don't acknowledge their muslim brothers, and they enjoy to elevate themselves because of their wealth.

    The author is right. There is no Islamic country, because people who think that they have power, behave abusively and they become muslims in name intent on distorting our deen.

  14. Vasim from India

    Dear brothers and sisters in Islam,

    Assalaamualaikum

    I have been staying in the arab world for the last 5 odd years. the points that you have raised are pertinent, but maybe they are being generalised on a wholesale basis..but we must not therefore remain complacent, because this disease which seems to be creeping into the whole of humanity i.e.of inequality..the sense of one-man-upship over the others be it on the basis of gender,race,colour or nationality appears to be drowning the Muslim Ummah too.

    The most basic reason behind it as I see it, is that Muslims as a whole have ABJECTLY REJECTED THE Qur'an...rejection does not mean that we do not say that it is a word of Allah but we have rejected its spirit..We read it just for the heck of reading it ..without imbibing its essence and spirit.

    Secondly the mistake lies in the upbringing of our children by their parents..both mothers & fathers...Mothers leave it to their maid-servants to take care of the kids while they are busy either ..sleeping or chatting with their sisters,mothers,friends,shopping,etc. While fathers leave it upon their wives to raise them without having the slightest idea as to what is the child learning ..whether from their schools or from his peers..This has inturn led to the creation of a generation which is if not all...mostly irresponsible,illmannered,lazy,unreligious&steeped in a sense of superiority complex[bear it in mind this is about those who are not yet exposed to the vagaries of life in the outside world].

    May Allah bring all of us who are misguided to come back to the right path of the Prophet and his rightly guided companions.And may he guide all Muslim parents to protect their kith&kin from the worst abode after death ie. hellfire.Ameen.

    Whatever I might have said wrongly is from me and the Shaytan and whatever good comes is from Allah alone.

  15. Salar M.Khan from India

    The factual situation prevailing in Saudi Arabia with regard to enforcement of rights of women guaranteed under Shariah is really disgusting.

    Is it not the right time that we ponder as to why this is happening?

    We are accustomed to tell the world about the right guaranteed to women under Shariah but forget that most of them are being violated with impunity even by those people and governments who claim to be torch bearers of Islam.

  16. seema from usa

    Hi...I ve seen the same kind of hypocrisy going on everywhere i grew with all this stuff yes The Holy book says equal rights n no where in east its followed women r put down in terms of education n then comes u r not educated more emphasis on marriage and family n u kno when things dont work everyone has their own idiosyncracies n finally someone speaks of their rights that person would be lablelled as rebellious she is not religious n things like that or it would jus reflect on the entire family...Equal rights would take couple of more centuries to come...

  17. Khondakar Golam Mowla from USA

    The Caliph is the spiritual leader; unless there is a Caliph the prayers are not valid.

    Now how Muslims around the world can be silent when their Caliphate/Khilafah was Abolished and The Caliphate was divided into so many nation state and most Cases with one language and one religion violating the following verses of The Holy Quran:

    21: 92 Verily, this Brotherhood Of yours is a single Brotherhood (Ummah),

    21: 92 And I am your Lord And Cherisher: therefore Serve Me (and no

    21: 92 other).

    23: 52 and verily this Brotherhood Of yours is a single Brotherhood

    23: 52 And I am your Lord And Cherisher: therefore Fear Me (and no other).

    As explained by The Presidency of Islamic Researches, IFTA, King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex, which are: 2910 pg. 988 "The people who began to Trade on the names of the prophets cut off that unity and made sects; and Each sect rejoices in its own narrow doctrine, instead of taking the Universal teaching of Unity from Allah. But this sectarian confusion is of Man's making. It will last for a time, but the rays of Truth and Unity will Finally dissipate it."

    49: 10 The Believers are but A single Brotherhood: So make peace and

    49: 10 Reconciliation between your Two (contending) brothers; And fear

    49: 10 Allah, that ye May receive Mercy.

    Here also the above book mentioned that: The enforcement of the Muslim Brotherhood is the greatest social ideal of Islam. On it was based the Prophet's Sermon at his last pilgrimage, and Islam cannot be completely Realized until this ideal is achieved. (pg. 1591 note 4928.

    If Muslims do not accept Khilfaha let them argue on useless topic night after night and they will do same if Imam Mehdi (A.S.) appears any moment i.e. many of them will try to fight against him.

    Muslims are like the following story. Tree and branches of the tree is the Khilafah and branch is the present illegal clients States and Muslims are falling every day ever

  18. Hamza from US

    As Salaamu alaikum,with Allah's name the Merciful benifactor the Merciful Redeemer

    I have come to realize that there is no such thing as an Islamic country, socity, or city any more. Just those few muslims who strive to be mu'min. The world has adopted the way of the US view as to be a separation of church (God) and state. Yet all the politions claim to know God

  19. Monaal from USA

    As a muslim woman in the US, I find myself often trying to fight the stereotypes associated with muslims and educating others about the freedom women have in Islam. The first question I usually receive is "what about Saudi Arabia?". I found this article refreshing because it addresses issues muslims don't want to deal with. It is our duty as muslims to stand up and take back our religion, to live islamically among eachother and follow the teachings of Prophet Mohammad(PBUH).

  20. zabihah from malaysia

    I would like to add that the writer is actually highlighting about the life of women in Saudi Arabia. its their culture to treat their wives badly and its not Islam that teaches you to do so. In my country women are treated in accordance to the Syariah but the men still try to be funny when they meet the imams or syariah officers and try to wangle their way out of their responsibility.

    All this is sheer ignorance of Islam and syariah, it usually happens with born Muslims.,

    Thank you.

  21. Karin from USA

    Assalamu Aleykum! Although the West has laws to have a husband leaving his wife to support the children, it's not often done. There are some that simply disappear or, a woman has to fight each month to get her support. The solution is for women to get an Education and a skill, so that she is able to get a job and support her family (I know some women who have 2 jobs to do just that) so that the doesn't have to depend on Welfare, or to beg, or, as in some countries, prostitute herself. Fortunately in the West, the government will help her get a skill and an education to get on her feet and I hope that will be done in Muslim countries as well.

  22. Prof.M.Nyamahullah from India

    The writer has very nicely revealed that in many Islamic countries the much adoed tenets of Islam are conspicuous by their absence! It is regrettable indeed. It is high time the rulers and the elite of Islamic countris review the state of affairs and bring in the needed changes

    to honour the tenets of Islam.

  23. LC from usa

    These are points I've tried to make in the US in my community. Mistreatment/judgment of women, who end up leaving Islam, and the men are none the worse for wear. As was stated you see Muslims but no Islam.

  24. Mahadi from Malaysia

    Islam is perfect because it is the only Religion created by Allah for human kind. Unfortunately, many Muslims do not want to follow their religion. This might be the reason why Islam was first revealed in Arab, to teach the Arabs that women are also human beings.

  25. safwat salim from malaysia

    i love islam...i don't know what 2 do without it.but....imake plenty of sins...ihope ALLAH will always forgive and bless me.i'm sorry because what i have said was out of this topic.but i want to some advise......appriciate islam!!!!!

  26. WCGault from USA

    I am a christian, and I find the article refreshing. Not because I sit around looking for negative things about Islam. But because I know that there are negatives in all societies. The fact that people are looking at them selves indicates a willingness to correct the flaws. We all have them, and it is good to know that there are people able to look at problems seeking to find solutions.

    God Bless You

  27. ahmed asgher from bahrain

    Zulfiqar

    If you truly wish to know the answer to your question then look no further than your own heart. The society comprises of people like you and me. Read the Quran and let your heart be the judge of your own conduct. Forget about others. It is us who need to change. Each shall carry their own burden. Read the Quran with an open heart and let Allah be your guide if you truly believe that HE is present for HE says remember me and I remember you. Put your trust in others and you shall reap the rewards. Put your trust in Allah and you shall reap the rewards. We often say we worship Allah but every second we are busy loving this life, planning and more concerned with events and people than trust in the Lord for HE is the ONE and only ONE who fashions ALL things. Tawakkal on Allah for there is none other to trust.

    yahya kalimbo

    "But a woman without Islam has no right in this world of today"

    What are you on about. This world is the product of Allah. the good and the bad. Do not pass judgement on others for you shall be judged too. Instead of saying Islam was there before anything, say God was there before anything. If you prefer say Allah or any other beautiful names that HE has given himself. Keep Islam in your heart for that is where it belongs. Let your conduct invite others in the way of Allah otherwise people will not be attracted into this way by such forceful examples. Be gentle with your words for our beloved was a gentle man.

  28. sahr lamin from usa

    I want to know where you found that hadith, find it and explain it to me. Nah, Allah increases the provisions for whom He Wills and decreases it for whom He wills. Poverty occures due to riba, fitnah, corruption, mischief, munkar, fashah. See people cannot invent a lie against Allah Subhanna wat ala nor can they change the Verses of Allah what they can do is invent a lie against the Prophet (peace be on him); saying the Prophet said this when he didn't say this. As far as i know there are authentic hadiths and there are hadiths that are not authentic. The Sunnah was more fruitful for those who lived during the time of the Prophet and a few years after the Prophet but no doubt should we still believe in the Sunnah its one of the unseen. As for our generation we only have a Book (the Qur'an). So if you implement the Verses of Allah and follow it strictly and have no doubt, then Allah will put you on the sunnah of Prophet Mohammed (peace be on him). You will start to walk, talk, act, think just like the Prophet by your obedience with sincere devotion in worship to Allah, because what did the Prophet do? He memorized the Verses of Allah and implemented them. So brothers and sister we all as an ummah should start following the Verses of Allah (The Holy Qur'an) and abstain from what he has forbidden so that we may become Al-Muttaqun.

  29. khazamohiddin from India

    Alhumdulliallah,It is very interesting Article.And I support Lubna.Today Islam is loosing its identity to the mischevious acts of Muslims.We are in Islam.But,Islam is not in us.Allah is calling peoples of Faith(Imaan)"Yaahhuallajina Amaanu wa ameenu".People of Faith,bring faith in fullest form in ur life.May Allah give me and all Hidayah and Maghfirah.Today we are Muslims for names sake only.Islam is the best religion followed by the worst Muslims as quoted by famous Author.

  30. Abdul Muneem Khan from India

    True, if you start counting on the irregularities, and messing up laws in the name of Shariat, the list of irregularities would never end in Saudi Arabia and almost all Muslim countries. Women are a subject of discussion around the world and the topic is hot if it is about muslim women. In my view women in muslim world and west or elsewhere are still struggling for their rights, oppressed and treated like 2nd grade citizens. "Women still cannot walk safely on the streets of America or Saudi Arabia"

    Talking about law ? Saudi Arabia is the worst in my view doing blunders in the name of islamic sharia law to force the hypo standards, where as the west is known for its evil doers. Government of Saudi Arabia doesn't seem to care about its spoiling society, its cultureless, mannerless and unruly younger generation, mostly illiterate rich driving luxary cars. I spent 5 years in Saudi Arabia and worked with many saudi women and came to know much about their miserable conditions. Very unfortunate to say but it is true that muslim world lacks serious thinkers and revolutionary leaders. "The Muslim kingdom is ruled by western policies" ?

  31. jalalkhan from Canada

    Lubna,

    I support you 100% and what hypocrisy we see in this so called Islamic country where women are treated just like commodities and have no values but just a baby making machine and no equal rights and how true that the laws and treatment of women in the no Muslim society in West is typical of Islamic principles and yet in Saudi Arabia it is the opposite and you find that the social security system in the western countries is one of those principles of the Bayt el maal whereby the less fortunate are taken care of and even animals are treated with love.It is high time that the Saudis change their attitude and issue citizenship to those born of foreign fathers and those born there as well irrespective of their identities.I find that even Saudis when they come to the western countries they become payboys and when in Saudia they where disdasha and become saints again.What a shame.

  32. Bilikis from South Africa

    It is not surprising reading this article as I have come across many of such ill-treatment of women in the Arab world.Unfortunately enough,not evryone understands that this injustice is not practised in the name of Islam.It is simply the inherent old custom of regarding the woman as a piece of'property' that can be used or discarded if considered unuseful.I completely agree that the West in that aspect,gives women their rights,irrespective of the distance between this period and over fourteen centuries ago that Islam gave women such rights.It is little wonder that a lot of women who have realised this malady are desperate to leave their homelands and live in the West,despite the criticisms and persecutions they encounter there.

  33. Zulfiqar from Bangladesh

    So, what we so called muslims will teach our next generation? Where we would find islam in society? where they would find it too?

    There are millions of wise interpreters in islam who are in a position to analyze and comment on it. will you please come up?

  34. Moiz from India

    First of all ISLAM gave all the legitimate rights to women folk which they couldnot dream of 1400 years ago. Regarding the divorce, Quran shows us the way how to divorce, likewise the other things too i.e. VIRASATH. But we are not doing the way Quran expect us to do. I will be grateful if the sister shows that a man has to look after the lady after divorce. There is one Ayah which recommends to leave the spouse with some gift or something good so there should be no bitterness. Why always the divorce issue is on the main agenda when the MUSLIMS and ISLAM is talked about? What is the position of WOMEN in the world? how they are treated? they are nothing but commodity?

  35. ata ur rehman from pakistan

    its a wonderful piece written by lubna. i congratulate her for putting across a thought (very honestly and in the most professional manner) blurred before the eyes of us - the Men !Weldone lubna i am with you.

  36. nabila from usa

    i have been living in the us as a single woman for the last 6 yrs,here i feel i have rights that are not present in my homeland of bangladesh,i do beleive my religion gives us the highest respect but our muslim society is obliviant of our rights and excistence.

  37. ashfaq from usa

    It is for all muslims to read, understand and practice every aspect of Islam. We should strive hard to learn our own faith before making judgements over others.

  38. YAHYA KAILEMBO from TANZANIA

    I believe that ISLAM was there before anything. And Islam was there to guide creatures on the right path. So Islam was there and will remain to be there. But a woman without Islam has no right in this world of today, i can conclude that there will be no woman without ISLAM.

  39. Abubakar Y.S. from Nigeria

    Saudi Arabia being the place where the religion of Islam originated, one will expect that the full practice of the religion should come from there. They shouldn't do anything that will give the religion a bad name or give room to non muslim to criticize the religion. But if the Saudi authorities have reason for behaving that way, they should let the world know.

  40. Ali from UK

    I've been to Saudi, it can be referred to a muslim country as United kingdom can be referred to a christian country. But as to what extent the country practises ther religeon is a different ball game all together. Saudi is by far not implementing sharia, it is full of stuck up and haughty people who look down upon every non Arab.

    Did the prophet (saw) not say, "there is no superiority of an arab over a non arab..."

    Walking around makkah and madinatun nabi, I questioned the logic and hikma behind the black burka and niqab cloud women. I was suffocating in the heat with hot pants and t-shirts, I could only but wonder, is this religion of islam capable of such oppression???? Saudi is not implementing shariah, it is cherry picking.

    As well as oppression of women, look at the hudood that they practice. Implemented only on the poor. The rich get off no matter what crime they commit. The only reason Saudi is revered is because of the 2 haram, discounting that fact, would you consider spending a single second of your time in Saudi?? I know I would not!

  41. Fathima from Doha

    It is true that the so called Islamic countries misuse the Sharia law to safegaurd their male dominant cultural interest which they have inherited from tradition, not from Islam. When non-Muslims seeing these practices, automatically presume those practices to be Islamic. We can't blame that, because if we see a Christian or Jew or a Hindu calling himself a practicing religious guy doing outrageous acts, we will point our finger on the religion he profess to practice for that act rather than going through his religious books to see whether it is acceptable as per the teachings of that religion or not. So it is our duty to live and present Islam correctly before asking others to accept it to be perfect way of life for humankind. The best way to tackle these issues is to have home grwon voices to change these unislamic traditions and laws in the names of Sharia. Writers like Lubna should come up in thousands and write about all the atrocities and try to eradicate it despite the iron hands of the wealthy influental authorities, so that Saudi can be a real ideal model for the rest of the muslim countries and for the rest of the world.

    Allah has given Saudi the bounty of economical mean which they should use to live in such a way to enforce a real Sharia law, not the one which selectively punishes and oppresses a select group of the society such as women and expatriates while treating the Saudi men differently. Whoever the people in the authority should remember that they might be able to impose what they want in this world but they are surely answerable to Allah for the Fitnah they are creating in this world under their authority. If the Muslims just remember one thing that they are answerable to Allah and the Hour is coming very soon, then we will see the model and glorious muslim we long for.

  42. SHAMS from USA

    This article is showing true real pictures of today's muslim world unfortunately. In our times, we muslims are following wrong things in both ends. We muslims (most of us, not all), either try to follow the western philosophy of free will or we follow our own native culture and most of the time in both cases it goes against the islamic true teachings. No wonder, in today's muslim world are so backward. We try to copy the wrong things from other cultures and abandon the true teachings of great religion of Islam in the name of secular society or our wrong cultural values which have nothing to do with Islam. MUSLIM, PLEASE WAKE UP!

  43. Wamedh Kereem from UK

    I think this can be extendede to many other Muslim countries in the world not only saudi Arabia.

    At a time where some Muslim men in the west are striving to marry a Muslim woman. Saudi women are not allowed to marry even non saudi muslims.

    What a system.

  44. zahira from USA

    Salaamalikum,

    This is an amazing article and exactly contains some of my thoughts as I read the Qu'ran today and reflected on how Allah's word is not carried out in practice so very often. The insight of the Scholar is very profound.

  45. Farhana from USA

    I concur; it is dishearteninig because these practices make Islam seem oppressive to the ignorant.

  46. llouali from brazil

    i think Mohammad Abdo got it wrong this time.

  47. fardeen from India

    Salam... i do agree with the sister to an extent, though i am not much aware about the plight of Saudi woman through first hand experience, however there does exist hypocrisy among Muslim men not only in Arabia but most parts of the Muslim world. This is one of the reason why we are in this mess today apart from blaming the West for all our misery's. Unless we whole heartedly follow the commandments of Allah and not what suits to our convenience, we shall be at loss. Nevertheless, Allah the Most Merciful reminds us that he will not change the plight of a people until they change themselves, so there is always hope for a better future...but are we ready to wake up and change before it is too late is the question. Salam.

  48. bashar Saleh from Kolkata, India

    It is useless to argue on any issues or points on Islam unless you read thoroughly each and every Aiyat of the Holy Quran. Try to follow the Directions given by Allah, Rubbul Alameed in the Holy Quran, and your problem will be solved. You may commit mistakes according to your understandings and intelligence, but Allah has promised to forgive you, if you sincerely ask for forgiveness. The present so-called Muslim world is full of Munafikeen {hypocrites}. You can not depend on them. When Allah has clearly that YEHED qnd NASARA are not your friends, you Try to depend on them. That is why Muslims are now a days treated as terrorists, when terrorism was invented and created by Western countries, specially American administration and Jewish tortures.

    Leave the matter with Allah for final decision.

    Every individual will be responsible for his action, and will receive accordingly

  49. Ruby from USA

    Salaam

    I do agree with the writer and her father's point. And unfortunately, in our so called Islamic society, most of people don't understand Islam or apply it in their regular life..!!

  50. Max from Canada

    Abdo was right then and his comments would be relevant today as well. true muslims do not exist today in the "islamic World" and if anyone would like to see the core of Islam practised today, he/she should look at the west. I am in no way praising the western culture or civilization but the reality is trhat the western countries care more about human life than our muslim governments do. no one can deny that...

  51. Natasha Khan from U.S.A

    I think this is a very honest article. There is a lot of criticism of Islam around the world, but we as Muslims should not let that make us become sensitive to the constructive criticism of our human flaws related to our practice of Islam. I will definitely pass on this article.

  52. Yohan Dahal from Bhutan

    This is a courageous/adventurous article. It is a common sight that mankind see no need to repent to beome fit for paradise. They see no need to wash away stinks and feel safe as they cover themselves in socially approved attires. What a deception of self? I think that Islam without Muslim prevails as Islam is practical side of Muslim and we are on the stage to act our part.

  53. ahmed.asgher from bahrain

    3:110 Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah.

    2:143 Thus, have We made of you a people justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations. (this aya goes on to say that none other than God and His messenger shall be witnesses over us.)

    Thus each one of us are trustees of this message and God is our witness. Can we afford to forget this in our daily encounters with others and with our own selves?

    Yet Muslims have lost the path to be a model for the whole world. I say this with a the greatest of compassion since what I see in the Muslims world truly does not fit anywhere within those Quranic verses. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi, Morroco and other Muslims countries, there is a wanton killing of each other and of the innocent and many would blame the West/USA and to be sure they bear a lotof blame BUT it takes two to tango as they say. it is time to behave with dignity towards all life and rely (tawakkal) on Allah for He is The Best of Protectors. Thus when we leave this world we can be rpoud to meet our maker that we have tried to leave this place a better place than the mayhem which we found it to be. Peace comes from the heart first then it manifests itself within our surrounding. Non encounter can be based on fear and suspicion. Only a non-believer makes fear the subject of their life. A believer fear only God and none other whilst s/he tries to porpagate peace.

    This is truly the era of peace and inclusion. It is time we declared the dignity of Adam p.b.u.h. Let us glorify God by first respecting each other, as God commanded ALL creation to bow down to Adam p.b.u.h. and we are ALL his children and decendants.

  54. Shaheed Ali from USA

    Wow, a tremendously written piece. And its subject matter is equally as tremendous. Keep up the good work.

    Shaheed Ali

    journalist

    [email protected] (NY,USA)

  55. ahmed from canada

    you are comparing apples and oranges.

    take the good and evil from the west v/s

    take the good and evil from east(islam)then

    give your verdict and always fear allah!

  56. Altaf M Qari from U.S.A

    I am just shocked to hear all these stories about Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia should be country as roll model for other muslim world and for entire humanity becuase it is hometown of Rasulullah (peace be upon him). They are giving chances to other world to mock at us. It is very sad, very sad. We here in the west are propogating the true teaching of Islam but when such things happen in the heart of an Islamic Country, that leaves us full of shame .

  57. Eugene S. Jones a.k.a. Abdus-sallaam from United STates of America

    AS a muslim and an African-American I agree. In what other country can an off spring of slaves become a head of state. What other country states that all citizens are equal? However, let's be realistic. Many of our rights are denied because of the color of ones skin, his family name or his belief system. However we as a people are able to fight for justice and in some instances have won those rights. When I reflect on the life and practices of our beloved Prophet Muhammad and the moral and social code he established it reminds me of the effort of those right minded people who in the past and in the present who strive to establish a moral society. whereby if you are a Jew, Christian or Muslim you have the freedom to practice your deen without malice or discrimination. Whereby your rights as a man or women are not taken away or belittled. America has it's faults and a whole bunch of them, but it appears to me that it is on a course that is more in line to that which our code of conduct as Muslims should be.

  58. Ihsan Toor from Pakistan

    This article should be an eye opener for many of our ulema who never tire of pointing to SA as a perfect example of an Islamic state

  59. khaled from USA

    Great quote from Abdo, it summarises the state of Islam as it exists now.

  60. nuniek from Inodnesia

    I live in Japan, I feel that I can do my Islamic duty and Islamic live here much better than in Indonesia. Here in Japan, I find Islam, but few moslems, in Indonesia, I find muslims almost without Islam.

    They do corruption, they don't keep their words of others, they don't dicipline, very different from what Rasulullah taught.

    But here in Japan, I can be a better moslem.

  61. Tahseen Kauser from UK

    I am an asian muslim mother whoes child was abducted 4 years ago by my exhusband.He chose to go to Saudi Arabia challanging me that I will be helpless to get any help there as they will never listen to my pleas.Even his relatives scoffed at me saying that I had no chance to do any thing since my exhusband had settled in Saudi.

    UK authorities had always an excuse to give saying,'you know what it is like in Saudi'!

    I am a practicing muslim women who had to encounter a man like this. The desperation I had to face was where to look for justice.Even in UK the only people who felt for me where non muslims and most of the muslims living in UK just

    shrugged there shoulders saying the father has the right. I love my religion and the lofty justice it stands for. Where shall I go to finf it? Since past four years I just wish to hear my childs voice or see a glimpse of his face or even hear about him.Oh! for the muslims.Muslim Mother

    request:I would like to get in touch with the author.

  62. Zaheeruddin from USA

    This rhetoric has been said so many times now that is not even funny.

    The author quotes Muhammad Abdo, who wrote what he did and truthfully so.

    Bernard Shaw said he has found Islam to be the best religion and Muslims to be the worst people. We quote him all the time. My confusion is, if Bernard Shaw really thought Islam was the best religion then why did he not accept Islam and followed it in its true spirit and let the Muslims rot in hell? I don't know why people use Islam and its rules selectively only for their own benefit.

    The author quotes:

    "A woman cannot even gain custody of her children in a court of law. What sort of a mandate gives the automatic guardianship of little girls over to the hands of a father and stepmother even when a mother is perfectly capable of looking after them? You of all people should know what that feels like. What's more, the status and importance of a mother in Islam is such that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself said that paradise lies beneath the feet of one's mother and that a mother's value is three times greater than that of any other individual."

    My question to the author is whether she has a doubt if such a mandate is in fact directed by Allah SWT or is she challenging its validity knowing that it is from Allah?

    If you dare quote Prophet Muhammad (SAW), be prepared to follow his Sunnah in its entirety and not selectively. I have noticed Islam and its laws being used so many times to bring Islamic extremists back to moderation and towards the straight path but I don't see the same individuals using rules of Islam against people following the West and promoting the so-called "Enlightened Moderation" and in the guise of which fulfilling the hidden agenda of the West to lure people away from Islam.

  63. Zaheer from USA

    This rhetoric has been said so many times now that is not even funny.

    The author quotes Muhammad Abdo, who wrote what he did and truthfully so.

    Bernard Shaw said he has found Islam to be the best religion and Muslims to be the worst people. We quote him all the time. My confusion is, if Bernard Shaw really thought Islam was the best religion then why did he not accept Islam and followed it in its true spirit and let the Muslims rot in hell? I don't know why people use Islam and its rules selectively only for their own benefit.

    The author quotes:

    "A woman cannot even gain custody of her children in a court of law. What sort of a mandate gives the automatic guardianship of little girls over to the hands of a father and stepmother even when a mother is perfectly capable of looking after them? You of all people should know what that feels like. What's more, the status and importance of a mother in Islam is such that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself said that paradise lies beneath the feet of one's mother and that a mother's value is three times greater than that of any other individual."

    My question to the author is whether she has a doubt if such a mandate is in fact directed by Allah SWT or is she challenging its validity knowing that it is from Allah?

    If you dare quote Prophet Muhammad (SAW), be prepared to follow his Sunnah in its entirety and not selectively. I have noticed Islam and its laws being used so many times to bring Islamic extremists back to moderation and towards the straight path but I don't see the same individuals using rules of Islam against people following the West and promoting the so-called "Enlightened Moderation" and in the guise of which fulfilling the hidden agenda of the West to lure people away from Islam.

  64. Ali from Canada

    They say truth is usually harsh and this is certainly the case here. I grew up in Kuwait (now in Canada) and can't tell you how many times I as a child opened the apartment door only to confront a veiled woman begging for some money and food, sometimes with children (lived in the Al-Farwaniya area) in 140 degree temperatures. I wasn't even in my teens yet I felt so deeply sad about her situation. Women are treated like nobody in the Middle East, the home of Islam. We always gave money and food. Point being, richest area of the world and Islamic, yet we have women who are denied basic rights commanded by Allah. All you sick men of Middle East, put your own daughter/sister in their situation and fear Allah. May the Lord have mercy on all of us

  65. Taz from canada

    It is nice to hear from a Saudi sister. In fact we look upon the country - Saudi Arabia as a Muslim country. What happened to the knowledge of the people especially male who think they know or they take things for granted. I think to progress women should know what their God given rights, ie they must learn and understand the Quran and Sunnah. only then will we be able to ask for our rights.

    We look at the weakness of others and not ourselves. We must educate ourselves first and then we can fight for our rights - legal and religious.

    Next our brothers must be educated by understanding the Quran and Sunnah. I have noticed that even in Canada, women are striving to learn, understand but men hardly seem to be bothered with this education.

    Thank you for your article. Hope more Saudi and other Muslim countries sisters would wake up to this serious matter that affects us so much.

  66. rachid from usa

    Even though it is a short article, it is a great one. I like your quotation of Mouhammed Abdou. I find it very true myself. There are millions of ignorant Muslims in the world, and women and children are often the victims of this ignorance.

  67. arooj from usa

    Well,I agree with the article. It was nicely written. A lot of people see the discrimination. I just wonder what they do about it? What have men and woman done about it? A very long time ago, women in the west were very much discriminated by men. They ran a protest for equal rights. What have muslim women done to get their rights?

  68. wanda page from united states of america

    In the name of Allah the Merciful

    Greetings Sister:

    I respectfully disagree: There is no justice or respect for women and children in BOTH the East and West. One need only look at all the awarded child support in the West that is never collected; all the divorce women living in conditions that were unimagined by them before their divorces while their ex-husbands standard of living increases to know that the sister disadvantaged by the Royal Court has in every major American city. Please consider the condition of all women, those in the supposed modern West and the traditional East and you will see much more similiarity than difference if you care to look. Oh how I pray for the day when Islam as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)returns to the Muslims.

    Jazallah kharami,

    Wanda Page

  69. A.F.L. from Thailand

    I completely agree with your article, in fact

  70. Dr Edriss from US

    who is Mohamad abdo? whos this great scholar that we never heard of? :).

    I'm not very informed about saudia but I think the saudis does not know exactly what is inside the west to claim Islam is in the west. don't worry? I know abdo is egyptian that you name great scholar!! but no one heard of him in the real world of Islamic scholarship.

    what a saudi know in the west? airplane, 5 stars hotel, nice cars, nice food and all paid for, by the money of the oil. when a so called scholar visit the west, most of the time he is invited by Islamic center who pays everything for him.

    you never hear a real description from the moslems who came and been broke in the west. those who lived seeking job while the western law forbidden to them to have one! those who see the 2 faces that the west gives you, that depends on how much money do you have or how much you can make!

    you can never know the west if you rely on those who visited the west without relying on themselves to survive in it. even a Doctor like me can not be a norm to describe the west, because we do not suffer like those who have no diploma who come here.

    unfortunatly, anyone from the west can visit arab land, get visa easy, get job easy, profit from the arabs hospitality for free and have the media backing him worldwide for any tiny problem that he may have.

    the truth hurts but people love to listen to the fake reality and this myth of the VALUE OF THE WEST,

    Allah ghalib

  71. hakeem from nigeria

    An eye opener.i fully agree with this article.

  72. Romesh Chander from USA

    Did this article appear in any Saudi newspaper (both English and Arabic)? And in which ones? And in Egypt and Sudan and Pakistan, and even in Malyasia?