Part II, Written by Papatia Feauxzar
I read Saadia Faruqi’s last short story in Brick Walls and thought, ‘It doesn’t get any monstrous than a man who lies on a woman because she refused his advances’. I was highly disturbed by this piece of fiction and this story stayed with me for a while. It haunted my thoughts for weeks! But it’s sadly the reality of many women in Pakistan as you can see with Saadia’s Haq interviews with real life victims in jail in part I of this fourth and amical collaboration. The interviews are depressing and highly disturbing to say the least. They shook me to the core for sure because innocent women are being jailed over nothing. While we can see the glass half-full by comparing these women to the situation of Prophet Yusuf (aleihi salam) and taking comfort in the fact that Allah has a Master plan for them, we can’t help by concluding that the precarious and predicaments these women endured are very unfortunate and sad. So, Allahu alim.
To continue, a selfish man wants another wife, he frames his current wife by lying on her and she lands in jail. Done deal and he’s proud of himself. Another selfish man can’t get his ways with a woman he’s obsessed with, he lies about her and lands the woman in jail for zina or theft. This effer is also giving himself kudos because in his eyes, the victim deserved what happened to her. She should have put out and disrespected her Rabb to satisfy his needs, period.
The list is long of reasons why these innocent women land in jail. That said, we can debunk three more reasons for this injustice.
1. Wali requirements
In the Hanafi madhab, a woman can get married without a wali. Read more here. It’s also very easy for families to claim that a suitor they don’t like isn’t suitable. Allah sees them and they should be scared. Furthermore, many vicious and ignorant Muslim families betrothed their female relative in marriage because they can or because they want to save their honor. They will force a woman in marriage because she can only marry the person they desire for her. If they desire that candidate so much and foresee a great future with that candidate, why don’t they marry the candidate instead? Huh? Why? Why do they have to force others to get what they want? It’s just wrong. What happened to freedom? She has to have a say and it’s sunnah. I mean she’s the one spending the rest of her life with the suitor.
2. Culture above Islam
Many Muslim families also prefer to marry their children within their own culture. They would totally deny that Islam has priority over these tribal and compatriot lines. While I understand that there is culture shock to account for when we let Islam prevail over cultural points, many Muslim families prefer their own people to others because we all have our own racism, nepotism, and bigotry we bring to the table. We believe stereotypes we hear about other cultures and we put all the representatives of different cultures in the same bag. I say we should all work on our personal bias.
3. Finally, jailed women deserved to be abused
This is the cherry on top of the cake. This is so nonsensical and it baffles me. Even offenders have rights and not all prisoners are guilty. Women are abused, raped, assaulted, and treated badly because they’re in jail. In the series Orange Is The New Black based on the real story and memoir of Piper Kerman’s Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, you get a small glimpse in how women prisons operate and how abuse takes place. I tell you, you can land in jail for anything and it makes you pray harder for that jail possibility to never cross your path. May Allah protect us, ameen.
I hope you learned something from our fourth collaboration. Please comment and help us stay revolutionary! Love fil-Islam!
Picture credit: thelastdrivein.com