Wednesday, April 27, 2011

VBV - Ch. 4 Pt. 2

The next bit deals with the 'Doctrine of Marriage'. I'm breaking the chapter up into even smaller bits, so this will just be about the 'Selection of a Wife'.

We start out with a selection of surah:

Surah al-Baqarah 2:221 - " Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise."

Surah al-Ma'idah 5:5 - " This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues if any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)."

We'll deal with these two first. I think it goes without saying that the author only quotes the bits that she wants and not even the entire verse. But that's not such a problem here as it was in some of the last section's verses. The author claims that these two verses show a contradiction with the Qur'an. In fact, it is not a contradiction. There is a distinction made between idolators (unbelievers), believers (Muslims), and People of the Book (Christians and Jews). I neither speak nor read Arabic, so I must trust those who can. Idolators are mushrikeen, while the People of the Book are 'Ahl al-Kitab. So there is no contradiction. Muslims are forbidden from marrying anyone who is an idolator - meaning the pagans. They are permitted, however, to marry People of the Book - because they are all of the same faith 'family' - the Abrahamic faiths and, according to Islamic theology, all worship the same God and spring from the same monotheistic instructions.

As an aside, I refer you again to Becky's article about the permissibility of Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men. It has long been held that the instructions in al-Ma'idah 5:5 restrict the marriage to People of the Book to Muslim men. However, Becky makes an excellent argument for the view that the instruction is actually to both men and women.

The next quote is surah al-Nisa 4:23-24 - " Prohibited to you (For marriage) are:- Your mothers, daughters, sisters; father's sisters, Mother's sisters; brother's daughters, sister's daughters; foster-mothers (Who gave you suck), foster-sisters; your wives' mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in,- no prohibition if ye have not gone in;- (Those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful;- Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath Allah ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property,- desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and Allah is All-knowing, All-wise. "

My 'problem' with this really only comes into play when the author comments 'For the most part, this list would be endorsed by Western society.' I'm questioning which part of the list Western society would say is okay to marry that the Qur'anic list forbids?


  1. Hm. Possibly she means the explicitly religious parts wouldn't be as easily endorsed? Or maybe she's just allowing for outliers, and so specifies "for the most part"...Woody Allen might disagree with one of those, for example. And the "wives' mothers" and "two sisters" items wouldn't really bother me, and while it might seem sort of off to other people, it's not actually illegal and so apparently has some approval. (I'm taking some liberties here, though. I think the change in society and morals means that this might be better understood as sexual guidelines rather than only marital, in which case I'm talking about sleeping with two siblings or with a spouse's parent, not marrying them...which at least in the first case might be illegal just because of the double marriage, not the sibling thing.)

  2. Thanks for sharing! I'm enjoying the lessons and "reading" the book through Amber's eyes. :)

  3. sanil,

    Hmmm...maybe. That does make sense, that she's allowing for the odd person out of the Western side as opposed to all of Western society.

    There're plenty of things that aren't technically illegal but are still icky! :) Dating two siblings or a spouses' parent is one of them, imo.

  4. Yes you are right that those things aren't contradictions, and thank you for the linkback again again :)

    Sleeping with two sisters at the same time... icky icky icky... and I would actually say sleeping with two girls who are friends at the same time... icky icky too.

    Ha. Captcha has the explanation!: kicks

    So maybe if you get kicks out of it it's okay?

  5. *grin* No problem. It just happened to be relevant and timely!

    The thing that bugs me the most is that the information is out there. So it's very clearly a deliberate attempt to mislead the readers as to the nature and meaning of the text.

    Yeah. Icky...

    *lol* I don't think 'kicks' is a good excuse for everything.

  6. Well captcha disagrees! ;)

    Gosh, and now it thinks you're lying. ;)

    captcha: eurelyin

  7. Captcha is plotting against us. It's Skynet! Why won't anyone listen to me?!?

  8. It just like skies...

    Captcha: skiesq

  9. Proof! And also kind of actually creepy. The computers have gained sentience!

  10. Yeah... screw you captcha!

  11. Don't anger our future overlords Becky! If you're going to badmouth them, do it on pen and paper! That way they'll never know! :D

  12. Sorry captcha. Please forgive me.

    Now please help me interpret.

    Captcha: unative

    U native... hmmmmmm

  13. Hopefully Skynet will be more merciful than it was in the films. We'll have to wait and see... :)

    Perhaps it's an alternative spelling to unitive?

    'capable of causing unity or serving to unite'?

    We will all be ONE under the rule of Skynet! *lol*

  14. And it finally proves it...

    It has a: consc[iousness]

  15. Should we run away or start offering it appeasing gifts of jump drives and such?

  16. I don't know... because this one... I just don't know how to interpet it!


  17. Well a 'fief' is the property people used to get from their lords in payment for service. So...perhaps if we serve the computers they will let us have land? And work it, then give them all the proceeds so that they'll allow us to keep living?

    Or! Maybe they'll be paying us in RAM?

  18. sesseat

    Yeah I'm just going to continue now because I love your interpretations ;)

  19. S.E.S. stands for a lot of things. I just googled it. I'm afraid captcha is going to have to narrow it down before I decide which of the organizations it wants me to take a seat at. We need more information, oh benevolent one!

  20. 'pulaspa'

    Pull a spa? Yeah. Sure. I'd love to go to a spa. I'm not so sure about pulling one around behind me though...

    None of the SES's seem to have anything to do with spa's. I think captcha may just me screwing with our minds at this point...

  21. Captcha says: ytearco

    Why tear co(mpany]?

  22. captcha is going to make us cry for doubting it!

  23. Captcha says pessist.

    Persist? Maybe persist and you'll suffer the consequences!

  24. Or maybe pessimist? Captcha's starting to feel poorly about it's chances?


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