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An Open Letter to Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman

To Fazal-ur-Rehman,

I am angry, very angry right now at a person that calls himself a “leader”. Yes, its obvious that the embroiled tango that Pakistan’s clergy have with female citizens of Pakistan is something that may not come to an end very quickly. In the name of “Islam” and “Sharia” people like Fazal-ur-Rehman have oppressed and repressed women with such vigor and passion that we women have been reduced to second class citizens of a country that was built for all minorities. What disappoints and angers me this very moment is the sheer animosity that the JUI-F chief has against the Punjab Assembly Bill of Protection of Women Against Violence. Of course, I cannot say that the bill doesn’t have its flaws, it does and it has many, but it is a step; a huge one that should have been taken a long time ago.

Maulana Saab, may I ask you (since you don’t have daughters), if you had a daughter, how would it feel to see her beat and abused by a husband for any apparent reason? You take specific verses from the Qur’an and a’hadith of the Prophet to justify the use of domestic violence, but there are other verses and a’hadith that reject the use of this method:

“None of you should flog his wife as he flogs a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day.”
— Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:62:132 see also Sahih al-Bukhari, 8:73:68

Surah Nisa Chapter 4, Verse 34 when translated states:

“Men are the support of women as God gives some more means than others, and because they spend of their wealth (to provide for them). So women who are virtuous are obedient to God and guard the hidden as God has guarded it. As for women you feel averse, talk to them suasively; then leave them alone in bed (without molesting them) and go to bed with them (when they are willing). If they open out to you, do not seek an excuse for blaming them. Surely God is sublime and great.”

– Translated by Ahmed Ali (Al-Qur’an: A Contemporary Translation, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001)

While another translation by M.H. Shakir from The Qur’an, translated by M.H. Shakir, 1993 differs greatly and is more aggressive. The point is there is ample evidence in Sharia using the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet that denies and forbids men to severely beat their wives as a form of disciple. Depending on the sect that we follow the translations and interpretations differ. Personally for me Islam, is a religion that spreads love and peace, but why is it when that love and peace is implementable to a women we are blamed for following the Westerners’ society.

Following the Sunnah of the Prophet and having heard his stories since childhood, I’ve never heard a story of The Prophet (SAW) beating any of his wives, if there are Maulana, please enlighten me with it. Questions arise of why hadn’t the Prophet (SAW) verbally or physically abused Aisha (R.A.) when rumors had spread of her involvement with Safw’an bin Mu’attal returning from skirmishes with Banu Mustaliq all of which was slander?

In the end Maulana, stop using Islam as this excuse to continue denying women their rights. What is wrong if there is a law the makes violence against women, specifically domestic violence a criminal act? As for your comment that, “men will be made to wear bangles like a tracker”, do you know how possessive and dangerous a man; regardless of his caste, creed, race or religion, can be once you have taken away his right to exert abusive authority on the woman he claims to be his property? If you don’t, then I suggest you open you eyes and look around you. Some men will continuously come back again and again to violate his victim and put the blame on her for putting him in a predicament. If they are tracked then they know they can no longer abuse her. In my opinion men need these so called “bangles” to make them understand and enforce a limit.

You say that “the bill goes against the norms of our society”. Excuse me, but when did it become okay in any society to hurt, beat, molest, and abuse women? This is not normal, it is far from normal, it comes to the verge of psychotic and insane. Don’t you dare pick up the banner of Islam to drive this country into the midst of the Middle Ages of Europe, often times referred to the “Dark Ages”. As a woman I am seriously appalled by your statements, and the ideology that they signify. How dare you of all people define what my role is in this society and how I should be treated. How dare you embroil this society and this country!

Domestic violence is real and it had always been considered a taboo subject in this country, and many other countries around the world. I haven’t had an up close personal experience with it but I have seen it countless times in my family and in my community. My own aunt was a victim of domestic violence. She was 14 when she was married, her husband was a drug abuser, and everyday her husband and her mother-in-law would beat, neglect, and abuse her. She was 14, a child, she didn’t deserve it. There were no resources like this at that time to help her. She had to go through that marriage and give birth to 2 girls in such a household. She came from a poor family with no means, and most of all she didn’t have a father that could protect her as he died. What would you say in a situation like that Maulana? Was her divorce un-Islamic? Was it against the Sharia? Does Sharia allow the abuse of an under-aged bride at the hands of her substance abusing husband and eccentric mother-in-law? No… no it doesn’t!

What is so un-Islamic of women every where in Punjab and all over Pakistan being given justice? Are women only made to suffer? Should they sit there and take the abuse in the name of patience and obedience? This is without a doubt pure oppression, which is prohibited to conduct in Islam. The main purpose of Sharia is justice, and how is that being accomplished if you allow injustice to the people of this country, and people also includes the women of this country?

Stop it Maulana… stop it, your words are disease, your ideas are a cancer. This country needs straightening out, it needs to be resurrected from its ashes into a country that is truly the epitome of Islam, and that can only be done once we place the right of our women in their hands and allow them to breathe and live. It begins with educating the masses about our deen so we don’t have to rely on you Maulana. This begins with JUSTICE! It needs to begin NOW.


Shafaq Aziz Dar; (yes, a female)


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Shafaq Dar is an academic writer, currently based in Islamabad. Her areas of interests is women's rights in Pakistan and education & healthcare reforms in the country.

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اس ویب سائٹ کا مواد بول پلاٹون کی آفیشل رائے کی عکاسی نہیں کرتا. مضامین میں ظاہر معلومات اور خیالات کی ذمہ داری مکمل طور پر اس کے مصنف کی ہے