Muslims claim that Allah gave the rights to women with “Justice”, while the secular Western World made a mistake, and oppressed the women by giving them the so-called “Equal” rights as men have. Let us check how correct this Muslim claim is, and if really Islam has done Justice with the women.
‘Iddah (waiting period) of different kind of women in Islam is as under:
- A widow woman: Waiting period is 4 months and 10 days
- A pregnant woman: Waiting period is up to 9 months (till the birth of the baby)
- A divorced woman: Waiting period is 3 menstrual cycles. Actually, she will not get the chance to get attention and love and emotional help from any men for 6 menstrual cycles. The first 3 menstrual cycles are the process of Divorce, in which her husband does not touch her. And after divorce, again she has to stay in the waiting period of 3 more menstrual cycles. She stays practically in solitary confinement like situation for about 6 months.
- Ila (الإيلاء): It is also another form of divorce in Islam. In this case, a man does not touch his wife for 4 months. After that divorce takes place. Nevertheless, the wife still has to undergo the waiting period of 3 menstrual cycles. She stays practically in solitary confinement like situation for about 7 months.
Muhammad copied this illogical practice of ‘Iddah from the pre-Islamic period of so-called Ignorance
Muhammad copied this ‘Iddah from the culture of people of Pre-Islam period of so-called ignorance.
Just check this logic of Muhammad for putting all these oppressive restrictions upon the woman in the name of ‘Iddah, where he told them to not to complaint against the Islamic Iddah, while they had to stay even longer in ‘Iddah during the pre-Islamic days.
Um Salama said that a woman came to Allah's Messenger and said, "O Allah's Messenger ! The husband of my daughter has died and she is suffering from an eye disease. Can she apply collyrium/kohl to her eye?" Allah's Messenger replied, "No," twice or thrice. (Every time she repeated her question) he said, "No." Then Allah's Messenger added, "It is just a matter of four months and ten days. In the Pre-Islamic Period of ignorance, a widow among you should throw a globe of dung when one year has elapsed (i.e. she had to stay in ‘Iddah for the whole one year)."
Muslim Excuse: ‘Iddah is necessary in order to keep the ‘parentage’ of the child safe.
But this Muslim excuse is illogical and not correct, while:
- Becoming free of blood of the first menstrual cycle is enough to know if the woman is pregnant or not, and about the “parentage” of the child.
- That is why Islam itself stipulated the ‘Iddah (waiting period) of only first menstrual cycle for the prisoner woman, slave woman, and a free Muslim woman who enters into an Islamic State from and non-Muslim country.
- After this first menstrual cycle, Muslim men are allowed to have sex with them.
- Muhammad himself had sex with Saffiyah the same night, when in the day her father, brother and husband was killed, while she became free from blood of her first menstrual cycle the same day (Reference: Sahih Bukhari).
Restrictions upon the women during 'Iddah:
Long waiting periods are not the only oppression she has to face, but Allah/Muhammad went further, and they also put other unnecessary and illogical restrictions upon her in order to make her life more difficult and miserable.
First Restriction: A woman has to undergo the 'Iddah even without any 'maintenance' money
The maintenance and providing of shelter for a woman observing the Iddat of Death are not the responsibility of her in-laws. She also does not have the right to take her maintenance out of the Estate of her deceased husband.Reference: Dar-ul-Ifta
- A woman has no choice, but to compulsorily undergo the 'Iddah of period of 4 months and 10 days (or up to 9 months in case of pregnancy), but she has no right for maintenance money from the estate of her husband for this long period of time.
- This is a huge financial burden upon the women, who often don't even have any source of income in the Islamic countries.
Second Restriction: She has to obligatorily stay only in the house of Husband during the ‘Iddah
According to the Islamic Sharia'h, If the husband dies:
- then a woman has to stay ONLY in the house of her husband during this whole period of 'Iddah.
- She is not allowed to spend this time of 'Iddah in any other place (like the house of her parents or any other family members) (link1 and link 2).
But the problem is:
- What does that have to do with the ‘parentage’ of the child where she stays after the death of her husband?
- Why could she not spend the waiting period in the house of her parents, where she feels comfortable and where she is among the people who love her? This could help her immensely to come out of the sorrow of the death of her husband.
- And in the house of her husband, she could be all alone, and she has to live like she is in a 'solitary confinement' like situation, while she is not allowed to leave the house, and she could not come in contact with any man.
- Moreover, it could be a huge mental torture for many women to live for 4 long months (or upto 9 months in case of pregnancy) in the house where their husbands died.
Third Restriction: She has to stay in the husband’s house, even if it doesn’t belong to her husband, or even if he hasn’t left any maintenance money for the wife
Furay'ah said that she came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him whether she could return to her people, Banu Khidrah, for her husband went out seeking his slaves who ran away. When they met him at al-Qudum, they murdered him.
So I asked the Messenger of Allah: "Should I return to my people, for he did not leave any dwelling house of his own and maintenance for me?
She said: The Messenger of Allah replied: Yes. She said: I came out, and when I was in the apartment or in the mosque, he called for me, or he commanded (someone to call me) and, therefore, I was called.
He said: what did you say? So I repeated my story which I had already mentioned about my husband.
Thereupon he said: Stay in your house till the term (of four months and 10 days) lapses.She said: So I passed my waiting period in it (her house) for four months and ten days. When Uthman ibn Affan became a caliph, he sent for me and asked me about that; so I informed him, and he followed it and decided cases accordingly.
- How is it a 'justice' with a woman that firstly she is compelled to live in that house, and secondly then also to pay for the rent?
- Why is she compelled to bear the expenses of her daily needs on her own, while her family could have taken care of her easily if she had stayed in the house of her parents/brothers/sisters?
Question: Is a woman allowed to visit family members like her parents or sisters if she is observing iddat and use the excuse that she will be with her family so she doesn’t see the problem?
Answer: A woman who has been divorced is not allowed to leave the confines of her home during the iddat for whatever reason, be it to visit friends or relatives or to attend the funeral of even her parents.
Thus, the following questions are raised here:
- Women are also human beings. They thus also need to entertain themselves by going out in the parks, and daily walks, and shopping, and eating in restaurants, attending parties, sleeping at their parents' house, visiting their relatives etc.
- All these restrictions are against human nature.
- And putting these restrictions 'unilaterally' only upon the women does not constitute to 'doing Justice with the women'.
- These restrictions are draconian, and practically putting a woman in a 'solitary confinement' like situation.
Fifth Restriction: She could not even use collyrium/kohl in the eyes despite eye disease, while it beautifies her
Although a woman is allowed to take medical care during ‘Iddah, still she should not use collyrium/kohl as a cure even against any eye disease, while it beautifies her.
Um Salama said that a woman came to Allah's Messenger and said, "O Allah's Messenger ! The husband of my daughter has died and she is suffering from an eye disease. Can she apply collyrium/kohl to her eye?" Allah's Messenger replied, "No," twice or thrice. (Every time she repeated her question) he said, "No."
Sixth Restriction: Women are not allowed to use good clothes, jewelry, perfume, Henna and to comb the hairs or to oil them
Women in 'Iddah are not allowed to wear good clothes, or jewelry, or use perfume or Henna. Even combing hairs and applying the oil to them is also forbidden. And even washing their faces with aloe is also forbidden.
Umm Salama said: God’s Messenger came to visit me when Abu Salama died, and I had put the juice of aloes on myself. He asked me what it was, and I told him it was only the juice of aloes and contained no perfume, so he said, “It gives the face a glow, so apply it only at night and remove it in the daytime, and do not comb yourself with scent or henna, for it is a dye.” I asked God’s Messenger what I should use when combing myself, and he told me to use lote-tree leaves and smear my head copiously with them. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani declared this Hadith to be FAIR (حسن).
So, the questions are:
- A woman is not coming in any kind of contact with any man during the 'iddah, as she is not allowed to let any non-Mahram man to enter her house, and she is herself not allowed to leave the house.
- So, what is wrong if she wears good clothes, and jewelry, and use perfume, and use henna and comb her hairs with oil, and wash her face with aloe in the house, where she is alone, or at maximum with other women?
- At maximum, the usage of perfume could be restricted if she leaves the house and goes outside and comes in contact with men.
Islam Advocates: Strict 'restrictions' are placed upon the divorced woman during the 'Iddah due to the danger of her indulging in a SIN
But these Islam advocates are wrong, while:
- If normal Muslim women (or even the virgin Muslim girls) are allowed to go outside to entertain themselves in the Parks, and for picnic, and attend the social gatherings, and visit their relatives, and sleep in their parent's home, and attend the funerals of their parents and they don't indulge into sin, why then a widow or a divorced woman will indulge in a sin for doing all these same things?
- And if normal Muslim women (or even the virgin Muslim girls) are allowed to use the Kohl in their eyes, and parfum, and comb their hairs, and use the jewelry, and to wear good clothes, and use henna, or to wash their faces with Aloe, and still, they don't indulge into sin, why then a divorced woman or a widow will indulge in the sin for doing the same thing?
Islamic reason for 'waiting period' in case of a widow
Islam advocates claim that the reason for the 4 month and 10 days long 'iddah of a widow is to 'mourn' the death of the husband (link).
But the questions are:
- There is no obligation of any “mourning” upon a man if the wife dies. This makes it a double standard situation against the women.
- The husband is totally free to marry a new wife the same night.
- And he is also totally free to have sex with his other wives and dozens of slave girls the same night, and there is no restriction upon him in name of ‘mourning’.
- Only the woman is compelled to ‘mourn’ the death of her husband.
- Only she is deprived of her natural needs of having love with any partner in the name of ‘mourning’, and only she has to undergo the strickt restrictions of 'Iddah.
Moreover, a widow also has to observe 'Iddah, even if (Link):
- She has never seen his husband after the marriage.
- Or even if the marriage has not been consummated.
- Or even if she is a minor child.
- Why should she mourn his death if she has no emotional connection and love for him in her heart?
- What if the husband was abusive and he tortured her when he was alive, and thus she HATED him? This is cruel to still compel a woman for such a long obligatorily waiting period, with so many restrictions in this case.
Therefore, Islam could have left it upon the woman:
- That she could decide for herself if she loved her deceased husband or not.
- That she decides herself to mourn his death or not.
- That she decides how long she wants to mourn, and when she is ready for the new relationship.
- That she decides if living in her deceased husband’s house is causing her unnecessary mental stress or not.
- That she decides for herself if she needs the help and love of her parents and family or not by staying with them.
- Woman is not a “Brainless Creature”, who is unable to even decide for the matters which are only related to her and her personal life?
Islamic reason for 'waiting period' in case of a pregnant woman
According to the Quran, the waiting period of a pregnant woman is till the birth of a child (Quran 65:4).
And then Muhammad further told the Scientific LOGIC behind this Quranic order, in the following words:
The Messenger of Allah said: It is not lawful for a man who believes in Allah and the last day to water what another has sown with his water (meaning intercourse with a woman who is pregnant from her previous husband).
But this is a scientific mistake from Muhammad/Allah, while:
- Science is very clear if woman has already become pregnant, then other man could do as much sex as possible, but his sperms are not going to have any effects upon the fetus (i.e. he is not going to water the fetus from previous man). No DNA changes are going to take place in the fetus due to the sex. These were the concepts of times of ignorance, and Muhammad took this concept from them.
Moreover, once again the pregnant woman has to bear the consequences of this practice unilaterally
- The pregnant woman is alone after the death of her husband, and she is financially very weak.
- What if the deceased husband left no money for her and the baby?
- And it is impossible for her to go to work outside while carrying the baby in her belly.
- A woman is in a state of extreme emotion during the pregnancy. This is exactly the time when she needs emotional support the most from a partner, who could take care of her, or of her father/mother/family, but she is compelled to stay at the husband's house.
- She is compelled to face all these difficulties 'alone' till the birth of the baby.
Moreover, in principle:
- A pregnant woman should not go for ‘Iddah of even a single day, while the parentage of the child is already known due to her pregnancy.
- If husband could divorce such a pregnant woman and then start having sex with dozens of other slave girls and wives, why then should the pregnant woman be deprived of the emotional support and love and attention and care of the new partner, in a hard time when she needs these things the most?
Islamic reasons for 'waiting period' in case of Talaq
- The whole process of Divorce + ‘Iddah lasts for 6 menstrual cycles for a divorced woman.
- If Muslim husband decides to give her a divorce, then woman is still compelled to stay for the next 3 menstrual cycles with him in his house (link).
- During these 3 months, wife is not allowed to come in contact with any man. And her husband also does not touch her. She is again in a 'solitary confinement' like situation in the house of her husband.
- But the husband is free to have sex with other wives and slave girls during all this time.
- And after the divorce, she again has to undergo a waiting period of 3 more menstrual cycles (link). But why? There is no issue of parentage of the child either, while her husband didn’t touch her for the last 3 menstrual cycles. And there is no option of reunion of both of them after the divorce, till the time she undergoes the Quranic Halala. So, why is the woman then still forced to undergo solitary confinement like situation for the next 3 more months in the name of ‘Iddah?
Islam Advocates: She has to observe 'Iddah while she was 'alone' with a man under one roof
Islam advocates say, even if the husband has not touched her for the last 3 menstrual cycles, still she has to observe restrictions of 'Iddah of 3 more months, while (link):
- She was ‘alone’ with her previous husband under one roof in privacy during the process of 3 Talaqs.
- And the WITNESSES of man and woman are not accepted in Islam that they didn’t have sex during this period.
- Therefore, restrictions of 'Iddah of 3 more menstrual cycles will safeguard the parentage of the child in case she became pregnant from the previous husband.
But the problem is:
- If the witness of ONLY man is accepted in the process of Talaq (i.e. he didn’t touch her for the last 3 menstrual cycles), and he gets her divorced on the bases of his single witness, why then the witnesses of BOTH the Man and Woman are rejected when they testify that they didn’t have the sex for the last 3 menstrual cycles, and thus she is not pregnant, and thus she does not need any further ‘Iddah in name of parentage of the child?
- As compared to the rejection of witnesses of these 2 Free Adult Muslim Man and Woman, Islam allows the man to start having sex with the slave woman of another person, on the bases of 'singular testimony' of the slave-girl alone, that she is not pregnant, and her owner made her Halal for him to use her as a sex object.
A Singular Report is enough in religious issues. Therefore, if a slave woman comes to any person and tells him that her master has gifted her to him, then that person could trust the testimony of that slave-girl and have sex with her.
- And lastly, even one menstrual cycle is enough to know if she is pregnant or not (just like the prisoner/slave woman). Why then she still has to undergo the 3 menstrual cycles long waiting period? This again makes no sense.
- And why should she not use perfume and make-up and make herself attractive to other men, as there is no option of returning to previous husband without the Halala?
- A wife who hasn't seen her husband for years should also undergo the sufferings of 'Iddah in case of divorce. But why? There are no chances of her being pregnant.
- A minor girl (who has not started to menstruate), why then does she also have to undergo a waiting period of 3 months in case of divorce, as she couldn't even get pregnant?
- Similarly, an old woman could also not get pregnant, why then does also have to undergo the solitary confinement like restrictions of ‘Iddah in case of divorce?
Islamic reason for 'waiting period' in case of Ila (الإيلاء)
Ila (الإيلاء) is also another form of divorce in Islam. In this case, a man does not touch his wife for 4 months. After that divorce takes place. Nevertheless, the wife still has to undergo the waiting period of 3 menstrual cycles. Thus, she stays practically in solitary confinement like situation for about 7 months.
The reason for the waiting period is the same as in the case of normal Talaq i.e. Although the husband didn't touch her, but both of them were staying under one roof. And Islam does not accept the witnesses of both man and woman that they didn't have sex during this period. And only the poor woman has to bear the consequences and stay for the next 3 months in the house with lot of restrictions of 'iddah.
Nevertheless, Islam does accept a singular witness of a slave-woman that she didn't have sex with others, and a man could start having sex with her immediately without any further delay of 'iddah.
Islam Advocates: 'Iddah is necessary while a woman is emotionally disturbed after the divorce
An Islam advocate wrote:
"The last thing on a woman's mind after she has got divorced is intimacy. She is mentally disturbed and needs time to come out of this shock"
But in reality:
- The answer is simple, i.e. to let the women decide for themselves. If they don't have a wish, then no one should force them into any relationship. And what to talk about 3 menstrual cycles of 'Iddah, they could stay out of any new relationship for a year or longer as they wish.
- But if they wish otherwise, and decide to enter into a new relationship just after the divorce (or even in case of becoming a widow), then no one should stop them. There could be many women for whom divorce is not a mental shock, but divorce is a form of freedom for them and it is a 'mental relief' for them to come out of an abusive relationship.
- Why then religion want to forcefully imposes itself upon the masses, killing the wishes and the right of self-determination of millions of women.
- It would become double standards if the religion considers that men are not mentally disturbed from Talaq, and thus have the right to decide for themselves to have sex with multiple other slave women or wives the same night, or to take marry another wife same night, but only women are unable to decide for themselves.
- Islam itself allowed the pregnant woman to deliver a child after divorce or becoming a widow (be it only few hours), and then immediately wed to another man. This proves that Islam itself doesn't consider that all women are necessarily mentally stressed, or emotionally attached with the previous husbands despite the divorce.
- Muhammad himself married Saffiyah the same night, when in the day her husband was killed, and Muhammad didn't care if she was mentally stressed or emotionally attached with her previous husband.
Islam Advocates: Some women have Implantation Bleeding despite being pregnant
Islam advocates that Islamic 'Iddah of 3 menstrual cycles is correct, while some women have implantation bleeding despite being pregnant, and it is difficult for a woman to differentiate between he periods and the implantation bleeding.
But the reality is:
- Laws and rules are made on the basis of "Generality", and not on the basis of "Exceptions".
- Islam itself does not accept this "exceptional" incidents for making the "general laws".
- Therefore, Islam itself made a law that the 'Iddah of a prisoner/slave woman is only one menstrual cycle.
Islam advocates reply it by saying that 'status' of a slave woman is not equal to the status of a free woman, and thus Islam is correct to extend the 'Iddah of free woman to 3 months in case of divorce.
But the reality is:
- This issue is not about the 'status' of a slave woman or a free woman, but the issue is about the 'parentage' of the child, which stays the same in both the cases.
- And even the 'Iddah of free Muslim woman in Islam in case of Khul' is only one period[link].
- And Muhammad himself slept with Saffiyyah the same night when her first menstrual blood stopped. Note that Saffiyyah was not a slave, but a free woman when Muhammad took her as a wife.
He (the Holy Prophet) then granted Saffiyyah emancipation and married her. Thabit said to him: Abu Hamza, how much dower did he (the Holy Prophet) give to her? He said: He granted her freedom and then married her. On the way Umm Sulaim embellished her and then sent her to him (the Holy Prophet) at night.
Narrated Anas bin Malik: We arrived at Khaibar, and when Allah helped His Apostle to open the fort, the beauty of Safiya bint Huyai bin Akhtaq whose husband had been killed while she was a bride, was mentioned to Allah's Apostle. The Prophet selected her for himself, and set out with her, and when we reached a place called Sidd-as-Sahba,' Safiya became clean from her (first) menses then Allah's Apostle took her into his bed.
- There is no Hadith of Muhammad present, in which he ever mentioned 'Iddah of 3 periods due to any Implantation bleeding.
- Muhammad adopted the practice of 'Iddah, while it was the tradition of that era, and Muhammad was a part of that society.
- But in the modern era, when science discovered these facts, then Muslims now try to present these scientific discoveries as miracles of Islam.
- But Muslims will fail, as contradictions in Islam will then occur (like Muslims having sex with prisoner/slave women and while Muhammad had himself sex with Saffiyyah after only the first menstrual cycle.
- And what about a minor girl wife (who does not menstruate yet), or an old lady (who could not bear any children), or a woman who hasn't seen her husband for years? Muhammad ordered them too to observe the 'Iddah of 3 periods (or 3 months) too. But why? Certainly not due to the implantation bleeding in them, but while it was a tradition of that era.
Why no 'Iddah in name of 'mourning' for the Prisoner/Slave women?
- Muslim are allowed to drive sexual pleasures from the prisoner virgin girls with ‘penetration’ the same night, without giving them any time to mourn their dead family members.
- And as far as the prisoner women are concerned, who already have husbands, then penetration in their vaginas is not allowed. But still Muslims are allowed to undress them and to take all kind of sexual pleasures with their naked bodies except for penetration.
وقال عطاء لا بأس أن يصيب من جاريته الحامل ما دون الفرج
Translation:Atta said: ‘There is no harm to drive sexual pleasure from the body of the pregnant slave/(or prisoner) woman except from vagina’
According to Islamic Scholars, the Fiqh (Jurisprudence) of Imam Bukhari lies in the “Headings of Chapters” of his Book. And Imam Bukhari gave this heading in his book Sahih Bukhari (link):
Chapter: If one buys a slave woman, can he then take her along with him in a journey without her completing her waiting period?
Under this heading, Imam Bukhari writes:
ولم ير الحسن بأسا أن يقبلها أو يباشرها. وقال ابن عمر ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ إذا وهبت الوليدة التي توطأ أو بيعت أو عتقت فليستبرأ رحمها بحيضة، ولا تستبرأ العذراء. وقال عطاء لا بأس أن يصيب من جاريته الحامل ما دون الفرج.
Translation:Hasan Basri finds nothing objectionable in kissing a woman or to having sex with her. And Ibn Umar said that such a slave woman who is given as a present, or who is sold, or who is made free, but sex had been done with her before that, then she had to undergo a waiting period. And Atta said if a slave woman had become pregnant (from the earlier owner/husband), then still pleasure could be derived from the whole of her body, except for her vagina.
In order to understand the trauma of those captive women due to the killing of their relatives, please see the following tradition.
Ibn Ishaq said: After the Messenger of God conquered al-Qamus, Safiyyah bint Huyayy was brought to him, and another woman with her. Bilal (a companion), who was the one who brought them, led them past some of the slain Jews. When the woman who was with Safiyyah saw them, she cried out, struck her face, and poured dust on her head. When the Messenger of God saw her, he said, "Take this she-devil away from me!" ... The Messenger of God said to Bilal, when he saw the Jewish woman doing what he saw her do, "Are you devoid of mercy, Bilal, that you take two women past their slain men?"
Thus, there are double standards here:
- On one side, Islam advocates claim that Muslim women is not allowed to be wed during 3 periods/months long 'Iddah while she is mentally under stress after the divorce.
- But on the other side, they deny any such mental stress for the prisoner women and girls, and what to talk about divorce, but even after killing all the men of their family, Muslim men use them as sex object the same night. They are provided with no time to get out of their mental stress.
Contrary to Islam, the Judaism and the Christianity allowed the prisoner women to mourn their relatives for one complete month, during which men were not allowed to take any other sexual services from them.
Marrying a Captive Woman
(10) When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives,
(11) if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.
(12) Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails
(13) and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.(14) If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her like a slave, since you have dishonored her.
Muhammad rejected the Sharia of Moses in this case, and he followed the laws of the pagan Arab society of that time, as it benefitted him and the Muslims financially and they were free to seek sexual pleasures through the prisoner women the same night.
Is this the same so-called giving Rights with JUSTICE to the women in Islam, which Muslims boasts about in comparison to the Equal rights of women in the Western world?
All people with even slightest intelligence could see that this is not called giving rights with Justice to the women, but it is oppression against the women and Injustice towards them.
Don't forget the Bigger Picture: Whereas a woman in the West gets her freedom just by going to the court, Muslim women suffer horribly in an Islamic system due to these unjust and oppressive 10 Sharia Rulings. Islam provided women with almost no protection, and exposed them badly for blackmailing at the hands of their abusive husbands. Muhammad took all these rulings regarding divorce from the pre-Islamic era of ignorance (like only husband having the right to give divorce, the system of 3 Talaqs, Halala, Ila, Zihar etc.). All of them are not only extremely oppressive against the women, but they are also illogical and unnecessary. They became part of Islamic Sharia while no divine Allah is present above in the heavens, and Muhammad was making the revelation and Sharia rulings on his own. Thus, we see the human errors and influence of the era of ignorance in these Islamic rulings.