In the time of ignorance of pre-Islamic Arabia, there was a practice which was known as "Ila (الإيلاء)", through which men used to punish and blackmail their wives.
Ila is an oath whereby the husband vows to refrain from sexual relations with his wife for at least four months. If he fulfils his oath, the marriage is dissolved; if he breaks it, the marriage continues.
Ila was practically a license in the hands of husbands, in order to blackmail their wives so that they accept their demands. A woman was only like a toy, and she had no right to make a choice for herself, but she was totally dependent upon the wish of her husband about her own future.
Since no divine Allah is present above in the heavens, and Muhammad was making the revelations himself, and since Muhammad himself belonged to that same Arab culture of time of ignorance, therefore, he also killed the justice, and made Ila a part of Islamic Sharia law too.
Those who swear to keep away from their wives (with intent of divorcing them) have four months of grace; then if they reconcile (during this period), surely God is forgiving and kind. And if they decide on divorce - then indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing
Islamic Sharia is oppressing a woman in the following ways through Ila:
- Wife is in a solitary confinement like situation, and she is compelled to stay in the house of her husband for 4 months without any love and attention.
- A husband could punish the wife by keeping her in uncertainty about her future for 4 months. She does not know what happens to her after the 4 months. If his husband is going to take him as wife further, or kick her out of the house after 4 months.
- Ila practically served as a license for husbands to blackmail their wives and to compel them to accept their demands.
- Even if the whole mistake is of husband, and even if a husband is an evil person and he wants to blackmail his wife through Ila and compel her to accept his demands, but a wife has no chance to defend herself from this blackmailing. And no Islamic Courts are allowed to help and protect the wife against this blackmailing of husbands.
- And if husband divorces her after 4 months, then the poor woman will keep on facing the further hardships of 'Idah (the so-called waiting period) for 3 more months, in which she is again in a solitary confinement like situation and has to face a lot of restrictions during this period (Please read our article on ‘Iddah for details of this one-sided hardships upon the women). This means, if a husband really wants to punish his wife, then he could hang these restrictions upon her for 7 months.
As compared to a wife, Islam gave the following facilities to the husband:
- While the wife is in solitary confinement like situation and has no right to have love and attention, but the husband himself is fully allowed to enjoy his life and to make love with his other wives and to rape his other slave-girls.
- Islam also gives full right to husband to take his wife back within 4 months, and start raping her (even against her wishes, which is actually a form of rape too). This means, even if she wants her freedom from such an evil husband, but she has no right to make decision about her own life.
- Islam also allows a husband, if he wants to 'prolong' the sufferings of his wife as a punishment, then he could do multiple times this Ila where he rapes his wife once before the completion of 4 months, and then again swears to not to touch her for the next 4 months. He only has to feed 10 poor people, or fast for 3 days (as an atonement) for each Ila.
Blackmailing the wives by showing ill treatment and aversion towards them
- Muslim Husbands can use these tactics (like Ila) in order to compel their wives to accept all of his demands, even if they are unjust.
- Muhammad/Allah already practically 'abrogated' the verse 4:3 of doing 'Adl (Justice)' with the wives.
- And the new verse 4:128-129 is a license for husbands to show aversion, ill treatment and desertion towards their wives, and thus compel them to give away their rights in name of settlement. And reason for this license is that men are not able to do 'Adl (justice) with them, even if they try to do it.
(Quran 4:128-129) And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them (i.e. woman agrees upon leaving some of her rights) … And you will never be able to do Justice (Arabic: تَعْدِلُوْا) between wives, even if you should strive [to do so].
For more details, please read our article: Muhammad's journey from 4 marriages to 9 marriages with the help of Revelation
Question: Why didn't divine Allah abolish the ruling of Ila?
Ila is illogical, it is oppression, it was a practice of time of ignorance.
But why did divine Allah follow this practice of time of ignorance?
And why didn't divine Allah with all his wisdom abolish the practice of Ila?
If Companions of Muhammad would have rebelled against Allah, if he had abolished the practice of Ila?
Muslim claim that Allah gave rights to women with 'justice', while western 'equal rights' is an evil
Muslims claim that Islam didn't give women 'equal rights' but it protected the women by giving her the rights on the basis of 'justice'.
But this Muslim claim is false. Neither their divine Allah gave women equal rights, nor rights on the bases of justice, and there is no protection for them against the oppression and blackmailing of their evil husbands.
West used its human intellect and considered a woman as an equal human being to a man, and gave women equal rights as the men have, including the right of divorce too, so that no evil man could blackmail them. Thus, the West provided the full protection to the woman against any oppression and blackmailing.
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.