Mar 27, 2023
Mar 27, 2023
by BS Murthy
Continued from “Pitfalls of Faith”
Puppets of Faith: Theory of Communal Strife
A critical appraisal of Islamic faith, Indian polity ‘n more
Though Muhammad’s religious constituency was the ‘meek of the world’, as paraphrased by Jesus, he seemed to have shaped Islam but to their detriment. Thus, it calls for an analysis as to how his personal agenda would have influenced the Islamic credo that has come to mire the lives of the poor Musalmans, moreso its women.
So, it is for the women in Islam, the ‘educated’ among them, to delve into the proclivities of their prophet that shaped the precepts and practices of their faith to their detriment. However, instead, blinded by their faith, they tend to take the aberrations of their life as the Will of Allah and the price they have to pay to be on His right side on the Day of Reckoning, well, with Muhammad in tow with Him. Moreover, being born a Muslim, nevermind even as a female, is in itself the greatest blessing ‘here’, paving the way for eternal bliss in the Hereafter, such is the Mohammadan brainwash.
Leave aside the plight of women in the Muslim brotherhood; it is not too hard to see how the faith, supposedly shaped for the poor among men, in theory is heavily loaded against them in practice. But then that’s the religious crocodile craft, the crafty prophet had perfected in his famous address to the Yathribs,
“O Helpers, are ye stirred in your souls about the things of this world whereby I have reconciled men’s hearts that they may submit unto God, when you yourselves I have entrusted unto your Islam?”,
which is seemingly designed to favour the privileged of the faith. That is not all, what is inimical to the poor amongst the faithful is that the long and uncertain path to the ‘Hereafter’ is paved with sharp needles of sharia.
It was Muhammad’s ideal of a puritanical society that seems to have unwittingly pitted the poor of Islam against its cruel penal code, copied though from the Mosaic Laws. Well, why should the well-to-do steal at all, to land up on the wrong side of the sharia! Needless to say, it’s the poor of the faith that most satiate sharia’s devilish urge to mutilate as well as decapitate human beings. And true to its character, sharia is at its cruelest best when it comes to women that stray out of their marital bed, whatever be the provocation, no questions asked, no explanations sought, but stoned to death in, and by, the public as a religious duty. It doesn’t seem to occur to the Musalmans how all that depraves them as human beings besides becoming inhuman towards those their faith frown upon; it’s thus their barbarism against the others stems from their cruelty towards their own folks.
But when it comes to male promiscuity, Islam goes out of the way to be accommodative. After all, the four wives norm, not counting the divorces and remarriages, with nikah halalas as bonuses for a lucky few, would provide the required female variety to spice up the Musalmans’ sex life, wouldn’t it? As if that concession is not good enough for the libido of the men of means, there is the sharia-sanctified instant nikah lasting but, lo, a single ejaculation, if one so pleases. Why the world was witness to that sexual convenience at the height of the Islamic moral policing in Iran that brought brisk business to its poor kazis. And this is about the height of Islamic hypocrisy in that even as it frowns upon adultery and punishes the involved female with savagery, yet it provides to its resourceful males enough and more detours to circumvent the sharia to satiate their lust with gusto ‘here’, where life is not only depreciated but deprecated too in the Quran.
But then, why only blame the sharia when even the modern penal code too is tilted heavily against the poor to ensure that they are kept at arm’s length from the privileged, so as not to spoil their party. Why doubt that for the theft of a thousand the law is smart to catch up with the poor thief but when it comes to the embezzled millions under the white collars, it is slothful in sniffing at the scent of the conmen. Well, law is not an ass, made to explain away its aberrations, but in effect is the watchdog of the rich to ward off the poor.
Nonetheless, the hard up Musalmans, who tend to be better Musalmans ‘here’ than their well-heeled brethren, so to say, get even in the Islamic ‘there’ but then the wait is long and its hard grind as well! So be it, but yet they serve the faith ‘here’ by enabling their women in bringing more believers into its fold than they can reasonably bear, nevermind that confines them all to the lowest rung of the economic ladder. But meanwhile, the sharia lets the rich and the mighty get away with even murder, albeit through the bribe route of blood-money.
Unjustifiably though, the Musalmans are proud that their faith grants equality to women vis-à-vis men, i.e. in spite of polygamy. It’s true; the Quran ordains that in any polygamous arrangement, the Musalman should treat his wives equally. But, what sort of equality would polygamy entail those multiple wives of a Musalman, well, pegged at four! It should not be lost on any that even in bigamy, besides emotional restraints, woman has to bear with the sexual constraints it imposes, and so it’s not hard to imagine how frustrating it could be for her as and when her man opts for her co-wife while she herself was in the right mood then. But in Islam, we are not even dealing with bigamy but polygamy, involving four women at that! And how the All-Wise Allah Ta’ala missed this female conjugal constraint is anybody’s guess. What’s worse, he denied women any sexual escape route in that, so to say, he made them wear chastity belts all the while ‘here’. But what if the rationed intimacy and limited emotionality of a polygamous marriage trip women over the promiscuous line into the adulterous arena, and what solace doth the sharia provide for such pining females in a wrong embraced? Why, stoning to death!
However, in the ‘Hereafter’ though Islam grants its women their polyandrous time; but besides being a long wait that wouldn’t make it a level playing ‘sexual’ field for them as it’s not a case of role reversal there either for men too have their hurries for the asking ‘there’. Well, it’s a different matter though that Islam has so much concern for the satiation of all those black-eyed virgins ‘there’, who are wedded in their scores to the Muslim martyrs. Why, Allah increaseth the vigour of each and every martyr a hundred fold to indulge with his harem of huries seventy-two. So, ‘there’, man’s virility is not subject to the innate limitations biology imposes upon him ‘here’! And that could be no less an attraction for the believing Musalmans to crave to go over ‘there’, earlier the better. But then, the Musalmans too have this Mirza Ghalib’s sher to ponder over ‘here’:
zanat ki hakikat hame maaloom hai lekin /
Heaven is myth for all we know
dilko behalaane ke liye ye khayaal achcha hai /
Yet feels it nice to think it’s there.
Above all, wonder why it does not occur to the fidayeen that with his martyr’ body, or parts of it, buried ‘here’ itself, there is no way for him to sexually engage the black-eyed virgins over ‘there’! Not for nothing had Muhammad ensured that Musalmans do not develop the faculty of thought and reasoning that comes with it.
And what does veiling women in Islam mean? Won’t it reveal the lack of masculine understanding of feminine emotions? Oh, how the veil and all that goes with it stunt the female sexuality in the Islamic half! Maybe the embarrassment of Muhammad in desiring Zaynab, wife of his adopted son Zayd, could have caused him to stress upon the veil for the female as a barrier against male frailty. Besides, he was extremely possessive about his women, in particular Ayesha; in fact, he hoped that she were dead ahead of him though she was some forty-three years younger than him, and in spite of the divine diktat that wives of the prophet were barred from a fresh nuptial.
The Islamic burka thus, is the legacy of a man, who was extremely fond of women while at the same time believing them to be objects of male possession, if not vassals as such. And ironically, it is his dual attitude towards women that denies the fair sex of umma the feel-good that normal socializing would have afforded them! Though the medieval man’s attitude, all over, towards women was, no different, more or less, from that of his, the burka he ordained the women of his creed to wear, deprives them whatever little freedom their sisters of other faiths have!
Thus, if the globe were to become an umma as Muhammad had dreamed, if and when that happens, as its mullahs are bound to rein its fair sex, half of it would be reduced to ‘walking tents’. On this score, can it not be said that Islam, exhibiting its lack of concern for the female well-being, is inimical to the development of half of its believers? And yet, some hypocritical apologists of the burka would have it that what the Muslim women are hiding from the public view is not their personas but their poverty, exemplified by the rags they wear!
However, the moot point that Islam misses here is the need for the male to develop self-restraint in the society of females and not to veil them, so to say, from head to foot, for that’s what burka does. But then, if the veil is so vital for the niyyat (character) of the Musalmans, why Islam has no remedy for those male believers living in the non-veiling societies of ‘the others’? The answer to this, as well as to other predicaments of the Islam is that Muhammad had devised the Islamic code for the Arabic culture and society of his time but not beyond.
Well, if burka were to be a barrier against male promiscuity, then it’s still worth its cloth, if not for anything but to avert the exploitation of women, but it’s not the case either. Thus, it’s an irony of Islam that in veiling its women it veils the vision of its men as well. It is this mind-set of Muhammad that made the word of a ‘believer’ woman unequal to that of the male believer in the Islamic evidentiary value system! Nonetheless, Muslim women are wont not to complain about this and other such gender biases of Islamic socio-religious practice and precepts. And that speaks for the potential of Islam to stymie women’s mental development in the Islamic socio-religious fold.
But it’s naïve to think it’s the God’s Will that way for he didn’t ordain the Jewish and the Christian women to confine themselves in burkas. What is worse, while providing no clues for the Islamic adaptation to the changing times, the Quran and the sharia blindly bind the believers to the medieval values. It’s thus Islam turns the Musalmans into square pegs in the round holes of life everywhere, including in dar al-Islams.
Continued to "Shackles of Sharia"
Image (c) Gettyimages.com
More by : BS Murthy
|Dear Khan saheb:|
If one were to concede that the baneful practices in Islam are owing to the 'wrong interpretation of verses of Holy Quran and Hadiths', then why not people like you, one hears such educated voices here and there, change the perception of the believers about them thereby ushering in a welcome change for the good of the Muslims in general . But the reality of the Islamic society is that there is no way , as yet, for the questioning Musalmam to take on the obscurantist Mulla-Maulvi nexus for course correction.
On the other hand, fortunately for the Hindus, the reform minded had brought the religio-cultural hegemony of Brahman over the minds of the Hindus to an end, thereby fanning fresh secular air in the Hindu society.
| Wearing the Burqa is not mandatory. Burqa is supported by the tradition based on wrong interpretation of verses of Holy Quran and Hadiths. Modesty in dressing is prescribed and when going out wearing over garment in way that face is not hidden to make recognition impossible. |
According to most historians like Karen Armstrong: "There is nothing in the Qur’an about obligatory veiling for all women or their seclusion in harems. This only came into Islam about three generations after the prophet's death, under the influence of the Greeks of Christian Byzantium, who had long veiled and secluded their women in this way. Veiling was neither a central nor a universal practice; it was usually only upper-class women who wore the veil. But this changed during the colonial period."
POLYGAMY: Hardly 2% Muslims take more than one wife. Taking more than wife is conditioned upon ability to do justice to each of them. It is often argued that polygamy saves men from resorting to illegitimate relationship with other women. The Qur'an does not refer to any such argument. On the other hand the Qur'an reluctantly permits polygamy to take care of orphans and widows (4:3) and warns that "if you fear you cannot do justice then (marry) one." Not only this in yet another verse 4:129 it says " And you cannot do justice between wives, even though you wish (it), but be not disinclined (from one) with total inclination, so that you leave her in suspense.
The message of this verse is very clear and if one reads both the verses i.e. 4:3 and 4:129 together it becomes quite clear that he can take more than one wife only in some exceptional cases but otherwise one should take one wife. It is wrong to treat it as a privilege for men to marry up to four wives without any condition.
|You make an interesting point about four wives in this life and seventy in the next implying in each case sufficient satiation of sexual appetite. But sexual attraction is not numerically contained either in this life or, in the mythical projection of it, in the next. A man with four wives is just as constrained as the man with one, in that every day in 365 days in the year brings the possibility of a new face or figure of irresistible allure, which he has to forgo possession of. Happily, circumstances assist his restraint, sometimes difficult, but if he has sufficient status and wealth, he can have a lot of casual |
encounters or affairs with women he feels compulsively attracted to. This used to be the case for keeping of concubines, but again, whose number is limited. In other words, in sexuality, infinity is the number of women that a man needs to satisfy him – clearly an irrational propect. In being faithful to four wives or seventy, he is just as honorable as a man faithful to one, and just as liable to stray.
It is the very insatiability of sex that makes a man, any man, early realise its irrational character: one simply cannot have sex with every woman one desires. Marriage, as St Paul sees it, is for those who cannot abstain from sexual longings, as he, St Paul imagines it, whereby 'It is better to marry than to burn' (1 Cor 7:9). He imagines that in marriage a man can tap all his cravings in a sexual relationship with one woman; and since marriage is a sacrament a man does no wrong. He too misses the point of the insatiability of sex. However, St Augustine of Hippo several centuries later states that the very act of sex is wrong - even in marriage, since it entails lust. Perhaps Augustine gets to the root of the problem: there is no immune state from lust, not even in marriage. Marriage is still a holy union, but it is not sustained on sexual libido, but, ideally, on a union of souls by divine grace, whereby the two, man and woman, are joined in a chaste love, raised in the sacrament to be of the nature of Christ's love for the church, which sustains them through the trials of this life, and is indeed the path of their mutual salvation.
Such idealism may be sustained in a community of believers; where indeed there are records of man and wife living together in exemplary chastity; but when the Christian society gradually becomes infected with worldly values, with the widening of the gulf from the early Christian community, indeed, into the overturning of ideals of the Roman Catholic Church in the new age of Renaissance and Reformation, the irrational impulses of sexuality are attempted to be rationalised, influencing art and literature, and, come to think of it, Mohammed in his ideas of the reward with many wives.
This attitude is, as explained, self-defeating for the insatiability of man's sexual appetite; who will only be satisfied in a marriage of souls, such as Mohammed himself had with his first love and wife, with common ideals expressing itself as a love of the members of a community, in which sexual impulses are to be restrained. The idea of 'wives' as a reward implying fulfilled sexual pleasure is both illusory as it is dis-functional. Death is the end of sexuality, the life to come is one in spirit and in truth, Christians believe, in union with and by the merits of Christ risen from the dead, who personifies the Divine Truth and Righteousness. There is the ecstasy of the saints.
|Dear Mr. Jehangir:|
I believe that the 'index of faith' is what 'religious commoners' perceive it to be, and not what its 'religious preachers' postulate about it.
|Dear Mr. Murthy, you wrote a very good artical about Islam . All you need is to sit down with a scholar of Islam and get it straight , I mean get the answers of your questions . I hope someone can satisfy you. God bless you , please keep reading about Quran and its message .|