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In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.


GOD has revealed the unbroken chain of belief and guidance through His Prophets to humanity. This book shows how previous Paths converge into THE STRAIGHT PATH. The writer approaches this subject through (a) objective writing and (b) group discussions to clear the mist of misunderstanding held by Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam.

This work attempts to unite the spiritual with the secular both in private and in public life after their long divorce. Religious belief is to be translated into moral action supported by all social systems; ethical, political, economic and in our duty towards God, to oneself and to others. All of these are sustained by a Divine Moral Decree that links the temporal world with the spiritual to save the welfare state of humanity and its destiny.

These writings hope to persuade Muslims, in particular the youth, to adapt a spiritual infusion, to safeguard their beliefs in relation to moral action. To non-Muslims and researchers in this field of study, it allows them to distinguish clearly the differences between Muslim thought, the behaviour of Muslims and Islamic theology and its conduct. It is also directed to assist students who need a reference book for use in Religious Studies and also as a source of reference in public libraries. It is an introduction to study the principles of Divine Decree in the Qur’an.


“And verily this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not other ways, lest they cause you to deviate from His way. This has He enjoined upon you, so that you might remain conscious of Him” [Qur’an, 6:153].


   All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds from Whom we ask for guidance to The Straight Path. This is an attempt to explain the teachings of Islam to all those, Muslim or non-Muslim, who are interested to have a better understanding of Islam, together with knowledge of its practical advice as to how humanity can achieve a harmonious and civilised way of life.

   The intention has been to give a comprehensive overview of all that Islam teaches in all aspects of human life, spiritual and material, mental and physical, individual and social, at the local and international level.

The book is organised is such a way as to lead the reader progressively through the practises of Islam from the personal to inter-personal level. It starts with an examination of what religion is about and the basic beliefs of Islam, and then it moves on to discusses about the Qur’an and the prophets, the pillars of religion and society and finally it summarises the details of various systems which Islam has set up to ensure a peaceful and well-ordered life for all human beings.

   This book can also be used as a source of reference on the teachings regarding any particular aspects of life the reader may wish to find out about. Or it can simply be dipped into according to the reader’s own particular interests.

   The sections entitled “Discussion” are an attempt to give answers to questions and arguments that often arise in the minds of students of Islam. Many people come to the teachings of Islam only by hearsay, from its opponents, or as disconnected ideas from articles, speeches, broadcasts, etc. These partial sources have given rise to many biased attitudes and it is hoped that this comprehensive treatment will provide a more holistic view of Islam and thus shed light on all the details which otherwise would seem incomprehensible.

   We are very pleased to present the first book in its sufficiency. We pray to our Sustainer to guide us to the Right Way.


H.M.Abbara is an Educationist specialising in Moral and Religious Development.



6th Step on the Straight Path


v    1st Step

v    2nd Step

v    3rd Step

v    4th Step

v    5th Step

v   6th Step

v    7th Step

v    8th Step

v    Introduction



Contents of 6th Step on the Straight Path

Chapter 15.      The Social System.            page:

15.1                 The value System.

15.1.1                                                                                                                                                                     Traditional Values

15.1.2                                                                                                                                                                      Divine Values

15.1.3                                                                                                                                                                     The commandments Values:

God’s Covenant values     b. Forgiveness      c. Retaliation 

     15.3   The Spiritual values.

               15.3.1 The Spiritual Brotherhood.

     15.4   The Conduct Values.

                15.4.1 Interdiction Values.

                15.4.2 Manners Values;

                15.4.3 Good Manners.

              A. Greeting   B. Sociability C. Good words.

     15.5   The Value of Relationship.

               15.5.1 Relationship with Family Members.

                       2 Relationship with neighbours.

                       3 Visiting  .A. Visiting the sick.

                       4 Paying respect at a funeral.

                       5 Just of the peace relationship.

                        6 Cooperation.

                        7 Honest Relationship.

              8.Human rights dignified their relationship

              9.Charity is a right of others

              10 Peace Making. 

     15.6   Discussion

Chapter 16 The Family system

     16.1. Family Life

      16.2 Marriage 2.1 Marital Relationship

              2.2 Choice of Spouses

              2.2.A. The unlawful relations

                    B. Religious influence in Marriage

                    C. Criteria in Marriage: 1. Wealth, 2 Beauty

                         and love-match 3 Family status 4 Religion

                    D. Marriage with non-Muslims.

      16.2.3. Religious Family Law:

                  A. Right of Consent   i. Way of Consent.

                  B. Dowry, mahr  C. Marital Contract.

       16.2.4.The Wedding ceremony

       16.2.5 The permanence of Relationship

                5.A. Respect and Good Manners

                5.B. Duties and right between spouses

                5.C. The solidarity of the family

16.3   Duties of Children

16.4   Duty towards parents

16.5   Status of the Couple

             5.1. Physiology provide Responsibility 

             5.2. Responsibility and Employment

             5.3. Economic Status of Women

5.4.   Education Status of Women

5.5.   Intellectual status       =

5.6.   Political Status            =

16.6   Polygamy depends on: 1. Having children 2. Illness

                   3. Shortage of men  4.Diagreement 5. Discontent

                    6. Freedom restricted by lawful. 

                    7. The original is monogyny  

16.7   Divorce  7.1. Divorce Procedure

16.8    Discussion: Family life, Marriage, Arrange Marriage, Islamic Law, Women’s dress, Equity, Polygamy, Divorce.    


6th  Step on the Straight Path


15.                         The Social System.  Islamic systems interact with each other. Thus the social system depends on: 1. The value system which is supported by: 2. The spiritual value, which is sustained by: the conduct value and good manners, which sustained by: Order values. Al that depends also on the value of relationship; with relations, relationship with neighbour; greeting. visiting, visiting the sick. Human relationship. It is sustained by:

16.                              Family System.  Family life is the basic structure of society. Marriage and family relationships are under religious influence and are maintained by prescribed duties towards children and parents. We refer to the status of women in Islam and also touch on the issue of polygamy. Is divorce allowed in easy stages? Then we will discuss matters relating to family life which is sustained by:


Chapter fifteen

15.The Social System.


"Help one another in furthering virtue and God-consciousness, and do not help one another in furthering evil and enmity; and remain conscious of God: for behold, God is severe in Retribution!" (5:2)

      The economic system sustains the social system. The social system in Islam is very comprehensive. Almost all the Pillars of the religion previously discussed, either depend on it or supported by the Pillars of Social Life and Society. In addition, it includes the systems which define the relationships between the individual and others, such as the legal system supported by ethical system sustains by the economic system. All pillars and systems are closely related to the social life. The framework of the Islamic social system may be summarised as follows:

.  The social system sustains by the value system

1. The value system sustains by Divine value and spiritual value

2. The Spiritual value sustains by Conduct values 

3. The Conduct value sustains by Order values

4. The Order values sustains by

15.5. Discussion.

{Between Abbara and Dina expressing the Islamic view whilst Badr and Charles the opposite side of the argument}


15.6 .The Social Order and Value.


        "Say: 'This is my way.  I am calling unto God with certain knowledge - I and they who follow me.'" (12:108)


Abbara: The main objective of God’s Message, is social care, to safeguard human life and to live in a caring society. Social order in Islam is different from all other social systems. For example, social classes consist of groups of people related to each other through common interests, economical, religious, cultural and political. But in Islam, all individuals are equal. The only criterion of superiority in this social order is personal ability, right conduct and consciousness of God. This is very different from the social systems based on man-made ideologies which serve a particular group within each society. In Islam, social organisation belongs to the God of all things. There is no social immobility as with a caste system; everyone Muslim or not, may reach a high position. History gives authentic evidence of how non-Muslims played their part in Islamic society. It is not a religious society in the sense that religious people dominate the rest; this idea was implanted in the Western mind. In Islam "it is to God alone that sincere devotion is due" (39:3). He determined the social climate, laid down the social order and created social values that would enable all the members of the society to be united in their efforts and to achieve individual maturity in both aspects of life, both spiritual and material. Secular learning is opposed to an understanding of divinity, which depends on creativity and seeing the nature of things. In Islam, there is the possibility for man to know God by studying the natural order itself and thus to link life and matter to Him and live in social peace.

Charles:   Social ideals are easy to talk about but not to apply. If there is any value in these ideas any Muslim society that applies them will rise not only in technological terms but in social integration with other Muslim societies and within itself. Some Muslims societies have the social stratification rest on the superiority of one group on the inferiority of particular ethnic group. Is this related to the value system decreed by the supernatural sources, or to the social system which each society has adapted to according to its heritage? Neither of them creates social welfare in any Muslim society. On the other hand, the Western value systems were discovered after they rejected religion. They then reached the standards on which human relationships and coherent individual life depends. Such values include love, respect for the truth, honesty, integrity, a sense of justice, caring, co-operation, sacrifice for the common good, if necessary, and the acceptance of responsibility for one's own behaviour and the well-being of others. All this has come from the creativity of the human mind, without an external authority to impose values beyond the capacity of the human being to practice.

Dina: Islamic spiritual values higher from this view, which devalues all the social aspects of life, matter and spirit by assigning all ethical values to the subjective-personal aspect exclusively. The values which you mention are not ignored by Islam, but you ignore the dark side of the coin, the "social norm" which has no moral value in it. These ideas cause a gradual deterioration and decay in the social structure. But Islam not only adheres to the positive values and encourages every one to observe them, but also stresses the negative aspect in that it discourages every individual from doing evil things. Thus the former type of society is built on a beautiful sandy beach while the latter is on solid rock. If some Muslims societies have social stratification, it is not from Islam but from their own social identity which have no Islamic values. 

Badr: The values in Muslim societies are personal values, in the sense that everyone lives according to the social mode of his society and its social values which have been passed down as a heritage. This is the basic social climate in Muslim societies. Everyone has a social instinct and is capable of social adjustment. In the matter of identity, each person develops his personal values by absorbing into his own personality attitudes and ideals he has admired in another. So I agree with what Charles said about Islamic values, that it is easier to preserve them in books or talk about them than to put them into action. I believe that those who preach them are less likely to apply them.

Dina: Your pessimistic view is based on present day Muslim values, which have no significant relationship to true Islamic values. A non-Muslim who lives in a true Muslim community can appreciate their social values. You cannot blame Islam or the individual who is influenced by social traditions with mixed values going back to former times. Some Muslims, who do not want to increase corruption on earth, withdraw themselves from leadership and decision-making. They are always replaced by those who have flexible values or twisted ones rather than being truthful to God. Ibn Taymiyyah, for example endured prison and exile because of his insistence on a sound application of the Qura’nic values and traditional principles to individual conduct and social life. The problem is implicit in the fact that those who appointed themselves to be the guardians of Islam really held different values and tried to integrate their own ideologies with Islamic values by giving them a religious colour. In spite of that, the values of social life in some Muslims societies highly appreciated the others.

Charles:  The issue is obviously very complex. The above discussion implies that the values held by so-called Muslims are not actually Islamic values apart from ritual values. Then how can the non-Muslim distinguish the true Islamic teaching from what is taught in today's Muslim societies?

Dina: Islam enjoins honourable conduct, purity of intention and sincerity in all the affairs of life. However, even if we cannot find these values in a particular Muslim society, the truth is that one can find devout Muslims at every level of the educational and socio-economic scale, upholding higher ethical values not only in one aspect of life, as some philosophers call for, but in their complete moral behaviour according to the Islamic system of conduct. In a Muslims society, may you find some aspect of social life not Islamic and other are related to Islam, so non-Muslims cannot see the overlap between them unless he study to find the relationship theory and practice.  

Badr: But still you have not answered the question and shown how to draw the line between what is Islamic and what is not in the social life of the Muslims. On individual basis, the personal values more common the Islamic values. The relationship related to private advantage, when a person achieved his aims his friendship will be terminated. The relationship between neighbour sensitive, may, sometimes, involve envy and hated.     

Abbara: It is difficult to find one yard-stick to measure every action related to social values. But we can exclude all immoral actions, on the one hand, and on the other, we can use the criteria of the standard ethic. What is lawful and what is unlawful has been defined and there is no debate about it. Regarding other things, we can judge them according to the spirit of Islam. For example, take marriage in Islam and the social life of a Muslim.

      In order to achieve modesty, marriage is prescribed as soon as possible. But must Muslims follow their own values rather than Islamic values; for example:

(i) Islam does not recognise any kind of discrimination between believers. It considers that "the believers are one brotherhood". In the case of marriage, some tribes still do not allow their tribes’ women to marry someone from another tribe, but keeps marriages within the law about relatives who are legally allowed to marry. Such attitudes have resulted in inbreeding, and sometimes biological or physical disorders, as well as depletion of mental potential have resulted.

(ii) Another social tendency has been for the parents to prefer a relative so that the wealth of the family remains within it. But the recommendation of the Prophet was "to keep at a distance from relatives", for the sake of springs from low birth.

(iii) The consent of the couple is compulsory, according to Islamic teaching, but sometimes parents choose a partner for their child without the latter's full consent and in relation to their social influence rather than to Islamic decrees.

(iv) Islam prescribes that the husband should pay a dowry to his wife according to his capability. This is to show that he is capable of maintaining his wife. But there are some Muslims who are influenced by their own social conventions into exaggerating the dowry by arranging expensive marriage and wedding feasts, even when the husband does not have enough money to do this. These, social values, in some Muslim societies prevent lots of girls from marrying because man can’t provide such an expensive marriage; this results in celibacy of girls and may also result in concubine age. (24:33). 

(v) Islam demands modesty in that the woman should cover her body except for her face, hands and feet but some Muslims, according to their own social code, not only cover their face but use things not related to the dignity of women; non-Muslims consider this an Islamic tradition. On the other hand, some Muslims adopt non-Islamic values and choose their modes of dress which does not reflect their modesty and result in behaviour which is distant from Islamic values. 

(vi) Islam allows polygamy up to four wives in condition of social security for the orphans (4:2-3), and with the condition that justice must be shown to them all, in order to avoid problems arising in matrimonial life. But some Muslim men take this as permission without actually fulfilling the necessary conditions or when there is a necessity to do so, so non-Muslims jump to the conclusion that is an Islamic tradition and that Islam has does not value women.

      All these negative things have been used by non-Muslims as evidence against Islam rather than against the social divisions among Muslims.

      Your friendship fails because not dealing with good believers who scarify his welfare to others, as well as with neighbour; true believers families live together like one family. So, your experience cannot be generalising.  

Charles:  How can a non-Muslim distinguish between what is related to Islamic teaching and what is related to the social convention of the Muslims, as long as the Muslims themselves consider their social life to be related to Islam rather to their own social traditions? Muslims say: Islamic marriage, Islamic wedding, Islamic tradition, and Islamic gathering, rather than Muslim’s.

Abbara: Reasoning shows us that social influence does not affect Islam but Islam affects the believers' society which is absent from Muslim societies; nevertheless there are individuals who have committed themselves to the Islamic values which they uphold. In other religions, society or the spiritual leader may influence the religion.

Charles: Polygamy was accepted in the old days. The Old Testament refers to the Prophets as polygamous. But in present-day life, there is no reason for polygamy. But Muslims are still practising it and this is supported by Islam.

Dina: As we mentioned above, this practice is kept up by individual Muslims who live by their own principles rather than in the fair and just way demanded by Islam. Polygamy solved the problem of unequal numbers of men and women by bringing polygamy within the law rather than allowing illegal relations, which would result in illicit children, which leaves men free from the responsibility which should rest on the shoulders of the father as well as the mother.

Abbara: in spite all these deviations from Islamic values, still the Muslim family is more coherent then some families in the West. All children are born within marriage; this preserves the society from social disease which has no cure except true family life, otherwise a society, without proper marriage, produces its own problems. So I invite them to be Muslims to sever their off springs from all harassment opposing them from circumstances which are beyond their control. 

      However, Islam makes no distinction between duty towards oneself and others. Social life is sustained by duty towards others. God makes no distinction between duty towards Him and to others.   


15.7.2. Relationship to God and Others.


Abbara: Islam makes no difference between the right of God and the right of His Creatures. The Qur'an always links heaven with the earth and says that man is created from the earth but his spirit is a gift from God and that all the things He created are for the use of mankind, and are to be distributed; every one gives from what he owns, wealth or manpower:"...and give them of the Wealth of God that He has given you" (24:33), indicating that all people share in the Bounty of God. So a believer cannot build a relation with God unless he builds good social relations with others. Hence the aims of God’s Religion are to create social integration and solidarity.

Charles:  Then where do the social problems in Muslim society come from?  All of them have more social problems than other, non- religious, societies. So naturally we could say that this is related to religion. In spite of that, still some Muslims insist on Islam as a solution to the Muslim societies' problems, whereas history bears witness that it is impossible to solve them. Islam is a good system for linking the believer to heaven, not to earth. It is rich in spiritual effects that satisfy the needs of the individual, but not as a social system to be imposed upon people from outside.

Dina:  The social problems in Muslim society come from the Muslims and their relations to their own social conventions that go back to the Ummayad period (661-750). They have separated social life from spiritual life. They have made the political system control the economic, the legal, ethical value, educational and social systems. Hence their problems rest on having borrowed or create a system not related to East or West but of their own inventions.

      Social values are part of spiritual values. There is no distinction between them. Man rises towards God through doing good and being just and fair with His creation. This is the task of the true believers throughout their life, but as they are few, you cannot always see the results of their way of life on society.

Badr: No doubt the political authority influences the social life, but this cannot be the only reason for present conditions. It is beliefs which motivate the individual towards action, so perhaps social influence is weak in the hearts of the Muslims because of their poorly reasoned belief. You can recognise two classes in a Muslim society, the very rich and the very poor. If the social code had the power to persuade the richer to help the poorer, their suffering would be far less, not only within the same society but in other Muslim societies. So where are the roots of the problems?

Dina: It is difficult to define the interweaving problems and who is responsible for what. Researchers have different views. Some relate them to authoritative systems, which play a major part in solving problems and make them more complex. Others relate them to those who are called religious who have appointed themselves to represent Islam. They find that they must ally themselves with the authority to gain their living and thus become instruments of propaganda for the authority. On the other hand, they may use force against the authority, or withdraw themselves from social life and become mystics who have separated the duty towards God from the duty towards His Creatures. Besides them, there are those who are non-practicing Muslims, who do not care about the welfare of others. Therefore, we find few sincere believers whose actions can be recognised within the majority who are behaving in different ways.

Abbara: I believe that problems are related to the values held by each individual and are not related to Islam or reasoning. The Qur'an (2:10) refers to that as a kind of disease and the most dangerous disease is ignorance, when the individual does not realise what he is doing and cannot evaluate his values in relation to Islamic value which treat all humanity as one in regarding duties and rights.

   However, we cannot blame anyone for that; it is the system of education with relation to other systems which has not provided Muslim with a basis of values for his development. The social order depends on the value system and the value system depends on family system which provides a complete system for the individual and safeguards the individuality of every person, offering him a chance of development which maintained by true Islamic Education:



Chapter sixteen


.The Family system.


"And of His Signs is that He created for you, from among yourselves, spouses, that you might repose in tranquillity with them, and he has set between you love and mercy. Surely in that are Signs for a people who reflect." (30:21)

1.  Family system sustained by marriage;

2.  Marriage maintained by Marital relationship;

2.1.Martial relationship depends on choice of the spouses;

2.2.Choice the spouses sustained by spiritual relationship;

2..2.a Spiritual relation supported by other criteria of marriage;

2.c. Criteria in marriage supported by family law;

2..3 Family law sustained by marital contract;

2.6 Marital contract maintained by permanence relationship;

2.8 Permanence relationship maintained by good manner;

2.8.a.Good manner supports the solidarity of the family; 2.8.cSolidarity of the family maintained duty and right;

3  Fulfilling duty and rights sustained recognised their status;

4. Recognizing their status maintained by solving problems;

5  Solving unexpecting problems maintain by polygamy;

6  Polygamy maintained by divorce;

6  Divorce maintained by divorce procedure;

Divorce procedure has stages to maintain the problems.



{Between Abbara and Dina expressing the Islamic view whilst Badr and Charles the opposite side of the argument}


16.8 Family life

Abbara: Family is the commonest way of life in all cultures, only through marriage can a proper family be founded and children brought up in conformity with cultural attitudes. All culture have found it necessary to control sexual relationships through the marital state. God regulates sexual behaviour only through marriage, through not permitting sex outside of the marriage context, which can corrupt the pattern of family life.

Charles: The family in Islam is a patriarchal system, the husband is the head of the family, he has the right to marry again or to divorce according to his will. “A woman was regarded as little more than a possession, first of her father and her family, ‘can marry her to any one he want,’ and subsequently, of her husband and his family”22, serve them as an obedient servant. This old system is not applicable to modern life. ”In the West, the Muslim family structure is often seen as oppressive and backward, an obstacle to modernity”23

Dina: In the text we read how God guides mankind to structure the family life in absolute justice and equality, and in the discussion how Muslims twisted the rules of values systems to their self interest values, and the situations became customary practice, not Islamic observance. There is no organisation without a head, if God trusts the father and puts love in his heart and sympathy to fulfil his duty. Therefore He appointed him as the head of the family, in which he is usually benevolent, caring about every individual in the family and works hard to help everyone in it achieve a happy life. This is the main objective of most fathers in every society.

    The customary practice, in Muslim societies, differs from one country to another and even from town to town. We can’t ignore some parents’ failure in their duty, who have followed their self-interest and consider such marriages as a business, rather than trying to form the right couple.

    God’s system never changes because His creation will not change. The old system of marriage is still valid within human life and animals alike. The modern system loosens the rules in name of freedom and makes women the main losers.

    The Muslim family in the West is seen as backward, not because they are Muslim, but because they came from different cultures have different customs and are not applying Islamic regulations. These include going forwards, so that everyone works hard enough to meet the demands of this life and the after life.

Charles: Arranged marriages may have been acceptable in the old days, selling girls or buying boys, but now, both are educated and capable of choosing and making decisions. It is amusing now how a man could marry a girl without even speaking to her or even seeing her. Furthermore, this, traditional arranged marriage takes place in the West, where both have to submit to the will of parents. The increase in the breakdown of marriage is due to this.

Abbara: The arranged marriage you described could happen in a very limited area of Muslims countries, but it is very rare. As we said earlier, the marriage contract is invalid unless the bride and bridegroom give their approval and are not forced by any means. Arranged marriage has its advantage if the parents are very sincere in their choice from the religious and moral side. They can assess the whole matter and make a fair judgement, and during the engagement the supposes can meet and decide as well. The disadvantage is if the parents have their own self-interests for one reason or another.

     The Western world, finds arranged marriage strange, as there the parents discharge responsibility of their children at teenage years, while Muslim families carry on their responsibilities for life. They have joint responsibilities so as to fulfil the objectives of the family. It appears that Muslims living in the West may high rates of marriage breakdown; it may be that such Muslims are not adherent to the regulations or come from Westernized families which did not commit to the responsibility of family life.   

Badr:  I agree that such a dictatorship exists in many Muslim families. During my study, I loved a girl and she loved me, she knew every thing about me and we agreed to get married.

I proposed to her father who not only declined my proposal, but also, to discuss the matter any further; because, I should have had a private flat and a good job and so on.      

Dina: The main criterion of marriage in Islam is true belief, which reflects real moral conduct and not welfare in life. If maintenance is poor, God will grant him sufficient out of His Bounty. True Belief would guarantee the success of the marriage.

    However, this case is not the Islamic way, but it is a social custom, to show off to his neighbours that he chose a rich man for his daughter. They are looking for outside appearances rather than the real quality of the man or the woman.

Abbara: In Islam is not only care between supposes, but also between the two families to safeguard the family. There is no doubt that greed, not Islam, plays a part in corruption of harmonious relationships between them.

Charles: The ‘Islamic family law’ is enforced from the old days. This creates a traditional family which imprisons women at home in Muslim societies, but when Muslim families moved to the West and smelt the spirit of freedom, the rate of divorce became higher in the West than in their own country. Besides which there was more divorce amongst educated women than non educated women.

Abbara: The Islamic Family Law plays a very important part in Muslim societies. Yes, It is the earliest legal system and it is valid in that is the only one of its kind. It is very comprehensive: God knows how important family life is, such that about third of the legal injunctions of the Qur’an are related to family and it’s proper regulation.

   In the case of divorce, the wife’s interests are catered for in detail. Divorce has increased between Muslims in the West for many reasons mostly not for sake of God, but of self-interest. The Western regulations encourage ill-will towards the wife, without ill-treatment for the husband. He is more likely to be dismissed from his home, with the house being put in his wife’s name, so he no longer has legal rights to the home.

     In such cases, Islamic regulation states; “it shall not be wrong for the two to settle things peacefully to rights between themselves: for peace is best, and selfishness is ever-present in human souls” (4:128). If this fails, an appointed arbiter from his side and another from her side can argue for them: if they both want to set things aright, may God bring about their reconciliation. (4:35) This kind of divorce, never takes place between true believers.

    The ratio of divorce amongst educated woman: is not really high, but husband and children may have come from school or work tired, needing comfort while she may have come after them even more tired and emotionally exhausted. Life is not mechanical, but spiritual with equitable balance. Maybe they cannot stand such a lifestyle and may find divorce more appropriate, If the wife is not willing to sacrifice her work for the time being, Islam demands that education overcomes their differences and not to create unfit problems.

    Every spouse is entitled to such rights and privileges and carries such obligations as are stipulated by law. But most problems that occur come from outside the home. They may be social influences or unjust regulations. God’s rules apply according to the psychological, spiritual and physiological tendencies.

Charles Therefore, a Muslim looking for a home servant rather then an active member of a society, who contributes not only through reproduction but in social life as a whole. For this reason many women who are highly educated are spinsters as they can not find their match. In addition to that the dowry, the pre-Islamic habit puts lots of girls in the same situation. So, Islamic regulation does not help but hinders the marriage in Muslims society.

Dina: One group may have chosen an educational life rather than a married life, most of them married later on, but, a few may miss the train.

    Another group, as we mentioned earlier that the advanced dowry is a symbol of respect and an intention that he is capable of maintenance, it could be even an iron ring, or whatever he can afford to pay as a symbol of admiration. The later one is for security of an accepted direction. Therefore, the reason not within rules by those who exaggerated in demanding more than a husband can offer. By such behaviour they put some girls out of the scale of marriage. Humans can take the blame and not shift it to God’s rules.       

Charles: You always claim that there is no discrimination in Islam. It is permitted for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim from in a previous religion, but Muslim women are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims

Dina: Islam, The Straight Path, wants people to go forward not backwards. Muslims believe in the continuous Message while both of them believe that the Message terminated with them. Muslim women, beliefs imply they believe in both religion not ver versa.

    Marriage in Islam is a spoken contract , believers should fulfil their covenants by all means, women should not be trouble-makers. There is no discrimination between them as adults, but later on, the children; Muslim women consider it their duty to bring them up as believers. Suppose her husband wants them to follow his religion, conflict will arise which may result in the breakdown in the construction of the family. God is looking to safeguard the family life rather than discriminating about beliefs as a personal matter to decide for his or her destiny.    

Badr: This indicates the authority of man in the family, while, Islam always calls for equality but in this situation it calls for inferiority.

Dina: In political system we explain that the Muslims’ community chose their leader and they have to obey him, but only within Islamic regulations, the same way the family decides upon its affairs with consultation and the right decision will pass. It is worthwhile saying that the poor man, nowadays has no authority at all, he has to work hard and give his earnings to his landlady; this fact in most Muslim’s families.

Badr: Perhaps, this is your experience, which maybe you cannot generalize.

Charles: ‘Woman Dress’ Despite the truth of all that, when you look at a Muslims women you feel that she is not only imprison at her home, but also in her clothes. She is like a black statue moving from its place, wearing a mask to scare babies; sometimes only her eyes moving round. Where is the women dignity in Islam, which you are talking about?

Abbara: Islam calls for moderation, but Muslims exaggerate laws and unfortunately blame it on Islam. God enjoins, modesty in dress and social morality in both, men and women, to lower their gaze and be mindful of their chastity, and He commanded that woman should draw their head-covering over their bosoms, and reveal not their adornment,(24:30-1) and He added, that she will be more recognized as a decent women and not annoy Him (33:59). Muslim men and women should not wear a tight dress; trousers, tights, and flimsy; thin transparent dresses which show the body’s figure, if they wear them they should wear a loose dress above it.

The hijab ‘veil’ or a scarf covers the head and the neck. There are lots of arguments about it, as you can see every social society has their own definition. The practical tradition of the Prophet well known to every Muslims, that woman should wear the hijab during hajj where purity and religious observance take place. She should not cover her face, hands and feet. This is the proper hijab recommended as God recommended in previous religion, it is similar to what a nun wears. Hence, when anyone sees her, he pays her respect as a religious woman and not to be provoked to evil as happen every day in the streets.

      Therefore, hijab is barrier for the evildoer. It is one of God’s commandments, it is an Islamic symbol. If anyone honours God’s commandments, it will rebound for his own good: “This is [to be born in mind] And anyone who honours the symbols set up by God [shall know that,] verily, these [symbols drive their value] from the God-consciousness in the believers’ hearts.(22:32). Therefore, only true believers fulfil what is ordained by God without stepping further than His wisdom.

Dina: Hence, Islamic values stand above Muslims’ social values. Those wearing hijab are doing it due to social traditions, and not out of taqwa, God-consciousness, mostly when they move to the West, they take off the hijab upon their arrival. So, most of the Muslims not only do not wear the hijab but also stop wearing a decent dress. While true believers they are wearing the proper hijab their face, hand, and feet are uncovered. They are respected by all and work with others without any harassment. Here stands the dignity of women in Islam. Nobody looks at her as sex objects as most women unfortunately do. The woman’s beauties are reserved for her husband only and vice versa. God cares about human life but women do not care.

Badr: please do not generalise, there are some who are wearing the hijab and they are not decent.  

Charles: ‘Beating wives’ If Islam calls for mercy, how is it allowed for a man to beat his wife? As you know it is not allowed to beat a child who does not understand right from wrong. I believe it is very crucial for a man to deal with someone most loved by him.

Dina: As long as, the beating is the final suggestion for rebellious; or unfaithful wife, comes from God, the most Merciful,4:34, it is meant,as a merciful measure of punishment, for a wife who committed nishoz; the verb, nahaza means to something arise above the ground, this metaphor is used for the wife who is going to be deviated from Straight Path and is going to breakdown the marriage covenant with another man. So the retribution is from God and not from the husband [The one who knows the facts, and the one who did not know, will say he hit her because she spilt the milk]. In Islam is very hard punishment for committing adultery. Therefore, this is a final step, which may let the wife realise her mistake, rather than breakdown their marriage and save the children from pain.

  Finally, beating of wives in the West is more than in the East, by a drunken husband or murdering an adulterous wife. So, practical life has many dimensions, which need to be amended.

Charles: Why are husbands not treated in the same way?  

Abbara: The same situation, God referred to, “If a woman fear rebelliousness or aversion,…to set things right between them.(4:128) Does not use the same expression, the wife beats the husband, because His judgement is according to her ability and the psychological affect of her husband; but, referring to selfishness and “the souls are very prone to avarice”. He appointed ‘God-consciousness’ and He witnesses their peace making, so He made connection between one’s spiritual life and his social behaviour, which has psychological punishment rather than physical one. In addition to that, there is a social support, from his family, her family and friends.

Charles: In verse 4:34 s for those women whose ill-will, to admonish them firstly and secondly to leave them alone in bed. As we know some women will be happy for undesired coition, therefore, it has no effect on some women.

Dina: As long as God said; its validity and reliability there: Yes, You may be right about the passion of some women, but in this case, she thinks for herself, contemplates, and we cannot ignore the factor of jealousy, She knows the passion of her husband, if cut, such a relation may effect their relationship and might lose him by one way or another. Secondly; this weapon has two edges, if it has not worked out from her side it has its effect on his side, makes him lenient and mended their differences. Thus the formula has its effect on both.   

Charles: ‘equity and polygamy’ God has not made for any man two hearts within him so there is no real love in the heart of a Muslim to marry more than one. Life consists not of financial ability, but of love sentiment. However, polygamy is most often identified with Islam in the mind of Westerners and the Qur’an gives free license to Muslims for up to four wives. How could Islam call for equity in meantime inferior to woman in particular for the first life? 

Abbara: God’s rules are not designed for you but for all people. In the text it points out why God lays down His principles to suite all mankind every where and at every time. God knows that unexpected problems and unforeseen circumstances exist in time and place. His law is very elastic so as to give the best chance of success and harmony in marriage. Society may have many possible remedies to social problems which differ from place to place and from age to age. It needs a comprehensive family law to meet the needs of all humanity and satisfy everyone faced with a dilemma. God provides an adequate solution to problems by providing conditions conducive to a fair decision between reconciliation and divorce or, in the last resort, the acceptance of a second wife. This last course at least saves the first wife from being turned out of her house, some wife recommend to their husband to get married to solve a problems occurred, if she wishes to stay. But it is regarded as an emergency measure, and should be confined to that. It must be remembered that flexibility in Islamic law is one of it's greatest virtues and it has proved it's superiority over other legal systems, whose results have shown that they cannot be relied on to lead to the greatest happiness and welfare of humanity. So do not be like ostrich which put her head in sand and thought nobody seeing her!

Badr: Do you mean a polygamous in West more than Muslims do? But Muslims do polygamy for pleasure nothing at all fro the reasons you mentioned. I never heard that a rich man married a widow woman for sake her children but only selfishness desires.

Dina: We are here talking about Islam and not about Muslims, or even those who call themselves Muslims. Some Muslims give a false impression to the West that every Muslim must marry four wives, and is at full liberty to shift from one wife to another. Polygamy has a valuable function. It may be considered as the lesser of two evils as compared to divorce or taking up a mistress. Thus, while provision for polygamy makes the social system flexible enough to deal with all kinds of conditions, it is not recommended or preferred by God. The status of polygamy in Islam is no more than a social security blanket for children and orphans in particular. And, like any other act which is lawful in principle, it becomes unlawful in situations where it would involve, or lead to, injustice.

Dina:     However, polygamy was common and deeply rooted in the social life of many societies in different ages. Most people ignore this fact and blame the Creator for permitting it. Yet in Islam, monogamy is the normal form of marriage when there is no obstacle preventing it and polygamy is merely a last resort to avoid breaking up a united family. In the Middle Ages, Jews were still practicing polygamy and it can still be found among those living in certain Muslim countries. The New Testament, according to some scholars, assumes monogamy as the normal form of marriage, but it does not expressly prohibit polygamy except in the cases of bishops and deacons. The doctrine of the Mormons is well-known. Even today, some African bishops support polygamy on moral grounds as preferable to other alternatives. (The Family Structure, in Islam p. 114). However, a half honest husband much better than a dishonest husband.

Charles: As I said it is impossible to justify such action. We are all human: our struggle for survival has no end, just as; our love mixed with jealousy has no control. Women in the West have different attitudes to Muslim women who may be subordinated by their husbands and mostly depend on them and for this reason they accept polygamy, when in fact it is imposed upon them.

Abbara: Of course God does not ignore the problems caused by polygamy. Therefore, this permission is immediately followed by a sentence which cuts down the significance of the preceding passage about it's normal and legitimate dimensions; it is forbidden if the husband is not sure that he can treat his co-wives equally, since equality is a prerequisite of polygamy: “You will not be able to be equitable between your wives, be you ever so eager”(4:129).

   However, it could be objected that the second wife may be thought of as inferior. We have seen that the Islamic marriage contract depends on the agreement of the woman herself and no one can force her to marry. Similarly, her agreement to a second, third or fourth wife should also be sought. She can judge her situation and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of further wives.

   Regarding financial support, the man is usually able to financially maintain first and second wives. Therefore the issue becomes that of need and demand of the two parties.

Dina: Surprisingly, many people, especially women, blame Islam for injustice in this respect, but if the woman agrees to be a co-wife, it is not the law which should be considered as cruel and unjust. Polygamy is not entirely a blessing for one sex and a curse for the other, but a solution to many problems and society is often in debt to the elasticity of Islamic law, rather than creating further problems, which have no remedy for the illness in their marital life.

       Islam is against any illegal relationships and does not tolerate any secret relationships. It is of no use insisting on having one wife and at the same time having other illegal relationships. A relationship must exist in the open, in a respectable and legal manner, which protects the rights of all those concerned. This removes all the anxiety, uncertainty and emotional disturbance connected with illegal practices. No one can deny the existence of marital problems, and the Islamic solution is simply the best way to deal with some of the most difficult problems in human relationships.

Charles: ‘Divorce’: The consequences of polygamy are that it increases the percentage of divorces. It means that a man can marry more wives at any time. We read in the news paper that a man took with him sixteenth wife on a summer holiday, so the door is open for more and more wives, not only four. He simply has to say “I divorce you” and go to another woman with two witnesses and says “I marry you”

Abbara: As we said earlier, God gives permission as a last resort, but with conditions and appointed taqwa; (God’s-consciousness) which supervises the differences and condemned oppressiveness between men and women. Therefore, a true Muslim responds to the recommendation of God and treats his wife with kindness and patience and divorce never occurs to him. The only bond which can join husband and wife together for ever is that every one lives in God’s-consciousness, which will control all their desires. When their spiritual life is united they can overcome all kinds of problems, and would not need polygamy, but if there is real problem which would necessitate it, then definitely the wife would be the one who demands it for the sake of both of their happiness. God recommends that man is patient with his wife and sees her best side: "And comfort with your wives in a goodly manner, for if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something which God might yet make a source of abundant good." (4.19)

Dina: As we said, there are various reasons known to cause divorce and these are spread over a very wide range. Any problem has its remedy unless there are irreparable fundamental differences between the two people. Only in such circumstances is divorce permitted. God cannot tolerate oppressiveness, which is so much more harmful than divorce itself. God recommends: “either retain them in a fair manner or part with them in a fair manner”(65:2) 

Badr: But divorce sometimes is a like child play, an arrogant husband loves another woman, who refused to marry him unless he divorces his wife.

Dina: Similarly it may happen that a wife with children may fall in love with another man and seek divorce. This could happen in every culture, but in spite of this, divorce is still the far less in

Muslim countries less than other societies.  

Abbara: As we said earlier, several stages of divorce take place during which reconciliation may take place. The first stage lasts at least three months and similarly with the second stage. If she is pregnant, it will take even longer and the new born baby gives the opportunity for reconsideration of the divorce.

Charles: In spite of all that, the woman has little right for initiating divorce. This in fact puts Muslim women in a state of anxiety. Therefore, she may feel under intimidation; either polygamy or divorce may threaten, which makes married life negative and miserable.    

Dina: I have pointed out that the ‘spiritual communion’ between them inspires happiness in every aspect of their life, but if they lose that, the wife has the same rights as her husband. God gave women these rights fourteen centuries ago ,at which time women in other societies had no rights. God stands firmly on the ground of morality and human dignity. He does not force a person to suffer injustice from an unfaithful partner, “but, in accordance with justice, the rights of the wives [with regard to their husbands] are equal to the [husbands’] rights with regard to them”(2:228)

Abbara:  God lays down principles which have been misunderstood by non-Muslims, and even some Muslims, as regards divorce being freely allowable. But in fact, it is bound by strict laws made by Him, who allowed it only because people's hearts and minds change in different ways, for different reasons, during different stages of life and their behaviour is changeable and sometimes unpredictable. This means that marriage is also unpredictable, but the validity of Islamic law regarding divorce has been proved over more than fourteen centuries while in other traditions their family law has been found unreliable in all circumstances of life. This appears to foretell a continuing increase in divorce rates, while the ethical principles of Islam in this respect takes a position between categorical proscription and unqualified liberalisation of divorce.












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