Social System of Islam 38 – Marital Relations 3 Related Issues
Channel: Jamal Badawi
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In the name of God the benevolent the Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever amin I greet you with my greeting that I customary use on our time and focus program. It's a greeting that has been used by many of the prophets from Abraham through to Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon them all. It's a greeting of peace assalamu Aleikum, which means peace beyond you. I'm your host, Tama Rashid. Today we have our 38th program and our series dealing with the social system of Islam. And today we'll be talking about a marital attenuation of our discussions, marital relationships. More specifically,
we'll be having our third segment on the wife right over her husband. I have joined me on the program as usual. Dr. Jamal By the Way of St. Mary's University, brother, Jamal Assalamu alaikum My name
is also our fashion Could I have you to quickly highlight the main points that we talked about in our second program dealing with marital relationships? Certainly.
Last time, we talked about the non financial rights of the wife. That was the main focus. And he indicated that according to the Quran, one has to do well with his wife in equity and kindness. And how the Prophet considered that's one of the criteria of faith and goodness in the spiritual sense, even is to be good hands on life, which includes also not hurting heart and be considered cheerful and even providing reasonable recreation for heart and you have given various examples of this.
The other aspect also is the question was the question of jealousy and the extent of acceptable versus extreme aspects of jealousy. We discussed that too.
We also talked about the case where there is some
hard feelings towards one's wife, even in the affection and the romantic love is missing, that this should not be a cause for committing any injustice or mistreatment to one's wife, that the Quran in chapter four indicates that you may hate something, but God will place a lot of good in that
thing that you might hate, and also the teaching of the Prophet, that one may dislike some aspect of one's wife's behavior, but he should find something else to satisfy himself and himself and also to remember that the husband also have his own faults.
This was basically the and then towards the end, we discussed a little bit on one additional rights for the Muslim wife. And that is her rights for the satisfaction of her instinctive physical needs also.
And we even indicated the varieties of teachings in the Quran itself even and they were saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, that this is a duty on the person that it should be performed with patience, love consideration and proper preliminaries so that it won't be just a mechanical type of Act. And that we said that within the Islamic framework and within this spiritual framework, and responsible attitude, there is no hang up in the mind in the in the mind of the Muslim concerned exactly as it is in this particular whole, wholesome and proper framework. Now to continue with the last point that you touched upon,
what would be the position if the husband continues to deliberately deprive his wife from her matrimonial rights? If he continues to, if he doesn't follow the suggested
teachings teachings on this perspective? Well,
the majority of Muslim jurists require that as a deity, some few would say that no, it is his right. But not not mentioned the other side. But I think the more accurate and the more common view is that it is right for the wife and that applies to any other rights. If somebody is not fulfilling his duty or obligations, then those obligations has to be enforced in some way or the other.
But of course, that might raise some difficulty.
perhaps to understand that I met her briefly here, because this is an issue that could come under the topic, perhaps of dissolution of marriage and marital problems. But the Arabs Also, before Islam had the method, which is called ILA, because I said like he la apostrophe elap, which means basically, an oath of abstention from one's wife. And this was an attempt really to hurt the wife. If there's some problem or as a disciplinary measure, a person would not divorce his wife. And in the meantime, she lives with him, but he does not satisfy her basic matrimonial needs, physical needs.
And this could go for years. You know, it just used to be used in an endless manner.
In chapter two in the Quran, in verse 226,
stop was put to this endless type of suspense. And the verse simply said that those who have an oath of abstention from their wives, they have only four months.
Within this four months,
either they have to repent, and, you know, go back on this unfair oath that they made. Or if the four months elapsed, and he still abstained from his wife, then perhaps divorce would be something that should should follow.
The majority of Muslim jurists said that after the elapse of this four months, in terms of methodology, what exactly to do? They said the wife could demand from him, either that he should change his behavior and defer to her, or that he should divorce her? Of course, the question would be, how about if he refuses to divorce her? Well, according to the Maliki School of jurisprudence,
they say that if he refuses to divorce are a ruler or His representative, of course, a judge, for example, would have the right to force him to divorce her because this is a kind of hurt or harm. And in Islamic law, the harm should be removed. So they can force him actually, to divorce her, of course, if she desires, if she so demands.
But other jurists might have a different kind of approach like I met and Shafi. They say, a person like this could be punished in a variety of ways, including even imprisonment, until he makes a commitment that he will change his behavior or would divorce his wife, but whichever way the jurists look at it, it shows that there are still serious consequences in Islamic law, to deliberately neglect the right of one's wife, even in the most physical and the most intimate type of
relationship. Well, I'd like to shift now to another line of discussion, then the topic that quite often comes up when one is discussing this whole question of marital relationships is the question of birth control.
What is the position of Islam on on birth control?
Well, first of all, the term itself I have some reservation, this the word birth control, I know it's quite common usage. But sometimes it might give an impression that As humans, we control who has to be born. So I just like to qualify the term of course, I might still use the term only in a different meaning than what it may convey. Because in a Muslim belief, the it is only God who controls birth and death. Well, there might, there might be some means that human beings may use. But just remember that the ultimate controller really on who's to be born, is God. And we find many examples of people who use all kinds of means and still, you know, if God wanted the baby to be
born, he or she will be born for sure. So I'm just using that term with some qualification that will mean an approximation of some form of trying to prevent attempts to prevent pregnancy.
But in terms of the systemic attitude towards that, in general, the general approach is that Islam encourages
multiplication and having children in fact, the prophet, Muhammad peace be upon him in more than one Hadith or saying, indicated that you should get married and have children. So there's encouragement of having good children both in quantity and quality. Both elements should go together.
The other thing about birth control is that I haven't seen,
for example, any consensus among Muslim jurist that birth control should be adopted as a national policy, general approach in the country. That's not an appropriate
When, in fact there are some scholars who dispute all of this Malthusian and other similar alarmist approaches that there would be only a standing place. If the word continued to multiply as it is, there are lots of untapped resources. And there is lots of injustice in the world which causes this kind of problem. But this is not this could be a topic by itself. In fact, one great jurist Maulana no duty has written a whole book on the subject discussing all this about birth control.
So as far as the national policy is concerned, this is not an acceptable thing. However, when it comes to birth control, quote, unquote, in essence of individual cases, especially individual problems, we find that if there are circumstances which may provide a reasonable justification for best control, it is not regarded as unlawful and Islam.
Indeed, in the two most authentic sources of prophetic traditions, after the Quran, that's the Bukhari and Muslim.
In one saying, narrated by gathers, he said that in the days of the Prophet peace be upon him, we used to use a particular method of birth control, which might be called something like withdrawal.
And the Quran was revealed.
In fact, in another saying in Muslim, he says, The Prophet, you have this method that they use to try to control their self to prevent pregnancy. And he did not object to that. And it is It is well known that whenever something was done, that was unlawful, or against Islam, and the Prophet knew of it, he always spoke against and stop people doing it. So the fact that he knew and did not object is an implicit consent, there are additional things also that might even give give the impression of some kind of sanction to it. In fact, one person as narrated in an essay, and if the manager was asking the Prophet also again about these things. And he, the prophet answered, he said, If Allah or
a God wanted to create a child, you will not be able to do anything about it.
Which again, means he didn't say, don't do it. But he says, You should always believe that God is the one who determines and decides on this issues. I'd say this is the general consensus. However, there are some minority opinion on that subject also, who feel that really it should be regarded as unlawful act.
They defer to a number of things. First of all, they say, Okay, this might represent the kind of irresponsible attitude and avoiding pregnancy and all that. But again, we can say that yes, well, if it is that situation, maybe but we cannot generalize and say that in all cases, it is just an escape of responsibility, there might be some good reasons for that.
Secondly, they say that in one of the saying of the Prophet peace be upon him, he said that
about birth control methods. It is Eduardo caffee, which means almost like a hidden killing of infants, hidden but not real one. But the answer to that question, again, is that hidden is just a sort of reference to something which is not real. It is not an actual killing of
a fetus or anything of that sort. It just preventing fertilization from the beginning. And just like the term shift, get fuzzy, hidden. attitude of associating others with God is a term also that's used to refer to something much more minor than the measures.
The display, for example, or unbelief. So it could not be taking literally in that sense, the maximum that one can say about that particular prophetic tradition, this particular one is that it's just a discouragement rather than absolute and blanket,
prohibition, but so long as there is no abortion involved.
They could not be regarded really as unlawful. But most importantly, we cannot say or stick to one particular setting and make a rule out of that because there are other sayings of the Prophet also in the same subject, they should be put together, all of them and interpreted in the context of each other and the general indication is that it is permissible. The only thing that I may add here is that one should make sure however, that the birth control message used does not involve any early abortion.
The reason being is that there are some methods for example, like the loop or the IUD intrauterine device where I
After checking with a gynecologist, she told me that they're not quite certain
as to how exactly it works, I asked her specifically whether it may possibly be a source of early abortion of a fertilized egg already because of the presence of a foreign body in the essence. And she said, this is not certain yet, but the possibility still might be there.
So this is the thing that, you know, one has to watch for. But if it's just a matter of prevention of fertilization, then I don't see much problem with that, in view of the various texts of prophetic tradition on the subject. Now, you mentioned that there should be
good reasons, right for birth control methods being pursued, not just a convenience, that's what I meant, right? Could I ask you perhaps to give some further elaboration, some further clarification and perhaps some examples of acceptable reasons in Islam, okay, perhaps the most clear reason that comes first is the protection of the life of the mother, they may be some medical reason
whereby a wife, or a woman might be in a difficult health situation where, whereby if she gets pregnant, it might threaten her life or health, health. And if this advice is given by a trusted
doctor, for example, then that could be a good reason also to avoid pregnancy at that particular time.
The other thing is that
some even contemporary jurists
feel that if there is indication, strong indication that if a woman gets pregnant, the child may likely be deformed. For some reason other than some scientific evidence or indication, or even strong probability of this happening, then perhaps avoiding pregnancy might be advisable to prevent suffering for all concerned.
Some Muslim jurists in the past also added based on a saying of the prophet in Muslim,
which made some kind of hint that if a woman gets pregnant, while she's still nursing a baby, that this may hurt the health of that baby, because of course, the going through pregnancy, it might affect the, you know, secretion of milk and so on, and affect the health of the baby. So that again, could be a good reason that there must be some gap. In fact, some jurists refer to the Quran,
which said that the the suckling period of the baby could go as far as two years. So they say it's better actually to avoid pregnancy, so that the child would get, or the infant would get enough
attention, both physically and psychologically to.
So the main point really is
some even added that if a person is very poor, even though of course, the Quran also indicates that it is God who provides for all. So this is a matter that has to be taken carefully. You don't say, right, I, I don't have too many children, because I want each of my children to have a big car and house and all of this and they can't afford to have too many. That's not the case, is it? Just beyond reasonable excuses. But if a person is genuinely poor, and his resources are limited, or his health or his wife's health
might not allow taking care of a large number of children, especially if they are too fertile, and they could get babies almost every years or so. Some jurists even said that this could be a possible justifiable reason, there might be other personal reasons that each person would have to ask his or her conscious as to whether this is a justifiable reason, a wife who might be for example, interested in finishing one particular program of study. And they find that it might be difficult in the initial years to to be pregnant and have a child and at the same time continue her studies. They could be possibly justifiable reasons, so long as it is not something which is done
just out of convenience or avoiding responsibility. Some jurists even said that you have to take the permission of the wife, because she's just as much entitled to have a baby as the man is. Now another
related kind of questions that quite often comes up is the question of abortions. Would you clarify Islam's position on abortions? Certainly. I just make a cross reference at this point because that was several months back when we covered that in the context of moral teaching of Islam, preservation of life and sanctity of life, but I think it's good that came up here also, because it relates to marital relationship.
The basic rule in Islam, of course, is that abortion is unlawful, except in the case of saving the life of the mother.
Some contemporary scholars lecture Yusuf Al qaradawi, in his book, The lawful and unlawful in Islam, which is an Arabic and halal or haram.
He added in that if there is indication in the early, that's the point in the very early stages of pregnancy, if there are indications to tests that the baby is likely to be deformed, he has taken the position that abortion in this early stage may be justifiable. But like I say, again, he said that with with reservation, because this does not necessarily reflect the position of all Muslim jurists.
I don't know even whether the case of rape could possibly be
made analogous to that situation, that question is still open also.
However, some jurist also refers to the fact that in one of the sayings of the Prophet peace be upon him, he indicated that the child is or develops in the womb of his mother in different stages. And he says that after the 100 and 20th day, the soul, quote, unquote, the soul is breathed into the child. It doesn't mean the biological life because biological life starts from day one, there's no question about that. And in the early stages of development of various organs, takes place in early pregnancy, but it's really talking about something that I don't know exactly what refers to that is, or the the fetus, after the fourth month, really become more distinct as a human being, of course,
its potential human also still, but it becomes quite different.
So some jurist took that saying to say that abortion prior
to this 120 days, if there's a necessity for it may not be commendable, acted, it may be detestable or undesirable, unless, of course, there is a life saving situation. But otherwise, it becomes a detestable act. But it becomes clearly unlawful,
or haram, after the first month of pregnancy.
But like lazily mentioned that also in his book, called he alamuddin, he indicated that
any source of abortion is wrong.
It is wrong, even in the very early stages, but once the the
the fetus develops into let's say, a lump, it becomes worst. And if the soul is breathed, into the fetus after the first month, then it becomes even a greater sin. And of course, the greatest sin is to kill a person after he or she is already born, which is an absolute, you know, sinful act, there's no question about it. So this is the matter with respect to pregnancy, with respect to abortion, one has to take clearly in a very careful perspective, and not just like some people
call for so called abortion on demand, for whatever reason and create all kinds of silly reasons really, to destroy a human life, or a potential even human life.
We hear a lot these days about
a lot of publicity is attached to situations of test tube babies and other kinds of what might be called on natural means of
bringing about the birth of children.
Could I ask you to clarify Islamic view on situations like test tube babies or surrogate mothers? And that kind of
situation? Well, it depends on the particular situation in question because there are all kinds of things. But at least there, we can distinguish between a minimum of three basic cases.
One case is where the woman is fertile already into as well as the ovulation but there might be some kind of tubal blockage. So there is nothing wrong with her or her husband except for this particular problems, which prevents fertilization. And what they do sometimes is to try to take the egg from the mother, take the sperm from the Father and try to do some force some sorts of fertilization outside of the uterus and then
implant the fertilized egg in the mother's theaters. That could be one case.
The other case could possibly be a sort of artificial insemination involving the sperm of others.
other men other than the husband, like they go to the bank, or these things are donated or whatever, and take it to the mother, that's usually in the case where there is a problem with the man himself. So you take a good sperm from another person, and then artificially fertilize the egg of the mother. That's a totally different situation, in terms of the rules. And then finally, there is the,
the case of surrogate mothers.
Like taking the,
the egg from the mother, taking the sperm, either from the husband or someone else, fertilize it, and then implant it in another woman. So another woman is like hired, really, to,
to carry the baby.
In each of these cases, the role is quite different.
Perhaps look at on a case by case basis, starting First of all, with the first one you mentioned, to look at blockages what is the position that the judges tend to be more lenient in that particular situation? Because you've got the egg from the mother, proper mother, natural Mother, you got the sperm from the natural, father? Number two. Number three, that it's regarded more as a treatment really, I mean, it is not done unnecessarily or playing around with the natural process, there is a good reason for that. So in that case, the tendency, general tendency is that there is nothing wrong with that it's a sort of treatment of infertility, or Baroness provided that there is no other
better way. I mean, it's not very recommended. But if there is no other way, this could be regarded as a treatment more or less. So in that case, it's not really as controversial. What about the second category now, but artificial insemination, particularly involving another man, is that too permissive? Well, that's quite different. The consensus of Muslim jurists, and that is that this is under Haram.
There are a number of reasons for that. First of all, it is that it is a sort of
the closest thing to adultery, there's not adultery involved, but to have a sperm of another man other than the husband to use and fertilizing the egg. Like I said, it's, I don't want to call it adultery by proxy or anything of that sort. But if it resembles adultery in that sense. Number two, it leads to some confusion about the lineage of the child. Because now you've got the egg from the mother, but you get the sperm from another person. So how could the natural husband or the the husband of that woman claim that this is his child, if it comes from a sperm of another person? So there's all kinds of problems with this? And the consensus is that this is unlawfully can't be
accepted? Well, now what how are they situations of surrogate mothers dealt with from Islamic point of view, and this is a more complex problem. And in a recent book, and jurisprudence by chef Yusuf Al qaradawi, skald, fatawa, mahsa, or contemporary vertex. It discussed that issue perhaps I can give you a minute or two, a summary of what he said there. He said, there are a number of reasons why we can consider this surrogate motherhood incompatible with Islam. One reason is that destroys the whole beauty and meaning of motherhood. Because it is the motherhood suffering through pregnancy and childbirth, feeding the fetus from her own blood, that really causes this natural tie between
the child and mother and wife. That's why it's them again, emphasize kindness to mothers. Another related issue is the question of suckling. Because again, like the Quran says, in Omaha to whom Allah Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah He Urbana, sorry, in Manhattan in the light, you will know that it's the mother who gives birth to the child who can claim to be the mother of that baby and suckling is connected with the, with the pregnancy and childbirth. Another aspect is that it reflects a kind of irresponsible attitude towards motherhood, just like commercializing childbearing, a woman who wants to keep her waist smaller than all that she doesn't want to suffer
in pregnancy, just hiring a poor woman
to do that for her. It's just too degrading for the nature natural process of, of pregnancy. Another reason is that an Islamic law also while you could try to remove her, but you cannot remove hurts by creating another hurt, and you're hurting the surrogate mother, because after pregnancy, no matter how much you pay her, and then you take the baby from her. It's the sorts of hurts also, that's not very appropriate. And many times even a mother would even say I wouldn't give it to you. The surrogate mother would just see a beautiful baby. She bought him for nine months you can incite it, it might raise difficult legal problems. Furthermore, if this is done also you can help
100 children in your lifetime, every month, take the egg from the wife and just hire a woman to do it. It opens lots of
doors for lots of problems and difficulties. And he said that it should not really be resorted to unless there is a very absolute necessity for it but even then, it is quite delicate. Okay, we have to close off we've exhausted our time. We want to thank you for watching Assalamu alaikum