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Dr. Tairq Ramadan on inheritance rights of women


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Author Topic: Dr. Tairq Ramadan on inheritance rights of women  (Read 1303 times)
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« on: March 14, 2009, 08:43:33 pm »

Today I watched Dr. Tariq Ramadan on TV speak for a while.  He was talked briefly on the rights of women concerning inheritance.  The question put to him was how he would interpret the law that sons are to get twice the share of daughters.  I found his perspective very correct and rational .. precisely what's meant by it in the Quran. 

Sons get twice the share because they are supposed to handle twice the responsibilities.  Whatever a daughter inherits, much or little by half her share, is entirely her own to be used by her for her pocket expenses only.  She is not required to spend that on any necessities.  She is not required to pay rent from that money, nor to pay any bills, nor to spend it to buy food, clothes or medicines for herself.  All these are the necessities of life and must be taken care of by her father, brother or brothers or husband.  Similarly, even if a woman works, she is not obligated to spend that money for the support of her family unless she decides to do that of her own free will.  All that are the responsibility of sons.  Thus, when a son inherits money, it has plenty of strings attached to it.  First of all, he acquires the right to obtain more than his sister or sisters because he is expected to share all family responsibilities and burdens that come along when parents grow old, without pressuring the sister or sisters.  Secondly, the son is responsible for providing dowry for his own marriage.  As per Quranic law, dowry must be the responsibility of the man, NOT the woman, as practiced in pagan cultures.  After his marriage, his responsibilities become twofold.  He is responsible for providing to his old parents and younger siblings who might be dependent on him and also his wife and children.   One can imagine the moral work description of a son that's much heavier than that of a daughter which is the reason he is allowed to acquire twice the inheritance share.

However, Dr. Ramadan took up the increasingly common problem faced in many Muslim families at present where the sons have ceased to be dutiful, throwing all responsibilities on their sisters, while they move on with their lives outside their homes.  And yet, at the time of their parents' death when it's time to divide the inheritance, they jump in expecting to grab the larger share.  That's trying to get the cake and eating it too.  By such an attitude, men like these neither show obedience towards the Quran nor towards their families.  In many such cases, the sisters who've worked hard for their families all their lives often sacrificing much, end up getting a small share from which they have to support themselve because their brothers, after collecting their large shares, return to their own lives being least bothered about whatever may happen to their sisters.  It is because of such misuse of a wise & rational law that many women have suffered much and many lazy & selfish men have thrived. 

In this regard, Dr. Tariq Ramadan stated that Muslim countries must make some official laws to protect such women.  There should be generious allowances, social benefits and heavy tax-cuts for single women left to fend for themselves by selfish male siblings so that their monetary needs are fully met. 

Unfortunately no Muslim country has thought for a plan as simple and vital as this in order to tackle the disobedience of many men towards the Quran.

In my personal opinion, such men must also be answerable before the legal court while acquiring their inheritance as to what extent can they claim to be the rightful inheritors apart from just the biological relationships.     
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2009, 10:18:11 pm »

This is a very important issue.  I'm glad it's been explained and clarified very well.  Though Dr. Ramadan, because of his balanced perception and very articulate style of expressing his thoughts, is greatly disliked by majority of the Westerners .. I think he is one of our best scholars.  He has the best grasp of the current world situation and how & why its clashing with Islam.  He has always done a very good job trying to put it into words.  Dr. Ramadan is also one of those, somewhat like Brother Shabir Ally, who fully realizes that the human interpolations introduced into Shariah / Hudud through the Hadith and fatwas are hugely negative.  He has critisized this front but has done it carefully so as not to have a fallout with the mainstream clergy.  This aspect however, pretty much bounds the hands of a wise person.  Though they have the right answers, they cannot bring it forth because of the burden of defending man-made laws in the name of 'Islam' that have become so much a part of all traditions .... identical to orthodox Christianity and Judaism after they drifted far away from the original dictates of Allah Almighty.  For example, in 2003 Dr. Ramadan had a debate in French television with Nicholas Sarkozy on stoning as punishment for adultery.  Sarkozy of course jumped to attack Islam for such a punishment, as is usual with them.  Dr. Ramadan said that he favored “a moratorium” on such practices but refused to condemn the law outright because it involved religious texts, which have to be properly understood and contextualised.  This led many in France to think that Ramadan was unfair with a harsh stance.  Sarkozy accused Ramadan of defending the stoning of adulterers, a punishment stipulated in the section of the Islamic penal code known as Hudud.  Now, I have no doubt that Tariq Ramadan knew the actual truth, that is, stoning is not a Quraanic law.  It's from the Hadith, and Hadith borrowed it from the Old and New Testaments.  The Quraan does not instruct stoning as punishment for any violation.  That's confirmed.  Whatever annexations that were brought by people of later times are not the responsibility of the originals of Islam which is only the Noble Quraan.  It's really as simple as this.  Yet, not Dr. Ramadan nor anyone else can possibly put such facts on the table in an open debate without ending up getting ostracised by their own folks.  And it's only such truth that can corner the opponents of Islam in similar debates.  But it's just so sad that Muslims have little reservations in defaming the Final Message of Allah by their preference to defend the acts of the medieval imams who have been responsible for bringing in so many concoctions and fabrications into the Muslim society, all in the name of 'Islam.'

Dr. Tariq Ramadan also explained this bit on women's inheritance rights very well in one of his interviews to Prospect Magazine.  I quote a small excerpt below.  You can read the full interview in the above link.  It's a very good one.

Quote --

Q Why can't you go to Tunisia, Egypt or Saudi Arabia?

A Why? Because they know exactly what I am saying. I criticise the fact that they are dictatorships and that the Saudi government is betraying Islamic teachings. When I called for a moratorium on Islamic punishments (death penalty, corporal punishment and stoning) I said it on French television when 6m people were watching, as well as in Islamic majority countries.

Q Why do you want this moratorium? Why not simply say that stoning to death is just plain wrong?

A I have said that I am against the implementation of stoning, death penalties and corporal punishments. In Islamic-majority countries, this is a minority position. What we cannot deny is that these punishments are in the texts. What I am saying to Muslim scholars is that today's conditions are different, so in this context you cannot implement these punishments. So we have to stop. This is the moratorium. Let Muslim scholars come together and we'll have three main questions that need clear answers: what is in the texts, what conditions should apply to these punishments and what about the context in which these would be implemented
 
Q How flexible can broader aspects of Shari'a be? Should women, for example, be able to inherit the same as men?

A The Koranic texts are quite clear as to inheritance and once again it is related to a global understanding of family and the respective roles of women and men. To implement these rules literally today without taking into account social realities is plain injustice. Some mothers find themselves alone with five or six kids to look after, the husbands have left, and nobody is helping them get the inheritance they should be entitled to. We need a holistic approach and the state must think of financial support and compensation for the women. Without such procedures it means that we are betraying the teachings of Islam through a literalist implementation. It is plain injustice and has nothing to do with the objectives of the Shari'a I have mentioned.

Q You are popular among younger Muslims in Europe. But what sort of reception awaits you when you speak in Muslim-majority countries?

A It is very good, positive and open in north Africa, Turkey and Asia and many Arab countries.

Q Is that because you are addressing what is essentially a hand-picked audience? Or is it because people can come off the street and listen to you?

A It is both. It is clear to me that people, from students to scholars, are closely following what is happening with regards to Muslims in the west. The Arabic translations of my books, such as Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, have been read by many people in Islamic-majority countries. They know about my work: I am criticised but this is good as well.

Unquote --
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 12:23:42 am »

Yes, Muslim men are misinterpreting this law greatly.   That was very well paraphrased sister rose.

and thanks for the Prospect Magazine interview sister zeynab.  Really interesting one particularly the excerpt u posted here.   Dr. Tareq Ramadan has really explained about the moratorium very well.  Few scholars have gone as close as this to virtually admitting in public that the so-called ulemas of today are the ones responsible for distorting the perfection of Islam.  He is not just disliked in the West but also among various circles of Muslims.  I think it's easy to say why.  He is too truthful to be liked by those who are interested in falsehoods .. and there are many more who are.

Thanks for this very nice discussion.

Salaam.
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 08:36:55 pm »

This thread has been very well articulated with very appropriate and truthful clarifications.  Yes, Dr. Tareq Ramadan is a very learned person.  He seems to realise the follies and hurdles put by the Hadith and fatwas, and he tries to find a middle path by sidetracking them and at the same time to be careful not to displease the mainstream.  This is indeed a difficult task. 

Tareq Ramadan has also been asked some silly questions by various Westerners on homosexuality and how Islam views this problem.  Dr. Ramadan handled these questions very appropriately too.  I quote some of his replies as follows.

This appeared in the Globe & Mail.   Alexander Macdonald from Vancouver wrote: "With growing acceptance of homosexuality in the West, is it possible for Muslims to remain faithful and accept gays? What about gay Muslims?"

Tareq Ramadan's response:
"The Islamic teaching as a whole, as do all the monotheistic religions, prohibits homosexuality and does not promote it. It is perceived as against the Divine project for human beings. Now it must be clear that Muslims cannot condemn the people with no understanding: It is important for Muslims to be able to say "I disagree with what you are doing and respect who you are." This is the way towards mutual tolerance and this is the way Muslims should act in their daily life. To be a gay does not prevent someone from being a Muslim: I know Muslims who are gay. Some are deeply suffering, others are doubting themselves and others are claiming their right to be so. It is important, once again not to condemn the beings while we may disapprove the behaviour or the acts. This is the way to respect each other, to remain both open and faithful to one’s belief."

Another question someone asked in a
blog
I happened to come across while browsing that read: "Could you imagine there ever being a homosexual imam in the same way that the Anglican church in the US has just consecrated a homosexual bishop? Would that be possible?"

Tareq Ramadan's response:
"It could happen if such an imam did not declare that he was homosexual. You cannot expect to see homosexuality being promoted within the Islamic tradition. Homosexuality is not perceived by Islam as the divine project for men and women. It is regarded as bad and wrong. Now, the way we have to deal with a homosexual is to say: "I don't agree with what you are doing, but I respect who you are. You can be a Muslim. You are a Muslim. Being a Muslim is between you and God." I am not going to promote homosexuality but I will respect the person, even if I don't agree with what they are doing."
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 05:06:50 pm »

"You can be a Muslim. You are a Muslim. Being a Muslim is between you and God."

Great response.
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