In 2017, a British TV channel has sought to attack the Muslim community’s adherence to Islamic values.
It cannot be lost on anyone that Islam does not permit believing men and women to have close relationships outside of the family structure, with marriage being its foundational pillar. In a liberal society where pretty much anything goes, it is indeed commendable that young Muslim couples still rely upon the institution of marriage and have not succumbed to the popular pressure to adopt loose morals.
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in this are signs for those who reflect.” [Ar-Rum:21]
In a society where almost one in eight fathers have no contact with their children, and the rise of unmarried relationships has contributed to the breakdown of family structures, it would be expected that focus would be on addressing these problems. Instead, the secular establishment has sought to use cultural values and marriage traditions as a way undermine Islam, in the hope that people will turn away from it, as it is portrayed as backward and oppressive. However, their attempts fail time and again, for the simple fact that their attacks are focused on cultural traditions that are often themselves at odds with Islamic teachings about marriage as contained in the Shariah texts, the Quran and the Sunnah teachings of the Prophet.
The documentary on Channel 4 on 21st November, entitled “The truth about Muslim marriages” was no different. Instead of focusing on what Islam actually teaches about marriage, the producers chose to sensationalise the bad behaviour of a carefully selected handful of husbands, insinuating that the nikah contract itself is somehow to blame, as though Islam has no way to protect Muslim men and women from abuse or denial of their rights.
No-one should be surprised by this blatant misrepresentation and slander of a whole community, which has now become a quietly accepted practice of a bigoted secular liberal elite, who now fear the rise of Islam so much that they have no shame in the lies and propaganda that they spew.
The programme perfectly fitted the feminist agenda to portray Islamic values as patriarchal, in a paper-thin desperate attempt to encourage Muslim women to discover the anti-religious, anti-family worldview that is feminism. Their hope is that once women start to tread that road, they will reject all Islamic teachings, as the initial premise is so antithetical to Islam.
Feminism is such a dangerous and slippery slope, built on an entirely false perspective that women and men are the same, and that religions like Islam favour men over women, as they are founded by men.
In the case of Islam, the feminist allegation is completely false. Islam is chosen by Allah for all mankind, and is not the invention of any man. Islam considers women equal to men in the most important regard: that both men and women are addressed by Allah in His revelation, the Quran, with similar rights, duties and prohibitions. Men and women will be accounted for what Allah asked of them and will not be accountable for what was not asked of them. One is not considered better or more worthy than the other.
The Prophet (saw) said, “Each of you is a guardian and is responsible for his ward. The ruler is a guardian (over his people) and the man is a guardian of the members of his household, and the woman is a guardian and is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring, and so each of you is a guardian and is responsible for his ward.”
However, men and women were addressed differently by Allah in some matters, so, in His Wisdom, Allah has made men and women the same in some things and different in others.
Aside from the programme’s cheap dig at the Muslim community and its blatant disregard for the truth of Islam, the concluding recommendations also expose the liberal secular elite’s handiwork. Having said that, it did raise an important question that, ironically, will actually lead us to the truth, if we contemplate on it for a moment.
وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ
“They planned and Allah planned, but Allah was the best of planners” [Al-Anfal: 30]
The suggestion that British law should be changed to ‘protect’ Muslims from sham pseudo-Islamic marriages, is not a true solution, as it is akin to expecting the fox to protect the hens. Whilst some Muslims may be tempted by the immediacy of such a solution, we should all recognise that the British establishment cares no more about Muslim women here than they do about the millions of Muslim women left to suffer in Yemen, Myanmar, Syria or Iraq, as a direct result of their nefarious foreign policy. It is the same for the plight of all women in Britain who still struggle for any semblance of safety and dignity in a society whose liberal values have made it riddled with inequality, self-interest, misogyny, harassment and domestic abuse, to name just a few of its crimes against women-kind.
When accepting the liberal secular regulation of marriage, one is accepting a system that has consistently failed to build harmonious lives for its people. Considering the scale of domestic violence and other forms of mistreatment that blights the lives of women within marriages in the UK, one should be very wary of taking anything that liberal society offers as a solution. A general crisis in marital life in the UK has led to epidemic levels of divorce and heartbreak for all involved – especially children. This is reflective of the failure of the secular system to create harmonious marriages – in part to do with feminist ideas which have led to confusion and conflict between spouses with regards to roles, rights and responsibilities. This is in addition to constant dissatisfaction that people are invited to feel with their lives, as other people’s “perfect” lives are paraded all over the media. These corrosive ideas damage the relationships between men and women; indeed Parliament itself is becoming known as a den of harassment, where the institution turns a blind eye to sexually predatory behaviour.
All of this is in contrast to Islam, which has sound and comprehensive detailed laws about how to establish strong harmonious marriages. It includes clearly defined roles for men and women which complement one another, rather than being competitive between the genders, as is the consequence of feminism.
The important question in all of this, however, is how does Islam protect women from sham-marriages, bigamists, domestic abuse and other family-related crimes? The answer to this should be painfully obvious. Religious ideals need the support of institutions of state to apply and enforce the law, in order to solve societal problems. There is no Khilafah on the way of the Prophetic model in the Muslim world today, rather only secular kingdoms, emirates, dictatorships and democracies, set up and sustained by the colonialist states such as Britain. They are equally bad at protecting citizens’ rights, due to the simple fact that they do not rule or judge according to Islamic law.
It is only with the return of Khilafah on the way of Prophethood that men and women can expect to have their due rights, their dignity and safety, as only then will the social system of Islam be applied, which organises the lives of men and women in society in a just manner. The Prophet (saw) said “When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half.” He (saw) also said “The most perfect of the believers in faith is he who is best of them in conduct, and the best of you are those who are best to their wives.”
The Prophet’s wife Aisha (ra) narrated that Hind bint Utbah came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and she said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a miserly man and I have nothing from him except what I take for myself.” The Prophet (saw) said, “Take what is sufficient for you and your child with justice.”
In Britain, we are under increasing pressure to make our true Islamic way of life conform to the low secular standard of the society, particularly through such shameless “documentaries” as these. Even if there are grains of truth in what is reported, we should be able to separate the truth from the falsehood, just as one separates the stones from the lentils before cooking them. The secular elite will happily tell a hundred truths in order to sneak in a single lie. We must not accept to take all of the rotten lies and insinuations, nor the proposed solutions, which are only a path to replacing the pure way as revealed by Allah to His Prophet, with the man-made rotten values which are the cause of all mankind’s misery and suffering today.
Abu Hurairah caught a man repeatedly stealing, but took pity on him each time he heard his excuses. Finally, when the Prophet asked “What did your prisoner do yesterday?” I replied, “He claimed that he would teach me some words by which Allah will benefit me, so I let him go.” The Prophet asked, “What are they?” I replied, “He said to me, ‘Whenever you go to bed, recite Ayat-al-Kursi from the beginning to the end. (If you do so), Allah will appoint a guard for you who will stay with you, and no satan will come near you till morning.’ The Prophet said, “He really spoke the truth, although he is an absolute liar. Do you know whom you were talking to, these three nights, O Abu Huraira?” Abu Huraira said, “No.” He said, “It was Satan.”
Even though he spoke the truth, would we be willing to take advice from Satan? By the same token, even though the lives of Muslims in secular countries are fraught with difficulties, we should also not be willing to take the solution from anyone who brings us a secular solution, when that solution is an invitation change our Islam to fit in here.