Undermining the Justice of Sharia, from Granting Divorce to Female Breadwinners

Picture from Hanan Abdalla's documentary, In the Shadow of a Man. Source.

A couple of weeks ago I came across this BBC Panorama  story on “Women at risk” which warns that “some Sharia councils in Britain may be putting Muslim women "at risk" by pressuring them to stay in abusive marriages.” The story presents a case of a couple going to one of the Sharia councils for the judge to decide if the woman can have a divorce, the wife accusing her husband of “refusing to work, ignoring the children and verbally abusing her.” The couple had been coming to the council for a yea … [Read more...]

North American Muslim Women, Post-Divorce

This post was written by guest contributor Deonna Kelli Sayed.Divorce is a growing challenge for North American Muslim communities, as well as in Muslim societies around the world.  Part of that challenge is a lack of understanding regarding Muslim female experiences post-divorce.Thoughtful, researched dialogue exists concerning legal issues impacting divorce among Muslims in North America, for example, as there are unique legal, social and cultural realities impacting these … [Read more...]

A Review of Suzy Ismail’s When Muslim Marriage Fails

It is said that in Islam, marriage is half the faith.  Yet marriages are increasingly breaking down in divorce or marriage in name only, and examples of healthy marriages in keeping with our deen are becoming scarcer. I was curious to read Suzy Ismail’s When Muslim Marriage Fails--I wondered, do Muslim marriages fail for the same reasons as non-Muslim marriages?  Before reading this book, I was inclined to say yes.  This well-written book was a stark insight into marriage issues facing American M … [Read more...]

Divorce, Egyptian Style: Oprah’s Episode on Marriage Around the Globe

I was thrilled when I heard that Oprah Winfrey interviewed Egyptian women about marriage for an episode of her show about marriage around the globe. Oprah has always been such an inspiration for a lot of women, me included. I was so excited for her to highlight my world and how women like me get married and the challenges we face.Naturally, the episode has grabbed a lot of attention. The guest list included: Ms. Injy Elkashef, a 37-year-old journalist who wears the hijab; Ms. Heba Shunbo, a … [Read more...]

Divorce, Egyptian Style: Divorcee Radio Breaks Stereotypes

“When security disappears in married life, and serenity is not accessible, then it is time to do the thing most despised by Allah.” With these words, Mahasen Saber opens her blog, I want a divorce , and then later her online radio station, Divorce Radio.Saber was married for three years and spent a great part of them in the courts in an attempt to get her divorce. She refused the advice of some of her friends to get a Khul’ (a divorce initiated by the wife, whereby she renounces her right to he … [Read more...]

Famous, female, and divorced? That’s hot!

If you think that divorce brings shame and stigma squarely upon women only in conservative societies, think again. Because according to a ''news'' report published in the Malaysian tabloid, Metro Ahad, celebrity divorcees are apparently the hottest thing on the market at the moment. I usually read the stuff on local tabloids with a pinch of salt, but I take issue when the seriousness of divorce and disrespect for divorced women are glossed over for sake of entertainment gossip. The Star Online … [Read more...]

Pushing the Law: Challenges for Divorced Women in Malaysia

After Sobia's post last week about The Other Half of the Sky, a Tunisian film that tells a story about a woman's experience with inheritance laws, I was interested to see this article, which talked about other cracks that women may fall through in another shariah-inspired legal system.  In this case, Mariam Mokhtar is writing about Muslim women's experiences of divorce in Malaysia.To back up a bit, Mokhtar was responding to developments described in this article: Muslim women with problems … [Read more...]