by Dr M C Gupta
The voice of universal womanhood--protest against unequal treatment
I can’t help that I am but
Simply a poor female;
Frail in heart and frail in mind,
My body, too, is frail.
‘Frailty, thy name is woman’,
I’m often reminded.
‘Vanity, thou art woman’,
I’m laughingly chided.
God, me as a woman why
Did you in this world bring?
Please tell me the crime I did;
I’m called a sinful thing!
I’m worth only half a man,
If, at all, I survive.
Attempts are made on my life;
To live, I have to strive.
I live a life of bondage,
I can’t eat what I desire;
My dress is an offence!
Big men, with a big conscience,
Have all an ogling spree.
To avoid temptation, they
Cover up all of me!
Man is free and powerful,
He is independent.
He can survey all he wants,
He can walk confident.
Am I not Your own daughter?
Pray tell me this, O God:
Is it You? Or, is it man,
Who played on me this fraud?
* Written in abcb 7-6-7-6 format
* Female foeticide [sex selective abortion of female foetus] and female infanticide are still practiced in many oriental societies.
* Females are neglected, compared to males, in poor countries all over the world, including the East, as regards food, health and education.
* Bride torture and killing, [for bringing less than demanded dowry], continues in many oriental societies.
* Woman is often considered in many cultures to be sinful, in the sense that she induces man to temptation and sin.
* The following pertain to Muslim countries:
>As per Muslim law, a woman’s testimony is only worth half that of a man. In counter-argument in a Muslim law [Shariat law] court, a man’s statement can be challenged only if two women, not one, testify against him.
>There is a practice in some Muslim societies that a girl, who elopes or marries against parental consent or otherwise tarnishes ‘family honour’, is killed. Such ‘honour killing’, though found in some non-muslim traditional societies also, is more common in some Muslim countries and even has legal sanction under Muslim Shariat law and local muslim tribal laws.
>Women in some Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, are not allowed to go out of home alone without male escort. Even when they do thus go out, they must cover the body from head to toe except for two holes in the veil for eyes. This is particularly true in orthodox groups like Taliban and the followers of Wahabi brand of hard core Islam, centered in Saudi Arabia, where members of a moral or religious police, wielding a stick, hit a woman if her hair is visible or ankles are exposed!
o A REVIEW--A reader rated this poem as the lowest possible and gave the following review:
“"Honour killing" is not anything in Islam. It's just something made up by people who have not studied I slam properly. Pick a book on Islam, any book, and find out if there is anything there about it. Secondly, in Islam, marriage should be according to one's own choice, and if in some societies the parents want to force their choice on the children, Islam strictly opposes it. In Islam, if you are married by force, the marriage is not lawful. The will of the children has to be asked if parents want to choose themselves. Otherwise, they are free. If you don't have enough information about something, don't propogate against it”.
1--The footnote in my poem read as follows—“ There is a practice in some Muslim societies that a girl, who elopes or marries against parental consent or otherwise tarnishes ‘family honour’, is killed. Such ‘honour killing’, though found in some non-muslim traditional societies also, is more common in some Muslim countries and even has legal sanction under Muslim Shariat law and local muslim tribal laws”.
2—The “legal sanction under Muslim Shariat law and local muslim tribal laws” that I mentioned is explained in the following article “Muslim honor killings and Sharia family violence”. It can be viewed at—
Excerpts from the article follow:
The UN estimates that there are thousands of honor killings every year. They also have some ideas where they are from (United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (2002)):
"The report of the Special Rapporteur ... concerning cultural practices in the family that are violent towards women (E/CN.4/2002/83), indicated that honour killings had been reported in Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Yemen, and other Mediterranean and Persian Gulf countries, and that they had also taken place in such countries as France, Germany and the United Kingdom, within migrant communities."
Quran- 4:15 “If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four (reliable) witness from amongst you against them; if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them. Or God ordain for them some (other) way.”
Quran-24:2 “The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication—flog each of them with hundred stripes: Let no compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the last day.”
Quran-17:32 “ Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).
Quran-33:33 “stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display.”
Now some sahih hadiths:
Sahi Muslim No. 4206:
“A woman came to the prophet and asked for purification by seeking punishment. He told her to go away and seek God’s forgiveness. She persisted four times and admitted she was pregnant. He told her to wait until she had given birth. Then he said that the Muslim community should wait until she had weaned her child. When the day arrived for the child to take solid food, Muhammad handed the child over to the community. And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on her face he cursed her.”
Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 2. pg 1009; and Sahih Muslim Vol 2. pg 65:
Hadhrat Abdullah ibne Abbaas (Radiallahu Anhu) narrates the lecture that Hadhrat Umar (Radiallaahu Anhu) delivered whilst sitting on the pulpit of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). Hadhrat Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) said, "Verily, Allah sent Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) with the truth, and revealed the Quran upon him. The verse regarding the stoning of the adulterer/ess was from amongst the verse revealed (in the Quraan). We read it, secured it and understood it. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) stoned and we stoned after him. I fear that with the passage of time a person might say, ‘We do not find mention of stoning in the Book of Allah and thereby go astray by leaving out an obligation revealed by Allah. Verily, the stoning of a adulterer/ress is found in the Quraan and is the truth, if the witnesses are met or there is a pregnancy or confession."
M C Gupta
18 September 2003