I will Never Return
I’m the woman who has awoken
I’ve arisen and become a tempest through the ashes of my burnt children I’ve arisen from the rivulets of my brother’s blood
My nation’s wrath has empowered me
My ruined and burnt villages fill me with hatred against the enemy,
I’m the woman who has awoken,
I’ve found my path and will never return.
I’ve opened closed doors of ignorance
I’ve said farewell to all golden bracelets
Oh compatriot, I’m not what I was
I’m the woman who has awoken
I’ve found my path and will never return.
I’ve seen barefoot, wandering and homeless children
I’ve seen henna-handed brides with mourning clothes
I’ve seen giant walls of the prisons swallow freedom in their ravenous stomach
I’ve been reborn amidst epics of resistance and courage
I’ve learned the song of freedom in the last breaths, in the waves of blood and in victory
Oh compatriot, Oh brother, no longer regard me as weak and incapable
With all my strength I’m with you on the path of my land’s liberation.
My voice has mingled with thousands of arisen women
My fists are clenched with the fists of thousands compatriots
Along with you I’ve stepped up to the path of my nation,
To break all these sufferings all these fetters of slavery,
Oh compatriot, Oh brother, I’m not what I was
I’m the woman who has awoken
I’ve found my path and will never return.
By Meena, founder of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), born in 1956, was murdered February 4, 1987 by the Afghan branch of the KGB and their fundamentalist accomplices.
Throughout Quran, we read that men and women are created equally and are both free to choose. No where in Quran God discriminates against women or men. God states that they each have different qualities, and He acknowledges those differences. Those differences have nothing to do with preferring one gender over the other or entitling men to oppress, humiliate or degrade women or to use any kind of force- mental, emotional or physical- towards them.
[33:35] The submitting men, the submitting women, the believing men, the believing women, the obedient men, the obedient women, the truthful men, the truthful women, the steadfast men, the steadfast women, the reverent men, the reverent women, the charitable men, the charitable women, the fasting men, the fasting women, the chaste men, the chaste women, and the men who commemorate God frequently, and the commemorating women; God has prepared for them forgiveness and a great recompense.
[3:195] Their Lord responded to them: "I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female - you are equal to one another. Thus, those who immigrate, and get evicted from their homes, and are persecuted because of Me, and fight and get killed, I will surely remit their sins and admit them into gardens with flowing streams." Such is the reward from God. God possesses the ultimate reward.
[33:72] We have offered the responsibility (freedom of choice) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid of it. But the human being accepted it; he was transgressing, ignorant.
[33:73] For God will inevitably punish the hypocrite men and the hypocrite women, and the idol worshiping men and the idol worshiping women. God redeems the believing men and the believing women. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[9:71] The believing men and women are allies of one another. They advocate righteousness and forbid evil, they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they obey God and His messenger. These will be showered by God's mercy. God is Almighty, Most Wise.
[9:72] God promises the believing men and the believing women gardens with flowing streams, wherein they abide forever, and magnificent mansions in the gardens of Eden. And God's blessings and approval are even greater. This is the greatest triumph.
[48:5] He will certainly admit the believing men and women into gardens with flowing streams, wherein they abide forever. He will remit their sins. This is, in the sight of God, a great triumph.
[48:6] And He will requite the hypocrite men and women and the idol worshiping men and women, for they have harbored evil thoughts about God. Their evil will backfire against them. For God is angry with them, condemns them, and has prepared for them Gehenna. What a miserable destiny!
[4:124] As for those who lead a righteous life, male or female, while believing, they enter Paradise; without the slightest injustice.
[16:97] Anyone who works righteousness, male or female, while believing, we will surely grant them a happy life in this world, and we will surely pay them their full recompense (on the Day of Judgment) for their righteous works.
[40:40] Whoever commits a sin is requited for just that, and whoever works righteousness - male or female - while believing, these will enter Paradise wherein they receive provisions without any limits.
In 2004, the new Afghan constitution proclaimed the equality between men and women. Barely a year later, Supreme Court head, responsible for ensuring that the laws passed by the Afghan parliaments are in line with the constitution, explained that the Afghan State would give the right to women but according to Quran. The irony is that this statement was the beginning of the denial by such parliaments of the rights that God grants to women in Quran (Chapter 4 Women)!!
[17:82] We send down in the Quran healing and mercy for the believers. At the same time, it only increases the wickedness of the transgressors.
A new Criminal Procedure Act entitled "Prohibition of questioning an individual as witnesses" states that family members of the accused cannot be questioned as witnesses. "This procedure poses a serious threat code to critical protections for women and girls in Afghanistan's groundbreaking embodied law on Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) passed by presidential decree in 2009. The EVAW new criminal law provided penalties for various abuses including rape, child marriage, forced marriage, domestic violence, women and girls of dirty, and Baad; the giving of girls to resolve disputes between families said Human Rights Watch".
The most effective way to strive for the cause of Afghan women and to protect their basic rights is to study what their rights are in the light of Quran. Customs such as Baad and the laws justifying them are only the result of ignorance and idolatry and have nothing to do with God and His Truth. Examining women's rights established in Quran with sincerity& honesty exposes the ulterior motives of those who question those rights- ego, thirst for control & power, misogyny, cruelty, obscurantism.
Equivalence is the Law (2:178-179) - Oppression is worse than murder (2:191,217) - Aggression is permitted only against the aggressors (2:193) - Do not exceed the limits in revenge (17:33) - Forgiveness is encouraged (5:45).
The verses listed above provide a framework for Quran’s justice. Quran protects individual’s rights and freedom (2:256, 18:29, 33:72 ...), especially for the most vulnerable (4:2-10, 4:36, 4:127, 6:152, 59:7 ...). It guarantees that the one who suffers damage obtains fair compensation while calling for forgiveness. The criminal is the only one who should be punished. The members of his/her family, his/her community are not jointly responsible for his/her actions.
Under NO circumstances Quran’s laws on adultery could be applied in cases of rape. There is a man and woman who are jointly responsible for the act of adultery while rape is a horrible and oppressive act committed by a male criminal against a female victim. God has decreed that oppression is worse than murder. Therefore, rape should be judged according to the law of equivalence which requires a just compensation that considers the seriousness of the caused damage.
It is widely and falsely spread all over the world that Islam and Quran degrade women; Muslim women are owned and controlled by men with no rights, no dignity or freedom within or outside the institution of marriage. This is all because some misinterpreted verses and some other man-made practices that have no place in Quran. Among the most misunderstood verses, there is 4:34 (notion of wife beating!).
Marriage is decreed by God as an announced social institution built on mutual agreement between two adults, a man and a woman mutually choosing and agreeing to be joined by its sacred bond (7:189, 30:21, 5:5). They both follow the criteria in Quran of choosing a spouse and they both agree on and arrange all the financial elements and requirements involved in marriage (4:24, 4:4, 2:221, and many more). No verse in Quran defines marriage as an institution of guardianship for grown-up women within which men are entitled to discipline or punish their mature wives or to force them into a path or another.
[30:21] Among His proofs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility and contentment with each other, and He placed in your hearts love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are sufficient proofs for people who think.
When conciliating differences and disputes fails within the institution of marriage, and after following all the divine steps when disputes happen between the couple (arbitration- 4:35, and cooling off period-2:226), divorce is issued by the Almighty, the Most Merciful, to break up that bond in the most AMICABLE and EQUITABLE manner (65:2). The verses that describe such details of AMICABLE and EQUITABLE divorce are numerously and perfectly worded in truth and justice in several chapters in Quran. Not a single verse among the many that spell the divorce laws and its AMICABLE terms suggests the use of physical force as a last resort to save the marriage before proceeding to the decision of divorce.
God has never decreed force or physical violence as a way of reform. Reform is a choice and a manifestation of our free will. Violence never leads to real reform- it leads to shame, oppression and destruction. The use of physical force to counteract behavioral problems, attitudes, ethics or manners has no place in the entire Quran. The use of physical force to deal with personal disagreements and disputes between individuals has no place in the entire Quran. What is listed in Quran in regard of violence is in self-defense; react to violence by equitable amount of violence (2:194). An example of that is in cases of kicking the believers out of their homes, killing them and oppressing them to prevent them from worshiping God and observing His decreed rites, freely (2:191-193, 8:39, 42:39-41, 26:227).
[4:34] Men are the care givers for women BECAUSE of the certain qualities that they are exclusively given AND BECAUSE they are the ones who provide for living and spend from their money. Righteous women would always accept that and they would always guard such an arrangement even in their privacy, when alone, as dictated by God. If you fear rebellion from the women, you shall advise them wisely, then you may stay away from them in bed, then you may disregard them entirely. If they follow your advise, you should not make life difficult for them. God is Most High, Supreme.
The established laws that justify all sorts of abuse and dehumanization of women have no place in Quran. Thus, they have never been authorized by God. They are in the tradition (sunna), legend (hadiths) and laws (sharia) made by men. God, His angels, His scriptures, His messengers and the community of true believers condemn such man-made laws in one united and strong voice.
[5:50] Is it the law of the days of ignorance that they seek to uphold? Whose law is better than God's for those who have attained certainty?
[7:71] He said, "You have incurred condemnation and wrath from your Lord. Do you argue with me in defense of innovations you have fabricated - you and your parents - which were never authorized by God? Therefore, wait and I will wait along with you."
[12:40] "You do not worship beside Him except innovations that you have made up, you and your parents. God has never authorized such idols. All ruling belongs to God, and He has ruled that you shall not worship except Him. This is the perfect religion, but most people do not know.
[42:21] They follow idols who decree for them religious laws never authorized by God. If it were not for the predetermined decision, they would have been judged immediately. Indeed, the transgressors have incurred a painful retribution.
[9:31] They have set up their religious leaders and scholars as lords, instead of God. Others deified the Messiah, son of Mary. They were all commanded to worship only one god. There is no god except He. Be He glorified, high above having any partners.
[25:27] The day will come when the transgressor will bite his hands (in anguish) and say, "Alas, I wish I had followed the path with the messenger
[25:28] "Alas, woe to me, I wish I did not take that person as a friend.
[25:29] "He has led me away from the message after it came to me. Indeed, the devil lets down his human victims."
[25:30] The messenger said, "My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran."
The battle for equality between men and women does not stop at the gates of Afghanistan. All over the so-called Islamic world and even in the United States and Europe, there is still much progress to be made. The teachings of the Most Gracious in His final testament, Quran, are indeed the flawless doctrines of justice. Men and women, rich and poor, free and slave, black and white- all people, all nations, and all tribes are distinguished and judged based on their reverencing their Creator. Reverencing God implies a solid conviction of belief in Him, a solid conviction of belief that we are returning to Him, a solid conviction that we are fully accountable for our actions and choices and a strong will to constantly validate all these convictions by abiding by His laws, and ethics.
[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most reverent. God is Omniscient, Cognizant.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.