This is written in 1998-1999 by Um Nuha and posted on my site with her kind permission. Jazak Allahu Khair!
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MERCIFUL THE COMPASSIONATE
I have decided to write this article in for Allah. I write it to enlighten those whom have been taken in by the devious Western Media. I write it as a Muslimah, of western origin , born and raised in the US. I write it to explain some of the accusations against Islam, I suggest to say here that; any body who wants to know the answer of Islam to any question should go to the Quran and to the authenticated Hadeeth of the last prophet (pbuh). The Taliban are not the representatives of Islam . Islam has no representatives. Islam is the message of the Lord to each of his human creatures separately as if he is alone , at the same time collectively to every generation and to all mankind all together without exception. (Each individual is responsible for his capacity and ability). The Taliban represent the Taliban only. Under Islam, they are as much examinees as every body else . Their answers and actions are at their own risk and responsibility . I am not a member of the Taliban. I have nothing to do with them except that both, I and the Taliban associate ourselves with Islam ( each at his own risks and responsibilities) despite the fact that we do not share the same school of thought.
A quick look at the Taliban home page at www.taliban.com, a double click on the FAQ link with bring up many questions and accusations regarding Islam and the Taliban way of enforcing it. It is some of those questions I would take it upon myself to answer. I will base my answers on the Quran and Hadeeth. On the other side I will pass on the answers of Wakil Ahmad Akhundzada, Secretary of "Mullah" Mohammad Omar.(Mullah is abbreviation of mawlana which should only be used for the Lord.)
I ask that those who read this to take it as it is intended. A simple explanation of misunderstood laws. Perhaps both sides will learn a thing or two.
Why Do the Taliban force women to stay in their homes?
(33:33 Al Quran) [And stay in your houses, and do not display of yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform As-Salat (prayer) , and give Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah wishes only to remove Ar-rijs (evil deeds and sins) from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification.]
Although the above verse is directed pointedly at the women of the household of the Prophet ( THE MOTHERS OF THE BELIEVERS pbu them), it is being misunderstood and unjustly used by many people to prevent women from going out to work , business or whatever legal activity they may wish to conduct.
Nobody has the right to load on any verse more than what it specifically says . Only The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) could tell us about any verse to mean more than what (We) the general human beings can see in it. Any body else will have to show us what he claims to see . Although, I have done a quite heavy research on the issue I found no Verse of the Quran or a Hadeeth of the Prophet (pbuh) which prevents or prohibits a women from getting out of their homes for any reason. Any body saying otherwise, is obliged to show us what he, she or they see as their daleel or evidence. Moslems do not shut their eyes and follow any body, save the last prophet (pbuh). Moslems do not follow "holy" men , they follow the clear verses of the Quran and the Hadeeth only. The clergy is supposed to teach the Quran and the authenticated Hadeeth as religion only . The opinions, (mathaheb) points of views and interpretations of the scholars should not ever be taken as religion, they are obviously statements of "scholarly" Examinees that are neither holy nor appointed by Allah . Only ignorant people shut their eyes to the Ayat(signs) of Allah taala and to the Ahadeeth of his messenger (pbuh) and take the understanding of the others as undisputed religion.
On the contrary , on the subject above, I found several Ahadeeth verify that the women of the family of the Prophet (pbuh) went out of doors either with their Mahram or in proper hijab.
(According to the advisor of Mohammad Omar): this is the current state of affairs in Afghanistan. With the implementation of Shariah (Islamic Law), women have been required to observe hijab when they go out. They are required to avoid haram. Among the things to be avoided is the unnecessary mixing with men who are not in the mahram category. This by default prohibits a woman from traveling in a taxi with a male driver. As well as a man being alone in a taxi with a female driver.
When one compares the 'freedom' of the woman of the west, the first thing that comes to mind is the rate of crimes against women. In the west where a woman is free to come and go, mix with none mahram men, women are attacked on a daily if not hourly basis. Rape, murder and other acts of violence are carried out on women alone. Now look to Afghanistan where the crime rate is less than one percent. Is this a coincidence or a fact resultant from the protection of women in the lifestyle?
Why are women, particularly widows prevented from working or earning a living?
Islam prohibits Khalwah. This means that men and women working side by side in an office or factory setting is not allowed. In Afghanistan, there had been women employed by the government in such situations. Those women are now receiving salaries despite their not being required to attend their jobs. If a woman is employed in, for example, a hospital for women, where there is no khalwah, there is no prohibition on her employment. Today in Afghanistan, more than 30,000 women are receiving home salaries
In the case of widows. In Islam the woman may choose to remain in her late husband's home or return to the home of her parents or even to live alone with her children. Most often in the cultural society of Afghanistan, the woman chooses to remain with her husband's family or return to her own. In either case the Taliban government provides stipends for widows who are registered with the government. This frees the woman from the worry of how to support herself and allows her to concentrate on the care and education of her children.
Why are women and girls prevented from obtaining education?
Education is Fard on every Muslim male or female. The seeking of knowledge can not be prevented from anyone under the laws of Allah. It is not prevented in Afghanistan.
The fact remains that Afghanistan has been in a constant state of war for more than 20 years now. The infrastructure of the country has been virtually destroyed. The previous educational system implemented by the Russian backed government was co educational. This is a prohibited system as it allows for the mixing of none mahram males and females. As it is prohibited in Islam, it is prohibited in Afghanistan.
That does not mean that education is prohibited. The Taliban simply do not have the funds to set up separate schools for boys and girls. Female teachers for the girls are also hard to find since so much of the educated population of Afghanistan fled during the wars. All schools of Afghanistan were closed due to lack of funding.
Separate schooling, at the elementary level, has now been initiated. By the will of Our Lord, the entire school system will be thusly re established.
Since the Taliban have declared that
Television and VCR's are haram,
how do you justify the Taliban's use of the Internet?
The primary difference between the TV, VCR's and the Internet is that the former are generally sources of entertainment comprised of man created images, which is haram. The internet is a form of communication in which the use of such images is not required or even necessary. Internet Service Providers and individual users can block the images simply by choosing the 'do not download pictures' option. This option is not available on TV or VCR's.
The Opposition forces are also led by
Muslims, yet the Taliban fight and kill them.
How do you justify the killing of Muslims?
When the Taliban first entered Afghanistan, and with each move Northward, the people have been first offered to accept Islam. The Opposition Forces refused. They are fighting against the Taliban with the support of India, Russia, and the US among others, to prevent the implementation of Islam. They are, in essence, fighting against Islam. So that is not killing Muslims. It is fighting people who are against Islam.
Why do you enforce Islamic Law?
Every nation on earth enforces it's own laws. Since Afghanistan is now the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan' it's law is Islamic Law. As any nation enforces it's own laws, the Taliban enforce theirs as they understand it.
In consideration of the above stated facts, one must acknowledge that the Taliban are enforcing the Laws of Allah, according to their own interpretation. Their interpretation is that of the Deobandi School of thought to which the majority of the Taliban leadership hold. The question arises of the validity of this school of thought. Since the Taliban are now basically in power in Afghanistan it is their choice and decision to follow this school of thought, thereby making this interpretation law, within the boundaries of Afghanistan.
Although I am not of this school of thought, I can not deny that to a great extent the Taliban are upholding the Laws of Allah. I can only hope and pray that The Lord of the Worlds will enlighten the Leadership of the Taliban to His pure and straight path.
Praise be to the Lord who has created the Earth and Sky and all that is between them. He created us and to Him we will return.