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Questions & Answers Booklets

Are Muslim Men Allowed to Beat Their Wives? (Also available in Bahasa Malaysia)

Does Islam allow a husband to physically beat or mentally harass his wife?
What is regarded in Islam as cruelty towards a wife?
Verse An Nisa', 4:34 has been commonly used to justify wife beating. How can this verse be explained?
Can a husband beat his wife if she is nushuz?
Was Prophet Muhammad saw ever known to hit or be cruel to his wives?
Relatives and friends sometimes advise women who are being beaten by their husbands to be patient and pray for change. Do husbands usually change if women remain patient?
What should a woman do if her husband beats her or is mentally cruel to her?
Can a woman leave her husband if he is cruel to her?
This booklet, in question and answer form, was published as part of the women's groups' campaign for a Domestic Violence Act in Malaysia to include Muslims.

Are Women & Men Equal Before Allah? (Also available in Bahasa Malaysia)

What are the problems in Qur'anic interpretation with regard to the equal rights of women and men in Islam?
Verse An Nisa', 4:34 has been commonly cited to subjugate women in the name of Islam. How should this verse be interpreted?
What are the other verses in the Qur'an which talk about equality and mutuality in the relationship between women and men?
In question and answer form, this booklet answers frequently asked questions on equality between the women and men in Islam.

Islam and Family Planning (Also available in Bahasa Malaysia)

This booklet in a Q&A form answers frequently asked questions on issues relating to reproductive health and rights, sexuality, family planning and the use of contraception. Some of the questions addressed in this easy to read booklet are:
Is there any verse in the Qur'an which forbids family planning?
Was there any form of birth control practised during the time of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w?
Does Islam allow the use of IUD?
What are the ingredients in the contraceptive pill?
If my husband wears condoms, does this mean that we are killing an embryo?
Is contraception equivalent to infanticide?
Can the use of contraception be regarded as opposing the concept of qadar (predestination), tawakkal (reliance on Allah s.w.t) and the belief that Allah s.w.t will provide for everything?
Does Islam advocate the ummah to have many children?

Islam and Polygamy (Also available in Bahasa Malaysia)

This booklet in an easy to read Question & Answer form provides answers on everyday questions and situations on issues relating to polygamy.

Hadith on Women in Marriage

This booklet is written to provide the reader with an understanding of the Hadith and its complex history and methodology in determining its authenticity. Sisters in Islam hopes that with this understanding, Muslims are better able to evaluate and question the authenticity of Hadiths that are degrading to women which are popularly used in the media, publications and in talks on women in Islam.
Part I - General questions and answers on the Quran, Sunnah and Hadith
Part II - Questions on Hadith relating to marriage and marital relationship

SIS Working Paper Series

Women as Judges

The appointment of women as judges in Muslim countries remains a controversial issue, due to a general perception that such appointments might not be in conformity with the Syariah. There is a dual legal system in Malaysia, which is divided into the general civil courts and the Syariah Courts. The Syariah Courts have jurisdiction only over persons who are Muslims and its main area of jurisdiction is in the area of family law.

For over twenty years, Malaysian women have been appointed to serve as judges in the general civil courts, with the proviso that women judges in the High Courts should only hear civil cases and not criminal cases as criminal cases that are tried in the High Courts are cases that involve capital punishment. On the other hand, women magistrates and women judges in the sessions courts can hear both civil and criminal cases, as the subordinate courts do not have jurisdiction over capital punishment. However, no woman has yet been appointed to serve as a judge in the Syariah Courts.

Guardianship Law and Muslim Women

Deals with the issues on Guardianship Law and Muslim Women in Malaysia. Muslim women continue to face problems in getting access to justice in matters pertaining to their marital rights.

Seminar / Workshop

Islamic Family Law and Justice for Muslim Women

Sisters in Islam organised a Regional Workshop on Islamic Family Law and Justice for Muslim Women in Kuala Lumpur from June 8 to June 10, 2001. The workshop focused on substantive areas of discrimination against women in the codified provisions as well as the implementation of Islamic Family Law legislations, highlighted best practices and put forward strategies for reform. Experiences were drawn mainly from four Asean countries i.e. Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. There was also input from experiences in Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Morocco and Pakistan. The participants at the workshop included Syariah (Islamic law) lawyers and policy-makers, as well as activists, from the four Asean countries and also from Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and the USA.

Islam, Reproductive Health and Women's Rights (Available in SIS Resource Centre only)

The rights of Muslim women to attain a high standard of sexual and reproductive health and to make their own decisions regarding marriage, motherhood, contraception, abortion and sexuality free of coercion, discrimination and violence are articulated in the basic goals or principles of Shari'ah. Serious discussions on these rights, however are still lacking and rarely have problems been analysed within the context of the local situation. This book comprises papers presented at a regional workshop on Islam, Reproductive Health and Women's Rights organised by Sisters in Islam in 1998, reproduced in full to provide reference materials on an area in which minimal written material and documentation is available globally.

Shari'a Law & the Modern Nation State

How should an Islamic state be run?
How can we today, as modern people committed to both our religious heritage and to a vision of progress for its inheritors, interpret the essentials of the Medinan model?
How are we to understand and realise the Qur'anic ideals of equality, justice and political sovereignty of the umma?
These questions have been the focus of serious and searching concern to many contemporary Muslims. In 1992 we organised a symposium on "The Modern Nation State and Islam" in Kuala Lumpur to address those questions. This book was the outcome of the symposium, but it is not simply a record of the proceedings. It is also evidence of the continuing relevance to contemporary Malaysia of the issues that were debated at the symposium.

Hudud in Malaysia: The Issues at Stake

What are the possibilities and consequences of implementing the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Bill (II)?
Although the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Bill (II) is now an Enactment, its enforcement remains only a possibility for as long as its implementation continues to be a bone of contention between the State and Federal Government, thus offering some space for further debate on the viability of enacting the hudud. This book, therefore remains current as the voice if an alternative opinion. However, its currency does not deny it the possibility of being relevant whatever the eventual turn of events may be.
"...we have found aspects of the Kelantan Syariah Enactment to run counter to the spirit and intent of the Qur'an. Take rape, or instance. In trying to establish this, a woman must produce four male Muslim eyewitnesses to the act without which she can be accused of adultery or fornication. Given that this is the absolute precondition for any woman to seek redress for such heinous crime, it would seem that the laws cannot protect women because rape, as we know, is never committed in the open (Parts One and Four explore this in great detail). For this reason, we are adamant that no matter how well-intentioned the Enactment appears to be, it can have adverse if not unforseen and unintended effects for Muslim women, specifically, and for society as a whole."


Muslim Women in the Family and Society (Also available in Bahasa Malaysia)

This book contains Professor Fathi Osman's enlightened interpretation on verses in the Qur'an on women and women's rights. It is divided into 23 different topics, which include:
Equal from Their Origin
Love and Tenderness
Rights of Divorced Women
Monogamy, not Polygamy
Modesty, not Segregation
Responsibility, not Superiority

Islam & Women's Reproductive Rights

This book contains Masdar Mas'udi's discussion on women and reproductive rights.
Understanding Islam
Women in Islamic Discourse
Islam and Women's Reproductive Rights
Choosing a Spouse
Enjoying Sexual Relations
Having Children
Regulating Pregnancy
Caring for Children
Reproductive Leave
Divorcing a Spouse

Al-Quran Untuk Kaum Wanita

The book is available in Bahasa Malaysia, please check out Bahasa Malaysia version to find out more.

Fiqh Wanita: Pandangan Ulama Terhadap Wacana Agama dan Gender

The book is available in Bahasa Malaysia, please check out Bahasa Malaysia version to find out more.

Kudrat Wanita Dalam Islam

The book is available in Bahasa Malaysia, please see the Bahasa Malaysia version to find out more.

Paradigma Baru Teologi Wanita

The book is available in Bahasa Malaysia, please check out Bahasa Malaysia version to find out more.

Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved - SIS Forum Malaysia, No.7, Jalan 6/10, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia