The creative novelist, Dr Nawal El Sa’adawi died before with unbearable patience before he could hear the words he wanted to hear. If I were a woman, and of the age of the Prophet Noah (PBUH) , I would have had to wait a thousand years to hear the following words from the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, the head of the religious establishment whose history dates back to more than ten centuries to restore to me some of the rights that the jurists have robbed from me during the dark oppressive nights.
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb, head of Al-Azhar, stated during a television program that Al-Azhar resolved the jurisprudence debate related to a number of contemporary issues in which women had the largest share. He mentioned, for the first time in history that the travel of women which was forbidden during the ages has now changed with the travel system in our time, with the change of risks and the availability of safe companionship of men, women can travel.
And he said that one of the gains the women acquired according to the consensus of the scholars is that it is permissible for her to assume all positions, including those of the highest state, the judiciary and can issue fatwas and whoever prevents her from doing so will commit a great sin.
As for the “chaos of divorce”, he said that the scholars have determined that arbitrary divorce without a cause is prohibited and a moral crime, whether by the will of the husband or wife. The basic principle in matters is that there is no divorce and it does not become permissible except in cases of necessity.
He also stressed that the guardian has no right to prevent a woman from marrying a competent man she accepts if the reason for prohibition is not acceptable. The judge, if the matter is referred to him, must approve her marriage. He added that the “house of obedience” is a matter that has no place in Islam and I do not know how to accept this after more than half a century of its application.
Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyib, head of Al-Azhar, concluded his creativity, saying that there are grievances that befall the wife and harm her when her husband dies, as she may be his partner in trade or someone who helped him or worked with him, and therefore if the husband dies, she usually only gets her legitimate share of inheritance and this represents a kind of injustice to her, so it is her legal right to determine for herself a share of her husband’s wealth or of his heritage before dividing it because in reality it is a debt owed by the husband.
I cannot imagine the injustice inflicted upon hundreds of millions of Muslim women over the centuries as a result of all this prejudice against them. The time has come to turn the tables on those who wronged them even if this injustice will remain in effect for many years to come but the mere presence of a reference such as Al-Azhar and a powerful figure such as Bin Salman, breaking the taboo of blatant abuse against women, is a good thing.
By Ahmad alsarraf