The 2nd God of Islam

Sounds incredible, right? How can Islam have the 2nd God; it is a monotheistic religion, isn’t?

Well! In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, we women grow up with a concept called “Mijazi Khuda”, meaning “like God”, or “figurative God”, or “Next to God”, or “little God” etc.

Do you know who the little Gods of the Islamic World are? You guessed it, the Husbands!!

The Husband has a special place in our culture. He is not God, but the moulvis (the Muslim doctors of the law) keep telling us that he is like God, even though we shouldn’t call him “Mijazi Khuda”, but he is one.

Islam prohibits bowing down to anyone except Allah (or God) but the moulvis of our times say that if Allah were to allow bowing down to anyone, he would ask the women to bow down to their Husbands.

The moulvis say that, even if a husband is alcoholic, violent, a drug addict or a criminal, he is still a Gift of God to his woman.

The moulvis say that, if a husband yells and becomes angry, then a woman should be quiet and obliging because Allah has made him angry like that and that’s how he expresses his frustrations.

The moulvis say that he (The Husband) is her (the wife’s) ruler.

You don’t believe me. Here is a youtube video by a moulvi. The video is in Urdu (the national language of Pakistan) but those of you who can understand Urdu can validate that what I have written above is a direct translation of what the moulvis says. It’s the same stuff that I grew up with and was brainwashed with.

In this next video, the moulvi says that God has given permission for a man to hit his wife if she is disobedient but he should be “gentle”. He shouldn’t hit so hard that her bones break.

I say to myself,  “how can this all be true?” How can Allah allow such disparity between men and women? I look to Quran and I find the following verse in Surah An-Nisa [4:34]

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ ۚ فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَاللَّاتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ ۖ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلَا تَبْغُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلًا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيًّا كَبِيرًا – 4:34

Men are the caretakers of women, as men have been provisioned by Allah over women and tasked with supporting them financially. And righteous women are devoutly obedient and, when alone, protective of what Allah has entrusted them with. And if you sense ill-conduct from your women, advise them ˹first˺, ˹if they persist,˺ do not share their beds, ˹but if they still persist,˺ then discipline them ˹gently˺. But if they change their ways, do not be unjust to them. Surely Allah is Most High, All-Great.

I have lost all arguments with myself. There is a clear disparity between men and women within Islam regardless of how mildly it is put. It creates a cultural hierarchy that is embedded in the psyche of men and women.

When men hit their women,  and women protest; men say that it is their right to hit her.

I remember that, when I see Muslim couples walking on the streets, the woman is almost always walking behind the man. I never understood it but now I know. She is not his equal; how can she walk with him?

I think back to the time when I was around 11 or so. It’s the school holidays and I am bored. I want to go outside and play; walk around on the streets; buy naughty candies, but I need a partner in crime.

We live on the 2nd floor in an apartment building with 16 apartments on each unit. I knock on the door of my neighbour girlfriend, Zainab, next door. I ask her to come out with me so that we can play. She sneakily looks at her mum; she isn’t sure whether she is going to get permission (good girls don’t go out on the streets and play) but she asks anyway. Her mother probably doesn’t have the authority to say yes or no because Zainab’s younger brother is at home (he is around 7 or 8). Zainab has to ask him if she can go out and he simply says no.

I am sad and disappointed but more than that, I am confused. At my own home, I ask my mother to go out and she says Yes or No and this is the end of our conversation. There is no asking anybody else. My issue now is that I have to go out by myself and I do… I realise that if I wait for my girlfriends to join me, I probably won’t be able to do anything that I want.

And this happens time and again; girls in my neighbourhood stop going to college. They need to learn to cook and clean and stay at home. They prepare the food and when it is meal time, they normally lay a plastic or cloth sheet on the floor; put all the food out and when everything is ready, the male members of the house come and dine. If there is not enough food for everybody, men eat first and whatever is left over is then shared among the female members of the family. When men and boys finish, they simply walk off. It is their sisters, daughters, mothers’ and wives’ job to clean after them.

By the time, a girl is 18 or so, she is fully domesticated and ready to be wedded off, where she will continue to serve her husband and his family and pass down these traditions to the next generation she brings into this world.

She has learnt from her mother that she has no power and she is not to question the tradition because Allah has designed women to be subservient to men because that’s the only way for her salvation.

In many ways, I am impressed with the moulvis (Islamic doctors of the law) of Pakistan. They have not only established the superiority of men but they have completely recruited women into their vision and, as a result, women have lost their ability to think for themselves and they simply become slaves in the name of religion.

The question is who will stop this cycle?

Are we women going to stand up for our rights to be human, or will we continue to teach our next generations to be the slaves of culture and religion?