There should be no Emotional Investment in Women
The second part of Mernissi''s contention is that in Islam men are not supposed to be emotionally attached to their wives; love between husband and wife is not encouraged or tolerated. Apart from what we quoted from Mernissi on this issue at the beginning of this discussion, she has talked on this issue, in a passing manner, at other places also. For instance, after quoting an interview with a Moroccan woman about her first husband by an arranged marriage (which has nothing to do with Islam), Mernissi writes, "Does love between man and wife threaten something vital in the Muslim order?...Heterosexual involvement, real love between husband and wife, is the danger that must be overcome." (Beyond the Veil, p.113) In another place, she says, "And it appears to me that the breakdown of sexual segregation permits the emergence of what the Muslim order condemns as a deadly enemy of civilization: love between men and women in general, and between husband and wife in particular. " (Beyond the Veil, p. 107)
Mernissi could not have been more further from the truth than in these contentions! Instead of going to the original sources of Islam, she has based her conclusion on the way a certain ethnic group of Muslims behave in their personal life. Now let us see if what she says is according to the original sources of Islam or not.
The Qur''an says, "And among His signs is that He has created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may live in tranquility with them; and He has created love (muhabbah) and mercy between you. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect."(30: 21 ) How can Mernissi say that Islam considers love between husband and wife a deadly enemy of civilization while the God of Islam counts it as a sign of His creation and glory? Imam Ja''far as-Sadiq says, "Loving (hubb) women is among the traditions of the prophets." (Wasa''ilu ''sh-Shi''ah, vol. 14, p.9) The same Imam quotes the Prophet as follows, "The statement of a husband to his wife that ''I love you'' (inniuhibbuki) will not leave her heart ever." (Wasa''ilu ''sh-Shi''ah, p. 10)
There are three interesting ahadith in which Imam Ja''far as-Sadiq has described the love for women as a sign and cause of increase in faith. He says, "I do not think that a person''s faith can increase positively unless his love for women has increased. "( Wasa''ilu ''sh-Shi''ah, p. 9) In another hadith, he says, "Whenever a person''s love for women increases, his faith increases in quality." Wasa''ilu ''sh-Shi''ah, p.11) In a third hadith he relates the love for women to the love for Ahlu''l-bayt which is an important teaching of the Qur''an. He says "Whosoever''s love for us increases, his love for women must also increase." (Wasa''ilu ''sh-Shi''ah, p. 11) I do not think that there is any further need to prove that Mernissi''s accusation against Islam is baseless.
Adapted from: "The Islamic Sexual Morality, Its Foundation"
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