In the year 2019, the fictitious dystopian world of The Handmaid’s Tale has began to unfurl in real-time America, as the states of Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, and Mississippi banned abortion—making no exception for rape and incest—with prison terms for miscarriages.
Welcome to the Republic of Gilead!
Yes, this is an atrocity and yes, outrage is justified. Throw things and place the blame on the forever-patriarchal elected officials who made it legal to control and enslave women in all but actuality. These are the people worthy of your wrath.
But do you know who isn’t deserving of your rage and mockery?
Sharia Law and developing nations who literally had nothing to do with what your American government officials did to your rights.
I’m appalled at how carelessly people are alluding to Islamic countries and Islamic laws to draw attention to the horrors unleashed on American women by American men (and women, but mostly men).
Social media was ablaze with posts such as these:
“A woman is raped and impregnated by her rapist. She seeks an abortion to end her unwanted pregnancy. Her government puts her to death, but not her rapist. Sharia law in some Islamic country? Nope. Alabama.”
Or Tweets like the one that VA Senate Candidate Qasim Rashid, Esq. tweeted out on Sunday:
Really? Are you insane? WTF are these parallels, and who gave you the right to draw them? And before you say we didn’t get the sarcasm in these posts, let me say that we totally did, and we didn’t like it.
Excuse me, but you need to stop dragging Islam into your mess, America.
It is irresponsible and dangerous to use Islamophobic tropes to make any point because inherently, it feeds into the stereotype that this indeed is the accepted version of Sharia. It is harmful because even in the event when Muslims try to put forth the real version, this authenticity is dismissed by uneducated commenters quoting Islamic literature without context just for the sake of an argument, burying the sarcasm, and helping the stereotypes associated with Sharia Law to stand tall in the end.
So What Is Sharia Law’s Take on This?
Sharia Law doesn’t put rape victims to death. Even though some tyrannical Islamic regimes might, that is not what Sharia Law ordains. The death penalty under Sharia Law is for the rapist, not the victim. Stop referencing Islam or a country that you, in your privileged-ass viewpoint, somehow deem lesser and something horrible to draw attention to the horrors of your own making. No Muslim or foreign lawmaker influenced the current abortion ban, or the mindset behind them.
This was all done by non-Muslim AMERICAN government officials that YOU elected to power. Deal with it!
Then, there are those who think they can teach Islam to a Muslim. They quote the Holy Quran at you. One particular ayat seems to be a fan favorite as a response to any or all of the arguments made for separating Islam from this American government nightmare that seems more rooted in Christian theocracy than anything else.
Yes, I said it.
Because all those senators who voted for these abortion bans and the governors who signed them into law are all good God-fearing Christians, making the argument that abortion is wrong because it is a sin to destroy life. I’ll leave it to you to guess which holy text it is that they’re following. [Hint: it isn’t the Quran!]
God specifically talked of a woman’s pain and suffering during childbirth…It shouldn’t be any surprise that the final decision about bringing a child into this world should lie with the woman bearing it.
Going back to the verse I mentioned above:
[Quran 17:31] “You shall not kill your children due to fear of poverty. We provide for them, as well as for you. Killing them is a gross offense.”
NEWSFLASH: This verse is about infanticide, specifically, female infanticide. This is not about abortion!
According to Tafsir Ibn-e-Kathir, a renowned and most referenced interpretation of the Quran by Ibn-e-Kathir, a 14th century scholar and historian:
“This Ayah indicates that Allah is more compassionate towards His servants than a father to his child, because He forbids killing children just as He enjoins parents to take care of their children in matters of inheritance. The people of Jahiliya would not allow their daughters to inherit from them, and some would even kill their daughters lest they make them poorer. Allah forbade that.”
In case your tiny brain didn’t process this, there was no ultrasound in Arabia 1400 years ago, hence, there was no way of knowing the gender of the fetus in the womb. The insinuation here is that there was a time when a population would kill their babies after they were born. Such a practice is called infanticide. Yes, Islam had categorically banned infanticide 1400 years ago while the world was still cloaked in darkness. You’re welcome.
As for Islamic laws regulating abortion, we have none, not as definite as a Divine Decree since there is no direct reference to abortion in the Holy Quran. Legislature concerning abortion is largely left to the discretion of scholars who generally consider a fetus a ‘living soul’ after 120 days of gestation. After passage of 120 days, abortion is considered wrong and not permitted but it is still not a punishable offense. Exceptions are made for health risks to the mother, rape and incest victims, and according to some scholars, for deformed or abnormal fetus where it is certain that the resulting baby may not have a normal life.
Now, why 120 days? Because there’s a Hadith directly relevant to ensoulment of the fetus, recorded in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 549:
“Narrated Abdullah: Allah’s Apostle, the true and truly inspired said, “(as regards your creation), every one of you is collected in the womb of his mother for the first forty days, and then he becomes a clot for another forty days, and then a piece of flesh for another forty days. Then Allah sends an angel to write four words: He writes his deeds, time of his death, means of his livelihood, and whether he will be wretched or blessed (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into his body…”
Even if you’re a poor sod at math, you can use a calculator to see how many days/weeks/months 40 times 3 makes:
120 days = 17 weeks = 3 months = first trimester = window given to a woman to abort her pregnancy = American abortion laws suck, and had they really followed Sharia Law while legislating, we wouldn’t be in this mess because clearly Sharia Law gives a woman full rights to her own body.
[Quran 46:15] “We have enjoined on man Kindness to his parents: in pain did his mother bear him and in pain did she give him birth.”
God specifically talked of a woman’s pain and suffering during childbirth. It was the same in Surah Maryam when God talked about the hardship of Virgin Mary when she gave birth to Jesus. Why wouldn’t He want such pain to be recognized and taken into consideration by those who follow Him? It shouldn’t be any surprise that the final decision about bringing a child into this world should lie with the woman bearing it.
A final word of advice to non-Muslims who want to act all educated and throw ayats at the believers for any reason at all: Just don’t!
It’s not your book. You don’t know the context and historical references. You don’t fucking know what you’re talking about! Ask an actual Islamic scholar to know better. Then, learn and contemplate and show respect. And deal with this abortion ban or any other similar atrocity by NOT insulting a belief system and foreign nations that have virtually zero impact on these decisions. This horrific abortion ban was made for Americans, by Americans, within the American government.
This is your mess, America.