Opinion Editorials, November 2004, To see today's opinion articles, click here: www.aljazeerah.info



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When a Woman Wants Divorce

Adil Salahi

Arab News, 11/9/04

Q. An Indian Muslim woman wants to have a divorce, but the legal process could take years, if the husband is unwilling to grant her a divorce. The judge tells her that it is very difficult for her to obtain a divorce because her husband can demand compensation. She is in no position to pay him compensation. What does Islam say in such a situation?

F. Nahdi

A. Marriage is a partnership aimed to build a family where children can grow up in a peaceful and homely atmosphere. It is not a relationship based on tension and causing problems to ones spouse. Therefore, if things are not working well and the woman wants her release, the man should give her that release. If this means that he incurs financial loss, she should endeavor to spare him such loss.

It is often the case that when a woman prefers to have a divorce, her husband denies her that, thinking that he proves his authority by doing so. The marriage relationship must never be based on that. To provide a way out for women, Islam legislated the khula method, which means a termination of the marriage at a wifes request. The woman files an application for khula and the judge makes sure that this is what she wants. She is required to pay back to her husband the dowry, or mehr, he had paid her. This is not compensation, but a refund of something she had received in return for agreement to become the mans wife. When she no longer wants to be his wife, she should refund him that. If she has no means to do so, her relatives, or the community should help her.

This method may not be operative in some countries. If so, one has to resort to the legal mechanisms available.

Involuntary Discharge

Q. If a couple of drops of semen are involuntarily discharged after urination, does the person concerned have to have a bath to cleanse himself before he can pray?

M. Mateen

A. The semen discharge that causes the case of ceremonial impurity, or janabah, is that coupled with sexual arousal. This includes intercourse, sexual foreplay, masturbation, a wet dream or any similar situation. If the discharge is a result of any of these then one must take a bath or a shower, ensuring that all his body is washed with water. On the other hand, a discharge of semen that does not result from sexual arousal does not carry that requirement. This means that no obligation of taking a shower applies. But then this is a very rare case, unless it is the result of an illness or a functional disorder.

It is important to realize that not every white fluid discharged through the penis is semen. Apart from semen and urine, one may discharge madhiy and wadiy. The first is a white fluid that is discharged when thinking about sex or during foreplay, but it is more common with women. Sometimes one does not feel the discharge and becomes aware of it only when it drops on ones skin or ones clothes. It is impure, and if it touches ones body it should be washed off, while if it drops on clothes, it should be removed with water. Wadiy on the other hand is a thick, white fluid which is discharged after urination. Again it is impure and it is treated in the same way as urine. In other words, one should wash the place of discharge with water. It does not require a bath or shower. Perhaps this is the type of discharge the reader is asking about.


Earth, a planet hungry for peace

 Apartheid Wall

The Israeli Land-Grab Apartheid Wall built inside the Palestinian territories, here separating Abu Dis from occupied East Jerusalem. (IPC, 7/4/04).


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python. (Alquds,10/25/03).

Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.