29 November 2012

Women Rights in Islam- Mothers' Rights

Mother's Rights 
Islam has greatly emphasized the topic of affectionate, caring, devoting and respecting the parents, the mother and the father.
In our babyhood and childhood, we essentially required the defense, feel affection, development and cultivation from our parents. On the other hand, when our parents become old, they need us to look after them and take care of them.
Mother' Rights is three times than father'! Nevertheless, out of the two parents, the mother has been given superior preference as far as compassion and sympathy is concerned.
PROPHET PBUH once said that the right of mother upon the children is three times more than the rights of father as far as kindness, compassion and sympathy are concerned.
Listen to Imam Ali Ben Hussein, the great-grandson of the Prophet, who said: 
"Coming to the rights of relatives, it is the right of your mother that you:
Should appreciate that she carried you (in her uterus) as nobody carries anybody,
 And fed you the fruits of her heart which nobody feeds anybody,
and protected you (during pregnancy) with her ears, hands, legs, hair, limbs, with her whole being, gladly, cheerfully and carefully; suffering patiently all the fears, pains, difficulties and sorrowfulness (of pregnancy), till the hand of Allah separate you from her and brought you into this world."

-"Then she was most happy feeding you, even if she herself had no clothes; giving you milk and water; not caring for her own thirst; keeping you in the shade, even if she had to suffer from the heat of the sun; giving you every comfort with her own hardship; lulling you to sleep while keeping herself awake."

- "And remember that
her uterus was your home, and her lap your refuge, and her breast your feeder,
and her whole existence your protection; It was she, not you, who was braving the heat and cold of this world for your safety."
"Therefore, you must remain thankful, grateful and indebted to her accordingly".

What if the mother is nonbeliever or agnostic?

Allah has obligated the good treatment of parents that are agnostic. Giving them respect and kindness. By Allah, their rights are among the most important and most certain rights, and fulfilling these rights in a proper manner is one of the most difficult and most important duties. The one who is guided to do this is truly guided, and the one who is not helped to do this is truly deprived.

Be devoted to your parents
Allah has commanded us to treat our parents well and the rights of the mother in this regard have been emphasized more than those of the father.

 Allah has commanded us to treat our parents with respect and kindness, and lowering the wing of humility to them, not answering them harshly or glaring at them, not raising one's voice to them, but being as humble towards them as a slave towards his master.

You have to be patient with your mother and put up with the harsh treatment on her part, which at times maybe upsetting to you. By treating her with respect and dealing with her kindly, you will earn her good pleasure and love. Try to avoid things that will provoke her and make her angry, even if they are in your interests, without causing harm to yourself.

The mother's rights over her child
The mother has rights throughout her life and also when she died

the mother has many major rights over her child. These rights are innumerable, but we may conclude her the following:

(1) Love and respect, as much as possible, because she is the most deserving of people of her son's good companionship.

(2) Taking care of her and looking after her affairs if she needs that; this is a debt that rests on the child's shoulders. Did she not take care of him when he was a child and stay up with him at night and bear it all with patience?

"We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says: "O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favor which Thou hast bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as Thou may best approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam." (Surah 46:15)

(3) Not offending her or saying or doing anything that they dislike.

If Allah has forbidden us even to say "uff" [paraphrased as "a word of disrespect" in the translation of the meaning of the verse] to our parents, then how about someone who hits them?!

(4) Spending on her if she is in need and does not have a husband who can spend on her or if her husband is poor; for the righteous, spending on one's mother and feeding her is more precious than feeding their own children.

(5) Obeying her when she tells you to do something good. But if she tells you to do something bad, such as shirk, then there should be no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience the Creator.

However, still the mother has rights after her death

(1) After one's mother dies, it is essential to fulfill any vows that she had made, and to give charity and perform good things on her behalf.

(2) After she dies, it is also mandatory to honor her by maintaining ties with those whom she used to keep in touch with, such as her relatives and friends.

And herein is the golden saying about the mother' rights in few words,

The mother is your way to the heaven

For more than 1400 years ago, the Prophet Muhammad said:" The paradise is under the feet of the mothers".

These are the mothers' rights in Islam.

28 November 2012

All India Radio Farm & Home Programmes in the Progress of Agriculture in India

Broadcasting started in India in 1927 with two privately owned transmitters at Mumbai and Calcutta. All India Radio came in to existence in1936 and came to be known as ‘Akashvani’ form 1957
The mission of AIR is to Produce and Transmit programmes relating to developmental activities in all their facets including extension work in agriculture, education, health and family welfare and science & technology.
All India Radio Farm & Home Broadcasts:
The commitment of All India Radio to the rural audience dates back to more than 50 years. Realizing the contribution of radio towards reaching new agricultural technologies to farmers of United States of America in 1966, the then Union Minister of Agriculture BharatRatna C. Subramaniam played an instrumental role in introducing Farm & Home Units at seven All India Radio (AIR) stations in the country. This marked the beginning of a new era of farm broadcasting in India. All India Radio has been dedicated to the service of farming community since the very beginning of its 'Farm and Home Unit' in 1966
The Farm&Home Programmes were started with a view to serve the farming community by motivating them through sustained broadcasts, to adopt and practice scientific methods of cultivation, for increasing Food Production and Rural Economic Development. Broadcasting scenario has distinctly changed from time to time with AIR stations covering nearly 99% of the country’s population.
 All stations of All India Radio broadcast Farm & Home programmes directed at rural audience. In fact, special programmes have been designed to cater to the day to day seasonal needs of the farming community. To broadcast the latest technology and information for agricultural output is a continuous process of its Farm & Home programme. Farm and Home programmes are broadcast by all stations of AIR. Programmes are designed based on the local day to day needs of the farming community incorporating latest information and technology for best agricultural output. These programmes create awareness about the ways & means to improve the agricultural productivity and quality of the country’s farming community
The programmes are broadcast daily in the morning, noon and evening. The average duration of Farm & Home broadcast is 60 to 100 minutes per day. Farm & Home programmes also include programmes for rural women, rural children and rural Youth..
The farm programmes are having many programme formats. Talk, interviews, discussions, dialogues, symposia, debates, farm based poetry recitations, features, radio reports, question and answer programmes, skits, quiz, jingles, farmers and experts group discussions, kavimela are the popular programmes .
 At present programmes are broadcast for duration of one hour per day which covers Agriculture and allied subjects, and the subjects are distributed according to the need to various Departments during every Quarter (Three months). The subjects for broadcast are drawn up after discussion with specialists from the concerned Departments.
Apart from the programme production the farm and home radio units are conducting seminars and exhibitions at AIR Auditorium for farmers which have immensely helped the farmers in food production. Farmers have participated and have gained knowledge and various aspects of farming. These seminars and meetings have been planned and conducted with the help of various state Government Departments and Universities. The advice and suggestions given by the experts and scientists in these seminars have been very useful to the farmers and they have been able to adopt them in their farming operations which ultimately resulted in increasing farmers in the respective areas depending on the season and monsoon.
 Farm and Home Programmes are giving great importance to the farmer participation in these programmes. In Crop yield competition, winners, elite farmers, F.D.G. Conveners, Seed farm growers, farmers have also been interviewed and have expressed their opinions about their field experiences. In addition, the farmers facilitated to visit All India Radio Station to meet the programme officer in charge of Agriculture to discuss their problems and the officer brings these problems to the notice of the concerned Departmental Heads and Scientist and seeks their help to solve the problems of the farmers. Every week farmers contacting the Farm & Home unit either in person or through letters or through telephone to get clarifications on various technical aspects of farming and they have been utilizing the knowledge gained in getting a better harvest. Regular village meetings are arranged by the Farm & Home Unit at various centers in various districts between groups of farmers and officials and scientists.
The farmer after having listened to Farm & Home Unit’s programmes on waste land development, Integrated Pest Management, Utilization of Pesticides, Agro based industries, Organic farming etc. have been following the guidelines given in the programmes and have been instrumental in preserving the environment. They have also now started making use of the new technology called “Mixed Farming”.
From the day of inauguration, this Farm & Home Units are conducting Farm School on the AIR lessons for the benefit of farmers. It is to be pointed out that farmers who have participated in various Farm School broadcast have now become beacon lights in various farming activities like Turkey farming, poultry farming, organic farming & Water Management. The farm school broadcast has been very successful as it helps the farmers to gain the latest technical knowledge and information on various subjects and ultimately helps to develop their skill in their farming operations and to become successful farmers. The Farm & Home broadcast is greatly helping the farmers in increasing their food production and improving their living
Farm & Home Programmes playing vital role in the production of Rice, Sugarcane and Oil seeds. After listening and following the guidelines of Farm & Home broadcast, Farmers, the rural women who are engaged in the production and sales of agricultural based value add products have certainly improved their life style.
The Farm & Home units of AIR broadcast composite programmes including equal segments of rural development scheme and hard-core agriculture programmes like animal husbandry, fisheries, dry land and wasteland agriculture and also on segments dwelling on employment schemes, loan and training facilities, sanitation, health hygiene and nutrition etc. 
 From the day it was started, the farm & home programmes of AIR were felt to be enormously powerful and effective to realize the objective of the betterment of farming community. AIR has played a significant part in bringing new technology in agriculture to the door. These programmes not only provide information about agriculture but also create awareness about the ways and means to improve the quality of farmer’s lives.
The phenomenal growth achieved by A.I.R. Farm broadcasts played a vital role in the green revolution
AIR has stepped up its activities of Agriculture Broadcast with the launch of exclusive project Mass Media Support to Agriculture Extension with the title Kisan Vani for AIR from 15th February, 2004 in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture. To inform local farmers the daily market rates, weather reports and day to day activities in their area at micro level. Presently, "Kisan Vani" is being broadcast from 96 FM stations of AIR.
Now all the Local Radio Stations (LRS) of All India Radio along with some primary channel stations spread over the length and breadth of the country have been producing and broadcasting Kisanvani Programme.
The thrust of Kisanvani Programme is to educate the farmers on the subjects such as diversified cropping pattern, advance agricultural practices, animal husbandry, poultry farming, fisheries, horticulture, rural banking & self employment schemes and other allied activities.
Kisanvani encompasses a wide spectrum of formats having almost all the ingredients of a good agriculture programme, like 'Aaj ki Khabrein' (news of the day), 'Aaj Ka Bazar'(today's market), 'Aaj ka Mausam' (weather information), 'Aaj Ki Batein' (special mention of the day), 'Aaj Ke Kisan' (the farmer of today, interview based) and 'Desh Videsh' news from the country and abroad). Moreover, it is different from the conventional Farm and Home Programme of AIR in its approach and focus. Kisanvani Programmes are being broadcasting all the major languages and dialects spoken in the coverage area. Kisanvani programme was slowly but steadily spreading among new audience over years

Radio Kisan Diwas
AII India Radio observes 15th February as Radio Kisan Diwas over all its stations by mounting special programmes on the occasion. Farmers who get benefited by the information disseminated through agricultural programmes on AIR, share their experiences with other fellow farmers in their regional language/dialect.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research signed a contract with Prasar Bharti, All India Radio for dissemination of agricultural technologies to various stakeholders by using a dedicated time slot at 7:05 – 7:30 pm on every Friday. The radio programme is available on Indraprastha Channel for listeners on MW 819 KHtzs i.e. 366.3 mts. across the country.
This radio programme, Krishi Jagat includes features, success stories, and discussion forum, on agricultural research, education and extension by involving scientists, farmers, entrepreneurs and policy makers from different fields.
All India Radio stations in Andhra Pradesh and Agricultural Programmes.
The AIR Stations in AP are facilitating to disseminate agricultural information to large number of farmers. Vyavasaya Samacharam a ten-minute duration programme on every day from 6.50 to 7.00 PM is broadcasted on Hyderabad station on different topics and the same is relayed by all the other Radio Stations in the entire State.
Besides this, the scientists participate in the interviews on Radio and answer to the farmer's letters. The University scientists are also participating in the Phone-in-live programmes conducted by different All India Radio stations across the State.
All India Radio stations are broadcasting the questions and answers sent to them in their agriculture programmes every week.
The AIR Stations broadcast weather base agricultural information twice a week for the benefit of farmers. It also gives special messages at the time of floods, droughts, pest and disease outbreaks etc.
Broadcasts provide the first hand information to the Farmers about new crops, latest research, Water management pest management and other new technologies. It acts as a Connecting link between Farmers, Departmental officials & Scientists Provided that Radio support to the various schemes taken up by the Governments from time to time. Programme contributes in the promotion of Agriculture Food Production and development of Agricultural economy in the state. Broadcasts Lab to Land programme educates the poorest of the poor systematically on various aspects of Agricultural Science & Allied subjects. It plays an active role in promoting progress in the areas of Green, White, and Blue & Red Revolutions. Microphone travels to the nook and corner of villages and unreachable tribal villages
 All India Radio provides extensive programmes on land and water conservation, sustainable agriculture, biotechnology, integrated pest management in crops, crop insurance schemes, environment protection, disaster management and role of panchayats in rural development etc. These programmes are produced with the help of subject matter experts.
All India Radio maintains a very close liaison with the Ministries and Departments of agriculture & rural development of central and state governments. The programmes are mounted in local and dialect from different stations. Local Radio Stations also broadcast regular programmes on rural development in different formats. Dialogues, discussions, talks, interviews, features, serials, dramas, slogans, jingles, phone-in-programmes, musical features and farm school on AIR etc. are used to convey the message through radio.
For creating environmental consciousness among the listeners on preservation of environment through development of forests, a forestation, social forestry, farm forestry etc. special programmes are broadcasted in an interesting and imaginative ways. All AIR Stations are broadcasting these programmes in their local languages in different formats like talks, discussions, features, current affairs information items, spots, serials etc. All the AIR Stations are broadcasting a daily programme on Environment for 5 to 7 minutes duration and a weekly programme of longer duration for more than a decade.
All India Radio has adopted a multilingual approach for its broadcasts of programmes on environment, forestry, wildlife and ecological balance etc. World day to combat desertification is also observed by AIR stations every year to create awareness about land degradation and desertification. . In view of its importance, cultivating awareness about wildlife and forest conservation is treated by AIR as a challenge and emphasis is given on developmental activities.
·       Role of Farm and Home Radio Programme in the Development of Agriculture- Maa. Thamizhpparithi & Dr.R.Subramani
·       Media support to agriculture; Grace Kujur, M.N. Jha B.N. Chaudhary, D.C. Kabdal, V.S. Deepkumar, R.C. Singh, P.A. DeshmukhTop of Form
·       ICAR Report.
·       A History of All India Radio and Its Operations-Srividya Vaidyanathan
·       ANGARU-AIR Agricultural Programmes.

27 November 2012

The Basic Structure of the Indian Constitution


The debate on the 'basic structure' of the Constitution, lying somnolent in the archives of India's constitutional history during the last decade of the 20th century, has reappeared in the public realm once again.
According to the Constitution, Parliament and the state legislatures in India have the power to make laws within their respective jurisdictions.  This power is not absolute in nature.  The Constitution vests in the judiciary, the power to adjudicate upon the constitutional validity of all laws.  If a law made by Parliament or the state legislatures violates any provision of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has the power to declare such a law invalid or ultra virus. 

 Hence Parliament was invested with the power to amend the Constitution.  Article 368
Of the Constitution gives the impression that Parliament's amending powers are absolute and encompass all parts of the document.  But the Supreme Court pronounced that Parliament could not distort damage or alter the basic features of the Constitution under the pretext of amending it.

The phrase 'basic structure' itself cannot be found in the Constitution.
The Supreme Court recognised this concept for the first time in the historic Kesavananda Bharati case in 1973.

Ever since the Supreme Court has been the interpreter of the Constitution and the arbiter of all amendments made by Parliament.

The phrase 'basic structure' was introduced for the first time by M.K. Nambiar and other counsels  while arguing for the petitioners in the  Golaknath  case, but it was only in 1973 that the concept  surfaced in the text of the apex court's verdict

Most importantly seven of the thirteen judges in the Kesavananda Bharati case, including  Chief  Justice Sikri who signed the summary statement, declared that Parliament's constituent power  was subject to inherent limitations.  Parliament could not use its amending powers under Article  368 to 'damage', 'emasculate', 'destroy', 'abrogate', 'change' or 'alter' the 'basic structure' or  framework of the Constitution.

 Basic Features of the Constitution according to the Kesavanada verdict.

Each judge laid out separately, what he thought were the basic or essential features of the
Constitution.  There was no unanimity of opinion within the majority view either
Sikri, C.J. explained that the concept of basic structure included:
• Supremacy of the Constitution
• Republican and democratic form of government 
• Secular character of the Constitution 
• Separation of powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary 
• Federal character of the Constitution

Shelat, J. and Grover, J. added two more basic features to this list:
• The mandate to build a welfare state contained in the Directive Principles of State Policy 
• Unity and integrity of the nation

Hegde, J. and Mukherjea, J. identified a separate and shorter list of basic features:
• Sovereignty of India 
• Democratic character of the polity 
• Unity of the country 
• Essential features of the individual freedoms secured to the citizens 
• Mandate to build a welfare state

Jaganmohan Reddy, J. stated that elements of the basic features were to be found in the Preamble of the Constitution and the provisions into which they translated such as:  sovereign democratic republic 

Only six judges on the bench (therefore a minority view) agreed that the fundamental rights of the citizen belonged to the basic structure and Parliament could not amend it.

In summary the majority verdict in Kesavananda Bharati recognized the power of Parliament to amend any or all provisions of the Constitution provided such an act did not destroy its basic structure.  But there was no unanimity of opinion about what appoints to that basic structure.

Basic Structure concept reaffirmed- The Indira Gandhi Election case

In 1975, The Supreme Court again had the opportunity to pronounce on the basic structure of the Constitution in the Indira Gandhi Election Case.
Basic Features of the Constitution according to the Election case verdict
Each judge expressed views about what amounts to the basic structure of the Constitution
According to Justice H.R. Khanna, democracy is a basic feature of the Constitution and
includes free and fair elections.
Justice K.K. Thomas held that the power of judicial review is an essential feature.

Justice Y.V. Chandrachud listed four basic features which he considered unamendable:
• Sovereign democratic republic status 
• Equality of status and opportunity of an individual 
• Secularism and freedom of conscience and religion 
• 'Government of laws and not of men' i.e. the rule of law

 Chief Justice A.N. Ray, opined, strangely, that democracy was a basic feature but not free and fair elections.

 Ray, C.J. held that ordinary legislation was not within the scope of basic features.

Justice K.K. Mathew agreed with Ray, C.J. that ordinary laws did not fall within the purview of basic structure.  But he held that democracy was an essential feature

Justice M.H. Beg disagreed with Ray, C.J.and. Contended that supremacy of the Constitution and separation of powers were basic features as understood by the majority in the Kesavananda Bharati cas.   Beg, J. emphasised that the doctrine of basic structure included within its scope ordinary legislation also.

Basic structure doctrine reaffirmed- the Minerva Mills and Waman Rao cases

The Forty-second amendment was challenged before the Supreme Court by the owners of Minerva Mills (Bangalore) a sick industrial firm which was nationalised by the government in 1974.

Mr. Palkhivala argued that Section 55 of the amendment had placed unlimited amending power in the hands of Parliament.  The attempt to immunize constitutional amendments against judicial review violated the doctrine of basic structure which had been recognized by the Supreme Court in the  Kesavananda Bharati  and Indira Gandhi Election Cases. 

Chief Justice Y.V. Chandrachud, delivering the majority judgment (4:1), upheld both contentions.  The majority view upheld the power of judicial review of constitutional amendments.  They maintained that clauses (4) and (5) of Article 368  conferred unlimited power on Parliament to amend the  Constitution.  They said that this deprived courts of the ability to question the amendment even if it damaged or destroyed the Constitution's basic structure
The judges, who concurred with Chandrachud, C.J. ruled that a limited amending power itself is a basic feature of the Constitution.  

The majority held the amendment to Article 31C unconstitutional as it destroyed the harmony and balance between fundamental rights and directive principles which is an essential or basic feature of the Constitution


It may be said that the final word on the issue of the basic structure of the Constitution has not been pronounced by the Supreme Court yet.

Nevertheless the sovereign, democratic and secular character of the polity, rule of
Law, independence of the judiciary, fundamental rights of citizens etc. are some of the
Essential features of the Constitution that have appeared time and again in the apex court’s pronouncements
One certainty that emerged out of this tussle between Parliament and the
Judiciary is that all laws and constitutional amendments are now subject to judicial review and laws that transgress the basic structure are likely to be struck down by the Supreme Court.

In essence Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution is not absolute and the Supreme Court is the final arbiter over and interpreter of all constitutional amendments.

Muslim Women and their Status in India.

 Before examine the status of Muslim women in India we must know the meaning of Status. The concept status has been widely used by social scientists to understand the position of an individual or a group in the society.
When making attempt to study the status of women in any society or community three dimensions are usually examined. They are: 1) the traditional method of assessing the roles of women in relation to the men, 2) the extent of actual control enjoyed by the women over their own lives and 3) their role in decision making process within their families and outside.
Many social scientists have observed that progress and development of a country depends on the status of its women, meaning if the status of women is low the country's progress and development will be retarded and if the status of women is high and equal to that of men there will be rapid progress and development
The lower status of women denies them access to resources, education, and even to health facilities. They are being exploited both by the men and the society. Majority of the women in Third World Countries including India are not aware of their rights and even if a few are aware they are not empowered to exercise these rights.
In the contemporary Indian society despite legislation, women empowerment programmes and growth of women and feminist movements, still the Indian women do not enjoy equal status on par with the men and their rights are curtailed.
 Muslim Women and their Status in India
After six decades of independence majority of Muslim women is one of the most disadvantaged, least literate, economically impoverished and politically marginalized sections of Indian society.
Islamic Scholars argue that Islam treats both men and women as equals and cite verses from Quran to prove their argument.
“O people be mindful (of your duty) to your Lord. Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men women”.
Besides the above mentioned verse, there are a number of other verses which enshrines equality of status and rights for both men and women.
Despite the claim that Quran bestows equal status and rights on both men and women, the reality is different.  In Muslim society the Muslim women have lower status than their men and do not enjoy equal rights both in the family and outside.
Three distinct opinions are being expressed on the status of Muslim women in India.
 One opinion says that Islam and Islamic law have nothing to do with present disadvantaged status of Muslim women. This view stresses that the status of Muslim women is similar to that of in other caste women in the country, the most important reason being poverty and illiteracy.
The second view is that Islam imposes many restrictions on its women and gives higher status to the men and concentrates power in the hands of men.
The third view is that Islamic law treats both men and women as equals but unfortunately the Islamic scholars and religious leaders are misinterpreting the Islamic law giving the men power over the women.

Shushtery (1938) writes that Islam contributed to the status improvement of women in the following ways: i) by stressing the need to respect and to give good treatment to a foster mother. ii) By making women the mistress of her own property in which the husband had no right to interfere except with her permission. iii) By giving her the right of claiming divorce (Khula), (iv) By allowing her to hold any public office. v) By giving her the freedom to remarry after divorce, and vi) by encouraging her to study and acquire knowledge.
 Kapadia (1965) writes that Islam improved the status of women by restricting polygamy to four wives and favoring monogamy, by condemning female infanticide, by assigning share in inheritance, by declaring Mehr as a compulsory gift to the bride and by re-orienting the Arab law of marriage and divorce in favor of women like providing maintenance (for iddat period) for divorced women and their children. Paradise was promised to a believing woman as it was to a believing man.

Tahir Mahamood (2006) writing on Muslim personal law vise-a-vise the status of Muslim women says that Muslim women are being treated as secondary members in the Muslim community because of distorted and misinterpretation of Muslim law by its own scholars and elites
Salima Jan (1998) in her study `women's studies in Islamic perspective' concluded that Islam has given women the rights which no other religion has given. Due to lack of proper knowledge of Shariah (Muslim Law) as well as wrong practices largely deviating from the true Islamic teachings wrong notions exist about Muslim women. She felt that it is necessary to have adequate knowledge about the Islamic view point and this knowledge will help us to reassess women's role in the light of new changes and new situations
Most important work on the status of women in the recent past is "Towards equality".  Important conclusions on the status of Muslim women in this study are they are neglected in their education, prevalence of polygamous marriages and obscurantist ideas (Government of India, 1974).

E.H. White (1978) reports Illiteracy, Ignorance, male domination and traditional beliefs have hindered the progress of the Muslim women in India.

Tabassum F.Sheik (1999) in her article `Muslim women and social life' concluded that inspite of the several drawbacks and restraints; the position of Muslim women is changing for the better.
However it may be mentioned that all is not lost in the case of Muslim women.  
 A number of studies on the status of Muslim women in India suggest that their position is gradually improving but at a snail’s pace. No doubt women's education in India has made considerable progress and even Muslim parents are showing some interest to educate their daughters along with their sons. Many educated Muslim women have come forward in the country to fight against the gender discrimination in the community. Human rights groups in general and those among the Muslims in particular started examining the status of Muslim women and fighting for to put an end to gender discrimination.

There is a number of Muslim and non-Muslim associations in the Country trying to increase the literacy standards of the Muslim women believing that education would equip them to fight for themselves.

 Gradually secular education as against Madarasa education is being preferred both for the boys and girls. Educated Muslim women entering into white collar jobs both in public and private sectors has become quite common. There are indications that the inroads of education and modernization are influencing the Muslim women still their progress is painfully slow because of their seclusion and life of submission.

 The progress achieved so far in the upliftment of Muslim women is meager and requires concerted efforts from all the groups like Governments, Muslim elites, Muslim women activists etc.

Various Departments/Ministries of Government both Central particularly Ministry of Women and Child Development, Minority welfare Department and various state governments are implementing various development programmes such as awareness programmes, health and nutrition, vocational training cum production centers, micro credit to self help groups for starting income generating activities, girls hostels for students, working women hostels etc., for the welfare of women.


26 November 2012

Ethics and Human Values in Islam the religion of Peace.

Ethics and Human Values in Islam the religion of Peace.

Ethics, which is a major branch of philosophy, encompasses right conduct and good life. It is significantly broader than the common conception of analyzing right and wrong. A central aspect of ethics is "the good life", the life worth living or life that is simply satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than traditional moral conduct.

Human values are the need of hour in this world. Truth, Right conduct, love, peace, non-violence these are basics for a golden age of the planet earth. All religions come under this basic foundation.

What are Human values? Milton Rokeach in his book “The Nature of Human Values” defined Value is an enduring belief that a specific way of behaving or a specific life goal is personally or socially preferable to any other.

Values are universal. While definitions will differ, all people everywhere possess common values. The origin of human values can be traced to culture, society, its institutions and organizations and to individual personality and life experience. Values are a complex set of standards that guide or conduct our lives in a variety of ways.

Ethics and Human Values in Islam the religion of Peace.

There was a lot of misconceptions, and misunderstanding about Islam and Muslims in the minds of the people generally. This paper was written with a view to expel those doubts and misconceptions about Islam from the minds of people and giving them a real picture of Islam. In Arabic Islam means Peace, so it is a religion of Peace. 

Islam is the second largest religion in the world with over 1 billion followers. The word Islam means 'submission to the will of God'. Islam  is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an, a text considered by its adherents to be the word of God (Arabic: الله‎ Allāh . An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim.

Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to love and serve God. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith. Islam is a perfect code of life. It touches every aspect of life.

Human Values in Islam
According to Islam the twenty recommended and praiseworthy qualities, which one must supplant within himself, are as follows:
1. Belief in the Oneness of Allah 2. Sincerity 3. Well wishing for all  4. Abstinence
5. Contentment  6. Firm committed Faith  7. Knowledge  8. Assigning oneself to Allah
9. To place all reliance and assurance to none but Allah
10. The intention of the ultimate goal i.e. The Straight Path to Allah, the Friend, The Protector, The Glorious  11. Patience  12. Remembrance of death  13. Generosity  14. Repentance
15. Humility  16. Fear  17. Hope in none but Allah 18. To endure hunger
19. Sound and pleasant thoughts relating to any occurring matter 20. The Remembrance and Love for Allah.
Ethics in Islam:
Islamic Ethics (أخلاق إسلامية), can be defined as "good Character”

Islamic ethics teaches regardless of their environment, humans are believed to have a moral responsibility to submit to God's will and to follow Islam (as demonstrated in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, or the sayings of Muhammad) [Quran 7:172)..The motive force in Islamic ethics is the notion that every human being is called to "command the good and forbid the evil" in all spheres of life.

Islamic ethics can be applied by important verses in the holy book (The Quran). The most fundamental characteristics of a Muslim are piety and humility. A Muslim must be humble with God and with other people:

“And turn not your face away from people (with pride), nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, God likes not each arrogant boaster. And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the ass.” (Quran 31:18-19)

 A Muslim should not be vain or attached to the ephemeral pleasures of this world.. Morality in Islam addresses every aspect of a Muslim’s life, from greetings to international relations. It is universal in its scope and in its applicability. Morality reigns in selfish desires, vanity and bad habits. Muslims must not only be virtuous, but they must also enjoin virtue. They must not only refrain from evil and vice, but they must also forbid them. In other words, they must not only be morally healthy, but they must also contribute to the moral health of society as a whole.

“You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in God; and if the followers of the Book had believed it would have been better for them; of them (some) are believers and most of them are transgressors.” (Quran: 3:110)

The Qur'an defines and sets the standards of social and moral values for Muslims.

·       In the 17th chapter, "Al-Israa" ("The Night Journey"), verses [Quran 17:22], the Qur'an provides a set of moral stipulations which are "among the (precepts of) wisdom, which thy Lord has revealed to thee" that can be reasonably categorized as ten in number.

1.     Worship only God:. (Quran 17:22)

2.     Be kind, honorable and humble to one's parents: (Quran 17:23 (Quran 17:24)

3.     Be neither miserly nor wasteful in one's expenditure: (Quran 17:26. (Quran 17:27. (Quran 17:28). (Quran 17:29)

4.     Do not kill your children for fear of want. (Quran 17:31)

5.     Do not commit adultery :). (Quran 17:32)

6.     Do not kill unjustly (Quran 17:33)

7.     Care for orphaned children...(Quran 17:34)

8.     Keep one's promises: ...fulfill). (Quran 17:34)

9.     Be honest and fair in one's interactions:. (Quran 17:35)

10.  Do not be arrogant in one's claims or beliefs :). (Quran 17:36) (Quran 17:37)

According to S. A. Nigosian, Professor of religious studies at the University of Toronto, these resemble the Ten Commandments in the Bible and "represents the fullest statement of the code of behavior every Muslim must follow".

·       Protection of Environment: Islam gave much importance to the protection of Environment.

·       'Consultation of the People' :Islam believes in the Majlis ash-Shura  loosely translated as 'consultation of the people'. The importance of this is premised by the following verses of the Qur'an:“...those who answer the call of their Lord and establish the prayer, and who conduct their affairs by Shura are loved by God”[42:38]“...consult them (the people) in their affairs. Then when you have taken a decision (from them), put your trust in Allah”[3:159]

·       Islam accepts Religious pluralism: Religious minorities were also free to do whatever they wished in their own homes provided they did not publicly engage in illicit sexual activity in ways that could threaten public morals.

·       Islam granted Freedom of expression to all.

·       Islam has given men and women equal rights in every aspect of life.

·       In Islam it is not permissible to oppress women, children, old people, the sick or the wounded. Women's honor and chastity are to be respected under all circumstances.

·       The hungry person must be fed, the naked clothed and the wounded or diseased treated medically irrespective of whether they belong to the Islamic community or are from among its enemies.

·       Human rights or fundamental rights in Islam had been granted by God. They apply to humanity as a whole. They are a part and parcel of the Islamic Faith

·       Security of Life and Property: The first and foremost basic right is the right to life.

·       Equality of mankind
·       Right to Acquire Knowledge
·       Right to Basic Necessities of Life
·       Freedom to all religions
·       Sanctity and Security of Privacy
·       The Individual’s Right to Freedom
·       Freedom of Conscience: Let there be no compulsion in religion.
·       Rule of Law or Equality before Law: Islam gives its citizens the right to absolute and complete equality in the eyes of the law
·       The Right to Justice: This is a very important and valuable right which Islam has given to Muslims.
·       No Liability for Actions of Others: There is no liability for actions of others and Islam also recognizes the right of the individual not to be arrested or imprisoned for the offenses of other
·       The Right to Protest against Tyranny: Among the rights that Islam has conferred on human beings is the right to protest against government’s tyranny
·       Rulers Not Above the Law: . Al-Asqalani used two ayahs from the Qur'an to justify this “...And they (the sinners on qiyama) will say, 'Our Lord! We obeyed our leaders and our chiefs, and they misled us from the right path. Our Lord! Give them (the leaders) double the punishment you give us and curse them with a very great curse'...”[33:67–68]

·       The Protection of Honor

·       Free Trade

·       Freedom of Expression: Islam gives the right of freedom of thought and expression to all

·       Right to develop one’s Aesthetic Qualities and Enjoy the Bounties of God

·       Protection from Arbitrary Imprisonment

·       The Right to Participate In the Affairs of State

·       Sanctity and Security of Private Life

·       Freedom of Association:

·       Protection of Religious Sentiments

·       "The rights to know

·       To choose belief and behavior,

·       To read and write,

·       The right to power and even the right to choose government.

Women’s Rights in Islam

Islam is a perfect code of life. Islam has given men and women equal rights in every aspect of life. The rights of Muslim women were given to us by Allah (SWT), who is All-Compassionate, All-Merciful, All-Just, All-Unbiased, All-Knowing and the Most Wise. Islam considers a woman to be equal to a man as a human being and as his partner in this life.

·       Women have the following rights in Islam:

1.     The right and duty to obtain education.

2.     The right to have their own independent property.

3.     The right to work to earn money if they need it or want it.

4.     Equality of reward for equal deeds.

5.     The right to express their opinion and be heard.

6.     The right to provisions from the husband for all her needs and more.

7.     The right to negotiate marriage terms of her choice.

8.     The right to obtain divorce from her husband, even on the grounds that she simply can't stand him. (pls. note that God deeply frowns upon divorce as a solution unless there is hardly any other alternative but it does not mean that men have more right to divorce their wives than women do.)

9.     The right to keep all her own money (she is not responsible to maintain any relations).

10.  The right to get sexual satisfaction from her husband.

11.  Custody of their children after divorce.

12.  To refuse any marriage that does not please them

·       Right of revolution: There are several points regarding the right of revolution in Islam: Two dicta attributed to the Prophet and universally accepted as authentic are indicative. One says, "There is no obedience in sin. The other pronouncement, "do not obey a creature against his creator,"

·       Medical Ethics: Islamic medical ethics view the patient as a whole. Classical texts speak more about "health", than "illness", showing an emphasis on prevention rather than cure.

·       Use of Drugs: Drugs and Alcoholic use were prohibited in Islam.

·       Neurotics” : Islamic neurotics and neurotheology hold a sympathetic attitude towards the mentally ill, as exemplified in Sura 4:5 of the Qur'an:[63]"Do not give your property which God assigned you to manage to the insane: but feed and clothe the insane with this property and tell splendid words to him."

·       Military Ethics: A number of military ethics were fallowed in isalm regarding law of treaties; the treatment of diplomats, hostages, refugees and prisoners of war; the right of asylum; conduct on the battlefield; protection of women, children and non-combatant civilians; contracts across the lines of battle; the use of poisonous weapons; and devastation of enemy territory. The most important of these were summarized by Muhammad's successor and close companion, Abu Bakr, in the form of ten rules for the Muslim army:
Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kills a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy's flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.

·       Prisoners of war were fairly treated in Islam by providing free food and were showered with kindness. They were offered to be  released if they agreed to impart education to the Muslims.

·       Peace and justice: peace is a basic concept of Islam. The Arabic term "Islam" itself (إسلام) is usually translated as "submission"; submission of desires to the will of God.. The greeting "Salaam alaykum", favoured by Muslims, has the literal meaning "Peace be with you".


·       Welfare: The concepts of welfare and pension were introduced in Islam in the form of Zakat (charity), one of the Islam. The taxes (including Zakat and Jizya) collected in the treasury of an Islamic government was used to provide income for the needy, including the poor, elderly, orphans, widows, and the disabled.

·       Animal welfare: Concern for the treatment of animals can be found in the Qur'an and in the teachings of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. Qur'anic verse: "all the creatures that crawl on the earth and those that fly with their wings are communities like yourselves" quran 6:38, Muslims must be in controls of their passions and desires.

·       Islamic teachings on abortion: Muslims regard abortion as wrong and haram (forbidden),
·       Islam and capital punishment: Islam on the whole accepts capital punishment  But even though the death penalty is allowed, forgiveness is preferable. Forgiveness, together with peace, is a predominant Qur’an theme.
·       Euthanasia and suicide in Islam: Muslims are against euthanasia. Suicide and euthanasia are explicitly forbidden .They believe that all human life is sacred because it is given by Allah, and that Allah chooses how long each person will live. Human beings should not interfere in this. Do not take life, which Allah made sacred, other than in the course of justice. Qur'an 17:33.And no person can ever die except by Allah's leave and at an appointed term. Qur'an 3:145 .Destroy not yourselves. Surely Allah is ever merciful to you. Qur'an 4:29
The Prophet may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, summarized the conduct of a Muslim when he said:
“My Sustainer has given me nine commands: to remain conscious of God, whether in private or in public; to speak justly, whether angry or pleased; to show moderation both when poor and when rich, to reunite friendship with those who have broken off with me; to give to him who refuses me; that my silence should be occupied with thought; that my looking should be an admonition; and that I should command what is right.”
·       Ethics in Religion
·       Islamic Ethics, Encyclopedia of Ethics
·       Human Rights in Islam
·       The meaning of Quran by Mohammad Picktall
·       Hadith
·        Encyclopedia of Islam Online, Akhlaq
·       Islam By S. A. Nigosian, , Indiana University Press
·       Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World (2004)
·       Sahih Bukhari,
·       Maududi, Abul Ala (1971), The Meaning of the Qur'anLahore: Islamic Publications, OCLC 7849929