Honor Violence Trigger? The Shariah Concept of Jealousy

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by Tarek Fatah

Many non-Muslims in the West wonder what triggers "honour killings" like that of the Shafia Sisters, where a father, mother and brother in Canada were found guilty of murdering their three daughters and an aunt (who was also the father's first wife) because the girls were becoming too Westernized.

Though he does not link the concept of honor to the concept of "ghirah" (jealousy), Saudi-trained Canadian cleric Saeed Rageah explains in the following video why ghirah should be encouraged among young men and husbands as an illustration of their manhood.

According to IslamEvents.comRageah was born in Somalia, raised in Saudi Arabia and came to North America in the late 80sHe has a BA in Islamic studies and a Masters degree in Shariah from the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in Fairfax, Virginia.

He founded the Masjid Huda in Montreal, Masjid Aya in Maryland, Muslim Youth magazine and the Aqsa Association. After serving as an imam in Maryland and Calgary, Saeed moved to Toronto where he serves at an imam at Abu Huraira Islamic Center. He travels the globe extensively as a lecturer.

The following video contains excerpts from his lecture. You can follow the video with the transcript provided below: 

“Also something that we are not doing it is [that] we no longer have the ghairah [protective jealousy] that is needed. There is no ‘ghairah’ in us, my brothers to faith (????? ?? ????) nowadays. There is no jealousy.

Meaning (????) you don’t have that ‘ghairah’ [protective jealousy], that manhood. Glorious is God [????? ????].

And when a man looks at your sister or your wife and her brother passes by what should you [her brother] do? Knocking him out. Right? But, he [instead reacts by saying]:

“O well, how are you? She is my sister. He is Dayyuth (??? ????).”

That is not acceptable. You know, you should introduce your sister, no, no, no, no, no, no. Unacceptable, O my brothers to faith (????? ?? ????).

I told you the story of the [Quranic] verse [???] and the ruling [???] of a man finding another man with his wife. What is the ruling initially? The ruling was: go and get four witnesses. Sa’ad bin Muaz (??? ?? ????) said [????], Sa’ad bin Ubaada [??? ?? ?????], i’m sorry, and you know Sa’ad bin Ubaada, may Allah be pleased with him [??? ???? ???].

Sa’ad bin Ubaada was the man [who] got married and the family delivered the wife on a horse, and as soon as she got off the horse, what did he do? He took his dagger and killed the horse

He said: no, no man will sit where my wife sat. That’s how his jealousy was. No, no, no. Let him live, let the horse live. No. [??]. In the path of Allah it is a halal sacrifice [?? ???? ???? ???? ?????] on the spot. No. Meaning [????] Just the thought [that] five years later man sat [sic] in the same spot. He wouldn’t sleep with that thought and he killed the horse.

“And Allah said in the Quran: go and find four witnesses if you find a man with your wife. And Sa’ad said… you want me to find a man with my wife and I’ll say: Hey guys, stay where you are and I’ll bring four witnesses God Willing [?? ??? ????]. Don’t go anywhere. He said: O Messenger of Allah, [?? ???? ????] by the time I bring my witnesses they were done. It’s over. The business is over. In that kind of business what do you expect?

“He said: I swear by Allah, O the Messenger of Allah [????? ?? ???? ????], I swear by Allah [?????] I will kill them both with the back of my sword. Meaning [????] he [didn’t] come with the edge of his sword, [but] the back, so they’d die slowly. That’s how he wants to kill them.

So [Muhammad’s] companions [?????] [said]: “How could you say that Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him).”

The Messenger of Allah [Prophet Mohammed] said: 

“Are you concerned about Sa’ad’s jealousy? I swear by Allah that I’m more jealous than Sa’ad and Allah is more jealous than I.”

Al-Arari, a Bedouin, he was walking with his wife and his wife looked at another man, and he saw that, and he said: go back to your family [????? ?????].

She said: What? It was just a look. And he said this poem to her: ????? ?????? ?????????? ????? ??????? ???????? ????? ????????? ??????????? ???????????? ?????????? ??????? ????? ????? ????? ?????????? ???????? ?????. Listen to this. He said:

“If a fly lands on my food when I’m eating, and I’m still need to eat that food, I would withdraw my hand from the food, because a fly landed on my food.”

“Meaning, that’s it. I don’t want to put myself to the point that I would eat something that a fly landed on it. When a fly lands on a food [????? ?????? ?????????? ????? ??????? ????????] I still want to eat that food [???????? ????? ????????? ???????????], I love you. I still love you, but I cannot live with the thought that you looked at someone else. I cannot do this. Though I love you, I will go against my heart. He said: lions don’t drink what the dogs drank from [???????????? ?????????? ??????? ?????]. The lions don’t drink from the same spot the dogs drunk from. I can’t.”

And this is what is needed.

But [with regard to] us, we said: it’s ok, she is working with the man in the room, Oh come on, this is life brother Saeed. Why are you guys Wahabis?… Come on. Don’t be too rigid. I trust my wife. If you tell me that I should feel jealous, that means that I don’t trust her. Glorious be Allah [????? ????].

What would you do with such a brother, my brothers to faith [????? ?? ????]?
You take him for a walk and you come back alone and leaving him there, insha’allah [?? ??? ????], because he does not deserve to live as a decent person. So, this is not the case for a believer [????] o my brothers to faith [????? ?? ????].


Tarek Fatah is a Canadian writer, broadcaster and anti-Islamist Muslim activist. He is the author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State and the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress.




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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org