What is Family law?
It is a group of law stipulates handling of marriage, divorce, children custody, inheritance, alimony, and etc. cases. These laws jump to the surface recently due to several factors among which:
· Increased awareness among women in particular of their capability to change their current unjust treatment of their (women) cases with regard to divorces, marriages, alimony and guardianship through some communities and societies which started to take shape recently,
· Continued family violence and ignominy especially against women,
· Lack of last resort to most of the women in family disputes due to the masculinity of our society that women should always be a follower to the man since he has the last word in marriage, divorce and guardianship.
· Corruption in the court system that any of the abovementioned cases might take very long time to be resolved during which most of the women has to continue suffering with their collapsed marriages, or thrown on the street waiting for some charities to provide them with their basic needs
All of the abovementioned reasons plus more lead women to raise their voices asking for laws to protect their status disregarding who legislates that, religion or the government, they had enough of humiliation and disrespect.
Now I answered briefly " what is the need to legislate family law?" question. But let us underline proponents' statement:" legislate law". Do our court systems lack laws that govern the above cases so that proponents are recommending to come-up with new ones? The answer is no, the official religion of the kingdom is Islam and it explicitly stated in the constitution that Islamic sources of laws in respect to the above matters are the holy book and the prophet hadiths.
But if the Islamic laws that protect the women's rights and their social status are there, why family cases have to wait for ages to be resolved?
The problem is not with the absence of laws, rather, it is with the judicial systems and the application of laws among people. One proof to the last point is: are we suffering from lack of legislated commercial and banking laws? Resounding NO, then why do we have conflicts, violations, and legal suits against employers, banks, companies in addition to the fact that some of those cases wait for years to be resolved. So the problem is not ascribed to the absence of laws, it is with the judicial system and the applications of laws among people involved.
Why most of the turbaned and ayatollahs opposing this law? i.e. what is their take on the subject? The turbaned concerns are on delegating the parliament or any government's agencies to legislate the family law. Their argument is that laws pertaining to marriage, divorce, alimony, etc. should governed by Islamic laws not by codified law legislated by people who lack expertise in Islamic laws and principles such as seculars, communist and socialist (there are actually some communists among the proponent of the law). But you turbaned what are you going to say if we tell you that we would give you positive assertions that the law would be in line with the Shari'a Directives? Ayatollahs have taken one step further to reply that even if we are given assertions that law will be in line, who guarantee that it will remain so given the fact that the law has taken its legitimacy through the parliament, and what is approved by the current parliament might be rejected in the next one. So turbaned wants constitutional guarantee that family law once legislated by Islamic expertise should be given a constitutional guarantee to keep those laws unchanged
Let me now tackle the turbaned argument, you want Islamic law to proceed any other laws. Ok, are we going to have unified law for both Sunni and Shia or two separate law for each? If your reply is unified, then how long do we have to wait until you reach on an agreement and compromise to your everlasting differences? And if your reply is separate law then are you ready to the sub difference among shia themselves and sunni themselves because as you know there are significant variations in fatwas (religious opinion) between one ayatollahs to the other and between Wahabi and Sunni? Both parties are silent to these crucial questions.
I do no think that scholars who are so into opposition sexually insecure or they are against women rights, instead, it is quite evident from their speeches and books that they are totally with women rights and equality. Then why they are so freaked-out because of the law? They are freaked out because of similar proposition in other countries for family law that disregarded and violated fundamental Islamic principles, which totally not accepted by all Muslim people (I suppose). For instance, in Tunisia, the current family laws contains sheer variation from the Islamic laws as follows:
· Forbids polygamy, which is explicitly allowed in the holy book
· Women can divorce men
· Equality of women to men in inheritance
· Allowed abortions
In sum, I would like to make the following conclusions on my take on the issue:
Islamic laws should supercedes other laws.
Any community and committee that is involved in legislating any laws to govern social status and any other issues directly related to religion should be formed with Islamic expertise, not seculars or people of any doctrines.
There is no lack of Islamic laws that stipulates the social status, every thing is there in the religion, rather, we lack judicial system and proper &conscientious applications of the laws.
Turbaned should not take the issue to the streets through demonstrations; the issue should be discussed through civilized ways.
scholars should stress on the reform of judicial system as much as they do in opposing the law because most of the corruptions In the judicial system is because of turbaned as well.
Seculars and other proponents of the law should stop accusing the scholars of any wrongdoing, they have their rational concerns.