Jordanian women filing for divorce

While browsing through the Jordan Times website, I found the following statistics, which I found very intriguing:

The number of Jordanian women filing for divorce at the Amman Sharia Court, under what is widely
known as the khuloe law, has doubled over the past two years. In 2003, 376 women filed khuloe cases, of which 37 cases were settled. But in 2004, the number increased to 852 khuloe cases at the same court, and Sharia judges settled 111 cases, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

While I should not celebrate the breakup of families, I’m quite happy that women are getting equal rights as men when it comes to divorce. This victory, however, may not last thanks to the brilliant work of some Jordanian MPs.

Women’s rights campaigners suffered a blow when the Lower House twice rejected the amended Personal Status Law in 2003 and 2004. Many deputies charged then that the law encouraged immorality, was against Islamic Sharia and disintegrated family values.

However, there is still hope. Let’s just wait and see.

The Upper House upheld the government’s amendments but no date has been set for a joint session vote, which will require a two-thirds majority for the legislation to be passed. The temporary khuloe law remains in effect until the two Houses vote on it.

31 thoughts on “Jordanian women filing for divorce”

  1. wow, u know reading this stuff makes me really appreciate what i have. but then looking at how women in JOrdan are fighting for their rights also reminds me of how the rights i have as a woman in the U.S. came because of women who had the guts to fight for them.
    it will be interesting to see how things develop over the years. i wonder if in let’s say 30 years from now if gays in Jordan will be the ones fighting for their rights like they are now here in the states.
    so many things to look forward to 🙂

  2. There won’t be a Jordan in 30 years. Or Syria. Or Iraq or Lebanon. Neither Egypt nor Saudi Arabia. Kuwait and the GCC will perish too.
    Nope, just wildflowers bending in the arid desert air.

  3. well, they keep attributing bad habbits to islamic laws, and when it comes to good laws like the Khola divoce, they claim it is against islamic laws… well, I have news for these people, this kind of divorce is our right, and we will take it in spite of what these men want! not that i like to break up families, but i believe in some cases, it is better to be divorced than to suffer in an unhappy marriage!

  4. Metal, so giving rights to women to divorce will mean a borderless United States of Arabia? Or is it an insinuation that these countries will just become the next American states?

  5. The problem Jordan faces is that the law is mixed to such a degree it is almost impossible to diffrentiate and more importantly contradictions arise. It is part Shari3a, part french, part tribal, part british, etc. The shari3a law cannot operate properly without an Islamic state, which we dont have, and more importantly it cannot operate with the interference of other laws. If we had the full shari3a in an islamic state we’d be ok. Women would actually have more rights than they do now. Islamically divorce can be initiated by either gender. The man has what may be seen as control simply because he has financial obligations of the family. It would be unfair to grant women the same rights if they have no such responsibilities. So there is a level of protectionism to ensure the stability of a family even after the divorce goes through.
    What I see happening is a skyrocketing number of divorces. why? because the message it is sending is if anything goes wrong get a divorce. Whereas islamically there are measures which ensure divorce as a last resort and not the first.

  6. Maybe they need more social things that will fix their marriages, like marriage therapy, etc. but heck if a woman is being beaten up, the first resort should be divore because her last one would probably be something she would not choose.
    But wait a minute Nas, i thought in ISlam, (please tell me if i am mistaken) that the man only has the right to divorse and he says it three times? or is that a cultural thing.

  7. Linda, you are right, if the women is hurt in any way a divorce is a legitamite reason. this depends on the situation. the prophet pbuh said: “None of you must beat his wife as a slave is beaten”, he expressed how bad beating was on many occassions as it was a common practice back then.
    as for the saying…the man needs only say it once, 3 times is cultural i believe. they then enter a period known as iddah’, which is sort of like a last chance for reconcile.

  8. Natasha, yes you are mistaken if you allow me to say that.
    Iran is an Islamic republic. So what? An islamic state is not one where u change the name of the country’s political genre, put a couple of mullahs in charge and sit back and let it operate. For example, Iran actually cuts people hands off for stealing! In an islamic state the state would have to provide for the poor, or their community or their mosque. Hence there’d be no reason to steal other than pure greed and vindictivness. In the 400 years of the height of the islamic empire less than 4 hands were cut off..and this is from Spain to Persia.
    It’s the same here. You can buy 3 jigsaw puzzles, mix them up and try and force the pieces together to make something coherent (jordan)…or you can buy one jigsaw puzzle, shake the box and hope it puts itself together without your help (iran). an Islamic state as you’ve guessed by now, is neither.

  9. Thank you for the clarification Nas. That was well written.
    But do you believe that having an Islamic state run by a Khalifa, like it was the case during the heyday of Arabs, can be feasible in this day and time?

  10. natasha, thank you. to answer your question deserves other questions to be looked at such as:
    – can we get any worse than we already are?
    – was it feasbile 1400 years ago when they went to war eating only dates and built one of the most remarkable empires in human history?
    and finally…
    – what do we have to loose?

  11. Nas,
    I hope you don’t misinterpret the following questions as sarcasm, cause I really want to know your take on some issues.
    From your blog, I gathered that you are a huge fan of Star Wars and you can’t wait to watch the hitchhiker guide to the galaxy, so do you think a future Islamic state that you envision would allow the showing of these purely Western entertainment? Let alone science fiction that might contradict with the teachings of Islam?
    Nas,
    Do you think you can have it all? Enjoying a Western life style while preaching for the establishment of an Islamic state?

  12. Natasha, thank you for the questions.
    I don’t see a contradiction between having western movies and an Islamic state. People get the idea that in having one we are going to go out to the middle of town and a have a big book burning bonfire. There are many things which may not be necessarily “islamic” in the traditional sense of the word, yet are premitted. Entertainment is fine as long as it’s left to good judgement i.e. the halal of it is halal and the haram of it is haram i.e. star wars is different from a porno flick. Alot of philosophy is anti-religious, yet the muslims preserved the teachings of Aristotle and Plato. The reason i was forced to read The Republic in my freshmen year of poli sci was because muslim scholars reintroduced it to the europeans in Italy severl centuries ago.
    The islamic state i envision is not based on any realities of the modern world as it stands today. An islamic state is not one where people are confined to their homes to pray non-stop. There is a return to the balance of like and not to it’s extremes as you see today.
    I’m not attempting to have the cake and eat it to…it’s a matter of balance, this is what islam preaches, the moderation. none of which is available anywhere in the world today.
    As for star wars lol, it’s science fiction, islam does not render a person incapable of dreaming or using his imagination to tell stories. most of ancient arabian literature was fantasy. Under such a state i imagine a few scenes would be censored: princess liea’s golden bra in return of the jedi and the make out scene in episode II….i think i can live without those 30 seconds and still enjoy the movie 😀

  13. Are you sure you can live without the golden bra;-) Just kidding;-)
    Anyway, although I don’t agree with most of your ideas, but I’m glad we are having a healthy debate.
    Ok more questions:
    1-Would your envisioned Islamic state impose a dress code on women like Hijab? Even on non-Muslim women?
    2- Would it allow for open public beaches where men and women can swim right next to each other in swim suits?
    3- Would it impose Jizaya on non-Muslims?
    4- Would it ban alcohol?
    5- Would it encourage public musical concerts of Western bands like let’s say U2– (one of my favorite bands by the way;))
    6- Would women still be considered as half witnesses?
    7- Would women be able to divorce?
    6- Would women still get half the share of inheritance even if they were not married and were supporting themselves like it is the case with many women nowadays?
    Again, Nas, I really want to understand your vision. I’m in no way mocking your ideologies. I just want to fully visualize the Islamic state that seems to be favored by many people nowadays. So please indulge me

  14. 1-Would your envisioned Islamic state impose a dress code on women like Hijab? Even on non-Muslim women? – No that didnt happen before and it wouldn’t happen then. keep in mind the muslims did not force anyone to convert to islam especially the people of the book i.e. jews and christians. there is no compulsion in religion (as the quran states)
    2- Would it allow for open public beaches where men and women can swim right next to each other in swim suits? – allahu a3lam, an educated guess says it would be something like ma3een where you have a section for men, women and families.
    3- Would it impose Jizaya on non-Muslims? – i’m not 100% sure about this as im not a scholar but i would expect that would happen. keep in mind that the jizya is concerned more during times of military conflict, when it comes to such a thing for the protection of the state then i would image it would be more of a symbolic payment, i.e. not a major source of revenue for the state
    4- Would it ban alcohol? – Imam abu-haniefah said that it was agreed upon in Islam that non-muslims could follow their own customs of eating pork, drinking alcohol as long as its in the scope of the shari3a. so, there would be a difference between getting together with your family (im assuming ure christian) and drinking alcohol, but its another thing to open a store to sell it, i.e. to make it wide spread.
    5- Would it encourage public musical concerts of Western bands like let’s say U2– (one of my favorite bands by the way;)) – one of mine as well. the word encouragement is strange in this context, it would not prohibit unless they were to preform in a haram way. all in all i think U2 would fly under the radar, but zooropa would be banned (i kid). britney spears is another story.
    6- Would women still be considered as half witnesses? – half-witnesses is wrong interpretation by those who do not understand islam and specifically that ayat (surat il baqara #282 i think). if u would like me to explain to u i will upon ure request.
    7- Would women be able to divorce? – yes they would, islamically they can today but other laws errode the shari3a laws in addition to cultural behaviours.

  15. 4- Would it ban alcohol? – Imam abu-haniefah said that it was agreed upon in Islam that non-muslims could follow their own customs of eating pork, drinking alcohol as long as its in the scope of the shari3a. so, there would be a difference between getting together with your family (im assuming ure christian) and drinking alcohol, but its another thing to open a store to sell it, i.e. to make it wide spread.
    ______________________________________________
    Hey wait a second! what about me? Im muslim (using the broader meaning of the term), but i want to have my beer! why shouldent i be able to??? i want to go out at night to a nightclub or bar, in my country where i was born and where i shall die, what gives anyone the right to prevent me from doing so, just because of their own religious beleifs??? if they dont want to join me then they are free to do so, i don’t impose any lifestyle on anyone else, so what gives anyone else the right to impose their lifestyle on me???
    And the same goes to the other issues…

  16. onzlo, if u are a muslim it is ure decision to drink or not. it is as u know haram but irregardless the accountability and responsibility of the sin is upon the bearer, that being you. under an islamic state no one is restricting your ability to drink, the state is not a solution to make people holy any more than placing ure right hand on a bible renders u unable to tell a lie in court. all that the state is concerned with is containing the means to which alcohol or pork is available i.e. to non-muslims only.
    but all in all…if such a state did exist? u wud probably leave to another country and that would be fine with the rest of us. of course i dont know you personally sir but that would be my assessment based on what you’ve told me.
    thank you

  17. Sorry nas, but you did not anwser my questions, im not seeking to be holy at all! I doubt any person in their right mind would go to the state to make them a holier person!
    In any case you are wrong because if this sort of state did exist in Jordan then no i would not leave, why should i leave? It is my country and my home. That’s just like me telling you that if you want to not drink alcohol or eat pork then you should go live in Saudi or Iran????
    So in any case why should the state restrict the availability of alcohol and pork to me especially if this restriction is not based on any health or practical concerns, but on the supernatural beleifs of some????
    In any case this sort of ‘Islamic state’ is a contradiction in terms, Since the whole concept of religious is based on Belief, and not imperical evidence, then how can personal religious beleifs become the system of rule in the state??? all this would do is open up the state to abuse by those who see themselves as ‘holier’ than the rest, examples abound.
    In any case i do hope that we see such an islamic state in the Arab world, because that would fully put its popular mythical appeal to rest, as i am 100% confident it would be an economic, social and political disaster. What the people in our region need is a powerfull state that is capable of protecting them and their interests on the international arena, all the while respecting their freedoms and rights as citizens within it. What we dont need is to be told what to do, and what to eat, and what to wear, and with what foot to step into the toilet by some old bearded men whose only pre-occupation is how they get themsleves to heaven.

  18. natasha, sorry i missed that one in the copy/paste.
    6- Would women still get half the share of inheritance even if they were not married and were supporting themselves like it is the case with many women nowadays?
    the inheritance law is set for the following reason. i have two sisters and a mother. God forbid my father dies i will get half and they will get the rest devided amongst them (or something like that, theres percentage). the reason for this is the following. the half that i have i have to use it to support the female members in my family. the inheritance of my sisters and mother are for them and they (in theory) can keep that money and never spend it and ask me to support them. Hence ultimatly (money wise) im at the disadvantage.
    that being said, given today’s circumstances it would make no difference. both my sisters mashallah are independent and working. if they should inherit i would use my inheritance to support them (unless they pardon me) and they can throw away their money if they wish it.

  19. In any case you are wrong because if this sort of state did exist in Jordan then no i would not leave, why should i leave? It is my country and my home. That’s just like me telling you that if you want to not drink alcohol or eat pork then you should go live in Saudi or Iran????
    ⇒ what i meant was that if u are the kind of muslim who prefers to drink and eat pork then perhaps this isnt the state for u. taking into account that jordan would become an islamic state “over night”, u might not like it anymore. allahu a3lam 6ab3an i dont know u so i wont reserve any judgement, forgive me if i did.
    So in any case why should the state restrict the availability of alcohol and pork to me especially if this restriction is not based on any health or practical concerns, but on the supernatural beleifs of some????
    ⇒ well sir these arnt “supernatural” beliefs. they are perscribed in the quran very clearly. they are based on a great deal of logic. the state would restrict them because they would become a social problem. the same way america outlaws prostitution, marijana and middle easterners 😀
    In any case this sort of ‘Islamic state’ is a contradiction in terms, Since the whole concept of religious is based on Belief, and not imperical evidence, then how can personal religious beleifs become the system of rule in the state??? all this would do is open up the state to abuse by those who see themselves as ‘holier’ than the rest, examples abound.
    ⇒ first the state is not based on the personal belief of one or two people, it is the majority that rules. that being said, the laws and running of an islamic state are not based on things which are made up as we go along. they are simply a government and judicial system and society running on islamic guidelines constantly in a state of checks and balances.
    In any case i do hope that we see such an islamic state in the Arab world, because that would fully put its popular mythical appeal to rest, as i am 100% confident it would be an economic, social and political disaster. What the people in our region need is a powerfull state that is capable of protecting them and their interests on the international arena, all the while respecting their freedoms and rights as citizens within it. What we dont need is to be told what to do, and what to eat, and what to wear, and with what foot to step into the toilet by some old bearded men whose only pre-occupation is how they get themsleves to heaven.
    ⇒ the islamic state is not a communist one where the government orders people what to do. it takes into consideration first what the majority do not want. there are bars in jordan but the majority of jordanians do not drink (for example). I, as a muslim, follow my religion the best i can and so do most of whom i know, in that sense we are the people running the state and/or the state and the people become entwined. the main difference between that and the status quo is that u wudnt see bars or alcohol being sold publically to muslims, you would not see an offensive media, and other such small things. All in all the islamic state is for the betterment of society, it does however have many pre-requisites which i admit the status quo does not provide and hence it would be disasterous as we’ve seen in iran.
    above all, the state needs to be run effeciently and not by people (be they muftis, caliphs, or politicians) who operate to their own whims, deseries and agendas (such as many in saudia).
    thank you

  20. Nas,
    Very interesting comments made. Where would these men be, who don’t operate on their own whims and desires? That is the reason why what you are desiring just won’t happen in an Islamic society, or any society. I always appreciate an optimist, but living in Jordan I don’t see it ever happening. My goodness, people work so hard to get around the most basic traffic laws, how would the weightier and more personally costly matters of life be transformed as you say?

  21. Kinzi, you are absolutly right, but going back to what i said ” If we had the full shari3a in an islamic state we’d be ok.”
    i’m really talking about the application of shari3a in the wrong environment. shari3a is like a flower that requires and islamic state as its soil. what we have now is a dwindling judicial system because the flower has no soil.
    i think we got into the islamic state dialouge because i was replying to questions linda and natasha posed.
    but yeah i can see that it is impossible given today’s reality. i am a realist but with a ray of optimism in this arena.

  22. Nas, good thoughts. I must say, as one living at the bottom of the human food chain in the Middle East (American, Christian female – 3 strikes I’m out)there is nothing of Shari’a that remotely reminds me of a flower.

  23. Kinzi, yeah culturally ure not in the greatest position, but as for the shari3a…its hard to see the beauty of a flower in bloom when all we are used to is the withering.

  24. Nas, in keeping with the analogy of flowers, I’d like to share one from my garden about the law,from the Apostle Paul:
    “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of sin, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator…Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! FOR IF THERE HAD BEEN A LAW GIVEN WHICH COULD HAVE GIVEN LIFE, truly righteousness would have been by the law…before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. THEREFORE, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come we are no longer under a tutor…there is neither Jew nor Gentile, salve nor free, male nor female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:19 etc)

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