Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Of making and breaking promises

Mommy is getting a tad irritated that auntie dah lama tak tulis citer lain. Each time dia masuk blog ni dia akan nampak gambar kaki AH jek. Tapi Mommy sure akan teruja to know that the previously-known-as-non-blogging-brother is actually also blogging so she has another blog-reading option (though may not be as pictorial as auntie's and sleepyhead's la). But methinks it is part of his assignment for his studies. Turns out he's the pioneer blogger in the family since he already had a blog of some sort since 1996 (did i get the year right?). Masa tu surfing the web pun something yg still a bit alien to auntie ditambah pulak the computing facilities at SOAS was sooo rustic, to say the least. Anyways, fancy that emmet (the now blogging brother) (see sleepyhead for his url coz auntie malas nak paste kat sini, lain kali la) mention the words 'my sister' in his blog. It's supposed to be the sister who lent him a harold robbins book that he got hooked on. Auntie donno la which sister tu but he mentioned a specky one so must be auntie la. So, syukur la auntie ada gak contribute towards emmet's love of reading walaupun auntie don't recall reading that particular harold robbin's book that emmet mentioned. And auntie remember la kadang2 buku yg auntie tengah baca akan lesap bila auntie lelap seketika. Unless citer pasai 'sister' ni fiction belaka.

Talking about reading, auntie wants to talk about promises. Actually that was what auntie wanted to blog about since a few days but sleepyhead distracted auntie with the news about emmet's blog. Anyways, there is a connection between the issue of reading and the issue of promises that auntie wants to write about. Although in a very roundabout way. So bear with me.

Someone close to auntie is in a bit of a crisis. Whether or not some people see this as a storm in a teacup, to auntie any early complaint about unhappiness in a relationship is a cause for concern especially if that relationship is now legally binding in the eyes of God and law. In auntie's relatively new (about 10 years though) experience with helping couples, mostly women (and that's deliberate-- auntie does not apologise for taking sides), man made law that regulates marriages in Malaysia is more than a tad unfair to women. Even the so-called Islamic law. As a student and teacher of law, auntie wants to clarify that the Malaysian Islamic law is historically and contemporarily not strictly Islamic. Either in the way that it is being made (by members of state legislative council that we chose during elections- not based on their Islamic law proficiency though) or in the way that it is being implemented (judging by the numerous religious officers that do not act Islamic at all).

Auntie is getting a bit technical but since more than half of the barely ten people that read this blog have at least Master's degrees on their walls and in totally legitimate fields, I'm sure what auntie writes is perfectly comprehensible.

The sahabat of our blessed prophet (saw) had somehow foresee that there would be problems in marriage as men (and i mean that literally) gradually forget their prescribed responsibilities to the detriment of their wives and children. So, as early as during Saidina Umar's time, there was a practice by the sahabis' wives to require their husbands to undertake promises that they will not do something that would be intolerable to the reasonably observing wives. When wives do bad things and husbands can no longer fathom living with them, the husbands have the options of pronouncing the talaq, which is quite automatically enforceable. The wives on the other hand do not have such parallel rights. So, the mujtahid of that time came up with a mechanism called 'ta'liq', which simply means enforceable promises. In fact, according to sirah, Sukaynah, one of the prophet's (SAW) grand-daughters insisted on ta'liq in all of her five marriages.

What ta'liq does is simply ensure that a husband abides by his promises to his wife and the terms of the promises are things that a husband has to do or to refrain from doing according to syara' anyway. If he breaches the ta'liq terms and the wife feels that is intolerable to the subsistence of their marriage and would no longer like to stay in that marriage, the wife can go to the court and enforce the ta'liq. The court then will investigate the wife's allegation of breach and if proven, the court will dissolve the marriage. So, you see, it is not as simple as husband breaching the ta'liq and the marriage is dissolved. The talaq on the other hand, is slightly more dangerous than this and I think many people have heard about stories where husband used it arbitrarily. If a husband is not happy with his wife and he forgets about God's injunction, he could easily used the talaq against the wife and the marriage could be dissolved in a blink of an eye. Ta'liq is a actually quite sensible when the shoe is on the other foot because the wife does not have the similar power of talaq.

In fact, maybe without even realising, all of Muslim husbands that have been legally married in Malaysia have undertaken the ta'liq after their aqads. And this ta'liq is mostly standard-form (that goes "jika saya meninggalkan isteri saya so and so bulan qamariah..."). So, it is a recognised form of marriage contract in Islamic law in Malaysia. What many people are not aware of is that ta'liq, like other forms of contract in Islam could be added to or modified according to the parallel agreement of the parties ie the husband and wife. This can be done at any time after the marriage. The provisions of these additional terms to ta'liq are the things that many men find objectionable without realising that they are objecting to something that is part of their marriage solemnisation in the first place.

I think by now you guys are either nodding off or have spinning heads. Anyway, the issue of ta'liq came up because someone's wife asked him to sign a ta'liq to show some commitment as a result of a prior crisis, and this someone is not convinced that he should sign it. It is made worse when someone who has been solicited to become witness to this promise had a disdainful reaction to the whole process. And because auntie was implicated in the issue (because auntie helped with the terms of ta'liq to say the least), auntie rasa terpanggil untuk explain ni.

So apa kaitannya dengan kecintaan emmet terhadap membaca (lihat perenggan atas)? Auntie nak kata, kalau tak faham, baca la ta'liq tu. Kalau tak faham, baca lagi. Ada ke benda2 yang dilarang oleh Allah dalam terma2 ta'liq tu? Adakah ta'liq tu mendorong kepada kemungkaran? Kalau ada boleh potong jari suami auntie (auntie takut darah! and also because suami auntie pun sign -- and auntie sungguh sayang kepada dia kerana kepercayaannya kepada permintaan dan penerangan auntie- so AH, this is truly a declaration of lurvvvvv, I Love U 10000x - also because tomorrow is Valentine but that's another story). Anyways, auntie also nak kata, kalau baca pastu tak setuju, cari la terma yang boleh dipersetujui oleh kedua2 pihak. Pikir la, why in the first place your wife rasa tak happy ngan you. Kalau dia yang bersalah, borak2 la ngan dia and try to find a compromise. Tapi kena fikir, benda yang kita rasa bini kita mesti buat untuk kita tu, adakah benda tu betul2 benda yang disyaratkan oleh Syarak ataupun benda tu hanya lah apa yang masyarakat fikirkan mesti dilakukan oleh isteri kita. Macam kena masak gulai lemak cili api tiap2 hari. Adakah benda tu tanggungjawab isteri sedangkan dalam syarak menyediakan makanan ialah tanggungjawab suami (kalau mau auntie boleh bagi bahan2 rujukan). Kalau kita dua-dua kerja, adil ke isteri kena balik masak, sapu rumah, cuci toilet etc etc and kita balik and expect ada air kopi and goreng pisang atas meja. Kalau kita dua2 montel dan tak sampai tahap pin-up models, adil ke kita nak isteri kita je selim melim dan cantik (ni takde kena mengena dengan anyone close to auntie -- yang montel2 tu adalah auntie and AH tapi kami rasa kami cukup cun utk jadi pin-up model so this is not an issue for us).

Anyways (this must be like the 100th 'anyways'), auntie could ramble on la tapi auntie rasa people are truly nodding off by now.

Sorry for having to read this very loooooong posting. Nanti auntie akan compensate dengan posting with lotsa pictures and happy thots.

Kepada adik2 dan abang dan kawan2 kesayangan auntie, take this how you like it. But just be mindful that auntie has no malice or bad thoughts to anyone in writing. It is more to remind myself about the follies of our perspectives than to try to be a smart aleck or holier than thou relative. Despite all of auntie's professed good intentions, auntie still apologise for any hurt caused by this posting. Segala ilham yang baik itu dari Allah datangnya dan yang kureng baik, you can blame it on my own lack of foresight.



samantha said...

Way to go woman! Am with you - all the wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!

Anonymous said...

err...this is your loving brother...

i didn't get it.

of course because i'm the reserved and the nincompoopest among the siblings. help me with the "my kecintaan" and the ta'liq thingy. pwease...

god bless...

mommy said...

in my professional capacity, i am trained to entangled complicated, highly intergrated issues and developments into simple forms. thus, i try to apply the same principle to life.

how i see takliq? it is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to some, and it may not even be necessary nor sufficient to others:

(1) necessary since it facilitates woman to get out of marriage when conditions she perceived unconducive for her to stay in a marriage prevails.

(2) not sufficient cause it does not guarantee an outcome that she specify in the takliq to take place.

when one enters a marriage, we have equal probabilities of screwing it or getting it right. what's important is to juggle situations to get the odds on the side that we want.

legal and binding contracts help facilitate an outcome, but does not shape the outcome.

i have more to say, but i dont have a blog and this comment box may not be enough.

anyway, kudos to auntie for making the blog more colorful, as in not just having to look at kaki montel, but also, initiating some thoughts processes on my part.