...Now, however, the Muslim secrets of wedded bliss are going mainstream, as a new "marriage manual" for the Muslim couple is gaining widespread distribution throughout the world. According to a report in The Toronto Sun (March 24, 2012), a new book entitled A Gift for the Muslim Couple has now become available at selected fine bookstores, as well as on the Web, from such places as Amazon. Written by Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, described on an unrelated website as "The Spiritual Physician of the Muslim Ummah,” the manual comes courtesy of Idara Impex, a publisher in New Delhi. The author, who is unlikely to be confused with James Dobson or even Dr. Phil, is not quite as strident as the cleric in the above video, and the book has a pretty pink cover, but the gist of the message is the same.
I haven't read the book, so some readers will no doubt yammer about my "ignorance" and "bias." But I'm simply passing along what the Muslims and booksellers have said: if you don't like this subject, your quarrel is with them, not with me. As quoted in The Toronto Sun, however, the book contains such gems of enlightenment as these:
Referring to the lucky Muslim bride, the distinguished author writes: “it might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her .... the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.” Kindness, love, physical restraint, and threats: yes, that sounds like Islam. The wife has certain responsibilities, of course: she may not leave "[the husband's] house without his permission," she must "fulfil his desires," and “not allow herself to be untidy ... but should beautify herself for him." Well, such consideration is a part of any good marriage, assuming that it's mutual; but little, if anything, is said about fulfilling the wife's desires, or the husband keeping himself presentable for her. In Islam, as Wafa Sultan has stressed over and over again, the woman (or the girl) is nothing; the man is everything. And if the wife proves unsatisfactory in some way? No, marriage counselling is not recommended: rather, the husband should "scold her .... beat by hand or stick .... withhold money from her .... [or] “pull (her) by the ears,” but should “refrain from beating her excessively.” Ah, there we go: I knew that the sweet reasonableness of Muhammad would manifest itself eventually. Unless there's a matter of "honor" at stake, in which the woman should be killed. (This is not part of the book under discussion, but is a hot topic in Canada, in light of recent "honor killings" by Muslim men.) This sort of thing makes Mick Jagger, singing "Under My Thumb," sound like a spokesman for the National Organization of Women.
The remarkable thing about this stupid little book is that it was written, not for residents of such Muslim states as Iran or Saudi Arabia, but for all those "moderate Muslims" scattered throughout the world: that's what the "ummah" consists of - - - the "ummah" of which this author is the "Spiritual Physician." Wife-beating is not even questioned in the Islamic countries; this book simply legitimizes it for those Western "moderates" who don't have the power of the state behind them (yet).
In that respect and for that reason, certain "moderate Muslims" have protested the book's publication: it reveals them for what they are. Just as they're about to convince their neighbors in Amsterdam or Atlanta or Australia that they're "moderate" followers of "the religion of peace," this book comes along to remind the world what a barbarian monstrosity Islam really is. All Islam.
So, perhaps the book serves some useful purpose after all. But Muslim women, such as the one pictured below, will not rejoice in its publication.