House of Obedience

1801 Words May 18th, 2011 8 Pages
The Bait-al-taa or House of Obedience is a provision in Islam law which gives husbands the right to demand obedience from their wives. If a woman leaves her husband’s home without his permission he has the right to force her to come back. The husband can claim “nushaz” or disobedience and order her to come back with a qadi (judgement.) Once the woman returns she stays either at her husband’s home or in another living area (House of Obedience) which provides the woman with essential necessities. Divorce is not allowed unless the husband decides that is what he wants. In her short story “House of Obedience” Ihsan Assal rejects the idea of Bait-al-taa for it only hinders the progression of women in Islam. The short story “House of Obedience” …show more content…
This story also shows us how the House of Obedience essentially served as a blockage to a marriage that might have worked out. If Nabila was not forced to stay in the House of Obedience and was allowed to stay at her parents’s house, she might have come to realize that Adil did infact love her. Instead she focused all of her time and energy on her hatred towards the House of Obedience, she didn’t have time to realize how Adil truly felt, “ I started to cry when I heard the vow of divorce as though a dagger was plunged into my heart....I felt some regret, for I had discovered suddenly that he really loved me.”15 The origin of Bait-al-taa can be attributed to the traditions of Muslim family structures. Women had to stay home, bear and raise children, and listen to their husbands in exchange for financial support. If she was to ever leave without her husband’s consent then the husband has every right to demand her to comeback home. When she does return it is advised that people and neighbors are near, this way they could hear the women scream and be witnesses to her treatment. This shows that many women faced the potential of being beaten by their husbands. For the most part, Bait-al-taa is used by husbands to avoid paying alimony upon divorce, if a woman refuses to go to the House of Obedience, she forfeits her right to alimony.16 Bait-al-taa is used as another tactic by men to enforce their

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