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Mahram: Ownership or kinship?


Last updated: Saturday, December 15, 2012 1:26 AM

Salih Al-Twairqi
Okaz newspaper


Every time the issue of the rights of women in our country is brought up, we dig deep into history to bring examples from other civilizations and creeds where the woman was considered an irrational creature who had no right to do whatever she wanted to do with her money without the permission of her husband.

We conclude by saying that Islam has given the woman all her rights and ensured her complete financial independence.

We then go on to say, “the woman is my mother, sister and daughter,” without defining the word “my” and if it means blood relationship or something else. Does this utterance look much like when we say, “man is my father, brother and son,” or are there differences between the two?

If you go to a court looking for an answer, you will see a prominent sign on the wall of the court which reads:


“It is imperative for any woman wishing to receive a substitute deed to bring a male recognizer (male guardian) who should bring with him a photocopy of his identity card.”

Note that the photocopy of the ID is required from the male mahram, not from the woman who will receive the deed.

The sign also says: “A woman should bring a recognizer if she wants to mortgage a real estate or cancel the lease. The mahram should also submit a photocopy of his ID.”

The courts make it clear that a woman, whether seller or buyer, should have a mahram with her otherwise she will not be able to issue a deed, have an alternative one or cancel a purchase or selling contract without the consent of this mahram.

The courts make it clear that in the absence of a mahram, nothing could be done for the woman. Under these restrictions, the mahram might exert all kinds of pressure on the woman so as to grab half or more of what she sells or buys.

If a male goes to the court to do the same thing, no one will be able to stop him from doing all his transactions.

This makes us see clearly the difference between the utterance “the woman is my mother, sister and daughter” and that of “the man is my father, brother and son.”

The first saying indicates ownership or slavery while the second shows kinship by blood without any control on properties.

Note: Local Viewpoints are translated from the Arabic press to bring current mainstream opinions published in Saudi media to a worldwide audience. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Saudi Gazette or of its team.
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