Jun 19, 2011
Plans for Singapore branch of club to go ahead
'Happy Family' Club?
'Maybe we will change the name. OWC is too controversial. We can use a simpler name like 'happy family' or something.'
DR DARLAN ZAINI, a representative of the Obedient Wives' Club
Representatives of the controversial Obedient Wives' Club (OWC) said that they are disappointed by the statement made by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), but will still go ahead with plans to set up a Singapore branch.
Singaporeans Darlan Zaini and Azman Ari told The Sunday Times yesterday that their intentions had been misunderstood and that their proposed club here does not focus only on sex issues but also wants to help people have harmonious families.
'I feel very disappointed. What we intend to do is totally different from what Muis is saying,' said Dr Darlan, 70.
Muis said in a statement on Friday that the club's view that a satisfactory sex life is the main solution to solving marital and social problems is myopic and goes against Islamic teachings.
It added that happiness in a marriage goes beyond receiving sexual fulfilment from one's wife.
Commenting on Muis' statement, Dr Darlan and Mr Azman - in separate interviews - said that while sex is not the main focus, it is important that the wife consents to the husband's needs.
Dr Darlan, who has a PhD in literature, said he agrees with Muis that sex between husband and wife is a form of ibadah (blessed deed in Islam). But in the same breath, he said: 'In Islam, if the husband wants sex and the wife is not in the mood, she has to give in to him. If not, the angels will curse her. This is not good for the family.'
Both men emphasised that in Islam, the husband plays the role of the leader and the wife's role is that of a follower.
But before the man can be a good husband and leader, said Mr Azman, the wife has to first be obedient.
'If the wife is obedient, then God will give blessings to the family and most likely the husband will treat her fairly.'
The 45-year-old businessman, along with his sister Hamidah and Dr Darlan, plan to register the OWC here as a society and hold forums to educate women on how to be good wives.
The club's Malaysian branch plans to give lessons to wives to teach them how to satisfy their husbands in bed, since it believes that social vices stem from unfulfilled sexual needs at home.
Its vice-president, Dr Rohaya Mohamad, has said that a good married woman should obey and serve her husband like a 'first-class prostitute' to keep him from straying.
The OWC was launched in Malaysia earlier this month by Global Ikhwan, a group that promotes polygamy. The latter is an offshoot of Muslim group Al-Arqam which was disbanded in 1994 after the Malaysian authorities said it was preaching deviationist teachings.
That year, its founder Haji Ashaari Muhammad was barred from entering Singapore. He died last year.
Asked if the OWC's Singapore representatives were linked to Al-Arqam, Mr Azman said they are Global Ikhwan members but were never Al-Arqam members.
'Some of them in Malaysia were ex-members of Al-Arqam but we are not related to Al-Arqam. I don't know their teachings.'
Mr Azman and Dr Darlan said they will still try to set up their club despite opposition from Muslim groups here.
'Maybe we will change the name. OWC is too controversial. We can use a simpler name like 'happy family' or something,' said Dr Darlan.