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WOMEN EQUALITY & RIGHTS.

 

1)            Men & Women: Confusion over superiority of men

 

2)            equality of women in the qur'an

 

3)            WOMAN IN THE BIBLE

 

4)            EQUALITY OF WITNESSES

 

5)            Are men superior to women in Allah's judgement?

 

6)            CAN A WOMAN BECOME THE HEAD OF THE STATE?

 

3. WOMAN IN THE BIBLE

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1. Men & Women: Confusion over superiority of men

Question:

Could you please explain the meaning of Verse 34 of the fourth surah entitled "Women". Some people state that the Qur'an endorses the notion of man's superiority to woman. I am rather confused. Please comment in detail.

Answer:


The Qur'anic verse to which you have referred may be rendered in translation as follows:
"Men shall take full care of women with the bounties with which Allah has favored some of them in greater measure than others, and with what they may spend of their own wealth. The righteous women are devout, guarding the secret which Allah has willed to be guarded..." [An-Nisa 4:34]

Allah has created human beings as males and females, following the "dual" role which is central to the system of creation. He has given the woman the great tasks of child-bearing, breast-feeding and looking after her children. These are not tasks of the type which may be fulfilled without careful preparation, physically, psychologically and mentally. It is only just, therefore, that the other part, i.e. man, should be assigned the task of providing the essential needs and the protection required for the woman to fulfill her highly important duties. She could not be given all those tasks and be still required to work in order to earn her living and to look after her children at the same time. It is only fair as well that man should be given the physical, mental and psychological qualities which enable him to fulfill his duties in the same way as the woman is given the abilities to help her fulfill her duties. All this is part of the reality of human life, because Allah maintains absolute justice among all.

Among the qualities the woman has been given are tenderness, good reaction and instinctive response to the needs of childhood without waiting for much deliberation and reflection. These are not superficial qualities. Indeed, they are implanted in the woman's physical, mental and psychological constitution. Some leading scientists believe that they are present in each cell in the woman's constitution because they are rooted in the first cell which multiplies to form the fetus and the child.

On the other hand, among the qualities the man is given are toughness, slow reaction and response as well as proper thought and reflection before action. All these functions, ever since he lived on hunting in the early stages, to fighting for the protection of his wife and children, to earning his living in any way, require some deliberation and consideration before taking any decision and implementing it. These qualities are also deeply rooted in the constitution of man.

It is man's qualities which make him more able and better equipped to take charge of the family. Similarly, his duty of supporting his family as part of the distribution of duties, makes him more suitable to be in charge. That is because earning the living of his family and all its members is part of being in charge. Moreover, looking after the finances of the family is closer to his family duties.

There are two elements which the Qur'an highlights as it states that in Islamic society, men are required to look after woman. It is an assignment of duties on the basis of natural abilities and fair distribution of responsibilities. Each party is assigned the duties to which he or she is most suited by nature.

There is plenty of evidence which points out that the woman prefers that man assumes his role of being in charge of the family. Many women experience feelings of worry, dissatisfaction and unhappiness when they live with men who relinquish their role of being in charge for any reason. This is readily admitted by women who try to challenge man's role.

Another example of the social repercussion of this unnatural family situation, where the father does not play his role either because of his weak character (or death) which allows the mother to overshadow or control family, is that very often the children suffer instability which may lead to mental perversion and behavioral deviation.

Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an:

"Verily, the Muslims (those who submit to Allâh in Islâm) men and women, the believers men and women (who believe in Islâmic Monotheism), the men and the women who are obedient (to Allâh), the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and the women who are patient (in performing all the duties which Allâh has ordered and in abstaining from all that Allâh has forbidden), the men and the women who are humble (before their Lord Allâh), the men and the women who give Sadaqât (i.e. Zakât, and alms, etc.), the men and the women who observe Saum (fast) (the obligatory fasting during the month of Ramadân, and the optional Nawâfil fasting), the men and the women who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts) and the men and the women who remember Allâh much with their hearts and tongues or praying extra additional Nawâfil prayers of night in the last part of night, etc.) Allâh has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise)." (Al-Ahzab 33:35) 
 
The Standing Committee for Islamic Research and Ifta’ states:

Islam came to honor women and raise their status, to give them a position that befits them, and to take care of them and protect their dignity. So Islam commands women’s guardians and husbands to spend on them, treat them well, look after them, and be kind to them.

It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives” (At-Tirmidhi)  
 
Islam gives women all their rights and allows them to dispose of their affairs in an appropriate manner. Allah says:
"...(And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.)" (Al-Baqarah 2: 228)  
 
This includes all kinds of dealings, buying, selling, compromising, appointing others to act on their behalf, lending, depositing trusts, and so on.  

Islam enjoins upon women the acts of worship and duties that befit them, the same duties as men, namely purification, zakah, fasting, Prayer, Hajj, and other acts of worship.  

Women are equal to men in terms of reward, remaining steadfast in faith, doing righteous deeds, enjoying a good life in this world and a great reward in the Hereafter. Allah says:
(Whoever works righteousness—whether male or female—while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment, and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (that is, Paradise in the Hereafter) (An-Nahl 16: 97)  
 
It must be finally stated that the way Islam distributes family responsibilities does not by any means lead to the negation of the woman's character or role in the home and in society at large. Neither does it mean the cancellation of her civil status. It simply defines her role within the family and how it is run.

For the family is a very important institution which must be protected and maintained. In any institution, the observance of certain values does not mean the abrogation of the character or the rights of the partners or the workers. Islam defines the role of the man and what his being in charge means as well as his duties as one who takes care of his family, protects it and earns its living.

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2. equality of women in the qur'an

Question :

Is there a mention of the equality of women in the Qur'an?

Answer : Praise be to Allah.  

Firstly:

This word – equality – which many thinkers in both the east and the west advocate in various fields of life is a word which is based on deviation and a lack of understanding, especially when the speaker attributes this idea of equality to the Qur’aan and to Islam. One of the things that people misunderstand is when they say that “Islam is the religion of equality”. What they should say is that Islam is the religion of justice. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

“Here we should note that there are some people who speak of equality instead of justice, and this is a mistake. We should not say equality, because equality implies no differentiation between the two. Because of this unjust call for equality, they started to ask, what is the difference between male and female?”

But if we say justice, which means giving each one that to which he or she is entitled, this misunderstanding no longer applies, and the word used is correct. Hence it does not say in the Qur’aan that Allah enjoins equality, rather it says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, Allah enjoins Al‑‘Adl (i.e. justice)...”  [An-Nahl 16:90] 

“...and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice...” [An-Nisa 4:58] 

Those who say that Islam is the religion of equality are lying against Islam. Rather Islam is the religion of justice which means treating equally those who are equal and differentiating between those who are different. 

No one who knows the religion of Islam would say that it is the religion of equality.  Rather what shows you that this principle is false is the fact that most of what is mentioned in the Qur’aan denies equality, as in the following verses: 

‘...Say: Are those who know equal to those who know not?...” [Az-Zumar 39:9] 

‘....Say: Is the blind equal to the one who sees? Or darkness equal to light?...’ [Ar-Ra’d 13:16] 

‘....Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the conquering (of Makkah, with those among you who did so later...’ [Al-Hadeed 57:10] 

‘....Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their live....’ [An-Nisa’ 4:95] 

Not one single letter in the Qur’aan enjoins equality, rather it enjoins justice. You will also find that the word justice is acceptable to people, for I feel that if I am better than this man in terms of knowledge, or wealth, or piety, or in doing good, I would not like for him to be equal to me. 

Every man knows that he find it unacceptable if we say that the male is equal to the female.” Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitah, 1/180-181 

Based on this, Islam does not regard men and women as equal in matters, as equal would result in injustice to one of them, because equality that is inappropriate is a severe form of injustice. 

The Qur’aan commands women to wear clothes that are different from those worn by men, because of the differences in the ways each sex is tempted by the other. The temptation posed by men is less than the temptation posed by women, so the clothes that women should wear are different than the clothes that men wear. It makes no sense to tell women to expose the parts of the body that men are allowed to expose, because of the differences in the temptation posed by a woman’s body and a man’s body. 

Secondly:

There are matters in which men and women are treated differently in Islamic sharee’ah, such as: 

1 – Qiwaamah (being in charge of the household) 

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means....” [An-Nisa 4:34] 

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

“Allah says Men are the protectors and maintainers of women meaning that the man is in charge of the woman, i.e., he is the leader and head of the household, the one who disciplines her if she goes astray, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other i.e., because men are superior to women and are better than women. Hence Prophethood was given only to men, as was the position of khaleefah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘No people shall ever prosper who appoint a woman as their ruler.’ (Al-Bukhaari). The same applies to the position of qaadi (judge).

and because they spend (to support them) from their means refers to the mahr and the spending on women’s maintenance that Allah has enjoined upon men in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). So a man is inherently better than a woman, and he is superior to her because he spends on her. So it is appropriate that he should be in charge of her, as Allah says, ....but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them....’ [Al-Baqarah 2:228]

‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah said, narrating from Ibn ‘Abbaas: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women means that men are the leaders of women and they should obey them in areas where Allah has enjoined obedience. Obedience may mean treating his family kindly and protecting his wealth.” 

2 – Testimony or bearing witness. The Qur’an states that the testimony of one man is equivalent to the testimony of two women. 

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“....And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her....” [Al-Baqarah 2:282] 

Ibn Katheer said: 

Two women are to take the place of one man because women are lacking in reason, as Muslim narrated in his Saheeh… from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “O women, give in charity and seek forgiveness a great deal, for I have seen that you form the majority of the people of Hell.” A wise woman among them said, “Why is it, O Messenger of Allah, that we are the majority of the people of Hell?” He said, “Because you curse too much, and you are ungrateful to your spouses. I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion but (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of the wise, besides you.” The woman asked: “O Messenger of Allah, what is wrong with our common sense and our religion?” He said: “Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to that of one man, that is a proof of the lack of common sense, and you spend some nights (and days) in which you do not offer prayer and in the month of Ramadan (during the days) you do not observe fast, that is a failing in religion.”  

There may be some women who are wiser than some men, but this is not the usual rule and such women are not in the majority. Sharee’ah is based on what is general and most common. 

The fact that women are lacking in reason does not mean that they are crazy, rather their reason is often overtaken by their emotions, and this happens to women more often than it happens to men. No one would deny this except one who is arrogant. 

3 – A woman inherits half of what a man inherits.  

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“....Allah commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females....”  [An-Nisa’ 4:11] 

Al-Qurtubi said: 

Because Allah knows better than they do what is in their best interests, He made the division of inheritance based on differentiation, because He knows what is in their best interests.         Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 5/164 

For example, a man is obliged to spend more than a woman, so it is appropriate that he should have a larger share of inheritance than a woman. 

4 – Clothing: 

A woman’s ‘awrah includes her entire body. The least that can be said is that she should not uncover anything except her face and hands, and it was said that she should not even uncover that. 

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” [Al-Ahzaab 33:59] 

The ‘awrah of a man is the area from the navel to the knees. 

It was said to ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ja’far ibn Abi Taalib, “Tell us what you heard from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and what you saw of him, and do not tell us about anyone else, even if he was trustworthy.” He said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, ‘The area between the navel and the knee is ‘awrah.’” 

Narrated by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak (6418); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5583. 

Other examples include the following, which is not a comprehensive list.  There are other differences between the sexes, including the following: 

·    A man can marry four women, but a woman can only have one husband. 

·   A man has the right to issue a divorce and it is valid if he does so, but a woman does not have the right to issue a divorce. 

·   A man may marry a woman from among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), but a Muslim woman may not marry anyone but a Muslim. 

·   A man may travel without his wife or any of his mahrams, but a woman may not travel unless she is accompanied by a mahram. 

·  Prayer in the mosque is obligatory for men, but not for women; a woman’s prayer in her house is more beloved to Allah. 

·   A woman may wear silk and gold, but a man must not wear them. 

Everything that we have mentioned is based on the difference between men and women, because the male is not like the female. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“....And the male is not like the female....” [Aale ‘Imraan 3:36] 

The male is different from the female in many ways, in his strength, in his body, in his toughness and roughness, whereas women are soft and gentle. 

And men are different in intellectual terms, for men are known for their strength of understanding and their memory as compared to women. Women are weaker than men in memory and forget more than men do. This is well known, for most of the reputable scholars in the world are men. There are some women who are more intelligent and have better memories than some men, but this does not cancel out the general rule. Most cases are as we have described above. 

With regard to emotions, men speak of them when they get angry or when they are happy, but women are affected by the slightest emotional effects, so their tears flow at the slightest emotional provocation.  

Jihad is obligatory for men, but jihad in the sense of fighting is not obligatory for women. This is the mercy of Allah towards them, and consideration for their nature. 

In conclusion we may say that the rulings for men are not like the rulings for women. 

Thirdly:

Islam regards men and women as equally obliged with regard to many acts of worship and interactions with others. For example, women do wudoo’ just as men do, they do ghusl as men do, they pray as men do, and they fast as men do, except when they are menstruating or bleeding following childbirth. Women pay zakaah as men pay zakaah, and they do Hajj as men do, except for a few differences in the rulings. It is permissible and acceptable to buy from a woman, and if a woman gives charity, that is permissible. It is permissible for a woman to set free the slaves that she owns, and there are many other similar cases because women are the twin halves of men, as it says in the hadeeth: 

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about a man who finds some wetness (on his clothes) but did not have an erotic dream, and he said, “He should do ghusl.” He was asked about a man who had an erotic dream but did not find any wetness, and he said, “He does not have to do ghusl.” Umm Salamah said, “O Messenger of Allah, if a woman sees that, does she have to do ghusl?” He said, “Yes, for women are the twin halves of men.”  (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 113; Ahmad, 25663. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 98) 

Conclusion:

Women are like men in some aspects and they differ from them in others. Most of the rulings of Islam apply to men and women equally. In cases where a distinction is made between the sexes, the Muslim regards that as a mercy from Allah and a sign of His knowledge of His creation, but the arrogant kaafir sees it as oppression and injustice, so he stubbornly insists on claiming that men and women are the same. So let him tell us how a man can carry a foetus and breastfeed it?  He stubbornly ignores the weakness of women and how they bleed during their monthly period, and he stubbornly beat his head against the rock of reality. But the Muslim is still at peace with his faith, surrendering to the command of Allah.

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3. WOMAN IN THE BIBLE

Question :

Are women treated fairly in the bible? Are they respected as individuals or slaves to man? Are they respected and honored?

Answer :

 The Bible teaches us following about women:

1)    Women should learn in silence and subjugation.

2)    Women should not teach.

3)    Women should not have authority over men but should remain silent.

4)    Adam and Eve were not equal in sin. Adam was not deceived but Eve was.

5)    Women are commanded to be under obedience to men. God ordained that men shall for all time rule over women.

6)    Women must keep silent in Churches. It is shameful for them to open their mouths therein. If they have a question they should ask their husbands before going to church and then their husbands will ask for them in the church.

7)     A woman should neither pray nor profess with her head uncovered.

8)    If a woman prays with her head uncovered then she might as well shave her head.

9)    Man was created in the image and glory of God, and Woman was created in the glory of Man, thus Man must have power over her.

10)  Any woman who delivers a male baby shall be unclean for one week. But any woman who delivers a female baby shall be unclean for TWO weeks. Thus, females make their mothers DOUBLY unclean as compared to males.

11)  While it is possible to find one upright man in every thousand, it is impossible to find even one single upright woman in every thousand.

12)  Woman is a snare, her heart is a trap, and her hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but she will ensnare the sinner.

13)  If a woman had her period and touches a chair or a bed or anything else then that item immediately becomes unclean. Anyone who then touches those things shall also become unclean. They must then bathe themselves and wash their clothes because they have touched an item that a menstruous woman has touched.

REFERENCES

The Reason Behind Pains Of Delivery

God said to Eve when she tempted Adam, "I will greatly multiply your pain  in childbearing, in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you”.  (Gen 3:16)

Menses In The Bible  

When a woman has a discharge of blood which in her regular discharge from her body, she shall be apart seven days. And WHOSOEVER TOUCHES HER SHALL BE UNCLEAN until the evening. And every thing that she lies upon in her SEPARATION shall be unclean. Every thing also that SHE SITS UPON SHALL BE UNCLEAN. And whosoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And whosoever touches anything THAT SHE SAT UPON SHALL WASH HIS CLOTHES, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening.

And if it be on her bed, or any thing whereon she sits when he touches it: he SHALL BE UNCLEAN UNTIL THE EVENING. And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him: he shall be unclean seven days, and all the bed WHEREON SHE LIES SHALL BE UNCLEAN.

And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her SEPARATION: All the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her SEPARATION, she  shall be unclean. Every bed whereon she lies all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her SEPARATION, and whatsoever she sits upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her SEPARATION.

And WHOSOEVER TOUCHES THOSE THINGS SHALL BE UNCLEAN and shall wash his clothes and bathes himself in water, and he BE UNCLEAN UNTIL THE EVENING. But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven  days, and after that she shall be clean. And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest to the door of the meeting tent.     (Levi. 15:19)

Postpartum In The Bible

If a woman conceives, and bears a MALE CHILD, then she shall be unclean seven days.. But if she bears a FEMALE CHILD then she shall be unclean two weeks.  (Levi. 12:2)

After An Intercourse

If a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water, and  be unclean until the evening. Every garment and every skin on which the semen comes shall be washed with  water, and be unclean until the evening.   (Levi. 15:16)

If a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen both of them shall bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the evening.  (Levi. 15:18)

Rejoice With Them !!

REJOICE WITH THE WIFE  of your youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; LET HER BREASTS SATISFY YOU AT ALL TIMES.  (Prov. 5:18)

We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister on the day when is spoken for? I was a wall, and MY BREASTS WERE LIKE TOWERS.  (Song. 8:8)

Woman's Veil In The Bible

But any woman who prays and prophecies with her head unveiled dishonors her head - it is the same as if her head were shaven, for if a woman will not veil herself then she should cut off her hair. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil.

 JUDGE FOR YOURSELVES; is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?  (1 Corin. 11:5)

 (It seems that Christians are unaware of the obligation of the veil in the Bible, which made me put their verses in this book, and for those who attack the veil in Islam should notice these verses of their own Bible, and notice also this verse "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.)

Woman Is Not The Glory Of God

For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man, for man was not made for woman, but woman from man, neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.  (1 Corin. 11:7)

Remain Silence!

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.   (1 Tim 2:11-14)

Silence In Churches

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.  (1 Corin 14:34)

Woman Is Evil !

The leaden cover was lifted, there was a woman sitting, and he (the angel) said: this is wickedness.   (Zech. 5:7)

God Makes People Fall In Adultery

God said to Am-a-zi'ah "You say, prophesy not against Israel and drop not your word against the house of Isaac? Thus the Lord says: YOUR WIFE SHALL BE AN HARLOT in the city and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword."    (Amos  7:16)

They have rejected the word of the Lord. Therefore I WILL GIVE THEIR WIVES UNTO OTHERS.  (Jer. 8:9)

"For the greatness of your iniquity are your skirts discovered, AND YOUR HEELS MADE BARE. I will discover your skirts upon your face, that your shame may appear I have seen your adulteries, and your neighings the lewdness of your whoredoms."  (Jer. 13:22)

Hide Woman's Voice !

The woman should keep silence in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is any thing they desire to know let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.    (1 Corin. 14:34)

Woman should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire but by good deeds.   (1 Timo. 2:9)

Woman For The Man

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels."   (1 Corin 11:5-10)

How To Rescue Her Husband

When men fight with one another, and the wife of the one draws near to rescue  her husband from the hand of him who is beating him, and puts out her hand seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand; your eye shall have not pity.   (Deut. 25:11)

Marriage By Force !!

If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead shall not be marries outside of the family to a stranger; her  husband's brother shall go into her, and take her as his wife.     (Deut. 25:5)

What If He Refuses ?

And if the man does not wish to take his brother's wife then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate of the elders, and say, "My husband's brother refuses to perpetuate his brother's name in Israel.. Then the elders of his city shall call him.

And if he persists.. Then his brother's wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, and pull his sandal off his foot, and spit in his face; and shall answer and say: So it shall be done to the man who does not build up his brother's house. And the name of his house shall be called in Israel THE HOUSE OF HIM THAT HAD HIS SANDAL PULLED OFF.    (Deut. 25:7)

Upright Women!

And I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare....while I was still searching but not finding, I found one upright man among a thousand but not one upright woman among them all".   (Eccless 7:26-28)

Kill Women, Children, Animals !!

And the Lord said, "Go through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have you pity. SLAY UTTERLY OLD AND YOUNG, BOTH MAIDS AND LITTLE  CHILDREN, AND WOMEN.     (Ezek. 9:5)

And the Lord said unto Moses, "Avenge the children of the Mid'-an'ites.. They warred against the Mid'-i-an'ites, as the Lord commanded Moses, and they slay all the males. And they took all women as captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire.

Moses said, "HAVE YOU SAVED ALL THE WOMEN ALIVE? NOW KILL EVERY MALE AMONG THE LITTLE ONES, AND KILL EVERY WOMAN that has known a man by lying with him, but all the young girls who have not known a man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.   (Num. 31:1)

Joshua said to the people of Israel, "The Lord has given you the city (of the Canaanites).. all silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord: They shall come into the treasury of the Lord. The people utterly DESTROYED ALL THAT WAS IN THE CITY, BOTH MAN AND WOMAN, YOUNG AND OLD, AND OX AND SHEEP, AND ASS, WITH THE EDGE OF THE SWORD.   (Josh 6:16)

Killing, Kidnapping, Slavery

So the Canaanites have dwelt in the midst of E'phraim to this day, but become slaves to do forced labour.  (Josh. 16:10) (see also Joshua 17:13 and Judg. 1:30)

The congregation of Benjamin sent twelve thousand of their bravest men, and commanded them, "Go and smite the inhabitants of Ja'-besh-gil'ead with the edge of the sword; also the women and the little ones. Every male and every woman that has lain with a male YOU SHALL UTTERLY DESTROY.

And they found among the inhabitants four hundred YOUNG VIRGINS who had not known a man by lying with him; and they brought them to the camp of Shiloh, which is the land of Canaan. And Benjamin returned at that time, and they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Ja'besh-gil'ead, but they did not suffice for them.   (Judg. 21:10)

Stealing Women !!

And they commanded the Benjaminites, saying:"Go and lie in wait in the vineyard, and watch, if the daughters of Shiloh go out to dance in the dances, then come out of the vineyard and seize each man his wife from the daughters of Shiloh. And the Benjaminites did so, and took their wives from the dancers whom they caught.

 Kill Them And Take Their Properties

When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. And if its answer to you is peace and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it SHALL BE FORCED LABOUR FOR YOU AND SHALL SERVE YOU.

But if it makes no peace with you, then you shall besiege it, .. YOU SHALL PUT ALL ITS MALES TO THE SWORD, BUT THE WOMEN AND THE LITTLE ONES, the cattle and every thing else in the city all its spoil, YOU SHALL TAKE AS BOOTY FOR YOURSELVES; AND YOU SHALL ENJOY THE SPOIL OF YOUR ENEMIES.   (Deut. 20:10)

COMPARISON WITH ISLAM BY CASE:

Islam: Women must cover their heads as a sign of "modesty." It also serves  as protection for the female.

Christianity: 1 CORINTHIANS 11:3-10 in the Christian Bible orders women to cover their heads in prayers. These verses further state that the male doesn't have to cover his head because "female was made from male, and the male not from the female." It further states that a woman covering her head is a sign of male "authority."

Conclusion: Islam and Christianity both tell women to cover their heads. The main difference, however, is that women in Islam cover their heads for purposes of "modesty." Christian women cover their heads as a sign of "male authority."  It is clear that the bible gives women an inferior status, whereas Islam doesn't.

Islam:  Adam and Eve (peace be upon them) were EQUALLY responsible for eating from the "forbidden tree." They both repented and were forgiven by the Most-Forgiving and Most-Merciful Allahu ta'ala.

Christianity: Eve ate from the "forbidden tree" BEFORE Adam did. Adam ate from the tree AFTER Eve did. The woman was deceived FIRST. Because of EVE causing Adam to sin by eating from the forbidden tree, the ground is "cursed." God doesn't forgive them, but damns them and humanity -- thanks to Eve (the woman)! ALL females go through "pains of childbearing" as a punishment from God -- because of EVE'S sin. All males have to go through pains of eating from the ground, thanks to EVE. ALL babies are born in SIN, thanks to EVE. All of this can be found in GENESIS 2:4-3:24.

"Adam was not deceived but the woman was" (1 TIMOTHY 2:11-14)

"Woman will be ruled over by the male" (GENESIS 3:16)

In other words, thanks to a FEMALE, we are damned! It is clear that in Christianity, the very first woman is blamed for wrongdoing, but not the very first male.

Islam: Quran orders us that we should not "bury daughters alive", instead  it gives glad tiding that if somebody has two or more daughters and if parents raise them with modesty and hen get them married then they are liable for Heaven.

Christianity: -"The birth of a daughter is a loss" (ECCLESIASTICUS 22:3, Catholic Bible)

Islam: Quran does not says that a women is unclean for giving birth of daughter, with double the number  of son.

Christianity: Ritual impurity of a mother is TWICE as long if a female is born and not a male. (LEVITICUS 12:2-5)  

Is it not clear that Islam again gives a higher status to females? What Islam came to eradicate -- the bad treatment of females, which still continues in today's Protestant and Catholic scriptures.

Islam: Women can talk in the mosque. (place of worship)

Christianity: "It is a shame for women to talk in the church." (1 CORINTHIANS 14:34)

If females cannot talk, then how are they supposed to learn? Again, it is obvious that Islam gives the female a higher status than the bible does.

Muslim women are objects of derision and mockery especially in the Western world. Women in Islam are portrayed to be "oppressed" and "inferior" by many Westerners. However, most of the Westerners I've heard this from are usually Christian. It is amazing how many verses the Christian bible has which supports Islamic treatment of women, among other issues. Here is a small list I would like to share with all of you. You will also know that the christian bible degrades the female sex!

At a time when the rest of the world, from Greece and Rome to India and China, considered women as no better than children or even slaves, with no rights whatsoever, Islam acknowledged women's equality with men in a great many respects. The Quran states:

"And among His signs is this: that He created mates for you form yourselves that you may find rest, peace of mind in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect."   (Ar-Room 30:21)

Prophet Muhammad said:

"The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manners and kindest to his wife."  (Abu Dawud)

Muslims believe that Adam and Eve were created from the same soul. Both were equally guilty of their sin and fall from grace, and both were forgiven by Allah. Many women in Islam have had high status; consider the fact that the first person to convert to Islam was Khadijah, the wife of Muhammad, whom he both loved and respected. His favorite wife after Khadijah's death, Aeisha, became renowned as a scholar and one of the greatest sources of Hadith literature. Many of the female Companions accomplished great deeds and achieved fame, and throughout Islamic history there have been famous and influential scholars, jurists and mystics.

With regard to education, both women and men have the same rights and obligations. This is clear in Prophet Muhammad's saying:

"Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every believer."   (Ibn Majah)

Conclusion

In Islam a woman is to be treated as God has endowed her, with rights, such as to be treated as an individual, with the right to own and dispose of her own property and earnings, enter into contracts, even after marriage. She has the right to be educated and to work outside the home if she so chooses. She has the right to inherit from her father, mother, and husband. A very interesting point to note is that in Islam, unlike any other religion, a woman can be an imam, a leader of communal prayer, for a group of women.

A Muslim woman also has obligations. All the laws and regulations pertaining to prayer, fasting, charity, pilgrimage, doing good deeds, etc., apply to women, albeit with minor differences having mainly to do with female physiology.

Till marriage, it is the responsibility of parents to guide her to modesty and untouched by men sexually. Thus when she gets married, she is a virgin and her body is only for her husband. Whereas in Western culture, women are just tool of pleasure and you may hardly find any girl as virgin, when married. That’s the reason that you will find high divorce rate in western society as women are not faithful to present or future husbands sexually.

Before marriage, a woman has the right to choose her husband. Islamic law is very strict regarding the necessity of having the woman's consent for marriage. A marriage dowry (money) is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use. She can keep her own family name, rather than taking her husband's. As a wife, a woman has the right to be supported by her husband even if she is already rich. She also has the right to seek divorce and custody of young children. She does not return the dowry, except in a few unusual situations.

Despite the fact that in many places and times Muslim communities have not always adhered to all or even many of the foregoing in practice, the ideal has been there for 1400 years, while virtually all other major civilizations did not begin to address these issues or change their negative attitudes until the 19th and 20th centuries, and there are still many contemporary civilizations which have yet to do so.

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4. EQUALITY OF WITNESSES

Question:

Why are two witnesses who are women, equivalent to only one witness who is a man?

Answer:

1. Two female witnesses not always considered equal to one male witness

There are no less than three verses in the Qur’an which speak about witnesses without specifying man or woman.

a)    While making a will of inheritance, two just persons are required as

witnesses. In Surah Maidah chapter 5 verse 106, the Glorious Qur’an says:

“Oh you who believe! When death approaches any of you, (take)witnesses among yourself when making bequests,– two just persons of your own (brotherhood) or others from outside if you are journeying through the earth and the chance of death befalls you....”  [Al-Mai’da 5:106]

 

b)    Two persons endued with justice in case of talaq.

 

“...And take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice, and establish the evidence (as) before Allah....”. [At-Talaq 65:2]

 

c)    Four witnesses are required in case of charge against chaste women

 

“And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegatios) flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence even after: for such men are wicked transgressors” [An-Noor 24:4]

2. Two female witnesses is equal to male witness only in financial transaction

It is not true that two female witnesses are always considered as equal to only one male witness. It is true only in certain cases. There are about five verses in the Qur’an that mention witnesses, without specifying male or female. There is only one verse in the Qur’an, that says two female witnesses are equal to one male witness. This verse is Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 282. This is the longest verse in the Qur’an and deals with financial transactions. It says:

“Oh! ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligation in a fixed period of time reduce them to writing and get two witnesses out of your own men and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses so that if one of them errs the other can remind her....” [Al-Baqqarah 2:282]

This verse of the Qur’an deals only with financial transactions. In such cases, it is advised to make an agreement in writing between the parties and take two witnesses, preferably both of which should be men only. In case you cannot find two men, then one man and two women would suffice. For instance, suppose a person wants to undergo an operation for a particular ailment. To confirm the treatment, he would prefer taking references from two qualified surgeons. In case he is unable to find two surgeons, his second option would be one surgeon and two general practitioners who are plain MBBS doctors.

Similarly in financial transactions, two men are preferred. Islam expects men to be the breadwinners of their families. Since financial responsibility is shouldered by men, they are expected to be well versed in financial transactions as compared to women. As a second option, the witness can be one man and two women, so that if one of the women errs the other can remind her. The Arabic word used in the Qur’an is ‘Tazil’ which means ‘confused’ or ‘to err’. Many have wrongly translated this word as ‘to forget’. Thus financial transactions constitute the only case in which two female witnesses are equal to one male witness.

3. Two female witnesses equal to one male witness even in the case of murder

However, some scholars are of the opinion that the feminine attitude can also have an effect on the witness in a murder case. In such circumstances a woman is more terrified as compared to a man. Due to her emotional condition she can get confused. Therefore, according to some jurists, even in cases of murder, two female witnesses are equivalent to one male witness. In all other cases,

one female witness is equivalent to one male witness. In all other cases, one female witness is equivalent to one male witness.

4. Qur’an clearly specifies that one female witness equal to one male witness

There are some scholars who are of the opinion that the rule of two female witnesses equal to one male witness should be applied to all the cases. This cannot be agreed upon because one particular verse of the Qur’an from Surah Noor chapter 24, verse 6 clearly equates one female witness and one male witness:

And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that they are solemnly telling the truth; [An-Noor 24:6]

5. Solitary witness of Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) is sufficient for Hadith to be accepted

Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) the wife of the beloved Prophet has narrated no less than 2220 Ahadith which are considered authentic only on her solitary evidence. This is sufficient proof that one witness of a women can also be accepted. Many jurists agree that even one witness of a woman is sufficient for the sighting of the crescent of the moon. Imagine one woman witness is sufficient

for one of the pillars of Islam, i.e. fasting and the whole Muslim community of men and women agree and accept her witness! Some jurists say that one witness is required at the beginning of Ramadaan and two witnesses at the end of Ramadaan. It makes no difference whether the witnesses are men or women.

6. Female witnesses are preferred in some cases

Some incidents require only female witness and that of a male cannot be accepted. For instance, in dealing with the problems of women, while giving the burial bath i.e. ‘ghusl’ to a woman, the witness has to be a woman. The seeming inequality of male and female witnesses in financial transactions is not due to any inequality of the sexes in Islam. It is only due to the different natures and roles of men and women in society as envisaged by Islam.

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5. Are men superior to women in Allah's judgement?

Question :

It is mentioned in the Qur'an that there will be women in heaven. May I ask why will they be there? In our country, some scholars suggest that a true believer will be offered as many as seventy such women. Are they correct? If so, what about women? Being a married woman, I cannot think of my husband having seventy women around him in heaven. I want him to be mine only. Is this possible? Do I commit a sin by entertaining such thoughts?

Being a non-Arabic speaking woman, I am intrigued by the fact that every time a reward from Allah is mentioned for a particular action, it is suggested that it will be given to a man. What is the reward for women, then? In the translation of the traditions of Al-Bukhari, the writer makes the comment women can never achieve the grade of men with regard to worship. Is the writer correct? Are men superior to women in Allah's judgement?

Answer :

When we speak about the life to come, we must bear in mind that whatever we may do, we cannot formulate a "true to life" picture of what things will be like there. How does the resurrection take place? We believe in the resurrection as an essential part of our faith. We have accepted the passage of the Prophet Muhammad as the final and correct message from Allah to mankind, and that the religion of Islam is the faith chosen by Allah for human beings. To believe in the resurrection is a basic requirement of believing in Islam. Hence, we accept it without question.

We are told by the Prophet in this connection that women who will be admitted into heaven will be made to look in their best form, full of life and vigor, as they were in their prime of life. How will women regain this form after having lived sixty, seventy or even ninety years? The answer is that we do not know now. We believe in it because we believe that Allah has the power to accomplish anything He wills. We must also bear in mind the Hadith which describes the luxuries which true believers will enjoy in heaven as follows: "In it (i.e. in heaven) there are things that no eye has ever beheld, and of which no ear has ever heard, and the thought of which no human mind has ever entertained."

This Hadith emphasizes the fact that what those who will be blessed with admission into heaven will have much more than they can enjoy. Yet, there are detailed description of what we are likely to have in heaven. Moreover, the description is made in terms of this life and its luxuries. A Muslim cannot entertain any doubt with regard to the truthfulness of any description given in the life to come. We must not forget that the Qur'an is the word of Allah, and whatever Allah tells us is truth, clear and simple. How do we reconcile the Hadith quoted above with the descriptions of heaven given in the Qur'an?

This is very simple. Had Allah described the luxuries and happiness of heaven as they actually are, we would not have understood this description, because our life experience is too modest to comprehend it. Therefore, Allah has given us descriptions which we can understand through our experience. But the luxuries and happiness of heaven are in actual fact much more than we can visualize.

In other words, their measure is much more than we can imagine. It is true that in the Qur'anic descriptions of heaven, the presence of young, pretty woman is mentioned. But it is not to be contemplated for a second that these will compete with the believers' wives over their husbands. Your feelings about wanting to have your husband all for yourself are quite understandable. You will certainly have him as you please, if both of you are included among those whom Allah will bless with admission into heaven. It is perfectly legitimate for a believer to pray Allah to give him or her in the hereafter the same marriage partner they have in this life.

As for the number seventy, referring to women who will be assigned to every man in heaven, this is news to me. I have not heard it before. However, seven and seventy are often used in Arabic as figurative numbers. They denote plenty. Perhaps I should mention another point with regard to the relationship between believers and these heaven women. In this life, the main purposes of marriages are the satisfaction of our natural desire and having children. Indeed Allah has made sex so enjoyable in order to ensure the survival of man. The continuation of human life is part of Allah's creation. This does not apply to life in the hereafter.

People in heaven will not go on giving birth to children and increasing their own numbers. At no time the description of heaven given in the Qur'an mentioned children being born to believers. You may, therefore, rest assured that you will not be fighting other women over your husband. That the Qur'an uses the masculine reference when it speaks of Allah's reward to believers is a requirement of Arabic language. This is indeed the case in many languages. The Qur'an makes it clear that the same reward is given to men and women for the same actions. Allah states in the Qur'an: "A person, whether male or female, who does good works while at the same time he is a true believer shall be given a good life of Us, and We will give them their reward according to their best actions." (An-Nisa 4:124)

Indeed, you should read all references to reward in the hereafter that occur in the masculine as equally applicable to the feminine. The Prophet says; "Women are the sisters of men." This denotes total equality between the two sexes, except where differences are necessitated by their physical differences and their different roles.

May I correct you on the last part of your question. Al-Bukhari has not written this book. He only made a compilation of statements made by the Prophet, making sure of the authenticity of the traditions attributed to the Prophet. He included in his Sahih only those Hadiths the authenticity of which he was absolutely certain. These statements are not made by Al-Bukhari. They were made by the Prophet and Al-Bukhari's role was only to confirm their authentic attribution to the Prophet.

May be you are referring to the commentary on the Hadiths listed by Al-Bukhari. If so, this commentary is written by a human being who is liable to err. I do not think that it is correct, from the Islamic point of view, to say that a woman will never attain to the grade of man with regard to worship. This is a fallacy. The fact is that women may excel men in any respect, including work for pleasing Allah.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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6.  CAN A WOMAN BECOME THE HEAD OF THE STATE?

Question :

Can a woman become the head of the State?

Answer :

There is no text in the Qur’an, which states that a woman cannot become a head of the State. But there are several ‘Hadiths’ - for example, one Hadith says that... ‘The people who have their leader as a woman, will not succeed’. Some of the scholars say that… ‘This only refers to particular time, in which this Hadith was related, especially at the time when Persia had their leader as a queen’. The other scholars say... ‘No if refers to all the times’. Let us analyze, whether it is advisable for a woman, to be a head of a State, or not.

If a woman is head of a State, in an Islamic Country, she may have to lead the congregational prayers. And if a woman leads the congregational prayers, we have to adopt several postures, like Qayam, Rukhu, Sujud, standing, bowing and prostra­tion.  If a lady is doing that in front of a men congregation, I am sure it will cause disturbances in the prayers.

If she happens to be head of a State, of a modern society like the one we have today, many a time, the head of a State has to have meetings, with other heads of State, which are usually gents. Many a times, they have closed door meetings, in which no one else is allowed, and if a woman has a closed door meeting with another gent, Islam does not permit her to do that. Islam does not permit a woman to be alone with a ‘Na-Mehram’, with ‘a foreign male, in closed doors as Islam does not permit intermingling of sexes.

The head of the State, many a times receives over publicity by video shoot­ing, and by photography, and many a times, it involves in close proximity with the other heads of State, and with other gentlemen, therefore, you can keep photographs of the head of States. Islam does not allow such free, intermingling of sexes and having their photographs in public hands.

The heads of the State is required, that it should meet the common man. A lady, if she is head of the State, it will be difficult for her to meet the common man, and try and solve their problems.

And science tells us that, a woman during her menstrual period, undergoes certain behavioral, mental and psychological changes, due to the release of the sex hormonestogene. And these changes, will surely disturb her in making decisions, if she is the head of the State. Science also tells us that the women have more verbal and vocal skills as compared to the man whereas  a man has got more ‘Spacialability’. ‘Spacialability’ means, ‘The Ability to imagine things, to imagine the future, to imagine the future project’. And ‘Spacialability’, is very important for the head of the State.

A woman has be given an edge over the men, in verbal and vocal skills, which are required for her motherhood. A woman may get pregnant, and surely she may require a rest, for few months. Who will look after the State, for those few months.  She may have children. Her duty as a mother is very important. And it is more practicable, for a man who can do both the duties of a father, as well as head of a State, as compared to a woman, if she has to do the duty of a mother, as well as of head of the States. So I am more inclined to those scholars, who say that… ‘Women should not be made the head of State’.

But that does not mean, that women cannot take part in making decisions. As I mentioned in my speech, they have a right to vote, they have a right to take part in law making. During the treaty of Hudaibia, Ume-Salma (May Allah be pleased with her), she supported and guided the Prophet, at a time when the whole Muslim community was disturbed. She guided him, and she supported him. However there can be adviser and secretary to the Head of State. These advisers and secretaries are generally the ones who make the decisions. So surely, a woman can help the man, in making decisions of the States.

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