In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
1. Women before Islam
2. Testimony is half that of a man’s
3. Four witnesses
4. Movement restricted
5. Cannot marry non-Muslims
6. Inheritance half that of a man’s
7. And the Masjid (Mosque)
8. And employment
10. Woman–a tilth/field
11. Honor killings
13. Not inferior to men
14. Guile and deceit
15. Misogyny (hatred of women) in Islam
16. No pariah
17. In Paradise
18. And Menstruation
19. And Revelation
20. Islamic women vs. Pagan women
22. Woman has the right to choose her husband
23. Marriage of those under guardianship
24. Marriage of minors
25. Mahr (dowry)
26. Temporary marriage
27. Misyar (husband’s secret marriage)
28. Muslim/Catholic marriages
29. Marital Rape
32. Women–disease and illness
33. Female/male equality
1. Women before islam:
“Before Islam,” as Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din noted in his Open Letters to the Bishops of Salisbury & London, “Woman was treated as a chattel. No religion or civilization had as yet raised her to the status that should have been her birthright.” (p. 71).
In pre-Islamic Arabia women had no rights to inheritance. Her daughters were buried alive. She could be inherited against her will, and deserted by her husband by his simply calling her his mother. He could suspend conjugal relations with her indefinitely by swearing that he will not be intimate with her. Islam abolished all these abominable practices.
“Muhammad says: “Woman is the sovereign of your house.”
“Give your wife good counsel, and do not beat your noble wife like a slave.” “Admonish your wives with kindness.” “A Muslim must not hate his wife; and if he be displeased with one bad quality in her, then let him be pleased with another which is good–(Muslim Vol. 2, #3469).”” (Ibid. pp. 74, 75, 76).
Women can earn–(Qur’an 4:32); and can inherit and own property–(Qur’an 4:7, 177). Whereas women have exclusive right to utilize their earnings however they please–(Qur’an 4:4, 32), it is incumbent on men to maintain women–(Qur’an 4:34). Islam liberated woman–(2:187; 4:19-22); exalts her–(4:1; 9:71-72); and has given her equality with man in financial, property, moral and spiritual matters–(4:32, 7-10, 176-177; 3:195; 33:35).
Islam does not sanction any injustice against any people, whether the difference is in race, color, creed or sex, this is cemented in the following verses:
“O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness for Allah, even though it be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives –whether he be rich or poor….”
“So He reveals to it (the soul) its way of evil and its way of good, he is indeed successful who purifies it, and he is ruined who corrupts it”
“Whoever does good it is for himself, and whoever does evil, it is against himself…”
“And wrong not men of their dues, and act not corruptly in the earth, making mischief”
“Surely Allah enjoins justice and the doing of good…and He forbids indecency, and evil and rebellion” (Qur’an 4:135; 91:8-10; 45:15; 26:183; 16:90).
2. Testimony is half that of a man’s :–(Qur’an 2:282).
A woman’s testimony is half that of a man’s only in the area of business, as the verse clearly states, as business transactions were dominated by men. In advanced societies where women also are involved in business dealings such a practice is not required. However, this does not mean that the Qur’anic injunction is obsolete. There are (and will always be) societies the world over where women are not familiar with business dealings where this Qur’anic injunction may be applicable.
A woman’s testimony cannot be half of that of the man’s in every area of life, for as pointed out in Qur’an 24:6-9, (in the matter of the wife’s alleged infidelity) the testimony of the wife, supersedes that of the husband’s; and no court would dare to assert that a man’s testimony in all matters is inferior to that of the wife’s, or that the testimony of a man is “worth half” (or “one-fifth,” as per the verse) that of a woman’s. And, notably, a woman’s chastity is a more sensitive matter than business.
Also, the Prophet Mohammad taught that after worship of Allāh the next in line for our service is our mother, and three times over before service to our father. And no critic would dare assert that a father’s worth is only one-quarter the worth of a mother.
In summary, if it be claimed that the woman is worth half that of a man, then it can be claimed that a man is worth a fifth (or a fourth as per the hadith) of a woman.
That Mohammad said women are “deficient” in their minds and yet says that women will go to Hell (whether in majority or minority) is a contradiction. Allāh is Just; He holds one accountable only for what he/she is capable of understanding. A person who is “deficient” in mind cannot be held responsible for his/her actions. Thus, it would be an injustice for Allāh to send a person who is “deficient” in mind to Hell.
That women are not “deficient” in their minds is also contradicted by the fact that men and women are/were created of the same essence–(Qur’an 4:1). Being created from the same kind one party’s mind cannot be “deficient” than the other. Though the one that utilizes his/her reasoning faculties can be said to be superior to the other. If the Prophet had made such a statement, the critics have misinterpreted it.
Allāh created man and woman physically different. Seems Allāh also created man and woman mentally different.
The Toronto Star Thursday, December 12, 2013 (p. L6) notes in the article Men, Women are wired differently, from the Washington Post, reports that “Women’s and men’s brains are wired differently, in ways that seem to match the stereotypes.” The test conducted at the University of Pennsylvania “focused on two regions: the cortex, involved in thought, perception and language; and the cerebellum, which co-ordinates movement.” The findings were that while females were more connected to one side of the brain males were more connected to the opposite side. In males, these differences seem to “promote coordinated movement, which males can generally do faster in tests.” While in females it “might reflect a superior ability to process emotions and understand others’ intentions.”
Thus men also have “deficiency.” This “deficiency” in men and women are not to be viewed as discriminatory. Men and women were created differently and for their own purpose. The Prophet Mohammad pointing out this “deficiency” in women is not a “blaming” or derogatory expression. Something that is factual cannot be charged as being “blaming” or derogatory. or misogynistic. The Prophet (and Caliphs) would not utter words degrading to Woman seeing Allāh has conferred honor upon her, and for us to “Speak what is best”–(Qur’an 17:53). We are not even allowed to revile false gods–(Qur’an 6:108).
That women will go to hell is not because of their mental and religious deficiency –conditions of which they had no choice– but because of their actions: their cursing and ingratitude. (Rather than blindly trying to denigrate Mohammad the intelligent approach would be to carry out a survey to determine how many women “curse frequently” and are “ungrateful” to their husbands compared to how many men “curse frequently” and are ungrateful to their wives).
While critics carp at Mohammad for stating truth, Christianity views woman as good only to avoid fornication; as defiler of man–(see Christianity-women).
Interestingly whereas Christians try to cast aspersion on this teaching of Qur’an 2:282, the Bible teaches about those who “hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon…” that, “At the mouth of TWO witnesses, or THREE witnesses. shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of ONE witness he shall NOT be put to death”–(Deuteronomy 17:2-6).
Would Christians say that one man’s witness is not to be taken under all situations? And the answer is yes as Deut. 19:15 shows: “ONE Witness shall NOT rise up against a man for ANY iniquity or for ANY sin…;” and as the teaching of Jesus (the Christian’s God) shows: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between him and thee alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two MORE, that in the mouth of TWO or THREE witnesses every word may be established” “It is also written in your law, that the testimony of TWO MEN is true”–(Matt. 18:15-16; John 8:17).
Whereas Deuteronomy deals with “witness” in the case of false worship and “any” sin, Matthew deals with personal transgression and John seems to deal with all cases which is in consonance with Deut. 19:15. Thus, the Jewish and Christian man’s witness is less than the Muslim man’s and has only a “half” witness credibility as the Muslim woman’s; in fact, the Muslim woman’s have greater “witness” power than the Jewish and Christian man considering that the Muslim woman’s “half” witness is restricted only to business matters (and only in situations where women are not familiar with business) in contrast to the Jewish and Christian man who has only a “half” witness in all matters (Notably Jesus mentions the witness of two “MEN,” did he forgot the women, or does the Christian woman has no “witness” credibility?)
3. Four witnesses:
Four witnesses are required to prove a charge of adultery–(Qur’an 24:4; 24:11-13); and where women are guilty of lewd-ness (which seems to refer to female homosexuality/lesbianism–(Qur’an 4:15). Why four witnesses? Adultery can lead to break-up of marriage, disruption of family life (in the case of the married), in the shunning and stigmatizing (in the case of the unmarried), and in humiliation and disgrace of the parents.
Muhammad Ali points out that “while the Qur’an takes a very serious view of the crimes against chastity, it also makes criminal the circulation of false reports affecting a woman’s chastity” –(comm. 1743).
In the case of rape four witnesses are not required. For, whereas adultery and lewdness are consensual, rape is not. The story of Joseph–(Qur’an 12:21-29), in which Joseph is falsely accused of attempted rape, offers an example for such an investigation and evidence. As Islam is a religion of progress, medical evidence such as DNA, is to be accepted.
4. Movement restricted:
The Muslim woman’s movement is “strictly restricted” only to the degree of her personal safety. When we hear about women in modern “free” society–Britain, Germany, Canada, the U.S., and also in India–having to band together in “marches” to take back their neighborhood from rapist(s) and girls being preyed upon, one can greatly appreciate the wisdom of Islam that women not travel about (in certain unfamiliar areas) unescorted, by a male companion of her immediate family.
Even the Canadian government recognizes the danger to women traveling alone. The Toronto Star, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, p. A 10, carried the article by Richard J. Brennan, “National Affairs Writer,” titled: “Don’t forget to pack a fake husband, federal guide tells female travellers” which states that “Foreign Affairs Canada” encourages single women traveling by themselves abroad to wear a “fake wedding ring” and carry a picture of an “imaginary” husband [married women are to carry a picture of their husband] to ward off unwanted male attention. The travel guide is said to note that “women face greater obstacles [than men] when travelling alone””
The Toronto Star Saturday, November 3, 2012 in the article Top 10 safety tips for women travellers by Evelyn Hannon, notes the vulnerability of women traveling alone.
As late as 2015 women were warned against travelling alone. The Toronto Star, Friday, September 18, 2015, under the article “U.S tourist in India says she was gang-raped,” page A12, written by Fred Barbash of the Washington Post notes:
-“A 46-year-old American tourist” says she was “gang-raped” in India. The rape is “one of several” reported by female tourists; plus many rapes of Indian women
-“A 30-year-old American woman” was said to be gang-raped in 2013
-Japan warned its women visitors to India after “two rape allegations” by Japanese women
-In 2012 “tourists from Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark” reported they were raped
-“The State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs” urges women to “exercise vigilance” and warns against using public transport at night without “known and trustworthy companions,” to restrict “evening entertainment” to familiar venues, and to avoid “isolated areas” when alone at any time, the article notes.
Even in local schools (and colleges) girls are molested, and perhaps raped and forced to perform oral sex on boys. (This difficulty can be eliminated in a well-secured all-female school). Women can go out by themselves to take care of their needs: “O women! You have been allowed by Allah to go out for your needs”–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 164). She can go to the cemetery–(Bokhari Vol. 2, #’s 368, 372; Abu Dawud Vol. 2, # 3161). There is no teaching against her offering the funeral prayer.
Significantly, the above statement by the Prophet that women are permitted to go out for their needs. What is to be considered is the background to which this statement was made. At the time of the Prophet’s marriage to Saudah –when this permission was given, before the Hijrah (the Prophets migration from Makkah to Madinah)–Islam was still besieged by the enemy; and thus, not safe for Muslim women, who were subjected to annoyance by the enemy, to be traveling alone.
While this permission may still have had some restrictions, after the triumph of Islam (and in places of peace and security) this restriction would seem to be lifted. For women to obtain an education is definitely a “need.”
While there is probably no environment that is completely safe for a woman (or man), Islam has given severe punishment for violating a woman; which crime may fall under ‘mischief in the land’ and carries up to the maximum penalty of death–(ref; Qur’an 5:33). Muhammad Ali on this verse:
“The words used here imply originally all those opponents of Islam who waged war on the Muslims and made mischief in the land by causing loss to the life and property of innocent Muslims who fell into their hands. But it has generally been accepted as including all dacoits and murderers who cause disorder in a settled state of society. In fact, when war came to an end in Arabia and the kingdom of Islam was established over the whole peninsula, the enemies of Islam, being unable to oppose its authority openly, resorted to dacoity and murder to disturb the peace which was now established in the land. Hence, though it is such enemies that are primarily spoken of here, the words are general and include all cases of murder and dacoity.
The punishment described is of four kinds, which clearly shows that the punishment to be inflicted in any particular case would depend upon the circumstances of the case, as well as the time and place where the crime was committed. For instance, if murder has been committed in the course of dacoity, the punishment would include the execution of the culprit, which may take the form of crucifixion if the offence is so heinous or the culprit has caused such terror in the land that the leaving of his body on the cross is necessary as a deterrent. In other cases, the punishment may be imprisonment, where the severer punishment of cutting off of hands is deemed unnecessary. The judge would take all the circumstances into consideration and inflict such punishment as he thought necessary. A particular case dealt with under this verse was that of a tribe called ‘Urainah. Some men of this tribe came to the Prophet, and accepted Islam. They fell ill and were sent by the Prophet to a place at a little distance from Madinah for change of climate and recovery of health. But when they regained health, they killed the very people who had served them and went off with their camels. Then they committed dacoities and violated the chastity of women, and they were severely punished (B. 4:66, i.e. Vol. 6, ch. 103, # 134), and the comments on it in ‘Aini). Many other cases of this nature are recorded by IJ.” (Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Qur’an with notes, text, and commentary can be viewed online: www.muslim.org).
5. Cannot marry non-Muslims:
Does Islam permit marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man? Does the Muslim woman marrying a non-Muslim man render her an adulterer/fornicator?
“And marry not the idolatresses until they believe; and certainly a believing maid is better than an idolatress even though she please you. Nor give (believing women) in marriage to idolaters until they believe, and certainly a believing slave is better than an idolater, even though he please you. These invite to the Fire and Allåh invites to the Garden and to forgiveness by His will and He makes clear His messages to men that they may be mindful”–(Allāh, Qur’an 2:221).
Prophet Mohammad is noted as saying: “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman”–(Bokhari Vol. 7, #27; Muslim Vol. 2, #3457). Thus according to this teaching the paramount consideration of a Muslim is to marry for religion.
Allāh says Muslim women have rights as those against her::“And women have rights similar to those against them in a just manner, and men are a degree above them”–(Qur’an 2:228); and that Muslim men can marry Jewish and Christian women: “And the food of those who have been given the Book is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And so are the chaste from among the believing women and the chaste from among those who have been given the Book before you”–(Qur’an 5:5).
Noticeably, Allāh said Muslim men can marry Jewish and Christian women, He did not say Muslim women can marry Jewish and Christian men. In fact of the many places that marriage is mentioned in the Qur’an there is no mention of the Muslim woman being permitted to marry a non-Muslim man. As Muhammad Ali points out in his book The Religion Of Islam that
“while there is an express mention of a Muslim man marrying a non-Muslim woman who professes a revealed religion, there is no mention of the legality or illegality of a marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man. The mere fact however that the Qur’an speaks of the one and not of the other is sufficient to show that marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man is NOT allowed”–(pp. 597-598. Emphasis added. For this book and MA’s translation of the Qur’an see: www.muslim.org).
That woman has “rights” as those against her (as per Qur’an 2:228 above) is no argument for her to marry a non-Muslim man.
That the Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman is NOT a “right” the man is seeking against the woman; this is a DIVINE DECREE as to what the Muslim man is allowed. Allāh has detailed the primary rights and duties of both man and woman.
This “right” mentioned in Qur’an 2:228 relates to secondary matters such as personal and family affairs –for instance, if a husband dislikes his wife having certain individuals in the house that he is not comfortable with, likewise he is not to have such individuals in the house that the wife is uncomfortable with; This is equity in marriage –giving rights to others that you exact for yourself. (It is because of this lack of principle –giving rights to others that one exact for himself– that the world is wobbly like drunken rats).
Qur’an 5:5 and 2:228 are about different matters. Qur’an 5:5 is about MARRIAGE, and Qur’an 2:228 is about MUTUAL RIGHTS after marriage.
Further, whereas woman has rights with man in various avenues they do not have the same rights in all respects. For instance
-men are circumcised women are not
-men are Divinely decreed to maintain women, women are not Divinely decreed to maintain men–(Qur’an 2:228)
-men are given twice the inheritance as a woman’s (because he is maintainer of the family); women have the right to be believed (in the matter of her fidelity) over the man–(Qur’an 4:11, 177; 24:6-9)
-women’s witnessing ability in certain business transaction and under certain conditions is half of man’s–(Qur’an 2:282)
-men are allowed a limited polygamy of up to four wives; women are not allowed to have more than one husband–(Qur’an 4:3). It is doubtful a Muslim man or woman would submit that woman has the “right” to have four husbands (polyandry) because she has similar “rights” against man as he has on her. (See Islam-polygamy).
There are three reasons –social, moral, and spiritual– why Muslim women are not allowed to marry non-Muslim men:
Social–Islam (not to be confused with un-Islamic practice of some Muslims) has given woman rights that no other religion has given her. By marrying into another religion, the Muslim woman is likely to lose these rights. Even though Jews, Christians, and Hindus may not be practicing their Scriptural laws on women (and heaven lies in following Scripture/God), and even though the Muslim woman may be practicing her faith, yet the Muslim woman in a “mixed-faith” marriage would have relegated herself to the lowly status her husband’s Scripture has subjected her. (See Christianity-women; Hinduism & women).
Moral–As man, generally, is the captain of the house, his Muslim wife may be subjected to the indignity of preparing foods prohibited by Islam and catering to his alcoholic practice. Mostly, she may be coerced or even forced to conform to her husband’s religious belief. To apostatize from Islam is to retreat into religious imperfection (and even into religious darkness as certain doctrines have no Divine foundation)– as God’s favor to man was not “completed” and man’s religion not “perfected” until the advent of Prophet Mohammad: Qur’an 5:4– for no religion can be shown to be superior to, or equal with, Islam. Also, there may be dispute as to whose faith children are to be schooled –or no faith at all; which would be an abdication of her duty. (See next item).
Spiritual–Allāh says: “The adulterer cannot have sexual relations with any but an adulteress or an idolatress, and the adulteress, none can have sexual relations with her but an adulterer or an idolater; and it is forbidden to believers”–(Qur’an 24:3. The Arabic word zina means sexual intercourse between two people who are not married to each and covers both adultery and fornication).
Since the unchaste Muslim man/woman –even though a believer in Allah– is not allowed to have carnal relations with a chaste Muslim, it is a greater prohibition that a non-Muslim –a disbeliever in Allah– have intimacy with a chaste Muslim woman. Muslims are to have physical, moral, and spiritual purity.
Allāh requires Muslims to obey Him and the Prophet and to take whatever the Prophet gives us–(Qur’an 3:30-31; 4:69; 59:7 1A):
-The Prophet gave the Adhan (call to prayer, extolling the Unity, Glory, Greatness, and Grandeur of Allāh, God; which is the best National Anthem in the entire world) into the ear of the newborn–(Abu Dawud Vol. 3, #5086). Will the Christian father allow this “call”? or will he want the farcical phrase, “In the name of the Father, son, and Holy Ghost” be recited to the child
(There is no documentation that Christ uttered such a phrase; Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:9-20 are “forgeries” in the Bible, see Bible corrupt & obsolete).
-Islam requires the male child be circumcised. Will the Hindu husband agree to this?
-The Prophet recommends Aqiqa for a child (thanksgiving to Allāh in which two sheep are slaughtered for a male child and one for a female) be performed–(Bokhari Vol. 7, #380; Abu Dawud Vol. 2, #2828-2837); in Christianity the child is “Christened” in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (and ascribing Divinity to Jesus and sonship to God is, as Allāh says, blasphemy, and its adherents are heading to hell–Qur’an 5:17, 72-73; 18:4-5; 19:88-91). So in whose faith will the child be initiated, Islam, Christianity, no faith?
-The Prophet enjoined that a child be taught to pray at the age of seven–(Abu Dawud Vol. 1, #495). Will the Christian father allow the child be taught Islam? Or will the Muslim wife be required to forego her Islamic duty and have the child raised a Christian? Or left till he is mature to choose his own faith?
-Mahr/dowry for the Muslim woman is compulsory–(Qur’an 4:4, 24-25; 5:5; Abu Dawud Vol. 2, #2979), and a sermon glorifying Allāh–(Mishkat Masabih 13:4-ii).1B If these conditions are not fulfilled then, from the Islamic perspective, seems the woman is not married and would be engaging in zina (adultery/fornication).
-Will this “mixed-faith” marriage be conducted in Islam AND the religion of the man or will it only be a “signature” wedding before a Justice of the peace?
If the marriage is a mixture of Islam and Christianity or Islam and Hinduism this would be a mixture of truth with falsehood (as there are no Divine doctrines as Trinity, inherited sin, and vicarious atonement; and Karma and Reincarnation)1C. And Allāh prohibits the mixing of truth with falsehood –(Qur’an 2:42).
If the marriage is a mixture of Islam and Judaism this also would be improper, for though Judaism teaches the pure monotheism as Islam there is no Divine doctrine as “chosen people” to the exclusion of others based on race or nationality; and as Judaism was Divinely decreed to end upon the advent of Prophet Mohammad –and the Jewish Fathers knew that Mohammad was the Prophet foretold in the Bible (Qur’an 26:192-197; 46:10)– then, as Muhammad Ali states, “spiritually the Jewish religion has no future.” Thus, for the Muslim woman to marry according to the rites of Judaism is to defy (knowingly or unknowingly) the decree of Allāh. (See Judaism).
If the marriage is a “signature” one only, this would make the marriage, from the Islamic perspective, devoid of Divine prescription; (whereby jurists may conclude there is no marriage and the woman would be engaging in zina –adultery/fornication).
When a chaste believing non-Muslim woman marries a chaste Muslim man he not only respects, honors and cherishes her but brings her into spiritual purity –into the Purity of God1D – and gives her rights alongside man from the cradle all the way to Jannah/Paradise.
If the non-Muslim man was following the teachings of his prophet –not what is passing under the name of these prophets– he would be a Muslim; and would have no alternative but to take the further step and follow Mohammad.
As no religion can be shown to be superior to or equal withIslam, a non-Muslim man and woman –and even the atheist, as the atheist cannot disprove the existence of God which is proven in the Qur’an1E– who believes in God and wishes to go to heaven would not hesitate to accept Islam. 1F
In enjoining that Muslims marry for religion Allāh IS being merciful to us.
Allāh loves us.
Allāh wants to guide us.
Allāh wants us to be pure.
Allāh wants us to have a life in Paradise.
Notably, whereas Islam allows marriage between a Muslim man and a Jewish and Christian woman, Judaism and Christianity prohibit “mixed” marriages altogether: “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son”–(Deut. 7:3); and Paul states: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?”–(2 Cor. 6:14). (For more on Paul see Allāh and Jesus or Paul)
Be it in “France” or in “Indonesia” or elsewhere, only those Muslims who do not know one end of the Qur’an from the other or those who know the language of the Qur’an but not the Qur’an would leave Islam. As the noble Messenger of Allah said, Islam is an easy religion, whoever makes it hard will not be able to keep it. Egyptian Muslim women who were “tempted” to “convert” to Christianity to “ameliorate their lot,” were deluded. Christianity does not “ameliorate” the lot of women.
Woman “received the worst treatment of all from Christianity,” as pointed out by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din in his Open Letters to the Bishops of Salisbury & London, p. 71.
The religion which condemns Woman to a life of subjection to her husband–(Gen. 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:11-12); that she is made wife only to “avoid fornication”–(1 Cor. 7:2); that she was the transgressor, and a ‘defiler’ of man–(1 Tim. 2:14; Rev; 14:4); which reduces her to “woman, what have I to do with thee–(John 2:3-4), and sells her into bondage–(Exod. 21:7) –such a religion cannot be said to “ameliorate their lot.” Whatever lofty status the Christian Woman is enjoying is due only to the dictates of modern culture. (See Christianity-women).
In contrast, Islam has ennobled Woman, liberated her, and given her rights unparalleled in the history of religions. She has nothing more for which to strive. In trying to “ameliorate” her lot, the Muslim woman is not fleeing from Islam but from repressive mullahs.
Islam is the Great Liberator of Woman.
Islam is the only Liberator Woman has known.
6. Inheritance half that of a man’s: (Qur’an 4:11, 177).
Even though a woman may have wealth and even have greater wealth than her husband, Allāh God designates men to be the maintainers of women–(Qur’an 4:34). It is for this reason that men are allowed double the share of inheritance than women. For, whereas a wife can at any stage, and for any reason, quit her job and decides to stay home and be maintained by her husband, a husband cannot quit his job and intend for his wife to maintain him. The burden of support lies on the husband. (Even in secular society wives, generally, seem to enjoy this benefit of voluntary employment).
Since every ship requires a captain, husbands, by virtue of them being the maintainers of their wives, are given a degree of superiority (in home affairs) over the wives–(Qur’an 2:228). (Though he has this degree of superiority, the wise husband would follow his wife’s judgment if it is superior to his).
Whereas daughters of Islam has right to inheritance whether her father has sons or not. Christian women have NO right to inheritance if a man has son(s):
- “And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter”–(Numbers 27:8. Note, the wife/widow inherits nothing. And the daughter only inherits when no son exists).
- “If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his” –(Deuteronomy 2115-17. Note, there is no mention of daughter(s) and, unlike Islam, one son receives a “double portion” of what the other receives).
7. And the Masjid (Mosque):
There is no verse in the Qur’an prohibiting women from going to the Masjid.
The Tradition of the Prophet Mohammad is pregnant with pronouncements giving women the right to attend mosque:
-“If your women ask permission to go to the mosque at night, allow them” (Bokhari Vol.1, # 824; Vol. 2, # 22).
-“The Prophet said, ‘If the wife of anyone of you asks permission (to go to the mosque) do not forbid her” (Bokhari, Vol. 1, # 832. Also Vol. 7, # 165).
-“Allah’s Apostle used to offer the Fajr prayer when it was still dark and the believing women used to return (after finishing their prayer) and nobody could recognize them owing to darkness, or they could not recognize one another”(Bokhari, Vol. 1, # 831. Also # 826, 827).
While women are to pray in separate rows from men, there was no barricade between them, they only formed a line behind the men:
-“In the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle the women used to get up when they finished their compulsory prayers with Taslim. The Prophet and the men would stay on at their places as long as Allāh will.When the Prophet got up, the men would then get up. (Bokhari, Vol. 1, # 825).
-It was compulsory that women –matrons and virgins, menstruating or not– attend mosque on the days of Eid; though the menstruating women could not offer the prayers–(Bokhari, Vol. 2, #’s 88, 97). Even if a sister had no veil, she had to come to the mosque on the Day of Eid; sharing a veil with another sister–(Bokhari, Vol. 2 # 96).
Two hundred and forty years after the Prophet, “ropes” were used to separate men and women; the “ropes” were subsequently fortified into a “wooden barrier;” but “by and by the pardah conception grew so strong that women were altogether shut out from the mosques,”as Muhammad Ali has noted in his The Religion of Islam (pp. 381-382).
Not even the mighty Caliph, ‘Umar, dared to go against the instructions of the Messenger of Allah, and prevent women from the mosque (or consign them behind walls); even though he disliked women being at the mosque; why not?: “The statement of Allah’s Apostle: ‘Do not stop Allah’s women-slave*from going to Allah’s Mosques, prevents him” (from barring women from the mosque)–(Bokhari, Vol. 2, # 23). (Though, perhaps women may be supportive of the barrier in the Masjid as it gives them privacy).
*(We are not “slaves” of Allāh: we are servants of Allāh. Islam abolished slavery. A servant has the choice of leaving the employ of his master–a Muslim can at any time renounce belief in Allāh–but a slave does not have the choice of leaving his master).
The Women of Islam are not footstools of their men, neither are they prisoners: “And the believers, men and women, are friends one of another. They enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer and pay the poor rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger”–(Qur’an 9:71).
8. And employment:
In Islam, employment for women is voluntary, as men are the maintainers of women–(Qur’an 4:34). While their primary function is the molding of the family, women are not barred from education and employment. This is clear from the Qur’anic injunctions that “for women is the benefit of what they earn”–(4:32); and for the Prophet (and Muslims, which women also are) to pray for knowledge–(20:114); and the Prophet’s saying to seek knowledge.
While “the man excels the woman in constitution and physique, which is capable of bearing greater hardships and facing greater dangers than the physique of the woman,” as Mohammad Ali points out in his The Religion of Islam (pp. 627-628), woman can be employed in any field that is suitable to her.
Women can also work alongside men, the only prohibition is that they do not engage in amorous and frivolous conversations with the male sex, as the injunction to the Prophet’s wives clearly show: “be not soft in speech, lest he, in whose heart is a disease, should feel tempted; and speak decent words”–(Qur’an 33:32).
The injunction to the Prophet’s wives to “stay in your houses and display not your beauty like the displaying of the ignorance of yore”–(Qur’an 33:33), does not mean that they are to be walled in. These wives of the Prophet, as full reading of these verses show, were “not like other women;” they are like the “mothers” of Muslims–(Qur’an 33:6). They were not to be frivolous and wandering about; they were role models for the women of Islam; as such they had to be virtuous, and deport themselves with dignity.
Muhammad Ali has noted in his The Religion of Islam: “A study of the Tradition literature shows that, notwithstanding her rightful position in the home, as the bringer up of children and manager of the household, woman took interest in all the national activities of the Muslim community.”
Women took part in “congregational prayers,” “join(ed) the soldiers in the field of battle”–“carrying of provisions, taking care of the sick and wounded, removing the wounded and the slain from the battlefield, or taking part in actual fighting when necessary.”
“Women also helped their husbands in the labour of the field, served the male guests at a feast and carried on business, they could sell to and purchase from men, and men could sell to and purchase from them. A woman was appointed by the Caliph ‘Umar as superintendent of the market of Madinah.” (pp. 628-629).
The noble Messenger of Allah is the foremost interpreter of the Qur’an; and he did not consign woman into solitary confinement.
The wife has rights upon the husband and the husband has rights upon the wife. The wife has the right that the husband feed, clothe and house her, and treats her kindly. The husband has the right that the wife protects his property, preserves her chastity, and raise their children in the best manners and education. That husband and wife are garments to the other (Qur’an 2:187)–to beautify, protect, comfort, and conceal each other’s faults–this alone shows that there is no indiscriminate beating of the wife.
Allāh reveals “As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoy-ance)”–(Qur’an 4:34.Fear of “disloyalty” would stem from an act contrary to mutual agreement, as marriage is).
(A child who is more prone to forgetfulness, is not an example of role model, and not “contracted” to moral behavior is spanked for misdemeanor, made to stand in a corner, or/and sent to bed without supper; if a woman reports, truthfully or not, that she was assaulted, her male partner is thrown in jail; if one commits an offence he/she is fined or thrown into prison. So where is the problem if Islam imposes corporal discipline for the wife who is required to be a role model and is obligated to moral conduct?
Partners in a business are required to fulfill their obligations. If one party lacks in his responsibility/duty or does not wish to fulfill it he is to sever his partnership; he cannot expect to abdicate his role and yet receive the rewards of the business. Marriage in Islam is a sacred covenant. The wife (or husband) that does not fulfill her responsibility cannot expect to receive the benefit from the marriage. Such a wife is to leave the marriage. In requiring the man to be patient and continue supporting her –and to even seek arbitration– while she abdicates her duty Islam is being tolerant with her, giving her time to reform, and trying to save the marriage. These three steps required by Islam –admonishing her; avoiding her bed; and lightly beating her– which is a drawn-out process, highlights her stubbornness in reforming and observing her part of the marriage contract; all the while receiving the benefit of the contract. Under such a strain to the man this light chastisement can hardly be deemed unjust or severe to the woman. She brought it onto herself. And to avoid it she could leave before it reaches the final stage).
A Muslim is not even allowed to hate his wife much less beat her–(Muslim Vol. 2, #3469).
Chastisement is only for the wayward wife, and only as a last resort (and only if the husband is not himself wayward, for women have rights similar to those against them–Qur’an 2:228).
(That a wife, who is able to, can “beat” the wayward husband, the Prophet advises against this*–perhaps because it may lead to ridicule from his male counterpart; which might lead him to become criminal against his wife. While a “beaten” wife can also become criminal she may less likely be so on account of women being softer at heart, less likely to be ridiculed by her counter-part, and have greater concern and care for her family). *(Al-Hakim, cited in, Mubarak Ali, The Muslim Handbook, p. 288).
This chastisement of the “disloyal” wife is not to be of a brutal nature. Muhammad Ali has noted, “The Prophet is reported to have said: “You have a right in the matter of your wives that they do not allow anyone whom you do not like to come into your houses; if they do this, chastise them in such a manner that it should not leave an impression. (Tirmidhi 10:11).” Thus very light chastisement was allowed only in extreme cases.” The wife has the right to leave the husband if she fears cruelty from him–(Qur’an 4:128). Islam does not conform to Muslims: Muslims are to conform to Islam. No man was given two hearts–(Qur’an 33:4). Muslims must toe either the Political line or the Divine line. There is no straddling both.
The Prophet and Caliphs would not utter words degrading to Woman seeing Allāh has conferred honor upon her, and for us to “Speak what is best”–(Qur’an 17:53). We are not even allowed to revile false gods–(Qur’an 6:108). Even in his life-time sayings were forged in the Prophet’s name (much like the “fables invented by Christian writers who seek to vilify Islam” such as the Hafsa scandal).
Hazrat Ali, the fourth Caliph of Islam, is noted as saying: “During the very lifetime of the Holy Prophet (AS) many a false tradition was attributed to him. This continued till the apostle of God got so vexed that he stood up and declared, ‘Whoever deliberately and purposely tells a lie against me or attributes lies to me shall make a place for himself in the Hell’”–(Nahjul Balagha, sermon 215, p. 386. See also Bokhari Vol. 1, # 106-109; Vol. 4, # 667, 712).
Whatever contradicts the Qur’an is to be discarded. Allāh will not discriminate against Woman because of her gender–a factor she had no control over; a form and physiology He gave her. ‘Umar could not be against women learning to write when the Prophet advised the educating even of slave-girls–(Bokhari Vol.; 3 # 720. Vol 4 # 655).
That the Prophet never beat any of his wives is evidenced from this hadith, in which Bokhari records a long narration in which ‘Umar’s wife told him that his daughter, Hafsa, “argues with Allāh’s Apostle (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) so much that he remains angry for a full day.” Whereupon ‘Umar went to Hafsa who admitted, “we argue with him.” To which her father advised her “Don’t be betrayed by the one who is proud of her beauty because of the love of Allah’s Apostle (peace be on him) for her (i.e. ‘Aisha).”(Bokhari, Vol. 6, # 435).
It is doubtful that ‘Aisha and Hafsa would have “argued” with the Prophet and to the extent that “he remains angry for a full day” if he was beating them.
Significantly, this chastisement of the wayward wife would seem almost impossible to be carried out. For, if the wife fears cruelty from her husband and/or if she is wont to be out of the marriage then she can leave before the situation reaches the third stage where the husband is allowed to chastise her.
(Regarding this wife-beating of the Qur’an one Christian quarter on the Internet tries to use it to denigrate Islam. While Islam allows this light chastisement of the wayward wife (and, as shown, only if the husband is not himself wayward, and the wife has rights as that against her) what does the Bible say about wives (good and wayward)? The Biblical God (and Jesus as Christians say Jesus is God) decreed: “Unto the woman (Eve), he (God) said:…and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”–(Gen. 3:16).
And while Paul commands husbands to love their wives, he demands that wives “submit” themselves to their husbands “as it is fit in the Lord”–(Col. 3:19, 18); and “As the Church is subject unto Christ, SO LET THE WIVES BE TO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS IN EVERY THING”– “And the wife see that SHE REVERENCE HER HUSBAND”–(Ephesians 5:22-23, 33).
The man being told to love his wife does not mean she is free from bondage. People also “love” their dogs and other pets and even bequeath fortunes to them. And Paul also instructs masters to be kind to their slaves–Eph.6:9; Col. 4:1). “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–(1 Tim.2:11-12).
Clearly, the permission to employ whatever methods are necessary to “rule” over the wife and to bring/keep her in “silence and in “all subjection’ are inherent and enshrined in these words of God and Paul.
To take the matter further, authority for employing corporal punishment to discipline the rebellious wife who does not “desire” to be “ruled” over in “silence” and with “all subjection” may be gleaned from the Biblical verses on child-rearing, God (and as Christians say Jesus is God, then Jesus) says: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes;” “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying;” “Withhold not correction from the child: for if you beatest him with the rod, he shall not die, Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” (and without doubt every “Christian” husband wants to deliver his stubborn/rebellious wife’s “soul from hell”)–(Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 23:13-14).
(Perhaps a survey of Christian women/wives of all Christian sects can be conducted to find out how many were “beaten” into “silence” and “all subjection.” Surely, not all the “battered” wives in Western countries are non-Christians).
10. Woman–a tilth/field:
Allāh reveals in His Qur’an 2:223: “Your wives are a tilth for you, so go in to your tilth when and how you like….”
This injunction was given to dispel a Jewish superstition. Jews were of the belief that if a man has marital relations with his wife in the posterior position a child born from this union would be squint-eyed. Here is the hadith:
“Jews used to say: “If one has sexual intercourse with his wife from the back, then she will deliver a squint-eyed child.” So this verse was revealed: –‘Your wives are a tilth unto you; so go to your tilth when or how you will.” (Bokhari Vol. 6 # 51; Qur’an 2:223).
A field/tilth is something that produces. The field/tilth is care-fully prepared and seeded and nurtured. The analogy of woman being a field/tilth is that like the field/tilth, she also is a producer (of the offspring).
The injunction to go into them (wives) “when” you please could hardly be taken as giving men “undue power” over women, considering that women have equal rights with men; coupled to the fact that Allah has put love and compassion between men and women and that he might find comfort in her. It is not love and compassion for a husband to wield “undue power” over his wife in matters of intimacy (or elsewhere), nor would he truly find comfort in her in the exercise of such “undue power.” The permission to go into women “when you please” is not a “qualifier” to “give men undue power” over women. This permission to go into your tilth “when” you please indicates that (outside of her time of menstruation, pre and post-natal period and during their hours of fasting) there is no prohibited time for husband and wife to engage in marital relations.
Generally, men are superior to women physically only. Morally, spiritually and intellectually they are equals. Either can excel the other. The wise husband instead of feeling threatened by his wife’s superiority would endeavor to benefit from her qualities. Allah Who gave woman her form and physiology–a form and physiology of which she had no choice–would not discriminate against her. It would be an injustice. And Allah is not the least unjust to His servants.
The following incident is a timely example of the freedom women enjoyed even at the early point in Islam; Muhammad Ali notes in his The Early Caliphate (and mark her tone at the magnificent Caliph, and his humble response): “Once when ‘Umar delivered a sermon against the practice of settling large sums as dower-money, it was a woman who stood up and objected saying: “O son of Khattab! How dare you deprive us when God says in the Qur’an that even a heap of gold may be settled on the wife as dower?” Far from resenting this, ‘Umar appreciated this courage of conviction and complimented the objector, saying: “The women of Madinah have more understanding than ‘Umar.”” (pp. 119-120). Further, ‘Umar, “When as a Caliph he made education compulsory in Arabia, it was made so for both boys and girls.” (Ibid. p. 120).
11. Honor killings:
While Islam enjoins purity in matters of sex on both male and female, there is no ‘honor killing’ in Islam. The Arabic word zinaa signifies sexual relations between people who are not married to each other, and covers both fornication and adultery.
The Qur’an states that the al-zani –the adulterous/ fornicating– people are to marry among their kind only–(24:3). There could be no question of the adulterer/fornicator having marriage if Islam had sanctioned “honor killings.”
“Honor killings” are the Jewish, and the Christian law: “But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you”–(Deut. 22:20-21).
There is no “stoning” to death in Islam. The punish-ment for adultery in the case of men and free women is a maxi-mum of one hundred lashes–(Qur’an 24:2); and in the case of slave-women the punishment is half that of free women–(Qur’an 4:25). And stoning to death “could not be halved;” but flogging can be halved.
That the early caliphs carried out stoning, Muhammad Ali writes:
“It is generally thought that while the Qur’an prescribes flogging as a punishment for fornication, i.e. when the guilty person is not married, stoning to death is the pun-ishment for adultery, and that this is allegedly based on the Prophet’s practice. But the Qur’an plainly speaks of the punishment for adultery in the case of married slave-girls as being half the punishment of adultery in the case of free married women (muhsanat), and therefore death or stoning to death cannot be conceived of as possible punishment in case of adultery as it cannot be halved, while imprisonment or flogging may be. Thus the Qur’-an not only speaks of flogging and not death, as punish-ment for adultery, but it positively excludes death or stoning to death.”
“…stoning was the punishment of adultery in the Jewish law, and that it was in the case of Jewish offen-ders that this punishment was first resorted to by the Prophet when he came to Madinah. There are other reports which show that the same punishment was given in certain cases when the offenders were Muslims, but apparently this was before the revelation of the verse (24:2) which speaks of flogging as the punishment for both the adulterer and the adulteress, it being the practice of the Prophet to follow the earlier revealed law until he received a definite revelation on a point. A suggestion to that effect is contained in a tradition: “Shaibani says, I asked ‘Abd Allah ibn Abi Aufa, Did the Holy Prophet stone to death? He said, Yes. I said, Was it before the chapter entitled the Light (ch. 24) was revealed or after it? The reply was, I do not know” (Bu. 86:21. [Vol. 8 # 804]). The chapter referred to is that which speaks of flogging as a punishment for adultery, and the question shows clearly that the practice of stoning for adultery was recognized as being against the plain injunction con-tained in that chapter. It is likely that some misunder-standing arose from the incidents which happened before the Qur’anic revelation on the point, and that that prac-tice was taken as the Sunnah of the Prophet. The Khwa-rij, the earliest Muslim sect, entirely rejected stoning to death (rajm) as a punishment in Islam (RM. VI, p. 6.)
The question seems to have arisen early as to how an adulterer could be stoned, when the Qur’an prescribed flogging as the only punishment for adultery. ‘Umar is reported to have said that “there are people who say, What about stoning, for the punishment prescribed in the Book of Allah is flogging” (Ah. I, p. 50.) To such ob-jector’s ‘Umar’s reply was: “In what Allah revealed, there was the verse of rajm (stoning); we read it and we understood it and we guarded it; the Prophet did stone (adulterers to death) and we also stoned after him, but I fear that when more time passes away, a sayer would say, We do not find the verse of rajm in the Book of Allah” (Bu. 86:31 [Vol. 8 # 816]). According to another version he is reported to have added: “Were it not that people would say that ‘Umar has added in the Book of Allah that which is not in it, I would have written it” (AD. 37:23). The argument attributed to ‘Umar is very unsound. He admitted that the Qur’an did not contain any verse prescribing the punishment of stoning for adulterers, and at the same time he is reported as stating that there was such a verse in what Allah revealed. In all probability what ‘Umar meant, if he ever spoke those words, was that the verse of stoning was to be found in the Jewish sacred book, the Torah, which was undoubtedly a Divine revelation, and that the Prophet stoned adulterers to death. The use of the words “Book of God” (Kitab Allah) for the Torah is common in the Qur’an itself, the Torah being again and again spoken of as Kitab Allah or the Book of God, or al-Kitab, i.e., the Book (Qur’an 2:213, etc.). In all likelihood ‘Umar only spoke of rajm as the punishment of adultery in the Mosaic law and he was misunderstood. At any rate he could not have spoken the words attributed to him. Had there been such a verse of the Qur’an, he would have brought it to the notice of other Companions of the Prophet, when a complete written copy was first pre-pared in the time of Abu Bakr at his own suggestion. The words, as attributed to him in some of these reports, are simply meaningless. How could he say that there was a verse of the Qur’an which he would have written down in the Qur’an, but he feared that people would say that he had made an addition to the Qur’an, that is to say, added to it what was not part of it? A verse could not be said to be a part of the Qur’an and not a part of the Qur’an at one and the same time.
There is further evidence in tradition itself that ‘Umar himself, at least in one reported case (and it is a reliable report), punished adultery with flogging as laid down in the Qur’an in 24:2, and not with stoning to death.””–(The Religion of Islam, pp. 730, 731, 733, 734, 735).
The Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance. The Prophet governed only according to the Qur’an (Qur’an 10:15).
Stoning to death for adultery (and death for other sins) is the Jewish and the Christian law:
- (Apostasy): Those who “secretly” entice another to follow an unknown God are to be stoned to death–(Deuteronomy 13:5-16; 17:2-5).
- A “stubborn and rebellious son” is to be stoned to death–(Deut. 21:18-21).
- (Honor killings): Married damsel without the “token of virginity” is to be stoned to death: “But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you”–(Deut. 22:20-21).
- A virginal damsel who lies with a man other than her “betrothed,” both are to be stoned to death–(Deut. 22:23-24).
- A witch is to be put to death–(Exodus 22:18).
- Who curses his father or mother is to be put to death –(Lev. 20:9).
- Punishment for adultery is death–(Lev. 20:10-12; Deut. 22:22).
- Homosexuals are to be put to death–(Lev. 20:13).
- A man who takes a “wife and her mother,” both shall be burnt with fire–(Lev. 20:14).
- Who commits bestiality are to be put to death–(Lev. 20:15-16).
- (Blasphemy): “And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed….And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying…let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.…And he that blasphe-meth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death.” “And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the Lord commanded Moses”–(Lev. 24:11-16, 23).
- The adulteress is to be stoned–(John 8:3-5). (The Christian’s claim that Jesus forgave the adulteress is baseless–(See Jesus and the adulteress).
13. Not inferior to men:
Women could not be “worse of” under Islam than in “Pre-Islamic Arabia.” The Arab Woman before Islam did not enjoy “perfectly respectable” carnal relationships.
It is not “perfectly respectable” carnal relationship where a man can desert his wife by saying to her “thou art to me as the back of my mother”–(Qur’an 33:4. M. Ali comm.)
It is not “perfectly respectable” carnal relationship for a wom-an to have her conjugal rights suspended indefinitely by the oath of her husband not to have relations with her–(Qur’an 2:226. M. Ali comm.)
It is not “perfectly respectable” carnal relationship to inherit women against their will–(Qur’an 4:19).
It is not “perfectly respectable” carnal relationship to marry your father’s widow–(Qur’an 4:22).
Since men and women were created from the same essence–(Qur’an 4:1; 7:189), therefore one cannot be spiritually, intellect-ually, and morally “inferior” to the other. In fact, except for her lack in physical strength, woman may be said to be superior to man: she having conceived, given birth, and suckled–three con-ditions which man has not experienced.
The saying of the Prophet that woman is like a curved bone, if you try to straighten it it will break, is not a derogatory state-ment. Nor does it refer to all women. What is meant is that women who are comfortable or accustomed to doing things one way should not be forced to adopt another method–such forcing is likely to result in contention. Or, that if one is displeased with one trait of his wife, he should be pleased with another that is good, rather than try to change her and risk having a dispute. (Perhaps there are men who are like this curved bone).
The Prophet’s saying that women who even though they may get everything from their husbands, would one day complain over “something petty” that their husbands have never done anything for them, refers only to those wives who are never satisfied/difficult to please. (Some men also may be like this).
(These sayings of the Prophet do not refer to all women. This is evidenced by the wives of the Prophet themselves, and, without doubt, there are Muslim as well as non-Muslim wives who are content with their provisions and are ever open to adopting new methods).
It is doubtful that the Prophet (and the Caliphs) would utter words degrading to women when Allah God has conferred honor upon them, and for us to “Speak what is best”–(Qur’an 17:53.
What is to be remembered is that, as already noted, even during the lifetime of the Prophet sayings were forged in his name. Perhaps it is for this reason that he is reported as saying that if any of his saying contradicts with the teaching of the Qur’an for us to discard his saying.
As pointed out, Islam does not discriminate against women. Allāh, God, Who is Just could not discriminate against Woman because of her gender–a factor which she had no control over.
‘Umar could not have been against women “learning to write,” when the Prophet himself is reported to have said, “The man shall have a double reward who has a slave-girl and he trains her in the best manner and he gives her the best education, then he sets her free and marries her”–(Bukhari Vol.; 3 # 720).
This saying of the Prophet is in agreement with the Qur’anic instruction for him (and for us) to pray: “My Lord, increase me in know-ledge”–(Qur’an 20:114).
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din noted that Mohammad “raised Woman to such a height as she had never dreamed of before –a height which leaves her nothing higher for which to strive.” Khwaja points out:
“Before Islam, Woman was treated as a chattel. No religion or civilization had as yet raised her to the status that should have been her birthright. She was regarded as an evil but necessary appendage, and she received the worst treatment of all from Christianity. The story of the Temptation in the Book of Genesis, and the basic princi-ple of the Church creed taken therefrom, damaged her position tremendously.
In dealing with the status of Woman, Islam and Christianity stand poles apart. The one has raised her from the lowest possible depths to a level equal to that of man, at a time when her degradation knew no limit; the other thrust her back to thraldom at a time when she was beginning to emerge from it under Roman civilization. This civilization was struggling to raise her status when Christianity came like an icy blast and nipped the efforts in the very bud. This statement, though historically accu-rate, will surprise many amongst those who are accus-tomed to listen to the very different story told by Christian writers. But if even Jesus does not seem to concern himself about the female sex, and if those who immediately followed him–and have since been looked upon as the builders of the Church, and filled with the Holy Ghost–did nothing to improve her condition, while their words and actions brought every odium on her; and if Christian States have continued this treatment for centuries, and, indeed until recent days, when Woman began to assert herself, how can they declare that Chris-tianity brought an honourable position to Woman?
The Hebrew Law was unfavourable to her. The Divine command, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee,” had the effect of reducing her to the position of a chattel in the house, and so she was, in Judaic society. On the other hand, it must be remember-ed that Jesus did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it. Whenever something appeared to him as an abuse of the Law, he expressed his disapproval of it, and tried to reform it. But in the case of Woman his silence shows that the idea of ameliorating her lot never occur-red to him, though the self-indulgence of his tribe was peculiarly damaging to womankind.
If Paganism supplied the idea of a suffering Deity and of a crucified Saviour, and the sad event in the life of Jesus favoured their incorporation with Christianity, the legends of the Temptation in Genesis served as a beau-tiful connecting link between the two. It inspired the story of the Fall of Adam, and through him, the fall of the human race–a theory absolutely, and now admitted-ly, unknown to the Jews, but initiated by the writers of the Pauline literature to strengthen and explain the Pagan theory of redemption through blood. To that extent it acted well, but it was of no service to Woman. The whole blame of human perdition, by reason of this first sin, was laid at her door: “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression.” Woman consequently could not be in the good books of those who took these expressions as the Word of God and believed in the theory of the Fall of Adam. This explains the cruel attitude which the Early Fathers and the real builders of the Church adopted towards Woman, following, as they did, in the footsteps of St. Paul. In fact, her disgrace at the hands of these Fathers was the true and logical sequel to the Christian beliefs, of which the following is an illustration: “Do you know,” says Tertullian, when addressing Women, “that you are each Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age; the guilt, of necessity, must live too. You are the devil’s gateway; you are the unsealer of that tree; you are the first deserter of the Divine Law; you des-troyed as easily God’s image.”
The Christian apologist of modern culture, while he sees in it mediaeval savagery and wantonness, cannot rationally deny that “the pious aspersions” of the Father were not without justification. The logic was simple and true. If it was believed that sin was a heritage and eternal condemnation its price–and so it is believed till to-day–then eternal condemnation has come through Woman; she opened the door of all human sufferings. She is “the organ of the devil,” “a scorpion ever ready to sting,” “the poisonous asp,” “the malice of the dragon.” These are some of the blessings that Woman received from persons of exalted position in the Church, such as St. Bernard, St. Anthony, St. Jerome, St. Cyprian, and St. Paul, who seem to me to be at the bottom of it. His personala grudge against the sex, in consequence of his suit being rejected by a young Jewish woman, the high priest’s daughter, perhaps was responsible for it. Say what you will, if “sin in nature” is the foundation-stone of the sacramental religion, which Christianity has become–the principle of atonement and of the divinity of Christ are mere corollaries of it, and then Woman deserves all that has been said by these Fathers. Present-day culture may not tolerate it, but her real redemption lies only in exposing the falsity of these beliefs. And was not the Holy Prophet, even on this very point, the real benefactor of Woman, seeing that he gave the lie to this crude theology, and took exception to the theory of sin in nature? He declared that every child was born sinless, and that in the case of the Temptation, man and woman were not respectively the tempted and the tempter, but both of them equally suffered and were equally deceived by the evil agency.
Just at the time when the Christian Church was so outrageously trampling on womanhood, and the rest of the world was treating her no less cruelly, Muhammad came to save the situation. He raised Woman to such a height as she had never dreamed of before–a height which leaves her nothing higher for which to strive.
While the Christian Fathers were harping on the slogan that woman was made for man and not man for woman, Muhammad told the world that woman was the twin-half of man, in commenting upon the Qur-anic verse, that revealed in the following words the great truth that man and woman had come from the same essence and were one and the same in that respect: “O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you.” The Qur-an gave the name of mohsina to Woman, which meant that she was neither the “organ of the devil” nor his gateway, but a rocky fortress against Satan; a lighthouse of virtue and continence that alone can save man from shipwreck while tossing among the stormy waves of passion. The Bible says: “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee,” but Muhammad says: “Woman is the sovereign of your house.” St. Paul may say: “Let the woman learn in silence, with all subjection, for I suffer not a woman to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence”; but the Qur-an contradicts him when it says: “Woman has like rights with those of man, –the same is due to her as is due from her.” She is not “a scorpion ever ready to sting,” but “a garment of man as he is her garment”b; she is not the “instrument of iniquity,” as these Christian Fathers call her, but, in the words of the Qur-anc, a fountain of love and affection. Let Jesus say to his mother: “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” –put whatever construction you like on these words and come with any explanation you please, people in Christendom even to-day reflect this utterance of their Master in their actions–the affluence of sons go hand in hand with the indigence of mothers in the West–mothers are discarded and disregarded–but a Muslim leaves no effort undone to pay all respect and reverence to his mother, because his Prophet Muhammad tells him: “Paradise lies at the feet of a mother.” Happy marriage may be a lottery in the West, as some assert, but it makes a wife, in a Muslim house, the dearest of friends, a counterpart of man sus-ceptible to all healthy and salutary influences. It could not well be otherwise, seeing that we are bound to obey the Master who says: “The best of you are they who behave best to their wives.” Again he says: “The best of you before God and His creation are those who are best in their own families, and I am the best to my family.”
“One of the disciples inquired of the Prophet as to what treatment should be meted out to a wife. He answered: ‘“Give her to eat when you eat yourself, and clothe her when you clothe yourself; and do not slap her on the face nor abuse her, nor separate yourself from her in displeasure.’”
“Give your wife good counsel, and do not beat your noble wife like a slave.”
“Admonish your wives with kindness.”
“A Muslim must not hate his wife; and if he be displeased with one bad quality in her, then let him be pleased with another which is good.”
Just a quarter of a century after the time when the council of Christian Fathers at Nicaea were discussing whether any female could enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, and with great difficulty they had come to the conclusion that she might enter into Paradise, but that she would have to be sexless, the Qur-an brought the gospel to her in the following words :–
“Enter into Paradise, ye and your wives delighted.”
“But whoso doeth the things that are right, whether the male or female, and is a believer, whether male or female, they shall enter into Paradise.”
“Whoso doth that which is right, whether male or female, him or her will we quicken to happy life”–(43:70; 4:124; 16:97).
When the world was doubtful whether any spiritual advancement was open to Woman at all, the Qur-an taught the following: “Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women, and the humble men and the humble women, and the almsgiving men and the almsgiving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember–Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward.”(Qur’an 33:35).
It is only utter ignorance of Islam and blind prejudice against it that comes to the surface when our adverse critics assert that Woman, under Islam, does not possess a soul. It hardly needs any elaborate discussion to refute this piece of foolhardiness. If a Man possesses a soul, Woman must possess one also, seeing that both are, according to the teaching of the Qur-an, of the same essence.”6
The Woman of Islam is not inferior. Woman is not of “lower birth” as Hinduism teaches–(Bhagavad Gita 9:32); nor is she of servility as Judaism and Christianity teach–(Gen. 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:11); nor is she guilty of “transgression” or defiler of man–(1 Timothy 2:14; Rev. 14:4); nor is she wife just “to avoid fornication” as the Bible says–(1 Cor. 7:2).
Allāh God tells us that both man and woman were created from the same medium–(Qur’an 4:1). That both Adam and Eve were deceived by the Devil–(Qur’an 2:36; 7:20-22). That He has established marriages between men and women–(Qur’an 25:54; 16:72; 24:32); created her to be his mate, that he might find peace and comfort in her, and has put between them love and compassion–(7:189; 30:21).
(That woman is a source of peace and comfort condemns the act of marital rape, for any man who forces himself upon his wife, abuses her, causes her distress, or places her under duress, he can not find peace and comfort in her).
As noted, women can earn, and can inherit and own property–(Qur’an 4:32, 7, 177). And whereas women have exclusive right to utilize her earnings however she pleases –(Qur’an 4:4, 32), it is incumbent on men to maintain them (women) –(Qur’an 4:34).
Islam liberated woman–(2:187; 4:19-22); exalts her–(4:1; 9:71-72); and has given her equality with man in financial, property, moral and spiritual matters–(4:32, 7-10, 176-177; 3:195; 33:35).
Further, Allāh says in His Qur’an He created man from a single soul and made woman from the same–(4:1; 7:189, this verse establishes that from the beginning women have equality with men);
and has put love and compassion between them–(30:21);
established marriages between men and women–(25:54; 16:72; 24:32);
that women are to be honored–(4:1);
that men and women are garments to the other (to protect, comfort, beautify, and to cover each other’s faults)–(2:187);
women have rights similar to those against her–(2:228);
she has rights to inheritance, and full control over her earnings–(4:7, 11, 177; 4:32);
women have moral and spiritual equality with men –(3:194, 197; 24:30, 31, 55; 33:35; 49:13; 57:12, 18, 19);
that women and men are protectors of one another–(9:71).
Woman is so highly enthroned in Islam that the Prophet Mohammad tells us that Paradise lies at the feet of mothers. Allāh has listed honor to parents, especially to mothers, after worship of Him–(Qur’an 6:152; 17:23; 31:14).
Man and woman being created from the same essence, both have the same faculties and potentials. If one develops himself/ herself and the other does not, then either may be superior to the other.
14. Guile and deceit:
The preceding materials give the lie to the belief that Islam ascribes “guile and deceit” to women. The story of Joseph’s temptation (by Potiphar’s wife)–(Qur’an 12:21-35) is only to establish the steadfastness of his belief and his virtue, and of the power of Allāh to protect those of His choosing against all adversities and exalt them. It is facile to construe the Qur’an’s recounting of the story of Joseph to mean that Islam ascribes “guile and deceit” to women.”
The Bible tells us that David “lay” with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, and then sent Uriah off to battle to be killed, so he can make her his “wife”–(2 Samuel 11:1-27). It would be fatuous to say that the Bible ascribes “guile and deceit” to men.
15. Misogyny (hatred of women) in Islam:
The Prophet’s wives were enjoined to stay in their houses rather than behave like women of times of ignorance, because they were not “like other women”: they were role models to Muslims (as the verses 33:32-33 clearly points out). This does not mean that Islam requires Muslim women to be caged indoors. Islam enjoins modesty on women as well as on men. The special garment was, and is, an identification of Muslim women. These verses are not of a “misogynist tendency.”
The statement, on the birth of Mary (Qur’an 3:36), that “a male is not as a female” does not mean that women are “inferior” to men. The verse points out that while Mary’s mother, Hannah/ Anna, was expecting a son, Allāh gave her a daughter for a specific purpose, to prepare Mary for the birth of a righteous son, Jesus.
Incidentally, a female is not as a male either, does this mean that the male is “inferior” to the female? However, it is not Allah who says “a male is not as a female;” this was said by Mary’s mother, as careful reading of the verse shows. Allāh was only recounting what Mary’s mother had said:
“So when she (Mary’s mother) brought it forth,
she said: My Lord, I have brought it forth a female
–and Allah knew best what she brought forth–
and the male is not like the female, and I have
named it Mary, and I commend her and
her offspring into Thy protection”
The Qur’an 4:117; 37:149-150; 43:16-19; 52:39; 53:21-22, 27; generally, condemns the Idolaters calling on female deities and ascribing daughters to Allāh God. These verses do not “malign” the woman. These verses show that the Idolaters consider daughters inferior, yet they attribute that which they consider inferior to the Creator Who is the superior of all. It is the Idolaters who “malign” the woman, not Allah.
Allāh could not be said to “malign” women because of her form –a form of which she had no choosing; a form He gave her.
While the Muslim woman is to be dutiful to her husband, it is also a religious duty for man to be dutiful to his wife, and to assure her a tranquil existence, because “women have rights similar to those against them in a just manner”–(Qur’an 2:228). So a husband also “should never refuse” his self to his wife though it be on the “saddle of a camel.”
Since touching is the next step, (after amorous speech), in the approach to illicit relations, Islam does not allow men and women not closely related to each other to have physical contact. Why would the Prophet and righteous men and women want to touch these members of the opposite sex anyway?
The Prophet’ saying to his followers, while on a journey, to handle the glass wares (women) with care, does not mean that woman is “An Inferior Being.” In fact, by making such a statement the Prophet is teaching us that women are delicate creatures and should be treated with care and gentleness.
Expressing the truth of a thing is not hatred of that thing. Truth is not hatred.
Islam which declares that Allāh has put love and compassion between man and woman–(Qur’an 30:21), and that husbands and wives are garments to the other–(2:187) cannot be the religion that promotes hatred of women (misogyny). Muslim women do not defend the religion that discriminates, degrades and exploits them. Muslim women represent the religion that:
-liberates them–(Qur’an 2:187; 4:19-22); exalts them–(4:1; 9:71 -72); gives them equal rights with men–(2: 228; 3:194; 33:35; 49:13; 57:12, 18-19);
-condemns compulsion–(2:256); aggression–(32:20); oppression and persecution–(2:193; 42:42); exploitation–(6:153; 26:181-184; 83:1-4);
-promotes peace–(8:61), love–(60:7-8); patience–(23: 111), tolerance–(24:22; 45:14), and justice for all regard-less of race, color or creed–(4:135; 7:29; 16:90);
-advocates that all, regardless of race, nationality or color are equal, and that one is better than the other only through righteousness –(49:13);
-encourages the pursuit of knowledge to both male and female for the purpose of good uses–(20:114).
Islam of all the religions rescued Woman from the pit of degradation and enthroned her on the summit of dignity.|
(As Shari’ah is based on the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah –sayings and actions of the Prophet Mohammad– and as the Sunnah is based on the teachings of the Qur’an, and as there is no discrimination in the Qur’an whatever in Shari’ah that is the opinion of the Jurist(s) that discriminates is to be removed).
16. No pariah:
While it does not permit free mingling between sexes, Islam does not require Woman to be walled in. The injunction to the wives of the Prophet to “stay in your houses and display not your beauty like the displaying of the former days of ignorance”–Qur’an 33:33), is precisely that: to avoid the practice of the dark ages. The wives were “not like any other women”–(Qur’an 33:32); they had to set an example for the community.
If the Muslim Woman was to be locked away, there would be no question of her not to engage in “soft speech” with men and to speak decent words: “be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, and speak a word of goodness”–(Qur’an 33:32). Nor could she earn income (out-side of the home) and there would be no need for them to “lower their gaze and restrain their sexual passions”–(Qur’an 4:32; 24:30-31).
If the Muslim Woman was to be walled in, Lady ‘Aisha could not have lead an army against the assassins of the Caliph ‘Uth-man; (neither would the Muslim men have aligned themselves behind her). Nor would the Prophet have taken her on jihad–(Bokhari Vol. 4, # 130. Also #’s 131-134).
The Woman of Islam is not a footstool of the Man of Islam. The Muslim Woman is an invaluable asset to her partner. A virtuous wife is the most valuable asset, says the illustrious Messenger of Allāh, Mohammad, in words of similar import.
17. In Paradise:
There are several verses of the Qur’an dealing with the rewards of Paradise, but the women mentioned in Paradise are not there to serve the “fantasies” of men. Allāh, God, says: “The dutiful will be surely in Gardens and bliss…..Reclining on thrones set in lines, and We shall join them to pure; beautiful ones”–(Qur’an 52:17, 20).
As emphasized, both men and women are “dutiful.” Muham-mad Ali, in his Qur’anic commentary #2356 explains about houris:
“The word hur occurs four times in the Holy Qur’an and on two of these occasions, here and in 44:54, the form adopted is zawwajahum bi-hur-in and in 55:72 and 56:22 there is no mention of tazwij (“join”). While zawwaj-tu-hu imra‘t-an (doubly transitive without a particle) means I gave him in marriage a woman (LL), zawwaja shai’-an bi-shai’-in (made doubly transitive with particle bi) means he coupled a thing with a thing or united it to it as its fellow or like (LL). It is added, quoting 44:54 and 52:20, “the meaning is not the tazwij commonly known (i.e., marriage), for there will be no such tazwij in paradise”. Along with it is quoted 81:7, wa idha-l-nufusu zuwwijat, which is translated as meaning and when the souls shall be coupled, or paired, or united with their fellows, or according to some “when each sect, or party, shall be united with those whom it has followed” (LL). As regards the word hur, it is a plural of ahwar (applied to a man) and of haura (applied to a woman), signifying one having eyes characterized by the quality termed hawar, which means intense whiteness of the white of the eye and intense blackness of the black thereof. The word ahwar (singular of hur) also signifies pure or clear intellect (LL). The other word, ‘in, is plural of a‘yan (meaning a man wide in the eyes) and of ‘ain’ (meaning a woman beautiful and wide in the eye). The latter word also signifies a good or beautiful word, or saying (LL). It may be noted that whiteness is also a symbol of perfect and unsullied purity, and hence the two words hur and ‘an really stand for purity and beauty; and therefore, instead of white-eyed and large-eyed ones, I adopt the words pure and beautiful ones, as being more expressive of the true significance.
“To realize the true significance of these words, two points must be borne in mind. The first is that paradise is a place for faithful women as well as for the faithful men, and hence the Holy Qur’an often speaks of the faithful as being in paradise with their wives; see for instance 36:56…13:23 and 40:8… The second is that the blessings of paradise are alike for women and men, there being not the least difference in this respect between the two sexes. ….the Holy Qur’an does not speak of any conjugal relations being maintained in a physical sense in the life to come. Moreover, it has been shown on various occasions that, where the blessings of paradise are spoken of, these are nothing but physical manifestations of the spiritual blessings which the doers of good enjoy in this life too. There are gardens, trees, rivers, milk, honey, fruits and numerous other blessings spoken of as being met with in paradise, but that all these are not things of this life has been shown more than once in these footnotes, and a saying of the Holy Prophet already quoted makes it clear that the blessings of paradise are not the things of this life. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said: Allah says I have prepared for My righteous servants what no eye has seen and no ear has heard and what the heart of man has not conceived (Bukhari 59:8–Vol. 6, # 302). The Holy Qur’an also speaks of them in similar words: No soul knows what is hidden for it (32:17). These clear statements need no comment, and they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that whatever blessings are spoken of as existing in paradise, the one sure thing about them is that they are not things of this world. Hence even the white-eyed, large-eyed ones, or the pure, beautiful ones, the hur in, of this verse, are not actually the beautiful women of this life. These are heavenly blessings, which the righteous women shall have along with the righteous men, for v.17 plainly says that those who keep their duty will find these blessings, and therefore the pure, beautiful ones are as much a blessing meant for the righteous women as for the righteous men. (As noted in the verses I have quoted above).
The question may still be asked, why are these blessings described in words which apply to women? The fact is that the reward spoken of here is one having special reference to the purity of character and the beautiful deeds of the righteous, and it is womanhood, not manhood, that stands for a symbol of purity and beauty. (M. Ali explained Arabic terms and notes that) “this is another reason why the reward of good and pure deeds is spoken of in terms which apply to women. But note also that both hur (purity) and ‘in (beauty) are plurals of words applying to men as well as to women, as also to qualities and deeds.”
Whereas sex is pleasure of the physical and is meant for the regeneration of the species, pleasure in the spiritual world will be of the spirit; much as an intellectual finds pleasure in knowledge; a ballerina in her dancing; a musician in his music, etc.
Man can relate to things only in the physical life. To us the ultimate in possessions are gold and precious stones, wealth and carnal pleasure. So Allah relates to us in terms of what we understand. These descriptions of paradise are to let us know that we will receive in paradise the ultimate in bliss. This reward is not a lure for us to do good and to avoid evil, but rather the fruits of our own labor that we have toiled for in this life.
However, as sex in marriage is Divinely lawful on the earthly plain there is no difficulty if it should be allowed in the spiritual plain. Carnal pleasure in the conjugal bed is a form of worship of God–(Genesis 1:28. Qur’an 25:54; 16:72; 24: 32). The ignorant revile this blessed union as vulgar.
Whereas the Muslim Paradise is criticized as one of sensuality, what is the Christian heaven like? Christians depict heaven as a picturesque landscape of people laxing, and reading, with the lamb and wolf nesting together (Isaiah 11:6-7, “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb…and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” This must be a cruel joke on the lions or they would have to be outfitted with dentures of incisors and molars for stripping and grinding hay, and have their systems redesigned to process and evacuate hay). In other words, the Christian heaven is B-O-R-I-N-G.Small wonder the Christian is obsessed with Moham-mad’s “particularly active sex life,” and the gardens of “virgins” Muslims will have. The Christian is jealous to boot.
(A survey should be done among Christians–male and female–to find out how many prefer to lax in heaven rea-ding past-time stories and watching lions stripping hay instead of being in the Muslim Paradise of joys beyond human comprehension, lounging on couches of velvet savoring “wine” from goblets of gold and silver and en-joying “an eternity” of “sex.” And don’t forget the priests).
(For the Hindu heaven see Heaven/Paradise).
The reason women are exempt from acts of worship during their menstrual period is because they are in a state of ceremonial impurity. Not because she is impure.
The Prophet Mohammad once asked his wife to bring him his prayer mat, and she informed him that she was having her menses; to which he responded that her menses was not in her hands–(Abu Dawud, Vol. 1, # 261).
Men are required to abstain from intimate relations with their menstruating wives because the menstrual flow is pollution; and her period can be a painful time for the woman. (See also Apparel, menstruation, prayers & critics).
Allah God informs us in the Qur’an (16:43) that only men were given Revelation (i.e. only men were made prophets/messengers). But this verse has nothing to do with prejudice against women, it only points out that only men and not angels were sent by God with Revelation. In fact, Allāh tells us that He gave revelation to Moses’ mother–(Qur’an 20:38-39; 28:7); and sent angels to Mary, the mother of Jesus–(Qur’an 3:41-44), and to Lady Hajra, Abraham’s Egyptian wife–(Genesis 16:7-14).
Islam does not “explicitly forbids” any profession to women.
Muhammad Ali points out in his The Religion of Islam, (pp. 628-629) that “woman took interest in all the national activities of the Muslim community”–joining “in congregational prayers”–(Bukhari 10:162, 164);
-joining “the soldiers in the field of battle, to perform a large number of duties, such as the carrying of provisions,” “taking care of the sick and the wounded,” “removing the wounded and the slain from the battlefield,” “or taking part in actual fighting when necessary.”
“Women also helped their husbands in the labour of the field,” “served the male guests at a feast,” and “carried on business,” “they could sell to and purchase from men, and men could sell to and purchase from them.”
“A woman was appointed by the Caliph ‘Umar as superintendent of the market of Madinah.” (Bukhari, 56:66, 67, 68; 56:62, 63, 65; F.B. III, p. 228; Bukhari, 67:108, 78; 11:40; 34:67, respectively).
“A woman is also spoken of as acting as an Imam, while men followed her, though it was in her own house.” (Abu Dawud 2:58. The Religion of Islam, p.385).
The Prophet’s wife, ‘Aisha, who probably knew the Qur’an more than any other, lead an army against the assassins of the Caliph ‘Uthman, as noted by Muhammad Ali in his The Early Caliphate. Also, regarding ‘Aisha’s opposition to ‘Ali and leading this army, Muhammad Ali notes that if “she had any design on the Caliphate…” It could not be suggested that ‘Aisha “had any design”–i.e. any intention on being ruler– on the Caliphate if woman was excluded from being “head of state.” (p. 182).
Perhaps the above positions held by women may be claimed to be exceptions, but it does highlight that all professions were open to the Woman of Islam. The reason why some positions such as head of state, leader of the armed forces, imam and judge are not delegated to women can be explained.
Unlike other subordinate positions, leadership is a full time responsibility to the community. If Woman is exempt from these positions (at least in her child-bearing years), it is not because Allāh God or Islam discriminates against her on account of her sex; it is only because of her nature. For it is Woman who experiences menstruation, which is a time of ceremonial impurity and perhaps of pain; pregnancy and its discomforts and restrictions; childbirth and post-natal care; and caring for the child; all of which would leave her absent for these vital services to society.
Perhaps it is for the above reasons also that Woman is not appointed the role of prophethood, though Allāh God did give revelation to Moses’ mother –(Qur’an 20:38-39; 28:7).
Regarding the statements of the Qur’an that the wives of the Prophet are not to be “seductive of speech,” and Muslims are instructed to speak to the wives of the Prophet “from behind a curtain,” respectively–(Qur’an 33:32-33 and 33:53). This does not mean that women are to be isolated from men, but that they must be properly attired and conduct themselves decorously. But as Muhammad Ali has noted:
“Bigoted critics discover personal motives even in these beautiful rules of conduct. It must be borne in mind that any rule of conduct to be observed in relation to the Holy Prophet is really a rule that must be observed in all social relations. The Qur’an teaches not only high morals, but also good manners, for it is meant for all men. In this verse it disparages the custom of giving trouble to the owner of a house who invites his friends to a dinner by coming before the appointed time or staying after dinner to indulge in idle talk.” (comm. 2006)
If women were to be isolated from men, there would be no question of them being “seductive of speech;” to be spoken to “from behind a curtain;” for men to “lower their gaze;” and she would not be able to earn and “pay zakaat”–(Qur’an 9:71). Muslim men and women could not be “friends, one of another” if they live in gender apartheid–(Qur’an 9:71).
20. Islamic women vs. Pagan women:
Women of Pre-Islamic Arabia may have had “a choice” as to the place of marriage, but watching hopelessly as your daughters are buried alive, having no rights to inheritance, inherited against your will, deserted because your husband says you are like “the back” of his mother, and being denied conjugal rights,* as was the practices against women before Islam–these can hardly be “greater powers” and “freedom” and “liberty” of person.
The woman of Islam, as the preceding has shown, does have “freedom,” “liberty” of person and “a choice” in marriage.
*(Regarding the oath spoken of in Qur’an 2:226, this oath, as Muhammad Ali points out, “signifies an oath that one shall not go in to one’s wife”. And that in Pre-Islamic times “the Arabs used to take such oaths frequently, and as the period of suspension was not limited, the wife was compelled sometimes to pass her whole life in bondage, having neither the position of a wife nor that of a divorced woman free to marry elsewhere.” But the Qur’an abolishes this heinous practice, declaring “that if the husband does not reassert conjugal relations within four months, the wife shall be divorced”).
21. Marriage: The Arabic word for marriage is “nikah which originally means ‘aqd or uniting”–(uniting in faith, love, compassion and intimacy).
Allāh, God says that He creates mates for us from among ourselves–(Qur’an 30:21; 42:11). This marriage is a mithaq, solemn covenant–(Qur’an 4:21). “Thus marriage is, according to the Qur’an, the union of two souls which are one in their essence”–(M. Ali, The Religion of Islam, pp. 584, 586.)
There are four essentials in marriage:
(1) Free mutual consent of the two parties–(Qur’an 2:232).
(2) Two witnesses. Though the Qur’an does not specifically state that witnesses are required in a marriage, it stands to reason that as witnesses are required in business contracts–(Qur’an 2:282), as well as in a divorce–(Qur’an 65:2), marriage, which is a sacred contract, would also necessitate witnesses.
(3) Sermon –verses of Qur’an 3:101; 4:1; 33:70–stating the responsibilities of the husband and wife. Though this sermon is not mentioned in the Qur’an, the Prophet is reported to have delivered such a sermon. As the Prophet is the foremost interpreter of the Qur’an, and as Allāh, God, enjoins on us obedience to the Prophet–(Qur’an 3:131; 4:80; 7:157), Muslims are to follow the practice of the Prophet. Thus this sermon is compulsory.
(4) Mahr/dowry/gift (explained further on).
22. Woman has the right to choose her husband:
That women have the right to choose their husbands is made clear by the Qur’an which shows that widows and women divorcees have the right to choose their husbands–(Qur’an 2:232; 2:240), and by the Tradition of the Prophet: Says the noble Messenger of Allāh,
-“A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission”–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 67, 68; Vol. 9, # 98, 100);
-a virgin’s consent, because of bashfulness, is expressed by her silence–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 68; Vol. 9, # 98, 100-101);
-and that “If a man gives his daughter in marriage in spite of her disagreement, such marriage is invalid”–it notes the dissolution of such a marriage by the Prophet on behalf of a “matron” who disliked the marriage her father had arranged–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 69; Vol. 9, # 78).
A woman may also propose to a man–(Bokhari Vol. 7 #’s 48, 53, 54). There is a report of a woman proposing marriage to the Prophet–(Bokhari Vol. 3, # 505).
23. Marriage of those under guardianship:
Muhammad Ali has noted:
“it cannot be denied that there is a natural bashfulness about the virgin, and, moreover, she has not the same experience of men and affairs as has a widow or a divorced woman, and it is therefore in the fitness of things that her choice of a husband should be subject to the check of a father or other guardian, who would also settle the terms, and guard her against being misled by unscrupulous people. But as the contract, after all depends on her consent and not on the consent of the guardian, which in fact is only needed to protect her, her will must ultimately prevail and the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah is more in accordance with the essentials of marriage as expressed by the Qur’an. He says: “Her’s is the right of marrying, and the guardian is only sought lest it (the contraction of marriage) should be attributed to waqahah (want of shame)”-(H.I, p. 294); and again: “It is not lawful for the guardian to compel a virgin who has attained majority to marry according to his wishes”–(ibid)” (The Religion of Islam, p. 615).
The Qur’an instructs the guardian who wants to marry the orphan girl for her wealth and beauty not to deprive her of her full mahr–(Qur’an 4:3; Bokhari Vol. 9, # 95).
24. Marriage of minors:
The Prophet Mohammad was born into a custom that engaged in child marriages. As he could not change a practice of society until he received Divine revelation, the Prophet, by marrying ‘Aisha and delaying consummation for five years, he was hoping to change society of pre-teen marriages by his action. This practice did end, as Muhammad Ali notes (shown later).
Allāh reveals in Qur’an 65:4: “Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the pre-scribed period (iddat), if you have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): For those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: And for those who fear God, He will make their path easy” (Yusuf Ali)
Muhammad Ali translates: “And those of your women who despair (ya’isna) of menstruation, if you have a doubt, their prescribed time is three months, and of those, too, who have not had their courses. And the pregnant women, their prescribed time is that they lay down their burden. And whoever keeps his duty to Allāh, He makes his affair easy for him.”
What needs to be pointed out is that this verse, in fact this entire section (65:1-7) is about divorce. “Iddat” is the period of waiting for a woman to know if she is pregnant.
There are three points in this verse, 65:4: (i) women who have passed the age of menstruation or are in the stage of menopause, (ii) women who have not have their periods and are not certain if they are pregnant (iii) women whose pregnancies are confirmed.
Maturity is the state when a person is “fully developed.” In the physical case of a woman it is when she has breasts, pubic hair, and menstruates (thus a ten year old and even younger who has breasts, pubic hair, and menstruates is “mature” whereas a twenty-year old and older who is flat-chested, like some models, and who may even lack pubic hair and not even menstruate is not considered “mature” and may even be considered pre-pubescent. Thus according to critics of Islam the ten year-old can have sex but the twenty-year-old cannot have sex).
Since to be pre-pubescent is to be without breasts, pubic hair and period; thus the Qur’anic women “who have not had their courses” CANNOT be pre-pubescent girls; because by its very nature PRE-pubescent girls do NOT menstruate.
If these girls are pre-pubescent and are not developed and did not have their courses when they had sex why do they need a “waiting period” to know if they are pregnant when they cannot become pregnant without first having reached the stage of having their courses?
Even if there are cases where girls become pregnant before experiencing their first periods this does not mean that they did not have breasts and pubic hair and was of marriageable state. As noted above there are women in late teens and even later that do not have breasts and perhaps even pubic hair and may not even be menstruating, does this mean they cannot marry?
Muhammad Ali notes: “No particular age has been specified for marriage in the Islamic law (and there is none in the Bible either); in fact, with the difference of climatic conditions, there would be a difference as to the marriageable age in different countries. But the Qur’an does speak of an age of marriage which it identifies with the age of majority: “And test the orphans until they reach the marriage (nikah). Then if you find in them maturity of intellect, make over to them their property, and consume it not extravagantly and hastily, against their growing up”–(Qur’an 4:6). Thus it will be seen that the age of marriage and the age of maturity of intellect are identified with full age or the age of majority.”13
Muhammad Ali also notes: “it is wrong to identify women who have not had their courses with minors, for there may be cases in which a woman reaches the age of majority though she has not had her courses and it is with such exceptional cases that this verse deals. At any rate, there is no mention anywhere in the Qur’an or Tradition of minors being married or divorced. In Jurisprudence, however, the legality of the marriage of a minor when contracted by a lawful guardian is recognised.”
Muhammad Ali also points out that “there is no case on record showing that the marriage of a minor through his or her guardian was allowed by the Prophet after details of the law were revealed to him at Madinah.”14
To restate. Women “who have not had their courses” could not refer to PRE-pubescent girls because having no courses they cannot become pregnant and thus have no need for a “waiting period” to determine if they are pregnant. These women “who have not had their courses” refers to child-bearing women who may have missed a period or are late in their schedule and are therefore not certain if they are pregnant; in which event the waiting period is to clear any doubt.
Qur’an 65:4 would also include young women who suffer from what is now medically known as “Primary amenorrhea” whereby a young woman has never had a period. Because of a “genetic problem” in which the ovaries “do not make enough estrogen” to effect periods.
In contrast. It is the Bible that allows sex with pre-pubescent girls (and as Christians say Jesus is God then this is what Jesus allowed):
“Then the Lord spake unto Moses, saying…And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses, and they slew ALL THE MALES….And they brought the CAPTIVES and the prey and the spoil to Moses, and Eleazar…And Moses said unto them…Now therefore kill every MALE among the LITTLE ONES (of the captives), and kill EVERY WOMAN who hath known man by lying with him (to know which woman and girls were virgins Moses and/or the soldiers must have had to physically examine them), but ALL THE WOMEN CHILDREN, that have not known a man by lying with him (virgin girls) KEEP ALIVE FOR YOURSELVES…And the Lord spake unto to Moses, saying, Take the sum of the PREY (BOOTY) that was taken, both of MAN and of beast, thou and Eleazar…And divide the PREY into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation And LEVY A TRIBUTE UNTO THE LORD….And the BOOTY, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught was 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, and 61,000 asses, and of WOMEN that had not known man by lying with him (virgin girls), were 32,000. And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was 337,500 sheep; 36,000 cattle, 30,500 asses, and 16,000 persons (virgin girls.And of the congregation’s half portion of these 16.000 virgin girls, 320 were given to the Levite priests, as “the Lord commanded Moses.” And the LORD’S TRIBUTE(of the (booty) was 675 sheep; 72 cattle; 61 donkeys; and 32 persons….the men of war had taken SPOIL (BOOTY), EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF.”
(Surely, these 16,000 young “virgin” girls who were “booty’ were taken by the “warriors” not for ploughing fields. And the 320 given to the Levite priests could have hardly been for “altar”-girl service.
And as Christians say Jesus is God, then according to Christians it was Jesus who commanded that these little virgin girls be taken as sex slaves and even assigned some for himself). (See Christianity-sex slaves & prepubescent girls).
Unless and until he received Divine Revelation in a matter the Prophet Mohammad followed the Bible. Thus, if Mohammad’s followers engaged in marriages to pre-pubescent girls they were only following what the Bible –Judaism and Christianity– allows.
Why then carp at the Qur’an/Mohammad for doing what the Biblical/Christian’s God allows?
25. Mahr (dowry):
The dowry (properly, mahr) is not a “reconfirmation” of the husband’s claims over the wife in matters of “sex and divorce.”
The mahr is a gift that the prospective husband gives without any pre-conditions to his intended wife. It is hers to utilize in whatever manner she likes. Allāh, God, says: “And give women their dowries as a free gift. But if they of themselves be pleased to give you a portion thereof, consume it with enjoyment and pleasure”–(Qur’an 4:4, see also 4:19-20).
There is no limit to the value of this mahr. There is no obliga-tion for the bride to give mahr (dowry) to her groom; if she desires to give him a gift he is welcome to accept it.
Temporary marriage: Since Islam teaches that:
- marriage is a sacred contract (a matter that is sacred is not to be taken frivolously)
- spouses are to wait three months before divorce (all avenues of conciliation is to be explored before divorce)
- the father must support off-spring(s)
- divorce is a most shameful deed
–there could be no “temporary marriage” in Islam.
“Temporary marriage” allowed among early Muslims was now prohibited by Qur’anic injunctions. Muhammad Ali has noted in his The Religion of Islam: “The evils that prevailed in Arabia were not touched until the Prophet received a Divine revelation, but when a reform was introduced after a Divine revelation, it was impossible that the Prophet himself should have allowed the evil again.” (p. 591).
There are reports of the Prophet, while initially allowing temporary marriage, later forbade it–(Bokhari Vol. 7, #’s 50, 51, 52).
This practice in which the husband keeps a second current marriage secret from his wife is un-Islamic. Allāh, God, says to hold to family ties–(Qur’an 4:1). Keeping children (and in-laws) apart is not holding to family ties. These children may also unknowingly intermarry, it is unIslamic for a brother to marry his sister–(Qur’an 4:23). Also, a son might unknowingly marry his father’s widow/ex-wife, which is unIslamic (or a son of his first wife might unknowingly marry his father’s widow/ex wife from his “secret” marriage)–(Qur’an 4:22).
27. Muslim/Catholic marriages:
A newspaper reports “Vatican officials” as discouraging marriages “between Catholics and Muslims –especially Catholic women and Muslim men;” citing cultural and doctrinal differences between Christianity and Islam, especially regarding the rights of women, “who are referred to as “the least protected member of the Muslim family,”” says the report.15
Some Muslim males may be guilty of discrimination against their women –which is in stark contrast to the dictates of Islam– but it is to be kept in mind that the Bible –the “all” Word of God as Christians claim the Bible to be– not only sanctions a Christian (and Jew) selling his daughter into bondage–(Exodus 21:7) and enslaving his “heathen” neighbors, men and women–(Lev; 25:44);
but requires him to keep his wife in subjection–(Gen. 3:16; Eph. 5:24);
to stone to death the rebellious son, and the abusive son–(Deut. 21:18-21; Lev; 20:9);
to stone to death the married damsel without the “token of virginity”–(Deut. 22:20-21);
to stone to death the fornicators who are not “betrothed” to each other–(Deut. 22:23-24);
to stone to death the adulterer/ adulteress–(Lev. 20: 10-12; Deut. 22:22; John 8:3-5);
to “put to death” the homosexuals–(Lev. 20:13);
to put to death the witches–(Exodus 22:18);
not to take gifts–(Exodus 23:8);
not to give false report or side with the wicked–(Exodus 23:1; Deut. 5:20)
and to execute the murderers–(Gen. 9:6; Lev. 24:17, 21).
Are the Christian leaders (and all followers of the Bible) fulfilling these decrees of their Scripture?
The Catholic women (as well as other non-Muslim women) who become wives of Muslim men, once they are illuminated by the resplendent light of Islam, must demand from their ignorant or arrogant husbands and patriarchs their sublime rights that Islam has conferred upon them; or draw their attention to the inescapable Fire, awaiting those who deny what Allāh, God, has given–those who transgress the boundaries of Allāh, the Glori-ous and the High.
28. Marital Rape:
Why would the Muslim wife having no justification withhold herself from her husband?
If the Muslim wife must at all times submit to the demands of her husband, then the Muslim husband must at all times submit to the demands of his wife, seeing that she has rights similar to those against her–(Qur’an 2:228).
And if the Muslim wife for whatever reason is not prepared to welcome her husband’s affections, would it kill him to wait another day? After all, isn’t this one of the benefits of fasting –to effect control/restrain of the carnal passion?
The carnal union is intended to be one of mutual joy; how could it be mutual joy if one party is robotic to the moment?
Allāh tells us in His Qur’an that:
-wife and husband are garment to the other–to protect, beautify, comfort, and conceal flaws–(Qur’an 2:187). It is not protection, beautification and comfort to force one’s self onto the unwell wife.
-He has established marriages between men and women; created her to be his mate, that he might find peace and comfort in her, and has put between them love and compassion–(Qur’an 25:54; 16:72; 24:32; 7:189; 30:21) –that woman is a source of peace and comfort condemns the act of marital rape, for, any man who forces himself upon his wife, abuses her, causes her distress, or places her under duress, he can not find peace and comfort in her. Marital rape is not love and compassion and peace and comfort!
And the noble Messenger of Allāh taught us that the best of us are those who are best to their wives. Forcing one’s self onto his wife is not being “best” to her.
With such a magnificent master-print from Allāh and His Prophet to regulate our intimate life it is a monumental disgrace that Muslims should require a national law to dictate our conjugal moments.
29. Concubinage: There is no “concubinage” in Islam. Islam allows carnal relations only in the bed of marriage. (See Islam-concubinage).
There is no “easy divorce” in Islam.
Marriage is a sacred contract–(Qur’an 4:21). A sacred matter is not dispensed with lightly. And the Prophet Mohammad is reported as saying: “of all things which have been permitted divorce is the most hated by Allah”–Abu Dawud 13:3 (M Ali, comm. # 293).
It is doubtful that a person of dignity would undertake a “hated” action without first giving it lengthy consideration. Or that Allāh would allow a “most hated” thing to be annulled by a superfluous expression–I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you–considering that even an oath made against one’s-self needs compensation in return for its expiation–(Qur’an 5:89). And a marriage covenant is not only sacred but unites the man and the woman socially, morally, spiritually, and intimately.
However, while divorce is “the most hated” thing, there is no ‘till death do us part’ in Islam. If a couple cannot live in harmony, it is better for them to part in peace than live in misery.
Islam enjoins counselling. A divorce is allowed only after all avenues of reconciliation have been explored–(Qur’an 4:35).
Since woman has rights as those against her–(Qur’an 2:228) and since marriage is a contract–(Qur’an 4:21) either party may file for divorce: “And if they separate, Allah will render them both free from want”–(Qur’an 4:130). And, “if you fear that they cannot keep the limits of Allah, there is no blame on them for what she gives up to become free thereby”–(Qur’an 2:229).
There is a report of Thabit ibn Qais wife’s seeking permission from the Prophet to divorce her husband; which permission was given on agreement that she return the wedding gift to her husband–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 197).
Reading the relevant portions of the Qur’an 2:228 -232 on divorce Allāh enjoins:
“And the divorced women should keep themselves in waiting for three courses. And it is not lawful for them to conceal that which Allāh has created in their wombs…And their husbands have a better right to take them back in the meanwhile if they wish for reconciliation…(228)
“Divorce may be (pronounced) twice; then keep them in good fellowship or let (them) go with kindness…(229)
“So if he divorces her (the third time), she shall not be lawful to him afterwards until she marries another husband. And if he divorces her, there is no blame on them both if they return to each other (by marriage)….(230)
“And when you divorce women and they reached their prescribed time, then retain them in kindness or set them free with kindness….(231)
“And when you divorce women and they end their term, prevent them not from marrying their husbands ….(232)
As emphasized, “Divorce may be (pronounced) twice; and “So if he divorces her (the third time).” It is a mistake to take Allāh’s saying that divorce may be pronounced “TWICE” and if he divorces her the “THIRD” time and group these two to mean that the utterance of the word “divorce” three times dissolves a marriage.
Firstly, the word “pronounced” in the statement is the translator’s opinion: it is not part of the Qur’anic text. The translator could have alternatively used the word “undertaken” or “effected” which would then render the two statements thusly:
“Divorce may be (undertaken/effected) twice”
“So if he divorces her (the third time).”
In which instance there would be no question of the husband “pronouncing” I divorce you “three” times.
As noted, Allāh, says, “Divorce may be (pronounced) twice; then keep them in good fellowship or let (them) go with kindness”–(Qur’an 2:229, and 2:228 says reconciliation is allowed during the three-month waiting period); and, “So if he divorces her (the third time), she shall not be lawful to him afterwards until she marries another husband. If he (the latter husband) divorces her, there is no blame on them both if they return to each other (by marriage)”–(Qur’an 2: 230).
After the first intent to divorce, there is a waiting period of three months before this divorce is finalized; within this three-month waiting period the couple may resume married life, or end the marriage after the waiting period; and may remarry each other–(Qur’an 2:232. Bokhari Vol. 6, # 52).
This is allowed for up to two times. After the third intent to divorce they may reconcile during the waiting period; but if the divorce is finalized this third time, they can only remarry after the wife has married someone else, consummate that marriage and is divorced from the latter husband–(Qur’an 2:230. Bokhari Vol. 3, # 807).
The reason that it is mandatory for the wife to marry another man after the third divorce before remarrying her former husband seems obvious. Since carnal intimacy is the closest a man and a woman can be physically, and since a man, generally, would not want another man to touch his wife, then he must really need/love the woman to still want her after knowing that she had been intimate with another man. This almost impossible condition for them to remarry seems to be a red flag against hasty divorces.
The reason why a divorced woman must wait three menstrual courses before remarrying–(Qur’an 2:228) would seem to be a guide to find out if she is pregnant or not as the continuing words of this verse (2:228) show: “And it is not lawful for them to conceal that which Allāh has created in their wombs.”
Bokhari Vol. 6, # 431 notes the Prophet declaring as illegal a divorce which was enacted while the wife was still menstruating. The prescribed waiting time is, generally, three months–Qur’an 2:228; 65:1, 4).
Allāh mandating against preventing the couple to reunite, even into the third breach of the marriage highlights the expanse to which Islam goes to fortify the marriage-bed on its foundation.
Wife and husband are garments to the other–to protect, beautify, comfort, and conceal flaws–(Qur’an 2:187).
Allāh enjoining arbitration to prevent dissolution of a marriage and the Prophet’s saying that a divorce is “most hated” in the sight of Allah, either saying taken singularly, has enough weight to crumble the notion that there is “easy divorce” in Islam.
Saying “I divorce you; I divorce you; I divorce you” to sever this sacred covenant and rent this beautiful garment of marriage is not only “easy,” but absurdity.
(Notably. Whereas in Islam the divorced wife is awarded a settlement, irrespective of her financial status–[Qur’an 4:32], and adjudged according to the length of marriage and the man’s financial status–[Qur’an 2:236-2237], and after which time, if financially straitened, she becomes zakaatable on the State–[Qur’an 9:60], there is in Secularism the obscene divorce law that can penalize the man to support his wife for the rest of her unmarried life; even though she may have a legion of bed-mates.
Marriage is a contract of obligations between a man and a woman. There is no “till death do us part.” If the contract is terminated so are the obligations. To tie the man indefinitely to this severed agreement by having him bankroll the woman’s lifestyle is gruesome injustice).
31. Women–disease and illness:
Columnist Raheel Raza quotes Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic studies at Commonwealth University in Virginia, as saying, at the “2nd International Muslim Leaders Consultation on HIV/AIDS in Kuala Lumpur” in May, 2003:
“Islam and Muslims exacerbate the spread of AIDS and ….traditional Islamic theological response can never cure AIDS.” She explained that Muslim women are bound to comply with their husbands’ desire for sex, and can be punished if they do not. This includes women who know their husbands are HIV positive.” (Toronto Star, Saturday, June 21, 2003. p. L 14).
Unless husbands contracted AIDS from non-sexual causes –such as tainted blood transfusion– they would not have AIDS if they were abiding by the Islamic precepts of carnal chasteness.
Allāh, God, has put love and compassion between man and woman, and that he may find peace and tranquillity in his wife–(Qur’an 30:21; 7:189). Husbands who force themselves upon their wives or infect them with disease(s) cannot find love and compassion and peace of mind in her. Women have rights similar to those against them–(Qur’an 2:228).
Men and women are protectors of, and garments –embellishments: to protect, comfort, beautify and cover imperfections– to the other–(Qur’an 9:71; 2:187). Protectors and enhancers do not make demand(s) that is injurious or fatal to the other.
The Prophet Mohammad is reported as saying that the best among Muslims are those who are best to their wives. One who knowingly gives disease(s) to his wife is not being best to her.
(The Muslim wife is not only loved, –and loved not only because she is mated with–; she is to be respected, honored and cherished).
The Prophet Mohammad taught us that a person should not go to a place where there is an outbreak of plague, nor should one who is in a land with plague leave it–(Bokhari, Vol. 7, # 625, 626). He also says that cattle suffering from a disease should not be mixed with healthy cattle (or do not put a patient with a healthy person)–(Bokhari, Vol. 7, # 665 B).
Since one is not to go to a place with an epidemic so as to become infected, and not to leave a place with an epidemic so as to infect others, and since diseased animals are to be kept away from healthy ones, then the diseased husband has no right to mingle with his healthy wife.
It is poor reasoning to conclude that Islam, the Religion from Allah God would allow a man to imperil the health or life of his wife.
Ibn Warraq wrote in his book Why I Am Not A Muslim (p. 311): “According to Muslim jurists, the husband is not obliged under Islamic law to pay for her medical expenses in case of illness.”
(These jurists must have gotten their information on Islam from the same source as the critics of Islam: from that “Babylonian Jew from Southern Mesopotamia,” who is said to have instructed the Prophet, as Ibn Warraq notes from Torrey. p. 50). For a response to Warraq’s book see Why I am not a Muslim).
Muslim jurists may say that “the husband is not obliged under Islamic law to pay for her medical expenses in case of illness,” but Allah, the Superior, says that men are the maintainers of women –(Qur’an 4:34); and taking care of her in times of her illness is part of her maintenance.
Without doubt, men (unless they buy a new one) would pay for the repairs of their autos; and Allah did not put love and compassion between man and his automobile; but He did between man and woman.
Allah did not make man and auto garment unto the other, but He made man and woman garment unto the other –and one of the functions of a garment is to give comfort; and refusing to take care or your wife medically is not comfort to her.
Allah did not make man and auto the mate of each other, but He made woman and man the mate of each other.
Allah did not designate man and auto friends and protectors of one another, but He made man and woman friends and protectors (in every way possible) of one another; and if the Muslim man and woman are protectors of one another how much more is one to protect his wife, who is more than a “friend.”
And the noble Messenger of Allah instructs us that he is best among us who is best to his wife, (not who is best to his camel and/or automobile), and not paying for her recovery is not being “best” to her.
The Prophet also says service to the creatures of Allah is service to Allah, not service to his auto. Not paying the bill for your wife’s “illness” is a dis-service to her.
Again, the magnificent Messenger says woman is the sovereign of your house, not that your auto is the sovereign.
And as woman has rights similar to those against her, if the “husband is not obliged under Islamic law to pay for her medical expenses in case of illness,” if the husband should become a “case of illness” the wife would have the right to withhold care from him.
Most significantly, as stated, the husband is maintainer of his wife, then he is to maintain her in all facets of life –from youth to aged, from health to illness, from illness to wellness!
32. Female/male equality:
“So their Lord accepted their prayer, (saying): I will not suffer the work of any worker among you to be lost whether male or female, the one of you being from the other. …”(Qur’an 3:194)
“Whoever does good, whether male or female, and is a believer, We shall certainly make him live a good life, and We shall certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did.”(Qur’an 16:97)
“The Qur’an here affords another reply to the ignorant statement made in certain quarters that according to Islam women have no soul. The promise is twofold: The doers of good, both men and women, are made to lead a good life in this world and will have a reward in the Hereafter.” (M. Ali, Qur’anic comm.1397).
As noted in preceding pages Islam has given Woman rights that left her nothing for which to strive.
Significantly, whereas the critics of Islam charge that Islam discriminates against women; Islam requires that:
-men give a gift to their brides even though she may be wealthier than he is
-men maintain their wives even though she may have a mountain of money
-men be circumcised and women not
-men shave their heads at the Hajj and women not
yet no critic of Islam has charged that Islam discriminates against men; or that Islam teaches hatred of men; or that Islam favors women over men; or that these are symbols of men’s subservience to women.
Interestingly, whereas Allāh reveals in His Qur’an 2:228 that women have rights similar to those against her He did not say that men have rights similar as those against him; thus, arguably, women would seem to have more rights on men than men have on women.
Allah is a Just God. He will not discriminate against Woman because of her form and physiology –a form and physiology of which she had no choice; a form and physiology He gave her.
In fact, if form and physiology is the measure of superiority, Woman is superior to Man –she having carried man, gave birth to him and nursed him. Three degrees of excellence and superiority that Man have yet to acquire. Women even have a fourth degree of excellence over men –cloning! Whereas the male sperm can be dispensed with in duplicating the being, the female’s ovum is necessary to develop the clone.
1A. Qur’an 59:7 states: “Whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and whatever he forbids you abstain (therefrom).” While this verse deals with “property acquired in war,” this injunction from Allāh is to be applied in all matters that the Prophet deems lawful and unlawful..
1B. Ali, Muhammad, The Religion Of Islam, pp. 608-609.
1C. Karma and Reincarnation; and Trinity, inherited sin, and vicarious atonement are not Divine doctrines. God did not reveal and Christ did not teach Trinity, inherited sin, and vicarious atonement; these doctrines are assumed and propagated as Divine truths. Trinity was invented by the Church three hundred years after Christ; and inherited sin and vicarious atonement were devised by Paul, and institutionalized by the Church three hundred years after Christ. See the topics on Christianity and on Jesus).
1D. Belief in Allāh means: Allāh is One and Only; the Eternal, Absolute; on Whom all depend; He begets not; nor is begotten; there is none like Him; He incarnates not; has no “chosen people” to the exclusion of others; needs no “satisfaction” to forgive sins; belief in all His Angels; Books; Prophets; Resurrection; Judgment; Heaven and Hell.
While we are to believe in all His Scriptures, Allāh, God, has informed us what not to believe, such as: polytheism, idolatry, partnership with God, Trinity, sonship of God, inherited sin, vicarious atonement, karma, and reincarnation.
Faith does not mean acceptance of Allāh without proof of His existence. Allāh has proven His existence through the Qur’an. The Qur’an makes scientific pronouncements, prophecies and gives insights to the Doomsday. Maurice Bucaille on the Prophet Mohammad and the Qur’an:
“How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author, in terms of literary merit, in the whole of Arabic literature? How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human being could possibly have developed at the time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncements on the subject?”
“In view of the level of knowledge in Muhammad’s day, it is inconceivable that many of the statements in the Qur’an which are connected with science could have been the work of a man. It is, moreover, perfectly legitimate, not only to regard the Qur’an as the expression of a Revelation, but also to award it a very special place, on account of the guarantee of authenticity it provides and the presence in it of scientific statements which, when studied today, appear as a challenge to explanation in human terms.” (The Bible, The Qur’an and Science, pp. 125, 251-252).
1F. That Christians also will go to heaven: Allāh says in Qur’an 2:62 and 5:69 “Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allåh and the Last Day and does good, they have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve;” “Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians — whoever believes in Allåh and the Last Day and does good — they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.”
This refers to Jews, Christians and Sabians who followed their respective prophet’s teaching (which was “belief in Allāh” as the verse states), not teachings that are passing under the name of these prophets. This is made clear in Qur’an 22:17 in which Allāh says: “Those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians and the Magians and the polytheists — surely Allāh will decide between them on the day of Resurrection. Surely Allāh is Witness over all things.”
Jews who reject Jesus and Mohammad (even though they know Mohammad is the Prophet foretold in their Scripture) and believe they are God’s “chosen people” to the exclusion of others and did not keep their covenant with Allah; and Christians who reject Mohammad and follow doctrines God did not reveal and Christ did not teach –Trinity, inherited sin, and vicarious atonement– will be decided upon by Allāh; and Allāh clearly states those who ascribe Divinity to Jesus and sonship to Him are blasphemers who will be punished. And blasphemers are heading to hell, which is an “everlasting” “furnace of fire” that “never shall be quenched” in which is “wailing and gnashing of teeth,” as Jesus says–(Mark 3:29; 9:43; Matt. 18:8; 13:42).
6. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Open Letters to the Bishops of Salisbury & London, pp. 71-77. aEpiph. Hae; xxx. 16, p. 14. Islamic Review, vol. xii, p. 232. b–c Qur’an 2:187; 30:21,.
13. Ali, Muhammad, The Religion of Islam, p. 602.
14. Ibid; p. 601.
15. Toronto Star, Saturday, May 15, 2004, Art. Vatican discourages mixed marriages, p. A 16.