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WOMEN IN ISLAM

ShaikhHashim

Final Part - II

Some men, disregarding the Shariah (Islamic Law), force their working wives to give them a share in their earnings in exchange for allowing them to work. This is something unacceptable in Islam. Islam gives due care to a woman; be she a daughter, a mother or a wife. As for a daughter, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taaalaa) showed that ones daughter is but a gift from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taaalaa) and thus deserves care and love. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taaalaa) says which means:

To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills (and plans). He bestows (children) male or female according to His Will (and Plan) (Ash-Shooraa:49)

Some ignorant Muslims of this present society follow the pre-Islamic practice of showing anger upon having a female child or threatening their wives with divorce if she is to bear a female child, paying no heed to the fact that it is Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taaalaa) Who determines the babys sex. Once, there was a man called Abu Hamzah who deserted his wife because she bore a female child. As he was passing by his wifes tent one day, he heard her reciting some poetic stanzas to her daughter.

Upon hearing this, Abu Hamzah came to his senses and returned to his family. A woman has nothing to do with the babys sex. Moreover, one should know that taking care of a girl makes a man enter Jannah for the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said:

Anyone who is given a female child and avoids harming, insulting or even giving his son priority over her, shell be his ticket to enter Jannah. (Ahmad & Abu Daawood)

He also said:
He who raises two female children till they reach puberty, I will be as close to him in Jannah as the middle and index fingers are. (Muslim & Tirmizi)

Children are also to be treated equally when given anything, for the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said:

Do justice when you distribute something to your children. Were I to prefer some children over some others, I would prefer girls. (At-Tabaraani)

Islam also showed care to a girl and gave her the right to accept or refuse suitors. In this respect the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said:

A virgin can never be married unless her permission is sought and a previously married woman cannot be married unless her consent is obtained .

They asked:
How could we know this?

He answered:
If she keeps silent, it is her consent (Bukhaari & Muslim).

Once the girl refuses, the whole contract is invalid. A woman came to the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) saying:

O Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taaalaa)s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)! My father wants to marry me to his nephew so as to elevate his status for he is inferior to me.

The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) gave her the option to decide whether to marry him or not. Then, she said:

I approved my fathers opinion but I just wanted to make it known to women that fathers have no authority over their consent. (Ahmad & Abu Daawood)

Moreover, Islam commands us to take care of our wives:

The best among the believers is the person who perfects his morals and the best amongst you is the best to his wife (Tirmizi)

As a mother, a woman is given respect and preference over the father because the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said:

Your mother, your mother, your mother. Then, your father

In addition to this, Jannah lies beneath righteous mothers feet.

A man came to the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) asking him about a good deed, the doing of which will cause him to enter paradise, the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) asked:

Do you have a mother? 

The man answered: Yes.

Thus, the Prophet sallAllahu alaihi wasallam said:

Commit yourself to serving her for paradise lies under her feet and is entered by the one who shows respect to his mother. (At-Tabaraani)

There are some legal aspects regarding the differences between man and woman. The enemies of Islam try to attack through these aspects and to put in Muslims minds that Islam, by establishing such points of distinction, oppresses woman. Islam, whereas, takes a womans nature and her capabilities into consideration and never debases her or violates her rights. In inheritance, for example, Allah says which means:

Allah (thus) directs you as regards your childrens (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females (An-Nisaa:11)

However, why do we not give woman a share equal to that of man? Our scholars say:

Since a woman in maintained either by her father, her husband or her brother, she is not asked to spend even a penny from her own money.

For example, if a man and his sister inherit three thousand dollars, the man takes two thousand and the woman takes one thousand in which case he is obliged to maintain her until she marries. She, on the contrary, is not asked to spend any money from her share. He is required to provide for his own family and if he is single, has the debt of preparing himself for marriage and, at the same time maintaining his sister. It is clear that mans financial duties are greater than a womans.

In divorce, why do we not shift the authority of divorce to women? Scholars responded to this focusing on two aspects, the material aspect, and the emotional one.

As for the material aspect, every Muslim man knows that by uttering the pronouncement of divorce he will be asked to pay the deferred dower, to pay maintenance which includes wifes food, and lodging during the waiting period, to provide for his children until they become old enough, to maintain himself and, on trying to marry a new wife to secure a dower for this new wife. All these financial responsibilities will be taken into consideration before uttering a declaration of divorce. If he utters it, he does so out of conviction that he cannot tolerate living with his wife and thus wants to terminate this marriage at any cost.

As for the emotional aspect, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taaalaa) created woman sensitive and emotional, qualities that are required in her duty of bringing up the children and fulfilling their needs. It is a good quality of a woman to be sensitive but if she is given authority of divorce, she may, at any moment of a dispute, utter a declaration of divorce especially as she will have no financial responsibilities to fulfill. In our everyday life, we see that as soon as a woman gets angry she demands a divorce. Families would then be easily destroyed.

Finally, a woman as a witness is mentioned in the verse stating, which means:

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

Why is one male witness equated to two female witnesses? The scholars say:

Witnessing may relate to matters pertaining to women or may relate to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taaalaa)s limits. If the matter concerned relates to women such as suckling or proving virginity or otherwise, then only one woman will be sufficient as witness. During the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)s time, a man married a woman. A woman stood up and said:

I have suckled this bride and this groom together.

The groom went to the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) who said:

How can I let you consummate the marriage after this has been said? (Bukhari & Muslim)

Then he commanded for a separation between this man and woman with the testimony of one woman.

As for matters pertaining to the limits of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taaalaa), a womans sensitive nature may make her flee or fall unconscious upon seeing any crime. In Islam, it is required to ask another woman to support her as her witness, thus, the verse which means:

if one of them errs, the other can remind her. (Al-Baqarah:282)

By establishing this rule, Islam seeks more perfect investigation. It does not mean belittling woman or debasing her as is claimed.

A Muslim woman of today is asked to be fully aware of the plots woven against her. Knowing that woman is the cornerstone of the society, they (the enemies of Islam) try to spoil her and lead her astray to destroy the whole society. The first book dedicated for this devious aim in the Middle East was Fahmy Morcoss book Woman In the Middle East, in which he urged Muslim women to give up wearing the veil and to marry non Muslims, and called for the free mixing of men and women and banning polygamy altogether. In our Muslim homeland there were many persons leading this campaign among whom were Rifaaah Al-Tahtaawi, Qasim Ameen, Hudaa Sharaawy, Amina Al-Sayyd, and Nawaal Al-Sadaawy and many other advocates of the devil thoughts who led people to sin and vice and will bear their sins on the day of resurrection, as the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said:

He who initiates and introduces an evil thing to Islam, will bear his sins and the all who do it until the day of resurrection. (Muslim)

A Muslim woman should keep aloof from those callers who ask her to forgo her morals asserting that practicing free sex is a biological process that has nothing to do with morals. To us Muslims, a womans honor lies in her chastity and modesty. Every woman should give a deaf ear to those who invite her to illicit activities. A Muslim woman should also know that any liberated man intending to marry proposes to a good woman that protects his honor and the honor of his progeny. Someone told me that he had a friend who was having an affair with a woman. When he intended to marry, this man searched for a veiled woman of good morals. As for that woman with whom he had the affair, he said to her that she did not deserve his respect and she could repeat the offence with someone else.

Qasim Amin also wrote The New Woman in which he called for brushing aside morals. A historian Wafiq Al-Azim said: As I wanted to teach him a lesson, I went to Qasim Amin and asked him to let me see his wife. He was greatly angry and so I said, How do you call people to something you deem bad? He answered, My wife has become accustomed to the traits her parents weaned her on -- that of avoiding mixing with men So I said: Bear in mind that this call of yours is unaccepted even by your household. Such people, however, try to attack others honor.

Muslim women should not be deceived with western women going out to work for they are forced to work knowing no work means no food!

A Muslim writer says that he was visiting Austria when he got into a taxi, the driver of which was a woman. He asked her:

Why do you work?

She stopped the engine and stared at him showing surprise. He asked again:

Why arent you provided for by your husband?

She asked:
Is there a country in which a man maintains his wife?

He answered:
Yes. In our Muslim homeland, family status law obliges the husband to maintain his wife.

She commented:
Were longing for such an elevated status.

Who, among us, the Muslims, deems it acceptable for his mother, sister, or wife to work as a driver or in a gas station? To live, a western woman sells anything, even her honor. In the West, adultery has become a profession and a source for earning a living. Who can love that our Muslim women be carbon copies of western women save those blind followers of the West?

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