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Rebuttal to James Arlandson's article
Women are inferior to men in the Quran

 

By Sami Zaatari

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/women_inferior.htm

 

 

 

He Wrote

 

Muslim expositors and preachers tell the world that Islam elevates women, so this proves their religion’s truthfulness. They imply that the entire world, especially women, should therefore warmly embrace Islam.

 

 

 

 

My Response

 

Both women and man should warmly embrace Islam. However so what is interesting is that most people converting to Islam are in fact women!

 

 

 

He Wrote

 

Here is only one typical example among many.

 

Dr. Jamal A. Badawi is a Muslim scholar and propagandist. In an article <http://members.tripod.com/iaislam/TSOWII.htm> first printed in 1971, but reprinted many times since then by popular demand, he asserts that Islam and the Quran rose high above seventh-century Arab culture and lifted women’s status.

 

He proclaims that the Quran says that even though men are a degree above women in status (Sura 2:228, see below), "it implies no superiority or advantage before the law."

This part of his conclusion says that the elevation of women reflects Islam’s intrinsic truthfulness, uninfluenced by its seventh-century environment:

In the case of Islam such compassionate and dignified status was decreed, not because it reflects the environment of the seventh century, nor under the threat or pressure of women and their organizations, but rather because of its intrinsic truthfulness.

 

Are any of his claims (and those of others) exaggerated? Or were earliest Islam and the Quran too deeply influenced by their seventh-century Arab patriarchal environment to be relevant today?

 

 

 

My Response

 

Yes, let us see. I hope you bring some good arguments not some old ones which I have already adressed:

 

http://answering-christianity.com/sami_zaatri/rebuttal_to_sam_shamoun_12.htm

 

 

 

He Wrote

 

Husbands are a degree above their wives in a legal context.

 

The Quran in Sura 2:228 says:

 

. . . Wives have the same rights as the husbands have on them in accordance with the generally known principles. Of course, men are a degree above them in status . . . (Sayyid Abul A’La Maududi, the Meaning of the Qur’an, vol. 1, p. 165)

Maududi (d. 1979) is a highly respected traditional commentator on the Quran, and he reviews the historical and literary topical contexts of Sura 2 here <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/maududi/mau2.html>.

 

At first, this verse appears positive: "Wives have the same rights as the husbands." However, too often a verse has a sting in it, as verse 228 does: "men are a degree above them in status."

 

This principle of gender inequality reflects Arab culture of the seventh century. If Allah and Muhammad improved on this patriarchy, then they did not go far enough. This verse occurring in the revealed Quran is troubling for those of us on the outside of Islam. The verse indicates that the nature of womankind is being challenged in a way that transcends culture, as we shall see.

 

Therefore, traditional Muslims, especially legal scholars, are permitted to apply this verse to the world of today and outside of Arabia. These Muslims believe that the entire Quran reflects the values of Allah, the god of this world, so Sura 2:228 should be carried out everywhere—it is universal.

 

 

 

My Response

 

I guess you dont have any new good arguments, since I already adressed this argument in the link I provided, I will merely post some of it here for people to read:

 

He wrote:

 

Divorced women shall wait by themselves for three periods; and it is not lawful for them to hide what God has created in their wombs; if they believe in God and the Last Day. In such time their mates have better right to restore them, if they desire to set things right. Women have such honourable rights as obligations, but their men HAVE A DEGREE ABOVE THEM; God is All-mighty, All-wise. S. 2:228

Ibn Kathir commented here:

<But men have a degree over them.>, that is, men have a degree over women as far as virtue, behaviour, status, obeying orders, expenditure, fulfilling duties, and grace in both worldly life and the Hereafter... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, part 2, Sura Al-Baqarah, ayat 142-252, Abridged By Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rifa'i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London 1998], p. 204; bold emphasis ours

 

My response:

 

Now to the verse, there is nothing wrong with it at all, if one uses his uses his common sense, then it would make perfect sense when the verse says men have a degree over women. It is a fact that men do indeed have a degree over women such us providing for the entire family, making the rules and many other things. The husband is the boss of the house, this is not a bad thing to women but this is how it is, and in almost every culture out there the husband is the man of the house and makes the rules, and these cultures happen to be western cultures. That is how it is, and most women don’t mind that their husband is the boss of the house. Even the bible commands this (Colossians <http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/kjv/kjv-idx?type=DIV1&byte=5213809>, 3:18). However, Shamoun fails to understand that and is just trying to use any lame argument against Islam, and I must say that is the worst one I have seen.

 

So as you can see, men having a degree over women is not something bad, it is a reality in life. Men are the boss of the house, men take care of the family by providing for them, the men makes the rules etc.

 

This is something in the Bible as well that men do have a degree over women in the sense that a wife must be obedient to her husband, listen to him etc.

 

Mostly every single women will agree with me on this, even James agrees with me but he just wants to bring up anything against Islam.

 

 

 

He Wrote

 

2. Men are superior to women in a domestic context.

 

The Quran in Sura 4:34 says:

 

Men are managers of the affairs of women because Allah has made the one superior to the other. (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 329)

 

For the historical and literary topical contexts of Sura 4, click here <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/maududi/mau4.html>. The verse goes on to permit husbands to hit their wives if the husbands merely fear highhandedness. Readers may view that article here <beating.htm>. At the end, it has many links to modern interpretations of Sura 4:34 and to arguments for wife beating today.

 

The essential point to notice here is the Quran’s clear explanation of why men manage the affairs of women: because mankind is superior to womankind. The verse says that Allah made them this way. It strikes at the nature of womankind, beyond just women’s social roles in seventh-century Arabia.

 

 

 

My Response

 

This verse doesnt pose a problem, this how the ways things are, man is the one who takes care of the familly and makes the rules and so on. So he is superior in that sense, not superior meaning his better than the lady.

 

Here is an in-depht answer by brother Karim who adresses both issues James brings up:

 

Taken from http://www.answering-christianity.com/karim/noble_quran_4_34.htm

 

 

“Men are the protectors and maintainers (in a proper and fair manner) of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye 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 annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).” (Qu’ran 4:34)

Notes:

       The arabic word used for ‘ill-conduct/rebellion’ = nushooz

 

       The arabic word used in noble verse 4:34 above is "idribuhunna", which is derived from "daraba" ,The word in Arabic means to "strike" or "hit". It inludes everything from a tap with a tooth-stick to what in English we call beating. If it is stated that so-and-so "hit" so-and-so without further description, it would be assumed to be a single blow and it could be of any magnitude. When the Prophet (sas) took a tiny stick and tapped one of the Muslims on the stomach to straighten the ranks in preparation for war, he "hit" him with this meaning. Contrast this to the English phrase: "beat them". The meaning is totally different. If you took a shoe lace and hit someone on the hand with it, you could properly say dharabtahu in Arabic but in English you could never say that you had "beaten" that person.



1 Does the Arabic word 'daraba' necessarily mean "violent or intense or repeated striking?


No, jurists routinely use the expression "daraba al-ma' `ala wajhihi" - lit. strike water upon the face, for someone accomplishing the first rukn of wudu' (washing the face).

Also in Arabic daraba al-ard "to strike the earth" - as in verse 4:94 {When you strike the earth in the cause of Allah} - means to travel, i.e. walking with a staff.

The Prophet (pbuh) also expressed astonishment at the cruelty of certain men when he said: "Could any of you beat his wife as he would beat a slave, and then lie with her in the evening ?" (Bukhari and Muslim).


The crafty little anti-Islam page on domini.org states:

 

"The Qur'an states:

 

"Righteous women are therefore obedient, And those you fear may be rebellious (nushuz) admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them."

 

"Some translators add the word lightly after 'beat them' in Q 4:34. Others like Mohammed Pickthall and Rodwell translate the word 'edrebouhon - beat them' as 'scourge them'. [...] But "a beating without causing injury" (agreed upon)

 

"So the man has the right to beat his rebellious wife as long as that beating is not like the whipping of the slave and will not result in injury."


Of course the above is false and tendentious but couched in the syrupy style typical of missionaries.

 

The hadith in Muslim states that the Prophet (pbuh) in his Farewell Pilgrimage said: "Lo! My last recommendation to you is that you should TREAT WOMEN WELL. Truly they are your helpmates, and you have no right over them beyond that - EXCEPT IF THEY COMMIT A MANIFEST INDECENCY. If they do, then refuse to share their beds and beat them WITHOUT INDECENT VIOLENCE . Then, if they obey you, do not show them hostility any longer. Lo! you have a right over your women and they have a right over you. Your right over your women is that they not allow whom you hate to enter your bed nor your house. While their right over them is that you treat them excellently in their garb and provision."


Note:


EXCEPT IF THEY COMMIT A MANIFEST INDECENCY = fahisha mubina (which means) : immorality that may lead to adultery

 

WITHOUT INDECENT VIOLENCE = fadribu hunna darban ghayra mubarrih

 

Mubarrih = defined in al-Mawrid as "violent, intense, severe, acute, sharp, excruciating, tormenting, agonizing."

 

∑ Qatada said as narrated by al-Tabari in his Tafsir (5:68): "Ghayr mubarrih means ghayr sha'in = not disgraceful/ outrageous/ obscene/ indecent [beating]."

 

∑ Muhammad Asad translates it over-figuratively as “not causing pain


After this, whatever Muslim man derogates to the recommendation of the Prophet (pbuh) has violated his covenant with the Prophet and shall be called to account for it; and whoever of the non-Muslim men or women claims - even the Archbishop of Canterbury and his wife - that beating women is allowed in Islam, has belied the Divine witness invoked by the Prophet and shall be called to account for it in the Divine Court.


2 What is the evidence for saying that this 'striking' is in fact only supposed to be carried out with something small, like a miswak?

 

`Ata' said: "I asked Ibn `Abbas: 'What is the hitting that is ghayr al-mubarrih?' He replied: '[With] the siwak and the like'." Narrated by al-Tabari in his Tafsir (Dar al-Fikr reprint 5:68).

 

Al-Razi (3:222) mentions that as a rule (a) it must be a light beating and (b) the face must be avoided. He added that certain of the Shafi`i jurists said "a coiled scarf (mindil malfuf) or his hand may be used but not a whip nor a stick."

 

Refuting the false deceiving claims made by christian missionaries about this issue:


Answering false claim nr.1:

 

‘An answer to the false claim made by anti islamic people that the prophet (peace be upon him) commented on the complaining women and not the husbands in the hadith below’

 

Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2141:

 

Narrated Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab:

Iyas ibn Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) as saying: Do not beat Allah's handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and said: women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them. Then many women came round the family of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) complaining against their husbands. So the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.

The christian missionary Silas claimed: Note here that Muhammad commented on the women who were complaining to his wives: "they are not the best among you". Muhammad was not commenting on the husbands who beat their wives.


Answer:


The above statement is such a big and cheap lie, the prophet was clearly condemning those husbands and not the women !

( see for the proof: Riyad as Saliheen chapter 34, nr 279 at <http://www.sunnipath.com/Resources/PrintMedia/Hadith/H0004P0034.aspx> ) .


The prophet (peace be upon him) told the believers that ‘those husbands are not the best among you’ , the prophet (peace be upon him) also revoked the dispensation. Further this hadith proves that wife beating wat not permitted at all, since Umar came to ask permission for the prophet (peace be upon him), if hitting ones wife was normal and allowed in any case or in many cases, then umar wouldn’t asked the prophet (peace be upon him) permission for it, therefore:

       The man has no right to beat his wife as per the explicit prohibition of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

       The basic rule (asl) is strict prohibition, followed by dispensation (rukhsa) as explicited by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the hadith where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Do not hit the maidservants of Allah ! " ( la tadribu ima' Allah ). Then Umar came to the Prophet and said ( by way of exaggeration , cf. ‘Awn al-Ma `bud ) : “The wome are rebelling ( dha'irna ) against their husbands ! “ So the prophet gave a dispensation ( rakhkhasa ) to beat them. Whereupon women started pouring to see the family of the messenger of Allah and complain about their husbands. Seeing this, the prophet said: “Many women have poured in to see the family of Muhammad, complaining of their husbands, and the latter are certainly not the best of you

 

(Narrated from Iyas ibn `Abd Allah ibn Abi Dhubab by al-Shafi`i in his Musnad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, al-Tabarani in al-Kabir, and al-Hakim. Al-Nawawi and al-Suyuti graded it a sound (sahih) narration in Riyad al-Salihin and al-Jami` al-Saghir respectively).


Another authentic version in Sahih Ibn Hibban (9:491) adds that the Prophet then revoked the dispensation. His statement that “the best of you are the best in their behavior towards their wives, and I am the best of you in my behavior towards my wives” shows that


(1) wife-beaters are the worst men and

 

(2) no Muslim wife-beater can possibly claim to imitate the Prophet , although Allah Most High said to imitate him : {Verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the last Day, and remembereth Allah much} (33:21).

(fatwa by sheikh G.F. Haddad, see also sheikh G.F. haddad’s answer given to question 1 in this article, where the prophet’s clearly explained in which conditions/situation hitting’s ones wife lighty and not in the face was allowed )

Answering false claim nr.2:


‘An answer to the false claim made by anti islamic people that the prophet one time beat aicha’

 

(misunderstood hadith) Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 2127:

 

Muhammad b. Qais said (to the people): Should I not narrate to you (a hadith of the Holy Prophet) on my authority and on the authority of my mother? We thought that he meant the mother who had given him birth. He (Muhammad b. Qais) then reported that it was 'A'isha who had narrated this: Should I not narrate to you about myself and about the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)? We said: Yes. She said: When it was my turn for Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi'. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'A'isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you? She said: Whatsoever the people conceal, Allah will know it. He said: Gabriel came to me when you saw me. He called me and he concealed it from you. I responded to his call, but I too concealed it from you (for he did not come to you), as you were not fully dressed. I thought that you had gone to sleep, and I did not like to awaken you, fearing that you may be frightened. He (Gabriel) said: Your Lord has commanded you to go to the inhabitants of Baqi' (to those lying in the graves) and beg pardon for them. I said: Messenger of Allah, how should I pray for them (How should I beg forgiveness for them)? He said: Say, Peace be upon the inhabitants of this city (graveyard) from among the Believers and the Muslims, and may Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, God willing, join you.

Answer to the mistranslation:

The term used in the hadith is:



Imam Nawawi in his Sharh states that:



The word "lahada" according to the lexicographers means, "to push" (dafa'a).

The usage of the word "struck" is not a correct translation. Rather, the phrase should be translated as (as sheikh Gf haddad said):


- He pushed my chest with a push that made me sore

 

Secondly, this calls to an important matter that is related to the Hand imposition of the Prophet - Allah bless him - because it is a gesture associated with driving away evil influence (wasw‚s) and conferring blessing as the following reports show:

 

1. Ubay ibn Ka`b said:

"There occurred in my mind a sort of denial which did not occur even during the Days of Ignorance. When the Messenger of Allah - Allah bless and greet him - saw how I was affected, he slapped me on the chest. I broke into a sweat and felt as if I were looking at All‚h in fear." (Sahih Muslim)

2. Jarir ibn Abdullah Al BajalÓ was sent by the Prophet - Allah bless him - on a mission to destroy Dhu Al Kahalasa, the idol-house of Khatham, nicknamed the Yemenite Kaba. Jarr narrates:

 

"I went along with a hundred and fifty horsemen but I could not sit steadily on horse. I mentioned it to the Messenger of Allah - Allah bless and greet him - who then struck his hand on my chest so hard that I could see the trace of his fingers on it, saying: 'O Allah! Grant him steadfastness and make him a guide of righteousness and a rightly-guided one!' (Bukhari and Muslim)

More proof that the correct translation is ‘He pushed my chest with a push that made me sore’


Aaishah (Radhiallahu 'Anha) said: "Allaah's Messenger (Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam) never hit anything with his hand ever, except when fighting in the path of Allaah. Nor did he ever hit a servant or a woman." [Recorded by Ibn Maajah. Al-Albaanee graded it Saheeh.]

 

Wife-beating can’t be considered "in the Cause of Allaah" - the reference in the Hadeeth is a reference to Jihaad on the battlefield. "When the prohibitions of Allaah were violated" is a reference to someone committing a crime, and their being tried and then punished by flogging. This is not a reference to the way a husband should treat his wife. So here we clearly see in a sahih (authentic) hadith that Aisha clearly told that the prophet ‘never hit a servent or a women’.

 

So this is also a clear proof that the usage of the word "struck" is not a correct translation. Rather, the phrase should be translated as (as Gf haddad said):

- He pushed my chest with a push that made me sore

 

Also from one of my previous rebuttals:

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/sami_zaatri/rebuttal_to_sam_shamoun_12.htm

 

Shamoun causes more damage to himself in this other attack. Shamoun posts the verse about beating, he then cites what scholars have to say about it, which is that when the Quran says beat it means very lightly and so on, since Shamoun doesn’t like what they have to say he completely disregards everything they say and says that it doesn’t support the text, amusing! Shamoun has not only now put it upon himself to be a scholar of Islam, he is throwing out all the opinions and works of other true MUSLIM scholars who know and studied the Quran twenty times more than Shamoun did. So Shamoun proves himself as a further deceiver by trying to disregard the scholars main standpoint on the verse on beating, so basically we see Shamoun picks and chooses which works of scholars to show and agree with, and which not to. When the scholars seem to help his cause he jumps and says ‘look what they say!’ When they hurt his argument he says but wait their views don’t reflect the text of the Quran! Very funny that Shamoun has become a professional in what the text of the Quran says and doesn't say when in fact he is the one who has continually mis-interpreted what the Quran has said. This tactic by Shamoun will not work.

However so, the text does in fact support the scholars, if Shamoun did not take just one verse, and actually took ALL verses together and looked at the context of how your wives and women should be treated, then he would have a better of understanding of the verse. I will help Shamoun out by quoting another verse in the Quran, which shall give a better perspective:

 

"O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower [money given by the husband to the wife for the marriage contract] ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good. (The Noble Quran, 4:19)"

 

As we see from that verse, the Quran forbids you to treat your wife with harshness, meaning don’t treat her badly and cause her pain. So once you get the other verse on being permitted to beat, and put it with this verse, you then get the BIG PICTURE. So in fact the text of the Quran does support the scholars opinions as you just took one verse and not the entire CONTEXT of the treatment of women in Islam. Had you taken the entire context of the Quran on the treatment of your wives and women you would not make such a silly comment, but that is something most Islamic critics do.

One last point is that permission to LIGHTLY beat your wife is as a LAST option after you have tried everything.

 

The stand point of scholars which I was alluding to was this :

 

Muhammad Asad, in his footnote to this passage, #45, wrote:

 

It is evident from many authentic Traditions that the Prophet himself intensely detested the idea of beating one's wife, and said on more than one occasion, "Could any of you beat his wife as he would beat a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?" (Bukhari and Muslim). According to another Tradition, he forbade the beating of any woman with the words, "Never beat God's handmaidens" (Abu Da'ud, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Hibban and Hakim, on the authority of Iyas ibn 'Abd Allah; Ibn Hibban, on the authority of 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abbas; and Bayhaqi, on the authority of Umm Kulthum). When the above Qur'an-verse authorizing the beating of a refractory wife was revealed, the Prophet is reported to have said: "I wanted one thing, but God has willed another thing - and what God has willed must be best" (see Manar V, 74). With all this, he stipulated in his sermon on the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage, shortly before his death, that beating should be resorted to only if the wife "has become guilty, in an obvious manner, of immoral conduct", and that it should be done "in such a way as not to cause pain (ghayr mubarrih)"; authentic Traditions to this effect are found in Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Da'ud, Nasa'i and Ibn Majah. On the basis of these Traditions, all the authorities stress that this "beating", if resorted to at all, should be more or less symbolic - "with a toothbrush, or some such thing" (Tabari, quoting the views of scholars of the earliest times), or even "with a folded handkerchief" (Razi); and some of the greatest Muslim scholars (e.g., Ash-Shafi'i) are of the opinion that it is just barely permissible, and should preferably be avoided: and they justify this opinion by the Prophet's personal feelings with regard to this problem. (Source <http://www.geocities.com/masad02/004>; bold and underline emphasis ours)

 

 

So maybe James should try and respond to brother Karim's article because everything James bring up has already been dealt with.

 

Visit this link also which deals with the points he brought up:

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/karim/men_and_women_daraja.htm  

 

 

 

 

He Wrote

 

Maududi tells us in his commentary that the Arabic word for "manager" stands for anyone who is:

[R]esponsible for the right conduct, safeguard and maintenance of the affairs of an individual, an institution, or an organization. Thus, man is governor, director, protector, and manager of the affairs of women (p. 333, note 56).

 

Thus, a man’s control over a woman ranges far and wide.

 

In the next note, Maududi informs us that men are not superior to women in a moral way, that is, in honor and excellence, but men "have been endowed with certain natural qualities and powers that have not been given to women or have been given in a less [sic] degree" (p. 333, note 57). The clause "men have been endowed with certain natural abilities" once again degrades womankind’s abilities. Maududi is merely stating the obvious meaning in Sura 4:34. God made woman inferior. The Quran says so.

 

From a patriarchal perspective, one would think that his dubious belief in womankind’s inferiority would crop up in a business or professional context, but here the belief is found in a domestic context. And as the previous link <beating.htm> to domestic violence demonstrates, this belief is driven home, so to speak, by giving the husbands the right to hit their wives.

 

 

 

My Response

 

Nothing of what James said is degraring to women, everything he said are just facts that mostly every women agrees to, and so do Christian women. I could get James Christian women who say men and women are not equal and that men have a degree above women. So James is really making no valid arguments, look what he quotes:

 

[R]esponsible for the right conduct, safeguard and maintenance of the affairs of an individual, an institution, or an organization. Thus, man is governor, director, protector, and manager of the affairs of women (p. 333, note 56).

 

Is there anything bad about that? Men are the protectors of women, men make sure everything is going fine for his wife, he must take good care of her and look after her.

 

So James needs to stop twisting things around and trying to make them look bad, that is very un-professional on his part.

 

Then again, Christian missionaries being un-professional is something I have come to expect recently, just visit these links and see for yourself:

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/sami_zaatri/examining_sam_shamouns_character_5.htm

 

 

 

 

He Wrote

 

Patriarchy and even misogyny runs deeply in the Quran. For more information, see this article <../../Shamoun/women_in_islam1.htm>, (scroll down to the section "women are inferior to men"), the first of three parts on women in Islam.

 

These two cultural vices also show up in a theological context.

The hadith are the reports of Muhammad’s actions and words outside of the Quran. The two most reliable collectors and editors are Bukhari (d. 870) and Muslim (d. 875).

 

 

 

 

My Response

 

Well everything you have said so far has been refuted.

 

 

 

He Wrote

 

This hadith shows that the majority of inhabitants of hell are women.

 

Narrated 'Imran bin Husain:

The Prophet said, "I looked at Paradise and found poor people forming the majority of its inhabitants; and I looked at Hell and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women." (Bukhari

 

<http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/054.sbt.html>, emphasis added; see also these parallel traditions here

 

<http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/062.sbt.html> and here <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/076.sbt.html>)

This parallel hadith

 

<http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/062.sbt.html>

 

explains that the majority of the inhabitants of hell are women because they are ungrateful and harsh towards their husbands. There is no word about the husbands’ ingratitude and harshness. It should be noted that some Muslim missionaries and polemicists assert that since women make up the majority of the world, it only stands to reason that they would be the majority in hell. In reply, however, this misses the point—and may miss the possibility that women may be more spiritual than men. Regardless, the reason that women make up the majority in hell is their harshness and ingratitude. So it has nothing to do with a numerical majority. Instead, Islam clearly does not honor women.

 

For a thorough refutation of this line of argument advanced by Muslim missionaries, go again to this article <../../Shamoun/women_in_islam1.htm> and scroll down to the endnotes, where more hadith on women in hell are cited and explained.

See this article <../../Women/in-hell.html> for details on women in Islamic hell.

 

 

 

 

My Response

 

This has already been adressed by me, I will merely quote from a previous rebuttal of mine:

 

 As for the majority of hell will be women, Muhammad was just merely saying what he saw and its reason. If the ratio of women to men here on planet earth is larger, then it is only logical that the ratio of women to men in hell would also be larger.

 

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/implications.asp

http://www.census.gov/population/pop-profile/2000/chap20.pdf

 

Go to this site and check out the ratio of women to men in every country. You will see that most of them are larger. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/

The Prophet is simply stating the crime of most of the women in hell.

 

 

There has to be a majority in hell, it happened to be women. If the prophet Muhammad said it was men the Christian missionaries would shout that Muhammad hated mankind!

 

 

 

 

He Wrote

 

Muhammad was also superstitious <confronting_satan.htm>. This hadith says that women are part of an evil omen.

 

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:

I heard the Prophet saying. "Evil omen is in three things: The horse, the woman and the house." (Bukhari <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/052.sbt.html>)

 

It is one thing if a culture perpetuates this inequality from time immemorial, but it is quite another if it gets enshrined in the sacred texts of a worldwide religion. The Quran and the hadith attack women simply because they are women. Surely it is this patriarchal and misogynistic attitude that permeates too much of the Islamic world.

 

This attitude is wrong on its own, but it is doubly misguided when it can be interpreted by judges and jurists to give husbands a legal step above their wives, in such contexts as inheritance laws and giving testimony. This means that the Quranic view of womankind in Suras 2:228 and 4:34 does not remain only in a theological sphere, but in down-to-earth areas, where material and physical damage can be done, as seen, for example, in the Quranic permission for men to hit their wives. This view will also show up in two laws in the Quran.

 

Badawi and others like him are wrong.

Muhammad seems unable to rise above his own culture. Indeed, he absorbs too much of it in his "revelations" that get incorporated into his allegedly eternal, universal Quran.

 

 

 

 

My Response

 

Had James bothered to study this hadith he would not be so silly to make an argument out of it, since this argument has already been adressed I will merely quote the response which also expose James lack of knowledge on Islam:

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/karim/mistranslations_of_hadiths.htm

 

Answering false claim nr.2:

 

‘an answer to the false claim that evil omen is in the women’

(misunderstood hadith) Volume 7, Book 62, Number 30:

Narrated Abdullah bin 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "Evil omen is in the women, the house and the horse.'

 

Answer: the Hadith mentioned above has come in most of the major books of Hadith in the words near to the ones quoted here. However, the following text of it contained in the sixth volume of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hambal’s Musnad presents the true picture in this regard:

       Abu-Hassan reports that two people came to A’ishah and said to her that Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Prophet used to say that bad luck is to be found only in women, horses and houses. At this A’ishah replied: By the God who revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet! The Prophet never said this; what he did say was that the People of the Jahilliyyah hold this opinion…

It is evident from this text of the Hadith that this saying has been erroneously attributed to the Prophet (sws). He had actually quoted the views held by the people of Jahilliyyah (age of ignorance

 

So do your homework James, and learn abit about Muslim before making such arguments because it only reflects badly on you.

 

 

 

 

He Wrote

 

. In dividing the inheritance, a female gets half of a male’s share.

 

The Quran in Sura 4:11 says:

 

The share of the male shall be twice that of a female . . . . (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 311) (See Sura 4:176.)

 

Classical legal scholars agree with this underlying principle of awarding the male twice the inheritance of the female.

 

Malik (d. 795) is a founder of a major school of law. He composed a law book that is also considered a collection of reliable hadith: Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik ibn Anas: The First Formation of Islamic Law (rev. trans. Aisha Bewley, Inverness, Scotland: Madina Press, 1989, 2001).

 

Malik writes <http://cwis.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/muwatta/027.mmt.html>:

 

The generally agreed upon way of doing things among us . . . about fixed shares of inheritance (fara’id) of children from the mother or father when one or the other dies is that if they leave male and female children, the male takes the portion of two females.

Ibn Rushd, known in the West as AverroŽs (d. 1198), is the most thorough compiler and editor of legal opinions. His two-volume work, The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer, (trans. Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, Reading, UK: Garnet, 1994-1996), took over twenty years to write. It provides a foundation in Islamic law for judges and legal scholars throughout the Islamic world, where it is still used today.

Ibn Rushd agrees with Malik:

 

Muslims [jurists] agreed that the inheritance of the child from his father or mother, if they are both males and females, is that the share of the male is equal to the shares of two females . . . (vol. 2, p. 413).

 

Maududi explains the rationale behind the verse:

 

The guiding principle about the division of inheritance is that the share of the male shall be double that of the female, and this is very sound and just. As the Muslim law lays the major burden of the economic responsibility of the family on the male and keeps the female almost free from it, justice demands that her share of inheritance should be less than that of the male. (vol. 1, p. 312, note 15).

 

The problem with Maududi’s explanation (and what is implied in Malik’s and Ibn Rushd’s assessment) is that it is too culture-bound; paradoxically, however, it is intended to be universal. It may be true that in seventh-century Arabia a male had most or all of the responsibilities over the household. This may be true even today in traditional Muslim countries or regions. However, it is troubling that Muhammad did not receive verses from on high that clearly and unambiguously spell out the equality of mankind and womankind—verses without stings in them or near them.

 

Regardless of Muhammad’s failure to receive these verses, this law of inheritance should in no way be applied to the western world or in other regions that are not burdened with Islam but that want to grow economically.

 

Here in the US, for example, the inheritance can be divided equally among all siblings, regardless of their gender. No religious law prohibits this from happening in advance. American secular law fits into a modern context better.

Thus, today’s American secular law surpasses seventh-century Islamic law found in the allegedly universal Quran, inspired by Allah.

 

More importantly, sharia <top_ten_sharia.htm> (Islamic law) must never creep around the world.

 

 

 

 

My Response

 

As for inheritance for women in the Bible we see that:

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/rebuttal_to_james_arlandson_2.htm

 

Women's Inheritance

Bible says:

 

Numbers 27:8-11

8 "Say to the Israelites, 'If a man dies and leaves no son, turn his inheritance over to his daughter. 9 If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father's brothers. 11 If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to be a legal requirement for the Israelites, as the LORD commanded Moses.' "

This shows that the daughters would not get anything if the sons were alive unlike Islam, which would give her half of the son’s.

 

Numbers 36:6-9

6 This is what the LORD commands for Zelophehad's daughters: They may marry anyone they please as long as they marry within the tribal clan of their father. 7 No inheritance in Israel is to pass from tribe to tribe, for every Israelite shall keep the tribal land inherited from his forefathers. 8 Every daughter who inherits land in any Israelite tribe must marry someone in her father's tribal clan, so that every Israelite will possess the inheritance of his fathers. 9 No inheritance may pass from tribe to tribe, for each Israelite tribe is to keep the land it inherits."

This shows that if a woman did inherit and wanted to get married she had to marry someone from with in the tribe in order not to transfer that inherited money to another tribe. The money must stay in the tribe, unlike Muslim women who can marry whom ever they please.

 

As for womens inheritance in Islam the response to James is given here:

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/rebuttal_to_james_arlandson_2.htm

 

Quran says:

 

Surah 4:7

 

Unto the men (of a family) belongeth a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, and unto the women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, whether it be little or much - a legal share.

 

Surah 4:11

 

Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females, and if there be women more than two, then theirs is two-thirds of the inheritance, and if there be one (only) then the half. And to each of his parents a sixth of the inheritance, if he have a son; and if he have no son and his parents are his heirs, then to his mother appertaineth the third; and if he have brethren, then to his mother appertaineth the sixth, after any legacy he may have bequeathed, or debt (hath been paid). Your parents and your children: Ye know not which of them is nearer unto you in usefulness. It is an injunction from Allah. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise.

 

The woman in Islam has a share of inheritance. The daughter's portion is half that of the son. This share is very generous given that, in Islam, the man's financial obligations are by far more than those of the woman. The man gives the dowry to his wife. He pays for all the necessities of life such as accommodation, food and clothes. He supports his parents in addition to his wife and children. On the other hand, the wife does not have to support anyone even herself because her husband is responsible for maintaining her, no matter how rich she is. It is worth noting that in some cases the woman's share of inheritance is equal to that of the man.

Recommended reading

<http://www.islam101.com/sociology/inheritance.htm>

 

 

So as you can see, the reason the male gets more is because he has to provide for the familly, this does cost alot.

 

 

 

 

He Wrote

 

4. A woman’s testimony often counts half of a man’s testimony.

 

The Quran in Sura 2:282 says:

 

And let two men from among you bear witness to all such documents [contracts of loans without interest]. But if two men be not available, there should be one man and two women to bear witness so that if one of the women forgets (anything), the other may remind her. (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 205).

 

It seems that the foundational reason for having two women witnesses is that one of the women may "forget" something. Again, this goes to the nature of womankind. Philosophers teach us that one of the main differences between animals and humans lies in humankind’s rationality. But this verse implies that a woman’s mind is weak. How is this verse not misogynistic?

 

This hadith removes any ambiguity about women in Sura 2:282:

 

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

The Prophet said, "Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind."

 

(Bukhari <http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/048.sbt.html>, emphasis added)

 

The reason for diminishing women’s role in court is clear enough. Women have deficient minds, says Muhammad bluntly and tersely. Sura 2:282 says that a female witness may "forget," so the other female witness may need to remind the first. The Quran and the hadith match up well in this matter. In the one area that sets humans apart—the mind—Muhammad says that womankind falls short by nature or Allah-endowed (in)abilities.

 

As for later legal opinions in Islam, Ibn Rushd again guides us. Sura 2:282 appears in a contractual business context, but legal scholars differ on whether woman may serve as witnesses in other contexts, like criminal cases.

 

For the "crime" of sexual immorality <flogging.htm> (zina), which in Islam is punishable by death for adultery and whipping for fornication, four males must prove the crime. Females are excluded (vol. 2, p. 559). So this means that if a wife suspects adultery from her husband, she cannot get four women to catch him in the act. She has to get four men. Would the "Old Boy’s Club" prevent justice in Islamic patriarchal societies?

In crimes like theft and their punishments (hudud): "The opinion that is adopted by the majority is that the testimony of women is not admissible in hudud, with men or independently" (ibid). But one legal school (Zahirites) says it is admissible, when accompanied by the testimony of a man. Thus, women are not allowed to testify, according to the majority of jurists in this legal context.

 

In personal law, such as divorce, retraction of divorce, marriage, and emancipation of slaves, one school of law says a woman’s testimony is accepted (Abu Hanifa) (ibid). This implies that the other schools of law deny this right to a woman.

 

In personal law affecting women only, like birth, consummation, and "the defects of women," Ibn Rushd reports: "the independent testimony of women, that is, women unaccompanied by male witness, is acceptable according to the majority" (ibid). One school of law puts things indelicately: "Abu Hanifa permitted the testimony of women (about women) for the area that is between the navel and the knees" (vol. 2, p. 560). So in this one area of "women’s issues," they are allowed to testify.

 

To sum up these opinions, women’s testimony counts independently in the legal area affecting women alone, according to the majority. But in other areas, for the majority of schools of law, women are second-class citizens or are excluded from an Islamic court altogether.

 

Stepping back and viewing the big picture, an outsider to Islam may ask this question: why would intelligent legal scholars even debate whether women are allowed to testify in this or that area of the law?

 

Here is why they must debate this question. The Quran and the hadith do not honor women. The general attitude says that women are barely able to stand in the same arena as men are, not to mention a house or a courtroom. Muhammad said women have deficient minds, so why wouldn’t devout Muslims—scholars—follow their prophet?

 

Badawi and others like him are therefore wrong. Islam and the Quran do not elevate women so high as to demonstrate that this religion and this book came down from God.

For more hadith and discussion of women’s alleged mental inferiority, go again to this article <../../Shamoun/women_in_islam1.htm> and scroll down to the section "women are inferior to men." This article <../../Shamoun/women_in_islam3.htm> also cites more scholarship on women’s alleged innate inferiority (scroll down to Sura 4:34, a little more than halfway down). Because of original Islam’s misogyny, women are not allowed to be leaders.

 

 

 

 

My Response

 

All this has already been dealt with:

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/karim/women_not_deficient_in_intelligence_and_religion.htm

 

Extra fatwas about the hadith in question

1: Women: Are Women Deficient ? (fatwa by the scholars of www.ourdialogue.com)


My daughter keeps asking me about the Hadith that women are deficient in mental ability and in religion. Could you please explain it? Why does the Prophet, peace be upon him, say that most women will be in hell?


Answer:


Your daughter is not alone. Many are those who question the meaning it conveys. This is largely due to the fact that the Hadith is quoted only in part and the relevant statement is cited out of context. People always attribute to the Prophet, peace be upon him, the suggestion that women are inferior to men on grounds of a deficient mind a lack of faith. This is far from true.


Let us look at the Hadith in full: “On the occasion of Eid, either that of sacrifice or that of ending the fast, the Prophet, peace be upon him, went to the prayer place, and then went to speak to women and he said: “Ladies! I have not seen people deficient in mind and religion yet can get away with a rational man’s mind like any one of you.” They asked: “How are we deficient in mind and religion, Messenger of God?” He said: “Is it not true that a woman’s testimony counts as half that of a man?” When they answered in the affirmative, he said: “This is her mental deficiency. Is it not true that when a woman is in her period she neither prays nor fasts?” They again answered in the affirmative. He said: “This is her religious deficiency.” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)


To start with, the Prophet, peace be upon him, was speaking to a congregation of women on a joyous occasion. Exemplary in his care for others, particularly his companions, and kind and compassionate as he was, it is inconceivable that he would insult them by such a statement, if he meant it as a statement of fact, like some of us do. The Prophet, peace be upon him, simply used this phrase “deficient in mind and religion” to alert them to what he wanted to say to them. The Prophet, peace be upon him, frequently uses such a method, inserting some words that may not be relevant to the point he wants to stress, so that they serve to attract the attention of his audience. Furthermore, his statement expresses amazement at a well-known situation, when a man is infatuated by a woman to the extent that his behavior changes in character. He may be wise and intelligent, yet he could easily behave in a way that is inconsistent with his intelligence and wisdom when he is so infatuated. This is a case where a woman who is generally weaker than a man can control him.


The Hadith mentions that the Prophet’s women audience asked him to clarify what he said. His clarification pinpoints certain aspects that suggest no inferiority whatsoever. The mental deficiency is related to the fact that in certain cases, two women witnesses are required in place of one-man witness. This has to do with the role of each of the two sexes in Islamic society. It is no reflection on a woman’s mental ability. As for religious deficiency, the Prophet, peace be upon him, states the fact that a woman is exempt from prayer and fasting when she is in menstruation. While God gives a woman the reward for prayer and fasting as if she has done them, since she stops only because of her condition and in response to God’s orders, still the fact that she does not fulfill these duties means that her worship is less in terms of what she offers. It does not mean that she is a lesser believer.


As for a relevant statement of fact in this regard, the Prophet, peace be upon him, says, “Women are full sisters of men.” In the Arabic text, the Prophet, peace be upon him, uses here a word, which implies total similarity and equivalence. Hence, the Prophet’s statement suggests no inferiority attached to women. The Qur’an and the Sunnah assign the same duties to both men and women, and promise them the same reward. If this does not mean the same status, I would like to know what does.


May I add here that the translation of this Hadith as quoted by you is wrong, because it splits the relevant sentence and gives the Prophet's words in such a way that they appear to make a statement of fact. This is wrong, as I have explained.


As for the other part, a full translation of it goes as follows: “‚I have seen hell and I have never seen any thing more horrific than what I saw then. I also saw that the majority of its dwellers are women. ‚ They asked: “On what grounds, Messenger of God? He said: “By their denial.‚ They said: “Their denial of God?‚ He answered: “No. Their denial of their spouses and their denial of kindness. You may be kind to one of them all the time, but when she finds fault with you she says: I have never received any kindness from you. ‚”


To start with, the Hadith does not say that most women are in hell. It says that the majority of hell dwellers are women, which simply signifies that more women fail in this worldly test than men. Then the Prophet, peace be upon him, points out their failure, which is not based on denying God. Rather, it is denying kindness, particularly in marital situations. The Prophet, peace be upon him, has pointed this out in more than one Hadith, warning women against grumbling and frequent complaints. He is also warning them here against denying kindness by their husbands, highlighting a failing that is often expressed in denying past kindness.


The Hadith shows that women can easily avoid such a destiny by being fair and appreciative of kindness. They should always be grateful to God for what He has given them and also be appreciative of any kindness done to them by others, particularly those with whom they live, be they their husbands, parents or other relatives.

 

The most commonly misquoted and misunderstood hadith:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) on 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone MORE DEFICIENT IN INTELLIGENCE and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301)

 

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because OF THE DEFICIENTCY OF A WOMAN’S MIND." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 48, Number 826)

The meaning of the hadith in question:

 

A: ( Sheikh G.F. Haddad )

 

The problem here is the misconception about the meaning. Even the plainest statement can become completely incoherent on the tongue of a retarded person or a pathological liar. The hadith here uses two figures of speech: the first is hyperbole (mubalagha) meaning exaggeration in the words “even a prudent, sensible man might be led astray by some of you” i.e. a fortiori an ordinary man. The second figure is synechdoche (majaz mursal) consisting in using the whole for the part: intelligence to mean the specific legal testimony of a woman, and religion to mean the prayer and fast at the time of menses.

Numerous verses and other narrations stress that the reward of women equals that of men even if their acts differ. So this particular narration is not meant literally but as an acknowledgment of the power women wield over men while ostensibly less active in the public and spiritual spheres.

 

However, the real import of the hadith - spoken at the Farewell Pilgrimage - and its actual context was that the Prophet (peace be upon him) challenged the women that were present to realize that unless they helped raise money with their gold and jewelry, they would miss the reward of men waging jihad as well as show ingratitude.

 

In the full version of the hadith the Prophet also orders the women to ask forgiveness and desist from frequently cursing their husbands. All this was spoken at a time of

 

(1) the impending departure of the latter on jihad
(2) the impending departure of the Prophet from this world and
(3) the fact that “Cursing the believer is like killing him.”

 

But the Prophet (peace be upon him) was also being playful in his use of strong terms to impress this teaching on the listeners. Ruqayyah Waris Maqsud writes, “After the Farewell Pilgrimage at the Eid prayer, the Prophet walked past the men leaning on Bilal's arm, and came to the rows of women behind them. Bilal spread out a cloth and the Prophet urged the women to be generous with their gifts of charity, for when he had been allowed a glimpse into the flames of Hell, he had noted that most of the people being tormented there were women.

 

The women were outraged, and one of them instantly stood up boldly and demanded to know why that was so.

 

'Because,' he replied, 'you women grumble so much, and show ingratitude to your husbands! Even if the poor fellows spent all their lives doing good things for you, you have only to be upset at the least thing and you will say, 'I have never received any good from you!' (Bukhari 1.28, recorded by Ibn Abbas - who was present on that occasion as a child).

At that the women began vigorously to pull off their rings and ear-rings, and throw them into Bilal's cloth.”

 

(source: fatwa by shaykh G.F. Haddad at www.livingislam.org )

 

My own note:

       The reward of women equals that of men even if their acts differ , example:

 

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, says in this regard, addressing women: “Take care of your home for that is your Jihad.” (Musnad Ahmad). Jihad is the epitome of Islamic life. Declaring home-making as Jihad for women is giving it the highest possible status in an Islamic society.

B: (Sheikh Muhammad Ali Al-Hanooti)


1. Our source of knowledge is Allah (SWT). Reason is not a source, but is a tool to understand what Allah revealed to us through his messanger (SAAWS). If you believe in this data, then your argument would be in the authenticity of the content of a Hadith.


2. The Quran is always fully articulate in vocabulary and style. Everything in the Quran is the exact saying of Allah. The Hadith is different in punctuality of language, because some Hadiths one related by the companions of the Prophet (SAAWS), they could have a different synonym or a different additional or omited conjuction or article. This is what is called in the Hadith terminology "narration by meaning".


The Hadith in question does not depict a woman as inferior; not at all! Islam honours women very high and many verses of the Qur'an and practices of the early Muslims bear witness to the fact that woman is, at least, as vital to life as man is, and that she is not inferior to man in any way (in neither religion or intelligence). Islam never belittles woman or underestimates her role in the society. Allah has made this clear in the Glorious Qur’an, by stating shining examples of some women for the believers– male and female- to emulate. In this context, the Glorious Qur’an says,


And Allah citeth an example for those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh when she said: My Lord! Build for me a home with thee in the Garden, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his work, and deliver me from evil doing folk; and Mary, daughter of Imran, whose body was chaste, therefor We breathed therein something of Our Spirit. And she put faith in the words of her Lord and His Scriptures, and was of the obedient.” (At-Tahrim: 11-12)
Allah Almighty and prophet Muhammad praised the good women, let us look at the following quotes from our Islamic sources:


"For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God's praise,- for them has God prepared forgiveness and great reward. (The Noble Quran, 33:35)"


"The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey God and His Apostle. On them will God pour His mercy: for God is Exalted in power, Wise. (The Noble Quran, 9:71)"


In islam women clearly have the right to forbid men what is evil, so this proofs women aren’t inferior to men in religion or intelligence, since Allah swt gives women the right to correct men when they are wrong, and to forbid them the evil.


3. The Hadith is authentic, the Prophet (SAAWS) talks about women not as a gender or a race or ethnic. He talks about sinful people who deserve what they will have of destiny. If a man does the same, he will have the same Hell. This is the only way you can interpret the Hadith.


4. The Prophet (SAAWS) has explained what he says of shortage of deen which is different from the chrisitian missionaries interpretation or translation of deen. He says, you are less commended to practice the deen, because of menstruation. When he talks about lack of intellect, he does not talk about potential of brain or capacity of talent or skill. A woman is overloaded by being a mother or a babysitter or pregnant. All these carriers are around the clock, because of what she is, she is always likely to forget more than a man who is devoted to one career only. Allah is merciful, he forgives her and makes it easy for her when she is not fully responsible to give a full testimony as a witness. Nothing of that is defaming a woman, there is not a law that discriminates a woman to put her down.


(source: http://www.islamonline.net/livefatwa/english/Browse.asp?hGuestID=j2y56m )

 

The witness of two women :


It has been suggested that the Prophet (pbuh) regarded women as inferior to men for two reasons - the inheritance laws in which a daughter received half the share of a son; and the fact that two female witnesses were regarded as the equal of one male witness.


In fact, the Qur’an actually taught that the witness of a woman was just as valid as that of a man, and made no distinction regarding the sex of a witness in every single reference except one – the concession of granting two female witnesses in legal cases where women had little knowledge or expertise. The intention of this concession was to prevent women being tricked or cheated by unscrupulous men who could take advantage of their inexperience in business matters.


‘O believers! When you deal with each other in lending for a fixed period of time, put it in writing. Let a scribe write everything down with justice between the parties. The scribe, who has been given the gift of literacy by Allah, should not refuse to write; he is under obligation to write. Let the debtor dictate, fearing the Almighty, his Lord, and not diminishing anything from the settlement. If the borrower is mentally unsound or weak or is unable to dictate himself, let the guardian of his interests dictate for him with justice. Let two witnesses from among you bear witness to all such documents, if two men cannot be found, then one man and two women of your choice should bear witness, so that if one of the women forgets anything the other may remind her. Witnesses must not refuse (to bear witness) when they are called upon to do so.’ (2.282).


In every other kind of case, there was no reason why the witness of a woman should not be just as reliable as evidence as that of a man, and no distinction of either sex was made or necessary. For example: ‘Those who accuse a chaste woman of fornication and do not produce four witnesses to support their allegation, shall be flogged with eighty lashes and their testimony shall not be accepted ever after, for they are the ones who are wicked transgressors.’ (24.4). The text implies any four witnesses, who could be of either sex.


In societies where it is insisted that the witnesses should all be male, this is really a cultural gloss on the rule, since any text in the Arabic masculine plural grammatically includes both men and women, unless specifically stated otherwise. Assumptions that women’s evidence would be unreliable because of the inferiority of women in intellectual capacity, memory, or character stem from a patriarchal perspective in a male-dominated community which tried to limit the appearance of their women in public. The Qur’an does not bear this attitude and established the equality of men and women before Allah. The restrictions against public appearance are a nonsense in this century, when the medical evidence of the rape could be presented by a woman doctor to a female litigator in front of a female jurist! It is certainly a travesty of justice to deny a victim of rape the right to testify to this violent attack merely because she is a woman.


Source: http://members.aol.com/ruqaiyyah/articles/antifem.htm

 

A mash’allah comment by a sister to those who criticize islam by misquoting this hadith without knowledge of it:


Well truly the uneducated would read only a snippet of a paragraph and then claim that through that snippet you have been made to understand the entirety of the book ,How absurd,right ? Well let me clarify something: Mohammed asked some women, “Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half that of a man?” The women said, “yes,” He said, “This is because of the deficiency of the woman’s mind. ” Vol. 3:826. To read the entire Hadith would do you good because then you would see that there is indeed an explanation for this statement! Let me go to the next before I finish with this justly, Mohammed (pbuh) to women: “I have not seen any one more deficient in intelligence and religion than you.” Vol. 2:541. Well any educated discerning person would look for an explenation so let me provide it for you: When examining this very Hadith ’ you have to take into account the Ideology that derived from this and that is: Women are Emmotional and when under duress cannot contain emmotions but rather become overcome by them due to the nature of the woman leaving room for much error when testimony is necessary thus the reasoning for deeming 2 women the appropriate number when giving an un-biased/truthfull testimony. Also knowing the religion you speak of is of the utmost importance so you may be able to give accurate accounts, When stating that Women are most defficient in Religion and Intelligiance the setting was a lighthearted gathering where the Prophet

 

Muhammad(pbuh)was making a joke because Women in Islam are not allowed to Pray or to take part in religious duties due to their Menstration thus being defficiant in their religion, now for being deficiant in intelligance that was based on the frailty and emmotional instability he witnessed from many woman thus making the statement he made! Was he wrong “NO” I am a woman and I can agree knowing that he wasnt deeming women all together defficiant, thus the importance of being educated on the topics that are being discussed! More need to speak from knowledge!

 

Why Two Women Witnesses?


Adapted from the book by Shamshad.M.Khan with modifications and additions by Abu 'Iyaad


A question that repeatedly arises is that concerning the 'position of women in Islaam'. Muslim scholars have been able with great success - despite the onslaught of distortion and mis-representation - to demonstrate the true position of Muslim women; especially of women's liberation in the advent of Islaam. The Islaamic ruling on issues such as inheritance, the right to earn, the right to own property etc. have reinforced this position and have been prescribed by Allaah - the One True God - long before western nations even thought of such concepts!


The issue of two women witnesses in place of one man is the concern of the present treatise. As will become clear to the sincere and objective reader, the intellectual status of a Muslim woman is neither marred nor degraded by the commandment that if two Muslim male witnesses are not available then one Muslim male and two Muslim females should be invited to witness. Rather, this injunction is in perfect harmony with the nature and psychology of the woman as will become evident through quotations from psychologists, psychiatrists and medical research.


The passage of the Qur'aan (Baqarah 2:282) in which the above-mentioned requirement is made has usury, capital and debtor difficulties as its theme. Allaah grants guidelines in matters relating to monetary obligations. Then business transactions are dealt with. In this section, the requirement to commit all transactions into writing is stated most emphatically (Reduce them to writing...). The section after this describes the responsibility of the scribe, or in modern parlance, the person responsible for drawing up the agreement. The following section describes the responsibility and the obligation of the person incurring the liability. The section after this explains how if the party that is liable cannot effectively draw up the contract - out of being deficient or weak mentally, or being unable to dictate - then his or her guardian should help draw out the contract and choose two suitable witnesses to observe. It must be understood that this situation arises if it is not possible for the liable party to draw out the contract by him/herself. The condition to put things into writing is still supreme.


The next section then explains that two men should be called to witness and if two men are not available (And if there are not two men...) then a man and two women. The legislation then continues and reminds most emphatically that one should not be complacent about putting ALL agreements into writing - no matter whether these agreements are major or minor as this is more JUST in the sight of Allaah and more reliable as evidence. The passage of the Qur'aan further explains that for practical reasons it may not always be possible to commit on-the-spot agreements into writing. In this case, it is also recommended that it be witnessed. The section which follows then lays down the guidelines which should be followed in the event that no witnesses are present.


The purpose in giving the above outline is to draw attention to the fact the question of women witnesses relates, in this instance, to commercial agreements and is not a STATEMENT ON THEIR STATUS.


Let's look at the section under investigation in more detail. Allaah said:


And get two witnesses of your own men, and if there are not two men then a man and two women such as you choose for witnesses - so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her... [Baqarah 2:182]


A number of questions (as well as eyebrows!) are raised when this section of the passage is read. The questions often posed include:


* Do women have weaker memories than men?
* Why should two women be needed in the place of one man?
* Are women inferior to men?


One must remember that Prophet Muhammad (sas) was neither a physiologist, a psychiatrist and nor a surgeon. He was an illiterate and could neither read nor write. He passed on the revelation exactly as he received it. Allaah, the Creator, with His infinite wisdom gave the directives best suited to humankind. He is the Creator, therefore, He knows man better than a man himself.


In this scientific age we can explore the significance of this legislation. A great deal has been discovered since the early days of Islaam. And each day of advancement brings about a better understanding of the the last and final revelation from the Creator, Allaah to the creation, humankind.


As women, we are aware of the cyclical psychological strains that a woman has to encounter every month. The symptoms during early pregnancy, ante-natal and post-natal depressions, the phenomenon of menopause, the physiological and psychological problems due to infertility and last but not least the psychological problems faced after miscarriage.


It is under these situations that women can experience extraordinary psychological strains giving rise to depression, lack of concentration, slow-mindedness and SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS. Let us examine these episodes in a bit more detail and with medical references from the scientific world. PMT is an umbrella term for more than 140 different symptoms and there is a lot of evidence that it causes a lot of unhappiness in many women, and consequently, to their families.


Psychiatry in Practice, April 1983 issue states: "Forty percent of women suffer from pre-menstrual syndrome in some form and some have their lives severely disrupted by it. Dr Jill Williams, general practitioner from Bury, gives guidelines on how to recognise patients at risk and suggests a suitable treatment." (1)


In the same issue, George Beaumont reporting on the workshop held at the Royal College of Obstreticians and Gynaecologists in London on pre-menstrual syndrome, says: "Some authorities would argue that eighty percent of women have some degree of breast and abdominal discomfort which is pre-menstrual but that only about 10 percent complain to their doctors - and then only because of severe tenderness of the breasts and mental depression... Other authorities have suggested that pre-menstrual syndrome is a new problem, regular ovulation for twenty years or more being a phenomenon caused by 'civilisation', 'medical progress', and an altered concept of the role of women." (2)


In its examination of the occurrence of physical and psychological change during the period just prior to the onset of menstruation we read in Psychological Medicine: "Many studies have reported an increased likelihood of various negative affects during the pre-menstrual period. In this affective category are many emotional designations including irritability, depression, tension, anxiety, sadness, insecurity, lethargy, loneliness, tearfulness, fatigue, restlessness and changes of mood. In the majority of studies, investigators have found it difficult to distinguish between various negative affects, and only a few have allowed themselves to be excessively concerned with the differences which might or might not exist between affective symptoms." (3)


In the same article dealing with Pre-menstrual Behavioural Changes we read: "A significant relationship between the pre-menstrual phase of the cycle and a variety of specific and defined forms of behaviour has been reported in a number of studies. For the purpose of their review, these forms of behaviour have been grouped under the headings of aggressive behaviour, illness behaviour and accidents, performance on examination and other tests and sporting performance." (4) The lengthy review portrays how female behaviour is affected in these situations.


In 'The Pre-menstrual Syndrome', C. Shreeves writes: "Reduced powers of concentration and memory are familiar aspects of the pre-menstrual syndrome and can only be remedied by treating the underlying complaint." This does not mean, of course, that women are mentally deficient absolutely. It just means that their mental faculties can become affected at certain times in the biological cycle. Shreeves also writes: "As many as 80 percent of women are aware of some degree of pre-menstrual changes, 40 percent are substantially disturbed by them, and between 10 and 20 percent are seriously disabled as a result of the syndrome."


Furthermore, women face the problem of ante-natal and post-natal depression, both of which cause extreme cycles of depression in some cases. Again, these recurring symptoms naturally affect the mind, giving rise to drowsiness and dopey memory.


On the subject of pregnancy in Psychiatry in Practice, October-November 1986, we learn that: "In an experiment 'Cox' found that 16 percent of a sample of 263 pregnant women were suffering from clinically significant psychiatric problems. Eight percent had a depressive neurosis and 1.9 percent had phobic neurosis. This study showed that the proportion of pregnant women with psychiatric problems was greater than that found in the control group but the difference only tended towards significance." (5)


Regarding the symptoms during the post-natal cycle Dr. Ruth Sagovsky writes: "The third category of puerperal psychiatric problems is post-natal depression. It is generally agreed that between10 to 15 percent of women become clinically depressed after childbirth. These mothers experience a variety of symptoms but anxiety, especially over the baby, irritability, and excessive fatigue are common. Appetite is usually decreased and often there are considerable sleep difficulties. The mothers lose interest in the things they enjoyed prior to the baby's birth, and find that their concentration is impaired. They often feel irrational guilt, and blame themselves for being 'bad' wives and mothers. Fifty percent of these women are not identified as having a depressive illness. Unfortunately, many of them do not understand what ails them and blame their husbands, their babies or themselves until the relationships are strained to an alarming degree." (6)


"... Making the diagnosis of post-natal depression is not always easy. Quite often the depression is beginning to become a serious problem around three months postpartum when frequent contact with the health visitor is diminishing. The mother may not present with depressed mood. If she comes to the health centre presenting the baby as the patient, the true nature of the problem can be missed. When the mother is continually anxious about the baby in spite of reassurance, then the primary health care worker needs to be aware of the possibility of depression. Sometimes these mothers present with marital difficulties, and it is easy to muddle cause and effect, viewing the accompanying low mood as part of the marital problem. Sometimes, only when the husband is seen as well does it become obvious that it is a post-natal depressive illness which has led to the deterioration in the marriage." (7)


Again there is a need to study the effects of the menopause about which very little is known even to this day. This phase in a woman's life can start at any time from the mid-thirties to the mid-fifties and can last for as long as fifteen years.


Writing about the pre-menopausal years, C.B. Ballinger states: "Several of the community surveys indicate a small but significant increase in psychiatric symptoms in women during the five years prior to the cessation of menstrual periods... The most obvious clinical feature of this transitional phase of menstrual function is the alteration in menstrual pattern, the menstrual cycle becoming shorter with age, and variability in cycle length become very prominent just prior to the cessation of menstruation. Menorrhagia is a common complaint at this time, and is associated with higher than normal levels of psychiatric disturbance." (8)


On the phenomenon of menopause in an article in Newsweek International, May 25th 1992, Dr. Jennifer al-Knopf, Director of the Sex and Marital Therapy Programme of Northwestern University writes: "...Women never know what their body is doing to them... some reporting debilitating symptoms from hot flashes to night sweat, sleeplessness, irritability, mood swings, short term memory loss, migraine, headaches, urinary inconsistence and weight gain. Most such problems can be traced to the drop-off in the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, both of which govern the ovarian cycle. But every woman starts with a different level of hormones and loses them at different rates. The unpredictability is one of the most upsetting aspects. Women never know what their body is going to do to them..."


Then there are the psychiatric aspects of infertility and miscarriage. On the subject of infertility, Dr. Ruth Sagovsky writes: "Depression, anger and guilt are common reactions to bereavement. In infertility there is the added pain of there being nobody to grieve for. Families and friends may contribute to the feeling of isolation by passing insensitive comments. The gynaecologist and GPs have to try to help these couples against a backdrop of considerable distress." (9)


On the subject of miscarriage the above article continues: "Miscarriage is rarely mentioned when considering abortion. However, miscarriage can at times have profound psychological sequelae and it is important that those women affected receive the support they need. Approximately one-fifth of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion and the effects are poorly recognised. If however, the miscarriage occurs in the context of infertility, the emotional reaction may be severe. The level of grief will depend on the meaning of pregnancy to the couple." (10)


Also, the fact that women are known to be more sensitive and emotional than men must not be overlooked. It is well known, for example, that under identical circumstances women suffer much greater anxiety than men. Numerous medical references on this aspect of female behaviour can be given but to quote as a specimen, we read in 'Sex Differences in Mental Health' that: "Surveys have found different correlates of anxiety and neuroticism in the two sexes. Women and men do not become equally upset by the same things, and being upset does not have the same effect in men as in women. Ekehammer (1974; Ekehammer, Magnusson and Ricklander, 1974) using data from 116 sixteen-year-olds, did a factor analysis on self-reported anxiety. Of the eighteen different responses indicating anxiety (sweating palms, faster heart rate, and so on) females reported experiencing twelve of them significantly more often than males. Of the anxiety-producing situations studied, females reported experiencing significantly more anxiety than males reported in fourteen of them." (11)


It is in light of the above findings of psychologist, psychiatrists and researchers that the saying of Allaah, the Exalted:


And get two witnesses of your own men, and if there are not two men then a man and two women such as you choose for witnesses - SO THAT IF ONE OF THEM ERRS, THE OTHER CAN REMIND HER... [Baqarah 2:182]


can be understood. One must also bear in mind that forgetfulness can be an asset. A woman has to be put up with children presenting all kinds of emotional problems and a woman is certainly known to be more resilient than man. The aim of presenting these research findings on a number of aspects related with the theme is to indicate that a woman by her biological constitution faces such problems. It does not however make her inferior to man but it does illustrate that she is different. Viewed in this way, it can only lead one to the conclusion that Allaah knows His creation the best and has prescribed precise laws in keeping with the nature of humankind.


Allaah, the Creator is - as always - All-Knowing, and man (or the disbeliever in Allaah and the final, perfected, revealed way of life, Islaam) is - as usual - ignorant.

 

So I would like to thank brother Karim for such a great article with such great information.

 

Also other helpful links which deal with this subject include:

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/testimonyofwomen.htm

 

http://www.drzakirnaik.com/pages/qanda/13.php

 

AND

 

http://www.answering-christianity.com/two_women.htm

 

 

 

 

 

He Wrote

 

Conclusion

 

Throughout the history of the Church, male Christian leaders have been patriarchal, oppressive, and even misogynist. No one should deny simple facts. However, these leaders absorbed too much of their cultures and not enough of the clear and universal teachings of the New Testament.

 

Jesus and the New Testament authors promote the universal principle of equity.

In the Christian community,

 

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

 

This verse is remarkable, considering the patriarchal and divisive culture and rigidly structured classes in the Greco-Roman world. It breaks down all barriers between religions or ethnicities (Jew or Greek, that is, Gentile), and between wide social statuses (free or slave), and between gender (male or female). This goes to the nature of humankind. In Christ, all are one, regardless of their roles in society or external circumstances. All receive God’s value and love in their essence. This universal principle should flow out into all areas of practical life.

 

If later Christian leaders were patriarchal and derogatory towards womankind, then they strayed from and misread the universal pronouncements in the New Testament.

Muhammad and his Quran, in contrast, attack the nature of womankind, universally. Says the Quran: "Men are a degree above [women] in status" (Sura 2:228); and "Allah has made the one [mankind] superior to the other [womankind]" (Sura 4:34). Allah himself made men superior to women, so asserts Muhammad. He also says in the hadith: "This [diminishment of a woman’s testimony] is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind." This insults the one quality in humans that exalts them and gives them dignity: their rational, thinking mind. (In no place does Jesus or a New Testament author say that a woman’s mind is deficient.)

Clearly, Allah and his prophet absorbed too much of seventh-century Arab culture in their "universal revelations."

 

Therefore, if later Muslim leaders are patriarchal and derogatory towards womankind, then they are closely following and correctly reading the universal pronouncements in the Quran and the hadith.

 

Is Muhammad’s religion really the greatest and most advanced one for all humankind, as Badawi and others would have us believe? Certain kinds of men may cherish its patriarchy, but what about the rest of us?

Muhammad’s Quran on womankind is too culture-bound and patriarchal to be relevant today.


Supplemental material

For a direct reply to Badawi’s article, click here <../../Green/womenstatus.htm>.

This online booklet <../../Women/place.html> explores the differing ideas in Islam and Christianity on the place of women.

This short article <http://ivpress.gospelcom.net/groothuis/doug/archives/000134.php> reviews Jesus’ attitude towards women.

 

This short chapter <http://www.light-of-life.com/eng/reveal/r5405et1.htm> has an excellent overview on the differences between Islam and Christianity and women’s role in each.

 

This short chapter <http://www.light-of-life.com/eng/reveal/r5405et5.htm> in the same online booklet sketches out the unpleasant fact that women’s testimony counts half of men’s testimony.

 

This one <http://www.light-of-life.com/eng/reveal/r5405et5.htm> in the same online booklet has an explanation on women’s inheritance rights.

 

This superb online booklet <http://debate.domini.org/newton/womeng.html> surveys many passages in the Quran and the hadith about women in Islam. The facts lead to only one

 

conclusion: Islam does not honor women.

This webpage <../../Women/index.html> has many links to articles and online booklets.

 

Copyright by James Malcolm Arlandson.

 

 

 

 

My Response

 

Every argument you brought up has been refuted. Every reader will see that for themselves, all your points were refuted in great detail. Islam does not treat women badly, this is the fabrication of the Christian apologetics.

 

Islam is true.

 

 

 

 

 

Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttals to James Arlandson's Articles section.

Sami Zaatari's Rebuttals section.


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