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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

In Search of the Beautiful Body

Niqab3

There seems no limit nowadays to the extent that women (and men) are prepared to go to in order to achieve that ‘perfect look’. Forget false eyelashes and wigs, we are now talking scalpels, implants and liposuction!!

Cosmetic surgery amongst film actor/actresses has been common place for quite some time now, but these days, it wouldnt be too hard pressed to find ordinary women on the street who are more plastic than real! Indeed, in some circles, having multiple facelifts has become a status symbol: the more you have, the higher you are in the status rankings.

If questioned whether cosmetic surgery was Islamically correct or not, then without doubt, most Muslims would instinctively respond by saying that it isnt, for the simple reason that it would be interfering with Allaahs creation. And certainly, this would be the correct response.

The Companion, Ibn Masood, radiAllaahu anhu, once said (quoting what he had heard the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, say): “Allaah has cursed the tattooers and those who have themselves tattooed, and those women who have their teeth filed for beauty and those who have their [facial] hair plucked and thus alter Allaah’s creation.” A woman remarked, “What’s all this?” So Ibn Mas’ood – radiAllaahu anhu – said: “Should I not curse one whom Allaahs Messenger cursed? And it is in the Book of Allaah!” She said: “I have read the Quraan from cover to cover, but I did not find that in it.” He replied: “If you had read it thoroughly you would have found it.

Allaah says, ‘Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it and whatever he has forbidden, retrain from it’” [Sooratul-Hashr (59):7]. 1

So the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, forbade women from performing these three practices which the women commonly did for the sake of beauty in those days – seemingly ‘insignificant’ practices for which they would incur the CURSE of Allaah. And this forbiddence isnt just restricted to the procedures mentioned in the hadeeth.

Because Allaah says in more general terms in His Book: “So set your face truly to the faith, Allaahs handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind, [Let there be] no change in the creation of Allaah.” 2 [Soorah ar-Room (30):30].

Therefore, it is obligatory for us to accept the creation of Allaah as it is, not making any alterations to it.3

More importantly though, it is also obligatory or us to believe that all of Allaahs creation is beautiful, because Allaah, the Khaaliq (Creator) does not create anything except with beauty and perfection, which is why He says to mankind: “You can see no fault in the creation of ar-Rahmaan [the Most Merciful]. Then look again: can you see any rifts? Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out.” [Soorah al-Mulk (67):3].

This may all sound quite strange when we consider how often we hear women complaining about their appearance. In fact, it is estimated that over half of the Western women today actually perceive themselves to be ugly. In addition, surveys show that nearly all women feel under pressure to “look good”.

As a result, the quest for beauty has become a serious preoccupation for many women. Open up any womens magazine and you will not fail to find a single one which doesnt contain tips on how to “look good”, or which dont contain huge adverts promoting new creams that halt the aging process or concealers to hide wrinkles, etc.

Beauty today is big business. Beauty contests are very profitable and – contrary to popular belief – more are spawned every year. The cosmetics market is a multi-billion dollar industry; the demand for cosmetic surgery is growing at a tremendous rate. All three industries promote the same notions o beauty that women everywhere are expected to meet: mainly a white, European, “Barbie-doll” like standard. The pressures on women to conform to these standards are enormous and few are able to withstand them.4

The fact is that Western women today may complain that they are not treated with equality and respect, but it is they themselves who have made it acceptable for society worldwide to see women merely as beauty-objects who are there to be ogled by the men who in turn are the (im)polite voyeurs. When viewed in this light, we find that beauty contests are not too dissimilar to reality itself: just as the tallest, slimmest blonde girl gets the title in the beauty contest, in the real world its the tallest, slimmest blonde girl who gets the man!

In Islaam, beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, beauty is in the whole of creation, because Allaah – the One free of all imperfections – is the one responsible for it.

And as Allaah says: “Your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses: no choice have they. SubhaanAllaah! And far removed is He from the partners they ascribe [to Him].” [Soorah al-Qasas (28):68].

So it is from the wisdom of Allaah that He has chosen to create some of us short, others tall, some fat, some thin, some dark-coloured, some light – all are beautiful and perfect in their own right. That is why we are taught from the Sunnah, the beautiful duaa (supplication) that the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, would say: “O Allaah, as You have made my appearance beautiful, likewise make my character beautiful.” (Allaahumma kamaa hassanta khalaqee fa hassin khuluqee). 5

As Muslims, we must believe that evil and imperfection cannot be attributed to Allaah. 6

The desire to change any aspect of ourselves means, in effect, that we are dissatisfied with Allaahs choice and His handiwork, and that there is imperfection in what He has created. Thus to say about ourselves or anyone else that we or they are ugly is a great sin.

This point was reinforced by the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, when he once saw the Companion, Amr ibn Fulaan al-Ansaaree, radiAllaahu anhu, whose izaar (lower garment) was hanging low (to the ground), so he, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, ordered that he raise it. Amr made an excuse saying that he had skinny shins (i.e. he was embarrassed to show them), so the Prophet responded by saying: “O Amr! Verily Allaah – the Mighty and the Majestic – has created everything in the best form.” 7

All this is certainly not intended to discourage women to look after themselves and adorn themselves in lawful ways (e.g. wearing nice clothes, having nicely done hair, etc.). Indeed, adorning oneself is something that the wives are obliged to do for their husbands and Allaah rewards the woman who pleases the husband when he looks at her. 8

But with these tremendous pressures on women to conform to the ideals set by the marketing media, it may be hard for Muslim women to resist feeling insecure or uncomfortable about their appearance. Consequently, many Muslim women have shed their hijaabs for the sake of following fashion; Muslim women too develop inferiority complexes about themselves.

We must bear in mind that this search for the ‘body beautiful’ is, in reality, a deception from Shaitaan. Shaitaan has vowed that he will create such false desires in mankind.

He has said (as stated in the Quraan): “Surely I will arouse in them [mankind] false desires; and certainly I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allaah.” [Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):119].

May Allaah always keep us safe from the false promises of Shaitaan, for Verily He is the One who guides to the Truth.
——————————————————————————–

Notes
1. Reported by Ibn Masood and collected in Saheeh Muslim (English trans, vo1. 3, p.1166, no.5301). This incident is a good illustration of the status which the Sunnah held in front of the Companions.

2. Note that this forbiddence applies to the whole of creation, not just human beings. Therefore, defacing any part of Allaah’s creation is haraam. By extension, this ruling also applies to all forms of genetic engineering, which are carried out on farm animals, for example, in order to procure more profitable meat from them.


3. This is with the exception of those things which have been prescribed in the Shareeah, e.g. clipping the nails, shaving the underarms and around the private parts, etc.


4. In fact, some women go to such extremes that it results in them developing health problems – anorexia nervosa – for instance. The carcinogenic nature of breast implants are also well documented now. No doubt, the future will reveal more harmful effects of these artificial means of changing creation.


5. One hadeeth which contains this supplication mentions that this duaa should be recited on looking in the mirror. However, the chain (isnaad) of this hadeeth is not authentic. But it is authentically reported as a supplication to be recited at any time. (See Ibn Taimiyyah’s al-Kalimat-Tayyib with al-Albaanee’s footnotes.)


6. For an explanation of this important aspect of belief, please refer to The Prophet’s Prayer Described (p.15).


7. Saheeh – collected in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad (vo1.4, p.200).


8. See Musnad Ahmad, an-Nasaa’ee and others. Also, it is forbidden for the husband to invoke ugliness upon the wife – as was a common practice amongst the pre-Islamic Arabs.

source: originally appeared in Ad-dawah ilallah magazine, Volume 1, Issue 3.

 

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Status and Roles of Women In Islam..

 muslimah a real pearl

As a daughter:

(1) The Qur’an ended the cruel practice of female infanticide, which was before Islam. Allah has said: “And when the female (infant) buried alive (as the pagan Arabs use to do) is questioned: For what sin was she killed.” (Qur’an 81:8-9)

(2) The Qur’an goes further to rebuke the unwelcoming attitude of some parents upon hearing the news of the birth of a baby girl, instead of a baby boy. Allah has said: “And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief. He hides himself from the people because of the evil whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision.” (Qur’an 16:58-59)

(3) Parents are duty-bound to support and show kindness and justice to their daughters. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Whosoever supports two daughters until they mature, he and I will come on the Day of Judgment as this (and he pointed with his fingers held together).”

(4) A crucial aspect in the upbringing of daughters that greatly influences their future is education. Education is not only a right but a responsibility for all males and females. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim.” The word “Muslim” here is inclusive of both males and females.

(5) Islam neither requires nor encourages female circumcision. And while it may be practiced by some Muslims in certain parts of Africa, it is also practiced by other peoples, including Christians, in those places, a reflection merely of the local customs and practices there.

As a wife:

(1) Marriage in Islam is based on mutual peace, love, and compassion, and not just the mere satisfying of human sexual desire. Among the most impressive verses in the Qur’an about marriage is the following:

“And among His signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them; and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.”(Qur’a n 30:21, see also 42:11 and 2:228)

(2) A female has the right to accept or reject marriage proposals. According to the Islamic Law, women cannot be forced to marry anyone without their consent.

(3) The husband is responsible for the maintenance, protection, and overall leadership of the family, within the framework of consultation (see the Qur’an 2:233) and kindness (see the Qur’an 4:19). The mutuality and complementary nature of the role of husband and wife does not mean subservience by either party to the other. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed Muslims regarding women: “I command you to be good to women.” And “The best among you are those who are best to their wives.”

The Qur’an urges husbands to be kind and considerate toward their wives, even if a wife falls out of favor with her husband or disinclination for her arises within him:

“…And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.” (Qur’an 4:19)

It also outlawed the Arabian practice before Islam whereby the stepson of the deceased father was allowed to take possession of his father’s widow(s) (inherit them) as if they were part of the estate of the deceased (see the Qur’an 4:19).

(4) Should marital disputes arise, the Qur’an encourages couples to resolve them privately in a spirit of fairness and goodness. Indeed, the Qur’an outlines an enlightened step and wise approach for the husband and wife to resolve persistent conflict in their marital life. In the event that dispute cannot be resolved equitably between husband and wife, the Qur’an prescribes mediation between the parties through family intervention on behalf of both spouses (see the Qur’an 4:35).

(5) Divorce is a last resort, permissible but not encouraged, for the Qur’an esteems the preservation of faith and the individual’s right – male and female alike – to felicity. Forms of marriage dissolution include an enactment based upon mutual agreement, the husband’s initiative, the wife’s initiative (if part of her marital contract), the court’s decision on a wife’s initiative (for a legitimate reason), and the wife’s initiative without a cause, provided that she returns her marital gift to her husband. When the continuation of the marriage relationship is impossible for any reason, men are still taught to seek a gracious end for it. The Qur’an states about such cases:

“And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, either take them back on reasonable basis or set them free on reasonable basis. But do not take them back to hurt them, and whoever does that, then he has wronged himself.” (Qur’an 2:231, see also 2:229 and 33:49)

(6) Associating polygamy with Islam, as if it was introduced by it or is the norm according to its teachings, is one of the most persistent myths perpetuated in Western literature and media. Polygamy existed in almost all nations and was even sanctioned by Judaism and Christianity until recent centuries. Islam did not outlaw polygamy, as did many peoples and religious communities; rather, it regulated and restricted it. It is not required but simply permitted with conditions (see the Qur’an 4:3). Spirit of law, including timing of revelation, is to deal with individual and collective contingencies that may arise from time to time (e.g. imbalances between the number of males and females created by wars) and to provide a moral, practical, and humane solution for the problems of widows and orphans.

As a mother:

(1) The Qur’an elevates kindness to parents (especially mothers) to a status second to the worship of Allah:

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say, ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.” (Qur’an 17:23-24, see also 31:14, 46:15, and 29:8)

(2) Naturally, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) specified this behavior for his followers, rendering to mothers an unequaled status in human relationships. A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said,“O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship?” The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Your mother.” The man said, “Then who?” The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Then your mother.” The man further asked, “Then who?” The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Then your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet said: “Then your father.”

As a sister-in-faith

(1) According to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “Women are but shaqa’iq (twin halves or sisters) of men.” This saying is a profound statement that directly relates to the issue of human equality between the genders. If the first meaning of the Arabic word shaqa’iq, “twin halves,” is adopted, it means that the male is worth one half (of society), while the female is worth the other half. If the second meaning, “sisters,” is adopted, it implies the same.

(2) Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught kindness, care, and respect toward women in general: “I command you to be good to women.” It is significant that such instruction of the Prophet (pbuh) was among his final instructions and reminders in the farewell pilgrimage address given shortly before his passing away.

(3) Modesty and social interaction: The parameters of proper modesty for males and females (dress and behavior) are based on revelatory sources (the Qur’an and Prophet’s sayings) and, as such, are regarded by believing men and women as divinely-based guidelines with legitimate aims and divine wisdom behind them.They are not male-imposed or socially-impose d restrictions. It is interesting to know that even the Bible encourages women to cover their head: “If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.” (1 Corinthians 11:6).

The legal and political aspect of women in Islam

(1) Equality before the law: Both genders are entitled to equality before the law and courts of law. Justice is genderless (see the Qur’an 5:38, 24:2, and 5:45). Women do possess an independent legal entity in financial and other matters.

(2) Participation in social and political life: The general rule in social and political life is participation and collaboration of males and females in public affairs (see the Qur’an 9:71).There is sufficient historical evidence of participation by Muslim women in the choice of rulers, in public issues, in law-making, in administrative positions, in scholarship and teaching, and even in the battlefield. Such involvement in social and political affairs was conducted without the participants’ losing sight of the complementary priorities of both genders and without violating Islamic guidelines of modesty and virtue.

Conclusion:

The status which non-Muslim women reached during the present era was not achieved due to the kindness of men or due to natural progress. It was rather achieved through a long struggle and sacrifice on woman’s part and only when society needed her contribution and work, more especially during the two World Wars, and due to the escalation of technological change. While in 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.

If this indicates anything, it would demonstrate the Divine origin of the Qur’an and the truthfulness of the message of Islam, which, unlike human philosophies and ideologies, was far from proceeding from its human environment; a message which established such humane principles that neither grew obsolete during the course of time, nor can become obsolete in the future. After all, this is the message of the All-Wise and All-Knowing God whose wisdom and knowledge are far beyond the ultimate in human thought and progress.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Ideals and Role Models for Women in Qur’an, Hadith and Sirah

Assalam Alaykum brothetr and sisters,

I Know this Article is quite big,but really imp article,it will remove all women related misconception and lies with proofs from hadith and quran.so I Consider this a Must read !
JazakAllah khair
King
slave of Allah

Exhibitions portray ideals: all that is best in a person’s work, a society, a period of artistic endeavor and so on. A talk at an exhibition should do the same, so I shall begin by putting forward the ideals of Islam concerning women, and their role models.

I shall show how these ideals are set forth in the Qur’an, which Muslims consider to be the revealed word of God – Allah – in the Arabic language, and also refer to the Hadith and Sunnah, the reports of the sayings and the model practice of the Prophet Muhammad*.

These two sources make up the basis for the Islamic law, Shari’ah, the body of legislation and moral guidance constructed by the Muslim scholars. Although the Qur’an is taken as unchallengeable, each Hadith is open to well-founded scholarly question as to its authenticity; and the interpretations given to the Qur’an and Hadith, which frequently result in differences of opinion, are open to still further questioning. The many different opinions expressed by the scholars give latitude to Muslims to choose between them to find acceptable guidelines. The Islamic law is not as monolithic and unchangeable as it might appear, although it does have a base of absolutes on which to stand.

This preamble is important with regard to women in Islam, because it has often been observed by Muslim scholars that the Islamic family law as practised in some Muslim countries bears little resemblance to the liberating and sympathetic treatment of women pioneered by the Prophet Muhammad himself (pbuh). Even Mawdudi, considered by some to be among the most conservative of modern Islamic revivalist commentators, Abul A’la Mawdudi, has criticisms to make of the why Indian Muslim law has been practised1. So it is important to distinguish between current, or even past practice, and the spirit of the law – the ideals as laid down by Allah in the Qur’an and exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad*. Most modern writers on Women in Islam are agreed that it is vital to go back to these original sources and reinterpret them in the context of the societies in which we all live now in order to clear up corruptions which have been incorporated into the laws, both from indigenous cultural sources and European colonialist efforts to, as they thought, `reform’ the Shari’ah. So it is to these original sources, the Qur’an and Hadith, that I shall mainly refer.

The Quran has much to say both ABOUT women, and TO women. One Surah is called `Women’, another is named after Maryam the mother of Jesus (pbuh). Women appear in many other parts. In stories of the prophets we have

– Hawwa (Eve) the wife of Adam, no longer the temptress who leads Adam to sin but a partner jointly responsible with him and jointly forgiven by Allah soon afterwards.

– There is the wife of Nuh (Noah) (pbuh) who betrays her husband and is held up along with the wife of Lot as an example of a disbeliever (66:10-11).

– There is the wife of Ibrahim, who laughs at the news the angel brings, of the baby she is to have in her old age;

– the wife of Pharaoh, who saves the infant Musa (Moses) (pbuh) and, along with Maryam, mother of Jesus, is one of the two female examples of the good believer held up in Surah 66:10 & 11.

– The wife of Aziz, who tried to seduce Yusuf (Joseph), is nevertheless treated with some sympathy, when she shows her friends how handsome he is and they all cut themselves with their knives because they are distracted by his beauty;

and there are more women besides.

It is noteworthy that the four women I have mentioned as examples are presented to both male and female Muslims to show how it is possible to be true believers in difficult circumstances, and disbelievers in favorable circumstances.

– The two good examples believed in spite of the attitudes of those close to them, Pharaoh’s wife saving Moses from her husband’s wicked command to kill all the Hebrew firstborn sons, and Maryam confronting accusations of immorality when she brought home her baby after the virgin birth.

– The two bad ones disbelieved in spite of being married to prophets of Allah. In neither case do these examples show the traditional picture of the `submissive’ woman.

Then there are the contemporary women of the Prophet’s household, his wives and daughters. One of his wives, Umm Salamah, complained to him that the Quran was addressed only to men, and then a long passage was revealed to the Prophet* addressed clearly to men and women in every line, which states clearly the equal responsibilities and rewards for Muslim men and women.

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.

(Qur’an 33:35)

Aishah, his youngest wife, caused a scandal when she went out into the desert to look for a necklace she had lost there and got left behind by the caravan. She was rescued by a young man and came back with him and rumors  spread that she had been dallying with him. This caused great pain to her and to the Prophet and it was a long time before they were relieved by another revelation (24:4),

demanding that people making such accusations against chaste women must produce four eye witnesses to the act or suffer a flogging themselves and have their evidence rejected ever after.

There are passages specifically addressed to the wives of the Prophet as a group. For example:

O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women. If ye do fear (Allah) be not too complaisant of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak ye a speech (that is) just.

And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like those of the former times of ignorance, and establish regular prayer, and give zakat (welfare due) and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the family, and to make you pure and spotless.

And recite what is rehearsed to you in your houses of the Signs of Allah and His Wisdom, for Allah is All-Subtle, All-Aware.

Qur’an 33:32-34

Other passages are addressed via the Prophet to his wives, daughters and the women of the believers.

Still others were revealed in answer to questions from ordinary women, like the one concerning the practice of divorce by abstinence within the marriage (zihar). A woman complained to the Prophet about this practice, which left the woman with no sexual satisfaction, but still not free to marry another husband and a verse was revealed condemning this practice.

Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who pleads with thee concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to Allah…

Qur’an 58:1

Another passage was revealed in answer to a woman’s complaint about the way her husband wanted to have intercourse with her (2:223).

So the Qur’an is a book which has a lot to say TO women and ABOUT women. What does it say? We have already seen that it does not condemn all women in the image of Eve as Christianity has been known to do; that it is often on the side of women who complain about injustice, in marriage, divorce and in false accusation. How does it view the creation of woman? Is she just a part of Adam and an afterthought? This is what it says, in the first ayah (verse) of Surat an-Nisa – The Women:

O Mankind, be conscious of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul, and from it created its mate (of the same kind) and from them twain has spread a multitude of men and women.

Qur’an 4:1

`A single soul’ is neither male nor female, although it could be understood to mean Adam it is not necessarily so. In fact `soul’ is feminine and `mate’ is masculine! Not that I’m suggesting that women came first, because in other parts of the Qur’an the creation of Adam is described. But the gender relationship here is ambivalent. And the mate was created from the `soul’ not the humble `rib’. No Muslim scholar could ever argue, after reading this, as some Christians have done, that women do not have a soul! They are made of the same soul as men. Their capacity for good and evil is identical with that of men. In 49:13, of the Qur’an we find that it is good deeds and awareness of Allah which make the believer, male or female, noble in the sight of Allah:

Indeed the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most pious.

and in 40:40:

Whoever does right, whether male or female, (all) such will enter the garden

The works of male and female are of equal value and each will receive the due reward for what they do:

Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any one of you, male or female…

Qur’an 3:195

Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him will We give a new life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to their actions.

Qur’an 16:97

The same duties are incumbent on men and women as regards their faith:

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.

(Qur’an 33:35)

There are a few exceptions: women are given exemption from some duties,

– Fasting when they are pregnant or nursing or menstruating,

– Praying when menstruating or bleeding after childbirth, and

– The obligation to attend congregational prayers in the mosque on Fridays.

– They are not obliged to take part as soldiers in the defence of Islam, although they are not forbidden to do so.

But under normal circumstances they are allowed to do all the things that men do.

– Even when they are menstruating, on special days, like the two Id festivals, they are still allowed to come to the Id prayers, and menstruating women can take part in most of the actions of the Hajj pilgrimage.

But are women’s duties in social life different and complementary as most scholars assert? Is their sole function to keep house and bear and rear children while the men do everything else? Does the fact that they suffer disruption to their health when they menstruate make them unsuitable for any job outside the house, and fit only to maintain a happy and peaceful home, as Mawdudi would have us believe? This is an argument that is grossly exaggerated by male scholars everywhere to justify all kinds of discrimination against women. Mawdudi would have us believe that women scarcely enjoy a few days’ sanity in their lives, so disruptive are the effects of menstruation and childbearing. No doubt there is some truth in his description of such disruption, and allowances should be made by men, and other women for this, but this does not disqualify women from any task that men can do any more than it disqualifies them from creating happy and well-run homes.

Nor is there any basis in the Qur’an or hadith for such an attitude. The Qur’an mentions menstruation in 2:222:

They ask thee concerning women’s courses. Say: `They are a hurt and a pollution, so keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, ye may approach them as ordained for you by Allah.’

According to the interpreters of Islamic law, this means only that sexual intercourse is not allowed at such times, but any other form of intimacy is still permissible. To put it briefly, menstruation may be messy and painful but it is not a major disability.

Islamic law makes no demand that women should confine themselves to household duties. In fact the early Muslim women were found in all walks of life. The first wife of the Prophet, mother of all his surviving children, was a business woman who hired him as an employee, and proposed marriage to him through a third party; women traded in the marketplace, and the Khalifah Umar, not normally noted for his liberal attitude to women, appointed a woman, Shaff’a Bint Abdullah, to supervise the market. Other women, like Laila al-Ghifariah, took part in battles , carrying water and nursing the wounded, some, like Suffiah bint Abdul Muttalib even fought and killed the enemies to protect themselves and the Prophet* and like Umm Dhahhak bint Masoud were rewarded with booty in the same way as the men. Ibn Jarir and al-Tabari siad that women can be appointed to a judicial position to adjudicate in all matters, although Abu Hanifah excluded them from such weighty decisions as those involving the heavy hadd and qisas punishments, and other jurists said that women could not be judges at all. The Qur’an even speaks favourably of the Queen of Sheba and the way she consulted her advisors, who deferred to her good judgement on how to deal with the threat of invasion by the armies of Solomon. (Qur’an 27:32-35):

She (the Queen of Sheba) said, `O chiefs, advise me respecting my affair; I never decide an affair until you are in my presence.’ They said, `We are possessors osf strength and possessors of mighty prowess, and the command is thine, so consider what thou wilt command.’ She said, `Surely the kings, when they enter a town, ruin it and make the noblest of its people to be low, and thus they do. And surely I am going to send them a present, and to see what (answer) the messengers bring back.’

Women have sometimes headed Islamic provinces , like Arwa bint Ahmad, who served as governor of Yemen under the Fatimid Khalifahs in the late fifth and early sixth century.

A much vaunted hadith that the Prophet said, `A people who entrust power to a woman will never prosper’, has been shown to be extremely unreliable on several counts. It is an isolated and uncorroborated one, and therefore not binding in Islamic law, and in addition there is reason to believe it may have been forged in the context of the battle which Aishah the Prophet’s widow led against the fourth Khalifah Ali. In view of the examples set by women rulers in history, it is also clearly untenable and false.

To sum up, the qualifications of women for work of all kinds are not in doubt, despite some spurious ahadith to the contrary. Women can do work like men, but they DO NOT HAVE to do it to earn a living . They are allowed and encouraged to take the duties of marriage and motherhood seriously and are provided with the means to stay at home and do it properly.

The Muslim woman has always had the right to own and manage her own property , a right that women in this country only attained in the last 100 years. Marriage in Islam does not mean that the man takes over the woman’s property, nor does she automatically have the right to all his property if he dies intestate. Both are still regarded as individual people with responsibilities to other members of their family – parents, brothers, sisters etc. and inheritance rights illustrate this.

The husband has the duty to support and maintain the wife, as stated in the Qur’an, and this is held to be so even if she is rich in her own right . He has no right to expect her to support herself, let alone support his children or him. If she does contribute to the household income this is regarded as a charitable deed on her part.

Because of their greater financial responsibilities, some categories of male relations, according to the inheritance laws in the Qur’an, inherit twice the share of their female equivalents, but others, whose responsibilities are likely to be less, inherit the same share -mothers and fathers, for instance are each entitled to one sixth of the estate of their children, after bequests (up to one third of the estate) and payment of debts. (Qur’an 4:11):

For parents a sixth share of the inheritance to each if the deceased left children;

If no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth…

Women are thus well provided for: their husbands support them, and they inherit from all their relations. They are allowed to engage in business or work at home or outside the house, so long as the family does not suffer, and the money they make is their own, with no calls on it from other people until their death.

Nor are women expected to do the housework. If they have not been used to doing it, the husband is obliged to provide domestic help within his means, and to make sure that the food gets to his wife and children, already cooked. The Prophet* himself used to help with the domestic work, and mended his own shoes. Women are not even obliged in all cases to suckle their own children. If a divorcing couple mutually agree, they can send the baby to a wet-nurse and the husband must pay for the suckling. If the mother decides to keep the baby and suckle it herself, he must pay her for her trouble!

This is laid down in the Qur’an itself, (2:233):

The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years, if the father desires to complete the term, but he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms…If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no blame on them. If ye decide on a foster-mother for your offspring, there is no blame on you, provided ye pay what ye offered on equitable terms …

What basis does all this leave for the male attitude that women are only fit for maternal and household duties?

Nevertheless the womanly state in marriage is given full respect in Islam, and so are the rights of children. No Muslim woman could feel ashamed to say she was only a housewife. She is the head of her household, although the husband has the final say in major decisions.

According to a hadith:

The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his subjects, a husband is a shepherd and is responsible for his family, a wife is a shepherd and is responsible for her household, and a servant is a shepherd who is responsible for his master’s property.

Hadith: Bukhari

The wife must defer to her husband in respect for the fact that he maintains and protects her out of his means (Qur’an 4:34), but not if he tries to make her break the laws of Allah. Likewise children’s obedience and respect for parents goes only to the limits set by Allah. If the parents try to make them disobey Allah, then it is their duty to disobey the parents. If the husband wilfully fails to maintain his wife, she has the right to divorce him in court.

Women are also entitled to respect as mothers: Allah says in the Qur’an (31:14):

And we have enjoined on man (to be good to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him…

The Prophet* said:

Paradise lies at the feet of mothers…

and in another hadith the Prophet* told a man that his mother above all other people, even his father, was worthy of his highest respect and compassion.

In cases of divorce, the mother has first claim to custody of the young children, followed by other female members of her family, if she remarries or is unable to look after the children. The right reverts to the husband’s family only after the children reach an age of greater independence, which varies according to the school of law, and then the wishes of the child must be taken into consideration, if the example of the Prophet* is to be followed. In a disputed case, he asked the child:

This is your father and this is your mother, so take whichever of them you wish by the hand.

Hadith: Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, Darimi

The boy went to his mother.

In another case a woman approached the Prophet telling him that her husband had embraced Islam while she had refused to do so, adding that her daughter was being deprived of mother’s milk as her father was taking her away. The Prophet made the child sit between mother and father and said both of them should call her. The child would go to whoever she chose. The child responded to the mother. The Prophet prayed to Allah to guide the child and the child then chose the father, and hence Rafi (the father) took the child (Hadith: Abu Dawud)3

Yet in this country it is still a novelty to give the child such rights.

Although the Islamic marriage contract is a civil agreement between the two parties , not a sacrament like the Christian one, it is not just a relationship of material convenience. The words used to describe marriage in the Qur’an are poetic and beautiful:

And among His signs is this: that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts, verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.

Qur’an 30:21

They are your garments and ye are their garments

Qur’an 2:187

Love, mercy, intimacy and mutual protection and modesty are the qualities expected of an Islamic marriage. Even in Paradise marriage remains as one of the great joys:

Verily the Companions of the Garden shall that day have joy in all that they do; they and their spouses will be in groves of (cool) shade reclining on thrones of (dignity); fruit will be there for them, they shall have whatever they call for; `Peace’, a word (of salutation) from a Lord Most Merciful.

Qur’an 36:55-57

Husbands are expected to treat their wives kindly during marriage and even during and after divorce . Allah says in the Qur’an:

… 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 Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.

Qur’an 4:19

The Prophet* said:

The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and the best of you are those who are best to their wives.

(Hadith: Ibn Hanbal)

Married couples are urged in the Qur’an to deal with one another in a spirit of mutual consultation and agreement, even when contemplating divorce and the custody of children:

… If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no blame on them …

Qur’an 2:233

How much more so, then, should this spirit predominate in the happy marriage!

Marriage is also intended by Allah to be fruitful. In the Qur’an He tells us:

… He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle; by this means does he multiply you…

Qur’an 42:11

Your wives are as a tilth for you …

Qur’an 2:223

Yet contraception has never been forbidden in Islam, as the Prophet* gave permission for the withdrawal method, so long as the wife agrees. By analogy other methods of preventing conception are also allowed.

The practical aspects of marriage are covered by the marriage contract, in which the wife can specify conditions, and many Muslim women have taken advantage of this to take to themselves the right of divorce if, for example, the husband takes another wife (CARDS on Polygamy). It must include a marriage gift – sadaqah or mahr – to the wife from the husband, of an amount and nature agreed between them.

Usually, according to custom and convenience – a practice later endorsed in the Shari’ah – a young inexperienced woman would be represented in the negotiations by a `marriage guardian’ or wal_ who is there to see that her interests are served. This wal_ should be her father or grandfather, but it is possible for some older or more experienced women to appoint any person of their choice to act for them. When the Prophet* married the widow, Umm Salamah, her son acted as her wal_, and the Prophet* asked his permission to marry her. (Ibn Rushd) The wishes of close relations, in particular parents, must be taken into consideration, and their permission must be asked. According to some ahadith it is better to break off a marriage which displeases one’s parents, as they are the gateway to Paradise.

Parents have a responsibility to help their children find spouses,

Umar Ibn al-Khattab and Anas reported God’s Messenger* as saying that it is written in the Torah, `If anyone does not give his daughter in marriage when she reaches 12 and she commits sin, the guilt of that rests on him.’

Hadith: Baihaqi

and

Abu Sa’id and Ibn Abbas reported God’s Messenger* as saying: `He who has a son born to him should give him a good name and a good education and marry him when he reaches puberty. If he does not marry him when he reaches puberty and he commits sin, its guilt rests only upon his father.

Hadith: Baihaqi

But parents have no right to force young women to marry against their will after they have reached marriagable age . There is much evidence in the hadith to show that forced marriages are not legal and the wife has the right to have them annulled:

Ibn Abbas reported that a girl came to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad* and she reported that her father had forced her to marry without her consent. The Messenger of Allah* gave her the choice … (between accepting the marriage and invalidating it).

Hadith: Ibn Hanbal

In another version the girl said,

`Actually, I accept this marriage but I wanted to let women know that parents have no right (to force a husband on them).

Hadith: Ibn Majah

The Prophet* also advised that couples should see one another before getting married, so there is no Islamic basis for the custom of marrying young couples who have never set eyes on one another. If a woman does find that she cannot bear the man she is married to, even because she finds him ugly, Islamic law makes it possible for a court to give her a divorce from him. It is only necessary to prove that she hates him irrevocably – the court does not need to probe into the reasons for the hatred. The Prophet* granted divorces to at least two women in such circumstances. One of them, Jamila, the sister of the hypocrite Abdullah Ibn Ubayy, told the Prophet* about her objection to her husband Thabit Ibn Qais:

Messenger of Allah! Nothing can keep the two of us together. As I lifted my veil, I saw him coming, accompanied by some men. I could see that he was the blackest, the shortest and the ugliest of them all. By Allah! I do not dislike him for any blemish in his faith or his morals, it is his ugliness that I dislike. Had the fear of Allah not stood in my way, I must have spat on him when he came to me. … I am afraid my desperation might drive my Islam closer to disbelief.

The Prophet asked her if she would return the garden Thabit had given her, and she agreed to do this and was given a divorce.4 Thabit did not do any better with his other wife, Habibah. And there are also examples of similar cases from the times of the first three khalifahs.

Ideally speaking, women in Islam are treated like queens, indeed they are better protected than our British royal family is now! Not only are they are allowed to divorce their husbands, rather than live apart and unable to remarry, like Princess Diana, but they are also protected from scandal-mongers.

No-one is allowed, without permission, to invade their privacy in their houses (24:27-28) not even their husbands when they return from a long journey.

Men are not allowed to treat them with disrespect, to look at them more than once, or to touch them -even, some hadiths seem to show, to shake their hands – and if anyone spreads rumours about their chastity without the support of four eye witnesses to the act itself, they themselves are liable to punishment in this life and the hereafter (24:23)!

To make this demand for respect abundantly clear to the men, the wives of the Prophet are asked in the Qur’an to be modest in their appearance, and behaviour, to stay quietly in their houses and not make a great display of themselves as some well-known people were (and still are) prone to do; not to speak too pleasantly to men for fear of `those in whose hearts is a disease’, and to be pious and virtuous and pure.

Ordinary Muslim women too are urged to lower their gaze and wrap themselves closely in their outer garments, letting their head-coverings fall over their neck opening, so that they may be recognised as respectable women and not molested. The Prophet’s wives are also reported to have covered part of their faces with their cloaks when they were among strange men. Those who regard veiling as a form of exploitation should ask themselves which is more exploitative of women, the mini skirt or the veil?

Many Muslim women, from the Prophet’s wives onwards, have aspired to the same degree of modesty and virtue as these passages enjoin and yet managed to participate actively in society by doing good deeds, working to help support their families, and/or pursuing their education. Women figured prominently among the earliest scholars of Islam. The Prophet’s wife Aishah was one of the foremost transmitters of hadiths and, like other wives and Companions of the Prophet was often surrounded by students wanting to learn from her: one of her pupils, Urwah Ibn az-Zubayr said:

I did not see a greater scholar than Aishah in the learning of the Qur’an, obligatory duties, lawful and unlawful matters, poetry and literature, Arab history and genealogy.

Abu Musa al-Ash’ar_ said:

Whenever we Companions of the Prophet* encountered any difficulty in the matter of any hadith we referred it to Aishah and found that she had definite knowledge about it.

Hafiz ibn Hajar said:

… it is said that a quarter of the injunctions of the Shari’ah are narrated from her.

The Prophet* was keen to see that women were educated in Islam as well as the men and ordered the men to pass on what they had learned to their women:

Return home to your wives and children and stay with them. Teach them (what you have learned) and ask them to act upon it.

Hadith: Bukhari (CARD)

Muslim women have the right to have education from their husbands and if not, to go elsewhere to get it. An early Muslim scholar, of the Maliki school of law, named Ibn al-HÆjj, otherwise a strict critic of the over-liberal behaviour of the women in Cairo, wrote:

If a woman demands her right to religious education from her husband and brings the issue before a judge, she is justified in demanding this right because it is her right that either her husband should teach her or allow her to go elsewhere to acquire education. The judge must compel the husband to fulfil her demand in the same way that he would in the matter of her worldly rights, since her rights in matters of religion are most essential and important.

al-Mudhkal

Women can be educated by men. The Prophet sent Umar Ibn al-Khattab to teach the women of the Ansar:

It is reported by Umm `Atiyah thaat when the Messenger of Allah came to Madinah, he ordered the women of the Ansar (Muslims of Madinah) to gather in one house, and sent Umar Ibn al-Khattab to them (to convey the teachings of Islam). He asluted them while standing at athe door of the house and they returned his greeting. Then he said, `I am a messenger of the Messenger of Allah, sent especially to you.’

Hadith: Bukhari

And women taught men too, not only the wives of the Prophet but many others later were teachers of men , e.g. Aishah bt. Sa’id Ibn Abi Waqqas, who taught the first compiler of Hadith, Malik; and Sayyida Nafisa, granddaughter of al-Hasan, the Prophet’s grandson, who taught Imam Shafi’i, and much later a woman taught Ibn al-Arabi, the famous Sufi thinker and greatly influenced his thought.

According to the Prophet*:

It is the duty of every Muslim (male or female) to seek knowledge.

Hadith: Bukhari

Women’s views were listened to, respected, and usually supported, by the Prophet* as we have seen. Another example is when the Prophet’s pilgrimage to Makkah was stopped by the Makkans who made an agreement with him that he and the Muslims could return the following year. He told the people to shave their heads and offer their sacrifices where they were, but they did not obey, so he asked his wife Umm Salamah, and she advised him to lead them by doing so himself. He took her advice, and it worked. His successors, even the rather male chauvinist Khalifah Umar, did their best to follow his example in this. Umar, trying to regulate the exorbitant demands for mahr marriage gifts that women were making had to retreat after a woman stood up and disputed with him, quoting the Qur’an to support her case:

Umar forbade the people from paying excessive dowries and addressed them, saying: `Don’t fix dowries for women over 40 ouces. If ever that is exceeded I shall deposit the escess amount in the public treasury.’ As he came down from the minbar (platform), a flat-nosed lady stood up from among the women audience and said:

‘It is not within your right.’ Umar asked: `Why should this not be of my right?’ She replied, `Because Allah has proclaimed, “Even if you had given one of them (wives) a whole treasure for dower, take not the least bit back. Would you take it by false claim and manifest sin?’ (Qur’an 4:20)

When he heard this, Umar said: `The woman is right, and the man (Umar) is wrong. It seems that all people have deeper wisdom and insight than Umar.’ Then he returned to the minbar and said, `O people! I had restricted the giving of more than four hundred dirhams in dower. Whosoever of you wishes to give in dower as much as he likes and finds satisfaction in so doing, may do so.’

Hadith: Ibn al-Jawzi

Umar also used to seek the counsel of Shaffa the market inspector, pay due regard to her and hold her in high esteem. (Ibn Hajar al-Isabah quoted by Hasan Turabi)

So, to conclude, these are the ideals to which Muslim women can aspire and frequently have done in the past. In a truly Islamic society, they are guaranteed

personal respect,

– respectable married status,

– legitimacy and maintenance for their children,

– the right to negotiate marriage terms of their choice,

– to refuse any marriage that does not please them,

– the right to obtain divorce from their husbands, even on the grounds that they can’t stand them (Mawdudi),

– custody of their children after divorce,

– independent property of their own,

– the right and duty to obtain education,

– the right to work if they need or want it,

– equality of reward for equal deeds,

– the right to participate fully in public life and have their voices heard by those in power,

and much more besides.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

MEN ARE THE PROTECTORS AND MAINTAINERS OF WOMEN

by Salmaan ibn Fahd al-‘Awdah

Allah says:

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because of what Allahhas preferred one with over the other and because of what they spendto support them from their wealth.”[Sûrah an-Nisâ’: 34]

What does it mean that men are “protectors and maintainers” of women?  To answer this question, let us first look at the Arabic word that weare translating as “protectors and maintainers”. This word is“qawwâmûn” the plural of “qawwâm”.

This word – qawwâm – in turn, is an emphatic form of the word“qayyim”, which means a person who manages the affairs of others. Theqayyim of a people is the one who governs their affairs and steerstheir course. Likewise, the qayyim of a woman is either her husband orher guardian – the one who has to look after her and ensure that herneeds are met.

When Allah says: “Men are the qawwâmûn of women…” it means – and Allahknows best – that men are held liable for handling the affairs ofwomen and are responsible for the women under their care. A husband,therefore, has the responsibility of taking care of his wife,protecting her, defending her honor, and fulfilling her needsregarding her religion and her worldly life. It does not mean – as alltoo many people have falsely assumed – that he has the right to behaveobstinately towards her, compel her, subject her to his will, suppressher individuality, and thus heinously negate her identity.

His status as protector and maintainer is pure responsibility, pureliability, and not so much a position of authority. It requires fromhim that he uses his good sense, thinks carefully about what he does,and exercises patience. It means that he cannot be hasty and offhandedin his decisions. It does not mean that he can disregard his wife’sopinions and belittle her good person.

Why does Islam make men the protectors and maintainers of women?

The verse gives us two reasons why men are given this burden toshoulder. Allah says: “…because of what Allah has preferred one withover the other…” and “…because of what they spend to support them fromtheir wealth.”

A problem arises when it is said that men have a preference to women.Then we see all those organizations, establishments, and activists whocall to women’s equality stirring into motion, jumping up ready tofight over this point, and going off on all kinds of tangents in theirthinking. Rather, they should pause long enough to properly understandwhat it means when Allah says: “…because of what Allah has preferredone with over the other …” This proper understanding can only be hadin the light of the Qur’ân and Sunnah and their sound application.

Those who go overboard in asserting the rights of women and claim thatthe woman in Islam is oppressed and that Islam does not do her justiceare driven to the point where they transgress against the very textsof the Qur’ân and Sunnah. In the name of “equality”, they demandabsolute uniformity in matters of inheritance, in governance, and ineverything else wherein a distinction between the sexes is made,sometimes taking matters so far that it is the men who have to chaseafter the hope of equality with women.

This brings us back to the question of what the verse is saying. Is itindicating that there is some inherent preference of men over women,something that is built into their very natures? The scholars ofQur’ânic commentary have taken two approaches to this matter.

The first approach is to refer the matter of the verse back to thenatural makeup of men and women, with respect to their intellects,their different manners of thinking, and their natural strengths. Theyfound that men, by nature, are more hot-blooded, tending more towardsstrength and severity, while women’s natures are cooler, tending moretowards gentleness and weakness.

The second approach is to look at it from a legal angle – that Allahhas imposed upon men to pay dowries to the women they wish to marryand has made men liable to spend on women and provide for them. Thisis the preference that men have over them. Likewise, Allah has placedprophecy with men only, as there has never been a woman prophet. Inthe same way, Allah has made the offices of supreme politicalauthority and the obligations of jihad the exclusive domain of men.

The issue of testimony is also brought up in this regard, for Allah says:

“And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if thereare not two men available, then a man and two women from those whomyou accept as witnesses – so that if one of them errs, the other canremind her.”[Sûrah al-Baqarah: 282]

Others using this approach have cited certain acts of worship, likethe fact that the Friday prayer and congregational prayers areprescribed only for men and not made compulsory on women.

The fact that men can have four wives while women cannot have morethan one husband, or the fact that men have the exclusive option ofimmediate divorce have also been advanced as an interpretations.

With respect to both of these approaches, there are two observationsthat we can make:

The first is that the followers of both approaches agree on apreference of men over woman on the basis of Allah’s words: “…becauseof what they spend to support them from their wealth.”

The second is that the opinions of the commentators regarding whetheror not the preferentiality refers to the natures of men and women isall based on their discretionary opinions (ijtihâd) with respect totheir understanding of the verse. In any event, it would be fair tosay that Allah has indeed singled out men for certain distinctions –prophethood, supreme political office, jihad, and military service,among other things – and this is because men have a nature differentthan that of women. This is a conclusion that all reasonable peoplewould have to agree upon. The obligation imposed upon men by Islam toprotect and maintain women should be seen in the context of thedifference in their natural makeup and that the purpose for this is tosecure the best interests of women.

Allah’s laws always accord with nature and take into consideration theunique gifts that Allah has bestowed upon each half that makes up thehuman whole – the man and the woman, so that those gifts can beemployed to their maximum effectiveness.

We must remain cognizant of the fact that both men and women areAllah’s creations. And that Allah would never oppress any of Hiscreatures. He prepares each of His creations to the purpose that heintends for it and bestows upon it the innate abilities needed tocarry out that purpose.

Allah has made it of the exclusive qualities of women that they fallpregnant, bear children, and nurse them. Therefore, she is by natureburdened with the care of what the union between a man and a womanbrings about, and it is an immense responsibility. Not only is it aheavy responsibility, it is a critical one, not something that can beapproached lightly, without the physical, mental, and emotionalpreparation that Allah has bestowed exclusively upon women.

On this basis, it is only just that Allah would burden the other halfof humanity – the men – with the task of fulfilling the needs of thosewomen and protecting them, and that He would bestow upon men theinnate physical, mental, and emotional qualities that would allow themto excel in doing what is required of them. Moreover, he would requiremen to be financially liable for the women under his care, since thisis a necessary consequence of the duties he has to carry out. Thesetwo elements are, essentially, what the verse is talking about.

It is interesting to point out that the examples given by thecommentators who follow the legal approach – things like prophethood,supreme political office, military duty, and carrying out certainreligious rites like the call to prayer and congregational worship –are merely consequential of the natural dispensation of men. Thereason these duties are suited to men is because men are not otherwisepreoccupied with domestic burdens that would prevent them fromcarrying them out.

Though prophethood, for instance, is an honor of the highest degree,it is by no means the cause of why men are the protectors andmaintainers of women. The distinction of prophethood can neither bederived from these duties, nor is it remotely indicative of anygeneral preference of men with regards to women. It is but a fact thatall the prophets were men.

Likewise, when we look at religious duties like making the call toprayer, leading the prayers, and giving the Friday sermon, we mustacknowledge that these duties were given to men by the decree ofIslamic Law. In no way do they necessitate that men are distinguishedwith every other possible legal ruling. Had Allah instead delegatedthese religious duties to women, this would not in any way haveprevented men from being burdened with their protection andmaintenance.

I must reiterate the point that the protection and maintenance givento men over women in no way implies the denial of the woman’sidentity, whether in the context of the home or her position insociety at large. It is merely a role to be played by men within thefamily environment so that this important social institution can beproperly managed, safeguarded, and upheld. The presence of a managerin a given institution does not negate or diminish the individualityor the rights of the others who share in it or of those who work forit. Islam has clearly defined what the protection and maintenance ofwomen entails for men – the care and protection, the manners andbehaviors, and all liabilities associated with it.

How the Prophet (r) put this duty into practice

The Prophet (r) was not an emperor who lorded over his family. When welook carefully at his life, we would find it the most eloquenttestimony of what we have stated above – that a man’s protection andmaintenance of women in no way entails obstinacy, compulsion, orsubjugation. ‘Â’ishah said about her husband:

“When he was at home, he was totally involved in housework.”

He was very clement. One of his wives woke up in the middle of thenight and discovered that the Prophet (r) was not beside her, thoughit was her night to have him with her. She tells us that she lockedthe door on him, thinking that he had gone to one of his other wiveson her night. When he returned after a short while to find that shehad locked him out of the house and asked her to open the door, sheconfronting him on why he had gone out. He calmly told her that hesimply had needed to go to the bathroom.

On many occasions, his wives would argue with each other in hispresence. He never got angry when they did. He always solved theirproblems with wisdom, gentleness, and sensitivity, never withharshness. This shows us what a man’s role as protector and maintainerof women is all about.

On one occasion, his wife Hafsah chided her co-wife Safiyyah bycalling her “the daughter of a Jew”. This was true, because Safiyyah’sfather, Hubayy b. Akhtab, was in fact a Jew who had died without everaccepting Islam. Still, such a comment was meant as a take onSafiyyah’s person, which was only more hurtful as it was coming fromher co-wife. So when she heard what Hafsah had said, she started tocry.

The Prophet (r) then came in and asked her why she was crying. She said:

“Hafsah called me the daughter of a Jew.” To this the Prophet (r)replied: “Verily, you are the daughter of a Prophet, your uncle wasalso a Prophet, and you are the wife of a Prophet, so what does shehave over you to boast about?” He then turned to Hafsah and said:“Fear Allah, O Hafsah.”

In an alternate narration, the Prophet is reported to have turned toSafiyyah and said: “Why didn’t you say: ‘So how can you be better thanme? Muhammad is my husband. Aaron is my father, and Moses is myuncle.”

Safiyyah was a descendant of Aaron (r). So, when Hafsah insinuatedthat Safiyyah’s being the daughter of a Jew was something bad, theProphet (r) showed Hafsah another way of looking at it: that Safiyyahwas the descendant of Prophet Aaron and that her uncle was Moses, andthat her husband was Muhammad (r), so there was no reason for her tobe ashamed.

Anyone who would take the man’s status in Islam as the protector andmaintainer of women and use it as a pretext to oppress women iscommitting a crime against Islam.

Islam has guaranteed women their rights as individuals, includingtheir right to have and express their own opinions. The Sunnah is fullof examples of this.

We have, for instance, where Khawlah bint Tha’labah complained to theProphet (r) about her husband who foreswore ever again having sex withher by the old pagan custom of claiming her to be like the back of hismother, whereupon the following verse of the Qur’ân was revealed:“Allah has indeed heard the words of the woman who pleads with youconcerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) toAllah…” [Sûrah al-Mujâdlah: 1] followed by the verses abolishing thatoppressive custom.

We can look at the case of Khansâ’, who’s father married her off withher disapproval, so the Prophet (r) had her marriage annulled.

In another instance, a young woman complained to ‘Â’ishah, saying:

“My father married me to his brother’s son in order to raise hissocial status. However, I hate it.” When the Prophet (r) heard hercomplaint, he gave her the option of having the marriage annulled. Shesaid: “O Messenger of Allah! I have accepted what my father has done.However, I wanted to know that women had a choice in the matter.”

Then we have the story of Burayrah and her husband Mughîth. Both ofthem were slaves. When she acquired her freedom, she had the legalright of staying with her husband who was still a slave, or of leavinghim. She chose to leave him and he began following after her, crying for her to return to him. The Prophet (r) said to her:

“If only you would go back to him.” She asked: “O Messenger of Allah!Are you commanding me?” He said: “No. I am only pleading on his behalf.” She replied: “Then I have no use for him.”

On another occasion, a woman came to the Prophet (r), complaining that men are given the opportunities of military duty, congregational worship, and other things. The Prophet (r) let it be known that he wasvery pleased with her question and with her manner of address.

During the reign of the Caliph ‘Umar b. al-Khattâb, we have the story of a woman who rebuked him while he was on the pulpit about a decreehe wished to make. To this, he said publicly: “ ‘Umar is mistaken and this woman is correct.”

We can go on citing examples of women’s right to speak their own minds, even before the heads of state, not to mention their husbands.From this, we should be able to keep the status of men as protector sand maintainers of women in the proper perspective.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Afghanistan’s Girl Sahar Gul torture

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KABUL, Afghanistan — A 15-year-old Afghan girl severely tortured for months by her in-laws in an attempt to force her into prostitution will be sent to India for medical treatment, an Afghan official said Monday.

Sahar Gul’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law were arrested and her husband was being sought, said Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi.

According to officials in northeastern Baghlan province, the in-laws kept Gul in a basement for six months, ripped her fingernails out, tortured her with hot irons and broke her fingers. Police freed her last week.

The public health and women’s affairs ministers visited Gul, who is now in a Kabul hospital.

She was freed from a basement at her husband’s home last week after her uncle called the local police.

“It is a violent act that is unacceptable in the 21st century,” Sediqi told reporters. “We are thankful of Sahar Gul’s uncle.”

He added that “if the police had not arrived in time she may have died.”

“After police found out about the small girl Sahar Gul they took action and found her in the basement of the house in very bad condition,” Basharat said. “Her nails were pulled out, she has injuries in all parts of her body, there are signs of burning on her body, she was suffering from different kinds of injuries.”

He said that her mother-in-law and other members of the family were reportedly involved in what he described as “criminal activities,” which he said included selling alcohol and prostitution.

According to preliminary reports, Basharat said, “they tried to force her into prostitution and she did not agree. This was one of the reasons that they detained her in the basement for six months.”

Rahima Zarifi, the provincial director of women’s affairs in Baghlan, said a commission had been set up under Karzai’s orders to investigate the case.

“According to the neighbors in the area, Sahar Gul’s in-law’s were not good people. Besides selling alcohol, they were involved in prostitution and that is why they put pressure on Sahar Gul to join with them. She was not happy with it and that is why they put her in the basement, detained her for six months and tortured her,” Zarifi said. “They pulled out her nails. You can see the signs of torture and abuse all over her body, several types of torture and abuse. They even burned her with hot irons.”.

Disgusting…..these peoples are animals,and they must be punished !

BEING MUSLIM I CONDEMN THIS ACT DONE BY HER HUSBAND AND HER FAMILY,they must be PUNISHED SUCH HARD THAT such peoples think thousand times before doing .

For sure,this family is Muslim just by name.because a true muslim who submitted his will to God Almighty knows such acts are not allowed.

And do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, if they desire chastity, to seek [thereby] the temporary interests of worldly life.[Quran 24:33]

Sahar Gul :: Inspiration for others.

I HOPE SAHAR GUL STORY WILL GIVE INSPIRATION TO MANY ….. AS  SHE WISHED TO CHOOSE DEATH BUT DIDN;T ACCEPTED PROSTITUTION AFTER SUCH PAINFUL TREATMENT …

I’m really proud of this muslim sister  and For sure We will stand for her,The family and husband must be punished …..It must be such hard that if anyone thinks to do same…he must think 100 times.

President Hamid Karzai has said that whoever used violence against Gul will be punished.

I Hope President will give Justice to Sahar ,InshaAllah!

Ya Allah,shower your mercy on such girls,make such girls free from those who r torturing them.

Ameen

Kindly Sign Petition in below link and spread the petition link.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/466/justice-for-sahar-gul/

I saw in Yahoo News Directory Many Non-muslim had misconception and taking this action as Islamic Law or Islamic Teachings.

Indeed Its a Lie, Islam never teach mens to treat women in such way. such peoples are criminals. and they must be punished and such peoples are in all community…even in those peoples community too,who blame all things on Islam and terror Acts by Muslims. 

Now,so What Islam Teach ? about Women ? How to treat Women ? How to treat wifes ?

such Questions are answered in below list of Articles.This is What Islam Teach men. Kindly read every link…..this blog contain 1247 Articles,try to find aby post which say treat women in ruthless way!

What More proof you need ?

but Indeed many Muslims do such acts….Its Person fault not Islam.


In The Name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most Kind

American Muslim Women talking women right in Islam

Iraq, Jan. 30, 2005: Women waiting to vote in elections.

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