// Undermining Women?
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« on: Mar 19, 2008 12:10 AM »


Please answer with evidence

I'm a british muslim and find it hard to get true and non biased information
 regarding women issue's in Islam. I have a few questions listed below. If can can answer
 them, then it would be helpful. Also, If you could let me know of any islamic women's study
 cirlces, where I can meet more sisters?
 
Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o '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."
 
Could this be true? As in Islam, women have the same status for Allah SWT and should not
 be belittled because of their  biological structure. I feel like this is discriminationg
 for women. Please could you prove this to be correct/incorrect?
 
Book 8, Number 3383:
Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) reported that a man came to Allah's Messenger (may
 peace be upon him) and said: I have a slave-girl who is our servant and she carries water for
 us and I have intercourse with her, but I do not want her to conceive.He said: Practise
 'azl, if you so like, but what is decreed for her will come to her.The person stayed back
 (for some time) and then came and said: The girl has become pregnant, whereupon he said:
 I told you what was decreed for her would come to her.

This states that the person in question was not forbidden to have pre-marital sex which
 contradicts the teachings of Islam. Could you expand and clarify this?
 
Jazah Kulah Khair.

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WWW
« Reply #1 on: Mar 19, 2008 08:24 AM »

wsalaam,

I think it would be really good if you could find a study circle for women. I don't live there so don't know of any in England but you could try checking at the local mosques near you and asking around inshaAllah.

As for the hadiths you've quoted. It's unfair to try to take those two hadiths out of context and try to make inferences from them. First of all you have quoted them in English. Second, there is no tafseer by scholars on them here, so it is easy to misinterpret. The equality and respect Islam has for women is self-evident throughout the body of the Quran and Sunnah. The Prophet's (s) relationships with the women in his life show us the true way of Islam on this subject.

That being said, there have been many explanations and tafseer on this hadith that I have read or heard spoken of over the years. Some say that this is a warning for women, others that the prophet (s) was joking with them. Others that this is a weak hadith. Others that this was meant for a particular group of people. So I don't know. Allah knows best. This is one ambiguous text in the whole scheme of things. How many THOUSANDS of hadith are there in all the books of hadith? And how many hundreds of verses and hadith are there that show how women should be treated, protected and respected and why is this one always quoted to convey a particular "point', especially by missionaries.

About the second text, having relations with slaves is not considered pre-marital sex. There is a huge amount of laws and conditions and explanations on this subject as well.

The way to study Islam is to study it comprehensively. Taking a hadith or two and using it as a lithmus to judge a religion is untruthful. What if I went and took two verses from the Bible and then used MY interpretation on them to base my opinions on Christianity. Am I being truthful?

So if you want to learn about "the status of women in islam" or if "islam discriminates against women", you have to read and understand not just the verses on women, but the entire Quran, learn about all the Hadith, the Seerah, the example of the companions. Then you could make a fair conclusion from it.

 
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 09, 2008 12:45 PM »

Assalamualaikum,

The first hadeeth regarding deficiency in intelligence and religion has a sound isnaad (chain of narration) and is classed sahih, as it is narrated by Saeed al Khudri (RA) in Bukhari.

The prophet (SAW) here is discussing the shortage of deen, as oppose to the way you have interpreted or translated it, because of the menstruation and menses etc. With reference to the lack of intelligence, he does not say that the potential or talent or capacity is less. The sisters have many important duties, even more so than men who only have the fundamental task of providing for the family. The sisters however, have to endure pregnancies, being a wife, and ensuring a sound upbringing of the child. 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.

It is also important to point out that the assumption that 2 witnesses are required for every case is wrong. The Quran states regarding FINANCIAL transactions:

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

it is advised to make an agreement in writing between the parties and take two witnesses, preferably both of which should be men only. In case you cannot find two men, then one man and two women would suffice.

It is like one who is to undergo surgery, it is advisable to refer to two medical opinions rather than one. Where they cannot find 2 doctors, the person would seek advise from 1 doctor and 2 general practitioners.

Some scholars also state that in cases of murder, 2 female witnesses are equal to 1 male witness, due to the emotional state that a woman has compared to a man. Woman has been created (medically) more emotionally attuned for care and nurturing over the man. This is why they have the most important job in islam of raising the islamic nation (through the child).

All other cases however, show that 1 female witness is equal to 1 male witness.

And Allah knows best


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