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Archive for the ‘Women in islam’ Category

Husband and wife in Islam… Rights and duties

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Written by Dr. Ragheb Elsergany

Introduction

The Muslim family is the basic pillar in the structure of the Muslim society. The Muslim family is the fortress of this society and its security and safety valve.

Islam has paid great attention to the family system and enacted a tight system for it that entailed rights for and duties on its members. Islam has also regulated marriage dealings, nafaka (alimony), mirath (inheritance), children upbringing and parents’ rights. Islam has also made love and affection between husbands and wives to make stronger bonds between them and the family and impose discipline among the members of the Muslim family because this strengthens the society. This love and affection also spread important human and social values between the sons of the society and that is how the Islam elevates the society in a civilized way that is unparalleled and steers it away from chaos, moral disintegration and loss of ansab (lineage).

Pillars of family in Islamic civilization

The family in the Islamic civilization is built on two important components; man and woman or husband and wife. They are the basis for forming a family and bringing offspring from which the nation and the society are formed. God Almighty says: “O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women.” [An-Nisa: 1] and says:” And Allah has made for you from yourselves mates and has made for you from your mates sons and grandchildren and has provided for you from the good things. [An-Nahl: 72]

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Misconception .. In Islam, women are inferior to men

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Misconception

In Islam, women are inferior to men because:

  • a man can marry up to 4 wives, a woman can marry only one man 
  • a man’s share of inheritance is bigger than a woman’s 
  • a man can marry a non-Muslim, a woman cannot 
  • women must wear the veil 

This widely held misconception does not remotely follow from the reasons given. The first and most important observation to make about the popular question “Are men and women equal?” is that it is a badly-formed, unanswerable question. The problem which many people conveniently ignore is that “equal” is not defined. This is a very critical point: the equality must be specified with respect to some measurable property. For example, women on average are superior to men if we ask who is shorter in height than the other (“Growth and Development”, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1992). Women are also superior on average if we ask whom do children bond to deeper, mothers or fathers. Women are also superior on average if we ask who has a tendency to socialize more. On the other hand, men are superior on average if we ask who is taller in height than the other. And so on: every question can be turned around, and more importantly these are properties which are irrelevant.

What then, is the really important property which we are worried about in terms of gender equality? Naturally, from the point of view of the Qur’an and Sunnah, the obvious important property is who is dearer to Allah, men or women? This question is emphatically answered in the Qur’an (translation),

[4:124] If any do deeds of righteousness – be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Paradise, and not the least injustice will be done to them.

[33:35] For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for truthful 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, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.

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Honor Killings in the Name of Religion

Monday, July 16th, 2012


by Mohamad K. Yusuff

A few weeks ago, ABC News magazine, Nightline, televised a documentary, originally produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), titled, A Matter of Honor, on two consecutive nights — February 15 and 16, 1999. The drama that enfolded on television during these two one-half hour programs was stunning, incredible, and heinous. It dealt with a barbaric custom of murdering Muslim women for immoral activities in rural Pakistan, at the hands of male family members, including fathers, brothers, and even husbands, to maintain the purity of tribal honor.

In my view, this program should have been renamed: “A Matter of Dishonor.” Similar documentaries, with different titles, from other geographic regions including Jordan and Lebanon, have been produced and shown before — all with the same results — the victims invariably were Muslim women, killed by male relatives to “restore family honor.” It seems that blood — women’s blood — is the price of men’s honor in some parts of the Muslim world.

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Kind Treatment of Wives

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

God instructs men to be nice to their wives and to treat them well to the best of their ability:

“…And live with them in kindness…” (Quran 4:19)

The Messenger of God said, The most perfect of believers in belief is the best of them in character.  The best of you are those who are the best to their women.’[1]  The Prophet of Mercy tells us that a husband’s treatment of his wife reflects a Muslim’s good character, which in turn is a reflection of the man’s faith.  How can a Muslim husband be good to his wife?  He should smile, not hurt her emotionally, remove anything that will harm her, treat her gently, and be patient with her.

Being nice includes good communication.  A husband should be willing to open up, and be willing to listen to his wife.  Many times a husband wants to air his frustrations (like work).  He should not forget to ask her about what annoys her (like when children would not do their homework).  A husband should not talk about important things with her when he or his wife is angry, tired, or hungry.  Communication, compromise, and consideration are the cornerstone of marriage.

Being nice includes encouraging one’s wife.  The most meaningful admiration comes from a sincere heart that notices what really matters — what the wife really values.  So a husband should ask himself what she feels most insecure about and discover what she values.  That is the wife’s sweet spot of praise.  The more the husband compliments it, the more the wife will admire it, the more on target this healthy habit will be.  Kind words are like, “I like the way you think,” “You look beautiful in those clothes,” and “I love hearing your voice on the phone.”

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Why Two Women Witnesses?

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

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

A question that repeatedly arises is that concerning the ‘Position of Women in Islam’. 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 Islam. The Islamic 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 Allah – 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.
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Does Islam Allow Wife Beating?

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Respected scholars! Does Islam allow wife beating? Some husbands are violent and they say that the Quran allows them to beat their wives. Is there any logical explanation given regarding men being allowed to beat their wives, as stated in Surat An-Nisaa, verse 34?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you placed in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

The verse you mentioned has been greatly misconceived by many people who focus merely on its surface meaning, taking it to allow wife beating. When the setting is not taken into account, it isolates the words in a way that distorts or falsifies the original meaning. Before dealing with the issue of wife-battering in the perspective of Islam, we should keep in mind that the original Arabic wording of the Holy Quran is the only authentic source of meaning. If one relies on the translation alone, one is likely to misunderstand it.
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Rights and Duties of Women

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

The Rights and Duties of Women in Islam

Issues in which men and women are treated alike or women are treated favorably.
This article discusses issues that carry little or no controversy.

1. Education
The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) once said: “Acquiring knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim. (At-Tabarani)
This narration applies equally to men and women. “Knowledge” in this context refers primarily to knowledge of the Holy Quran and Sunnah as no Muslim should be ignorant of his or her Faith, but it also covers other areas of general education, which can contribute to the welfare of civilization. It is precisely the ignorance about their religion among Muslims that has led to men oppressing women because they believe it is permitted, women not demanding their God-given rights because they are ignorant of them, and children growing up to perpetuate their parents’ follies. Throughout Islamic history, men and women both earned respect as scholars and teachers of the Faith. The books of Rijal (Reporters of Hadith) contain the names of many prominent women, beginning with Aishah and Hafsah.

2. Worship
Both men and women are the slaves of Allah and have a duty to worship and obey Him. Men and women have to pray, fast, give charity, go on pilgrimage, refrain from adultery, avoid the prohibited, enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and so on. Because of women’s roles as mothers, a role which does not end at a specific time but is a round the-clock career, they have been exempted from attending the Mosque for the five daily prayers or for Jumuah (Friday) prayer. Nevertheless, if they wish to attend the Mosque, no one has the right to stop them.

3. Charitable Acts
Men and women are both encouraged to give charity, and there is nothing to stop a woman giving charity from her husband’s income. Aishah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “A woman will receive reward (from Allah) even when she gives charity from her husband’s earnings. The husband and the treasurer (who keeps the money on the husband’s behalf) will also be rewarded, without the reward of any of them decreasing.” Asmaa once said to the Prophet “O Messenger of Allah, I have nothing except what Zubair (her husband) brings home.” The Prophet told her: ‘O Asmaa give in charity. Don’t lock it lest your subsistence is locked.’”

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Women In Islam: Beyond the Stereotypes

Thursday, July 12th, 2012
What comes to your mind when you think of a Muslim woman? A mysterious, veiled victim of male oppression, awaiting Western liberation? A slogan-shouting terrorist? An uneducated foreigner with whom you have little or nothing in common? Unless your social circle includes Muslim friends and acquaintances, the chances are that your impressions of Muslim women have largely been formed by negative media stereotypes – images that usually have little to do with real life, and may have been designed to attract more viewers, sell more products, or gain support for someone’s political agenda.
How much do you really know about Muslim women’s lives or views, and why does it matter? Well, for one thing, Muslims account for 20-25% of the people on this planet, and Islam has become the second main religion in Europe. But did you know that the majority of European and American converts to Islam are women – not men? Would it surprise you to learn that many women in the Muslim world feel sorry for Western women and view them as being victimised? Have you ever stopped to consider why Muslim women who immigrate to the West usually maintain their identity and strive to pass it on to their children? A thinking person may well ask, if Islam is as oppressive to women as some journalists would have us believe, why aren’t Muslim women running away in droves? What it is about Islam that attracts any followers outside its heartlands? In this brochure we aim to look beyond sensationalistic or alarmist stories to take a glimpse at what Islam has to offer educated women in today’s world, and understand why so many (men and) women of every race, colour, and social class have made Islam their choice. The truth, like real life, is beyond propaganda and stereotypes.

The Islamic view of women

First of all, women are portrayed positively in the Qur’an and the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad). The Qur’an is the only book of world Scripture in which women are frequently referred to alongside men, and both are described as being friends and partners in faith. The following verses are just a few notable examples:

The believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they promote the right and forbid the wrong, establish prayer, pay the poor-due, and they obey God and His messenger. As for these, God will have mercy on them. Surely God is Mighty, Wise. God has promised to believers, men and women, gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the good pleasure of God: that is the supreme felicity. (Qur’an 9:71-72)

Surely for men who surrender to God, and women who surrender
and men who believe and women who believe;
and men who obey and women who obey;
and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth;
and men who persevere (in righteousness)
and women who persevere;
and men who are humble and women who are humble;
and men who give alms and women who give alms;
and men who fast and women who fast;
and men who guard their modesty and women who guard
(their modesty);and men who remember Allah much and women who remember – Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward. (Qur’an 33:35)

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