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Islamic 19th

Frequently Asked Questions...

Am I to understand that Islamic women Have No Rights???

I just read a story how an islamic 19 year old woman got raped by No less than 7 Islamic men and it was the womans fault for being in the same car with men not her relatives? gimme a break! What kind of laws are those? They are laws to suppress and put the male species on top which I deffinately disagree with. Women have as many rights as men here in the states as it should be everywhere. Now I know why I refuse to change to Islamic! And anyone that does, is a shame to the world.
Yes I can understand that, But in this country, Women have rights....the right to show whatever they desire. Even nudity which, by the way is fine. That just goes to show, we have freedom here. And you have laws that are meant to suppress. Its the religeon that made the laws and the religeon that e nforces them. So yes, I blame the religeon.
I understand you because you looked it up and studied it, which I didn't. All I know is what I've seen in the news. And it depresses me.


Best Answer...

Answer:

Woman's status in Islam is one of the most controversial and serious issues of our time, not only among Muslim women and those who represent them in the area of women's rights in the Islamic world, but also among fundamentalist Muslims.

* Women in the Qur´an:
First: As a biological and social being. Second: as a believer. Third: as a character in the biblical salvation narrative.(1)

Apart from the wife of Muhammad's uncle Abu Lahab, and Zainab, one of Muhammad's wives to whom the Qur´an alluded,(2) the Virgin Mary is the most important female character in the Qur´an. The nineteenth sura of the Qur´an is named after her, the only female name the Qur´an mentions. The other women whose stories are narrated in the Qur´an are never mentioned by name, rather they were called the wives of their respective husbands. Among them are: Eve,(3) the wife of Imran (Sura Al Imran 3:35), the wife of the governor (Sura Yusuf 12:30), Pharaoh's wife (Sura al-Qasas 28:9), Lot's wife (Sura al-Tahrim 66:10), Abraham's wife (Sura Hud 11:71), and Noah's wife (Sura al-Tahrim 66:10).

What the Qur´an says about the woman as a biological social being can be considered objective, not diminishing any of her rights, though the prevailing theme in this respect is "Men are the managers of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property" (Sura al-Nisa´ 4:34). The Qur´an pictures Mary's mother as being disappointed over the fact that she gave birth to a "female": "Lord, I have given birth to her, a female- (And God knew very well what she had given birth to; the male is not as the female)-" (Sura Al Imran 3:36). We find in such Qur´anic verses Muhammad's attempt to project the Bedouin concept of the woman onto a biblical episode.(4)

As concerns creation, no distinction in rank is found between man and woman. According to Islam, Adam was the first man, as the Bible also says, "He has created the two kinds, male and female" (Sura al-Najm 53:45), and "O mankind, We have created you a male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, that you may know one another" (Sura al-Hujurat 49:13). God addresses His commands, interdictions and statutes to both sexes.(5)

After this brief treatment of the woman as a biological social being and as a character in the Qur´anic stories, we would like to study woman as a believer in the Qur´an. The Qur´anic verses dealing with woman as a believer constitute the basic element and foundation for her legislative and social position. As we shall see in the following chapters, this subject can be grasped by studying woman's status in comparison with man's in marriage, divorce, witnessing, inheritance, veiledness, and concubinage. Inequality between man and woman, at the expense of the woman, stands out clearly in these chapters, in spite of the attempts of zealous Muslims and European orientalists to explain the texts away. These attempts have often lead to the opposite of what the Qur´an means and what the ordinary Muslim understands.(6) We will cite, whenever there are grounds, the opinions of the theologians and jurists who soften the meaning of both the Qur´an and the Hadith.

Those concerned with the Qur´an and those who read it know well that the judgments mentioned in it concerning women form a good part of it. As it is known, the fourth sura is called "Women", and is one of the longer suras. But before looking into the legislative position of women, we would like to touch once again on the status of women in relation to men.

* The Status of Women:
There is no Qur´anic distinction between the Muslim and the non-Muslim woman in terms of her status as a biological social being since men are, on principle, in charge of women, and the male is not like the female (Sura Al Imran 3:36). One can understand the prevailing mentality at the time with the aid of the Qur´anic criticisms of the habits of the Meccan idolaters: "Have you considered al-Lat and al-Uzza, and Manat the third, the other? What, have you males, and He females? That were then an unjust division!" (Sura al-Najm 53:19-22). The Qur´an, which condemns the Arab's live burial of girls, conveys to us, at the same time, the prevailing conception of the woman at that time: "And when any of them is given the good tidings of a girl, his face is darkened and he chokes inwardly, as he hides him from the people because of the evil of the good tidings that have been given unto him, whether he shall preserve it in humiliation, or trample it into the dust" (Sura al-Nahl 16:48,59).

If we accept what the Qur´an said about the woman in the pre-Islamic era and what the Muslim historians recorded (trying their best to prove that Islam improved the position of the woman and promoted her from the bottom of the pit to an honourable life), we must admit that Islam was unable to realise a reformation in this arena, for the simple reason that the same conceptions of women still persist in most Islamic countries today. One of the most important reasons for this phenomenon was the pragmatic approach that Muhammad followed, which adopted even the pre-Islamic (Jahili) traditions(1) to uphold his own cause. His ultimate goal was not to establish a new moral code, but to achieve a final triumph for the Shahada, which states, "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah," and to force the Bedouins to recognise Allah's sovereignty over all the gods.

As mentioned above, the most important Qur´anic verse the jurists cite as proof of the claim that women are inferior to men is: "Men are the managers of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property" (Sura al-Nisa´ 4:34). Al-Tabari says, "By this God (may He be highly praised) means that men are in charge of their women in chastising and restraining them regarding their obligations for God and themselves."(2) He makes further comments, which we will cite: "Ibn Abbas narrated that he said, [Men] are commanders and [the woman] has to obey him in all that God commands her to obey him. Obedience to man is being good to his family." Al-Dhahhak narrated: "Man is in charge of the woman commanding her to obey God. If she refuses, he has [the right] to give her a mild beating, and he had the advantage over her on account of what he provides for her and what he earns."

As to the reason why this verse was given, it is said that a man struck a woman, and she came to the Prophet seeking punishment. The prophet passed his judgment between them, and this verse was revealed, "And hasten not with the Qur´an ere its revelation is accomplished unto you" (Sura Ta Ha 20:114). The verse "Men are the managers of women" (Sura al-Nisa´ 4:34) was also revealed.(4) Ibn Abbas says in a tradition that by "for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another," (Sura al-Nisa´ 4:34) the Qur´an meant that "God preferred men to women by the former's [sound] mind, dividing of the portions in the booty and inheritance."(5)

Muhammad `Abduh "the Reformer" (1905-1949), who was known for his hostile attitude toward blind tradition, has discovered new aspects of man's superiority over women in this verse: "This superiority is based on two factors; the one has to do with nature, while the other has to do with earning. The natural one consists in the fact that man's disposition is stronger, more accomplished, complete, and beautiful. Perhaps it strikes you as odd that man is more beautiful than woman. Beauty has to do with the completeness and perfection of natural disposition. As far as his living body, man is nothing more than an animal, for the physical nature of both is the same. We see the males of all animals more accomplished and more beautiful than the females, such as you see in the rooster and the hen, the ram and the ewe, and the lion and the lioness. The hair of the beard and the moustache is of the characteristics of the perfection and beauty of man's nature, therefore the hairless man is considered imperfect in nature and wishes he could find a medicine that would cause his hair to grow, even if he were used to shaving his beard. In consequence of this, men are strong in character [disposition], perfect in nature, sound in mind, and of sound judgement in the foundation and end of everything. Doctors and scientists say, 'Sound in body, sound in mind.' It follows then that men are perfect in tasks having to do with earning, for they are more capable of earning a living, inventing, and tackling affairs of everyday life. For this reason they have been commanded to stand above women, protect them, and to carry the onus of general presidency in the milieu of the domestic life of the family. For it is vital that every society should have a president to whom people ought to refer in the standardisation of public welfare."(6)

Abbas Mahmud al-Aqqad (1889-1964), one of the most renowned Arab men of letters in the twentieth century, sets an enviable record in his attacks on women. He says, "Woman has been engaged in preparing food since mankind started cooking in pre-historic times. She has learned it since childhood in the dwelling-places of the family or the tribe. She likes food and craves for it. Yet after she inherited this occupation for thousands of years, she is still not as good at it as the man who dedicates a few years to it. She keeps up with him neither in the high quality of well-known dishes nor in innovating new varieties of improved ones. She is unable to manage a kitchen in which several females and males work together. The same goes for the craft of embroidery and tailoring, which are among the old-time crafts women practised at home. Women rely on men to make their clothing rather than on themselves." Women, as al-Aqqad claims, have no part in knowledge or scientific thinking, even the well-known women in the field of science could not attain any success but for the support and guidance of the men, "The name of Madame Curie is the first name that is mentioned by those who maintain full equality of the two sexes. Even if it is true that this lady matches first class male scientists, this will always remain an undeniably rare exception. The truth about this specific lady keeps her from being reckoned among the exceptional cases in scientific researches, since she did not work apart from her husband and since her work was neither concerned with invention nor with innovation."(7) As to hypocrisy and double-dealing, these are two inherent characteristics of women: "Female hypocrisy, which can be attributed to women especially, is due to a certain weakness in womanhood that she abides by in every society, and is not imposed on her by manners or laws. She does not part company with it by choice or by force- she may even refuse to do so if the choice was hers... There is a major difference between man and women in sexual intercourse- in most days of her period the sexual desire is separated from the reproduction instinct, whereas the sexual desire for man is never an amusement."(8)

This al-Aqqad who is viewed by many people in the east and the west as a genius, believes that woman is a necessary evil, and that she does not possess any talent or virtue at all. "There are none among the estimable ethics of women that are more characteristic of and natural to her femininity than these three qualities: bashfulness, compassion, and cleanliness. She depends on these in her nature or in man's nature. This should have been rather her practice in all the other qualities that men mastered from old... The inborn compassion is not fit for evaluating woman's mercy, since it has to do with what the psychic forces and the power of conscience enjoin on her. It is the comparison between women's and man's compassion for the children of others that is fit as a standard of evaluation. Man could be seen showing compassion for his step-children as much as he does his own, treating them equally even if it were out of courtesy and consideration. Woman, however, behaves differently in her treatment of her step-children; the children sometimes do not escape torture, malevolence, deliberate humiliation, and harm."(9) "The primary point of reference regarding morals with women is sexual restraint, which is an instinct that the female animals have in common, and is not a willful act that distinguishes mankind in particular. There are worlds of difference between this sort of sexual restraint and the virtue of bashfulness, which is regarded as a human moral virtue."(10)

After all these traditions and stories, which make up a small part of the copious Islamic traditions about women, the words of Mahmud Shaltut seem to be pure mockery. He says about the status of women in Islam, "It is a status that the woman had not enjoyed in any divine law, nor in any society that people set up for themselves."(37) He adds, "Islam has granted women all that is good, and protected her from all that is evil. The only thing it denied her was the liberty that false culture [namely, the western culture] has pushed her into. That liberty causes the western woman, whenever she retreats to her human conscience, to weep tears of blood over her forfeited respect, misused honour, and lost happiness."(38)

* The Rights a Woman Acquires over her Husband:
Muhammad said in his final address, "And now, people, you acquire certain rights over your wives, and they do you. The right you acquire over them is that they should not let someone you hate sleep in your beds, and not to commit a manifest obscenity [or adultery]. If they do [commit it], then God has given you permission to leave them alone in their beds and give them a beating, though not too hard. If they give over, they get their provision and clothing with kindness; I command you good-will for your wives, for they are your captives(1) that do not own anything of their own. You have taken them by the faithfulness of God, and made their sexual organs lawful for you by the words of God."(2)

`Abdullah Ibn `Amr Ibn al-`As narrated: "The Messenger of God said to me, 'O `Abdullah! Have I not been informed that you fast daily during the day and offer prayers every night throughout the Fast?' `Abdullah replied, 'Yes, O Messenger of God!' The Prophet said, 'Don't do that; fast for few days and then give it up for few days, offer prayers and also sleep at night, as your body requires, and your wife has her rights.' "(3) Hakim Ibn Mu`awiya al-Qushayri, quoting his father, said, "I said, 'O Messenger of God, what is the right that the wife of any of us acquires over him?' He replied, 'To feed and clothe her, if you yourself have food and clothing. Do not slap her on the face, nor utter obscenities to her, nor desert her except inside the house.' "(4)

Protection by the husband is one of the rights that the woman acquires. Muhammad said, "I warn you about the right of the two weak ones: the orphan and the women."(5) Sexual intercourse is another right she has over him, because it is the duty of the husband as long as he has no excuse. Malik holds this same opinion.(6) If he travels for any reason or for any necessity, she must forego this right no matter how long his journey lasts. But if he has no substantial excuse, and makes excuses for not having intercourse several times, then they can be separated [by law].(7) If he has a free woman for wife, he has to sleep with her once every four nights, and if he has four wives, each of them receive one night every four nights.(8) He should treat his wives justly. Muhammad said in the Hadith, "If a man has two wives, and he shows favour to one against the other, he will come on the Resurrection Day with a limp."(9)
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Hope this make sence for you!!!
About NUDITY, and the right issue, let me ask you a question without being offended: Do you accept nudity upon your mother and sister? Am asking this question for a reasonable and mature person !!
You can't get over the law in the states, thus muslims can't get over the law that was given by GOD!
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Regards

Video message: United Muslim community rally against the niqab ban: 19th Sep 2010