Rebuttal to Ali Sina's article "Did Women's Status Improve With Islam?"

By

Bassam Zawadi

 

This article is in response to Ali Sina's article "Did Women's Status Improve With Islam?" which can be accessed here 

 

In this article, Ali Sina gives his own disgusting misinterpretations of the so called evidence that he has given in order to present his case. Therefore, in order to make known that I am not using any deceptive tactics of the sort, I am going to plainly say that I am not posting the whole article of Ali Sina here. I am only going to post the relevant arguments that he has put forward and then respond back to them. Anyone who wants to see the full article, I already provided the link above. I only removed a few sentences that were irrelevant but offensive but I still felt like it was needed to inform the reader.

 

Ali Sina said:

Bukhari Volume 3, Book 43, Number 648:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas:
I had been eager to ask 'Umar about the two ladies from among the wives of the Prophet regarding whom Allah said (in the Qur'an saying): If you two (wives of the Prophet namely Aisha and Hafsa) turn in repentance to Allah your hearts are indeed so inclined (to oppose what the Prophet likes) (66.4), till performed the Hajj along with 'Umar (and on our way back from Hajj) he went aside (to answer the call of nature) and I also went aside along with him carrying a tumbler of water. When he had answered the call of nature and returned. I poured water on his hands from the tumbler and he performed ablution. I said, "O Chief of the believers! ' Who were the two ladies from among the wives of the Prophet to whom Allah said:

'If you two return in repentance (66.4)? He said, "I am astonished at your question, O Ibn 'Abbas. They were Aisha and Hafsa."

Then 'Umar went on relating the narration and said. "I and an Ansari neighbor of mine from Bani Umaiya bin Zaid who used to live in 'Awali Al-Medina, used to visit the Prophet in turns. He used to go one day, and I another day. When I went I would bring him the news of what had happened that day regarding the instructions and orders and when he went, he used to do the same for me. We, the people of quraish, used to have authority over women, but when we came to live with the ansar, we noticed that the ansari women had the upper hand over their men, so our women started acquiring the habits of the ansari women. Once i shouted at my wife and she paid me back in my coin and i disliked that she should answer me back.She said, 'Why do you take it ill that I retort upon you? By Allah, the wives of the Prophet retort upon him, and some of them may not speak with him for the whole day till night.' What she said scared me and I said to her, 'Whoever amongst them does so, will be a great loser.' .  

(This is a long Hadith; please read all of it in my article Maryiah the Coptic Maid.)

As you see here Umar is complaining that while the people of Quraish, used to have "authority" over their women, since they came to Medina they noticed that the Ansari women had the upper hand over their men.  

Mecca was a religious hub. In all religious centers, often fanaticism overrides commonsense and wherever religion has a stronger grip, women are discriminated. Mecca was no exception. It was natural that women in Mecca had a lower status than their Jews and Ansari counterparts and when they encountered the liberty that the women of Medina enjoyed, they wanted it too.

Arabs were not used to write their history. Very little is left of their pre Islamic culture and way of life. What the Muslim historian wrote of that time is all derogatory calling it the days of ignorance "jahiliya" and claiming that until the advent of Islam they were barbarians, who buried their daughters alive and were constantly in war. They say that women prior to Islam were worth less than camels and it was the Prophet who gave them the status of human being. The above hadith however tell us a different story. We can see that Arab women everywhere, except in Mecca, had more rights that Islam took them away. And it shows that the dismal treatment of women in Islam is not a Divine mandate but is how the Qurash used to treat their women. The Prophet being from Quraish himself was used to that kind of women abuse and to him that was the right way. Naturally he projected his is bias against women in his religion and his book. 

My Response:

All that this shows is that Mecca indeed was a city in which its inhabitants followed the universal principle of a man having authority (not superiority) over his wife, unlike the opposite case in Medina where women had authority over their husbands. 

The system in Islam is organized. Where each one plays a significant role.

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 128:

Narrated Ibn 'Umar:

The Prophet said, "All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards. The ruler is a guardian and the man is a guardian of his family; the lady is a guardian and is responsible for her husband's house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards."

 

Ali Sina is trying to show that the hadiths indicate that women prior to Islam had more rights! Women were like monopoly pieces prior to Islam, and Ali Sina calls it "freedom"... 

 

One major objective of this paper is to provide a fair evaluation of what Islam contributed (or failed to contribute) toward the restoration of woman's dignity and rights. In order to achieve this objective, it may be useful to review briefly how women were treated in general in previous civilizations and religions, especially those which preceded Islam (Pre-610 C.E.). Part of the information provided here, however, describes the status of woman as late as the nineteenth century, more than twelve centuries after Islam.


Women in Ancient Civilization

Describing the status of the Indian woman, Encyclopedia Britannica states:

In India, subjection was a cardinal principle. Day and night must women be held by their protectors in a state of dependence says Manu. The rule of inheritance was agnatic, that is descent traced through males to the exclusion of females.
In Hindu scriptures, the description of a good wife is as follows: "a woman whose mind, speech and body are kept in subjection, acquires high renown in this world, and, in the next, the same abode with her husband."

In Athens, women were not better off than either the Indian or the Roman women.

"Athenian women were always minors, subject to some male - to their father, to their brother, or to some of their male kin.

Her consent in marriage was not generally thought to be necessary and "she was obliged to submit to the wishes of her parents, and receive from them her husband and her lord, even though he were stranger to her."

A Roman wife was described by an historian as: "a babe, a minor, a ward, a person incapable of doing or acting anything according to her own individual taste, a person continually under the tutelage and guardianship of her husband."

In the Encyclopedia Britannica, we find a summary of the legal status of women in the Roman civilization:

In Roman Law a woman was even in historic times completely dependent. If married she and her property passed into the power of her husband . . . the wife was the purchased property of her husband, and like a slave acquired only for his benefit. A woman could not exercise any civil or public office . could not be a witness, surety, tutor, or curator; she could not adopt or be adopted, or make will or contract. Among the Scandinavian races women were:

under perpetual tutelage, whether married or unmarried. As late as the Code of Christian V, at the end of the 17th Century, it was enacted that if a woman married without the consent of her tutor he might have, if he wished, administration and usufruct of her goods during her life.

According to the English Common Law:

...all real property which a wife held at the time of a marriage became a possession of her husband. He was entitled to the rent from the land and to any profit which might be made from operating the estate during the joint life of the spouses. As time passed, the English courts devised means to forbid a husband's transferring real property without the consent of his wife, but he still retained the right to manage it and to receive the money which it produced. As to a wife's personal property, the husband's power was complete. He had the right to spend it as he saw fit.

Only by the late nineteenth Century did the situation start to improve. "By a series of acts starting with the Married women's Property Act in 1870, amended in 1882 and 1887, married women achieved the right to own property and to enter contracts on a par with spinsters, widows, and divorcees." As late as the Nineteenth Century an authority in ancient law, Sir Henry Maine, wrote: "No society which preserves any tincture of Christian institutions is likely to restore to married women the personal liberty conferred on them by the Middle Roman Law."

In his essay The Subjection of Women, John Stuart Mill wrote:

We are continually told that civilization and Christianity have restored to the woman her just rights. Meanwhile the wife is the actual bondservant of her husband; no less so, as far as the legal obligation goes, than slaves commonly so called.
Before moving on to the Qur'anic decrees concerning the status of woman, a few Biblical decrees may shed more light on the subject, thus providing a better basis for an impartial evaluation. In the Mosaic Law, the wife was betrothed. Explaining this concept, the Encyclopedia Biblica states: "To betroth a wife to oneself meant simply to acquire possession of her by payment of the purchase money; the betrothed is a girl for whom the purchase money has been paid." From the legal point of view, the consent of the girl was not necessary for the validation of her marriage. "The girl's consent is unnecessary and the need for it is nowhere suggested in the Law."

As to the right of divorce, we read in the Encyclopedia Biblica: "The woman being man's property, his right to divorce her follows as a matter of course." The right to divorce was held only by man. "In the Mosaic Law divorce was a privilege of the husband only .... "

The position of the Christian Church until recent centuries seems to have been influenced by both the Mosaic Law and by the streams of thought that were dominant in its contemporary cultures. In their book, Marriage East and West, David and Vera Mace wrote:

Let no one suppose, either, that our Christian heritage is free of such slighting judgments. It would be hard to find anywhere a collection of more degrading references to the female sex than the early Church Fathers provide. Lecky, the famous historian, speaks of (these fierce incentives which form so conspicuous and so grotesque a portion of the writing of the Fathers . . . woman was represented as the door of hell, as the mother of all human ills. She should be ashamed at the very thought that she is a woman. She should live in continual penance on account of the curses she has brought upon the world. She should be ashamed of her dress, for it is the memorial of her fall. She should be especially ashamed of her beauty, for it is the most potent instrument of the devil). One of the most scathing of these attacks on woman is that of Tertullian: Do you know that you are each an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the devil's gateway: you are the unsealer of that forbidden tree; you are the first deserters of the divine law; you are she who persuades him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God's image, man. On account of your desert - that is death - even the Sop of God had to die). Not only did the church affirm the inferior status of woman, it deprived her of legal rights she had previously enjoyed. (Jamal Badawi, The Status of Women In Islam, Source)

 

So that ends the lie that women before Islam had more rights. 

 

Also notice how Ali Sina contradicts himself. He said...

 

"...Religion has always played a role in subjugating women and taking away their human rights...", 

 

then in the next sentence he says 

 

"...women in Mecca were more subdued than those living anywhere else in Arabia and especially Medina that was a more cosmopolitan city having civilized nations like Jews and Christians as its inhabitants...".



Everyone knows that Judaism and Christianity are not nations, they are religions. So which, if any, is the true statement? Are Judaism and Christianity not really religions, despite what their followers may believe? Or are they religions which, according to Sina, are all responsible for the subjugation of women? If one of these statements is true, the other must be false.

 

Ali Sina said:

But there is also another factor that played a great role in the destiny of Muslim women; and that is the impact that the wives of the Prophet had on the Quran and its laws about women. 

Anytime that the Prophet needed to say the ultimate word and make others shut up, he would make his Allah reveal a verse. He was an old man, having a harem of almost 20 wives and concubines. All of his wives were young and beautiful (Except the first two, Kadijah and Saudah, whom he married when he was a poor man). In his old age he became the chieftain and very powerful. So he could afford to marry anyone and some even came and offered themselves to him. He would choose only the pretty ones. But political power is not a substitute to physical stamina. The Prophet was fully aware of the age gap between his young wives and himself. He was jealous of other young men looking at them and would warn his wives to not betray him. 

My Response:

It seems like Ali Sina is the type of person that does not mind if people are drooling while they are staring and glancing at his wife or daughter. 

Honestly, I don't know what to refute. Because Ali Sina has shown nothing. He comes from a back round where he thinks that it is not that big of a deal that a man can let his wife go out dressed the way she wants and have a bunch of guys staring at her and trying to hit on her and flirt with her. Of course we are jealous over our wives. Not because we are control freaks but because we love them that much. Honor needs to be protected. 

Only two of the Prophet's wives were teenagers and they were Mariyah and Saffiya.  The Prophet was not a control freak. Ali Sina is just coming up with his own crazy interpretations. 

Ali Sina said:

The truth that women in Arabia had more liberty and authority before Islam than after it can also be evinced from the fact that Khadijah, the Prophet's first wife had a business of her own and had many men at her service. Muhammad, in fact was but one of her employees. Do we have any tale of women after Islam, running their own business and hiring men to work for them?    

33.30
O Consorts of the Prophet! If any of you were guilty of evident unseemly conduct, the Punishment would be doubled to her, and that is easy for Allah.

31.  But any of you that is devout in the service of Allah and His Messenger, and works righteousness,- to her shall We grant her reward twice: and We have prepared for her a generous Sustenance.  

He would often remind them to behave in a way as not to attract the attention of other men and cover themselves as not to make themselves desired by strangers.

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

33.  And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; 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.

The above clearly shows the worries of an aging man concerned of numerous young and attractive wives. He needed to control them and that is why he ordered them to cover themselves. ironically what was originally meant for the wives of the Prophet became part of the Sharia and was imposed for 1400 years in all Islamic countries. 

The Prophet (pbuh) repeatedly emphasized to women the importance of obeying their husbands. Did this too have something to do with the fact that most of his wives were teenagers that he needed to control?  They perhaps would not listen to him but they sure would have no choice but to submit to what Allah said. So when he had some domestic problems his Allah would rush to his rescue and reveal verses the the following to put all his wives in their place.

Q. 66: 5.
"It may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you, Muslims (who submit to Allâh), believers, obedient to Allâh, turning to Allâh in repentance, worshipping Allâh sincerely, fasting or emigrants (for Allâh's sake), previously married and virgins. "

 

My Response:

Women in Islam are allowed to work as long as their job is not haram or could easily lead to haram. As long as they observe their dress code and not mingle unnecessarily with men. As long as he remains within the limits that Islam has put for her then she is allowed to work and have her own business. 

The Muslim woman has the privilege to earn money, the right to own property, to enter into legal contracts and to manage all of her assets in any way she pleases. She can run her own business and no one has any claim on her earnings including her husband. The Qur'an states:

"And in no wise covet those things in which Allah hath bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others; to men is allotted what they earn, and to women, what they earn; but ask Allah of His bounty, for Allah hath full knowledge of all things." (4:32) (Mary Ali and Anjum Ali, Women's Liberation Through Islam, Source)

 

Ali Sina said:

It is reported that he refused to shake hands with them. And when they came to give their allegiance he delegated Umar for a such task. What is so sexual about a simple shake hand? 

 

My Response:

Well that actually shows how modest the Glorious Prophet was. He was that shy. 

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 8, Book 73, Number 140:

Narrated Abu Said:

The Prophet was shier than a veiled virgin girl. (See Hadith No. 762, Vol. 4)

 

Ali Sina said:

The holy Prophet also thought that women are deficient in intelligence and the majority of them will go to hell because they are ungrateful, not to Allah, but to their husbands. Here is what he said.    


Bukhari Volume 2, Book 24, Number 541:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri
On 'Id ul Fitr or 'Id ul Adha Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) went out to the Musalla. After finishing the prayer, he delivered the sermon and ordered the people to give alms. He said, "O people! Give alms." Then he went towards the women and said. "O women! Give alms, for I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire were you (women)." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is the reason for it?" He replied, "O women! You curse frequently, and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. O women, some of you can lead a cautious wise man astray."

It is hard to believe that a man who thought women are responsible for leading men astray, that the majority of them go to hell because they are ungrateful to their husbands and that they are deficient in intelligence, really respected women at all. Various versions of this Hadith are repeated in several places. In another version the Prophet explains the reason for which he believes women are deficient in intelligence in this way: 

 Bukhari 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." 

So according to the holy Prophet's great reasoning, women are deficient in intelligence because the witness of two of them equal to the witness of one man. And they are also deficient in religion because during their menses they cannot pray or fast. It is not clear what the holy Prophet meant by "deficient in religion". Perhaps he meant that women are spiritually less evolved than men. By using these excuses to prove his case It seems that these unjust laws have been already prevalent among the Arabs. The Prophet, however made them universal by inserting them in the Quran. But isn't it absurd to prove an absurdity by the authority of another absurdity? Who said a woman's witness should be worth half of that of a man? Whether it was the Prophet who devised such an unfair ordinance or he echoed what was customary among his people, this law is unreasonable and cannot be used as a proof to call women deficient in intelligence. 

The Prophet always used fear as a means to drive home his point. His Allah would send women to hell for the most trivial things like displeasing their husbands.

Bukhari Volume 2, Book 18, Number 161:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Abbas:
I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Why is it so?" The Prophet replied, "Because of their ungratefulness." It was asked whether they are ungrateful to Allah. The Prophet said, "They are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds. If you are benevolent to one of them throughout the life and if she sees anything (undesirable) in you, she will say, 'I have never had any good from you.' "

 

My Response:

First of all the fact that women are the majority of hell is not offensive. Because if the hadith said that men were the majority, then everyone is going to shout that that is offensive as well. So people like Ali Sina expect there to be an exact number of women and men in hell. This is silly. 

Secondly, the hadith doesn't say that they would be in hell due to their gender, but due to their sins. Thus, how is this degrading to women?

Thirdly, if the ratio of women to men here on planet earth is larger, then it is only logical that the ratio of women to men in hell would also be larger.

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

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

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

Also read this and this.

Now for a women to disobey her husband is not a trivial issue. It is indeed a serious sin. Even if a Muslim man mistreats his wife, this is indeed a serious sin. 

Taken from www.islamhelpline.com...

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3358        

Narrated by AbuBakr as-Siddiq

The Prophet (saws) said, "One who treats badly those under his authority will not enter Paradise ."

The wisdom behind the statement of the Messenger of Allah (saws) warning the believing woman was not to belittle or demean the role of women, but rather a warning and a guidance to make sure they fulfill their part in developing peace, harmony and tranquility in their marriage; and Allah is our witness sister, nothing is more hurtful to men than to hear these words from their wives after a lifetime of sacrifices that ''I have never received any good from you!"

 

Ali Sina said:

However, there is no mention of men going to suffer any consequence for their mistreating of their wives. As a matter of fact, men are instructed to abuse their wives verbally, emotionally and physically. Yes, that is precisely what Allah has ordained.

  Q.4:34
Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

If anyone has any doubt about the position of women in Islam, the above ayah will dissipate it. It clearly says that men are "maintainers" of women, thus taking away their independence and autonomy, making them subservient to men. It suggests that men are the masters and the owners of the house because they are the breadwinners. It implies that women are incapable or should not be allowed to work and become independent and providers. It assumes that women's work at home, taking care of the children and the house is worth nothing and she must be grateful for the piece of bread that her husband graciously provide her. Up to here women are nothing but slaves. Yet the holy Prophet (peace be upon him) did not stop there. He instructs men to punish their wives, verbally, sexually and even physically, thus downgrading them to the level of animals. In a world that you could pay a fine for cruelty to animals, these "divine' teachings are very difficult to swallow. It is unthinkable that a compassionate and just God could ever say such a horrendous things about women. The superiority of men over women is also ratified in another verse of Quran where it says: "and men are a degree above them (women)". Q.2:228

My Response:

Allah says in the Noble Quran...

Surah 4:34

"Men are (meant to be righteous and kind) guardians of women because God has favored some more than others and because they (i.e. men) spend out of their wealth. (In their turn) righteous women are (meant to be) devoted and to guard what God has (willed to be) guarded even though out of sight (of the husband). As for those (women) on whose part you fear ill-will and nasty conduct, admonish them (first), (next) separate them in beds (and last) beat them (lightly). But if they obey you, then seek nothing against them. Behold, God is most high and great. 

 

The first reason then why men are "qawwamun" over women is because of their physical ability to protect women. The second is that "they (i.e. men) spend out of their wealth." Although the Holy Qur'an permits women to earn and own wealth, it expects that men will generally be able to earn more than women because of the natural differences between them. This means that they will generally be responsible for the economic needs of women and this responsibility also makes them "qawwamun".

In thinking of men as "qawwamun" over women we should not limit their role to mere protectors and providers. Properly taking care of women requires more than ensuring their physical security and providing food and shelter. It also requires looking after their psychological and emotional needs which can be summed up in terms of the need for love (30:21). Thus man's role in the relationship between men and women (as husbands and wives) generally consists of three things: protecting the woman, looking after her economic needs and giving her love." (Ahmad Shafaat, A Commentary On The Quran 4:34, Source)

 

Before I give a reply to what Ali Sina had said about the "beating", an important point should be mentioned that is crucial to Islamic understanding.  Muslims receive information from two authenticated sources, which are the Noble Quran and the preserved authentic Sunnah (way of) the Messenger of God.  I say this because as Muslims we believe that no people in this world worshiped Allah and understood His message more than His Messengers and Prophets.  The point regarding the beating of women is yet another point that is clearly misunderstood and misinterpreted.  Since the Quran clearly mentions the word beating, lets take a look at how the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) understood this verse and applied it in his day to day life, since he himself received the message first hand and Allah directed us to follow him and to look at him as a perfect example.  

 

Saheeh Muslim

Book 007, Number 2803:

You too have right over them, and that they should not allow anyone to sit on your bed whom you do not like. But if they do that, you can chastise them but not severely.

 

Also from www.islamhelpline.com...

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 278            Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

The Prophet (saws) said: 'The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives.'

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3252            Narrated by Aisha; Abdullah ibn Abbas

Sahih Muslim Hadith 3469          Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said: 'a believing man should not hate a believing woman (his wife); if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3358            Narrated by AbuBakr as-Siddiq

The Prophet (saws) said, "One who treats badly those under his authority will not enter Paradise."  

 

In the light of the above hadiths by the messenger of Allah, we clearly see that he was the most gentle kind hearted father, husband, brother, leader, to his women.  Never did he beat any of his wives or relatives for that matter.  The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) explained what "beating should be" which is a light tap that leaves no mark. He further said that the face must be avoided. Some other scholars are of the view that it is no more than a light touch by siwak, or toothbrush.  Similarly, the last hadith shows how severe the situation would be on the Day of Judgment if one treats badly whoever he has under his authority.   

 

Recommended Readings

http://www.islamhelpline.com/view_answers.asp?QAID=10805

http://l.b5z.net/i/u/6053592/f/Does_Islam_allow_Wife_Beating.pdf

http://www.islamonline.net/english/In_Depth/IslamWifeBeating/index.shtml


If one looks at the statistics of where a women gets beaten more often:  whether in an Islamic society or by those who champion the cause of 'women's rights', he will realize that the women that are most abused, humiliated, assaulted, beaten, hurt, raped and killed are in these very western, un-godly societies!  May Allah protect our mothers and our daughters and our wives from this humiliation, and honor them to live under the Mercy and Grace of Allah in Islam.  

 

Taken from http://www.frontpagemag.com/articles/readarticle.asp?ID=16442&p=1

 

WHO ARE THE ABUSERS

In 29% of all violence against women by a lone offender, the perpetrator was an intimate (husband,ex-husband, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend).

HONOR KILLINGS IN AMERICA?

Of the 5328 women murdered in 1990, FBI data indicate that about half or more of them by a husband or boyfriend.

A 1993 national poll found that 34% of adults in the United States report having witnessed a man beating his wife or girlfriend and that 14% of women report that a husband or boyfriend has been violent with them.

THE ECONOMIC FACTOR IN WOMEN'S ABUSE

*Women aged 19 to 29 and women in families with incomes below $10,000 were more likely than other women to be victims of violence by an intimate.



So the above statistics reflects how women are treated in a so called "Christian Country". Should we still blame Islam for that?

 

According to the Qur'an the relationship between the husband and wife should be based on mutual love and kindness. Allah says: 

Surah 30:21

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

 

The Qur'an urges husbands to treat their wives with kindness. [In the event of a family dispute, the Qur'an exhorts the husband to treat his wife kindly and not to overlook her positive aspects]. Allah Almighty says: 

 

Surah 4:19

"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."

 

Ali Sina said:

There are also other versions of the above hadith in Sahih Muslim. 

Sahih Muslim Book 004, Number 1926:

Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported: I observed prayer with the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) on the 'Id day. He commenced with prayer before the sermon without Adhan and Iqama. He then stood up leaning on Bilal, and he commanded (them) to be on guard (against evil for the sake of) Allah, and he exhorted (them) on obedience to Him, and he preached to the people and admonished them. He then walked on till he came to the women and preached to them and admonished them, and asked them to give alms, for most of them are the fuel for Hell. A woman having a dark spot on the cheek stood up and said: Why is it so, Messenger of Allah? He said: For you grumble often and show ingratitude to your spouse. And then they began to give alms out of their ornaments such as their earrings and rings which they threw on to the cloth of Bilal.

Basically the holly Prophet (pbuh) used these scare mongering tactics to collect money from his foolhardy audience who gathered around him and listened to his nonsense stories.    

My Response:

No the Prophet did that to encourage them to do more good deeds and to be fearful of God. They wanted to ensure that their good deeds exceed their bad ones. 

The Prophet never kept this money for himself. He was the most generous of people. Read this article.

Ali Sina said:

In another place the Prophet of Allah compares women to devil. 

 Bukhari Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301:

Jabir reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) saw a woman, and so he came to his wife, Zainab, as she was tanning a leather and had sexual intercourse with her. He then went to his Companions and told them: THE WOMAN ADVANCES AND RETIRES IN THE SHAPE OF A DEVIL, so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife, for that will repel what he feels in his heart.

Perhaps the Prophet thought it is so holy to go to one of his wives after desiring another woman. I wonder how a wife would feel when her husband actually is fancying another woman but is using her just to relieve himself?

My Response:

The reference is incorrect, it is Saheeh Muslim: Book 008, Number 3240.

Basically because of the natural lust that us men have towards women due to their beauty and charm, it can lead to fornication and corruption. This is all from Satan's handiwork. Satan uses the woman in order to entice men to commit sins. This hadith is directed towards men in order for us to watch out whenever attractive women (non Mahram) are around. We should lower our gaze and restrain our selves and if we ever need to fulfill our sexual needs we must go to our wives. This is only a figurative way of speaking in order to imply this. (See Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani's Fathul Bari, Kitab: Al Nikah, Bab: Nadab man Ra'a Emra'a Fawaqa'at fi Nafsihi Eela An Ya'ti Emra'atuhuh, Commentary on  Hadith no. 2491, Source)

 

Ali Sina said:

There are numerous verses in Quran and hadithes that are outrageous. The following Hadith however, in my opinion, takes the cake.

Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 460:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning." 

The above makes one wonder, whether Allah has nothing else to do than worrying about the sexual pleasures of his male servants? It seems quiet absurd that God would employ so many angels to do nothing but sit around and curse the women who do not want want to please their husbands sexually. Hadithes like this are repeated so many times that one start to suspect whether Allah is a dirty old pervert voyeur who gets pleasure, watching people doing it.   

 Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3367:

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, when a man calls his wife to his bed, and she does not respond, the One Who is in the heaven is displeased with her until he (her husband) is pleased with her.

And 

Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 122: 

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "If a woman spends the night deserting her husband's bed (does not sleep with him), then the angels send their curses on her till she comes back (to her husband)."

It is hard to determine why the holy Prophet (peace be upon his immaculate soul) was so concerned about this issue. But again we should remember that he was an old man. Perhaps his teeth were decaying and his mouth had a foul smell. On the other hand his wives were very young ladies. They must have enjoyed their status as the wives of the Prophet and the first ladies of Arabia, but probably they were not that much desirous to share the bed with and old man like him. Perhaps these warnings of angels' curses and the Allah's displeasure were to coerce his own wives to sleep with him. 

I am not a woman but still I am offended at so much insult hurled at my my own sister and my sisters in humanity. The following is the most obscene and offensive statement of the holy Prophet. I find it extremely derogatory to women.   

My Response:

Just imagine, the man has the full responsibility to take care of his wife, shelter, protect her and cannot mistreat her. He is out there all day working hard to take care of her. Man is filled with sexual needs and he is not even allowed to have sex with her during her menstrual periods. Imagine after all this she still refuses to say no to her husband. All the woman has to do is comfort her husband and satisfy his desires in order for her to attain paradise. How come the wife having to have sex with her husband is such a punishment? She should be happy to do it. 

Read more about it here... 

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1123996015582&pagename=IslamOnline-English-AAbout_Islam/AskAboutIslamE/AskAboutIslamE

 

Ali Sina said:

 Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 33: 

Narrated Usama bin Zaid:
The Prophet said, "After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women."

But he did not stop there. In every occasion he found an excuse to show his despise of women and poison the minds of his followers with ridiculous talks like the following. 

 

My Response:

The word in Arabic, is "fitnah" which means trial. So the word trial is a more appropriate word to use than the word affliction. 

Basically, men have a natural lust towards women and most of men's problems today basically revolve around women some how. Men are either drinking and smoking and are depressed because they broke up with a girlfriend or cannot get a girl that they want. Men tend to do forbidden things such as going to single bars and nightclubs to go and pick up women and etc. 

The hadith basically means that men commit a lot of sins  because of their natural tendency to lust after women and if we do not watch out and restrain our selves then indeed we will fail by displeasing the lord. 

Women are a trial for men because God is testing us through them. (See Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani's Fathul Bari, Kitab: Al Nikah, Bab: Ma Yataqi Min Shu'uum Emra'a, Commentary on  Hadith no. 4706, Source)

 

Ali Sina said:

 Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3466:

AbuHuraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Woman is like a rib. When you attempt to straighten it, you would break it. And if you leave her alone you would benefit by her, and crookedness will remain in her. A hadith like this is reported by another chain of narrators.

How can a society (ummah) truly respect their women when their prophet was so scornful of them?  When he was so contemptuous of their faith, so derisive of their intelligence, so disrespectful of their rights and so disdainful of their status, can we expect more from his followers?

My Response:

The Prophet is just using a metaphor for us to understand that us men are supposed to accept women the way they are and not try to change them.

Surah 4:19

O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them, - except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good.

Saheeh Muslim

Book 008, Hadith Number 3469.
------------------------------
Chapter : Advice in regards to woman.

Ab Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: A believing man should not hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.

Also read http://l.b5z.net/i/u/6053592/f/Are_women_crooked_by_nature.pdf

 

Ali Sina said:

 Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 623: 

Narrated Abu Musa:
Allah's Apostle said, "Many amongst men reached (the level of) perfection but none amongst the women reached this level except Asia, Pharaoh's wife, and Mary, the daughter of 'Imran. And no doubt, the superiority of 'Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. a meat and bread dish) to other meals."

Here Mohammad is confusing the Miriam (in Arabic Maryam) the daughter of Imran and the sister of Moses and Aaron with Mary (alos Maryam in Arabic) the mother of Jesus. He made the same mistake in Quran. Miriam, the daughter of Imran is not an important religious figure. In fact she even disobeyed God once. We also don't know who is this Asia the Pharaoh's wife it must have part of a legend that Muhammad had heard, which is now forgotten. 

My Response:

I do not know what Ali Sina is talking about. It is clear from the Quran that Maryam bint Imran is the mother of Jesus. 

Surah 3:35-36

Remember when the wife of Imran said, "O my Lord! I vow to thee what is in my womb, for thy special service. Accept it from me, for thou Hearest, Knowest!" And when she was delivered of it, she said, Lord, verily I have brought forth a female, - and God well knew what she had brought forth - and a male is not as a female: I have called her Mary; and I commend her to thy protection, and [also] her issue, against Satan driven away with stones.

 

People should read http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Contrad/External/mary.html

 

Ali Sina said:

The moral standard and ethical values of the holy Prophet (peace be upon his immaculate soul) can be revealed by his examples and stories of his life. Like this one:

 Bukhari Volume 7, Book 63, Number 182: 

Narrated Abu Usaid
We went out with the Prophet to a garden called Ash-Shaut till we reache d two walls between which we sat down. The Prophet said, "Sit here," and went in (the garden). The Jauniyya (a lady from Bani Jaun) had been brought and lodged in a house in a date-palm garden in the home of Umaima bint An-Nu'man bin Sharahil, and her wet nurse was with her. When the Prophet entered upon her, he said to her, "Give me yourself (for sex) as a gift." She said, "Can a princess give herself to an ordinary man?" The Prophet raised his hand to pat her so that she might become tranquil. She said, "I seek refuge with Allah from you." He said, "You have sought refuge with One Who gives refuge. Then the Prophet came out to us and said, "O Abu Usaid! Give her two white linen dresses to wear and let her go back to her family. 

Didn't the Prophet have enough women already? Did he have to mount every beautiful woman whom he met? Look at his temper. In one moment he is overtaken by lust asking his hostess to "give herself to him as a gift", when he is rejected he becomes violent and raises his hand to beat the poor woman, then when she seeks refuge with Allah the Prophet (peace be upon his immaculate soul) comes to his senses and feels guilty for his despicable behavior and to alleviate his conscience decides to compensate his victim by bribing her. Is this the profile of a mentally stable man?   

My Response:

How disgusting and messed up can an interpretation get? First of all when the Prophet said "Give me yourself", it means for marriage. Secondly, he raised his hand to PAT her, not to beat her. Read the hadith, it says PAT. 

The reason why the woman said that she seeks refuge in God from him is because she did not know who the Prophet was. 

Read the explanation in detail for this hadith. (See Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani's Fathul Bari, Kitab: Al Talaaq, Bab: Man Talaqa wa Hal Yuwaajih Al Rajul Emra'atuhu Bil Talaaq, Commentary on Hadith no. 4853, Source)

 

Ali Sina said:

The Prophet had no regard for women. To him women represented everything that was evil. Even at a subconscious level the holy messenger of God, saw women as the mark of disease and affliction. When he dreamt a black woman in his dream, his disparage of  women and the blacks made him interpret it as the sign of epidemic. 

 Bukhari Volume 9, Book 87, Number 163: 

Narrated Salim's father
The Prophet said, "I saw (in a dream) a black woman with unkempt hair going out of Medina and settling in Mahai'a. I interpreted that as (a symbol of) epidemic of Medina being transferred to Mahai'a, namely, Al-Juhfa."

 

My Response:

The Quran makes it clear that no one is superior than the other unless that person is more God fearing (Surah 49:13).

Also read the end of the Prophet's farewell Sermon

The prophet, peace be upon him, said: "All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any "superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves." (Hafiz Ibn Hibban reported in al-Sahih 11 / 203 / 4862 , via his isnad, from Fadalah ibn Ubayd)

How could the Prophet be a racist when he told Bilal that he heard his footsteps in paradise...

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 002, Book 021, Hadith Number 250.

Narated By Abu Huraira : At the time of the Fajr prayer the Prophet asked Bilal, "Tell me of the best deed you did after embracing Islam, for I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise." Bilal replied, "I did not do anything worth mentioning except that whenever I performed ablution during the day or night, I prayed after that ablution as much as was written for me."

How could the Prophet be a racist when he gave Bilal (a black African slave) the honor of being his Mu'adhdhin (caller to prayer)...

Saheeh Muslim

Book 004, Hadith Number 0741.

Chapter : How Adhan is to be pronounced.

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had two Mu'adhdhins, Bilal and 'Abdullah b. Umm Maktum, who (latter) was blind.

 

The Prophet (saws) once reprimanded Abu Dharr for derisively calling Bilal, 'son of a black woman', then he went on to say, "Look! Surely you are not better than a brown man nor a black man except by fearing Allaah more than them." (Reported by 'Abdullaah ibn 'Amr and collected by Ahmed)

So how could the Prophet be a racist?

Also read http://www.islamanswers.net/moreAbout/racism.htm

Ali Sina said:

Even in religious matters he asserted the symbolical inferiority of women. 

Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd:
The people used to pray with the Prophet tying their Izars around their necks because of their small sizes and the women were directed that they should not raise their heads from the prostrations till the men had sat straight.
(
Sahih Bukhari 1.778)

My Response:

Sometimes mean might wear tight pants or jeans which could possibly distract women from their prayers. Therefore, in order for this not to happen they should wait for the men to sit up straight.

Ali Sina said:

And as recorded in the following hadith he sealed the eternal enslavement of them.

 Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel for one day and night except with a Mahram."
(
Sahih Bukhari 2.194)

My Response:

Imagine a woman traveling alone in the desert with no one to accompany her. Do you think that is safe for her? What could stop a person from attacking her, raping her or even robbing her. She should have some one to accompany her. The Prophet said this out of love and care for the women. This is not to degrade them but to alleviate them. This shows that us men have a duty to be caring about the safety of our women. 

Ali Sina said:

Let us end our review of the status of woman in Islam with these inspiring words of wisdom uttered by the messenger of Allah (peace be upon his immaculate soul) found in hadithes:

·        "To find a good woman among women is similar to finding a white crow among a hundred crows."

·        "The marriage commitment is a kind of slavery for women."

·        "If anybody has been required to prostrate before others beside God, the woman should prostrate before her husband."

·        "If the body of the husband is covered with pus and his wife licks it with her tongue, she still will not be able to pay her debt to him."

 

My Response:

Ali Sina has failed to show anything degrading about women in Islam. 

I recommend people to listen to Zakir Naik's lecture entitled "Women's Right in Islam - Modernising or Outdated" by downloading it here.

 

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