Are women created only for family life?

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society, Women Topics: Family, Women Views: 34370

We have been used to thinking that women have been created for the family life and for raising children, and thus their natural place is in their homes. Nothing in the Quran or Sunna clearly supports such a view or assumption. Such a division of labor between the husband who earns the living of the family and the wife who stays at home doing housework is a societal experience, which has occurred for a very long time throughout history in so many societies, including the Arab society at the time of Islam, and the subsequent Muslim as well as other societies until recent times when change has come out. Women learn and work equally to men, and the family responsibilities are requiring more financial resources. Caring about the home has to be reviewed, and the Prophet's traditions indicate his assistance to his wives.

However, such a modern experience of women's work and the consequent need for husband's help in the housework in so many countries does not necessarily mean that it is an eternal natural law. Social change never stops; and norms are introduced, maintained or abandoned according to their practical benefit. 

In English, the verb form "to husband" denotes the mastery and management of the house, and "husbandry" may mean the control of resources and careful management or the or production of plants and animals. The word "groom"-used in bridegroom-is related to feeding. This may merely reflect a societal tradition that has existed throughout history. The Arabic language, however, differently uses the same word "zawj" meaning mate or companion of the other, for both husband and wife. Some may add the feminine suffix "h" to "zawj" to indicate that the word in a particular context means wife, but this is not a linguistic rule or obligation, and the Quran uses the word "zawj" and its plural "azwaj" to mean wife and wives respectively [e.g. 2:35, 102, 232, 234, 240, 4:12, 20, 6:139, 7:19, 13:38, 20:117, 21:90, 23:6, 24:6, 26:166, 33:4, 6, 28, 37, 25, 50, 53, 59, 60:11, 66:1, 3, 5, 70:31, as well as for husband and its plural [e.g. 2:230, 232, 58:1]. One may argue whether a woman's work is better from various angles for the family than her stay at home or not. I may go further to say that some Muslim women, and non-Muslim as well, may prefer to stay at home, but this does not mean that this is God's law that is explicitly spelled out in the Quran or the Sunna. The discussion has to be moved from theology to sociology, or from the divine laws to the human thinking and experience.

Moreover, the Arabic word "qawwamun", with its preposition "'ala" which describes the relation of men to women in the Quranic verse 4:34, does not imply any superiority, but simply means "taking full care of". The verse reads: "Men take full care of women, for what God has granted some of them distinctively from the other, and what they may spend out of their possessions". The distinctiveness between men and women is related to the woman's pregnancy, delivery, and nursing, which make it necessary that the man should have the responsibility to provide for her needs and the needs of the children, at least when she is hindered with such a distinctive natural function of reproduction. This hindrance is not permanent, and it cannot be a reason to keep the women at home all her life, and neither does it hinder her intellectual and psychological merits. She is not supposed to bear children or raise them all her life, and at a certain age children have to go to school. Further, suppose that a woman may not marry or bear children, what, then, should keep her at home?

It is time to look to the woman as an equal human being, not just as a bearer and raiser of children, a cook, a home-cleaner, or a dishes and dirty-laundry washer etc. The family life and raising children require a join-effort of both the man and the woman. Since the woman has her right and obligation in obtaining an education according to the guidance of Islam, it is good for her personality and for the society, just as it may be good for the family itself to support the woman's right to work, and as long as this right is beneficial for all parties, it should be secured. 

The woman's right to inheritance is stated in the Quran, and an addition can be supplemented by writing a will which has priority over the mandatory distribution of inheritance stated in the Quran [14:11-12]. The Muslim should feel his/(her) responsibility to write his (her) will as the Quran urges, even when one realizes suddenly that she (he) is on the brink of death without having it prepared [2:180, 240, 5:106-8]. In the society, men and women are equally and jointly in charge of and responsible for one another in fulfilling their collective obligations towards the public as a whole [9:71]. A woman has the right to vote, to be a member of parliament, a minister, a judge, and even an officer in the army. Which jobs may or may not be convenient to her should be decided-by women themselves not imposed on them, according to their own conviction and interests. In a modern state bodies rule not individuals, and women in executive, legislative and judiciary positions are included in bodies and are subject to a system. Laws are codified, and discretionary decisions are subject to be reviewed by those who have higher positions or by the courts. Not a single man or women has absolute power in a modern state.

Considering two women equal to one man in witnessing a documentation of a credit is connected with a certain practical consideration that is explicitly mentioned in the Quranic text: "so that if one of them [the two women] might make a mistake, the other could remind her" [Quran 2:282]. Women might not in general be familiar with business matters and their financial and legal requirements, especially in Arabia at the time of the Prophets message, but this does not mean that a woman who has had the necessary education or business experience cannot be equal to a man in this respect. Classical jurists pointed out that this is not a general rule for the testimony of a woman, and that the testimony of one woman is sufficient if she knows what she is witnessing and is reliable. In our times, should not a woman who may be a lawyer or an accountant be equal to a man in witnessing a documentation of a transaction? How can some prominent jurists allow a woman to be a judge with full jurisdiction on all matters, if she cannot be a full witness in the first place? Is it not obvious that the limitation regarding her witnessing a document of credit is understood as only conditional and related to certain circumstances?

Monogamy Not Polygyny

What goes with nature and fulfills the "solemn pledge" of marriage is the general rule of marriage in Islam (Quran 4:21). A normal man cannot split his own self into parts, each for a different woman and his children from her. However, Islam allowed - not ordered or recommended - that a man may have another wife exceptionally when this may be necessary. A wife may be seriously and incurably ill for all her remaining life, and her husband may be sincerely committed to take care of her, but he, their children and the ill wife may need badly a woman to take care of the family. It is up to both of the initial wife and the suggested co-wife to accept or reject freely such a second marriage, and no one can impose on any of them a marriage against her will, according to the Islamic law. Each should know that she would be a co-wife, for a legal marriage cannot be mutually based on or maintained on fraud and deception. It is required to register in such a marriage that both the previous and the new wives-know precisely the situation and have no objection.

Islam did not establish polygamy in Arabia nor in the world. Polygyny - the form of polygamy in which a man marries more than one woman - alongside with the reversed form of polygamy: "polyandry" (in which a woman marries more than one husband) still exists in every part of the world, but it is not frequent among African peoples" according to the Academic American Encyclopedia. It is known that polygamy prevailed in the patriarchal age, and was permitted in principle under the Mosaic law, and continued to later times - according to Smith's Bible Dictionary. The Bible mentioned that Solomon had many wives [I Kings 11:3].

According to the Quran, the permission of marrying more than one wife has several restrictions, as it reads:

"And if you fear that you may cause the orphans injustice, then marry women of your choice who are lawful to you, two, or three, or four, But if you have reason to fear that you may not be able to deal justly with them, then marry only one... This makes it more likely that you will not deviate from the right course for have a family whose maintenance exceeds your ability"' (Quran 4:3)

Accordingly:

  • A ceiling was put to polygyny, restricting the maximum number of legitimate co-wives to four.

  • It is related to an injustice suffered by the orphans, and widows may be added; a suffering which may refer to after-war circumstances, when many women became widows and have to take care of their orphaned children, including girls in the age of marriage.

  • Fairness in treating the co-wives is a pre-condition for having more than one wife; otherwise one wife is, the general rule and normal situation "so that you may not deviate from the right course," through unfair treatment or a lack of due material and moral care for a big family of co-wives and numerous children.

Another Quranic verse shows how almost impossible it is to maintain such an equal fairness among co-wives, and how difficult it is to be even close to such equal fairness (4:129). Injustice would be suffered not only by the co-wives but also by their children who have to live as half brothers and sisters. The required spousal "love and tenderness" (30:21) would certainly be undermined in such complicated "partnership."

Prophet Muhammad emphasized clearly the general rule and normal situation of monogamy, when he heard that his cousin Ali was to take another wife beside the Prophet's daughter Fatima, underlining the rights of the wife and her family to know about the other marriage and to reject it. From a practical viewpoint, a woman would never accept to share a man with another woman, unless women outnumber men in certain circumstances, and it may be better to accept the reality temporarily until the balance is restored, rather than to have them suffer psychologically and socially. If the family has to be a model for the whole society in its harmonious relations and fulfillment of all responsibilities (25:74), one man and one women only can establish such a strong and balanced nucleus that can provide such a model in the mutual relations within the family and with the whole society. Polygyny has been permitted with restrictions, exceptionally and temporarily, while men and women were educated and persuaded to develop a monogamous society, which is prevalent now in many Muslim communities. In some Muslim countries, there are laws that control having more than one wife.

The teachings of Islam about the religious and social importance of marriage and the necessity of justice, tranquility and pleasance within the family, have developed in recent times an attitude on monogamy among the Muslims, similar to what occurred before among the Jews, of whom many today may not be aware that polygyny was allowed in their Scriptures and practiced by their ancestors for a longtime time. To this day, cases of polygamy occur among the Yemenite Jews and the Sephardi Jews of the near East.

Modesty Not Segregation

The social role of women requires mixing with men. As Islam does not permit any discrimination between men and women, nor does it advocate a segregation between them as it may be widely understood because of long-standing socio-cultural practices or views. What Islam forbids actually is that one man and one woman stay together in seclusion and privacy (khalwa), if they are not married to each other but they are marriageable according to Shari'a. "Khalwa" cannot apply to a public place, or a place in which others may enter any time such as small offices and shops. 

Modesty is required in the outdoor dress for both Muslim women and men. However, there is no specific uniformed dress recommended for a Muslim woman. Purda, chadour, 'abaya, quftan or hayik are local fashions preferred by women in particular places, and may be changed in any time according to the change of taste. However, various designs or fashions should comply with the basic and permanent requirements of an Islamic dress. The Quran underlines such requirements for a woman's dress in the following verse:

"O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters as well as all [other] believing women that hey should draw over themselves some of their outer garments [when in public]: this will be more conducive to being recognized [as decent women] and not annoyed." (Quran 33:59)

Moreover, certain decent behavior has to be observed beyond the dress: 

"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be [mindful of their chastity and] guarding their private parts, this is more conducive to their purity. ...And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be [mindful of their chastity and] guarding their private parts, and not to display their charms [in public] beyond what may [decently] be apparent thereof; hence let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms... and let them not tap [the ground] with their legs [in walking] so as to draw attention to their hidden charms..." [Quran 24:30-31].

Muhammad Asad comments: "Khimra" denotes the head-covering customarily used by Arabian women before and after the advent of Islam. According to most of classical commentators, it was worn in pre-Islamic times more or less as an ornament and was let down loosely over the wearer's neck; and since the fashion of the time [made] a wide opening in the front of the upper part of a woman' tunic, this allowed her breast to be bare. Hence, covering the bosom by khimar does not necessarily relate to the use of khimar as such, but is rather to make it clear that a woman's breast [should be covered and] is not included in "what may decently be apparent" of her body.

In this light, Islam allows any dress that fulfills the required modesty for a decent woman, and the creativity of fashion designers has to combine elegance and modesty in women's dresses since one does not negate the other. The attractiveness and respectability of a woman - the same as of a man - are due to one's personality as a whole, with all intellectual and psychological dimensions, and not to what is physically exposed of one's body. It is against the human dignity and equality to focus on the physical attraction of a woman, in her social performance with men, the same as this is required from men when they associate with women. In an open society, men and women are equally responsible in "enjoying the doing of what is right and good and forbidding the doing of what is wrong and evil" (Quran 9:71).

 

Fathi Osman was a prominent Muslim thinker born in Egypt in 1928 and died in Southern California in 2010. He studied the development of contemporary Islamic thinking since 1947. He has written extensively about the process of change in Islamic concepts, human and gender rights in Islamic and Western perspectives, the Islamic approach to pluralism, the analysis of Islamic history and its interpretation. He has published more than 30 books in Arabic and English which represent new approaches in Islamic thinking. Many of his books, including "Reflections" in "Arabia: the Islamic World Review" published in London 1981-1987, have been translated into several languages.


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  82 Comments   Comment

  1. Danielle from USA

    I will like to start off my thanking you for this article. Its nice to see that someone is aware that gender doesn't have a specific role in a stable relationship. If your muslim and residing in the U.S. it's not easy for the man to solely financially provide for the family. America is very expensive and demanding therefore it is rather important for the woman to work as well. As for helping out in the home, I do find it rather important for males and husbands to help out with the children. In the U.S. male role models are very rare because of America's high divorce rate. When males show their support to their wives by sharing rearing of children, great work ethic as well as spousal support, he is in turn showing his sons what being a good person and husband is all about. If women continue to be forced within their homes, they will not be objected to the many elements that challenge them as a person in order to grow. Its not right to make these women visible but invisible as well as caught in a double bind. Our women are visible in that they are only recognized for fulfilling their gender roles within the home. Invisible in that they aren't to be seen or even recognized outside of the home. They are in a double bind in that they have to fulfill gender roles within the home as women but keep the emotionless strength as traditional masculine men. Women have to have the ability to show that they are of much more value than domesticated house wives and able to show their intellectual abilities in the workforce as well as in society. As long as men are holding their side of the spectrum as far as lowing their gaze, women should be able to wear pants and a modest shirt and be fine. This will not be accomplished as long as our brothers and sisters continue to up hold a patriarchal society that puts women last in their capabilities as human beings.

  2. Mohammed Wasiullah from Germany

    Assalamalaikum,

    According to me the writer may peace and mercy of Allah be upon him, has never sat with a qualified or respected scholars who uphold the true word of Allah and stand for sharia.

    The article is good in total and there is no denying but at place a proper understanding or right perspective is required which is failing here. For the right perspective one should consult one or more qualified, recognised and respected learned Scholars in Islam.

    This article I would say is a westernised view which at most of time is correct and some points not completely correct and the whole article cannot be taken as a whole as correct.

    thanking you

    Wasslam

    Wasiullah

  3. Marta Khadija Galedary from USA

    Alhamdulillah for Dr Fathi Osman article. May Allah reward him with Paradise. The article on women is a Contemporary Islamic point of view. Hoping you can publish more articles by Dr F. Osman.

    Was Assalam. Marta Khadija

  4. Hacci from Turkey

    please don't forget there are a few words which is indicate essential point of islamic rules :

    - priorty

    - necessity

    - precision

    - degree of belief ...

  5. almana ahmad from usa

    this article explains quran and sunnah in true sense,in easy,simple

    language for people who reason and think,and are not bound by their

    thinking according to social,cultural norms and traditions OR by their

    own preferences suiting themselves..when we make ourselves deaf and

    blind then we will react negatively to articles explaining,"the Truth"

    in wider sense.please try to see the reasons,in limitations and

    permittance in Quran,which are for human benefit and their best

    survival as individuals and as a whole society,nation,world,for short

    period that we are on this earth and prepare best for rewards in

    hereafter too.jazakallah khair,may his soul rest in peace.

  6. Ameer Taimoor from Pakistan

    "And stay in your houses" [al-Ahzaab 33:33]

    And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Their houses are better for them." (Narrated by Abu Dawood, al-Salaah, 480. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 530).

    This is similar to the views expressed by the Islamic appologetics and philosophers with an egalitarian point of view. Desite the specific instructions in the Quran the only rational loophole that these people found was in the argument that the instructions for Pardah and to stay at home referred only to the wives of the Prophet PBUH. This is also in itself an invalid argument.

    Then you also have to look at the context of the writer as well. Egypt was subject to the first social reform experiment which ended as the Beiging Plus five conference. It was a social reconstruction experiment that proposed that prostitution be legalized, homosexuality be accepted, women be treated as equals (the western standard of equality) not Islamic and introduced marital rape.

    There is no debate that women are equal to men. Certainly the principles of governance are built around this equality. But even though they are equal, they are not identical. Quran recognizes this difference and assigns roles to them that are more fitting for each gender.

    This debate pre-supposes that house work is something menial and degrading and so the women subject to house work are being degraded. This inherent assumption is a western concept not Islamic. The sunna teaches that housework is noble work too.

    My disgust is not over the writers lack of empathy for the Islamic ideology. It contempt over the irresponsibility of this Islamic forum to publish something that goes against the established grain of Islamic teaching. It is very irresponsible and neglegent of Islamcitybulletin to endorse these neo islamic views.

  7. Mohamed from Kenya

    I wish to take this opportunity to thank Islamicity for keeping us informed. I disagree with the writer on the issue of women going public for jobs. During the prophet(SAW) women were taught behind aveil during learning or mahadhara just to avoid mixing with men, if this was the case how can someone say women are allowed to interract with men and rub shoulder with them in public offices,is this not against islamic teaching?. We are told women are Queens of the house,thay are the first teachers in our lives, if our mothers are not accessible to train the young once on good islam characters whom shall we blame?.

  8. Uzgaar Khan from United States

    This Philosophy is inherited from HINDU RELIGION.

    In HINDU RELIGION a woman is created to SERVE the HUSBAND.

    She was not allowed to do anything else but to SERVE the

    HUSBAND and it still there. If you Pay attention HINDU

    woman are extremely OBEDIENT to their HUSBANDS. That was

    so extreme that when the HUSBAND died they BURNED the WIFE

    ALIVE with him. Because her JOB was no more there therefore

    her LIFE was not needed anymore. This is the same attitude

    that some MUSLIMS have inhereited and they DO NOT allow

    WIDOWS to remarry. Need I say More?

  9. Bashir Oyeyemi from Nigeria

    We are all crying about the pain that has been inflicted on our societies because of the weakning of the family, but we still consider it undignifying for a woman to focus on the family. God guide us to what will be of benefit to us here and after.

  10. hjmattes from USA

    This is one of the best short articles on Islam and women in the modern world I have seen. We do, after all, live in a world where every resource is needed to benefit the whole. There is no good reaso to segregate half the resources to homemaking based on the incidental of gender.

  11. nur from singapore

    remember past islamic history?how nabi muhammad met his wife?and what was she doing before that?she was a merchant,and even after nabi muhammad got married he stil helped his wife with household chores.he sew his own clothes.women working or being equal has always been since the past its only men who view it as wrong.it is true it is not written in the quran or sunnah that the women should stay home.it is not wrong for the wives to work to help lessen the burden of the husband's.it is all in the mindset of different individuals.

  12. Ali Saadat from USA

    It seems like IslamiCity is moving away from the Quran & Sunna towards pleasing the white thinking. This is a very poorly researched article contrary in many area to the teachings of Quran & Sunna.

  13. Zinedine from Morocco

    Salaamu alaikum,

    To faristah,

    Wake up & smell the freedom of Islam! & the reality of life!!

    Yes the reason we are trying to change it now is because self hating women & those with low self esteem need to be cared for by unselfish men. I know that lazy & selfish men do have a problem with this & it makes it easier for them to control these types of women. No education & no confidence means no good jobs when you are dumped oops I should 've said divorced! It gets worse when you are a single mother with orphaned or rejected children.

  14. Zinedine from Morocco

    Salaamu alaikum,

    Ibnu Rushd aka Avoroes said that if the Muslim World- (men)- does not take women's education seriously & treat them as equals to men, it will eventually lose its power!

    The Salafi extremists puritans of my country (Almuwahidoon) killed him and almost killed this hope for Muslim women. This 11 century philosopher & Marakech supreme court judge was far ahead of all thinkers in the east & the west. He left an indelible mark on the Western World!!!

    Did you know that the first commercial ever was about women's black khimaar. It is now a famous song by Sabah Fakhri of Syria: Qul lilmaleehati fil khimaar l'aswadi.

    Historians H G Wells says that the Muslims have influenced every aspect of western life and thinking. The question that remains why don't we take our own advise & apply it on ourselves?

    This is mind boggling to me?

  15. Aziz from usa

    This is EXACTLY what our Ummah needs.

    Islam is the only religion to give a proper place and rights to the woman but Muslims are the worse at following those rules.

    Islam is the only religion that operates with 1/2 of it's resources ... as a general rule we exclude women from everything but house work missing out on their contributions in our society.

    We then ask these usually uneducated, under exposed women to raise the next generation of great Mulsims ... which is totally backwards.

    What's REALLY SAD is Muslim men work hard to keep Muslim women in their traditional roles ... mostly because of insecurities and other times because of culture....read some of the comments this article generated from those who consider themselves "ENLIGHTENED" or "AWARE" of all that is from ALLAH.

    Until we as an Ummah learn that the woman is the other half of the man and begin treating her that way ... we not only miss out on that lesson from the Qur'an ... but will continue to be a nation of people that the rest of mankind wipes it's feet on.

    Down with the Taleban mentality...

    Down with the Mercy Killings...

    Down with the 4th century nomadic practices...

    Up with guidence from Qur'an about our sisters

    Up with the practices of our prophet with his wives...

  16. Adam from Nigeria

    Mr Fathi says;

    "The distinctiveness between men and women is related to the woman's pregnancy, delivery, and nursing, which make it necessary that the man should have the responsibility to provide for her needs and the needs of the children, at least when she is hindered with such a distinctive natural function of reproduction."

    Why did'nt she takes care of herself even under this condition so as to compelete the "equality" formula? I for one, take care of myself under all circumstances so do other men 'm sure. Or is it now the case of women wanting to have their cake and also eat it?

    This is the example of contradiction we will always make when we try to change or even adjust the laws Allah stipulated for us to govern our lives. The rights of both men and women were clearly mentioned in the Quran. Interpretations of these rights were made also CLEARLY by the Prophet and his companions through writings and actions so we don't need any dude of the 21st century to come and reinterprete these laws.

    Yes men and women are equal BUT DIFFERENT (the phrase many don't wish to understand) even though Allah in his infinite wisdom says so and His messenger also said so. Some people will still be looking for a way to change this either through hiding under the change of times or playing with people intelligence as Mr Fati tries to do here.

    Yes Islam allows ijtihad but NOT on issues that their case have been determined already by Allah or His messenger via his authentic traditions!

    Also how many muslims kept their wives at home compared to those that do otherwise. The ratio 'm sure does not allow for making generalisations. And this is a matter of choice or agreement b/w the couples (after all the marriage is still considered a contract, and in contracts negotiations are made and agreed to) i know of so many women that prefer to remain at home than go out doing things that more often land them in troubles rather than the so call emancipation they se

  17. shah from karachi

    shame on islamicity to post this kind of meaningless artile,this author might be a scholar or historian but he is not an islamic scholar ,i m greatly disappointed to read this article,author should renew hi "iman" and apologize otherwise i fear that he will pay a big price.......

  18. sheikh from new york

    asalamo alaikum

    it seems like author has very little knowledge about "pardah" and "role of woman in islam',this artile should not be posted on any islamic website,i m very disappointed.....

  19. faristah from usa

    i commented on a similar article the other day.. plain and simple the Qur'an explains the roles odf men and women- those are the laws of God and should be followed. there is a difference in men and women being equal in the eyes of God and being equal in the eyes of each other- equality means balance, without balance the universe would cease to exist- as the article stated- women have had the role of home-maker and mother since the beginning of time and men have always been the providers- why are we trying to change it now?

  20. Shafique from Canada

    May Allah bless you with all his blessing's for spelling out of the

    truth so beautifully to all. Having said that I would like to add on

    that if the able persons doesn't marry more than one women many

    women's will be without any husband and naturally it will lead to

    illegal sex and increase in dangerous disease like aids.

  21. sam from usa

    Assalamu alaikum. I am a Muslim woman and want to clarify the issue of woman's dress. The article completely deviates in describing what the Qur'an says about a Muslim woman's dress code. We have to remember that what Allah has commanded in the Qur'an is fard(mandatory) and what He forbids is haram(forbidden). Qur'an is interpreted in only one way and that is the way of our prophet(s) to whom the Qur'an was revealed. This interpretation can be understood through the Hadith. No Muslim should have a doubt about this. To twist the wordings of the Qur'an is a grave sin. The word khimar used in the Qur'an clearly is a cloth that covers the head, shoulders, and bosom. Allah has asked the Muslim women to cover the bosom too with the khimar as opposed to just the head as was done in the period of ignorance. Allah has also mentioned in the Qur'an that Qur'an is the guidance till the end of mankind. When one distorts the wordings of the Qur'an according to his/her needs invites the wrath of Allah. It is far safer to say that Allah has commanded something and by not following it I am doing wrong and may Allah guide me. It is definitely true that a woman is allowed to work within the limits of Islam. She may be exposed to men where she works and she has to take utmost care in following the principles of Islam. However, if one is going to attend parties or entertainment, be it man or woman, they better be sure that men and women are separate as every wrong look will be a sin. Rules of Islam are very simple to understand and follow for people who fear Allah. May Allah guide all of us.

  22. Khadijah Muslim from USA

    As Salaaam Alaikum. Rahmadhan Mubarak

    Bravo! Quite erudite and exceptionally reasonable in analysis.

  23. KBB from usa

    Assalaam Alaikum,

    As Muslims, when we have a problem we go to the only source for solutions and that is the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet, (s.a.w) The problem is; Muslims in general and the leaders who claim to have the knowledge of islamic laws are victims of an environment alien to the ideals of the religion. Instead of trying to deal with the problems arising from trying to live Islam in an un-Islamic environment they try to adapt Islam to fit into the un-Islamic environment, thus leading to innovations and a watered down version of Islam.

    For those who are affected by this and can afford it, this is the time for emigration (hijra). As to where? Insha Allah, Allah (swt) will guide and direct us.

    Surah Anfal 8:73

    "And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you (Muslims of the whole world collectively) do not do so (i.e become allies, as one united block under one Khalifah (a chief Muslim ruler for the whole of the Muslim world) to make victorious Allah's religion of Islamic Monotheism), there will be fitnah (wars, battles, polytheism) and oppression on the earth, and a great mishchief and corruption (appearance of polytheism)

    Narrated Samurah bin Jundub (RA) Allah's Messenger (SAW) said "Anybody(from among the Muslims) who meets, gathers together, lives and stays (permanently) with a Mushrik (polytheist or disbeliever in the oneness of Allah, etc.) and agrees to his ways, opinion. etc. and (enjoys) his living with him (Mushrik) then he is like him.

    (The book of Jihad, Abu Dawud)

    May Allah, (swt) guide and protect us all from the shaytan and his ascribing partners. Ameen.

  24. shahnaz from canada

    jazakallah khairan.

    please write more about this artical. and can you clarify women's position as witnesses little more. assalamu alikum.

  25. aliyu maradi kurfi from NIGERIA

    may the ALMITHTY ALLAH CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU.ameen

  26. Deborah from Amerika

    To educate the uneducated and to bring to right (inshaallah) those in the wrong, one must be, as witnessed by the readers of this bulletin, full of the knowledge of what one is teaching and know how to get the attention of others in a calm and peaceful and truly caring way. Words have a power far greater than we might realize. Rather than insult and punishments, this teacher

    uses that power and order of words in harmony with the truth for the well being of mankind. This is very encouraging for one who also truly cares about the truth and the right ways. I thank our HOLY creator for such people as this one.

  27. Anonymous from USA

    I think its about time someone posted an article such as this for MEN to stop thinking that they are the dominating ones! Women are just as equal, more so in some instances more capable than any man!

  28. Willy Weber from USA

    The other day I commented on this article but when asked of an opposing view I couldn't think of one until today. There is something to which we as Allah followers we need to be concerned about and that is their is an danger in the which when both parents work they get so caught up in the world that we forget Allah and what we shouldbe doing. My view is still the same, in that when where we live that the father cannot fills his families necessay needs, that the discussion of the wife working may need to be looked at. This is an hard and an delicate matter as we don't want Allahs wraft on us or to disappoint Him. As always it is Allahs ways we should be following even if it may seem difficult. If both parents do work maybe an reexamining of the situation may be in order.

    salaam alaykum

  29. Serkan Zorba from USA

    The author is clearly trying to cater to the Western idealogies.

    I agree with some of what the author is saying. However, I don't agree with the gist of his message.

    Oppression of women is one thing, the role of women and men in a society is another.

    The author is clearly trying to cater to the Western idealogies.

    Granted, there is a problem with the gender issues in Muslim countries (among other problems) and it should be delt with. But, why in the world do we have to start with the Western premise (what the author is trying to convey with Islamic "justification") on this issue?

    That there are distinct natural talents to women and men is clear to all who is not blind. However, that does not mean that women should be forced to stay at home. It all depends on the circumstances. Nevertheless, to try to presuppose an artificial mirror-imagery in all spheres of life for these two distinct sexes with their wonderful and to-the-point talents is short-sidedness. To try to justify all that with Islam is supeficial.

  30. Hakim Jami from u.s.a.

    Salam Alaikum,all of the Muslims,male and female need to pray to Allah for guidance and clarity.

  31. Yasmine Fahim from Saudi Arabia

    I have read this article with great interest and appreciation. In my view, I feel that as long as any human being has not tamed his or her own appetites, no segragation, no veils, no subserviance will protect anyone from falling into sin. The greater jehad is precisely the one that teaches us all to evolve in such a way as to be able to live and work with others while being strongly cemented in our moral values. We need to refine ourselves and take the time to dedicate ourselves to the true understanding of Islam and its correct teaching to our children. Frocing a girl to hide from males, forcing her to cover, to stay at home, will not protect her from either acting wrongfully, by curiosity, or being mistreated. I agree with the view of the author of this article.

  32. zainab

    please send me details about EMAN, and how to introduce Islamic practice to a new muslim with a cristian background. what are the clarifications to be done to her and how get her start with rites and rituals.

  33. naushadkaudeer from Japan

    Women should only work in an environment where their dignity is protected and they should allowed to do only works that suit them.This world of ours in a women exploited world therfore they should be well prepared in all dimension to face unexpected challenges,however if a woman is married to a person who is earning enough to run the expenses of the family she should not work in public.As for the role of men to help their wives in all the houseworks is in my opinion necessary.

  34. Willy Weber from USA

    I am not sure what conditions is like in other countries. But while it very important that we follow Allah and his prophets, counsel from them where living is hard and another income is needed to meet the needs of the family is important to consider.Concern over the yong should also be looked at as there nuturing is vital for the raising of children who will be willing to follow Allah and his prophets. Where the means are there for the women to stay at home and see to this needis possible and should therefore be heeded. Where the needs run short and no famly is avalible to assist then it is imparative that the wife works to help.I would also counsel that the husband and wife pray together so as to get inspiration on what to do.

  35. yahyaa from usa

    Bissmilahir Rahmanir Raheem

    This article is an insult to Allah his book his messenger and the believers.Women are the helpers and supporters of men and men are the protectors of women This is the division that Allah has ordered,It is real shameful for a women to say that she will not obey her husband as Allah has ordered but will willingly go to work and obey her male boss for a few dollars,Where I am from we have a name for such women.Stop trying to be like the kuffar most of their women have no honor they will go to bed with anybody .

  36. Iman from canada

    shame on islamicity for posting such a controversal artical and then requesting comments! Muslims have enough problems dealing with society we dont need to plant the seeds of anger with in our own community!

    are you purposely trying to split the ummah? because posting this artice doent solve any problem at all but enrages certain readers and shaytan is the cause of rage.

  37. Jibril from usa

    As-salamu Aleykum,

    Bismilahirrahmani Rraheem.

    You " Islamicity.com " promote yourselves,and claim to carry on Dawah work that spreads out true information about Islam. I have been pleased and had high hopes of this site to truly be a source of genuine Islamic information. But now, with you posting and promoting on your site this persons deliberate, distorted, and corruptive interpretation of the words of Allah S.W.T., you have put a very big black spot of shame on yourselves. You have become a partner with hypocrites, that sell Islam for a miserable gain. And I say this because, You have to be deaf, dumb, or blind for not to see the hypocricy of this author. FEAR ALLAH !

  38. Hafsa Amir from Pakistan

    Assalamalaykum,

    brother your topic is interesting, but i feel that the content is self-contradictory in many places.

  39. abo3elwa from any country

    I am very much against it.... it is none islamic specialy that part of witnessing... it is out of reality... the auther is trying to modernaise islamic lows by changing the holy qur`an..which is in force for more than 1400 years... fear god brothers... the qur`an is not only for the women of arabia at the time of revealation...

  40. W from USA

    The author is just another one of those people trying to be a "Modern Muslim" Islam has been and will be for people of all times....let's stop trying to modify it to fit our wants. The author has tried to quote the qur'an to make it say what he wants...but it's wrong. If you can't accept Islam the way it is, don't try to change it and cause problems and confusion-there's already enough as it is. Yes women and men are equal but they have different EQUAL roles, and Allah knows best. You want women to work outside of the home as much as men and do the things men do, but then you want to complain when you come home and the house isn't clean-when your wife is too tired to spend time with you....you complain about house work-she's too tired to do it after working outside of the house all day......that's why Islam has the rulings it has..it is a preventative religion, the rulings prevent these problems from occuring and make for a peaceful environment at home-but people are being ignorant and ignoring Allah's rules and guidance and looking in the opposite direction-it is a sign of how materialistic we are, we only care about this dunya...May Allah guide us and protect us.

  41. Habeeba from USA

    Assalaam Alaikum

    I agree with the readers that this article caters to western ideologies and does not acurately interpret/explain the Quran as it claims.

    There are a few things that come to mind after reading the article and the readers' comments...

    In my native country (India), there is saying among muslims: Paradise is at the feet of mothers.

    Furthermore, I have read in numerous places that:

    Allah's love for His servants=70 times the love of their mothers.

    Women actively took part in political discussions with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

    To all the muslim men who believe that a woman's place is in her home, I want to say this: The primary role of women as wifes and mothers is to take care of their family. However, every muslim woman should have a right to an education which will in turn benefit her family and other women. Islamic countries should open girls-only schools and universities so that women can become doctors and treat other women patients that men won't treat or they can take the responsibilities as financial caregivers in the event that the husband is unable to provide for his family.

    See the example of the Taliban in Afghanistan... They didn't allow women to get an education- to become doctors--- to treat other women when men won't. Islam, definitely, doesn't promote such behavior.

    We need to remember that men and women were created to be equal. They are not physically equal; therefore, their roles in life are different- to complement each other and live in harmony. In some respects, men have more rights than women, but in others, women have more rights, especially as mothers.

    We should never have to justify our religion to others. We are who we are! If others stereotype Islam based on the actions of a few, we cannot do anything about it. It is our responibility to live by the rules of the Quran and educate (Dawa) others with our example. I pray to Allah(SWT) to guide everyone towards the light of Paradise. Am

  42. Mohsina from USA

    Islam came as a guiding light for humanity until the day of judgement. It's rules and regulations do not restrict either the male or female from seeking knowledge and gaining the pleasure of Allah (swt). However, both the female and male are given differnt roles in order for peace and balance within the family and the socity. We should be aware of feminist influence and only stick to Isalm as our yard stick. This is the only way we can earn the pleasure of Allah (swt) and gain Jannah.

  43. M. Sami from Pakistan

    Well, I myself am a female....and I think there shouldnt be any stereotypes or restrictions when it comes to women. However it is true that females tend to me more succesful with family rearing compared to males....though BOTH are necessary...females have it natural. Due to many physical properties...(men have it easier) I would still consider it a RSPONSIBILTY on the male's part to earn while earning is an OPTION for women. As far as the kids go...they ae a females responsibility, but the FAMILY OF THE MALE (in laws, bros,sisters) are not the responsibilty of the wife.

  44. ayda negash from Ethiopia

    It is well known that women cannot work outside their home along with men that could get married to them. How could she be a judje, a banker, an accountant, etc.. and at the same could not be mixed or work, talk and discuss with other men?

    Needs clarification.

  45. CWRUKikh from USA

    While I do agree with some of what the author is saying, I think that the aim of the article was a little off the mark. Men and women are created differently and, therefore, have different rights and responsibilites in the religion. On a spiritual level, both are equal. I am not saying that only men should work and women should stay at home, but rather we should live our lives by Islam and not by what society tells us is right.

    I also very strongly disagree with the last part of the article that seems to dispute part of the Qur'an. I think that the person should go and reread the entire surah for context and, if they are still not clear on the meaning, to find someone who can clearly explain it to them.

    Brothers and sisters in Islam, unlike Christianity, we have an obligation to know 100% about a topic before we make an article like this. Spreading things of this nature that spread doubt in the religion is not allowed. Please try to be as informed as possible before writing one of these.

  46. mohammad from india

    dear brother,

    asalam u alykum,

    Though i agree with most part of your arguement yet i would like to differ with your opinion regarding certain parts of it.The first point is that when ALLAH says that men are caretakers,as you translated it and let us agree for the sake of discussion,of women it means taking care of a women in totality and not in partial or in conditional situations.This makes it clear that Women in the sight of ALLAH have been assigned a more noble and beatiful yet very sensitive task of taking full care of the home affairs while the husband who has been appointed as the provider is on the hunt for the livelyhood.As per the RULES OF ORGANISATION for any successful company we see the duties are divided amongst the managers.Every department has a manager.Each is assigned a definite role to play.When the duties are defined and divided it assures the successful running of any particular organisation.For a healthy society we need healthy family with healthy values that inculcates love ,care ,responsibility,and good moral values and a family without all this is what we see in the most advanced cultures of the world today where we find that both husband and wife are blindly working to earn .This leaves their children unattended in the care of baby -sitters and they are deprived of the support and love and guidance they require at the various stages of their childhood.THE RESULT is rebillious children,poor moral values,incontentment and frustration which in turn has a direct impact on the family n society.AND we have innumerous of such examples before us in our western societies and in those societies which have adopted such a practice.The human life is not all about the material gain what is being inculcated and followed by the materialistic societies today but it means much much more than that and what islamic teachings guide us to.

    Finally i would like to say that THE RULES SET BY ALLAH are for the good of the human races but we need to open our eye

  47. Gurmukh Singh from USA

    Absolutely. Gender apartheid is a social, not religous practice.

  48. Abu Rahim from USA

    Oh yes. Old habits die-hard. As-Salam-u-'Alaikum My dear sisters- I offer you my humble apology for all the pain and suffering inflected upon you by us brothers. Throughout human history we have been wrong. May Allah (swt) continue to guide us.

    Women have worked the fields, cultivated the soil, gathered the harvest, prepared and cooked the meals- all while tending to house and children. Yet we debate whether you should work outside the home.

    Am sorry to use the western expression but working outside the home is all-relative. There is no way we can continue to apply all of ancient Arab cultural and traditions to our modern lives. This is what happen to the Ottoman Turks- as great as they were they thought there was nothing else to learn- boy were they wrong.

    There is an ongoing theme in the Christian Bible which form the basic of western thought and that is to take one and leave the other. This concept cannot work for the Islamic mind. It will only add confusion.

    The funny thing about Charles Darwin and the Book of Geneses is they both are more likely than not correct. Life moves in evolutionary stages- one more advance than the other. And to dismiss the worth of women is to stagnate the growth of "Man"-

    Except this or reject it but a society will never progress beyond the primitive unless it values women as an equal- being whole only as we unit in the face of Allah (swt).

  49. Bashir M Khan from USA

    I endorse the comments who disagree and I condemn and oppose the content message of the article which is against the Quraan and sunnah.

    The RASOOLLAH [SAW]said " there will be time that the muslims will be so coward like sheep;the imams will be speaking like prophets but their actions would be like Ferah[Ferauneen]".

    Once RASOOLLAH [SAW]distributing some mal-e-ghanemat,a person objected and the prophet [SAW] told a nation would be raised from your family who oppose the deen."

    Whenever a woman and man [nonmehram]meet in seclusion,the third is shetan[devil].Like Hajj without mehram is not obligatory for women and similarly long journey too.

    ALLAH [SWT] says that "STAY IN YOUR HOMES"[33:33] AND OF THE SIMILAR NATURE [HUR] WAITING FOR MUMINEEN INSIDE THE PAVILIONS[tents] [55:72].ALLAH [SWT]referred the persons who could not participate in the battle of tabook, siting in homes like women.The Juma and Janza prayers are not obligatory for women rather to say at home. Hadharat Umul Salma [RA] says that RASOOLULLAH [SAW] said "for women the best masjid [mosque] is a room inside her home".

    Not allowed to make AZAN and even not allowed to lead men in prayers; because their voice not to be heard by men [in public] and vice versa.

    The RASOOLULLAH [SAW] is the best model [uswa]for men to follow and the omulmomineen are the best model for all muslemat to follow.When the Umulmu-mineen have been warningly instructed [33:32-33&59] not to go out of houses and if necessary then use soft speech behind the curtain; the same are applicable to all muslim women on the earth.The RASOOLULLAH [SAW] and Khulfa e-Rashdeen were the providers for their families.

    ALLAH [SWT] SAYS "TWO WOMEN to ONE MAN for witness and for inheritance [4:32;2:282]. Men are responsible for NAFAQA, expenses for food, clothes & shelter being overseer over Women [4:34] and even to pay for baby suckling if needed. The right of divorce and roju is given to man. ALLAH allows a man to keep 4 women

  50. Ihtiyar Bilge from USA

    I agree with some of what the author is saying. However, I don't agree with the gist of his message.

    Oppression of women is one thing, the role of women and men in a society is another.

    The author is clearly trying to cater to the Western idealogies.

    Granted, there is a problem with the gender issues in Muslim countries (among other problems) and it should be delt with. But, why in the world do we have to start with the Western premise (what the author is trying to convey with Islamic "justification") on this issue?

    That there are distinct natural talents to women and men is clear to all who is not blind. However, that does not mean that women should be forced to stay at home. It all depends on the circumstances. Nevertheless, to try to presuppose an artificial mirror-imagery in all spheres of life for these two distinct sexes with their wonderful and to-the-point talents is short-sidedness. To try to justify all that with Islam is supeficial.

  51. Tahira Khan from U.K

    At last the truth is out that Allah- Tallah did not want women to be second class citizen but instead to be able to stand on their own two feet and also have the right to have an education. Women need to raed and understand what is their right ( no it is not a case of womens liberation but the right to be "equal").

    More of these sort of articles so we the women can get it right.

  52. Jessica from US

    Wow!

    I am amazed! this is the first article I have ever read in such respect. I am not muslim, nor do I want to be, but I do admire the fact "you" who ever wrote this, took the step in clarifying this common mis-conception amongst both muslims and non-muslims. Using the Koran, to proove your point, and not just your mere opinion.

    As noted in Genesis, when God created Adam and Eve, he placed them side by side, and didn't place Eve behind Adam. Nor did God say, "this is your servant, but this is your help mate."

    thank you for noting the difference betweent the two.

  53. Saifuddeen from USA

    AsSalaamu Alaykum,

    Modernists such as this author should be ignored for their ignorance of what has already been established by our sacred schools of Law. A lot of the issues the author writes about are a result of appeasing the morally bankrupt western institutions regarding "gender equality".

    The shariah (without needing re-interpretation) promotes the respect of women and their role in the society.

    Certain laws you can rationalize, but others you have to submit to (we hear and we obey). For e.g. you cannot rationalize polygamy. You cannot say that in this day and time it not permitted or not recommended. This goes against the ijma of the sunni scholars.

    Islam provides an alternative (way of life) to the existing order. We can take it (be muslims) or leave it.

    Prophets such as Musa (AS) were willing to give up their status as prophets just to be a part of the ummah of the blessed prophet Muhammad (saw). And we are willing to sell this deen short for maybe just a grant, promotion, notriety or something else that is insignificant. And Allah (swt) knows best.

  54. Abukar Sanei from USA

    Thanks to the author, and the efforts that he put on this issue. In terms of family issues, the power that was postowed to the husband is not to be aggressive and dictator to his wife and childeren. This power means that he was chosen to be the main provider of the household, and at the same time, he can not take any decision without consultation of his wife and childeren.

    On the other hand, the issue of sending your wife to work or not depends on the need of the family, because the purpose of being a wife or husband is to help each other, and cover the endless needs of life. Therefore, I don't think there is a way that justifies to arrest wives in home. The only exception is if the wife chooses to stay home, which is the better way to raise childeren.

    Salaam,

    Abukar

  55. Murad Tung from U.S.A.

    It's about time such comments were brought into the open.

  56. Mohammad from USA

    A nice comment on the issue of Polygamy from my local Imam:

    "The ayat on allowing four wives was not meant as a recommendation for future muslims, rather a limitation on previous muslims"

    Allah knows best.

    Obviously, it is not possible for muslims to practice polygamy because the ratio of men to women has always been equal, unless in societies impacted by war.

  57. rahshee from usa

    As salaam wu alaikum. The title, in itself, strikes an alert with me. I review this article as another variable of the distinct ideals and philosophy of western thought; a direct example of how its media induced subliminal messages have gained ground in our Ummah. This article reverts to quotes from the Qu'ran in an attempt to justify the body of the piece; not to mention, after said quotes, adds interpretation. Allahi semhec. The Glorious, Most Profound, Best Piece of Literature Ever Compiled needs no interpretation. As it is clear in its revelation that it provides understanding and wisdom in stages, just as it was revealed to our Prophet, The Rasool, (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam).

    I noticed the mention of the concept of providing a 'will' before death. Yet, i did not see the comparative and most important aspect of the provisions of bequeath; wherein the son is to have a portion greater than the daughter. This, ideally without interpretation, denotes the importance of the man's role in providing for the family and the woman's position (obviously given less because she is not to be the home provider. It is not a duty of the woman to provide. Although if she has more and can give more, if she so chooses, can provide with her means.). With said, this does not mean her ability to provide changes her role as mother and keeper of the home. And, I applaud the mention of the fact that the Rasool(saaws) was quite helpful in the home with chores. Such history is noted, particularly to curb men from taking advantage of the woman in her duties. The Rasool (saaws), being the best example, shows the importance of a cooperative effort in the duties of the home although distinct to gender. Just as we are created distinctively different in our structures and build.

    I can write an article equally lengthy and denotative as the one for which I send this comment. But I will suffice by saying, " You believe as you believe and I will as I believe. And we will know on The Day."

  58. Sabrina from Malaysia

    I hope all men will read this. Women in Malaysia are quite independent in a lot of matters but men are very egoistic beings and I find they are more inclined to follow what they think suits them rather than follow the true teaching of Islam, especially the polygamy bit where there is a lot of abuse here and everywhere else in the Islamic world.

  59. safia from USA

    A very truthful and informative article. Hope people read and understand the truth.

    thank you!

  60. Adnan Chaabi from US

    good writing!

    I would like to mention that we should be proud of this great religion. Never appologize for its articles or beliefs. It is coming from God. We should however straighten up some misconcptions. I do not like to see applogetic writing like we are ashamed of this religion.

    1. leadership at home is political preference rather than it is based on who's better. I have seen many women who led their household but kept the respect to the man like he was in charge.

    2. sometime 'the one woman witness' will be accepted by a judge because things relate to women's issues. This means it is not against women that sometimes 2 of them should equal to one man. there must be a reason for that and I am not smart enough to comment on that.

    3. Women are our sisters, mothers and wives. Overprotection is to blame rather than the religion.

    4. saying the woman should be equal to the men is underminig what Islam has given them. They are equal to the man with different responsibilities. They are of the man, and with man they make one human being.

    5. scholars tell us that all women will be sinfull if they can not fill in positions that are required by women. They have to be trained to take care of women needs or they will be sinfull.

    6. the whole religion of Christianity will not exist if Allah SWT Has not Honored Mary's mother dedication to Him.

    7. the prophet SAAS made sure to let Muslim know that his wife Ummu Salama was the reason for their protection of the hell fire. He could have not mentioned it in Sulhul Hudaybiya. He did it to show the belivers that women are appreciated as much as men in a Muslim society.

    Many examples can be mentioned but I am limited to a few words here. I am proud that Allah SWT honored with this religion. I am proud that prostitution is the least in a Muslim atmosphere compared to 'free socities'. There are more than 60 million sex slaves in the world. generally, they exist in non- Muslim societies where they claim they free wom

  61. S. Fadika Soumahoro from Cte d'Ivoire

    I didn't understend it because it was in Eglish and I Speak French.

    Comment faire pour avoir les Traductions en Franais?

  62. Hadji Haleem Lim from New Jersey, USA

    I HAVE READ THE ARTICLE THOROUGHLY AND I AM SATISFIED AND AGREE AS TO WOMEN PARTICIPATION IN ALL WHAT THE ARTICLES SAYS. WASSALAAMU ALAIKUM...

  63. Dr Ibrahim M.A from Nigeria

    Assalam Aleykum

    May the peace of Almighty Allah be on you and your household.Glory be to the Almighty who has sent guidance through His prophets to guide us to the right path.I honstly think we will only be deceiving our self if we think women shuould start runing around like the men because the burden of womanhood is enough stress for them.The social condition of the world today entails that somebody must always be with the kids to give them the moral lesson and mode them for a proper islamic life.In my country the idea of husband and wife running around from morning to evening every day of the week which i honestly think is a westernised idea, has turn many kids into drug addict kids with no morals because non of the parent has any speccial time for them.

    Everything Almighty Allah created is for a purpose and GOD created everything in this world in pair including human being such that He make a categorical statement that while the husbands goes out to look for food for the family the woman must guide and guard everything the man lives in her care i.e the household.In my own opinion the man is the sun while the woman is the moon one is the source of energy while the other receive the energy for onward transmission to the family.I think the muslim world in our effort to plese the western world have been buying and selling the idea of equality between the male and female which is purely a western idea not biblical nor Quranic a self deceit.How many female prophet do we have in the Quran?The so call social changes we claimed to be experiencing today in the world might be akin to the ills of the society which has increase the level of immorality ,juvenille deliquency etc.and is because the family life we lived today gives little or no time to the kids we only think of our selfish end as parents pursuing the world at the expense of the kids.

    I understand that in the middle East there has been relatively a very successful life than the West were divorce is seen as

  64. Omar from United States of America

    Asalamoalikum:

    I extend my sincere thanks to Mr. Osman for his efforts and pray that Allah (swt) reward him in this life and in the next. Regarding his article, I feel that Mr. Osman's use of Qur'anic examples merits consideration, but was weakened by a noticeable absence of specific, accepted traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). A more convincing exploration of the subject would have include thorough use of all available sources. As always, Allah (swt) knows best.

  65. shaik Jaffrey from India

    Assalam alaikum Fathi Osman,

    I appreciate your views. But don`t you think that a well educated woman in charge of a family is more benficial to the society than her being in charge of her job.

    Allah knows what is best for the humankind and he has rightly given both male and female equal rights.

    But responsibilty wise if we analyze a woman has got more responsibility than the man.

    At the max. the responsibility of a man is to feed, protect and maintain his family.

    But woman, that too a educated woman with brains would always be an asset at any point of time in a man`s life. Just think of her responsibilities,

    1. Look after her parents, husband parents.

    2. Satisfy the desires of husband irrespective of her willingness

    3. Bring up the children with emphasis on tradition, culture so as to make them a good citizens of the country.

    4. The queen of the house

    5.Got more patience than man and can withstand more pain than compared to man.

    She is willing to handle all the above responsibilities with a smile, but what she asks in return is a loving, caring husband who respects her and treats her as the queen of the house.

    so my dear friend i think instead of trying to argue that woman should also work, i think we must try to educate we men the need to treat the wife with respect and understand her completely.

    I can say that if any woman gets a good husband who would treat her with love, respect and protect her, then no woman however educated she might be she would like to use her intelligence in helping and raising her children, family and guiding her husband in his career instead of moving out in search of a job.

    But in todays society due to pressures, modernization of the society, fashions, luxiorous life people have forgotten the basic concepts of love and sacrifice.

    Evrybody are on the look out for money and it has lead to such a drastic situation of the society that in every relationship monet plays a maj

  66. Sharifah from Singapore

    Thank-you for clearing up the age old "misconception" about head coverings for women. I do agree, the important thing is about her behaviour. Clothes should be worn decently so as not to attract unduly attention to one's physical self.

    Thank-you

  67. Umm Isa from middle east

    good notes about women not being jst house maids runnign after the chores everyday of her life. nice daleel

  68. Shakirat Folake Olawale from Canada

    Asalam alaikum,

    This is a good article. My salute to the writer

    The islamic world need more contribution of people like the writer to separate cultural practices from real interpretation of sunna and the noble Qur'an relative to women and family life.

  69. Asif

    writer has come up with his own version of interpretations of verses of Quran. He has ignored the many *clear* verses about "why and how women should stay at home and in what situation she can work.". We should not try try to prove every modern concept by altering the clear interpretations of Quran. He has gone totally different way while expressing the meanings of Arabic words.

  70. abdulaziz from usa

    Brother Osman seems to equate the Islamic verdicts with the practices and traditions in societies, not only in Muslim but also in many others that women are not equal as men and therefore they are treated accordingly. In order to please the so called moderate Muslim and others he has blind folded himself of the actual teachings of the Quraan and Sunnah and propagating some ideas independent of both Quraan and Sunnah.

    Muslims should go back to Quraan and Sunnah where the equality of women is well established. No one has to re-write the equations. May Allah guide us all.

  71. Shirley from New Zealand

    As a new Muslim, I was warned by the Imam under whom I studied to beware of the intermingling of culture and religion. Since most of the world's Muslims come from a background in African/Arab or Indonesian cultures, they bring into their religion behaviours which are culturally oriented. There is no problem in cultural differences between Muslims. We are all still one community. The problem is that most people believe that these (cultural traditional) behaviours are grounded in their religion and that those behaving otherwise are wrong.

    The worst tradition purported to be part of Islam is female circumcision. But even at the most superficial level, the lack of provision of a place for women to attend Friday prayers (and thus educate themselves in their religion), and the unwillingness because of cultural traditions to converse, co-operate and work together as one people instead of men v women, arab v non-arab, makes our community weak. Imagine if we could actually deal with each other fairly and act in unity, how strong would be the One True Faith.

    Please examine your behaviour and your assumptions towards your fellow Muslims. May God open your heart and give you strength to find where you need to change.

  72. Dawud AbuSulayman Shaheed from usa

    Bismillahe rahman araheem wasSalatu was Salaamu Ala RasoolAllah , wa bad.

    Subhannallah, Subhannallah, Allahu Akbar, Islam is far removed form the distortions, explaining away and pure deviance contained within the outright desire following words of this article.

    Allahu Akbar!!!

    Just a few questions on some of your statements

    "The social role of women requires mixing with men."

    If that means mixing with non-mahram men, May Allah forgive you for making a statement like that. Because if I caught you mixing with my wife or daughter , it would be over!

    #2"that a man may have another wife exceptionally when this may be necessary."

    Allah says in the Quran "marry women of your choice who are lawful to you, two, or three, or four, BUT IF (making exception) you have reason to fear that you may not be able to deal justly with them, then marry only one"

    So where do you get your daeef sharh of that ayat that the exception is to marry more that one. The exception is to marry 1 and the Sunnah of our prophet Sallalahu alaihe wasSallam is to marry more than 1 and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad!!

    #3 "Nothing in the Quran or Sunna clearly supports such a view or assumption."

    what about Al-Ahzab - 33:33

    And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform As-Salt (IqamtasSalt), and give Zakt and obey Allh and His Messenger. Allh wishes only to remove ArRijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet SAW), and to purify you with a thorough purification. (Al-Ahzab 33:33)

    So how about where Allah says "And stay in your houses" is that not clear enough for you? Subhannallah!! No. 6848 - Narrated Abu Huraira:

    The Prophet said, "The Hour will not be established till my followers copy the deeds of the previous nations and follow them very closely, span by span, and cubit by cubit (i.e., inch by inch)."

    May Allah help us!! Ameen

  73. Louise Baskin from USA

    Thank you, sister!

    I've been reading articles on islam.org everyday for over two years.

    And, I can count the times on my right hand that articles were posted written by women.

    And, in lieu of the fact that we represent over 50 percent of the population.

    Perhaps, that is because of the very nature of your artcle: most Muslim men still, truly, regard women as second class citizens.

    Anyone who argues otherwise only has to wonder why then, are Muslim women still having to explain the Koran and themselves in 2005?

    That should be moot

    But, then, again, anyone who still pretends that polygamy is O.K., and not a an emotionally and psychologically form of abusive, not to mention being contemptuous of women, is in denial.

    And, in part, because the outrageous misperceptions as to a woman's role and rights in Islam.

  74. ismet from usa

    i am so glad to finally get some clarification on this sensitive topic of men, women and their respective rights and responsibilities. i am also especially pleased to have verified that the basic rules of islam are rooted in common sense and therefore applicable to all times rather than dictated inflexible rules which could become outdated. a woman's modesty is not simply a function of her head covering - it is a function of her behaviour and her purpose in drawing attention to herself. i have unfortunately seen so many examples of women who cover their heads and yet their behaviour draws the worse kind of attention to themselves.

  75. Brother ISLAM from East Oakland Ghetto(u.s.a.)

    Muslim women assemble against domestic violence

    By Charlene Muhammad

    Statewide California Coalition for Battered Women

    Hortensia X Moore addresses domestic violence conference participants Dec. 12. Photo: Charlene Muhammad

    TORRANCE, Calif. (FinalCall.com) - Rohida Khan Fox is a woman one would definitely call "educated." She covets two Masters of Arts degrees in Political Science and International Relations, and two Bachelors degrees in law and arts. She hosts a television show on law and current affairs highlighting human rights issues, and is a certified domestic violence counselor for the State of California's Coalition for Battered Women (SCCBW).

    But all of her training and hard work to help women cope and avoid the throes of physical and mental abuse at the hands of their mates escaped her very own being. For that and several other reasons, Ms. Fox joined other Muslim domestic violence activists at Beijing Islam Restaurant Dec. 12 for a training conference to help build the capacity for Muslim women's programs against the aggression.

    "I would be, myself, beaten up at home, and I was a human rights activist," she shared. "Why did I say all the time, 'I fell down'? It was the honor of my family that I was protecting."

    The one-day Domestic Violence Training conference was launched by research and marketing expert Kausar Ahmad to, among other things, encourage the expansion of domestic violence programs run by Muslim women for Muslim women, exchange resources within and outside of the Muslim community within a genuine sisterhood environment, increase employment opportunities for Muslim women in the field of domestic violence, and provide networking opportunities for them.

    The conference is part of a series of critical thinking events under the theme, "The Status of Civil and Human Rights of Muslim Women and Girls in North America,".Muslims are turning a "blind eye" when it comes to the real issues of domestic violece against Mus