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Knowing Allah
  
  

   

one of the widely spread rumors is that islam considers the voice of the woman private and should not be heard; therefore, we would like to answer this suspicion in brief because there are plenty of juristic texts refuting such rumors.

 

the holy quran narrated the story of the two daughters of the prophet shu'ayb (peace be upon him) when they spoke to the prophet moses (peace be upon him) in the following verse {and when he arrived at the water of madyan (midian) he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). he said: "what is the matter with you?" they said: "we cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). and our father is a very old man} (qasas 23)  and one of them told moses (peace be upon him) {then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. she said: "verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us} (qasas 25).

 

accordingly, if the voice of the woman should be kept private, then how the two daughters of shu'ayb (peace be upon him) spoke to moses (peace be upon him)?

 

moreover, how the could the woman be prevented from speaking while islam allowed her to sell, purchase, give advices, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong {the believing men and believing women are allies of one another. they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong} (al-tawbah 71).

 

it is narrated also that a woman has stood up in the masjed and asked the caliph omar (may allah be pleased with him) to comply with the verses of the holy quran when the caliph wanted to put limits for the dowries, and said: how is it that you want to limit the dowry while allah the almighty said: {but if you want to replace one wife with another and you have given one of them a great amount [in gifts] , do not take [back] from it anything} (an-nisa'), then the caliph omar (may allah be pleased with him) said his known statement: omar has mistaken and the woman was right.

 

and here is a self-explanatory prophetic tradition about the rank of the woman in islam:

lady umm salama; hind bint abi umayyah may allah be pleased with her narrated that when the prophet peace be upon him emigrated, zainab daughter of the prophet peace be upon him asked the permission of her husband; abu al aas bin al rabi', who was still a polytheist, to go with the prophet peace be upon him so he gave her the permission. then abu al aas went to medina and sent to his wife a request to take asylum for him from her father; then zainab looked from her room while the prophet peace be upon him was performing the prayer of al fajr (dawn) with his companions, and said: o people! i am zainab the daughter of the prophet peace be upon him i have granted asylum to abu al aas. when the prophet peace be upon him finished the prayer, he said: (i did not know about that until you heard it; surely, any muslim can grant asylum whomsoever) . narrated by al-albani in al-selsila al-sahiha 6-770.

 

islam has a great attitude and has given the due honor to the woman, but the ignorant people are circulating that islam disregard the woman and her dignity. it is better for such people to put their heads in the soil out of shame for their disgraceful attitudes toward the woman. they have transgressed her dignity and made her a piece of merchandise for selling and buying. if we contemplate in the position of the woman in the west we will feel sympathy because the lustful people exploited the woman to satisfy their desires and pushed her toward nakedness under the pretext of freedom and made her a symbol of prostitution under the pretext of art and invention; so what kind of honor is this? where is the honor of the woman?

 

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another fabricated suspicion about the woman is that: islam considers that the woman was created out of crooked rib; so, let us refer to the relevant prophetic tradition to know the truth:

 

al bukhari narrated in his book "sahih al bukhari" that the prophet peace be upon him said: (he who believes in allah and the day of judgment should not cause harm to his neighbors. treat women kindly, they were created out of a rib (i.e. eve was created out of the rib of adam), and the most crooked part in the rib is the highest part thereof; so, if you tried to rectify the rib it will be broken, and if you left the rib as it is, it will remain crooked, and women are like this; therefore treat them kindly) .

 

what can we learn from this prophetic tradition?

first: the prophet peace be upon him did not say that the woman was created out of a crooked rib as alleged by them, but he told that she was created out of a rib. this is something unseen revealed from allah the almighty to his prophet muhammad peace be upon him. this does not contain any insult to the woman. it is just like when allah the almighty told us that {and certainly did we create man from an extract of clay} , so, does this mean that islam insults man? no, it is just informing us about something unknown to no one except allah the almighty and we should believe that.

 

second: the prophet peace be upon him has informed us about the fact that the woman was created from the rib of adam (peace be upon him), and this is also mentioned in the holy quran {o mankind! be dutiful to your lord, who created you from a single person (adam), and from him (adam) he created his wife [hawwa (eve)]} i.e. this teaches us the true relation between the man and the woman. it is an integral relation because the woman is from the man, and the man is from the woman. allah the almighty said: {you are (members) one of another} (al-imran 195).

 

this prophetic tradition came in the context of directing men to treat woman kindly and tolerate them because the woman has an emotional nature. in explaining the following quranic verse {o mankind! be dutiful to your lord, who created you from a single person (adam), and from him (adam) he created his wife [hawwa (eve)]} }, sheikh al-sharawi may allah have mercy on him said: (allah the almighty said: {and from him he created his wife) i.e. if the woman was created from the rib, then the word "from" will refer to part of a whole, and if the woman was created like adam, the word "from" will refer to demonstration only, i.e. of the same kind. allah the almighty knows best what he wants to create, the shape, the task which will be performed by such creature; therefore, allah the almighty creates the specifications & features which can perform such goal & task. you may imagine that some creatures have no function in life, or that some creatures would be better if they were created in another shape, but the case is not like this. there was a man who contemplated in the creation of the world by allah the almighty and said: there is no creation and invention more than this. moreover, there was a welder taking the straight bars and curve it. seeing that, his son asked; why doesn't the welder leave the bars straight? the father taught him: these bars cannot perform their function except by being curved. the same concerning hooks and sickles, if they were straight, they won't perform their task. in the light of this perspective, we can better understand the prophetic tradition which mentioned: (treat women kindly, they were created out of a rib (i.e. eve was created out of the rib of adam), and the most crooked part in the rib is the highest part thereof; so, if you tried to rectify the rib it will be broken, and if you left the rib as it is, it will remain crooked, and women are like this; therefore treat them kindly) . the ribs in your thorax cannot perform their task i.e. protecting the heart and the lungs, except in this crooked shape which maintain the most important parts in your body; therefore, crookedness is like a sympathy and protection, and this is exactly the mission of the woman in life. she is, for example, taking care of her embryo during pregnancy, and after delivery she exerts more care and provides more compassion to her child.

 

accordingly, the description of the prophet peace be upon him is not an insult or disregard to woman, because such crookedness in the nature of the woman is the essential thing supplementing her mission in life; therefore, you find that the sympathetic aspect is more prevailing than the metal aspect because the mission of the women requires such nature, while the mental aspect of the men is prevailing on the sympathetic aspect so that they can perform their mission in life. accordingly, allah the almighty has assigned a certain task for each creature, and each of us has his own task irrespective of any apparent defects).




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