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03:47 AM , Friday 15th December 2017

Chapter Four: Misconceptions about Women in Islam

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 There are some misconceptions that have been spread about women and their rights in Islam. These misconceptions were not meant for individual women themselves, but rather an attack on Islam in particular. People who raise such misconceptions aim mainly to distort the beautiful picture of women in Islam. Women, throughout the past fourteen centuries of Islam, have been honored, respected, cherished and dignified. We shall present the main misconceptions that have been raised about women's rights in Islam and women in Islam in general.


Polygamy in Islam

Marriage to more than one wife is a continuation of the practice established and practiced in previous religions. It is a practice as old as history itself. All previous religions practiced, accepted and condoned polygamy. The Old Testament, and the Bible are at the top of the list of the Divine Books that stated such a practice and legalized it. Many previous Prophets, before Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) entered into plural marriages. Prophet Abraham (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had two wives. Prophet Jacob (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also had four wives. Prophet Solomon (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had many wives. Therefore, we notice that plural marriage, as an issue, is not a new practice attributed to Islam alone. It is indeed an old practice, as old as the history of man on Earth. It has been stated in the Old Testament: "A sister should not be taken as a second wife so as one will not harm the other during her lifetime."[73]

Thus, we notice that the Old Testament did not forbid the idea of plural marriage itself, but it rather forbade the man to take a sister of the existing wife as a second wife, while the first wife is still alive[74]. Moreover, the Old Testament stated that Prophet David (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), had ninety-nine wives. It also stated that Prophet Solomon (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had seven hundred wives who were free noble women and three hundred other wives who were slave women.

When Prophet Moses (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was commissioned to the office of prophethood he accepted the idea of plural marriage, and did not set or determine a specific number of wives to which a husband was entitled. Later, the people of the Talmud, who lived around Jerusalem, decided upon a certain number of wives for a man. This decision was neither from Moses (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) nor the Testament. However, some Jewish scholars permitted a second wife or more, if the first wife was permanently ill, or barren. While other Jewish scholars did not permit plural marriages at all.

As for the Bible, we all know that Jesus (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was commissioned to complete the Laws of Moses (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and we cannot find a single quote in the Bible that forbid plural marriage. In fact, the prohibition of plural marriages in Christianity came about as a result of legislation set forth by the Christian church, but not by the original teachings of Christianity itself.

Irish king, Ditharmet, for instance, had two wives[75].

King Frederick the Second had two wives based on the church's approval. Thus, we notice that "legalization" and "illegalization" was in the hand of the priests of the church and not in accordance with original teaching of Christianity itself.

Martin Luther, the German who established the Protestant sect considered plural marriage an acceptable and condonable principle of Christianity, and in fact he himself advocated it on many occasions.[76] Truly, Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), permitted plural marriage to certain individuals of the Old Testament and in special circumstances. However, the Christian who would like to emulate these individuals is permitted to do so when he is sure that his particular circumstances are similar to the circumstances of those individuals who were permitted to have plural marriages. Polygamy is much better than divorce in any case.

On the other hand, the modern church under the leadership of the Roman Catholic Pope forbids polygamy or plural marriages. For example:

The Orthodox forbid either spouse to enter into another marriage as long as the first marriage is still in existence.
The Orthodox do not permit a second marriage contract for either spouse unless and until the first marriage contract is voided.
The Orthodox consider the existing marriage an essential reason to forbid a new (second or other) marriage.

Pagan Arabs

Polygamy was well known amongst Arab tribes prior to the advent of Islam. In fact, there was no set limitations for the number of wives the husband can take in wedlock. With the advent of Islam, polygamy was condoned; however, a man was restricted and limited to four wives only. Moreover, Islam set certain rules and regulations to organize, control and regulate this important feature in the social life of Muslims. 'Omair al-Asdee was reported as saying: 'When I accepted Islam, I was married to eight wives. I discussed this with Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said: “Keep four only, and divorce the other four.”[77]

Polygamy was also well known to the Egyptians, Persians, Assyrians, Japanese and Hindus. Russians and Germanic people also practiced it as well as some Greek kings. Therefore, we can see that polygamy is not an invented practice that is known, practiced and applied only by Muslims and authorized only by the religion of Islam. Many other previous nations knew this social practice and applied it.

Polygamy, in accordance with Islamic teachings and practices has its own specific rules, regulations and conditions.


The Main Conditions for Polygamy in Islam




Justice and Equality

As Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) permitted polygamy, He stipulated and pre-conditioned justice and fairness in treatment, avoiding injustice and wrong practices against all wives. Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “He who has two wives and does not demonstrate justice, fairness and equality amongst them will come on the Day of Resurrection with one of his sides paralyzed.”[78]

Justice and fairness, in this context, applies in terms of material things such as expenditure, fair division of wealth, gifts, time, etc. As for emotional matters, such as love and inclination towards one wife over the other, it is recognized that man has no authority or control over his heart and emotions. Feelings and emotions are involuntary; therefore one is not to be blamed for them. 'Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her), the mother of believers and the wife of Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was reported as saying: “Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) distributed everything justly amongst his wives; yet after all, he used to say: O Allah! This is the fair way of dividing what I possess amongst my wives. O Allah! Blame me not for what You alone possess while I do not. ,i.e., the heart, feelings and emotions of a man.”[79]


Ability to Afford Another Household

If a man knows for sure that he is financially incapable of affording another wife and another household, he is not entitled to seek another marriage. A husband is not allowed to exceed four wives, as stated earlier in the Hadith of Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

We would like to point out here some of the factors and elements that often urges man to think or seek another marriage. We need to examine whether polygamy in itself is a good or an evil practice in the society. We also would like to know whether such a practice is good for the wife or bad, and whether it is in her interest or against:

1. If a woman is sterile, and the husband is interested in having children, what is best for the wife in such a case: to be divorced for no sin or crime (and become a burden on herself and the society if she cannot earn and there is nobody to support her financially), or to remain in the household of her husband in addition to his other wife?

2. If a wife is chronically ill and she cannot perform her marital duties, what is better in her case: to be divorced, or to become a second wife where she is perfectly honored, cared for and provided for by her husband?

3. Some men are sexually demanding. One wife may not be able to fulfill the lawful sexual desire of her husband. Or, if the menstrual period or after-birth-confinement period is especially longer than normal, or she has no lawful sexual desire to match that of the husband, what is better for both husband and wife, in such a case? Is it lawful for the man to seek unlawful sexual satisfaction somewhere else outside the marriage, or to acquire another lawful wife who keeps him chaste?

4. There is no doubt that repeated international and civil wars in various parts of the world has taken its toll on men. Thus, the number of females in most countries is more than males. The best example of that were the First World War and the Second World War, which claimed huge numbers of men who participated in the fighting. Statistics say that there were more than twenty million men killed during these wars. Therefore, if every man had only one wife, what is the destiny of the women who do not get a fair share of lawful marriage to satisfy their needs? Should such women seek to satisfy their sexual desires in unlawful ways like adultery, fornication, and lesbian activities or else? Truly, also, the abundance of women without husbands, or males to care for them, helped spread corruption and illegitimate sexual activities in the society.

5. As a consequence of war also, there are many widows, divorcees and old maids in societies. What is better for such women in this case: to remain single and suffer all the consequences of life and its demanding needs, or to accept to be a second wife with an honest, protective, honorable and chaste man?

Polygamy does exist in all modern societies. This is a general blanket statement, no doubt, but it is very true and valid one. In all other societies, other than the Muslims society, polygamy exists in the form of mistresses, sweethearts, girl friends, escort services, common law marriage, etc. These types of polygamy are widespread and have no end of forms. The only difference in that is the title, i.e. the title of the woman. In accordance to Islam, a second wife enjoys all the rights and privileges of the first wife. This is not the case in the modern society man-woman relationships, if it is not a marriage. These types of relationships do not oblige the man (who behaves completely as a husband in terms of co-habitation, marital relations, company, companionship, etc.) to do anything special for such a woman, support her financially, continue his relation with her, etc. Such a relationship has no legal backing (although some countries condone it and accept it as a common practice). This type of relationship between a man and a woman is merely a cheap pleasurable one. It has no merits of its own to stand on. It is meant for the fulfillment of the sexual interest of both parties only. It imposes no financial, social, or emotional obligations on either side at all. If the woman becomes pregnant, it is her own problem, and we all know that a child who is born out of the wedlock is labeled as "illegitimate" child, who is nothing but an added burden on the entire society. Man, generally, is not obliged to admit that the child is his, and is not obliged to take financial responsibility of the child.

As for the concept and the practice of polygamy in the Islamic society, it is restricted and limited to four wives only at all times. It must be performed legally and lawfully with a marriage contract, witnesses and the man must bear all financial burdens and responsibilities that arise from this marriage. The husband must pay a dowry for the woman to whom he marries, and must bear all expenses of the wife, her children, and the household. All children of this marriage are legitimate children who must be raised and cared for under the responsibility of both parents.

One may ask, "If we permit polygamy for men, why it is not permitted for women as well!" The answer to this question is as follows: Full equality between men and woman in polygamy is impossible due to natural and physical reasons, as we will explain.


Physically

Man, in virtually most societies of the world, has the authority over the household. Just for the sake of discussion: if a woman has two or more husbands, who will have the authority and leadership of the house? Yet, again, whose desires shall the woman fulfill, the first or the second man? It is definitely impossible for a woman to fulfill all the men's desires, needs and requests. If the woman preferred one over the other, all will be angry and upset.


Naturally

Woman can only become pregnant once a year, if any. She can get pregnant by one man only. But, man, on the other hand could have more than one child from more than one woman in the same year, if he has more than one wife. Moreover, if woman is allowed to be married to more than one man, who will be the real father of the child in case of pregnancy, and how would that be determined?


Western Thinkers Demand Polygamy

We would like here to present some statements of the Western thinkers who demanded polygamy and considered it the only solution for many problems of their societies.

Gustave Le Bond, the well-known French thinker says in his book Arab Civilization: "Polygamy enables the society social crisis, prevents the mistresses problem and cures the society from illegitimate children."

Anni Peasant, in her book Indian Religions says:[80] "I read in the Old Testament that the closest friend to Allah, whose heart acts upon the Will of Allah, was polygamous."

Moreover, the New Testament did not forbid polygamy except for priests or ministers of the church, who were demanded to keep and maintain one wife only. Old Indian religious books also permitted polygamy. It is easy, however, to criticize others in their religious practices. And that what made people accuse Islam and attack it for the permission of polygamy.

However, it is strange that Westerners are against restricted and limited polygamy of the Muslims, while they suffer from wide scale prostitution in their own societies. A close examining look at the Western society illustrates that only a few pure, chaste and honest men respect their clean marital relationships and honor their marriage to one single wife and have no other sexual relationships outside marriage.

It is an incorrect and inaccurate statement, therefore, to prescribe to a community in which the men maintain a single marriage, if they are indeed having mistresses, girl friends and other means of sexual relationships outside the marriage to a legal and lawful wife. If we are to be fair and just, we can see that polygamy in Islam protects, honors, maintains and respects women in the society. Polygamy is better than the Western prostitution that permits a man to have a mistress or a girl friend to fulfill his sexual desires with no respect to the feelings, emotions, needs and honor of the women. The man will disown that woman as soon as he gets his satisfaction. The man has no social commitment or obligation towards the mistress or the girl friend who fulfills his sexual needs and give him the company he needs temporarily. Yes, "it is acceptable to declare that both polygamy and fornication or prostitution are bad and unacceptable, but it is unfair for the non-muslims to blame a Muslim for doing the same thing that he does while his society accepts and condones."

Jawid, the well-known English scholar, says: "The stiff British system which prevents polygamy is an unfair and unacceptable system. It severely hurts approximately two million women who have become old maids. These women have lost their youth and were deprived having children. Thus, these women were forced to throw away the moral values as one throws the pit of the date."[81]

Mobenar, a member of the French Parliament noted: "There are two and a half million French girls now who cannot find a husband, if we assume that every French young man will marry only one woman. I frankly declare what I truly believe is true that 'a woman will not enjoy a healthy life unless she becomes a mother.' I believe that any law which passes a judgment that such a big number of the members of the society should live opposing, contradicting and neglecting to fulfill the natural laws of man on the Earth is but a cruel and savage law that contradicts the simplest meaning of justice and fairness."[82]

In 1959, the United Nations published a special publication illustrating:[83] "This publication has proved by numbers and statistics that the entire world is now facing a growing problem of illegitimate children, as opposed to legitimate children. The number of illegitimate children has increased 60% in some countries. In Panama, for instance, the percentage of illegitimate births soared to 75% of the total number of births in the country. This means that three out of every four children are illegitimate, born outside the wedlock. The highest percentage of illegitimate births is stated to be in Latin America. In the meantime, the publication proves and indicates that the number of illegitimate births in the Islamic world is almost nil (in comparison with other countries). The editor of the publication goes on to say 'Islamic countries are protected against such social problems and disease due to the fact that the people practice polygamy.'"


Testimony of Women

Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) stated in the Glorious Quran (1:282) which the meaning of is translated as: “And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her.” Allah illustrated in this verse testimonies to assure the rights of others will not be valid unless two men, or one man and two women offer them.

Divine wisdom has granted women, in general, very sensitive emotions, tender feelings, tender care and love. This makes a woman capable of her natural task of childbearing, nursing, taking care of all the needs of the raised child, full custody of the child at the early age of life, etc. These responsibilities require a very big heart, tremendous care, deep emotional involvement and very strong love.

Based on this emotional fact of the woman, she might very well follow her emotional inclinations and swerve from reality, due to her emotional involvement in a case. A woman's loving and very kind feelings might overcome what she has witnessed, and thus she may distort the story of her witness and testimony. Therefore, a divine precautionary measure was established to eliminate any emotional involvement of a woman in any case of testimony or witness in serious, critical and extremely dangerous cases, such as murders and other serious crimes and offenses. If a woman is present at a crime where a murder is being committed, she might close her eyes to avoid seeing such an awful crime taking place. A woman who witnesses such a serious crime also may attempt to run away and escape the crime as well. A woman who witnesses such serious crimes are most likely to be emotionally affected and touched, which may result in loss of temper and composure. This, of course, shall affect the woman's testimony if she is called as a witness to testify about the crime. We would like to point out here also one of the essential principles of the legal and judicial system in Islam which is: "A capital punishment in Islam may be removed, or considered inapplicable, if a doubt arises in the case (or in the crime which is committed)."

Islam has granted women full financial freedom in terms of independence and financial decision making, and made her exactly equal to men in that regard. However, woman's natural role in life, in raising children and caring for the family requires her to stay in the house for longer and extended periods.

It is not as some individuals claim: "Calling two women testimonies and witnesses is an insult to the woman's intelligence and a dishonor to her integrity." If that were the case, a single woman's testimony would not be acceptable also in the private affairs of women. Islam accepts a single woman's testimony in confirming the virginity of a woman, a delivery of a child, clarification of female sexual defects and other matters which mandate examination of a woman's private parts due to a dispute. On the other hand, Islam rejects one single man's testimony in the least significant financial matters such as lending or borrowing funds and other transactions. In fact, the previously stated cases of acceptable single women's testimony are far more important than what men are shoulders in that area. Therefore, we should realize that a single woman's testimony in serious matters is established in order to preserve and prove the due rights of various individuals in the society, based on that testimony.

Moreover, we would like to point out here that testimony in itself is not a privilege or an honor. It is rather a burden that many male and female attempt to avoid in any society. Therefore, Allah commanded people to offer their testimonies and not to try to escape or withhold it, as they will be asked about it on the Day of Judgment. Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), stated in the Glorious Quran (2:281) which the meaning of is translated as: “And the witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (for evidence).”

The address here is general, for both male and female. Many people all over the world try to avoid becoming a witness and attempt not to be involved in offering testimonies due to the fact that there is a great burden and bother in that. One is required to go to the court, sit on the witness stand, take an oath to tell the truth, be cross-examined and many other burdens. Financial and physical burdens may result from offering witness and testimony. A witness may be assassinated in some odd cases. Islam therefore aims at eliminating many of these burdens from the woman in terms of testimony.

In Islam a woman is not required to spend on the family and take charge and become financially responsible for the household (unless she wants to participate willingly), as this is the responsibility of the man. Islam meant for the woman to dedicate herself, her soul, her time and her efforts to the major task of "the maintenance of the human race and the generations."

One man's testimony, on the other hand, is not acceptable in financial matters. There should be two male witnesses to prove the financial right of a claimant. No one, that we know of, considers this act as an insult on the man's intelligence and contrary his rights.

Moreover, Islam considers the testimony of a wife exactly equal to the testimony of her husband, when a husband accuses his wife with committing adultery if he has no evidence. Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) stated in the Glorious Quran (24:6-9) which the meaning of is translated as: “As for those who accuse their wives, but have no witnesses except themselves, let the testimony of one of them be for four testimonies (i.e., testifies four times) by Allah that he is one of those who speak the truth. And the fifth (testimony) (should be) the invoking of the Curse of Allah on him if he be of those who tell a lie (against her). But it shall avert the punishment (of stoning to death) from her, if she bears witness four times by Allah, that he (her husband) is telling a lie. And the fifth (testimony) should be that the Wrath of Allah be upon her if he (her husband) speaks the truth.”


Financial and Moral Responsibilities of the Household

Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) stated in the Glorious Quran (4:34) which the meaning of is translated as: “Men are protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.”

Financial and moral responsibilities of a household require a strong personality, precision and decisiveness in decision-making, etc. Managing, directing and running the household affairs, in accordance with Islam, is the man's responsibility, and not the woman's. The physical and mental make-up of men qualify them to take charge of these responsibilities. This responsibility is granted to man due to natural qualifications, as explained earlier, and due to earned reasons as well. Man, in accordance with Islam, is required to take care of the household financially, physically, emotionally and otherwise. Man, in accordance with Islam again, is demanded to protect the woman, take care of her needs, and secure all the needs of the entire household. The man is a responsible "guardian" of his own household, and he will be asked about "his herd", so to speak, as we have been taught by Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

A woman, on the other hand, is weaker in comparison with man. Due to many things that happen to her physically and take place during her lifetime such as bearing children, delivery, nursing, child-care and custody, etc. She is not as qualified as man to take charge of the entire household responsibilities. This is, of course, no insult to her at all.

Menses, additionally, affect women drastically due to the amount of blood loss every month. Pregnancy subjects women to tremendous pain and sufferings (but it still enjoyable and wanted by most women on Earth). During pregnancy, women are more fatigue and the slightest effort will negatively affect them. During pregnancy, women are more concerned with the fetus than their own selves. A pregnant woman also worries about her delivery, whether it is going to be a normal delivery or cesarean section where she suffers a surgery in addition to the suffering of the pregnancy itself. Also, a pregnant woman expresses too much concern with the welfare of the baby whether such a baby would be normal, healthy or else. All these concerns affect the mentality of a woman and will be reflected in her life, attitude and behavior.


Childbirth

Women require a confinement period for rest after delivery. Women suffer a lot of pain throughout their pregnancy and delivery. The after-birth confinement period calls for a full rest mentally and physically for a period that varies from a woman to a woman.


Child Nursing

A nursing mother donates or gives a certain portion of her digested food to her nursing child. This process affects the nursing mother's health. Many nursing women suffer hair loss, anemia, dizziness and general fatigue during the nursing period (that could last until the child is three years old if not weaned). Moreover, childcare and custody require a lot of effort and hard work from the mother and it is a very time-consuming process.

'Abbas Mahmoud al-'Akkad, the well-known Egyptian writer, notes: "Women have a very special emotional make-up that does not resemble the emotional make-up of man. The companionship of a little infant or child requires a lot of similarity and resemblance between the child's mentality and his companion, the mother. She has to understand what he wants, what he needs and how he thinks and feels. Therefore, and based on these facts, a woman is much more responsive to emotions. This makes it difficult for a woman when compared with man in terms of being firm, fierce and determined when needed."[84]

Dr. Alex Liberelle, a Nobel Prize winner, says while illustrating the natural organic differences between man and woman:[85] "Matters that differentiate between man and woman are not limited to sexual organs, the presence of the womb and pregnancy. These matters are also not limited to the difference of teaching methods of man and woman. In fact, these differences are of basic nature. The tissues of the body in both male and female are different. The chemistry of the bodies is also different in both. Certain glands excrete certain secretions that are only suitable for a specific gender. The woman is completely different from man in terms of the chemical material secreted from the ovary inside the woman's body."

Those who call for complete equality between men and women do not understand these basic facts and essential differences (or else they ignore them). Callers and defenders of women's equal rights demand the same type of education to be given to both male and female regardless of their sexes, and to be offered the same type of jobs, tasks, responsibilities and positions. Woman's nature and essential physical make-up, however, differs completely from that of man. Every body cell of the woman has a feminine quality. Due to this reason, we see that the organs of both men and women are different from each other completely.

The same applies on the women's nervous system as well. We must realize that the rules and regulations of the nervous system are strict and accurate as that of the astronomical rules and regulations. They are extremely precise. There is no way to alter, modify or change these rules and regulations. We must accept these rules and regulations as they are and not attempt to change them. We should not seek any unnatural imposition on them. Women must build up their talents based on their own natural gifts, and they must not imitate men.

There is another point that we should bring up here. The muscles of men are naturally more powerful than those of women. This is a well-established fact. Men can perform more tedious, tiring, laborious and manual jobs, while women, most of the times, are not prepared for comparable work performance. Thus, men are more naturally equipped and qualified to assume the role of leadership over the household in general, and over women, in particular.


Women's Right of Inheritance

Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), stated in the Glorious Quran (4:11) which the meaning of is translated as: “Allah commands you as regards your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females...”

Those who misunderstood Islam claim that Islam does injustice to women in terms of inheritance. How could it be fair to grant the male (son) a portion equal to two portions of that of the female, (although they are brother and sister of the same parents)? Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), offered a full and detailed method of women's inheritance in the Glorious Quran. Allah has stated three cases for women's inheritance as follows:

A woman will have an equal share as that of the man.
A woman will have an equal share to that of the man, or maybe a little less.
A woman will have half the share of man, which is the most common case.
Those who are interested in further details about this subject may review lengthy discussion in the books about inheritance in Islam. In fact there is a special branch of Islamic knowledge called "Estate Division Science" that deals with all the different ways of dividing an inheritance, the proper share of all relatives which called "Estate-Division and Inheritance" close and distant, etc.

In fact, one must be fair and just. Prior to passing any judgment about "unfair treatment of Islam to women in terms of inheritance", one must examine this subject closely, before making any comment. The following is a simple example of the way Islam passes a verdict to distribute the wealth of deceased among his heirs: "A man passed away leaving a son and a daughter. The deceased left a sum of US$ 3000.00 for his heirs. In this case, and in accordance with Islamic rules of estate division, the son is entitled to US$ 2000.00 and the daughter's share is US$ 1000.00"

Let us examine the heirs' situation after the death of the father. The son's share of inheritance is decreasing because he has to pay a dowry (if he intends to get married). He is also required to furnish his house for the marriage and he is also required to take care of all the needs of his household in terms of their expenses. The son is also required to take care of his widow mother, grandparents (if still alive) and other poor and needy relatives. The daughter, on the other hand, is not required to spend any of her inherited money (unless she pleases), even if she is a wealthy and rich person. If she gets married she is entitled to a dowry from her husband. The husband is required to secure all her financial needs as well, in terms of house expenses, health care, childcare and all other financial obligations of the family.

Therefore, it is the man's responsibility to take care of all the financial needs of the woman and his entire family according to his means. The daughter portion of inheritance will increase, rather than decrease, if she gets married and receives a dowry from the husband. She will be entitled to all living expenses in terms of accommodation, food, health-care, child-care and all, from her husband. Man, however, is even required to pay alimony and child support, in case of divorce or separation. A female heir is entitled to do as she desires with her wealth, funds and money. She may invest her share of the inheritance or do as she please with it. Thus, this example illustrates that the daughter's share of the inheritance remains intact, while the man's share is spent for many lawful and valid reasons due to financial responsibilities and obligations that he undertakes in this life. The woman, at least theoretically, is entitled to maintain her share of the inheritance.

Islamic laws and teachings differ from all other national and international legal systems all over the world. In some societies, the father does not carry any financial responsibilities for his own daughter, or son for that matter, after a certain age. The son and daughter are required to take care of their own financial needs and arrangements. According to Islam, a father, (or even a brother after the death of the father) is required to take care of the entire financial needs of a daughter (or sister) until she is married. From the time a female marries, her financial responsibilities are her husband's obligation, according to Islamic teachings. In the meantime, laws that equalize the inheritance share for both male and female heirs require them to bear equal financial obligations and responsibilities as well.

Therefore, demanding a "fair", "just" or "equal" share of inheritance to both male and female Muslims who do not have equal financial obligations and responsibilities is an unfair and unjust demand. Thus, it is only fair and just to give preference to a male heir, in light of the previous discussion, over the female heir from the inheritance of the father, mother or else according to Islam. Man and woman, according to Islam, do not shoulder the same financial obligations and responsibilities. Therefore, it will be unfair to grant them equal inheritance, as decided upon by Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala). Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), relieved woman from all financial stresses, constraints, responsibilities and obligations, and honored the woman by making her entitled to get all what she needs, have her attended to by her husband, brother, or son. All male members of the family are required and obliged to bear any financial burden of the female members of the family. Yet, a female is entitled, by Islamic laws, to a half share of the portion of that of the male inheritance. This is only fair and just, we believe.

One important thing we should point out concerning the law of inheritance of Islam is that "every male and/or female heir has a specified share of inheritance that he/she is entitled for; and one cannot deprive the heir his/her share of the inheritance." This is unlike the British Law which can grant the owner freedom insofar as his bequest is concerned based upon a will he/she makes before his/her death. Such a will may deprive all the legal and lawful heirs from the inheritance of their relatives. However, in accordance with Islamic teachings, man is entitled to limit only one third of his/her legacy in a will, and cannot exceed this set limit.

Moreover, in accordance with Islam, all expenses resulting from "blood-money" are shouldered by the men of the family. Women do not bear the responsibility of the "blood-money".

Gustave Le Bond says in his book Arab Civilization: "The principles of inheritance which have been determined in the Glorious Quran have a great deal of justice and fairness. The person who reads the Glorious Quran can perceive these concepts of justice and fairness in terms of inheritance through the verses I quoted. I should also point out the great level of efficiency in terms of general laws and rules derived from these verses. I have compared British, French and Islamic Laws of inheritance and found that Islam grants the wives, whom are considered by Westerners to be ill-treated and that Muslims are not fair in treating their wives (and women in general) are entitled to inheritance rights that are lacking in our laws."


Blood Money

Islam stipulates that blood money is to be paid for a woman's murder as half of that which is paid for a man. This is of course when a Muslim woman is killed by accident, rather than a capital crime.

As for murder, which requires capital punishment, both male and female are equal in the sight of the Islamic laws in this case, as both male and female are equal in terms of human rights. However, in the case of accidental killing where the blood-money paid to the heirs of the victim is half of that paid for a man's killing, it is due to the damage done to the family of that man after his death. The family whose breadwinner is killed loses the person who is financially responsible for the entire family, although a man's emotional care of the family is not comparable to that of the woman's.

As for the family members whose mother is killed accidentally, they only miss, mainly, their mother's love, caring and affection, matters which most men cannot provide. However, the financial situation should not be effected that much with the loss of the mother. Of course, there is no wealth or financial compensation which can substitute for a mother's love, caring and affection.

The blood money in itself is not a price, a value or even a true compensation for the killed person. It is only the least assessment of the damage caused to the family of the killed person, whether it is a father or a mother of a family. Thus, the blood money set forth for a woman to be half of that determined for the man is self-explanatory.


Women's Right to Work

Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), created all of mankind from a single male and female. He, also placed love and affection for one another between them, so as to cooperate to construct this world the way we see it now. He, (subhanahu wa ta'ala), specified man, the male, with power, strength and endurance in order that he may seek provisions. In the meantime, Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) specified the female, the woman, and equipped her with what it takes to reproduce the progeny of mankind. She is well equipped with necessary apparatus to bear children, deliver them, nurse them and care for them.

Consequently, the woman has been endowed with love, kindness, care, sympathy, care and affection in order to carry out her hard duties with a smile on her face and with pride and dignity. Thus, based on this natural preparation and delegation of responsibilities, and based on the unique specifications of both male and female, it is only natural for man to be prepared to work outside the house, and earn the bread of the family. On the other hand, it is only natural for the woman, the female, to work inside the house and take care for its needs in general.

Islam does not, however, deprive the woman from the right to work. In fact, Islam permits the woman to directly conduct her business contracts and financial transactions. All such contracts and transactions are sound and valid in the sight of Islamic Laws and teachings and they are in no need of the approval of the husband, the father or any other guardian. Islam, however, organized these transactions and set rules and conditions for them. If any of these set conditions is not observed, the permission given to the woman to practice this right will be rendered null and void, and the woman will become forbidden to use her right:

Woman's work outside her house must not conflict with her duties and responsibilities inside her house, for her husband and children. As we all know, woman is entitled to certain specific rights from her husband, and man is entitled to a certain and specific rights from his wife. Both also owe their children certain and specific rights that must not be wasted either.

A woman must work with other women. She must not work in a co-ed. environment where she comes into physical contact with other men. Lady Cook, the well-known English writer says in New Echo: "Men like (and prefer) the co-ed. environment. Thus, women are lured to something that contradicts with their human nature. The greater the co-ed. environment (between male and female), the more illegitimate children the society will have and produce. There is the greatest disaster..."[86] In his book, International Peace and Islam, late Sayed Qutub says: "It is the right of both man and woman, to feel satisfied with each other as companions. Neither one of them should be subjected to temptation by the other in such a way that one would be emotionally (and physically) deviated, if not dragged fully into sin and drift towards immoral decay. Such actions will definitely threaten the precious and holy ties between them. In fact, there will be no room for trust and confidence in one another. The deviation resulting from this morality drift is due to the co-ed. relationships which appear to be increasing day by day. As women walk freely wearing all kinds of attractive, short, tempting clothing, that do not modestly cover their bodies but rather show their attractions, wicked minded men, people with low moral values and people with weak faith will abuse women and attack their chastity. Regardless of what some individuals say about co-ed. environments, as it softens the hearts and minds of people. It is a real threat and danger to morality and moral values of the society. Regardless of what they claim, as co-ed. provides both sexes with the necessary experience that is needed for a long lasting marital tie, it is really nothing but nonsense. Many marriages are failing and ending with divorce and broken homes even after full knowledge of one party to the other. Many are the illegitimate sexual relationships in societies that believe in co-ed. as a way of life. The percentage of pregnant high school girls, as a result of a free co-ed. society reached 48% in one high school in the United States. A look at the broken homes which were erected on the so called love and free choice, increased drastically between the years of 1890 and 1948 as follows: 1890 = 6%, 1900 = 10%, 1914 = 14%, 1930 = 14%, 1940 = 20%, 1946 = 30% and in 1948 = 40%, and it is still on the rise."

The job or the work that the woman performs outside her house must be, in the first place, a lawful job that suits the nature of the woman. A woman, for instance, must not be involved in heavy industrial jobs, actual combat in a military, and other jobs to which men are more inclined such as sewer cleaning, general maintenance, street cleaning, road construction, etc. The question that poses itself here is: Why does the woman work? If a woman is working to earn her own living expenses, Islam has preserved this right for her. Islam obliges the father to take care of the entire financial needs and obligations of his daughter until she marries. Upon marriage, the woman's financial needs and obligations (and her children's needs) must be born by her husband. If the husband dies, while the father of the wife is still alive, then the father must resume the financial responsibilities of his daughter, and her children, again, as he did before her marriage. If the father is no longer living and the woman has children who are adults and earning, then the financial needs and responsibilities of the mother becomes her son's. If woman's children are minors and cannot provide for the family, then, the financial obligations and responsibilities of the widow must be born, in accordance with Islam, by her brothers, if they are available. If the woman has no brothers, then her financial responsibilities lie with the nearest of kin and relatives. Therefore, we notice that woman's financial needs, (at least theoretically and in accordance with the Islamic teachings) are assured for her from life to death, throughout her entire life, and she is not demanded to work. This is mainly done and arranged for the woman to concentrate on her most paramount social mission and duty; to take care of the house, to raise children, to take good care of the needs of the entire family members, a mission which requires great efforts, many sacrifices and devotion. The well-known English scholar Samuel Smiles, one of the pillars of the English renaissance says:[87] "The system that has required women to work in factories and industrial areas, regardless of the national wealth it brings, has destroyed the family life. It has attacked, in fact, the basic structures and foundations of the house and destroyed the essential pillars of the family. It has cut and destroyed social ties as well. Stripping the wife from her husband (by spending long hours working in factories), and depriving children of their rights for proper tender and maternal care, has resulted in lower moral values for the woman. The real job and profession of a woman is to raise a good, sound and moral family. She is mainly required to take care of house responsibilities, home economics and other domestic needs. Work in factories has stripped the woman, as we pointed earlier, of all these responsibilities which changed the looks and the realities of inside the home. Children, as well, were often neglected and raised with no sound standards. The love and affection between husband and wife were somewhat extinguished. The woman no longer became the sought, wanted, admired and loved to man, after he got used to seeing her in the factory next to him doing the same thing he does. Woman became under many influences and pressures that changed her mentality and thinking pattern on which moral values and virtues were established." In fact, the First Lady of South Africa calls for the return of woman to the home saying: "The most natural place for woman is her own home. The main task and responsibility for a woman must be to care for her husband and attend to the needs of her children."[88] She also said in an address to a women's conference in the capital of South Africa: "The main task and responsibility for a woman must be to care for her husband and attend to the needs of her children…This is our duty in society. It is a duty in which we should take special pride as it produces successful men and sound generations."

Divorce Power Is with Man

We have to realize, in the first place, that Islam hates and dislikes divorce. Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says: “The most hated and disliked act in the Sight of Allah, although it is lawful, is divorce.”[89]

He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was further reported as saying: “May Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), curse a man who often practices divorce after each new marriage.”[90]

Islam, on the other hand, mandates that preliminary solutions must be sought for most disputes that occur inside the house between a husband and a wife in order to avoid divorce. Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), stated in the Glorious Quran (4:128) which the meaning of is translated as: “And if a women fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no sin on both of them if they make terms of peace between themselves; and making peace is better...”

The most natural and logical way to this peace is to let the man have control over the divorce process, and not the woman. Man is financially obliged to take care of his wife, household and family. The man is the one who pays the dowry, bears the financial responsibilities and burdens of the entire household, under normal conditions, and takes care of housing and accommodation, …etc. Thus, he should be theoretically entitled to terminate the marital life if he is willing, ready and prepared to take such a huge loss financially and emotionally that results from a divorce. The husband must be fully aware that he will lose the dowry he spent for the marriage, the alimony and child support, and the expenses of a new marriage.

Additionally, man is more capable, theoretically, of controlling his temper, emotions and personal reactions if upset about large or small issues in life, especially in terms of disputes with his wife. The husband should never seek divorce as a first solution to end his daily suffering with his wife. Divorce to man is the final solution when life becomes catastrophic, meaningless, problematic and can no longer be tolerated with his wife.

However, the woman has the right to divorce herself from her husband in accordance to the Islamic teachings, provided that she has stipulated this before consummating the marriage, and the husband approves it.

Moreover, Islam permits the wife to be divorced from her husband upon request if the husband abuses her by using foul language, insulting manner of speech or beating. Also, she will be entitled to divorce if the husband is impotent and cannot perform his marital duties, or if he chooses not to have sexual intercourse with his wife and fulfill her needs, or if he contracts a terminal illness after the marriage, or he contracts syphilis or any other venereal diseases that may harm the wife or, at least, make her loose her desire to be with that man.

Islam conveys a perfect understanding and appreciation of human nature. Woman, in certain incidents, is given the right to seek separation from her husband, exactly as man has the right. If a wife reaches the extreme limits and hates her husband wholeheartedly and feels she can no longer live with him in any circumstances, then she has the right to divorce. This form of divorce is called "Khul'a"; it is made at the insistence of the wife who must pay compensation to her divorced husband. A Muslim judge will look into the case if the husband refuses to accept the wife's request. In most cases, the judge will pass a sentence in favor of the women.

Selecting and choosing the right and most suitable wife is a very difficult task. It is, however, much more difficult to choose and select a husband. Furthermore, the husband may be able to seek divorce from his wife if he realizes that she was not suitable. This practice, however, is not as easy to achieve for a woman.

Woman remains the weak side in all human societies. Islam therefore exerts every effort to protect the woman, preserve her rights and seek every possible means to take care of her. Islam demands the father, the mother, the uncles from both sides, the grandfathers, brothers and all other relatives to help select, choose and pick the right and most suitable husband for their females. The woman must not be the victim of a failed marriage because she will suffer the most harms. Islam therefore requires a guardian for the female, a "Wali", in order for the marriage to be sound and valid in accordance with Islamic teachings. If a guardian is not readily available, a substitute must be sought. Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated: “A marriage is not valid without a guardian [for the woman].”[91]

A guardian, usually, is concerned with his ward and her well being. This, by no means, is a denial of the woman's freedom to do what she likes, i.e. to choose and select her own husband. Islam, indeed, has granted the virgin woman, as well as the divorcee and widow, the right to accept or reject any person who proposes to marry her. Islam does not permit the female's guardian, whoever he might be, to impose or apply pressure on her to force her to accept any person who proposes a marriage, or even to reject such a proposition. Physical or mental pressures are not condoned in terms of requesting or forcing the female to get married. This is based on the statement of Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “A divorcee (or a widow) must not be wed unless she is asked permission (and approval). And a virgin woman must not be wed (or offered for marriage) unless she is consulted.”[92]

If a woman is forced to accept a marriage, she is entitled, in accordance to Islamic teachings, to present her case before a Muslim judge to seek a verdict. This is based on the statement of Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), when a woman, called al-Khansa bint Khitham, came complaining to him that her father made her marry someone (just to remove a shame he suffered due to the fact that she was divorced). The (divorcee) woman came complaining to Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), that her father forced her to marry, although she was divorced, and she hated that marriage. Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) disapproved of that marriage and considered it invalid.[93]

Similarly, Islam requires the acceptance of the woman and her approval of the marriage to a certain man, as it requires the presence of a male guardian for the marriage validity in order to complete a marriage contract.

Islam truly urged Muslims to marry and encouraged Muslims to seek settlement in a marriage. The major goal of marriage in accordance with Islam, however, is to establish an everlasting relationship between a male and a female rather than a temporary relationship that aims at temporal and quick satisfaction of any kind. The female, i.e. the wife in this case, is the second partner in this partnership, hence, her acceptance, approval and condoning of the marriage is also required.

However, as women are more emotional, in general, than men, and are easily affected with various matters around them, and in common, women are easily tempted with the appearance of things, rather reality of things, Islam gave the right to the guardian to refuse and reject a person who proposes to marry a woman if he is not a sound match for her. Generally, men are more acquainted with other men than women. A man is more capable of finding out more about the characteristics of a man than a woman. But, if an appropriate man who is a sound and good match for a woman proposed marriage but the guardian refused for no valid reason except being stubborn or impossible, then the guardianship will be withheld by Islamic law, and will be given to the nearest male relative of the woman. If the woman has no male relatives, then the Muslim Judge will assume the responsibility of guardianship for that woman and offer her in marriage to the person who proposes marriage to her.

Islam forbids the woman to marry a man who is not a sound and good match for her in terms of social status as such a marriage might bring shame and indignity to the family. Moreover, a forced marriage that is not done with the family's approval will end up splitting the family members and cutting relationships, a matter that Islam does not condone or promote. Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), urges Muslims to maintain, support and strengthen family ties as much as possible.

Muslims believe that the true measurement of a matching marriage is the statement of Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “If a person accepts his commitment to Islam and is of good morals standards proposes a marriage to you, then grant him the requested marriage. If you fail to do so, great affliction will take place on earth and corruption will be widespread.”[94]

A man with a sound and good understanding to his Islamic commitment, and good moral standards will honor his wife and dignify her if he loves her. Such a person will not humiliate his wife if he does not feel a true and deep love for her after marriage.


Travel Without Immediate Male Escort

Islam forbids a woman (single or married) to travel alone without the escort of an immediate unmarriageable relative companion [Mahram] such as a husband, a son, a brother, a father, a nephew, an uncle, etc. Such a relative, other than the husband, must be one of those whom she permanently cannot marry due to his immediate blood relationship to her. Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “A woman must not travel alone without a male companion of her immediate relatives to whom she can never get married [mahram][95]. Any man must not enter the house of a woman unless there is a male relative (Mahram ) in the house. A man stood up and asked Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): O Allah's Apostle! My wife set out on a Hajj, pilgrimage trip, while I have registered my name to participate in a battle, what should I do? Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), said: Go and perform Hajj with your wife.”[96]

Perhaps a person will argue that this regulation restricts the freedom of the woman and overrides her rights. This is what jumps to mind right away. If, however, we understand the reason behind it we may change our opinion. We can easily remove this misconception about Islam if we realize that Islam intends to maintain and preserve the dignity of the woman and not the opposite. Traveling, generally, requires many hardships. Women, by nature, are, at least physically, weaker than men are, as we illustrated earlier. This is due to reasons of pregnancy, menses, child nursing and childcare. Women are also weaker psychologically than men. They are easily inclined to follow their emotions rather than facts. Women also are easily affected with environment and surroundings.

Therefore, a woman is in need for someone to care for her, protect her and maintain her needs while traveling. There are many wicked minded and evil men around the world who are willing to take advantage of a weak woman who is alone or traveling alone. Such wicked-minded men are either interested in the wealth of a single woman, her body and physical attractions, or both. A woman is an easy target for wicked-minded men and an easy victim as well due to her physical and emotional make-up. A woman is in need for a man to help her secure all her needs, take care of her and provide all needed care, security and attention in order not to become in need of a stranger, who might very well take advantage of her needs. A 'Mahram' of a woman in Islam will fulfill all the needs of a woman, gladly and with a smile on his face, as this is a rewarded duty by Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala).

A Mahram therefore is like a sincere, honest, fully paid servant for a woman, at no extra charge to her. He is also a protector, a caretaker and a companion who will provide her with maximum care, protection and service. A Mahram will also provide a protecting shield for a woman against wicked minded and evil people who would like to take advantage of a single woman at any cost.

Who would think, after all, forbidding a woman to travel alone is a humiliating factor and an insult to her honor, dignity, pride and intelligence? It is, in fact, an honor to find a willing man to serve, protect and give decent moral and meaningful companionship to a traveling woman, free of charge.


Women's Beating

Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), stated in the Glorious Quran (4:34) which the meaning of is translated as: “...As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Most High, Most Great.”

Islam, in fact, forbids beating women and warns strictly against it. This is due to the general basic fact that women, in general, are physically weaker than men in their physical make-up are. Women are usually unable to defend themselves against beating. However, although beating of women is forbidden, Islam permitted it in restricted and very limited occasions and only when it is required as a final treatment of a persistent situation, i.e. when a wife disobeys her husband's instructions for no visible and acceptable valid reason.

In the verse we quoted from the Glorious Quran, Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) dealt with the case of a wife who disobeys her husband's commands and instructions. The treatment of this extremely sensitive issue comes on gradual stages, as we have noticed from the verse. Medicine, or treatment of any ailment, can be very bitter at times. But an ill person will take the remedy gladly and bear the bitterness of the medicine in order to be cured from his illness. The remedy to treat a disobedient wife, as we have noticed, comes on three gradual stages, as illustrated by Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) in the Glorious Quran.

First stage: The stage of advice, counseling and warning against Allah's penalty. A husband must remind his disobedient wife with the importance of following the instructions of the husband in Islam. This stage is a very kind and easy one. But, if this treatment does not work and prove not effective, then comes the next stage.

Second stage: To leave the wife's bed. Or, if one sleeps in the same bed with her, he will turn his back to her, not touch her, talk to her and have intercourse with her. This stage, as noticed, combines both strictness and kindness, although it is a very harsh practice on both. But, if this treatment does not work, then turn to the final stage of discipline below.

Third and final stage: Beating without hurting, breaking a bone, leaving blue or black marks on the body and avoiding hitting the face, at any cost. The purpose of beating here is a disciplinary action and not retaliation or hurting by any means. It is to let the wife know that her behavior, conduct and attitude towards her husband are not acceptable. Beating, in this case, and according to Islamic teachings, is restricted and limited to be a form of treatment only. Beating a wife is not meant to be a form of humiliation, a form of forcing and compelling the woman to do things against her own will, or a means of hurting her physically. In fact, it is reported that Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), one of the leading companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and a scholar of early Muslims, hit only with the (Siwak) the natural wooden root that is used for brushing the teeth. Islam forbids severe beating as punishment. This treatment is proved to be very effective with two types of women, as psychologists have determined:

The first type: Controlling or mastering women. These are the type of women who like to control, master and run the affairs of their husbands by pushing them around, commanding them and give them orders.

The second type: Submissive, or subdued women. These women enjoy being beaten. G. A. Holdfield, a European psychologist, in his book Psychology and Morals states the following: "The instinct of submission strengthen at times, in the human being so much that a submissive person will enjoy seeing someone overpowering him, over-ruling him and being cruel to him. Such a submissive person bears the consequences of his submission due to the fact that he enjoys the pain. This is a well spread instinct amongst women even if they do not realize it. For this very reason, women are well known being more forbearing to pain than men. A wife of this type of women becomes more attracted to and admiring of her husband when he beats her. Nothing, on the other hand, will sadden some women, such as, much as a soft, very kind and very obedient husband who is never upset regardless of being challenged!"

Beating, in according to the Islamic teachings, is listed as the last and final stage of training, discipline and upbringing methods. Islam does not permit, allow or even condone beating unless the first two stages are proven to be ineffective methods of treatment. Moreover, beating must not be employed as a remedy if a wife prefers to be divorced.

Again, the beating of a wife must be in strict privacy. A wife must not be beaten before her children or any one else for that matter. Beating is considered a means of discipline and right upbringing. A father, for instance, may spank his child for doing something wrong. A teacher will also spank a student for doing something wrong, such as neglecting a homework, being late or tardy to class or school, cheating on the test, talking back to the teacher and so on. Striking here is a means of upbringing and discipline. That is why Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) illustrated at the end of the verse that deals with beating the disobedient wife that: “But if they return to obedience, seek not against them means [of annoyance]....” Glorious Quran (4:34) which the meaning of is translated as.

This assures that the three stages of discipline stated in the Glorious Quran are meant only for a good disciplining cause. Islam does not aim to destroy the family and causing it to become burdened with unnecessary pain, headache and problems. The true destruction of a family is when the wife becomes a victim of divorce.

In a recent statistics in Britain[97], it was declared that the number of wives whom have been brutally beaten by their husbands has risen from 6,400 in 1990 to 30,000 in 1992. This number jumped to 65,400 women in 1995. Statisticians expect this number to double 124,400 towards the end of the twentieth century! These statistics, as the report says, were based on information gathered from police department. But, what about the unreported cases of wife-beating, and women in general, which are not reported!

Mrs. Anni Besant stated[98], while comparing between Islamic Laws and Western legislation insofar as women's rights are concerned: "Islamic Laws are among the best laws known to the world, insofar as woman is concerned. It is the most fair and just legislation. It exceeds the Western legislation concerning real estate, inheritance and divorce laws. It acts as a guardian for women's rights. Phrases such as "One Wife is Sufficient for a man", and "Polygamy", mystified people and deviated them away from the real misery which Western women suffer and live. Many husbands left their wives after they have got what they wanted from them. In fact such men show no care, concern or mercy for their wives."




[73] "The Old Testament and the New Testament", published by American Old Testament Society, and the British Old Testament Society, Cairo, 1938.
[74] Which is also forbidden in Islam.
[75] Western Mark, (History of Marriage), rendered into Arabic by Abdul Hameed Al-Yunis.
[76] Abbas M. Al-'Akkad, Woman in the Glorious Quran.
[77] This Hadith was reported by Abu-Dawood.
[78] This Hadith was reported by Tirmithee.
[79] This Hadith was reported by Abu Dawood, al-Nasaiee, Al-Tirmithee and Ibn Majah.
[80] Al-Azhar University Magazine, Vol.8, page 291.
[81] Ahmad Abdul Aziz Al-Hussein, Woman and her Position in Islam.
[82] Ibid.
[83] Waheed-ud-Deen Khan, Islam Challenges.
[84] Woman in the Glorious Quran.
[85] Waheed-du-Deen Khan, Islam Challenges, page 168.
[86] Abdur Rahman Wasil, Youth Sexual and Emotional Problems under the Lights of the Islamic Jurisprudence, Dar-ul-Shorooq, 1406 H.
[87] Mostafa Al-Ghalayenee A Look at Women Purdah, published in Beirut, 1346 H., pages 94-5.
[88] Abdullah bin Wokaiyel Al-Shaikh, Woman's Work on the Scale.
[89] This Hadith is reported by Abu Dawood and Al-Hakim.
[90] This Hadith is reported Al-Tabaranee. The wording of this Hadith, however, is "Allah dislikes those who marry woman just to taste how they feel like..."
[91] This Hadith is reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Al-Tirmithee.
[92] This Hadith is reported by Bukhari and Muslim.
[93] This Hadith is reported by Bukhari, Abu-Dawood, Ibn Majah, Al-Nasaiee and Al-Tirmithee.
[94] This Hadith is reported by Tirmithee. Failing to honor the request of a person with good faith, practices, morals and character to marry, upon his request, may lead to moral corruption in the society and the community. Such a person may deviate from the clean and normal path of preserved and respected family practices and may go astray seeking to fulfill his sexual desires by unlawful means. This is what the general meaning of the Hadith of Allah's Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) means.
[95] "Mahram" is a male-relative of a woman who can see her in private, stay and travel with her, due to marital relation, if he is a husband, a father in-law, or a son in-law, or he is blood related to her and cannot marry her such as a father, a son, an uncle from either side, a grandfather from both sides, or a grandson or a nephew.
[96] This Hadith is reported by Bukhari and Muslim.
[97] Al-Usrah [Family] Magazine, Jumada I, 1416 H.
[98] The Life and Teachings of Mohammed Madras, 1932.
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