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Where Is Allah’s Justice for Women? Part 1

Questioner

Khadeeja

Reply Date

Mar 01, 2017

Question

As-salamu `alaykum, Is Islam unfair to married women? Muslims believe that one of the attributes of Allah the Almighty is that He is just to His creation. One aspect of His justice is the high status he has bestowed upon mothers. The mother is favored 3 times above the father for her immense self-sacrifice and love for her children. In comparison, the status of the woman as a wife seems much lower, despite the many rights and privileges she enjoys (inheritance, earnings, divorce … etc). Islam acknowledges that women have been created differently. They are physically weaker, and emotional in their responses. Men, on the other hand, are reasoned and more rational. Bearing in mind their totally different psychological makeup, why does Islam then judge them so harshly? As a wife, as a woman is expected to be totally serene at all times. She must bear the stresses and strains of looking after children and relatives, and also help her husband in his work if necessary. No matter if she is exhausted, depressed, or bored by any of this. She is not allowed to have a day off. She is not allowed to become irritated by any unreasonable demand of her husband. If she shows any displeasure towards him, the Qur'an advises him to rebuke, isolate, and as a last resort, beat her, though be it very lightly. Furthermore, her Prayers are not accepted if her husband is angry with her. This is surely a carte blanche for him to be as unreasonable as he likes. Burdened by the demands of caring for little children, there must be many times a woman is too tired for sex with her husband, but if she refuses in these circumstances, she is cursed by the Hoor in Heaven. The married woman is also expected to show utmost gratitude to her husband at all times. Islam tells us that the majority of women go to Hell due to their ingratitude to their husbands. Married women are advised to give lots of charity to avoid this. Since the ideal Muslim woman does not go out to work, how can she give lots of charity when she has no income of her own? Is she to ask her husband for money to give charity because she is not grateful enough to him? He would surely become angry with her! And then her Prayers would not be accepted! Throughout history men in all walks of life have oppressed women. However, in Islam this oppression of women is seen as far less sinful than women's ingratitude (however small) to their husbands. Furthermore, since most married women are also mothers, it follows that most mothers, despite their self-sacrifice, love, care, and the agony they experience in childbirth, will be in Hell. Why does Islam presume that all husbands are beyond reproach and that their wives must be punished? If they have been created differently, then surely Islam should make allowances for their emotional and hormonally driven natures. Can you explain how Islam's harsh expectations of married women equates with the absolute justice of Allah?

Consultant

Answer


Where Is Allah’s Justice for Women? Part 1 - About Islam

Salam Sister Khadeejah,

Thank you for your question.

Please find part one of the answer to your question below. Find the second and final part at the link here.

First of all, let me tell you that the justice of Allah Almighty is perfect justice; it does not allow for any kind of partisanship towards the male to the detriment of the female.

The Quran makes this perfectly clear.

{If any do deeds of righteousness,— be they male or female — and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them} (An-Nisaa’ 4:124)

Note: “And not the least injustice will be done to them.”

As Muslims, isn’t it our duty to accept the Word of Allah above all other considerations?

Read the following verses too:

{They ask your instruction concerning the women; say: Allah does instruct you about them: And (remember) what has been rehearsed unto you in the Book, concerning the orphans of women to whom you give not the portions prescribed, and yet whom you desire to marry, as also concerning the children who are weak and oppressed: that you stand firm for justice to orphans. There is not a good deed which you do, but Allah is well-acquainted therewith} (An-Nisaa’ 4:127)

Yet you have stated, “most mothers, despite their self sacrifice, love, care, and the agony they experience in childbirth, will be in Hell”.

But you yourself can see that the verses suggest something different. Particularly note: “there is not a good deed, which you do, but Allah is well-acquainted therewith.” And again,”And not the least injustice will be done to them.”

Now read the following verse:

{If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men’s souls are swayed by greed. But if you do good and practice self-restraint, Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do} (An-Nisaa’ 4:128)

The subject here is a negotiated settlement between husband and wife. And see that no precedence is given to the husband here; but a clear warning is given to men about their inclination to be greedy: “Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.”

This could be interpreted by some men as bias against them!

But again read this emphasis on justice:

{O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: For Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.} (An-Nisaa’ 4:135)

But you have written: “As a wife, a woman is expected to be totally serene at all times. She must bear the stresses and strains of looking after children and relatives, and also help her husband in his work if necessary.

No matter if she is exhausted, depressed, or bored by any of this. She is not allowed to have a day off. She is not allowed to become irritated by any unreasonable demand of her husband.”

In this statement, I think you are reflecting on the prejudiced opinions of some men. Saying that a wife has to be a robot at all times with no day off is not an Islamic standard. A husband has no right to make unreasonable demands on her either.  

Study the lives of the wives of the Prophet (PBUH) and see that they talked back to him, and had bad days, and were basically human. And that was and is perfectly OK. 

You state that Islam acknowledges that women have been created differently. You claim that women “are physically weaker, and emotional in their responses. Men on the other hand are reasoned and more rational. Bearing in mind their totally different psychological make up, why does Islam then judge them so harshly?” 

Saying that women are emotional or less logical in their responses really has nothing to do with Islam and more to do with the way some cultures’ view the difference in the sexes.

We know that Allah tells us that the male is not like the female, as it states this directly in the Quran. Allah leaves it at that though. Islam makes no such claim that women are hormonal or emotionally driven and illogical.

But from modern medical science, we know that on average (not in all cases) men have more physical strength than women.

So, if this is the case how can the Quran or the Prophet (peace be upon him) undermine the message and justice of Islam by supporting grievous injustice against the physically weaker party?

Please continue reading part two at the link here

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links: 

Marriage Leads Women to Islam

The Story of Women in Islam

1400 Years Ago, Islam Offered the Perfect Social System for Women

 




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