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Gold And Silk: Only For Women Because They’re Inferior?

25 September, 2017
Q Assalamu alaikum shaikh, is it true that, women have natural lacking , they are imperfect and they have defects, that is why they have been given adornments? Has it any basis? what does the contemporary scholars say about that according to authentic and true evidence?


Walaykum Asalam waRahmat Allah wa Barakatuhu,

Thank you for sending your question to us, and for your desire to rectify any misconceptions or wrong information regarding the pure path of Allah Almighty.

The answer to your queries can easily be found in the Prophetic hadiths and the Noble Qur’anic verses.

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You asked whether women have “natural lacking, they are imperfect and they have defects.”

The straightforward answer to your question is “no”.

The Creator, Allah Himself, said,

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We have certainly created mankind [men and women] in the finest state. (Qur’an 95:4)

…and [He] formed you and perfected your forms. (Qur’an 64:3)

So, how can women be “naturally imperfect” if Allah said He created both men and women in a perfect/beautiful form in several locations in the Qur’an?

Men and Women Are Partners, Allies

Upon reading your question, the first hadith that jumped into my mind is the one narrated by Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said:

Indeed women are the partners of men. [Sunan Abi Dawud]

He (peace and blessings upon him) didn’t say they’re inferior or superior; he highlighted how they’re equal partners to one another.

And Allah Almighty also says:

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (Qur’an 9:71)

Men and Women as Equal Believers before One Lord

Allah Almighty has very beautifully highlighted in His Book how men and women are equal before Him. See for example:

Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward. (Qur’an 33:35)

And look at this beautiful series of verses where Allah put men and women on equal footing:

And their Lord responded to them, “Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another…” (Qur’an 3:195)

And whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, while being a believer – those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged, [even as much as] the speck on a date seed. (Qur’an 4:124)

Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do. (Qur’an 16:97)

So, no, He doesn’t create men superior in terms of their reward or outcome or value.

The words of Allah Almighty are clear in how He, The Creator of men and women, considers them equal in His sight.

But we have to understand that equal, nonetheless, doesn’t mean identical.

Both men and women have their rights and duties, but in the end, as believers, they’re equal before their Creator.

Is adornment meant for those who are inferior?

Now, regarding the part in your question on adornment, Allah Almighty says:

O Children of Adam! Dress properly whenever you are at worship. Eat and drink, but do not waste. Surely He does not like the wasteful. (Qur’an 7:31)

So is He asking those who pray in the mosque to appear inferior while meeting Him in prayer? Of course not!

Adorning oneself for Allah Almighty is an act of purification and worship.

Adorning oneself for one’s spouse is also an act of worship and mercy, and both men and women are encouraged to do so.

Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with both of them) said that he loves to beautify himself for his wife like he loves that she beautifies herself for him.

Allah said,

And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. (Qur’an 2:228)

What we should realize from the Qur’an and Sunnah is that there is a balance in the rights and duties of men and women.

Both Men and Women Have Rights and Responsibilities

Both men and women are ordered to lower their gaze, both men and women have awrah that they must cover and are ordered to dress and behave modestly.

Both men and women have restrictions in terms of what they can/can’t wear.  Men can’t wear silk and can’t wear gold, for example, but women can.

Both men and women can and are encouraged to adorn themselves in the right, dignified context.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to perfume himself with scented oils, wear kohl on his eyes and oil in his hair, and he used siwak to clean his teeth.

He beautified himself for his wives, and he ordered the sahaba to groom themselves.

Women also have adornments, but they’re asked not to showcase them in public so they won’t be objectified or exploited.

Both men and women do their parts; if any of them violate these terms, they’ll be in the wrong.

Hope this answers your question, and please read our previous answers here below for more information on this subject.

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The Story of Women in Islam