Hadith about women being stupid and Tafseer-ul-Kathir.

Q:

Asslam-o-Alaikum!

 I hope you are well by the grace of Allah Almighty. I have started reading Quran with Tafseer. And I got to know that Tafseer-ul-Kathir is the best one so I started reading that one but I do not think that’s the case because it says that Hazrat Hawa(A.S) was created from rib of Hazrat Adam(A.S) which i know is not true. I read about it on Aboutislam. And the other thing i found not so satisfying is that they quoted a Hadith of Sahih Bukhari. Sahih Bukhari Hadith No. 304 which states that Holy Prophet PBUH called women stupid mentioning the reasons that two women witnesses are equal to one man witness and women cannot pray or fast during menses. In that Hadith, its mentioned that not praying and fasting due to menses, which is an order of Allah so that women will not have any problem offering Salah due to pain, makes women stupid? How is this possible? I am having a hard time believing its authenticity because Holy Prophet PBUH had the greatest mentality. He always treated his wives so nicely during those days. Kindly clear this to me.

So my first question is: Is Sahih Bukhari 304 authentic? My second question is: Why are one man witness equal to two women witnesses? My third and last question is: Which Tafseer is the best one?

I hope you clear my confusion.  You are the best scholar in my view. Jazak-Allah. May Allah bless you!

Regards,

A:

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

The hadith about women being deficient in religion and intellect is controversial. If it is authentic, it can only be interpreted if by that the Prophet is referring to the condition of woman in a particular context and hence cannot be applicable in general. It is like saying that men can be lacking in religion and intelligence at certain times.

The Prophet used the statement to address women on the occasion of the festival. How would he use such an occasion to belittle woman?

That in no way befits our understanding of the character of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as we know from the unanimous account of his companions.

We know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) elevated the status of woman like never before in history. The best supporter in his mission was none other than his wife, Khadijah. Didn’t he act upon the advice of his wife, Umm Salmah, on the most critical issue he faced in Sulh al-Hudaybiya? So, how could he allege that woman in general lack of intelligence and faith? Wasn’t Khadija the first one to believe in him, wasn’t the first martyr in Islam Sumayyah, another woman?

We also know that the Quran affirms the equal status of men and women, although they differ in duties and responsibilities.

So, what the Prophet meant to say was to recognize that women despite some of the biological differences relating to hayd and missing of prayers, etc. are also the ones who can overpower men. The fact that woman’s witness is half of that of men is because they tend to forget when it comes to transactions as they were not used to engage in it. That is why Allah said so that one of them remind the other of what she may not have remembered. That is why Ibn al-Qayyim cannot be taken as a categorical injunction meant for all times and all situations. In other words, because today, women are in business fields as they are in other areas, it cannot be said that their testimony will be treated as half that of a man. Ibn al-Qayyim, therefore, said the evidence of Umm al-Darda and another woman (he mentioned) could not be considered as akin to half of the testimony a man.

As for Bukhari’s hadith, scholars have raised questions about a few of them, most of them are authentic; his collection is undoubtedly rivals all other hadith compilations.

Having said this, we must always remember that the firm and definite texts in Islam are limited to the Quran and a few dozen traditions; others are isolated, and they cannot be used to prove tenets of faith or Aqidah.

Almighty Allah Knows best.

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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