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Women Inferior or Hadiths Misinterpreted? (Fatwa Session)

Dear Brothers/Sisters,

Thank you very much for joining us in this Live Fatwa session. We would like also to thank our guest, Dr. Muhammad Salama, for answering the questions directed to him. You will find the answers of your questions below.

Saturday, May. 05, 2018 | 13:00 - 15:00 GMT

Session is over.
DISCLAIMER
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.  

Can women decide not to get married? And undergo the clitorodectomy to avoid sexual urges?



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

Islam has exhorted its followers to marry in order to achieve sublime goals for the benefit of both individuals and the ummah. Muslim scholars thus declared the prohibition of removing genitals to end one’s desires. One may choose, however, to live as a virgin provided that one has control over his/her sexual desire and thus commits no sin. If one has strong sexual desire and fears to commit zina or masturbation, one has to marry to satisfy this desire in a legitimate way.

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The Quran has set Marry, the Virgin, as an example for believers because of her chastity and devoutness “Moreover, there is Mary,  daughter of Imran, who [estimably] safeguarded her chastity.  Then We breathed into her [womb] of Our [life-giving] spirit. For she confirmed the [revealed] words of her Lord and His [Heavenly] Books. Indeed, she was ever of those who are devoutly obedient.” (At-Tahrim 66:12)

So, you may take Lady Mary as your role model and follow her example to meet her in the Paradise. But you may not undergo clitorodectomy to abstain from marriage.

 

Almighty Allah knows best.

 


Women have to stand, smiling at the husband while he is eating. Is there a hadith to this effect?



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

There is nothing in the Shari`ah that requires a woman to stand and smile while her husband is eating. I wonder about the source of this question.

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Almighty Allah knows best.


Men marrying more wives, and I know that it has good consequences as well but... are men really that inconsiderate by hurting their wives' feelings? Why the women of his Ummah can't be important as Fatima RA? I mean why we deserve more suffering and less mercy from men in this regard.



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

As a ruling and a law prescribed by the Shari`ah, a Muslim may not raise objection to polygamy or any other Shari`ah ruling or law. Submission to Allah’s laws, whether one understands the wisdom behind them or not, is an essential part of being a Muslim.

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It is noteworthy that polygamy is an exception not a rule. A polygamous husband is required to be just and give each wife her rights in a fair way, which is difficult for many men; otherwise, he has to face the prophetic warning “Whoever has two wives and is inclined to favor one of them over the other will come on the Day of Resurrection with half of his body leaning.” (Abu Dawud and Ay-Tirmidhi)

Polygamy has been prescribed to achieve great purposes and solve many social problems:

 

1) It is the alternative of adultery that has spread in other communities that disallow polygamy as men there look for pleasure outside marriage.

 

2) It helps decrease the number of unmarried women in the society with all the problems this increasing number causes.

 

3) It is the solution of the situation when a man comes to hate his first wife but does not want to divorce her and break the family.

 

These are just few manifestations of the wisdom behind polygamy. So, a Muslim woman should not be so selfish and should consider the needs of the ummah as well. Nowadays wars have broken out in a number of Muslim countries leaving many women without husbands or guardians. Any Muslim woman can be in the same situation. Undoubtedly polygamy is one of the solutions for such a disaster.

At a personal level, a Muslim woman, after being fully pleased with this divine law, may refuse to be in a polygamous relationship. She can even record her refusal in her marriage contract, because she does not have to accept this situation.

 

Jealousy is an emotion and feeling that only needs to be channeled in the proper way. It is a test for women to curb this emotion as it is a test for all Muslims to curb their desires and emotions and channel them in a way that pleases Allah the Almighty.

 

Almighty Allah knows best.

 


Women likely to be in Jannah are equated to the crow that has white legs or something like that. What is the explanation of the reports on this issue?



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

According to a number of Prophetic narrations, women will constitute the majority of the people of the Hellfire and few will enter the paradise. These narrations include the hadith mentioned above and the one the questioner referred to.

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These hadiths are meant to warn women against such practices that drive them to such a destination. The female Companions understood such warnings in this way and reacted positively to the warning- by giving charity, for example, as in the above-mentioned hadith. When doctors say that smoking causes cancer, wise people refrain from smoking while foolish ones would accuse doctors of being biased against smokers.

 

 

There are, however, other narrations from which one can infer that women will outnumber men in the Paradise. In one narration, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) stated that each man in the Paradise will have two wives, which indicates that the number of women will be about double the number of men. To understand this paradox, we need to remember that the sinners from among the followers of Messengers will be punished in the Hellfire for a while and then will be delivered and admitted to the Paradise.

 

Thus, one may infer that sinful women from among the followers of Messengers will increase the number of women in the Hellfire and then after being delivered and admitted to the Paradise, they will increase the number of women there.

 

Almighty Allah knows best.


How would you interpret the hadith about Women's intellect deficiency and half value of testimony in comparison to men?



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

Imam al-Bukhari reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) once went out to the prayer yard to offer the Prayer of `Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr. Then he passed by the [attending] women and said, “O women! Give charity, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were of you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Messenger?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen any among those lacking in intellect and religion who are more overwhelming to a man possessing reason and insight than you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! What is deficient in our intellect and religion?” He said, “Is not the testimony of two women equal to the testimony of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is deficiency in her intellect. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is deficiency in her religion.”

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The hadith clearly bears no bias against women nor does it mean to humiliate them. There are physical and psychological differences between men and women based on the role for which each sex was created. They are meant to complete, not to vie with, each other.

 

The Shari`ah takes these differences into consideration and rulings and laws have been prescribed accordingly.

 

 

Women are commonly known to be more passionate; nevertheless, a woman has the ability to overpower a wise man with her passion. For this reason, the testimony of two women is equal to the testimony of one man, from Shari`ah perspective. Allah the Almighty says in the Quran what means: “Moreover, bring two witnesses from your men to witness [it]. But if there are not two men, then [you may bring] a man and two women from those whom you [mutually] approve of as witnesses, so that if one of the two should err then the other one can remind [her].” (Al-Baqarah 2:282)

 

In this regard, women are relatively deficient in comparison to men; though they are not blamable for that. From another perspective, being more passionate is a positive quality that helps women achieve their role and fulfill their duties that cannot be done otherwise and that men usually fail to achieve.

 

 

The Shari`ah also takes women’s psychological changes during menses into account and relieves them from fasting and prayer during this period. This is another relative deficiency; though they are not blamable for it as well.

 

Thus, taking the occasion of the text into account, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was wondering of such contradiction and never intended to demean women.

 

We need always to read any text within the overall Shari`ah context. The Shari`ah respects women and has given them unprecedented and unmatched rights. The Quran has honored women and mentioned a number of them as exemplary figures. A good number of the female companions set model examples for Muslims. Islamic history if full of brilliant women in different fields of life activities. How then can one misinterpret the prophetic text to express bias against women?

 

Almighty Allah knows best.

 

 


if women divorce they cannot smell Paradise... What if she doesn't love the man and doesn't want to stay with him? What if the husband divorces and marries many times?



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

If a wife hates her husband or suffers in their marital life, she may ask for divorce and resort to khul` . The prophetic warning against asking for divorce clearly states “A woman who asks her husband to divorce her without [suffering] harm is prohibited to smell the fragrance of the Paradise.” (Abu Dawud)

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The hadith implicitly indicates that when there is a legitimate reason or suffering a wife can ask for divorce. The warning thus should be read in the context of endangering family life and breaking family ties for no reason.

 

Divorce is hateful to Allah. Allah says in the Quran what means “And should you [come to] detest them [after marrying them, then], behold: It may be that you detest something and Allah will place therein much goodness.” (An-Nisaa’ 4:19)

 

Therefore, the majority of scholars consider divorce as reprehensible. A man recklessly marries and divorces many times for no legitimate reason does injustice to the society and will be held to account for this in the Hereafter.

 

Almighty Allah knows best.


Women that need to ask if they can go outside... what if she really wants to walk in the fresh air, and be alone walking because she really feels like to let go of the stress that is present at home and just relax by walking?



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

I wonder what is wrong with asking permission from the head of the family to go out. A responsible husband feels worried about his family members and needs to be aware where they may be. In usual cases, I do not think that a husband would prevent his wife from having a walk.

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Almighty Allah knows best.


Is it true that the majority of women going to hell due to ingratitude? What if husbands are ungrateful to their wives?



 

In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

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Being ungrateful is a sinful attitude whether from a man or a woman. However, when there is a common practice or attitude taken by a particular group or class of people, the injunction or warning goes to them to draw their attention to its graveness and the need to change this attitude or practice.

 

A husband who fulfills his responsibility toward family expects love and gratefulness and gratitude.

 

Due to their passionate nature and temper a large number of wives constantly complain and show ungratefulness to their husbands.

 

The Prophetic warning addresses these wives to abstain from such an attitude that invites unhappiness family life. This is how women who attended this prophetic warning perceived it and this is why they did not ask what if husbands are ungrateful to their wives.

 

Almighty Allah knows best.


Some friends mentioned that women have to ask whether if they can fast, spend their money (wife's income) and if they can give to charity. Is there any hadith to this effect? How do you explain



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A woman shall not fast [voluntarily] while her husband is present without his permission.” (Al-Bukhari)

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A husband may need to sleep with his wife but suddenly discovers that she is fasting and this may make him upset with her for not satisfying his desire. As he has a right in this regard, it sounds reasonable to ask for his permission before fasting.

 

As for woman’s financial responsibility, there are numerous evidences in the Quran and the Sunnah that a woman has full authority over her money and properties. She may buy and sell and make contracts without a need for permission from her husband. The majority of scholars also maintain that a woman may donate and give charity without husband’s permission.

 

In support of their position, they quote a number of evidences. In the Quran we read what means, “Moreover, give the women [whom you marry] their rightful marriage present, unconditionally. Yet if they are pleased to give something of it to you, then enjoy it salubriously, pleasantly” (An-Nisaa’ 4:4) which implicates that a woman enjoys full financial responsibility and may remit part of her dowry.

 

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in one occasion gave admonition to women exhorting them to give to charity, whereupon a number of the attendees started to donate their rings and other things. [Abu Dawud] Women in this hadith gave charity in the Prophet’s presence without referringto their husbands.

 

As for the hadith that reads “It is not permissible for a woman to present a gift except with the permission of her husband” [Abu Dawoud], scholars interpret it to mean a gift given from her husband’s property; or, if from her own property, she should ask permission as a kind of showing respect to her husband.

 

Almighty Allah knows best.


If wives annoy their husbands they are cursed by hoors... What if men annoy their wives?



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “No woman annoys her husband but his wife from among houris (of Paradise) says, ‘Do not annoy him, may Allah destroy you, for he is just a temporary guest with you and soon he will leave you and join us.” [Al-Termidhi] The hadith is another warning to wives to watch their attitude toward their husbands and to exercise control over their passion so as not to ruin their marital life.

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Almighty Allah knows best.


It is reported that if women don't want to respond to men's 'desires', the angels curse her... What if the man doesn't satisfy the wife's needs?



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses and he thus spends the night angry with her, the angels curse her till the morning.” (Abu Dawoud)

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Usually it is the husband who takes initiative in the sexual relationship and even if a wife does not have the same desire, she still can let him satisfy his desire.

 

Still if a man refrains from satisfying his wife’s desire without excuse, he becomes sinful as well.

 

Allah has commanded men to associate with their wives kindly saying what means, So consort with them [only] in accordance with what is right [and honorable].  (An-Nisaa’ 4:19)

 

He also said what means, “Yet for women, there are [rights] equal to what is enjoined upon them, in accordance with what is right.” (Al-Baqarah 2:228)

 

The prohibition of abstaining from satisfying the wife’s desire could also be inferred from the Quranic verse that reads, “So as to those who forswear [relations with] their wives, [causing them to suffer abuse,] there shall be a waiting period of [cessation of intimacy for] four months. But if they go back [to their wives during this period], then, indeed, Allah is all-forgiving, mercy-giving.” (Al-baqarah 2:226)

 

“Allah is all-forgiving” denotes that a sin has been committed. Of course, satisfying the sexual desire in a legitimate way is one of the main objectives of marriage and a husband will be held responsible in the Hereafter for this attitude as he thus commits a sin by endangering the chastity of his wife.

 

When one commits a sin, Allah becomes angry with him/her. Still, as for the warning in the hadith mentioned above, we cannot extend it to men since it is addressed to women specifically.

 

Almighty Allah knows best.


I read that when the husbands are angry, the prayers of the wife are not answered... Is there such thing that if women are angry with their husbands, the angels curse the man?



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

The hadith that that declares wife’s prayers unacceptable when her husband is angry with her has been judged by a number of scholars to be unauthentic.

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Almighty Allah knows best.


I read about hadiths where women have to prostrate to men and lick their sores... and even doing that, it doesn't compensate husband's rights. How do you interpret these hadiths?



In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

 

Prostration before any human being is absolutely prohibited in Islam. When Mu`adh came from his journey to Syria, he prostrated to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) because he saw people there prostrate to their bishops and patriarch. But the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) prohibited him to do so and then said “If I were to order anyone to prostrate to anyone, then I would order the wife to prostrate to her husband.” (At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

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Obviously, the hadith intends to show the high status of the husband using such a conditional clause. The hadith never commands a wife to prostrate before her husband.

 

The other hadith that talks about licking husband’s sores is of doubtful authenticity. Supposing its authenticity, it would be a kind of exaggeration in showing the magnitude of the husband’s right.

 

Thus, both hadiths should be read in this sense of exaggeration to exhort wives to show gratefulness and obedience to their husbands so that marital life should continue in peace.

 

Wives acting as a rival to their husbands have endangered the stability of their marital lives.

 

Almighty Allah knows best.


As-salamu alaykum dear scholar. What are the general guidelines on women-related issues in Islam?



Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

 

In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving

 

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

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First: The essence of Islam is to entertain the sense of submission to Allah the Almighty and to feel no resentment toward any of His laws and injunctions.

 

Muslims believe that Allah is just, All-Knowing and All-Wise. Thinking of any of the divine injunctions, either in the form a Quranic verse or a prophetic tradition, as unfair contradicts the essence of faith.

 

Allah the Almighty says in the Quran what means, “it is not ever [befitting] for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, to have for themselves a [contrary] choice in their affairs.” (Al-Ahzab 33:36)

 

In another verse, we read, “But no! By your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you the judge of whatever [disputes] break out among them, finding, then,  no [sense of] constraint within themselves, as to [complying with] what you have decided- submitting [to it willingly] with a pure submission.” (An-Nisaa’ 4:65)

 

Second: Surveying Shari`ah injunctions regarding human actions, scholars have pointed out that Shari`ah commands and prohibitions come in proportion to human inclinations.

 

In other words, when man inclines naturally to or has desire for something prohibited in the Shari`ah, the warnings become more severe and take various forms in order to serve as strong deterrence.

 

Likewise, commands that one inclines to fulfill are not as much and as strong as those that one inclines to violate.

 

For example, parents naturally incline to take care of their children and this is why the Shari`ah injunctions to parents are not that much. The case is different with children whose dutifulness toward parents is not driven by such natural inclination. This is why many injunctions in the Qur’an and the Sunnah have asserted dutiful treatment to parents. This point is important why certain injunctions and warnings have been directed to wives but not to husbands while others to husbands not to wives.

 

Third: A collective description given to a group of people applies to the collectivity of individuals but not necessarily to each and every one; simply because such description was given based on a common feature or attitude that could be missed in some individuals. This rule is very important to understand both bad and good description given to any collectivity of individuals including wives.

 

Fourth: Shari`ah makes balance between rights and responsibilities. The rights given for parents, for example, correspond to the big responsibilities they have towards their children. The same can be said about the rights and responsibilities of husbands and wives.

 

Fifth: Muslim women should be cautious of the wicked feminist ideology which propagates ideas and philosophies that contradict Islamic teachings and principles related to the relationship between men and women and the role of each gender in the society.

 

Allah the Almighty has given women their rights insomuch that Muslim women should be in no need for such aberrant movements.

 

Sixth: In principle, the marital relation between a husband and his wife should be based on mutual love and respect. But as problems and disagreement are expected in any human relationship, there has to be limits, rights and ultimate reference.

 

From the Islamic point of view, it is the husband who is responsible for the family and thus all its members have to obey him since he is usually keen for their benefit. This obedience is necessary for the stability of any organization or institution. But in principle, “No obedience is due for a created being in disobedience of the Creator”.

 

A Muslim wife has to obey her husband as long as he does not command her to disobey Allah. Thus a husband may prevent his wife from doing something permissible; though he might be sinful for doing so if he has an evil intention behind such prevention. This would be misuse of one’s right, which no righteous Muslim husband should ever do and for which one could be sinful.

 

Still, however, spouses should maintain harmony in their marital life and should always have the ultimate goal of pleasing Allah the Almighty.
Almighty Allah knows best.