Feminism to Islam

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Islam's Women Ask...
Women's Rights In Islam

Answers from www.IslamsWomen.com
One sister writes to us:

"I became Muslim because I study the Quran
and I know it is the right religion."

Welcome and congratulations to our sister.
You have recognized the truth and being guided by Allah to His Way. And by the way, a good place to begin is by telling you of a wonderful way to always greet and meet each other.
That is by saying to each other, "Salam alaykum" (peace be upon you) is the perfect greeting of the Muslims for over 1,400 years.

You can say it in conversation or write it in letters and other documents or you can say it inside your heart. Just think every time you say it, you receive big rewards from Allah and make the people feel good to whom you have said it.

Our sister tells us...

It has been bothering me for days now and I look everywhere on the Internet and can't seem to find the right information . .

Again, congratulations on your understanding and accepting Islam.

On your site you list "harsh" questions asked by non-Muslims and how to respond but you don't provide the answers to all of them. Where can I find the rest of the answers?
Do you have audios or videos to give to my family who are still not Muslims yet . . ?

Yes sister, we do have a large selection of audios and videos (all FREE).
Regarding the stories about others who have also come to Islam, there are quite a few on our sites (many of them right here on this site - try the search box on the upper right side of this page).

To find information from our many sites, click this link and then type in the word(s) you are interested in: You mention our site dealing with some “harsh questions”. Actually, we have answered the questions many times over and over. But for future reference you might like to keep up with this link: www.SearchforIslam.com

When you spoke about "research on the internet", you were most likely surfing from site to site and reading whatever came up from whoever wrote it. And of course, this will not produce very much truth coming from the non-Muslim sources.

What does Islam have to do with terrorism? I always thought terrorists weren't real Muslims because they kill innocent people and kill them selves and if you kill yourself you go to hell.

Islam is the enemy to terrorism and only allows military combat and the resulting death and bloodshed when such conditions are eminent. (References: Quran, chapter 2:190-193; chapter 5; chapter 9; and other places)

I was talking with two Muslim sisters and they seemed like they supported terrorism. they said the Taliban was good, all scholars of Islam, and the negative media we hear or read about women being killed for taking off there burqa, those women were prostitutes or women who did not want to follow the religion and the women were really treated like 'princesses' over there.

Two sisters do not of course, represent all one and half billion Muslims on earth, nor do they represent Islam, unless they are relying on the two sources Islam holds as proof, that of Quran and the hadeeths of Muhammad. Also, just because someone says good things about what Taliban did doesn't mean they would endorse anything bad they did. I was told by several different families living now in different countries that the Taliban was a group of Afghani Muslims who originally were doing nothing more than what you said yourself was the right religion; Islam. However, we must keep in mind what some people do does not necessarily represent their government or their religion.

Let us take it directly from someone who has been right there in Afghanistan, Yvonne ridley is a woman journalist who was captured in Afghanistan by Taliban and although she was very against Islam and anything to do with it, she did read the Quran after being released and since has really brought light to the subject of what the difference is between Islam and what is going on in Afghanistan. Check her website http://www.yvonneridley.org/

People can read whatever they like into the facts, but facts are still facts. And Allah is the Owner of Allah Knowledge.

But after doing some internet research I found all these article about how bad the Taliban were and how mistreated the women were.
I know all the rights granted to us women in the Quran but I am confused by Islamic countries and there treatment of women.
One of the main reasons I came into Islam is because women are equal to men in the Quran. I don't want to be looked at as less then a man.
I am married to a Muslim man and I don't want him to think I am less then him.

NEWS FLASH: Women and men are not the same. They are treated with the utmost respect and honor by Allah, no doubt. Islam does not pretend as some societies do, that men and women are exactly alike with the same characteristics, needs and feelings.

In fact, Islam is the only deen (way of life) designed to deal in reality with the two sexes in the most equitable manner. That is why I call it "gender equity" rather than equality.

Women and men are different and they are treated differently in Islam because of this. Consider the following:

  • Women do not fast or pray while on their monthly cycle (men have to all the time)
  • Women do not ever have to contribute a dime for household and related expenses
  • Women receive 1/3 of inheritance while their brothers receive ½ (women are to be supported by the men, remember?)
  • Two women have to give testimony in place of one man, due to their memories (Quran and hadeeth)
  • Women are to be protected and maintained by men, always (fathers, brothers, uncles, husbands, sons, grandsons, etc.
  • Men must work, must fight in wars, must protect and must care for the women.
  • Men must share in household duties, but women do not have to share in things like outside work
  • Women raise the children while they are young, men are responsible when they are older (even if divorced)
  • Women do not pay any tax for what the husband owns, men pay tax on all, except what the wife owns

Now look to the treatment of men and women in the Quran (I love this in Arabic, but the English translations try to save space and corrupt the beauty of the verse): Chapter 33:35 (Al Ahzab)

Inna almuslimeena waalmuslimati waalmu/mineena waalmu/minati waalqaniteena waalqanitati waalssadiqeena waalssadiqati waalssabireena waalssabirati waalkhashiAAeena waalkhashiAAati waalmutasaddiqeena waalmutasaddiqati waalssa-imeena waalssa-imati waalhafitheena furoojahum waalhafithati waalththakireena Allaha katheeran waalththakirati aAAadda Allahu lahum maghfiratan waajran AAatheeman

In most translations where you see the words in English “men and women” combined together, but it is not that way in Arabic.
Let's take for example, surah 33 (Surah Al Ahzab), verse 35. It usually is translated to say something like this:
"Certainly, the believing men and women, the obedient men and women, the truthful men and women.."

However, this combines the women after the men as though they were just following along with the men.
This is not correct, because Allah was speaking about each gender and dealing with them collectively and individually. It should be more like this:

“Certainly, the Muslim men and the Muslim women, the believing men and the believing women, the obedient men and the obedient women, the truthful men and the truthful women, the patient men and the patient women, the humble menhumble women, the fasting men and the fasting women, the chaste men and the chaste women, the men who remember Allah and the women who remember Allah, Allah has prepared for them both Forgiveness and a great Reward. (33:35) and the

Note: the way Allah refers to them both by their particular attributes and as individuals. But it was men (unfortunately) who translated this verse. Oh well….

There have been some women in Afghanistan who have been mistreated by men. No doubt.
This is happening everywhere in the world today, especially here in America where we have a rape and/or sexual abuse occurring against a woman every 69 seconds.
This however, does not mean it can be justified in Islam, nor Christianity nor any religion for that matter, does it?

The “burqa” is not the “hijab” of the time of prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
However, if women choose to wear it, there is no problem according to Islam.

NOTE: The prophet's wives were instructed to cover their entire bodies, even their faces when exposed to strange men, except when they were in prayer or doing the pilgrimage to Makkah.
The average Muslim women were never forced to cover their faces, they only did so out of respect, honor and dignity and for this we are told, they received special prayers from the wife of the prophet, peace be upon him.

Prostitution or any kind of fornication is totally forbidden by Islamic Law.

We have been told time and again even in the news, this was forbidden by the Taliban. The news folks all complained when the Afghanis wanted to punish prostitutes and adulterers. Remember?

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, told his companions, the status of a woman was that of a queen in her house.
Being treated like a “princess” is something only the woman herself can tell us about. What one might enjoy in treatment, another could find quiet unbearable. This is a subjective phrase and cannot be addressed in serious detail by anyone other than the one saying it, simply because we would not be able to qualify what they mean by the statement.

Contrast this to the article you read online, and what should we believe?

I doubt either statement would be exactly true.
However, the best treatment women can ever receive is when men observe the teachings Islam and when they enter into Paradise.
But, neither of these two conditions exist – yet.

I also have a question about polygamy. I know all the reasons for why the Quran allows it. But I can't stand the thought of a man having more then one wife. I read an article stating that only 12-15% of the Muslim population practice polygamy

When it comes to statistics we have a saying here in Washington, D.C. that is quite popular that says, “There are lies; damn lies and then there are statistics.”

When taking numbers into consideration on any topic, we must first observe who is gathering the information and what is their direction or area of interest (what are they trying to prove or disprove?).
If this is not taken into consideration from the very beginning and referred back to throughout the discussion, we could likely be influenced more by a prejudiced observation rather than factual information.
These numbers you mentioned do not correspond with what I have actually seen in Muslim countries.

The number might be more factual at around 1 to 2.5% of men who have more than one wife. Keep in mind, most of the Muslims in the world live in Asia and the East, not Arab countries.

Even Arabs have less than 3% who take more than one. And then, they have to treat them with full respect as a wife and take care of the children the same as their other children.

I do know of one man who is quite wealthy and lives in the southern part of Arabia (Saudi) who has three wives and many children.

However, he has never had a "girl-friend" in his life nor does he even shake hands or allow himself to be alone with other women who are not close family.

By the way, all of the children are very well mannered and polite and they love their father very much. One of the wives is somewhat jealous of the other two, but they do all get along (this is what my wife told me after being with them).

...but that men would really want more then one wife its just that economically they can't afford one so they rather have a monogamous marriage and have extramarital affairs on the side without any financial impact.

Quran does not allow “polygamy”. The subject is about marrying little girls before they are old enough for marriage to take away their inheritance. (Chapter 4, verses 2 and 3).
The idea was to also limit the number of women a man could be married to as there never had been such a thing in the past for them. Men had to divorce their wives if they could not properly treat them and if they exceeded four even if they could properly treat them.

This is called “polegyny” meaning a man can marry more than one woman, but nothing else. No homosexuality, no sharing wives or husbands, no mixing together, no women with other husbands or other women. All of this is part and parcel of the meaning in Islam.
And above all – no sex whatsoever, outside of a legally contracted relationship between consenting adults. That is what I got from the scholars.

Do Muslim men really think that way? Are they really that shallow? I thought adultery was condemned in Islam for BOTH men and women. Please help me, I would really appreciate it, it is very important that I get an understanding because it is weakening me.

Please, don’t ask me what men or anyone for that matter, thinks about anything. I don’t know what people are really thinking and don’t want to know. That is for Allah. Shallow? This is a term that is very subjective and again, not fair for me to try to qualify. I have already answered the question about adultery (above).

I pray to Allah all the time to help me understand. Thank you.
Also upon answering I believe it would be really helpful to others if you put this on your site.
Thank you! And inshallah I will hear from you soon.

And thank you, for giving me the chance to answer and publish these very important questions/answers.

Now for some of my commentary on the topics above:

You were right in some of your observations and deductions but incorrect in some of your conclusions. Consider your sources of information and the reliability and fidelity of those reporting. The interent is the least likely place to do a general serach for something as percious as the guidance of Allah. Whereas, the Quran is the most likely place for one to discover truth.

There are many articles out there from different view points, no doubt. But, when one article says one thing and another article says the opposite, which do you believe? It could be both are wrong. But could they both be right? Depends on what they mean and how they are saying it.

Keep in mind two things to help you better understand what is really going on around us everyday. First, consider the reports and those who are giving the reports. We need to know exactly who is saying something, what they are saying and what might be their reasons for saying it. The second thing for us as Muslims, is we should never try to judge the moviation behind why someone is doing something. The instentions are in the heart and none knows the heart except Allah.

Let us make a clear distinction between those who believe and those who do not believe. They are not the same, and they will never be the same. Consider also, the difference between an obedient and faithful follower and the one who claims to be a Muslim while they are not following what Islam teaches. They could be a Muslim, but not a good one.

Consider how Allah presents it in the Quran. He talks about Muslims, believers, dwellers of Paradise, faithful, obeident, patient, fasting, charitable men and women (surah Al Ahzab 33:35) and they have different names and levels in Arabic. There are mu’minun; muslimun; khashiun; salehin and so on. On the other side, Allah has mentioned and warned against the others as being, mufsidun, khaseerun, fasiqun, kafirun and so forth.

Observe from this, there are many different levels of belief and disbelief at the same time. Anyone can be a believer and make mistakes and anyone can be a disbeliever and perform what we would observe to be good deeds. We must not qualify Islam according to what some people may or may not do.

According to reports I have received directly from people who lived in Afghanistan during the time of the former government the leadership was very direct and did not allow for various different interpretations of Islamic Law, judgments and punishments. This is not called extremism as much as it should be called, overly strict and at the same time, something not compatible with the people, time and place. Rulings in Islam should be based on Quran and Sunnah – and then carefully applied according to the conditions of the people, so as not to make them hate Islam nor go astray.

Almost all of the Afghanis have told me there were many good things and good times for them under the pervious rulers. There were some things certain people did not like, but for the most part the reports indicated the people were trying to rebuild their country in an Islamic fashion after having suffered for decades under the communists and the affects of the war for so many years. Women told me, they liked the idea of hijab and men not being allowed to stare at them or bother them while they shopped and did things in their daily lives. Men told me they apprecitated the efforts made by their government to provide health and welfare for everyone. The leaders did not take large amounts of money for themseleves or waste money on government contracts that were not really necessary. They also did not allow dealing in usuary or interest and people said this was also seen as something good.

We also heard in the news many things opposite of what I just told you and some of this is even coming from former people from Afghanistan. Keep in mind the perspective of the ones who are speaking. They will give reports according to how they understand and feel about what is going on.

Today’s world is complicated by something called journalists. We used to call them story tellers and even liars. Today they are mistaken to be people who accurately seek truth and then share it with others. This is simply no longer true. TV companies and radio shows along with newspapers, magazines and book publishing companines do not make money out of sharing accurate historical information. They make money out of sensationalism. That is a simple fact. Whoever denies this just doesn’t understand modern-day corporate media.

Question: Who then, are we supposed to believe?
How do we get the truth?
Where do we turn for the correct answers?

For Muslims, Allah has provided the absolute Truth for those who seek piety and believe in Him and desire to do righteous deeds for His sake.
Allah has promised to preserve this Truth until the Last Days.
You already know what I am going to say next:
The Quran and the teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him (the hadeeth).

Whoever follows these two is a believer on the right path, and whoever goes any other way, will not succeed and in the Hereafter they will be amongst the loosers.

Here is a video from our series "Lifting the Fog" - dealing with the rights and role of Islam's women...

More? - Here is an exciting new site for Islam's Women - appropriately called:
Also for the "Reverts Converts"
www.RevertsConverts.com (videos)

And women's programs on www.GuideUS.TV

We also have a number of other popular sites for both Muslims and non-Muslims. Here are only a few:

www.ShareIslam.com www.AllahsQuran.com www.ProphetOfIslam.com www.Qtafsir.com www.99Islam.com www.BridgetoFaith.com www.ArabicInEnglish.com www.iPodislam.com www.podIslam.com www.watchIslam.com www.HearIslam.com www.IslamDomains.com www.ScienceIslam.com www.YouTubeIslam.com www.IslamCode.com www.LinksToIslam.com www.YvonneRidley.org www.99islam.com


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