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 Some Misconceptions about Women in Islam

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تاريخ التسجيل : 04/06/2010

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مُساهمةموضوع: Some Misconceptions about Women in Islam   الجمعة ديسمبر 31, 2010 5:47 am

Islam gave
women rights and privileges at a time when only barbaric manners and
values dominated.
Yet, some people argue that Islam has alienated women in some domains.
In fact, this belief is a misconception. People who say so, may have
read about it in a magazine or seen it on TV. A quick examination of the
issues judged as unjust to women will certainly correct the
misunderstanding.


Man
as the head of the household:


Some people
believe that a woman in Islam is regarded as inferior to man since the
Quran says (what means):
"Men have one
degree above women."
[Quran 2: 228]



In the Quran
it also says (what means):
"Men are the
protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has given the one
more than the other and because men support them from their means."
[Quran 4:34]

This verse
implies that it is a man's duty to support his wife, and not the
reverse, but this, in no way, makes him superior to her.


In fact, the
rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of a man but
they are not necessarily identical. Since men and women are not created
identical, they have different physical and emotional qualities, jobs
and privileges. This does not mean that women are inferior.


On the
contrary, women are considered crucial members of society in Islam since
they are assigned the job of bringing up future generations. People
today tend to look down at housewives but, in fact, raising children is
one of the most important and difficult tasks. The way a mother brings
up her child determines the way he will behave in the future. This duty,
which requires patience, love, understanding and wisdom was
significantly assigned to women in Islam because her nature suits this
job.


Allaah The
Exalted, in His Wisdom, has assigned a role for each member of the
family so that there would be no arguments concerning who should do
what. If a sailboat has two leaders, each will want to follow a path,
leading ultimately to chaos and even a crash. In the same manner, how
many times have your parents fought over some decision because each had
their own point of view and wanted to apply it? This is precisely why it
is preferable to have one leader for each household. However, this does
not give the leader the right to be a dictator, or to neglect the role
of his companion. This does not make him superior to other members of
his family. It just gives him a larger duty.


Inheritance:


Some people
claim that Islam is unjust towards women because it entitles them to
inherit half of what men get. In fact, those people only know one side
of the truth.


First, the
principle of women inheriting half the money is only applicable in 45
percent of the cases. In the other 55 percent, women inherit the same
amount or sometimes even more. For example, a mother and a father each
inherit the sixth of their son's property when they are not the only
inheritors.


In addition,
the laws of inheritance in Islam are proportional to the duties of
spending. Indeed, a man in Islam has the responsibility of supporting
his family, his brother's children (when his brother dies), his parents
(when they retire and do not have an income), his children from his
previous marriage (if he has them) and his household, including his wife
and children. A woman, on the other hand, does not bear this
responsibility. She has the freedom to use the money she collects from
her dowry or work as she pleases.


You might
object here, saying that women today are working and helping their
husbands pay the expenses, which entitles them to share equality with
men. In fact, you should know that women's economic assistance to their
husbands, which has become the norm today, is only an answer to the
females’ wishes. Islam does not oblige women to spend on their
households. It is a free choice many women have themselves taken today
to feel more liberated, so it does not entitle them to a bigger portion
of the inheritance.


Polygyny:


Polygyny is
one of the most questioned principles that Islam grants men and women.
Indeed, many people wrongfully accuse Islam of injustice because it
allows a man to have up to four wives. Nevertheless, like every
instruction in the Quran, polygyny has a reason. You see, Islam is a
practical religion that acknowledges the needs and temptations of human
beings and provides laws that deal with them, thus preserving harmony
and morality.


- Polygyny
might be the solution for a couple if the wife is barren, the husband
wants children of his own and the option of separation does not appeal
to both parties.


- If a woman
is chronically ill and is unable to perform her marital duties. Polygyny
may also be the solution when the couple does not want divorce.


- Polygyny is
the religion's answer to cases where some men have excessive sexual
needs that cannot be fulfilled by one wife. This in no way means that
men should abuse this right and use it whenever they fancy a woman. It
is rather a chance Islam has provided to prevent men from committing
adultery. Many people who condemn polygyny cheat on their wives, calling
this phenomenon a 'swift affair.' Islam, at least, has offered the
second woman the option of being called 'a wife' rather than 'a
mistress', especially in some countries where women remarkably outnumber
men.


- Polygyny
may settle the problem of an increased number of unmarried women,
especially during wars.


However,
polygyny has some limits and conditions to be met. Indeed, the Quran
instructs the man to be fair with his wives on all levels, including
treatment, money, house, etc. The only level where the man may have an
uneven stance is the level of the feelings that he cannot control:


The Quran says
(what means):
"You
will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is
your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them [by giving
her more of your time and provision] so as to leave the other hanging
[i.e. neither divorced nor married]. And if you do justice, and do all
that is right and fear Allaah by keeping away from all that is wrong,
then Allaah is Ever-Forgiving and All-Merciful."
[Quran
4:129]


Finally, it
is worth knowing that Islam gives a woman the right to refuse polygyny
for her husband by setting it as a condition during the marriage
procedures. If this condition is set, then the woman is granted divorce
if her husband marries another while he is still married to her.


You might
ask, why could not there be polyandry (a woman having more than one
husband)? The answer is simple. Islam did not allow it because Allaah is
All-Aware that it will create a problem of kinship. This means that the
child may not know who is actually his father (it could be anyone of
the four husbands). In addition to the psychological damage it may
cause, this problem also complicates the issue of inheritance. Even
birds and animals do not allow polyandry.


In fact, to
understand this Quranic verse, you should see another one, related to
the issue in question. It reveals the wisdom behind this concept.

_____________________________________



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Some Misconceptions about Women in Islam
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