Women in Islam: An exegesis - Part 3
20 Nov, 2005
Women are harmful/devilish/crooked and damaging
The holy scriptures of Islam is full of mindless, unbelievably misogynic contents. Islam considers women to be crooked, evil, devilish, damaging, Satanic, harmful, portents of bad luck, and what not. One may be greatly surprised at what I just mentioned. I am listing a few statements below from the principle sources of Islam. After reading these citations, it is difficult not to be disturbed. We may wonderwhy is Islam so misogynic? I sometimes wonder what wrong the women have done to be treated in such a harsh, derogatory and in dehumanized manner. It seems as if Islam is out to prove that women are/were created to be bad and they are devilish inherently. It is not in their upbringing, education, family background-. etc. that are responsible for their badness, dummy! Therefore, there is no way of improving their status, no matter how much a woman wishes or tries. It is her fate and destiny as determined by God. Allah/Islam has relegated her to permanent servitude. It is a great tragedy to be born as a woman especially in an Islamic paradise. The only path for a Muslim woman is accepting the sexual slavery or death. Islamic apologists often take pride by saying that Islam improved the lot of women from those prevalent in the 'dark days' of Arabia, such as abolishing the live burial of girl infants. What a great achievement! After you peruse the following demeaning provisions of Islam for women, you may wonder whether it is worth living as a woman (in an Islamic paradise under Sharia) or not.
It is true that Muhammad did make some improvement to the status of women in Arabia, such as the right of inheritance, abolition of burial of girl babies, etc. However, he did not go further, for he did not want to upset the men of Arabia through a radical change in the then existing status of women. Furthermore, we cannot compare those reforms of women with the time before Islam. We are no longer living in those so-called 'dark' days of Ayame-Jahliat, are we? The world is moving forward and all the secularist countries guarantee the rights of women. It is only the Islamic countries that want to live in their 'golden period' of the past and still subscribe to their 'Gender Apartheid' policy. I would like to ask anyone reading the following 'holy' citations to bring in statements from any secular law more misogynic than what is quoted down below.
A woman is like a rib---that is why she has the crookedness...(Shahih Bukhari 7.62.113)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "The woman is like a rib; if you try to straighten her, she will break. So if you want to get benefit from her, do so while she still has some crookedness."
Women were created crooked;. if you try to straighten her you will break her and breaking her is divorcing her-( Shahih Muslim 8.3467)
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported: Woman has been created from a rib and will in no way be straightened for you; so if you wish to benefit by her, benefit by her while crookedness remains in her. And if you attempt to straighten her, you will break her, and breaking her is divorcing her.
Women, house and horses are evil omens..( Shahih Bukhari;7.62.30)
Narrated Abdullah bin 'Umar:
Allah's Apostle said, "Evil omen is in the women, the house and the horse.'
Portents of hour are drinking, sex , 50 women per men...(Shahih Bukhari 1.3. 81)
I will narrate to you a Hadith and none other than I will tell you about after it. I heard Allah's Apostle saying: From among the portents of the Hour are (the following):
1. Religious knowledge will decrease (by the death of religious learned men).
2. Religious ignorance will prevail.
3. There will be prevalence of open illegal sexual intercourse.
4. Women will increase in number and men will decrease in number so much so that fifty women will be looked after by one man.
Nothing is more harmful to men than women...(Shahih Bukhari 7.62.33)
Narrated Usama bin Zaid:
The Prophet said, "After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women."
Please read the following hadith if you still thought that Islam has a lot of kind words reserved for women and is very merciful to them. In this hadith, Muhammad clearly declares that a woman is actually a devil in the guise of a human (albeit a female) being. There is no confusion on this matter. Is there any contextual issue for this hadith? I would really like to hear from the Islamic apologists who are always looking for contexts as to what they have to say on this hadith. Is the provision of this hadith applicable today or not? Shall we not consider a woman as an extension of the devil? What punishment Allah has reserved for the devil? Does not this hadith say that our mothers, wives, sisters, and daughter are actually devils? Could any one show me any secularist provision more misogynic than the content of this hadith?
A woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil; so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife and have intercourse with her-(Shahih Muslim 8.3240)
Jabir reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) saw a woman, and so he came to his wife, Zainab, as she was tanning a leather and had sexual intercourse with her. He then went to his Companions and told them: The woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil, so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife, for that will repel what he feels in his heart.
Here is another gem from Imam Ghazali.
Women are half devils (Ref: 7.vol. II, p367)
Someone once said: "The devil says to women: 'You are half my army! You are my arrow with which I do not miss! You are my confidante! You are my messenger with whom I achieve my wants!' Thus half of his army is desire, the other half being anger."
The house, the wife and the horse are bad luck-(Shahih Muslim 26.5523)
'Abdullah b. 'Umar reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: If there be bad luck, it is in the house, and the wife, and the horse.
Women are more harmful to men than anything else-(Shahih Muslim 36.6603)
Usama b. Zaid reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: I have not left after me any (chance) of turmoil more injurious to men than the harm done to the men because of women.
Avoid the allurement of women-(Shahih Muslim 36.6606)
Abu Sa'id Khudri reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: The world is sweet and green (alluring) and verily Allah is going to install you as vicegerent in it in order to see how you act. So avoid the allurement of women: verily, the first trial for the people of Isri'll was caused by women. And in the hadith transmitted on the authority of Ibn Bashshar the words are:" So that He should see how you act."
Never walk behind a woman (Ref: 7vol. II, p370)
Said ibn Jubayr said: "Temptation came to David (peace be upon him) merely through a glance. Therefore. He told his son (Solomon) (peace be upon him): "O my son! Walk behind a lion or a black cobra, but never walk behind a woman."
Women are damaging (Ibid, p371)
And the Messenger of God (peace and prayer be upon him) said: "A gaze is a poisoned arrow from Satan. Whoever abstains from it in fear of God shall receive from Him increase in faith, the sweetness of which he will feel in his heart."
He (peace and prayers be upon him) also said: "I leave behind me no temptation damaging to men than that of women."
Women are to be feared most (Ibid, p375)
And ibn Al Musayyid said at the age of eighty four when he had lost the use of one eyes, and was almost blind in the other: "In my opinion, women are to be feared more than anything else."
A few traditions on Muhmmad about women (Ref. 6, pp678-679)
"I have left no calamity more detrimental to mankind than women."
"Look to your actions and abstain from the world and from women, for verily the first sin which the children of Israel committed was on account of women."
Finally here is a warning for men. If your boss is a woman then think of changing your job.
p28.1 (1) (Ref. 8, p672)
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
(1) "Men are already destroyed when they obey women."
Women are ungrateful; therefore, can't trust them.
The foundation of a family is the mutual trust among the family members especially between the husband and wife. Lack of trust will make it almost impossible to have a congenial environment to raise a family. So, how much trust a Muslim husband should put on his wife/s? The Islamic apologists no doubt will tell us that Islam puts the highest priority on family. So, this question is rather a stupid one. Well, let us see what the 'real Islam' has to say on trusting a woman.
Women should give charity and forgiveness because the majority of women will be in hell. The reasons are 1. women curse too much 2. they are ungrateful to their husbands 3.they are lacking in common sense 4. they are failing in religion 5. they rob the wisdom of the wise-(Shahih Muslim 1.0142)
It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah b. Umar that the Messenger of Allah observed: O womenfolk, you should give charity and ask much forgiveness for I saw you in bulk amongst the dwellers of Hell. A wise lady among them said: Why is it, Messenger of Allah, that our folk is in bulk in Hell? Upon this the Holy Prophet observed: You curse too much and are ungrateful to your spouses. I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion but (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of the wise, besides you. Upon this the woman remarked: What is wrong with our common sense and with religion? He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to one man, that is a proof of the lack of common sense, and you spend some nights (and days) in which you do not offer prayer and in the month of Ramadan (during the days) you do not observe fast, that is a failing in religion. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Abu Tahir with this chain of transmitters.
Because of Eve women are unfaithful towards their husbands-(Shahih Muslim 8.3471)
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Had it not been for Eve, woman would have never acted unfaithfully towards her husband.
The above two hadiths have sealed the fate of a Muslim woman for good. Firstly, the hadith says that women are ungrateful to their husband, and they cannot observe fully the religious rituals (like fasting) because the way Allah has created them. It is not the fault of a woman to have menstruation period. Why should then she be blamed for not fasting during her period? Who imposed this ban? Why was this prohibition obligatory, after all? What would a modern workingwoman think when she learns that Allah penalises her for the attribute that He himself gave her. Why is this devilish and whimsical Allah so cruel and unjust to her? Can some erudite pedagogue come forward and explain to us all?
All those are the questions that any sensible human being will ponder upon. Is it fair to relegate women to hell for the crime that they did not commit in the first place? How insulting is it when a wife hears that she is unfaithful to her husband just because Muhammad had said so? It is absolutely a gross injustice to women to label them as a bunch of ungrateful sinners who are at the mercy of their supposedly godly husbands. There is nothing a woman could do in her power to purge this derogatory treatment of her. It is because Allah has created her to be ungrateful. What a blunder Allah did at the time of Genesis? How absurd! How insulting! How about the fidelity of men to their wives? Surprisingly, both Qur'an and ahadith are completely reticent about this. Does this silence imply that men are always faithful to their wives? Shall we assume that men are created sinless and Allah imbued the women with all the sins? [One Bangladeshi professor who is now in Canada had retorted the other day in NFB that he is now a believer because Allah made opposite things such as day-night, hot-cold, man-woman, etc. I guess in the same vein, Allah made man sinless and to counter balance that He made women with all the sins!] Can we trust our wives in matters of wealth and property? These are silly questions, one would say. However, Islam is not silly with women. This is what the Dictionary of Islam cites about putting trust on your dear wife/s on matters of wealth and property.
Can't tell a wife secrets, amount of property-etc. no musical instruments for her (Ref: 6 p675)
As to the three things to be avoided in husband towards his wife:-
- Excess of affection, for this gives her the predominance and leads to a state of perversion. When the power is overpowered and the commander commanded, all regularity must infallibly be destroyed. If troubled with redundance of affection let him at least conceal it from her.
- Let him not consult her on matters of paramount importance; let him not make her acquainted with his secrets, nor let her know the amount of his property, or the stores he possesses, beyond those in present consumption, or her weakness of judgment will infallibly set things wrong.
- Let him allow her no musical instruments, no visiting out of doors, no listening to men's stories, nor intercourse with women noted for such practices; especially where any previous suspicion has been raised
What do all the women of the world feel when they read those three provisions of Islam? Women are not worth to be loved in excess, they are unintelligent to manage the affairs of property, wealth and business, no learning of musical instrument for them, they are not even be allowed outside home. I would just like to know the reactions from Megawati Sukarno Putri, the President of Indonesia, Begum Khaleda Zia, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and Mrs. Helen Clark, the Prime Minister of New Zealand if they ever read this 'golden' treatment of women in Islam. If a woman cannot be trusted with the basic family matters, how can the world trust these women leaders to lead their nations- if we really go by Islamic way?
Abul Kasem is an Bengali ex-Muslim and academic. He has contributed in Leaving Islam - Apostates Speak Out and Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside and Why We Left Islam.. He has also written extensively on Islam in various websites and is the author of five e-Books: A Complete Guide to Allah, Root of Terrorism ala Islamic Style, Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Who Authored the Quran? and Women in Islam. Mr. Kasem leaves in Sydney, Australia. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.