Women are deficeint in intelligencia and cannot take senior puclic posts
In this section we will look at quotations from some additional Muslim sources that further degrade women, particularly sources that cite the views of scholars on some of the passages which were mentioned previously. We begin with the views of Ali ibn Abu Thalib, the fourth Muslim caliph who was both Muhammad's first cousin and his son-in-law. These comments are believed to be taken from some of his lectures that were then compiled together. Ali said regarding women:
…Women are deficient in Faith, deficient in shares and deficient in intelligence. As regards the deficiency in their Faith, it is their abstention from prayers and fasting during their menstrual period. As regards deficiency in their intelligence it is because the evidence of two women equal to that of one man. As for the deficiency of their shares it is because of their inheritance being half of men. So beware of the evils of women. Be on your guard even from those who are (reportedly) good. Do not obey them EVEN IN GOOD THINGS so that they may not attract you to devils. (Nahjul Balagha-Peak of Eloquence, translated by Syed Ali Reza [Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. Publishers and Distributors of Holy Qur'an, Elmhurst NY, sixth edition 1996], p. 204)
The translator's note states:
1. Amir al-mu'minun gave this sermon after the devastation created by the Battle of Jamal. Since the devastation resulting from this battle was the out-come of blindly following a woman's command, in this sermon he has described women's physical defects and their causes and effects. Thus their first weakness is that for a few days in every month they have to abstain from prayer and fasting, and this abstention from worship is a proof of their deficiency in Faith. Although the real meaning of 'Iman (belief) is heart-felt testification and inner conviction yet metaphorically it also applies to action and character. Since actions are the reflection of Belief they are also regarded as part of Belief. Thus, it is related from Imam 'Ali ibn Musa ar Rida (p.b.u.t.) that:
'Iman (belief) is testification at heart, admission by the tongue and action by the limbs. The second weakness is that their natural propensities do not admit of full performance of their intelligence. Therefore, nature has given them the power of intelligence only in accordance with the scope of their activities which can guide them in pregnancy, delivery, child nursing, child care and house-hold affair. On the basis of this weakness of mind and intelligence their evidence has not been accorded the status of man's evidence, AS ALLAH SAYS:
… then call to witness from among your men and if there not be two men then (take) a man AND TWO WOMEN, of those ye approve of the witnesses, so that should be one of the two (women) forget the (second) one of the two may remind the other… (Qur'an, 2:282)
The third weakness is that their share in inheritance is half of man's share in inheritance as the Qur'an says:
Allah enjoineth you about your children. The male shall have the equal of the shares of two females… (4:11)
This shows woman’s weakness because the reason for her share in inheritance being half is that the liability of her maintenance rests on man. When man's position is that of a maintenance and care taker the status of the weaker sex who is need of maintenance and care-taking is evident.
After describing their natural weakness as Amir al-mu'minin points out the mischiefs of blindly following them and wrongly obeying them. He says that not to say of bad things but even if they say in regard to some good things it should not be done in a way that these should feel as if it is being done in pursuance of their wish, but rather in a way that they should realize that the good act has been performed because of its being good and that their pleasure or wish has nothing to do with it. If they have even the doubt that their pleasures has been kept in view in it they would slowly increase in their demands and would wish that they should be obeyed in all matters however evil, the inevitable consequence whereof will be destruction and ruin. Ash-Shaykh Muhammad 'Abduh writes about this view of Amir al-muminin as under:
Amir al-muminin has said a thing which is corroborated by experiences of centuries. (Ibid., pp. 204-205)
(4) …Hazrat Omar said: Act opposite to women as there is blessing in opposing them. Some one said: Take advice from them but act to the contrary. The Prophet said: He who becomes a slave of women is ruined. He said for this reason that if a husband acts according to the wishes of his wife, he becomes her slave and is thus ruined as God has made him her master. The right of the husband is that the wife should follow him and the husband should not follow her. …Imam Shafeyi said: If you honour three kinds of men, they will disgrace you and if you disgrace them, they will honour you -WIFE, servant and Nabati. Evils AND LITTLE INTELLIGENCE are strong over them. The Prophet said: The example of a religious woman among general women is that of a crow with white belly among one hundred crows. The wise Luqman advised his son: O dear son, fear unchaste wife, as she will make you grow old before you grow old. Fear the harms of women as they do not call towards good. … (Ihya’ ‘Ulum-Ud-Din, Book II, pp. 32-33)
We conclude our discussion with comments taken from a Salafi Muslim website which provide the opinions of other writers and scholars to support the exegesis given in answer to specific questions. The main page to the website we will be using is www.islamqa.com.
Regarding whether Islam allows for women rulers, this Salafi site responds:
The evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicates that it is not permissible for a woman to assume positions of senior public authority, such as the caliph (khaleefah), minister of state (wazeer or vizier) or judge (qaadi) and so on.
1 – Evidence from the Qur’aan: Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means" [al-Nisa 4:34].
Al-Qurtubi said: The words "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women" mean that they spend on them and protect them, and also that they (men) are the rulers and governors, and the ones who go on military campaigns, and none of these are the role of women. Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 5/168.
Ibn Katheer said: It means the man is in charge of the woman; he is her leader, the ruler over her WHO DISCIPLINES HER if she goes astray. "because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other" means, because men are superior to woman, and a man IS BETTER THAN A WOMAN. Hence Prophethood was given ONLY TO MEN, as is the role of caliph, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "No people will ever prosper who appoint a woman in charge of them.". Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/492.
2 –Evidence from the Sunnah:
It was narrated that Abu Bakrah said: When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) heard that the people of Persia had appointed the daughter of Chosroes as their queen, he said, "No people will ever prosper who appoint a woman in charge of them."
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4163.
Al-Shawkaani said in Nayl al-Awtaar, 8/305: This indicates that women ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO RULE, and it is not permissible for people to appoint them as rulers, because they must avoid that which will cause them not to prosper.
Al-Maawirdi said, in the context of his discussion of the position of wazeer: It is not permissible for a woman to play this role, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "No people will prosper if they delegate their affairs to a woman." And because these positions require wisdom and resolve, WHICH WOMEN MAY BE LACKING IN, and requires appearing in public to handle matters directly, which is haraam for them to do. Al-Ahkaam al-Sultaaniyyah, p. 46…
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked the following question: What is the Islamic view on a woman being nominated as a candidate for the position of head of state, or head of a government, or a public ministry? He replied: It is not permissible to appoint or elect a woman as head of state. This is indicated by the Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus. In the Qur’aan, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other…" [al-Nisa 4:34]
The ruling in the verse is general and includes a man’s position of leadership in his family, and applies more so to his position of public leadership. This ruling is supported by the reason given in the verse itself, WHICH IS MEN’S INTELLECTUAL SUPERIORITY AND BETTER UNDERSTANDING etc, which are basic qualifications for leadership…
Rationally speaking, women should not be given positions of public office, because what is required of the one who is chosen for such a position is that he should a man of great resolve, determination, smartness, will power and good management skills. THESE CHARACTERISTICS ARE LACKING IN WOMEN BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN CREATED WITH WEAKNESS IN THEIR INTELLECT AND THINKING, and with strong emotions, so electing them to such positions is not in the interests of the Muslims and does not help them to achieve greatness.
Majallat al-Mujtama’, issue no. 890. And Allaah knows best.
Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)
(Question #20677: Is it permissible in Islamic sharee’ah for a woman to be a ruler?). You can find more here: Question #3285: Ruling on appointing women to positions of high public office)
Their opinion is not an isolated one, but one found throughout the hadith literature. On the issue of whether men and women are equal in Islam, these Salafis unashamedly quote Ibn Kathir’s comments on Surah 2:282 and claim:
Ibn Katheer said: Two women are to take the place of one man because women are lacking in reason, as Muslim narrated in his Saheeh …(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/336)
They don’t stop there:
There are other differences between the sexes, including the following:
- A man can marry four women, but a woman can only have one husband.
- A man has the right to issue a divorce and it is valid if he does so, but a woman does not have the right to issue a divorce.
- A man may marry a woman from among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), but a Muslim woman may not marry anyone but a Muslim.
- A man may travel without his wife or any of his mahrams, but a woman may not travel unless she is accompanied by a mahram.
- Prayer in the mosque is obligatory for men, but not for women; a woman's prayer in her house is more beloved to Allaah.
- A woman may wear silk and gold, but a man must not wear them.
Everything that we have mentioned is based on the difference between men and women, because the male is not like the female. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And the male is not like the female" [Aal 'Imraan 3:36] ...
And men are different in intellectual terms, for men are known for their strength of understanding and their memory as compared to women. Women are weaker than men in memory and forget more than men do. This is well known, for most of the reputable scholars in the world are men. There are some women who are more intelligent and have better memories than some men, but this does not cancel out the general rule. Most cases are as we have described above...
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid ( www.islam-qa.com); (Question #1105: Does Islam regard men and women as equal?)
(Question #43252: The reason why the husband is regarded as superior and is given the role of qawwaam (protector and maintainer))
They are not quite finished: Allaah has commanded the testimony of two women so as to be sure that they remember, because the mind and memory of two women takes the place of the mind and memory of one man. (See I'laam al-Muwaqqa'een, part 1, p. 75).
This does not mean that a woman does not understand or that she cannot remember things, but she is weaker than man in these aspects - usually. Scientific and specialized studies have shown that men's minds ARE MORE PERFECT THAN THOSE OF WOMEN, and reality and experience bear witness to that. The books of knowledge are the best witness to that; the knowledge which has been transmitted by men and the ahaadeeth which have been memorized by men far outnumber those which have come via women.
This has to do with gender, i.e., the gender of men IS MORE PERFECT than the gender of women...
Nevertheless, there are some women who are far superior to men in their reason and insight, but they are few, and the ruling is based on the majority and the usual cases...
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid ( www.islam-qa.com ). (Question #20051: Why is the witness of one man considered to be equal to the witness of two women?)
We come to the conclusion of our analysis of the authentic view of women in Islam. If someone can read through all this massive amount of evidence and still conclude that Islam honors and dignifies women, then there is really nothing more that a person could say.