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Women in Christianity and Islam

Women in Christianity and Islam

According to the Bible and The Qur"an

Women"s Nature

What the Bible Says

A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. (1 Corinthians 11:7)

What the Qur"an Says

Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, male or female. You are one of another. (Qur"an, 3:195)

Commentary

The Qur"an confirms that men and women are equal in the sight of Allah. The Qur"an does not say that the man is the glory of Allah and the woman is the Glory of man. This is nonsense because the male and the female are both created by Allah, and because the male comes from the female and the female comes from the male. They are one of another.

Women"s Original Sin

What the Bible Says

And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (1 Timothy 2:14)

What the Qur"an Says

And he (Satan) swore by Allah to them both (Adam and Eve) (saying): "Verily, I am one of the sincere well-wishers for you both." So he misled them with deception. (Qur"an, 7:21 -22)

Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray. Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance. (Qur"an, 20:121,122)

Commentary

According to the Qur"an both Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan. The Qur"an blames both of them for their sin. However, Adam and Eve prayed earnestly to Allah for forgiveness and He forgave them.

According to the Bible, Eve was the sinner and because of her sin all humans are born in sin.

Women"s Righteousness

What the Bible Says

... I found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright woman among them all. (Ecclesiastes 7:28)

Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! He said, "This is wickedness,"... (Zechariah 5:7,8)

The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. (Proverbs 9:13)

What the Qur"an Says

And Allah has set forth an example to those who believe: The wife of Pharaoh, when she said: "My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Pharaoh and his work, and save me from the people who do wrong." And Mary, the daughter of lmran who guarded her chastity. And We breathed into (the sleeve of her garment) through Our Ruh (Gabriel), and she testified to the truth of the Words of her

Lord, and His Scriptures, and she was one of the devout servants. (Qur"an, 66:11,12)

Commentary

The Bible states that women are foolish, wicked, undisciplined and without knowledge. It also says that no one upright woman was found among them all. On the contrary, the Qur"an orders all Muslims, men and women, to follow the shining examples of two perfect women, Mary the mother of Jesus (pbuh) and Pharaoh"s wife. These two ideal women were models of faith, righteousness, and patience for the sake of Allah.

Women"s Role

What the Bible Says

Now I want you to realise that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the

woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (1 Timothy 2:12-14)

If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do. (Exodus 21:7)

No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty ... and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints... (1 Timothy 5:9,10)

What the Qur"an Says

And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similar to the rights against them, in kindness, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. (Qur"an, 2:228)

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). (Qur"an, 4:34)

And give the women on marriage their dowry (money given by the husband to his wife) with a good heart. (Qur"an, 4:4)

Commentary

The Bible and the Qur"an are in agreement on the headship of the man over the family. However, they differ in the reasons for the man"s headship and the powers of this headship.

The Bible makes the husband the head of the wife because the man is the glory of Allah while the woman is the glory of man, and because the woman was deceived and became a sinner.

According to the Bible, a woman is not allowed to teach or have authority over a man and must be silent; good women are those who wash the feet of saints; and what is more, a man can sell his daughter and she is not to go free!

Islam treats the man and the woman equally. The woman has rights similar to those of the man. However, Islam assigns to the man and the woman responsibilities which suit their physiological and psychological qualities. The man as a head of the family has

a duty to earn money to provide his wife and children with all the requirements of life such as accommodation, food and clothes.

The woman is assigned the task of keeping house and bringing up future generations. The woman in Islam is not responsible for any financial obligation. She is not burdened with any duties other than her house and children.

Since no organization can work successfully without a leader, the husband is appointed as leader of the family which is a small organization. Without a leader, the family will be in complete disorder and marriage may end in divorce. Islam appoints the husband as head of the family for two reasons stated in the above Verse: firstly, the man"s natural qualities are more suitable for this responsibility and secondly, the man bears ail the financial requirements to support his family.

Women"s Testimony

What the Bible Says

If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, "I married this woman, but when 1 approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity," then the girl"s father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate... Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town ... If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl"s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father"s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death... (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)

What the Qur"an Says

And for those who accuse their wives, but have no witnesses except themselves, let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies (i.e. testifies four times) swearing by Allah that he is one of those who speak the truth. And the fifth (testimony should be) the invoking of the Curse of Allah on him if he is of those who tell a lie. But it shall avert (turn away) the punishment from her, if she bears witness four times by Allah, that he is telling a lie. And the fifth should be that the Wrath of Allah be upon her if he speaks the truth. (Qur"an, 24:6-9)

And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them (the accusers) with eighty stripes and reject their testimony forever. (Qur"an, 24:4)

Verily, those who accuse chaste, believing women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter, and for them will be great torment. (Qur"an, 24:23)

Commentary

According to the judgment of the Bible, if a man accuses his wife of not being a virgin, the wife"s father and mother have to bring proof that she was a virgin, otherwise, the wife will be stoned to death! The wife"s testimony carries no weight!

According to the judgment of the Qur"an, if a man accuses his wife of committing adultery, the wife can nullify the accusation as her testimony is accepted, consequently, the wife will not be punished.

However, if the accuser is not her husband, then he has to bring four witnesses. If not, he will receive eighty lashes and his testimony will be rejected forever.

Women"s Veil

What the Bible Says

If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head. (1 Corinthians 11:6-10)

What the Qur"an Says

0 Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known so as not to be annoyed. (Qur"an, 33:59)

And when you ask them (the wives of the Prophet) for anything you want, ask them from behind a curtain: that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. (Qur"an, 33:53)

Commentary

The Bible instructs women to cover their heads. The purpose of the covering is to show the authority of men over them because men are the image and glory of Allah while women are the glory of men! Because of this teaching, some non-Muslims think that Muslim women, who wear the veil, are ill-treated and neglected.

Unlike the Bible, the Qur"an instructs women to wear the veil for their protection. The veil is one of the Islamic measures to create a righteous society and to block the roads leading to fornication and adultery. The Qur"an clarifies that the veil makes wicked men stay away from women. Furthermore, the veil purifies the heart from immoral thoughts and temptation because showing beauty may excite men"s sexual feelings. On the other hand, the Qur"an allows women to show their beauty to other women, their husbands and some close relatives in addition to children.

Marriage

What the Bible Says

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

His disciples say unto him. If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he (Jesus) said unto them. All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother"s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven"s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it (Matthew 19:9-12) (KJV)

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)

Those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. (1 Corinthians 7:28)

What the Qur"an Says

But monasticism" they invented. We ordained it not, but (they sought it) only to please Allah therewith and they did not observe it with the right observance. So We gave those

among them who believed, their reward; but many of them are rebellious transgressors. (Qur"an, 57:27)

(1) The way of life of monks in monasteries; living a very simple life without marriage.

And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find rest in them, and He has put between you love and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for people who reflect. (Qur"an, 30:21)

Commentary

The Bible recommends celibacy1 and says that marriage brings many troubles in this life. It also says that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) encouraged his disciples to make themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven"s sake.

This act of monasticism could not be taught by Prophet Jesus (pbuh) for the following reasons:-

Jesus (pbuh) was a Messenger of Allah and he only taught what Allah commanded him to teach. The Qur"an states that monasticism was an invention and Allah did not ordain it.



The result of this teaching is the extinction of humans or at least the extinction of the religious people who follow it.
Celibacy is against human instincts. It suppresses sexual desires, which causes psychological problems and makes life miserable. This teaching made many Christians hate religion and prefer secular life.
In Islam salvation is not achieved by the suffering of the body and the suppression of emotions. Islam forbids self-persecution and allows enjoying the pleasures of life while observing Allah"s laws.

These laws ensure that we get what is beneficial and avoid what is harmful. Islam encourages the Muslim to get married as soon as possible Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said," Whoever is able to marry should marry." However, Islam prevents humans from descending to the level of animals. Therefore, it forbids adultery and perverted sexual practices which spread diseases, destroy the family, and harm the individual and the entire society.

Polygamy (Polygyny)

What the Bible Says

In Jerusalem David took more wives... (1 Chronicles 14:3)

He (Solomon) had seven hundred wives (1 Kings 11:3)

What the Qur"an Says

If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, then marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one, or slaves that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice. And give the women on marriage their dowry (money given by the husband to his wife) with a good heart. (Qur"an, 4:3,4)

Commentary

The Bible does not prohibit polygamy and most of the Old Testament Prophets were polygamous. Criticizing polygamy implies criticizing those Messengers, and this should not be acceptable to any true Jew, Christian or Muslim.

Unlike the Bible, the Qur"an limits polygamy to a maximum of four wives provided that the husband deals with them justly. If not, then only one wife is allowed. Therefore, polygamy is not one of the pillars of Islam but a restricted permission! The Qur"an did not invent polygamy but limited it.

Islam allows polygamy not merely for the satisfaction of desires but as a solution to certain social problems. It is very clear that if the number of women in any society is equal to the number of men, then every man will marry one woman and as a result, no man can marry more than one woman.  However, if the number of women is more than that of men, then polygamy is without doubt better than leaving some women without husbands which may result in fornication, prostitution, homosexuality, diseases, and illegitimate children.  Therefore, many women, who could not get married, find in polygamy the right way to satisfy their emotions and enjoy the pleasure of having a family and children.

Women"s Inheritance

What the Bible Says

(The daughters of Zeiophehad said to Moses), "Our father died .. and left no sons. Why should our father"s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father"s relatives." So Moses brought their case before the Lord and the Lord said to him .. "If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance over to his daughter, ff he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father"s brothers. If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it."... (Numbers 27:1-11)

What the Qur"an Says

There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether, the property be small or large a legal share. (Qur"an, 4:7)

Allah commands you concerning your children"s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females. (Qur"an, 4:11)

For parents (father and mother), a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children. (Qur"an, 4:11)

Commentary

According to the laws of inheritance in the Bible, the woman has no right to inherit, whether she is a mother, a sister, a wife or a daughter except for the daughter who has no brothers. This law was in use until the last century and some high-class families in Europe still give most of their possessions to the first-born son.

The woman in Islam has a share of inheritance. The daughter"s portion is half that of the son. This share is very generous given that, in Islam, the man"s financial obligations are by far more than those of the woman. The man gives the dowry to his wife. He pays for all the necessities of life such as accommodation, food and clothes. He supports his parents in addition to his wife and children. On the other hand, the wife does not have to support anyone even herself because her husband is responsible for maintaining her, no matter how rich she Is. It is worth noting that in some cases the woman"s share of inheritance is equal to that of the man.

Women"s Cleanness

What the Bible Says

When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sets on will be unclean. ... Whoever touches anything she sits on must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. (Leviticus 15:19-22)

When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a .me other than her monthly period.... She will be unclean as long as she had the discharge, ... On the eighth day she

must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest ... The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the Lord for the uncleanness of her discharge. (Leviticus 15:25-30)

What the Qur"an Says

They ask you (0 Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: it is Adha (harmful to the husband if he has sexual intercourse with his wife during her period), so keep away from women during menstruation and go not in unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves then go in unto them as Allah has enjoined upon you.  Truly Allah loves those who turn unto Him, and loves those who keep themselves pure and clean. (Qur"an, 2:222)

Commentary

The Bible describes woman"s period as if it is a highly contagious disease which can be passed to other people by touch. In addition, woman"s discharge of blood is considered a sin of which a woman has to repent!

In Islam, woman"s period or discharge of blood is neither considered a sin nor transmittable uncleanness. The husband and the wife can do everything except sexual intercourse, as it is harmful according to the Qur"an.

Killing the Enemy"s Women and Children

What the Bible Says

This is what the Lord almighty says: "... Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys." (1 Samuel 15:2,3)

Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. (Numbers 31:17,18)

However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. (Deuteronomy 20:16)

What the Qur"an Says

Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who are just.

Allah forbids you only those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that you make friends of them" And whosoever makes friends of them, then such are the wrongdoers. (Qur"an, 60:8,9)

Commentary

The Bible asserts that Allah and His Prophets Moses and Joshua, peace be upon them, commanded the Jews to kill guiltless women and children!

And they say: "This is from Allah," but it is not from Allah: and they speak a lie against Allah while they know it. (Qur"an, 3:78)

There is no doubt that Allah is free from these shocking crimes and so are His Prophets. Allah and His Prophets never commanded the killing of blameless women and children. Allah says in the Qur"an: For that cause. We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a human being for other than murder or spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits in the land. (Qur"an, 5:32)

In the Qur"an, there is not a single Verse that commands the killing of the enemy"s women or children. On the contrary, the Qur"an instructs Muslims to deal justly and kindly with all innocent people.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to warn his army, saying, "Do not kill an old man, a woman or a child."

Incest

What the Bible Says

[Prophet Abraham (pbuh) married his sister] Abraham replied .. Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. (Genesis 20:11,12)

[Prophet Lot (pbuh) and his daughters] ..That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. .. So both of Lot"s daughters became pregnant by their father. (Genesis 19:30-36)
[Reuben and his father"s concubine] While Israel (Jacob) was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father"s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it. (Genesis 35:22)
[Judah and his daughter-in-law Tamar] When Judah saw her (Tamar), he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, "Come now, let me sleep with you."... So he gave them to her and slept with her and she became pregnant by him. (Genesis 38:15-18)
Commentary

Incest is a great sin and a betrayal of trust by someone supposed to be a protector not an offender.  It is religiously, morally and naturally rejected and detested. 

Allah revealed His Books as light and guidance to lead all humans out of darkness and to warn them and guard them against evil.  These Books command righteous deeds and forbid shameful deeds and wickedness.

It is true that Allah does mention in His Books crimes and sins committed by some people. However, Allah mentions these stories to warn people against committing such sins and crimes, and not to encourage people to commit them. When a book mentions very indecent stories of incest or adultery without criticizing or punishing the people who committed them, then the book, in fact, encourages people to do the same. In the Bible:

Prophet Lot (pbuh) is accused of committing incest with his daughters night after night and there is no criticism.
Judah committed incest with his daughter-in-law Tamar and Allah rewarded Judah for this crime with two sons born of incest and one of them was (according to the Bible) a great grandfather of Prophet Jesus (pbuh), although he was born miraculously without a father!
Reuben committed incest with his father"s concubine Bilhah, without any reaction from his father Prophet Jacob (pbuh).
What is the moral teaching of these immoral stories? Does any upright person want his or her sons and daughters to read them?

These fabricated stories have no benefit except spreading immorality and evil on earth and damaging the reputation of Prophets and righteous people. These stories cannot be the Word of Allah and cannot be from the teachings of the Prophets.

What the Qur"an Says

Verily, those who like that illegal sexual intercourse should be spread among the believers, will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter and Allah knows and you know not (Qur"an. 24:19)


By: Br. Naser Al-Moghamis








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