Islam and women
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
What does Islam teach about women?
The following information comes from the Hadith, which is an account of things that Mohammed did or taught. It is the second most important body of literature in Islamic theology. A former Islamic teacher who knew the Koran by heart in the original Arabic language, supplied this information in his book: Mark Gabriel, Jesus and Muhammed, Charisma House, 2004, p 166-184.
- It is well known that Mohammed had 14 women, and allowed Muslim men up to 4 wives. They were also allowed to divorce and remarry at whim.
- When Mohammed visited paradise and hell (during the Night Journey), the prophet said, ‘I looked into Paradise and found that the majority of its dwellers were the poor people, and I looked into the (Hell) Fire and found that the majority of its dwellers were women’ (The Correct Books of Bukhari, vol 8, bk 76, no. 456. Narrated by Imran bin Hussain).
- In his days, women had to be careful not to walk by men who were praying. His second wife Aisha, reported this teaching with her protest: The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, “Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people).” I said, “ You have made us (i.e. women) dogs.” (The Correct Books of Bukhari, vol 1, bk.9, no 490. Narrated by Aisha).
- At another time Muhammad described women as an ‘evil’ omen or bad luck. Evil omen was mentioned before the Prophet: The Prophet said, “If there is evil omen in anything, it is on the house, the woman and the horse.” (The Correct Books of Bukhari, vol 7, bk 62, no 31. Narrated by Ibn Umar).
- Did Muhammed consider women inferior? Yes, he said, 'Get witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her' (Surah 2:282). Muhammed explained, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’ (The Correct Books of Bukhari, vol 3, bk 48, no 826. Narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri).
- Women also received a smaller share of inheritance than a man. Allah commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to make the portion of a male equal to that of two females (Surah 4:11).
The God of the Bible is different: in His kingdom (those who belong to Christ) all people are equal. He makes no distinctions on the basis of gender, color or social status. (Colossians 3:11 and Galatians 3:18 'There is neither Jew not Greek, slave not free, male not female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.')