I will express my opinion of those issues from a woman and Islam perspectives. Firstly, I will cite from a holy Qur’an. Allah The Almighty said: “The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another.” (9:71). In another verse, He said: “And their Lord has accepted (their prayers) and answered them (saying): ‘Never will I cause to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female; you are members, one of another.” (3:195). And still in The Qur’an, He said: “O mankind! Verily We have created your from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other… (49:13).
Man and women has created differently but equally. The differences are understandable, because they are not identical, almost impossible to find identically man and women. The equality means responsibilities that undertaken by man and woman are equal. Equality is dissimilarity with sameness. Equality is justice and fairly but sameness is not. This is merely distinction between equality and sameness. People are not procreated identical but equal.
Woman is equal partner of man. He is father, she is mother, and both of them are essential for life. By this partnership she is entitled to equal rights, she undertakes equal responsibilities. Moreover she enjoys certain privilege of which man is deprived. She is exempted to carry out some religious duties, i.e., praying, fasting. She is exempt from financial liabilities. As a mother, she enjoys from all financial liabilities. As a mother she enjoys more recognition and higher honor in sight of God (31:14-15;46:15). The Prophet Muhammad PBUH acknowledges this honor when he declared that Paradise is under the feet of mother. She is entitled to three-fourths of the son’s love and kindness with one-fourth left for their father.
Secondly, in the case of inheritance, the question of quality and sameness is fully applicable. In principle, both man and woman are equally entitled to inherit the property of the deceased relations but the portions they get may vary. This no sign of giving preference or supremacy to man over woman. The reasons why man gets more in these particular instances may be classified as follows:
#1 – Man is the person solely responsible for the complete maintenance of his wife, his family and any other needy relations. It is his duty by Law to assume all financial responsibilities and maintain his dependents adequately.
#2 – In contrast, woman has no financial responsibilities whatsoever except very little of her personal expenses, the high luxurious things that she likes to have. She is financially secure and provided for. If she is a wife, her husband is the provider; if she is a mother, it is the son; if she is a daughter, it is the father; if she is a sister; it is the brother, and so on. If she has no relations on whom she can depend, then there is no question of inheritance because there is nothing to inherit and there is no one to bequeath anything to her. However, she will not be left to starve, maintenance of such a woman is the responsibility of the society as a whole, the state. She may be given aid or a job to earn her living, and whatever money she makes will be hers.
Thirdly, in the case of polygamy, Islam has some reasons for that. Islamic polygamy addresses the social problems of prostitution and extramarital affairs common in the West. Instead of cheating – infidelity is one of the top reasons for divorce in the West – Islam allows a man to marry more than one wife, with full recognition of the rights of both of them. The basic principle in Islam is that men are held responsible for their behavior towards women just as women are responsible for their behavior towards men.
The number of women in the world exceeds that of men. The surplus is a result of men dying in wars, violent crimes, and women outliving men. The upsurge in homosexuality further increases the problem. Bertrand Russell wrote, “And in all countries where there is an excess of women, it is an obvious injustice that those women who, by arithmetical necessity, must remain unmarried should be wholly debarred from sexual experience.” In addition, surplus of women who are not financially maintained by a husband is a cause of increased prostitution in the society. Polygamy, then, is the only responsible solution for this predicament.
Polygamy is also an alternative to divorce in case of some marital problems. Instead of divorcing a sick or infertile wife, Islam permits a man to marry another woman while taking care of the first if she chooses to stay with him.
And lastly, in the case of hijab, there are some reasons for that. Hijab gives women an air of authority, dignity and respect, which a non-believer can never claim to possess. Only those who are well behaved can expect admiration and high esteem from others and definitely, those who try to attract men can never be called a well-behaved person.
Those who reject hijab and wish to attract men are suffering from inferiority complex. They believe men are superior and in order to overcome this feeling, they use their feminine charms. But why should a Muslim woman have such a feeling when she is fully aware of her equality with men?
Discarding Hijab will also harm not only one’s own self but also millions of others. Exposure of physical charm of our women may destroy many homes and cause innumerable rapes and murders for which we all are responsible.
Look at the glossy cover of any magazine or advertisements on TV and newspaper, you will find that most of these advertisements have scantily dressed women in alluring poses to attract the attention of men. This proves that the Western society considers woman only as a sex symbol.
The liberation of women in Islam is far superior to Western liberation as it allows women to live with respect, dignity and equality in society. A truly liberated woman always dresses decently and modestly. A true woman will never degrade her body and sell her dignity to the highest bidder. No woman is truly liberated if she is still the slave of her wayward conscience, bodily lust or infidelity.
– That’s some short explanation related to Islam and woman issues, from Islam’s perspective. I hope this explanation can answer back some issues addressed to Islam, and at last people will understand Islam as it is. Thanks for your reading this article.
Taipei, 1 Nopember 2009