Female in Islam


“The Heaven is under the feet of Mothers” Hadeeth

Female in Islam I

The impact of negative Social values upon Females


16:58 When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief!

Introduction

It is no secret that women in Muslim societies are oppressed. Muslim women have been oppressed for centuries under the corrupted Muslim political, social and inherited bad cultural values. Unfortunately these injustices toward females are often committed in the name of Islam. Many Muslim scholars deny such allegations which are expressed by many Muslim women and non Muslim people. Those scholars tend to be apologetic to the horrible Muslim treatment of women in the Muslim societies. Such an apologetic approach is adopted to provide a convenient cover up to the distorted Muslim understanding of the true Islamic approach towards women’s rights. Similar or worse type of oppression towards women is committed by all religions of the world, such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and etc.

It is fair to say that women oppression is a common social chronic disease among all members of all world religions and man made doctrines. The reason for this unremitting negative treatment of women throughout history, in my opinion, is because man has introduced his own social values in dealing with women. And such values are influenced by the male inferiority complex towards women. Subconsciously man feels intimidated by woman for various reasons which are related to her necessary attributes of being a female. Some of those reasons are: 1- her ability to bare children and what it entails; 2- her extraordinary love and compassion, and the necessary emotions for nurturing which are vested within her; 3- The power of her beauty which is capable in seducing man and ultimately breaks his will.

Such harsh realities and essential characteristics of female, and the failure to adhere to human values and the true commands of God are, in my opinion, the main reasons for man’s inferiority complex against women. There are many more reasons of course but they are beyond the scope of this short essay. The main dynamic force of this inferiority complex is the power struggle for domination.

All institutionalize religions of the world are guilty of this crime against women. Even so we must be aware of the fact that the true doctrines and teachings of these great religions are not responsible for the abuse towards women rather it is man’s distorted understanding and deliberate corruption of these religions. All Prophets of God never sanctioned any form of oppression against women rather to the contrary they have advocated kindness and goodness towards our partners in existence. The true books of God have taught the same thing, nevertheless we find throughout history man (males) has corrupted the teachings of these religions to suit his inferiority complex in order to feel more secure about himself in dominating the other half of humanity-women. I also think that the secular communities are guilty of the same crime through introducing a perverted form of freedom granted to women, which has transformed them into an object by which man’s devious needs are satisfied.

Unfortunately, these relentless abuses, by males, toward women throughout history have pushed females to the other extreme, which is clearly seen in the modern feminist movement. This movement, despite many of their positive achievements in restoring many rights for women, have preached hate, towards man, and distorted philosophy of women’s rights. The institutions of this movement were utilised, to great extent, in getting even with man, and were geared towards scoring points against him.

Quranic Perspective

After this short introduction to the issue of women ’s oppression, I will discuss this issue from a Quranic perspective.

The holy Quran presents to us a powerful image of this chronic disease of humanity that is the negative treatment, mental cruelty, physical abuses, and social oppression toward women. One of those negative aspects of women treatments is seen in two verses of Sura 16:58-59

16:58 When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief!

وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُمْ بِالأُنثَى ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ… 16:58

Although this verse describes the negative social norms of the Arabs during the pre-Islamic era-the Arab pagans, a similar reality already existed throughout the world under the Roman Empire and other social systems. What is really beautiful to note here, in verse 16:58, is that the news of a female birth is defined in this verse as “glad tidings” and in the Arabic is referred to as “bushshira– he was informed of the good news” This follows that Allah SW is considering the birth of female children as “glad tidings” and not ordinary news; if it was an ordinary event then the word “bushshira” , in the Arabic text of this verse, would have been as “ukhbira” which means “he was told of news” Accordingly Allah SW considers the birth of females as “glad tidings” to society. This divine definition of female birth is truly remarkable and should reflect the importance of female in the sight of God, and it reflects the glory of God’s word.

According to verse 16:58, God the almighty describes to us in the most accurate way the male’s reaction to the news of his new born female child. His (the father) face becomes gloomy and sad “his face darkens” and he maintains this facial expression for a long time as it is seen in the Arabic term “dhalla-remains” which is not reflected in the English translation. So as time goes by and if he decides to keep his new female child then his terrible psychological reality is transformed into hidden hate and contempt toward his female child, as seen in “and he is filled with inward grief!. This kind of inward misery will definitely influence his mental state and it will be one of the main causes for the horrible treatment of his female child, and throughout time, it will be manifested in the form of mental and physical abuses against her.

Furthermore, the Quran also tells us about the fate of females in those societies. It further describes the mental and the social behaviour of the male, within his community, when he is granted, by God, a female child. Stressed and disorientated, he becomes, “avoiding all people 16:59”, and he does not know how to face his community with the perceived shame due to his new female child. Confused, he becomes as what to do with this female child; how can he protect his honour from this shame; should he keep her and swallow this shame and pride “Shall he keep this [child] despite the contempt “ or bury her alive into the dust-to bury the shame with it? As seen in “or shall he bury it in the dust? “ This state of confusion is powerfully expressed in 16:59:

16:59 avoiding all people because of the [alleged] evil of the glad tiding which he has received, [and debating within himself:] Shall he keep this [child] despite the contempt [which he feels for it]-or shall he bury it in the dust? Old, evil indeed is whatever they decide!

يَتَوَارَى مِنَ الْقَوْمِ مِن سُوءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِ أَيُمْسِكُهُ عَلَى هُونٍ أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَابِ أَلاَ سَاء مَا يَحْكُمُونَ 16:59

Looking closely at this verse 16:59 you can vividly imagine, as father or mother, the state of that child and her mother when the child is being buried alive. God clearly condemns these acts which are committed against females, whether keeping her with contempt or burying her alive, and it was defined as an evil act, as seen in “evil indeed is whatever they decide!”

Unfortunately many men of that era had murdered their female children and this practice still continues in some parts of the world; in China according to recent credible reports. The Quran deplores and strongly condemns this practice, murdering female infants, and promises a severe punishment against those who commits such acts. In 8:8-9 the Quran reference, to such crimes is so powerful and you can actually feel and visualize the gravity of this crime;

81:8 When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned –وَإِذَا الْمَوْؤُودَةُ سُئِلَتْ

81:9 For what crime she was killed;-بِأَيِّ ذَنبٍ قُتِلَتْ

The ancient crimes against women are still alive in modern history

Unfortunately, in the Muslim world today there are many different types of negative treatments and crimes which are committed against their female infants and women in general. The negative social conduct which is referred to in 16:58 is still very much alive and widely adopted by many Muslims in particular in the Arab world; I personally have witnessed such behaviour, within the Arab community in the exact way as described in 16:58 : “When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child) his face darkens”

As for the crime of sparing the life of the female child, associated with contempt and hate towards the child, as described in 16:59 “and he is filled with inward grief!” this is also still practiced in many parts of the Muslim world today.

As for the crime of burying the female child, this crime has evolved in the Muslim world and has taken two different faces. The first face of this crime is that instead of the physical burial of the female child at a young age rather they subject her to relentless physical, mental abuse which would ultimately kill her human spirit and ultimately would devoid her of her own humanity. In many cases this kind of treatment may lead to her becoming suicidal. And the other face of this crime-female burying, is her murder under the pretext of the infamous crime of the “honour killing” which is very widely practiced in the Muslim world today. It is worth noting here in respect to the “honour killing” crime that it represents the acute disease of man’s inferiority complex towards women. Males seem to lay all of their honour upon the shoulder of females and none of such honour seems to be with the males of the tribe or family. In other words according to the psyche of those Muslim criminals, who commits such crime, is that if the males of their family member commits a sexual misconduct or are accused of such a thing, it does not merit any punishment and it does not necessarily bring dishonour or shame to the family. This kind of perverted perception, despite its negative impact on female, should reflect subconsciously an unintended honour to be given to female and not dishonour as they perceive it to be, for all of the honour of the family seems to be vested in her.

Clearly what is prevalent today in the behaviors of many Muslims is that their ancient negative cultural values are often overriding the Islamic values.

The true Islamic values have yet to be embraced by many Muslims today .

Until next time for more on this topic.

Female in Islam part II

Female in Islam Part III

Katib

Posted on February 7, 2008, in Current Issues, Islam, Islam Versus Muslims, Islamic History, Muslim Theology, Quranic Studies, Women and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Nice commentary Katib, esp about the vested honor.

  2. To Crabb

    You are most welcom. And thank you for your input.

    katib

  3. “Males seem to lay all of their honour upon the shoulder of females and none of such honour seems to be with the males of the tribe or family”

    Very true and very unfortunate esp. when, as you point out, these negative behaviors are in opposition to the Qur’an.

  4. To Irshad

    Indeed, they are in violation of Allah’s commands and the pure human values.

    Thank you for your insights.

    katib

  5. A most excellent and very true article. I am have been saying the same for years, but not as eloquently🙂

    By the way, dear Brother, you are TAGGED for a book meme. Check out my blog for details, and forgive the imposition🙂

    Ya Haqq!

  6. Dear Br Darvish

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts over this issue.

    I am grateful to you for tagging me in this book meme. Insha’aAllah I will pass on the torch.

    katib

  7. Salaams

    Well done katib for this great essay, i’m pleasantly surprised to discover that a muslim man has actually spoken the truth! WOW! If only there were more of you out there!

    Alhamdulillah

  8. Mashallah! Excellent article.

    Brother Irving pointed me towards this post. So glad I came here.

  9. Wa’alaikum assalam FedUp

    Thank you for your kind words.

    katib

  10. To Achelois

    Thank you for your visit. And thanks to br Irving for his efforts.

    katib

  11. Thank you for this inspiring post.
    I got here via Irving as well.

  12. To Aafke

    You are very welcome and thank you for your visit.

    katib

  13. Salaams Katib:

    Very well written, Masha Allah.

  14. Wa’alikumasslam Safiyyah

    Thank you for your visit.

    God bless you

    katib

  15. Salaams Katib,

    Ma sha Allah! Important, profound and challenging, as any true spirituality should be!

    Allah bless you always

    Abdur Rahman

  16. Waalaikumassalam Br. Abdur Rahman

    I hope you are doing well in your short pause and I am looking forward for the return of your tavern of spirituality.

    May God Bless you for these kinds words.

    katib

  17. very good post, objective and sober! subject itself is very challenging, hope more people can open their eyes

  18. To Amina

    Thank you for your input.

    katib

  19. the truth is on the holy book.those which are reflected by arabs or any others muslims my not represented the truth.so evrey boday who wantes to talk about some thing about islam,he/she should take the holy book as an evidence.

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