Monday, August 07, 2006

Women in Islam

I've just finished re-reading a little booklet called "Women in Islam"(by P. Newton and M. Rafiqul Haqq) that I got quite a while back from Voice of the Martyrs.
Even though it can be maddening to read some of the views of women, I think it's important to learn about other religions, especially one that is so pervasive and influential in the world today. This booklet is basically full of quotes from the Qur'an, The Hadith, and other textbooks and commentaries by Muslim scholars both traditional and contemporary. The authors' comments are kept brief "so that the reader can come to his own conclusions, rather than be influenced unduly by our interpretation". Also, the authors state in the beginning that, "It must be recognised that neither every Muslim, nor every Muslim nation follows all of these teachings." So keeping that in mind,here are a few quotes from the book:

"Man is more perfect than the woman in creation, in intelligence, and in the religious sphere, such as the suitalbility to be a judge, and a leader in worship. Also, the testimony of the man is twice that of the woman. So that whoever is given great responsibilities must be given correspondingly great privileges. As the woman is deficient in intelligence and of great lust, if she is given much money, much corruption will be the result." (Razi,commenting on Q.4:11)

"His saying 'created for you' is a proof that women were created like animals, plants and other useful things, just as the Most High has said 'He created for you what is on earth' and that necessitates the woman not to be created for worship and carrying the Divine commands. We say creating the women is one of the graces bestowed upon us and charging them with Divine cammands to complete the graces bestowed upon us, not that they are charged as we men are charged. Women are not charged with many commands as we are charged. Because the woman is weak, silly, in a sense she is like a child, and no commands are laid upon a child, but for the grace of Allah upon us to be complete, women had to be charged so that they may fear the torment of punishment and so follow her husband, and keep away from what is forbidden, otherwise corruption would be rampant." (Razi, commention on Q. 30:21)

"Righteous women are therefore obedient, ...And those you fear may be rebellious,admonish, banish them to their couches, and beat them." (Q. 4:34)

"If blood, suppuration, and pus, were to pour from the husband's nose and the wife licked it with her tongue, she would still never be able to fulfil his right over her." (Suyati,commenting on Q. 4:34

"When Dauda bint Zam'ah (one of Muhammad's wives)became old, the Prophet of Allah wanted to divorce her. However, she preferred to remain amongst his wives, so she said, 'Keep me, and my day shall belong to 'Aisha, and he did, and thus she died as one of his wives. Ibn Abi Malikah declared that this verse was revealed regarding 'Aisha. And in this verse is the answer to those light headed fools who say that if a man took the youth of a woman and she became old he cannot replace her. So praise be to Allah who lifted such burden and made an escape from such dilemma." (Ibn al-'Arabi commenting on Q. 4:128)

While my natural tendency when reading things like this is to get angry and self-righteous, by the Holy Spirit I am given love and compassion towards those in bondage to these demonic lies. I find reading things like this, especially in conjunction with testimonies of those who have been saved out of Islam ( such as "Into the Den of Infidels") to be very helpful by giving me a desire to pray for both the masses of lost people and the individuals I meet or see in my daily life. In a strange way, it also enforces my understanding of God's love for women, and also his love for his Bride, the church. As I read such blatant lies that so obviously originated from the pit of hell as an attack on everything God holds dear, I am reminded of the beautiful truths of God's word that stand in stark contrast to these evils. Christ loves us and laid down his life for us. He is washing us and making us perfect for himself and he will stop at nothing to show us his amazing redeeming love and joy in his Bride. This is wonderful, amazing grace such as no other religion or belief system in the world even tries to compete with.

You wouldn't believe the difficulty I had getting this posted! It was erased once ( I still don't know how), then my computer shut down and I lost part of it again, and lots of other things kept happening such as windows went crazy and kept opening window after window clickclickclick until I finally got the whole thing closed and had to login in all over again. So, I hope someone gets something out of this whole thing. I'd love to hear any testimonies of people who have been saved out of other religions, as well as any other comments.


Clarie said...

Hey Jul, I thought I'd pop buy and check out your blog :-)
I'm just starting to look at islam too - bought myself a copy or the quran this week. Did you know that whilst all muslims are taught to learn the quran and read it in Arabic, only 17% of Muslims actually speak Arabic? I feel privilaged to have access to my Holy Book in my mother tongue!
God bless you

Mandy Snider said...

Hello Julie!
Though you have made very good points, I believe the readers should be aware of other points you have recently made. For instance, when asked for your insight regarding how an abusive husband is to handle his perpetual anger and contempt for his wife, you said: “Get a likeable dog to kick instead of kicking your wife. Perhaps then you will feel some remorse.”

Very interesting.

You also made some interesting points regarding death, airplanes, sling-shots, hermit crabs, and Ferris wheels; however I am too disturbed by them to repeat them.

Thank you for an interesting weekend!

Mandy S.

jul said...

Hi Clarie, thanks for stopping by. Keep me posted on what you learn in your studying. I find it all very fascinating.

And Mandy, welcome! I don't know what you're talking about but I will take all the comments I can get. It was great spending the week-end with you guys. I especially enjoyed the aromatic pier-I can see why it's your favorite spot.

Percival said...

Hi Julie,
I was just checking your blog and noticed the book on women in Islam. Another interesting book on the subject, though not written by a Christian, is Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks. There are also more and more biographies and novels written by Muslim women these days. I just read Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny Growing Up In the Shadow of Saddam by Zainab Salbi and Laurie Becklund. Also very good, but not exactly about Muslim women.