Author(s): Mahdi Mahrizi
Translator(s): Hasan M. Najafi
Publisher(s): Ansariyan Publications - Qum
Category: Women Marriage
Topic Tags: Women Islam Divorce Muta
Social independence of women, modern life and Islam, women in Qur'an, family rights, differences between men and women, inheritance, divorce, mut'a, and polygamy.
The Muslim woman today is restrained between two ignorances “jaahiliyyah”, one being the ignorance of the 20th century, which shows a degraded portrait of the woman, and the other being the preIslamic era that looks at the woman as a being more junior and of less status than the man.
The new jaahiliyyah, with the pretext of the social activity of the woman and defending her rights, calls the woman toward unknown labyrinth. And the other ignorance, under the guise of chastity and purity, keeps the woman far from so many human perfections and virtues.
Many are of the opinion that the Muslim woman has only two alternatives before her, and she has no choice but to select one of them: either to surrender to the western debauchery or to stay secluded in her house deprived of all human perfections and sublimities.
Perusing attentively the main sources of religion “the Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah” will lay before us an intermediate way, neither that seduction nor this petrifaction “tahajjur”, neither that libertinism nor this seclusion.
Islam, according to genuine texts, presents a portrayal of the woman, proving her to be a human being, but not a man, as the man being also a human being but not
a woman. It also divides arenas of life into two parts: human and genus. The human arena makes no difference between the woman and man, as it never recognises genus or sex, giving no consideration to femininity or masculineness, as both - male and female - are actively endeavouring in search for perfection.
But in the field of sexuality in life, the woman should be a woman, doing only womanly acts and abiding by her special necessaries and vestiges, whereas the man has to behave in this arena like a man, practising only manly acts. Identifying and discerning these two arenas, and deducing rules and laws controlling every behaviour, being in fact not an easy job, but so complicated, squandering or excessive.
One this basis, there are some who imagine the humane arena as if representing all life arenas of the man and woman, denying presence of any diversity, considering the quantitative equality to be governing all domains of life. And if it be in their hands they would even desire to dispute the nature so as to eradicate whatever indicating a bit divergence. The fancy they hold in mind may even include distributing fosterage and pregnancy “between man and woman”!
Another group considers sexuality field to be all domains of human life, though denying this in terms of words. Hence, they give limits to the sphere of perfections, in a way that the two sexes would be affected and affect each other so passively, to the extent that one glance and one
word produced by each sex would cause decline and decay of the other. The manifestation of these two interpretations can be clearly found in so many cultures, laws and norms.
No one can deny the necessity of diligent endeavour, far from time fusses, for recognising these two God's creatures “man and woman”, so as to be able to criticise these cultures, rules, etiquette, formalities and views. In this course, the confirmed and mutawaatir religious texts, i.e. the Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah, with intuitive inferences and experiments and man's thinking should be duly exploited and fully used.
In other words: giving heed to experienced researches and recognised indisputable knowledge deductions, verily plays a good role in better apprehending the religious texts. Further, I should refer to some principles that constitute a criterion and foundation for religious studies on women, with using the scientific achievements in this regard, in the following way:
1. When making religious studies, the pivotal role of the Qur’an should never be neglected, as it being the first and original source for recognising the religion, with hadith and narration being studied and examined with its reflection. Also, all Qur’anic stories, verses on rulings “ahkaam”, knowledge branches and preaching sermons and others should be taken into consideration and included in these studies.
2. For making religious studies, the sermons, sayings and practical sirah “conduct” of the Messenger of Allah “may God's peace and benediction be upon him and his Progeny” and Infallible Imams should be collected and compiled, so as to infer and
deduce rules and verdicts from them. This while analysing the falsified narrations and verses and disregarding the practical Sunnah of the Prophet (S) and Imams (A) being a big blunder, and we should never neglect this principle when doing any investigations about woman in general.
3. The fabrication and tahreef “alteration, perversion” of traditions, with the influence of irreligious cultures should never be neglected, and must be considered attentively. As through investigations and scrutiny, it can be recognised that some beliefs are there which we consider to be of the religion but they be not in truth, and they have, throughout centuries, been foisted and leaked into our religion from other alien cultures and traditions.
4. As regards making use of the accomplishments of human thoughts and experimental sciences, their intuition and definite existence should be realised. As there are so many viewpoints and theories, especially in the field of anthropology, which have no scientific foundation or background at all, so they can never be relied upon by investigators and researchers.
5. In studying affairs and issues of women we should concentrate particularly on external realisms, and past biographies of various nations and peoples.
In this research, I will endeavour to commit myself sincerely to taking these principles as a basis for analysing and studying the subjects set for speculation. The themes of this book have been divided into six sections, the first of which, that is the most essential one and as is explicitly realised from its outward seeming, is dedicated for manifesting
the character of the woman. In my conception, the root of so many of the wrong judgements lies in the unrealistic view held in regard of the woman, so the fountainhead should be purified. On this basis, this chapter has a leading role in relation to other chapters.
Thereafter, presence and activity of the woman in three main arenas of life: individual, family and society, will be discussed and elaborated in the next chapters - two up to four - under the titles: “The Human Perfections,” “Woman and Family,” and “Woman's Participation in Social Life.”
The subject of “Veil and Chastity” constitutes the fifth chapter of this book. The fact that led me to broaching this topic being that it is viewed by some people to be incongruous with the social presence of the woman, while some others consider it as a sign of individual perfection for the woman and consolidation of the family system. Analysing the dimensions of veil “hijaab” and chastity and their effect on the life of women, as well as giving replies to some questions would be the objective of the discussion in this chapter.
The last chapter of this book will contain selection of Descriptive Book Identification of Collections, in which general identification of a number of collections and compilations is recorded. All my hope is that this work can give, though so briefly, a manifest Idaho of the Islamic perspective of the woman.
The issue of the woman's character has a leading role in recognising
the woman in every creed and religion, and every thought course can, through the portrait it displays for the woman's character, give its opinion and lay bare its stance in respect of other affairs of the woman. In other words, all other subjects like: woman's rights, her social participation, moral perfections and veil and adornment are relevant and correlated to the theme of the woman's character.
So studying and investigating the woman's affairs in perspective of Islam, should also be conducted from this point. Further, it is explicit that indicating the Islam's view toward the woman should be, on the one hand, compatible to the incontrovertible religious sources, and on the other, it should be compliant and corresponding to the conclusions, necessaries and effects of this theory. Otherwise, this issue would be incompetent to be a source of dependence and basis of inference.
Our view is that from an Islamic perspective, the woman is a human being, having all development talents, with being devoid of any defect or fault in the essence of her entity. And despite her owning all factors of perfection and development, like men, but she has an independent character and never be parasite on others. Because Allah has created man and divided the human being into two classes: man and woman, for the sake of his/her eternity. And classifying the creatures into male and female is in fact a general rule, in this material world.
Allah has sworn by this reality in His Holy Book:
“And Him Who hath created
male and female.” (Qur’an, 3:3).
Hence, malehood and femininity are verily not characteristics peculiar to human beings, but rather they be a means of existence of all beings. And as they can never be considered as a defect or evil on the part of all things, the same is true too in regard of human genera. This religious inference can be applied in the case of women in many aspects and respects. devoid of any defect or fault in the essence of her entity. And despite her owning all factors of perfection and development, like men, but she has an independent character and never be parasite on others. Because Allah has created man and divided the human being into two classes: man and woman, for the sake of his/her eternity. And classifying the creatures into male and female is in fact a general rule, in this material world.
The Qur’an is verily the most important source for recognition of religion, as it being an intact and uncorrupted book, to which other books and sources should be measured and judged, and accepted only when proved to be compatible and incongruous to it. For getting acquainted with the Qur’anic view in respect of the character of the woman, I shall put forth six questions the answers of which given in this Divine Book would portray the real personality of the woman, as follows:
Creation of the first man and woman has been described, in a storylike form, in many verses in the Qur’an. First Allah
has apprised the angels that he was intending to place a viceroy and deputy in the earth:
“And when thy Lord said unto the angles: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth…” (Qur’an, 1:30).
In other verses in surat al-Hijr, He said to the angels:
“And remember when thy lord said unto the angels: Verily I create man of the essence of black mud fashioned into shape. So when I complete him and breathe into him My spirit, fall ye down unto him prostrating “in obeisance”.” (Qur’an, 16:28, 29).
Then He taught Adam all the names concluding a covenant with him:
“And He taught Adam the Names, all of them…” (Qur’an, 1:30).
“And indeed had we covenanted unto Adam before, but he forgot; but we did not find in him any intention “to disobey us”.” (Qur’an, 20:115).
In another place, He said:
“Enjoined I not on you O children of Adam! that ye should worship not Satan?” (Qur’an, 36:60).
After that Adam and his wife dwell in the heaven:
“And said we “O Adam! dwell thou and thy mate in the Garden…” (Qur’an, 1:34).
Then begins the temptation of the Satan when tempting Adam and his wife Eve, or falsely swearing seducing them both to perpetrate that sin through trickery, cheating them to eat from the forbidden tree, causing them to deflect from the heavens.
In the holy Qur’an, it is said:
“And said We “O Adam! dwell thou and thy mate in the Garden and eat ye two therefrom freely as ye two wish but approach not ye
two this tree lest ye two will be of the transgressors! But Satan made them slip and drove them out of what they were in; and “whereupon” said We: “Get ye down! the one of you as an enemy unto the other…” (Qur’an, 1:35, 36).
Threat, rebellion and disobedience could only be produced on the part of Adam:
“And Adam acted not “to the advises of” his Lord “deceived by Satan” and got astray.” (Qur’an, 20:121).
In this stage, Adam and his wife started to apologise to the Almighty Allah for their fault, confessing their wrongdoing, seeking God's forgiveness and mercy:
“Said they “O Our Lord! unjust have we been unto ourselves, and if Thou forgive us not and deal “not” with mercy unto us “then”, We will certainly be of the losers.” (Qur’an, 7:23).
Then Adam receives certain words and Allah relents toward him:
“And received Adam from his Lord “certain” words “of prayer” and God turned unto him “mercifully”, for verily He is the Oft turning “unto mercy”, the Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 1:37).
Pondering and making a meditating pause on this story, the verses of which have already been quoted, we will be led to the fact that no difference or distinction is stated in the Qur’an in creation of the woman and man. Thus it is incorrect to attribute all characteristics of strength to the man and those of weakness and deficiency to the woman, since it is both talking about the human being and man or son of Adam as a symbol and
specimen and representative of humankind.
Hence, in respect of vicegerency and succession, breathing of “God's” soul, prostration “in obeisance” of angels, teaching the names, evil whispering of Satan, rebellion and disobedience, covenant and contract, selection and choosing, receiving of words, and relentless and material of creation, they are both equal.
For completing discussion of this issue, two other subjects to which the verses on creation of man referred, should be studied and perused attentively.
When reading some of the Qur’anic verses, we may come to conclude that Allah has created the woman from the man, and this is considered a kind of deficiency on the part of the women.
These verses are the following:
“O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single self and created from it, its mate, and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women.” (Qur’an, 4:1).
“He it is Who did create you from a single soul, and therefrom did make his mate…” (Qur’an, 7:189).
“He created you from one being, then from that “being” He made his mate” (Qur’an, 39:6)
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves, mates…” (Qur’an, 30:21).
“And God hath given you wives of your own selves, and hath given you from your wives sons and grandchildren…” (Qur’an, 16:72).
“He made for you from among your “own” selves pairs…” (Qur’an, 42:11).
In the first three verses, it is stated that men have been created from one self, and from that self their mates were created. In
the next three verses this subject was made in the plural form and addressing all men that your wives were created from your own selves. Pondering over and meditating in all the verses as a whole, will verily indicate that what God intends to say is that the spouse of man being his mate and counterpart and from his self, neither being alien to him, nor a part of him or created from him “his body”. Since if this be true, it should be said that every wife was created from her own husband, hence the last three verses should be taken as evidences and proofs for manifesting and elucidating the meaning of the first verses.
In interpreting these verses, Al-'Allamah At-Tabataba'i says:
The apparent meaning of the verse: “and from it, He created its mate” being that God has created a spouse of the same species of the man, and all the human beings belong to two equal and alike individuals.
The word “Min” “from” in the verse is a genetic preposition “i.e. it shows the origin of something”. This verse, like other verses, discusses the issue of creation of the woman and man, like the verses: “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves, mates… .” and the verse: “And God hath given you wives of your own selves…” and others.
On this basis, whatever is stated in regard of these interpretations like that the denotation of this verse is to indicate the fact that the woman is
derived from Adam and a part of him, according to some narrations “one of which claiming that God has created the wife of Adam from his rib”, being all baseless claims for which no evidence is ever established.(1)
This statement was held by Wahbah Zuhayli, a sunni exegete, who quoted it from Al-Fakhr Ar-Razi.(2)
What can be concluded from all this discussion is the fact that the Qur’an, when making simile between the woman and man, it concentrates on the origin and root, and oneness of species of the two. Any claim other than this topic should be neglected. Besides, some traditions are there in support of this conclusion, to which we can refer here:
Al-Imam As-Sadiq was questioned once: Some people claim that Eve is created from Adam's rib “what do you say”? He (A) replied: “Verily God is absolutely pure and free from this.” Is God unable to create a spouse for Adam, from other than his rib? So that to close the door leaving no room or excuse to be exploited by some evilminded to raise any doubt, to say that Adam has got married to himself?! May God judge between us and such people.(3)
In another hadith it is said:
God has created Eve from the surplus of the clay of Adam, and similar to him.(4)
In two Qur’anic verses a reference is made to a subject from which we can conclude a supposition that the woman was created for the man and she being a parasite to him.
Herewith I cite these
verses, after which I will elaborate and explain their meanings:
• "He it is Who created you from a single self and from it did He make his mate that he may dwell resting unto her, when he covereth her, she beareth a light burden and carrieth it, when it groweth more heavy they both pray to their Lord; "If Thou givest a good child, certainly we shall be of the grateful ones." (Qur’an, 7:189).
• And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves, mates that ye may dwell "inclined" unto them, and caused between you love and compassion: "Verily in this are signs for a people who reflect." (Qur’an, 30:21).
Out of these verses it can be understood that the philosophy of creation of the woman being peace and repose for men. In fact, the original cause for life being men, and the women were created for giving them rest and repose.
In response to this we should say that this tranquillity and repose can never be onesided, but it is mutual between the woman and man, since the love and compassion mentioned in the second verse, is stated as mutual and reciprocal between the two. Further the verse considered this affinity as one of God's signs, and in the first verse if dwelling in rest stated onesided, but it should be interpreted in view of the second verse.
In exposing the second verse, al-Allamah At-Tabataba'i said:
The meaning of the verse "He created for you from yourselves mates." is that
He "God" created from your species the like of you so as to make you benefit and get advantage. Because every woman and every man is provided with genitals alike and similar that complement each other, and when coming into each other they give production. That is, by action of both of them "sexual organs" the work of production and procreation of offspring is achieved and fulfilled.
Based on this, each one of them "man and woman" has a deficiency and in need and want to the other spouse, and from intermingling them together a complete full production will come out. Due to this need and lacking, each one of them feels inclined to and moves toward the other, and when copulation is done every one feels calm and at peace. Because every imperfect is so eager and anxious to what complements him/her, and every wanting is inclined to what meets his/her need and perfects him/her. This is exactly the sexual appetite "lust" that is established and deposited inside both the spouses.(1)
In short, what the Qur’anic verses intend to demonstrate being not the philosophy of creation of the woman, but they in fact tell of the kind of spiritual and life connection between woman and man, and attachment to each other.
How Qur’an Introduces Talents of Men Women
The second question whose answer should be found in the holy Qur’an being: How were the aptitudes and abilities of the woman and man divided in the Qur’an? And are all of them stated
to belong to the men alone? Or no distinction is mentioned in it?
Further many verses are there in the Qur’an demonstrating the genetic and legislative talents and powers of human beings, using everywhere words of man and mankind with general expressions, with no exception on behalf of women or preference of men over women.
In regard of aptitude, the Qur’an referred to the following points:
Man has "inside" a Divine Spirit, and this merit is not distinguished alone to the men.
"So when I complete him and breathe into him My Spirit, fall ye down unto him prostrating "in obeisance". (Qur’an, 15:29).
"Surely We created man of the best stature." (Qur’an, 95:4).
"O thou man! What hath beguiled thee from thy Lord, the Most Gracious One. "He" Who created thee, and fashioned thee and "gave thee a body" justly proportioned." (Qur’an, 82:6, 7).
"He it is Who caused for you the hearing and the sight and hearts; "very" little it is what ye give thanks "unto Him"." (Qur’an, 31:23).
"Then set thou thy face uprightly for "the right" religion, in natural devotion to the truth "following" the nature caused by God in which He hath made the people..." (Qur’an, 30:30).
"By the soul as it is perfected. And inspired unto it "against" its vices and "about" its piety!" (Qur’an, 91:7, 8).
"Verily we offered the trust unto the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid thereof..." (Qur’an, 33:72).
Further, He considered all natural potentials to belong altogether to man, referring to
them with plural form and with expressions like: "He made subservient unto you, created for you, and made for you":
"And made subservient unto you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth." (Qur’an, 45:13).
"He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth..." (Qur’an, 2:29).
"Who made the earth a bed "resting place" for you and the sky a structure and causeth water to descend from heaven..." (Qur’an, 2:22).
In regard of educating the human beings, the plural pronoun with terms of man are used:
"God", The Beneficent, Taught He the Qur’an. He created man, He taught him expression." (Qur’an, 55:14).
"He" Who taught "to write" with the pen. "He" taught man what he knew not." (Qur’an, 96:45).
In regard of delegating the apostles and legislating a religion, and sending down a scripture also there is no distinguishment of differentiation:
"He it is Who raised among the ummies "illiterates" an Apostle from among themselves, reciting unto them His signs, and purifying them, and teaching them the Book "Qur’an" and wisdom..." (Qur’an, 62:2).
Is there any difference in the objective of creation of woman and man? Has the Qur’an stated any distinction between women and men in this respect? The answers for these questions are definitely in negative, as the Qur’an mentions the goal of creation to be servitude and devotion, no difference is there in this regard between the woman and man. Also no separation is seen between the two in regard of the end of invitation "da'wah" of the messengers,
which is life and living.
"I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me." (Qur’an, 51:56).
"O ye who believe! respond ye to His Apostle "Muhammad" when He calleth you to that which giveth you life..." (Qur’an, 8:24).
A number of values are stated in the holy Qur’an that can be a moral measurement criterion for man, and in which no distinction or preference is seen. These values are the following:
"Whosoever did good, whether male or female, and he be a believer, then We will certainly make him live a life good and pure..." (Qur’an, 16:97).
"Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks." (Qur’an, 58:11).
"O ye people! Verily we have created you of a male and a female, and made you in nations and tribes, that ye may recognise each other; Verily the most honoured of you with God is the one of you who guardeth "himself" the most "against evil"." (Qur’an, 49:13).
"And the foremost in the race, the foremost in the race. Those are they who will be brought night." (Qur’an, 56:10, 11).
"... And Allah hath distinguished those who strive above those who sit "holding back" by a great recompense." (Qur’an, 4:95).
"So their Lord did respond to them "saying" "I will not suffer the work of any of you that worketh to be lost, be he male or female, the one of you being from the other. They, therefore, who did migrate and were turned out of their homes and suffered
in My way and who fought and were slain, I will most certainly blot out their sins from them, and I will most certainly admit them into gardens beneath which flow streams; A reward from God! and God! Verily with Him "only" is the Excellent Reward." (Qur’an, 3:195).
In continuing discussion of values it is proper to relate a tale from history of first stage of Islam.
Muqatil says: When Asma', the daughter of Ummays returned with her husband Ja'far from Abyssinia, she went near the wives of the Messenger of Allah "may God's peace and benediction be upon him and his Progeny" and said: Is there any verse revealed in the Qur’an regarding the women? The answer came to her in negative.
Thereat she betook herself toward the Prophet (S) saying: The women are sustaining a loss and detriment, all the time. The Prophet questioned: Why? She replied: Since Allah has never referred to them in good terms, as He did in regard of men.
After that the following verse was revealed:
"Verily the Muslim men and the Muslim women, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obedient men and the obedient women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women, and the humble men and the humble women, and the almsgiving men and the almsgiving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who
remember God much and the women who remember God "much", Allah hath prepared for them forgiveness and a great recompense." (Qur’an, 33:35).
The Qur’an has introduced only one way toward felicity of man, and invited and asked all children of Adam, men and women, to follow and adopt that way.
"Enjoined I not on you O children of Adam! that ye should worship not Satan? for he is your open enemy. And ye should worship "only" Me, "and" this is the "only" Right way?" (Qur’an, 36:60, 61).
Throughout the five daily "obligatory" prayers, every follower of Islam implores God five times, day and night, to guide him toward the straight path, which is way of guidance.
Do the woman and man have enemies on the path to happiness? Is their enemy a common one? Is his enmity to each of them of the same degree? These are requests to which answers should be given within the last question. Some of feeble and ignorant thoughts indicate that in view of religion, the Satan contracts enmity with the man while proposing friendship with women, and Adam was entrapped for the first time by Satan, through his wife.
The holy Qur’an regards this idea to be incorrect. Besides, the creation verses indicate that Satan has whispered and prompted to Adam and Eve to err and they both went astray. But then they both confessed before their Lord that they have wronged themselves.
In other verses the Qur’an considers the Satan as the enemy of man, not the enemy of
"... Verily Satan unto man is an open enemy!" (Qur’an, 12:5).
The Almighty Allah has also made a covenant with all children of Adam charging them to keep themselves far from Satan, as stated in surat Yaseen:
"Enjoined I not on you O children of Adam! that ye should worship not Satan?" (Qur’an, 36:60).
To sum up the discussion, it can be said that the holy Qur’an never maintains any difference between personality of woman and that of the man, but rather it looks at them both equally as a pure human entity, preparing for both of them the ground of development and progress. The only difference lies in the fact that the Qur’an considers the woman and man as complementary to each other in human life.
"... they are an apparel for you and ye are apparel for them;..." (Qur’an, 2:187).
In his exposition of this verse, al-Allamah At-Tabataba'i writes:
By apparel "libas" the commonly known meaning is indicated, that is whatever man covers his body with. These two sentences are metaphorically used, as each woman and each man can curb the other from following evil ways and being a joint property, and every one of them is raiment for the other, covering his/her defects and screening his/her private parts.(1)
Through and between the traditions, an eloquent statement is quoted that manifests the views of our religion leaders "Imams" the character of the woman, to some of which I refer herewith:
It is reported from the Messenger of Allah "peace and benediction be upon him and his
Progeny" that he said: "The women are verily the mates "shaqaayiq" of the men."(1)
The same hadith is quoted with other versions like: "They are verily equals of men." and "The women are mates of men." (2)
In regard of the meaning of the word Shaqaayiq, lexicographers write:
The woman are verily mates "shaqaayiq" of the men, meaning that they are like and equal to them in morals and behaviour and nature, in a way that it can be said the women have not been separated from the men. (3) The root of the term shaqeeq gives the meaning of full brother "from the same father and mother".
In a hadith reported from the Prophet (S), he said: "Paradise is verily under the foot of the woman."(4) This hadith is recorded in books of hadith with other versions, like: "Paradise is under the feet of mothers," (5) and: "Construction of paradise is under feet of mothers."(6) and others.
In regard of honouring the women, the Prophet (S) said: "The best of you are those who be too kind to their wives." (7)
He also said: "None honouring the women but the magnanimous, and none insulting them but the mean depraved one."(8)
The noteworthy point here is that our religious leaders have, in their last testaments and in most critical situations, recommended to respect rights and dignity of women.
In the last year of his age and in his Farewell Pilgrimage "hijjat alwadaa'", which was attended by a huge multitude of people, the Messenger of Allah (S) addressed
"O mankind, your wives have right over you and you have right over them... so fear you the wrath of God, in respect of the women, and recommend to them all the good."(1)
al-Imam Ali "peace be upon him", after being stroked on the nineteenth night of Month of Ramazan, has summoned his children giving them and all people throughout history, precious recommendations, among which the following maxim was also cited:
" "I recommend you to observe your duty to" Allah in regard of the women and the captives whom your right hands possess. As the last thing recommended by your Prophet was that he said: "I commit to your charge the two feebles: the women and what your right hands possess."(2)
That which can be concluded out of this statement is that the custom of enslaving "others" is never approved by religion at all, and it has exerted so many efforts for abolishing and eradicating it from the human society.
Further, some laws and regulations have been revealed and enacted all for changing and removing this abominable practice with time passage. In regard of women the same method was followed and adopted to the effect that our religion never intending to discriminate between males and females, and the aim of some of the laws and rules was to creating gradual accompaniment with the society and eradicating that habit forever.
All Muslims, shi'ah and sunni, boast of their history due to having virtuous and chaste women, enumerating for them distinguished characteristics from which
many men are deprived.
Among these great notable ladies we can refer to: Khadijah, Fatimah (A), Umm Salamah, Zaynab, Hamidah "wife of al-Imam as-Sadiq (A), Sawsan "mother of al-Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (A), Hakeemah "daughter of al-Imam al-Jawad (A) and Umm Ahmad "wife of al-Imam al-Kadhim (A), and others.
Fathoming and examining the biography of women will show them to be among perfection seekers, and each having a scholastic and spiritual position in relation to the religious leaders. Rather some of them were known to have the position of succeeding an Infallible Imam and being a spiritual trustee, depository and executor of him.(1)
The question arises here being: Does the woman have any difference in essence and nature with the man, and is her human cause and background like that of the man or that the difference being not in essence and nature, but they differ in the dimension of human perfections affected by outer circumstances.
If the first case be correct, the presence of women of virtue and maturity and superior to many men, would be somehow impossible in essence and unaccepted. Then how can be there many individuals in whose essence a radical change happened, while no special and unusual provisions being under consideration for them.
And when accepting the second case, that is to consider the women's defect being a transient and ephemeral phenomenon imposed on them by the social circumstances, again this question will still be raised: Are the imposed provisions admitted by religion and religious leaders? Or that they were concerned
for removing that defect, intending to take away those inconvenient conditions?
If the first supposition be admitted, then existence of virtuous and prominent women will be incongruous and reversed to purpose and objective of religion. As a result of all this, it is proper to say that no difference is there whatsoever between women and men, in respect of essence of humanity and leaven of development and maturity: And those partial differences were only caused and created by inhuman conditions, with which religion is not content, the evidence for which can be the presence of outstanding women in history of Islam and Muslims, with emphatic recommendations to maturity and perfection.
In short, we can say that according to the description and portrait of the character of woman given by the Qur’an, "Prophetic" Sunnah and inner belief of Muslims, there is no difference whatsoever in the nature and composition of these two species. Besides, the ability to attain maturity and perfection seeking is the same for both of them "men and women", as they both can reach the sublime ideal and human positions, and each one of them is never a parasite upon the other.
al-Allamah At-Tabataba'i has an elegant comment in this regard, in which he says:
Evidences and experience necessitate that the man and woman, being two individuals of one and the same essential species, which is the human being. As all the marks and signs witnessed in category of men are witnessed also in the category of women, without a bit difference,
and emergence of traces of any species undoubtedly obligates realisation of its subject. No one can deny the fact that the category differs greatly and slightly in some of the common traces, but this can never cause the annulment of existence of species in every individual. Thus it becomes clear that the specific extrapolations and maturities available for one species can be found in the other species, of which the moral maturities attained by faith, worships and seeking God's pleasure. So the best and most comprehensive words expressing this meaning can be the following Qur’anic verse:
"... I will not suffer the work of any of you that worketh to be lost, be he male or female, the one of you being from the other." (Qur’an, 3:195). (1)
For completing this view, I should give answers to a pair of important questions, since otherwise all my discussion will lead to no conclusion and will be incomplete.
The first question is: If we admit that female and male enjoy one and the same essence and nature, with realising their being not one entity, i.e. neither a woman is a man nor a man is a woman. Then where lies the field of difference between these two beings?
The second question is: Some of religious expressions like deficiency of woman's intellect, and lack of faith, contradict such view and weaken it. But if we intend to defend this view "that the woman differs from the man with 'aql and deen", we should give evidences that it
can give reply to such faults. Hence, in conclusion of this chapter, I will make a condensed investigation about these two questions.
So many statements are said in regard of differences between woman and the man, with some of them believing these differences to be little in number and of no value and some believing many differences are there between these two species. It is not easy to prove these claims. What can be cited briefly and defended is the following:
1. Verily a difference is there between woman and man, and no one can claim that there be full equality in all walks of life between woman and the man.
2. Among the said differences, that which can be admitted and agreed upon, there being some issues appertained to survival of species of mankind. That is the differences that are relevant to quality of reproduction of offspring of man. Naturally these differences have some marginal consequences, whose limits, extent, steadiness and decline being controvertible.
3. Beside all that is said, other differences could never be established through definite religious or scientific evidences.
4. In regard of the differences circulated among people nowadays, how can we be sure of not returning them to social conditions? And their not being a transient phenomenon? For example, a woman in a locked society may be confined at home never comprehending so many of social affairs, with her social conscience being not shaped. But if this same woman be brought up and grown in convenient and favourable conditions, no
one will dare to accuse her of deficiency of intellect.
Based on abovementioned points, we can consider, in case of contravention of differences between woman and man, only that extent which is definitely established, and known to be unproduced by social factors but having roots in the nature and composition of woman and man. Otherwise, the identity of every woman and man, and their independent personality and presence may make us to believe in oneness of all walks of life for both of them.
The second question is thus: Some of the religious expressions raise doubt in regard of common identity of the woman and man, like the phrase saying that the women having defective intellect and shortage in faith... etc.
Studying every and each one of these samples is quite out of scope of this research and discussion, but I can give some criteria and rules through which we can judge and issue decision in regard of them "specimen".
A) Some of these traditions have not been properly interpreted, but by mediation and taking good care a clear meaning can be given to them. If it is stated in a hadith that the women having deficiency in reason, this will not be an informing of a creative and inherent thing in women, but rather taking into consideration acquired and experimental reason, in which social, educational and political conditions have full interference. This should never be taken to indicate inherent inability of women, but would be like saying that the villagers have a lower
culture. And this, if supposed to be true, never means inherent ignorance of the villagers, but rather they can, through bringing about the necessary grounds, be equal and even higher than the townsmen, and men of knowledge and culture.
It is natural that if a woman is detained inside the house, and refused the qualifications of honour and knowledge, she would never be able to have, like any other individual attending the events, full knowledge of the incidents and proceedings and possess social understanding. No difference here is found in this regard between woman and man as the same thing would be true in regard of men when they are kept inside the house. Hence the following is said in a hadith:
"Whoever forsaking merchandise, he will verily lose twothirds of his mind."(1)
In this manner, the meaning of the hadith of shortage of faith "of women" will be clear. Because what is intended of faith being not a heartfelt and doctrinal state, but rather assignment and precept being meant to which be referred with the term Deen in most of the narrations. That is the assignment "takleef" of women being less than that one imposed upon men, especially in time of menstruation, whereat God has exempted them of some of the ritual duties and impositions.
The hadith of deficiency of faith has been stated in most of the reliable sources and references with the term deficiency of religion, and only in one version was referred to with the expression shortage of faith "iman".(2)
Therefore it never implies any slander or deficiency for women. And if what is meant by deficiency the inward defect, then why have the fuqaha said: "It is recommendable for every woman to sit on prayer rug at times of prayers citing some words in remembering Allah."(1)
Through abstruseness and pondering over contents of traditions, with comparing and measuring them with other narrations, some of difficulties and objections would be warded off and evaded. But of course this mediation and abstruseness should be accompanied with equity, abstinence from prearbitration and evacuating the mind of the current culture.
B) Some of these traditions can never be ascribed to the religious leaders "Imams", but rather have been fabricated under the influence of irreligious cultures and multifarious stimulants.
As an example for this, the following traditions are quoted from the Prophet (S): "Burial of daughters "alive" is verily a dignity,"(2) and "The grave of the bridegroom is goodness."(3) That is despite their being contrary to the Qur’anic verses vilifying the preIslamic "jahili" habits and customs,(4) with the traditionists confirming their being composed.
When the following hadith was reported by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: "Inauspiciousness lies in three things: means of transport, a wife and a house." 'A'ishah said: "The Prophet quoted this saying as a speech of the people of preIslamic era "jahiliyyah", and its narrator has not quoted the first part of the Prophet's speech."(5)
There are so many alike samples in the texts of narrations and traditions.
Undoubtedly, it should be noted
that it is not right to consider every hadith not agreeing with our taste and view to be fabricated and falsified but we should have full knowledge of criteria of assessment of chain of transmission "sanad", and apply them properly.
C) Some of the traditions and narrations are applicable to special provisions, in a way that they can never be generalised. In other words, the purport of the hadith is regarding the conditions and circumstances of that time, not intended to expose the sought situation, like what is reported between the lines of traditions on preventing the learning from writings of women.(1)
Nowadays no religious expert is found holding the belief that it is not necessary for the woman to learn writing and reading. In the past too, some scholars and thinkers were of this belief. Further a large number of women related "in kinship" to religious scholars, were virtuous and intellectuals. The example for this can be seen in the wife and daughter of ash-Shahid al-Awwal,(2) and Aminah Beigum daughter of al-Majlisi the 1st,(3) and others.
Seemingly, taking into consideration these principles and rules for evaluating and comprehending so many of narrations concerning the woman would be so helpful and useful.
After discussing in the first chapter the equal identity of the woman and man, and attaining to a clear conclusion of it, I will discuss in this chapter the first arena of this common identity, that is the human perfections and accomplishments. What I intend to say is that the
door of the human maturities under the protection of the Islamic Shari'ah, is uniformly open wide before all women and men, who have ability, aptitude and full innate readiness for traversing the various courses of these maturities.
We have to investigate and peruse the woman's human perfection in two grounds: Knowledge and moral conduct. And this theme can be laid for disputation from two sides, one being theoretical confirmation, and the second being historical and original consideration. Further, this issue can be discussed according to religious texts and sources, that is the holy Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah, and also on the basis of historical and external evidences this theory can be proved.
For completing and covering all dimensions of this matter, it is essential and necessary to take its both sides into consideration. In other words, we can say that the way to such development and perfection was paved by the holy Qur’an and teachings and precepts of the Prophet (S) and Infallible Imams, whose traces can be sought in that epoch and many following eras. What follows is discussion and elaboration of two arenas of perfection, i.e. moral behaviour and knowledge, with due attention to theoretical and historical sources:
The holy Qur’an has paved the way for moral behaviour before the woman, in a way taking Mary and wife of Pharaoh as two examples and patterns to be followed by all the believers:
“Setteth forth God the similitude unto those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh, when said she: “O my Lord! Build
Thou for me a house in the Garden and deliver me from Pharaoh and his doing, and deliver me from the unjust people! And Mary the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity; and breathed We unto it “her baby” of Our Spirit, and she testified the truth of the words of her Lord, and His Scriptures, and she was of the obedient ones.” (Qur’an, 66:1112).
These two women have attained to lofty ranks in faith and nearness to Allah, though one having no father and the other being under protection of an illnatured husband claiming deity.
Further in the Qur’an the highest moral praises in recognition of Mary are found, and she was addressed and praised with sublime terms like “hath chosen you.” and “made thee pure” “(Qur’an, 3:42), with being many times addressed by the Divine angels who once talked to her: “And when the angels said: O Mary!…” (Qur’an, 3:42, 45).
Likewise on hearing that Salman was worried about the old worn clothes of Fatimah (A), shedding tears for this, the Messenger of Allah (S) declared: “Verily my daughter Fatimah is among the foremost caravan.”(1)
It is also reported that Al-Imam Al-Husayn (A), in the last minutes of his life “on deathbed”, said to Zaynab (A): “O sister! never forget me in qunut of salaat allayl “supplication of night prayers”.(2)
Also Hamidah, wife of al-Imam as-Sadiq (A), was of lofty moral position that in her regard al-Imam (A) said: “Hamidah is verily purified of pollutions.”(3)
Moreover, in her regard Al-Imam Al-Baaqir (A) proclaimed:
“She is commended in the world and praiseworthy in the hereafter.”(1)
Some are of the opinion that the women being more competent and able than the men, because:
1. The space of marching of the women being shorter than that of men.
2. The women being lighter than men, since their attachments and belongings being lesser than those of men, the fact making them able to cover this short distance faster than men.
3. The obstacles before behaviour of men being more in number than those before women, so they find it so difficult to deliver themselves from them.
Some historical evidences are there to establish this view.
It is known for all that al-Imam Ali (A) got married to Fatimah (A) when she was only nine years old and he in the age of 21, i.e. the difference in age between them was 12 years.
On another part, in the Shi'ah and Sunnah narrations, it is reported that the Prophet (S) said: “Had not been Ali existed, no equal mate could be there for Fatimah.”(2)
The evidence proving this view can be found in the Prophet's confirmation of their equality and matchness to each other though the difference of twelve years in age. Further, other evidences are there to attest this opinion, but citing them is out of scope here.
In regard of women Az-Zuhri is reported to have said: No woman has ever apostatised after having faith.”(3)
Adh-Dhahabi is also reported to have said: It is never reported about any woman to have falsified “Prophet's” hadith.” (4)
Al-I'tidal he introduced four thousand men by name, who were suspected of fabrication in reporting the hadith, saying: I never know a woman accused of falsification in narrating the hadith.(1)
Some writers have interpreted Adh-Dhahabi's statement in this way:
“The reason behind this may lie in the fact that men are affected and attracted by political tendencies, love for power, wilfulness and supporting of views, sycophancy near kings and emirs with strong desire to seize the people's hearths… beside other things that divert them from straightforward path. But in regard of women these desires and inclinations have no way or control over them.”(2)
In this respect AlOstaz Jawadi Amuli says: “The holy Qur’an endeavoured, through preaching which is strongly and directly connected to the heart and mind, to talk to man, and also tried to talk through wisdom which having indirect relation with heart. If channel of intellect and thought fails to reach the passageway into heart and mind, it will be of no use, and the women being more successful than men in respect of heart, mind, tendency and attraction. Therefore fervent prayer has more impact and effect on women than men or at least on their fellow men, and preaching is more effective upon the woman than the man or her mate man.”(3)
Muhyi Ad-Deen Al-Arabi has not considered gnostic positions to be special characteristics of men, but counting them to be shared by women, when saying:
“These positions do not belong singly and specially to men, as women also can have them,
but since predominance is always for men so they are all the time mentioned in the name of men.”(1)
Certainly prevalence of gnostic men is never due to their being more talented or able, but rather the social environment and inconvenience of circumstances and atmosphere for education of women were the real reason for this, not to refer to less attention being paid to recording of history of women. The historians who paid much attention to registration of biographies of men, have never cared much in regard of women. Therefore numerous books were written on exposition of Gnostic positions of men, like Hilyat Al-Awliya' and Tabaqaat Al-Awliya, Tabaqaat As-Sufiyyah and others. But when it comes to women, they have inscribed books on conditions of women singers, like the books authored by Abul-Faraj Al-Isfahani: Al-Aghani and Al-Ima Ash-Shawa'ir and others.
In fact, there is no any defect in moral behaviour of women. When a gnostic was asked: What is the number of abdal “substitutes”? He replied: Forty souls…“meaning the Abdal being forty individuals. When he was asked: Why haven't you said “forty men”? he said: First, all these persons of distinction were not men, as among them women are found. Second: Every individual that attained to rank of substitute is man “human being”, and man has no specification for female or male at all.(2)
Imam al-Khomeini, one of eminent personalities, has played a great role in portraying and stabilising this dimension of character of women in the contemporary era.
In regard of status of Fatimah
Az-Zahra (A) he said:
”… I suffice with quoting one narration which is reported with authentic Sanad “chain of transmitters” in the noble book Al-Kafi. This riwaayah reads thus: Al-Imam As-Sadiq (A) says: Fatimah (A) survived after her father (S) for seventy-five days, living in this world overcome with sorrow and hardships, with the Trustee Gabriel descending down upon her offering her consolation, and foretelling her of future events. The outward of the narration is thus: these seventy-five days were days of frequentation, i.e. plying to and fro of Gabriel was too excessive, and I don't believe that other than the first class of great prophets has ever entered in this way upon a person to whom Gabriel frequented to and fro within seventy-five days.”(1)
He also said: “The holy Qur’an builds man, and women too build man. The duty of women is building man. If man-building women are taken away from the nations, these nations will verily be transformed to failure and decadence, and they will be defeated and corrupted.”(2)
He further said:
“The woman is manifestation of coming true of wishes of mankind. The woman is educator and nurturer of honourable women and men. From the lap of woman the man ascends to heaven. The lap of woman is a place for education of great women and men.”(3)
Nevertheless, despite all this inattention on part of history in ignoring to record moral behaviour of exalted women, still the reality has never remained covered or hidden.
Abu Abd Ar-Rahmaan Sullami “325412H.” has written a book
exposing in it conditions of ascetic and Sufi women, citing names of eighty-four professional gnostic women.(1)
In Nafahat Al-Uns, Abu Abd Ar-Rahmaan Jami' stated names of forty principled gnostic women.(2)
Another book had been authored in the past years containing accounts and biographies of devout and ascetic women, in which a reference was made to a large number of women.(3)
Some of the extant statements that history maintained in regard of these Gnostic women worth mentioning:
Rabi'ah Ash-Shamiyyah, wife of Ahmad Ibn Abi Al-Hawari, when preparing the table spread, said to her husband: “Eat it, as it could never be cooked but only through tasbih “praising God in hymns”.” This may either mean that she was reciting Tasbih during cooking the food, or this food being product of Tasbih.(4)
Rabi'ah Al-Adawiyyah says:
“Our seeking forgiveness needs another seeking of forgiveness.” (5)
She also said:
“Conceal your good deeds as you hide your evils and indecencies.”(6)
Further, once she addressed people saying: “O my soul “self” how much do you sleep, and till when you sleep. You are about to go into a sleep of which you would never get up but only with the scream of the Day of Resurrection.”(7)
In another place she said: “O my God, I have worshipped You neither out of fear from Your Fire nor out of covetousness in Your paradise, but out of love for You and intention to meet You.”(8)
In conclusion of this discussion, it is necessary to refer to the fact that menstruation of women being something natural and intrinsic, and a
requisite for procreation of offspring and survival of species of mankind, and can never constitute any impediment in this trend. Though the women are exempted, during these days “of menstruation” from certain worships “like prayer, fasting”, but this really being only a religious formality having nothing to do with spiritual and moral states of women, since they can indulge themselves in God's remembrance and reciting of Qur’an.
This fact is a facilitation on part of religion in regard of women, as the same is true regarding traveller, who can shorten his “four rak'ah” prayers and is ordered not to fast during travelling. A formal facilitation can never be considered as an indication to weakness of faith or moral states. And since in most of the cases a reference was made to this fact, so the traditions on lack of faith can be taken to have this meaning.
Because religion means charging with duty and a precept, and weakness of religion in the days of menstruation indicates despising and belittling the precepts and tasks on part of woman throughout these days.
Allah the Most High has considered menstrual discharge as an illness “aza”,(1) a state during which the women take pains and suffer troubles. And since they are exempted from any imposition or tasking with additional duty, so they are permitted or rather demanded to have their own moral conditions, sitting on “prayer” rug and reciting hymns for remembering God.
Thus the result we get, being that the women have, in field of
moral behaviour, an aptitude equal to that owned by men, and in perspective of religion, they have been called to moral maturity and behaviour, to the same extent of men. Further, so many samples of mature women have emerged on the scene in history of Islam.
There are some who even hold that ground for moral growth and capability of women for this motion is more and greater than men. a state during which the women take pains and suffer troubles. And since they are exempted from any imposition or tasking with additional duty, so they are permitted or rather demanded to have their own moral conditions, sitting on “prayer” rug and reciting hymns for remembering God.
Thus the result we get, being that the women have, in field of moral behaviour, an aptitude equal to that owned by men, and in perspective of religion, they have been called to moral maturity and behaviour, to the same extent of men. Further, so many samples of mature women have emerged on the scene in history of Islam. There are some who even hold that ground for moral growth and capability of women for this motion is more and greater than men.
One of most valuable man's characteristics being one's power and aptitude to acquire cognition and knowledge… cognition of oneself, of the world in which one lives, and of secrets and mysteries concealed in the existence… etc.
Man can acquire all this cognition through reasoning, detection and witnesses, gaining perfection of existence for oneself
within the range of this cognition. In the Islamic Law this perfection has not spared classification, rather all classes and species of mankind have been invited to knowledge-seeking. Allah, when praising the knowledgeable and learned and reproaching the illiterate in general, says:
“Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks.” (Qur’an, 58:11).
In another place He said:
“Say “unto them, O Muhammad”: what! can those who know be equal to those who know not?” (Qur’an, 39:9).
Furthermore, the Almighty Allah regards teaching of people “rules of religion” to be one of goals of prophets, without limiting this to a certain class of them, as stated in the following verse:
“Even as We have sent among you a Prophet from amongst yourselves who recited unto you Our signs and purified you and teaches you the Book and the Wisdom; and teaches you that which ye did not know.” (Qur’an, 2:151).
More than this, the words and conduct of the Imams, contain so much encouragement and persuasion toward knowledge-seeking.
If we get over the following general traditions:
“Seeking knowledge is a duty incumbent upon every Muslim.”(1)
“May the whips be unsheathed over the heads of my Companions so that they learn and distinguish the halaal “lawful” and the haraam “unlawful”(2). we come to some other traditions inviting women to seek knowledge, reported from these great leaders “Imams”, like:
“Seeking knowledge is a duty incumbent upon every Muslim man and Muslim woman:(3)
Also the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Beat the women for learning good and
The Prophet (S) further said: “What excellent women the women of the Helpers “Ansar” are, their bashfulness could never curb them from learning rules of religion.”(2)
If we pass over these traditions we can see so many evidences indicating prevalence of knowledge and sciences among the women, during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah.
The history of first era of Islam contains in within numerous examples of science acquiring and knowledgeseeking on part of women.
Zaynab Attarah, whose profession was purchasing and selling women's adornment equipment and tools, once upon a day came near the Prophet (S) questioning him about the way of creation of the world, when the Messenger of Allah (S) responded to her by explaining the creation from the beginning till present time.(3)
Also when Asma' bint Ummays returned from migration to Abyssinia, she betook herself toward wives of the Messenger of Allah (S) asking them: Is there any Qur’anic verse revealed in regard of women? On hearing a negative reply, she had recourse to the Prophet saying to him: The women are sustaining loss and detriment! The Messenger (S) said: What for? She said: Because no one Qur’anic verse was revealed in their regard. At that time verse 35 of surat AlAhzab was revealed.(4)
One example from history of first era of Islam is a sufficient evidence for this case. Abdallah Ibn Mas'ud is reported to have said: Why don't I curse those whom Allah has damned in the Qur’an, i.e. skin tattooer “washimah” and women near whom people go
for tattooing “mustawshimah”, hairdressers who join hair of some women to head of other women “wasilah”, and those to whom people resort for this purpose “mustawsilah”!
The woman who heard this speech, reviewed all the Qur’an but couldn't find these words uttered by Ibn Mas'ud. The next day she went near him saying: I have read the whole Qur’an but never found that which you uttered in it.
Ibn Mas'ud said: Hasn't Allah said in His holy Book:
“And whatsoever the Messenger giveth you, take it. And whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain “from it”.” (Qur’an, 59:7).
And also the Messenger of Allah (S) expressed: “Allah has verily cursed the skin tattooers women and women near whom people go for tattooing “mustawshimah”.(1)
Too many questions were put forth by the Companions “sahabah” before Fatimah, daughter of the Prophet and 'A'ishah. One day Ibn Mas'ud betook himself to Fatimah (A) saying: Has the Prophet left anything of “his” knowledge with you? Fatimah (A) said to her maiden: Bring me the pieces of papers left by my father.(2)
Likewise, the Companions used to put questions before 'A'ishah, and also she used to criticise the Sahabah in many occasions.
In his book Al-Ijabah Li Irad Ma Istadrakathu 'A'ishah 'Ala As-Sahaabah, Az-Zarkashi cited ninety narrations in which 'A'ishah found fault with the reporting of the Sahabah, rectifying all their narrations.
These were only two examples of so many instances.
Women used to, during the lifetime of the Prophet, lay so many questions before the Messenger's wives and daughter. Once upon a day a woman came
near Fatimah, Prophet's daughter, saying: I have a crippled mother, and some of rules related to prayers “salaat” are dubious for her. She sent me near you to seek answers and clarifications for her questions and dubieties. Then Fatimah (A) gave her the satisfactory answers. Again she put to her other questions and was given the replies. After repeating this several times, she felt shy and returned.(1)
Another woman came near her “Fatimah” and said: My husband told me to come to you to inquire about whether I be among Shi'ah “followers” or not? She (A) answered her saying: If you commit yourselves to our biddings and prohibitions, you will be verily among our followers, otherwise you won't be.(2)
This scientific movement has created among women a change in culture of Arab Peninsula and Islamic States, in a society in which men were deprived of talent of knowledge and writing, causing to development of learned women and men.
With blessing of this movement, the ground was paved for women to play the role required in fields of time knowledge. As a consequence of this, so many scientific works were brought out by women. Also women have played a special role in field of reporting and narration of hadith. This fact was unveiled by books like: Musnad Fatimah Musnad 'A'ishah, Mawsu'at Ummahaat AlMu'mineen and Jami' Masaanid An-Nisa'.
Dr. Salih Yousif Ma'tuq has demonstrated the efforts and endeavours exerted by women in relation of hadith during the eighth hijrah century, in a separate book.(3) As an
example we can refer to the book of Dr. Najiyah Abdallah Ibraaheem, under the title: Al-Juhood Al-'Ilmiyyah Lil Mar'ah Khilal Al-Qarnayn Al-Khamis Was-Sadis Al-Hijriyyayn, in which she exhibited the scientific efforts exerted by Muslim women in Baghdad during the fifth and sixth centuries.(1)
Likewise, Al-Ostaz Ahmad Muhammad Isa has revealed the scientific status of Muslim women during the medieval ages of Islamic history, in one short article.(2) It is stated that in Iran alone about 3847 books have been translated and compiled by women during the period from the year 1921 till 1995.(3) Furthermore, many great women have undertaken task of teaching, and so many people became disciples in their school.
For instance Zaynab, the daughter of Muhammad Ibn Othmaan Ad-Dimashqi used to hold a class meeting, which was attended by fifty persons among whom was Ibn Hajar.(4)
Ibn 'Asaakir “499571 H.” is known to have acquired hadith from more than eighty women.(5) Further Sakhawi, the author of the book Az-Zaw Al-Laami', learnt under fifty women.(6) This practice was something so common in the Shi'ah religious schools “Hawzaat”.
Also in the contemporary time the lady Ameena Isfahani was one of knowledgeable women who used to have a class for teaching, from whom scholars like Al-'Allamah Al-Amini author of Al-Ghadeer and Ayatullah Marashi Najafi got license for narration “riwaayah”.(7)
With all these traditional and historical evidences and indications, there will be no room for any limitation or restriction on reservation of knowledge on part of women. And if supposedly any interdiction was there on hadith and
Riwaayah it would be specific to exceptional cases and can't be generalised or considered extensive in meaning, since all Muslim Olamaa', Shi'ah and Sunnah have never applied or adopted such traditions. This fact indicates that they either were doubting their “ahaadeeth” veracity or had got a certain meaning from them.
Of course, no one can deny the fact that in some of the Islamic societies there being some restrictions on knowledge-seeking by women, but this should never be ascribed to the Islamic culture comprises the Qur’anic verses and Prophet's traditions and conduct which I cited before. And that one should be called a gleaned “multaqaat” culture of Muslims, to that meaning that under the influence of foreign cultures upon the Islamic culture, a new culture under the name of culture of Muslims was produced. This culture is so weak and untenable that Muslims should do their best to refine it.
In the same manner, any failure and negligence on part of women in acquiring knowledge should never be reckoned on account of religion and Shari'ah. The conclusion obtained is that the Islamic Shari'ah has invited both women and men to seek knowledge, never putting any impediment on the way toward their perfection seeking.
The second area of human life of woman and man, being the arena of family life, and this chapter will be dedicated for manifesting the common identity of woman and man within the framework of family. Yes, it is impossible to believe in the equal human character of
woman and man unless by proving it in all arenas of life. In chapter two, commonness “between woman and man” in human and individual maturities was laid to discussion, and this chapter will elaborate on common identity of woman and man in the scope of the family.
For attaining to this aim, two subjects should be studied:
First the way Islam views marriage and forming of a family should be made clear, and then attention should be paid to exposition of position of woman in the family and her status. The second area of human life of woman and man, being the arena of family life, and this chapter will be dedicated for manifesting the common identity of woman and man within the framework of family.
Yes, it is impossible to believe in the equal human character of woman and man unless by proving it in all arenas of life. In chapter two, commonness “between woman and man” in human and individual maturities was laid to discussion, and this chapter will elaborate on common identity of woman and man in the scope of the family.
For attaining to this aim, two subjects should be studied:
First the way Islam views marriage and forming of a family should be made clear, and then attention should be paid to exposition of position of woman in the family and her status.
Many various laws and regulations on family issues have been enacted in religions and legal old-fashioned schools, that being based on their view toward the phenomenon of
marriage. These views and deductions can never be at one level both in regard of depth and profundity and in regard of veracity and deviation.
That is because so many deviated and inclined viewpoints exist in religions and beliefs and even Muslim scholars. Among churches masters and rabbis there was a belief current, that getting married is contradictory to sacredness and chastity, and it is permitted only for procreation of offspring and prevention of unrestrained licentiousness on part of men and women.
Bertrand Russell says:
According to the theory of Sann Paul, the generation production was only a partial goal of marriage, while its main objective was prevention of adulteration and libertinism. This was the main role of marriage, which lies in fact warding off the more corruptive with the depraved.(1)
Al-Ghazali, a sunni eminent thinker, takes into consideration five benefits for marriage as follows: production of children, defeating the carnal lust, giving calmness to self, bringing settlement to the heart, and self disciplining.
Among all these he regards survival of offspring to be the most important advantage, saying: “Procreation “walad”: is the origin, and for it marriage “nikaah” is enacted and legalised, with the purpose of maintaining the nasl “offspring, seed” and so as to keep the world from being devoid of mankind. And lust “shahwah” was created only as a compelling and inciting force for keeping the Nasl.”(2)
The noteworthy point in al-Ghazali's speech being his genus inclined view toward issue of marriage, because his explanation of the last three benefits goes on as
if all the profits of marriage are gained by men. In the third advantage, which is giving calmness to self, he says: The human soul becomes fed up and wearied with continual persevered worship and sociability “uns” with women causes the self to get rid of this weariness. In the fourth benefit he says: Since housekeeping is entrusted to the woman, so the man's heart be disengaged and free for worship, with some of his disturbances being eliminated. In explaining the fifth benefit he said: practising strict self-discipline can be achieved by guardianship of children and family members and providing all their needs and requirements.(1)
Hence, out of these five advantages of marriage two are common between woman and man, but the other three ones pertain only to men.
al-Allamah At-Tabataba'i, a great shi'i exegete, takes the main objective of marriage and copulation to lie in permanence of species and procreation of the same offspring. At the same time he considers subsiding and satisfying the lust and partnership in material living and housekeeping to be out of real essence of marriage, viewing them as preliminaries and preludes for marriage or advantages consequential to it.(2)
He also says:
Nature of men pushes them to try to obtain and desire female sex and vice versa. And providing every woman and man with feminine and masculine qualities has no purpose but procreation of same offspring and permanence of human species. Hence marriage is founded on this reality, and all rulings of marriage revolve also round this very
After showing this goal he goes on by criticising other viewpoints and opinions, saying.
“The nowadays rules and laws of marriage have been enacted on basis of cooperation between woman and man in managing the living affairs. Hence, marriage contract is a kind of partnership in life whose scope or extent is smaller than the urban community. On this basis, the modern laws do not interfere in the chastity rulings which being legislated in Islam.”(2)
He holds this theory to be inconsistent with the human temperament and natural disposition, and says: If the purpose of marriage be such a reality, it can be established between two individuals of one sex, and family also would have never been in need of such laws and regulations.(3)
Seemingly this viewpoint, which is laid forth by Al Ghazaali and his predecessors, is vulnerable to criticism due to the following reasons:
1. There is strong stress in the Qur’an on matter of tranquillity and relief, and in two verses it stated that the objective of creating woman and man being to find rest and calmness.
2. If the issue of marriage and matrimony be founded on procreation alone with no other purposes in view, there will be no difference between an animal and man. Because the animals produce the same kind and their offspring can survive though they neither commit themselves to a family and its system nor requiring specific regulations.
3. He “Al Ghazaali” himself considers, in another place, procreation of kind and permanence of offspring “Nasl” to be philosophy
of marriage not its cause ”'illah”. Therefore he counts getting married to barren and menopausal woman as something permitted.(1)
Nevertheless, no one can accept the one sided viewpoint in respect of marriage, whether multiplication of generation or other purposes be taken into consideration as aim of marriage. Rather we believe that marriage contract in the Islamic Shari'ah seeks to achieve several aims, all of which being intended by the Islamic Lawmaker.
Herewith I introduce exposition of these purposes:
The holy Qur’an, in a verse, refers to marriage with terms like cultivation and harvest:
“Your women are a tilth for you “to cultivate”, so go to your tilth as ye will…” (Qur’an,2 :223)
Sayyid Qutub, in exposing this verse, says: The Qur’anic verses manifest the marriage connection with miscellaneous expressions in so many places, using the term raiment “Libaas” once and finding rest and love another time, or tilth “harth” in another place.
The term tilth “Harth” indicates a part of marriage attachment, which is procreation of the kind and multiplication of offspring. Thus we come to realise the profound view of Islam which admitted man, with all his inclinations and needs, not considering a part of his necessities.(2)
Some traditions are there to support this theme. Once the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Get married so that to multiply in number, so as I can boast with you the nations.”(3)
Al-Imam Al-Baqir (A) has also reported a hadith from the Messenger of Allah (S) as saying:
“What is that keeping the believer from taking a wife, so that may
Allah grant him a child that makes the earth heavy with no god but Allah.”(1)
Habitation and calmness of the couple “bride and groom” being one of the goals upon which the Qur’an emphasised. This fact is indicated in the Qur’an by verse no.89 of surat ala'raf, and verse no.31 of surat ArRoom. These verses along with the explanation given in chapter one consider repose of wife and husband to be philosophy of creation of woman and man.
In some narrations too, spiritual sociability was regarded the factor of creation of the couple, like the following one:
“Then He created for him “Adam” Hawwa “Eve”… Adam said: O my lord, what is this nice creature? I fell so pleased with it, and looking at it. Allah said: O Adam this is My bondswoman “slave” Eve… do you like she be with you so as to entertain you, and talk to you? He replied: Yes my lord, if you do this to me I will be grateful and thankful to you as long as I am alive.”(2)
One of main instincts of man being the sexual instinct to which and whose position the Islamic Law “Shari'ah” has paid good attention and consideration. In fact Islam's realistic view and attention to the sexual instinct excites so much wonder.
Masadah Ibn Sadaqah is reported to have said: I have heard that al-Imam as-Sadiq was once asked: Why don't you regard the adulterer as kaafir “disbeliever” while using this term for the prayersforsaker. What is the cause of this?
al-Imam as-Sadiq replied: The incentive that pushed the adulterer to commit that sin “adultery” being the bestial passion “Libido” that overcame him, but the incentive that made the prayerforsaker to abandon prayers is only belittling and despising the Salaat. The fornicator gets pleasure from the act he practises, and what he intended to gain of his act was only sensual pleasure, while it is not so in case of prayers, as his intention can never be pleasure.(1)
In another hadith, in a reply to the same question, al-Imam as-Sadiq said:
The reason for this lies in the fact that whatever you yourself hasten to do, with no strong incentive forcing you to doing it, or no overcoming factor, like adultery and wineimbibing, and you called upon yourself to forsake the prayers without any lust or desire, hence this is considered only disdainment and contempt.”(2)
Yet in another hadith Al-Imam As-Sadiq (A) declared:
“Stone the old man and old woman for adultery because they have passed and spent their stage of lust and sensuality.(3)
Also in fiqh and hadith books it is stated that every wife and husband that fails every morning and night to satisfy her/his lust lawfully, is counted as muhsan “continent, chaste”. If any of them commits adultery “double adultery”, her/his penalty is commuted, and the execution “stoning to death” will be changed to flogging “jald”.”(4)
Once Al-Imam As-Sadiq (A) put this question to his followers: Do you know what the best pleasure is? But they showed ignorance of the answer. Thereat he (A)
“Verily the most pleasing thing is to lie with women.”(1)
In another narration Al-Imam As-Sadiq (A) said: “People have never delighted themselves in the world and hereafter with a pleasure better than the joy of lying with women.”
Of course this pleasure for woman and man is not in the way that only men get pleased, so in continuation of this hadith this matter is indicated with general expression thus:
Then he said: The heaven dwellers never find pleasure in the Garden with anything more desirable to them than copulation with women, neither in “heavenly” food nor drink.”(2)
All these traditions reflect the strong power of the sexual instinct inside every human being, the fact to which the Islamic legislator paid good attention and consideration.
Now I see it inevitable to say that this instinct with that strength should be satisfied within the boundary of the house, and its healthy basis is marriage contract.
In a continuation of a hadith cited in the previous chapter, the following statement is quoted:
“Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, said to Adam: You can ask her hand from Me, as she is My slave and may fit you too as a wife for satisfying your sexual instinct.”(3)
If any exciting look to non-consanguine woman “la mahram”, unlawful, and indecent “lewd” deeds like adultery, sodomy, masturbation and alike acts have been forbidden “by Islamic Law”, and on the other side strength and intensity of sexual instinct be confirmed, so the only means left for satisfying it being the atmosphere of family. Thus only
marriage can also achieve this human need and desire.
In many narrations it is reported that by marriage man acquires half of religion, with gaining immunity, and has to try his best to safeguard and maintain the other half.
“Whoever gets married has in fact acquired half of his religion.”(1)
“Every one of you should have a remembering tongue, a grateful heart, and a believing righteous wife assisting him in winning the hereafter.”(2)
Further many traditions are there concerning the selection of wife, recommending to take into consideration qualities like good morals, faith, and commitment, and warning against getting married to disbelievers and winebibers and alike: All this indicates the fact that the habits and traits of the husband and wife have effect on each other and do play a role in moral development or degeneration of each other.
The holy Qur’an considers getting married to a believing bondswoman to be preferable to marry a polytheist free woman.
“… A believing bondswoman is definitely better than an idolater “free” woman…” (Qur’an, 2:221).
The wife and husband should help and sustain each other in arranging and ordering worldly life, the fact on which strong emphasis is there in many religious sources, as in the following hadith:
Imam As-Sadiq (A) said:
“Three things bring comfort to the believer: a spacious house disguising his defects and shameful deed out of people, and a virtuous wife that helps and supports him in “managing” the affairs of world and hereafter.”(3)
It is worth mentioning that one of important purposes of marriage, which has a high
degree coming after procreation of the same kind and permanence of species in order, being upbringing of offspring “children”. The wife and husband are verily the best educators for children as vulnerability of children before the parents is much more than others. And the Prophet's hadith “Get married and multiply in number, so that the earth gets heavier with your offspring, who are monotheists” is an indication to this very role.
In interpretation of the verse
“O ye who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire…” (Qur’an, 66:6).
Al-Muraghi, a Sunni exegete has said: Those who are meant by this verse being the wives and children. al-Imam Ali (A) said: Teach your families the good deeds and educate and discipline them. Yet in another hadith: Tell your families to keep in mind the prayers, fasting, zakaat “almsdue”, the needy, orphans and neighbours.”(1)
We think that these six purposes are altogether the object intended by Islam, the fact certified by laws and regulations of marriage, divorce with family manners and morals. Observing chastity and modesty, looking after the children, abstinence from obscene acts and vices, observing rights of wife, 'iddah “a prescribed period which a woman has to pass after her divorce or husband's demise for her remarriage” and inheritance and others all indicate these purposes.
Based on this, the characteristics recommended in selecting the spouse are farther than one purpose, but rather observing all the purposes, like:
• A faithful, wise and modest wife;
• Able to meet all of husband's sexual desires;
• noble and of honourable descent and lineage; having a pretty face(1)
Further men are recommended not to seek to marry the women for their beauty alone, as this indicates that marriage is viewed only from the angle of satisfying the sexual instinct no more no less. Also it is recommended not to seek to marry a woman for her riches, since this reflects the fact that the man is intending to have a partner in material life. By this we never mean to disregard and ignore wealth and beauty, but just to draw attention to their being reproached and censured.
Alas! from old pre Islamic era and more in the modern jaahiliyyah, all views toward marriage are one sided, as marriage with the purpose of having children or for getting help in material life or other purposes. The Islamic Shari'ah regards all this as an inauspicious and reprehensible phenomenon.
In brief, Islam views marriage as a means to achieve the previously mentioned six purposes, with none of them being fit to replace the other. Also it takes all these goals for the woman and man, on the same level.
After making clear the religious perspective of marriage and family, it is recommendable to observe what the position the woman has within these subjects is. Do the woman and man represent the origin and branch in the family? Or do they have equal and equivalent position? Or is the responsibility of woman greater than that of the man? And if the woman's responsibility is
greater, what does that mean?
Attention should be given to the fact that the woman and man have two dignities and two roles, one being partnership in marriage “spouse” and the other being fatherhood and motherhood, both of which need study and discussion. About this subject also many incorrect views and wrong beliefs are there, that it is proper to refer to them first before elaborating on the subject in as dully as possible.
1. Abul-Aswad Ad-Du'ali once has gone with his wife Umm Awf near Ziyad laying before him the disagreement between them in respect of a son. Each one of them claimed the son to belong to him/her:
Abul-Aswad said: I am more entitled to have the son than her, I bore him before her and laid him before her. Then Umm Awf said: You have laid him “put the sperm into the ovary” out of lust and pleasure, while I have delivered him with difficulty and constraint “kurh”, and you bore him when being light while I conceived him when being heavy.
Ziyad then said to Umm Awf: You are right, and more entitled to have the son. And he handed the child to her.
2. al-Ghazali in Ihyaa Al-Oloom and Mawlana in Fihi Ma Fih and others maintain less important role for the woman within the family “and marriage”. In Ihyaa Al-Oloom, when expounding the five goals of marriage and particularly in explaining three instances of them, al-Ghazali delivered a speech in a way indicating as if the man being the
origin and the woman being like a parasite and an uninvited person, since he said:
Al-Junaydi said: I am in need of the woman in the same way as I need food and sustenance. Hence woman is a food and cause of heart purity.(1) And because of marriage the heart becomes free from housekeeping and engagement in cooking the food, and tranquil for reserving knowledge and manners, the tasks that can be undertaken by a pious woman.(2)
In the same manner man, on his way to earn of halaal “lawful” business and family guardianship, undergoes so many hardships and exerts efforts which are in themselves laborious struggle “jihad” and selfdiscipline(3).
Mawlana Jalaal Ad-Deen Balkhi, in his book Fihi Ma Fih, was also involved in this sex dilemma, whence he says:
“Day and night you strive and exert endeavour, seeking edification of woman's morals, purifying uncleanness of your wife with yourself. You would rather purify yourself through her than purifying her through you, and you should edify yourself through her, listen to her and obey whatever she says, though this request may be impossible to achieve on your part. Abandon jealousy and zeal though it be one of unavailable qualities of men, but through this good quality bad and abominable habits may characterise your behaviour.
For the sake of this meaning the Prophet (S) is quoted to have said: There is no monarchism “rahbaniyyah” in Islam, as the friars chose seclusion from people, living inside the mount, separation from women and abandoning the worldly life; confining
God in a narrow passage and raising doubt about Him and the Prophet. They never bother themselves to court a woman as it is something tiresome, and they hate to hear the impossible demands of the women, or going here and there to meet their needs, considering themselves to be well-educated.(1)
As it is observed that the woman on one part is regarded as a lust container for the man and on the other as a plantation for the man to cultivate and harvest. That is she is regarded both as a wife and unseen mother.
These were samples of incorrect views in this subject. But reviewing the religious texts especially the holy Qur’an reveals the falseness of these deductions and inferences, viewing equivalent role for both woman and man with giving superiority to the woman in some respects. This equivalence or superiority, is noticed in both the dimensions as a spouse and as a mother.
Allah commands Adam and his wife Eve to live in the heavens:
“And O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, so eat ye two from wherever ye two desire…” (Qur’an, 7:19).
“And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye freely “of the fruits” thereof where ye will…” (Qur’an, 2:35).
He also reminds Adam and his wife that the Satan being their enemy:
“Then said We: “O Adam! Verily this is an enemy unto thee and thy wife; therefore let him not drive ye both out of the Garden for “then”
thou shouldst be put to toil.” (Qur’an, 20:117).
Also in time of dissension He addresses the wife and husband thus:
“And God” said: “Get down hence ye two, all together…” (Qur’an, 20:123).
Yes the woman has, as a wife, an independent identity equal to the man, having a share and exploiting all privileges of marriage and family. Also the woman, like man, has choice right in marriage “choosing the husband” and it is not allowed to force or impose any thing upon her. It is reported that Khudham, the father of Khansa' has coerced her to marry someone. When the Messenger of Allah (S) became aware of this, he annulled the marriage contract declaring: “Whoever wants to get married in this way, has got married to the father of Lubalah too.(1)
One day a girl came near the Prophet and said to him: My father has coerced me to get married to his brother's son. The Messenger of Allah (S) authorised the girl to accept or refuse, when the girl said: “I have permitted the doing of my father “accepted his wish”, but I intended to let the women realise that fathers have no authority to do what they like or interfere in this affair in particular.(2)
Ibn Abbas is reported to have said: A daughter reluctantly approached the Prophet (S) and exclaimed: My father has coerced me to marry someone unwillingly. The Prophet then gave authority and choice to the daughter to agree or disagree.(3)
Also inside the house no one can be a leader
over her, as the woman is a partner in life not a captive. And the family is formed through a contract accepted by two parties with its effects and essentials including both the wife and the husband, with the same extent.
Likewise, the woman constitutes, as a mother, a pillar of the family like the father, and rather it can be said that the woman as a mother has a position superior to the father.
In surat alisra' Allah gives a comprehensive commandment in regard of the father and the mother:
“And commanded thy Lord that thou shalt worship not “any one” but Him, and goodness to parents; if either or both of them reach old age with thee, utter not unto them “even so much as” “fie” nor chide them, and speak unto them a generous word. And lower unto them the wing of humility out of compassion, and say thou: “O My Lord! Have mercy on them as they cherished me when I was little.”(1)
In this verse, after “God's” recommending the children to show kindness to parents and abstinence from irritating and annoying behaviour toward them, Allah calls the sons and daughters to pray to God to have mercy on father and mother who undertook their fostering and nourishment from childhood.
In other verses a recommendation to be grateful and thankful to the parents was given:
“And We did enjoin upon man concerning his parents; beareth him his mother in weakness upon weakness and his weaning taketh two years “and” saying: “Be thou
grateful unto Me and unto thy parents; “and remember thou that” unto Me is the ultimate return “of all”.” (Qur’an, 21:14).
So also the holy Qur’an leaves determination in respect of period of suckling of the child to consultation between the father and mother:
”… and if both “the father and the mother” decide on weaning by mutual consent and “with due” consultation there shall be no blame on them…” “(Qur’an, 2:233).
The position of the mother is also described so highly and considerably. It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Had Jarih Ar-Rahib been a faqeeh and knowledgeable man he would have conceived that responding to the request of his mother being verily more preferable than worshipping his Lord.”(1)
In another hadith doing goodness and kindness to the mothers is counted among signs of wise sane men.(2)
To sum up, it should be said that the woman inside the sphere of family traverses the second arena of development and enjoyment of profits of life, and it is not true that she becoming cause of maturity of another one. The woman is in fact, a partner in all prerogatives of living, both as a wife and as a mother. So every planning and sketching of rights of woman in the family should be laid down on the basis of this independent and equivalent character of woman.
No one can regard the role of woman as a wife to be tantamount to role of husband, but the right to divorce and guardianship “custody” being
totally entrusted to the men. And as it is improper to elevate the status of the mother up to the Divine Throne, it is not for us to deprive her of the right of custody and correlation with the child.
On the other hand, the family in perspective of Islam has no chief, and all kinds of predominance “siyadah” of father or of mother or child being deviation from the natural and instinctive path of the family. Rather every and each member of the family has certain rights that should be fulfilled and certain duties that he/she should undertake and be held responsible for.
It is true that there should be a manager in the Muslim family, but he/she should not behave as a master and mawla since the other members are verily not slaves or subjects. Further the manager should, according to qualifications and authority, undertake the function of administration, never being a despotic ruler or a sensualist.
The arena of social life being the third area of search and strival of son of Adam for attaining to perfection, in which a great portion of aptitudes and abilities are put in practice and flourishing, as they be effective also in realising individual maturities and success in family life. Further the social life is becoming nowadays much more miscellaneous and extensive than it was in the past. The examples for this can be seen in employment, art, sports, minute and enormous management in the society, parties and associations, legal procedure, and
arbitration, education and training.
In other words, it can be said that the social life covers 3 fields:
1. Employment and economical activities;
2. Social activities, like education and training, physical exercise and art;
3. Political participation.
These being the three main domains of participation of women in social life.
Now the following question is raised: Is this area, with all its dimensions, restricted to men, with no role left for women? Or no confinement being there and this field endures no sexuality? Or is it that with accepting the participation and cooperation we should ignore any difference between women and men?
Some are of the opinion that women being created for the house and housekeeping only. Abul'Ala Al-Mawdudi, an Indian Muslim scholar, says:
“Politics, government administration, military and high services and alike are undertaken by men restrictively. When Islam charges the women with aiding the wounded during wars, this should never be taken to mean that Muslims charge them during peace time with running libraries, schools, workshops, associations and parliaments, since they were never created for performing such jobs. Besides, charging the woman with works for which she was not created by nature, would bring her failure and disappointment.
Stating names of great women having outstanding background in these fields as recorded in history books, never changes the truth, as the criterion for judging the women being to view them the same eye as a group and with regard to the constitution on which they were created.(1)
Some of Shi'i writers are reported to have said also:
Therefore the women
should be either connected or pregnant, or nursing so as to be counted among the humanity caravan that proceeding toward the Worshipped and Beloved and Centrepoint for the eagers and Ka'bah for lovers, and searchers for reaching His Sanctuary of safety and security, altogether with men.(1)
If every woman tries, instead of engaging herself in various social tasks, arts and handicrafts, give birth to a child, grow it up and deliver it to the society with existentialist capabilities, she will elevate herself to the highest status proportionate to the number of her children.(2)
Such extremist views led some other thinkers to base their viewpoints on the Qur’an and say that: No trade or social profession is prohibited for women except whoredom!(3)
Consulting and examining the holy Qur’an and biography of the Prophet (S) and infallible Imams will definitely show us a rational and bright path toward truth. Herewith I shall first demonstrate the pivots of social activities from the Qur’an and Prophet's Sunnah and conduct “Seerah”, and then I will give finish to manifesting the motives of social joint cooperation of women with conditions of this presence.
Consulting and examining the holy Qur’an and biography of the Prophet (S) and infallible Imams will definitely show us a rational and bright path toward truth. Herewith I shall first demonstrate the pivots of social activities from the Qur’an and Prophet's Sunnah and conduct “Seerah”, and then I will give finish to manifesting the motives of social joint cooperation of women with conditions of this presence.
Qur’an admits swearing allegiance to government, which being the most salient manifestation of the political activity in every society, to be practised by women.
“O “Our” Prophet “Muhammad” when come unto thee believing women pledging that they will not aught with God, and will neither steal, nor commit adultery, nor kill their children, and they will utter not slander, nor utter any falsehood which they had forged themselves between their hands and their feet, and will not disobey them in what is fair, then accept thou their pledge, and ask forgiveness for them from God; Verily God is Oft Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 60:12).
Further, the history of early Islamic era is indicative of accomplishment of this political process on the part of women; As it is reported that during the 2nd Aqabah Allegiance “bay'at alaqabah aththaniyah”, in which a great multitude of Medina men, after performing rites of hajj pilgrimage, took an oath of allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (S), two women under the names of UmmImarah and Asma' were present too.(1)
Also allegiance was sworn to the Prophet by other women at Mecca besides these two(2) “at Medina”.
In his Tabaqaat, Ibn Sa'd has dedicated several pages for explaining how the women took an oath of allegiance to the Prophet, and showing contents of these oaths of allegiance.(3) And in another chapter of this book he stated names of seventy women who took part in these acknowledgements “bay'ahs”.(4)
In the event that Qur’anic verse was to be used in these oaths
of allegiance “bay'ahs”, the women have taken an oath on two pledges: One being religiosity and adoption of Islam, and the other being acknowledging the Prophet as head of government “leader”.
Muhammad Ali Qutub has also dedicated a full book for elaboration on subject of women's taking an oath of allegiance to the Prophet (S).(1)
Immigration was one of socio-political movements that occurred twice during the early Islamic era, in both of which Muslim women participated. These immigrations had so many political dimensions, one of which being banishment and rejection of the regime ruling over the people. The second dimension being communication of the message of new religion, and thirdly it represented a political precautious tactic for safeguarding and eternalising the new-fashioned school “Islam”, to this meaning that when the polytheists would annihilate the Muslims in Mecca, other followers of the new religion would appear in another place for protecting and defending them.
The holy Qur’an has in many verses, told about migration of Muslim women.
First: It makes migration obligatory on the women and men to the same level:
“Verily those whom the angels take away “at death” while they are unjust to their “own” selves “in sin”, they “the angels” shall ask “the sinner souls”: “In what state were ye?” They shall reply: “Weakened “and oppressed” were we in the land;” They “the angels” will say: “Was not the land of God vast “enough” for you to migrate there in?” So these “are those” whose refuge shall be Hell: and what a bad
resort it is. Except the “really” weakened ones from among the men and the women and the children, who have not in their power the means “to escape from the unbelievers” and nor they find the “right” way.” “(Qur’an, 4:97, 98).
What is gleaned of these verses is that all those disdaining from migration their abode will be in Hell, whether be men or women or children. So all the Muslims, men and women, should migrate so as to keep God's religion safe and intact.
Second: The Qur’an makes a special reference to migration of women together with the Prophet toward Medina.
“O “Our” Prophet! Verily we have made lawful unto thee thy wives whom thou hast given their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possessed out of those whom God returned unto thee “without war”, and the daughters of thy paternal uncle, and the daughters of thy paternal aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncle and the daughters of thy maternal aunts who fled with you…” (Qur’an, 33:50).
One of the women participated in this migration was Asma', wife of AzZubayr. She says: In this migration process I was conceived to a child and period of pregnancy was over at that time. On reaching Medina I gave birth to my son Abdallah at Quba.(1)
Third: In another verse examining the immigrant women:
“O ye who believe! when come unto you believing womenrefugees, then ye examine them; God knoweth best their faith; and if ye find them to be believing women, return ye not them
unto the disbelievers; neither these women are lawful for them, nor are those men lawful for them…” (Qur’an, 60:10).
In Hudaybiyyah peace Treaty it was determined that in case of coming of Muslims to Medina they should be repatriated. However, Allah the Exalted revealed this verse in which He exempted the women from that Treaty. Ibn Abbas is reported to have said: The exam or interrogation of immigrant women was thus, that the women should confess and admit that: “I pledge and assure here that I have not migrated out of grudge against my husband, or out of desire and inclination toward the new land or for gaining worldly coveted objects or profits, but the only purpose and goal for which I migrated being love to God and the Prophet.”(1)
Among the women who migrated and were subjected to examination I can refer to Damimah daughter of Bishr, Subay'ah daughter of Harith, Borough daughter of Aqabah and Abdah daughter of Abd Al-Aziz.
The third social activity that the Qur’an attributed to women being to enjoin good and forbid evil "alamr bil ma'ruf wannahy anilmunkar".
It is known that bidding to decent deeds and forbidding from indecent acts being one of social duties with which Islam charged every mature man and woman. Eleven verses are revealed in the Qur’an talking about this religious duty and rule, as a kind of social guardianship that the believers have over each other. In the following verse this duty is introduced as a common obligation on women and men:
the believer men and the believer women they are guardians to one another; they enjoin good and forbid evil and they establish "the regular" prayer and pay the poorrate and obey God and His Apostle "Muhammad". These, God will bestow on them His mercy; verily God is AllMighty, AllWise." (Qur’an, 9:71).
This verse indicates that the Islamic society enjoys one and the same identity, which cannot be disintegrated by masculinity and femininity. Within this group, having one identity, every individual has guardianship over the other. Hence, they should all undertake and commit themselves to perform this duty and Divine charge.
The holy Qur’an confirms doing business and exerting efforts on part of women and men for earning living, arranging and establishing their right of ownership over what they have earned.
"Unto men a fortune from that which they have earned, and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned." (Qur’an, 4:32).
In this verse, both earning the living and ownership for woman and man have been spoken out. And it separated between women and men for the only reason to dismiss the wrong notion and view which confines and distinguishes ownership, earning and economical labour for men alone.
It is to be noted that no evidence is there in the verse indicating that what is intended by earning and business being only intellectual and moral practices. On this basis, the exegetes gave three probabilities for this verse: wages and labour remuneration, economical earning and activity, and inheritance.(1) Some others gave only two interpretations:
wages and remuneration for work, and inheritance.(1)
The holy Qur’an refers to daughters of Shu'ayb in state of performing economicsocial activities, reiterating their modesty during work. In the following verses, the connection between women and men can be clearly seen:
"And when he arrived at the water of Madyan, he found on it a group of men "watering their flocks" and found he besides them two women keeping back "their flocks"; Said "Moses": "What aileth you?" Said the two "women": "We cannot water until the shepherds take away "their sheep from the water", and our father is very old. So he watered "their flocks" for them, then retired he unto the shade, "and" then said he:
"O my Lord! Verily of what Thou hast sent down unto me of the good, I stand in need." Then came unto him one of the two women walking bashfully; Said she: "Verily my father calleth thee so that he may recompense thee for what thou hath watered for us. So when came he unto him and narrated unto him his story, said he "the old man": "Fear thou not, thou art "now" secure from the unjust people." Said one of the two women: "O my father! Employ him, verily the best of those who thou canst employ is the strong "man" the trusted "one".(Qur’an, 28:232).
In these verses, the shepherd Shu'ayb's daughters, relation and speaking with men, social insight and recognising the individuals, and bashfulness and modesty have been well manifested, and confirmed by God.
The story of
Queen of Saba' and her sovereignty is cited in the Qur’an without any criticism or censure. On the other hand the Qur’anic verses introduce her as a person of opinion and consultation and truthseeking, since when receiving the letter of Prophet Sulayman, she tried to find a solution for the problem, having an inclination toward Sulayman:
"Verily I found a woman ruling over them, and she hath been given plenty of every thing, and she hath a throne magnificent." (Qur’an, 27:23).
"Said "the Queen of Shebah": "O ye chiefs! Verily, has been delivered unto me a letter honourable!" (Qur’an, 27:29).
"Said she: "O ye chiefs! advise me in "this" my affair; "ye know" that I decide not any affair but in your view." (Qur’an, 27:32).
"... Said "the Queen": "My Lord! verily I have been unjust to myself, and I submit "along" with Solomon unto God, the Lord of the worlds." (Qur’an, 27:44).
Ibn Khaldoon considers Balqees "the Queen" to be the designer and builder of Dam of Ma'rab, with having "ruling over" a populous country full of different fruits with no match ever found in the world.(1)
Some of the writers viewed this issue in this way:
I had no doubt in regard of what was quoted by Al-Bayhaqi, had I not seen with my own eyes women like Indirah Gandi, daughter of Nehru, who managed and administered seven hundred million people, with a handful of needy people starving to death on the sidewalks, reaching them, through a green revolution, to a position of a wheatexporting
Many of clearsighted men have taken hold of this story, regarding the woman's occupying the highest political posts to be something admissible.(2)
In the event of mubahalah "cursing each other", which being a religiosocial conduct.
"And unto him who disputeth with thee therein after the knowledge hath come unto thee, say "O Our Apostle Muhammad!" "unto them": "come ye, let us summon our sons, and "ye summon" your sons, and "we summon" our women and "ye" your women, and "we summon" ourselves and "ye" yourselves and then let us invoke and lay the curse of God on the liars!" (Qur’an, 3:60).
The holy Qur’an reiterates the attempts of the sister of Prophet Moses (A) for his deliverance, as in this verse:
"When thy sister went "unto Pharaoh's wife" and said: "Shall I show you one who will take care of him?" (Qur’an, 20:40).
Participation of women in jihad "Islamic struggle" during the early Islamic era and after it, is known for all. As the women made haste to aid the warriors in the battlefields, preparing the food and looking after the patients, and other things.
1. Anas "Ibn Malik" is reported to have said: During Battle of Uhud, 'A'ishah and Umm Salamah were shifting and handling the leathern bottles of water and pouring them out into mouths of people "giving to thirsty people".(3)
2. UmmAtiyyah is reported to have said: "I have accompanied the Messenger of Allah (S) in seven battles "campaigns" altogether, remaining behind their men "in tents", cooking and preparing food for them."(4)
3. Hafsah, daughter
of Sirin, reported from a Christian woman that she said: My brotherinlaw took part in twelve campaigns with the Prophet (S), and my sister was accompanying him in six battles, saying: We were taking care and looking after the patients "wounded"."(1)
4. Rabi daughter of Miwaz is reported to have said: "We used to participate in the campaigns with the Prophet (S), replacing and returning the wounded and the killed to Medina."(2)
5. Anas is reported to have said: "The Messenger of Allah (S) used to take with him in his battles "against disbelievers" UmmSalim and some Christian women, for looking after and curing the wounded."(3)
During Battle of Uhud, when the Muslims left the battlefield UmmImarah remained behind holding the weapon for protecting the Prophet.
Omar Ibn Al-Khattaab used to say: I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying during Battle of Uhud: To every side I was turning my face I would see only UmmImarah fighting in defence of me." (4)128
During Battle of Hunayn Umm Salim was seen holding a dagger. When the Messenger of Allah (S) asked her for what she was holding a dagger, she said:
I have held it for the reason that if one of the polytheists comes near me "to attack the Muslims", I will rip open his belly. Then the Messenger of Allah (S) broke into a laugh.(5)
This issue was so explicit and manifest that many chapters were dedicated for it throughout books of hadith and Sirah. In Saheeh Al-Bukhari Saheeh Muslim, we can see a
chapter under the heading: "The Women's Fighting with the Men."
Women's engagement in business and employment during the Prophet's lifetime was so extensively common, and women were seen in every and all kinds of professions and trades prevalent and current at that time.
The trade of selling women's adornment outfit was practised by Zaynab Attarah,(1) and Mulaykah daughter of Aqra' Thaqafiyya,(2) and Asma' daughter of Makhrabah.(3) Besides, Zaynab bint Jahash occupied herself with handicrafts.(4)
An old woman used to occupy herself with business of selling off milk, when Omar "Ibn AlKhattaab" came in contact with her giving her a good advice.(5) Also Khawwat bint Jubayr engaged herself with sale of cooking oil.(6) Moreover some other women used to do pastoral occupation and tending flocks, like Sallamah, UmmHani and others.(7)
A woman called Zaynab was a doctor of Tribe of Bano Awd, and occupied herself with curing the patients.(8) Further other women, like Qaylah mother of Bano Namar, used to exercise commerce business.(9)
After establishing evidences from religious sources on permission of women's social cooperation and participation, hereafter I will state the incentives and motives behind cooperation "of women".After establishing evidences from religious sources on permission of women's social cooperation and participation, hereafter I will state the incentives and motives behind cooperation "of women".
The social activity paves the way for participation and presence in various arenas, the factor causing development of dimensions of existence and blossoming of talents and aptitudes.
"Whoever gives up merchandise, two thirds of his mind "brain" will be lost."(10)
From all this, it becomes
clear for us that staying at home or seclusion and separation from society and people results in nothing but abatement and torpidity.
And if the sought slogan or best rule "religion" of the Prophet of Islam (S) being abandoning Rahbaniyyah "monasticism, single life",(1) but this fact can never be distinguished to men only, and it includes all followers of this religion, whether being women or men. Further, Rahbaniyyah never means forsaking the society and seeking refuge in caves or dens, but confining the women inside the house and driving them out of arena of life and society being in fact some kind of monasticism.
Also education and learning can only be attained through presence and activity within the society and among people. Besides, through this social presence the ground can be prepared for doing service to other human beings, which in itself being a step toward perfection and maturity. More than this, through social participation man can attain to political cognisance and full knowledge of the age, which being among prerequisite for every and each man.
"That who has full awareness of his time, will not be attacked by vicissitudes of time "mischiefs".(2)
And thanks to the social activity, the duty of enjoining to good and forbidding from evil can be put to practice, and through this participation guiding the ignorant, which being a human duty, can be fulfilled, beside jihad and immigration.
Therefore, one of incentives and motives for inviting to social life for women, being to sublimate the scientific, theoretical and social character
of them, without which they can never attain to such a position or can with exerting much toil.
To live a joyful and pure life, needs easiness and comfort, without which life would be stagnant and lose its brightness and joy. Taking easy and be lenient being one of principles of the Islamic Law. Many evidences supporting this fact can be found in the holy Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah. Allah, in many verses on position of legislating some rule or precept, point out ease and leniency, as in the following verse:
"Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you." (Qur’an, 2:18).
The holy Prophet too has described his Shari'ah as plain and tolerant law. It is reported from him to have said:
"The Messenger of Allah (S) was not given the option between two alternatives, but he chose the easier one, unless he being sinful as in that case he would be the farthest man from it."(1)
On this basis, preventing the women from social presence and cooperation is certainly contrary to principle of easiness. If the women are bound to inquire about the questions and ambiguities facing them from Mahram "consanguine" men "with whom marriage is prohibited" and fulfil their duties through a medium, then their lives will not be free from hardship and difficulty. During the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (S) the women used to inquire from the Prophet about the questions and problems they face, the act from which the Prophet never prohibited them. Association and supervision
on part of the Prophet and Imams with the women in presence of men, used to be an ordinary matter. I draw the attention of readers to the following old quotations:
1. Ali Ibn Hamzah and Abu Baseer are reported to have said: We have had an appointment with AlImam Al-Baaqir "peace be upon him". So we betook ourselves to his house. On entering it he loudly called: O Sukaynah, bring me the lantern. When she brought the lantern, he said to her: Bring me now the skin that is kept in so and so place. She brought it, when he opened it and extracted from it some yellowlike writing.(1)
2. Ash-Shaykh At-Tusi, in his book Tahdheeb, reports from Safwan Ibn Mehran "who was a courier" that he said: I have offered AlImam AsSaadiq for view the following: A Muslim woman, who has full knowledge of my profession and whom I know to be a Muslim, calls on me to take her with the caravan, but with no Mahram "man" accompanying her, what should I do? He (S) replied: The believing man is Mahram with the believing woman, citing then the verse: "And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another..."(2)
These two quotations explicitly indicate that the human relations between Muslim men women is something natural normal.These two quotations explicitly indicate that the human relations between Muslim men women is something natural normal.
Women's social cooperation has, in view of Islam, certain etiquette, the observation of
which leads to permission and persuasion to social presence. Some of these manners being common between men and women, which both groups should observe and abide by. Some of them belong to women distinctively.
The holy Qur’an commands the believing men and women to lower their eyes and be modest:
"Say thou "O Our Apostle Muhammad!" unto the believing men that they cast down their gaze and guard their private parts; that is pure for them; Verily God is AllAware of what "all" ye do. And say unto the believing women that they lower their gaze and guard their private parts..." (Qur’an, 24:30, 31) .
Lowering the gaze never means closing the eyes totally, but means abstaining from seductive and alluring look. Restraining dazzling looks is called in Arabic language "Ghazz". In other words, in these two verses no prevention on sense of sighting is ordered, as God didn't say: Do not look "la tanzura", but He gave His orders to do something positive, i.e. lowering the eyes.
AbuSa'id AlKhudri, reporting a hadith in this context from the Prophet (S), said: "The Messenger of Allah (S) said: Abstain from sitting on the "sidewalk of" roads. People said to him: We have no other alternative but to sit and talk to each other. The Prophet said: Now if it be so, you should fulfil the rights of roads. They questioned: What are rights of roads? He replied: lowering the eyes, abstaining from harming the others, responding to greeting, and enjoining to good and forbidding from
Examples of impudence can be found in some of the traditions, like the following:
Ibn Abbas is reported to have said: The Prophet made Al-Fadl Ibn Abbas ride the mount behind him on Id Al-Azha "Greater Bairam". Al-Fadl was of good and wellcut figure. Once upon a time, the Prophet made a halt for giving answers to people's questions regarding religious ambiguities. A good-looking woman from Khatham Tribe came near the Prophet to inquire him about some matters. When Al-Fadl was dazzled with her beauty and kept on gazing her with open eyes. There at the Prophet put his hand before his "Al-Fadl's" face and turned it to the other side.
In this hadith a good example and true application of principle of lowering the gaze can be clearly seen.
Another sample of manners of partnership being abstention from shaking hands with women. In the same way as seductive looking and dazzling being an indecent and reprehensible act, that paving the way for inhuman and illegal relations, shaking and extending hands to women "on part of men" comes under the same category.
Many traditions are there concerning prohibiting and preventing this habit, and it is reported that the Prophet has never shaken hands with any woman during process of swearing allegiance to him.
A hadith is narrated thus:
"By God his "Prophet's" hand has never touched any woman's hand during acknowledgement of allegiance "mubaya'ah"(2)
Umm Salamah is reported to have said: The Messenger of Allah (S) used to wait and linger in the mosque after finishing congregational
prayers, so as that the women could depart before him.(1)
Also, the Messenger of Allah (S) has presented a proposal in regard of manners of coming and going of women.(2) It is reported too that when the Prophet came out of the mosque once upon a day, he witnessed women and men crowded and gathered in one place. Then he addressed the women saying: You have to keep aside and move on the sidewalks.(3)
To sum up, we are recommended and commanded to abstain from any act or practice entailing intermingling and crowding, nearness and closeness of bodies and interception of breaths "between men and women".
One of the manners upon which so much emphasis is made, being prohibition of seclusion to the woman with a foreign "unconsanguine" man "with whom marriage is allowable", in a way that nobody else be present and no room before others to come and go.
In many traditions this practice was prohibited with the following expression:
Ibn Abbas reported that the Prophet (S) said: "No man should sit alone and seclusively with any "foreign" woman but only with presence of a consanguine man "with whom marriage is prohibited".(4)
Forbidden is every conversation "between men and women" that entails, with it, sport and entertainment, or some kind of flirtation and seduction or excitement. This subject is indicated in numerous Ahadith.
Khuwat Ibn Jubayr is reported to have said: We have landed one day, with the Prophet, in Zahran "a place outside Mecca". When going out of my tent I noticed some women
sitting and conferring with each other. This scene pleased me, so I returned to the tent, put on my best garment and betook myself toward them, sitting beside them for taking part in their conversation.
At that time the Messenger of Allah (S) came out of his tent and summoned me. I became so upset and worried, saying to him: My camel has fled away and I came out in its search "to find it"! The Prophet then passed beside me and I followed him. Then he gave me his cloak and went away. He performed his ablutions and addressed me: Tell me what did your fugitive camel do?! The Prophet kept on reiterating this sentence every time he coming near me.(1)
In many Qur’anic verses the Muslim women are ordered to abstain and keep aloof from displaying their charms and adornment, like the following:
· "... and display not your finery like the display of the ignorance of yore..." (Qur’an, 33:33).
· "... and they display not their adornment save what is apparent of it; and to draw their veils over their bosoms..." (Qur’an, 24:31).
· "O "Our" Prophet "Muhammad"! say thou unto thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their cover garments..." (Qur’an, 33:59).
Further many traditions are there emphasising on the proper covering for women, and the Messenger of Allah (S) considers the naked women to be among Dwellers of Hell.
Fatimah daughter of Qays says: The Messenger of Allah (S) said: I never
like to see the scarf taken away "removed" from your head, or the clothes be drawn aside from your legs so as men can see them.(1)
This subject will be elaborated more in chapter five, to come later on.
It is impermissible for women to impregnate themselves with odour while attending any meeting "where men are present". The Messenger of Allah (S) has addressed the women once saying: Whenever you be present at the mosque, never perfume yourselves with fragrance.
The Almighty Allah said in His holy Qur’an:
"... and be not soft in "your" speech lest lusteth after you he in whose heart is a disease..." (Qur’an, 33:32).
In the holy Qur’an Allah the Exalted says:
"... and let them not strike their feet "in walking" that what they hide of their adornment gets apparent..." (Qur’an, 24:31).
Also the daughters of "Prophet" Shu'ayb were praised in the Qur’an since they walked with coyness:
"Then came unto him one of the two women walking bashfully..." (Qur’an, 28:25).
In conclusion of this subject "of discourse" I draw the attention of readers to the following points:
1. Housekeeping and nurturing and educating the children being an essential duty to be undertaken by the women. And certainly, for maintaining stability and safety and security of the family, men and social foundations should endeavour and do their best to fulfil this goal, since we won't be able to attain to a healthy society without such efforts.
2. Essentiality of duty of housekeeping on part of women never means negation of other social or even family
functions for them. Because women are in need of the society and also the society can never attain its healthiness and progress without women. Therefore women have duties other than education of children and keeping warm the house and family.
3. The claim of presence of a decisive and perpetual clash between function of housekeeping and other tasks is invalid and incorrect. Nevertheless, in certain special and rare cases some kind of incongruity may be seen, but it could never be found in the past history, nor nowadays.
In the present circumstances, where children spend their leisure times in educational, cultural and training centres, this nonclash is apparent more clearly. In other words, with more investigation we can discover that most of the women with the ages up to 20 have not got married, and so they got the chance to attend and be active in society, without any predicament.
After marriage, if every couple have, as is common, five children when reaching the age of forty, their last child will be at five and elder child will have reached the age of 17 years. To this meaning that after reaching the age of forty, if average age of women be 60, then they would be able to within twenty years, play an effective role in society with more freedom and devotion.
And throughout these twenty years, that having most of worries pertaining to family, the women can also, with good planning and aid of men, dedicate some time to such businesses.
By this calculation,
which is made with great mitigation in behalf of supporters of theory of limiting duty of women in housekeeping, no one can claim presence of clash between duties of housekeeping social tasks of women, in all cases.
I finish this chapter with saying that every women should regard education of children and housekeeping to be among her first and most important duties and functions, but this thing has no contradiction, whatsoever, with her presence and cooperation in society.
The issue of veil “covering” being one of self-evident truths of Islamic jurisprudence, having multifarious and extensive arenas. Before broaching it, I find it necessary to give a bright image of the matter on hand, and the terms used in these subjects of discussion.
The words that are used in this field being: Covering, veil “hijaab”, sitr, chastity, limits of relations between woman and man. It is possible that what is intended by these words being keeping off and detaining the woman inside the house, or observing some of regulations in regard of social associations.
The issue that I intend to manifest and expound by this article being the meaning antithetical to unrestrain, sexual liberalism which is called by the Qur’an tabarruj “displaying the charms”.
In other words, we are in search of an answer to this question: Can femininity and masculinity of women and men be displayed on scene of society? Or is this quality confined inside the realm of family, and the woman and man should appear in arena of society and
act as two human beings? AlOstaz Mutahhari is quoted to have said:
“In fact concerning the issue of covering and according to term used recently Hijaab, we don't intend to talk about whether is it good for the woman to appear within society with a covering or naked?
The essence of speech is that: can the woman and man's enjoyments “seeking content by marriage” be free of charge? Has the man any right to enjoy himself as much as he can of any woman, other than fornication or not? So the core of matter, being confining all the successes to the sphere of family and legal spouses, or setting free the successes and extending them to environment of society.”(1)
On this basis, my intention, in this article is neither to prove the seclusion of woman nor talking about a special issue. i.e. covering of the woman as Sitr, but what I intend is a more distant subject within the framework of which many Islamic legislated rules can be propounded through a harmonious thought structure, like obligation of Hijaab “cover”, prohibition of gazing at a foreigner, and abominations such as adultery and homosexuality and alike.
The following pages are determined to give answers to questions such as:
1. What is intended by Islam from veil and covering?
2. What criteria Islam depended upon in regard of limits of relations between women and men?
3. What is philosophy of covering?
4. Have various religious precepts like necessity of covering, prohibition of gazing at women, and forbiddance of “committing” abominations
and alike, been enacted for the sake of diminishing any contact or touching between women and men or is there any other purpose behind them?
5. What thing can withstand the sexual liberalism, unrestrainment “tahallul” and displaying “woman's” charms? Beside other questions.
Also it should be known that in the recent century many writings in forms of books and articles, in Persian and Arabic,(1) have been composed analysing and investigating into so many of dimensions of this subject, among which valuable researches can be seen. Despite all these, still many centres of investigation and searching in this field are found everywhere, and investigation file is still open.
Making researches and studies in connection to veil “hijaab”, can pursue different objectives each needing a particular method:
1. The purpose and motive of investigation may be rational manifestation of fiqhi beliefs and judgements, in a way that it can be propounded in secular societies.
2. Sometimes the target of investigation may be to solve the mental problems of the issue of veil inside religious communities, in a way that all mental and theoretical unrestrained obstacles should be lifted from this way.
3. Also it is possible that the aim of investigation be mere Fiqhi fathoming and studying profoundly, to the extent that can only be proper for “teaching in” the Islamic theological centres.
4. Further it is possible that the goal be guiding the society toward the required “ideal” covering… and others.
It is explicit that every goal has its own method and tendency to follow, so it is infeasible
to cover and discuss all of them in one book.
In fact, other than the practical leniency witnessed in case of covering, and production of desire and hope of human beings, some ideological questions and ambiguities inside religious societies, with viewpoints and visions of secular societies, and a number of Fiqhi opinions and verdicts on carelessness and unrestrainment, can be influential in the matter of covering.
Hence reason and reflection necessitate from us to choose proper ways for confronting practical leniency, desire and inclination, like advice and counsel, and making impunible and allowable amusements and exercise to replace exciting and seductive manifestations. And also in opposite to mental obstacles we should resort to scientific searches and circulation of their thought fruits.
In this chapter, I am going to select and elaborate some subjects from among those related to veil “hijaab” as follows:
1. Chastity and philosophy of covering.
2. General conditions for mantle of women.
4. Intermingling “between men and women”.
Life of man is liable to develop and mature on two dimensions: material and moral. And acquiring knowledge and sciences, with fostering ethical and human traits all lie within the realm of spiritual perfections. Likewise, enjoying welfare, body health and training body organs come within the first division.
Man is one truth whose life has two extents. For this reason, perfection and deficiency are two inseparable elements. Body health is a requisite for soul health, which is in turn essential for good health of body. This point is becoming clearer than before, so bodily diseases are
being cured through psychotherapy and spiritual treatment.
Realm of spiritual and material life, whatever it be, pertains to how human beings view existence, man and universe. Any diversity in these views has its impact on restraint and ease of human life. The evidence for this lies in the divergence and difference between objectives and way of living of human beings who lived before the modern scientific developments and those who lived after them.
Despite all this, we should not look at things in a way that by changing the views everything would change, with no common point is left whatsoever. But rather, as is said frankly before, these changes affect restraint and expansion of life, not creating two different and even antithetical lives.
Hence, despite that remarkable difference between human beings of present time and those of the past in regard of foundations and consequences, but their common points are not little in number, the fact leading to make the way for conversation, mutual understanding and consideration, open all the time.
In all these views self-knowledge and world knowledge being something valuable, and spread of justice and service to other people is a recommendable act. All people venerate national champions and social reformers, regarding those killed on the way of national objectives as martyrs.
All these indicate that throughout all epochs, same general beliefs prevail among people, although some difference can be seen in their applicability and samples. These points constitute part of things called in Divine religions fitrah “nature”, and so much emphasis upon
them is made in Islam.
Chastity and bashfulness also being among these characteristics: Covering the front “private” parts was the usual habit of man, as the cave dwellers used to cover themselves “veil the private parts” with tree leaves and animal skins, and so also the present world dwellers.
It is out of scope here to refer to form, measure and way of emergence of this trait, but the original point in this regard being that this habit was always observed as a human virtue. Besides, coyness and chastity, being not confined in a certain period of history, though certain times and epochs can be specified for special certain mantles “costumes”. And chastity is the spirit of the covering and mantle being its skeleton. Chastity is philosophy of the covering and covering is its guarantor “insurer”.
Konfosios, the Chinese philosopher of the sixth century B.C., has said:
“One who can be considered man of culture is that who is honest in his conduct and behaviour with chastity in heart, and that who is delegated to other foreign countries as an ambassador, would never bring about means of shame to his king.”(1)
Barroukh Espinozah says:
“Even if we have no knowledge of eternity of our souls, still we would have given priority and importance to absteniousness and religion with all things I indicated in chapter four, that are relevant to magnanimity and dignity.(2)
Even the adherents of Yang Choo, the famous Chinese atheist materialist philosopher, who lived in the epoch from fifth till third century B.C. and whose
school in historical and philosophical literature is known with pleasureseeking, said in his regard:
“The fact which should be kept in memory is that Yang Choo, though asking for sensual pleasures, but he withstood against extravagance and debauchery which are viewed by him and his school as desolater of man's nature.”(1)
Gandi once addressed the women saying: “Woman's true ornamentation being her character and her purity. The real ornamentation can never be in stones and metals. Rather it lies in purity of heart and soul beautifying, not in loading the body with stones and metals.”(2)
In all Divine religions so much emphasis and recommendation is made on chastity and modesty. The holy Qur’an has many times pointed out the women to this fact.
In treatise of Polis in Al'Ahd Al-Jadeed, after recommending the men with supplication and fervent prayer, the following statement is recorded:
“They “men” also used to embellish their wives with clothes adorned with bashfulness and abstinence, not with ringlets, gold, pearls or expensive clothes. Rather they should invite their women who claiming religiosity, to good deeds.”(3)
In first Treatise of Botrous it is reported:
“The women are recommended not to attach any importance to external decorations for showing beauty, like dying the hair, using ornamentation materials and wearing costly clothes, but to inward adornments which never perish and having great value near God.”(4)
The translator of the book Taareekh Libas, which is dedicated for studying all the world clothes and costumes throughout five hundred years, says:
“Appearance of clothes was never something by coincidence or according
to individual demand. But they emerged on basis of regional material and intellectual thoughts and demands of peoples, becoming a mirror fully indicating history of life of mankind.”(1)
Some experts made studies on relics and remains, historic inscriptions and prominent statues, concluding from them that coldness and heat never constituted the original cause of selecting the clothes but its cause was shyness and covering the privy parts.(2)
In the book Taareekh Libas, whose author was an American researcher studied history of clothes till the year 1950, and which being a textbook taught in colleges, we find statement about all peoples and nations, manifesting in full details their clothes and costumes.
The topics of this book, which contained pictures of clothes, were taken according to its writer's claim, from coins, images, wall carpets, paintings and decorations left from old generations.(3)
In the holy scripture “Bible” it is stated that during the lifetime of “Prophet” Solomon (A), the women used to wear veil on their faces beside the covering of the body.(4) The same habit was commonly followed during the time of Prophet Abraham (A) too. It is reported that when fiancee of Ishaq “Rifqah” saw him for the first time, she put a veil “mask” on her face.(5)
Further, during various periods like Medes, Achamenian, Ashkaani, and Sassanid eras, the Iranian women used to wear certain covering “mantle”.
During the Medes epoch, the women used to wear two-piece garment(6), which was made of a piece of carpet belonged to the Achamenian epoch, in which the women used
to wear a cape like cloth on their heads, in a way similar to chaadur “large veil worn by women”.(1)
During the Ashkaani era, the women used to put on as a covering a long garment open in front “qabah” reaching to the kneels, with a cape thrown on the head and a mask “niqaab” which was usually brought to the back part of the head.(2)
While during Sassanid rule the women were sometimes wearing a loose Chaadur, with a fencelike on the head, reaching to middle of the leg. The paintings representing the Sassanid women, designed on silver plates, show every and each woman wearing a Chaadur wrapped on her body.(3)
All these quotations and historic reports confirm the view that shyness and modesty being among the causes of covering, and that the motive behind wearing mantle by man being not protection against coldness and heat or ornamentation and ostentation. Nevertheless, these motives can never be negated in regard of manner and kind of clothes.
The other point that can be obtained out of these quotations being that observing modesty and chastity between women and men differed proportionately to creation of every one of them. And women always used to wear more clothes than men. So if coldness and heat be the only stimulant, these differences would never be liable to analysis. Even beauty seeking merely for showing off can never respond to them. The transition that came in sight through the past fifty years, especially in industrial countries, in regard of clothes
had a special cause.
Some researchers have analysed this phenomenon in this way:
“With the beginning of the world war II, the war that shocked the structure of civilisation, the development of costumes took a revolutionary shape. Thenceforth clothes, which reflect the economical capability, political standpoint, cultural and social abilities, religious beliefs and official and traditional obligations, have been put under influence and domination of capitalist regime. In this system, clothes found another position, transforming to a merchandise that having a binary value. In other words, clothes could meet the human needs, with turning to an article for sale. Then they should, like any other article, give the maximum profits, and when they attain to this goal, time would not be convenient for them; As the articles should be capable of consumption for a long time, so as they can have the most extensive bazzar, that is the largest number of consumers and purchasers.(1)
If the world nowadays has some kind of freedom and liberation in clothes, but no one has liberalised immodesty and unchastity, then regional and world regulations emphasising on prevention of indecent acts and offences continue to be valid and in force.(2) And still the statistics show that men be averse, in nature, to unchastity.(3)
The purpose intended of all this being to show that modesty is a human quality that can be proposed for mankind, regardless of any cultural or religious tendency. Although in some cultures and schools the ground for approving and manifesting it being easier.
Humans, in their nature
and instinct, and according to structure of their existence, have inclination to this habit. And this quality, like all other qualities and values, has capability to development and growth, meaning that all people possess its inward grounding, though it cannot reach actuality with one degree in all people. It is like truthfulness or honesty which is instinctively sought by man, and capable of development and extension as a positive quality and human value, but all people can never be at one level of truthfulness and honesty.
Hence, man's practical violation to these qualities and recession on stages of life, can never do harm to perfection of these virtues, or derogate their instinctiveness. Rather many violators make confession to their deviation in behaviour, depriving themselves of this maturity.
This subject can be expounded through other words and expression. Man has several instincts that should, whether desired or detested, knowingly or unknowingly, be satiated, as they are like engine of life that all the time needs revision and reinforcement. Because these instincts are tantamount to engine and power for living, so it is improper to say about them to be bad manifestations in life of man.
These instincts being so necessary for organism of our life, as through them we can discern the right and the unright. On this basis, the probability saying that the human instincts, which are origin of all life activities, being an obstacle on the way of humanity of man and so they should be taken away, would not be
a logical matter. That which is indicated by exigency of logic and Divine wisdom, being that these instincts should be controlled and overpowered by human character and resolution.
And if these instincts be exploited without control or restraint, the human soul will take the mien of a commanding soul “to evil” that would not know a reality other than desire and passing fancy. While when being controlled and restrained by man's strong will, these very instincts would acquire a human sublime aspect and help man in strengthening an ideal life.
In other words, the sexual instinct is as necessary as life itself. But if these vital instincts be set at liberty, the human character would be definitely brought to naught, or rather man would not be there so as to say: Does he have personality or not?
The conclusion we get is that shyness and chastity, as a human quality, being the foundation for relations between woman and man in view of the Islamic culture. And the issues of clothes and their attachments come in the course of safeguarding and developing this virtue. Then forbidding “women” from displaying charms and intercoursing with men was made in accordance to this philosophy.
The holy Qur’an has made a reference to this innate virtue, in the story of creation of Adam and Eve, when talking about their eating of the forbidden tree:
“Then he instigated them both by deceit so when they tasted “of” the tree their shameful things got displayed unto them, and they both began covering
themselves with the leaves of the Garden…” (Qur’an, 7:22).
In continuation of these verse “verse 26” there is a reference to sending down of a raiment to cover the privy parts, with a mention of enmity of Satan to man through stripping off the raiment of Adam and Eve “verse 27”.
“O children of Adam! Let not Satan involve you into affliction as he got your parents out, from the garden “of the blissful life” stripping off their raiment, that he may expose unto them their shame;…” (Qur’an, 7:27).
Praising Yousif's chastity in dealing with Egyptian women, he quotes his speech in this way:
“Said he: “O my Lord! The prison is dearer to me than that unto which they invite me; and if Thou turneth not away from me their guile I may yearn unto them and become of the ignorant ones.” (Qur’an, 12:33).
In other verses there is emphasis on shyness and chastity of Shu'ayb's daughters in social relations and their way of walking and behaviour as in the following Qur’anic verse:
“And when arrived he at the water of Madyan, he found on it a group of men “watering their flocks” and found he besides them two women keeping back “their flocks”; said “Moses”: “What aileth you?” Said the two “women” “We cannot water until the shepherds take away “their sheep from the water”, and our father is very old.” (Qur’an, 28:23).
These daughters recognise and consider shyness and chastity in time of being engaged in work and activity and presence on arena of
Also these very daughters showed a polite way of walking and modest behaviour:
“Then came unto him one of the two women walking bashfully…” (Qur’an, 28:25).
In this very episode virtuousness of Moses (A) is reiterated, as in some narrations, thus: “Moses said to the daughter: Show me the right way and move “walk” behind me, as we children of Jacob, never look at the posterior parts of women.”(1)
Likewise it “the holy Qur’an” praises chastity of Mary (A) in this way:
“And “O Muhammad! remember” her “Mary” who guarded her chastity, therefore We breathed into her Our Spirit, and We made her and her son a sign unto all peoples.” (Qur’an, 21:91).
The holy Qur’an regards guarding the modesty to be one of characteristics of the believers, giving orders to the prophets to bid the believing men and women to lower their gaze, as in the following verse:
“Say thou “O Our Apostle Muhammad!” unto the believing men that they cast down their gaze and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; Verily God is All-Aware of what they do. And say unto the believing women that they cast down their gaze and guard their private parts…” (Qur’an, 24:30, 31).
In these verses the philosophy of this prescription, the development and nurture of man being regarded to be confined in selfrestraint and guarding the private parts.(2)
The holy Qur’an prescribes those who cannot afford for marriage to observe continence, as in this verse:
“And let them be in continence, those find not means to marry
until God of His grace maketh free from want…” “(Qur’an, 24:33).
Concerning the aged women “past child bearing” though there being no rigid restriction upon them regarding covering and clothes, but observing continence is better for them “verse 60 of surat An-Noor”.
For manifesting its objectives in these fields, the holy Qur’an uses terms like chastity, bashfulness, fortification, lowering the gaze and guarding the private parts.
Fortress “hisn” means fortified and inviolable region and also is used to mean continence and chastity “abstinence”.(3)
Ghazz means lowering and decreasing the gaze not closing the eyes. This meaning was affirmed by Martyr Mutahhari through many evidences in his book Mas'alah hijaab.(4)
Out of the abovementioned verses we can conclude the following results:
Chastity and bashfulness have no relation to history or certain era, as human beings have been observing and abide by them since the beginning of creation.
Chastity and shyness being a human quality, that does not specially belong to men or women. But innate nature and intellect of man reflect them, the fact regarding which no difference is there between woman and man.
Chastity and bashfulness do not necessitate sitting home behind veils, but they be compatible with the social activities, as was pointed out in the story of Shu'ayb's daughters.
Chastity itself being a means having effect in attaining to maturity and good development, as propounded in verses 30 and 31 of surat An-Noor.
word “purer” “azkah” which is used in these two verses, is repeated three times in the holy Qur’an, two of which being among these verses, and third one being in surat albaqarah, verse 232, which is also related to family connections between wife and husband.
In these three verses, guarding the private parts, chastity and returning to renewed life after separation and divorce were considered a means for purification and development.
Al-Allamah At-Tabataba'i is reported to have said: Islam is a religion of Zakaat, purification “tahaarah” and knowledge. And objective of the Prophet (S) was introduced in several verses to be purification and teaching.(1)
Then legislation of rules and enacting of laws being for the reason that man can attain to this development, purity and awareness, as indicated in these verses. All prophets struggled and concentrated their efforts on fulfilling these aims. The Prophet Moses (A) has invited Pharaoh to this purification and development:
“And say “unto him”: “Hast thou “a desire” to cleanse thyself “of thy disbelief”.” (Qur’an, 79:18).
The Messenger of Allah (S) used to gather alms from people so as to cleanse and purify them “from sins”:
“Take thou alms out of their wealth, thou wouldst cleanse them and purify them thereby.” (Qur’an, 9:103).
Ultimately the delivered man will be that who attained to purification:
“Indeed be “alone” succeedeth who purifieth himself.” (Qur’an, 87:14).
In short, man's perfection, in view of the Qur’an, lies in purification and full awareness. And chastity plays a good role in achieving one of these three ideals, which is purification “tazkiyah”.
And what violates and traverses chastity of women, in perspective of the Qur’an, being Tabarruj “adornment and displaying the charms”, which is set forth for discussion in the form of an address to the Prophet's wives:
“And stay ye in your abodes and display not your finery like the display of the ignorance of yore…” (Qur’an, 33:33).
Interpreters of the word “tabarruj” took it to have several different meanings like: walking “of women” among men, uncovering the necklace, earring and neck, walking with coquetry “amorous gest”, displaying the finery and charms whose covering is obligatory, and manifesting those charms that stimulate and excite lust of men… and alike.(1)
It seems that all these things can be admitted as evidences and applicabilities of Tabarruj, since Tabarruj means displaying of finery and every one of these can be an applicability of these things. The verse 33 of surat An-Noor stated three applicabilities of this Tabarruj “displaying the charms” in this way:
1. Displaying and revealing hidden finery and charms;
2. Uncovering the neck and place of necklace;
3. Walking in a coquetry way to show off the concealed finery.
To sum up, what causes deviation from life and course of development, in view of the Qur’an, being Tabarruj which is an indecent and obscene practice. In many traditions, as in the Qur’an, chastity and bashfulness are referred to as philosophy of covering.
1. Al-Imam Ar-Ridha (A), in a reply to a question put to him by Muhammad Ibn Sinan, said:
“The reason behind prohibition of gazing at hair and body of
women lies in the fact that this gaze constitutes a ground for exciting the men, the excitement that will lead ultimately to corruption and indulgence in unlawful acts and practices.” (1)
2. Al-Imam as-Sadiq (A) said:
“Successive looks “at women” plant seeds of lust inside the heart “of men”, and constitute a seduction that causes the seer to slip “commit sin”.”(2)
3. In Tafseer Al-Qummi, al-Imam Al-Baqir in interpreting the verse “O children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame…”, said:
“The raiment being that which people put on, with living facilities and wealth. Raiment is absteniousness and chastity. A chaste and pure man is that who never displays his private parts although being naked of clothes. While a debaucher is that whose private parts are revealed, even when his body be covered with clothes. Allah says: Raiment of virtuousness is better, meaning that chastity is better “for people”(3)
4. There are traditions reported too about chastity giving this meaning, like:
· “No chaste man has ever committed adultery.”(4)
· “Overcome the sensuality by chastity and continence.”(5)
· “Chastity weakens the lust.”(6)
· “Bashfulness lies in lowering the gaze.”(7)
On the other hand, among statements of the Infallibles a reference is made to this fact that chastity is one of factors leading to perfection of character of man:
· “Virtues can never be completed but only through chastity and sacrifice.”(8)
In brief, chastity and bashfulness being a human characteristic that was and be admitted by all human beings, and to which all great men and Divine religions
recommended and called. The Islamic Shari'ah has also recommended emphatically on it making it a basis for certain rules and ordinances like: Covering, controlling the gaze and observing the limits between woman and man.
On this basis, we can criticise the various theories that have been presented on the subject of emergence of covering among human beings. Some “researchers” have presented reasons and purposes for covering of women, which being incompatible with human history and man's nature, and for affirming of which no witness or historical evidence is available. Very often these causes have been stated for showing ignorance or tyranny of veil “hijaab”. Herewith I will first cite these causes, and will give a finish then to their criticism.
1. Self-discipline and monasticism being a factor for the covering and for creating limits “if inviolability” between woman and man, in order that the greatest subject of joy and pleasure for humans, i.e. seeking sexual pleasure, would be removed.
2. Insecurity of women before violation and injustice, being another factor causing women to cover themselves and hide their charms.
3. Men, for getting more enjoyment and economical exploitation of women, they accustomed them to stay at home.
4. Men's jealousy caused women to cover themselves. The husband would cover his wife for the sake of secluding her exclusively for himself and preventing others from exploiting her.
5. Menstruation and menses of women led them to think little of themselves and to their retirement from society and keeping aloof from them.(1)
6. Martyr Mutahhari considered another factor for
covering of the woman, saying:
“In my view the social root of emergence of limits and fender between woman and man should not be sought in inclination to mortification of the man's desire to exploit the woman, or man's jealousy, or social insecurity, or woman's menses, or at least can be sought with a less degree. The root of this phenomenon should be sought in an instinctive skilful prudence of the woman herself”.
In general the debate is concerning the origin of woman's sexual morals like bashfulness and chastity, and among them the tendency toward covering and veiling herself from the man. There are several theories introduced on this subject.
The most exact of these theories being that bashfulness and chastity, veiling and covering being altogether a policy adopted by the woman as an inspiration to valuating herself and preserving her position in front of the man. The woman, with her innate intelligence and own special sense, realised that she cannot be equal to the man in respect of bodily capabilities. And if she wants to struggle with the man in the field of life she would not be able to cope with him is strength.
On the other hand, the weak point of the man lies in this want that creation being stored in existence of the man as God made him a manifestation of love and request “search” and the woman a manifestation of belovedness and subject of desire and request. When woman realises her status and position in front of the
man and recognises the man's weak point in front of her, she would, just as she was trying to fascinate the man's heart through ornamentation and displaying her finery and charms would resort to seclusion and keeping aloof from the man. She realised that she should not offer herself gratuitously, but rather should make flame of loving and desiring her sharper.(1)
The reason why this viewpoint was attributed to Ostaz Mutahhari being that he has not criticised this theory, and admitted its basis, that is woman's being beloved and man's being lover in his other articles, from which he derived some scientific conclusions.(2)
These opinions and viewpoints, regardless of their not having an evidence and witness on their generality, have faced so many criticisms:
1. In these views no human root is considered for covering of man throughout long history, but woman and man were supposed to be engaged in a trade manly and womanly dispute, evaluating one's acts according to it.
2. Origin of mantle was not confined to women alone so as to approve of veracity of most of these opinions. The covering “mantle” has no restriction to women but it includes all mankind throughout history. With this description how can one talk about exploitation, jealousy or violation seeking on part of men and regarding them to be the motive behind covering.
3. Generality and comprehensiveness of covering among various peoples and communities, with multifarious ideals and aims, would lead us to refuse the influence of monasticism and asceticism in emergence of covering.
sum up, it is infeasible to neglect the effect of instinctive quality of shyness and chastity in appearance and perpetuity of covering, and resort to mechanistic causes. In the same way as it can't be denied that some of these philosophies were effective in certain epochs and places, but restricting the emergence of covering in them is incorrect.
Of course it should be added that if bashfulness and chastity being the main incentive for covering, some conclusions other than sensual perfection, would be resulted from the covering. One of them being safeguarding the healthiness of human society, to the meaning that woman and man can, in social intercourses, establish relations as two human beings having human request from each other, and so they won't go after satisfying their sexual instincts in collective life.
The other benefit that is derived from them “bashfulness and chastity” being to preserve the genuineness of the family. Since the family, which is composed of a woman and a man living together as legal spouses, can insure the permanency and safety of mankind offspring, which is one of original and essential aims of the family, through legitimately satisfying the sexual instincts. Observing continence and woman's and man's adherence to bashfulness and chastity, and restricting the satisfying of sexual instincts within a legal environment, all this will have great impact upon stability and healthiness of the family.
The extent of covering in every school and society depends on many things such as way of looking at man, the family, range
of admittance of social participation of woman, rate of influence of both sexes on each other… etc.
Proposing the issue of covering in the Islamic religion had the same rule, as in this school has admitted certain ultramaterial and bestial maturities for man, female and male, as man being not the only material creature that must strive to insure his desired needs in life, but there are several other arenas of life, much broader and deeper than life itself, can be sensed.
In these arenas, other characteristics insuring the perfection, like learning and knowledge, worship and benediction, self-edification… and continence also is one of them. Hence covering has connection with individual perfection.
According to the Islamic Law “Shari'ah”, the family being the primary and essential nucleus of human society. As the first step in education is taken inside the family, and father and mother being the first educator and teacher for the child. So safeguarding and preserving this centre being among the firmed and indisputable principles of the Islamic Shari'ah, and as a reference was made to this in discussion of purpose of covering, so mantle has a certain role in protecting and safeguarding this centre.
Admitting the woman's social participation, which was set forth in the previous chapter, should be considered in determining the covering. Hence it is improper to oblige the woman to cover her face since with closed eyes she cannot practice social activities as required. So do the other factors.
Taking into consideration all that is said before, we can say:
There are certain limits and conditions for covering stated in Islam, with no emphasis made on special certain shape and form. As clothes and covering being not among confirmed worshipping matters, and affected by norms and customs. If clothes had those general conditions and covered those limits, so no obstruction or restriction would be for them, and this would differ according to change of circumstances and situations.
Ibn Taymiyyah has an excellent statement in this regard, thus:
“To follow the example of the Prophet (S) sometimes concerning something done and some other time regarding some farther thing, means that the Messenger of Allah (S) sometimes does some act for the sake of a thing farther than this work. In this case the legitimacy of that aim not that special act would be farther. For instance, the Messenger (S) was using oil for keeping his hair healthy, can we say that all people have to do the same for safeguarding their hair, and if another method be proper in some region with regard to water and atmosphere, it should be adopted and applied.
The same is true in regard of food; for instance the Messenger of Allah (S) used to eat dates and barleybread, then does following his guide mean people everywhere should do the same? No definitely it is not true, as the Prophet's companions and Fuqaha have used and eaten the foods of the regions they conquered, putting on the clothes of those places. If anyone should imitate others in costumes and
food, it was proper for the companions to follow the example of the Prophet in these fields. Likewise, the Prophet and Sahabah used to wear a wrapper and cloak, so wasn't it better for others to follow them and do the same. The religious authorities have different opinions regarding this issue, but I think it is unnecessary to refer to this subject.”(1)
The limits and conditions that should be considered in regard of clothes are as follows:
1. All the body except the face and two hands up to the wrist, should be covered.
2. Fame clothes should be abstained from.
3. Women's clothes should be totally different from those of men.
4. Transparent clothes “incarnating the body” should be abstained from.
Following is a brief explanation of these five principles.
It is known among Fuqaha that the woman should keep her body covered from the eyes of foreigners “unconsanguine men”, except the face and two hands up to the wrist. Of course some “Fuqaha” go farther and believe that all the body even the face should be covered. And a few of them held the view to “covering” less than this limit “of the body”.
There are skilfully made articles in Persian and Arabic about these fields, that strongly defended the wellknown opinion, giving firm and strong evidences for proving this view, regarding the two other views unacceptable.(2) Taking all this into consideration no necessity is seen to elaborate on this subject.
In many traditions prevention is made to wearing clothes that make someone famous and distinguished; The
Messenger of Allah (S) is reported to have said:
“Whoever wears fame cloak in this world, Allah will verily cloth him with a similar garment on the Day of Resurrection.”(1)
The fame garment is that one which being unsociable and incompatible to the common law of society, and should observe a norm or habit that is not being incompatible to the Islamic Shari'ah.
In so many traditions, the Prophet (S) has damned and cursed those men and women who liken themselves to each other, one of them being the following:
“The Messenger of Allah (S) damned those men likening themselves to women and the women who liken themselves to men.”(2)
This narration prohibits any kind of simile and likening in all fields and grounds. And in respect of covering and clothes what is apparently intended is the public prestige of those women who liken themselves to men or vice versa, as if appeared a resemblance in a piece of clothes there would be no disapproval and prohibition.
Usaamah Ibn Zayd says: The Messenger of Allah (S) has one day clothed a man a white thin garment, and that man gave it to his wife. Some day the Messenger of Allah (S) questioned: Why don't you wear that cloak? The man said: I gave it my wife. The Messenger said: Tell her to wear some other piece of clothes under it so as to prevent her body from being visible.(3)
The Islamic Law, as considering covering for women more important than men, has taken into consideration nature “fitrah”
and intrinsic desires of woman in regard of adornment “zeenah”, permitting certain bounds for adornment for women or even encouraging to them.
The holy Qur’an divided adornment into two parts: outward and bodily, prohibiting displaying the inward finery and adornment, allowing outward adornment for woman:
”… and they display not their adornment save what is apparent of it…” (Qur’an, 24:31).
Applicabilities of apparent adornment became manifest in the conduct “Sunnah” of the Prophet and Infallible Imams, to some of which a reference can be made here:
Dyeing the hand and the nails of fingers “with hennah”, which is called khidaab, was something encouraged by the Prophet who abstained from taking bay'ah “swearing allegiance” from women whose hands and nails were devoid of Hennah.
'A'ishah is reported to have said: Hind the daughter of Otbah said: O Messenger of Allah swear allegiance with me. The Prophet said: I won't take an oath of allegiance with you until you change “colour of” your hands, they seem like hands of a “wild” beast.(1)
'A'ishah is reported to have said: A woman has extended a letter toward the Prophet from behind a curtain “veil”. The Prophet said: Is this a hand of a woman or of a man? She replied: It is a hand of a woman. He said: You should change colour of your fingernails.(2)
It is also reported from al-Imam Al-Baqir to have said:
“It is not permissible for every woman to leave her nails white, unless she at least dyes “touches” them with some Hennah.” (3)
Imam as-Sadiq reported from
the Prophet that he said:
“For men, you are asked to trim your nails and for women you can let them grow longer as it is better for your adornment.”(1)
Imam as-Sadiq reported from the Prophet the following hadith:
“The scent of women is that whose colour should appear and odour be concealed, while scent of men is that whose odour should be apparent and colour should be unseen.”(2)
Some of the researchers hold that women can beautify their faces in a way that their odour should not be smelled. The traditions that prohibit women from using perfumes pertain to three cases:
1. In time of going to the mosque.
2. When perfume being of smelled odour.
3. When the woman intends to excite a sedition in the society.
Other than these cases no prohibition is imposed whatsoever.(3)
Out of the discussions introduced in this chapter, the relations between woman and man in the Islamic society became somehow manifest. The following is an abridgement of whatever stated before.
The issue of intercourse between woman and man turned to be subject of numerous debates, and the writers use sometimes the term Tabarruj with the meaning of sexual unrestrainment. Seemingly, if intercourse means this unrestrainment to which the holy Qur’an refers as displaying the charms, so it is an indecent and obscene habit that the Islamic Law has definitely forbidden. But if what is intended of intercourse the mere presence of woman outside the house, then no prohibition is imposed on it. Hence we can say: In our opinion, the Islamic Shari'ah
has admitted social presence of women, determining for it certain norms and regulations, which have been discussed in detail in Chapter Four.
This is based on the fact that woman and man have, beside femininity and masculinity, an original human dimension that can be taken by them as pivot of communications. Determining the etiquette and regulations should be done in a way that connection between woman and man never transcends the human boundaries.
It is true that if relation between woman and man in a society revolves round axis of femininity and masculinity, that is the woman and man take their femininity and masculinity to the society, this will be something indecent and clumsy, which is that reprehensible intercourse. In other words, the term intercourse “ikhtilaat” can be given to relation between woman and man within the frame of sexual instincts, and the term connection “irtibaat” can be used for the domain of human relations.
Sometimes it is said that these two realms can never be separated from each other, as a result of which the women should be denied the right of social presence. In response to this it should be said that this judgement is based on two views that take seduction as the original character of women which men have no ability and power to restrain themselves in front of it. As a result of this view, comes the inhuman look at woman and man.
While the religious texts cited in chapters four and five indicate that woman and man are
human beings and can, with strong determination, embark on separation of different realms of their life. Of course this innate and human resolution should be controlled by religious rules and regulations, so as to get a good result.
To sum up, it can be said if the connection between woman and man be healthy and according to rules and good manners, no legal prohibition would be there upon it, and even women's social participation can never be achieved without this connection. But this relation should observe the current circumstances and its purpose should be only work and labour.
But when laws and regulations are not observed by women and men and no business or work be the aim of relation between them or their presence in society, this would be that very indecent and reprehensible intercourse.
Before introducing and describing some books, it seems useful to refer to some points.
Compilation and writing on women's affairs and issues, in the realm of Islamic culture, goes back to ancient times and to the 3rd and 4th centuries. All the scientific efforts and searches can be divided into two totally different periods.
Independent and implicit works, in this period are relatively glaring, among which the following:
1. Kitaab An-Nikaah, Kitaab An-Nisa and Kitaab Al-Wildaan of Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Husayn Ibn Hasan Ibn Dowil Al-Qummi “d.153H.”(1)
2. An-Nisa Al-Ma'rufat Fi Quraysh, by Abu Mundhir Hisham Ibn Muhammad Al-Kalbi “d.205 H.”(2)
3. Ummahaat An-Nabi - Kitaab Munaqadat Ash-Shu'ara -
Akhbar An-Nisa, Kitaab Manakih Farazaq - Kitaab Al-Makr, Kitaab Man
Tazawwjah Min Nisa Al-Khulafah and other books written by Abul Hasan Ali Al-Madai'ni “135225 H.”.(1) At-Tabaqaat Al-Kubra authored by Ibn Sad “168230 H.”, the eighth volume of which is dedicated for women. Kitaab An-Nisa Wal-Walah compiled by Muhammad Ibn Mas'ud Al'-Ayyashi As-Samarqandi.(2) Kitaab Ahkaam An-Nisa, authored by al-Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal “d.241H.”, which was printed and published by Daar Al-Kutub Al'Ilmiyyah in Beirut in 1986. Kitaab An-Nisa by Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Al-Barqi “d.274 H.”(3) 'Uyoon Al-Akhbar, that was written by Ibn Qutaybah “d.276H.”, and its fourth volume is dedicated for women's affairs. The book An-Nisa Wa Ma Jaa Fihinnah Min Al-Khabar, by Ibn Al-Munajjim “241-300H.”.(4) And Sunan An-Nasa'i which was written by Ahmad Ibn Shu'ayb An-Nasa'i “d.303H.”, the seventh volume of which was called “Ishrat An-Nisa” and dedicated for discussing women's affairs.
· And also the book An-Nisa Wal-Wildan that was written by Ali Ibn Al-Husayn Al-Qummi “d.329H.”, the father of Ash-Shaykh As-Sadooq.(5) Beside Kitaab An-Nisa of Ja'far Ibn Muhammad Qulawayh “d.367H.”.(6)
· The book Adab An-Nisa Wal’Farq Bayna Ahkaamihin, which was extracted from Al-Khasa'is of Ash-Shaykh As-Sadooq “d.381H.”.(7) And Ahkaam An-Nisa Wa Risalah Fil’Mahr by AshShaykh Al-Mufeed “d.413H.”, and was published by Ash-Shaykh Al-Mufeed Congress.
· The book Usd Al-Ghabah compiled by Ibn Athir Al-Jawzi “d.630H.”, a part of the 5th volume of which was dedicated for women. Nisa Al-Khulafah Min Al-Haraa'ir Wal’Imaa, authored by Ali Ibn Anjab Al-Baghdadi “d.674H.”,(8) and Akhbar An-Nisa of Ibn Al-Qayyim “691751H.”, that was published in 1990 in Beirut.
· Beside Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez As-Sahaabah, by Ibn Hajar
Al-Asqallani “773852H.”, the eighth volume of which was dedicated for women. And Akhbar An-Nisa that was written by Ibn AlMubarrad Al-Hanbali “840- 909 H.”, and was published by Daar Al-Ma'arif in Hams. Beside many other works.
· Beside these books there being other articles and researches appeared in books of hadith and Fiqh under the title of Kitaab An-Nikaah, dating back to ancient times. Because discussions on marriage “nikaah” are common between women and men, while the aforementioned works be allocated for women. The researches of this long epoch were allocated for four realms: collecting and narrating the traditions, history and communicating the episodes concerning women, Fiqhi rules about women, a dervish's bow “Kashkool” and miscellany like 'Uyoon Al-Akhbar which contained miscellaneous writings like narration of hadith, history, scoffing… etc. These writings are in common in two particulars:
1. Being mostly devoid of any kind of analysis and decomposition.
2. Being mostly written in the way commonly known on the subject of woman “portraying her as an infirm, weak and seductive creature”.
This period started with criticism and refutation; that is some were engaged in criticising some of religious and traditional beliefs concerning the woman and religious scholars took efforts in verifying and manifesting religious views. This era commenced in the 13th Hijrah century contemporaneously with Muslims' joining the Western world. In other words it started with socio-political movements of women during the first decade of the twentieth century in North America, Europe, Asia and Middle East.
Qaasim Ameen wrote a book in 1899 calling
it Tahreer Al-Mar'ah, in which he analysed and criticised some religious issues concerning women. And his other book which was brought out under the title of Al-Mar'ah Al-Jadeedah in the year 1901, following the same course. It is said that 'Itisaam Al-Mulk translated the book Tahreer Al-Mar'ah into Persian in 1900, under the title Tarbiyate Niswan. (1)
In Iran these conversations turned serious from constitutional revolution up to date, although before it some new questions and issues were set forth for discussion by some women like Bibi Khanum Astrabaadi, the author of Ma'ayib Ar-Rijaal in refutation of Ta'deeb An-Niswah “13121894AD.”, and daughter of Nasir Ad-Deen Shah Taj As-Saltanah the writer of Khatirat Taj As-Saltanah.
Out from this date upwards the main religious works and articles have been written and compiled in Iran and Arab Muslim countries. As an example, we can name some of these writings that appeared in Iran:
Risalah Fi Wujub An-Niqab Wa Hurmat Ash-Sharab, by Mirzah Muhammad Sadiq Fakhr Al Islam “d.1329H/1911AD”;
Intibah Namah Islami, by Mirzah Riza Shari'atmadari Damghani “d.1336H/1918AD”;
Hikmat Al-Hijab Wa Adillat An-Niqab, by AsadAllah Al-Musawi Al-Khonsari “d.1344H/1931AD”;
Burhan Al-Muslimin, by Muhammad Ali Kashani “d.1346H/1928AD”;
Kashf Al-Ghurur of Mafasid As-Sufur, by DhabihAllah Mahallati “d.1352H/1932AD.”.
From other countries a reference can be made to the following books:
Al-Mar'ah Fil’Islam Wal-Hijab Was-Sufur, by Muhammad Hamdi Afandi “d.1329H/1911AD”;
Huquq Al-Mar'ah Al-Muslimah, by Ash-Shaykh Nadim Al-Mallah “d.1346H/1928AD.”;
Al-Mar'ah Fi Nazar Al-Islam, by Abd Al-Qadir Shubbayr Al-Kirmani “d.1347H/1928AD.”(2)
Beside other works of personages like Rashid Riza “d.1354H/1936AD.”, such as Huquq An-Nisa and Nida Al-Jins Al-Latif, with Sayyid Qutub and Abbas Mahmud
Al-Aqqad and others.
In these epochs, many magazines and journals concerning women's affairs were published and brought out beside the books.(1)
And in Iran more than twenty magazines concerning women were published before the culmination of the Islamic Revolution, like the following:
Danish, Shukufah, Zaban Zanan, Nama Zanan, Namah Banowan, 'Alam Niswan, Jahan Zanan, Jahan Niswan Watan Khah, Majallah Niswan, Majallah Sa'adat, Niswan Sharq, Dokhtaran Iran,(2) Nidai Zanan,(3) Azad Zanan, Ittelaat Banowan, Baano, Banowan Khorasan, Payk Sa'adat Niswan, Jam'iyyat Niswan Watan Khah Iran, Jahan Zanan, Huquq Zanan, Zanan Imruz, Zanan Iran, Alam Zanan, Qiyam Zan, Nam Banowan, Hifdah Dey,… etc.(4)
And after the culmination of the Islamic Revolution, the following magazines have been published and issued in Iran:
Zan Rooz, Zanan, Payam Zan, Nida, Rah Zaynab, Payam Hajar, Farzanah, Gozidah, Rayhanah,… etc.(5)
The writings of this period were mostly characterised with analysis and interpretation, paying attention to criticism and study, with their main axis being rights of woman “all family, political and social rights and others”, freedom of woman, employment, Hijab “cover” and other things. In fact the axis of these works has been issues with which all the world is inflicted nowadays.
With elapse of time, investigations and discussions concerning this topic became more and more extensive and profounder, leading to innovating numerous extant and valuable works.
Witnessing extension of these researches and writings, bookidentifications and biographies that have been published up to the present time:
1. Kitabnamah Athar Zanan Iran, Tehran, Women Organisation of Iran, 1970, p. 89.
2. Kitabshinasi Athar Zanan Dar Panjah Sal Akhir, “Identification of
women's works during last fifty years”, from 1921 up to 1970, Master thesis of librarianship. Prepared and regulated by Yahyah Asadi, Tehran College of Educational Sciences Tehran University. Group of Librarianship, Academic year 19721974, p. 187.
3. Fihrist Manabi Marbut Bi Zan “index of references relevant to woman”, in Persian, by Muhammad Hasan Taqawi with cooperation of Jackline Rodolf Tabah, Tehran: Tehran University, College of Social Sciences, Social Studies Researches Institute, 1979, p. 96.
4. Kitabnamah Zan “Treatise on Woman”, collected and compiled by Zahra ChihrahKhand and Sadiqah Sultanifar, with collaboration of Society of Islamic Revolution Women of Iran, Tehran: with collaboration of Iftikhariyan publications Foundation, 1980, p. 120.
5. A subjective list of books and articles regarding woman, published by Administration of publications and Propagation “department of women”, Tehran Ministry of Culture Islamic Guidance, vol. I, 1984, p. 176; vol. II, 1987, p. 110.
6. Maqalahnaamah Zan, by Maryam Ra'iyyat AliAbadi, Shahrazad Taahiri Lutfi and Nusheen Imrani, Tehran: Cultural Researches Bureau, 1989, p. 248.
7. Pezhuhish Namah Zanan Wa Khanawadah “Research on women and family”, by UNISCO National Commission in Iran, Social Sciences Department, Tehran. Publications of UNISCO National Commission in Iran, 1992, p. 152.
8. Masadir An-Nizam Al’Islami Al-Mar'ah Wal-Usrah Fil’Islam, by Abd Al-Jabbar Ar-Rifa'i Kuwait Manshoorat Markaz Al-Makhtutat Wat-Turath Wal-Watha'iq, 1414H/1993AD, p. 564, in Arabic.
9. Fihrist Mushtarak Kitabha “Common Index of books”, Articles and theses on women and education, in Persian Published by United Nations Children's Fund “UNICEF”, Tehran Bureau, 1984, p. 127.
10. Analytic book on role of rural women in
development of UNICEF and Bureau of Activities Development of Rural Women, Agriculture Ministry of Islamic Republic of Iran, 1984, p. 113.(1)
11. Kitabnamah Zan, Index of books compiled and translated by women “19791985”. Published by Investigation Department in Az-Zahra University, Tehran: Az-Zahra University, 1985, p. 34.
12. Al-Mar'ah Biloghrafiyyan, by Fa'iq Fuduli, Baghdad: Daar Al-Aafaq, 1985, in Arabic.
Further many other works were published in the form of articles and pamphlets like the following:
1. Chihil Kitaab Piramoon Hijaab, Noor 'Ilm Journal, issue no.20, 1987, pp. 116122.
2. Kitabshinasi Hijaab, by Sayyid Muhsin Sa'id Zadah; PayamZan Journal, issues Nos. 8, 9, 1992, pp. 5964.
3. Kitabnamah Hijaab Wa Libas, Islamic Propagation Organisation Exhibition of Woman's Identity and Status, 1991, p. 40.
4. Kitabnamah Hijaab, Baqir Al-Oloom Research Centre, serial no.128.
5. Maqalaha Wa PayamNamaha Zanan “Articles and theses on women”, Bureau of people's Promotion and Participation, Ministry of Construction Jihad.
In these collections, more than ten thousand books, articles, theses, research drafts regarding women's affairs have been introduced, in Persian and Arabic. Further the works published in other languages, and even in Arabic, were more than these. A vivid evidence for this claim, being the news about organising a book fair for Arab women in Cairo with 1500 book titles, in the period 1620 November 1995. In this fair only 24 publication houses and universities participated.(2)
After presenting this report surveying the situation of writings on women's affairs, it is proper to turn here to point out with explanation of five compilations on women's affairs. The reason why I chose
them lies in the fact that these books are more than one volume and tackled the issues with a new view, though their compilers having not one and the same mode of thinking. In these works, attention was concentrated on issues and subjects be more interested by woman to read, covering also the recent new questions and suspicions.
On the other hand, these books are inscribed in Arabic, and cannot be used by Farsi-speaking people. These general introductions can acquaint the Farsi-speaking people with other thoughts and ideas, to some extent. I think getting acquainted with these compilations helps complementing the discussions of this book. The identified collections are as follows:
1. Al-Mufassal Fi Ahkaam Al-Mar'ah Wal’Bayt Al-Muslim 11 volumes.
2. Tahreer Al-Mar'ah Fi 'Asr Ar-Risaalah 6 volumes.
3. Masa'il Harijah Fi Fiqh Al-Mar'ah 4 volumes.
4. Al-Mar'ah Fil’Fikr Al-Islami 2 volumes.
5. Jami' Masaanid An-Nisa 2 volumes.
2nd print: Mu'assasat Ar-Risaalah Lil Tiba'ah WanNashr WatTawzi', Beirut, 1415H. 1995 AD". 11 volumes. This book was published first in 1413H. 1993 A.D., and in the year 1994 it won the world prize of Iran's Book Fair. Its author being a former professor of Baghdad University, who taught in Colleges of law, Arts and Islamic Studies. He has plenty of works and compilations, among which the following can be mentioned:
• Al-Wajeez Fi Osool Al-Fiqh
• Ahkaam Adh-Dhimmiyyin Wal-Musta'minin
• Al-Madkhal Lidirasat Ash-Shari'ah
• Nizam Al-Qaza Fil-Islam
• Majmu'at Buhooth Fiqhiyyah, and others.
The aforementioned book "Al-Mufassal" is matchless in its subject of study, as it contains a comprehensive list of rules and questions
related to women and family according to the Islamic jurisprudence "Fiqh". The researches of this book were divided into nine chapters:
• First Chapter "Kitaab" is dedicated for rituals "ibadat", including four sections expounding topics of Salaat "prayers", Zakaat "poor-due", sawm "fasting" and Hajj "pilgrimage to God's House".
• Second Chapter is dedicated for vow "nazr" and oath, which were set forth in two sections.
• Third Chapter is dedicated for questions of dhabh "slaughter-sacrifice".
• Fourth Chapter, which was named hazr wa ibahah "prohibition and permission", included the following sections: Hunting and Tazkiyah "making lawful to eat", foods and drinks "beverages", treatment medicines, gazing touching, conversation between men women, clothes ornamentation, Tabarruj "displaying the charms", housekeeping, sport entertainment, defence of life, and dignity property.
• Fifth Chapter being under the title of Rights and Duties: Its 1st section discusses rights and duties, and its 2nd section expounds the rights in general and in particular, while its 3rd section reviews woman's duties.
• Sixth Chapter, which is titled: "Crimes and penalties." covers the main topics of crime and penalty, kinds of crimes, crime of aggression on life, crime of violation against organs and ta'zir "punishment".
• Seventh Chapter is dedicated for family affairs and issues related to marriage, manners of marriage waiting period "'iddah", rules of children and relatives.
• Eighth Chapter discusses the properties and financial dealings.
• Ninth Chapter, titled "Patients and Deceased." discusses the questions relevant to the sick and rules of death.
The Conclusion of the book is dedicated for
a research on wives of the Prophet, Prophet's children, his Household "Ahlul Bayt", and the Prophet's behaviour and conduct with his family.
In his introduction the author manifests the purpose of writing this book thus: "The motive behind compiling this book lies first in acquainting the Muslim woman with religious rules necessary for her, so as to act according to them and call others to follow them. The other aim being getting the Muslims acquainted with family rules in perspective of Islam and manner of constituting a family on basis of Islam." "vol. I, p. 7". Hereunder I present some issues related to introducing and scrutinising of this work in two parts:
First: Apart from this salient and manifest feature, through which the author has gathered researches related to woman in one collection, opening a broad and spread door before the researchers, and apart from the much fluent and eloquent pen, I am going to indicate some of its other characteristics:
1. In the outset of every research, the subject of discussion is introduced under the heading "Preamble" and "Research programme." with categorisation of researches. This method sets forth a bright appearance of the theme and subject of discussion under the disposal of the reader and researcher. Of course we should not forget the fact that these classifications have gone to extremes loosing their usefulness and influence.
2. Paying attention to the opinions of Islamic schools "mazaahib" being one of other privileges of the book, and the author has cited the views of well-known
schools of thought, such as: Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi'i, Zaydi, Ibadi, Zahiri, and Shi'ah. But he has neither manifested the opinions of all the schools regarding all the questions and rules, nor taking into consideration the reasoning of all the Fiqhi views. In other words, comparativeness of this work has a great role in making it extant.
3. Paying attention to Qur’anic verses and viewpoints of interpreters being among the bright points of this work. The author, in every place of the book has resorted to Qur’anic verses, citing viewpoints held by interpreters.
4. After citing opinions of schools and Fiqhi inferences, he very often has given preference to one of them.
5. Among the other characteristics of this compilation being setting forth some of new Fiqhi issues, or giving a new finish to them. As an example for these researches, we can site the following:
Siqt Janeen "vol. III, pp. 119 and 132"; Mas'alah Nigah Wal’Lams "vol. III, pp. 141275"; Libas Wa Zeenat "vol. III, pp. 295-410"; Zeenat Zanaan Dar Dawran Hadir "vol. III, pp. 393-410"; Tabarruj Wa Ikhtilaat "vol. III, pp. 411-432"; Hoqooqe Zan "vol. IV, pp. 187-336"; Jihaad Zan "vol. IV, pp. 379-402"; Huquq Zawjayn "vol. VII, pp. 47322"; Talqeeh Masnooi "vol. IX, pp. 385-392"; Ahkaam Al-Awlad "vols. IX X".
6. The compiler has presented some of the new viewpoints, to some of which I refer here:
· The woman can lead the congregational prayers for her household "vol. I, p. 352".
· The "Fuqaha" consider lawful the common "ordinary" ornament in the
face and two palms for women, prohibiting excessiveness in adornment "vol. III, p. 195".
· It is allowed for woman to look at a foreign man "with whom marriage is lawful" without privy parts and without carnal lust "vol. III, p. 230".
Second: despite all the positive points this valuable work has, but several weak points are witnessed too, to some of which a reference is made here:
1. The subject of discourse of this compilation are more extensive than the title of the book, and the compiler gave the book the title: "Al-Mar'ah Wal’Bayt Al-Muslim. If the purpose be mentioning subjects related exclusively to women, but many of subjects being common between woman and man, so it was improper to gather them in this book and if the title "Al-Bayt Al-Muslim" is added for the sake of including this group of issues, so why the title of the subjects of seventh volume be Al-Bayt Al-Muslim?
And if the aim of the author be collecting researches on personal conditions, still some of the issues have no connection to them, to some of which I make a reference here:
All kinds of impurities "vol. I, pp. 1935"; purification Tahaarah "vol. I, pp. 4670"; fasting and sequestered life "vol. II, pp. 7143"; pilgrimage "vol. II, pp. 147390 except a few of issues"; oath "vol. II, pp. 399436"; Kitaab Al-Azahi - sacrifices - "vol. II, 443460"; said "hunting" and Tazkiyah "vol. III, pp. 740"; foods and beverages "vol. III, pp. 4190"; drugs and remedies "vol. III, pp. 91140";
slaves and bondswomen "vol. III, pp. 165175"; neighbours "vol. IV, pp. 4151"; sports "vol. IV, pp. 53114"; self-defence and property-defence "vol. IV, pp. 115142"; rights and duties "vol. IV, pp. 143186"; duties of woman "vol. IV, pp. 337351"; bidding to good and forbidding from evil "vol. IV, pp. 353370"; crimes "vol. V"; marriage of non-Muslims "vol. VII, pp. 344". If the laborious writer had only concentrated on issues specially related to woman, endeavouring to achieve three aims, the following deficiency would have been eliminated:
· Gathering scattered subjects on rights of women;
· A new investigation and researching on woman's rights;
· Manifesting viewpoints of the Islamic Fiqh in a way that the present questions be answerable.
2. Another point of weakness in this compilation being its containing quotations more than reasoning and analysis. Moreover, the opinions of all the schools have not been transmitted in it with the same level; for instance the Shi'ah opinions have been cited in very few occasions. Besides, it has not included or reviewed the Fiqhi reasoning of all the opinions, e.g.; when it reports an opinion of the Shi'ah, this reporting does not include any Fiqhi reasoning on the part of Shi'ah Ulama'. In this extant work it was proper for the author to identify a number of schools or Fuqaha, reporting their views similarly, turning then to manifesting the reasoning "istidlaal" of all of them, choosing finally obstinacy, with analysis and decomposition.
3. In setting forth of the Shi'i viewpoints, some kind of shortcoming is clearly witnessed,
despite the fact that the Shi'ah Fiqh being so rich, with Shi'i ulamaa' producing and compiling numerous Fiqhi books, and the author having lived in one of great Shi'ah scholarly centres, i.e. Iraq. As an example, I indicate here this shortcoming in four respects: · The number of Shi'ah opinions set forth, being very little, especially those regarding cases about which the Shi'ah hold contrary opinions, and being known to them; such as: fasting of day of Ashuraa "10th of the month of Muharram" "vol. II, p. 126", fasting of day of Nawrooz "vol. II, p. 140"... etc.
· Some of the Shi'ah Fiqhi opinions have been mistakenly reported; such as: gazing of a man to a foreign woman "vol. III, p. 202", looking at a photo of an un-consanguine woman "vol. III, p. 226", mut'ah "temporary marriage" with full-grown mature girls "vol. III, p. 176". The author has referred to and consulted a few books, like:
· Al-Nihaayah of Ash-Shaykh At-Toosi; Sharayi' Al-Islam and Al-Mukhtasar An-Nafi' of Al'Allamah Al-Hilli; Ar-Rawza Al-Bahiyyah of Ash-Shaheed Ath-Thani; Al-Fusul Ash-Shar'iyyah of Mohammed Jawad Maghniyyah. Nevertheless, other precious books, like Jawahir AlKalam were available. Some of the criticisms levelled at the Shi'ah, being so weak and poor, like:
1. In vol. I, p. 155, in respect of prohibition of recital of surahs of Aza'im "Alif, Lam, Mim Ha Mim Sajdah, An-Najm, and Al'Alaq" it is stated: "They have not manifested the reason of excepting the Surahs." is it meant the rational reason, while in devotional matters no
place is there for rational proof, or meant the devotional reason when the Shi'ah resorted to Ahlul Bayt's narration for reasoning. In this regard the readers are asked to refer to: Jawaahir Al-Kalaam, vol. III, pp. 4445; Mustamsak Al-Urwah Al-Wuthqaa, vol. III, pp. 5052.
2. In discussion of question of Mut'ah "temporary marriage" many spiteful and frail answers ascribed to the Shi'ah have been given as: "They hold that Mut'ah causes the woman to be a means for sensuality of the man "vol. VI, pp. 179181", though the author in justifying polygamy "vol. VI, p. 290" and nushuz "disobedience of a wife towards her husband" "vol. VI, pp. 163164", and also in argument of subject of medical treatment, when they claim that the man's growing fat being abominable, but the woman is allowed to grow fat since her husband likes this "vol. III, pp. 100101", has plunged himself in this abyss.
3. We face sometimes weak deductions and analyses that are below the dignity of the author and his work; like:
· In explaining the reason of the zakat's being unobligatory on ornaments of women, it is stated thus: "in order that they can make use of them much as they can, so as to strengthen the connections between wife and husband." "vol. I, p. 426".
· In analysing the prohibition of making use of powder and other face adornment means, he resorted to guile and ravishment "vol. III, p. 364", saying: This adornment verily leads to cheating the man in time of asking
for the hand of "a woman", despite the fact that the reason being more particular than claim, and if it be ravishment why making use of it for the husband is permissible!
4. Some of the viewpoints being classified as feeble, baseless and vulnerable to criticism. Herewith I refer to a few of them:
• He says, the origin "staying of the woman in the house" "vol. IV, p. 31", taking this idea from the verse "And stay in your houses" "33:32". Although the command to stay in the house being opposite to Tabarruj "displaying the finery" with the meaning that Allah orders the women: stay in the house and do not pink up yourselves, and never be frivolous, but the verse didn't order the women to retirement at home. Here a distinction should be made between the most important function of the woman, i.e. mothercraft, and the basis of staying at home. The Muslim woman is charged with various individual and social duties, the most important of which being looking after the children. This differs from the claim that the primary basis for the woman being staying at home, in the meaning that going out in emergent and special conditions is permissible.
• The author believes that the woman is not allowed to be a member of legislative councils "vol. IV, p. 333", since if this be for obtaining daily bread, her husband or father is responsible for supporting the family; or if it be taken as a social function then housekeeping
is verily superior to it, moreover it would lead to intercourse between women and men. And as is evident these inferences are nothing but vain and frail approvals. · The author opposes the judicial divorce, saying that faith should be established inside the society "vol. VII, p. 357". Despite the fact that such recommendation may be capable of application, in an ideal society, but in communities where sensualities and selfishness of men be boundless and out of measure, this is not true!
• He considers the birthday festival to be a heresy "bid'ah" "vol. IX, pp. 310311".
• He opposes letting the fingernails to grow long on part of the women "vol. I, p. 56", without producing any proof for it, though Al-Imam As-Sadiq reporting a hadith from the Prophet (S) recommending that it is preferable for women to let their fingernails to grow a bit long, regarding this to be something nicer for them.(1)
5. Concerning the woman, there are some debates regarding which no suspicions or questions were raised in the past, but nowadays they confront serious questions, though they were not set forth for discussion in the past but in present societies they turned to be object of suffering. Giving a finish to them and finding a proper solution for them have an effective role in manifesting the standpoint of Islam.
The compiler has passed by these issues with simplicity or even he has never referred to them at all. Nevertheless in some occasions, he turns to recital of wisdom behind
rules and lateral questions, like argument about how to solve the problem of marriage of the youths "vol. VI, pp. 3536". Hereunder I state some of the mentioned issues:
• Recommended fasting by the woman without taking permission from her husband "vol. II, p. 131", the woman's travelling alone "vol. II, p. 176", stipulation of masculinity for state president "vol. IV, pp. 314-315", blood-money of women "vol. V, p. 357", Beating the women "vol. VII, p. 370".
• Some of the issues to which he never referred are as follows: expenses of woman's acquiring knowledge and medical care in the interim of debate of alimony "vol. VII", issue of family guardianship "vol. VII", woman's going out from the house on supposition of husband's being on travel or during his absence "vol. VII", disobedience of men "vol. VII", question of women's employment, and women's "physical" exercise,... etc.
6. One of weak points of such a Fiqhi compilation being its devoidness of assessments of rijaal "transmitters" in respect of traditions and narrations stated in it. Throughout this detailed book only in two brief occasions a reference is made to chain of transmission, i.e. Sanad "vol. V, p. 130; vol. VII, p. 372".
With due attention to the fact that forged traditions are found in large number in narrative compilations, and it is not possible to rely on every narration or report whatsoever, until some Sunni Ulama' have written more than ten books on fabricated traditions; Hence, it would have been proper to embark on criticising and
studying the chains "asnad" of traditions.
7. Another point of weakness of this work being its ignorance of Fiqhi books and journals, which are brought out in recent centuries, containing criticism of numerous subjects "of discourse" on women, and introducing novel viewpoints. The compiler ought to pay attention to this fact and if he hadn't approved of these opinions, he would rather at least proceed on criticising them. For instance the journal of Risalat Al-Islam contains several articles on woman's affairs, in which some viewpoints that worth deliberation are presented; like: membership of woman in Consultative Assembly,(1) polygamy,(2) and other views.
In some of these subjects, there are valuable unique writings that deserved to be considered with attention by the author; since these books and magazines were written in the style of modern debates.(3)
9. It was proper to initiate this compilation with two different preliminary subjects of discourse: One being producing a considerable general portrait of woman's character in Islamic perspective, under the auspices of which a criticism was made to doubts presenting a reversed portrait of woman. The necessity of this discussion lies in the fact that the Fuqaha were unknowingly affected by such mentalities, interfering in Fiqhi and legal arguments. As a sample, AshShafi'i holds that it is better that the man recites Salaat almayyit "dead prayers" on the woman, since he is closer to God than her and his prayer will be verily sooner granted,(4) etc.
And the other argument is concerned with the method of researching about subjects related
to women, and the necessity of presenting such issues lies in the fact that they represent the key of investigating and studying the narrations and verses related to the subject.
9. Such a collection needs numerous technical indices, like: index of verses, index of traditions and one for biographical names especially table of contents.
The table of contents that was introduced by Ostaz Wahbah Zuhaili in his book Al-Fiqh Al’Islami Wa Adillatuh, being truly an aid and wide way for investigators and researchers. The necessity of this index lies in the fact that on the first hand, an index of subjects is presented in an alphabetic form of which the consulter can benefit, and on the other hand in it one issue was discussed in several places, making it accessible for all.
By Abd Al-Haleem Mohammed Abu Shaqqah "
1st edition: Kuwait, Daar Al-Qalam Lil Nashr Wat-Tawzi', 1410H/1990 A.D.", in six volumes.
It is one of valuable and worthy works in the field of subjects on women, a collection that is produced with the good efforts of Abd Al-Haleem Abu Shaqqah. In regard of his motive of compiling this book, the author says: I was doing investigation and researching on the Prophet's Sirah "biography"; meanwhile I came across some traditions regarding the woman, that differed much from the conceptions current on this topic, therefore I abandoned the idea and turned to this argument. "vol. I, p. 28".
The opinion held by the author being that the Muslim woman in the contemporary world rests between two ignorance
rapacious wolves: one of them being jaahiliyyah of twentieth century which inviting to debauchery and corruption. And the other being the ignorance "jaahiliyyah" of the fourteenth century in which very narrow-minded viewpoints governed over the woman "vol. I, pp. 2831". For deliverance from these two assaults, he "the author" considers the social-fiqhi study of the woman during the Prophet's lifetime to be something illuminating and enlightening, so he gave the book the title Dirasah Ijtima'yyah Fiqhiyyah 'An Al-Mar'ah Fi 'Asr Ar-Risaalah "vol. I, p. 38".
The course of the book took the name Manhaj Istiqrah An-Nusus, to this meaning that the texts of the holy Qur’an and Sunnah be induced correctly, and introduced with analysis. The author has presented in the footnotes useful exposition and interpretations for words of texts. And the compiler intended firstly to take as a foundation for his work the fourteen hadith books that is: Saheeh AlBukhaari, Saheeh Muslim, Sunan Abi Dawood, Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Sunan An-Nasa'i, Sunan Ibn Majah Muwattah Malik, Zawa'id Saheeh Ibn Hayyan, Musnad Ahmad, Musnad Al-Bazzaz, Musnad Abi Ya'la, Al-Mu'jam Al-Kabeer, Al-Mu'jam Al-Awsat, Al-Mu'jam As-Sagheer of At-Tabarrani.
But for accelerating the work, and making easy for the reader, and considering the position of Saheeh Al-Bukhaari and Saheeh Muslim, I have confined and presented the research in this stage within this section and field "vol. I, pp. 4041". The author is of the opinion that this programme has to be fulfilled in an encyclopaedia of human sciences, i.e. economy, politics... and alike "vol. I, p. 43".
The style of this book can be likened to the style of writing of the book Al-Hayaat, compiled by Mohammed Riza Hakeemi and his brothers. The author believes that for restoring freedom of the Muslim woman and organising the society on a solid foundation, we should perform several researches and studies in the following five grounds:
1. Extracting all the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah;
2. Gathering the opinions and exertions of the Islamic scholars of the past centuries;
3. Analysing the Muslims' new writings.
4. Making statistic studies and investigations for getting acquainted with the realities prevalent in the society;
5. Trying to become familiar with investigations and studies made by the Westerners in the connection of woman, like: psychology, education and training, sexual culture, employment, social and political activities "vol. I, pp. 4849".
The book is initiated by two short and long introductions made by two eminent researchers of contemporary Arab world, i.e. the late professor Mohammed Al-Ghazaali and Dr. Yousif Qardaawi.
The subjects of this six-volume compilation are introduced through five pivots, to which I briefly refer:
This subject is presented in two sections: In the first section the author discusses the woman's personality according to the Qur’anic view, giving then some samples of prominent women from the Qur’an. In the second section he discussed and analysed the same topic in the view of the Sunnah, showing first signs and indications of the woman's character from the inner folds of traditions, introducing then numerous samples through detailed discussions and arguments. This section is concluded
with a criticism and study of three well-known traditions: "Deficiency of Woman's Intellect." "Most of hell dwellers being Women." and "Creation of Woman from a curved rib."
This subject for which volumes two and three being dedicated, has been discussed through two sections "babs". In the third section he pays to setting forth the topic and stabilisation of viewpoints. And the fourth section is dedicated for study of doubts and objections raised in this connection. In the third section, he studied first the motive of woman's participation, giving eleven motives in this connection, turning then to manners and rules of participation, setting forth special conditions of social participation of woman as a subject of discourse through five headings.
After citing the necessities and manners of participation, he sets forth witnesses for permission "of participation" in three chapters, citing first examples from the era of former prophets. Then he introduces samples of way of living of wives of prophets, turning in the conclusion to citing examples of participation and presence of women during the epoch of the Prophetic mission. After this stage, women's participation in social life is divided into three areas, each of which being given good attention: 1. employment; 2. social activities; 3. political activity.
The author interprets the social activities with works of public benefit like training and education or performed in a collective way "vol. II, p. 381", considering political activities like emigration, Jihaad "holy struggle", and fighting with the taghut "tyrant"... etc. "vol. II, p. 413". The fourth section,
which is titled "Hiwar Ma'a Al-Mu'arizeen Li Musharakat Al-Mar'ah Fil-Hayat Al-Ijtimaiyya" "A Dialogue with Opposers to Woman's Participation in the Social Life", is dedicated for criticism and study of viewpoints of opposers to woman's participation. Also he gives replies to four objections raised against "participation licence's making use of narrations." setting at the end the opposers' views to criticism and study in seven points.
Of the author's interesting discourses in this section being that the opposers to woman's participation in the social life present two portraits in front of the woman: Either social participation and resemblance to the Western woman, or retirement in the house; and as the first case is not accepted, so the women's participation should be prevented and curbed. His reply in this regard being that a third case is there for woman's participation which is set forth by the Islamic Shari'ah: Women's participation with observing the religious manners and rules.
In this very section a detailed discussion in regard of the verse of Hijab "veil" is cited, the purport of which, with holding fast eleven proofs, should have been considered among the traits of the Prophet's wives.
The last chapter of this section, which is the last part of the third volume of the book too, contains a debate concerning ghulu "exaggeration" for convenient motive or applying the rule Sadd Adh-Dharayi' "obstructing the justifications". The author considers the causes of this marrow-mindedness and exaggeration to lie in six points, paying attention to analysing and elaborating them.
The fifth section, which
covering the fourth volume as a whole, is dedicated for discussing the issue of clothing and ornamentation of woman. The author is of the opinion that, the Islamic Law has never declared certain fashion for clothes and ornament for women, but reiterating the five conditions of which woman's clothes and ornament should never be out. The conditions are as follows:
1. The whole body "of the woman" except the face, two hands and two feet, should be covered;
2. Moderation should be observed in clothes and ornamentation;
3. This should not be irrelevant to the common law of the Islamic society;
4. The woman's covering "clothing" should differ in general from that of the man.
5. The woman's covering should differ completely from that of the disbelievers.
It is clear here that only the first two conditions are relevant to women exclusively, and the other ones should be observed in regard of the clothes of men.
Implicitly, this section cites elaborated interpreting discussions in respect of occasion of "revelation of" verses of Hijab, introducing also an all-inclusive argument on non-obligation of covering the face two hands and two feet. He made an investigation in this connection proving by which that wearing the mask "niqaab" and face veil not being among inventions of the Islamic Shari'ah, but were present in the pre-Islamic era "vol. IV, p. 222", circulating due to certain reasons after the Prophet's lifetime "vol. IV, p. 296".
The sixth section is dedicated for discussing the subject of woman and family. The subjects of discourse of this
section were presented in the fifth volume, and were categorised under nine chapters with the following headings:
· Marriage in the Islamic Shari'ah - Proposing for marriage o dowry o marriage contract
· Rights of wife and husband "basic rights"
· Rights of wife and husband "partial rights"
· Differences between wife husband and method of tackling
· Right of separation between wife husband and polygamy.
Sexual Culture between Wife Husband The fifth axis, which is set forth for discussion in the sixth volume, is dedicated within eight parts, for sexual rights of wife and husband. After stating the preliminaries of discussion, the following headings are seen:
· Sexual culture and bashfulness
· Acceptance of power of sexual lust by the Shari'ah
· Leniency of Shari'ah toward sexual enjoyments
· Shari'ah and techniques of enjoyment
· Prophet's conduct "lifestyle" in marriage and enjoyment "temporary marriage"
· Opinions of Fuqaha in regard of the sexual culture. In the aforementioned chapters and sections, the author has cited numerous samples from the era of the Prophetic mission as an evidence and example. After this brief report, we turn to cite some strange points and novel opinions and viewpoints given by the author in this work: 1. Every act on the part of the Mukallafun "who attained puberty" has a substance and shell, to the meaning that the substance appears through different conditions.
The important point here being how to discover and recognise the spirit and substance. The essence of duties and acts is eternal while the way of their appearance changes with duration
of time and social conditions. This distinction is employed by the author in respect of women's affairs during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah, declaring that training, employment, and sociopolitical of women have a substance approved by the Prophet, but manner of application in other epochs will be different "vol. I, pp. 3138".
2. The author is of the opinion that for comprehending some of the narrations, it can't be resorted to mental
probabilities choosing one of them. But rather, when content of hadith be related to external realities, help should be sought from modern sciences and understanding the hadith on their basis "vol. I, p. 280". On this basis, he makes interpretation of the hadith of "deficiency of woman's intellect" "vol. I, p. 277", and that of "creation of woman from a curved rib" "vol. I, p. 290" depending on seeking help from modern sciences.
3. In interpreting the hadith "Many men reached perfection while among the women none attained perfection except Asia the wife of Pharaoh and Mary the daughter of Imran." he quotes some words from Ibn Hajar which indicating the prohethood of these women "vol. I, p. 312".
4. In regard of the issue of shaking hands of the man with a foreign "not intimate" woman, he reports texts indicating prohibition of this act, citing in return other texts certifying the permission to this practice. The conclusion got by the compiler out of these two groups of traditions, is that in case of non probability of occurrence of sedition
as is commonly practised by the relatives nowadays no prohibition is there "to shaking hands" "vol. II, pp. 8993".
5. In the discussion of political sovereignty of woman, he reports a statement from Ash-Shaykh Mohammed Al-Ghazali, regarding it worth of contemplation and deep thinking.
Al-Ghazali says: Ibn Hazm took these words of the Prophet(S): "Verily failed those who entrusted a woman with their affair" to mean the highest successorship; but we have a statement profounder than this, which says that this speech be applicable to special conditions of the then Iranian land. Because Iran, in those days, with its feeble socio-political pillars, committed its administration to an infirm woman, the fact why the Messenger of Allah(S) recited the verses of surat An-Naml in Mecca for people, in which Balqis was named as a successful queen.
Based on this, what is considered the criterion being capability and power not being woman or man "vol. II, pp. 369372". 6. Contrary to the famous opinion considering attendance of the woman in Friday prayers to be something inadmissible or at least unpunishable, he considers this as a desirable and recommended act "vol. II, pp. 399402". 7. He quotes some long sentences from eminent Rijaal "transmitters of hadith" and men of Fiqh: Al-Imaam Az-Zuhri said: "We never found any of the emigrant women to have apostatised after being faithful." "vol. II, p. 423". Also from Adh-Dhahabi he reported: "It is never reported of a woman that she lied in reporting a hadith" "vol. I, p. 118".
8. The author
believes that familiarity and sociability, diminishing the sexual sensitiveness; and in respect of relations between woman and man he raises up the sensitivity in regard of full separation between these two sexes, reaching it to the degree of a sin "haraj" "vol. III, p. 31". In another place he says that sociability and habituation being of great effect in reducing the extent of seduction; in other words it diminishes the vehemence of seductivity in the connections between woman and man "vol. IV, p. 155".
9. Facilitation is one of firm rules of Shari'ah, on which a strong emphasis is laid by God in the holy Qur’an. Likewise when the Prophet is made to choose between two choices, he would select the easier one. On this basis, the boundaries of legally permissible things should never be tightened "vol. III, p. 163".
10. The author believes that the Fuqaha have received many of legal allowances from people, though these allowances causing preservation of freedom of man and encouragement of people to "heed to" the Shari'ah. On the other hand, exaggeration in prohibition being a Satanic trick for seducing and alluring human beings to sin and disobeying God the Almighty "vol. III, p. 168". The conclusion he gets from this rule being that the permitted means can be prohibited only with two conditions. One of them is that it very often be a cause leading to mischief, and the other is that mischief has preference over interest "vol. III, p. 177".
Following this discussion, he enumerates
eleven instances in connection with women's affairs, in which the jurisprudents, through exaggeration in making use of rule of Sadd Adh-Dharayi' "obstructing the justifications", have forbidden what was permitted "vol. III, p. 183".
The author considers factors causing this exaggeration to lie in six things, as follows:
· Negligence of conditions of the rule of Sadd Adh-Dharayi';
· undue understanding of woman's being seductive;
· pessimism in respect of the woman;
· men's blind jealousy;
· claim of corruption of vicissitudes of the world;
· some verses and narrations confirming pessimism toward the woman "vol. III, pp. 190222".
11. The author believes that the opinions and viewpoints of leaders of Fiqhi schools "mazaahib" being liable to criticism and study. And imitation here is undue, but rather their wording should be also measured and weighed according to the Qur’an and "Prophetic" Sunnah "vol. IV, p. 190". On this basis, he criticises the opinion of some of the schools that all the woman's body being privy parts "awrah".
12. The author, depending on the "Qur’anic" texts, considers it binding upon the Muslim woman to observe a limited amount of an outward adornment throughout all her lifetime, whether being at home or outside. And the outward adornment he considers to be: tinting the hands by Hennah, colouring the eyes with dark-blue and painting the cheeks. The lawgiver exempts the woman from this obligation only in time of mourning ceremonies over the dead "vol. IV, p. 251".
For all of these matters he cited examples from the texts "from Qur’an and hadith" as an
evidence. For instance he reported a hadith that the Prophet said to a woman: Change "colour of" your fingernails with Hennah "vol. IV, p. 254". Then he says: Emphasis of texts on these points never means that only the women can benefit from them these days, but rather these things change with change of time and place "vol. IV, p. 262".
13. He regards the narrations forbidding women from using sweet smell "teeb" to be allocated for three occasions: · In time of attending congregational prayers in the mosque; · Going out from the house with a manifest perfume;
14. Doing this with the intention of displaying the charms and exciting the men's lust. Other than these three cases, there is no interdiction on making use of scent whose colour be apparent and smell is hidden "vol. IV, p. 265". 14. The narrations forbidding women's imitating and copying the men, are interpreted to intend the general "outward" shape of the woman. That means the general form of the woman in clothing should not be similar to that of men, in the way that if one piece of clothes of the woman be like that of men there is no interdiction on this "vol. IV, 278".
15. The author believes that covering the women's faces being not only non-obligatory but also it be not recommended. "vol. IV, pp. 323-328". In this connection he writes: "Never think that recommendation to veiling the face has been an ancient habit and negating it being a new heresy,
that was communicated by contagion from the Western community, since Qazi 'Iyaaz "d.544H." said: Recommending to veil the face for other than the Prophet's wives, being a controversial issue" "vol. III, p. 328".
16. In the author's view, if the women's being seductive was declared and informed by the Prophet(S), so he as being more aware than others and has laid down ways of preventing this, should not add to and exceed it. And the detriment incurred by exaggeration in woman's seductiveness afflicts the woman, causing to view her a weak creature, and pushing her to distress "vol. IV, p. 203".
In another place he says that for preventing the seduction of the woman, no opinion should be exerted or deviation made from the method determined by the Shari'ah. The route laid by the Shari'ah is to establishing faith inside hearts of God's slaves, developing and fostering of Godfearing and observing the frontage and limits of the Divine rules "vol. IV, p. 328".
17. Asking the hand "of a girl", though having a certain manner according to common law, being to go after family of the daughter, but in our time seven kinds of proposal "to marriage" are applied these days "vol. V, pp. 2934".
18. There are general and detailed texts cited in regard of rights of the wife and the husband. It should be known that the general texts being invariable for all times and ages, but the detailed ones are peculiar for special circumstances and they can't be generalised for all
times. On this basis, the author says that there are certain traditions cited that encourage to the wife's obeying her husband, due to the situation prevailed in the Medina which was somewhat a kind of woman's being the chief of family. Therefore the second caliph declared in regard of the Medina men saying: Their wives are predominant over them "vol. V, p. 93".
19. In interpreting the verse "And they "women" have rights similar to those "of men" over them in kindness, and for men "their rights" on women, is a degree above" he writes that this verse shows equality of rights of women with that of men. And as some exegetes hold, what is intended by "and for men on women is a degree above" is that the men dispense with their rights for the benefit of the women "vol. V, pp. 9495".
20. Circumcision of girls is considered by him a pre-Islamic habit, in regard of whose reduction and facilitation the Islamic Shari'ah has issued several rules and instructions "vol. VI, p. 150", believing it to have effect in diminishing the sexual enjoyment on the part of women, and considering the hadith on virtue of circumcision to be weak "vol. VI, pp. 160161".
21. The author is of the opinion that among the obscene mistakes of Muslims is their passionate stance toward the claim of the orientalists who said one day that the spiritual maturity never agrees with the sexual enjoyment. And the Muslims, instead of correcting this wrong thought, have
submitted to it, presenting even feeble or forged texts in this connection which confirmed this false thinking.
Another day they said that the Prophet of Islam(S) had attachment to a woman. Then the Muslims embarked on stating that there were socio-political motives behind marriages contracted by the Prophet, as if desire for lawful enjoyment "istimta'", never suits his status "of course we never deny these socio-political motives, but believe that other things should not be denied, while the Qur’an has confirmed those aspects too, when it says: "It is not allowed unto thee to take women afterwards, nor shouldst thou change them for other wives, though their beauty may charm thee."
Again I tried my best to cover the texts about sexual enjoyments, though the spiritual development has no incompatibility with this lawful enjoyment whatsoever "vol. VI, pp. 183-184".
22. The author reports from some Fuqaha that the husband should satisfy his wife's sexual need, and it is not sufficient that he fulfils this duty only once every four months, and he has implicitly accepted this opinion "vol. VI, p. 233".
23. In this compilation, some of the traditions related to woman's affairs are considered weak or fabricated, to which a reference will be made in the following list:
· The Messenger of Allah (S) said to his daughter Fatimah "peace be upon her": "What thing is good for the woman "in your opinion"? She said: " "It is" that she never sees a man and no man sees her." The he embraced her saying:
"An offspring one descending from the other" "vol. I, p. 36; vol. III, pp. 39 220".
· "Never teach them how to write nor make them dwell in the rooms" "vol. I, p. 287; vol. III, p. 216".
· "Submission to the woman brings regret" "vol. I, p. 287; vol. III, p. 216".
· "Were it not for the women, God would have been worshipped as truly as He should" "vol. I, p. 287; vol. III, p. 216".
· "Consult them and oppose them" "vol. I, p. 287".
· "Men verily perish when obeying the women" "vol. I, p. 287; vol. III, p. 216". · "The most antagonistic enemy to you is your wife" "vol. I, p. 287".
· "The women are verily only a game, anyone taking a game has to beautify it or approve of it..." "vol. III, p. 216".
· "I am "the Prophet" preferred to Adam with two traits: His "Adam's" wife was an assistance to him to commit sin, while my wives are helpers to me to obedience." "vol. III, p. 216".
· "Had it not been for women, men would have entered paradise" "vol. III, p. 216".
· "He narrated that Luqman passed by a maid writing something when he said: For whom this sword is being polished?" "vol. III, p. 219". · "Have recourse to nakedness against the women" "vol. III, p. 219".
· "Denude the women, they will verily submit "to you" " "vol. III, p. 219".
· "Conceal their "women's" privy parts inside the houses" "vol. III, p. 219".
· "The Prophet(S) forbade and
restrained the women from going out "from the house" except a crippled old woman" "vol. III, p. 220".
· "Umm Salamah bint Hukaym is reported to have said: "I have come up the past child-bearing women performing the obligatory "daily" prayers with "behind" the Messenger of Allah (S) " "vol. III, p. 220".
· "Sulayman Ibn Hathmah reported from his mother that she said: "I have seen the past childbearing women praying with the Messenger of Allah(S) in the mosque" "vol. III, p. 220".
· "The crime "sin" of "Prophet" David was looking by eyes" "vol. III, p. 220".
· "No woman has ever performed a prayer better than that one "performed" in her house - except the prayers in mosques of Mecca and Medina - except a very aged woman" "vol. III, p. 220".
· "When anyone of you has sexual intercourse with his wife he should cover himself, as if he doesn't cover, the angels would be ashamed and go out. If they were to have a child, verily the Satan would have a share in it" "vol. VI, p. 148".
· "When anyone of you copulates with his wife he should use a cover and they should never lay themselves bare like nakedness of two wild asses" "vol. VI, p. 148".
· "When anyone of you sleeps with his wife or his bondmaid he should never look at her vulva, since this will cause blindness "to him" " "vol. VI, p. 149".
· "When anyone of you copulates with his wife he should neither look
at her vulva, as it verily brings on blindness, nor speaks too much as it causes dumbness" "vol. VI, p. 149".
· "Circumcision is verily a Sunnah "law" for men and noble act for women" "vol. VI, p. 149". It is fit here to refer to some points, that had the author paid attention to them was much better:
1. In certain places punctual and logical classification was not observed. And had classification been observed in topics as I did in presenting the book, another good would have been added to the book.
2. The subjects were discussed in a scattered way and in several places, like the issue of veiling the face in the fourth volume. 3. It was more proper for the author to manifest whether he has cited all the texts from Saheeh Al-Bukhaari and Saheeh Muslim for every subject, or he has selected some of them, since in some places it was declared that all the traditions were mentioned. "vol. II, p. 171". 4. Reporting some weak traditions, like the one about the Prophet's hesitation in the outset of his mission "bi'thah", diminishes the standing of the book "vol. II, pp. 414-415".
5. Not having technical indices is another remarkable weakness of this valuable work. In conclusion, with my appreciation to this scientific worthy effort, I wish success for the honourable writer to complete the second stage, to which a reference was made in the introduction to the book "vol. I, p. 41", and bring out a valuable work for
First volume: «As-sitr Wan-Nazar»
Second volume: «Ahliyyat AI-Mar'ah Li Twalli As-Sultah»
Third volume: «Hoqooq Az-Zawjiyyah »
Fourth volume: «Haqq Al-'Amal Lil Mar'ah»
The author is Mohammed Mahdi Shams Ad-Deen. «First edition: Mu'assasat AI-Manaar, Qum».
Masa'il Harijah Fi Fiqh Al-Mar'ah is the name of a collection which was compiled and written by Mohammed Mahdi Shams Ad-Deen.
The author believes that certain difficult issues in women's Fiqh, are subjects that have to be set in the area of won:an's connection with the society. In other words, they are subjects which come in sight from contravention between rights and duties of the wife and her social presence. He believes that these issues include four things:
• issue of covering and looking;
• woman's competence to assume post of State president;
• matrimonial rights;
• woman's social presence.
The first volume which is titled As-Sitr Wan-Nazar, discusses the covering and looking. The subjects of this volume are introduced through one prelude and two questions.
In the prelude, some points regarding an investigation on Flqh of the woman, are cited, in the outset of Which the woman's position in the system of Islamic values and right is determined. After that, he refers to notable women in history, that represented practical applicability of value system. In the end he makes a brief reference to biography of liberation and freedom of woman in the West and Islamic world.
The first question is about the covering. In this question he first clarifies the controversial points, believing that the face, two hands «palms», two feet and neck of mature women, who
didn't reach the age of past child-bearing, being a theoretically controversial and disputable issue.
Before stating the proofs of the opposers and supporters of this issue, he reiterates the exigency of the theoretical basis proving companionship and ratlonai and traditionai acquaintance, with allowance of uncovering in controversial places.
Quoting evidences of those believing in allowance from the Qur’an Prophetic Sunnah, and unanimity, he gets the result that their exigency is permission to uncover the face, hands and feet. Then he criticises the proofs of those opposing this which are the Book «Qur’an», Sunnah and unanimity.
The second issue is regarding the discussions of looking, which the author sets forth in two parts: First part on looking of a man to an foreign woman. In the outset of this part the author presents clear-cut description of the subject, dividing the women in this connection into four categories:
• Freeborn adult Muslim woman.
• Freeborn adult non-Muslim woman.
• Bedwin women.
• And he considers states of looking to be four also:
• optional condition;
• exigency condition;
• looking for the sake of marriage;
• looking for purchasing.
Then he gets the conclusion that the controversy and dispute being on looking at an adult Muslim woman optionally «of course without suspicious intention».
In this regard there are three opinions: forbiddance of looking, permission and elaboration. In the beginning he criticised the view of prohibition and elaboration, turning then to establish a proof from the Qur’an and Sunnah on permission «to look».
The second branch is looking of a woman at a foreign man. Here
also, in the outset he clears up the outward shape of the discussion, dividing men into five groups:
• Men who have no intention to get married to a woman, whether being free or slave of others, Muslim or non-Muslim.
• Men who have intention to get married to a woman.
• Woman's slaves who have manliness.
• Woman's slaves who don't have manliness «know naught of women's nakedness».
• Men who lack vigour «Ghayr Olil-Irbah»,
Afterwards he deems the controversial subject «of discourse» to lie in two cases: one looking without lust with free will and without intention to get married; and the other be looking at a man who has intention to get married.
Regarding the first question he believes that woman's looking at the face, two hands, neck and two ears of men to be permissible, hence reasoning with this opinion, and criticising the disagreeing opinions. Regarding the second question he also deems looking for the sake of marriage to be allowable.
The second volume, titled Ahliyyat Al-Mar'ah li Tawalli As-Sultah, discusses the subject of woman's competence to assume state presidentship. The author, in the introduction to this book, states that non-competence of woman to assume rulership being one of indisputable truths of Fiqh, but it should be known that what is self-evident being Fiqh, and Shari'ah is not self-evident. Nevertheless, many of self-evident truths of Fiqh, being also intuitions of Shari'ah. Hence, the ground for meditation and contemplation in such issues is made ready.
The subjects of the book start by declaring that the foremost
duty of the woman being managing the house and family affairs, but this is not the only charge undertaken by the woman. The Fuqaha unanimously concur that the woman can practise activities in many other realms of life. The dispute concentrated on her political activity alone, as some considered this field to be totally improper for the woman, and others were of the opinion of permitting this domain with some details.
He gives the preliminaries necessary to enter into discussion, like identifying the framework of political profession, equality of woman and man in knowledge discipline, rights and values in Islam, with Qur’anic and historical evidences on permission of political activity. He then says that this issue was not recorded in the Shi'ah Fiqh, and the Sunni Fuqaha concur on incompetence of the woman for such job. Then he sets forth proofs of opposers, deriving them from the Qur’an, Prophetic Sunnah, unanimity «Ijma'», approvals with the practical basis, subjecting all these to criticism.
In the end the author comes to believe that there is no manifest evidence on incompetence of the woman to assume post of presidentship of government.
The third volume, titled Hoqooq Az-Zawjiyyah, is dedicated for discussing the rights of the wife and of the husband.
This book has an introduction and two subjects of discourse. The introduction sets forth for discussion the subject of discourse and considerable concepts like right «Haqq», judgement and Nushooz «wife's disobedience and abstinence towards her husband».
In it also it is stated that marriage contract has reciprocity and
mutual responsibility on the part of the wife and the husband. For this issue, he makes use of the verse "And they «women» have nghts slmllar to those «of men» over them in kindness." and the Prophet s hadith: "You are all guardians and you are responsible for your subjects... and the man is a guardian over his household ... and the woman is a guardian over the house of her husband and his children ... "
On this basis the author concludes that each wife and husband are 'bound to observe the right of each other, as long as the other side undertaking his/her responsibilities. And whenever the wife or the husband violates her/his legal duties the Nushooz will be ascertained.
After the introduction, the topics of the book continue through two sections. The first one concerns the consequences of marriage contract for the husband, and the second one about consequences of marriage contract for the wife.
In the first section he discusses the fact that disobedience «nushooz» and obedience are two reciprocal matters, but what can be got from the outward of the Qur’an being illegality of Nushooz not obligation of obedience. The narrations indicating obligation of obedience are extracted from prohibition of Nushooz, not from the fact that the original duty «takleef» being obedience. On this basis, it is not that obedience of wife to her husband be absolutely obligatory. It is not to imagine that everywhere the husband be he can call his wife to account, to the effect
that the husband had this right to do so, that is the reason why some confusion and obscurity is found sometimes in the debates of the Fuqaha.
For instance it is stated in a hadith that the wife can never pay alms out of her husband's house without his permission; this is not only a right for the husband but rather it is a Divine imposition, that every individual has no right to take possession of property of another person without asking his permission.
Or if it is said in a hadith that the true jihaad «struggle» of the woman lies in tolerating her husband's annoyances, it does not mean that the husband has the right to harm or annoy his wife.
He then says: what can be inferred from the legal proofs being that the husband has, according to stipulation stated in marriage contract, two rights: one right to enjoyment and the other is right to musakanah «cohabitation» and living of the wife with him. Other than these two rights, all other things are either not his right or among requisites of these two rights.
After quoting some statements from the Fuqaha, he turns to citing eleven narrations, considering some of them in his last analysis to be of weak Sanad «chain», believing that the others have no utility other than the right to enjoyment and cohabitation.
He then starts a discussion about these two rights and their boundaries. In regard of right to enjoyment he says that the husband has the right to
every kind of sexual enjoyment and exploitation, unless a legal or physical impediment be there like menstruation, fasting, or physical impotence .. , etc.
Concerning the right to cohabitation he says: The wife should live with the husband in a way that it can be said she is living in the husband's house. After that he sets forth the question of woman's going out the house without asking permission from her husband.
He says that the Qur’an doesn't contain an evidence on incumbency of seeking permission of the husband, as the Qur’an propounds the issue of Nushooz «disobedience and abstinence», without clarifying in its verses with what this nushooz can be realised. In the end he says that the going out of the woman is forbidden in two cases: one when it being inconsistent with the right of enjoyment, and the other when it paves the way for perversion of the wife or others. In this case the husband has the right to forbid «her from going out», since the living together of wife and husband necessitates this. In other cases, if we admit the obligation of asking husband's permission on the part of the wife, it doesn't mean that the husband has the right all the time.
The hadith reported by Abdallah Ibn Sinan denotes that a Christian man went on a journey in the Prophet's lifetime, making a covenant with his wife not to leave the house «during his absence». Then the wife's father felt sick and passed away, but the
Messenger of Allah (S) never gave her permission to go out of her husband's house neither for visiting her father nor for attending his funeral ceremonies. About this hadith he says that it first disagrees with association in kindness to which the Qur’an prescribed. And secondly he regards it as a particular episode whose judgement can never be generalised. In the conclusion he says: right to enjoyment and right to cohabitation are stipulated by association «mu'oshorot» in kindness to which the Qur’an has prescribed.
Other than these two rights, there is no right for the man, therefore what is seen in the words of some Fuqaha, with the general meaning, as obedience right, has no legal proof.
Likewise, the husband has no service right over his wife, the fact to which the original primary exigency and narrations invite. Rather there are some evidences indicating that the husband should provide his wife with a servant.
The second subject discussed in the book pertains to wife's rights over the husband. Two rights are believed to belong to the wife, one being the sexual right and the other right to living together which includes also alimony «notoqoh».
In respect of the first right, he considers the famous opinion to be incorrect, holding the view that all the sexual need of the husband should be met, just as the husband has such right over the wife. He regards limiting a period with four months or alike to be something incapable of being proved.
In the second right he believes
that an amount of concession which is called in numerous traditions with the term ghufran «forgiveness», to be incumbent upon the husband, and to be something other than association in kindness to which the Qur’an commands.
He regards right to alimony to be another part of right to joint living, stating the reason for obligation of alimony to lie in the consummation «of marriage» and its actuation, with tamkeen «compliance and submission by wife».
The fourth volume is dedicated for employment of women. The reason he gives for propounding this subject being the two extremist viewpoints in respect of confining the wife inside the house and her going out from the house. But he believes that religion being neither a dress that can be changed according to carnal desires, nor a fetter and chain on the hands and legs of man. Rather religion is the straight path, and the Faqih has to encounter these extremist views with open-mindedness and realistic insight, with preserving the established principles of religion.
The author believes that the motive for woman's employment in the view of Islam is not to realise economic independence but rather being one of these two: compensation for the economic shortcomings of the family, and performing the social duties to which Islam refers under the title of kifa'i duties.
For accomplishing the second issue, he initiates the discussion by turning firstly to its inherent legitimacy, and in the second place propounding for argument its essentials like intercourse or incompatibility with the husband's right. For the
first position he relies on the generalities of the Qur’an, the «Prophetic» Sunnah and special narrations, inferring the result that the woman is permitted to work.
In the second place, he says that mixture «ikhtilaatt» transgresses sometimes the legal regulations necessitating forbidden things, and some other times it being not so, whereas intercourse between woman and man with observing the standards is not legally forbidden, considering the legal restrictions for mixture between woman and man inside offices and work places to lie in the following points:
• Lowering the gaze;
• Avoiding seducing conversation;
• Abstinence from solitude with a foreign woman.
In respect of inconsistency with rights of the husband, what is accepted also being right to enjoyment and cohabitation, beyond which the husband has no right.
The conclusion of that is as follows:
• The husband has no absolute obedience right «over the wife».
• The husband has no right of willingness to service on the part of his wife.
• The husband has no dominance on his wife's properties.
• The husband has no authority over his wife's leisure times and opportunities.
In the end of this brief report, I find it proper to refer to some points:
• Among the Subjects discussed and propounded in this book, there being the question of woman's looking at a foreign man and woman's competence to governorship, which were never given good attention in that extension and independence in the Shi'ah Fiqh. In fact, the author has priority over others in setting forth this issue. It is hoped that this work
will open the door wide for other profound investigations and researchers.
• The author has made - within this book - several references to some of fiqhi and osooli principles and foundations. which worth study and contemplation on the part of scholars and researchers of Islamic sciences.
The author in this connection holds that common law can be sometimes authority of legislation and some other times authority of interpretation. In the first part he considers common law of time of legislator to be the criterion and should be recognised. In the second part, he regards common law of present time to be the basis and should be obtained. Confusing these two will verily entail numerous detriments. Then he shows some samples of these confusions and obscurities «vol. l, pp. 43-47».
The author believes that the Qur’anic examples and stories are a reference for legislation, in cases and areas where no special text «of the Qur’an» is found. With this view all the Shari'ah can have a reference and source in the Qur’an «vol,t, pp. 39-41».
The author presents a new opinion on authority of signs, saying that the legal signs and arguments «hulo]», like decisiveness, have inherent authority, needing therefore no legal consideration. The proofs cited in the Shari'ah, which are based on forgery of authority, are guidance to reasonable stanchions, the basis on which he regards the well-known principle in argumentation of signs to be vulnerable to criticism «vol. l, pp. 170-178».
The author deems the Faqih to be duty-bound to issue allowance verdicts
in cases of legal permission. For him Fatwa to precaution «lhtlvot» in such cases to be a kind of denial of God's Judgement, considering the justification that giving verdict to allowance causes leniency in religion, to be something disapproved «vol. l, pp. 234-239».
The holy law-giver adopts, in legislating significant issues, method of supervision and explicitness. Legislation in a permissible case or in the interim of another issue, is not proportionate with important legal precepts. The author, on this basis, criticises some narrations on woman's incompetence to be in charge of government «vol, II , pp. 84-85 p. 114».
The author believes that the important issues in the Shari'ah that are founded on a practical principle, can never be neglected, but rather the legislator has manifested the judgement, with all its particulars, in respect of such issues, in a way that it can reach all the Ummah.
These were the considerable foundations to which the author paid attention between the lines of the book, and from which he got a good result. If some points were given attention in this book, the style of writing would have been more precise, logically arranged and explanative. Herewith I refer to some of these points:
In the prelude it was proper for the author to dedicate a separate portion for "method of research in woman's affairs." putting other scattered texts on woman's affairs, or authority of common low, or objective of Qur’anic stories or other principles in the footnote of this part.
The subject of woman's gazing
at the man contains some obscure points, and the reader cannot recognise explicitly the author's opinion or what he intends to say. For instance when he says: "so much is certain of permission of woman's looking at the man being looking at face, two hands, two feet, two ears and neck" «vol. l, p. 270», can we understand from this expression that the woman is allowed also to look at the hair of a foreign man or not? .. Therefore, in my opinion, this subject «of discourse» needed more explanation, exposition and clarification.
Some of the inferences, especially in Subject of "woman's competence to undertake governorship" needed more precision. This topic seems to be more explicit in the answers it derives from the narrations «vot.II, pp. 82-84».
In the subjects of the second volume, it seems that the author has overlooked a few of sources like:
"Risalah Badi'ah Fi Tafsir Ayat Ar-Rijal Qawwamun 'Ala An-Nisa" «A wonderful treatise in interpreting the verse "Men are in charge of Women"», and others.
By Jamaal Mohammed Haqqi Rasool Al-Bajuri
1 st edition: General Secretariat for Culture and Youths in Kurdistan, Iraq, 1406H-1986» - two volumes, 286+255 pages.
This book constituted a part of Master thesis of the author in Baghdad University, of which he defended in 1985. This work is constituted of an introduction and two sections.
In the introduction he reiterates the situation of the woman in the past communities and religions.
In the first section, he discusses the subject of the woman in the Islamic thought, and in
the second section, he broaches new questions related to woman.
The first section has three chapters:
1) Natural characteristics of woman;
2) Woman's rights in the house and society;
3) Woman's duties in the house and society.
The second section has also three chapters:
1. Social Issues;
2. Legal Issues;
3. Political Issues.
Herewith I give a brief account of the two sections.
In chapter one of the first section he considers the intrinsic and natural characteristics of woman to lie in power, capability, and the man's superiority over the woman «the author regards the man to be superior to the woman in faculty of reason and strength of body, and it is surprising that he deems this to be one of woman's intrinsic traits». In continuation, he considers pudency, deceit, ornament, compassion, and kindness as special morals of the woman.
In chapter two, which is dedicated for rights, he presents a theoretical discussion on baab of rights, talking about humanity of the woman and her equality with the man. In respect of humanity he resorts to some Qur’anic verses and woman's participation in rullnqs, In regard of equality he refers to equality in belief and faith, performing good deeds, ownership, marriage, learning and education between the man and woman.
In the meantime, in the continuation of the discussion, he enumerates the differences between woman and man in worships, some of financial duties like alimony, inheritance and guardianship. He deems qualification to be one of traces of humanity and equality between woman and man, maintaining certain dimensions for it like religious, economical,
social and family qualifications.
The other trace he believes to be employment which is permitted in itself but due to social and sentimental irreparable detriments he considers it to be something unnecessary. In regard of choosing the spouse and capability, he considers it as a right for the woman.
In the third chapter, he discusses the duties that to be performed by the woman. The first duty on her part is staying at home. The belief held by him being that the legislation of this precept was on the basis of women's condition, not that this precept was ordained exclusively for the Prophet's wives.
Of course he recommends retirement at home on the part of woman, for the sake of undertaking housekeeping in the best manner. In the continuation of this issue, he points out the wife's obedience to her husband. which being a result of men's authority over women. The author declares that men's authority «over women» never means their despotism or obstinacy.
The second duty of the wife is hijab «covering», that is the woman is prescribed to lower her gaze from looking at a foreign man and cover her body with a wide clothing. He says that the necessary limit of covering being veiling all the body except the face and two hands up to the wrist.
The last question in this chapter being polygamy and marrying more than one wife. He presents a short history of this practice among ancient nations, believing that it was so current among advanced nations, being
approved and modified by Islam. He then sets forth for discussion the factors leading to legislation of the rule.
The last question in this chapter being polygamy and marrying more than one wife. He presents a short history of this practice among ancient nations, believing that it was so current among advanced nations, being approved and modified by Islam. He then sets forth for discussion the factors leading to legislation of the rule.
The second section is allocated exclusively for introducing new issues, in three fields: social, legal and political.
In chapter one, which is concerning social issues, he refers to issue of education of women which he deems permissible according to some evidences. Then he says that Muslim thinkers have two viewpoints in this connection: a group believing in non-existence of any difference between women and men in respect of education; and the other group binding themselves with some restrictions and limitations, with whom the author agrees.
The second issue is employment, in connection of which he states three views. A group believing that women's occupation in all fields of life to be permissible or rather necessary. The second group believing in forbiddance of every kind of work and business on the part of the woman, outside the house. The third group, including the author himself, believing that the social conditions require the women to go out the house but stipulating certain provisions and limits for this practice. Then he turns to military business for women, saying that fighting is forbidden for women,
but all other works related to war being permissible for women, citing evidences from the reporting and practical «Prophet's» Sunnah. He turns then to talk about the right of providing security to women, like men, for disbelievers to be fought, regarding this to be a privilege given by Islam to the woman.
In continuation of this subject, he turns to giving a share to women from war spoils, believing in women's right to take a share, against those believing in forbiddance of such thing.
The third subject set forth for discussion, is the hijab «veil». The author holds that propounding novel issues on the part of the Western thinkers in connection to issue of hijab is divided into three parts. A group believing that hijaab means staying in the house and this being a special feature for the Prophet's wives. Generalising this prescription to other women is a sediment from other nations, that the Muslim women are allowed to frequent among crowds with bare hands up to the wrists and uncovered face. This view is held by Qaasim Ameen and other writers.
The other group holds that out of Islamic texts it can be deduced that the Islamic Law permits going to and from by women outside the house, with uncovered face and hands up to the wrist.
The third group believing that the best shelter for women being home and family, and women's going out of the house with uncovered face and bare hand is allowed only in emergent and exigent cases.
chapter two he sets forth legal issues, initiating the discourse with question of marrying the children by their guardians, considering it, contrary to opinion of the Sunni Fuqaha, to be something inadmissible. Also regarding the question of great difference in age between woman and man in time of marriage, which is done sometimes by coercion on the part of family of the woman, he considers it a rejected habit.
The second subject of discourse in this chapter being the issue of polygamy, in regard of which he cites three views. Some Fuqaha, like Mohammed Abduh, permit it conditioned to exigency and with the judge's decision, seeing this opinion to exist in laws of so many Arab countries.
Another group considering polygamy to be totally inadmissible, believes that Islam wanted to prevent it step by step. Of course the author believes that polygamy is something allowed in Islam.
The third subject of this chapter being population control, which he set forth for debate in four topics. First he talks about the legal rule of isolation «'azl», admitting the third view of these three: prohibition, allowance and aversion.
The second topic being extermination of offspring. The author says that every act entails extinction of issue is haraam «unlawful». The third topic is control of Nasi «seed», regarding which two views are there: Some deeming the government's action to control of procreation as unlawful, and some others deeming it permissible, and the author holds the first view. The last question in this topic being the abortion, concerning
which he cites various verdicts.
The fourth topic of this chapter is the issue of guardianship and testimony on the part of woman. The Fuqaha consider the innate and acquired virtue of men to be the agent of guardianship. He then refutes the doubts that suspect the guardianship of the man, like that related to the period of mastership of men and slavery or related to era of ignorance of women, and the time when the women had no economic earning.
Then he turns to the issue that whether the realm of men's authority is limited to marital life or being vaster than this, regarding which he cites two views, believing in limitation of authority to marital life.
Regarding the question of woman's giving witness, he quotes several statements showing that a group of Fuqaha believing that limitation is confined to financial affairs, and other than this the generalities of proofs being a witness in force. Apart from the fact that this pertains to ordinary circumstances, and in exigent cases the women's testimony is approved like that of men, as the witness of people of Scripture «Ahlal-Kitab» is approved.
The fifth topic being custody «hazaanah». The important point in this subject is the fact that custody is regarded mother's right, and in respect of expiry of custody «period» of mother, he prefers the court's decision from among various opinions.
The sixth topic is divorce. In this connection, the author, from the two opinions, whether divorce being the husband's right or that the judicial device should
intervene, approves of the first opinion that it is the husband's right seeing no room for interference of a judge.
The seventh topic is inheritance by the wife. He refutes four suspicions raised by critics of woman's inheritance.
Chapter three is allocated for political topics. The first issue set for discussion in this chapter is the issue of women’s participation in elections, citing two views of opposers and supporters, with criticising them with evidences. But in the end he accepts permission to women's participation in elections.
In respect of post of minister, he repeats first the meaning of ministry in the past and at present, turning then to cite the views of supporters and opposers with the proofs the both have presented. The author is of the opinion that there should be distinction among the ministries, since some of them agree with woman's affairs and some are not compatible, thus there being two views, the first of which being totally disapproved.
He considers women's being ambassadors among countries to be impermissible, because, in his view, this job necessitates things that are incompatible with a Muslim woman's nature and position.
Concerning women's judgeship, he quotes three views: a group believing in incompetence of woman for judgeship «being a judge», another group deeming woman's judgeship to be absolutely right, and the author believing judgeship to be permissible on part of women in cases other than punishment limits «hodood» and retaliation «qisaas».
The author regards the woman's undertaking jurisdiction affairs to be forbidden, deeming such work to be unfit
and incompatible with woman's duties in the house, her kindness and her mercy. Also he believes that woman's assuming state presidentship to be unfit for woman's conditions.
By Ibraaheem Mohammed Al-Jamal
First edition: Ad-Daar Al-Misriyyah Al-Lubnaaniyyah, Cairo, 1412H/1992AD». In two volumes, 307 +320 pages.
Woman's human evolution under the auspices of the Divine Shari'ah - Islam - is unquestionable. And the human areas spread by the Messenger of Allah (S) before the women can never be compared to the past time. Women's human maturity in two arenas, knowledge and moral behaviour, is something liable to investigation and proving. It can be found in the Qur’an, the Prophetic Sunnah and history of first era of Islam, and can be also debated in other stages of Muslims' history.
The holy Qur’an has opened and clarified the way of moral behaviour before the women to the extent that it remembering Mary and wife of Pharaoh as two examples and patterns for all believers «66: 11-12». Also it praised Mary with the most exalted terms
«He hath chosen thee and made thee pure». (Qur’an,3:42).
This manifestation of the Qur’an was so profitable that several gnostic and ascetic women shone throughout Islamic history. Abu Abd Ar-Rahmaan Salmah «325-412H.» has compiled the book Dhikr An-Niswah Al-Muta'abbidaat As-Sufiyyahat, citing in it names of eighty gnostic women. Abd Ar-Rahmaan Ahmad Jami' «817-898H.», in his book Nafahat Al-Uns(1), mentions names of gnostic women.
Women's perseverance on moral behaviour was so well-known that Az-Zuhri said in their description:
"No woman has ever apostatised after being faithful.”(2)
Further so many
women have attained to the highest degrees of knowledge. This can be also deemd as indebted to recommendations of the Qur’an and the Prophet's invitation to reservation of knowledge on part of women: “Seeking knowledge is a duty incumbent upon every Muslim man and Muslim women."(1) In this connection, learning, writing, narrating, scrutiny in sciences of Qur’an, hadith, Fiqh, and Osool, and alike are considered to be parts of this arena.
Here, under the pretext of introducing Jami' Masaanid An-Nisa I am going to set forth an account of the narrative role of women. In other words, an effort will be exerted to reiterate their notable contribution in safeguarding and spreading the legacy of traditions.
Men scholars hold that the narration reported by a woman is not rejected because its being reported by a woman. In this connection Ash-Shawkaani said: "It is never reported from anyone of the Ulamaa' that he disapproved any report by a woman due to her being a woman only, as many sunnahs have been approved and adopted by the Ummah, which were reported by one woman from among the Sahabah, the fact that can never be denied by anyone having the least knowledge of the Sunnah.(2)
Also no scholar has ever rejected any hadith reported by a woman just because it is reported by a woman, since the Ummah approved so many traditions reported by a woman. More than this, he claims that Adh-Dhahabi has said: "It is never reported from any woman that she has ever falsified
More than ten books were written with the title Musnad Fatimah or Mushaf Fatimah, containing narrations and speeches uttered by Fatimah Az-Zahra (a.s.), the daughter of the Prophet (S).(2) Also some other books with other titles were compiled in this field, like Nahj AI-Hayaat or Farhang Sukhanan Fatimah,(3) and 'Awaalim Sayyidat An-Nisa,(4) and others.
Badr Ad-Deen Zarkashi «d.794» has produced the book Al-Ijabah Li Irad Ma Istadrakathu 'A'ishah 'Ala As-Sahaabah,(5) gathering in it all the narrations said by 'A'ishah in criticism of the Companions. In this book ninety traditions are recorded showing objection against the Sahabah.
He says that Adh-Dhahabi has compiled a book under the title Akhbar Umml-Mu'mineen(6). Ibn Hajar Al-Asqallani (772-852H.,) has also written a book calling it Musnad 'A'ishah(7). In the book Mawsu'at Ummahaat Al-Mu'mineen, 1470 traditions, which were reported by the Prophet’s wives, are cited, categorised according to their subjects.(8)
Further there have been many women who were authorised to grant licenses with great men learning in their hadith schools Ibn Hajar Al-Asqallani holds eighty-one shaykhs licenses that he got from women. Ibn 'Asaakir, also used to acquire hadith in a school «maktab» run by a woman called Fatimah bint Al-Manja.(9) Also Ibn Al-Arabi «560-638H.» has got his narration license from Fakhr An-Nisa.(10) Further Al-Azhari and Al-Farra used to report hadith from a woman named Umm Salamah, and Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi used to study Saheeh Al-Bukhari under a woman called Karimah, and he with Sama’nai studied the same book under another woman named Muruziyyah.
Ibn Al-Jawzi also learnt Musnad Ash-Shafi'i
under a woman called Fatimah bint AI-Husayn, and others. (1)
In the contemporary history of Iran, the name of Lady Ameen is so notable. She has granted permits of narration to eminent dignitaries like Al-'Allamah Al-Amini, the author of Al-Ghadeer, and Ayatullah Al-Mara'shi An-Najafi.(2)
In many books on rijaal of the Shi'ah and Ahl As-Sunnah, a portion is allocated for exposing biography of woman narrators. As a sample I can refer to some Shi'i books:
1) Rijaal Ibn Dawood, by Ibn Dawood AI-Hilli, Ar-Razi publications, pp. 222-224, names of 22 woman narrators.
2) Tanqih Al-Maqal, by Abdallah Al-Mamaqani, Al-Murtazawiyyah press, Najaf, vol. III, pp. 69-83.
3) Mu'jam Rijaal Al-Hadith, by Ayatullah AI-Khui, Madinat Al-Ilm publications, vol. XXIII, pp. 170-20l, names of 134 woman narrators.
4) 'Alaam An-Nisa AI-Mu'minaat, by Muhammad Al-Hassoon, Uswah pubuconons, pp. 687-693, names of 148 woman narrators.
5) In the references of Rijaal «transmitters of hadith», a reference can be made to: Tahdheeb AI-Kamal, of Abul-Hajjaj, Daar Al-Fikr publications, Beirut, vol. XXlI, pp. 290-503», containing names of 256 woman narrators.
Other than these, many separate books have been written in which names of woman narrators are recorded, like:
• Muhaddithat Shi'ah, by Nahlah Gharawi Na'ini, University of Teachers Training, Tehran, 1996. This book is a Doctorate thesis exposing biography of 195 women narrators.
• Zanan Danishmand Wa Rawi Hadith, by Ahmad Sadiqi Ardasdistani, Islamic Propagation Bureau, Qum, 1996. In this work, 1 76 women narrators of hadith were subjected to study and investigation.
Now I present a brief account on the book Jami' Masaanid An-Nisa. It is a
name of a book in which traditions being reported that were collected by women. In this two-volume collection, 1752 unrepeated traditions are cited, of which 814 traditions appeared in volume I and 938 ones in volume II. Number of women who reported these traditions exceeded one hundred.
The books and references on which the author depended and from which he extracted the traditions, are twenty-eight. Here is their titles:
1. Saheeh Al-Bukhaari.
2. Saheeh Muslim.
3. Sunan Ibn Majah.
4. Saheeh Sunan Ibn Majah.
5. Mustadrak Al-Hakim.
6. Sunan Ad-Daraqutni.
7. Musanaf Ibn Abi Shaybah.
8. Saheeh Ibn Hayyan.
9. Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah.
10. Musnad Ash-Shafi'i.
11. Musnad Abi Hanifah.
12. Musanaf Abd Ar-Razzaq.
13. Musnad Ad-Daarimi.
14. Hilyat Al-Awliya'.
15. Saheeh Ibn Awwanah.
16. Sunan Al-Bayhaqi.
17. Sunan Abi Dawood.
18. Sunan At-Tirmidhi.
19. Saheeh Abi Dawood.
20. Musnad Ahmad.
21. AI-Fath Ar-Rabbani.
22. Mawt'a' Imam Malik.
23. Ma'ajim At-Tabarrani.
24. Musnad Abi Ya'ia.
25. Musnad Al-Bazzaz.
26. Nayl Al-Awtar.
27. Majma' Az-Zawa'id of Al-Haythami.
28. Jami' Al-Osool, of Ibn Al-Athir.
The first part of this book contains the narrations taken from Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim, and in the second part other traditions are recorded. The order and classification of traditions are done in the same manner as that of Saheeh Al-Bukhaari.
The author claims that the traditions whose weakness was widely known have not been stated in this book «vol. 2, p. B», In the introduction to volumes I II a brief account on the most distinguished women narrators is introduced. Number of women whose biographies are shown was forty, of whom 27 names appeared in volume I and thirteen names in volume II. A short biography
also of the Prophet's wives is given in the outset of volume I.
In the footnotes the author mentions the sources of traditions, adding to them details about chain of transmission «sound», narrators, and meaning of some words. He states that the traditions reported by 'A'ishah were 2210 ones «vol. l, p. l l », In the conclusion of the book he gives indices of notable women «'Alaam», with parties and themes of the traditions, for facilitating its use for readers.
It is clear that this book, with this extensive shape, can be considered novel and taken as a reference and basis for better and stronger works. Hence the effort of the author deserves appreciation and applause.
The sources used in this book, after the holy Qur’an, are: The sources used in this book, after the holy Qur’an, are:
1. Al-Ijaabah Li Irad Ma Istadrakathu 'A'ishah 'Ala As-Sahaabah, by Badr Ad-Deen Az-Zarkashi, revised by Sa'id Al-Afani, 1st edition, Al-Hashimiyyah press, Damascus 2nd edition, Al-Maktab AlIslami, Beirut, 1390H. /1970AD, in Arabic.
2. Ahkaam Al-Awrah Fil Fiqh Al-Islami.
3. Akhlaaq, Barroukh Espinozah, translated by Muhsin Jehangiri, in Persian.
4. Akhlaaq Dar Cheen Wa hind Bastan by I. Jamrah Shkeen, translated by Keywan, in Persian.
5. AlIsteea'ab, by Ibn Abd AlBarr, Daar AlJeel, Beirut, 1412H. /1992AD., in Arabic.
6. Usd AlGhaabah, by Ibn AlAthir, Dar Ihyaa At-Turath Al-Arabi, Beirut, in five volumes, in Arabic.
7. Anwaar AlMalakoot, in Arabic.
8. Banoy-Mujtahid Irani, by Nasir Baaqiri, Bidehindi, Islamic Propagation Bureau, Qum, 1992, in Persian.
9. Bihaar Al-Anwaar, by Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Islamiyyah Publications, Tehran,
110 volumes, in Arabic.
10. Bu'd Ijtimaa'i Islam, by Muhammad Isfandyari, 1st edition, Khurram pub., Qum, 1997, in Persian.
11. Bay'at An-Nabi Lil Nisa', by Muhammad Ali Qutub.
12. Taareekh Dimashq “Taraajum An-Nisa”, revision: Sukaynah Ash-Shahaabi, in Arabic.
13. Taareekh Libas, Rout Trimozvile Kaks, translated by: Shireen Bozorgmehr, Toos, Tehran, 1993, in Persian.
14. Tibyaan “Woman's Status in Imam Khomeini's thought”, eighth volume, Foundation of organising and publishing Imam Khomeini's works, Tehran.
15. Tahreer Al-Mar'ah Fi 'Asr Ar-Risaalah, by Abd Al-Haleem Muhammad Abu Shaqqah, Daar Al-Qalam, Kuwait, 1410H/1990AD., in Arabic.
16. Tahreer Al-Waseelah, by Imam al-Khomeini, Mu'assasat An-Nashr Al-Islami, Qum, in Arabic.
17. At-Tahreer Wat-Tanweer, in Arabic.
18. Tuhaf Al-Oqool, Ibn Shu'bah, 5th edition, Mu'assasat Al'Ala, Beirut, 1394H. /1974AD, in Arabic.
19. Tahawwul Farhangi Dar Jami'ah Pishrafta San'ati, Ronalah Ingehart, translated by Maryam Watar, in Persian.
20. Tazkirat Al-Huffaz, by Adh-Dhahabi, Dar Ihyaa At-Turath Al-Arabi, in Arabic.
21. Tazkirat Al-Fuqaha, by al-Allamah Al-Hilli, Al-Maktabah Ar-Razawiyyah, Tehran, in two volumes, in Arabic.
22. Taraajum A'laam An-Nisa'', by Muhammad Husayn Al'Alami, Mu'assasat Al'Alami Lil Matboo'at, Beirut, 1407H/1987AD., in Arabic.
23. Tarjuman Al-Ashwaq, by Ibn AlArabi.
24. Tasnif Ghurar Al-Hikam, by Mustafa Ad-Dirayati, Maktab Al'Alaam Al-Islami, Qum, in Arabic.
25. Tafseer Al-Muraghi, by Ahmad Mustafa Al-Muraghi, Dar Ihyaa At-Turaath Al-Arabi, Beirut, in Arabic.
26. At-Tafseer Al-Muneer, by Wahbah Az-Zuhayli, 1st edition, Daar Al-Fikr, Damascus, 1411H/1991AD, in Arabic.
27. Tafseer al-Imam al-Askari (A), Madrasat al-Imam Al-Mahdi, Qum, 1409H, in Arabic.
28. At-Tawheed, by Ash-Shaykh As-Sadooq, As-Sadooq Library, Tehran, in Arabic.
29. Al-Jami' As-Sagheer “Sunan At-Tirmidhi”, revised by: Ahmad Muhammad Shakir, Daar Ihyaa At-Turaath Al-Arabi, Beirut, in five volumes, in Arabic.
30. Jaygaah Zan Dar Qanoon,
Women's Affairs Bureau in President Office, Tehran, 1994, in Persian.
31. Jara'im Al-Adab Al'Ammah, by Muhammad Ahmad Abideen Muhammad Hamah Al-Qamhawi.
32. Jawahir Al-Kalam, by Muhammad Hasan An-Najafi, Daar Al-Kutub Al-Islamiyyah, Tehran, 43 volumes, in Arabic.
33. Juhud AlMar'ah Fi Nashr Al-hadith, by Salih Yousif Ma'tuq, Daar Al-Bashaa'ir Al-Islamiyyah, Beirut, 1418H/1997AD., in Arabic.
34. Al-Hayaat, by Muhammad Riza Al-Hakeemi Muhammad Al-Hakeemi and Ali Al-Hakeemi, Islamic Publications Bureau, Qum, in Arabic.
35. Da'irat Al-Ma'arif Al-Islamiyyah Ash-Shi'iyyah, by Hasan Al-Ameen, Beirut, 1393H/1973AD, in Arabic.
36. Adh-Dhari'ah Ila Tasaaneef Ash-Shi'ah, by Ash-Shaykh Aga Buzurg At-Tehraani, Al-Maktabah Al-Islamiyyah, Tehran, in Arabic.
37. Zikr An-Niswah Al-Muta'abbidaat As-Sufiyyat, by Abu Abd Ar-Rahmaan As-Salami, revised by: Mahmud Muhammad As-Sanahi, 1st edition, Al-Khanji Library, Cairo, 1413H/1993AD.
38. Rejal An-Najaashi, Ad-Dawari Library, Qum, in Arabic.
39. Rooh Al-Bayaan, by Ismaa'il Brousi, Al-Ja'fari Library, Tehran, in Arabic.
40. Rooh Ad-Deen Al-Islami, by Afeef Abd Al-Fattah Tabbarah.
41. Zanashui Wa Akhlaaq, in Persian.
42. Zan Bi Zan, Taareekh Banafshah Hijazi, Nashr Shahr Ashub, 1991, in Persian.
43. Zan Wa Ayinah Jalaal Wa Jamal, by Abdallah Jawadi Amuli, 2nd edition, Isra Publications, Qum, 1418H/1998AD, in Persian.
44. Zan Wa Payamawari, by Murtaza Faheem Kermani, 1st edition, Farhang Islami Publications, Tehran, 1992, in Persian.
45. Silsilat Al-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah, by Nasir Ad-Deen Al-Albani, 4th edition, Al-Maktab AlIslami, Beirut, 1405H/1985AD, in Arabic.
46. Silsilat Al-Ahaadeeth Az-Za'ifah Wal-Mawzu'ah, by Muhammad Nasir Ad-Deen Al-Albani, Maktabat Al-Ma'arif, Ar-Riyad, 1412H/1992AD, in Arabic.
47. Sunan Ibn Maaja, by Abu Abdallah Muhammad Ibn Yazid Al-Qazweeni, Daar Ihyaa At-Turath Al-Arabi, 1395H/1975AD, in Arabic.
48. Sunan Abi Dawood, by Sulayman Ibn Ash'ath As-Sijistani, Daar Ihyaa As-Sunnah AnNabawiyyah, in four volumes, in
Arabic. 49. Simaay Zan Dar Farhang Iran, by Jalaal Sattari, Nashr Markaz, Tehran, 1994, in Persian.
50. Sharh Qaysari Bar Fusus Al-Hikam, in Persian.
51. Shnaasnaameh Matbu'at Iran, in Persian.
52. Saheeh Al-Bukhaari, of al-Imam Al-Bukhari, Daar AlJeel, Beirut, 9 volumes, in Arabic.
53. Saheeh Muslim, exposition by An-Nawawi, 2nd edition, Daar Ihyaa AtTuraath AlArabi, Beirut, 1392H/1972AD, 18 volumes, in Arabic.
54. At-Tabaqaat Al-Kubra, by Ibn Sad, Dar Beirut, Beirut, 1405H/1985AD, 8 volumes, in Arabic.
55. Awaalim Sayyidat An-Nisa', by Abdallah Al-Bahrani Al-Isfahani, al-Imam AlMahdi Foundation, Qum.
56. Uyoon Al-Akhbar, by Ibn Qutaybah, Manshoorat Ash-Shareef Ar-Razi, Qum, 1415H/1994AD, in Arabic.
57. Fatimah Dar Ayinah Kitaab, by Isma'il Ansari Zanjani, 2nd edition, Al-Haadi Publications, Qum, 1996, in Persian.
58. Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, in Arabic.
59. Fath Al-Baari, by Ibn Hajar Al-Asqallani, 1st edition, Daar Al-Kutub Al'Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1410H, 13 volumes, in Arabic.
60. Fusul 'An Al-Mar'ah, by Hadi Al'Alawi, Daar Al-Kunooz Al-Adabiyyah, Beirut, 1996AD, in Arabic.
61. Fihrist Kitabkhanah Markazi Danishgah, in Persian.
62. Al-Fihrist, of Ibn An-Nadeem, revised by: Riza Tajaddud, Muhaqqiq Publications, 1350H, in Arabic.
63. Fihrist Mawzu'i Kutub Wa Maqalat Dar Bara Zan, Ministry of Islamic Guidance, 2nd edition, Tehran, 1986, in Persian.
64. Fi Zilaal Al-Qur’an, by Sayyid Qutub, 6th edition, Daar Ihyaa At-Turath Al-Arabi, Beirut, 1391H/1971AD, in Arabic.
65. Al-Kafi, of Muhammad Ibn Yaqoob Al-Kulayni, Daar Al-Kutub Al-Islamiyyah, Tehran, 8 volumes, in Arabic.
66. Kitabshinasi Athar Mazhabi Zanan Irani, Majid Farrukh Zadah, Mutahhar Publications, Tehran, 1994, in Persian.
67. Kitaab Muqaddas, Society of distribution of sacred books among nations, in Persian.
68. Al-Kitaab Al-Muqaddas, 1st edition, Holy Book Society in Lebanon, 1993, in Arabic.
Zan, index of books written and translated by women, “19791995”, Researching Department in Az-Zahra University, Tehran, 1995, in Persian.
70. Kashf Az-Zunoon, by Hajji Khalifah, Daar Al-Kutub Al'Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1413H/1992AD, in Arabic.
71. Kanz Al-Ummal, by Ala' Ad-Deen Al-Hindi, Ar-Risaalah Foundation, Beirut, 1409H/1989AD, in Arabic.
72. Al-Libaas Waz-Zeenah Min As-Sunnah Al-Mutahhrah, by Muhammad Abd Al-Hakeem AlQazi, Daar Alhadith, Cairo, 1409H/1989AD, in Arabic.
73. Lisaan Al-Arab, by Ibn Manzoor, 2nd edition, Daar Ihyaa At-Turath Al-Arabi, Beirut, 1413H/1992AD, in Arabic.
74. Majma' Al-Bayan, by Abu Ali At-Tabrsi, Al-Maktabah Al'Ilmiyyah Al-Islamiyyah, Tehran, 5 volumes, in Arabic.
75. Majma' Az-Zawaa'id, by Noor Ad-Deen Al-Haythami, 3rd edition, Daar Al-Kitaab Al-Arabi, Beirut, 1402H, 10 volumes, in Arabic.
76. Al-Mahajjah Al-Bayzaa, by Muhsin Al-Kashani, Islamic Publications Bureau, Qum, 8 volumes, in Arabic.
77. Mukhtasar Taareekh Dimashq, by Ibn Manzoor, Daar Al-Fikr, Damascus, 14041410H, 29 volumes, in Arabic.
78. Al-Mar'ah Al-Arabiyyah Fi Ad-Deen Wal-Mujtam'a, by Husayn Al-Awrat, Al-Ahali Press and Publications, Damascus, 1996AD, in Arabic.
79. Mas'alah Hijaab, by Murtaza Mutahhari, 42nd edition, Sadra Publications, Tehran, 1995AD, in Persian.
80. Mustadrak Al-Wasa'il, by Husayn Noori, Ismaa'iliyan Publications, Qum, 3 volumes, in Arabic.
81. Musnad Ahmad, of al-Imam Ahmad, Al-Maktab Al-Islami, Beirut, 1389H/1969AD, 6 volumes, in Arabic.
82. Musnad 'A'ishah, by Ibn Hajar Al-Asqallani, 1st edition, Maktabat As-Sunnah, Cairo, 1416H/1995AD, in Arabic.
83. Masadir An-Nizam Al-Islami, vol. VI, “woman and family”, by Abd Al-Jabbaar Ar-Rifa'i.
84. Masadir Nahj Al-Balaghah Wa Asaaneeduha, 3rd edition, by Sayyid Abd Az-Zahra Al-Husayni, Daar Al-Azwa, Beirut, 1405H/1985AD, in Arabic.
85. Al-Misbaah Al-Muneer, by Al-Fayyumi, 1347H/1929AD, 2 volumes, in Arabic.
86. Matbu'at Iran, in Persian.
87. Mu'jam Rijaal Alhadith, of Ayatullah Al-Khui, 4th
edition, Madinat Al'Ilm, Beirut, 1409H/1989AD, 23 volumes, in Arabic.
88. Al-Mufassal Fi Ahkaam Al-Mar'ah Wal-Bayt Al-Muslim, by Abd Al-Kareem Zaydaan, 2nd edition, Ar-Risaalah Foundation, Beirut, 1415H/1994AD, 11 volumes, in Arabic.
89. Al-Mufassal Fi Taareekh Al-Arab Qabl Al-Islam, by Jawad Ali, Daar Al-Ilm, Beirut, 11 volumes, in Arabic.
90. Mukaalamaat Kenfosios.
91. Mawsu'at Atraaf Al-hadith An-Nabawi, by Muhammad Zaghlool, Daar Al-Fikr, Beirut, 1410H/1989AD, in Arabic.
92. Mawsu'at Ummahaat Al-Mu'mineen, by Abd As-Sabur Shaheen, and Islah Abd AsSalam ArRifa'i, 1st edition, AzZahra Publications, Cairo, 1412H/1991AD, in Arabic.
93. Al-Mahatma Gandi.
94. Mizan Al'Itidaal, by Shams Ad-Deen Adh-Dhahabi, Daar Al-Kutub Al'Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1416H/1995AD, 7 volumes, in Arabic.
95. Mizan Al-Hikmah, by Muhammad Mahdi Rey Shahri, Daar Alhadith, Tehran, 1416H/1995AD, 5 volumes, in Arabic.
96. AlMizaan Fi Tafseer Al-Qur’an, by Muhammad Husayn At-Tabataba'i, Al'Alami Foundation, Beirut, 1403H/1983AD, 20 volumes, in Arabic.
97. Nashr Ad-Durr, by AbuSa'id Mansoor al-Hasan AlAbi “d.421H”, Al-Hayaat AlMisriyyah Al'Ammah LilKitab, Cairo, 1989AD, 6 volumes, in Arabic.
98. Nizam Hoqooq Zan Dar Islam, by Murtaza Mutahhari, 14th edition, Sadra Publications, Tehran, 1990, in Persian.
99. Nafahat Al-Uns, by Abd Ar-Rahmaan Ibn Ahmad Jami', revised by Mahdi Tawhidi Poor, Sa'di Bookshop, 1336H, in Persian.
100. Nahj Al-Hayaat or Farhang Sukhanan Fatimah, by Muhammad Dashti, Ameer Al-Mu'mineen Researches Foundation, Qum, 1993, in Persian.
101. Wasa'il Ash-Shi'ah, by Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan Al-Hurr Al-Amili, Al-Maktabah AlIslamiyyah, Tehran, 20 volumes, in Arabic.
102. Wafayaat Al'Ayaan, by Ibn Khalkan, Daar Sadir, Beirut, in Arabic.
1. Ayinah Pijohish, bimonthly, Islamic Propagation Bureau, Theological School in Qum, in Persian.
2. Payam Zan, a monthly, Islamic Propagation Bureau, Theological School in Qum, in Persian.
3. Hawzah, bimonthly, Islamic
Propagation Bureau, Theological School in Qum, in Persian.
4. Risalat AlIslam, a quarterly, Rapprochement Centre between Islamic Schools, Cairo, in Arabic. “not published any more”.
5. Kolak, an art cultural monthly of Mir Kisrah Hajj Sayyid Jawadi, in Persian.
6. Goftogo, a quarterly, Riza Thaqafi, in Persian.
7. Nada, a quarterly, Women Society of Iran, in Persian.
8. Noor 'Ilm, bimonthly, Clergy Society of Theological School in Qum, in Persian. “not published any more”.
9. Neema Digar, a quarterly, a cultural political and social journal for women.
10. Hamshahri, morning daily in Iran, issued by Tehran Municipality, in Persian.
Appeared in Fadak issue of Sha'ban 1420/1999
· When one marries a woman for her beauty only, Allah makes her beauty destruction for him.
· When one marries a woman for her wealth, Allah makes her wealth destruction for him.
· When one marries a woman for her social status, Allah makes her status destruction for him.
· When one marries a woman for her religion, then Allah given him all three encompasses in her beauty, wealth and social status.
A woman who adheres to the principles of Islam is required to follow the dress code called “hijaab”. its other definitions are veil, pardah (cover, barrier) or just covering. it is an act of faith and establishes a Muslim's life with honour, respect and dignity. The hijaab is regarded as liberation for woman, in that the covering brings about as aura of respect and woman are recognised as individuals who are admired for their mind and personality. They are not judged by
their beauty or its lack of and they are not treated as sex objects. The hijaab acts as a “barrier” between a woman and the opposite sex, although she retains her femininity, she does not display or exposes her sexuality.
When a woman follows the true Islam, she is free to be who she wants to be from within and express herself in her environment, whilst guaranteed to be immune from being portrayed as a sex symbol and lusted after. Islam exalts the status of a woman by commanding that she enjoys equal rights to those of a man in everything. She stands on an equal footing with man and both share mutual rights and obligations in all aspects of life.
· Islam believes that a woman is to be judged by her character and actions rather than by her looks or physical features.
The holy Qur’an teaches us that the only thing that makes one person better than the other is his or her character. In western world, the hijaab has come to symbolise either forced silence or unconscionable militancy. Actually, it is neither! It is simply a woman's assertion that judgement on her physical appearance is to play no role whatsoever in social interaction. When she covers herself, she puts herself on a higher level as her hijaab symbolises a religion and as a result men will tread cautiously in their approach and look upon her with respect. Instead of her physique and sexuality, she is being noticed for her intellect,
faith and personality.
· A Muslim woman may wear whatsoever she pleases in the presence of her husband and family - parents, aunts uncles, grandparents, brothers sisters, nephews nieces, motherinlaw, sons daughters - and amongst other females. But when she goes out, or when foreign men (other than those mentioned above) are present, she should practice her hijaab by covering her hair and all parts of the body and not reveal her figure.
We cannot elaborate on this subject without mentioning the effects of western trends on today's young Muslim woman. Youngsters living in the west are alarmingly being influenced by their surroundings, peer pressure and ironically, by some ulamas who pretend to be shi'ah but distort its true teachings by confirming that such outfits comply with the Islamic dress code.
· Please be advised that jeans, pants and other tight revealing outfits are not the Islamic hijaab and neither are Nike or Tommy Hilfiger trendy Hijabs, bodytight outfits or bright and attractive colours.
They are, in fact, a bad excuse and misrepresentation of hijaab. The idea of an Islamic dress code is to refrain from displaying anything that is beautifying - wearing make - up and dressing inappropriately defies the objective of hijaab. You cannot change, modify or improve upon the Islamic hijaab unless it is for a better and a stricter one. Islam has clear guidelines for the minimum requirement of a woman's hijaab:
· You may only show your face, hands up to the wrist, and the bottom
of your feet. If a woman's face is seductively beautiful, she cannot show her face to strange men. This is it! You either agree and do your best to follow or disagree and lag behind in this world and more so in the next one - as the word “Islam” clearly states, “surrender” to your Creator and all the rules of Islam.
The practice of an Islamic dress code is a big contrast compared to the western fashion which evolves year to intentionally product more seductive and revealing outfits that expose yet newer part of the body for the public gaze! The intention of every western dress is to expose the figure and display its owner whilst the intention of the Muslim dress is to dignify its owner and conceal and cover her flesh, at least from the public. A woman in Islam, is considered as valuable and precious as a jewel and should therefore be kept like one - safe.
A Muslim woman does not feel the pressure to be beautiful or attractive. She does not have to live up to the expectation of what is desirable and what is not. Superficial beauty for the public is not her concern. Her main goal is her inner beauty - she does not have to use her charms and vital statistics to progress or gain recognition within society.
Another benefit of the hijaab is protection.
· Muslims believe that when a woman displays her beauty, she degrades herself by becoming an object of sexual desire
and consequently vulnerable to men who would look upon her as “gratification for their sexual desires.”
The hijaab makes her out as a lady belonging to the class of modest chaste women and whilst she behaves accordingly, transgressors and sensual men recognise them as such and dare not tease out of mischief.
When a man receives mixed signals from the way a woman reveals her body, he may be misled to believe that she desires his advances. Hijaab solves the problems of sexual harassment and uninvited sexual advances which are greatly demeaning for woman.
According to the Qur’an, the same high standards of moral conduct are required from men as they are required from women. Islam also commands proper behaviour and dress code for men. They too must dress modestly and their special commandment is to lower their years and not to brazenly stare at women.
In Surat An-Noor of the holy Qur’an, it says:
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; That will make for greater purity for them, and god is well acquainted with what they do”.
If both sexes adhere to their individual Islamic dress codes, corruption would gradually diminish within society.
In the name of Allah
Are those who know equal to those who do not know?
Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan, from 2007, under the authority of Ayatollah Haj SayyedHasanFaqihImami (God blesses his soul), by sincere and daily efforts of university and seminary elites and sophisticated groups began its activities in religious, cultural and scientific fields.
Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan in order to facilitate and accelerate the accessibility of researchers to the books and tools of research, in the field of Islamic science, and regarding the multiplicity and dispersion of active centers in this field
and numerous and inaccessible sources by a mere scientific intention and far from any kind of social, political, tribal and personal prejudices and currents, based on performing a project in the shape of (management of produced and published works from all Shia centers) tries to provide a rich and free collection of books and research papers for the experts, and helpful contents and discussions for the educated generation and all classes of people interested in reading, with various formats in the cyberspace.
Our Goals are:
-propagating the culture and teachings of Thaqalayn (Quran and Ahlulbayt p.b.u.t)
-encouraging the populace particularly the youth in investigating the religious issues
-replacing useful contents with useless ones in the cellphones, tablets and computers
-providing services for seminary and university researchers
-spreading culture study in the publich
-paving the way for the publications and authors to digitize their works
-acting according to the legal licenses
-relationship with similar centers
-avoiding parallel working
-merely presenting scientific contents
-mentioning the sources
It’s obvious that all the responsibilities are due to the author.
Other activities of the institute:
-Publication of books, booklets and other editions
-Holding book reading competitions
-Producing virtual, three dimensional exhibitions, panoramas of religious and tourism places
-Producing animations, computer games and etc.
-Launching the website with this address: www.ghaemiyeh.com
-Fabricatingdramatic and speech works
-Launching the system of answering religious, ethical and doctrinal questions
-Designing systems of accounting, media and mobile, automatic and handy systems, web kiosks
-Holding virtual educational courses for the public
-Holding virtual teacher-training courses
-Producing thousands of research software in three languages (Persian, Arabic and English) which can be performed in computers, tablets and cellphones and available and downloadable with eight international formats: JAVA, ANDROID, EPUB, CHM, PDF, HTML, CHM, GHB on the website
-Also producing four markets named “Ghaemiyeh Book Market” with Android, IOS, WINDOWS PHONE and WINDOWS editions
We would appreciate the centers, institutes, publications, authors and all honorable friends who contributed their help and data to us to reach the holy goal we follow.
Address of the central office:
Isfahan, Abdorazaq St, Haj Mohammad JafarAbadei Alley, Shahid Mohammad HasanTavakkoly Alley, Number plate 129, first floor
Central office Tel: 03134490125
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Introduction of the Center – Ghaemiyeh Digital Library