chapter 4

CHAPTER 4


Womanís Position in Human History and Islam


Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said:

Most benefits come from women.[Vasa'il-al-Shia, v.14, p.11]

Mental Deviation of Corrupt Men Regarding
Women

Haughty tribes and nations which lived without following God's teachings preached by the Prophets and mentioned in the scriptures all suffered from mental deviation regarding humankind and all world affairs. They made wrong judgments about Creation and nearly all creatures. They stated incorrect things based on their wrong impressions and unjust judgments; thus they lived a life full of oppression both to themselves and others. The pages of life history were hideously portrayed by them.
Among these judgments were the wrong ones concerning women they were against morality and humanity and facts. After studying books on this issue written in the West and the East, I came to the conclusion that the nations which lived without fear of God and revelations, thought incorrectly and were drowning in carnal desires, making ten oppressive judgments which were illogical and inhumane.
1.) A woman is completely weak and helpless, thus she must obey her husband in all affairs without any questions. She does not have the right to interfere in daily affairs, even in the home matters.
2.) Woman is a creature with a satanic soul. Thus she is not human or if any attention is to be paid to her, she must be treated as something between human and animal. Therefore, she is worthless, deserves no respect and lacks a personality.
3.) She cannot own any positions but can only own a few things, if the man wishes so.


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4.) She receives no inheritance but she is to be inherited after the death of her father or husband.
5.) She does not have the right to worship or enter the spiritual domain. Her worshipping is worthless because she is weak in mind and is whimsical.
6.) She does not deserve legal attachment to her father and son, and the only link between them is blood.
7.) Once married, her children are not the grandchildren of her father. Alienation of her children and her father is certain since the family relations continue through the male children.
8.) On death, she is quite different from the man, since the man is immortal upon death. Woman, however, terminates once dead.
9.) She is an object to be used by the man just as his material property. He can loan her, rent her, donate her, sell her, dismiss her or even murder her.
10.) She is a tool to satisfy man's lust. There is no legal limit in the way men exploit women. Europe and America which are far from God's revelations, have gone so far that woman is considered to be a commodity to be used to attract more customers for the cinemas, television, video, satellite and various journals. Among these the pornographic ones have the most income.

Islam's Response to the Corrupt Men's Mental
Deviations Regarding Women

Islam is a divine religion and a way of life. The Islamic culture is in harmony with all human values and humanity. Islamic laws are decreed by God who has created man and knows all about man's nature. God has decreed laws based on man's nature and has guided him to facts he must realize.
Islam's responses to the above ten absurd statements regarding women which have been made during the past ages are as follows:
1.) Woman's creation and her existence is exactly similar to man's; and she is exactly the same as God has willed. She is truly human as stated in the following verses of the Glorious Quran:
We have indeed created man in the best of moulds,[Holy Quran: Tin 95:4]
(Such is) the artistry of God, Who disposes of all things in perfect order: for He is well acquainted with all that ye do. [Holy Quran: Naml 27:88]
He Who has made everything which He has created. [Holy Quran: Sajda 32:7]
2.) She has a purely divine and human soul which God has breathed into her. She has especial privileges due to this soul and she is the source of perfection. Her soul is no different from that of man. Her identity is the same as man's identity and her essence is similar to man's.


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O mankind ! reverence your Guardian-Lord, Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women; [Holy Quran: Nisaa 4:1]
And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them. [Holy Quran: Rum 30:21]
Imam Baqir (Pbuh) has been quoted as saying that God created Eve from the remaining clay from which He created Adam [Tafsir-i-Ayashy].
The above-mentioned verses indicate that the creation of man and woman is in no way different. She has nothing less than man. Her soul is the soul that God breathed into her. She is a perfect creature who can use God's guidance and her talents, soul, mind and nature to reach the highest spiritual position. She may also ignore all facts and degrade to the lowest point.
3.) She has the right to ownership, and whatever she righteously earns is hers. Her rights to ownership are exactly similar to those of man's.
That man can have nothing but what he strives for. [Holy Quran: Najm 53:39]
Truly an individual owns what he earns by his/her own hard work and diligent efforts. This is a God-given right for both man and woman in this world and in the Hereafter.
It is not lawful for you, (Men), to take back any of your gifts (from your wives). [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:229]
Imam Sadiq has been quoted as saying: "Three acts are considered to be robbery: being too jealous to pay the alms tax; not paying the wife's nuptial gift and borrowing money with the intention of not paying it back. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.100, p.349.]
Those of you who die and leave widows should bequeath for their widows a year's maintenance and residence. [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:240]
Apart from the nuptial gift and the expenses in a man's will due to the widow after his death, God in His decree to men after divorcing their wives states:
For divorced women maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous. [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:241]
4.) A woman has the right to inherit from her father, her mother, her husband and her offspring. It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if he leave any goods, that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage. [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:180]
From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large, - a determinate share. [Holy Quran: Nisaa 4:7]
This noble verse is opposed to the erroneous habits and customs which deprive women and children of the most certain right of inheritance. This oppressive


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custom was practiced by the Arabs. The magnificent verse canceled the Arab's treasonous custom.
5) A woman's worship of God is precisely the same as man's in God's sight. It is praiseworthy and dear. Men do not have especial rights to Heaven and divine rewards. It is stated in the Glorious Quran:
Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new life, a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions. [Holy Quran: Nahl 16:97]
It is clearly understood from this noble verse that the only criteria approved by God is the faith and good deeds of man being the product of his faith. There are no other conditions such as sex, age, race, tribe or social status for attaining a pure life and the reward of the Hereafter. The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
Four ladies are the noblest in Paradise: Khadijah, the daughter of Khovayled, Fatimah the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), Mary the daughter of Omran, and Asia the daughter of Muzahim.
It is certain that should a woman be a servant of God, and a worshipper, she will have God's reward and a pure life near God; and if she tends to corruption and becomes agnostic like some corrupt men, then her abode will be Eternal Torture. As the Glorious Quran states in the following verse, the wives of Noah and Lot are to be tortured forever and abide in Hell.
God sets forth, for an example to the unbelievers, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot: They were (respectively) under two of our righteous servants, but they were false to their (husbands), and they profited nothing before God on their account, but were told: Enter ye the fire along with (others) that enter! [Holy Quran: Tahrim 66:10]
The Chapter Mary and the Chapter Dahr and the verses about the believing wife of Pharaoh in the Holy Quran, all show that women possess a noble position in regards to worship, and can benefit from a great reward in the Hereafter. This all strongly defeats those who have repeatedly claimed during the past ages that woman's worship has no value in any religion and for God.
6) Women are the offspring of their own parents and the mothers of their own children and no one can deprive them of this right, as this is oppressive. The Holy Quran considers girls to be similar to boys in being their parents' offspring. Once women marry and have children, they are considered as the mothers of their children.
The Quran expresses God's anger about the Arabs' crime of burying their daughters alive and considered it to be an oppressive act:
Kill not your children on a plea of want. [Holy Quran: An'am 6:151]
The Quran has clearly stated that daughters are your offspring and in the verse related to inheritance it states:
God (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male a portion equal to that of two females. [Holy Quran: Nisaa 4:11]


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It has clearly referred to daughters as offspring and has provided an undeniable answer to the idle talkers of history. Women are the mothers of their own children and it is stated in the Glorious Quran:
The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years. [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:233]
The Holy Quran has stated about the story of Moses:
So we sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses. [Holy Quran: Qasas 28:7]
The Prophet (Pbuh) stated the following about his daughter Hazrat Fatimah Zahra (Pbuh):
Fatimah is a chip off the old block. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.43, p.23]
And in another tradition he said:
Our children, whether they be boys or girls, are in our bloodline. [Safinat ul-Bihar, v.8, p.580.]
7.) Without any doubt a woman's children are the grandchildren of her father. The noteworthy attention paid by Muhammad, the Prophet (Pbuh) to Hassan and Husayn, being his two dearest grandchildren, is a clear rejection of the statement of the ignorant idle talkers of history stating that a daughter's children are not the grandchildren of her father. According to the Islamic jurisprudence, the one whose mother is a Sayyedeh8. is certainly related to His Holiness.9 And the noble Shiite scholar Sayyid Murteza has decreed that one can pay the one-fifth levy to people who are related to the Prophet (Pbuh) on their mother's side.
8.) A woman does not terminate after death, but rather she has an eternal life just like men. If she is a good servant of God, she will abide in Heaven forever and if she does not worship God, she will abide in Hell forever. Over one thousand Quranic verses related to the Hereafter clearly prove this matter.
9.) Woman is not a commodity, but rather as the verses of God's Book have clearly expressed she is an intelligent, strong-willed creature who is exactly the same as man in terms of nature and creation. She benefits from all human and divine privileges and characteristics.
10.) Woman is not an object to be consumed and satisfy man's lust, but rather she is man's partner who establishes half of their life together. She is the critical element in the continuance of the human race. If a man marries a woman with pure intentions, it is considered to be a type of worship. And if he treats her properly, he can earn the reward of the Hereafter as it is stated in the Glorious Quran:
Your wives are as a tilth unto you; So approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear God, and
____________
8 in the Prophet Muhammad's bloodline
9 The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)


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know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter) and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.[Holy Quran: Baqara 2:3]
Using the expression "tilth" in the above-mentioned verse, God wants to show the necessity of the existence of women in human society and show that they are not means to satisfy lust, but rather are the pure means to maintain the human race. This is a serious warning to those who consider women to be sensual means. By "doing some good act for your souls beforehand" it is meant to send some supplies ahead for the Hereafter by making love to your wives.
This points to the fact that the ultimate objective of sexual intercourse is not self-fulfillment, and the believers should use this act to bear and raise good children. They should consider this holy act to be a spiritual supply for the Hereafter. So the Quran admonishes us to choose our spouse in such a way that will result in raising well-behaved children which will be a great social and human reserve.
Since the subject up for discussion in the beginning of the verse is sexual intercourse, being man's most attractive instinct, God has admonished man with the phrase "and fear God" so that he pays attention to God's decrees in regards to sexual intercourse. And at the end of the verse God warns us that on the Day of Judgment we will rush to meet God and see the results of our own actions. By using the phrase - "and give these good tidings to the believers" - God gives encouragement to the believers who submit to these decrees, thereby benefiting in their worldly and spiritual lives.[Tafsir i-Nimuneh, v.1, p.97]
The glory and value of this center of love is expressed in an extremely important tradition from Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) saying:
When Eve was created, Adam said to God - " Who is this gorgeous creature whose proximity and gazing at her saves me from loneliness and makes me get used to her. He was answered, " She is my slave girl. Would you like her to stay with you, to be your companion and your friend? And would you like her to satisfy your rightful desires? " Adam answered in the positive. He was told, "then thank me for the companion I gave you as long as you live." [Vasa'il-al-Shia, v.14, p.2]
Therefore a righteous woman and a loyal wife is one of God's blessings which requires praise and gratitude throughout life. Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said:
Most benefits come from women. [Vasa'il-al-Shia, v.14, p.11]
This is a wonderful tradition which considers women as the source of most benefits. Upon marrying a woman, a man fulfills the conditions of half of his religion. Respecting her rights is considered to be worshipping God. Being kind to her is considered to be obeying God. Having well-behaved children from her is considered to be as a supply for the Hereafter. Serving her is a means of satisfying God. According to Muhammad the Prophet, a woman who is a mother has Heaven under her feet. These are all part of the benefits that Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said come from women.


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I admonish young men who intend to get married, those who have married and believing men to pay attention to these divine facts and to seriously avoid denying a woman her rights. They should realize the highly valuable jewel10 they have married. I also admonish young women who intend to get married, those who have married, and all the distinguished women to realize their worth considering these facts. They should praise and thank God the Benevolent for their being women. They should be good and righteous spouses for their husbands based on the guidance from the Holy Quran, the statements of the Prophet (Pbuh) and the Noble Imams. They ought to use their pure sensations and feelings in being women, wives and mothers, and should obey divine decrees in all of life affairs so as to have a healthy home and family, pure and well-behaved children and a happy and secure life. Thus, they can attain God's pleasure and fill their lives with pleasure, happiness, beauty and sweetness by means of their actions, principles of morality and behavior.

Another Look at History Regarding Womenís Life
and Status

The men of the Age of Ignorance were terribly brutal to women. They lived in ignorance of God's logic, illumination and revelation and condemned women to be a means for man's life of capricious desires. They viewed women as being the main factor for supplying all of their lustful pleasures. These men thought reading and writing to be dangerous for women and would not let them leave the house to carry out daily affairs or visit relatives. Men restricted the woman's place for living to the four walls of her home, and considered her to be a creature lacking any will as opposed to men who could do anything they wanted.
In the Christian neighborhood where the people were completely deviated from God's religion, it was said:
The mouth of a woman should be muffled just as that of a dog.
Those Christians doubted whether the woman had the spirit of a human or of an animal.
In Africa woman was considered to be goods and wealth and the Africans did not consider her any better in worth than a cow or sheep. Whoever had more numbers of women was known to be the wealthiest. It was a normal affair to buy and sell women and use them in ploughing the land.
In Chaldea and Babylon women were sold just as all other goods were. Every year a bazaar was set up so as to sell the young girls who had reached the age of marriage.
In India, girls were married off at the age of five and no rights were due to them. They considered a woman's life subject to the man's. Woman was thought to be
____________
10 woman

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an uninvited guest for the man. When her husband died, she was incinerated with him. No creature was thought to be inferior to a widow.
Nowadays as it is written in the newspapers, many Indians kill their daughters in childhood since they are afraid they cannot buy their trousseaux.
In China and Tibet women had no other right except to do housework at home. So as to keep a woman from walking normally, her feet were bound in a metal frame after birth. Upon reaching fifteen years of age the frame was removed.
In Greece the center of knowledge and philosophy, it was thought to be a crime for a woman to bear a female baby. The second time she bore a girl she was prosecuted in court and condemned to pay a fine and the third time she was sentenced to death.
As the Glorious Quran states, burying girls alive in Arabia was a normal case:
When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) in contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! What an evil (choice) they decide on! [Holy Quran: Nahl 16:58-59]
The above descriptions are only some of the crimes which ignorant and stupid men allowed to commit in regards to women. Details of these matters have been registered in books on the subject of women's lives and you may refer to these sources.
Also you have read about the opinion of the Divine Religion Islam about women in the ten points mentioned above. Let's take a look at how the Quran and religious traditions treat the subject of woman in the following categories:
MOTHER (Umm): the source of everything - mother [Holy Quran: Qasas 28:7]
TILTH (Harath): the means by which the human race survives [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:23]
Garments (Lebas): the garment for life [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:187]
Pacifier (Taskeen): the cause for peace of mind [Holy Quran: Rum 30:21]
Sweet Basil (Rayhaneh): an elegant sweet-smelling flower [Traditions quoted in Vasa'il-al-Shia, chapter on offspring]
Blessing (Ne'mat): God's favor [Ibid]
Men and youth, whether they be married or intend to get married, must pay more attention to the spiritual status and benefits of the existence of this beautiful and beneficial creation of God. They must know that chaste women have borne the Prophets, the Imams, the Saints, the sages, the mystics, the judges, the writers, the great jurisprudents and the good-doers among God's servants. Women are the source of all goodness and blessings in people's lives.
Dear fathers and mothers must be very careful to polish the characters of their daughters and devotedly train their children divinely and humanly as much as possible. Husbands must respect all the rights of their spouses with dignity and


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manners. Thus, women become ready to raise the next generation properly after being raised properly by their parents and their rights being observed by their husbands. Thus, human society will be spiritually fed in the best way.
Is it not true that a young Christian woman who was captured in war finally arrived at Imam Hady's house? Did she not give birth to the 12th Imam (who shall spread universal justice), after receiving divine training by the 10th Imam and Hazrat Hakimeh Khatoon?
Women are the source of all perfection and potential truths which will be realized upon receiving the light of guidance, revelations and having a good instructor. And they will become the source of everlasting feats and eternal resources.
Belittling a woman, attacking her personality, enforcing limits upon her beyond the wise religious decrees and torturing her are all disapproved of by the religion: these deeds are considered to be some sort of disgusting and terrible oppression. The same is true for not allowing her to visit her parents and relations, facing with her with a sour face, bringing home the husbandís daily tiredness and work problems and not fulfilling her instincts, especially her sexual ones.
If you want to base your lives upon love and kindness, respect the woman's personality, tell her you love her, ask her about herself, assist her in house duties, avoid bothering her and forgive some of her actions which result from her tiresome housework and her physical limitations. This way you can experience the sweetness of life and you have really worshipped God the Benevolent in the best way.
Woman is the source of all goodness and the field for cultivating humanity. She is your garment in life, the source of peace of mind, the delicate flower in the rose garden of Creation. You have beside you one of God's blessings. The Noble Prophet of Islam (Pbuh) compared the love for women to the love for sweet smells and prayer:
What I love in the world is woman and sweet smells. And the apple of my eye is prayer. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.218]
If one observes the rights of woman, respects her personality and brings forth praiseworthy offspring, then his file of good deeds does not come to an end - even after his death. He will benefit from the good deeds of his well-behaved children after his death.
The Prophet (Pbuh) stated:
When an individual dies, his/her actions come to an end unless three things take place:
1) He/she has committed some beneficial actions which will last forever.
2) He/she has taught others some knowledge which they would benefit from.
3) He/she has raised exemplary children who pray for him/her.


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Therefore, mothers and fathers must realize the worth of their daughters. Men must appreciate their pure and praiseworthy spouses. Taking care of female children and wives is a source of benefit in this world and in the Hereafter for men.