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Uthman
09-27-2008, 01:17 PM
Quran underscores complete equality

Saturday, September 27, 2008 By Mohammed Elfiki

This article is in response to a column entitled "Sharia law spreads influence," by Cal Thomas, which you published in July.

Once again, Mr. Thomas is spreading misunderstanding about Islam. He has written a piece that takes a naive view about Sharia law. He has made Islam look like a religion that is against women's rights. In fact, Islamic law protects women more than any other laws.

The Quran provides clear evidence that woman is completely equated with man in the sight of God in terms of her rights and responsibilities. ("Whoever does good, whether male or female, and he is a believer, we will most certainly make him live a happy life, and we will most certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did.")

Woman, according to the Quran, is not blamed for Adam's first mistake. Both were wrong, both repented, and both were forgiven. In one verse, Adam was specifically blamed. ("Then they both ate of it, so their evil inclinations became manifest to them, and they both began to cover themselves with leaves of the garden, and Adam disobeyed his Lord, so his life became evil (to him).")

Islam gave women a variety of rights 1,400 years ago. In Islamic law, women have an unqualified right to own property, a right that does not change in marriage. She is also free to dispose of her property in any way she likes, without consulting anyone. A Muslim woman is not required to change her maiden name in marriage, a symbolic demonstration that even in marriage, Islam recognizes her independence. It was not until the late 1870s in England (and later elsewhere in Europe) that married women achieved the right to enter contracts and own property.

In most cases in Islamic law, the female's share of inheritance is half that of the male's share. However, women are less burdened financially. Men are financially responsible for all the female dependents in the family. Women do not have any financial obligations. Even if the wife is rich, she is not required to spend a penny on the household. The full responsibility for her food, clothing, housing, medication, recreation, etc., is her husband's.

Domestic violence is rare in a typical Muslim family. Every husband knows that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, never hit a woman in his life. He actually said, "The most perfect believers are the best in conduct, and the best of you are those who are best to their wives."

In Islam, a woman cannot be forced to marry anyone without her consent. A woman can also marry without parental approval according to the Hanafi school, which is taking place in Muslim countries such as Egypt. When the continuation of marriage relationship is impossible for any reason, men are still taught to seek a gracious end for it.

A divorced woman has the right to custody of the children. If she gets remarried, custody goes to her mother, if she is alive. If not, then custody goes to the mother of the father, then to the adult sisters of the children, then to the aunts.

No wonder three-quarters of those who revert to Islam in a country like Britain are women. No wonder, also, why the most senior judge in England, Lord Phillips, declared Islamic legal principles in Sharia law may be used within Muslim communities in Britain to settle marital arguments and regulate finance.

Mohammed Elfiki, of Syracuse, is a graduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, and an Islamic studies scholar.

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The Ruler
09-27-2008, 01:45 PM
:sl:

Islam gave women a variety of rights 1,400 years ago. In Islamic law, women have an unqualified right to own property, a right that does not change in marriage. She is also free to dispose of her property in any way she likes, without consulting anyone.
Could you provide a hadith to prove this?
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Silver
09-27-2008, 01:46 PM
Nice article :)
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Silver
09-27-2008, 01:55 PM
Could you provide a hadith to prove this?
Here is some proof from the Holy Quran:

A Muslim woman possesses independent legal, economic and spiritual identity, and independence. The Qur’an notes that women “shall be legally entitled to their share” (Qur’an 4:7) and that “to men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn” (Qur’an 4:32). Only if women choose to transfer their property can men regard it as lawfully theirs (Qur’an 4:4). The Islamic laws supporting property rights of women are drawn from a variety of fields such as family law (marriage/dower, inheritance, and guardianship), property law (gifts, endowments/trusts (awaqf), sale and hire) and economic law (right to work, income) as well as public law.

www.unhabitat.org/downloads/docs/3546_30551_ILP%205.doc

Check this link for more on women's rights in Islam.
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Uthman
09-27-2008, 01:59 PM
JazakAllah Khayr Ukhti.
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Malaikah
09-27-2008, 02:04 PM
:sl:

Nice article mashaAllah!

A divorced woman has the right to custody of the children. If she gets remarried, custody goes to her mother, if she is alive. If not, then custody goes to the mother of the father, then to the adult sisters of the children, then to the aunts.
Say what now? I've never heard that before... :?
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Ali.
09-27-2008, 03:01 PM
Thanks for sharing.

I thought it was going to be another Channel 4 program :(. Lol but thanks anyway :p.
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Uthman
10-09-2008, 04:15 PM
Originally Posted by Malaikah
:sl:

Nice article mashaAllah!



Say what now? I've never heard that before... :?
Wa 'Alaykum As-salaam,

It's new to me as well. But hey, who am I to argue with a graduate from Al-Azhar? :D
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ASeeker
10-09-2008, 05:16 PM
Is the word of a woman equal to the word of a man in an Islamic court?
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Uthman
10-09-2008, 05:59 PM
Greetings ASeeker,

Originally Posted by ASeeker
Is the word of a woman equal to the word of a man in an Islamic court?


Question:

Why are two witnesses who are women, equivalent to only one witness who is a man ?

Answer by Dr. Zakir Naik:

It is not true that two female witnesses are always considered as equal to only one male witness. It is true only in certain cases. There are about five verses in the Qur’an that mention witnesses, without specifying male or female. There is only one verse in the Qur’an, that says two female witnesses are equal to one male witness. This verse is Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 282. This is the longest verse in the Qur’an and deals with financial transactions. It says:

"Oh! ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligation in a fixed period of time reduce them to writing and get two witnesses out of your own men and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses so that if one of them errs the other can remind her." [Al-Qur’an 2:282]

This verse of the Qur’an deals only with financial transactions. In such cases, it is advised to make an agreement in writing between the parties and take two witnesses, preferably both of which should be men only. In case you cannot find two men, then one man and two women would suffice.

For instance, suppose a person wants to undergo an operation for a particular ailment. To confirm the treatment, he would prefer taking references from two qualified surgeons. In case he is unable to find two surgeons, his second option would be one surgeon and two general practitioners who are plain MBBS doctors.

Similarly in financial transactions, two men are preferred. Islam expects men to be the breadwinners of their families. Since financial responsibility is shouldered by men, they are expected to be well versed in financial transactions as compared to women. As a second option, the witness can be one man and two women, so that if one of the women errs the other can remind her. The Arabic word used in the Qur’an is ‘Tazil’ which means ‘confused’ or ‘to err’. Many have wrongly translated this word as ‘to forget’. Thus financial transactions constitute the only case in which two female witnesses are equal to one male witness.

However, some scholars are of the opinion that the feminine attitude can also have an effect on the witness in a murder case. In such circumstances a woman is more terrified as compared to a man. Due to her emotional condition she can get confused. Therefore, according to some jurists, even in cases of murder, two female witnesses are equivalent to one male witness. In all other cases, one female witness is equivalent to one male witness. There are about five verses in the Qur’an which speak about witnesses without specifying man or woman.

While making a will of inheritance, two just persons are required as witnesses. In Surah Maidah chapter 5 verse 106, the Glorious Qur’an says:

"Oh you who believe! When death approaches any of you, (take) witnesses among yourself when making bequests."[Al-Qur’an 5:106]

Two just persons of your own (brotherhood) or other from outside if you are journeying through the earth and the chance of death befalls you."[Al-Qur’an 65:2]


Two persons endued with justice in case of talaq."Four witnesses are required in case of charge against chaste women, [Al-Qur’an 24:4]

There are some scholars who are of the opinion that the rule of two female witnesses equal to one male witness should be applied to all the cases. This cannot be agreed upon because one particular verse of the Qur’an from Surah Noor chapter 24, verse 6 clearly equates one female witness and one male witness:

"And those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own their solitary evidence can be received."[Al-Qur’an 24:6]


Hazrat Ayesha (RA) hadith narrated of one witness

Many jurists agree that even one witness of a woman is sufficient for the sighting of the crescent of the moon. Imagine one woman witness is sufficient for one of the pillars of Islam, i.e. fasting and the whole Muslim community of men and women agree and accept her witness! Some jurists say that one witness is required at the beginning of Ramadaan and two witnesses at the end of Ramadaan. It makes no difference whether the witnesses are men or women.

Some incidents require only female witness and that of a male cannot be accepted. For instance, in dealing with the problems of women, while giving the burial bath i.e. ‘ghusl’ to a woman, the witness has to be a woman.

The seeming inequality of male and female witnesses in financial transactions is not due to any inequality of the sexes in Islam. It is only due to the different natures and roles of men and women in society as envisaged by Islam.
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