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Ansar Al-'Adl
08-11-2006, 10:04 PM
:sl: and Greetings,
This is a new series of articles that I have started working on. I'll post the new ones here as they are finished inshaa'Allah.

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Ansar Al-'Adl
08-11-2006, 10:04 PM
Muslim Women: Concept of Equality

By : Ansar Al-'Adl
Before discussing the concept of equality and how it relates to men and women in Islam, we need to make an important distinction. Many people who speak about equality presume that this should be reflected in treating two groups exactly the same. However, this is manifestly not always the proper thing to do. People's needs, strengths, abilities and disabilities need to be accommodated and considered as opposed to subjecting all to a single standard that may only be suitable for a few.

Thus we need to make a distinction between the superficial procedural equality and the substantive equality, which is justice. Most societies recognize that the important thing is not to focus on superficial procedural equality but to provide substantive equality for all its citizens, which treats them justly according to their needs and circumstances. Human beings favor substantive equality over procedural equality on a daily basis because we recognize that the former allows for justice. We accommodate in our workplaces, schools, and commercial areas, those with disabilities. We recognize the need for social services to take care of the impoverished in the society, while the wealthy are subject to taxes. We give extra attention and consideration to those experiencing emotional, psychological, or physical difficulties in their lives. All of this is substantive equality, equity and justice.

Men and Women
When it comes to men and women, everyone recognizes that there are inherent indisputable differences between men and women. They are not identical; men and women are naturally different in many ways. As a result, it does not follow logically to neglect those differences and advocate a single standard in matters where they are not the same. That may be procedural equality, but it is not substantive equality. For example, it would be unjust for a husband to suggest that his wife work equally as hard as he does when she is pregnant. Justice is served by recognizing the burden of pregnancy and the need for the husband to adjust accordingly. There are obvious biological differences - men experience neither menstrual periods nor childbirth while women generally live longer and have less health problems at an elderly age. The AARP Bulletin published an article on 8 health differences between men and women:
When it comes to health, differences between men and women extend well beyond their attitude toward getting annual checkups and needed treatment. In case men need a few reasons to make a doctor's appointment, they should consider the following:
  • The life expectancy for men in the United States, 74.4, is a little more than five years shorter than for women, 79.8.
  • Cancer kills men at a higher rate than it kills women.
  • Of those killed by heart disease before age 65, 70 percent are men.
  • Sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder that causes breathing to stop and start repeatedly during sleep, is more common in men than women.
  • Four times as many men die by suicide, the number-eight cause of death among men.
  • Men are 50 percent more likely than women to develop coronary heart disease after age 40.
  • Men have fewer infection-fighting T-cells than women.
  • By the age of 100, women outnumber men eight to one.
In the olympics, men and women compete separately because of physiological differences. At the age of 18 years, the avergae male is 70.2 inches tall and weighs 144.8 pounds, while the average female is 64.4 inches tall and weighs 126.6 pounds. On the basis of weight, men have 50% greater total muscle mass than women. The average woman's heart is 25% smaller than that of the average man. Women carry about ten percentage points more fat than men (SOURCE).

In academics, women generally score higher than men in subjects such as languages and humanities while the opposite is true for mathematics and sciences. Both genders have unique strengths and capabilities. Concerning the pyschological differences between men and women, an article entitled Men and Women Really Do Think Differently quotes a recent neurological study:
Psychology professor Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine led the research along with colleagues from the University of New Mexico. Their findings show that in general, men have nearly 6.5 times the amount of gray matter related to general intelligence compared with women, whereas women have nearly 10 times the amount of white matter related to intelligence compared to men. [...]In human brains, gray matter represents information processing centers, whereas white matter works to network these processing centers.
The results from this study may help explain why men and women excel at different types of tasks, said co-author and neuropsychologist Rex Jung of the University of New Mexico. For example, men tend to do better with tasks requiring more localized processing, such as mathematics, Jung said, while women are better at integrating and assimilating information from distributed gray-matter regions of the brain, which aids language skills. (SOURCE)
Another article published in Psychology Today describes the differences between men and women as 'insecapable':
When it comes to speaking and making hand movements that contribute to motor skill, the brain seems to be very focally organized in women compared with men. This may relate to the fact that girls generally speak earlier, articulate better and also have better fine motor control of the hands. Also, a larger proportion of women than men are right-handed, and unequivocally so. But when it comes to certain, more-abstract tasks, such as defining words, women's brains are more diffusely organized than men's, although men and women don't differ in overall vocabulary ability.
[...]Neuropsychologist Marian Diamond of the University of California at Berkeley, comparing cortical thickness in male and female rats, did find that the right cortex is thicker in males at most ages, while the left cortex is thicker in females but only at some ages (see "A Love Affair with the brain," Psychology Today, November 1984). [...]The fact seems inescapable that men and women do differ genetically, physiologically and in many important ways psychologically. (SOURCE)
Modern psychological research continues to unveil differences in men and women from the most obvious in behavioural patterns to those as trivial as picking out an angry face in in a crowd. In light of such manifest differences between the two genders, it is unsuitable for men and women to assume identical roles. As mentioned in a NY times article on Women's helath:
In contrast to the feminist premise that women can do anything men can do, science is demonstrating that women can do some things better, that they have many biological and cognitive advantages over men. Then again, there are some things that women don't do as well. (SOURCE)
God created us with different but complementary strengths and capabilities. A man does not need to become a woman nor vice versa in order to be successful.

What Islam Says

Islam recognizes that while men and women have some physical differences, spiritually they enjoy absolute equality before God. The Qur'an and Ahadith are unequivocal in stating that one's gender will have absolutely no bearing on their reward or punishment in the next life.

3:195 I shall not lose sight of the labor of any of you who labors in My way, be it man or woman; each of you is equal to the other

4:124 If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.

16:97 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.

40:40 "He that works evil will not be requited but by the like thereof: and he that works a righteous deed - whether man or woman - and is a Believer- such will enter the Garden (of Bliss): Therein will they have abundance without measure.

33:35 Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women - the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so - for all has Allah prepared forgiveness and a great reward.

49:13 O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is the most pious. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.

Therefore Islam openly declares that men and women have an equal status and value before God, and piety alone differentiates one individual from another.

In legal and practical aspects, the general rules are the same for men and women. Both have the same acts of worships, the same Islamic etiquette and manners, and are subject to the same legal penalties. But there are also many cases where the rulings are different. Women are exempted from fasting and prayer during their period. Men are prohibited from wearing gold and silk while women are allowed to, as it is women's nature to beautify themselves. Jumu'ah (Friday prayers) are obligatory for men but optional for women. Men must spend their money on the family but a woman's money is entirely her own to spend as she chooses. There are differences in clothing requirements as well, since the physical appearance of men and women is dissimilar. All of this is reflective of the natural differences between men and women. So in lesser fiqhî (jurisprudential) matters, Islam treats men and women according to their inherent differences as per substantive equality and in the interest of justice.

In conclusion, Islam affirms the absolute spiritual equality of men and women, and assigns both an equal rank before God. In Jurisprudential matters, Islam promotes the substantive equality of men and women, recognizes their unique strengths and capabilities, and rules accordingly protecting the rights of both.

Ansar Al-'Adl
08-11-2006, 10:05 PM
Muslim Women: In the Qur'an and Sunnah

By : Ansar Al-'Adl

Islam is the complete way of life ordained by God for all humanity. It is based on the Qur'an, God's last revelation, as well as the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or Sunnah. It is a way of life that honors all human beings, regardless of race or gender. The purpose of this article is to present some of the voluminous evidence from the Qur'an and Sunnah which displays the lofty position of Muslim women.

Women in the Qur'an

The Qur'an clarifies that piety alone, not gender or ethnicity, determines one's status with God:
Qur'an 49:13. O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most noble among you in the sight of God is the most pious. Verily, God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.

And the Qur'an further says that the righteous deeds of both genders will be rewarded because they are equal before God:
Qur'an 3:195 I shall not lose sight of the labor of any of you who labors in My way, be it man or woman; each of you is equal to the other.

And the Qur'an again emphasizes that both men and women will be rewarded with heaven for their righteousness and neither will be wronged:
Qur'an 4:124 If any do deeds of righteousness - be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.

Qur'an 40:40 Whoever does an evil deed will not be recompensed except by the like thereof; but whoever does righteousness - whether male or female - and is a believer, such will enter Paradise, being given provision therein without limit.

And in another verse the Qur'an promises reward in both this life and the next to both genders:
Qur'an 16:97 Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to such will We grant a good and pure life, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.

The fact that the Qur'an continually goes out of its way to emphasize that gender has no bearing on one's reward is undoubtedly significant. It would have been easy to simply state 'the believers' without going further to specify that the ruling includes both men and women. But the Qur'an sought to forever demolish even the slightest notion that one's gender may bar one from God's great reward. The quotations from the Qur'an demonstrate that both men and women will be rewarded for their good deeds by God. The Qur'an emphasizes this equality most extensively in the following verse:

33:35 For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for truthful men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God's praise,- for them has God prepared forgiveness and the greatest reward.

The Qur'an not only declares both genders are entitled to the greatest reward, but it offers examples of both men and women who were honored by God for their righteousness. God provides the shining example of Mary the mother of Jesus, and 'Asiyah the wife of Pharoah:

Qur'an 66:11-12. And Allah presents an example of those who believed: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, "My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Pharaoh and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people."And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into her a soul from Us. And she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient.

Mary's story is related in many places in the Qur'an, where she is extoled for her virtues. The Qur'an also declares Satan to be the enemy of both Adam and Eve (20:117), thus establishing both genders to be on the side of good and opposed to evil .

The Qur'an continually upholds the rights of women when it comes to family affairs. It commands men as follows:

Qur'an 4:19 ...Live with them (women) on a footing of kindness and equity.

As it states:

Qur'an 2:226 And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women.

Qur'an 2:187 They (your wives) are a garment for you as you are a garment for them.

The Qur'an stresses love and mercy as the foundation of marriage:

Qur'an 30:21 And from amongst His Signs is this: That He created for you mates from amongst yourselves, so that you may find serenity and tranquility in them. And He has put between you love and mercy. Indeed, in this are signs for those who reflect.

The Qur'an also calls upon man to be dutiful to his mother:

Qur'an 31:14 And [God says:] ‘We have enjoined upon man goodness towards his parents: his mother bore him by bearing strain upon strain, and his utter dependence on her lasted two years: [hence, O man,] be grateful towards Me and towards thy parents, [and remember that] with Me is all journeys’ end.”

And again in another chapter:

Qur'an 46:15 And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims."

Evidently, the Qur'an contains numerous passages which honor and elevate the status of women.

Women in the Sunnah

There is certainly no shortage of statements from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which honor women and promote their rights, beginning with the explicit mandate: 'I command you to be kind to women.' (Sahîh Bukhârî).

He often described a man's treatment of women to be reflective of his own nobility or worth. The Prophet said: 'None but a noble man treats women in an honorable manner. And none but an ignoble treats women disgracefully' (Sunan At-Tirmidhî)

The Prophet said: 'The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and the best of you are those who are best to their wives.' (Musnad Ahmad)

The Prophet said: 'The most perfect of the believers in faith are the best of them in moral excellence, and the best of you are the kindest to their wives. (Sunan At-Tirmidhî)

Muslims are commanded to always follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). In light of this, the Prophet said: 'The best of you is the one who is best to his wife. I am the best of you to his wife and I'm the best to my wife.' (Sunan At-Tirmidhî, Sunan Ad-Dârimî, Sahîh Ibn Hibbân)

There is no one who could describe better about how the Prophet (peace be upon) was with his wives, then the latter themselves. A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, was asked, "What did the Prophet used to do at home?" She answered, "he kept himself busy helping the members of his household, and when the time for prayer came, he would go out for the prayer". (Sahîh Bukhârî). The Prophet Muhammad participated in the household chores and helped his wives. "He would attend to his clothes, milk his sheep and serve himself." (Musnad Ahmad)

The Prophet advised one of his companions, Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'Aas, who used to fast all day and pray all night: 'Do not do that. Fast and break your fast, pray qiyaam and sleep, for your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you, your wife has a right over you and your visitors have a right over you.' (Sahîh Bukhârî, Sahîh Muslim)

The Prophet censured those who quarreled with their wives, describing them as being driven by the most evil of devils:

"Iblîs (Satan) sets up his throne on water, then he sends out his armies of devils (to incite humans to do evil). The closest to him of these troops are the ones who cause the most tribulation. One devil comes and says, 'I have done such and such.' Iblîs says, 'You have not done enough.' Then another one comes and says, 'I never left him alone until I created trouble and caused division between him and his wife.' Then Iblîs comes close to this devil and says, 'How excellent you are!' " (Sahîh Muslim)

Likewise, the Prophet denounced those men who were unfaithful regarding their wives' secrets:

'Verily among the most evil of people with Allah in ranking on the Day of Resurrection is a man who goes to his wife and whose wife goes to him, and then he spreads her secrets.' (Sahîh Muslim, Musnad Ahmad, Sunan Abû Dawûd)

Prophet Muhammad forbade hostility towards one's wife: 'The believer should not harbor hatred towards his wife. If he dislikes something in her, then surely he will be pleased with another quality in her.' (Sahîh Muslim)

Instead, he encouraged both men and women to be patient with their spouses: 'If any man shows patience with his wife's bad temper, Allah will give him a reward similar to the reward of Ayyub for his patience, and if any woman shows patience with her husband's bad temper, Allah will give her a reward similar to the reward of Asiyah daughter of Muzahim, the wife of Pharoah (Cf. Qur'an 66:11).' (Al-Kabâ'ir of Adh-Dhahabî)

The Prophet encouraged couples to enjoy time together: 'All activities of a man in which there is no mention of God are frivolity, except for four things: A man enjoying time with his wife, training his horse, walking between two purposeful goals, and teaching another man to swim.' (Sunan An-Nasâ'î, Mu'jam At-Tabarânî)

He spoke of the mutual rights of men and women on many occasions: 'Consult with women. Indeed, you have some rights over your women and they have some rights over you. It is their right on you that you provide for their food and clothing generously, and your right on them is that they do not let anyone whom you dislike in the house, walking upon your floor. (Sunan Ibn Mâjah, Sunan At-Tirmidhî)

And he said concerning the virtuous woman:
'The life of this world is bountiful, and the best of bounties is the righteous woman.' (Sahîh Muslim)

Perhaps the clearest example of Islam's honoring of women is in its directives for man to be dutiful to his mother. The Prophet said in a famous narration: 'Paradise lies at the feet of your mother' (Musnad Ahmad, Sunan An-Nasâ’i, Sunan Ibn Mâjah)

Scholars have proven the preference of the mother over the father from the following narration:
A man came to Prophet Muhammad asking “ O Messenger of God, who among the people is the most worthy of my good company?” The Prophet said “Your mother”. The man said “then who else?” The Prophet said “Your mother”. The man asked, “then who else?” The Prophet replied “Your mother” When the man asked for the fourth time, only then did the Prophet say, “Your father” ( Sahîh Bukhârî, Sahîh Muslim)

The Prophet did not stop at commanding kindness to wives and honoring one's mother. He continually singled out daughters when emphasizing the good treatment of one's children. The Prophet said: 'Anyone who cares for three daughter, gives them a good upbringing, marries them to good husbands and treats them well, they will enter paradise. The companions asked, "What about two daughters?" He said, "Even two daughters". They asked what about one daughter? He said "even one". (Sunan Abi Dawûd, Musnad Ahmad, Mustadarak Al-Hâkim). It is significant that in the above narration, the Prophet has promised nothing short of paradise to the believer on account of good treatment to women. Can there be any weightier statement in favor of women?

The Prophet explictly forbade any gender bias towards one's children, though it was prevalent in pre-islamic arabian culture. The Prophet said: 'Whoever has a daughter born to him, and he did not prefer his son over him, Allah will admit him to Paradise because of her.' (Mustadarak Al-Hâkim)

The Prophet also extended honorable treatment to include one's sisters in addition to daughters: 'There is no one who has three daughters, or three sisters, and he treats them well, but Allah will admit him/her to Paradise.' (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad of Bukhârî)

The Prophet said: 'There is no one among my ummah who has three daughters, or three sisters, and he supports them until they are grown up, but he will be with me in Paradise like this – and he held up his index and middle fingers together.' (Mu'jam At-Tabarânî)

Thus, the Prophet not only made virtuous treatment of women a path to paradise, but he said it would bring one close to the Prophet himself in paradise.

In another narration, the Prophet Muhammad said that a believing woman's sacrifice for he daughters was a cause for her entrance to paradise. A'isha, the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him), said: 'A poor woman came to me carrying her two daughters. I gave her three dates to eat. She gave each child a date, and raised the third to her own mouth to eat it. Her daughters asked her to give it to them, so she split the date that she had wanted to eat between them. I was impressed by what she had done, and told the Messenger of Allah about it. He said, “Allah has decreed Paradise for her because of it”.' (Sahîh Muslim)

At a time when a woman was valued only for material benefits or superficial qualities, the Prophet Muhammad taught his companions to value women for their piety. The Prophet said: 'A woman is married for four reasons: for her property, her status, her beauty, and her religion; so marry one who is religious, may you be blessed.' (Sahîh Bukhârî)

The Prophet also said: 'Whoever Allah has blessed with a virtuous woman has been helped with half of his religion. So let him be mindful of God concerning the remaining half.' (Mu'jam At-Tabarânî, Mustadarak Al-Hâkim)

He also upheld women's right in choosing their spouse, as seen in the following narration:
Al-Khansaa’ bint Khidaam complained to the Prophet that her father wanted her to marry someone she didn’t want, saying “I do not wish to accept what my father has arranged.” The Prophet said, “Then this marriage is invalid, go and marry whomever you wish.” Al-Khansaa’ said, “I have actually accepted what my father has arranged, but I wanted women to know that fathers have no right in their daughter’s matters” (i.e. they have no right to force a marriage on them). (Fath Al-Barî Ibn Hajr, Sunan Ibn Mâjah)

The Prophet said: 'Assuredly, women are the twin halves of men.' (Sunan Abî Dawûd, Sunan At-Tirmidhî, Musnad Ahmad).

In light of the numerous teachings honoring women, it would be no exaggeration to say that the greatest advocate of women's rights was none other than the Prophet Muhammad himself, peace be upon him.

Ansar Al-'Adl
08-11-2006, 10:06 PM
Muslim Women: Mothers

By : Ansar Al-'Adl

Amongst the clearest examples of Islam's honoring women is the great status of the mother in Islam. Islam commands kindness, respect and obedience to parents and specifically emphasizes and gives preference to the mother as shall be shown in this article. Islam raises parents to a status greater than that found in any other religion or ideology.

The command to be good to one's parents begins right from the Qur'an. God says:

Qur'an 4:36 Worship God and join not any partners with Him; and be kind to your parents...

The mention of servitude to parents follows immediately after servitude to God. This is repeated throughout the Qur'an.

Qur'an 17:23-24. Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood."

The great scholar, Abu al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzî (d. 1201CE) explained:
To be kind to one's parents is: to obey them when they order you to do something, unless it is something which Allah has forbidden; to give priority to their orders over voluntary acts of worship; to abstain from that which they forbid you to do; to provide for them; to serve them; to approach them with gentle humility and mercy; not to raise your voice in front of them; nor to fix your glance on them; nor to call them by their names; and to be patient with them. (Ibn al-Jawzî, Birr al-Wâlidayn)
The Qur'an emphasizes the great struggles the mother goes through for her child, to highlight the need for one to reciprocate their parents sacrifice for them:

Qur'an 31:14 And We have enjoined on man [to be good] to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him and his weaning was over two years. Be thankful to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.

The renowned exegete, Shaykh Abdur-Rahman As-Sa'di (d. 1956), says about this verse:
{And to your parents} meaning, be kind to your parents, shower on them love, affection and piety, both in words and deeds, treat them with tender humility, provide for them and never harm them verbally nor physically. [...] Then, Allah mentions the reason why we should be kind to our parents, when He says {His mother bore him in travail upon travail}, that is, the mother bore constant suffering; in pain and hardship from the first moment she felt the child moving in her womb to the worst pangs during the time of delivery. And {his weaning is for two years}, that is, during these two years the mother breast-feeds her child and looks after him/her. So after all the years of suffering, hardship, love and care, could we not, at least, compensate our mothers for what they have done for us and pay them back their rights? (Taysîr al-Karîm ar-Rahmân fî Tafsîr al-Kalâm al-Manân)
The Qur'an repeats its mention of the struggles of the mother in yet another passage:

Qur'an 46:15 And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims."

In connection to this passage, the late Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Shaykh Muhammad Shafy (d. 1976) wrote:
Mother has more rights than father
Although the first part of this verse is a command to do good to both the parents, the second sentence refers only to the hardships suffered by the mother, because they are unavoidable, and no child can be born without them. Every mother has to go through the problems of pregnancy and severe pains of delivery. As against this, it is not necessary for a father that he suffers any hardship in bringing up and educating the child, if he can afford to pay somebody else for these services. This is why the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has given more rights to the mother than anybody else. According to a hadîth he has said,"Do good to and serve your mother, then your mother, then your mother,then your father, then the near relatives and then those who come after them."(Mazhari)
{And his carrying and his weaning is in thirty months - 46:15}. This sentence too describes the hardships suffered by the mother for he baby. It points out that even after suffering hardships during pregnancy and the severe labor pains, the mother does not get respite from toils, because the natural food of the infants is in her breasts, and she has to suckle them. (Shafy, Ma'âriful Qur'ân [Eng. trans.], vol. 7, pp. 795-796)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) continually used to remind his followers of the status of the mother and the obligation of being good to one's parents. The following narration is a beautiful example of the noble position of the mother:
A man came to the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: "Your mother."
The man asked: Then who? So he replied: "Your mother."
The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: "Your mother."
The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: "Then your father." (Sahîh Bukhârî 5971 and Sahîh Muslim 7/2).
Commenting on this hadith, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi notes:
This hadith confirms that the Prophet gave precedence to kind treatment of one's mother over kind treatment of one's father (Al-Hashimi, The Ideal Muslimah, IIPH 2005, p. 165)
Likewise, the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Abdul-Azîz Ibn Bâz (d. 1999) comments on this hadith saying:
So this necessitates that the mother is given three times the like of kindness and good treatment than the father. (Majmoo' Fataawaa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi'ah)
He also writes:
The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed upon her, and the difficulties that she has to shoulder - responsibilities and difficulties some of which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligations upon a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good companionship with her. And in this matter, she is to be given precedence over and above the father.
And I have no doubt that my mother - may Allah shower His mercy upon her - had a tremendous effect upon me, in encouraging me to study; and she assisted me in it. May Allah greatly increase her reward and reward her with the best of rewards for what she did for me. (Majmoo' Fataawaa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi'ah)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also said in a famous narration: 'Paradise lies at the feet of your mother' (Musnad Ahmad, Sunan An-Nasâ’i, Sunan Ibn Mâjah). What can be greater evidence of honoring women than this? Islam has effectively placed the ultimate reward for human beings in their devotion to their mothers. Shaykh Ibrahîm Ibn Sâlih Al-Mahmûd writes:
Treat your mother with the best companionship, then your father; because paradise is under the mother's feet. Never disobey your parents, nor make them angry, otherwise you will live a miserable life in this world and the hereafter, and your children will treat you likewise. Ask your parents gently if you need something. Always thank them if they give it to you, and excuse them if they do not, and never insist on a matter if they refuse to give you something. (Al-Mahmoud, How to be kind to your Parents, p.40)
It is related from Talhah ibn Mu'âwiyah as-Salamî who said: I came to the Prophet and said, "O Messenger of Allah, I want to perform Jihad in the way of Allah. He asked, "Is your mother alive?" I replied, "Yes." The Prophet then said: "Cling to her feet, because paradise is there." (at-Tabarânî).

Shaykh Nidhaam Sakkijihaa comments:
Cling to her feet means to submit yourself to her, beclose to her, protect her, serve her because in this is Paradise and with her satisfaction you will enjoy the good blessings of Allah. (Sakkijihaa, Honouring the Parents, p. 52)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) showed us the importance of serving one's parents in the following narration reported by Abdullah Ibn Mas'ûd:
I asked the Prophet, 'O Messenger of Allah, what is the best deed?' He replied 'Prayer offered on time.' I asked, 'What is next in goodness?' He replied, 'To be dutiful and kind to one's parents.' I further asked, 'What is next in goodness?' He replied, 'Jihad in the Allah's cause. (Sahîh Bukhârî, Sahîh Muslim)
Just as the Prophet said that kindness to one's parents was of the best deeds, he also said that disobedience to them was amongst the major sins:
"The greatest sins are to associate partners in worship with Allah, to be undutiful or unkind to one's parents, to kill a soul forbidden by Allah and to bear false witness." (Sahîh Bukhârî)
Even after the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Muslim scholars continued to stress the importance of being dutiful to one's mother. By examining the conduct and teachings of the early Muslim scholars, one may see how the direct recipients of the Islamic message understood the command to be dutiful to one's parents. Their behavior towards their parents shows Muslims how one is to implement the teachings of the Prophet on honoring parents.

Abdullah Ibn Abbâs (d. 687CE), a companions of the Prophet and a great scholar of Islam, considered kind treatment of one's mother to be the best deed for strengthening or rectifying one's relation with God. He said:
I know of no other deed that brings people closer to Allah than kind treatment and respect towards one's mother. (Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhârî 1/45)
An even more powerful example is found in the statement of another one of the Prophet's companions, Abdullah Ibn 'Umar (d. 692CE), who was also a great scholar of Islam. It has been related that:
Abdullah Ibn 'Umar saw a Yemeni man performing Tawâf (circumambulating the Ka'bah) while carrying his mother on his back. This man said to Abdullah Ibn 'Umar, "I am like a tame camel for her! I have carried her more than she carried me. Do you think I have paid her back, O Ibn 'Umar?"
Abdullah Ibn 'Umar replied, "No, not even one contraction!!" (Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhârî 1/62)
SubhânAllah (Glory be to God)! The efforts of a man who carries his mother on his back while performing tawâf cannot even repay his mother for a single contraction that she went through for him. Wise indeed was Ibn 'Umar's reply to this man to show him how massively indebted he was to his mother. This is the tremendous value and prestigious position of mothers in Islam!

Yet another example is found in the following prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
There will come to you with reinforcements from Yemen a man called Uways ibn 'Âmir of the clan of Murâd from the tribe of Qaran. He had leprosy but has been cured of it except for a spot the size of a coin. He has a mother and he has always treated her with kindness and respect. If he prays to Allah, Allah will fulfill his wish. If you can ask him to pray for forgiveness for you, then do so. (Sahîh Muslim 16/95)
Indeed, later on 'Umar ibn al-Khattâb met Uways who was exactly as the Prophet described, and upon 'Umar's request Uways prayed for him. Commenting on this narration, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimî writes:
What a high status Uways reached by virtue of his kindness and respect towards his mother, so that the Prophet recommended his Sahaabah [companions] to seek him out and ask him to pray for them!

All of this indicates the high status to which Islam has raised the position of motherhood, and given the mother precedence over the father. At the same time, Islam has given importance to both parents, and has enjoined kindness and respect to both. (Al-Hashimi, The Ideal Muslimah, IIPH 2005, p. 167)
So great was the Islamic emphasis on parents, that the Muslims considered a great opportunity to attain paradise in service to one's mother. Iyâs Ibn Mu'âwiyah was a famous Islamic scholar from the second generation of Muslims. When his mother died, Iyâs Ibn Mu'âwiyah cried. He was asked, "Why do you cry?" He said, "I used to have two gates open to Paradise, now one of them is closed."

Zayn al-'Abidîn (d. 713CE) was the great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and also a renowned scholar. He used to treat his mother with so much kindness and love as seen in the following narration:
Once he was asked, 'You are the most kind person to his mother, yet we have never seen you eating with her from a single dish.' He replied, 'I fear that my hand would take the what her eyes have already seen in the dish, and then I would be disobeying her'. (At-Tartushi, Birr al-Wâlidayn)
In other words, he was so careful not to disobey his mother that he would even avoid eating out of the same plate as her; He thought that she would see a morsel and intend to take it, but before she did he might unknowingly take that same morsel and eat it. This is how careful he was to obey his mother in the most minute details.

Another early Islamic scholar, Sa'îd Ibn Al-Musayyib (d. 709CE), was asked about the meaning of the verse {but address them in terms of honor} (17:23). Sa'îd Ibn Al-Musayyib replied:
It means that you should address them as a servant addresses his master.
Muhammad Ibn Sirîn (d. 729CE) used to speak to his mother in a very soft voice, out of respect for her. He was also often seen in the company of his mother and looking after her. (Ibn al-Jawzî, Birr al-Wâlidayn)

All that has preceded shows how the status of mothers - and consequently that of women - is elevated to the highest position in Islam. The honor Islam has given to mothers is beyond that found in any other religion, ideology or culture. This is clear proof of the lofty status of Muslim Women.

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08-11-2006, 10:31 PM


May ALLAH SWT Bless you Brother Ansar, InshaAllah for all your effort for collecting and compiling all of this info about women.

Jazaak ALLAH khayr..:sister:


08-12-2006, 03:58 AM
very good work. to many word to read at a time:exhausted

JajakAllaah Kahir bro

08-12-2006, 04:02 AM

this is very good and benificial work. (to many thing to read at a time:exhausted.)

jajakAllaah khair bro

08-15-2006, 03:26 PM
MASHALLAH!! that was really good. may ALLAH guide us all in leading our lives according to Quraan and Sunnah, ameen.


08-16-2006, 01:09 AM

i print out first...coz i have no time to read on the net.

anyway thank you so much...jazakallah khayr.


08-22-2006, 11:11 PM
Gracias, that was very interesting...

08-28-2006, 01:47 PM
very good article... jazakallahu kairan

`Abd al-Azeez
09-08-2006, 10:43 PM

Masha'Allah bro, you did an excellent job on women in Islam, May Allah reward you :)


09-09-2006, 05:51 PM
Thank you for the information. I was looking ofr answers on how women were represented in Islam and this has helped a great deal!

09-11-2006, 04:05 PM
How long did it take you to gather all those statistics?? Excellent article. You are my role model :)

09-12-2006, 01:27 AM

MashaAllah bro........May Allah Almighty reward you for your efforts.


09-26-2006, 03:58 PM

Masha Allah excellent stuff ^^Ameen!


al Amaanah
09-30-2006, 04:19 PM
Assalaamu 'alaykum,

Masha Allah personal page brother. Very usefull!
May Allah reward you for it.

Wassalaamu 'alaykum

*Innocent GaL*
05-05-2009, 12:07 AM
[PIE][BANANA]Salaamz bro[/BANANA]

In school these days Im learning about Islam and about Jihad and muslim woman, and I found ur articles rly helpful and interesting...

Thanks a lot for posting these articles because their rly kool


[MOUSE]*Innocent GaL*[/MOUSE][/PIE]

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