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Islam’s View of Women
Victor M. Eskew
Because the Bible limits the role of women in the church, some take a very harsh view of Christianity. These same individuals, however, support the religion of Islam. Either they do not understand Islam’s view of women, or, their real agenda is to destroy Christianity.
In this article, we want our readers to learn some of the positions that Islam takes with regard to women. As is the case with most of the teachings of Islam, there are two sides. It is possible for a Muslim to show that Islam honors women. In Sura 4:19, we read this statement about how a man is to treat his wife: “Consort with them in kindness.” This is a positive teaching on how to treat a woman, but there are other teachings that are extremely detrimental to women.
First, the Qur’an teaches that men are, by creation, superior to women. Sura 4:34 teaches: “Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God has gifted one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make of their substance for them.”
Second, women are considered intellectually inferior to men. Razi, a Muslim scholar, makes this comment on Sura 4:11: “…Man is more perfect then the woman in creation, and in intelligence, and in the religious sphere, such as suitability to be a judge, or a leader in worship…” On Sura 30:31, he makes this statement: “…women are not charged with as many commands are we are charged, because the woman is weak, silly, in one sense she is like a child, and no commands are laid up a child.”
Third, a comparison has been made in Islam of women to toys and animals. Muhamad once said: “The woman is a toy, whoever takes her let him take care of her” (www.wikiIslam.com, “Qur’an, Hadith, and Scholars: Women”). The eminent Muslim thinker Hadi Sabzevari has said this about women: “That Sadr Ad-Deen Shirazi classifies women as animals is a delicate allusion to the fact that women, due to the deficiency in their intelligence and understanding of intricacies, and due to their fondness for the adornments of the world, are truly and justly among the mute animals” (http://www.islam-watch.org/Others/Be-Warned-Infidel-Women.htm).
Fourth, in the marriage relationship, women are also very poorly treated. The relationship between the husband and wife in Islam is that of a lord and a slave. Muslim Scholar Ghazali writes: “The most satisfying and final word on the matter is that marriage is form of slavery. The woman is the man’s slave and her duty therefore is absolute obedience to the husband in all that he asks of her person” (Fast Facts on Islam, Ankerberg & Weldon, p. 60). If the wife is disobedient to her husband, she could face severe discipline. Sura 4:34 says: “Men have the authority over the women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient…As for those from whom ye fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to bed apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high. Supreme.” Some try to deny this aspect of the Islamic faith. However, in a detailed analysis of wife beating in Islam at answering-islam.com, the following statement is made:
“In review of the actual teachings of the Qur’an, Hadith, and Sire, Islam is rightly criticized….It will be shown from the Qur’an, Sira, and other Islamic writings that this ‘Islamic’ wife beating is physical and painful… You cannot separate the issue of wife beating from the context of her inferior position in the marriage relationship (www.answeringislam,org, “Wife Beating in Islam).
Another disgrace found in the marriage relationship in Islam is that a man may have up to four wives at a time. “…Many women of your choice, two or three, or four, but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly [with multiple wives], then only one, or [a captive] that your right hands possess…” (Sura 4:3). A man may divorce his wife by simply saying: “I divorce you,” three times. He can then marry another woman if he desires. A woman does not have these rights given to her in a Muslim marriage.
Prior to entering into a permanent marriage relationship, a Muslim man can contract a temporary marriage. “This allows a men to contract for a temporary marriage for a few months or even a few days in order to satisfy his sexual needs” (Islam versus Christianity, Price, 11. 111-112). A man can also purchase a slave girl. This purchase “includes his right to have sex with her…This contract is primarily to own her and secondarily to enjoy her sexually” (Fast Facts on Islam, Ankerberg and Weldon, p. 59).
Fifth, there are other practices in Islam that exploit women as well. Female circumcision is a common practice. Honor killings are also part of the Islamic faith. If a woman or daughter brings disgrace to her home, the man is allowed to kill the woman. Rape is also committed against women in Islam. The reason is has become a common event is because that it is difficult for a women to prove rape. Four male eye witnesses are required to testify on behalf of the women in order to substantiate the allegation. If she charges a man with rape and there are no witnesses, she is then charged with adultery. Adultery is a crime for which she can be imprisoned. It is said that “…as many as 75 percent of imprisoned women in Pakistan are, in fact, behind bars for the crime of being a victim of rape” (The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam, Robert Spencer, p. 76).
Sixth, one would think that Paradise for a Muslim woman would be much better. What we find, however, is that men still fare better than the women. The men will receive 72 women in Paradise. Seventy females will be created for him, and the other two will be human females. Ratiqul-Hagg and Newton make this observation about the Paradise of Islam: “The above descriptions are literal, and the relationship between men and their ‘huris’ are physical, and not only spiritual…Once again the man has all the advantages and pleasures, while the women must be perpetually used for his purposes. His is the pleasure, hers the disturbance, in this world and the next” (as quoted in Fast Facts about Islam, Ankerberg and Weldon, p. 59).
“As long as men read and believe the Qur’an, women will be despised, second-class citizens, subject to the heartbreak and dehumanization of polygamy, the threat of easy and capricious divorce, and worse – including beatings, false accusations, and the loss of virtually all of the most basic freedoms…They are the consequences of regarding the Qur’an as the absolute, eternally valid, and perfect word of Allah. As long as men continue to take the Qur’an at face value, women will be at risk” (The Politically Correct Guide to Islam, Robert Spencer, p. 77). Is this what we want for our nation? Is this a religion that needs to be protected and promoted while Christianity is persecuted?