Channel: Abdullah al Andalusi
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We are honored to introduce our guest today for the
theories and Islamic activist, and inspirational
I'd like to introduce himself, but the topic today is about gender equality
promotes gender equality, to talk to the approximately 45 minutes
followed by q&a session.
the salad greens of peace,
peace and blessings of God be upon you all.
Now the question is, does Islam promote gender equality? And it's a question which has received quite a lot of attention, quite a lot of interest.
And many people.
So many, many people are fascinated to see about whether this this this is this is the case there's something in Islam, which is contrary to gender equality? Or is does Islam actually promoted and conducive to it? But I want to ask a more fundamental question. Because a lot of the times the agenda that is set for us is set by something external to us, by society, by pundits, by media, by politicians, but we have to ask a more fundamental question. Why equality? And not just about gender, but just equality full stop the actual concept. Why equality? Why, why are we equal? Or how do you justify equality? Let's look at the current pervading political philosophy call
justifications for it. So they say we're equal, but if you will, which basis do you justify human equality? It used to be based on idea of natural rights that we all nature ordains that we are equal,
does nature ordained that we're equal? Does nature care about equality? If you look at nature, stronger, animals, stronger beasts, stronger creatures, devour or show little sympathy for lesser or weaker beast if they're if their interests are challenged, we see this in monkeys, we see this in apes, we see this in, in ants, we see this in every almost every animal species there is, nature doesn't seem to care about equality. If you are stronger, more intelligent, more resistant to disease, more resistant to to things like cancer, or you age better, you have a natural advantage, you will survive longer you will have your progeny will be most likely to be more successful, and
you'll have more of progeny than any rival. So nature doesn't really care about equality. What about what are the basis? Can we derive equality from, let's say, Well, how maybe we're just equal in showing an attribute of being human. But this is an arbitrary attribute, because I could say that we're all equal to the chairs you sit on, because we share the common attribute of matter. And the chair has the same natural organic matter as well. It's made from blood vessels, even ganic matter. So why this particular attribute we're singling out and saying we're equal in sharing an attribute an attribute itself isn't isn't isn't equal. What would you have? How would you define even humans
would be a good discussion. Would you say that human being is someone that has intelligence? Or what if the pose if it is the people who don't have intelligence or they're not equal, then I'm not not deserving of your respect. Some people say that some liberal philosophers will say that
as a matter of dogma, or blind faith, that there's something intrinsic in us, which is human deserves equal respect. And so and inalienable cannot be taken away from us regardless, and I say, Okay, so let's take one particular right they say we all equally have access to, which is the right to freedom right?
The right not to be stuck in a cage in essence, let's take that example. So and we have this right? Why? Because we're human. That's how the argument goes.
So then why are they criminals? In prison? Are they not human? Have they ceased being human beings. And if they're, if their right to freedom is connected to just them being humans and their cities, they haven't ceased to be human, then why lock them in cages and prisons? Surely then it will contradict their right to equality, equal treatment to humans who are not locked in cages. So this is the the current dilemma of
secular, mostly Western philosophy is to produce any justification for the concept of equality. And many philosophers have noticed this, Louis pointman, who wrote this, who wrote, are humans equal a critique of contemporary egalitarianism. He said, If we are to accept the empirical reality of people, and their differences, there should be a presumption of inequality rather than the presumption of equality upon which so many political philosophers, philosophers depend hunter Baker, a political scientist, he said, if we are equal, it is almost surely in the sense that we are equal before God because we are equal in virtually no other way. So there is no other justification from a
secular by or materialistic basis to say that we're equal. The Greeks had the concept of eisah knowmia, which is, I suppose, identical before the law, but yet even they are, firstly, they had their way of life was based on their religious convictions, but even they didn't give the same rights to women and to slaves. And non citizens of the Greek state only free males are why, because the Greeks believed that you treat identical things equally. Now, of course, then they shouldn't, there's no basis for them to say that slaves are not equal to free people, free men, but their basis for equality from a materialistic basis was is that with that which is identical, should be treated
equally, what is not identical, cannot be treated equally. And there's no other justification for that. And any anyone who who believes in equality is really following an affectation from the Christian past of Europe. We live in a secular world, we've now lost the ability to justify what our predecessors
were able to justify based on their religious convictions. And many liberal philosophers have noticed this, they talked about equality and they said, Joe, fine. Joel Feinberg said, equality is not grounded on anything more ultimate than itself and it is not demonstratively justifiable. Isaiah Berlin said that equality cannot be defended or justified or than by reference to itself. So just just believe it, you can't, there's no justification for it. And of course, will kymlicka a lot of liberal theorists said, the fundamental argument is not willing to accept the quality, but how to interpret it. So really, they don't want to discuss if you can be justified or not. So then this
raises a question as to then why equality, what does equality produce? And what are we actually aiming there must be something greater than equality that we're trying to get at we're trying to strive for now, you might say
that, well, perhaps, we should treat everyone as having exactly equal identical rights, under the law, rights and privileges and abilities and this and this is just a practical just sank practical little talk about the theory, just the sake of practical, we should implement that. And what you see in some of the
redresses, which are called for in the West, for example, they say that they will have quotas for boards ensure that women have at least that's a 40% quota on managerial boards. But if you weren't really, if you were really into equality, we would expect to have 40% quotas of women in bomb disposal experts, soldiers, gutter cleaners, miners, and slaughterhouse workers. Why do we not see any calls for 40 to 50% women quotas for those jobs, which are mostly done by men?
If you want to talk about equality and redressing imbalances, they've noticed that men lived 10% shorter lives than women. Could you say in the name of equality that men should not be given 10% more resources than women to redress the natural boundaries, women have 10% more experience of life when was 10% you could say 10% more enjoyment of life. So then men should be given 10% more resources to equal out that natural inequality. We get to these kind of absurdities when we try to
equal both sides of the equation, and we don't but the problem is
We haven't discussed what we are trying to achieve what objective that we're trying to look into. Now I think I'm gonna ask a pertinent question really is, are men and women identical? Are they actually identical? Now, in essence, intelligence, you know, virtually Yes. Or if not, yes, completely. Scientists are coming up with different conclusions and things. But generally speaking, there's no evidence to show that men, women in their intelligence are different from each other at all whatsoever. There is some debate as to whether men can multitask, and women can focus as much as men. But that's, that's that's debate by scientist and I'm not a scientist. So I'm not going to go
into that discussion. But there was an interesting discussions like by Lewis Wolpert, who wrote the book, why can't a woman be more like a man the evolution of sex and gender. But there are some things which are undeniable, which are different between men and women. The propensity obviously meant to be stronger, have more stamina, and a faster testosterone rate, the rate of testosterone production in men is 20 times more than women per day, if you were to get a blood sample of a man and woman find that the man would have five times more testosterone than women tests have shown that children exposed to great testosterone, including females are more likely to be engaged in what we
call rough and tumble play, according to psychologists, who've done done experiments in this and done observations of this. So testosterone plays apart, surely. And if an alien came to earth and saw men and women, they what would the alien conclude as to why men women look different from each other? What would the alien think? alien not being subject to our prejudices? Or our
dogmas? What would the alien look if it was just analyzing us as creatures? What would they say? What would they look and say, Why is there a chromosomal difference? What is the chromosomal difference mean? Why is it that men have a tendency to have more great upper body strength? 10% more stamina? What you know, why don't we see sports, where men and women can compete in the same in the same sport? So for weightlifting, or for boxing, or for wrestling, or for sprinting? Right, you have gender segregation in sports, and you know, you won't see any of the of the Daily Mail or the Tory party can start having going out being outraged at separation of sports. Of course, it only applies
to Muslims in university events on time. So, you know, so why is that then? This is really the obvious. So what does it What does it mean? You know, what does it mean? hormone hormonal difference, again, I'll leave this mote to scientists who are, you know, investigating, and looking at the evidence, but there is clear behavioral differences, because there must be because of testosterone. I mean, there's more men in prison than women, by by far, I think was 80 to 90%. Is men in prison, and not women? Why is that? Is that just nurture? Is there something about our acculturation has to be something based in some aspects of why they're, you know, women have two X
chromosomes and we have an X, Y chromosome, there has to be a better explanation. So then,
now I've discussed that men women are not identical. But we are talking about equality. And I wanted to ask the question, What does equality what should it aim for what we actually want higher value than equality are we trying to achieve? And how can we justify it? Well as the Swiss philosopher on the Frederick Emil said, Liberty equality are bad principles. The only true principle for humanity is justice. And justice to the feeble was protection and kindness. And what the Quran says, regarding the whole purpose of revelation of messengers coming down to mankind is elaborate in his personal crime. We believe God says, we sent our messengers with clear signs, and sit down with them
the book and measure the balance in order to establish justice amongst the people. So the the high ideal is justice. And justice is giving people what they need, what they deserve. This is what Islam does. So in Islam, if criminals are punished, and other people are not punished, or the people who are not criminals, are not punished. We don't say, this isn't an inequality with treating people who are both human we say the criminals who commit an act of crime deserve the punishment and those who didn't do not deserve that. And this is where justice
would be more consistent than me saying, equality. Now how does the Quran talk about the value of men and women in the eyes of God? what the Quran says very clearly, in Surah Moran it says, God is saying I do not waste the deed of any duel among you, any male or female, the one of you is as the other. So in the eyes of
Men and women are intrinsically or essentially equal in the eyes of God. But we also sell also see it's also it also with regards to race. So we see the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam said, Oh people, your God is one. Your father is one for Adam alayhis, salaam, no preference of elven Arab Nieto over a non Arab nor of a non Arab over Arab or red over black or black over red, except for the most righteous, very the most of you, is the most righteous. So we all start out fundamentally equal, but those who rise up in ranks of others is based purely on your morality on your virtue, how you choose to be how you choose to act, raise your, your rank, and the great thing about that is, is
we all have equal access to equal capability to be righteous or not righteous.
But we notice that the Quran also talks about just the condition of humans where God says that he raises some humans up in the ranks and and he gives to some and doesn't give to others and to test does with what he's good at. So people who are there are people who are rich in society, and there are people who are poor in society, should we remove if we want to be truly you know, egalitarianism? Absolutely. gala terian, we should take the money from the rich and to equalize the poor and become communists.
Would that be a good solution? No. And that was experiment was tried for 70 years and failed catastrophically, with the Soviet Union. However,
what Islam views, the purpose of why there are people who are rich, or people who are more healthier than others, our understanding of this is not that God is capricious, or he's unjust. But what the Quran says is that when God gives something to some people, some either a blessing of some kind, equal to that or commensurate to that there is an equal responsibility that goes along with it. So a rich person, on the day of judgment will have to account for what they did with their money. And did they spend it on the poor that they help people with what they were given. And it will be harder for a rich person to get into paradise than a poor person, because they have more things they have to be
accountable for. And so ultimately, if you're given something, you're also given a commensurate amount of responsibility alongside it. And that Islam we call equality, ultimately, I just give examples. So we're not allowed to carry around, let's say guns in the society in London, in England, we're not in America, you are but in England, you're not allowed to carry on guns. So if you want to see a policeman on the streets carrying around a pistol or a gun, as we've seen some some, some places around London alone, but Lister, but you probably saw a few of them at some point. Would we say that's not fair? How comes they get to carry around guns, and we don't get to carry around guns?
That's not fair. Why did they get that privilege. But we wouldn't say it was a privilege. Why? Because we expect the police to put their lives on the line, lest some criminal comes out. And they have to stop that criminal and protect the rest of society. So they're given the ability to carry the gun, but at the same time, they have to put their life on the line to protect those who don't have guns. So we're not saying so no one would ever say the police are good, or there's an inequality between the police and the general public. Because we're alongside the police's police's privileges, they also have a commensurate amount of responsibilities that we don't have that that
convince about responsibilities. And this is what Islam considers to be equality, overall equality. But first I want to talk about
and this is very big misconception, obviously, is what are the rights of women in Islam, because that's, this is what this topic is related to, no one came in to this lecture, thinking, I've heard so many bad things about, you know, men not having enough rights in Islam compared to women. So I want to see what this topic is gonna know. And actually no one ever known for that unless your men's rights activist.
So let me let me describe a bit more about what Islam gives women and their rights to the feasts and misconceptions, because currently, I'm going to try to contextualize what I've said. So What rights do women gave and these are rights, most of these rights women never had prior to Islam, especially in the Arabian Peninsula. So
unlike what happened in the West, and up until, I think, just last century, where they had this concept called coverture, which was basically women couldn't own property, their husbands owned their property, and are even legally liable for them. So women were deprived of a sense of their own responsibilities towards their own property. And so and sometimes a ritual when men would like to marry marry her in English culture, for example, because they would take her property and be able
Be the executive and owners of it and disposes of the property. In Islam, women have the right to own their own property of which no one can touch the property. So they keep their property. When they get married, they keep their name, their husband has no right or to their property, what whatsoever. They have rights from their husband, which the husband has to provide, there's no choice on the matter. The husband must provide financial support to the woman in during the marriage. She does not have to spend a single penny on her husband. Even if she is rich, and he is poor. The obligation is for a man to to look after the wife financially, so she didn't have to pay any money
out of her own pocket. in marriage, she's given a marriage gift or dowry.
An English translation of that, which is usually can be a considerable sum of money if divorced. The man must pay alimony to the wife ensure that she is kept off the street and not penniless or made into a vagrant, the pot the women have the right to vote in Islam. Now what I mean by voting is the Pledge of Allegiance in Islamic leadership.
discourse. The leader can only be the leader once the people give the leader the Pledge of Allegiance so the people legitimate the leader, and the Prophet Mohammed Salah asked him who was the first leader of the Muslim community, he requested the Pledge of Allegiance from both men and women. So we didn't need to have a separate suffragettes just so suffragette and suffragettes movements we didn't need to have
totaling over whether women can have equal political participation, to select the leader and wait 1000 years up until only just last century for women to get the vote. 1400 years ago, women were given equal access and equal responsibility to legitamate, the leader of the Muslim world,
we all see that women have the right to work and own their own business. The Prophet white wives had deja de la and her she was a successful businesswoman. In fact, she actually employed Prophet Mohammed, so awesome. So that was, that was his boss. And women have a right to education. Prophet Mohammed also said that seeking knowledge is an obligation on men and women. There was a case where some woman complained to the Prophet Mohammed, that when they were trying to attend, to listen to him, men were crowding around the front of him, and they couldn't have access to him to ask him questions and learn from him. And so he gave women only days where women can have direct access and
without being disturbed by
some rambunctious males.
We see that women have the right in Islam not to be abused, physically, or emotionally. One of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam said, he asked the Prophet, what do you command us? What do you say to us with regards to how we should treat our wives, and he replied, give them food from what you have for yourself, clothed them by what you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and Do not insult them in another generation because they do not even don't impute ugliness to their face. So we see that in Islam, women can't be insulted. They can't be degraded, and they can't be certainly can't be beaten. I would dare argue that women don't have the right not
to be insulted in Western culture in the marriage, how many husbands and wives will cancel and abuse each other. And it's not necessarily falls foul of the law, though people are now discussing about what is verbal domestic abuse being possibly not a form of domestic abuse that's still being discussed. But we say that is wrong for the for even the first insult to be uttered from the mouth that is wrong. And we stop it, we nip it in the bud. So women has the right woman has a right not to be insulted and to be protected from verbal abuse as well as physical abuse. Women have the right to choose who she married in Islam. So we see there was a there was a case where the Prophet Mohammed
Sawsan was approached by a woman who said that her father had coerced into marrying a gentleman and to the property say, What do you mean to dissolve the marriage? And she said, No, actually quite like him, but it's for the principal. So and many organizations that reiterate the same.
In Islam, women have the right to husbands time, affection, and sexual satisfaction, by law. So So husband can't abscond or neglect his wife in the West under the law system, which is based on individualism, we're all individuals. You can do what you want. You don't have to have any responsibilities to your wife. If you're a guy, you can go out and you
mates, you can ignore her, you can come home even speak to her. And that seems to be that's not against the law. That's not wrong apparently, in, in the western legal system. But in Islam, the woman could take her husband to court and demand those rights.
Because she knows that this is the thing though, is Tom understands that we're human beings, human beings need things from each other. We are social creatures. We're not individuals or autonomous islands that don't have any interaction with anyone else. And we're just happy when we're by ourselves. If that's the case, go live in a desert island and see if you have you ever been with no humans around you? Right as human beings, we need reciprocal relationships with each other. So Islam isn't individualist, or believes in autonomy, because humans are not autonomous, we'll stop even by nature. If no one taught you how to how to even speak a language, you would never develop it
spontaneously. And right now, there's amongst anthropologists and sociologists, they're still wondering how language first came about. Because humans don't seem to be able to generate it in it, they have to be taught it, and they can't generate it spontaneously, it's this is still a big discussion.
So women have the right to obviously dignity and respect. And if the husband is negligent in any other fees, or any of his obligations, if he is rebellious, to his obligations towards her, he can take her to court, just like she can take him to court. And, and he can get punished. So this is the rights that women have in Islam, which I dare say, don't exist, to the full extent in the western legal system. So this is what was what we consider to be right now, I suppose if a men's rights activist guy was here in the audience or girl, but there are women and men's rights advocates, too, they probably argue now that Islam is is against men sexual autonomy, because it forces men to to
satisfy the needs of their wife. Because for them, it's a den and feminists, they're the opposite number. They are individualists, and so individuals they believe should not be compelled to do anything they have exist for themselves. In Islam, we believe that we exist for God. And in doing so we exist to serve each other. Because we are not we are a species. We're not just we're not just an individual. Now, Islamic Society throughout history, saw
great women businessmen, great women leaders, great women, scholars jurisprudence, the first universe, the modern University, as we understand it, was actually set up by a wealthy female businesswoman in Morocco, and modern day Morocco. You know, 1000 years ago, we see that, as the scholar Shaykh Akram nadwi, who looked through historical documents, and he just he found he found 8000 female scholars from the early times of Islam, who were these were Islamic scholars, jurisprudence 1000 reason why he kept he said he stopped at 1000, because it was just too much. And so he just had to, you know, get to publish his book by deadline. So he kept 1000 and didn't
continue. Don't document it. But he documented 8000 scholars before he had to stop, and so on. So, in Islam, we don't see that women have a deficiency of intellect at all. Women that there was in a time of Kelly, former California was a companion of the Prophet Mohammed Salim, and then succeeded him in leadership, after after abubaker as the head of head of the Muslim world, and he had an advisor, a political adviser, advising him on political strategy and with dealing with people's needs, and that was a woman. He also employed a street judge not to be confused with Judge Dredd, the Islamic concept of street judge, but street judgment, gold marketplaces ensure that people
weren't cheating each other when being deceptive. And the street judge was a woman. So Kelly format and this this is this is all in seventh century, right? This is not, you know, half century or this is seventh century, we had women being judges, women being scholars, some of the greatest Islamic scholars from history, like Imam, Abu hanifa, Imam, Malik Imam, Shafi, even Mr. McCarty, we're all students at one point in time of female scholars. So they were students learning from women scholars, so we didn't have this rule that we didn't we first we don't have a clergy. And secondly, we don't have a clergy and we don't have a restriction on women from attaining
positions, or teaching about Islamic knowledge. In fact, it's 40% of narrations about the Prophet Muhammad's life in Sunni narrations on the read by a woman which is, is shorter than her which was one of the prophets wives.
So in Islam, women can work women can women actually can even join the army, voluntarily. Obviously, for men, being a reservist is obligatory,
In Islam, but for women they can voluntarily join join the army. We saw women who voluntary joining naval forces, women can be positions of political consultation, judges scholars. So in Islam, we didn't have any restriction on women education, women entrepreneurship. But I would say more importantly, gender just really wasn't an issue. In the West, we're so fixated by gender, we group people into so many different categories. We even have categories of race, the black community and the white community, as if your color of your skin somehow affects your culture, or even sexual preference when they say that this is the gay community as a How does your sexual preference create
an entire culture? You know, we we categorize humans into these groups. And we say we have this we tried to say this group has to have also
bits of power of this or that in a song, it was irrelevant. We transcended this group group ism or identification groups authentification politics, which is complex this day, and it didn't matter. If you are a scholar, and you you met the grade your scholar irregardless, regardless of your skin color, regardless of your agenda, it was just irrelevant. They didn't even consider it. No one complained that almost had a female street judge or a female who was advising her no one, no one cared, it was not as long as she was doing her job, it was not an issue. So we completely transcended
sexism. This is actually a problem which happened in the West.
Now, but where there are differences, or functional considerations, is actually just related to the private sphere, not the public sphere. And the private sphere is the family, the fundamental unit of society, in the Muslim political philosophy is family, not individuals, and not the community communists will say the society is the fundamental unit of society. It liberalism or political individualism during a corner like that, that believes individuals are the fundamental unit of society. But in Islam, we consider it to be the family is the fundamental unit of society, the family gave birth to you, an individual, you didn't give birth to yourself as individuals, you came
from families, your families noted you is the first support mechanism that most of us had. And it's what towards language or towards morals, and what nurtured us it's the family. So then really what Islam tries to do, is it takes the differences between men and women, and tries to produce a symbiotic relationship to create a fast and efficient family structure, which is fair to all and involves reciprocal relationships, because I said, We are social creatures. We're not taught autonomous individuals, as liberalism would have it. So what does the Quran say about this the matter of the family? Well, first and foremost, the Koran says that men are the protectors and
maintainers of women, because God has made one of them to excel, the other people translate that as maybe like physical strength, and, and so on. And because they spend, to support them from their means, so men support and maintain women and protect women, there must be some reason why men are physically stronger than women, by nature, evolution, if you believe or any, whatever you want to believe, why,
the basis for made men different to women. And in Islam, it's interesting people say that, you know, the foremost consideration Islam must be men and women are just tagalongs. But it's not how the Quran scribes, it. If anything, the Quran describes the purpose of men to revolve around women, not all the way around. Some our job as men in the family is just to be the protector and maintainer of woman. So we are the ones which revolve around the nucleus, and the nucleus is, is the woman of the family. And the crime continues. It says, and women shall have rights similar to the rights against them according to what is equitable. And but men will have a degree of responsibility over them. So
what how Islam organizes the family is that it aims to protect women aims to see that they are maintained, and they don't have to worry about where the next meal is coming from, or to feel vulnerable, or to feel exposed. So this is how Islam tries to organize the family relationship. And it's actually done to another woman, not done too, because she is somehow weak or incapable. And so it's not how Islam looks at the matter. First and foremost, the same perspective of the woman within the family context is actually gives her more respect than the Father. So according to generational the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu, wasallam, when a man come up, came up to him and asked him, he
said, old prophet of God.
Should I ask you should I respect? Who should I respect my father or my mother? Who should I respect more my father, my mother, so the Prophet Muhammad SAW someone said, Your mother, and then there's also and then my father, and then he said, again, not your mother again.
And then he asked, and then my father, no mother again with and then he said Father, so the mother is respected three times more than the father because her position in the family is so key. It's so important. She gives birth to the future of mankind. I don't that's not something which is worthless or meat or meaningless like some modern day, feminist advocates like to portray not all feminists advocates. But feminists advocates, let's be clear that women, having a motherly role is somehow diminutive that if only a woman, a woman can only have value if she contributes economically to society. And that's a very materialistic way of looking at human work. So a woman's worth is only
how much she can contribute economically to society. That's very materialistic.
So the the the crime, and the Prophet Mohammed Salah lessons, some audio, some teachings gave women three times more respect than the Father, in a society, in the family. Also, the Quran commanded men to live with women on a footing of kindness and equity. And it also says if you dislike something in them, and maybe you dislike a thing, which God brings about it through a great deal of good, so even tells men not to be judgmental on women, and not to nitpick or find fault is that if you find something you think is a fault. Maybe God has put us put that there and give you a source of goodness, maybe there's a hidden good in that. So don't judge women don't find fault or complain
about them. So value, women,
Islam, what respects women so much that it tries to protect them from being viewed as
sexual objects, if you actually want to see how a society values life, see how a society values the source of human life, women. So we see that in capitalism, where everyone's everything is a commodity, women and feminists complain about this, that women are made intersexual objects to sell products that they are because they become one dimensional creatures related to their beauty and their physical appearance. They're judged by their physical appearance, women don't feel are made to feel by society now that inadequate or invisible, if they don't put up makeup or don't show, the most
beautiful face they can put on and beautiful appearance they can put on the look. They feel like they don't the people who give them attention, they won't attain
any positional power or have any one's time or even getting getting married to Mr. Right. So this is how society This is what some feminists have complained about, about it about modern society, Western society. Rather, this is the situation that's been created. But what Islam did is when it ordained protections like the hijab, and the nicoma, first and foremost,
Islam aims to remove sexual politics, from society from both men and women. Most men are not allowed to show body shape. And we're not allowed to expose the load from the navel to the knee. So any any guys here go to gym and some quiz don't you just like to like, like to wear very tight fitting clothing? Pay attention to that you're not allowed to do that if you're Muslim. So as Islam, it protects both men and women from sexual objectification. And it's not people say that, Oh, is it because they're gonna get you think they're gonna get raped to protect them from rape. So it's got nothing to do with the issue of rape. The issue is the dignity of humans. That is the fundamental
issue. First, first and foremost, forget about rape, even if there was zero rapes in any society. The fundamental issue is the dignity of human beings. That's what has to be protected. Both men and both women, the the, the headcovering. And the Bible, the body covering is the purpose of it is actually a woman's passport into the world. It's her passport, its ability to go outside and pursue what she wants professionally, you know, educationally, in a respectful manner, without being accosted or viewed in a certain way or judged on her appearance at all whatsoever, we remove the issue of appearance from society, and instead replace it with only valuable people the content of
people's hearts and the content of their characters. That's the purpose of her job. You'll also see that the the in Western society, when the when you see obviously a women on the streets, who are not being told by fashion magazines and pressured by billboards, and adverts to look a certain way that this causes a lot of trouble just between women so women become envious or jealous of each other by they judged by looks themselves women will judge themselves by looks to each other by looks. So now that women actually not degrade that have are robbed of dignity even from how they look between themselves. And the problems also gotten to the point where
If If a woman is married to a husband or a boyfriend, sometimes she feels insecure that there are other women who are obviously very attractive and are displaying that attraction to society. And you know, her husband or her boyfriend's eyes might stray and now even vice versa with men being being as well. Is that is that a society whereby, you know, humans can live cohesively. I can live in a sense of peace and tranquil tranquility when we're all competing with each other, to outdo each other, to be more attractive than each other, to
attract attention away from people that other people's spouses. This is not conducive to, I just think any kind of peaceful or enlightened society. That's that that's the point. So Islam tries to dignify humans by removing these social compulsions for beauty. And what we've seen is we've seen that in the West, there are some very horrific practices, which are done, which are now totally legal, you know, when they bring up the issue of a female genital mutilation, which, in Islam is not an ascetic practice whatsoever. It's a traditional practice in many parts of the world. many parts of the world are not Muslim at all. It's just practice in that area of the world for centuries, but
they win the race issue of female genital mutilation. I often wondered why they called they, the issue they called it was female genital mutilation, because in the West you can undergo and women are increasingly doing so going to cosmetic surgeons and undertaking labor plasters, which by the very definition is mutilation of the female genitalia. But they said that's okay, cuz it's consensual. Okay, then, so maybe you should then read describe the problem of FGM as non consensual female genital mutilation. Don't just say, female, it's because you seem to be okay. With FGM. If it's done by the consent of the woman, in a plastic surgery, somewhere in, in, in the city, so So,
so they don't have a problem of FGM as long as it's consensual. So the issue really is consent. Whereas in Islam, we don't believe that, that shouldn't people should have to mutilate themselves to look attractive or look beautiful. We don't believe that. And we we tried to eliminate social compulsion for for women to look a certain way. Like airbrushed models in a picture such as you know, women are forced. Now in some cases, they felt they have the need to be anorexic bulimia is on the rise, we see that people inject collagen or Botox, which I believe is derived from botulism, which has some kind of, which is very nasty, if you think about it was just to get the inflammation
out of the of the lips. I view this as mutilations of women or the women were women. And it was mutilations induced by social pressure, and social compulsion. I think that's the kind of oppression of women I think that's a kind of forcing them to look a certain way in order to get some kind of attention or elevation in that society. So the head job and job Bob is actually there to liberate women from the social these very negative social forces and eliminate sexual tension from society, sexual politics from society, because you don't go out into society for intercourse, sex, you go into society to work to study, you don't go out, you know, sexual intercourse happens in the privacy
of your own home. So why are we bring in sexual politics out into the wider society?
Now, people might say that, well, why is it that women have to cover more of their body than men? This is not meant to bring things Isn't this an inequality? It is unfair. But the argument is very simple is that
anatomically speaking, obviously, there's there's more women have more anatomically related related
matters upon them, but as compared to men, which is that that's just that's the nature of it. But what you also find in even in western systems, they also give differential rights based on biology as well. I'll give you one example. So one example I like to cite is they said that men and women have equal reproductive rights. And what you'll find with many feminists advocates is they'll they'll talk about women's rights, reproductive rights, and the usually the right to abortion that they say right to abortion, so they have reproductive rights, the right to abort their fetus or the seat at the time. But a simple question, do do men does men? Do men have equal reproductive rights
to women? Do we believe in equality in this matter? And they'll say, okay, yes, yes, they do. Okay, so if a man obviously, he has intercourse, a woman that she's pregnant, he wants to see his fetus to term. She doesn't want to see the fetus attempt. She wants to abort it. Will the man's rights equal rights to reproduction be respected, or have any say in the matter? No.
So wherever she wants to terminate or see the term, he'll have no senior. And if he wants to see it, the term against his will, then he'll be forced to pay child support by law, even though he had no
We'll say in the matter, does that sound like equal reproductive rights between men and women? Of course people will say yeah, but women have to carry the child or carry that the fetus. So okay, fine. So you're saying that different biology biological circumstances causes different rights. And so in principle, they also agree that different the biological differences necessitate different rights. So so so the print they don't they don't describe the principle is just now how where we put these these barriers of course, in Islam, we don't believe in obviously, abortion we believe obviously, sex must be within marriage. Reason being as marriage offers the protections to women and
protections to men and the protections of children as well and that man, the man can't abscond. In an individualist society, the man can abscond, he didn't have, he didn't have to take care of the woman, he can just walk away with no other obligations towards her or her children, and she'll be left literally holding the baby.
So how Islam to kind of to round up how Islam deals with the issues between men and women is not one where they said we must have exact identical equality. And that's how to bring justice because we see that identical equality doesn't bring justice because men and women are different. And they're going to have different matters as even in the West with giving differential reproductive rights even they have to concede. So what Islam aim to do is to create equal justice for both, depending on their needs, and their and their circumstances.
Someone's someone Someone mentioned, they said, You say that a man is responsible for a woman. But what if a woman is richer, she's more dominant than her husband, and she wants to be the one in charge, and she wants to be the one who
takes care of her husband? Well, the great thing about Islam is that the exceptions usually resolve themselves. Because if she was marrying an alpha male, let's just say and they will just argue back as to who you know as to as to who decides what in the family, and who looks after who in the family. But naturally, a woman who's actually very dominant, would probably marry woman, a man who's very, who's not so dominant. And so what you're getting Islam is that as long as the man and the woman consent amongst each other to an arrangement, then that could be acceptable. So as long as there's consent on both sides, so for example, a woman can choose not to insist her husband support
her voluntarily, she can voluntarily decide not to request her right from her husband to financial supporter, if she's Rachel, whether what have you, and that will be the case, the husband's, you know, won't be punished if he stays at home and looks after the kids and the woman goes out to work as long as it's consensual between the two of them. So the exceptions usually resolve themselves. But the the guided framework is for people who want to have a what is now called a traditional marriage, whereby they want to be looked after by the husband, they want to be protected, and they want to ensure that their their husband gives them the needs that they deserve as as human beings.
And so this, this, the standard marriage is given as not just a guideline as well, but as a fundamental protection. And and how Islam, why Islam. So why Islam, never, we never faced this problem, the battle of the sexes, which you saw in the last century, and probably still ongoing. If you listen to the discussions between the Mrs. And the feminists,
the battle of the sexes, where everyone's now fighting each other for their needs, and they're fighting each other. And the problem is, of course, that in and individualism, no one has obligations towards each other. All right, so how do we resolve this when what you're fighting for, you're actually fighting for how to be to be treated in a nice way. But all the law looks looks at is not treated in the bad way. You don't have to treat it nicely. There's no obligation. What Islam did is it removed the power from the men, it removed the power from the women, and gave it to God and gave it to the Islam and Islam gives justice to both men and women that so what is there is not
there is not No there isn't any one group over another, but rather, there is both groups cooperating with each other for a greater good, which is more important and sovereign than any other groups, interesting ideas. And what we see what the Quran says. It says that the believers, men and women are friends, one of the other, they enjoy what is right, and they forbid what is wrong, and they establish worship and pay charity, and they obey God and His Messenger. And for these God will have mercy on them. And this is how Islam brings justice to both by ensuring that both submit to justice. Thank you.
Thank you very much for that amazing talk. Nope, just clarified a few points.
We will open the floor for q&a does okay. If you don't want to ask out loud
should be paper going round with some questions, we can latch on there.
Okay. Questions, comments, or criticisms also welcome. Criticism. So please, if you have, if I've said something that strongly outraged you, please feel free to voice it. And we can have a discussion. I'll let you come back. Use them.
Yeah, I found that very interesting. I didn't agree with everything you said. But I understand the justification. And a lot of where Islam is where the position of justice, talking about one of the things I
spoke about, and things up a lot of people
having so many wives
So just to reiterate, so you're saying that,
why did the Prophet Mohammed slaughter them have many wives? And how does this relate to gender equality? How does that relate to gender equality to South Korea's what would be your
is there an equivalent right for females to have many husbands? Is this a?
Okay, well, well, first and foremost, just look at the context of polygamy. So yes, Islam does permit polygamy, it doesn't command polygamy has, there's a difference. It doesn't say, you know, thou shalt, and thou shalt have many wives, it's actually an exception. Why? Because at the time, the prophet Mohammed said, I'll send them the the pagan Arab culture, men could take any number of wives they want, and give no rights to any of those women that there was no women's rights or rights of women against their husbands. And so it was a very anarchic system, it was very unfair system.
You know, women's kind of needs were not looked at by the pagan Arab culture. So what the Quran did is actually put a cap on the number of wives people can take, it says, Well, my absolute maximum is four, if you can treat them equally. And believe me, if you read a great verse, it says that people do know that men would never be able to treat all their wives absolutely equally, but you have to treat them equal. You know, you have to have separate houses, you have to spend equal time, what you give to one you have to give to the others, which is virtually now impossible for most men, 99.99% of men, but there are some men who feel they are able to are able to and want to engage in that. And
so that is to regulate, rather than just abolish, what is having a blanket abolition, for those men that do so there is there is the permissibility of it. Now, there are three arguments I put for the the issue of polygamy, and why we don't see polyandry in Islam as multiple husbands for the wife, first and foremost, I could I could call it a scientific kind of observation. It's just an observation, really. Biologists and zoologists have noticed a study in the study of sexual dimorphism. That the more the more different. The male is any of the female in any species, the more likely that species is to be polygamous. So case of a swan, the male and female Swan look virtually
identical. General than monogamous. But let's say with, with with chickens, you have hens and cockroaches, obviously, as polygamy, you'll see with various apes and monkeys, and so on so forth. As you know, there's baboons as long as there's polygamy. So we see that this is what has been noticed. And what they've done, they tried to look at humans and say, well, well, what would based on our, our theory of sexual dimorphism being a predictive predictor of polygamy, humans are somewhere in between monogamy and polygamy is what they this is what they generally say on the matter. But just because scientists say doesn't mean that's the that's a value in of itself. It's
just an interesting observation. I just put it out there. But there are two reasons why Islam allows,
allows polygamy or rather the regulation of it for the 0.0001% of males, and doesn't allow a polyandry the first point is that the song The male is responsible for and protecting provider of the female in the family unit. So if you were to have more than one, if a woman was to have more than one husband, that'd be they'd be basically two people who are responsible for the same person, and they'd be fighting and jostling and so on, because they both are meant to have responsibility to have the same person and there'll be arguments and disputes. The second argument is actually
biological differences. One man may impregnate four women, you know, at the same time, but not at the same time but
but, in in generally speaking, let's say we've been away
He can, you can have all four of his wives pregnant. But a woman woman only has one boom. So if she has four husbands, do ageless husbands have an equal chance or right to have their offspring with the wife, maybe one husband's more virar than the other husband or that, you know, the gametes are stronger, and one husband's progeny will predominate over another. So all the husbands will have an equal equal right, or to have equal chance to have their progeny. Whereas what they've seen with a man that has multiple wives is that they produce really large, large, large families, it doesn't seem to inhibit the women, the women's chances to get pregnant that just because she's showing the
same man, boys, it will certainly inhibit and bounds chances to have his offspring if you have to share that one womb with other other men. So biological differences, which I would say, would seem to be that would necessitate differences in that matter. So that would be the argument. Why Islam prohibits prohibit polyandry. But not polygamy. And polygamy is only is regulated, not encouraged. In Islam. That's what the prophet Mohammed said about having multiple wives, which is what you mentioned originally,
well, if you actually saw a mob, many of these women were widows, and were very, very old women. He married they're not in work, where they were connected to the heads of tribes. And the problem happened would marry marry a woman of a noble
into a tribe to unite the tribe with him. So much like how I suppose how everyone really kind of back back then would marry into married to create unity, but he wouldn't marry these women who were that is what, you know, very young, very young women are so one, these were most of them were war widows. And they were generally very 30s 40s and so on. So sometimes 50 so it wasn't for any kind of
physical, physical desire, I'm gonna, I'm gonna marry many women just to have a hareem of young Vera women, no, it was actually to create unity between the tribes that would be the cause of why the problem Heron, most of them had
more than for whites and that in that case,
any other questions, comments or criticisms? Use this stuff?
And I think, because now it's very debatable topic.
Okay, well, the pit, the precise form of the clothing can can vary depending on on the culture of any of any people who are Muslim, but rather that clothing has to be cheap, cheap to objectives, which are not really debated amongst classical scholars amongst the comparative prophet or even in an iteration of the Prophet Mohammed himself or the Quran. And really, it is that the the head is covered, the bosom is covered in the in the body shape is covered.
Well, okay, they're
both dealing with sorry.
Well, yeah, so when it says not to, to, to draw the the headcovering let him out over the over the bosoms, as the head covering and to cover use that to cover the bosoms was mentioned in the in the verse of the Quran, so is mentioned. And the head sir.
No, there's not a verse that says the I think I believe the Arabic word Is that him out on the headcovering, which means headcovering enjoy over the bosoms.
Draw it over, that the command has to drop so that we're having a head covering and to draw over the bosoms as well. That's what the verse the concepts, so as the head covering, and to an English point, actually draw some some women were wearing headquarters, but they were leaving their UVC exposed
headcovering yet the word that
and the Arabs want any Arabic speakers want to contact me on that to fulfill free or to come back and say that's not the meaning of the word. So I accept that but that's as far as I can tell, that's what the meaning or so but but the thing is, this is that but there's a fundamental issue behind that question. First and foremost, I'm I'm not we in Islam, we don't believe that if a woman doesn't cover a hair that she's naturally He must be a woman of ill repute or we don't we don't view it like that, right. So this is not the assembly understanding.
Unfortunately, it can be some of the traditional cultural understandings and many of them. But we believe it is commanded in Islam, for the elevation of women in society, and to allow them to go out and not be judged based on their physical looks. It's because of the culture of fashion mostly coming from the western satellite and magazines and internet now, that women especially in Muslim countries, now are being
Being a feeling the pressure to change their appearance. I mean, for example, Lebanon, which is very westernized country, you're seeing plastic surgery going out of control. And basically, why do women have to feel the need to actually butcher themselves or mutilate themselves to be accepted in society? I think that's horrific. And I blame the social pressure, and the conditions which are making women feel inadequate, unless they they do these, these these procedures. So.
So the hijab is meant to be actually a liberation for women, that it tells the woman you will be accepted and respected, and listened to irregardless what you look like. And that's the purpose of the hijab day, but at the same time, it's, it's also, it also can do to reassure a woman that when a husband leaves for work, that he won't be looking at every woman or it will it will help him It will help him to lower his gaze, obviously, a man has to lower his gaze anyway irrespective, but what the Quran says and sort of the signs that humans are weak, right? The Quran doesn't expect humans to be perfect. That's the great thing about Islam is is so merciful, it understands humans are weak, we
don't expect us to be angels, that we're going to we are going to sin, we are going to fall down. So in light of this, it tries to make it easy for us. Let's not tempt each other, let's not compete with each other. And let's not try to outdo each other to outdo each other, or to tempt each other spouses away from from themselves. And I've seen many I've seen I've seen funny couples,
when I'm out and about this amount is sitting down with his girlfriend, wife, drinking coffee, a woman with miniskirt walks by and the man just likes his his his gaze trails. And his girlfriend or wife just you know, says hey, I'm over here or slaps him or whatever right? Now see? And you know, what does she feel nice? Does she feel okay? When you see her boyfriend, stroke spouse do that? No, I don't think so. I don't think she does, she feels secure when she sees that being done. No. And even if she doesn't, even if he doesn't do it in front of her, that she feel secure knowing that there are women that look better than her, which of which contempt her spouse away, you know, she
doesn't feel secure. Even if you trust your spouse. Most people don't feel secure and vice versa, not just for women, but for men. So Islam tries to remove the whole sexual politics and tensions and issues from society because it doesn't benefit society. It doesn't rationally, it doesn't benefit society at all. So let's go and sign in and do what we're meant to do, which has been professional or educational learning or helping instead of doing charity or doing a whole number of beneficial things. Without having this kind of you know, sexual politics in society. This is the the wisdom that Islam tries to give. Someone says also into question, Why are there no female prophets? This
was a very interesting discussion, money, the discussion of scholars and analysts where I'm from Portugal, or Spain, Spain included
in History During summer times, there was actually a discussion as to whether there are any female prophets, some people actually posited that Marian Mary, the mother of Jesus, that she was a prophet because she was given the message by an angel. And this would be this would be the minimum requirement to be called a proper proper test, rather, so some people have debated this method. Listen, maybe Mary was a proper test. But that's, but in Islam, we don't really we don't really, we don't really care, the packaging of the message, we care about the message itself. So it's irrelevant. Whether the message was delivered by male or female, as long as the message was
delivered. We don't we don't worship the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam, we worship the originator of the message he conveyed. So it's irrelevant really, who who actually delivers the message, we're not messenger centric, like other religions are, we wish only only God.
Someone made a quote, one man equals to two women, is this an Islamic principle?
It's not an Islamic principle. But by dint of some innovations, which are conducted, in fact, one could argue that a mother is, is worth three fathers. If you want according to some of the reasons you want to if you're looking at this, this was taken from
perhaps misunderstanding of a verse of the Quran which talked about witnessing financial contracts. That was the best idea at the time of the Prophet Mohammed, Salah Nelson, and women didn't get involved too much in finance, or
a merchant being a merchant in business. So they really weren't involved in finance. So they, the crown almost gave a help to women, for those who are involved in, in observing finance transactions. And really what it is, is if you're going to write a contract, or a of a financial transaction of some kind or promise finish transaction that you can have, you know, two male indices, or you can have, you know, instead of one male witness, you can have two female witnesses, and then explained in the crown Why two female witnesses
Because if there's any dispute about this contract and someone you have to recall your witnesses, it says that the woman can give her testimony and her colleague can remind her if she makes a mistake.
So it's not saying that women's memory is deficient because many of the people who narrated the the traditions of the prophets are so a lot of them so many people who actually transmitted memorize traditions or sayings of the Prophet Mohammed Schloss on what women and no one said is Sunday scholarship, but just because a woman and I shut it down, who tried to transmit 40% of Sunday, narrations 40%, of all saline discourse on the Prophet Mohammed was narrated by a woman, no one says that then these narrations are not as trustworthy because it was based on a woman's memory. No one says that.
So really, then all that the only way you can really explain it is how the Quran explains it, which is really it's if anything is posted discrimination or or actually help. So if a woman is in a court, and she she just feels intimidated, she'll just have a colleague with her. And the colleagues job is only to remind her, if she makes a mistake. That's what the Quran says. That's what the Quran says. read it for yourself. So like, if you
don't want to remind her if she makes mistakes, and didn't say the book will give testimony, it didn't say that it says so that one will remind her if she makes a mistake. So there is no such thing as one man equals two women. And one of the misconception people will say is that because in case of murder, if if someone is murdered for what man is murdered, and always man, or due to manslaughter, or accidental murder, that the the financial compensation to the family is double that of the woman or that the man's inheritance is doubled out of his of his sister, and they say is this also meaning that men are equal to two women? No, it's just because and this is very self evident.
Men are obligated to look after women. So the extra portion of inheritance he gets, will have to go on a woman will have to be spent on his wife, or his sisters or daughters also have to be spent on women, basically, a man is obligated to spend on hit on the on the on his wife, a wife is not obligated to spend on the man with regards to if a man is killed in the family. that's a that's a form, that you're eliminating that form of financial support in that family. And so the financial, the financial redress has to be doubled, because it's assumed the man will have to be providing for the family. You see big Why? Because it's an obligation on the man to provide for the family. Now,
really, the only argument that anyone could say if anything was not equal is they could say it's not fair that men have to provide for women. Why the men have to give women a dowry for marriage. That's not fair. I don't wanna give women dowry. I don't want to look after them or pay for them. And there'll be a men's rights activists in the audience, perhaps who might phrase that, but that would be the only argument they could could level. But
men and women are equal in the eyes of God, there is no different valuations. This is only related to financial matters due to the fact that men and women have
different different obligations. Someone wrote headcover headcover. Is he modern Arabic? Yeah, I said that.
Well, you told, all you said was very nice. But do you really believe that nowadays, though, the woman's are so well treated? Do you do really man's put all that you said into practice?
Is it in practice? No, I'm mostly not in the Muslim world. Why is that? Well, if you look at the Muslim world, these are these regimes. These nations are mostly the product of colonialism. And the problem of colonialism was infused in Muslims, very Victorian ideas of men, women conduct. So the idea that women should stay at home or they wish their places in the home, or that they women shouldn't shouldn't shouldn't work, go out to work is a very Victorian English idea.
Or even a French idea which was imparted into the Muslim world. It's not actually indigenous to our worldview. When the British took over Egypt, they stopped women who were who were studying to become medical practitioners. They stopped that happening so that women shouldn't shouldn't bother with being doctors, men should be doctors, women, don't have to worry about that. The British did that and make that and they did that as part of civilizing the natives. So they civilize us by removing women's rights from that was practiced by Islam. And the Muslim world is a product of what happened to us in history. And you know,
as Muslims, what we are trying to do is we're trying to actually revive Islam in the in the Middle East, revive Islam in the Muslim world. And what are all the all the injustice you see in the Muslim world? Some people say, the there's injustice against women, and it's due to patriarchy, this conspiracy theory about this Men Who in the world and so on so forth. Well, the thing is this in the Middle East, everyone's oppressed, right, the poor, the middle class, those who actually even speak up, speak about Islam are oppressed, everyone's oppressed, apart from, you know, various ruling elites, and you think putting a woman will change the dynamic look at Bank of Bangladesh, there are
two, the government or the alternates between two female rulers and yet there's torture, and there's killing, and there's suppression of political dissent in Bangladesh. So that's why I'm saying equality doesn't necessitate justice. It's just
going to call for a saying, well, we believe that women should have an equal right to be dictators as much as men, you know, is that going to bring justice? No. Right? So the problem the Middle East is that Muslims aren't living by Islam. We're mostly illiterate about our own religion or belief system belief system.
When even discussing the Sharia, when I do many lectures on the Sharia, Muslims actually are shocked about it as non Muslims are just coming into intellectual life. So it's not really controversial, new or fresh video, it's actually old, basically. So it was interesting was
in the, in the time of the 18th century, a few that, you know, people from Britain could travel around the world. And many, many worlds do women traveled to Ottoman areas, Ottoman Turkey, and what they were absolutely shocked when they were writing about it absolutely shocked, they were shocked to see that women were business owners, and they were patrons of hospitals, and institutions of learning. And they even remarked that they've never seen any place in the world where women are as happy or have as much rights as in Ottoman Turkey, Ottoman Caliphate,
right? The Ottoman caliphate. So this was in the 18th century. It was not too long ago. So Islam gave, you know, gave women rights and under traditional Islamic beliefs, women were given justice. But now in secular regimes like Egypt, obviously, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Syria, Bashar Al Assad, Algeria, or even I'd even say Saudi Arabia's also secular regime, a monarchy, constitutional monarchy is not is not an Islamic system. Under these Islamic secular regimes, you're seeing oppression of women, you're seeing oppression of minorities, the Christians are being oppressed, I would, I would argue that they are being oppressed. They you know, disease got got kicked out the
Christians were being kicked out many places after colonialism. After secularism, you're so used to people fighting each other, even other places where it's not predominately Muslim like India, Hindus and Muslims, and Christians, who, who those who converted live side by side for centuries, after colonialism. There's now the rise of fascist groups, and of marginalization of minorities, and oppression and many problems in secular democratic India.
So, colonialism didn't really do any favors for the Muslim world. And I would argue that what Muslims follow now is a post colonialist,
Victorian influenced understanding of their culture, and they're completely illiterate as to what Islam says, and they certainly don't follow it. And the problem is getting them to actually follow it and to intellectually revive and rediscover their religion. Question.
Why to women witnesses? I think I mentioned that Why do women get less inheritance compared to men? Okay, I think I mentioned that.
You said that differences in Sharia pertain to men and women are restricted to the private sphere, but there are rulings against women becoming parties.
Well, tell that to Kelly former or, or becoming soldiers. No women can join the armed women join the army a time the Prophet Mohammed, certainly yes or no. Do you say that this is not a valid ruling? If it is a valid ruling, then don't the differences extend to the public sphere to
that mean? That the obligation of that of men to join to be in the Army or be reservist is certainly St. Beyond the private sphere? Yes. But women aren't restricted from joining the army women can join the army at a time of the Prophet Mohammed slaughter son and we have narrations where a woman goes, the Prophet asked him to join the fighting forces, and she is allowed to do so. And again, women being judges at the time of the former, I already already mentioned that that example.
So all these valid rulings, as the mean rulings, I mean, are you saying that rulings from modern some modern day scholars, I would really
Take some some of what I've heard from Monday. Scholars with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Why are classical scholars with a much better understanding? Why can women not be leaders in Islam of a country and nation? Okay, this is an interesting question. So why column may not be leaders? You mean What you mean is you mean the Khalif basically why can't women be the Khalif of the of Muslim society? Well there's there's there's a very basic reason for this. The Khalif is not the position is not a right. Like no one has a right to be the Khalif no one has it's not it's not a privileged position anyway. There's no perks in it. There's no extra money in it. In fact, you're you're accounted for what you do as the as the leader. You'll be counted by and subjects what you
do. There is no perks you get with it with being the Khalif. You can't decide what the law is because the law is set out in the Sharia. And if you
you have to consult scholars, of which some of those can be women, of course, who will
say what the strongest opinion is and the leader just has to execute the rules. He didn't have a choice to say I'm gonna as a male I'm going to been I'm going to make laws to benefit the male public. No, you can't do that in Islam because we don't we don't segregate the population into male and female in that sense to make an interest groups that have to be that can have equal access to the same power structure. We don't have that sexist, dynamic in our society. So then, if the Khalif is not right, and you can't put yourself up to be the Khalif, right and the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi Salaam said anyone who who asked for power, you know, shouldn't shouldn't get it
who doesn't deserve it depending on your translated. So a person cannot ask to be a leader you can't ask people to vote for you in Islam. The leader is really just the extension or the extrapolation of the military duty. The whole point of the Khalif that actually his point is to be the commander in chief of the military forces of which men are obliged to be reservists. The Khalif is chosen by a council by the people and someone to undertake to undertake that role. Now, in that sense, is not privileged to undertake their role. It's not a right the wrongs to anyone. In fact, it's actually an imposed role people will make leaps against their will. They didn't want to be the Kelly, if you
have no you must be the colleague. And this is this is a situation so in Islam, really, it's just that the cliff is really an extrapolation of the military obligation of men to be the protectors of society. And that's all that's really what it is, I suppose in one way, it's kind of commensurate to the Roman idea of the master. The master which was a person selected in times of conflict to be the head that the military Chief Commander in Chief and who would basically defend and we see the Prophet Mohammed described the Khalif as
the the shield of the of the of the people behind which the people find protect themselves. So the Khalif role is really an extrapolation of the military role and the military role is an obligation upon men and hence, because being an obligation upon men, a man is selected usually against his will not you can ask for it to be the leader and he must discharge the obligations of that of that position. Now because you can't ask because it's an obligation upon men, it's viewed as a burden, not as a privilege. And the one form I asked Well, okay, but why can't a woman asked to be considered to be the leader? And and the problem with the Khalif rather, and the problem that was is
that you immediately disqualify yourself by asking to get power in the first place? Because you don't you don't ask to get them become the Khalif you get selected to be the to be the Khalif and usually under great protest? Because there's no there's no purpose in it. It's one of the greatest burdens. And depending on obviously,
I suppose how you might view it. You could also view it as I mean, like what right do we have to burn to impose the burden of becoming a supreme military leader, which must go to war to women against their will, you know, when it's not an obligation for women to be part of the army, whereas because all men are reservists, they are the pool of which you can select an appropriate candidate from
and they can't select themselves. So it's actually a burden role, not a privilege role. Power is not a privilege in Islam is not a right, it's a burden. And you'll be given it probably against your will, because you want really coveted and the leader has to give justice to all people, not just to their interest group or their racial group, their national group or their gender group. And that kind of gender politics is called identity politics has caused the problems in the Middle East where you'll see different tribes or sex or races fighting each other for a stake in power and deciding what you
Know what happens in power, whereas in Islam, the lead the Khalif doesn't is not the sovereign, he's not the king, he's the only the executor. He has no choice in what laws to make. He's only dead to discharge the duty and and even put his life on the line
to defend the Muslim community. So that that's the that's the issue is not that is differential rights because there is no right to be the Khalif in Islam or to it's not a sign of privilege.
What rights do women have in terms of housework and taking care of the family? Or the husband? So what rights to do women have? Well, I mean, there's no act, there's no actual Express obligation in Islam to say that the woman must look after the house, clean the house and mend the clothing. We actually know that the Prophet Mohammed salado, son of himself, mended his own clothes and helped his wives cleaning the house. So there's no real, there's no obligation in itself that says, women, thou shalt clean the house, or iron the shirts, right, you won't, you won't find that in Istanbul. But what the the the rights that the husband has, with regards to the woman and I mentioned today
already, the rights the woman has over a husband. So there's also commencement rights on the side. And that sense that the man has the right to be obviously respected by his wife, and to be to have responsibility. And obviously, she should facilitate or grants his reasonable request requests. And one of the rights she has is that she can't be overburdened by her husband's requests. So if the husband makes requests more than she considered, then she can ask for, for example, a house maid and she has to provide it has made myself so any one of you who have
any, any any one of you who are budding husbands, don't make too much requests from your wife. Otherwise, you're gonna have to pay for housemaid.
So yeah, and of course, the other the other rights are, of course that the woman must have must be provided.
Okay. So the woman must be provided with, with the same quality of clothing, not not necessarily the same clothing as the print
and an equal status and have the same quality of food. So basically, the husband can say, I'm obliged to provide you food. Here's some groom, and I'll have a nice roast roast beef dinner. No, he has to obviously she has a right to share equally with what he has, and what he enjoys, enjoys from his own property. I'll take I'll take a question from the audience. knucklehead. I think I've read most of the papers here. So any questions, comments, or criticisms? Or what people want him to come back and write anything? I said, you sit at the back?
Okay, so you've read, that women are allowed to travel without male Guardian is usually a long distance. So you know, traveling halfway around the world out of school, or loan. And it's just more issues of protection, rather than that the chaperone is going to make sure that she's not doesn't do infidelity. Or it's not that it's not, that wasn't the reason. The reason is just to ensure that she's secure, by some by some means not. I mean, people have discussed, obviously, modern transport, such as planes, and trains, which will get you to long distances and very quickly, you know, time. And in essence, as long as a woman is protected, or her security is guaranteed, that's really what
the purpose is, is to ensure that her security is guaranteed, guaranteed, wherever she goes, you hear this, you hear obviously, stories of unaccompanied women who go halfway across the world and have an experience really, you know, bad things happen to them. And it's just we just, we just, you know, as long as we want to see that happen, obviously to women's women's security is paramount. And it just has to be guaranteed, so that she's not molested, or something, God forbid, nasty happens to her when she goes halfway across the world by herself to a place where she's not familiar with all or so. And so it's nothing to do with nothing to the inferiority of women. In fact, because women
are valued, that the security is increasingly more Paramount than even the male security. So woman's woman's security is more important than than even men security men take care of yourself. He will you know, but for women, we have to guarantee that she's she's safe and secure to travel and and so why should we travel for business or traveling for whatever purposes she travels for, but it's just to maintain her security or show that she's okay.
Like the Quran is very gender considerations. But then you just mentioned before that there is actually a mismatch with what is saying there was actually poverty in many countries. So my question would be, what did you suggest that could be changed to diminish that gap beyond all of this because there's also caused a lot
of racism, prejudice against Muslim people, even in Western societies, regardless of religion.
the what some of the problems are, some of the problems that we see, again are due to, I mean, to say it's cultural, the question is whether that culture come from and it either came from pre Islamic culture, or from post colonial culture, which was mostly borrowed from
by the time of colonization was most of the Victorian cultural understanding. And if anyone who studies Victorian understanding of men and women's relations will know that a lot what the Muslims do are very familiar with what the Victorians did because the Muslims looked up to the Victorians as the clonus as the superior moral power. And they emulated what the Victorians because there's a lot of women's also women on the on the Victorian times considered to be fragile or weak and must be looked after because there's some and even considered not being on property and, and the man had full control over over the wife. So the Muslims looked up to the superior colonizing power and just
emulated that what they observed. So unfortunately, the problems a lot of the problems in the Muslim world are due to us emulating Europeans 100 years ago
on a question, okay.
So how to deal with it? Well, you know, people, when people think of, let's say, Sharia they think, or women's education stops, on the Sharia limit, education stops. But, and they could cite, for example, the Afghan Taliban, or they cite a section of the Pakistani Taliban, which was, which was in the area where Malala was infamously shot. So they say, look at these people, they stopped women's education, right. But now the thing is this, this, they don't pay attention to the other, the many 1000s and 1000s of other Islamic movements, which which have women in their movements, who are political spokesman, even in in, in Pakistan, we saw that in the cities, one of the many
religious movements have a schools that teach men and women, Islamic Studies, for example, we see that in many of the groups that arose in the Arab Spring that women were, well, you know, politicians under Islamic movements or groups that profess to want Islam. So people ignore those things. You know, it's like it's called confirmation bias, we only look at the things which reinforce a particular prejudice really have, we just ignore gloss over the contradictory things which would, which would actually change someone who was more objective or not kind of intellectual compartmentalised. So
as Muslims, the the strive to change the Muslim mod, and revive Islam is one of the political one of political movements as a social movement. But unfortunately, it's not a unimpeded movement. We are facing resistance from the secular dictators that don't want things to change. And they're quite happy with the power structure as it is, which mostly favors them and of course, those who are their backers behind them who give them the weapons that support and
have a degree of interference in our in our internal affairs, which is united states and UK and so on, who support these regimes. And then they decry any movements which want to revive Islam, they call them pejoratively Islamists or Islamism or extremism or what have you to denounce them even though these mute these movements are demonstratively much more fair, just give you an example. Right. So Mohammed Morsi, maybe the most in Egypt, he didn't even have any power some could say he was set up obviously, even on the even on his presidency, the police wouldn't obey Him, no one would have been to have any any real power though, but one of the things he tried to do or he tried to say
was people could insult him and and criticize him or say bad things against him and he never called for people to be arrested or to be tortured or so on so forth. There was this program by the best abusive Copa namic which is which is Egyptian Arabic for program, the program modeling or the jon stewart used to use a mock us to completely mock you know, Mohammed Morsi right. So I used to mock human and so on. And then after mandamus he got kicked out part by cc who protected Egypt from this the Islamists, bernama was shut down even though the guy is more of a liberal liberal bent or secular liberal bent, best abusive, it was shut down, banned. People anyone criticizing cc or say
anything about him is meeting incarcerated locked up. Some of them are accused of being terrorists and subject to summary or subject to execution. You see, now this is under secular cc compared to a bit more Samak mercy you'll see the difference and yet mostly is portrayed as the evil Islamist and second theses portrayed as the hero secularists You see, and this is the problem
That we are we confirmation bias is that we will ignore the examples which disprove what we've been told in the media or the stereotypes. And we will only listen to the examples which reinforce those stereotypes. I mean, I'm no fan of Saudi Arabia among their strongest critics, right. But there was a case in Saudi Arabia. And we all know of the quirky court cases that come out of Saudi Arabia. But there was a court case where a woman came into court and said, My husband's abusing me, he's beating me up. And so the court judged that the husband will be sentenced to 30 lashes for domestic abuse against his wife, was that covered in the news? pin drop silence, why it doesn't reinforce the
stereotype, which is which is common so as to how we can change the perception of Islam. I think that is too we have to buy out rupert murdoch. But as to as to how we can change the Middle East, it's up to all of us to become to be reacquainted with Islam, become literate with both Islam, political philosophy, its theology, its its legal theory, and strive to be advocates for this in our in our in our countries, despite the fact that obviously we face real threats from government and law threats from those who backed the government abroad, we is our issue and end of the day, although we may blame the United States, we blame dictators, ultimately, the soldiers and the police
who enforce the current status quo all come from our society, they come from us. And we have to be giving down we have to cut down means calling to inviting them to Islam, you know, because these dictators wouldn't be able to do what they did, or do without soldiers willing to obey their their orders or believing they are legitimate authorities. So as Muslims, and I want the Muslims here, it's your responsibility to go and, and, and spread the understanding of Islam, and invite the soldiers, the police and all those who have power to Islam. And then naturally, then the leader will be will be accounted somebody who might even change their mind because everyone around them is
changing their mind. And they will be bought back to some and that we can establish justice in the Muslim world and be a good example. Like we were in the past, when Western journalists or Western writers would go in the 18th century to the Muslim world, and be so amazed about how liberated women were, and how much justice there was for women. And they will shortly said, There is nowhere else in this on this earth that the women are as happy or as free as they are in under Ottoman caliphate. You wouldn't even think English either now, so it's time for us to rediscover Islam advocator and change our own situation because it's not going to change yourself.