Social System of Islam 12 – Women In Judaeo Christian And Muslim Scriptures 1
Channel: Jamal Badawi
File Size: 7.00MB
God never sinned in the Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon His Servant and Messenger Mohammed forever. I mean, I bear witness that there was no God worthy of worship except the one true God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger, and slave servant of God, I greet you in our usual fashion on our program, with a universal greetings of peace, a greeting that has been used by all the profits from Abraham through the prophet Muhammad, peace, blessings be upon the mall, assalamu Aleikum, which means peace be unto you. I'm your host hammer Rashid. Today we have our 12th program in our series dealing with the social system of Islam.
And we'll be continuing our discussion of the position of women before the perfection of Islam. More specifically, we'll be looking at the position of women in the Judeo Christian and Muslim scriptures. I have joining me on the program as usual. Dr. Jamal battery of St. Mary's University, brother Jamal, I stumbled upon a crusade Allah. Could you perhaps before we get in today's program, just quickly go back and highlight the main points that we touched on in our last program when we started our discussion of women in ancient civilizations? Sure. What the first point raised was the relevance of discussion of history. And we indicated that it's not simply to say that when Islam
made some improvements are relevant only to the seventh century, but not relevant today. We said that this is completely out. The main purpose really is to understand some of the background, which existed in the world before the advent of Islam in order to appreciate the total picture, and how Islam changed his views altogether.
basic point was to look into the women and how they were treated in previous civilizations. East West, Middle East, we looked into some examples from China, Japan, India, we looked into the Greek and Roman women, women in the Middle East, particularly the Arabian women. And it appeared from all the condition that we refer to us, using various authorities
on the subject, that on the whole, women were treated as minors as inferior to men, that they were regarded as incapable of contracting or doing things on their own.
the in some cases, even women were regarded as the embodiment of evil.
However, we mentioned that there are, and there were definitely many exceptions to that rule, especially among women in the nobility, or ruining families or rich families, or women who are so determined that their talents still emerged. But on the whole, we said that it wasn't really the basic guaranteed legal rights, if you will, for the average rank and file a woman.
We mentioned that in some cases, even they were in a very ancient civilization going back to probably even several 1000 years before Christ, that the image of God was that of God's mother. And we talked about the mystery of God's mother's relating to that was the myth of the the sacred son, united with that mother. So there were some evidence, however, that women even worse worshipped the image of a female that was that of a deity.
But on the whole, of course, the position seemed to have been basically a negative
view of women.
While I mentioned at the end of our last program, that we thought it might be helpful and useful to embark on some kind of a comparative study of the present various positions of women as described in the Bible and the Quran.
In terms of proceeding with that comparative study, what are the areas of comparison which you consider to be essential to such an examination? Well, I think it would be honest to say that there's no pretense here of making a very comprehensive coverage of each and every point here and there. But it occurred to me that there are
Some areas that we can find explicit instructions, both in the Islamic scriptures as well as the Judeo Christian scriptures, dealing with the same subject where comparison perhaps may make some sense. And this includes mainly the creation of Eve, from Adam and what it means in both religious traditions.
The issue of the first sin, if you will, eating from the forbidden tree whose responsibility
Thirdly, the view of both religious traditions towards pregnancy, and the pains of childbirth.
Firstly, how both religious traditions look into the look onto the feminine function, some of the basic feminine functions mainly how women are treated during their monthly cycles from the scriptures.
The fifth leader is an area also, which I think would be of interest,
the treatment of a woman who is raped, how she viewed she is subject to any punishment. And secondly,
if we have time, the question of view of marriage
dowry divorce, if we can get to that last issue, perhaps, to it, again, when we talk about the law of engagement and marriage, and divorce.
Well, this is unlike some interesting areas. For comparison, I want to turn to the first area that you mentioned, and that is the creation of, of Eve, what the similarities and differences are there between the two positions. Okay, there are some similarities, but one has to be careful again, not to stretch it too much.
In both the Bible and the Quran, it indicates that Adam was created first. And then quote unquote, from Adam, Eve, was created. But the extent to which this is described, the degree of explicit or explicit, this varies. In the book of Genesis, for example, in the Bible, in chapters two, particularly verses two through 12.
It describes how Eve was created. And it simply says that God made Adam go into deep sleep.
And then he took one of his reps, and then he closed up with flesh instead of when he took that trip, and out of a teammate, Eve or created, Eve, and then he brought is and give, give her two to add them.
Now, the Quran doesn't mention anything about the rib of Adam. Yes.
Indeed, the the closest description to that in the Quran is in chapter four, verse one, in which say that God created us from okay to mankind from a single soul. And he says from it, notice or have it from it, he created it Smith's
minhang in Arabic, could mean literally,
possibly, again, to leave the door open. It could literally mean from it physically. But in Arabic also minha means from same kind and actually find the many translations of the meaning of the Quran that it uses from same kind, yes, or same nature, God created Eve without any explicit reference at all, to Adam's Rib as the source of creation of Eve.
So in that sense, the Quran doesn't have anything about atoms or however, the word rip has been mentioned in some of the prophetic traditions. But again, not in that explicit way in saying that he was created literally from the rape of Adam.
But it says that women were created from a rib era.
And the context of those prophetic tradition is to appeal to men, to properly treat women, and to take into account the nature not try to change that nature, by force. Try to live with it, try to be more tolerant of it.
In that sense, then the context, at least one reasonable interpretation could mean that woman is great. It's not really from rib physically, but in the same niche as like a lip.
Indeed, if we take that interpretation, which seems to be more in line with the,
you know, the context of this prophetic tradition, and since there is no explicit mention, of Adam's Rib in particular, I think it's a
better and more acceptable expression. Because in that sense, we can say that Adam and Eve are created from the same nature, nature, which goes beyond the physical, into physical, mental, as well as spiritual similarity between both sexes.
a hamburger the question of the first
reading of the
who's responsible for it, Adam or Eve?
the religious traditions do that Christian, as well as Muslim tradition seem to have basic differences on that, even though again, you can start with some basic similarity that in both tradition says that God told or commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from a particular tree. The Quran doesn't say what kind of tree Apple banana
or not, it's, in fact, the Muslim does not believe that knowledge grows on trees, yes. But this is just to say that to indicate that some people sometimes take superficial similarities and say, lump all religions, they all they're all the same, you know, they have basically the same, and that there was a violation, and that both Adam and Eve Ah, from that cheat, but the way it is described is quite different. For example, in the Bible, to start with, in the book of Genesis, chapter three,
it is quite obvious there that it was the primary responsibility of Eve, that this first sin, quote, unquote, took place. How because it says that the serpent attempted Eve,
to eat from the tree, and Eve ate from the tree and tempted her husband, get him to eat from?
Well, when you go to the Islamic tradition, to go to the Quran, for example, there's absolutely no mention of the serpent.
This is one thing to start with absolutely no mention of the serpent at all. Indeed, it could be inferred from other verses in the Quran, that the serpent has nothing to do with this. And that the reason for falling into that mistake was the evil prompting of Satan. Satan.
For example, in chapter 38, in the Quran, from verses 17 on
it says there about how God told the angels, so I've called it a book. And you can see
that when God told the angels that I'm creating a human being from clay, and when I fashioned him bow down, and then it talks about Satan, refusing to bow down
in the presence of other engines, and that he was too haughty, and that he was actually jealous, really, of the special status that God has endowed unto mankind of this new creature.
So in that sense, then, the Quran seemed to indicate that it was even prompting of Satan rather than the the the serpent. Similar differences for any person who wish to explore that on his own, for example, in chapter seven in the Quran, verse 11, on in chapter two, verse 31, on in chapter 15, verse 28, and chapters 17, verses 61 on in all of these, you can get this distinct impression that it was satanic prompting rather than just a snake, there's no mention of a snake at all.
The other thing, which I feel is a major difference is that in chapter 17, and the Quran
sorry, in chapter seven, verse 19, through 27.
When it talks about this violation, or mistake, it describes both Adam and Eve as co equal as equal in committing that mistake. Indeed, you would be surprised to know that in the span of eight verses, the third both of them was used, or the equivalent was used 15 times 16 times repeating that they ate academic they, did they, not she and then Adam is only
erroneous or sinful, just as a consequence of that both of them are equally blamed for that, to say the least, This removes conclusively any notion
of woman alone being the one to blame for eating from the so called forbidden tree. It could mean one of two things either that both of them are equally mistaken. Or it could mean even according to some scholars, Muslim scholars, that in some other verses in the Quran, it could mean that Adam alone even
was the primary person to be responsible for that? Indeed, they refer to verses like 719 20 115
that they give the impression that it was Adam actually, Adams responsibility that he disobeyed God. In Bukhari and Muslim both are collections of prophetic traditions. It describes the scene and the Day of Judgment, when people are confused, and they go to various prophets to ask them to intercede with God, so that accountability starts. And it says there when they go to Adam, he says, God told me not to eat from the tree, and I disobeyed him. Look for some other prophets who didn't do this kind of steak. In other words, Adam alone, in some cases, even as mentioned as the primary sponsor, but I think it would be reasonable to say that the overwhelming evidence in the Quran, to say the
least, puts Adam and Eve on equal footing in terms of their responsibility for, for the mistake. Another major difference that was covered a couple of years ago when dealing with the concept of monotheism and Islam, is that according to the Quran, chapter two, verse 37, that after Adam and Eve made that mistake, they both repented to God, and God accepted the repentance. And as such, there is no concept in Islam at all of original sin, there is no Original Sin, it's ended right there. And that's what the Quran also emphasized in numerous other verses. So I see there are an essential difference here, especially insofar as the position of woman and her status and position is
concerned. Well, before moving on to our next area, I'd like to touch on one of those areas of differences. I'm curious about the symbolism that's associated with the serpent appears from what you said to this point. But this kind of a serpent is is unique to the Bible. Could you comment on that?
It used to be believed that it was unique to the Bible. But it has been shown by further study, that nearly 7000 years before the Hebrew scriptures were written, that some of the discoveries showed the godmother or the goddess that we're talking about before, with the snake or the serpent coiling around the tree of life, in the, in the garden of the world, as it was called pious. That was one time before the Hebrew Scripture. So it would appears on the basis of that evidence, that there seemed to have been an old symbolism attached to the serpent, as the embodiment of all even one of the differences that could be checked on that is HR haze, and the title of the book, the dangerous
Now, let's move on perhaps and look at a another area. And that's the whole question of pregnancy and childbirth. Could you explain the similarities or differences in this respect? Well, this issue of pregnancy and birth is related to two things really, if we start from the Bible, first, the explanation of pregnancy and the pain suffered in pregnancy and childbirth. According to the book of Genesis, chapter three, verse 16.
It mentioned pregnancy and suffering and childbirth, as a punishment for evil
because of eating, because because of eating from the forbidden tree, in other words, the God says to her, according to the, the Genesis, that I will multiply your sorrow. So the pains are regarded partly as a sort of punishment.
This notion seemed to be confirmed Also, if you look at it from another angle, and that is how
to treat a woman or the Guard has in the postnatal period, the bleeding that follows childbirth. The main reference to that is not just one verse out of context, but you take the whole chapter, the book of the Book of Leviticus, chapter 12.
In Leviticus we are told that if a woman gives birth to a son, that's a men, then she's, quote, unquote, unclean for seven days, and that she continues and has in the blood of her purification for 33 more days, so the turtle would be 40 days.
And the same chapter it says that if a woman gives birth to a female,
then she is unclean for two weeks,
and she has to continue in the blood of her purification for 66 days, the total of 80 days. So that's twice as much distinction between verse of a male and a female
And then it goes on in the same chapter, Leviticus 12, particular verses six on describing what to do after the bleeding totally stops, how can she get purified? And it says that she has to take
or a lamp and go to the priests,
that he may take some of these offering. There are some details, just one give a brief scitech offering to the priest, and one of those offerings will be made as an atonement. That's the text of the Leviticus, atonement, so that you would be cleansed.
Now, looking at it from a Muslim point of view,
we find that first of all pregnancy, in the Quran and prophetic tradition is not regarded at all as punishment for Eve. As I mentioned before, the whole notion of original sin does not exist in Islamic tradition at all, nor the blaming of Eve alone. Indeed, the Quran for example, in chapter seven verse 189, describes the beauty of pregnancy, that when the couple's
expect a child, that they will pray to God that if you give us a pious child, we will be thankful to you is described in a beautiful term, nothing to do with punishment at all or suffering, because of original sin.
The same attitude can be shown in chapter 31 in the Quran, indeed, in one chapter in the Quran, 46 particular verse 15.
It arouses sympathy and kindness to a woman by saying that a person is commanded to be kind to his parents, and it says because his mother bore him, Cohan in difficulty upon difficulty, this is the executor korhan, which was described in the Quran for jihad or struggle against even in society and even in oneself as in chapter two. So it gives it a much much more beautiful meaning that it is Jihad it is struggled for which element is really rewarded. In addition to this, there are a number of prophetic sayings that shows that if a woman happened to die, because of pregnancy or during her postnatal
period, then she is regarded as a Marxist, which is the highest position that any Muslim really can aspire to.
Some of those things were narrated in tirmidhi, and Malik and I met
in a necessity, all of this references mentioned this. In one of them even it says that a woman in her postnatal period, if she dies, her infant will drag her to paradise.
This is one. A second area of comparison here is the waiting period. As we said before, in Leviticus, a woman has to wait for 40 days before she's cleansed in 80 days, in the case of a female, and Assam there is no such distinction, the waiting period, that is before she had normal relationship with her husband, or before she can do her regular prayers and fasting and all that is no different. In the case of male or female, it's exactly the same. Furthermore, Islam does not even require a minimum period as Leviticus does a minimum period of 40 days. 40 days in Islam is the opposite. It's the maximum waiting periods. But if bleeding according to standard cloth stops, even
one day after childbirth, she is automatically cleansed, and she can go on
practicing or doing her business as usual.
So this is another basic difference
that one could not equate. And finally, perhaps you can also comment here, that there is no notion whatsoever of this being as a punishment or the word atonement being used. It's simply a natural function that Islam looks at it in a very simple way.
How about the treatment of women during their monthly cycle? Some people have suggested that this is a major area of similarity between Judaism and Islam. Would you agree with that
position as a professional similarity? Yes. But going beyond the surface, I think there are very important differences. The main reference in the Bible to this rules, appears in chapters 15 in the book of Leviticus, particularly from verses 19 on as it is with the case of women. And basically what it says that if a woman is going through her monthly cycle, she should be put apart. That's the term used in King James Version put apart for seven days. Anyone who touches her during that period,
becomes unclean until the evening.
And anyone who touches her bed or a place where she said
will be unclean until the evening and he has to base and wash his clothing.
And then it goes on it says if the bleeding continues after the seven days, the same kind of treatment continues.
And finally, it says that after the flow, and
especially in verses 29 on,
then she is required to take two patients to the priest, one would be offered for burnt offering and the other would be for sin offering. And it says that this is used as atonement for heart before the Lord for the issue of her uncleanness. Now, Islamic law is diametrically different, diametrically opposed to that.
First of all, during the monthly cycle, there's absolutely no problem in Islam, touching the woman or sitting versus sitting or sitting by harsh or sitting versus had absolutely no problem whatsoever. The only thing that Islam restricts is having husband wife, intimate relationship during that period, for obvious reasons.
Indeed, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was asked at one time explicitly, what would be our relationship with our wives during this period. He said everything except the husband wife, intimate relationship This was narrated in Muslim amateur Medina sadly, a Buddha would no matter what companion asked the Prophet as narrated and utter music. He said, should I eat with my wife, which shows that some people used to believe that this is wrong, should I eat with my wife when she is in her cycle he should eat with us. There's no problem.
In the behavior of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, we seem to have
shown by his own example, and his own
good well and gesture, that all of these practices are no reflection of the will of God at all. It's just human biases no more. For example, his wife had issues during her cycle used to help him wash his hair touching him. And in some cases, it was reported that you would sleep in the same bed with his wife during her cycle, of course, not intimate relationship, but you know, staying with her touch her or kissing her, there's absolutely no problem with that at all.
Indeed, the Quran describes flow as other negative spin or hurt. Not that a woman herself is pollution or something to keep up some, but that the natural function itself hurts women or make them perhaps not too comfortable at that period, which is a sympathetic note rather than acquisition of uncleanliness or pollution. And finally, there is absolutely no notion whatsoever of this being a kind of atonement, or that the flow of blood in itself is a sin, as the Leviticus for example, seem to indicate there is no sin, it is natural, it's God's creation. On the other hand, there is absolutely no
And no offering no procedures, except simply to take a bath and cleanse oneself and that would be the end of it. So in that sense, I think this is one of the areas which are extremely interesting. I may add just one quick things, if you have a few seconds, is that in the case, even of a woman having flow beyond the regular days of the ministerial cycle, Islam does not regard that as a cycle. In other words, it will be added only as an MS. She can practice on her normal functions without any difference whatsoever, just making abolition before every prayer and that's all.
Well, unfortunately, we exhausted our time. We haven't had a chance today to get into the whole question of rape and adultery and so on. But perhaps we'll touch on those in our next programs in the series. We want to thank you for being our guest Assalamu alaikum Peace be on you.