Channel: Jamal Badawi
In the name of God the benevolent the Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever amin, I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except the one true God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger instead of servant of God. I greet you with our usual greeting on our program. This is a greeting that has been used by out of the prophets from Abraham through to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. The Universal greetings of peace Assalamu alaikum, which means peace beyond you. I'm your host Humbert Rashid. Today we have our 13th program dealing with the social system of Islam.
And we'll continue with our comparison of the position of women in the Judeo Christian and Muslim scriptures. I have joining me as usual on the program, Dr. Jamal Baddeley of St. Mary's University, brother Jamal Assalamu alaikum Ronnie.
Before we get into the
today's program, I want to perhaps I could ask you just quickly to highlight the main points that we touched on last week when we started our discussion in this this area.
Mr. Thurs the comparison of the Old Testament, or the attitude towards women as reflected in the Old Testament with the what the Quran says about it. And we compare basically three major areas, one dealt with the creation of Adam and Eve, and the responsibility for the first sin so called. And we indicated that according to the Bible and woman is to blame because she is the one who tempted Adam. In the Quran, it is Satan, we tempted both of them, and that both of them are equally responsible and the blame is not thrown on the shoulder of the woman.
The second area of comparison was the attitude towards child birth and pregnancy. And we'll compare Genesis three in Leviticus 12 in the Bible, which shows that pregnancy and childbirth is a kind of punishment for a woman for committing the first sin. We compare that with the Quran and we said that there is no such notion in the Quran and that actually childbirth, and pregnancy is regarded as jihad, the same term used for the headquarter. That is it's something heroic something to be praised for,
for her patience and fortitude. The third one focused on the treatment of women during various natural monthly cycles or the postnatal confinement period. And we indicated that drawing from Leviticus 1512 and 15 in the Bible will find that women is regarded as something that should be kept away from should not be touched that even if she sits on a place and another person sits on it, or sleep on it, then he must base and wash his clothing. And we said that in Islam, there is no such notion. And that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said that for women during this period, you can have normal relationship with them everything, eat with them, sit with them, touch them, there is no
problem except of course, for matrimonial relationship until they are over the feed.
So in that sense, Islam does not regard this natural function as something of a spreadsheet pollution or anything of that search. The Prophet said that not just the believer can never be unclean in the spiritual sense at all. It's just a matter of
that we didn't touch on, which I think would be of a lot of interest to it's a problem that is occurring more and more in the present a society unless this whole question of rape, how is the victim to be treated?
One, despite the comparison again, by referring to the Bible and denying a request to the Quran, in the book of Deuteronomy, in chapter 22, it gives the detailed description there as to what happened in two cases. It says that in one case, that's in verses 22 through 24. It says if a man lays hold on a virgin, was not
let's start first with the man who is betrothed to a man and life with her. Then it says that both of them should be stoned to death.
humbled her. And she, because she failed to cry so that somebody can save her. This one case, in the same chapter in Deuteronomy 22. Later on in verses 28 and 29.
It says that if the victim, the woman who was raped is a virgin, but she is already betrothed to another person.
And she's up, and she's not because to another person, then the punishment here involves First, the payment of 50 shekels of silver, which is an Israelite coin to her father. And secondly, that the rapist would be required to get married to that woman or good, and certainly that he would not be able to divorce her for the rest of his days.
position of Islamic law on this issues is quite different.
In the first case, it is important to realize, first of all that, in Islam, a woman who was raped is regarded as a victim and even have failures to shout or cry does not constitute an Islamic law, aground for stoning her to death. Indeed, she is regarded with compassion as a victim of an aggression of someone else. So this is one fundamental difference. A second is that the punishment of the rapist in Islamic law is not simply to ask him to pay 50 pieces of silver to her father. Indeed, the punishment and punishment is much greater and could be but not necessarily could be even capital punishment for the rapist, but not for the victim.
Indeed, when it's
when it says in Deuteronomy, that the man will be required to marry her.
That is not necessarily the case in Islamic law at home, because a rapist would not be fit enough to get married to a chaste woman.
So in that sense, it may be even a kind of reward for the person if a person goes and raped a woman that she wants to violate. And then she would be required to marry him that might be even an hour to him rather than a punishment.
Actually, in the Quran in chapter 24, it indicates that one should not get married to unchaste person that is a rapist would not be fit for this kind of match. So the the treatment is quite, it's quite different.
There's another point of comparison that we touched on in our last program that we really didn't get a chance to discuss it. And that's the whole question of acquisition on the part of a husband,
acquisition by husband that his wife has committed adultery.
What is the different positions? Or what are the positions of the Scriptures?
In this respect? What did they suggest be done in this instance? Okay. I refer again to the to the Bible in mind, by the way, I'm using King James Version, but I suppose most of them would have basically the same information anyway. In the book of the numbers, in chapter five, verses 12 through 28, it is specifically with that question, it's quite lengthy. So instead of cutting it all out, just to get the gist of it, what it says basically, that if a husband is motivated by jealousy,
and he has any suspicion on Earth, attaining suspicion about his wife, then he should take her to the priest.
And it goes on describing the very detailed rites, rituals that the priest goes through. It says, for example, that the priest would take some bitters water, and recite a curse on it, and threaten the woman, that if she is going to lie, that her thighs were wrapped, and her belly will swell
and threatens her and if she does not confess,
to confirm her husband's accusation, and then he gives her of that
better water, and he offers certain sacrifice also, she has to provide for that. And then it says that if she is trustful, then nothing will happen to her if she's lying. Then her thighs were wrapped in her belly or will swell.
Well, it appears and again, like I said, the reference here is number, the Book of Numbers, chapter five, verses 20 to 28. It appears here that there is an attitude of assuming guilt the woman
until otherwise proven innocent, which is guilty until proven innocent until proven guilty.
In the case of
Islamic law and my reference that is chapter 24.
It says that if a husband accuses his wife of committing adultery,
also has to say is simply to give a witness,
notice himself or statement, and repeat or swear five times that he is truthful or that this accusation is true.
In the case of a woman, she's assumed innocent, until otherwise proven. And all she has to do to make a rebuttal of that accusation is to make a statement also, or to swear, five times that he is lying, or that this didn't happen. And that ended at that. In other words, even if the judge or anybody else suspect in his heart, that she's lying, the mere fact that she simply swears five times as his word five times, would make her innocent, and the only thing that can take place is to separate them because of course, the marital relationship after that would be really senseless. But that's not there's no punishment or penalty whatsoever for her. So it's just a witness against one
witness, her word, would be just taken as good as his own words. And by the way, this is only in the case, where a husband actually, for example, saw his wife committing adultery or had really occlude evidence. And this applies only in marital relationships. As far as accusing another woman who is not one's wife, it is totally forbidden. And if the person make an accusation like that, without producing three, at least three other witnesses, witnesses who are accepted because of their piety, in fairness, that they are not people who would lie. If he says, to corroborate that by three more witnesses, who serve things very clearly. At the same time, you know, that the person who made the
accusation is the one who's punished, and the minimum here would be at Nash's will get at lashes, even history. The idea behind this is to preserve the reputation of women and to prevent this haphazard type of accusation and to establish the principle that a woman is innocent until otherwise proven, conclusively.
There's one other area that I'd like for you to
comment on. It's a related subject. And that's the question of marriage and how it is viewed? Could you shed some light on that topic? What I made reference to the dictionary of the Bible and Encyclopedia biblica
instead of giving any opinion of mine and just go and give a few direct quotation that might reflect the attitude in the Old Testament, or at least today, if you weren't on this question of of marriage, introduction of the Bible, for example, it says that the, the practically universal form of marriage was the type B, A and
A were the wise test under the dominion of his Lord. And he gives us an evidence for that Genesis 316, by the way, that the verse says that after the woman, or Eve committed the first sin, God told her that you will suffer in sorrow, the childbirth and all that, and that your husband will rule over you. So that's what he's referring to, and just putting in between brackets,
Encyclopedia biblica, edited by Cheyenne,
there was a question there discussed about the nature of the medicine contract or the consent of the girl to be made. And it says, and they quote, The girl's consent that's in marriage is unnecessary. And the need for it is nowhere suggested in the law. ordinary human affection would no doubt lead the parents generally to allow their daughters some voice in the matter. And he quotes Genesis 2458, which talk about the marriage of Rebecca, where there was some consultation, but the arrangements about the marriage, and especially about know her, belongs to the province of the Father, or guardian, and he gives reference also again to Genesis 2420 1934. In other words, basically what it
says is that in Judaic law, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, it was not required that the girl would agree to the her husband to be whatever the father or guardian.
Tell her she's supposed to accept.
The same reference in the Encyclopedia biblica. It talks about betrothal this word I used before a girl who's not the first or the girl who was betrothed
And it says to be throws a wife to oneself, or Eros era is named simply to acquire possession of her to acquire possession of her by payment of the purchase money. The botros is a girl for whom the purchase money has been paid,
when, and the basis of that it continues in page 2947. That the matter of divorce then, is a matter of course, it's an absolute right of men. For example, it says that the woman being men's property is right to divorce her fellas as a matter of course. Now, how does that compare with what the Quran and the teaching of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him? This is a method that we'll discuss in some greater detail as we go on. But at this point, I would say first of all, a woman in Islam or a wife is not regarded as a physician of the husband. Indeed, the consent of the girl to marriage is regarded as a necessity as one of the conditions for validity of the marital contract. Thirdly, the
the money that is paid by the husband to be to his wife to be, is regarded as a gift, not a purchase money. The Quran is the word Muslim, which means get in chapter four,
has nothing to do with the purchase at all. And the matter of divorce, of course, has nothing to do with the property right? It's a matter of possible
compatibility, but nothing to do with the question of property. That is why Indeed, we find that some
quote or refer to traditional Israelite press prayers, which is set in the morning by means, thank you, Lord, for not creating me a woman.
So the attitude in the Quran is certainly different. There is no parallel to this kind of attitude or prayer at all. And in Islam.
Most of the foods that we've discussed at this point, and most of the comparisons that we've made have have come from quotations from the Old Testament. This might make some people uneasy, particularly the members of the Christian community. Some of them think that the the Old Testament
law is not applicable any longer and so on.
Where does the New Testament fit in, in these comparisons?
it's useful to refer to the Old Testament still, because after all, the Old Testament is part of the Bible. And it is part of the heritage also of the New Testament. And many disciples, and even writers of the Gospels themselves keep referring to the Old Testament, at least, in terms of the prophecies about the Advent and life of Prophet Jesus peace be upon him. They keep referring frequently to the Old Testament. So why is it good for that, but not good for other things. I realize, of course, that some people believe that
the Judaic law, and the Old Testament law, like you said, is no longer applicable. But even that matters seem to be disputable. It's common to have that view. But the matter itself is the spirit of because Jesus peace be upon him, himself said in Matthew 517, I came not to destroy the law, or profits, I can defend.
But in any case, the least that can be said that it is a useful background, we're looking at it,
hopefully, in what might be similar to an academic approach.
We're not incriminating anyone, but they're simply reviewing
the history of how women were treated in ancient civilization in previous religions, and then compare that with what kind of change and reforms Islam suggests that so it's still part of the heritage anyway. In fact, as we go on, probably we'll find out that
this kind of attitudes were carried over even after Jesus peace be upon him, by Jesus after him through a poll, for example, as we'll see, well, perhaps we could take a look at the position of woman and the nature of woman as perceived by by Jesus peace be upon him and turn to an examination of some of the some of us in the New Testament, but you perhaps give us an indication of of what Jesus view was on the nature and position of women? Well, I'm glad that you you specify Jesus, this happening because there is a big difference between what Jesus Himself taught and between how things were interpreted after him. Not only in the matter of women, but perhaps even on matters of belief.
So I think it's
it's important to keep the deployments separate.
It is fair to say that the position of Jesus peace be upon him was not negative at all towards women. Indeed,
In all honesty, I'm not familiar with any statement that I have seen in the New Testament, quoting Jesus peace be upon him as expressing this type of attitude that predominated in the testaments at all. Indeed, in more than one gospel, we find that Jesus is quoted as rejecting the whole notion of eternal sin.
As some theologian later on, interpreted that, and as such, if there is no basic, eternal sin, then there is no responsibility for women either to carry the burden of that sin.
Indeed, we find that he expressed views which are a little even different from the Old Testament. For example, in the Gospel of john, Chapter 16, he talks also about
the woman being pregnant and giving birth to a child. But he doesn't talk about that as atonement for original sin. He simply says that a woman when the pain starts the labor, she feels anguish than, you know, sorry. But as soon as she gives birth, she feels happy again, and there is no nothing here that could be construed as expressing any negative feelings
towards women. One should remember also that among the followers of Jesus peace be upon him. When women, it is true that none of them was of the 12 disciples, but there were other women who are famous for followed him were accepted by him. And indeed, some of them were witnesses to some of the important events in his life, as at least reported in the, in the Gospels. So his position definitely was honorable about women, and a lot about the disciples of Jesus, did they hold the same views as us? Well, not all of them, even though the predominant attitude by far was that of Paul, who had the greatest influence, of course, on the native historical Christianity if you want.
But if you take a person like Peter, for example, in his first mission,
letter, the First Peter chapter three,
even though he asks women to be submissive to their men, but he still asked men to be compassionate with them, so it doesn't really reflect a totally negative type of attitude towards women.
Paul, however, had a totally different attitude towards women. It's drastically different, I should say, indeed,
not only on the question of women, but I am, as I mentioned earlier, even on matters of belief, like divinity of Christ, and so on,
was the had greater influence on historical Christianity than the Own Words of Jesus himself? Look at the New Testament, composed of 27 books total, more than half 14 books are written by a poem. So there is a lot more of the words of than the word of Jesus Himself direct, or red ink, as in some Bibles, words of Jesus Himself.
That's why many scholars call the second founders
But in any case, one of the interesting, just referred to two or three interesting quotations from
in the First Timothy,
in chapters two, starting from verse 11, Paul says, Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffered not a woman to teach, nor to use to assert authority over the men, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived. But the woman being deceived, was in transgression. Notwithstanding, she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith, and charity, and holiness with sobriety. So that's one, a second
petition that again, shows his attitude isn't the first Corinthians chapter 11.
In which in verse three, for example, he says, but I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man and the head of Christ is God.
And later on in verse seven, he says, For a man who ought not to cover his head, for as much as he is the image and glory of God.
But the woman is the glory of men. For the men is not of the woman, but there was
the man. In other words, he regards men as the image or glory of God. But woman is the glory not of God, but of men. Well, obviously, the attitude he helped lead him to
practice celibacy and even to invite others who can't afford or are able to practice celibacy. And some historians say that he never was married. He repeats the similar attitude and the second Corinthians, For example, in chapter 11, when he again defeats the whole myth of the serpent, the guide, the guiding if, for example,
when it said, quite interesting for a man like Paul, who was never made to make so many pronouncements about, about women, so his his attitudes that were quite different from Jesus, these attitudes that
are attributed to St. Paul, how can you reconcile, I wonder how one could reconcile this attitude toward women with the veneration of Mary.
Mary definitely was an exception, make us be with her.
Because in the view of the clergy and theologian, or at least some say, she is regarded as the Mother of God, that's not that's not a view. Because again, in Islam, we believe that Jesus was a Holy Prophet, but not not divine.
Indeed, that this veneration was went so far, as you know, to the point of almost considering her above a human level. And some of the statutes in some European cathedrals for example, shows Mary standing, holding the whole world in one hand and her son Jesus, in the in the other hand, and we have seen already in the 11th program in this series, how the myth of God mothers are God the mother, it did exist in previous or ancient civilization in more than one place. So I would say the case of May, was definitely an exception, just as in the past, there was worship even of woman or goddesses, but sin, the overall attitude towards women was not that healthy or fish.
Okay, is there any indication that this view of women that was preferred by Paul is any indication that this continued to influence the position of the church throughout history there are lots of indication of this for example, we find the Nicki the famous historian, and I quote speaks of God, this field fierce incentives, which for so conspicuous and served a task, a portion of the writing of the fathers, and then continues later, woman was represented as the thought of him. As the mother of all human ends, she should be ashamed at the very soul that she is a woman, she should live in continuing penance, on account of the curse she has brought upon the world, she should be ashamed of
her dress, for it is the memorial of her phone. She should be especially ashamed of her beauty, for it is the most potent instrument of the devil. This other words of historian Nicky, St. Augustine,
talked about similar things also, that
men alone is the image of God,
separately from one from woman, but woman alone cannot be an image of God sent Chris the song said similar things. But perhaps to conclude one of the most sketchy attacks on women was by father or center Chilean, who says, Do you know that you are each and Eve, the sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age, the gift must of necessity live to you are the devil's gateway, you are the unseen as of that would have been achieved. You are the first desert as of the Divine Law. You are Shiva persuades him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroy it so easily God's image men on account on account of your desertion is that that is that even the Son of God
had to die. So the attitudes seem to have persisted unfortunately not in accordance with the teachings of Jesus, but the teaching of God which was opposed to the views of Jesus.
We have to leave it at that for today. We've exhausted our time. We want to thank you for being our guest invite you back next week, we'll continue our discussion of the social system of Islam. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you