Channel: Jamal Badawi
In the Name of God, the beneficence, the Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever. I mean, 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 and servant of God, I greet you as is my usual fashion, with the universal greetings of peace is a greeting that has been used by all of the prophets from Abraham, through the prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. Assalamu alaikum, which means peace be unto you. I'm your host Hama Rashid. Today we have our 17th program in our series dealing with the social system of Islam. Today
we'll be talking about the position of women in Islam, with particular reference to the political aspect. I have joined me on the program as usual, Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University, the demand is normally money from cinema. But I perhaps have you as our fashion just to quickly summarize the main points that we touched on in our last program in the series, okay. The fitness program at this end to the physician, a woman in stem from the social point of view, and that was covered by looking into her position, particularly as a daughter, wife, and mother.
As a daughter and child indicated that it stands for female infanticide. It even very strongly condemned the feeling of grief when a baby girl is born. In addition to the variety of the setting of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, which was quoted last time to indicate again the necessity and a duty of the father to want to and upbringing. His daughters are not to favor his male children overhead.
other related issue to the woman as child
was the fact that
education and learning is not regarded simply as a right but as a duty which is incumbent on both Muslim male and female as the saying of the Prophet has indicated, and that there is no indication of any particular field of knowledge where a girl should be restricted to even though it's more desirable, to engage in fields which are more suitable to her nature and her best talents.
As a life it was indicated also that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him,
indicated that one basic sign or evidence of good belief is how well does the person treat his wife,
as a mother indicated again, that the Quran places kindness to parents, and particularly to mothers, next to the worship of Allah, and that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, emphasized that one of his famous sayings, that Paradise is underneath the feet of mothers,
aside, even from a woman as the child, wife or mother, indicated, the other saying of the Prophet shows that any other female should be treated, whether she the sister, relative, or even non relative, quoting the saint of Prophet Muhammad, when he said that women are like sisters of men, on behalf of men.
Towards the end, we touched briefly on two related issues, the question of the dress code in Islam, and it was clarified that this is not imposed by any men. It's something that God requires of both male and female to observe certain things to preserve the moral fiber in society. And it has nothing to do with the value or position of male or female.
And finally, the question of the woman going outside and indicated that there is no evidence and a standard clause that shows that the woman should never leave her house so that she can go for learning medication for other purposes, worship, we have given certain evidence of that from Sierra. So there's a big difference between saying that the focus of the woman should be on health homemaking, not housekeeping home making activities, but it doesn't mean that that is in any way you restrictive of visiting, going out for legitimate reasons, there's no
Okay, looking at the beginning of the discussion on
For today's topic, relating to the political life, is it permissible for the women in Islamic Society to participate in the political life of the community or the combination? Okay, I think the term first has to be clarified when you touch on the issue of political. Well, this is another term, of course, that's used more frequently. But in essence, really, when we talk political, we're talking about what we're talking about the public affairs of the community, the general issues that concern everybody in society, maybe with especially reference to areas of government and administration.
it is important to emphasize that when we talk about this demo, talking about a deal, not a religion deal, which is much wider than the restricted religion, because that's an refers mainly, or at least is associated in people's mind with certain rites and rituals. But Islam as a dean, or a complete way of life, it touches on everything, whether it's smaller, social, political, or economic.
And it is quite obvious from the teachings of the Quran, that the responsibility of maintaining a cohesive society and building a good society
is a responsibility of both male and female, the Quran always speaks about cooperation in everything that's good and righteous, and does not specify that for male or female.
Indeed, the Quran use is also a unique concept called relyea. That belief in men and women are earlier which could be translated as friends, supporters, protectors of each other, which again, speaks about the broader social context. This particular verse is quite interesting. It's and it appears in chapter 10, verse 71, and it says, net about only about the believing, or the believers, men and women are protectors, Alliance allies or friends, helpers of one another, they enjoy what is just and good day for bed. What is even, they observed regular prayers, they practice regular charity.
they obey Allah and His Messenger, and then Allah will pour His mercy for Allah is Most Exalted in Power wise. So that basic textbook answers it clearly that it's not just a question of the marital relationship or father daughter relationship, but the totality of believing men and women are supposed to be cooperating together to establish the way of life authentically, by a law or that depth energy.
In addition to this, something even beyond that, and one of the early programs I recall in this series, when we're discussing social responsibility, and Islam,
we indicated that one of the duties of the Muslim male or female is to enjoin or ordained the good and forbid the evil. And again, the verse in Quran or verses, in fact that speaks about that does not make exclusion of females from fulfilling that novel duty and society. Indeed, as the Prophet peace be upon him says that whoever does not care about the affairs of Muslims is not one of them. Again, that applies to males and females. And the collection of hobbies by Muslim, the prophet peace be upon him also says that a gentle naseeha that is, through religion or through way of life or faith is sincerity. One aspect of that sincerity in the heavyset mentioned, advice to be given to
Muslims, whether they are in public offices, or whether they are just, you know, like ordinary citizens. And again, that applies to both. It's a general basic rule. So from all of these texts and evidence, it appears that the duty of the Muslim regardless whether he or she is male or female, is not to knock himself or herself out of what goes on in society, but rather to participate in the affairs of society which today, we happen to use the term political, it's public affairs.
Well, now within the frame of reference that you've just outlined, is it then permissible for the Muslim woman to express your views on social and legal issues? There's no difficulty at all with this. In fact, the best model that we can refer to,
would be to refer to the time when Muslims were really true to their face, particularly during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, as well as the the period of the four rightly guided caliphs after him which are presented, perhaps the best model
or the closest model to the ideal Islam.
And we find that even in the days of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
You find, for example, in chapter 58, a
story about a woman who came to desert that is almost like arguing or, you know, plead with Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him with respect to some family problems she had with her husband. And in fact, the verse was revealed there which says God has indeed heard and accepted the statement of the woman who came to argue or plead with you, and carry her complaints and prayers to Allah said, the verse was revealed, especially to refer to an argument made by a woman, which is an evidence and addition that shows, again, that's how Allah is responding to a call, even if a simple, poor woman.
But the point is that she expressed her views. She didn't know what to do in that particular problem until the revelation came to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon to resolve a particular issue that she was worried about.
During the caliphate of the four guided killers, we find that this basic participation and expression of opinion was practiced. In fact, for example, during the caliphate assessment was your loved one who was the third Caliph after Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, we find that the wife of the Prophet had so many reservations about some of his decisions, and she was to criticize him. And he never said, well, Jen hire or you are a woman alone, you know, what, what, why'd you interfere? In this high political policy type of decision? There's no such thing as it used to be angry in some cases, but at least he didn't say, You have no right to express what you want.
Indeed, even during the caliphate of Allah, may Allah be pleased within the first period after the Prophet. It is well known that Russia strongly objected to his selection. And even some of the very close companions of the Prophet cited would have
accepted his opinion. Once again, nobody said that, who are you as a woman to interfere in the selection of the decade before the ruler of the Muslim ummah.
It is quite true, however, that after that incident, I regretted what she did. But how to interpret his regrets. It she did not regret that she practiced her right and responsibility as a Muslim female to express what she feels about public issues. But she regretted her bad judgment that she did not really
see that she made the right judgment about how he or she was writing in opposing his caliphate. So that's the subject of regret, not the fact that she, she practiced a right, which otherwise would have not been practiced at all, if she knew as a devoted Muslim woman, and a wife of the Prophet, that would be displeasing Allah or displeasing to the Prophet after he died by committing acts, which should have not been permitted to women. I think this is an important point to keep in mind.
So this is in other
incidents, also, it's not only limited to Russia,
for example, last month, they said Calif was one sitting with marijuana.
And that person, marijuana was giving him certain advice in high political decisions. He's like an advisor, advisor to the NFL president at that time.
And the wife of us man was there. And she objected to the advice given by that high ranking fellow. So he told the house, you know, you keep quiet, you know, we're talking about these things. It's, you know, it's not your business.
What was the response of the kid? He said, let her speak up, because she is even more sincere and her advice to me than you, which I can show that he did not say or it I agree with you, if you are a woman, you know, you keep quiet, don't don't interfere in this discussion, but she appreciated her advice and appreciated her opinion. These are only two examples, but just so delicate, and there are many others examples similar to this, which shows that Muslim women did participate in public affairs and did practice. That's right in the best periods really, of the early phases
of Islam. It is quite true to say that the primary interest of women in Islam is to be a homemaker. And this is a very important role. But this is something and to say that because of that emphasis, she should be totally deprived from expressing her opinion is something that's quite different than
is not supported by evidence to the best of my information. Now, what about a related issue? That is the question of voting rights? What is the Islamic position regarding voting rights for women? Well, of course, again, to go back to that early moderate, which represents people who really understood this time, we're very close and their application to its preset,
we find that they did not necessarily follow the exact same format of voting that we're using today, for example, you get your ID and finally put it in the box and all that.
This doesn't say that this time is against that particular format, that that format is not the only format that could be used.
Such 100 years ago with the thing that suited them was a little different from what has been done today. But the method club Baya was used in by an Arabic means rockin English and also allegiance. That is, when you go to a roller, who is tentatively chosen or nominated, or even selected by saying, alright, I accept you as a leader. I give an oath of allegiance of obedience, so long as you're following the teachings of God, which means that given the role of legitimacy, Well, isn't that basically a political activity? It is. Now if we define Abella, or of allegiance as such, we find that there is evidence both in the Quran as well as the behavior of Prophet Muhammad peace be
upon which make it clear that women did actually engage in dialogue.
And evidence can be found, for example, in chapter 16, in the Quran, verse 12,
which stays in the transmission of meaning or profit, when believing women come to you, taking the oath of allegiance to you, that they will not associate anyone with ALLAH, nor steal, nor engage in illicit sex, nor kill their children, nor utter slander, forging it between the hands and feet, nor disobeying you, and what is right and third, and then what it says, addressing the Prophet that says, accept their allegiance allusions, and ask forgiveness for them from Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving, and merciful. The interesting thing about this is that, like I said, if there is a political activity, then that allegiance that is mentioned in the Quran is mentioned in respect to
women. What could be more clear than that? Secondly, it says to the Prophet that when they come to you, it didn't say you may accept it from them, it says, civilian accept, which almost like a command to the Prophet, that you have no choice that it is compulsory that you should accept it, they give their allegiance, to follow you and to
be truly Muslims and their behavior, their activities.
So in that sense, then we can say that the Bible is the closest thing really to what we call today, election. And the Sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him, we find incidents where the Bible was taken from a giant group of men and women as in the back of Africa, where both men and women get that also religious. Indeed, this by in chapter 60, that's the restaurant
as by uttering the set or the oath of allegiance of women. And in fact, at a later time, the profit accepted by our allegiance from men,
following the models of bath in the set, in other words, the debate our allegiance with men, was on the same pattern as the previous author of allegiance that was taken from, from women, when you compare that with the fact that the so called suffrage of the universal suffrage or rights of women to vote, has been obtained in the West.
Almost 1200 years after Islam has established that
like to participate on the part of women in some cases, even the same in Switzerland, I think it was only in the 50s or 60s when, for the first time women were given the right to, to vote. So I think with this analogy, I suppose they
are looking at this, this survivor or the self of allegiance, so some people argue or suggest that this was not related to a matter of politics, but rather had more to do with the questions of belief and moral behavior and that it was given by these women to Prophet Muhammad in his capacity as a prophet. How would you respond to critics who would raise that what the allegiance was not only given to the Prophet as a prophet, but also
As a head of the Muslim community, who later became also the head of an Islamic State, that's one point to keep in mind. And secondly, where as it is true that this verse in chapter 16 speaks mainly about things like in terms of behavior, and moral teachings. But you have already indicated that in the Muslim view, moral and spiritual, social, political, economic are all interrelated issues. And Islam is not divided into compartments. They're all related. Indeed, when it deals with things like moral aspects with respect to property and sex, that is related to a legal aspect, for example, which is criminal law and Islam. So to make that separation,
seems to be a little bit different from the overall approach to life in general. But the other interesting point is that in that verse, in addition to mentioning all this moral act, it says what I asked you Nakashima often, and that they will not disobey you in any order, or command or request, which is fair, and reasonable. What could be that that's a catch all statement, which means any other command, that you as a leader of the believing community, give to them, men or women, they will obey you and accept you, which means also decisions pertaining to political aspect, as we call it today, or even military as well. So the inclusion of that part in the verse shows that obedience
is required in other aspects as well, which includes, quote, unquote, what we call today, political aspects. Now that we've clarified that matter, what about the case of
eligibility of Muslim women to be elected to offices of leadership or can participate in at least in this whole process of lawmaking? Is this something that is permissible, I can, again, go back to the difference between a specific format. And the essence of it is to like an election, for example, you said that the exact format for expressing opinion about to to be elected in public offices and so on, was different. But it does mean that the essence of selection and participation, which we call quote unquote, democracy, it's not exactly equivalent. But the closest thing to that is that the essence is that by the same token, when you talk about progressive winning opinions and methods that
pretend to legal aspects and society,
then we're talking about the standard concept of Shura, which means basically, mutual consultation. And the way that mutual consultation was done in the past, at least in the early days of Islam, was not necessarily to have a formal building where you call it parliament, and people are elected in a specific way and meet on a certain schedule dates and times, and especially a way of collecting votes and all that. I'm not saying that splattered against the standard, it doesn't suit the particular circumstance, but the essence of participation was that the Calif or ruler for example, used to invite people
to participate sometimes more or less number of people, in sometimes invite people who have special talent or special ability that can be can give really unintelligent advice or shorter consultation on certain issues.
In other words, it was more or less an informal process of, of consultation. But in addition to this, we find that after the death of the Prophet peace be upon him, a concept grew in the Muslim community, which is known as 100, health bollocks, which when translated, literally, it sounds funny, it means that people who have the power and right to tie and untie, but that's only a metaphor, but the people who really have the the talent, ability and experience that they can really give intelligent directions or consultation in political matters, which again, we say that people supposedly are elected in parliamentary positions and so on, as opposed to have certain skills and
ability to give intelligent advice or objects to certain laws, whenever they have good reason. But in addition to this, we find that during the lifetime of the companions of the property, the Caleb's after him, many of the prominent women who have that skill and experience and knowledge were consulted, as we are taught by historians in their homes, not necessarily that the there was like a say, a five minute or anything. But, you know, deputations went to them in their homes and asked their opinions and judgment in many issues. Now, we don't know of any massive resistance or objection. In fact, I don't know of any Muslim jurists or scholar at that time or Companion of the
Do you consult us women, women should be kept out of politics, or public policy or policy decisions like that. Nobody objected to that. The only restriction of that, of course, is general restriction that any participation of that nature should be within the proper Islamic framework within the proper adaper etiquette or manners that Islam enjoys on both males and females. So long as that's observed, there's no question of women having the right to express their opinion. Now, could you give us some some specific illustration of how
these early Muslim women participated in provided important legislation? What there's something very close to that, a very famous incident that took place during the light of the second case of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
And apparently, he noted that some people were exaggerating in Mahesh mouth, which is the marriage gift given by the husband to be the his fiancee.
what he did is he stood up on the members, that's the high place that a person sits to give the sermon in the mosque.
And he said, I would like to forbid you from paying any marriage gift that exceeds 400. Durham's, which was a kind of like coin or cancer.
And if anyone pays more than 400, Durham's, I take the rest and put it in the public Treasury to be used for the benefit of Muslims.
I've been saying that a woman stood in the back in the mosque.
And she said to him later, like adeleke, which means you have no right to say that.
So why is that?
She said, because if you go to the Quran,
it says there about the question of meryton you know, marriage gift, it says, find a title.
That is if you give a woman that his or her wife to be a ton, let it be even a ton of gold. Imagine that at today's price. If you give a woman a ton, then you cannot take anything back from it. How could you take it by way of oppression and injustice? And she said, not always what she's saying that if God Himself permitted, and consider it legitimate, for let's say, a rich husband to be to give to his wife as a marriage gift, a ton of gold? Who are you? You know, are by what's right when Allah says that, who are you as a human being, to say something different from what Allah determine in his book.
Now, it's quite interesting confrontation. Now if it is true, like some people may mistakenly think that women Muslim woman should not interfere or express anything about legislation or politics or anything of that sort.
You don't need I've heard shouts throughout the mosque, sit down, sit down, lady. Yeah, no business to do that, you know, you think a person objective? How about the roulette himself, armor, he stood up in all courage, and Islamic attitude. And he says, The woman is right. And armor is wrong. in humility, even or humbleness, he added, everybody is more understanding and knowledge was the new armor about himself.
The woman is right, and armor is wrong. Now, it is obvious that almost anyone who studied his history was a very staunch devoted Muslim, who tried to intimidate and its purity, who had not,
you know, approach any problem with any hesitation or nonsense type of attitude, whatever is right in joint whatever was wrong, he forbade it. And if it were wrong, for a woman to speak up against what he's suggesting, as a high government decision, quote, unquote, or policy decision with an object is a race, I am wrong, because you reminded me of the rest. But you also are wrong, because you're not supposed to speak up maybe should have told your husband or somebody else to tell me I could never objected to that.
Explain or practice of that. Right. So in other words, it might be somewhat analogous, even to what you might consider today, a discussion in some kind of an open parliament, yes, of a policy decision, which was reversed on constitutional grounds.
But we'll have to leave it at that for today because our time is gone. We want to thank you for being our guest on Islamic focus. Assalamu alaikum peace