Channel: Jamal Badawi
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In the Name of God, the benevolent, the Merciful, the creator and the Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever on me. 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 with this is my fashion, with the universal greetings of peace. A greeting that has been used by all the prophets from Abraham to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. Assalamu alaikum, which means peace be unto you. Today we have our 19th program in our series dealing with the social system of Islam. We'll be looking at Muslim women
in history. I'm your host, Humbert Rashid and I have joining me on the program, as usual. Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University, brother, Jamal assalamu, alaikum.
I wonder if perhaps this is also our fashion, if I could just have you very quickly summarize the main points we touched on last week's program? Certainly, first of all, the first part was a continuation of our discussion of Muslim women and the so called public affairs
was what what we call today political life. And we use the example what happened during the days of Omar to the second case after the prophet who was corrected by a woman and domestic that made the analogy between that and political activities taking place today.
And then we went on to discuss the issue as to whether Islam sanctions a Muslim woman being in a position of leadership and responsibility. And we quoted the saying of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, Brian, that each one of you as leaders, which included also women, as well. And we indicated that the role even of a woman who is not employed at home,
as a mother, and as a wife, is an Iran which carries importance, responsibility and direction of others in which she has children and that that's what leadership is all about.
But in specifically, if we mean by public, office or leadership in a sense of position of sensitivity or importance or prominence in this society, we have indicated that as a basic rule, there is no clear cut prohibition. In Islamic law. The only thing that was excluded by a particular text was the headship of the state, which appears not in the Quran, even it appears in the word of Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him.
And we discuss some of the possible reasons for this particular restriction on the basis of the totality of the framework of Islam and the nature of the role of the Muslim Kayla's leading prayers even and we talked about how this is different from other frameworks. But as far as anything beyond the headship of the state, we indicated that there is nothing conclusive about restricting a Muslim woman from occupying any other position. We indicated that some jurist the majority feel that a woman serving as a judge should be analogous to serving as a head of state. Between indicators again, that's a great scholar, like a theory says that this analogy is not correct. It's just a
matter of interpretation. Abu hanifa took a middle ground between both opinions, but there's nothing conclusive about it.
Finally, we touched on the question of accepting the witness of a Muslim woman, and why, particularly in financial dealings or financial contracts, as as indicated in a version of Quran in chapter two, verse 282. It indicated that the witnesses should be either two men, or one men and two women. And we indicated again, that the verse itself explained the reason that on the whole, most women would not be as involved in the details of financial dealings. And as such, as the verse says, if one of the woman forgets or does not pay as much attention to what was going on the other one perhaps can step in and collect our or help hard to remember properly, what went on. So basically,
we say this has nothing to do with the status, but rather, the approach of establishing justice and making sure the ruling is made. That the there's all kinds of precautions about the accuracy of the event. Now, on this topic of the Muslim woman as a witness before we go on and get into the topic,
For today, we mentioned that she was able to be a witness in financial dealings. Is it accepted permissible for a Muslim woman to become a witness in matters other than those dealing with financial matters? We find many scholars, for example, like
Abu hanifa and Edna,
hold the view that a woman's witness is accepted in all areas, excluding criminal law, the area of getting witness on a crime. And some jurists try to explain that in a sense that, you know, the site of the crime, which might involve bloodshed might be too much of a shock for most women, it could be a Sacramento but might be a shock for most women who are emotional by nature, which might,
again result in inaccurate perception of exactly what went on, which might affect life or death in terms of the accused.
But even then, this is not a universal view that is held by all Muslim jurists, we find that other famous Muslim jurists like Jeffrey, and
as quoted, for example, in a very important difference called criminal law in Islam in Arabic attache generif stamp authored by other other author and the second volume, particularly page 15, in which he quotes this,
or refer to this jurist as indicating or holding the view that the witness of a woman is to be accepted in any matters, or any dispute, including the issue of criminal law. So there's a difference of opinion on that. And like I said earlier, it's just a matter of interpretation. There is nothing conclusive in the Quran, or the words of the Prophet that restricts a Muslim woman from that particular activity.
But insofar as whether that witness that is requiring one man and two women, or two men,
extends or applies to other areas other than criminal law, again, it is a matter
Other than financial? That's right, it is a matter of interpretation. There is nothing conclusive really about it, even though the majority of jurists extend that to apply to other areas beyond financial genius, they say the same rule that you have to have two men or one man with to win. But there are some questionable
or questions pertaining to the methodology of that analogy.
And, in my humble understanding, this analogy, suffers from some weaknesses in the basis of the Quran, on the basis of prophetic tradition, and on the basis of the overall spirit of Islamic law. Let me try to give the evidence that I feel should be looked into carefully.
In the Quran, we find that there are at least seven places where the witness that is witnessing dealings or disputes as mentioned there are the word witness or Shaheed appears also in the context of other things. But in terms of actual disputes, there are at least seven verses in the Quran. I checked that in the concordance.
And one of them, one of the seven,
only, there is this requirement that the witnesses should be either two men, or one men and two women. And this is the rest recorded in the previous problem. That's chapter two, verse 282. That's the only exclusion or the only specification of the sex of the witnesses and financial deals
in a second, and another verse.
That is in the chapter 24, verses six to nine,
we find that the witness of a man is exactly equated with a witness of a woman.
This recorded before in a previous program that is the case when one spouse, a husband or wife accuses his spouse, or her spouse, of committing adultery, in which case, the denial is just as good as the accusation Otherwise, the witness of a man is exactly created with the witness of a woman.
And the other five verses which I did check, we find that the Quran does not specify whether those witnesses should be men or women or what kind of combinations so there is no conclusive evidence. The versus for reference, is chapter four verses three and chapter five, verse 109, Chapter 24, verse four, Chapter 24, verse 13, and chapter 65, verse two in all of these five verses, which talk about witness in dispute, there is no specification of the sex of the witness.
I mentioned also that this analogy or requiring two women with this for one men seem to consider
Or seem not to be consistent, at least with prophetic tradition. How? For example, in the several references or collections of prophetic saves the Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi and tirmidhi, it was reported that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in some dispute, decided on the dispute by one statement under oath, and one witness, without specifying the sex of that witness, which lived the possibility that it might have been either a man or a woman.
And furthermore, we find in other numerous saying of the Prophet, particularly in absolute and utter misery,
that Prophet Muhammad, for example, said that he was reported to have rejected the witness of a person who is untrustworthy, a person who is
jealous of somebody else, against whom is making witness, and a person who is subordinate to other where there is fear that he might be just doing that to set to please his boss. In all of those incidents, he mentioned, both male and female gender, the untrusted word as trust towards the man and trustworthy woman. So each of them he repeated that which again showed
some kind of similarity or analogy. And finally, in my humble understanding, it seems to contradict also the spirit of Islamic law. Because, according to the Quran,
to give a witness is not only just a right or privilege, it is a duty. For example, we find in in chapter two, verse 282. In the Quran, it says that people who are invited to give witness should not abstain. It is a duty that they should give witness. In the same chapter in the following verse. It says that concealing the truth or concealing witness is a sin. It's wrong, one should not consider the witness. In chapter 65, in verse two, it says that witness is something that one should do for the sake of God. When from all of this, it shows that it is a duty. Now the question is this. Now suppose that there's an incident,
and the only witnesses for that were either one men and one woman or even two women?
Would it be conceivable under the spirit of Islamic law to stick to technicalities and say, No, these are two women, there must be another man, resulting in the loss of the rights of others and lack of establishment of justice. So if we look at it, then in terms of all of these differences, we find that the requirement of two women witness for one men, and other than what the Quran specified in one single verse that is in financial theory, does not seem to have
a very solid
ground, even though the majority of jurists have agreed to that. But luckily, there are, there have been some other jurors who had more insightful thoughts about this whole issue.
Moving into today's discussion of Muslim women in Islamic history, I wonder if perhaps we could
touch on the applied side of this topic and like to ask you if there are specific examples of prominent Muslim women in Islamic history, and perhaps we could begin with looking at women who've been prominent in matters of faith. What one of the greatest tributes that Islam made to pious Muslim women is that the very first person who embraced Islam after Prophet Muhammad was given the mission or was commanded was not a man was a woman, his wife Khadija, according to Islamic history, when he was contemplating in the cave of Hara, that is even before he received the command, he used to go, sometimes as long as one month during the month of Ramadan, in a case outside of Makkah, just
on the top of the mountain, I don't continue contemplating meditating, trying to discover the truth, or to seek God's guidance, to help him Discover the Truth. Even before he received that first revelation, his wife did not object as you know how many wives would like their husbands to be away for a month, she did not stop him or try to make an obstacle in his way. Many times even she visited him and provided him with supplies. But when the first revelation came to him, he was alone. He came down very scared, because he didn't know what that person claiming to be NGO, Gabrielle is he thought that it might it could be an even spiritual son. He was simple and was trembling and he was
in a very, you know, fearful state of what happened to him. He ran away to his home
instead of Khadija, his wife telling him that you know what happened to you and all that and try to accuse him of imagining things. She immediately confronted him when he said, Could that be an evil spirit that came to me in the cave? She said no, and one of her beautiful, you know,
I should say, come from
words were something like this. He said, By then he said by the name of God, God will never let you down. After all, you are kind to your relatives, you help those who are weak, you are charitable to those who are in need. You speak the truth, you are hospitable to your guests, and you comfort those who suffer. In other words, concluding from his character and behavior, that what happened to him can never be an evil spirit, God will not let you down. See, when the person come in this state of tension, and finding this comforting words from his beloved one, and the effect it would have on him to persevere and to carry his responsibility. The beliefs and Khadija are here, honor of being the
very first Muslim, the very first person to accept Islam as completed through Prophet Muhammad. Peace be upon him, was not just a matter of faith or belief in the heart. Indeed, she shared with him all his suffering and difficulties and sacrifices, again, in his struggle against all evil and false hood and the persecution of his own people, his own relatives even. And whenever he faced all these difficulties outside of his home, and came back home, he found the kind heart, the support, the comforting words the encouragement from his wife, Elisa. So his role were was quite crucial in the cutting out of his responsibility. And even when the going became very tough, and the pagans, at
that time, put the Muslims into what you might call to the siege, really virtually a siege by cutting them not sending them any food. And Muslims were almost like in a season, particular place and Mecca. Khadija was very sensitive, just get out of it. But she joined her husband and other Muslims, suffered hunger, thirst, and deprivation despite the fact that she was rich, and she's not she was not used to this kind of suffering. But that shows again, that she was really living
with her heart, mind, and physical existence with the suffering and sacrifice of the Prophet.
Was there any recognition of traditions, faith or strong faith? One suffice to say that that's a condition basically, or the the highest of recognition came from God Himself.
It was narrated in Buhari collection of prophetic tradition, that one time Angel Gabrielle came to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and he said to him, in a few minutes here is Khadija she's coming to you bringing you some food and a container.
When she comes to you, convey to her greetings of peace from God, and from me, greeting the face from God, especially a greeting sent to her. And then he said, Tell her also give her the glad tidings that God has prepared a house for her for Khadija in Paradise, which is made of
word in that is inside that house, there is neither noise, nor fatigue or suffering.
This is an interesting description of his abode and paradise. Because, as some scholars explained,
how a switch wherein there is no noise. And they say that Khadija in terms of her own characters in dealing with her husband, the prophet, she never raised her voice on him.
And she suffered the noise made by the unbelievers. So as such, God is rewarding her now comfort away from this noise. Secondly, that this house in the Orient that house there is no fatigue or suffering. Because again, she never caused any fatigue or suffering to the Prophet, but was nothing or no more than a very sincere and comforting spells to the Prophet is different
to how we just said the most amount of sacrifice that Khadija made in terms of supporting Muhammad peace and doesn't require them. How about recognition of the sacrifice on the part of Prophet Muhammad himself? Did he say think about her, he said and did even First of all, during their marital life, the amount of love and affection that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him showed towards his wife Elisa, was exemplary. Suffice to say that when they got married, Prophet Mohammed was 25 years old. Khadija was 40 years old, that is 15 years older than he was. He lived with her as his only wife for a period of 25 years that his basic active life really from the age of 25, to the
age of 50. And when she died, she was 65 he was 50.
And that marriage proved to be despite of this difference in age
The very successful manage
very stable marriage because it was built upon mutual appreciation of human qualities rather than other flashy things in their lives.
In some of his sayings, and when he talks about women who achieved perfection,
in one hobbyist or one saying he mentioned Asya, the wife of Pharaoh
marry the mother of Jesus, and Khadija, his own wife in one another version, he mentioned also Fatima, his daughter,
but it is quite interesting. In the version that he mentioned three very perfect women, as human as possible, of course with absolute perfection pretends to get
that the choice of this particular women and if you look carefully into this women, you find that they play a very significant role in the life of three major prophets, three major religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. As the wife of the pharaoh acted as the foster mother of Moses, there is one.
Mary, the mother, the mother of Jesus, peace be upon him, played a very crucial role in upbringing her child, Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him. That's the second, Khadija played a very important role in the life or her heart of her husband, the last prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them.
So it's really an interesting mentioned that shows a great deal of appreciation.
In fact, that appreciation was so much repeated by him. That is, even after her death, he was very faithful to her memory, always praising her. Indeed, he used to even be generous to her own relatives and friends. Sometimes when he slept as an animal, for example, like a sheep or something, he sent a piece of the meat or parts of the need to such and such lady. Why because she was a friend. She used to visit us when Khadija was alive. That phrase was so continuous that his wife Ayesha, one time got a little jealous as a human being and a woman of course, and she wants to talk to him. You keep mentioning that old lady didn't get replaced that old lady with one who is better
than Hartley felt herself. And the Prophet got angry and says, No, God did not replace her with someone who's better than her. After all, she accepted that accepted Islam when people disbelieved. She believed in me, she was faithful to me when other people disbelieved and rejected me.
She supported me with her property,
and made it under my disposal and disposal of
Islamic faith, when other people withheld their financial support. And then he added, and God gives me all my children are in it almost all my children through her. And in fact, it was a thing to the fact that only one child was born to a wife other than Khadija. That is Ibrahim was born to marry the Egyptian good. But other than that all his children was born from that first wife Khadija,
as indicated before he was she was his wife for 25 years, two boys and, and four girls, the two boys were across him. And Abdullah Abdullah was also giving the title of five and attach. And the four girls Rokia, Zeinab, oma consume and then this one, Fatima, who is another very prominent woman in Islamic history.
So far, we've talked about prominent Muslim women whose husbands have also been believers in Islam. Are there examples in Islamic history where there were prominent women who, whose faith was independent of that of her husband? Yes, they were independent, both of their husbands, their fathers, brothers, and that showed again, that they had their independent personality, especially in the method of faith. Let me give you just three examples. All three examples, by the way, appears
in a variety of references. And most of this incidents reported, in addition to appearing in the books of Hadith or prophetic tradition, there are two other very good references one is called massage. And the other one is called an Saba, it needs to hover.
In the case of a husband, for example, that we find that the wife sorry, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, Xena was a believer, she became Muslim, but her husband, Alas, alas, who was not a believer, and she didn't care and actually should separate it from him because it wasn't permissible for her to live with him.
We find that Omar Habiba, the daughter of Abu Sufyan became Muslim white, her father was not a believer, and she treated him actually in a way that showed that the bonds of faith were more important in her mind that the blood relationship
we find the example of such
Emma, the daughter of subtab, who was assisted of Americana photographer, who later on became a Muslim became a very good Muslim In fact, and became the second kill is after the Prophet. But before he became believer, he once went to his sister's house and found her reciting the Quran, the scriptures. So he was very angry because he was unbeliever at that time, and he beat her up. And when he saw the blood in her face, he felt ashamed of itself of himself. And then he asked to read the Quran, and his heart was touched, and he became a believer. But that showed again that despite of the toughness of her brothers and his disbelief at that time, she became Muslim. So there are
lots of examples that are examples of Muslim women who even migrated, leaving behind the seminaries to protect their face, like armor consumed, for example, the daughter of Aqua, after the had a treaty, she migrated to Medina leaving behind her own Fox. So they weren't quite independent. And that's right. So maybe we look at another aspect of involvement of Muslim woman in the early community. And that is in the area of the struggles of the early Muslim community, with the tough times ahead in terms of Australia, establishing Islam, are there any record of the Muslim women being subjected to torture and other kinds of suffering? There is an honorable record. And in fact,
that's where Muslim women had scored the first also, as indicated before Khadija was the first one to become a Muslim. Yes, the first one to sacrifice her own life for the sake of Islam was a woman also, that's an interesting,
you know, turn of events. That was to mania. The mother of American yes is one of the great and prominent companions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. When they became Muslims in the early period in the early period in Makkah, when Muslims were persecuted. she, her husband and her son were severely tortured by the pagans, especially by a man by the name of a Buddha.
And at one point, he got so frustrated because of her perseverance, and patients under all this forms of torture, that he stabbed her, and her lower abdomen was his spirit, and she died, she became the first martyr for the sake of her faith. There are other examples of women who are tortured and punished also by Aboriginal and similar, ignorant people like him, to the point that her sight was lost. When her sight was lost. They taunted her the unbeliever, they wanted her they said, Alright, it is the our idols who caused your the loss of your sight. And she responded in face, that they are lying because these idols can do no good, no harm. And it was reported
historically that God restored her sight to her. But even those women who are not directly tortured, suffice that they saw their beloved ones, their fathers, their children, their husbands, being tortured their brothers tortured before their own eyes. But they never cracked and they always
persevered. And provided comfort and encouragement for the faithful relatives. Indeed, some of them even were given very dangerous assignments or accepted assignments which put their lives
in jeopardy. For the minute or so that we have left remaining. Could you perhaps give us a very quick illustration of, of this exposure to danger when, when Prophet Mohammed and his companion abubaker were migrating from Mecca to Medina, the pagans were very angry and they were really demanding his head, life or death. So they made a big generous reward for anyone who can kill him. And the Prophet Mohammed and Abu Bakr went to a cave called south, the Cave of south south of Medina, south of Mecca before he continued his journey, just to evade the pursuers
and the pagans led by Abuja and went to the house of Abu Bakr. So his daughter came out, they asked him, What is your father? She said, I don't know. Of course, you knew they slapped her and her face to the point that her earring, you know, came out, but she still never cracked or thought. In fact, she kind of did very dangerous responsibility of carrying food supplies secretly. And the news, the latest news about what is going on to Abu Bakar and the prophet will while they were hiding in the cave, this was a very dangerous thing. If you were caught, you could have probably played her life's for that. Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet used to defend him so much. When he was attacked by
others. It was narrated that one time he was doing his prayer. So somebody brought into signs of a slatted cabin and put it over his head. Fatima rushed there, despite of the dangers to clean that from the back of her father.
There are numerous examples of exposure to danger on the backs of Muslim women. Well, we've exhausted our time for today we want to thank you for watching our program. Join us next week we will continue our series on the social system of Islam Assalamu alaikum peace