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Tuesday 24th of May 2022
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Do You Know This Book?

Introduction

This booklet is for every free thinking and broadminded human being whose goal is to find the truth. We encourage you to read this booklet with an open mind. For a few moments, please set aside your pre-conceived notions and take a critical look at what is presented. It will open before you a new dimension of your role as a human being in this universe.

When we want to talk about Islam as a way of life, it is a very difficult task especially in the West because of several misconceptions and stereotypes that are prevalent about Islam and Muslims.
One of the surprising facts for most non-Muslims is that Islam has over 975 million followers all over the world. Islam has a revelation, a holy book, called the Qur'an which was revealed to the prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, about fourteen hundred years ago. The Qur'an is the last and final revelation until the end of human existence on earth.
When we talk about Islam or Christianity, we should not consider some Muslims' and Christians' wrongdoings as a way to judge Islam or Christianity.
As far as scripture goes, let us see what Dr. Maurice Bucaille said in his book "The Bible, the Qur'an and Science", which was published by the American Trust Publications 1979:

"Thanks to its undisputed authenticity, the text of the Qur'an holds a unique place among the books of Revelation, shared neither by the Old nor the New Testament. In the first two sections of this work, a review was made of the alterations undergone by the Old Testament and the Gospels before they were handed down to us in the form we know today. The same is not true for the Qur'an for the simple reason that it was written down at the time of the prophet".

Somebody with a counter argument might ask, "How would I know that the Qur'an is a revelation from Allah?" Do you have any evidence?"

I have evidence that the Qur'an is a revelation from Allah and this evidence is presented in the next few pages. When the revelation of the Qur'an commenced in 622 A.D., it was a linguistic miracle. The Qur'an has a challenge in it. The challenge is for anybody to produce some thing like or similar to the Qur'an.
This challenge was present in the Qur'an in (Chap 17 : 88) which is translated as follows:

" Say: If the whole of mankind and Jinn were together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they back up each other with help and support."

Years passed and nobody was able to meet the challenge. Later (after several years) the challenge in the Qur'an was eased asking for anyone to produce even ten Suras like those in it. This was in the Quran in ( Chap 11 : 13 )which is translated as follows:

" or they may say, "He forged it" Say, "Bring ye then ten Suras forged, like unto it, and call (to your aid) whomsoever ye can, other than Allah! If ye speak the truth"

Again years passed and nobody was able to successfully meet the challenge. Later the challenge was eased for the second time to produce one Sura like or similar to the Suras in the Qur'an. The challenge (to anyone) to produce one Sura was presented in the Qur'an in more than a Sura, one of them was in (Chap2:23) which is translated as follows:

"And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers besides Allah, if what you say is true."

Since then, more than fourteen hundred years have passed, and nobody has been able to meet the challenge, and nobody will, because the Qur'an is the only existing book containing the word of Allah which no man can match or imitate. The most eloquent people in the Arabic language spent years going over and searching the Qur'an, trying to find any weak or inadequate word or sentence, but they could not. They even went further, trying to find a way to substitute a word or a sentence in the Qur'an, hoping to convey a similar meaning as the original one, but they failed to do so.

As a result of this, many people, especially linguists, throughout the last fourteen hundred years believed in the Qur'an as a revelation beyond any human capacity.

In the beginning of the modern ages, some non-Muslims argued that the appreciation of the Arabic language has declined even among the native speakers themselves, and that most of the non-Muslims cannot speak Arabic. They conclude that the Qur'an will not stay till the end of the human existence on earth as a miracle.

This is not a valid argument because there are still millions of people all over the world who have a very good command of the Arabic language and who can appreciate the linguistic miracle of the Qur'an. But the Qur'an has something else for the modern ages. Some people have noticed that there are many facts about the science of astronomy, human reproduction and other scientific fields in the Qur'an.

Modern scientists have been amazed by the accuracy of scientific information presented in the Quran. Some people wrote books about this phenomenon which attracted the attention of many people in the west - both Muslims and Non- Muslims.

One of these books is a specialized book in embryology entitled The Developing Human by Dr. Keith L. Moore, published by W.B. Saunders, 1982. In the third edition of this book, Dr. Moore said:

"It is cited in the Koran, the holy book of the Muslims, that human beings are produced from a mixture of secretions from the male and the female. Several references are made to the creation of a human being from a sperm drop and it is also suggested that the resulting organism settles in the woman like a seed, six days after its beginning. (The human blastocyst begins to implant about six days after fertilization.) The Koran, (and prophet saying), also states that the sperm drop develops 'into a clot of congealed blood' (an implanted blastocyst or a spontaneously aborted conceptus would resemble a blood clot.) Reference is also made to the leech-like appearance of the embryo... "

This was part of what Dr. Moore wrote in his book. Later, after more research and study of the Qur'anic terms used to describe the development of the embryo in the mother's womb and other related descriptions, Dr. Moore found that the Qur'anic terms and statements are amazing in their scientific accuracy.

Therefore, Dr. Moore decided to add a chapter to the next edition of his book to discuss the scientific accuracy of the Qur'anic version, which was revealed fourteen hundred years ago. In the seventh Saudi Medical Meeting, Dr. Moore wrote a paper about human embryology in the Qur'an and the Hadith. He said in the paper: "I was amazed at the scientific accuracy of these statements (in the Qur'an), which were made in the 7th century A.D."

Now the question is: if the Qur'an describes these scientific facts with great accuracy, how could it be a human work? Let us see what Dr. Maurice Bucaille said after he had read the Qur'an:

"My first goal was to read the Qur'an and to make a sentence by sentence analysis of it... my approach was to pay special attention to the description of numerous natural phenomena given in the Qur'an; the highly accurate nature of certain details referring to them in the Book, which was only apparent in the original, struck me by the fact that they were in keeping with present-day ideas although a man living at the time of Mohammed couldn't have suspected this at all...what initially strikes the reader confronted for the first time with a text of this kind is the sheer abundance of subjects discussed... whereas monumental errors are to be found in the Bible I could not find a single error in the Qur'an. I had to stop and ask myself: if a man was the author of the Qur'an how could he have written facts in the seventh century A.D. that today are shown to be in keeping with modern scientific knowledge?... What human explanation can there be to this observation? In my opinion there is no explanation; there is no special reason why an inhabitant of the Arabian Peninsula should have had scientific knowledge on certain subjects that was ten centuries ahead... It is an established fact that at the time of the Qur'anic Revelation, i.e. within a period of roughly twenty three years straddling Hegira (622 A.D.), scientific knowledge had not progressed for centuries and the period of activity in Islamic civilization, with its accompanying scientific upsurge, came after the close of the Qur'anic revelation."

In addition to what Dr. Bucaille said, there are more examples from different scientific fields other than embryology.

When I searched the Qur'an for verses which refer to scientific facts, I found a large number of such verses. I will try to give as many examples as the space permits.

The Qur'an states several facts about astronomy which were discovered in the late twentieth century. One of these facts is about the expansion of the universe. Let us see what Dr. Bucaille said about that:

"The expansion of the universe is the most imposing discovery of modern science today. It is a firmly established concept and the only debate centres around the way this is taking place. It was first suggested by the general theory of relativity and is backed up by physics in the examination of the galactic spectrum; the regular movement towards the red section of their spectrum may be explained by the distancing of one galaxy from another. Thus the size of the Universe is probably constantly increasing and this increase will become bigger the further away the galaxies are from us. The speeds at which these celestial bodies are moving may, in the course of this perpetual expansion, go from fractions of the speed of light to speeds faster than this."

The following Verse of the Qur'an (Chap51:47) where God is speaking, may perhaps be compared with modern ideas;

"The heaven, we have built it with power. Verily we are expanding it."

"Heaven" is the translation of the word "sama" and this is exactly the extraterrestrial world that is meant. "We are expanding it" is the translation of the plural present participle "musi'una" of the verb "aus'a" meaning "to make wider, more spacious, to extend, to expand".

Another example from a different scientific field is about the living things in general which we can find in more than one verse in the Qur'an. For example (Chap21:30) was chosen by Dr. Bucaille to present how the Qur'an talked about these scientific facts. The Verse is translated as follows:

"Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then we clove them asunder and we got every living thing out of the water. Will they then not believe?"
The notion of "getting something out of something" does not give rise to any doubts. The phrase can equally mean that every living thing was made of water (as its essential component) or that every living thing originated in water. The two possible meanings are strictly in accordance with scientific data. Life is in fact of aquatic origin and water is the major component of all living cells. Without water, life is not possible. When the possibility of life on another planet is discussed, the first question is always: does it contain a sufficient quantity of water to support life?

From the Animal Kingdom there are so many facts stated in the Qur'an. One of these facts is about the source of the constituents of animal milk which has been described in the Qur'an fourteen hundred years before. It has been understood only in recent times. Let us see how Dr. Bucaille explained that when he made comments on (Chap16:66) which is translated as follows:

"Verily, in cattle there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of what is inside their bodies, coming from a conjunction between the contents of the intestine and the blood, a milk pure and pleasant for those who drink it."

"From a scientific point of view, physiological notions must be called upon to grasp the meaning of this verse. The substances that ensure the general nutrition of the body come from chemical transformations which occur along the length of the digestive tract. These substances come from the contents of the intestine. On arrival in the intestine at the appropriate stage of chemical transformation, they pass through its wall and towards the systematic circulation. This passage is effected in two ways: either directly, by what are called the Lymphatic vessels', or indirectly, by the portal circulation. This conducts them first to the liver, where they undergo alterations, and from here they then emerge to join the systematic circulation. In this way every thing passes through the blood-stream.. The constituents of milk are secreted by the mammary glands. These are nourished, as it were, by the product of food digestion brought to them via the bloodstream. Blood therefore plays the role of collector and conductor of what has been extracted from food, and it brings nutrition to the mammary glands, the producers of milk, as it does to any other organ. Here the initial process which sets everything else in motion is the bringing together of the contents of the intestine and blood at the level of the intestinal wall itself. This very precise concept is the result of the discoveries made in the chemistry and physiology of the digestive system. It was totally unknown at the time of the Prophet Mohammed and has been understood only in recent times. The discovery of the circulation of the blood, was made by Harvey roughly ten centuries after the Qur'anic Revelation. I consider that the existence in the Qur'an of the verse referring to these concepts can have no human explanation on account of the period in which they were formulated."

The last example I would cite from Dr. Bucaille's book is what I consider a very interesting one, because this example illustrates where the Qur'an showed the people facts that have not even been discovered without the help of the information given in the Qur'an. This example is about the story of the Pharaoh and Moses which was presented in the Qur'an in more than one Sura.

The Verses which inspire Dr. Bucaille to do the research around this incident are in (Chap10:90-92) , which mean as follows:

"We (Allah) took the children of Israel across the sea. Pharaoh with his hosts pursued them in rebellion and hostility till, when the fact of his drowning overtook him he said: I believe there is no True God except the God in whom the Children of Israel believe. I am of those who submit themselves to Him. (It was said to him) 'Now! Thou has rebelled and caused depravity: This day we save thee in the body so that thou mayest be a sign for those who come after thee' But verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our signs."

This is what the Holy Qur'an said about the story of Moses and the Pharaoh and the sign Allah left for the people who come after the Pharaoh to see who has a revelation from Allah and who does not have. Let us hear from Dr. Bucaille how he conducted research to verify this Qur'anic story:

"In June 1975, the Egyptian high authorities very kindly allowed me to examine the parts of the Pharaoh's body that had been covered until then. They also allowed me to take photographs... What may already be derived from this examination is the discovery of multiple lesions of the bones with broad lacunae, some of which may have been mortal although it is not yet possible to ascertain whether some of them occurred before or after the Pharaoh's death. He most probably died either from drowning, according to the scriptural narrations, or from very violent shocks preceding the moment when he was drowned or both at once. The connection of these lesions with the deterioration whose sources have been mentioned above renders the correct preservation of the mummy of the Pharaoh somewhat problematical, unless precautionary and restorative measures are not taken very soon. These measures should ensure that the only concrete evidence which we still possess today concerning the death of the Pharaoh of the Exodus and the rescue of his body, willed by God; does not disappear with the passage of time. It is always desirable for man to apply himself to the preservation of relics of his history, but here we have something which goes beyond that: it is the material presence of the mummified body of the man who knew Moses, resisted his pleas, pursued him as he took flight and lost his life in the process. His earthly remains were saved by the Will of God from destruction to become a sign to man, as it is written in the Qur'an.

Those who seek among modern data for proof of the veracity of the Holy Scriptures will find a magnificent illustration of the verses of the Qur'an dealing with the Pharaoh's body by visiting the Royal Mummies Room of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo! "

These are a few examples just to illustrate what I am talking about in this booklet. There are over a hundred of these examples in several scientific fields in the Qur'an which all have been proven to be scientifically true, in this Book which was revealed fourteen hundred years ago. Anybody who would like to examine more of these concepts could read the Qur'an and find out for himself or, an interested person could get Dr. Bucaille's book "The Bible, The Qur'an and Science" which is available in bookstores, and check the accuracy of what he referred to. Not only Dr. Bucaille and Dr. Moore, but many scholars have researched these concepts and a lot of this research was presented on September 23rd, 1985 in the conference which was held in Cairo under the title of "The Scientific Concepts in the Qur'an."

Several papers were presented at the conference. One of the most interesting papers was from Dr. T.V. Persuade, a professor at the University of Manitoba, Canada, about human reproduction. Another interesting paper was presented by Dr. Marshal Johnson Ph.D., the Director of Daniel Baugh Institute, Philadelphia, USA, also about embryology in the Qur'an. Dr. Johnson said at the conference that he started to use the Qur'anic terms in teaching embryology to his students because they were more accurate and easier to learn than the terms in textbooks.

Dr. Arthur Elson from the City University in London, UK, stated that he was amazed by the scientific accuracy of the statements which had been made in the Qur'an. He had no doubt in his mind that these were not human words because these facts had just been discovered recently.

I would like to quote a Verse from the Qur'an which may sum up the purpose of having these scientific facts in the Qur'an as signs for the people.

The verse is from (Chap41:53) which is translated as follows:

"We (Allah ) will show them (the unbelievers) Our signs in the farthest regions, and within their own selves until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth."

What is the Quran all about?
The Quran is written in beautiful prose that continues to be marveled at by the experts of the Arabic language. But it is not merely a literary masterpiece.

The Quran contains scientific facts and explanations that fascinate scientists of all fields. But it is not an encyclopedia of science.

The Quran mentions stories of people and places in the past with vivid detail. But it is not merely a book of history.

So what is the Quran?
The Quran is a revelation from the Creator of this universe to all human beings. Its most important message is the Unity of God - that there is only One Supreme Being who has no partners and is not dependent on anyone or anything. He is the Creator of everything and the whole universe is in His control. He is the only One worthy of being worshipped.

It is impossible for the created to fully comprehend the Creator - so the Quran makes us aware of Him by mentioning His Attributes. He is the most Merciful, the Loving, the Majestic, the Oft-Forgiving. The name that He has chosen for Himself is Allah.

In His infinite mercy, Allah has not left mankind to wander searching for the correct path. He has revealed the Quran which includes a code for all people to follow. Islam is not just a set of beliefs. It is a complete way of life which covers all spheres of human activity - the social, economic, political, educational as well as the spiritual. Islam enjoins good manners for every occasion and stresses treating people, particularly relatives and neighbors, with kindness. The family enjoys a high status in Islam - it is viewed as the nucleus of society.

Allah has also sent messengers to guide mankind to the truth and to be an example for others to emulate. Stories of these messengers starting from Adam and including those of Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, and ending with Mohammed (may peace be upon them all) are found in the Quran.

This final revelation from Allah to mankind has been safeguarded from any alteration. Since the Quran has been preserved in its original Arabic it has not lost any meaning in translation to another language. Millions of people from all parts of the world have memorized the complete Quran. So even if all printed copies of the Quran were destroyed it would continue to live in the hearts of these people.

What do Muslims believe?

There is only one God, Allah, who alone is worthy of being worshipped. Mankind has been guided at various times by the messengers of Allah of whom the most prominent were Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. The final message was sent to the last prophet, Mohammed, which replaces all previous messages. None of the prophets claimed to be god or part-god - they were human and were obedient to Allah.

Finally, I want to inform you that Islam is the universal message of Allah to all mankind and prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) is the last and final messenger of Allah. Therefore, Allah will not accept any way of life except Islam. He said in the Gracious Qur'an which is translated as follows:

"And any one who chooses a way of life other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and in the hereafter he will be one of the losers

WOMEN'S DRESS IN THE QUR'AN

WHY SHOULD WOMEN COVER CERTAIN PARTS OF THEIR BODIES ?

Women have been identified in the Qur'an as a "zeenah" i.e. adornment and beauty for all
mankind.

"Adorned for the people are the worldly pleasures, such as the women, having children, piles upon piles of gold and silver, trained horses, livestock, and crops. These are the materials of this world.
A far better abode is reserved with Allah." (3:14)
Since women are termed an adornment or attraction (zeenah), they are required to cover certain parts of their bodies. Note that a woman being an adornment for mankind is quite evident all over the world in all societies. The media is one example were she is quite abundantly promoted and made as an attraction in place of men. Now since women are an open attraction to mankind because of their bodily features, she is required to cover some parts of herself in public. But before we see what are the physical ingredients of her dress, let us see what Qur'an identifies as the best dress.

WHAT IS THE BEST DRESS ?

"O Children of Adam ! Surely We have sent down to you a garment that would cover your shame and be a good vesture. And the garment of Piety that is the best. That is from the Ayat (Signs) of Allah that they may take reminder." (7:26)
Above verse says that the best dress is the garment of "taqwa" or piety. Before wearing any physical garment we should adorn ourselves with the garment of "taqwa" as without it we become prone to the vile intentions of satanic people. (see 7:27)

INGREDIENTS OF WOMENS DRESS IN PUBLIC

The areas of body which are to be covered by women in public, are mentioned in 24:31. Allah informs us through His messenger:

"Wa qul lilmumina_ti yagdudna min absa_rihin na wa yahfazna furu_jahun na wa la_ yubdina zinatahun na il la_ ma_ zahara minha_ wal yadribna bikhumurihin na ala_ juyu_bihin na wa la_ yubdina zinatahun na ila_ libuu_latihin na au a_ba_ ihin na au a_ba_i buu_latihin na au abna_ ihin na au abna_i buu_latihin na au ikhwa_nihin na au bani ihwa_nihin na au bani ahwa_tihin na au nisa_ ihin na au ma_ malakat aima_nuhun na awit ta_ bi ina ghairil ulil irbati minar rija_li awit tiflil lazina lamyaz haru_ ala_ aura_tin nisa_i wala_ yadrib na biarjulihin na liyulama ma_ yukhfina min zinatihin na wa tu_bu_ ilal la_hi jamian ay yuhal muminu_na la'al lakum tuflihu_"

"And say to the Believing Women,to lower their gaze and guard their private parts. And they should not display their adornment save what is apparent therefrom. And they should place their covers over their bossoms. And they should not display their adornment except to their husbands or their fathers or the fathers of their husbands or their sons or the sons of their husbands or their brothers or their brother's sons or sister's sons` or their women or those whom their right hands posses or Those under their authority other than skillfull men or small children who are not aware of women's nakedness. And they should not strike their feet so as to make known what they hide of their adornment. O Believers turn you all together to Allah so that you may be successful."(24:31)
From the above verse the following points are derived: 1. Women have two types of "zeenah" i.e. beauty and adornment. (a) "ma zahara minha" What is already apparent from their adornment and beauty. (b) "ma yukhfaina min zinata hunne" That which is hidden from their adornment. 2. She is to cover her whole self publicly except those areas which are apparent from her adornment. These areas are the exposed areas which if covered will restrict daily work and have to be uncovered for performing ablution. (see 5:6). The other type of or adornment of a woman identified in the above verse is that which has been called as "ma yukhfaina min zinata hunne" That which is hidden from their adornment. This type of adornment is the one which becomes apparent when a woman strikes her feet or walks. Allah has ordered that this type of adornment be covered at all times. Thus the dress should be loose enough so as not to reveal the shape and features of the body which get
obvious when the woman strikes her feet or walks.
3. They are to place their covers or shrouds over their bosoms. In Sura 33:59 they are also ordered to bring over them their over garments while going in public:

"O Nabi! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they bring their over-garments nearer to themselves (while in public); this will be more proper, that they may be recognised, and thus they will not be given trouble; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (33:59)
In public she is to take "Jilbaab" or over garment over herself according to above verse.
4. With her bosoms covered well, and dress loose enough so as not to reveal her hidden adornment, she is to maintain this type of dress in public in front of all relations. The only exceptions are: (1) Husband
(2) Fathers (Includes Grandparents as well).
(3) The Fathers of their husbands.
(4) Their sons.
(5) The sons of their husbands.
(6) Their brothers.
(7) Their brother's sons.
(8) Their sister's sons`.
(9) Their women.
(10) Those whom their right hands posses.
(11) Those under their authority other than skillfull men.
(12) Small children who are not aware of women's nakedness.

HOW ARE BELIEVING WOMEN TO BEHAVE WITH UN RELATED MEN ?

In talking with un related men or strangers the believing women are informed about the type of behaviour they should maintain.Allah informs us through the Nabi:

"O Women of the Nabi! You are not like any other of the women; If you will be on your guard, then be not soft in (your) speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a recognised utterence." (33:32)

"NIQAB" NOT MANDATORY

While identifying the parts of a woman’s body which should be covered, the Qur’an also gives us evidence to refute the claim of those who associate "Niqab" (Veils, face covers) as an ingredient of a women’s dress code ordained by Allah.

THE EXAMPLE OF MARY Mary the mother of Jesus (p) is mentioned in the Qur'an as the woman
chosen and purified above all the women of all the worlds.

"And when the angels said: O Mary! surely Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of all the worlds." (3:42)
She has been called as an example for the believers and her conduct is called to exemplify:

"And Allah sets forth an example to those who believe . . . Mary, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into her of Our inspiration and she accepted the truth of the words of her Sustainer and His books, and she was of, the obedient ones. (66:11-12)
In observing her behavior mentioned in the Qur'an, we see that as she appears from seclusion with young Jesus, her people recognised her. Now had she been wearing a "Niqab" to cover her face, her people would not have identified her immediately as she had appeared from seclusion. This informs us that she was not covering her face i.e. not wearing a "Niqab", as mentioned in the following verses:

"And she came to her people with him, carrying him (with her). They (having recognized her) said: ‘O Mary! surely you have done a strange thing. O sister of Haroon! your father was not a bad man, nor, was your mother an unchaste woman.’ But she pointed to him. They said: ‘How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle?’ He (Jesus) said: ‘Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a Nabi." (19:27-30)
Mary's recognition by her people indicates that she was not wearing a "Niqab" to protect her face from being seen. In the Qur'an there is further evidence which negates the practice of wearing "Niqab". After Allah informs Nabi (SAW) about marriage with certain relations He further reminds:

"It is not allowed to you to take women afterwards, nor that you should change them for other wives, though their beauty be pleasing to you, except what your right hand possesses and Allah is Watchful over all things." (33:52)
In the above verse it is clearly mentioned that Nabi (SAW) was also in a position to see the "Husn" i.e. Beauty of women and this clearly establishes that women not related to the Nabi did not wear "Niqab" or veils to cover their faces when they used to appear in front of him. We must realize that attributing anything to Allah which He has not ordained is a very serious action on our part. Allah has informed us through His messenger that attributing anything to Allah which He did not made as an obligation is "haraam" i.e Forbidden, as the following verse states:

"Say: Surely my Sustainer has prohibited (made haraam) indecencies, those of them that are apparent as well as those that are concealed, and sin and rebellion without justice, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down any authority, and that you say against Allah what you do not know." (7:33)
"Niqab" has not been made mandatory by any verse of the Qur’an, it is a cultural practice of pagan tribes and unbelievers. The Qur’an also identifies unbelievers who used to cover them selves up with their garments. Allah informs us through Noah:

"And whenever I have called them that Thou mayest forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears, cover themselves with their garments, and persist and are puffed up with pride." (71:7)
We should strive to in-form and re-form our selves through Qur’anic guidance.

CAN WOMEN TALK TO MEN TO WHOM THEY ARE NOT RELATED (NOT MARRIED) ?
UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES ?

In the Qur'an we have the example of Moses (p) as he is shown to hold a conversation with two women who are not married to him yet. This conversation clearly indicates that women can talk to men who are not related to them, provided it is for important tasks only and not complacent speech, as complacency in speech is not allowed by verse 33:32. The following verses identify the conversation of Moses with the two women who are not related to him.

"And when he came to the water of Madyan, he found on it a group of men watering, and he found besides them two women keeping back (their flocks). He said: What is the matter with you? They said: We cannot water until the shepherds take away (their sheep) from the water, and our father is a very old man. So he watered (their sheep) for them, then went back to the shade and said: My Sustainer! surely I stand in need of whatever good Thou mayest send down to me. Then one of the two women came to him walking bashfully. She said: My father invites you that he may give you the reward of your having watered for us. So when he came to him and gave to him the account, he said: Fear not, you are secure from the unjust people." (28:23-25)
The above example which depicts the conversation of a messenger of Allah with two un-married girls is a clear indicator that women can talk with men who are un related to them provided it is for important tasks only and is done within the limits ordained by Allah.

CAN WOMEN WORK TO EARN A LIVING ?

Although the responsibility to provide for the family has been laid upon the man, but if required,women can also work to make a living:

"Do not covet what Allah has favored some with more than He has some others.Men have a share in what they earn and women have a share in what they earn. And ask Allah for His favours.
Surely Allah has knowledge of everything." (4:32)

RESPECTING THE PRIVACY OF OTHERS- MEETING PEOPLE WITH PERMISSION

"O you who believe! Do not enter houses other than your own houses UNTIL YOU HAVE ASKED PERMISSION and saluted their inmates; this is better for you, that you may be mindful. But if you do not find any one therein, then do not enter them until permission is given to you; and if it is said to you: Go back, then go back; this is purer for you; and Allah is Cognizant of what you do." (24:27-28)

BELIEVING MEN TO MAINTAIN PROPER CONDUCT AS WELL

"Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their chastity; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do." (24:30)
The believers guard their chastity, this trait of theirs is further clarified in Sura 23;

"Successful indeed are the Believers. Those who are humble in their Salat. And who keep aloof from what is vain. And who give Zakat, and who guard their chastity. Except before their mates or those whom their right hands possess (i.e with whom they are married), for they surely are not blameable. But whoever seeks to go beyond that, these are they that exceed the limits;" (23:1-7)
From the verses the dress code can be summed up as follows;

  • Dress should be loose enough so that the obvious parts of the body are not made apparent with a woman's movement. (24:31)
  • An extra covering (khummar) should be taken over the bosoms. (24:31)
  • Only those parts which are already apparent from a woman's adornment, i.e. those areas which are obvious whether a woman walks or remains still.. (24:31) are to be kept exposed.

  • While talking should not be too complaisant in speech. (33:32)
  • Should not bedeck herself too much as she is already made an adornment for mankind. (33:33) & (3:14)

One important reason that the Qur'an gives as to why should believing women maintain a proper dress code is given in (33:59) "That (dress code should be maintained) so that they may be recognized and should not be molested."

WHAT ABOUT THE TRADITION OF HEADCOVERS AND VEILS ?

The headcovers are clearly mentioned not in the Qur'an but in the BIBLE as St.Paul's instructions;

"But every Women who prays or prophesies with HER HEAD UNCOVERED dishonors her head,for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.For if a woman is not covered let her also be shorn But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved LET HER BE COVERED." (1 Corinthians 11:5-6)
Also traditional Jewish teachings have the type of dress that is famous today among many women i.e. only the eyes showing. Ity should be noted that in the Qur'an we are also informed about some unbelievers who are 'covering themselves up with garments' . Can you identify these people ?

"Behold! they fold up their hearts that they may lie hid from Him! Ah even when they COVER THEMSELVES WITH THEIR GARMENTS He knoweth what they conceal and what they reveal: for He knoweth well the (inmost secrets) of the hearts" (11:5)
"And whenever I have called them that Thou (Allah) mayest forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears, COVER THEMSELVES UP WITH THEIR GARMENTS, and persist and are puffed up with pride:" (71:7)

O Allah! Guide us to your straight path! The path of those who have your blessing, not those who qualify themselves for your punishment and nor those who are astray!

 

The Quran and Women

The status of woman in Islam is something unique, something novel, something that has no similarity in any other system. If we look to the Eastern Communist world or to the democratic nations, we find that woman is not really in a happy position. Her status is not enviable. She has to work so hard to live, and sometimes she may be doing the same job that a man does but her wage is less than his. She enjoys a kind of liberty which in some cases amounts to libertinism. To get to where she is nowadays, woman struggled hard for decades and centuries. To gain the right of learning and the freedom of work and earning, she had to offer painful sacrifices and give up many of her natural rights. To establish her status as a human being possessing a soul, she paid heavily. Yet in spite of all these costly sacrificeqs and painful struggles, she has not acquired what Islam has established by a Divine decree for the Muslim woman.

The rights of woman of modern times were not granted volun- tarily or out of kindness to the female. Modern woman reached her present position by force, and not through natural processes or mutual consent or Divine teachings. She had to force her way, and various circumstances came to her aid. Shortage of manpower during wars, pressure of economic needs and requirements of industrial developments forced woman to get out of her home - to work, to learn, to struggle for her livelihood, to appear as an equal to man, to run her race in the course of life side by side with him. She was forced by circumstances and in turn she forced herself through and acquired her new status. Whether all women were pleased with these circumstances being on their side, and whether they are happy and satisfied with the results of this course is a different matter. But the fact remains that whatever rights modern woman enjoys fall short of those of her Muslim counterpart. What Islam has established for woman is that which suits her nature, gives her full security and protects her against disgraceful circum- stances and uncertain channels of life. We do not need here to elaborate on the status of modern woman and the risks she runs to make her living or establish herself. We do not even need to explore the miseries and setbacks that encircle her as a result of the so-called rights of woman. Nor do we intend to manipulate the situation of many unhappy homes which break because of the very "freedom" and "rights" of which modern woman is proud. Most women today exercise the right of freedom to go out independently, to work and earn, to pretend to be equal to man, but this, sadly enough, is at the expense of their families. This all known and obvious. What is not known is the status of woman in Islam. An attempt will be made in the following passages to sum up the attitude of Islam with regard to woman.

1. Woman is recognized by Islam as a full and equal partner of man in the procreation of humankind. He is the father; she is the mother, and both are essential for life. Her role is not less vital than his. By this partnership she has an equal share in every aspect; she is entitled to equal rights; she undertakes equal responsibilities, and in her there are as many qualities and as much humanity as there are in her partner. To this equal partner- ship in the reproduction of human kind God says: O mankind! Verily We have created your from a single (pair) of a male and a female,m and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other... (Qur'an, 49:13; cf. 4:1).

2. She is equal to man in bearing personal and common responsi- bilities and in receiving rewards for her deeds. She is acknowledged as an independent personality, in possession of human qualities and worthy of spiritual aspirations. Her human nature is neither inferior to nor deviant from that of man. Both are members of one another. God says:

And their Lord has accepted (their prayers) and answered them (saying): 'Never will I cause to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female; you are members, one of another... (3:195; cf 9:71;33:35-36;66:19-21).

3. She is equal to man in the pursuit of education and knowledge. When Islam enjoins the seeking of knowledge upon Muslims, it makes no distinction between man and woman. Almost fourteen centuries ago, Muhammad declared that the pursuit of knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim male and female. This declaration was very clear and was implemented by Muslims throughout history.

4. She is entitled to freedom of expression as much as man is. Her sound opinions are taken into consideration and cannot be disregarded just because she happen to belong to the female sex. It is reported in the Qur'an and history that woman not only expressed her opinion freely but also argued and participated in serious discussions with the Prophet himself as well as with other Muslim leaders (Qur'an, 58:1-4; 60:10-12). Besides there were occasions when Muslim women expressed their views on legislative matters of public interest, and stood in opposition to the Caliphs, who then accepted the sound arguments of these women. A specific example took place during the Califate of Umar Ibn al-Khattab.

5. Historical records show that women participated in public life with the early Muslims, especially in times of emergencies. Women used to accompany the Muslim armies engaged in battles to nurse the wounded, prepare supplies, serve the warriors, and so on. They were not shut behind iron bars or considered worthless creatures and deprived of souls.

6. Islam grants woman equal rights to contract, to enterprise, to earn and possess independently. Her life, her property, her honor are as sacred as those of man. If she commits any offense, her penalty is no less or more than of man's in a similar case. If she is wronged or harmed, she gets due compensations equal to what a man in her position would get (2:178;4:45, 92-93).

7. Islam does not state these rights in a statistical form and then relax. It has taken all measures to safeguard them and put them into practice as integral articles of Faith. It never tolerates those who are inclined to prejudice against woman or discrimination between man and woman. Time and again, the Qur'an reproaches those who used to believe woman to be inferior to man (16:57-59, 62; 42:47-59; 43:15-19; 53:21-23).

8. Apart from recognition of woman as an independent human being acknowledged as equally essential for the survival of humanity, Islam has given her a share of inheritance. Before Islam, she was not only deprived of that share but was herself considered as property to be inherited by man. Out of that transferable property Islam made an heir, acknowledging the inherent human qualifies in woman. Whether she is a wife or mother, a sister or daughter, she receives a certain share of the deceased kin's property, a share which depends on her degree of relationship to the deceased and the number of heirs. This share is hers, and no one can take it away or disinherit her. Even if the deceased wishes to deprive her by making a will to other relations or in favor of any other cause, the Law will not allow him to do so. Any proprietor is permitted to make his will within the limit of one-third of his property, so he may not affect the rights of his heirs, men and women. In the case of inheritance, the question of quality and sameness is fully applicable. In principle, both man and woman are equally entitled to inherit the property of the deceased relations but the portions they get may vary. In some instances man receives two shares whereas woman gets one only. This no sign of giving preference or supremacy to man over woman.The reasons why man gets more in these particular instances may be classified as follows:

First man, is the person solely responsible for the complete maintenance of his wife, his family and any other needy relations. It is his duty by Law to assume all financial responsibilities and maintain his dependents adequately. It is also his duty to contribute financially to all good causes in his society. All financial burdens are borne by him alone.

Secondly, in contrast, woman has no financial responsibilities whatsoever except very little of her personal expenses, the high luxurious things that she likes to have. She is financially secure and provided for. If she is a wife, her husband is the provider; if she is a mother, it is the son; if she is a daughter, it is the father; if she is a sister; it is the brother, and so on. If she has no relations on whom she can depend, then there is no question of inheritance because there is nothing to inherit and there is no one to bequeath anything to her. However, she will not be left to starve, maintenance of such a woman is the responsibility of the society as a whole, the state. She may be given aid or a job to earn her living, and whatever money she makes will be hers. She is not responsible for the maintenance of anybody else besides herself. If there is a man in her position, he would still be responsible for his family and possibly any of his relations who need his help. So, in the hardest situation her financial responsi- bility is limited, while his is unlimited.

Thirdly, when a woman gets less than a man does, she is not actually deprived of anything that she has worked for. The property inherited is not the result of her earning or her endeavors. It is something coming to them from a neutral source, something addition- al or extra. It is something that neither man or woman struggled for. It is a sort of aid, and any aid has to be distributed according to the urgent needs and responsibilities especially when the distribution is regulated by the Law of God.

Now, we have a male heir, on one side, burdened with all kinds of financial responsibilities and liabilities. We have, on the other side, a female heir with no financial responsibilities at all or at most with very little of it. In between we have some property and aid to redistribute by way of inheritance. If we deprive the female completely, it would be unjust to her because she is related to the deceased. Likewise, if we always give her a share equal to the man's, it would be unjust to him. So, instead of doing injustice to either side, Islam gives the man a larger portion of the inherited property to help him to meet his family needs and social responsibilities. At the same time, Islam has not forgotten her altogether, but has given her a portion to satisfy her very personal needs. In fact, Islam in this respect is being more kind to her than to him. Here we can say that when taken as a whole the rights of woman are equal to those of man although not necessarily identical (see Qur'an, 4:11-14, 176).

9. In some instances of bearing witness to certain civil con- tracts, two men are required or one man and two women. Again, this is no indication of the woman being inferior to man. It is a measure of securing the rights of the contracting parties, because woman as a rule, is not so experienced in practical life as man. This lack of experience may cause a loss to any party in a given contract. So the Law requires that at least two women should bear witness with one man. if a woman of the witness forgets something, the other one would remind her. Or if she makes an error, due to lack of experience, the other would help to correct her. This is a precautionary measure to guarantee honest transactions and proper dealings between people. In fact, it gives woman a role to play in civil life and helps to establish justice. At any rate, lack of experience in civil life does not necessarily mean that women is inferior to man in her status. Every human being lacks one thing or another, yet no one questions their human status (2:282).

10. Woman enjoys certain privileges of which man is deprived. She is exempt from some religious duties, i.e., prayers and fasting, in her regular periods and at times of confinement. She is exempt from all financial liabilities. As a mother, she enjoys more recognition and higher honor in the sight of God (31:14-15;46:15). The Prophet acknowledged this honor when he declared that Paradise is under the feet of the mothers. She is entitled to three-fourths of the son's love and kindness with one-fourth left for their father. As a wife she is entitled to demand of her prospective husband a suitable dowry that will be her own. She is entitled to complete provision and total maintenance by the husband. She does not have to work or share with her husband the family expenses. She is free to retain, after marriage, whatever she possessed before it, and the husband has no right whatsoever to any of her belongings. As a daughter or sister she is entitled to security and provision by the father and brother respectively. That is her privilege. If she wishes to work or be self-supporting and participate in handling the family responsibilities, she is quite free to do so, provided her integrity and honor are safeguarded.

11. The standing of woman in prayers behind man does not indicate in any sense that she is inferior to him. Woman, as already mentioned, is exempt from attending congregational prayers which are obligatory on man. But if she does attend she stands in separate lines made up of women exclusively . This is a regulation of discipline in prayers, and not a classification of importance. In men's rows the head of state stands shoulder to shoulder to the pauper. Men of the highest ranks in society stand in prayer side by side with other men of the lowest ranks. The order of lines in prayers is introduced to help every one to concentrate in his meditation. It is very important because Muslim prayers are not simply chanting or the sing-a-song type. They involve actions, motions, standing, bowing, prostration, etc. So if men mix with women in the same lines, it is possible that something disturbing or distracting may happen. The mind will become occupied by something alien to prayer and derailed from the clear path of mediation. The result will be a loss of the purpose of prayers, besides an offense of adultery committed by the eye, because the eye-by looking at forbidden things - can be guilty of adultery as much as the heart itself. Moreover, no Muslim man or woman is allowed during prayers to touch the body of another person of the opposite sex. If men and women stand side by side in prayer they cannot avoid touching each other. Furthermore, when a woman is praying in front of a man or beside him, it is very likely that any part of her dressed body may become uncovered after a certain motion of bowing or prostrating. The man's eye may happen to be looking at the uncovered part, with the result that she will be embarrassed and he will be exposed to distraction or possibly evil thoughts. So, to avoid any embarrassment and distraction to help concentrate on mediation and pure thoughts, to maintain harmony and order among worshippers, to fulfill the true purposes of prayers, Islam has ordained the organization of rows, whereby men stand in front lines, and women behind the children.Anyone with some knowledge of the nature and purpose of Muslim prayerscan readily understand the wisdom of organizing the lines of worshippers in this manner.

12. The Muslim woman is always associated with an old tradition known as the "veil". It is Islamic that the woman should beautify herself with the veil of honor, dignity, chastity, purity and integrity. She should refrain from all deeds and gestures that might stir the passions of people other than her legitimate husband or cause evil suspicion of her morality. She is warned not to display her charms or expose her physical attractions before strangers. The veil which she must put on is one that can save her soul from weakness, her mind from indulgence, her eyes from lustful looks, and her personality from demoralization. Islam is most concerned with the integrity of woman, with the safeguarding of her morals and morale and with the protection of her character and personality (cf. Qur'an, 24:30-31).

13. By now it is clear that the status of woman in Islam is unprecedentedly high and realistically suitable to her nature. Her rights and duties are equal to those of man but not necessarily or absolutely identical with them. If she is deprived of one thing in some aspect, she is fully compensated for it with more things in many other aspects. The fact that she belongs to the female sex has no bearing on her human status or independent personality, and it is no basis for justification of prejudice against her or injustice to her person. Islam gives her as much as is required of her. Her rights match beautifully with her duties. The balance between rights and duties is maintained, and no side overweighs the other. The whole status of woman is given clearly in the Qur'anic verse which may be translated as follows:

And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but man have a degree (of advantage as in some cases of inheritance) over them (2:228).

This degree is not a title of supremacy or an authorization of dominance over her. It is to correspond with the extra responsibil- ities of man and give him some compensation for his unlimited liabilities. The above mentioned verse is always interpreted in the light of another (4:34).

It is these extra responsibilities that give man a degree over woman in some economic aspects. It is not a higher degree in humanity or in character. Nor is it a dominance of one over the other or suppression of one by the other. It is a distribution of God's abundance according to the needs of the nature of which God is the Maker. And He knows best what is good for woman and what is good for man. God is absolutely true when He declares:

O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, Who created you from a single person, and created of like nature his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women

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