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HUMAN STATUE OF WOMAN IN ISLAM PDF Print E-mail
Written by Forough Al-Zaman Aghdaei   
Monday, 25 September 2017 22:56

Forough Al-Zaman Aghdaei

Faculty member, Islamic Azad University- South Tehran Dept.

Abstract: It is quite explicit and clear that our Muslim aim is to reach human perfection that without knowing the actual position of women this is not feasible.  Our aim in this research is to state Islamic viewpoints in respect to the actual position of women since the clarification of this issue has great impact on society individuals’ way of thinking namely women, the society which is most exposed to mental harm.  This way and by clarification of thinking and beliefs of issue in hand and even higher women’s proceeding for discovery of their virtual position in Islam can look hopeful.

Key Words: the actual position of woman, equality of genders, Islamic viewpoints



Introduction:

Section One: Women and men have common human essence; a main discussed issue on the topic of ‘women’ and whether women and men enjoy the same verity and nature although each are shaped by various essence.  By citation to Koran it can be well conceived that there is no discrepancy in the essence of ‘man’ and ‘woman’, rather both are created from one root and gender and have common fate and nature.   Also, by the reason of being a ‘man’ this does not mean that he shall be ‘superior’ or the other for being a ‘woman’ and reckoned ‘lower’ but in fact are even common in humanity and one kind of being woman and man.

a)  Men and Women Being One Kind

There are numerous versus in Koran about implication of man and woman homogeneity and their proof of being common in human virtue.

"یا ایهاالناس...

‘Oh people! Fear the Lord; The One who has Created thee from one body and from that body the spouse and from the two Created numerous men and women.’

After the order of piety the Koran on behalf of the Lord who has created mankind commands: ‘The same Lord who created thee from one essence and Created his spouse from the same essence and entity and from the two union Created abundant others.  The verse restates that all human beings, man and woman are created from one essence.  In this respect the late Tabarsi states: “The intentions of stating ‘essence’ in this verse refers to consensus of all human commentators (PBUT).  The continuation of the verse is an appropriate symmetry to this virtue that commands: ‘He superposed his spouse of the same essence and thereof generated abundant from the two.’  For this, Fakhr Razi also states: ‘جمع المسلمون.....

Although the applicable ‘single soul (essence) in this verse is Adam (PBUH) yet the application of the word ‘soul’ and assignment of all mankind creations to this essence is in fact another significant matter and that being the fact that all human beings included originate from one root and that their nature of creation reverts to one nature and one essence or soul.   Nonetheless, all individuals originate from Adam (PBUH) and from the same nature which the Divine Created in Adam also Created other beings.  Women or men are all created from one nature; all known as ‘Descendants of Adam’.   From continuation of this verse that commands:

و خلق منها زوجها

It is used in terms of Adam’s spouse being from his own essence and sex and stating that they are both of one virtue.  From the verse من in خلق منها زوجها some have discrimination conception and further speculate that The Divine Created woman from man.  But in Tafsir Al-Mizan (Al-Mizan Commentary) we can explicitly see that Alame Tabatabaie states: ‘It appears that و خلق منها زوجها is to the significance that He Created a spouse of man type and human beings return to two individuals quiet alike and similar.  The word من (Maen) in the verse نشویه (Nashvieh) means to describe the origin of a thing.  This verse just like other verses proceeds with the creation of woman and man, such as when it states: و من ایاته ان خلق لکم من انفسکم ازواجا.  Therefore, whatever maybe mentioned in some interpretations to explain the intentions of this verse is to point out the fact that woman is origins from Adam and part of Adam on the basis of some narrations and that God has created Adam’s spouse (Eve) from his rib. This is a discourse without reason and the verse does not prove any implications.   Imam Sadiq (PBUH) was asked: ‘Some say that Eve was born from the left rib of Adam.’ He replied: ‘God is Pure and Glorified from this respect. Wasn’t God Able to Create a spouse for Adam uncreated from his rib so that He would not leave a way for nuisance reproaches whom would have probably pointed out that Adam had married himself?’

In another narration it is stated that a person had questioned Imam Baqir (PBUH) about the primary substances of ‘Eve’s creation’.  Imam then inquired the contemporary individuals’ views from the questioner.  During that era most common concept was that Eve was created from Adam’s left rib; so he presented this to Imam (PBUH).  Imam (PBUH) then denied and denigrated these envisions and stated: ‘God Created Adam from clay and Eve from the remaining clay.  Adam and Eve whom are personification of male and female genders are common in their human character and primary substance which shape their template element.  In addition, the verses which are the most appropriate means of content recognition of one verse of ‘Nesa’ (woman) Surah has highly refuted the creation of Eve from Adam.  Therefore, this Koran verse is seeking to state the oneness of woman with man which is the fact of humanity and sameness from the source between the two.  That the Koran in the position of stating the similarity of woman and man is a maxim and a base that elucidate the generic oneness.  Hence, if we refer to the description of woman and man in Koran we would find that there is no discrepancy between the nature and essence of woman and man.  The Koran has quoted the creation of the first woman and man in the frame of a story; first, The Almighty Sends words to Angels that He intends to place Caliphate and successors on earth and then Explain how He Created man and after He has Indoctrinated Asma (Heavens) to him he shall vow to Him; a vow of abstain from satanic obedience and slavery.  Then He Shall Place Adam and his spouse in Paradise and Direct him.

b) هو من آیاته ان خلق لکم ... ‘And from His Indications is that He Hath Created spouse from your own gender for thee so that thee shalt feel comfort beside them and Has Placed Amity and Mercy between both.’ This verse is also another affirmation of a genus of woman and man and non- discrepancy between the two in Creation.

c)واحده هو الذی خلقکم من نفس ‘He is the Almighty Who Has Created Thee from one and Has Placed his spouse from a gender of his own gender so that she would rest in comfort beside him.’

Some by citation to verse 189 of ‘Araf’ Surah have stated: ‘A woman is an invited guest of man Created for him; The Almighty Commands: ‘ هو الذی خلقکم من نفس واحده...... They think that in creation of human the male species is the essential and since survival through this sex has ceased and is upon the existence of female species The Divine also Created her.  In fact, woman was created for men’s survival and to reach perfection that they are worthy of.  Also, woman became more heedful because she is the introduction of man’s existence.  In other words, he is an uninvited guest.  Therefore, the aforementioned verse and the similar ones do not intend to state woman as uninvited against man nor do these intend to state its sub-being; in other words they do not seek to discuss the philosophy of woman’s creation and in fact advise others of some type of spiritual and life relation with its intentions and interdependence since there is no discrepancy in woman and man’s essence of humanity and their growth and perfection yeast and so woman and man are both of one type.

B- Section Two - Human Centered Gender Based Division

Some of the verses that imply unity and gender common from substantive views form the verses that pose the centre of gender division in the two groups of male and female; as some, indicated below:

ا ایحسب الانسان ان یترک سدی الم..

(i) ‘Does man assume that he is released causeless?  Is he not from the sperm of semen released in uterus?  Which is then shaped into a coagulum by the Divine Whom Has also Created him and Has Made him well-proportioned and next Created a couple from him; man and woman.’  These verses are known as human centered division where the accuracy of division is quite conditional; a divider exists for all types and features with diversity created from the same division by joint.  These points can be more elucidated by below verses:

من عمل صالحا من ذکراوانثی و

(ii) ‘One, whether man or woman, who is righteous and believers will be Bestowed Beneficence and Better Remuneration from what he/she has practiced.’  Therefore, this division of woman and man is based on the joint essence of humanity.

C- Having Common Divine Spirit

His spirit is formed by real human identity.  Since Adam was Created as the first human being the Divine, after Inspiration of Spirit Commanded prostration of Angels that prior this, God's creation that the Divine Had Promised his creation had not aroused. And this real virtual also propounded in Koran states that mankind has Divine Spirit without the smallest effect on gender.

بدا خلق الانسان...

(i) ‘And He began Creating mankind from clay and his race from a lowly liquid and then set him off and insufflated from His Own Spirit onto him and also Created ears, eyes and heart for you but thee do not gratify Him enough.’  These verses indicated that both woman and man both carry Divine Spirits and being male or female does not interfere in the Beneficence of human spirit and virtue.’

ولقد خلقنا الانسان...

(ii) ‘And indeed We Created human from the essence of clay, then We Made him into semen and kept him protected.  Next, We Coagulated the semen like ‘Mozagha’ (morsel/chewed meat) and Made him to bones.  Next, We Covered the bones with flesh and Made and Created another from him.  So, Hail to God for He is the Best Creator.’  In this verse the significance of ‘human’ is ‘human gender’.  Therefore, this comprises of both genders, woman and man that after passing a series of mentioned stages it is now turn for a New Creation and the sentence ثم انشاناه خلقا اخر this can be in conformity with the final stage of و نفخ فیه من روحه clearly indicates that another creation pro the evolution of physical aspect refers to the stage of human spirit insufflation, quite various from previous stages.

Section 2 – Common between women and men for Human Perfection Accomplishment

A- Common between women and men for the Final Aim of Creation

The final aim for all beings is to accomplish perfection and approach Divinity.  Other perfections, if considered ‘perfection’ are placed in the context; Approaching the Great God.  No doubt, just like the way human body is degreed the human spirit is also the same, a degree of weakness and flaws or unlimited perfection i.e. being weak also apt to self-mental ability increase using appropriate devices as to ornate self to perfection.  In the true religion of Islam, Divine is symbol of true perfection and human is a creature that may carry His symbol of ‘Asma’ (Titles) and Features and also His Perfection; also the same or perhaps with the same significance as انی جاعل فی الارض خلیفه since at least the Caliphate must present part of His Described Position who can also replace Him and can be considered as symbol of His ‘Asma’ (Titles) or Divine Features.  This means approaching God as the outcome of obeying the command of holy ‘Sharia’ for humans.

Consequently, human soul is developed through spiritual nourishment and religious obligation practices and can reach Heavens and then become symbol of ‘Asma’ (Title) and His Features.  This ability and aptitude is jointly set at the disposal of both women and men and can achieve this existing degree.  If in some cases variations in religion and law does exist this does not mean distinctiveness of one to another.  In all Koran verses where there is talk of value and Divinely perfection man and woman are addressed equal.  In other words, on the basis of Koranic conception a woman just like a man is evolving and the manner of achieving human perfection and Divine approaches is open in equal to both women and men.  Therefore, women’s competency for Divine approach through obedience and worship and also achievement of highest degree of perfection and values such as faith, righteous practices, piety and precedence in religion is completely as of man.

(i) وما خلقت الجن و الانس الا لیعبدون ‘We Did Not Create jinn and mankind except for worship’ and لام in (لایعبدون) means intentions and to the significance that the intentions of jinn and mankind creation is to reward these.  This is not achieved unless through worship.  Therefore, it implies that Divine intentions of jinn and mankind creation is ‘worship’.  Yet, if a community of people do not worship Him the intentions and purpose of Creation will not become futile and it will be similar to the fact that a person has prepared food to feed a community and has invited them over.  Hence, the ultimate goal of creation is ‘to worship’ and for reaching the ultimate goal women and men are both called upon.

In the narration of the innocent the ultimate goal of creation does not exist in women nor men. Imam Sadiqque (PBUH) was questioned about the verse وما خلقت الجن و الانس الا لیعبدون and he stated: ‘It means they were created for slavery.  The narrator then asked: “All or some?”

Imam then replied: “No, every and each servant.”

Consequently, this benevolent verse describes types of beings and explains that there is no difference in women and men.  It further states perfection of this type to others.

(ii) ان اکرمکم عند الله اتقاکم... ‘Verily, the best of thee against God is the most virtue of thee.’ The benefit which is the real benefit and enhances mankind and reaches him to real happiness and is

the same good and eternal life when reproaching Mercy of the Lord consisting of piety and fear of God, solely and solely a device for reaching the last prosperity which is also the same as ‘piety’ and considers futurity happiness begging for providing hereafter prosperity.  And so, God Almighty Commands when The Unique Poses the Benefits of Piety most certainly the dearest individual against God is the most believers onto Him and for these wishes and objectives God Almighty Has Posed to His Knowledge, objectives in life of human.   An objective that for attaining this one would not dare scratch others’ face in contrast to mentioned illusive aims that for their attainment inconveniences, wars and bloodsheds are caused.   This verse also indicates the fact that everyone is valued by the same true measures which is piety without considering type of gender.

(ii)  قال ربنا الذی اعطی کل شی ء خلقه ثم هدی ‘He stated: “Our Lord is the same Lord that has Bestowed every creature all things which are the necessities of his creation and next guided him.”

This verse truly indicates that the developmental guidance of each creature is oriented towards his perfection.  However, if we distinguish that each human moving towards perfection exists in the two symbols of man and woman still one is more perfect and the other shall face deficiencies and shall not access perfection beside the fact that it is stated the All Wise Creator Has One Objective from Creation of both but the Reason of Creation is just one defeating the Purpose of God becomes specific, since God is the Most Wise and Cannot Make Evil Deeds.

B - Sharing of Man & Woman in Attaining Perfection & Human Virtue

In some other verses clarified and emphasized the equality of woman and man either conducted in the path of evolution and thralldom or inflicted to torments by the cause of contradiction is stated and that a destiny of unity for either male and female believer, righteous or infidel and polytheist is presented.  When a woman or a man have the same principle of consistency from various creation aspects naturally due to human essence and accessories are also similar and have equal values and none are second degreed.  The natural results of female and male creation and unity of human nature is that the evolution of human creation for reaching the ultimate aim, both female and male are equally talented and can benefit from similar opportunities which does not cause superiorities or deprivation.  The following verse indicates this significance.

(i) من عمل صالحا من ذکر او اثنی و هو مومن فلنحینه حیاه طیبه و لنجزینهم اجرهم باحسن ما کانوا یعملون ‘One who practices good deeds whether man or woman and is also true believer We Shall Bestow him good life and Will Remunerate him better than his practices’.

This is a Fair Promise to women and men believers that practice good deeds and in this Promise of Good Will there is no difference between women or men for acceptance of their beliefs and by the effect of their good practice that is the same as revival of pure life and Remuneration for good practices, this settling among men and women is in contrary to most non-theist and Jewish or Nasari whom are to say: ‘People of Book!’ Those who deprive women from entire benefits of religion or even higher and consider the degree of women lesser than degree of men and have put them in a position that can in no respect be elevated.

(ii) من عمل سیِئه فلایجزی الا مثلها و من عمل صالحا من ذکر او انثی و هو مومن فاولئک یدخلون الجنه یرزقون فیها بغیر حساب ‘One who performs bad deeds he will be given retribution of the same but one who does good deeds whether man or woman provided that he/she is a true believer he/she shall enter Paradise and Will Be Given Countless Aliment’

In this verse, the similarity of woman and man is indicated through acceptance of their practices.  So when He Commands: من عمل صالحا من ذکر او انثی و هو مومن is a General Command like establishing rules for the one who does good deeds no matter what; it is solely restricted to the owner of deed who is also a true believer and this restriction is to the significance of conditions.

(iii) المسلمین و المسلمات والمومنین والمومنات والقانتین و القانتات والصادقین و الصادقات والصابرین و الصابرات و الخاشعین و الخاشعات و المتصدقین و المتصدقات و الصائمین و الصائماتو الحافظین فروجهم و الحافظات والذاکرین الله کثیرا و الذاکرین الله کثیرا و الذاکرات اعدالله لهم مغفره و اجرا عظیما

‘Verily, Muslim men and Muslim women, men believers and women believers, men pious and women pious, truthful men and truthful women, patient men and patient women, obedient men and obedient women men or women who pay alms are men and women who fast, men and women who retain their lust and their relief, men and women who cite and recall The Almighty numerous and God Almighty Has Provided them His Remission and Great Remuneration’.

This verse also implies that just as they have in fact become true believers and are in difference with Divine Practices and Regulations, at the end of all practices for reaching perfection they are the same and there is no discrimination among them by the cause of genders.  No man for the reason of being a man and no woman for the reason of being a woman receives higher rewards for practicing beliefs and goods deeds and no woman would receive lesser reward for just being a woman.

(iv) و السارق و السارقه فاقطعوا ایدیهما جزا بما کسبا نکالا من الله و الله عزیز حکیم ‘The hand of male thief and the hand of female thief shall be amputated for their retribution practices as a Divine Punishment, and verily God is the Almighty and Wise.’

(v)  الزانیه و الزانی فاجلدوا کل واحد منهما مائه جلده ‘Each adulterous man and woman must be whipped a hundred times.’  These verses explicitly indicate that there is no difference between guilty women and men for performance of sin and for execution of punishment.’

Only in verse 38 of Maeda Surah a male thief leads to a female thief; this is while in verse 2 of Nur Surah about adulterous, female adulterous leads to male adulterous.  The discrepancy may be due to the fact that the main acting are male species and in terms of committing adulterous the main acting and main provocative are profligate female species.

Results

 

On the basis of Islamic insights and worldview, women and men are more or less equal and similar.  In the essence and nature of existence there is no discrepancy between women and men and both have common human essence.  Humanity is the main focus of divided men and women.  Both women and men jointly possess Divine Spirit.  Further, they have common thinking about the ultimate aim of Creation and not the fact that only one gender is the main essence of life and the other is just secondary or parasite and none is the introduction of the other’s existence.  In terms of talents and susceptibility both genders female and male are talented in common like talent in perfection, will of virtue, Divine approach, decline and fall.  The aim of male and female Creation is thralldom and slavery of the Lord for both and also for attaining values both stand in the same level.  Being a female or a male does not affect attaining values yet this equality exists in perfection and accomplishing spiritual and human dignities, Divine servitude although human dignity munificence over others does not relate to sentences and obligations.

 

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