Thursday, July 30, 2015
Al-Qur'an 4:34 - a circular debate
AZ copied me in an email discussion he was having with someone. Part of the message quoted verse 4:34, and so I commented which led to the following exchange:
Excerpt of AZ's email I was copied in: ...What do you find wrong in Surah 4 : Ayat 34 -"Men are the protectors of maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other and because they spend to support them from their means" ------ and all that follows after that ...
My comment: My interpretation of the verse 4:34
AZ: What you say is correct and what I said is also correct. No where have I used the word 'inferior'. Please understand that Allah has assigned different duties for both which you have rightly mentioned too. In the eyes of Allah both are equal in deeds. A good act will receive the same reward for both; and an evil act will be punished accordingly for both. Since you go into details of a woman's position, being a women, can you answer one question- why did Allah not appoint woman as a Prophet. Why are all the Prophets men and not a single woman? Why are two witnesses required from women as against only one from men in matters that requires witnesses ?
My response: Thank you for agreeing with my interpretation. Yes, you did not use the word inferior - I had posted these on my blog in 2008 in response to someone else's post in a different list. Since it was relevant to your email, therefore I shared the links with you.
Yes, I agree, all men and women are equal in terms of deeds and consequent rewards in the Hereafter, as clearly indicated in several verses: http://quran.com/4/124 , http://quran.com/16/97 , http://quran.com/33/35 , http://quran.com/40/40 , http://quran.com/47/19 , http://quran.com/48/5 , http://quran.com/57/12 , http://quran.com/57/18 and http://quran.com/85/10
As regards the questions you have posed:
a) why did Allah not appoint woman as a Prophet. Why are all the Prophets men and not a single woman?
Answer) I think, Allah knows best, that as the most precious job of the continuity of human kind (child bearing) has been assigned to women, thus women have not been overloaded with any other responsibility. Also, in the Quran chapter 66, where Allah is specifically giving example of believers and disbelievers, Allah chooses to present the example of women in both cases; the two exemplary believers worthy of mention for their belief as examples for all believers are the wife of Pharaoh and Mary, daughter of Imran: http://quran.com/66/11-12
This may also be of interest: http://signsandscience.blogspot.com/2015/06/mission-of-messengers.html
b) Why are two witnesses required from women as against only one from men in matters that requires witnesses?
Answer) Number of witnesses have been prescribed for specific cases clearly described in the relevant verses:
Two male witnesses or one male and two female witnesses are required only in cases where debts are contracted: http://quran.com/2/282
In cases of zina, four witnesses are required for the case to be admissible to court: http://quran.com/24/4 If the person lodging the accusation is unable to produce four witnesses, the accuser is to be punished, and their testimony not accepted ever after.
In cases where one spouse accuses the other spouse, the rules and requirements are equal: http://quran.com/24/6-10
Further, as punishment for crimes are equal, be it murder [http://quran.com/2/178], theft [http://quran.com/5/38] or adultery [http://quran.com/24/2], therefore, I suppose, in cases other than those two specifically mentioned, male and female witnesses should be considered equal as per the nature of the crime and the witness' presence at the scene.
And Allah knows best.
AZ: I am glad that you say Allah knows best.
Two more questions before I give you Allah's decision.
1. Why is a woman not allowed to marry another man while husband is alive and living with her, whereas a man is allowed to marry a second wife while his first wife is alive and staying with
him - that too without any need to take any sort of permission from the first wife ?
2. Why when a man dies his wealth and properties are not equally divided between his children - son gets more than the daughter.
1. Why is a woman not allowed to marry another man while husband is alive and living with her, whereas a man is allowed to marry a second wife while his first wife is alive and staying with him - that too without any need to take any sort of permission from the first wife ?
Also, note that according to the verses 4:2,3,127 of Surah Nisa, conditional polygamy is permitted to provide for the care of orphans, and 4:3 emphasises that only one is better. For explanation, please see: http://islam-qna.blogspot.com/2008/11/conditional-polygamy-permitted-in-islam.html
I do not know whether permission is or not required.
2. Why when a man dies his wealth and properties are not equally divided between his children - son gets more than the daughter. Why? Why?
Answer) A woman is not required to spend from her personal wealth on anyone, including her own self. Since male members of the family are required to spend on the entire family's maintenance, therefore their need for it is greater. Therefore, since women do not have to spend, whatever they inherit is still greater than the male members share, even though it appears to be less.
And Allah knows best!
AZ: Yes, of course Allah knows the best. Allah knows the best in every matter - including relations between men and women= "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend to support them from their means-------------------------------"
You Mashallah can read the Quran so I don't have to quote the whole Verse Ayat 34 of Surah 4.