Monday, August 30, 2004

A Comparison of Women in the Qur'an & Bible

By: Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi

Christians claim that the current equality of women now enjoyed by Christian women came from the Bible, and that Islam is cruel towards women. Below are the comparisons of Issues on Women between the Bible and the Qur'ân. I leave it to you to decide which Book is the one which truly gives freedom to women and elevate their status and which Book is the hypocritical one.

1. The Bible convicts women as the original sinners (i.e. Eve picking from the forbidden tree) (Genesis 2:4-3:24)

The Qur'ân clarifies that it was both Adam and Eve at fault, equally. For example, in Sura' al-Baqarah, Allaah says:

"fa azallaHUMAA ash-shayTaan.." meaning "And satan caused them (DUAL) to err.."

The same is found in Qur'ân 7:19-25 wherein it says: "fa-waswasa laHUMAA ash-shayTaan.." meaning "So satan whispered to them (DUAL)".

Both the man and woman were equally to blame. Thus, in Islam there is equity in rights as well as blame.

2. The Bible says "the birth of a daughter is a loss". (Ecclesiasticus 22:3)

The Qur'ân says both are an equal blessing (Qur'ân 42:49)

3. The Bible forbids women from speaking in church (I Corinthians 14:34-35)

The Qur'ân says women can argue with the Prophet (Qur'ân 58:1)

4. In the Bible, divorced Women are labeled as an adulteress, not men (Matthew 5:31-32)

The Qur'ân does not have Biblical double standards (Qur'ân 30:21)

5. In the Bible, widows and sisters do not inherit any property or wealth, only men do (Numbers 27:1-11)

The Qur'ân abolished this male greediness (Qur'ân 4:22) and God protects all.

6. The Bible allows multiple wives. (I Kings 11:3)

In the Qur'ân, God limits the number to 4 only under certain situations (with the wife's permission) and prefers that you marry only one wife (Qur'ân 4:3). The Qur'ân gives the woman the right to choose who to marry.

NOTE: Nowhere in the Bible does it forbid polygamy, or says that the male must marry one woman. Single marriage is a Greco-Roman tradition - one of the many influences on the true teachings of Jesus. Jesus lived for 33 years among a nation that practiced polygamy and he never prohibited, nor even ever talked about it in his teachings.

7. "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives" (Deuteronomy 22:28-30)

One must ask a simple question here, who is really punished, the man who raped the woman or the woman who was raped? According to the Bible, you have to spend the rest of your life with the man who raped you, and therefore had obviously low morals.

However, even before the marriage women in Islam are given right to choose their husband, and they can even reject if they are forced to marry somebody. In a hadith narrated by Aisha', the Prophet said, "It is essential to have the consent of a virgin (for the marriage)".

Other similar hadith are as follows:

Narrated Abu Hurairah r.a, that the Prophet said, "A divorcee cannot be forced to marry before she agrees, and a virgin cannot be forced to marry before her permission is obtained. The Sahaba' asked "How can we obtain her permission?" The Prophet said, "Her permission is when she keeps quiet." (Muslim)

Ibn Abbas reported that a girl came to the Messenger of Allâh, Muhammad and she reported that her father had forced her to marry without her consent. The Messenger of Allâh gave her the choice (between accepting the marriage and invalidating it). (Ibn Hanbal)

Would the Christian men reading this prefer the women they know to be Christian or Muslim?

8. The Bible also asks women to wear veils as in Islam (I Corinthians 11:3-10)

9. Women were given rights to vote less than a 100 years ago in the U.S. while the Qur'ân gave women voting rights almost 1400 years ago.

In a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, the Apostle of God said, "Treat women nicely, for a women is created from a rib, and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion, so, if you should try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So treat women nicely." (Sahih Bukhari)

And only God knows best!

AG: "Treat women nicely..." First of all look into your family. Your mom and your sister.


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