Degradation of women in the Koran

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Red: verses from the Bible
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Note: We were unable to provide links to the English translations. The links, therefore, refer to the original Arabic sources. If the researcher is familiar with both English and Arabic, he/she will be able to compare the two languages and judge the credibility and accuracy of the translation for themselves.

 

according to Koran and Hadiths the husband has the right to rape his wife if she refused to have sex with him

 

According to Islamic cleric, Islam allows beating wives and allows also the father to force his daughter to marry any man against her will:

 

According to Islamic cleric, Islam allows beating wives and allows also the father to force his daughter to marry any man against her will:

 

Allah honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings:

 

according to Islam your wife is your captive

 

film showing the damage done by Islam practice of Circumcision for young girls:

 

 

Degradation of women in the Koran:
A) Guardianship of the man:
Men are the managers of women, because of the advantage Allah has granted some of them over others, and by virtue of their spending out of their wealth. Righteous women are obedient and watchful in the absence [of their husbands] in guarding what Allah has enjoined [them] to guard.” (Sūrah An-Nisāʾ 4: 34)
Lexical meanings:
Qawwāmun lahā: manages her affairs and provides for her.

Reasons for the revelation:
Commentary of Al-Qurṭubī:
Regarding the statement of Allāh: “Men are the managers of women,and the [whole] verse was revealed on account of Saʿd b. Ar-Rabīʿ, whose wife, Ḥabība bint Zayd b. Khārija b. Abī Zuhayr, was disobedient to him. He, therefore, slapped her. Her father complained: “O Messenger of Allāh, I gave him my noble daughter for wife but he slapped her!” The Messenger, peace be upon him, said: “She is to avenge herself on her husband.” So she went away with her father to avenge herself on him, but he said, peace be upon him: “Return! Behold Jibrīl came to me,” and Allāh revealed this verse. He said, peace be upon him: “We wanted something but Allāh wanted another.” Ismāʿīl b. Isḥāq said: “Hajjāj b. Al-Minhāl reported … and said: I heard Ḥassān say that a woman came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and said: ‘My husband slapped me on my face.’ He replied: ‘He owes you retribution.’ Almighty Allāh revealed: ‘Do not hasten with the Quran before its revelation is completed for you.” And the Prophet, peace be upon him, held his peace until the verse “Men are the managers of womenwas revealed.

Commentary of Ṭabarī:
Muḥammad b. Bashshār reported that Al-Hasan said: … that a man slapped his wife. She came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, who directed her to avenge herself on him. But Allāh revealed: “Men are the managers of women, because of the advantage Allah has granted some of them over others, and by virtue of their spending out of their wealth. The Prophet, peace be upon him, called him and recited it to him. He said, “I wanted something and Allāh wanted another.”
Explanation and comment:
A woman came to the Prophet along with her father. Her father told the Prophet that her husband struck her. The Messenger of Allāh told him she should avenge herself on her husband, in the sense that she herself should exact punishment from him. Then the Prophet returned and summoned them again and told them that Jibrīl came to him and revealed this verse, meaning that you do not have the right to exact punishment from your husband as I told you before.
What does qawwām really mean in the Koran? Why are men the qawwamūn (managers or guardians)?

Commentary of Al-Qurṭubī:
.. Then the Almighty made clear that men have an advantage over women in terms of inheritance because men must pay the dowry and provide [for their wives]. However, women benefit from men’s advantage over them. And it is said that men have the advantage of an added measure of intellect and competence. That is why they were given the right to manage women[’s affairs]. It was said: Men possess an added measure of psychological and physical strength that women don’t have. This is because heat and dryness prevail in men’s character, which lend them strength and power, whereas humidity and coldness prevail in women’s character, which make for softness and weaknesses. That is why they were given the right to manage women[’s affairs], in addition to the statement of the Almighty:“And by virtue of their spending out of their wealth.
… as to “qawwām” … men’s qiyām (management) of women is according to this definition: that is, a man must provide for her, discipline her, keep her at home and prevent her from being seen outside. She, on the other hand, must obey him and accept his orders, as long as they do not constitute a sin.

Commentary of Aṭ-Ṭabarī:
Abū Jaʿfar said: …Men are the managers of women.” Men are worthy of managing [the affairs of] their wives with respect to disciplining and assisting them in performing their duty towards Allāh and themselves. “Because of the advantage Allāh has granted some of them over others,” means: Because of the advantage Allāh has granted men over their wives; for they pay them dowry, spend on them out of their own wealth and provide them with what they need. That is the reason why Allāh Almighty, may He be blessed, granted men advantage over them. Therefore, they became their guardians (or managers), having power over them in the matters that Allāh made them guardians of.
Aḍ-Ḍaḥḥāk said with regard to the statement of Allāh: “Men are the managers of women, because of the advantage Allah has granted some of them over others,” that it means that the man is in charge of the woman; he commands her to obey Allāh, and if she refuses, he may beat her, but not very severely.
… Al-Muthannā told me: … I heard Sufyān say: Because of the advantage Allāh has granted some of them over others,” means: “Because of the advantage Allāh has granted men over women.”

Commentary of Ibn Kathīr:
The statement of the Almighty: Men are the managers of women,” i.e., the man is the guardian of the woman, i.e., he is her head, leader, governor and disciplinarian if she falls into error. … Because men are superior to women, and a man is better than a woman. Therefore prophecy became an exclusive right of men, as well as paramount sovereignty, on account of the tradition of the Prophet, peace be upon him: “Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhārī, on the authority of ʿAbd Ar-Raḥmān b. Abī Bakra, on the authority of his father.) The same applies to the position of the judiciary and others.
“And by virtue of their spending out of their wealth,” i.e., on dowries and [other] expenses. … As Allāh Almighty said: “And men have a degree above them.” (or stand a step above their wives) [Sūrah Al-Baqara 2: 228].The Messenger of Allāh, peace be upon him, said: “If I were to order anyone to prostrate himself to someone else, I would order a woman to prostrate herself to her husband, on account of the great claim he has on her.” Narrated by Al-Bukhārī, On the authority of Abū Hurayra.

Commentary of Al-Baghawī:
“Because of the advantage Allah has granted some of them over others,” means: Men’s advantage over women by virtue of their added measure of intellect, religion and guardianship … and it was said: This is because a man may marry four wives yet it is permissible for a woman to marry only one husband. It was also said: It is the man who holds the power of divorce. Again it is said: By virtue of the inheritance. Others said: By virtue of blood money; while others still maintained: By virtue of prophecy.

Explanation and comments:
Why should the man be the guardian of the women, in the sense he is to assume power over her?
Al-Qurṭubī: The reason why a man assumes power over his wife is the fact that men have an added measure of intellect and competence, as well as an added measure of psychological and physical strength that women don’t have.

Aṭ-Ṭabarī: The reason why a man is the guardian is that he spends on wife out of his own wealth and provides her with what she needs. Then Aṭ-Ṭabarī added another reason for the guardianship of a man, i.e., that God favors men over woman.

Ibn Kathīr: Explains why men are the guardians. Because men are superior to women, and a man is better than a woman. Therefore prophecy became an exclusive right of men, as well as paramount sovereignty. He cites this tradition of the Prophet: “Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhārī) In the sense that a nation will not succeed if their leader is a woman. Ibn Kathīr then quotes the Koranic verse in Sūrah Al-Baqara 2: 228: “And men have a degree above them,” which we will interpret by itself.

Al-Baghawī: Said, in an attempt to explain why men have guardianship over women, that men possess an added measure of intellect, religion and guardianship. For this reason a man may marry four wives yet it is permissible for a woman to marry only one husband. It was also said: It is the man who holds the power of divorce. Again it was said: By virtue of the inheritance. Others said: By virtue of blood money; while others still maintained: By virtue of prophecy. But what does it really mean that men are guardians over women?

Al-Qurṭubī: It means that a man provides for her, disciplines her, keeps her at home and prevents her from being seen outside. She, on the other hand, must obey him, or else she would be considered disobedient.

Aṭ-Ṭabarī: Men are the guardians (or managers) [of women], having power over them in the matters that Allāh made them guardians of. He says: The man is in charge of the woman; he commands her to obey Allāh, and if she refuses, he may beat her, but not very severely.

Ibn Kathīr: He is her head, leader, governor and disciplinarian if she falls into error. Then he adds a Prophetic Ḥadīth from Al-Bukhārī to the effect that the Messenger of Allāh wished he had made it lawful for a woman to prostrate themselves to their husbands: “If I were to order anyone to prostrate himself to someone else, I would order a woman to prostrate herself to her husband, on account of the great claim he has on her.” Narrated by Al-Bukhārī, on the authority of Abū Hurayra.
Al-Baghawī: It is because a man may marry four wives yet it is permissible for a woman to marry only one husband. He holds the power of divorce and inheritance.
*“And men have a degree above them.”
Now we will move on to another verse related to man’s guardianship:And men have a degree above them.” (or stand a step above them) (Sūrah Al-Baqara 2: 228)

Commentary of Aṭ-Ṭabarī:
There are different opinions on the interpretation of the statement of Allāh: “And men have a degree above them.”
Abū Jaʿfar said: Experts of exegesis differed in the interpretation of this verse … Others said … Muḥammad b. Ḥamīd said: Jarīr reported, on the authority of ʿUbayda, on the authority of Ash-Shaʿbī about the statement of Allāh: “And men have a degree above them,” that he said: By virtue of the dowry he gives her, and that if he casts aspersions on her, he must utter the oath of condemnation (liʿān), whereas if she casts aspersions on him, she must be whipped and made to admit it in his presence.
. … Others said: It is rather the degree he has above her by virtue of having been given a beard while she has been denied it. The meaning of “degree” is rank and status.

Commentary of Al-Qurṭubī:
Regarding the statement of Allāh: “And men have a degree above them.” i.e., a higher status. … Māwardī said: It is likely related to the rights of marriage; the man has the right to annul the contract without her, she must comply with him when he calls her to bed while he does not have to comply with her.
My opinion is: This is in keeping with the statement of the Messenger of Allāh, peace be upon him: “Any woman who is called by her husband to bed and refuses to comply with him will be cursed by the angels until she wakes up in the morning.

Explanation and comment on the verse: And men have a degree above them
Aṭ-Ṭabarī explains in his commentary that if a man insults his wife, he is not punishable by law, but if a wife insults her husband she must be flogged. That degree is the beard [that a man has], and the “degree” refers to the special status of men above women.

Al-Qurṭubī explains in his commentary that it is by virtue of the rights of sexual intercourse, in the sense that a man has the right to call his wife to bed and she must obey immediately, but if the wife calls her husband to bed he does not have to comply with her.
Compare that to what is stated in the Bible about the treatment of the wife, “Each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent.” (1 Corinthians 7: 2-5)
These Biblical verses confirm that, with respect to sexual relations, neither husband nor wife has an advantage over the other. Unlike Islam, men and women in Christianity have equal rights and no party has the right to deprive the other of himself/herself. In Christianity, the focus of the husband is to please his wife, and vice versa. In all verses you find that the relationship is reciprocal and equal. No party is better than the other. Also in Christianity men have no special degree above women; there is no difference between them as stated in Galatians 3: 28: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
B) The wife as a slave or captive

 

B) A wicked creature:
The Koran regards women with suspicion, for it considers them a source of seduction for men. In the context of the story of Joseph, the Koran describes women as having great guile: “Your guile is indeed great!” (Sūrah Yusuf 12: 28), while it judges “the guile of Satan [is] always flimsy.” An-Nisāʾ 4: 76.
It is true that the word kayd (translated here with “guile”) does not always occur in the negative sense of wily scheming, but the way Sūrah Yusuf describes women as possessing great kayd occurs in the context of wily scheming. This particular lexical item recurs three times (verses 3, 34 and 50). It is to be understood from these verses that the innate maliciousness of women “issues from their natures and characters. This makes them rely on duplicity, so that they display an appearance at variance with how they inwardly feel. They are forever involved in hatching plots.” (Al-ʿAqqād 4: 407 from his book The Dilemma of the Koran (Muʿḍilatu-l Qurʾān).

 

C- A deficient creature
Women are regarded as deficient creatures, as is evident in the following Koranic verses:
First: “To the male is the share of two females.” (Sūrah An-Nisāʾ 4:11 and 176) The law of inheritance according to the Koran is that the female gets half the share of the male from the inheritance: “To the male is the share of two females.” (Sūrah An-Nisāʾ 4:11 and 176).
Second: The law of testimony in court, where a woman’s testimony does not enjoy the same degree of credibility as the testimony of a man. Her testimony is rather reckoned as half a testimony. The testimony of a single woman will not be accepted; only the testimony of two women is accepted. As well as in the event of borrowing between two individuals, the transaction must be attested by two men or two women and a man, for the Koran enjoins: “And take as witness two witnesses from your men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women—from those whom you approve as witnesses—so that if one of the two errs [through forgetfulness] the other will remind her.” (Sūrah Al-Baqara 2: 282).
Third: “What! One who is brought up amid ornaments and is unintelligible in dispute?” Sūrah Az-Zukhruf 43: 18.
The Koran not only calls into question women’s mental capacities, but even uses the image of a woman as an example of a person who has a flimsy argument, who is unable to win a dispute: “What! One who is brought up amid ornaments and is unintelligible in dispute?” Az-Zukhruf 43: 18.

Commentary of Aṭ-Ṭabarī on Sūrah Az-Zukhruf 43: 18:
Almighty Allāh, may His name be exalted, says: “One who is brought up amid ornaments and is adorned with them, “unintelligible,” on account of his powerlessness and weakness. “And is unintelligible in dispute.” By this He means women.
The statement of Allāh:And is unintelligible in dispute means: Women rarely speak convincingly. Whenever a woman speaks and tries to make a point, her point turns against her.

Commentary of Al-Qurtubī on Sūrah Az-Zukhruf 43: 18:
The statement of Allāh: “What! One who is brought up amid ornaments and is unintelligible in dispute?”“They have made the angels—who are servants of the All-beneficent—females. Were they witness to their creation? Their testimony will be written down and they shall be questioned.”
Mujāhid said: Women are authorized to wear gold and silk, which indicates that it is lawful for women to use adornment.
The statement of Allāh: “And is unintelligible in dispute,” means: in argumentation and making a point. Qatāda said: Whenever a woman speaks and tries to make a point, her point turns against her.

Commentary of Ibn Kathīr on Sūrah Az-Zukhruf 43:18:
Allāh said: “What! One who is brought up amid ornaments and is unintelligible in dispute?i.e., women are deficient, and their deficiency is complemented by wearing ornaments since childhood. If a woman argues, she makes no point. She is rather powerless and inarticulate. Could someone who is like that be exalted like Allāh Almighty?! Females are deficient outwardly as well as inwardly, in both their appearance and significance. The deficiency of their outward appearance is completed by wearing ornaments and such things. This may remedy whatever shortages they have.Let us compare this with what God said in the Bible, when He created the woman. The Lord God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2: 18) Eve is shown here to be equal to Adam.

 

D) The wife as a slave: “Men are the managers of women, because of the advantage Allah has granted some of them over others, and by virtue of their spending out of their wealth. Righteous women are obedient and watchful in the absence [of their husbands] in guarding what Allah has enjoined [them] to guard. As for those [wives] whose misconduct you fear, advise them, and [if ineffective] keep away from them in the bed, and beat them. Then if they obey you, do not seek any course [of action] against them. Indeed Allah is all-exalted, all-great.” (Sūrah An-Nisāʾ 4: 34)

Commentary of Ibn Kathīr on women 34:
As to the statement of Allāh, “beat them,” it means, if advice and ignoring her in the bed do not produce the desired results, you are allowed to beat her, but not very severely. Muslim recorded that Jābir said that during the farewell pilgrimage, the Prophet said, “Fear Allāh regarding women, for they are your ʿawān (captives or slaves). You have the right on them that they do not allow any person whom you dislike to step on your mat. However, if they do that, you are allowed to beat them, but not very severely. They have a right on you that you provide them with their provision and clothes, in a reasonable manner.

Commentary of Al-Qurṭubī on Sūrah An-Nisāʾ 4: 34:
This is the meaning to be inferred from the report of At-Tirmiḏī, which ʿAmr b. Al-Ahwaṣ confirmed as authentic, that he attended the farewell pilgrimage with the Messenger of Allāh, peace be upon him. The Messenger glorified Allāh, praised Him, recited some Ẓikr and advised: “Yes indeed, you should treat women kindly, for they are your ʿawan. They owe you nothing else, unless they commit indecency.
The wife in Islam is as good as a slave, whom the man possesses. Muḥammad has devoted this characterization in his farewell speech, to explain the status of women. He said to the men that women are ʿawān, i.e., equal to captives. The traditional interpretation of ʿawān as assistants must be false. The wording in Arabic makes this understanding impossible: faʾinnahunna ʿawānun ʿindakum. Notice the underlined word ʿindakum, which means with you, in the sense of in your possession. If ʿawān meant assistants, the wording should have been: faʾinnahunna ʿawānun lakum (they are assistants to you).

Let us compare that with the command the Apostle Paul gave men about the treatment of their wives: “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church– 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery– but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Eph 5: 28-33)

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