January 1994 : Page 1, 2, 3, 4
Sha’ban 1414  
Vol. 10. No.1

Religious Equality

Quran vs. Tradition

Are men and women equal in God’s eyes?

In this age of women’s liberation it is political suicide to answer this question with a “no.” But what does God say? What does traditional Islam teach?

Every westerner thinks that Islam is very chauvinistic and oppressive towards women. In the religion practiced by most traditional sectarian Muslims, this is absolutely true.

However, in Submission, true Islam as revealed in the Quran, nothing could be farther from the truth! God treats men and women as spiritual equals.

As an example, Quran 3:195 tell us:

Their Lord responded to them:
“I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do,
be you male or female - you are equal to one another.
Thus, those who immigrate,
and get evicted from their homes,
and are persecuted because of Me,
and fight and get killed,
I will surely remit their sins
and admit them into gardens
with flowing streams.”
Such is the reward from God.
God possesses the ultimate reward.
(Quran 3:195)

In this verse God tells us that women are absolutely equal to men. Both sexes can work in the cause of God, immigrate, be persecuted, fight and die for God.

This is what God says. What do traditional Muslims believe? What does hadith say?

Women are naturally, morally and religiously defective.

Because women usually do not have the physical strength of men, hadithists see them as “naturally defective.” They forget that women have other natural qualities in which they are superior to men, like their ability to endure pain, the ability to bear children, etc. Hadithists see women as “morally defective,” conveniently ignoring the fact that the vast majority of individuals jailed for murder, rape, child abuse, etc., are men. And hadithists claim that women are “religiously defective,” but it is they who forbid their daughters from praying and fasting during their menstrual periods and it is they who discourage or forbid the women from coming to the mosque, even for the Friday prayers.

Their problem is that they have taken the words of men instead of those of God.

After making it all but impossible for a woman to practice her religion for about 25%of her life (the amount of time most women have their periods), is it any wonder that hadithists claim that the majority of people in hell are women?

Ibn’Abaas reported that Allah’s messenger (may peace be upon him said: I had a chance to look into the Paradise and I found that [the] majority of the people was poor and I looked into the Fire and there I found the majority constituted by women.
(Sahih Muslim-6597)

However, what God revealed in the Quran is very different.

The spiritual equality between men and women is reiterated in 4:124, as follows:

As for those who lead
a righteous life, male or female,
while believing,
they enter Paradise;
without the slightest injustice.
(Quran  4:124)

And again in 16:97:

Anyone who works righteousness,
male or female, while believing,
we will surely grant them
a happy life in this world,
and we will surely pay them
their full recompense
(on the Day of Judgment)
for their righteous works.
(Quran 16:97)

And yet again in 40:40!

Whoever commits a sin is requited for just that,
and whoever works righteousness - male or female - while believing,
these will enter Paradise wherein they receive provisions without any limits.
(Quran 40:40)

Thus God does not tell us just once or twice that men and women are spiritually

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January 1994 : Page 1, 2, 3, 4