A Subjugated Muslim Woman by Islam


I reproduce the following article for further study and discussions.

When I began to study the Koran, the holy book of Islam, I found many unreasonable ideas. The women in the Koran were treated as slaves. They are nothing but sexual objects. Naturally I set aside the Koran and looked around me. I found religion equally oppressive in real life. They considered women as chattel slaves and treated them no better than the slaves of the ancient world. I write against the religion because if women want to live like human beings, they will have to live outside the religion and Islamic law.

– Taslima Nasrin
(Bangladeshi writer)
A Woman Subdued

The status of women, like everything else in Islam, is based on the revelations from Allah and the sayings of Muhammad from the Hadiths. Are women truly equal to men? Do they have the same rights? Do true Islamic societies like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, etc. exhibit a level of equality as claimed by apologists or do they follow the scriptures as they are plainly written?

This chapter looks at the scriptural sources that support the suppression of women in such societies, showing that the issues of subjugation and abuse women face stem directly from Islamic teachings.

Women are essentially the possession of their men-folk. They are to honour and obey their husbands without questions even prostrating before them as Muhammad suggests.

SAD 11:2135 Muhammad said “If I were to command anyone to make prostration before another I would command women to prostrate themselves before their husbands, because of the special right over them given to husbands by Allah.”

The Qur’an states that the wife is analogous to the tilled earth of her husband, making her accessible for him to use whenever and however he desires. And if he can cope, he may marry up to four at the same time.

Q2:223 Your wives are as a tilth (tilled earth) unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will.

Q4:3 Marry of the women, who seem good to you, two, three or four

If four is not enough then concubines, females captured in battle are acceptable.

SB 59:524 From the captives of Hunayn, Allah’s Messenger gave Ali a slave girl called Baytab and he gave Uthman a slave girl called Zaynab and Umar another.

If a husband wishes to accuse his wives of a misdeed or transgression, even though he has no witnesses, he has the power to declare four times that the accusation is true. The wife does have the option to declare four times that he is telling a lie. However a wife has no right to make an accusation against her husband and give her testimony four times.

Q24:6 Those who accuse their wives and have no witnesses except themselves, the evidence of one of these should be taken four times, bearing Allah to witness that he is most surely of the truthful ones.

Q24:8 But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By Allah, that (her husband) is telling a lie.

According to Muhammad most women are destined for Hell. His reasons are outlined in the following hadith:

SM 1:142 Muhammad said “O womenfolk, you should ask for forgiveness for I saw you in bulk amongst the dwellers of Hell.” A wise lady said: “Why is it, Allah’s Apostle, that women comprise the bulk of the inhabitants of Hell?” The Prophet observed: “You curse too much and are ungrateful to your husbands. You lack commonsense, fail in religion and rob wisdom of the wise.”

SB 62:124 Muhammad said “I stood at the gate of the Fire and saw that the majority of those who entered it were women.”

For a woman to get into paradise she must please her husband. Her eternal existence in the afterlife is all dependent on the whims and fancies of her husband.

Al Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah – The Prophet said, If a woman dies while her husband was pleased with her, she will enter paradise.

If a woman is unwilling to please her husband when required, then she will be cursed all night by angels.

SB 7:121 Muhammad said “If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning.”

In many strict Islamic societies, women are forbidden from entering mosques for prayers. In those where the regulation is relaxed, they are either provided with another room or are partitioned behind a screen. Muhammad said it was best for a woman to pray in her own room which in most likelyhood gave rise to this stipulation.

SAD 204:570 Muhammad said “Your (Aisha) prayer in your private room is better than your prayer in other rooms of your house, and your prayer in other rooms of your house is better than your prayer in the halls of your house, and your prayer in the halls of your house is better than your prayer in your community’s mosque.”

According to Muhammad, a woman is equated alongside a dog in her ability to invalidate a man’s prayers. Another reason for exclusion from the mosque on can assume.

SB 9:490 Muhammad said “Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people).” Aisha said, “You have made us (women) dogs.”

During the month of Ramadan when Muslims are expected to fast, a woman must first acquire permission from her husband. This ruling is to ensure that the wife is sufficiently able to see to her husband’s needs. If he determines that she cannot meet her marital obligations if fasting, then he has the right to prevent it. It should also be noted that Muhammad said women fail in religion because they cannot always fast in the holy month. Failing in religion opens up the gates of Hell for them.

SAD 13:2452 Muhammad said “A woman should not fast except with the permission of her husband.”

A woman should also not leave her house without her husband’s permission. The following hadith retells the story of a returning jihadi about to kill his wife because she stepped outside in fear of a snake.

SM 26:5557 – …a man returned home and found his wife standing outside. He bent towards her with a spear in order to stab her. She said: Keep your spear away and enter the house to see that which has made me come out.

The beating of women by their husbands or fathers is legal under sharia law. Both Allah and Muhammad recommended the beating of women.

Qur’an 4:34 Good women are obedient. As for women from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and beat them.

Al-Tabari Vol.9 – They (women) should not commit any open indecency. If they do, then God permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them.

SAD 11:2141 – Women have become emboldened toward their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them. Then many women complained against their husbands. So the Apostle said: “They (the women) are not the best among you.”

SM 9:3506 – Allah’s Messenger said: They are around me as you see, asking for extra money. Abu Bakr then got up went to ‘A’isha and slapped her on the neck, and ‘Umar stood up before Hafsa and slapped her.

Muhammad struck, Aisha, in the chest one evening when she left the house without his permission. Aisha narrates,

SM 4:2127 “He struck me on the chest which caused me pain.”

The beating of a wife is strictly the husband’s business. Muhammad did state that it was of no concern of anyone else; the woman should not complain but remain with her husband.

SAD 11:2142 The Prophet said: ‘A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.’

SB 72:715 A woman came to Muhammad and begged her to stop her husband from beating her. Her skin was badly bruised and described as being greener than the green garment she was wearing. Muhammad did not admonish her husband, but instead ordered her to return to him and submit to his desires.

If you marry a woman and find out she is pregnant she must be beaten after giving birth. The child will become the slave of the husband with no option for the mother or biological father to gain custody.

SAD 11:2126 – A man from the Ansar said: I married a virgin woman in her veil. When I entered upon her, I found she was already pregnant. The Prophet said: She will get the dowry returned, for you made her vagina lawful to you. The child will be your slave. When she has begotten, flog her.

A woman cannot marry herself nor can a mother or any female approve the marriage for another female. A woman must have a wali (male guardian) for the marriage to be permissible. In the event that such a male relative is not available the Islamic ruler, sharia judge or imam will act as the guardian required to approve the marriage.

SAD 11:2078 The Apostle of Allah said: The marriage of a woman who marries without the consent of her wali (male guardians) is void. The sultan (man in authority) is the guardian of one who has none. If there is cohabitation, she gets her dower for the intercourse her husband has had.

Sunan Ibn Majah The Prophet said: A woman may not give another woman in marriage, nor may a woman give herself (independently) in marriage.

Two witnesses must also be present for the marriage to be valid. These must be Muslim and of course, male.

A woman’s worth is half that of a man, her intelligence and religion is deficient, she is compared to a devil and she is unsuitable for leadership roles. Muhammad was never an advocate of equality between the sexes as is evident from the following:

Q4:34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the man to excel the woman.

Q2:28 And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree of advantage over them.

SB 6:301 Muhammad said “I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you (women). A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.”

Inheritance laws according to Allah provides twice as much to males as it does to females.

Q4:11 Allah directs you as regards Inheritance: to the male, a portion equal to that of two females. These are settled portions ordained by Allah.

A woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man’s. Some Islamic scholars now contend that this stipulation relates only to business and monetary transactions as that is the context in which the verse was spoken. With repect to other criminal situations no mention of women giving testimony at all is mentioned. Hence in many societies women are excluded from cases of major crimes and those requiring retaliation in kind. This, it is said, is meant to protect women and steer them away from scenes of crime and aggressions against souls, honor and property.

Q2:282 …Call in two male witnesses from among you, but if two men cannot be found, then one man and two women whom you judge fit to act as witnesses.

Those apologists who claim that a woman’s testimony is worth half only in cases of business transactions, overlook the statement from Muhammad himself, who in denigrating women’s intelligence explains why in general their testimony is worth half that of a man’s.

SB 6:301 Muhammad said “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man? This is the deficiency in her intelligence.”

Her deficiency in religion is no fault of her own but based on the way she was created. However Muhammad sees most women in hell because of this deficiency.

SB 6:301 – Muhammad said “Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses? This is the deficiency in her religion.”

Muhammad is not pleased with women being in close proximity to male strangers. Even if it is a foster brother, he still has concerns.

SM 8:3430 Aisha reported: Allah’s Messenger visited me when a man was sitting near me, and he disapprove of that. And I saw signs of anger on his face and I said: Messenger of Allah, he is my brother by forsterage. Whereupon he said: Consider who your brothers are because fosterage is through hunger (i. e. in infancy).

So how was Muhammad able to Islamically endorse the presence of unrelated men around women where the need was essential? The following hadiths explains:

SM 8:3428 Sahla daughter of Suhail came to Allah’s Messenger and said: Allah’s Messenger, I see in the face of Abu Hudhaifa (her Husband) the signs of disgust on account of Salim entering our house. Whereupon Allah’s Messenger said: Suckle him. She said: He has a beard. But he again said: Suckle him, and it would remove the expression of disgust on the face of Abu Hudhaifa. She said: I did that and by Allah, I did not see any sign of disgust on the face of Abu Hadhaifa.

The process for allowing strange men to work with or be around believing women is to have the latter breastfeed the former. This is Muhammad’s recommendation and was duly performed by the women of the time, apparently with positive results. The next hadiths confirms that Aisha approved of this method, recommends it and seemed to have used it herself:

SM 8:3427 Umm Salama said to Aisha: A young boy who is at the threshold of puberty comes to you. I, however, do not like that he should come to me. Whereupon Aisha said: Don’t you see in Allah’s Messenger a model for you? The wife of Abu Hudhaifa said: Salim comes to me and now he is grown-up, whereupon Allah’s Messenger said: Suckle him, and thus he may be able to come to you freely.

Here Aisha recommends to Umm Salama, what Muhammad had prescribed to Sahla. The fact that Aisha was associating with this young man, implies that she would also have performed what she was recommending.

Apparently there was a verse initially intended for the Qur’an supporting the process of breast feeding a non-relative male. However this seems to have been omitted during the final compilation. Ibn Kathir in his tafsir (commentary) on verse 4:23 of the Qur’an states that this verse was abrogated though not cancelled:
Others say that what is less than five sucklings does not prohibit marriage, according to a narration in Sahih Muslim on the authority of A’isha: (At first) it was revealed in the Qur’an: “Ten clear sucklings (should make marriage unlawful).” Then it (the ten) was abrogated by “Five clear sucklings” and (the latter was also abrogated but a short time before the Prophet’s death that) the Prophet died and it was still recited in the Qur’an by those who were not informed of its abrogation, though its judgement was not cancelled. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir – vol.2 p.36)

A woman ruling a nation is considered to be a foolhardy venture by Muhammad.

SB 88:219 Muhammad said “Never will succeed such a nation which makes a woman their ruler”

It is important that we be aware of the devilish guile of women. According to Muhammad, they along with horses, slaves, camels and houses are possessed by evil.

SM 8:3240 Muhammad said “The woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil.”

SB 52:110 Muhammad said “Evil omen is in three things: The horse, the woman and the house.”

SAD 11:2155 – Muhammad said “If one of you marries a woman or buys a slave or camel, he should say: ‘O Allah, I take refuge in Thee from the evil in her.'”

The veiling of women was introduced by Muhammad as noted in SM 26:5397 Sauda, went during one night to relieve herself. ‘Umar called her saying: “Sauda, we recognise you.” It was then that Allah revealed the verses {in the Qur’an} pertaining to veil.

A woman is not to be recognised outside her house. Umar pointed this out to Muhammad and Allah subsequently made the necessary Qur’anic revelation. Moderate Muslims today, claim that the Qur’an states nothing about wearing garments such as the niqab / burka which covers the entire body excluding the hands. However Q24:31 clearly state that Muslim women must draw their veils down to their bosoms hiding all their beauty. This implies covering the face and neck.

Q24:31 And say to the believing women… that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except those which is apparent; that they should draw their head-coverings over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments.

Apologists misrepresent this with the claim that the verse means a woman should cover her bosoms. However the verse continues by stating that this stipulation does not apply to a woman’s husband, her father, husband’s fathers, sons, slaves or eunuchs. If the verse simply stipulated the covering of the bosoms, then it would imply that Muslim women are allowed to walk around bare-chested in the presence of their father, father-in-law, sons, brothers, slaves, etc.

This is obviously not the case and hence the true interpretation of the verse as it is clearly written and based on the cause of its revelation as provided in SM 26:5397 is that a Muslim woman has to, with the exception of her closest relative, cover her face with her head veil which should extend down to her bosom. The verse also goes on to say that the believing women should not walk too loudly so as to draw attention to themselves by the rattling of their ornaments.

Later in the Qur’an women are commanded to cast their garments covering their persons so that they cannot be recognised and hence harassed. Being told to draw your outer garments around yourself so that you cannot be known is surely a case for the Burqa.
Q33:59 Tell thy wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they should cast their outer garments over their persons; this will be more proper, that they may be known, and thus they will not be given trouble;

The fairer sex, as they are known in civilised societies, is apparently quite unclean according to Islamic theology. Contact with them would require cleaning with dirt if water is not available:

Q5:6 – If ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some dirt.

Q2:222 – Women (during menstruation) are a hurt and a pollution: So keep away, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, ye may approach them in any manner, time, or place ordained for you by Allah.

Female genital mutilation, a horrific practice in many Islamic countries, has its support in the sayings of Muhammad.

SM 3:684 – Muhammad said “When anyone sits amidst four parts of the woman and the circumcised parts touch each other a bath becomes obligatory.” {This verse clearly has Muhammad implying that both male and female would be expected to be circumcised. Otherwise he would have just as easily have said when their genitals touch.}

Muhammad unambiguously recommends the practice of circumcision, seeming more concerned with the husband’s pleasure from a sexually responsive wife than for the woman herself.

SAD 41:5251 – A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: “Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.”

Muslim apologists are always keen to imply that FGM is a cultural practice and has no Islamic support. But scripture and Muhammad himself proves otherwise.

From ‘Reliance of the Traveller’, a book considered a classic manual of Islamic sacred law ‘Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, we find in the chapter, The Body, the following statute:

E4.3 Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) by cutting off the piece of skin on the glands of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris (this is called Hufaad).

Women are also crooked and quite difficult to straighten. According to Muhammad in Sahih Muslim (8:2466) A woman is like a rib. When you attempt to straighten it, you would break it. And if you leave her alone you would benefit by her, and crookedness will remain in her. Muhammad seems more concerned with how to benefit from the woman. According to his theory, trying to straighten her might damage her benefits.

Females are prone to betray their husbands as Muhammad mentions in SB 55:547 “… if it were not for Eve, wives would never betray their husbands.” Eve because she ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge apparently influenced all future generations of women to be disloyal to their husbands. Husbands, permitted to have up to three other wives and the opportunity of maintaining concubines, are however not considered prone to betraying their wives by Muhammad.

In addition Muhammad claims that women are detrimental to men. He is able to minimise all harmful afflictions that affect men except those miseries that only women can bring.

SB 62:33 “After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women.”

The Dictionary of Islam provides some useful tips for a husband concerning things to be avoided regarding his wife, pages 674-5:

1. Excess of affection, for this gives her the predominance and leads to a state of perversion. The commander must not be commanded. If troubled with an abundance of affection, let him at least conceal it from her.

2. Let him not consult her on matters of paramount importance; let him not make her acquainted with his secrets, nor let her know the amount of property, or the stores he possesses beyond those in present consumption, or her weakness of judgment will infallibly set things wrong.

3. Let him allow her no musical instruments, no visiting out of doors, no listening to men’s stories, nor interaction with women noted for such practices.

Muhammad claims a man is not responsible for getting a woman pregnant. It is all up to Allah. So regardless of whether he rapes her or not, pregnancy is in Allah’s hands SB 59:459. Also for those men who were reluctant to rape the female captives in the presence of their husbands Muhammad revealed from Allah “And all married women are forbidden unto you except those captives whom your right hands possess.” Female captives were not forbidden. Once non-believers were captured, their marriages were automatically annulled. This then gave the Muslim soldier free reign over the enslaved women.

After battle these soldiers of Allah obviously could not wait to undress their captives. However sometimes they were thwarted in their tracks as we see in this hadith, SAD 2:2691 Salamah was given a captive girl and had not yet “untied her garment” Muhammad took the woman from Salamah and gave her to the Meccans to ransom Muslim prisoners.

For a man all he needs do is utter the words “I divorce you” three times in the presence of two witnesses and he is free to replace her with another. There is no need for justification or a judgement from an arbitrator. With full rights to the children he has no obligation to maintain her after the mandatory three month waiting period. For a woman however, we observe a very different story. To annul her marriage a woman must go before a Sharia judge with ample evidence of abuse. She must repay at least the mahr (dowry) given to her at the time of marriage, even if she is badly abused. She is not entitled to any of the properties, wealth or children from the marriage. A prime example, judged by Muhammad himself is:

SAD 12:2220 – Habibah was the wife of Thabit. He beat her and broke some of her part. So she came to the Prophet after morning, and complained to him against her husband. The Prophet called on Thabit and said: Take a part of her property and separate yourself from her. Thabit asked: Is that right, Apostle of Allah? He replied: Yes. Thabit said: I have given her two gardens of mine as a dower. The Prophet said: Take them and separate yourself from her.

With a woman’s evidence worth only half that of a man’s, in the majority of cases she stands little chance of obtaining a favourable outcome from a sharia court.

Punishments for men and women according to Allah reflected no semblance of justice or equality. Take for instance the penalty for lewdness as prescribed in the Qur’an, for women, ‘confined in their houses until death do claim them’ (Q.4:15) as opposed to men, ‘give them a punishment but if they repent leave them alone’ (Q.4:16).

Because of Muhammad’s marriage to a six year old girl fourteen centuries ago, innocent girls have since that time suffered the horrendous brutality of marriage to men, old enough to be their grandfathers. To this day, because the wife’s father in Islam receives a dowry from the husband, girls may be literally sold into marriage at the earliest possible date.

In Sahih Bukhari 72:715 Aisha says, I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. This is a very telling, candid statement. Obviously outside of the believing people, women did not suffer as they did within the Muslim community and Aisha noted that fact for posterity. It was Muhammad who ordered them to be veiled, to be beaten, to be obedient to their men-folk and to be locked up within their houses. Women prior to Islam possessed greater independence, owned businesses as did Muhammad’s first wife; they were tribal leaders and even queens. All this however changed with the inception of Islam.

This reality is also confirmed in a hadith which has Umar speaking to Muhammad at the time he, Muhammad, separated from his wives after being caught in bed with a slave girl.

SB 43:648 Umar said “We, the people of Quraish, used to have authority over women, but when we came to live with the Ansar {in Medina}, we noticed that the Ansari women had the upper hand over their men, so our women started acquiring the habits of the Ansari women. Once I shouted at my wife and I disliked that she should answer me back.”

This hadith is noteworthy as we learn that at that time, outside the Muslim community and Quraish tradition, women were liberated and had a certain level of dominance even over their men. However because of the misogynistic views of Muhammad, women’s role in all societies conquered by Islam has been one of total subjugation. A reflection of this myopic view towards women, grounded in seventh century Quraish tribal customs, continues to this day.

Prior to Islam, Arabian tribes worshipped female goddesses such as al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat, with men and women worshipping together in public. With such reverence to the female form, the natural tendency is for society at large to develop respect and esteem for the women-folk in their midst. Muhammad however destroyed such traditions and preached a very chauvinistic male only orientated religion. From Sirat Rasul Allah in the chapter, Tabuk, we read:

Emissaries (from Taif) came to the apostle for an agreement on accepting Islam. They requested permission to keep their goddess al Lat for three years; but he refused. Then they insisted upon one year, but he again refused. Then they pleaded for a single month. The apostle still refused, and insisted on sending Abu Sufyan and al Mughira back with them to destroy her.

Honour killings, which occurs frequently within Muslim communities, is continually dismissed by apologists as being cultural traditions and that the phenomenon is in no way Islamic. But when we analyse regions where the Muslim diaspora now extends, we notice that honour killings suddenly become part of the landscape. The Qur’an provides the proviso for subduing or eliminating any dishonourable element from a family; for in Islam honour is more important than life. Q4:15 If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, confine them to houses until death do claim them. Qur’an 17:32 describes adultery as shameful and evil, Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful and an evil. For many Muslims any romantic relationship outside marriage and the ummah is considered evil and attracts shame unto the entire family.

There are many ahadith that sanction the killing of those committing adultery or shaming the family with non-marital relationships. Sahih Muslim 17:4206 describes the plight of a woman guilty of adultery; A woman came to the prophet and admitted she was pregnant. He told her to wait until she had given birth. Muhammad handed the child over to the community. She was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on her face he cursed her.

Sharia law equates apostasy, murder and zina (extramarital and premarital sex) on the same level, with punishment of death for infringement. This coupled with the sanction that a woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man’s and the stipulation that females can only leave the house with a chaperone, we have a ready-made recipe for imbalanced justice. Without a chaperone she is guilty regardless and with testimony devalued she has no case.

Those guilty of the crime of honour killing in Islamic countries are usually not prosecuted; for their actions can be easily justified under Sharia as maintaining societal morals and ethics as proclaimed in scripture. Therefore denying that honour killing finds its roots in Islam is tantamount to perpetuating this heinous crime wherever Islam is present.

Essentially the Qur’an is a male oriented document. In all respects it is the man who is addressed as the object of the revelation with instructions concerning women to be administered by a man. Never is the woman treated with the same level of authority or dignity. Even specific issues concerning women are directed to men:

Q2:222 And they ask you about menstruation. Say: It is a discomfort; therefore keep aloof from the women during the menstrual discharge and do not go near them until they have become clean…

Women aren’t told to keep away from their husbands when they menstruate, men are told not to go onto them until they’ve cleansed themselves.

Q2:231 And when you divorce women and they reach their prescribed time, then either retain them in good fellowship or set them free with liberality….

Here men are told what to do when they divorce their wives. No such direction is made for women.

Q2:221 Do not marry the idolatresses until they believe… and do not give believing women in marriage to idolaters until they believe

Men are told not to marry women who worship idols; they are also informed that they are not to give women in marriage to idolaters. Women are not addressed about their choice in such a matter.

Q2:232 And when you have divorced women and they have ended their term (of waiting), then do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree among themselves in a lawful manner…
After divorce, the man is told not to prevent women from marrying. Women aren’t told specifically whether they can or cannot marry again.

Q2: 235 And there is no blame on you respecting that which you speak indirectly in the asking of women in marriage or keep the proposal concealed within your minds….
Here men are told what is acceptable regarding marriage proposals however women are not told.

Q2:236 There is no blame on you if you divorce women when you have not touched them or appointed for them a dowry….
Men are informed how to treat a divorce if they had not yet touched the wife. However women are not told what their options are.

The scriptures of Islam patently characterise the woman as being half a human being. Her purpose on earth is to serve her husband and obey his commands unconditionally and unreservedly, or she is destined for a beating and hell fire. She is to hide herself from the public as though her very existence is shameful and bear children for her husband while sharing him with up to three other wives in addition to concubines which her husband’s right hand might possess. Although there may be no fury like a woman scorned, in Islam there is no esteem for a woman subdued.

The purpose of marriage for women is to profusely bear children to increase the Muslim population and hence outnumber the non-Muslims. Should a woman be barren, Muhammad recommends that a man should not marry her. SAD 11:2045 A man asked: “I have found a woman, but she does not give birth to children. Should I marry her?” Muhammad said: “No. Marry women who are loving and very prolific, for I shall outnumber the peoples by you.” Muhammad’s goal was clearly to outnumber all other religions by any means possible, war, emigration and prolific childbirth. But what Muhammad does not say here is, what is to become of women who cannot bear children?

In actual fact the woman in Islam is equated to the level of a domesticated animal. In his last major sermon to his people, Muhammad gave definitive instructions on the status of women, how they should be treated by their husbands, what rights they possess and their purpose here on earth, which all basically equates to them being objects to be enjoyed. This sermon is recorded in ‘The History of al-Tabari. Vol.IX: The Last Years of the Prophet’:

O people, you have a right over your wives and they have a right over you. You have [the right] that they should not cause anyone of whom you dislike to tread your beds, and that they should not commit any open indecency. If they do, then Allah permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them. If they abstain from evil, they have the right to their food and clothing in accordance with custom. Treat women well, for they are like domestic animals with you and do not possess anything for themselves. You have taken them only as a trust from Allah, and you have made the enjoyment of their persons lawful by the word of Allah, so understand and listen to my words, O people

Muhammad’s declarations concerning women are quite clear and succinct. But how did the greatest teacher and preacher of Islam view women? Al-Ghazali is recognised as the most influential Muslim thinker of all time and is described in the Encyclopaedia of Islam as ‘The greatest theologian produced by Islam.’

In his book ‘The Revival of the Religious Sciences’ Ghazali defines the role of a woman as follows:

She should stay at home and get on with her spinning
She can go out only in emergencies.
She must not be well-informed nor must she be communicative with her neighbours and only visit them when absolutely necessary.
She should take care of her husband and respect him in his presence and his absence and seek to satisfy him in everything.
She must not leave her house without his permission and if given his permission she must leave secretly.
She should put on old clothes and take deserted streets and alleys, avoid markets, and make sure that a stranger does not hear her voice, footsteps, smell her or recognize her.
She must not speak to her husband’s friend even in need.
Her sole worry should be her “al bud” (reproductive organs), her home as well as her prayers and her fast.
If a friend of her husband calls when her husband is absent she must not open the door nor reply to him in order to safeguard her “al bud”.
She should accept what her husband gives her as sufficient sexual needs at any moment.
She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs at any moment.

Al-Ghazali also states “It is a fact that all the trials, misfortunes and woes which befall men come from women”. In his Book of Counsel for Kings, Ghazali sums up eighteen punishments that a woman has to endure resulting from the curse Eve received for eating from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden:

Menstruation; Childbirth; Pregnancy
Separation from mother and father and marriage to a stranger;
Not having control over her own person;
Half the share in inheritance compared to male
Her liability to be divorced and inability to divorce;
It being lawful for men to have four wives, but for a woman to have only one husband;
She must stay secluded in the house;
She must keep her head covered inside the house;
Two women’s testimony equals the testimony of one man;
She must not go out unless accompanied by a near relative;
Men take part in Friday and feast day prayers and funerals while women do not;
Disqualification from positions such as ruler and judge;
Merit has one thousand components, only one of which is attributable to women, while 999 are attributable to men;
If women are profligate they will be given twice as much torment as the rest of the community on Resurrection Day;
If their husbands die they must observe a waiting period of four months and ten days before remarrying;
If their husbands divorce them they must observe a waiting period of three months or three menstruations before remarrying.

One would assume a person choosing the path of Islam would agree that these stipulations from Allah, as enunciated by the greatest Muslim theologian, are rational and just. Al-Ghazali goes on to describe the institution of marriage as follows:”Marriage is a form of slavery. The woman is man’s slave and her duty therefore is absolute obedience to the husband in all that he asks of her person. A woman, who at the moment of death enjoys the full approval of her husband, will find her place in Paradise.” – Ihya’ ‘Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali.

From the same book we learn about the inherent traits of women, “If you relax the woman’s leash a tiny bit, she will take you and bolt wildly. Their deception is awesome and their wickedness is contagious; bad character and feeble mind are their predominant traits…”

And to conclude this brief exegesis on Al-Ghazali’s rulings concerning women we note his plea to men not to teach women to write, indicating that that would only add evil to unhappiness.
Because these scriptures and elucidation by scholars, which clearly outline women’s role in society, are believed to have emanated from the one and only true God, women in Islamic societies have had no choice, over the last fourteen hundred years, but to subjugate themselves to the ancient desert teachings concocted by a misogynistic Bedouin tribesman in a seventh century desert.


[1] A Woman Subdued- Islam: https://sites.google.com/site/islamicscripturesunveiled/Home/woman-subdued

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