Islam & Christianty

  • bookcover

  • Islam & Christianty

  • The Status of Women in Islam and Christianity

    Jesus was the seal prophet to appear among the Beni-Israel. Allah sent him to make reforms in the teachings of the earlier Israelite prophets. He reinterpreted some of the religious precepts of Moses to bring them in line with the needs of his age; but others he left as they were. The so-called Old Testament of the Bible advocates massacre, condones polygamy, accepts slavery and orders the burning of witches. Jesus, who had come "not to destroy the law and the prophets but to fulfil", apparently saw nothing wrong with these or, at any rate, had no time to

    remedy them. For, he said or did nothing to humanize the Mosaic laws of war or to abolish slavery or to raise the status of women. He said not a word against polygamy.


    St. Paul, who was the real founder of Christianity as it is understood and believed by Christians, regarded woman as temptress. He laid the entire blame for the fall of man and the genesis of sin on woman. This is what we read in the New Testament of the Bible:


    "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels"

    (I Corinthians 11:8,10)


    And this is what some of the canonized saints of Christianity have said about woman:


    "Woman is a daughter of Falsehood, a sentinel of Hell, the enemy of peace; through her Adam lost Paradise."

    (St. John Damascene)


    "Woman is the instrument which the Devil uses to gain possession of our souls."

    (St. Cyprian)


    "Woman is the fountain of the arm of the Devil; her voice is the hissing of the serpent"

    (St. Anthony)


    "Women has the poison of an asp, the malice of a dragon."

    (St. gregory the Great)


    The Glorious Qur'an clears woman of the responsibility for the fall of Adam and vindicated her honor and dignity. It raises the status of woman to make her man's equal. For the first time in history woman is given the same rights as those of man by Islam:


    "And they (women) have rights similar to those of men over them in a just manner.

    (Qur'an 2:228)


    The modern man recognizes that there can be no true freedom and dignity without economic rights. Fourteen hundred years ago, Islam has given woman the right to inherit the property and wealth of her father and husband and to acquire, own and dispose of wealth as she likes. The Glorious Qur'an says:


    {Unto men a fortune from that which they have earned, and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned};

    (Qur'an 4:32)


    (Unto men (of a family) belongeth a share of that which parents or near kindred leave, and unto women share of that which parents or near kindred whether it be little or much - a legal share.)

    (Qur'an 4:7)


    In marriage a woman is considered by Islam to be an equal and free partner. Marriage in Islam is a sacred contract between a man and a woman and the consent of both parties has to be taken before marriage can take place. The Glorious Qur'an describes woman as a companion of her husband - an object of love and a source of peace and solace to him:


    (And of His Signs is this: He created for you helpmates from among yourselves that ye may find rest in them and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, here indeed are portents for folk who reflect.)

    (Qur'an 30:21)


    To impress upon his followers the exalted position and sacredness of womanhood, the Prophet declared:


    "Paradise lies at the feet of mothers. " _


    He said that "women are the twin-halves of men," and that men and women come from the essence. Islam makes no distinction between them as regards their moral and spiritual

    capabilities and rewards:


    (The believers, men and women, are protecting friends of one another, they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they perform Prayer and they pay Zakah, and they obey God and His Messenger. As for these, will have mercy on them. Lo! God is All-Mighty, All-Wise.)

    (Qur'an 9:71)


    (Whoever doeth right, whether male or female, and is a believer, him (or her) verily We shall quicken with good life, and we shall pay them a recompense in proportion. To the best of what they used to do.)

    (Qur'an 16:97)


    (Lo! men who surrender unto God, and women who surrender, and men who believe and women who believe, and men who obey and women who obey, and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth, and men who are persevere in righteousness and women who are

    persevere, and men who are humble, and women who are humble. and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast and men who guard their modesty and women who guard their modesty, and men who remember God much and women who remember  God hath prepared for them forgiveness and vast reward.) 

    (Quran 33:35)


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