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Saturday, June 10, 2023

‘Understanding the Hadith’ shows how women are oppressed by Islamic fundamentalists

“A woman’s social and legal disabilities, and even her differential biological constitution and functions, are interpreted in terms of her moral inferiority for which Allah has rightly punished her.

In his Counsel for Kings, Al-Ghazali (AD 1058-1111), a famous Arab divine of his time, says that “Allah, He be praised, punished women with eighteen things:

(1) menstruation;

(2) childbirth;

(3) separation from parents and marriage to a stranger;


(5)not having control over her own person;

(6) a lesser share in inheritance;

(7) her liability to be divorced and inability to divorce;

(8) it being lawful for men to have four wives, but for a woman to have only one husband;

(9) the fact that she must stay secluded in the house;

(10) the fact that she must keep her head covered inside the house;

(11) the fact that two women’s testimony has to be set against the testimony of one man;

(12) the fact that she must not go out of the house unless accompanied by a near relative;

(13) the fact that men take part in Friday and feast day prayers and funerals while women do not;

(14) disqualification for rulership and judgeship;

(15) the fact that merit has one thousand components, only one of which is attributable to women, while nine hundred and ninety-nine are attributable to men;

(16) the fact that if women are profligate they will be given only half as much torment as the rest of the community at the Resurrection Day;

(17) the fact that if their husbands die they must observe a waiting period of four months and ten days before remarrying;

(18) the fact that if their husbands divorce them they must observe a waiting period of three months or three menstrual periods before remarrying”.

(NasIhatAl-MulUk, London: University of Durham Publications,1971; pp.164-165).”

Reference: ‘Understanding the Hadith: The Sacred Traditions of Islam’ by Ram Swarup: Pg 6, Chapter 1, Footnote # 2 (book link)

This book by writer and polymath Ram Swarup which explores the meaning of Islam through the words of the Sahih Muslim, considered by Muslims to be one of the most authoritative of the collections of “traditions” (Arabic Hadith) about the life of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread posted by @RamSwarup_Voi on March 16, 2023)

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