Are Muslim Women Second-Class Citizens?
A clarification and response to the horrible misconceptions concerning Muslim women and their rights in Islām. This series discusses the actual rights of muslim women in Islām based on textual evidences (Qurʾān and Sunnah) - and some comparisons to so-called liberalist womens rights and 'equality.'
Praise be to Allāh who has perfected all acts of righteousness and he has allowed us to gather together for one of these annual conferences produced by Masjid ar-Raḥmah, may Allāh subḥānahu wa taʿālá preserve them and this year’s theme is common misconceptions.
As we already know, for the vast majority of us being born in the Western, non-Muslim countries, there are a lot of misconceptions about Islām and many are due to ignorance, some of them are due to negligence and while others are due to outright, blatant abstinence and rebellion against Islām even though the person understands and knows it’s the truth. They still willingly want to make it seem as though Islām is one thing while it’s another.
One of the topics or aspects of Islām that is the victim of misconceptions is the view of Muslims women. I’d like to begin with the statement of Shaykh ʿUthaymīn that it is necessary for us to know that there are some people who speak of equality (al-musaawaat) instead of justice (al-‘Adl). And this is a mistake.
The Shaykh says this is because the Muslims, are always saying Islām is a religion of equality. This is something being stated by those people who want to make tamyee’ (water down) with Islām and Christianity and Judaism and now Hinduism and Buddhism and other pagan religions. This includes the people of Christianity and Judaism because they don’t follow the religion as it was originally presented to them, it has changed so they have become Mushriks. The intent behind those who use the statement that Islām is a religion of equality is that behind those statements is they really want to make tamyee’, that is, to melt and blend in order to show the similarities instead of showing the dissimilarities which is a major statement when firstly, giving daʿwah and secondly, it’s a lie.
The Shaykh says we should know that it is obligatory for us to know that some people speak of equality instead of justice. They use this statement to attract the feminists and those people who would like to see a change in the foundations of Islām so women can have “more rights.” He continues, by saying we should not say “equality” because equality entails no delineation, no farq, no tafreek. No differentiation, no separation. No distinction, no criterion, between the two (things being compared). As a result of this unfair call, this oppressive, incorrect daʿwah for equality, they started to ask “What is the difference between a male and a female?” And so they made males and females the same. And then the communists (the Shaykh made this statement many years ago) said what difference is there between the haakim (ruler) and the mahkoom (ruled)? Hence, they took it to another step.
We should know that no-one has any authority over anyone else. If anyone believes that Islām is a religion of equality without conditions, restrictions, qualifications and without giving a detailed explanation on what you mean by a religion of equality then no one will have authority over another person. Not even a father and his son. This also means that the husband would not have any authority over his wife. This will happen and though it is not the reason why, it is one of the reasons why the women stand toe to toe with their husbands.
Then we see that the children will also stand toe to toe with us (as parents and adults) because someone amongst the Muslims has promoted Islām as equality and everyone has the right to say what they want to say and do what they want to do without tafreek (any separation or distinction).
Shaykh ʿUthaymīn continues: but if we say “Justice” (instead of equality as previously mentioned) then it means giving each one that to which he or she is entitled to. That is, giving everybody their haqq (right). Like the Prophet ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam said: Give every single one that has rights, give them their rights.
Our elder brother goes onto explain that even letters in the al-ʿArabīc language have rights and they need to be pronounced properly because everything that has rights has to be given its rights. Shaykh Fawzān said that in his book, The etiquettes of walking to the prayer, Shaykh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb said that Sūrah al-Fātiḥah has 11 shaddahs. Shaykh Fawzān said if you leave out one of those shaddahs, you don’t have al-Fātiḥah because you haven’t given al-Fātiḥah its haqq! So even the al-ʿArabīc language has rights. Everything has rights and you have to give everything its rights.
Shaykh ʿUthaymīn says, so if we say “justice” which means giving each one, that to which he or she is entitled, this misunderstanding, that is “Islām is a religion of equality” no longer applies. Our elder brother and teacher explains this by saying everybody and everything has been given a place of superiority just like the ʿUlamāʾ have been given superiority over everyone else. Like the moon over the other stars and so on. Shaykh al-Madhkalee said, the superiority of the ʿUlamāʾ is greater than the moon because the moon doesn’t emit light sometimes and the ʿUlamāʾ shine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So, everything has superiority. Even the things that have inferiority have superiority over something else that’s more inferior.
Shaykh ʿUthaymīn then says, this misunderstanding will no longer apply. And the expression used is correct. Therefore, it does not say anywhere in the Qurʾān that Allāh enjoins equality. However, you always hear people saying “Islām is a religion of peace, a religion of equality, it’s a religion of this and that, Islām comes from the word peace and so on.” That isn’t to say Islām means war or anything similar but the word Islām does not come from the word peace. It comes from the word aslama not salāma. But there’s this movement and they’re trying to do away with the proper understanding of terms and phrases. So Islām is a religion of peace and equality is what they settle for.
Shaykh ʿUthaymīn says, There is nowhere in the Qurʾān that Allāh enjoins equality. Rather, Allāh says in His Book (interpretation of the meaning of the verse), in Sūrah al-Naḥl (The Bee), “Indeed Allāh enjoins and commands al-Adl.” And “When you judge between men you judge with adl, with justice.”
The Shaykh then says that those who say that Islām is the religion of equality are lying against Islām. Rather Islām is the religion of justice which means treating equally those who are equal and differentiating between those who are different. He adds, no one who knows the religion of Islām would say that it is a religion of equality. Rather what shows you that this principle is false is the fact that most of what is mentioned in the Qurʾān negates equality. As in the verse Sūrah al-Zumar, chapter 39 verse 9, “Say: are those who know equal to those who know not?”
Shaykh al-Albānī said; With regards to knowledge people only have two types. The first is those who know and second are those who do not know. Students of knowledge and duʿāʾʾʾt are a part of the first type. Everyone else is of the second type.
Shaykh ʿUthaymīn says there is not one single letter in the entirety of the Qurʾān that enjoins equality. Rather, it enjoins and commands justice. You will also find that the word justice is acceptable to people for I feel that if I am better than this man in terms of knowledge, or wealth, or religion, or piety or in doing something of good, I would not like for him to be equal to me.
If I know I’m better than him, more knowledgeable than him, having more money than him, how would I want him to be equal to me? He’s not going to be considered as being equal to me.
The Shaykh does not say this in a way to brag, rather he is saying it in a factual manner.
Our brother Dāwūd explains, how can Bill Gates be equal to him with regards to wealth? No one should think like that. We should know there’s no equality with that because he’s on a higher level than him with regards to his wealth.
Shaykh ʿUthaymīn says, every many knows that he finds it unacceptable if we were to say that the male is equal to the female. [Al-Aqīdah al-Waasitiyyah – explanations from Shaykh ʿUthaymīn that’s where these statements are coming from. 21.25 first volume 180-181]
Based on this we should know that Islām does not regard men and women as equal with regards to the nature of a man and the nature of a woman and the status of man and the status of a woman. Islām does not regard men and women equal in matters where regarding them as equal will result in injustice to one of them because equality that is inappropriate is a severe form of injustice. And there are reasons for things like why is the man the Imām, leads the prayers and is the khaṭīb for Jumuʿah and the two ʿĪds? Why is it that the man calls the aẓan? Why is the man a Prophet? Prophethood is given to men and there are reasons for all of these matters. Also, why is it that women don’t get the same share in almost all cases with regards to inheritance? Why is a man given more than a woman in terms of inheritance? And these are things that the ʿUlamāʾ have already answered for us.
The following is a statement that is attributed to some of the people of the distant past from book called Marriage East and West by David and Vera Mace, printed in 1960. On page 64:
“In childhood, a female must be dependent on her father, in youth, on her husband. Her lord (husband) being dead (meaning when her husband or her male slave master dies) then she is dependent on her sons. (This is how women were seen in the past and in some places such as Asia it still continues) A woman must not seek independence. A woman must always live with a cheerful temper, while her husband lives, let her be devoted, honour him. And when he dies let her never neglect him. (This means that a virtuous wife must pray to him, put pictures on grave, visit grave and so on and this is how some cultures view women). A virtuous wife must constantly revere her husband as a god though he failed to observe the approved usages or be enamoured of another woman. That means, even if he disobeys God, falls short, does things against the commandment of God, violating scriptures and even messing with other women. They say she must be devout even if he is devoid of good qualities. No sacrifice they say is allowed to women apart from their husband’s.”
He continues, “a faithful wife who wishes to attain in heaven the mansion of her husband must do nothing unkind to him be he living or dead. A married woman who violates the duty which she owes to her husband brings ______ on herself in this life and in the next life she will be afflicted with elephantiasis and other diseases as a punishment for her crimes but whoever keeps from amongst them, she who keeps her speech, body and mind devoted to her husband, attains his heavenly mansion. And by good men, is called virtuous.”
It should be noted that the word Rabb can be used for the person who is the owner of a building or a house so this is not shirk in anyway. And we see the use of this word Rabb in a context used to refer to something other than Allāh or Lord in the ḥadīth of Jibrīl.
According to this statement, a woman has no religious rights and this also goes into Judaism because until the Jewish feminist movement began, just a few years ago, women were not allowed and are still not allowed into the Orthodox Hasidic ascetic synagogue to pray with the men. They had to sit in another area; they couldn’t sit in that area where the men make their devotion to their god. If we look at what Islām did for women, we will see that no other religion and no other philosophy or ideology has honoured women more than Islām.
In the Tafsīr of Sūrah al-Nisāʾ (The women), we see how the ʿUlamāʾ of Tafsīr summarise the theme of the entire Sūrah, you will see that a great portion of the sūrah is dealing with the kind treatment, the benevolent behaviour of men to women. So much so that in every khuṭbah, the Prophet ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam recited: Oh mankind, fear your Lord who created you from one soul and from that one soul, (he created) its mate.
We need to listen carefully to the choice of words used in this book, the Qurʾān, that clarifies from the very beginning, every single jumu’ah, the statement of the Messenger of Allāh reminding us how to revere the wombs that bore us, to keep the family ties amongst us, to remember those women that gave birth to us, to treat them kindly, to remind us that that woman and Ādam ʿalayhi al-Salām came from one soul, from one creation, Allāh created one soul.
The Christians, specifically, the Roman Catholics, debated if women even had souls and they debated over 400 years! And then they had a difference of opinion amongst their scholars. For example, believing that a woman doesn’t have a soul but it is like an animal’s soul. Yet Allāh said: ‘O mankind, fear your Lord who created you from one soul. And from that one soul, another soul.
Islām has honoured the women but women are dishonoured and are brought down, or bring themselves down when they are tried to be made equal to a man. In Islām we do not accept that men and women are equal. The only things that can make them equal are taqwá (fear of Allāh) and īmān (faith). Their fear of Allāh and their duty and faith in him, other than that they are not equal.
The ʿUlamāʾ say Islām gives women all their rights and allows them to dispose of their affairs in an appropriate manner. Allāh says (interpretation of the meaning): And they, the women, they have rights over their husbands, similar to those of their husbands over them to what is reasonable but men have a degree over the women.
A degree Allāh says. And as the ʿUlamāʾ has mentioned, this is a degree of responsibility. And Allāh is the Wise, the Mighty.
The ʿUlamāʾ they say women are equal to men with regards to reward. And the payment they will receive in the next life. As for the nature of the man and woman and status of a man and the status of a woman, then they are not equal. So we say as the ʿUlamāʾ has derived from the Qurʾān that the man is not equal to the woman and a woman is not equal to a man and we don’t want them to be equal so they are not second class citizens.
The definition of a second class citizen according to Wikipedia is an informal term used to describe a person who is systematically discriminated against within a state or other political jurisdictions despite their nominal status as a citizen or legal resident there. While not necessarily slaves, outlaws or criminals, second class citizens have limited legal rights, civil rights and economic opportunities and are often subject to mistreatment of neglect at the hands of their putative superiors instead of being protected by the law, the law disregards a second class citizen or it may actually use to harass them.
This is a definition we do not find in Islām. We don’t find women not having civil rights in Islām, economic opportunities, limited legal rights and so on.
The following is section of a poem called "Woman" by Fu Xuan. She writes:
How sad it is to be a woman!!
Nothing on earth is held so cheap.
Boys stand leaning at the door
Like Gods fallen out of Heaven.
Their hearts brave the Four Oceans,
The wind and dust of a thousand miles.
No one is glad when a girl is born:
By her the family sets no store.
When she grows up, she hides in her room
Afraid to look at a man in the face.
No one cries when she leaves her home --
Sudden as clouds when the rain stops.
She bows her head and composes her face,
Her teeth are pressed on her red lips:
She bows and kneels countless times.
She must humble herself even to the servants.
And this is an indication of the status of women outside Islām. Having said that, we do not say that there are Muslims in the land of the Muslims and other than the land of Muslims who do not oppress women in Islām. It’s a fact but we should never take the mistreatment of individuals and say this is Islām because this is not Islām. This is far from Islām.
Allāh says: Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female while he or she is a true believer, verily to him we will give a good life in this world. With respect to contentment and lawful provision and we shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.
In another verse, interpretation of the meaning, Allāh says: And whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female and as a true believer, such will enter Paradise and not the least of injustice even to the size of the strip on the back of date stone will be done to them.
Allāh also says: the believers, male and female, are helpers and supporters and friends and protectors of one another.
The Prophet ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam said: The best of you is the one who is the best to his wife. And I am the best of you to my wives.
So Allāh shows through his Prophet and his life and through the Ṣaḥābahh that we show good treatment to women and that the women have a status that is afforded to them in the Qurʾān and authentic Sunnah. That is, to be held in high esteem and to be given honour and respect.
One of the ʿUlamāʾ of the past said: Islām raised the status of women and made them equal with men in most of the rulings of Islām. Both have been commanded to believe in Allāh and worship him. And women are made equal to men in terms of reward in the Hereafter. Women have the right to express themselves, to give sincere advice, to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil and to call people to Allāh,
Shaykh ibn Bāz has said that even the woman can call a man to Islām if the conditions are correct and proper. And they can even call people to Allāh. Women have the right to own property. The overwhelming majority when it comes to wealth and property belong to the women. The proof is in the Authentic Sunnah and the book of Allāh. We learn that from the time that a woman is engaged, not even married, the benefit that she gets with regards to property and wealth is way higher than men. And that’s one of the reasons why a man gets more in inheritance, because he has to take care of his wife and she doesn’t spend anything (isn’t obliged to) of her own money to take care of herself. So she has the right to buy, to sell, inherit, give charity, gifts and so on.
Yet, in other religions and cultures they don’t have these rights and in some cases, a woman has to give her charity to her husband and then the husband gives that charity. In Islām, it is not permissible for anyone to take a woman’s wealth without her permission. Women have a right to a decent life without facing oppression, or being wrong, because Islām did that for them. Before Islām, girls were buried alive. Now, women have the right to be educated and this is not a new thing, specifically in Saudi al-ʿArabīa. King Faisal did this decade ago, it’s not new. It’s in the Sunnah and Qurʾān. In fact, it’s obligatory to teach them what they need to know about their religion and we don’t find this, even in Judaism. In some circumstances ,women can’t even touch the Torah until recently.
Anyone who compares the rights of women in Islām with their situation during the days of jahiliyyah (pre-Islām) or any other civilisation, they’ll soon understand that what the ’Ulamāʾ say about the status of women as opposed to other religions, is true.
For example, in 586 CE the French held a conference to discuss whether women had souls. In the end they decided they were human. During the time of Henry VIII, the English parliament issued a decree forbidding women to read the new testament because they were regarded as impure. Yet in Islām, there are scholars who say that a woman can even hold the Qurʾān and read it whilst she is on her menses. Until 1805, English law allowed a man to sell his wife and set a wife’s price at 6 pennies. Even if a woman in Islām is a multi-billionaire she should not spend a single penny to take care of herself, you (the husband) have to spend to take care of her.
The Shaykh goes on, he says, in our modern age women are kicked out of the house at the age of 18 so they can start working to earn a bite to eat. If a woman wanted to stay in her parents’ house she had to pay her parents rent for her room and pay for the food and laundry. We don’t find this in Islām. And if she gets divorced, she can go back to her father, even if she’s 35, 48 and her father will take care of her.
The ‘Culture’ of Islām teaches a Muslim how to be. So if someone enters Islām and they have a particular cultural tradition about them then that goes when they learn about Islām and act upon what that teaches you. Islām does away with those things rooted in paganism and heathenism, polytheism, disbelief and so on. But when a person accepts Islām no matter where they come from, they can keep what was in their “Culture” as long as it doesn’t go against Islām or oppress people etc. The ’Ulamāʾ of the past said, whoever enters into Islām, enters naked. And then he puts on the cloak of Islām. And then he abandons the cloak of Kuffar.
So, whatever they adopted before the Qurʾān came down and the Sunnah, then if Islām is not against it, then they can keep it.
Our elder then informs us of certain things that happen to women in different cultures around the world and reminds us by saying Allāh says: Allāh has honoured the children of Ādam.
And Allāh has honoured women so in Islām they don’t go through the things in these images that other women go through. From amongst the things that women around the world suffer from are the following:
Some cultures in Africa use hot stones or hot irons and they heat them to high temperatures. These stones or irons are then placed on the chests of girls in order to flatten their breasts. And it is either done because they don’t want them to look attractive to other men or it is because they think this is an attractive look.
In China, a tradition known as foot ibnding occurs. This is when a woman’s foot is taken and compressed so that the four smaller toes on both feet are broken. Then the feet are bound and placed in peculiar shaped shoes and they do this so women have what they call “beautiful feet” yet these women end up crippled for life.
In Burma and other places, wires or coils are put around women’s necks. And if they were to remove these after a few years the muscles in her neck would be destroyed and her head will just fall and she would no longer be able to hold her head upright on its own.
Some tribes in Africa cut a woman’s lower lip and place giant metal plates in her lip so that men are not attracted to her.
Some tribes in Africa file teeth. They take a woman with perfectly fine looking teeth and then file them down so they become broken, jagged and dirty. They think it looks beautiful and one man laughed and said he hopes his wife doesn’t leave him for another man!
All of this is dishonouring women, oppressing them and humiliating them and Islām came to do away with this.
All of the ʿUlamāʾ say there are no other religions and nothing in any religion, nation and legislation, law to compare to the honour which women gain in Islām.
Encyclopaedias and experts in the past both state that the Roman civilisation decreed that a woman was a slave who belonged to a man and had no rights at all. In Roman a major ‘sanad’ met to discuss the role of a woman and decided that she had no soul. Some people like the Christians say its unfounded and a myth but when you check, you’ll see that for at least 400 years the Catholic Church and some other denominations of Christianity debated for at least 400 years.
When Allāh already mentioned in the Qurʾān that a woman had a soul and it was mentioned in the authentic Sunnah.
It was decided that she did not have a soul and therefore she would not inherit the life of the hereafter. She couldn’t even go Paradise, she was destined to go nowhere but Hell. Islām came to make the human being and of course the women slaves to only Allāh.
There are some statements in the Bible that are not from God but people are trying to say they are.
That’s why Allāh says “Woe be to them, upon those Jews and Christians who write the book with their own hands and they say this is from Allāh.”
We don’t dismiss the Bible totally if it agrees with Allāh mentions in the Qurʾān and that the prophet ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam has said in his authentic Sunnah then we accept it and we know even the layman from amongst us and he who has no knowledge of al-ʿArabīc that the most common Muslim knows when he reads the Qurʾān that there is no way in the world that what Allāh revealed to Mūsá, ʿĪsá, Dāwūd, Yahyá or Ibrāhīm or any of the noble, illustrious Prophets of Allāh would dishonour or oppress a woman.
We’re going to hear things and we hear that they are from Allāh but we know it is from the scribes’ hands, from interpolation, additions, things that they just concocted because they wanted to oppress women and keep them as second class citizens or less than that, as animals.
When Allāh revealed those scriptures to those prophets, they were perfect.
The scriptures that came before the Qurʾān and Sunnah can be misconstrued, misinterpreted. For example, with terrorism they take verses from the Qurʾān and say it promotes terrorism but we can do the same thing with the Bible because it contains some similar verses.
Rowland De Ville, an archaeologist and priest said: the social and legal position of an Israelite wife was inferior to the position of a wife occupied in the great countries roundabout. All the texts show that Israelites wanted mainly sons to perpetuate the family line and fortune and to preserve the ancestral inheritance (women couldn’t inherit in Judaism). A husband could divorce his wife, women on the other hand could not ask for a divorce. The wife called her husband ‘Master’. (The interpolation into the scriptures here means in terms of a Lord or God. Although the use of the word Rabb and similar is acceptable, these are used in a different sense as previously mentioned which is permissible and does not involve shirk unlike the meaning used here).
Rowland continues; she also called him Adon or Lord. She addressed him, in fact, as a slave addressed his master or subject His King. The _______ includes a woman, a man’s wife amongst his possessions.
Instead, this is something that the Muslims are accused of doing. This is something that Islām is attacked with. That women have no rights. In a talk done in 1991 or 1992 in a Church by brother Dāwūd, a lot of the people present thought that Islām said a woman had to walk at least 10 paces behind a man.
He goes on; the wife does not inherit from her husband, or daughters from their fathers except when there is no male heir.
When compared to Confucius and Fu Xuan, the Chinese female poet. Same thing used to happen amongst the Arabs during the days of ignorance. And this still exists. Just in 1992 the supreme court banned the law of coverture. This is from two aspects; one called covering as is mentioned in the Bible from the book of Corinthians. The second aspect is that the woman becomes the property of the man. And this is one of the things that the suffragettes were fighting against and what the feminists fought against. Why? Because of one of those aspects that comes from coverture is that when a woman gets married to her husband, she takes his last name and this is common because a woman is considered to be the property of her husband. Addition in the bible mentions that the husband to the wife is as Jesus is to the Church. He owns the church according to them and the man owns his wife. They’re not really partners, she is property.
The priest says this is in law that a woman cannot inherit from her husband. But when it happens in Islām know that is oppression of the husband, it is not the law of Islām.
When a woman gets married or divorced or even when she is in her ida period in Islām, they are still maintained, still taken care of.
He goes on; a vow made by a girl or a married woman needs to be valid. The consent of the father or husband and if his consent is withheld, the view is null and void. A man had a right to sell his daughter. Women were excluded from the succession.
As for the contemporary women in Europe, America and other industrialised nations, she is a creature who is degraded. For example, adverts for sneakers, trainers, make up, a car and so on use images of half-dressed or naked women. Women are used as products for advertising and marketing, it’s always or in most cases a woman used to sell a product and this is women being degraded and abused for commercial purposes. A feature of every advertising campaign and things have reached the stage where she takes off her clothes in order to advertise products.
One of the ’Ulamāʾ, Shaykh Muḥammad Amān al-Jaamee raḥimahullāhu Taʿālá said, she sells and displays her body according to systems devised by men so that she is no more than an object of pleasure for them in every place.
A Christian said the following to his sons when he was admonishing them after looking deeply into the Bible: a man’s role as protector is confirmed in the scripture as the role of covering his wife. (This is exactly what Allāh says in the Qurʾān: They are covering for you and you are a covering for them). I spoke on this subject in your older sister’s wedding. When Abraham did not protect his wife (we know as Muslims there was no prophet that did not protect his wife and this statement is a part that has been added into their book and they have said it is from Allāh but actually it isn’t, Genesis, Chapter 20, verse 16) it was a serious failure.
He continues, the doctrine of coverture finds its roots in the book of beginnings (Genesis, Chapter 24, verse 25). Rebecca used a veil to symbolise her modesty. The tradition was noted in numbers. Chapter 5, verse 18, Ruth Chapter 3, verse 9, Ezekiel Chapter 15, verse 8 and it was carried over in the apostolic tradition in verse Corinthians Chapter 11, verse 6, “For if the woman be not covered*, let her also be shorn. But if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn (or shaven**), let her be covered. Recognition of the man’s role as head of the covering of his wife is traditionally symbolised by a woman wearing a cloth or head covering, The practice of wearing this head covering by both virgins and married women was witnessed by the Tertullian as late as 208 CE among the Corinthian women. Approximately 75% of the traditional costumes of the entire world represented in the attached world book encyclopaedia illustrations shows the women’s heads covered. It has historically been an important symbol worldwide. (Yet they say our women, the Muslim women are second class citizens). He continues, the doctrine of coverture was eventually preserved in the common law that developed in protestant England was still common and was still and American-English tradition up until the 1960s sexual revolution. The covering of married women*** is a tradition continuing even in this day amongst Orthodox Jews. It is well anchored in Biblical tradition.
*literally in the original text it says veiled.
** They say if she doesn’t cover her head then she should shave her hair off. But Islām forbids this because it has honoured the women by allowing her to keep her hair to make it beautiful for her husband so she can spend money on her hair, look beautiful so her husband won’t look at another woman. So he has to honour her and cover her. Unlike the Jewish women in the Hasidic religion where they shave off all their hair and then wear a wig. This is an addition to their religion.
***They have changed it to just the married women
He goes on, today in America, both the understanding and this tradition and the symbol of it are all but lost. Sarah Warren, a lecturer on the American revolution said the law of coverture is when a woman gets married, her legal identity is suspended and she is unconsidered dependent. Not until 1992 was coverture declared dead by the supreme court. Under the doctrine and law of coverture, a married woman is dependent, provided for, covered, guarded, represented and protected by her husband.
He continues, Lucifer, that is the Devil, was originally appointed by God as guardian and protector over this Earth but Satan cried fully rejected this role and the Apolistic scripture Paul associated the woman’s rejection of head covering with this angelic rejection as was Jobe of old time we are being observed by angelic beings in the spiritual conflict that is raging on this Earth. The Lord wants us to be a testimony of contentment with the created order. The most respected commentary share the traditional interpretation of first Corinthians Chapter 11. He then says, I have carefully studied many modern interpretations of Paul’s teaching of the head covering. The trendy and spurious interpretations that are being circulated today are just that.
The priest continues, they are not based on the newly discovered Biblical interpretation and sound or careful exegesis (explanation of the Bible). I believe the head covering is almost universally rejected by Christians because it’s just old fashioned.
In other words, Christians of today are following the fashions of the World, not the Christian traditions that have been passed down to us. Christian men are failing to cover their wives and daughters in almost every sense of the word today. Christian men should protect them by encouraging them to dress modestly and by lifting up the Biblically defined role of a woman.
The priest tells his sons, a long flowing gown has been the godly woman’s apparel for thousands of years but for men it has varied widely. Proverbs 31 describes it indirectly, “she maketh herself covering the tapestry” – does covering a tapestry sound like pants (trousers)? He says, I know you cringe to hear me ask this but I am asking it out of a burdened heart. Young men, cover and protect your lady’s form, a godly woman is adorned with shamefacedness and sobriety. I don’t have to remind you that a woman’s body is a visual turn on to men but it is your responsibility (meaning, as Christian men) to cover your wives in every way. The upper area of her body is designed for the nurturing of children and for you to enjoy and no one else. And the area of her body from her waist down is also no one else’s business. No one else has the right to see the shape of her thighs, her groin, her backside, her tummy or her legs. These areas of a female’s body are anatomically referred to as erogenous zones. Exposing the form of these areas of a woman’s anatomy triggers an instantaneous glance from a normally wired man.
Covering a woman doesn’t just mean covering her body, it means covering her needs in every single way. Women need to be honoured, they need to be able to afford and have the opportunity to beautify themselves so their husbands don’t have to look at the other women. A woman shouldn’t look unattractive, money shouldn’t be withheld from her so she can’t look attractive. When a woman goes to ḥalāl gatherings of women only and your wife doesn’t take off her head covering, sister will wonder why and if it’s because she doesn’t look nice then it’s because her needs have not been covered by the one who is responsible for her. Her husband is not covering her. Not just with clothing but covering her needs because her emotional side has to be covered too and her mental side and her spiritual side also has to be covered.
Islām honours the human being. It honours the men, women and children. It gives every single creature their justice.