Christian missionaries often accuse Islam of mistreating women. They claim that Quran and hadith teach that women are inferior and this particular sex is oppressed by Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). But now let’s analyze what Bible has to say regarding women.
Women are being presented as inferior in the very beginning of Bible. It’s mentioned in Genesis Chapter 3 verses 12-13 “And I’ll put enmity between you and the women and between your offspring and hers and you will strike her heel” To the women it says “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you’ll give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he’ll rule over you”
We see in the above that women are punished with a three-fold curse. Firstly, she’s cursed with the pains of childbirth. Secondly, she’s cursed for having her desire for her husband and thirdly she’s being cursed with being ruled by her husband. The word for rule in the context is “Mashal”, which means “to have dominion over”. It’s the same word found in Judges 8:22 where Gideon is given rule over Israel.
Now, regarding the mistake committed by Adam and Eve (pbut) in the heaven, Bible puts all the blame on Eve alone. This is seen in Genesis chapter #3 verse #12 where Adam makes Eve as scape-goat, “And the man said; the woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat”. Here we see that Adam does not own up to his mistake according to Bible, but instead lays the blame on Eve. But even more, he blamed God when he said “whom YOU gave to be with me”. Yet even then the woman gets punished more than the man as shown in Genesis chapter #3 verse #16. In fact this singling Eve, the mother of women out as culprit is emphasised in the New Testament in Trimothy chapter #2 verses #14-#15, “And it was not Adam who deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression”. Furthermore, Genesis chapter #3 verse #17 says “Cursed is the ground because of you (Adam/man)” The Bible doesn’t even curse Adam but the ground. Now what was the fault of ground in their mistake?
The Quran narrates a better picture than that presented in Genesis. It’s mentioned in the Holy Quran in Surah Baqarah chapter 2 verses 36-37 that “But the Satin made them BOTH fall from it and caused them to depart from the (state) in which they were and We (Allah) said; Get forth, some of you being the enemies of others and there’s for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time. Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so turned to him mercifully; surely He’s oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful”
Further it’s mentioned in Quran in Surah Aa’raf, chapter #7 verses #20-24 that “But the Satin made an evil suggestion to them that he might make manifest to them what had been hidden from them of their evil inclinations and he said; Your Lord has not forbidden you this tree except that you may not both become angels or that you may (not) become of the immortals. And he swore to them BOTH; Most surely I’m a sincere adviser to you. Then he caused THEM to fall by deceit; so when they tasted of the tree, their evil inclinations became manifest to them and they BOTH became to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden and their Lord called out to them; Did I not forbid you both from that tree and say to you that the Satin is your open enemy? They said: Our Lord! We have been unjust to ourselves and if thou forgive us not and have (not) mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers. HE said; Get forth, some of you, the enemies of others and there’s for you in the earth an abode and a provision of time”
Notice that in the Quranic narrative the woman is not singled out to carry the blame or most of the blame. Which is kinder upon the women? Ask yourselves.
This misogynistic attitude of the Bible towards women is refuted in the Quran as mentioned in chapter #20 verses #120-#122, “But the Satin made an evil suggestion to him; he said: O Adam! Shall I guide you to the tree of immorality and a kingdom which decays not? Then they BOTH ate of it, so their evil inclinations became manifest to them and they both began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden, and Adam disobeyed his Lord, so his life became evil (to him) and guided (him)”
Women must be punished after a good deed. Let us say that a robber breaks into your house. You’re alerted to this and a fight between you and the robber ensues. The assailant is quiet strong so you find it hard to overpower him. Your wife hears the commotion and runs to your rescue. She swings her hand and punches the assailant’s private part to weaken him as that’s the best part to weaken any man. As a result of your wife’s heroic stunt the robber is overpowered and escapes. After the ordeal an authority arrives at your doorstep and gives you this notice, “Your wife just saved you. Now chop off her hand and show no mercy to her”. What would you think of such an ordeal? Here’s what we find in the Bible, “When men fight together one with another, and the wife of the one come near to rescue her husband out of the handoff him that smitten him and wretch out her hand and seize him by his secret parts then you shall cut off her hand, you shall show no piety’ (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)
You’ll never find such a morbid law in the Quran or anywhere in Hadith. In fact, the Quran stresses equality in punishment when it comes to breaking the law, e.g. Quran 24:2.
A divorcee must die alone without a husband or a family. The Bible teaches that if a woman is divorced and a man marries her, he would be committing ADULTERY!!!! Adultery is a sin punishable by torah. No decent man who adheres to the teachings of the Bible would go against its clear commandments and commit adultery. As a result of this such poor women will be left untouched and to rot away alone with no husband ever!!!
The Biblical predicament is reconciled by the Quran in chapter 2 verses 229-230,”Divorce may be (pronounced) twice, then keep (them) in good fellowship or let (them) go with kindness; and it’s not lawful for you to take any part of what you have given them, unless both fear that they cannot keep within the limits of Allah; then if you fear that they cannot keep within the limits of Allah, so do not exceed them and whoever exceeds the limits of Allah, it is these who’re unjust. So if he divorces her she shall not be lawful to him afterwards until she marries another man; then if he divorces her, there’s no blame on them if they return to each other (by marriage), if they think that they can keep within the limits of Allah, and these are the limits of Allah which He makes clear for people who know”
Kick-out your ex-wife quickly; “When a man has taken a wife and married her and it comes to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he has found some uncleanness in her; then let him write a bill of divorce for her and give it I her hand and send her out of his house” (Deuteronomy 24:1)
So, after marrying a woman and you’ve found her unsatisfactory because of some uncleanness in her just give her a bill of divorce and kick her out!!! What an amazing law, isn’t it?
The Quran teaches that men do not have the right at all to kick their divorced wives out of their homes and leave her homeless without a shelter. It’s mentioned in Quran in chapter 65 verse 1, “O Prophet, when you divorce women, divorce them for their prescribed time and calculate the number of days prescribed and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, your Lord. Do not drive them out of their houses nor should they themselves go forth, unless they commit an open indecency; and these are the limits of Allah, he indeed does justice to his own soul. You do not know that Allah may after that brings about reunion”
Further it’s mentioned in Quran in chapter 30 verse 21, “And among His signs is this; That He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest, peace of mind in them and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect”. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught, “The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and best of you are those who’re best to their wives” (Ibn-Hanbal, hadith 7396)
There can be no inheritance for widows and sisters!!! It’s mentioned in Book of numbers chapter 27 verses 8-11, “Further, you shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying: if a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter. If he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. If his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his nearest relative in his own family and he shall possess it and it shall be a statutory ordinance to the sons of Israel, just as the Lord commanded Moses”.
Quran saves the women and says “Men shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave and women shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave whether there’s little or much of it; a stated portion” (4:7). Thus in Islam women have guaranteed inheritance.
Rape victims are commanded to marry their rapists. Bible says in Deuteronomy chapter 22 verses 28-29, “If a man finds a girl who’s a virgin, who’s not engaged and seizes her and lies with her and they’re discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girls’ father fifty shekels of silver and she shall become his wife because he has violated her all his days”
Can you possibly imagine getting raped and then made to marry the same man who raped you and never be able to be free of him as long as he lives? It even involves a transaction of fifty shekels. Is this the value of a women’s modesty according to Bible?
The Quran refutes this filthy idea clearly. “O you who believe, it’s not lawful that you should take women as heritage against (their) will and do not straighten them in order that you may take part of what you have given them, unless they’re guilty of manifest indecency and treat them kindly, then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it” (4:19)
Men are cleaner and more worth than women!!! Bible teaches that if a woman gives birth to a boy, she goes through a ritual uncleanness of 40 days; however, if it’s a girl then she remains unclean for 80 days (double the period for delivering boy). Further it’s mentioned in bible that, “When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for 7 days; as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean. On the 8th day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for 33 days; she shall not touch any consecrated thing nor enter the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean for two weeks, as in her menstruation and she shall remain in the blood of her purification for 66 days” (Leviticus 12:1-5)
These weird teachings are to be found nowhere in Islam. The Quran teaches, “O people, be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two many men and women and be careful of (your duty to) Allah by whom you demand one of another (your rights) and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you” (4:1)
Further Quran says, “And whoever does good deeds whether male or female and he (or she) is a believer, these shall enter the garden and they shall not be dealt with a jot unjustly” (4:124)
“Whoever does good, whether male or female, and he (or she) is a believer, We’ll most certainly make him (or her) a happy life and We’ll most certainly give them their reward for the beat of what they did” (16:97)
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught that, “Whosoever supports two daughters till they mature, he and I’ll come in the Day of Judgement as this (and he pointed with his two fingers pointed together) [Ibn-Hanbal hadith 2014]
Kill a woman who does not shout out for help if she gets raped: “If there’s a girl who’s a virgin engaged to a man and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl because she did not cry out in the city and the man because he has violated his neighbour’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil among you” (Deuteronomy 22:24)
What if the girl’s mouth was forcibly covered by the man? What if she did yell and it was not loud enough and people did not hear? None of these will be considered and she’ll be just killed. This is a harsh law that makes little sense.
The Quran says, “And those who accuse chaste women of adultery and do not produce 4 witnesses, lash them with 80 stripes and do not accept any testimony ever after. Those are the defiantly disobedient. Except for those who repent thereafter and reform, for indeed Allah is forgiving and Merciful” (24:2-5)
Selling daughters into slavery is ok: According to Bible, a father can sell her daughter as it says in Exodus chapter 21 verses 7-8, “If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she’s not to go free as the male slaves do. If she’s displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have the authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her”
The Quran says, “O you who believe, it’s not lawful for you that you should take women as heritage against (their) will, and do not straighten them in order that you may take part of what you have given them, unless they’re guilty of manifest indecency and treat them kindly…” (4:19)
Women must shut up: Women must learn in submission and obedience. “The women are to keep silent in the churches for they’re not permitted to speak but are to subject themselves just as the law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; fot it’s improper for a woman to speak in Church” (1 Corinthian 14:34-35)
“A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man but to remain quiet” (1 Trimothy 2:11-12)
Such a dastardly notion doesn’t exist in Islam. In fact Quran mentions an incident when a woman, named, Khaula bint Thalaba, not just spoke to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) but even argued with him. “Allah indeed knows the plea of her who pleads with you (O Muhammad) about her husband and complains to Allah and Allah knows the contentions of both of you: surely Allah is Hearing, Seeing” (58:1)
Let’s conclude the beauty of Islam with the words of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who said regarding mothers when a man questioned him that “O Prophet, who among the people is most worthy of my companionship? The Prophet replied; your mother. The man asked; who next? The Prophet replied; your mother. The man asked (for the third time); who next? The Prophet replied; your mother. The man asked; who next? The Prophet only then replied; your father” (Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim). In the words of Dr. Jamal Badawi “The mother gets the gold medal, the silver medal and the broze medal. The father has to be satisfied with mere consolation prize”