TREATMENT OF WOMEN
(from a chapter of Ahmad Sakr's book called, Islamic Orations)
Dr Ahmad Sakr was born in Beirut, Lebanon and got his PhD from the university of Illinois. He got his Islamic education through tutoring from the late Grand Mufti of Lebanon as well as from a large number of Muslim scholars from neighboring countries. He is a founding member and former President of the Muslim Student's Association of the USA and Canada now known as ISNA. Currently, he is the president of the foundation for Islamic knowledge. Dr Sakr has made numerous radio and television appearances. he is well known writer and has written a series of books and booklets on Islam, food, health, behaviour, terrorism, etc. At last count he had written over fifty six books and booklets not counting the innumerable articles he has authored and published.
My talk to you this time is about a subject which is very dear to every human being. It is about "what Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said about women." The subject is important because Prophet Muhammad was a prophet, a messenger and a leader to mankind. As such he has to receive revelation from Allah related to all mankind. He, as a messenger, has to deliver the message and he, as a leader, has to teach, to train, to educate and to lead mankind to the straight path.
The topic about "What Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said about Woman" is Important because woman comprises half of the society, if not More than half. In the U.S.A. woman is considered to be "The Boss." In the twentieth (20th) century we talk about Woman's liberation movement, the civil rights movement fighting for equal rights amendment (ERA), the human rights move by the President of the U.S.A., and many other moves and organizations in this direction.
In reality, woman is the person who has in her hands the capacity, the instinct and the natural way of life to prepare, and to bring up the future leaders to mankind. She is the one who molds the child to become the best or the worst leader in the world.
Because Prophet Muhammad was a prophet, a messenger, and a leader, and because he was able to train leaders for mankind from men and women, it would be pertinent to consult his sayings and get the wisdom to be followed in our daily lives.
For these reasons and others, I have selected the subject of "what Prophet Muhammad said about woman. However, the subject is too big to be covered in one article or in one talk, so I wish to restrict it to the idea of 'Treatment.' Although a good number of verses from the Qur'an have been stated about her treatment, I will, for the time being, restrict my selections to the Hadeeth so as to be within the limits of this talk or this article.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) knew that woman is very important in the society. She is to play a very effective role as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a grandmother. In each aspect of her life, Prophet Muhammad has spoken the wisdom of ultimate truth for her. He knew she is the one who molds, who trains and who makes the future generation and the future leader to mankind. Therefore, she has to be treated kindly and to be trained properly. Many sayings of the Prophet have been reported on this subject among which are the following:
1. Concerning the composition of woman in society, the Prophet says:
"Women are the other halves of men."
2. Concerning her treatment, it has been reported by Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
"And you are recommended to treat women with the best ... and indeed you are advised to treat women with goodness."
3. Concerning man's treatment to woman, it has been reported that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
"The best amongst you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best to my wives."
4. Concerning her treatment with gentleness, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
"Be kind with the soft and gentle ones (females)."
5. Concerning her responsibility at home, it was reported by Abdullah that Prophet Muhammad said:
"And woman is a leader on her husband's house and she is accounted for that.
6. Concerning their preference and their position in paradise, they were given the preference over their husbands in this world and in the Hereafter. It was reported that Prophet Muhammad said:
"Your mother, your mother and then your father, indeed paradise is under the feet of the mothers."
7. Women are not supposed to obey their husbands when ordered to disobey Allah. They are to obey and to please Allah first and foremost. It has been reported that Prophet Muhammad said:
'A woman does not obey her husband in disobedience to Allah."
8. Concerning her right from her husband it was reported by Abdullah bin 'Amer bin al-'Ass that Prophet Muhammad said:
"…and to your wife you have a duty and a responsibility."
From the above collection of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the subject, one may conclude the following:
1. Woman is to be raised properly when she is young as a daughter.
2. She is to be treated very kindly.
3. She is to lead a happy life at home as a wife and a mother.
4. She is to raise her children properly so as she will be a good teacher. a good leader, a good trainer, a good mother and a good grandmother.
5. She is to be rewarded in the world as well as in the Hereafter.
May I request you to play your effective role in molding and in, bringing up a new generation and a new group of leaders who are more than half of the society. These in turn are to shape up the future leaders of mankind. In so doing, you have played your role perfectly; you have benefited from the teachings of the leader, Prophet Muhammad, an, you will be rewarded by Allah Almighty for your efforts. Ameen. Let us ask Almighty Allah forgiveness.
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