The BIG DEBATE: Held on 17th November 2014 at the University of Northampton
The debate juxtaposed the Islamic position with the Atheist (Secular Humanist) position on four topics: Women’s Rights & Leadership, Should religion decide who we marry? (incl. whether or not Gay Marriage should be prohibited or not), Animal Rights and Ritual Slaughter (Halal/Kosher) and whether children from religious families should be ‘forced’ to attend religious assemblies in UK Faith Schools.
Andrew Copson, CEO of the British Humanist Association (BHA), and Vice-President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union – the world union of Humanist organisations.
Abdullah al Andalusi, Islamic thinker, and speaker for Muslim Debate Initiative
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) gave us a striking example of how to treat women in his sunnah, but so many men follow the sunnah and forget that a major component of it is the prophets (pbuh) treatment of his wives, this is a reminder for all those guys who are married or inshallah when they get married to remember the sunnah of the prophet (pbuh) and the value and blessing of a wife.
Women’s Care Conference in Bahrain (November 2nd, 2013).
General Look at Women in Islam
To hear groups like the Council of American-Islamic Relations or the Islamic Society of North America, one might be given the impression that Islam holds women in high regard. Indeed, Souad Saleh, a female professor at Al-Ahzar University in Cairo and a vocal proponent of women’s rights in Egypt, recently stated, “Islam is pure and simple, and it holds women in high esteem.” If women are treated equally in Islam, is there justification for it in the sacred writings of Islam, or is this ‘equal treatment’ in conflict with sacred directives? What does the Qur’an say about women? What does Muhammad say about women as recorded in the hadith, and what kind of example did he set in the way he treated the women in his life? Do the reports we hear of women being oppressed accord with sacred scripture, or are they rather anomalies having no foundation in Islam? What have women from an Islamic background actually experienced – what are their stories? These are some of the issues this article addresses.
Islamic Writing and Women
Islamic scriptures and scholars have much to say in regards to Women and their role in Islam.
Women are Deficient in Intelligence
Muhammad’s dislike for women caused him to declare that the majority of the inhabitants of Hell are women. When asked why he said it was because they are deficient in intelligence and religion and because they are ungrateful to their husbands. Although Muslim apologists and female Muslims use a lot of creative arguments to explain away Muhammad’s declarations about women, they don’t stand up to scrutiny. This article will present evidence showing Muhammad’s belief that all women are less intelligent than their male counterparts, as well as examine and refute the common Muslim claims about the ahadith in question.
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?”They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.”