Women in the Qur'an

Introduction

What about the status of woman in Islam, her rights and duties toward her husband and society? We may look at the recognized Islamic source, the Qur´an for women in Islam.

Position of women

- Witnessing. About legal testimony is written in the Qur’an that a woman is worth half as much as a man (Qur’an 2:282).
- Veiledness. A woman is commanded to wear the veil (Qur’an 24:31, 33:53, 33:59).
- Polygamy. A man can be married with four women at the same time (Qur’an 4:3). A woman cannot be married with more than one man.
- Concubinage. Sexual relations for a man without being married (Qur’an 4:25).
- Marriage. A Muslim man may marry a Jewish or Christian woman (Qur’an 2:221), but a Muslim woman is not allowed to marry a Jewish or Christian man (Qur’an 2:221). The man should not be of the lower rank than the woman, but the woman can be of a lower rank than the man.
- Divorce. For a man, easy divorce is allowed, not for a woman (Qur’an 33:37). After a divorce a man may remarry immediately, a woman must wait 3 months (Qur’an 2:228).
- Raping. Within marriage (Qur’an 2:223). Outside marriage a woman needs not less than four witnesses (Qur'an 24:4, 24:13) which means in practice that a woman is easy to rape.

Women have less rights and benefits than men. Although in the Qur´an the woman as a biological social being has rights, the man is superior: 'Men are the managers of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property' (Qur’an 4:34). Mary's mother was disappointed because she gave birth to a female: ‘Lord, I have given birth to her, a female- (And God knew very well what she had given birth to; the male is not as the female)’ (Qur’an 3:36).

Women maintained by men

Men are superior, have authority, are in charge: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women” (Qur’an 4:34). Muhammad placed the man higher than the wife. She must follow him. The Quran also tells the role of the man and the wife, including guidelines what to do with a rebellious wife:

- Commanding. The husband must give commands to his wife. “As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first)” (Qur’an 4:34).
- Sending to separated beds. If commanding fails, the husband stops having sex with his wife: 'refuse to share their beds' (Qur’an 4:34).
- Beating. When above mentioned steps will not work, the husband must beat his wife: “beat them” (Qur’an 4:34).
- Divorce. Last step is to end the marriage by divorce and a woman has less rights with a divorce.

The husband, as the master or manager, can force the wife to be obedient to him. If beating doesn’t work, he may divorce her. Limitation is that the husband cannot do something sinful, such as physical pain or ask something she is incapable of doing.

Women in Islamic society

Women in Islam do not enjoy a status like a Christian woman. She still remains half a human being according to the Qur´an. Marriages were arranged for girls at early age of about 12 years old. Therefore a woman had no intellectual development or further education. One of the reasons for degradation of women in Islamic society [32]. The reason for her existence is to serve her husband and obey his commands without any condition. She also has to bear him children and hide herself from the public. It looks therefore as her existence is a shame. Men even have the right to choose their favorite sexual position in intercourse: 'Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will' (Qur’an 233:2). A man has the right to act like a beast (sodmize) his wife. Women have to submit to men’s wishes. The present situation for women in Islam is even more worse than the rights mentioned in the Qur’an. In the 9th century there was a huge military expansion with many women slaves. Since then Arab women have lost their freedom and pride and were imprisoned behind doors and windows [33]. Muslim lawyers changed the conditions of women according to the Qur’an. Therefore female Muslims want to go back to their rights in the Qur’an [34]. Isn’t there a better way for a woman and to live in peace with society as the Creator wants? Yes, there is: the Christian way. Through the life of Jesus Christ, men and women have entered upon true civilization. Come to Jesus.