Are two women equal to one man in Islam?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
Before we start, it is important to know that Allah Almighty in Islam is perfect when it comes to justice. The slightest of the doubt is not tolerated. Below, I presented a Noble Verse where Allah Almighty commanded us to provide four reliable men as witnesses against one woman.
It’s not that one man or two men can not witness an event well enough, but rather, GOD Almighty Wants to enforce Perfect Justice in the society. That is why even 3 male witnesses are not sufficient enough.
Are two women equal to one man in Islam?
The sections of this article are:
1- The Noble Quran’s Divine Claim and It’s support from the Bible.
– The Honor of men.
– Spiritually, men and women are indisputably equal!
– A “great deal of good” exists in women.
2- Why did Allah Almighty order such law?
3- If it takes two women, here it takes four men for a witness!
4- The Scientific Evidence. The sister provided excellent scientific information.
5- Is there equality between men and women in Islam?
1- The Noble Quran’s Divine Claim and Its support from the Bible:
There is a widely prevailing misconception by the anti-Islamics regarding this issue. They claim that since Allah Almighty ordered courts in Islam to bring either two reliable females witness or one reliable male witness, then therefore, Islam (1) discriminates between men and women; and (2) does not consider men and women to be equal.
Let us look at Noble Verse 2:282 “O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing; let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe refuse to write: as God Has taught him, so let him write.
Let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear His Lord God, and not diminish aught of what he owes. If they party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable Himself to dictate, let his guardian dictate faithfully,
and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her.
The witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (For evidence). Disdain not to reduce to writing (your contract) for a future period, whether it be small or big: it is juster in the sight of God, More suitable as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves but if it be a transaction which ye carry out on the spot among yourselves, there is no blame on you if ye reduce it not to writing.
But take witness whenever ye make a commercial contract; and let neither scribe nor witness suffer harm. If ye do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you. So fear God; For it is Good that teaches you.
And God is well acquainted with all things. If ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, let the trustee (faithfully) discharge his trust, and let him Fear his Lord conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it, – his heart is tainted with sin. And God knoweth all that ye do.”
Leviticus 12:2-5 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a MALE child: then she shall be unclean SEVEN DAYS; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying THIRTY THREE days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. But if she bear a FEMALE child, then she shall be unclean TWO WEEKS, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying SIXTY SIX days.“
The Honor of men:
There are a number of possible answers and justifications to Noble Verse 2:282 above. One possible one is that GOD Almighty Made men superior over women in everything in the physical world, even in terms of honor. In other words, men are more honored in this world than women in the Sight of GOD Almighty. This is perhaps further supported by this Noble Verse:
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all). (The Noble Quran, 4:34)”
And in the Bible as well:
Leviticus 15:19-30 “And if a woman have an issue (her period/menses), [and] her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe [himself] in water, and be unclean until the even.
And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe [himself] in water, and be unclean until the even. And if it [be] on [her] bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even. And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean.
And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she [shall be] unclean. Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation.
And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe [himself] in water, and be unclean until the even. But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean.
And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And the priest shall offer the one [for] a sin offering, and the other [for] a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness.”
But in the Spiritual world, both men and women are equal, and only the more Righteous one is the better one.
Spiritually men and women are indisputably equal!
“If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them. (The Noble Quran, 4:124)”
“O mankind! [this includes all races and all nations] We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well-acquainted. (The Noble Quran, 49:13)”
“For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God’s praise,- for them has God prepared forgiveness and great reward. (The Noble Quran, 33:35)”
“And their Lord hath accepted of them, and answered them: “Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: Ye are members, one of another: Those who have left their homes, or been driven out therefrom, or suffered harm in My Cause, or fought or been slain,- verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath;- A reward from the presence of God, and from His presence is the best of rewards.” (The Noble Quran, 3:195)”
“The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey God and His Apostle. On them will God pour His mercy: for God is Exalted in power, Wise. (The Noble Quran, 9:71)”
“And among God’s signs is this: He created for you mates from amongst yourselves (males as mates for females and vice versa) that you might find tranquillity and peace in them. And he has put love and kindness among you. Herein surely are signs for those who reflect. (The Noble Quran, 30:21)”
A “great deal of good” exists in women:
“O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower [money given by the husband to the wife for the marriage contract] ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good. (The Noble Quran, 4:19)”
2- Why did Allah Almighty order such law?
The Noble Verse above is quite clear about providing either two reliable men or 2 reliable women in a substitution for each man in any court. But why did Allah Almighty order such a law? What is the Divine Wisdom behind it?
The Noble Verse above does not in anyway talk about women’s intelligence or memory capabilities or brains. It is simply talking about the women’s complete integrity. Women are by far more emotional than men. This by itself will effect the woman’s ACCURACY in her witness if she is asked to explain what happened in a certain event.
Let us look at few differences between men and women to understand better:
1- Women have a lot more patience and emotions in them than men. This is one of the blessings that Allah Almighty had created in women to enable them to raise children. Men do not have enough patience in them, nor enough loving emotions in them to raise children.
2- Women can easily get frightened. Man can’t. It takes a lot to frighten a normal average man.
Let us look at the following Saying from Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: “The Prophet said, “Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?” The women said, “Yes.” He said, “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.” (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Witnesses, Volume 3, Book 48, Number 826)”
Notice very carefully here that Prophet Muhammad said “woman’s mind” and not “woman’s brain”. No where in any Islamic doctrine do we see any ridiculous uneducated and unscientific claim against women or anyone. The women’s brains and ability to think is not what is being criticized here.
It is as I said above their complete integrity. Notice how Allah Almighty said in the Noble Verse “…it is juster in the sight of God, More suitable as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves…(The Noble Quran, 2:282)” So it is the perfect justice and the 100% complete accuracy that Allah Almighty is concerned about here.
In the section we will see a situation where Allah Almighty commands for us to bring 4 reliable men or else the case is dismissed.
It’s not that one man or two men can not witness an event well enough.
It is rather the Perfect Justice that GOD Almighty is enforcing here.
Also please visit:
Why Two Women Witnesses?
3- If it takes two women, here it takes four men for a witness!
It is obvious from Noble Verse 2:282 and the Saying of our beloved Prophet above that Islam is extremely picky when it comes to justice. The slightest of doubts are not acceptable. For instance, a single man’s witness is not sufficient enough to prove that an adulteress did indeed commit adultery. There has to be present 4 reliable (not just any witnesses) in order for the woman to be convicted:
“And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors. (The Noble Quran, 24:4)”
It is not that one man or two or even three men all together don’t have the mental capability to capture a simple event of adultery done by a woman. It is the uncompromised 100% accuracy and perfection in the conviction that Islam is really picky about. What might appear as an adultery to one man, might not appear as such to another.
That is why Allah Almighty in the Noble Quran ordered the Muslims to produce 4 reliable witnesses to convict the woman, or else the case is dismissed and those who made any allegations would get flogged for falsely charging a chaste woman.
Further Answer from sister Nicole Woods, a young American sister who recently embraced Islam; may Allah Almighty always be pleased with her, regarding Noble Verse 2:282 above: “Because women have always been considered inferior and not capable of good testimonies, maybe Allah was concerned that the courts would doubt their integrity.
By having two witnesses instead of one, He has assured that we will always be listened to and believed. Maybe one woman can be refuted, but not two!! 🙂 In fact, the more witnesses, the better, but for the sake of convenience, Allah has assured us that two is enough. In a world where we are the losers because of our gender, Islam always provides a way to force others to see us as equals. Sabhunallah [Good Lord].”
Again, I can’t stress this enough!
It is not that one man or two men can not witness an event well enough. It is rather the Perfect Justice that GOD Almighty is enforcing here.
4- The Scientific Evidence:
Are two women equal to one man in Islam?
[Ref Noble Qur’aan 2:282]
“O you who believe! When you contract a debt for a fixed period, write it down. Let a scribe write it down in justice between you. Let not the scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him, so let him write. Let him (the debtor) who incurs the liability dictate, and he must fear Allah, his Lord, and diminish not anything of what he owes.
But if the debtor is of poor understanding, or weak, or is unable himself to dictate, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her. And the witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (for evidence).
You should not become weary to write it (your contract), whether it be small or big, for its fixed term, that is more just with Allah; more solid as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves, save when it is a present trade which you carry out on the spot among yourselves, then there is no sin on you if you do not write it down.
But take witnesses whenever you make a commercial contract. Let neither scribe nor witness suffer any harm, but if you do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you. So be afraid of Allah; and Allah teaches you. And Allah is the All-Knower of each and everything.”
This particular verse has frequently been used by Christian missionary and other anti-Islaam elements as an unusual and absurd claim that has nothing to do with the issue being raised in a twisted and perverted fashion. First and foremost this verse is addressing an issue in conjunction of least ideal situation which may or may not arise. But if it does, than let us explore why?
Men and women have their gender, biological, physical, and emotional differences [to name few], which results in different medical, mental, health, and psychological conditions. Those in denial or ignorant will dispute this fact without realizing that Noble Qur’aan 1,421 years ago actually protected women forever with this very verse. Many reasons which effects women’s health have been discovered by modern science in recent age and will continue to be explored in future. Let us see some of those facts which impairs a woman’s everyday life not to mention concentration..
(Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric Disorder)
Premenstrual Syndrome (Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric Disorder) is a concept of which the validity has been questioned for decades. While based on clinical reality, with at least 60% of all women suffering from it, PMS has served as a tool for diminishing women, for enforcing stereotypes about their unpredictable and uncontrollable character, and for ridiculing their assertive behavior.
The notion of PMS got so woven into the texture of our psycho-social fabric that many women self-diagnose themselves (or let their partners do so) without really having the disorder; while others who actually do need help go untreated because they (or their doctors) simply “”don’t believe” in PMS. Stereotypes are rich soil for self-fulfilling prophecy. The best way to conquer these stereotypes is through education.
Menopause is a distinct phase of a woman’s life with its own special health needs and issues. Without a doubt, the single most important concern of the post menopausal women remains osteoporosis, or thinning and brittle bones.
· Eating Disorders
· Health Disorders
It is a painful disease that may afflict 10 percent of women of child-bearing age. Endometriosis can go undetected and untreated by the medical community and wreak havoc on the sufferer’s life. Many women who suffer from endometriosis eventually undergo unnecessary hysterectomies.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most frequent anxiety disorders with current prevalence of 1.6% and lifetime prevalence 5.1% (Wittchen, Zhao, Kessler, & Eaton, 1994). It is a chronic condition which, despite some fluctuations, is relatively stable with continuous symptom pattern (Rickels & Schweizer, 1990; Brown, Barlow & Liebowitz, 1994).
It’s a state of continuous apprehension and anticipation of something horrible, characterized by excessive anxiety and unrealistic worry. It often affects social and occupational functioning and might have disruptive influence on the patients’ families. The impact on the patients’ perception of his/her emotional and physical well-being is great.
Panic disorder and Agoraphobia
Did you know that almost 14 % of general population suffers from one of the anxiety disorders? And did you know that the majority are women? One of the most common anxiety disorders is panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (even more common are simple phobias, such as fear of heights, darkness, animals etc.). The psychological, social and economical consequences of this disorders are enormous.
Many kinds of effective treatments exist. Still, a great number of panic and agoraphobic patients struggle alone, afraid of confiding in their physicians because of the stigma attached to mental problems. Some physicians fail to recognize the symptoms. If you suffer from hyperventilation, palpitations, tingling sensations, dizziness or chest pain that suddenly come and suddenly disappear, you might be suffering from panic disorder. Wait no longer. There is help.
c.. Making Relationships Work
d.. Negative Thinking
e.. Sleep Hygiene
For some, falling asleep is as simple as laying back into a soft pillow. But for others, it is a frustrating process of tossing, turning and glancing nervously at the advancing clock. Whether you awake refreshed and ready to face the day or red-eyed and sluggish depends on your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is your personal collection of habits that determine the quality of your sleep.
For further information check this link of American medical Association [Women’s Health Issues] http://www.ama-assn.org/special/womh/womh.htm
American Medical Association http://www.ama-assn.org/
American Psychological Association [Women’s Health] http://helping.apa.org/
American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org/
There are literally hundreds of mental, psychological, medical and emotional conditions that modern science has discovered that a women suffers from her birth till she dies, let alone PMS or Child birth, to death in family, or sickness or death of child of close kin. To avoid lengthy response I have provided the links above. Where one can find expert opinions and women’s health info.
LET US GET LEGAL HERE:
One must note that I have used red font above in quote of verse 2:282 to distinguish and emphasize “such as you agree for witnesses” …This part or portion of the verse also provides the liberty to parties to agree for witnesses. Which is followed by a “IF” that actually gives woman more power and guarantee for following reasons.
1. Outdoors and judiciary has historically been always men’s dominated world and it still is.
2. Even in so-called free world and so-called civilized societies of Europe and USA have a glass ceiling [invisible] for women which often prevents women to advance and exercise her rights. Still women are overwhelmingly outnumbered by men in so-called democratic judicial systems [to represent or be represented] of Europe and USA let alone other parts of world.
3. Keeping the point 1 & 2 in mind verse 2:282 provides women strength by virtue of number=power, that means when a women is out numbered by men in judiciary of legal proceeding she has someone from her own gender which can be a support to her by understanding her special needs, her weaknesses, and her strengths “IF” she faces such situation.
4. Beside that this verse does not prevent a women to have a MEHRUM [father, brother, husband, or son] to be on her side. The key theme here is protection of women’s right to be a witness. Does bible gives it to women? I don’t think so. Please keep this fact in mind that Noble Qur’aan does say that IF one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her. So “IF” is the key word not a mandate. Which proves that Qur’aan is catering the women whereas bible uses her for sex, lies and nudity.
Last but not least this particular verse [2:282] provides more protection to Muslim women which OT and NT does not at all. Christians’ profound ignorance to Islaam and Noble Qur’aan is amazing. This is about time they must augment their studies with the revealed and inspired message that is to be found in the Final Revelation of God *The Noble Qur’aan*. Which will enable Christians to compare both religions and books with an open mind. Christians must get out of their inherited tunnel vision that they have so firmly established for centuries.
Such bizarre claims are nothing but a form of yellow journalism and stereotype which can make a missionary/bible thumper Christian feel better. That if bible does not make sense so does Qur’aan. But those who can reason knows very well that this is not true about Noble Qur’aan.
“Come now and let us reason together, saidth the Lord.” [1:18 Isaiah].
5- Is there spiritual equality between men and women in Islam?
Please visit the following articles for more details:
Islam a a very beautiful religion that does not degrade women as the anti-Islamics love to falsely prove. Islam is a religion that fully honors women and fully respects them. Saying otherwise is an obvious misconception.