Philosophy of Creation of Woman

In two Qur’anic verses a reference is made to a subject from which we can conclude a supposition that the woman was created for the man and she being a parasite to him.

Herewith I cite these verses, after which I will elaborate and explain their meanings:

“He it is Who created you from a single self and from it did He make his mate that he may dwell resting unto her, when he covereth her, she beareth a light burden and carrieth it, when it groweth more heavy they both pray to their Lord; “If Thou givest a good child, certainly we shall be of the grateful ones.” (Qur’an, 7:189).

And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves, mates that ye may dwell “inclined” unto them, and caused between you love and compassion: “Verily in this are signs for a people who reflect.” (Qur’an, 30:21).

Out of these verses it can be understood that the philosophy of creation of the woman being peace and repose for men. In fact, the original cause for life being men, and the women were created for giving them rest and repose.

In response to this we should say that this tranquillity and repose can never be one­sided, but it is mutual between the woman and man, since the love and compassion mentioned in the second verse, is stated as mutual and reciprocal between the two. Further the verse considered this affinity as one of God’s signs, and in the first verse if dwelling in rest stated one­sided, but it should be interpreted in view of the second verse.

In exposing the second verse, al-Allamah At-Tabataba’i said:

The meaning of the verse “He created for you from yourselves mates.” is that He “God” created from your species the like of you so as to make you benefit and get advantage. Because every woman and every man is provided with genitals alike and similar that complement each other, and when coming into each other they give production. That is, by action of both of them “sexual organs” the work of production and procreation of offspring is achieved and fulfilled.

Based on this, each one of them “man and woman” has a deficiency and in need and want to the other spouse, and from intermingling them together a complete full production will come out. Due to this need and lacking, each one of them feels inclined to and moves toward the other, and when copulation is done every one feels calm and at peace. Because every imperfect is so eager and anxious to what complements him/her, and every wanting is inclined to what meets his/her need and perfects him/her. This is exactly the sexual appetite “lust” that is established and deposited inside both the spouses.1

In short, what the Qur’anic verses intend to demonstrate being not the philosophy of creation of the woman, but they in fact tell of the kind of spiritual and life connection between woman and man, and attachment to each other.

1-Al-Mizaan Fi Tafseer Al-Qur’an, vol. XVI, pp. 173-174

Woman: AUTHOR(S): Mahdi Mahrizi      TRANSLATOR(S): Hasan M. Najafi

Creation of Woman out of Man

When reading some of the Qur’anic verses, we may come to conclude that Allah has created the woman from the man, and this is considered a kind of deficiency on the part of the women.

These verses are the following:

“O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single self and created from it, its mate, and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women.” (Qur’an, 4:1).

“He it is Who did create you from a single soul, and therefrom did make his mate…” (Qur’an, 7:189).

“He created you from one being, then from that “being” He made his mate” (Qur’an, 39:6)

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves, mates…” (Qur’an, 30:21).

“And God hath given you wives of your own selves, and hath given you from your wives sons and grandchildren…” (Qur’an, 16:72).

“He made for you from among your “own” selves pairs…” (Qur’an, 42:11).

In the first three verses, it is stated that men have been created from one self, and from that self their mates were created. In the next three verses this subject was made in the plural form and addressing all men that your wives were created from your own selves. Pondering over and meditating in all the verses as a whole, will verily indicate that what God intends to say is that the spouse of man being his mate and counterpart and from his self, neither being alien to him, nor a part of him or created from him “his body”. Since if this be true, it should be said that every wife was created from her own husband, hence the last three verses should be taken as evidences and proofs for manifesting and elucidating the meaning of the first verses.

In interpreting these verses, Al-‘Allamah At-Tabataba’i says:

The apparent meaning of the verse: “and from it, He created its mate” being that God has created a spouse of the same species of the man, and all the human beings belong to two equal and alike individuals.

The word “Min” “from” in the verse is a genetic preposition “i.e. it shows the origin of something”. This verse, like other verses, discusses the issue of creation of the woman and man, like the verses: “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves, mates… .” and the verse: “And God hath given you wives of your own selves…” and others.

On this basis, whatever is stated in regard of these interpretations like that the denotation of this verse is to indicate the fact that the woman is derived from Adam and a part of him, according to some narrations “one of which claiming that God has created the wife of Adam from his rib”, being all baseless claims for which no evidence is ever established.1

This statement was held by Wahbah Zuhayli, a sunni exegete, who quoted it from Al-Fakhr Ar-Razi.2

What can be concluded from all this discussion is the fact that the Qur’an, when making simile between the woman and man, it concentrates on the origin and root, and oneness of species of the two. Any claim other than this topic should be neglected. Besides, some traditions are there in support of this conclusion, to which we can refer here:

Al-Imam As-Sadiq was questioned once: Some people claim that Eve is created from Adam’s rib “what do you say”? He (A) replied: “Verily God is absolutely pure and free from this.” Is God unable to create a spouse for Adam, from other than his rib? So that to close the door leaving no room or excuse to be exploited by some evil­minded to raise any doubt, to say that Adam has got married to himself?! May God judge between us and such people.3

In another hadith it is said:

God has created Eve from the surplus of the clay of Adam, and similar to him.4

  • 1. Al-Mizaan Fi Tafseer Al-Qur’an, vol. IV, p. 136.
  • 2. At-Tafseer Al-Muneer, vol. 1, pp. 139-140.
  • 3. Wasa’il Ash-Shi’ah, vol. XX, p. 352, Baab 28, vol. IV, p. 258.
  • 4. Bihaar Al-Anwaar, vol. XI, p. 115; vol. 42 .

Woman: AUTHOR(S): Mahdi Mahrizi      TRANSLATOR(S): Hasan M. Najafi

Creation of Man & Woman

The Holy Qur’an

The Qur’an is verily the most important source for recognition of religion, as it being an intact and uncorrupted book, to which other books and sources should be measured and judged, and accepted only when proved to be compatible and incongruous to it. For getting acquainted with the Qur’anic view in respect of the character of the woman, I shall put forth six questions the answers of which given in this Divine Book would portray the real personality of the woman, as follows:

Creation of Man & Woman

Creation of the first man and woman has been described, in a story-like form, in many verses in the Qur’an. First Allah has apprised the angels that he was intending to place a viceroy and deputy in the earth:

“And when thy Lord said unto the angles: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth…” (Qur’an, 2:30).

In other verses in surat al­-Hijr, He said to the angels:

“And remember when thy lord said unto the angels: Verily I create man of the essence of black mud fashioned into shape. So when I complete him and breathe into him My spirit, fall ye down unto him prostrating “in obeisance”.” (Qur’an, 16:28, 29).

Then He taught Adam all the names concluding a covenant with him:

“And He taught Adam the Names, all of them…” (Qur’an, 2:30).

“And indeed had we covenanted unto Adam before, but he forgot; but we did not find in him any intention “to disobey us”.” (Qur’an, 20:115).

In another place, He said:

“Enjoined I not on you O children of Adam! that ye should worship not Satan?” (Qur’an, 36:60).

After that Adam and his wife dwell in the heaven:

“And said we “O Adam! dwell thou and thy mate in the Garden…” (Qur’an, 2:34).

Then begins the temptation of the Satan when tempting Adam and his wife Eve, or falsely swearing seducing them both to perpetrate that sin through trickery, cheating them to eat from the forbidden tree, causing them to deflect from the heavens.

In the holy Qur’an, it is said:

“And said We “O Adam! dwell thou and thy mate in the Garden and eat ye two therefrom freely as ye two wish but approach not ye two this tree lest ye two will be of the transgressors! But Satan made them slip and drove them out of what they were in; and “whereupon” said We: “Get ye down! the one of you as an enemy unto the other…” (Qur’an, 2:35- 36).

Threat, rebellion and disobedience could only be produced on the part of Adam:

“And Adam acted not “to the advises of” his Lord “deceived by Satan” and got astray.” (Qur’an, 20:121).

In this stage, Adam and his wife started to apologise to the Almighty Allah for their fault, confessing their wrongdoing, seeking God’s forgiveness and mercy:

“Said they “O Our Lord! unjust have we been unto ourselves, and if Thou forgive us not and deal “not” with mercy unto us “then”, We will certainly be of the losers.” (Qur’an, 7:23).

Then Adam receives certain words and Allah relents toward him:

“And received Adam from his Lord “certain” words “of prayer” and God turned unto him “mercifully”, for verily He is the Oft ­turning “unto mercy”, the Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 2:37).

Pondering and making a meditating pause on this story, the verses of which have already been quoted, we will be led to the fact that no difference or distinction is stated in the Qur’an in creation of the woman and man. Thus it is incorrect to attribute all characteristics of strength to the man and those of weakness and deficiency to the woman, since it is both talking about the human being and man or son of Adam as a symbol and specimen and representative of humankind.

Hence, in respect of vicegerency and succession, breathing of “God’s” soul, prostration “in obeisance” of angels, teaching the names, evil whispering of Satan, rebellion and disobedience, covenant and contract, selection and choosing, receiving of words, and relentless and material of creation, they are both equal.

For completing discussion of this issue, two other subjects to which the verses on creation of man referred, should be studied and perused attentively.

Woman: AUTHOR(S): Mahdi Mahrizi      TRANSLATOR(S): Hasan M. Najafi

Character of Woman

So studying and investigating the woman’s affairs in perspective of Islam, should also be conducted from this point. Further, it is explicit that indicating the Islam’s view toward the woman should be, on the one hand, compatible to the incontrovertible religious sources, and on the other, it should be compliant and corresponding to the conclusions, necessaries and effects of this theory. Otherwise, this issue would be incompetent to be a source of dependence and basis of inference.

Our view is that from an Islamic perspective, the woman is a human being, having all development talents, with being devoid of any defect or fault in the essence of her entity. And despite her owning all factors of perfection and development, like men, but she has an independent character and never be parasite on others. Because Allah has created man and divided the human being into two classes: man and woman, for the sake of his/her eternity. And classifying the creatures into male and female is in fact a general rule, in this material world.

Allah has sworn by this reality in His Holy Book:

“And Him Who hath created male and female.” (Qur’an, 3:3).

Hence, malehood and femininity are verily not characteristics peculiar to human beings, but rather they be a means of existence of all beings. And as they can never be considered as a defect or evil on the part of all things, the same is true too in regard of human genera. This religious inference can be applied in the case of women in many aspects and respects. devoid of any defect or fault in the essence of her entity. And despite her owning all factors of perfection and development, like men, but she has an independent character and never be parasite on others. Because Allah has created man and divided the human being into two classes: man and woman, for the sake of his/her eternity. And classifying the creatures into male and female is in fact a general rule, in this material world.

The position of women in expanding the divine values/2

Woman in chador praying in Vakin mosque, Shiraz

In the previous post we talked about the position of the women in expanding the values in the society and we mentioned two great women as the samples. So let’s continue that.

Another sample for helping the religion of Allah throughout the history of Islam was lady Zaynab, the honorable daughter of Imam Ali and Lady Fatimah. After the very tragic event of Karbala, an event in which the third Imam of Shia i.e. Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) and his faithful companions got martyr in a very sorrowful way, the family of troop of Imam Hussain were captured and tortured. The tyrant ruler of that time called Yazid who was the person that ordered the Imam to be killed, had changed the situation into a situation that a lot of people were thinking that this caravan of the captives are not even Muslims. But the history narrates that lady Zaynab just like her mother lady Fatimah was so brave and in different occasions was delivering very fiery, meaningful and empyreal lectures and removing the veils of negligence from the eyes of those people to the extent that the people were crying and asking forgiveness from the daughter of the commander of the faithful i.e. Imam Ali. This is the reason for the very famous saying that says: The movement of Imam Hussain continued after his martyrdom through the enlightenment of his sister Lady Zaynab and his son i.e. Imam Sajjad, and if these two great personalities were not, the martyrdom of Imam Hussain would have been forgotten.

Some women might say that we want to be the conveyer of the message of Allah which in fact is the collection of all values, but the situation is not prepared for us to expand that, so how can we do that? As the answer we say that here is a very important means by which the women can expand the values in the society and that way is through raising righteous children. The foundation of the family has so much capacity for that. We must not neglect the very high and effective position of the parents especially mothers, because usually fathers go out to their works and the ones who usually have more time for raising the children are the mothers. So they can convey the values face to face to the children from the very beginning because these children will be the effective members of the society in the future, so the responsibilities of the parents are so heavy and of course if it is done properly its effects not only benefit the parents in this world but also are the very precious remained property after the death of parents, as it is mentioned in the Narrations that the file of deeds of the people get closed when they die except some cases, and among them is the offspring which is righteous and through performing righteous deeds the parents will face many rewards and bounties.

The position of women in expanding the divine values/1

Woman in chador praying in Vakin mosque, Shiraz

The main mission of the divine Prophets throughout the history was to convey the message of Allah to the people. The history bears witness that the position of the women for carrying the religions and values and expanding them in the society is obvious. There were and are some women that along with the men could and can make the society into a better state. At the beginning of the emergence of the religion of Islam the women did many attempts and faced many difficulties like being tortured and or even killed. The very famous example of the attempts of the women is Lady Khadijah; the very honorable wife of the Prophet of Islam, the wife that was the first woman to believe in the prophecy of the Prophet, the one that spent her so much property in the way of Islam. Imagine the situation that the holy Prophet had at the beginning of his divine mission. She was so patient. When the holy Prophet was so sad she was facing him with kindness and through that the sadness of the Prophet was being removed. Sometime one of the wives of the Prophet of Islam said to him: why do you many times remember Khadijah(after her death) while she was nothing but an old woman? Allah has given you better than her. The holy Prophet got angry and replied:

“I swear by Allah, He has not given me better than her. She believed in me while others were rejecting me. She affirmed me while other were denying me and she helped me through her properties while others were depriving me.”

Another very famous example and the sample for all of the women is Lady Fatimah peace be upon her; the very beloved daughter of the Prophet of Islam. She was so respected by the holy Prophet and was described many times as the very high personality. Remember that this happened in the time that for many people it was considered as a shame to have a daughter. In the time of her father and after that in the time of Imamah and divine leadership of his husband Imam Ali she was a reference for the religious knowledge. She was teaching the women of that time. After the departure of the holy Prophet she was enlightening the dark atmosphere of that time, the time in which the divine successor of the holy Prophet i.e. Imam Ali was deprived from his position of leadership.

To be continued.

Temporary marriage in Islam

timeOne of the Islamic rules regarding the women is the temporary marriage. In this kind of marriage two persons get married with each other for a specific time. Some People criticize Islam because of having this rule and say that it is a way for fulfilling the lustful desires. So let’s talk about it.

The main reason of the permanent marriage is to establish a foundation of family and create the generation and raise righteous children. But one of the most important reasons of getting temporary marriage is to fulfill the sexual needs, and in this kind of marriage the creation of generation is not the main reason of that.

A question might arise here. What was the necessity of decreeing this kind of marriage in Islam if the fulfilling the sexual needs can be done through permanent marriage? Isn’t the permanent marriage enough for that?

The answer of this can be obtained through studying the quality of the instinct of the sex. There are different levels of fulfilling this need. This instinct is normal in some individuals, and it can be fulfilled just through the normal marriage i.e. permanent one. But in some cases this need is so much high to the extent that cannot be controlled by the permanent wife or in some cases because of deep dispute or the lack of tranquility the wife does not expose herself for the sexual relation. As it is so clear this need is so dangerous to the extent that if it is not fulfilled properly it might lead to different illnesses and even to the madness, and imagine that if such a need in not controlled properly what a corrupted society will form. The statistics of the illegitimate babies or the rape in the western countries is a clear witness for that. So what is the solution here? Should the individuals of the society be free and allowed to do whatever they wish, or there should be an easier rule that the heavy responsibilities that the normal and permanent marriage has, is not needed? In this case Islam has decreed a rule of temporary marriage and protected the Muslims from the adultery or other sexual deviances. We see that it is narrated from Imam Ali peace be upon him that he mentioned: If some of the caliphs had not opposed and banned the temporary marriage, no one except the very little individuals would commit the adultery.

Another important situation for the temporary marriage is when the single individuals cannot afford getting marriage for different barriers like the economic problems of finding the appropriate spouse, so in such cases controlling this very strong need of sexual matters might be so hard, in such cases some young individuals refuge to some forbidden ways for fulfilling their needs like adultery, masturbation, homosexuality etc. which all of them are the very great sins and disobedience of the Lord of the world, so the best way here is the temporary marriage.

The other important philosophy of the temporary marriage is that it can be a means through which some women who are widow and have some children can be helped financially and emotionally.

Of course this marriage must not be a way for the people of lust. There is a Narration in which one of the companions of Imam Kazim peace be upon asked the Imam about the temporary marriage. The Imam replied him: What is your need to that (meaning you do not need it), while Allah has made you out of need to it?

We know that the main mission of the divine Prophets was to oppose the selfish evil desires, so how is it possible that the religion of Islam which is the most comprehensive religion issues a rule in which the people of lust can do whatever they want? In Islamic teachings the one who sexually tastes different women is known as a cursed person and hated by Allah.

Divorce in Islam-3

shutterstock_271332740In the previous post we said that in Islam in the normal situations the right of divorce is in the hand of men, and we also said that it does not mean that the women never have the right to separate. Someone might ask if Islam has given this right to man, so isn’t this a way in which some men can irritate and annoy their wives and in fact misuse this right? For example they can irritate their wives and do not divorce them and say that Islam has given us this right, so has Islam really let the men to oppress the women?

As the answer to this question we say that we disagree with irritating the women and this is something that definitely is forbidden and prohibited by Islam, and Islam has solutions for that. Because Islam is against any oppression so in such situations there are some rules as the solution, for example the wives can refer to the court and under some conditions, they can be divorced by law. There are some philosophies and points mentioned by some scholars regarding the rule which gives the right of divorce to the man.

The first point here is that Islam has created a balance between wife and husband. We see that from one hand it is obligatory upon the husband to pay the dowry (except in the cases that the wife forgives it) and he must supply and fulfill the needs of his wife and on the other hand the right of divorce is given to the husband.

The second point here is that according to the psychology the man is the center of intellectuality and the woman is the center of love and emotions, and she might shows her reaction quickly, but it must be taken into consideration that what we just said is not a way in which we insult the women, we do not mean that the women are not intellectual but rather we mean that the aspects of men and women are different from each other, the man needs to be more intellectual and rational for managing the family and its affairs and the woman needs to be more emotional for raising the children, so if the right of divorce was given to the women, it could be a cause for the quick divorce and collapse the foundation of the family that we mentioned that according to the Islamic teachings, it has so high and important position.

The last point here is the recommendation of Islam about divorce. In chapter Bagharah verse 229 we read:

الطَّلاَقُ مَرَّتَانِ فَإِمْسَاكٌ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ تَسْرِيحٌ بِإِحْسَانٍ

“Divorce is twice, then an honorable keeping or allowed to go with kindness.”

Or in another verse i.e. verse 231 Allah said:

وَإِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النَّسَاء فَبَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ سَرِّحُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ وَلاَ تُمْسِكُوهُنَّ ضِرَارًا لَّتَعْتَدُواْ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ

“When you have divorced women and they have reached the end of their waiting period, either keep them in kindness or let them go with kindness. But you shall not keep them, being harmful, in order to transgress. Whoever does this, wrongs himself.”

Divorce in Islam-2

shutterstock_271332740In the previous post we talked about the position of divorce in Islam. At the end we posed some questions regarding the nature of divorce, like is getting divorce good or bad? Or to whom this right must be given? Does it have any condition? So let’s continue that.

There are five possibilities or theories about the above mentioned questions:

1- Removing every condition for divorce and making it so easy to happen.

It is obvious that according to this theory, there is not any worth for the foundation of family and this covenant is not stable anymore, because every time we wish, we can divorce.

2-Opposing divorce completely.

In this case it is so clear that if the divorce is never allowed, in some families, the continuation of the relation adds nothing but everlasting hardships, because definitely in some families improving the bad situations is impossible.

3-The right of the divorce is given only to the men, and there is not any kind of releasing for women.

According to this theory in many situations women should tolerate the oppression done by their husbands and that have no way to escape from the terrible situations.

4-There must be the equal freedom for both men and women for divorce.

According to this theory the psychological differences between men and women are neglected (we will talk about them).

5-The foundation of family is sacred and worthwhile and the divorce is a hatred act, but there are some ways of separation for the families that they cannot continue their relationships anymore, and the way for coming out from those hardships is available for both men and women but the way of each, is different from that of the other. This theory is what Islam suggests.

According to the Islamic rulings in the normal situations the right of divorce is in the hand of men, but it does not mean that the women have no right for separation, because there are some situations that a woman can have this right, for example when at the time of marriage the spouses make a necessary(in its jurisprudential terminology and meaning) agreement that in some specific cases the woman will have the right of divorce, for instance they can make an agreement that if the man does so and so, the wife will be able to divorce him(as the agent of husband in divorce). For more detail please refer to the jurisprudential discussions.

To be continued.

Divorce in Islam-1

shutterstock_271332740Islam wants the family covenant to be firm and stable and getting divorce is known in the Islamic teachings as the most hatred Halal and legal act. If two individuals want to get married with each other, according to Islamic laws it can be done so easily, but when spouses want to divorce there are some necessary conditions which make it hard to happen, like having witnesses that they are really just or the purity of the wives from the menstruation at the time of divorce.

In the religion of Islam there are many teachings regarding family that when we refer to them we understand that the foundation of family is so important, for example there are many recommendations to the wives and husbands that make the family covenant tighter, for example the women are advised to decorate themselves for their husbands or the men are advised to express their love to their wives. On the other hand in order to limit the sexual matters only for the spouses, Islam has ordered that the relation between men and women in the society must be pure and without any sexual attraction, for example expressing the love for the stranger women is forbidden or the decoration of women in public is considered as a great sin to the extent that according to the Narrations when a woman decorates herself for the stranger men, from the time of coming out to the time of returning she is being cursed by the angels of Allah. All of these recommendations that we mentioned few of them show the importance of the marriage and its stability in Islam.

Sometimes the dispute between wives and husbands can be solved through negotiations. Allah said in chapter Nisa verse 34:

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُواْ حَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا إِن يُرِيدَا إِصْلاَحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللّهُ بَيْنَهُمَا إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرًا

“If you fear a breach between them send for an arbiter from his people and an arbiter from her people. If both wish reconciliation, Allah will bring success between them. Allah is the knower, the aware.”

Here is a question. If divorce is so much hatred so why has Islam allowed it and has not banned it?

First we should see whether divorce is good or bad? Because from one side it is defined as an allowed and Halal act and on the other side it is known as a hatred thing. If it is good, so everything that leads to that must be considered as a good thing. Or if it is a bad act should we close the door of that forever? Or is there any third solution?

Another question here which is important is this one: To whom should this right be given? Man or women or both?

To be continued.