Concerns with Islam: Men and Women are Not Equal at All In Islam

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Concerns with Islam:
Thoughts from an American Convert
By: Americana X
Introduction
Ch.1: Apostasy
Ch 2: Immoral, Unjustified, and Preemptive Warfare and Violence
Ch.3: Child Marriage
Ch.4: Women’s Lack of Legal Rights and Equality
Ch.5: How Women Are Perceived Disrespectfully
Ch.6: Wife Beating
Ch.7: Men and Women are Not Equal at All In Islam
Ch.8: Sexual Slavery in Islam
Ch.9: Adoption
Ch.10: Democracy is not Compatible with Islam
Conclusion
References


Muslims love to say that men and woman are equal in Islam. They quote a few verses which imply equality, while omitting the verses which clearly state the inequality of women.

Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is most high.
Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.

The verses they may quote also go against the many traditions that make it clear that this is not the case.

The Husband's Desires Must be Immediately Met

The prophet of Allah said: When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire, let her come to him though she is occupied at the oven.
Mishkat al-Masabih Book I, Section 'Duties of husband and wife', Hadith No. 61

A wife must not withhold sex from her husband

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning."
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: When a woman spends the night away from the bed of her husband, the angels curse her until morning.

These verses don’t say equal to me. What if a man has said something hurtful to his wife? Of course both men and woman should try to meet each others sexual needs, but it is unfair to put his needs over hers. A woman or anyone is not a slave to another person’s whims. Believing in this would only make disequilibrium in the relationship. It would be just as unfair for a woman to force a man to stop what he is doing and have sex with her. Where is the Hadith stating that a woman can go to a man’s work and force her husband to have sex with her? Sex has to be negotiated by the couple, not demanded in a dictatorial way.

Obedience To Husband’s Needs is Required to Enter Heaven

There are three (persons) whose prayer will not be accepted, nor their virtues be taken above: The runaway slave until he returns back to his master, the woman with whom her husband is dissatisfied, and the drunk until he becomes sober.
Muslim Scholar Al-Suyuti while commenting on Qur'an 4:34
Whosoever female dies while her husband is pleased with her, will enter Paradise.
Mishkat al-Masabih Book I, Section 'Duties of husband and wife', Hadith No. ii, 60
The prophet once said to a woman: 'Watch how you treat your husband for he is your Paradise and your Hell.
Kanz- el-'Ummal, Volume 22, Hadith Number 868

Do I really have to state how many abusive men there are in the world that could and do easily take advantage of this? Only barbaric people would think that something like this were remotely fair. There are evil men in the world as there are evil women, but to place one in such a superior position is both damaging to men and women alike.

Punishments For Sexual Impropriety

If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way.

This means starve them to death. Furthermore, the term “lewdness” can be and has been construed throughout Islamic history to mean many things, even to walk out the front door of one’s home.

Compare this to the punishment for the same act for men:

If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.

How can we say again and again that women are equal in Islam when punishments are clearly not equal?


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