Women from Muhammad’s Perspective

Prof. Dr. Nihat HATİPOGLU

Nowadays we comprehend our Prophet Muhammad’s massage better than ever. Now that there are some extremist interpretations of Islam, to avoid confusion conveying his message to people becomes more crucial. About women, he was definitely a revolutionist and pro-women rights as accepting them sacred and saying “women and men are twin halves”. From that perspective we believe he had revolutionary thought about women. Let’s try to discover his message about women.

He said that “the best of you are those best to their family. Consider women as a relic to men”. He was extremely understanding and kind to women, he cared their feelings deeply and forewarned men who was violent against women saying “Don’t hit to any women, take me as an example, I have never hit a women.”

No Violence against Women

He criticized men who is violent against their wives and justified the ones who were complaining about their husband. “How come you beat your wives like they are animals and sleep with them that night without shame?” he said to Muslim men. 

Causeries with Women

Women complained that they couldn’t learn the religion enough and had private questions to ask. Muhammad allocated a day for women in order to answer their questions and share wisdom every week.

Informing Women via His Wives

Beginning with Aisha (R.A), his wives undertook duty of educating women and handed on the rules of the new religion. In fact every wife had a certain duty, some organized charity events as knitting and selling socks for children and others tutored women in “suffa”- some kind of theology school, and mentored them about not only Islam but also house duties and raising children.

Be Patient with Women

He advised men to be considered with women when they are quarrelsome, controversial or stubborn. Pointed the key of happy marriages as saying “if you think your wife is bad-tempered try to put forward her good behaviors”. Remember Muhammed never tolerated degrading and insulting women, always advised being kind and caring.

Fathers Shouldn’t Beat Daughters

Muhammad and Aisha (R.A) had a minor disagreement that could’ve happen in any marriage, and Aisha had raised her voice. While he was trying to calm her by assuming a humble attitude, Ebubekir (R.A), Aisha’s father, heard her daughter’s voice and walked on to her with wrath.  The Prophet had stopped him just before he slapped and said “we can handle this”. Aisha (R.A) said that Muhammad humored with her saying “see how I have saved from your father” (Ebu Davud, edeb, 4999).

Be Supportive with Households

Aisha (R.A) had been asked; “what did he used to do at home?” and she answered “he used to mend his shoes and patch the clothes, occasionally he cook dinner, and in fact he did whatever we couldn’t that day. Now, think about that time you were in the kitchen and asked water from your wife or coming home throwing clothes on the floor. Think, what would Muhammad do?

Never Reprobated Questions from Women

Women of Medina were socially outgoing, they used to ask whatever comes in their mind, even the private ones. One day Ummu Suleym asked “if a women dreams something like men does driven should they get full ablution?” Aisha (R.A) was shocked and, warned Ummu Suleym “you shamed all women!” Muhammad didn’t tolerated her burst and said “We should let Ansari women to ask about rules of the religion” and answered the lady “yes Ummu Suleym women should get full ablution”

He honored the women in an era where they were driven out of life, didn’t get respect and became dysfunctional in the community. Prophet Muhammad saw them as equal and made partners of life. Women of Mecca and Medina were able to attend the commination, mosque in Friday prayer or funeral. We miss him more when we understand his message more.

 

* Adapted from “Sabah” 18 Nisan 2014, press.

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