Questions-Responses on Women
(Translated into English by Mr Taoufiq GAZOULIT)
Promotion of Women in Islam
19- QUESTION : Does a woman have to wear socks in order to cover the whole foot during the prayer ?
19- ANSWER : A woman does not have to wear any socks whilst doing her prayer but it is mandatory to wear long clothing during the prayer. In principal, parts of the woman’s body to be exposed are the face and both hands.
29- QUESTION: At 35 years of age, I am not married yet. Is there any invocation or particular prayer to remedy it ?
29- REPONSE: It is enough to address to Allah without insisting on the possibility of marriage by leaving the option of the place and the time for him to choose. The Prophet in the similar cases recovered fundamentally in God’s will by inciting the believer to become attached to fasting.
32- QUESTION: I am almost four weeks pregnant. I have a daughter of 2 years and one month, two twins of six months and what can call accidental happened to me. I had my boys by caesarean, followed by various complications. My pregnancy was extremely painful and very hard to stand (from the 3rd month, remaining upright was unbearable for me), without forgetting that my daughter, who was still very small, was constantly demanding me (which is normal). Psychologically, feeling incapable of taking care of her during this pregnancy was frustrating. Now I am convinced that a big gap is needed between each birth for 2 reasons: to take good care of the children and most importantly (and this, no man could ever understand), to recover from the pregnancy and the birth. We can give as an example, our mothers who spent most of their lives giving birth, being mothers without being women, which must have pleased many, but they might not be a majority. Ma mother had 8 children and asked me not follow her example because her health suffered from it. She regrets not having spaced out her pregnancies and as she said, at the time, nobody had told her to take care of herself and her health. I am in the following situation: I am exhausted by the pregnancy of my boys, physically, I haven’t got anything back (I’ll let you imagine the distension of the skin of a stomach which carries twins). How to take care of my baby and my daughter with a fourth or maybe a fifth child, because this birth could bring twins? Anyway, I don’t feel able, and in fact, I don’t accept this pregnancy. I feel sick because frankly, I don’t want the child and I don’t want to take this as a fatality. I want kids as long as health allows me to, but I have neither the physical force, nor the psychological one to go through a third pregnancy in less than 6 months after my caesarean. I would like to know the point of view of Islam on the subject, because “Qardaoui” had spoken about it saying that we were authorized until a certain date.
32- ANSWER: I am aware of the delicacy of your case. In such a situation, the pregnant mother earths up on a double physical and psychological problem. Many pregnant women believe they can resolve this problem by abortion, which may be normal, if we refer to the preventive therapeutic requirements against some risks to which women are vulnerable, who neglect the spacing of the pregnancies, which is the only way to normalize similar cases. The Prophet himself recommended such spacing against what took place in his lifetime at the Persians and the Byzantines. The fact that this abnormal situation took place at the neighbours of the Arabia, the messenger of Allah did not believe to have to insist. To counter this bad habit, abortion seems to be the only solution. Having said that, it is known that some Islamic countries opt for a limited date where abortion is legitimized. This date is spread out between the first day and the 40th day of the conception. Indeed, in a hadith reported by Tabarany and Bazzar, this period would not overtake the first week. You have thus any latitude to follow what takes place in these muslim countries. But my own opinion consists in strictly following the last hadith. In your case, it is impossible to have a miscarriage, otherwise the out of date the abortion would be killing the foetus, except in the case of a major therapeutic strength.
42- QUESTION : A friend from Rabat just sent me your book “the rational sacred”. I have not yet started reading because it requires a great amount of attention and research for each paragraph. I would like to ask you how to reconcile between the share of the inheritance which goes to a Muslim woman and her new condition being an economic agent, source of income, and participating in the management of domestic affairs. As long as a Muslim woman was taken care of from the day of her birth by her parents and husband, and in case of divorce or widow-hood, again she’s taken care of by various members of her family, it was then conceivable that she is only allowed a half share of the inheritance. But today, a Muslim woman is a source of income and participates in domestic costs. Are we allowed to deprive her from the fruits of her labour while her financial participation can sometimes exceed that of her spouse? What is your opinion on this subject? I have to say that I received with great pleasure your book.
42- ANSWER : Women have always taken part in the management of a household without making use of their own money. In fact, collaboration is doubly justified by her right to exclusively keep her possessions and to inherit just half of her male partner. In modern times, nothing prevents a voluntary compromise between spouses taking into account unprecedented household expenses required. Women have also become an active agent with income from her personal activity. This fact implies the possibility of a double destiny: either to keep what she owns in the double case of inheritance or personal gainful activities, or to agree among themselves on a new Vivendi allowing real equality in accordance with the spirit of the sharia, without being forced to disobey the Islamic law.
43- QUESTION : I would like to thank you for answering me. I am a Muslim who lives within a western society who defends “tooth and nail” her religion. Without any critical spirit, I would like to discuss with you the following: a well born woman would not let her husband struggle in economic difficulties and will participate financially to help. Having said that, take the case of a couple married for a decade, aged between 30 and 35 years old and both are paying a loan for a house and a car. The husband suddenly died, as this could happen in the case of an infarction or a tragic outcome of a cancer. They are still young and did not think that death could get rid of one of them. What will happen to the woman? She will receive the 8th that she would get without having brought anything to the household, instead of half that will belong to her from her work and no longer the 8th. Which modus Vivendi does not “transgress Islamic law” and will allow real equality? It is a problem that should be solved for the sake of the great respect of our religion. Men (as human beings) are not wise! Among them, there are those who simply confiscate the salary of their wives. Here, there is an inconsistency, which is not in harmony with our religion. As God preserves women as he wishes, I am sure that in your wisdom you have a solution to this problem. Accept my profound respect.
43- ANSWER : In response to your various motivations included in your question, Islamic law is out of this problem. This should have been prevented for such a couple by strengthening this modest Vivendi with a normal contract between the couple so each one of them maintains his right. Outside of the legal heritage, whatever the contribution rate of the woman who would then be legally kept away from the part of the widow’s inheritance.
44- QUESTION: I have received your answer and would like to thank you. The situation of Muslim women is a whole. “The modus Vivendi” governed by a contract is easier said than done. Will it have a legal value and will it be affective against the opposing party? Of what elements would it be formed? In what proportion of participation? You say “not to transgress the sharia” and further more you say “sharia has nothing to do with this” so you leave me puzzled. I have another point to submit which would rather be a request for information: it is a text in Arabic translated by my pupils at lycée Louis-le-Grand Paris (maths-sup, maths-spé). There was a talk of a man who married four women, to the astonishment of the interlocutor, he said: “kama chaa allah”. I was carried forward to sura “annissa” to evaluate the context. It is written “oua in khiftoum alla touqssitou fi lyatal, fankihou ma taba lakoum min annissa, matna oua roubaa oua…” However, this condition is ignored by those who brandish their right to four women. To marry 2, 3 or 4 women is conditioned by the existence of orphans, to whom we fear to be injust, if we had to take care of them. The “oua ine khiftoum alla taadilou, fa ouahida et le ‘oua lane taadilou baina nnissai oua laou harastoum” are only complements. The justification of 2, 3 or 4 wives is conditioned by the burden of orphans for whom an injustice treatment is to be feared. I am not an expert in matters of religion, far from it. I refer to the texts only. No orphans in charge, no 2, 3 or four wives. How could you clear up this particular matter for me? Thank you for answering as early as possible, as you usually do so well.
44- ANSWER: In response to your question, I would like to emphasize that you must always take into consideration the whole answers i.e. their context and add nothing to avoid any misunderstanding of the text. Regarding other requests for information “qama chaa allah”, being true, has nothing to do with responsibility, especially since marriage with four women is not conditioned by the existence of orphans as you mentioned but by the obligation of fairness and equality between co-wives, except for one point: the degree of love which is considered beyond the reach of anyone as had been reported by the prophet himself. When it comes to the fact that the prophet married 11 women “9 of them at the same time”, we have to understand the tribal situation then. The prophet was forced to accept offers made by some tribes in order to understand the perplexing situation of the prophet who had to answer positively. But when the prophet was 55, he married Khadija aged 40 and remained with her all his life, except the last 9 years where the death of Khadija resulted in his marriage to an older woman. Under the impact of tribal requirements, he had to submit by taking widows who were offered to him with the exception of Aisha who was a virgin. I had to analyse all these points before an audience of men and women in Europe at a conference which took place under the theme: the status of the embryo, which you can find in the section “articles” on my website.
45- QUESTION: I have received your answers and thank you for the details given to me about the marriages of the prophet. As to the latter, my Israeli doctor told me during a medical check-up that the prophet married 11 women (information coming from Maxim Rodinson?) to whom I replied “King Solomon married 260 women”. I was not sure of the number! He agreed with me and added: “there is worse. King David sent to the front husbands of women that he liked”. The prophet was therefore in an honourable position! I did not think the prophet who in my view did not marry as many times as he should have done, taking into account alliances he needed in order to accomplish his mission. No, my interest is the application of the text to Muslims. I return to my “oua ine khiftoum alla touqsitou filyatama, fankihou ma taba lakoum…” The “fankihou ma taba…” is the answer of the condition “oua ine khiftoum….”.you cannot extract a fragment of text from its context. “Marry 1, 2…” When? “If you are afraid of not being fair to orphans.” We are at the beginning of the prophet’s mission. Wars, deaths, the number of orphans having lost their fathers is large. The prophet couldn’t let them down. They are Muslim’s sons, they have to be rescued but married women having their own children are reluctant to extra work. The Muslim may then take 2, 3… women in order to take care of orphans, according to their number. So, no orphans, no permission to take several women. If we do not take into account the “oua ine khiftoum…” in my opinion, we distort the meaning of the text. Otherwise, I would like you to explain to me the reason of this verse as a condition of the “fankihou ma taba lakoum…”. It was therefore in this context of the orphan’s existence during the prophet’s conquest mission with his companions that the permission to marry several women to look after these orphans was taken. Would you explain to me your interpretation of the “oua ine khiftoum alla touqsitou filyatama…” followed by “fankihou ma taba lakoum…?” I would be happy to know it.
45- ANSWERS: You have raised many questions that remain unclear or disputed since raised only in the content of Jewish interpretations. I already had the opportunity to analyse some in my book “the rational sacred” to demonstrate the immunity of all prophets, including Jewish messengers to whom you refer. As for the integration of the orphan element to justify polygamy, it rarely occurred to the companions of the prophet, who was the only one obliged to take into account a certain number of orphans and marry their mothers.
46- QUESTION: I only quote what 2 Jews have said and I have refuted their statements. I do not refer to them at all. I am talking about the sacred text which is the foundation of our religion and asking you about the relation of the verse in the context that contains it. The existence of orphans to justify a possible polygamy. You have not answered this point “ine khiftoum….fankihou ma taba lakoum minannissa”. This verse is here, it has got a meaning, what is it?
46- ANSWER: The verse that includes a possible liaison with girl orphans who are not sisters refer in principle to a problem doubly linked to faith, orphan children whose soul guardian may wish to take these orphans as co-wives during his mandate of a tutor and not because of polygamy of 2, 3 or 4 which remains legitimate. But, to enjoy his status as mandated to assume certain rights which he could not take advantage of. Being only a guardian and not spouse at the same time, in this case, if he fears being unfair, he may find a wife outside that context. This Koranic case is definitely specific. Another case that does not interest us is that of a minor male.
47- QUESTION : I have received your response on this matter and thank you. But I told myself, baring in mind that the Koran is a model of eloquence and thoroughness in vocabulary and grammar, which refers to in all circumstances, that the word “yatimate” which would designate the orphans who could get married. “Yatama” refers either to male orphans or orphans from both sexes, but not always only orphans.
47- ANSWER : The modest Vivendi, governed by a contract in good and due form, should not be the source of any legal problems. I made it clear that sharia is not likely to be infringed. It is the meaning that you have to retain of “sharia has nothing to do in here” and it is not subject to perplexity. As to the verse “oua ine khiftoum alla touqsitou filyatama, fankihou ma taaba lakoum…” I quote word for word the hadith of sayidatouna Aicha, in order to clarify the context of my first answer. The hadith of”SAYIDATUNA AICHA” :
ÞÇá ÚÑæÉ ÑÖí Çááå Úäå : ÓÃáÊ ÓíÏÊäÇ ÚÇÆÔÉ Úä Þæáå ÊÚÇáì ’’ æÇä ÎÝÊã ÃáÇ ÊÞÓØæÇ Ýí ÇáíÊÇãì ÝÇäßÍæÇ ãÇ ØÇÈ áßã ãä ÇáäÓÇÁ ...¡¡ ‘’
ÝÞÇáÊ íÇ ÇÈä ÃÎÊí åÏå ÇáíÊíãÉ Êßæä Ýí ÍÌÑ æáíåÇ ÊÔÑßå Ýí ãÇáåÇ æíÚÌÈå ãÇáåÇ æÌãÇáåÇ ÝíÑíÏ Ãä íÊÒæÌåÇ ÈÛíÑ Ãä íÞÓØ Ýí ÕÏÇÞåÇ¡ ÝäåæÇ Úä Ïáß ÅáÇ Ãä íÈáÛæÇ áåä ÃÚáì ÓäÊåä Ýí ÇáÕÏÇÞ æÃãÑæÇ Ãä íäßÍæÇ ãÇ ØÇÈ áåã ãä ÇáäÓÇÁ ÓæÇåä
Thus, the Koran put an end to this kind of abuse against orphans. When it comes to your remark on “al yatama” and “yatimate”, I draw your attention to the fact that the risk of ambiguity is lifted from the verse 127 of the same sura “an-niçâ” which abounds in the same direction :
“wa yastaftounaka fî an-niçâi qoli allahou youftîkoum fîhinna wa mâ youtlâ alaykoum fî al kitâbi fî yatâmâ an-niçâi al-lâtî lâ toutounahounna mâ koutiba lahounna wa targhabouna an tanki houhounna…”. It is indeed a matter of “yatama an-niçâi” female orphans.
In response to your various motivations included in your question, the Islamic law is out of this problem. What should have happened for such a couple is to strengthen this modest Vivendi with a normal contract between the 2 spouses so everybody keeps their rights outside the legal heritage, whatever the contribution rate of the women who would then be legally kept away from the widow’s part of the inheritance.
84- QUESTION : Is it permitted to watch a pornographic film with your wife to incite her to sexual relations ?
84- ANSWER : In this case, we have to dissociate two situations: the first being watching a pornographic movie which is completely prohibited, even without the presence of the spouse. Secondly, when the spouse is present, this action will have permissive effect. Even if the spouse describes to her husband certain features of a foreign woman, stirring up his sex-appeal, the fact will remain prohibited.
85- QUESTION : I would like to enter an order, but my husband will not allow me. What can I do ? How to become a disciple of the order ? Are men and women separated during the meetings ? Do you know where the sisters meet in the region of Paris ?
85- ANSWER :Before you think about integrating any spiritual path, particularly the tijani order, you must follow a personal test for some time. During this period, you can proceed with the recitation of the salat (benediction of the prophet), in order to open yourself and to feel a real willingness to integrate this forum. It is a procedure that you should follow in secret without having anybody’s authorisation. You are also asking me about the possible meetings between male and female within the framework of the order in some zaouias. Some places are separately booked for both men and women. As to the Tijani zaouias that I know better, more than a dozen of Tijani zaouias are located in the region of Paris, including that of Gennevilliers. As to the search for a spiritual guide, you will need him at the end of this test.
93- QUESTION : The prophet said: “the woman is chosen as a wife for her beauty, her money, her senior strain, or her piety. Opt for the pious and you will therefore avoid all risks.” Why such an option ?
93- ANSWER : The woman is the other half of every man. She is his conscience, whereas he constitutes her outside background, like the yin and yang whose negative side is nothing but the introspective element of the common model. Both sides of the equation complement each other, while each of them retains his perennial specificity. The balance which follows is a sign of complementary, motivated by the symbiosis of “dahir” (external) and “batin” (external), stressed in a judgement of the prophet. The context in this case is the genuine feeling of affection and respect, crystallized by an intimate introspection and conscious, which is likely to persist in a pious wife. The other values of esteem can participate to ensure some consistency, if any. But they do not claim to be unquestionably safe components. But here, I can not join Baudelaire in his “Fleurs du Mal" !
101- QUESTION : I need help concerning the subject of hand shaking of a non mahram woman. Some say that if it’s done without seeking pleasure, then it’s not prohibited. Others advance that it’s a sin and if not forgiven, a nail will be pushed into the head of the sinner during the last judgement day.
101-ANSWER : Touching the hand of a woman or of a very young girl is not at all prohibited. Likewise in a case where the partner is an old man, as temptation or a feeling of disturbance and its consequences are avoided. In any non-interested gesture, prohibition is mitigated. The prophet as reported by Ibn Majja in his “SOUNAN” and Ahmed Ibn Hanbal in his “MOUSNAD”, had once been seen held by the hands of young Medina girl, who had asked him to accompany her to certain areas of Medina to help run errands. The Prophet only removed his hand once all her errands were accomplished. In principal, a non interested male partner may, as a sign of courtesy, not refuse the hand of a non interested girl herself. In case of an allegiance to women, a hadith reported by Oum Attsa legitimizes the female partners touch but this case has not been admitted by Aicha, the Prophet’s spouse.
140- QUESTION : Has the husband the right to beat his wife ?
140- ANSWER : The Koran says : “men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because GOD has given them one more (strengh) than the other, and because they support them from their means, therefore therighteous woman are devouted obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what god 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” (Sura “the women” verse 34) explains it so there is a gradation in the means of discussion. First, the reasoning then placed in quarantine and finally punching (translation of Ker Chid). But in an authentic hadith, the messenger of Allah has mixed this eventuality according to his wife Aicha who asserts that the prophet (SS) gave a good example. Never had he hit a woman throughout his life.
170- QUESTION : What is the woman’s role in the formation of embryo ?
170- ANSWER : The Koran has responded to these questions in the Sura “the livestock (verse 98). Spot –fixing in a male is the strain of this lineage which includes the sperm in the “germ” whose content is transformed, hereditary from father to son, as a constant element of the race. For women, this corresponds to the uterus and the ovaries. The shaped egg receives the sperm which fertilizes it. The uterus is a receptacle, instead of a deposit where the germ is constituted, then the embryo and the foetus. In a hadith of the prophet (peace be upon him), this exhorts the believer to choose his wife, outside this specific plot, where the congenital element would initially be the same, because in such a case, serious genetic insinuations were bound to appear.
178- QUESTION : I would like to know how it would be possible to get married without parental consent. The mother is aware but refuses for a matter of tribal affiliation, and the father will also refuse for the same reason. Another reason for the refusal is that the man is younger than the woman (20 and 23 years old). Everybody is a practicing Muslim, apart from the mother who is European. Please give me all women’s rights in Islam in this case. Thank you for your help.
180- QUESTION : I am a 26 year old young girl. I would like to get married with a good man in the eyes of Islam. Only, my divorced mother is against it because he is black. Can I therefore get married? Does Islam allow it because the religion orders us to obey our mothers and the hadiths say that parents cannot impose their choices on us, concerning the one we marry. I am confused. Plus, I cannot make anyone intervene to help me in dialogue. I have tried hard.
181- QUESTION : I have found a solution to get married with the man that my mum refuses (because of his skin colour!). My dad gave me his approval, but my parents are divorced. Is this legal in the religion? Is my mum allowed, despite all the respect I owe her, to stay mad at me about my decision to marry (I’m 27 to be precise)? Those will be my last questions. Thank you for all the precious answers that have helped me! Barakalahou fik !
181- ANSWER :In principal, the moral consent of the parents is necessary. But, in this case, where racism intervenes, the mother’s disapproval is illegal.
184- QUESTION : A woman from North Africa has been married for several years and, having had children with a man from the North Africa, he does not apply any cultural practise apart from not eating pork. Is this marriage licit or illicit? And the kids from such a marriage are they consequently cursed ?
184- ANSWER :The fundamentals for a Muslim couple are to stay attached to the dogma of Islam. If one or the other of the married, whilst assuming the dogma, meaning the belief in divine unicity and the Mohammadian prophecy, the non practising person out of them, all whilst remaining a believer according to the Islamic concept, is considered as “assi”, meaning a believer but recalcitrant and sinner. In such a case, the marriage is legitimate as well as the kids.
191- QUESTION : I am more scared of my mother than of God himself. Is this normal ?
191- ANSWER :In principal, the believer must fear God more than anything in the world. But, this fear must always be enveloped by the feeling of the big pardon of the Providence. From there comes this difference between human wrath of the mother, of which the unconditional respect is put forth by the Prophet (psl) is many authentic hadiths, where one of them qualifies all the mother’s wishes as irreversible. Allah’s love for his creature is considered by Allah himself, in his Sacred Book the Koran, as subject to divine reversibility.
192- QUESTION : I often pray in trousers when I am home alone. Is this permitted for a woman?
192- ANSWER : Prayer in trousers is allowed as long as it isn’t too tight, allowing emergence of the woman’s body’s curves.
199- QUESTION : Is a woman allowed to wash during her period ? I tend to do it but I try not to until the end of the period. Everyone around me says it’s illicit.
199- ANSWER : Washing the body during periods is completely legitimate for hygienic or medical reasons, except in the case where only a qualified doctor can specify.
201- QUESTION : How can you explain, if not justify, the Prophet Sidna Mohammed’s polygamy qualified of being excessive ?
201- ANSWER : I had been asked the same question during a lecture at the royal Mansour hotel at Casablanca under the aegis of the Moroccan society of anthology and sexology (SMAS) in 1996 under the particular theme “the ethic of embryo statute in Islam”. To tackle the process and consequences of the so- called sexology (or sexual nature) of the prophet Mohammed, we have to objectively analyse the real factors which had motivated this nuptial succession in the prophet. They are of three orders: a normal order, as a human, had marked this nuptial, qualified of sexuality; the prophet, aged 25 years old, had married a widow of forty years, having already had kids with another man. He had four girls and two sons with her. This wife named Khadija was dead when the prophet was fifty three years old. The family foyer has remained under the monogamy sign for twenty eight years. The messenger of ALLAH refused to marry again, but due to the insistence of his family, he had to accept a new wife, aged sixty. The tribal particularism of anti Islam had partially blunt, but nevertheless leaving few fingerprints, which tend to disappear as a result of mohammadian proselytizing. Some emotional ties among the new converts continued to aspire to a confrontation by an effective alliance. This kind of alliance thus constituted an asset of Gods act, among primitive tribes and families, where the double marriage of the prophet (peace be upon him) with Aisha. She is the daughter of his dearest friend and future caliph Abu Bakr Siddik, who belongs to the Taim and Hafsa tribe, daughter of his second calif Omar ibn Khattab, a native of Beni Adiy. Another link was to impregnate the emotions with the third calif Othman, native of the Umayyad tribe. Two other marriages, contracted by the prophet (peace be on him) are the same mobile because they are two tribes: one of Beni-Mostaliq and the Jewish Arab tribe of Khaibar. On the other hand, the alliance marked the land community between people of Islam and Jewish religions. Two more wives, Jouweyria and Safia, therefore joined the family home that was already full, thing that the prophet had to bear, for reasons beyond his options. A third order had yet to induce the prophet (peace be upon him) to assume another responsibility, another physical, social, and moral character. He had therefore gone through the effects of a new union, a marriage with girls who immigrated from Habasha (Ethiopia), fleeing the torture of koraichites pegans. In her new place of residence, she contracted marriage with another immigrant who later died, leaving three children. After her return to Medina, the prophet (peace be on him), aware of his duty as head of the new Islamic state, agreed to legitimately take charge. During the last nine years of his life (he died at the age of sixty three), he led a train of life far from comfort of sexuality.