Does Islam Regard Men And Women As Equal?

Short answer: No. Islam considers men to be ‘maintainers’ of women.egypt mp asks women must undergo virginity test going university Islam considers men to be ‘superior’ and women ‘inferior’.


The Scripture of Muslims (Qur’an):

Quran 4:34Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

Quran 2:228–Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want reconciliation. And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

Quran 2:282–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.

Quran 4:11–Allaah commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females

Quran 2:223–Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves, and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers.


The Traditions of Muhammad (Hadith):

Sahih al-Bukhari 304–Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.”

The women asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.”

Sahih Muslim 512–Al-Aswad reported that ‘A’isha said: You have made us equal to the dogs and the asses, whereas I lay on the bedstead and the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) came there and stood in the middle of the bedstead and said prayer. I did not like to take off the quilt from me (in that state), so I moved away quietly from the front legs of the bedstead and thus came out of the quilt.

Sunan an-Nasa’i 5388–It was narrated that Abu Bakrah said: “Allah protected me with something that I heard from the Messenger of Allah [SAW]. When Chosroes died, he said: ‘Whom have they appointed as his successor?’ They said: ‘His daughter.’ He said: ‘No people will ever prosper who entrust their leadership to a woman.'”


Islamic Scholarship (including Fatwas):

Ibn Katheer (Most reliable commentator) said: “[Man] is the leader and head of the household, the one who disciplines her if she goes astray because men are superior to women and are better than women. Hence Prophethood was given only to men, as was the position of khaleefah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘No people shall ever prosper who appoint a woman as their ruler.’ This was narrated by al-Bukhaari from the hadeeth of ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Abi Bakrah from his father. The same applies to the position of qaadi (judge), etc. So a man is inherently better than a woman, and he is superior to her because he spends on her. So it is appropriate that he should be in charge of her, as Allaah says, ‘but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them’ [al-Baqarah 2:228].

Al-Ghazali (One of the respectable scholars): [Muslim woman should] “stay at home and get on with her sewing. She should not go out often, she must not be well-informed, nor must she be communicative with her neighbors and only visit them when absolutely necessary; she should take care of her husband… and seek to satisfy him in everything… Her sole worry should be her virtue… She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs at any moment.”

Irani Clerics–“The specific task of women in this society is to marry and bear children. They will be discouraged from entering legislative, judicial, or whatever careers which may require decision-making, as women lack the intellectual ability and discerning judgment required for these careers.”

Abu Ishaq al-Huwaini–when I want a sex-slave, I go to the market and pick whichever female I desire and buy her.


Former Muslim notes:

Men and women are not considered equal in Islam. One of the major criticism of Christianity is based on gender equality. Muslim scholars criticise Christianity and western values by equality between the sexes. As one Egyptian scholar puts it, ‘the Christian religion does not differentiate between women and men, but it confirms their perfect equality: it gives them an equal share in inheritance, it bans divorce, and it bans polygamy.’

Islam considers women to be ‘stupid’ (deficient in mind) and unclean (deficient in religion). The Women asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.”

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid summarises the differences,

  • A man can marry four women, but a woman can only have one husband.
  • A man has the right to issue a divorce and it is valid if he does so, but a woman does not have the right to issue a divorce.
  • A man may marry a woman from among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), but a Muslim woman may not marry anyone but a Muslim.
  • A man may travel without his wife or any of his mahrams, but a woman may not travel unless she is accompanied by a mahram.
  • Prayer in the mosque is obligatory for men, but not for women; a woman’s prayer in her house is more beloved to Allaah.