Equality of the Sexes
Fatwa No: 84040

Question

I am currently a Masters student and all I am being taught is the superiority of men over women in Islam. I whole heartedly agree. Yet I have some questions which generally arise in our class. 1) Are men superior to women?2) Men and women are mentioned (individually) how many times in Qur'an?3) What should I say and what should be my response to such comments?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Firstly, you should know, as stated clearly in the Noble Quran, that men have a degree of responsibility over women since they pay the Mahr (bridal money), spend on the women, protect them and satisfy their needs in general. Men also are required to wage Jihad; they have stronger bodies and behave better than women.

Men, according to their Fitrah (natural predisposition upon which Allah created mankind) role in life that Allah has granted them, use their intellectual powers more than women, who are more influenced with emotions. The man's brain, according to scientific research, is heavier than that of women. In general, men are more rational. But, at the individual level, you may find women who are better reasoners than men.

Secondly, the word men (and its derivatives) is mentioned 32 times in the Quran, while the word women (and its derivatives) is mentioned 42 times.

Thirdly, if you want to understand our stated notes and points you have to study the verses that are related to this subject such as:

Allah Says (what means):
• {Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.} [Quran 4:34]

• {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 2:228]

• {And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her.} [Quran 2:282]

• {Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females.} [Quran 4:11]

So, you can satisfy your need and find explanations supported with Hadeeth and opinions of scholars.

For more benefit on equality between men and women, please refer to Fataawa 381173, 338263, 325066, 107236, and 81205.

Allah knows best.

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