Answering Islam Email Dialogs
Topic: Is Islam Truly Woman-Friendly?
Received: 14 June 2005
Subject: Why Women Convert
I am a young muslim who has read parts of your site. Now I do not have answers to all the questions you have raised, neither have I read all your challenges, but I will ask you this. You claim Islam is unfair to women, yet for every 5 women converting to Islam 4 are women. Surely they are not crazy to give up their rights. And I would like to add they do not receive a moderate or diluted picture of Islam either. Instead, they learn from the source, which is the holy Quran. Furthermore, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. This "violent book" (the Quran) you speak of has been translated into various languages. I do not believe the human race is stupid enough to fall for an easy trap. So I would like to ask you, have you, the founder(s) of this site ever read the Entire Quran? Have you ever read an explanation (Tafseer) of it with an open mind and heart. I would think the answer is "no". Because if, after doing so, you claim that you are right you are mocking the intelligence of a lot of people on this planet.have you read all the hadith of the prophet. Have you pondered on the scientific facts islam revealed in the quran 1400 years ago, when people had no way to acquire them. have you observed the perfect government of the 4 caliphs. have you noticed in the many ways the world is still influenced by islam today. surely not a man guided by the devil could have accomplished all thses great feats. i admit that islam might sound a little harsh, but that is the way to have a perfect society. a society without the viel (america) leads to a rape every 6 minutes, with only 1 case reported for every 10. a society with it (saudi arabia) has only about 2-6 per year according to the UN. i admit the prophet was violent at times, but he was not only a prophet but a warrior, legislator, and head of government. yet you forget the prophet (saw) only used violence when necessary. no blood was spilled when he conquered Mecca. He could have avenged the muslims lost during the battles, as mecca was helpless and scared, but he didn't. I find some of your references right down misleading. For example, if you go to the index of Islam and look up women, you find the entry labeled "equal to women and dogs. The only reason the wife of the prophet(RA) was on the floor because he was praying facing the middle of the bed and no muslim (man or woman) Is allowed to be in front of any other muslim (man or woman) praying. I am sure you have twisted many other facts like that as well. I would just like to say I am disgusted by this cheap behavior. I will pray for your guidance. My advice on acquiring real understanding of Islam still stands. Furthermore, ther have been many books published on the inconsistencies of the Bible. Maybe your site would like to clarify these inconsistencies with us. Any how, may peace and the blessings of the almighty be on you and may he show all of us guidance. Amen.
Thank you for your e-mail. You bring up several different issues.
The first is your question why so many women convert to Islam compared to men. "Are they all crazy?", you ask.
My personal opinion about this is that the world in which we live is often very harsh on women. With the advent of the internet, pornography has absolutely skyrocketed. Women are often treated as far less than they deserve. Women enjoy being treasured. Like the little girl who imagines being a princess, women desire to be cherished - to feel secure - to feel loved. So often men - whether Muslim or non-Muslim - often fail to treat women the way that they should be treated. The world places all sorts of undue pressures on them to look thinner or to be better or to be less emotional or any number of hard-to-achieve standards. Many women see Islam as a means to escape many of these ungodly pressures placed on them. Whether or not they find it in Islam is another question. In nations where Islam is still fairly new, it is viewed as unique, romantic, exotic, exciting. Also the idea of the Hijab is often very appealing to women who have been hurt due to being objectified or abused. While there are many women who do convert to Islam in western nations, it is my understanding that there is also a revolving door. Many women leave (or want to leave) Islam shortly after converting. Perhaps many find that once inside the issues that they thought that they could escape were still chasing them. These are only my guesses. I do know that Islam - based on the Quran and Hadith - is not a religion that is particularly extra good toward women. For instance:
"I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers are women." Sahih Bukhari: 29, 304, 1052, 1462, 3241, 5197, 5198, 6449, 6546, Sahih Muslim: 80, 885, 907, 2737, 2738
Or the occasion where Muhammad is recorded to have hit Ayesha on their first night together: "He struck me on the chest which caused me pain" Sahih Muslim vol. 2:2127
To me, these hadiths are disgusting. The notion is clearly taught in Islam that most people in hell will be women. I want to ask you these questions about these hadiths:
What is the reason that hell is mostly filled with women?
Are women more evil or more disobedient than men?
If so, were they born this way - did Allah create women as more evil than men?
And if Muhammad was allowed to hit his wife and cause her pain, then is this also commanded behavior for all Muslims according to the Sunna?
We will not belabor this point, but I personally believe that if women knew enough about Islam, they would not convert.
You state that the women who convert do so not because of having a watered down or diluted understanding of Islam. How do you know this? On what basis can you establish this point?
Do you realize that the growth of Islam is due far more to the birth-rates of Muslims than it is due to conversion rates?
Do you personally believe that the Quran is a peaceful book or a violent book? What is your honest opinion?
Have I read the entire Quran? Yes, more than once. Have others here at Answering-Islam.org also read the full Quran? Yes, in fact many of the contributors to this web-site are former Muslims. Have I read Tafsir? Yes. Not the entire Ibn Kathir, but quite a bit. In fact, Ibn Kathir only confirms the idea that Islam is a violent religion. Let me ask you... below is a portion from Ibn Kathir's Tafsir. Tell me if this speaks of violence or peace? It is the Tafsir of Sura 9:123.
"Allah commands the believers to fight the disbelievers, the closest in area to the Islamic state, then the farthest. This is why the Messenger of Allah started fighting the idolaters in the Arabian Peninsula. When he finished with them... He then started fighting the People of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians). After Muhammad's death, his executor, friend, and Caliph, Abu Bakr, became the leader... On behalf of the Prophet , Abu Bakr... started preparing the Islamic armies to fight the Roman cross worshippers, and the Persian fire worshippers. By the blessing of his mission, Allah opened the lands for him and brought down Caesar and Kisra and those who obeyed them among the servants. Abu Bakr spent their treasures in the cause of Allah, just as the Messenger of Allah had foretold would happen. This mission (of world domination) continued after Abu Bakr at the hands of he whom Abu Bakr chose to be his successor... Umar bin Al-Khattab. With Umar, Allah humiliated the disbelievers, suppressed the tyrants and hypocrites, and opened the eastern and western parts of the world. The treasures of various countries were brought to Umar from near and far provinces and he divided them according to the legitimate and accepted method. Umar then died... Then, the Companions among the Muslims... agreed to chose after Umar, Uthman bin Affan... During Uthman's reign, Islam wore its widest garment and Allah's unequivocal proof was established in various parts of the world over the necks of the servants. Islam appeared in the eastern and western parts of the world and Allah's Word was elevated and His religion apparent. The pure religion reached its deepest aims against Allah's enemies, and whenever Muslims overcame a community, they moved to the next one, and then the next one, crushing the tyrannical evil doers. They did this in reverence to Allah's statement, O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you."
If you say that this speaks of peace, then I would ask you: Who is "mocking the intelligence of a lot of people"?
Have we pondered the "scientific facts of the Quran"? Quite a bit. And please do not take offense when I say to you that I'm entirely unimpressed. In fact, it is quite easy to demonstrate that the Quran is not a science manual. For instance:
"Now let man but think from what he is created! He is created from a drop emitted - Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs" Surah 86:5-7
----, I am a father. I'm not sure if you are married or single or if you have studied anatomy. But I can tell you that semen does not come from "between the backbone and the ribs" That is where the kidneys are located. Semen comes from another area. I'm sure that you probably know this. Let me ask you, is the Quran correct here or is it wrong?
Have I observed "The perfect government of the four Caliphs"? Is this the government that Ibn Kathir spoke of in his tafsir above where "cross-worshippers" and other kaffirs were "humiliated?" Because I was not alive during this time, I have not personally observed it, although I have read about it. It certainly doesn't sound perfect to me.
Has Islam influenced the World? Of course. Could a man influenced by Satan have accomplished this? Sure. Look at the present influence of Karl Marx the atheist in the earth. Or look at the influence of Hinduism. Does the spread of a teaching indicate its truth? Mormonism is growing faster in America than Islam. Is Mormonism therefore more true than Islam?
... You write: "you forget the prophet (saw) only used violence when necessary"
Let me ask you ----; Have you heard of Asma the poetess? Ibn Ishaq in his Sirat Rasul tells of Asma's story:
Asma was a poetess who belonged to a tribe of Medinan pagans, and whose husband was named Yazid b. Zayd. She composed a poem blaming the Medinan pagans for obeying a stranger (Muhammad) and for not taking the initiative to attack him by surprise. When the Allah-inspired prophet heard what she had said, he asked, "Who will rid me of Marwan's daughter?" A member of her husband's tribe volunteered and crept into her house that night. She had five children, and the youngest was sleeping at her breast. The assassin gently removed the child, drew his sword, and plunged it into her, killing her in her sleep.
Please explain to me how this was "absolutely necessary."
Please explain exactly what facts we have twisted by quoting Muhammad's wife Ayesha who said:
Narrated 'Aisha: Do you make us (women) equal to dogs and donkeys? (Sahih Bukhari 1.486, cf. Sahih Bukhari 1.490, Sahih Bukhari 1.493, Sahih Bukhari 1.498)
----, I hope that you can see that we are not here to mislead or to deceive but rather because we love the truth and desire for Muslims to find and to know this truth. The truth, of course, is not to be found through following Muhammad, but through becoming a follower of Jesus. Jesus said: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
I pray that you will someday come to the Father and find a true relationship with your Creator through the Lord Jesus, the One of whom all the prophets wrote. If you wish to answer the questions that I have posed to you or if you would like to discuss any issues further, then feel free to respond. We appreciate the chance to serve you in this way.
Bless You ----,
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