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Would women’s rights compromise men’s Dignity?

At a time when calls from here and there rise to save women from the injustices of menand to provide them with all guarantees that maintain their dignity as well as peace ansecurity inside and outside the home, when different social and legislative organization senacted laws and covenants that ensure women’s rights and when political and academic conferences in the Arab and Muslim World issued numerous recommendations stressing the high position of women in society, no single statement has been issued, nor aconference has been held or a call has been voiced against women’s excesses in the use of these rights or against their mistreatment of their husbands and children.

What about the woman who mistreats her husband and children and turns the life of her family into an unbearable hell, and the woman who establishes illegal relations and forces her husband to keep silent lest he should be brought before courts and human rights organizations where the law will always be against him and where he will be forced to pay the support expenses for his wife and children? Who would stop the excesses of women who threaten their husbands of dissolving the marriage if they do not satisfy their wishes and dreams even at the expense of the family’s stability and children’s future? What about the woman who, out of revenge, deprives her ex-husband of meeting his children, misusing her right in keeping guardianship of their young children and thus commits the crime of severing relations between children and their father and implant in the hearts of children hatred against their father through lies and unjust allegations? What about the woman who leaves the home in search of employment against the will of her husband, leaving behind her children unprotected and unattended? What about the woman who violates the orders of Allah to obey her husband and protect his money and honour? Finally, what about the woman who cuts her husband’s body into pieces and throws it in a pool or buries it in a deep hole just because he married another wife? None have abated the excesses of these women or put an end to their injustices.

It is really catastrophic if the international and local pressures on Muslim and Arab countries go beyond redlines and hence give full rein to women to act as they like against all values and controls for fear that they may be charged as oppressing women. This might happen in spite of the high status Islam has given to women and the rights women have attained in Arab and Muslim countries commensurate with their natural disposition and biological composition.

How could one say that Arab and Muslim women are oppressed when they have held high posts in the Arab and Muslim World that had, until recently, a monopoly for man? How could it be said that they are isolated when they have deservedly held a wide variety of positions that suit their nature?

Islam has never discriminated against women as to the right of education. Rather, it considered learning as a duty on all male and female Muslims. Women have, since the dawn of Islam, participated with men in the decision-making process, in the immigration and in acquiring knowledge. Many of them were narrators of the Prophet’s hadith (sayings) and many others were poetess and novelists, let alone women who specialized in different arts and sciences. The mothers of believers (the Prophet’s wives) were teachers and preachers to the extent that the early Muslim caliphs were consulting them on legal matters.

Islam has never prevented women from exercising their right in work and contributing in the economic life of society. Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her), the first wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a merchant and had employed the Prophet before he married her. The right of inheritance which Islam has given to women is a clear indication of the right it has given them to work either directly or indirectly wherever it is suitable for their biological nature.

According to Islam, the woman has the right to choose her partner without any form of duress or compulsion, and hence asking the permission of the woman is a prerequisite to the validity of the marriage contract. It is actual extremism and deviation from the true rules and values of Islam to deprive women from deciding on matters that affect their lives since Islam considers marriage a contract like any other contract that is based on mutual understanding between the two parties. The Prophet (peace be upon him) cancelled the marriage contract of Al-Khansa bint Huzam Al-Ansariyah whose permission was not asked and who complained to the Prophet against this marriage.

As it is clear, Islam has established a formula that agrees with the fundamentals of the Islamic faith. It is a formula that is different from the ones established by other systems. It has also set down a clear method for the right dealing with the woman as a mother, a wife, a daughter and a sister. So, she is complementary to man and neither one can dispense with the other. The relationship between them is not that of a conflict but that of an integration controlled by the physiological and psychological characteristics that distinguish the one from the other and that are fundamental for the life of the family and eventually society.

Therefore, there needs to be a balance between the needs of women and the requirements of men taking into account the conditions of each party and the traits of his and her personality. Allah has created women as equal to men in rights and duties since they are the half-brothers of men. It is enough to know that Allah has created the fetus from forty six X chromosomes, half of which is from the man and the other half from the woman. However, He fashioned the man to bear the responsibilities that agree with the characteristics of his personality and physical and mental abilities. He also fashioned the woman to bear responsibilities that suit her nature. Any violation of this divine fashioning will definitely result in consequences that threaten the entity of the family and society at large. The enemies of Islam from without and within want women to be the means through which they can undermine the Islamic Shariah and they use them as the vehicle for their fatal `poisons’, dubious allegations and cynical plots.

The Arab and Muslim communities reject the rules established by the Western constitutions which permit things that cannot be permitted by the Islamic Shariah. These constitutions give women the freedom to establish illegal relations with whom they wish and consider any violation of these rules as an infringement of women’s rights. These rules and conditions have resulted in the collapse of families and the dissolution of society, not to mention the many fatal diseases tha thave invaded the communities that accepted such rules.

A study by the US Department of justice revealed that the number of girls from 11 to 14 who become pregnant as a result of illegal relationships count more than 700,000 girls a year. Being aware of the danger that this number represents, the former US President asked students to abide by good morals when dealing with their female colleagues. Therefore, the Arab and Muslim countries should have a firm stand against the allegations that women are oppressed in these countries so that things would not be left uncontrolled and so that the excesses’ would never take the name of `rights.

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