[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]
Among the sweeping allegations of baatil made by a Dr.Hargey is his claim:
“Men and women have identical fundamental rights, with the Qur’an emphasising equality in the spiritual,intellectual, economic and legal areas.”
For this personal view of his, Dr.Hagey is unable to adduce any substantiation from the Qur’aan or Hadith. This view is at variance with the Shariah. Even a cursory glance at the teachings and proofs of the Shariah will establish the fallacy of this claim and make manifest that Dr. Hagey’s opinion is devoid of any Islamic credibility.
In the aforementioned statement,Dr.Hagey has made a sweeping claim without tendering the basis and proof for the claim which is couched in ambiguity. He speaks of “identical fundamental rights” without defining these. He should elaborate and expound his conception of “fundamental rights” so that the fallacy of his arguments in relation to the Shariah will become more vivid to Muslims. Ambiguity is always a cover behind which refuge is sought for unsubstantiated opinions and views.
It is quite a simple matter to launch an attack on the established institutions of Islam by means of high-sounding and ambiguous phrases. But, it is entirely a different matter to define, elaborate and substantiate such claims of baatil as are being traded under the name of islam. To enable us to comment further and in greater detail on this particular opinion of Dr.Hargey, it is necessary that he defines his understanding of “identical fundamental rights”.
In the second part of his claim (cited above), Dr.Hargey attempts to show that according to the Qur’aan men and women enjoy total equality in spiritual, intellectual, economic and legal areas. But, on the contrary the Qur’aan and the Sunnah refute this contention of equality of the sexes, an obsession with the modernists of our time. The following differences or Islamic differences between the sexes will conclusively assert the fallacy of Dr.Hargey’s view.
* According to the Shariah a woman can never be the Imaam in a congregation in which males are present. On the other hand, a man is always the Imaam in any type of congregation.
* If women happen to be performing Salaat in a jamaat in which men are, their position is right at the back–right behind the rows of children.
* When the Imaam in jamaat Salaat makes an error, his attention is drawn to the error my the muqtadis calling out “Subhaanallaah! But, it is not permissible for a woman who happens to be in the congregation to call out Subhaanallaah! to draw the attention of the Imaam. Her voice has to remain concealed.
* Nafl Salaat and Nafl Saum (Fasting) are acts of Ibaadat of very high merit. But, a woman is not permitted to resort to these acts of Ibaadat without the consent of her husband. On the contrary, her husband does not require her permission.
* A woman was never ever appointed a Nabi by Allah Ta’alla. This was the office exclusively of males.
* Juma’ Salaat is compulsory on men, but not on women.
* Eid Salaat is obligatory on men, but not on women.
* Taraaweeh Salaat is Sunnatul Muakkadah in Jamaat for men, but not for women. They are exhorted to perform individually at home.
* According to the Qur’aan Shareef the share of inheritance of a female is half that of the male.
* According to the Qur’aan the testimony (shahaadat) of two women is equivalent to that of one man.
* According to the Qur’aan men possess the right to discipline and punish women, even beating them when necessary while women have no reciprocal rights even if their husbands are in error.
* Men possess the right to administer divorce, not women. Women have no such right. Even khulah (the procedure whereby a woman buys her separation from her husband) is dependent on the acceptance of the husband.
* The husband is entitled to recall his wife after having given one or two talaaq even if the wife does not desire to be reconciled. It is his right to act unilaterily and retake her within the iddat period.
* The testimony of women is not admissable in crimes of the hudood category, e.g. theft, adultery. Even if a thousand pious, honourable and knowledgeable females bear testimony in such crimes, their evidence is not admissable.
These Islamic differences between man and woman are sufficient to highlight the fact that the Shariah distinguishes between the sexes, does not provide for identical rights for men and women and decrees the superiority of man over woman. These differences enumerated here will serve to indicate that the Shariah rejects the views and opinions of Dr.Hargey as blatantly baatil.
Dr.Hargey and other modernists of the same opinions should understand that to force equality between inequals is in fact reprehensible inequality, morally wrong and unjust. The Islamic inequality between man and woman is no insult to womankind. The glowing statements of the Shariah speaking highly of women negate any such charge which the enemies of Islam level.
In simple terms the lesser role lesser resporisibility and lesser rank to woman — a rank in subservience to men – all stem from the natural and inherent spiritual, physical and intellectual quality and condition of women. In these areas Allah Ta’ala has created in man dominance and in women subservience.
This state of affairs has been decreed by the Wisdom of Allah Ta’ala and the opinions of Dr.Hargey will not be able to alter the immutable realities created by Allah Ta’ala. Nor does the Ummah require or desire the personal opinions and views of doctors of philosophies, for the path and direction of the Ummah of Islam have already been fixed fourteen centuries ago. And that Path is the Path propagated by the Ulama-e-Haqq – the Path in which great emphasis is and will always be placed on “ritual and externals”, on dress codes” and codes of Islam which Hargey has branded as “empty observances”. May Allah Ta’ ala protect the Imaan of all Believers.