A response to Chapter 15

Women in Christianity and Islam

Mr. Al-Kadhi asks, "who has the power to determine what is decent and modest clothing? Who is to determine what is decent and modest behavior?" Muslims assign this right to God alone.

I think we can all agree on that.

Mr. Al-Kadhi states, "there still remains traces in Christianity of the common ancestry with Islam with regard to the accepted norms of modest dress for Christian women". The norm of modest dress existed long before Muhammad and Islam even long before the birth of Christ.

Christian nuns have decided to wear the conservative clothing to reflect a more humble image for God. This does not imply that the custom came from Islam.

The following is divided in 2 sections:

An explanation of Mr. Al-Kahdi's views

According to Mr. Al-Kadhi, the Bible teaches us that:

I believe that these verses apply to the church. Much the same way that women are not allowed to teach in mosques. But there are some churches where women are the pastors and they teach their congregation.

Sin is sin. Both Adam and Eve were deceived. But Eve ate of the fruit first and then she gave it to Adam (Genesis 3:6).

The context of 1 Corinthians (14:23-34) is speaking with "tongues". If some of our muslim friends don't understand, "tongues" is an unknown type of language that God allows one to speak when that person is filled with the Spirit of God. Read all of chapter 14 for a fuller explanation.

I read from another author (I can't remember his name) and he stated that the women were asking their husbands questions throughout the service as to the meaning of some scriptural ideas. That is why apostle Paul was saying that women should ask their husbands at home.

[ This had a peculiar and particular application to Corinth. The unveiled woman in Corinth was a prostitute. Many of them had their heads shaved. The vestal virgins in the temple of Aphrodite who were really prostitutes had their heads shaved. Apparently some of the christian women in Corinth were saying, "All things are lawful for me, therefore I won't cover my head." Paul says the uncovering of the head should not be done because the veil is a mark of subjection, not to man, but to God. ] Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, copyright 1983.

Mr. Al-Kadhi did not show this. Man is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. Woman was not created in the glory of the man like he says.

His statement, "thus man must have power over her" is incorrect. "For the wife does not have power over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have power over his own body, but the wife does" (1 Corinthians 7:4). You must remember that when husband and wife marry, they become one flesh.

The mother of a boy was unclean for a week, at the end of which the boy was circumcised (Genesis 17:12). The time is doubled for the cleansing at the birth of a female child. I don't know why this was so, but obviously the circumcision of the male child had something to do with the reduction of the days. God said to Eve, "I will greatly your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children" (Genesis 4:16). This was the judgement God pronounced on Eve for disobeying His command.

Solomon, in the word "thousand", alludes to his three hundred wives and seven hundred concubines.

The context: Solomon's wives were involved in idolatry and they polluted his worship of the true God.

This is concerning the ceremonial uncleanness which women lay under from their issues. This made the woman unclean (v 25) and every thing she touched unclean (v 26-27). By these laws they were taught that they were purified unto God a peculiar people. They were also taught to preserve the honour of their purity, and to keep themselves from all sinful pollutions.

Mr. Al-Kadhi continues with "What the canonized saints of Christianity said about women:". You should be concerned with what the scriptures say about women instead of what people say about women. Some christians have opinions that differ from the Bible.

Continuing, according to the Old Testament, a childless widow must marry her husband's brother, even if he is already married and regardless of her consent, so that she might bear a child from him (Genesis 38:1-9).

Mr. Al-Kadhi makes some incorrect assumptions here. It doesn't say that Onan was married and it doesn't say that Tamar didn't give consent.

Further, according to the Bible:

"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives" Deuteronomy 22:25-30

One must ask a simple question here, who is really punished, the man who raped the woman or the woman who was raped? What is to prevent someone from finding the best looking woman in town, raping her, telling everyone about it, and then having the courts force her to be his wife for the rest of her life?

The difference seems to be that the girl in verse 25 is engaged to someone else, so the rapist has wronged not only the woman but her betrothed husband. He is punished as an adulterer would be. In verse 28, the woman is not promised in marriage to anyone. The understanding many people had of the marriage option was that it was for the benefit of the woman and her family, who might not be able to find another husband for her once she had been raped. We must assume that the man acquires, by marrying her, all the obligations of a husband, in particular that of supporting her for the rest of her life.

It might be that after a number of years, the rapist sentenced to marry the woman would wish that he had been stoned to death.

The important thing is that betrothal was in that society a contract of marriage. The betrothed husband of the rape victim was still her husband; he could not, I think, put her away because of what happened to her innocently. The woman would continue with an expectation of support from her betrothed husband.

According to Numbers 27:1-11, widows and sisters don't inherit at all. Daughters can inherit only if their deceased father had no sons.

Context: God had said to Moses (Numbers 26:52) that the land of Canaan was to be divided among those that were now numbered. These daughters of Zelophehad knew that they were not numbered, and therefore by this rule must expect no inheritance. But having no brother, they beg for a possession. Their plea is that their father did not die under any attainer which might be thought to have corrupted his blood and forfeited his estates, but he died in his own sin (27:3). God heard their plea and gave them an inheritance (27:6-7).

Mr. Al-Kadhi states, "women are indeed commanded by Allah to cover their heads and wear modest clothing, however, in Islam this is not a sign of denigration or subjugation to men, rather, it is a sign of chastity, modesty, and the fear of God". I don't believe Christians are saying that it is a denigration. I think all Christians believe that women should wear modest clothing as should the men themselves.

Mr. Al-Kadhi states, "in the Qur'an, both Adam and Eve share the blame for eating from the tree". True. But it was Eve who ate first as shown in the Scriptures.

"When Muhammad (pbuh) first became the prophet of Islam, the Pagans of Arabia had inherited a similar disregard for woman as had been passed down among their Jewish and Christian neighbors. So disgraceful was it considered among them to be blessed with a female child that they would go so far as to bury this baby alive in order to avoid the disgrace associated with female children". I don't know why the author says this about Christianity.

What the Quran and the Hadiths say about women

The following sites have both sides of the story: an Islamic opinion and a Christian opinion of women in Islam. Compare both sides and then decide for yourselves: I would be interested to see a careful discussion of this material by Muslims, since these are written by a non-Muslim authors. Call it biased against Islam, but what is the answer?

Women in Islam
Muhammad and polygamy

The Rebuttal to "What Did Jesus Really Say?"
Answering Islam Home Page