The Moslem Religion:
A step forward for women?

Islamism is on the increase in the world, attracting converts among both men and women.  However, according to reports, by Betty Mahmoody for example, women are not well respected in Moslem society. To get a clear picture, the best way is to refer to the actual text rather than to interpretations which are extraneous to it.  What does their Koran have to say?

The Moslem woman is superior to the non-Moslem:

"A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allure you." (S II 221)

Women are totally at men's disposal:

"Your wives are as a tilth unto you (to cultivate); So approach your tilth when or how ye will: But do some good act for your souls beforehand."  (S II 223)

Polygamy is authorized:

"If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess.  That will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice."  (S IV 3)

An adulterous woman must be chastised:

"If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four (reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way."  (S IV 15)

It is lawful to put away one's wife:

"Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing. (...)  A divorce is only permissible twice; after that, the parties should either hold together on equitable terms or separate with kindness. (...).  So if a husband divorces his wife (irrevocably), he cannot, after that, remarry her until after she has married another husband and he has divorced her."  (S II 225-230)

It is mandatory to wear the veil:

"O Prophet!  Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested; and Allah is oft-Forgiving, most Merciful."  (S XXXIII 59)


Is it not to be hoped that the Koran will be read in the future in a more moderate and less fundamentalist light?


No, this book and the religion which it represents are static and unchangeable, as the following quotations

serve to prove:

"So set thou thy face steadily and truly to the Faith: (Establish) Allah's handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind: No change (let there be) in the work (wrought) by Allah: that is the standard Religion: but most among mankind understand not."  (S XXX 30)

"But no change wilt thou find in Allah's way (of dealing): No turning off wilt thou find in Allah's way (of dealing)."  (S XXXV 43)

"(This was Our) way with the apostles We sent before thee: thou wilt find no change in Our ways."  (S XVII 77)


The Koran can truly be said to lower woman and her dignity.

Note: All the above quotations have been drawn from: The Holy Qur-an, with full Arabic text; by A. Yusuf Ali; Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Publisher & Bookseller, Kashmiri Bazar, Lahore, Pakistan, 1975.  The 'S' signifies the Sura, for easy references consult the number after the abbreviation 'S'.


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