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Interfaith Dialogue
 IslamiCity Forum - Islamic Discussion Forum : Religion - Islam : Interfaith Dialogue
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Apollos
 
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Quote Apollos Replybullet Posted: 22 February 2009 at 1:08pm

Chrysalis,

 

I accept the idea that not everyone who claims to be a Christian is actually one. To the degree they don’t follow Jesus’ commandments, they misrepresent Him and God. (That is what the 4th commandment is primarily about when it says not take God’s name in vain). So when I speak of Christianity in this forum I am using it in two contexts. One is doctrinally and on the essential doctrines there has been a consistency in Christianity from the beginning. The other context has to do with practice and I will agree with you that Christians have not nor do they follow Christian doctrines consistently. Jesus warned us about those who would claim to be His followers but not follow His commandments and He will reject them in the end. In the mean time it is the job of those who do take His commandments seriously to rebuke and reprove “Christians” to do what the Bible says.

 

So, I provided examples of the early Christians and their influence because it is the best reflection of Christians who practiced what they believed and taught. After governments and leaders started aligning itself with Christianity the Church started becoming weakened and corrupted. It still existed and the doctrines were defended even when their practice was not. I believe that the corrupting influence was the governmental powers but reasonable people may think there is another explanation. The key thing is – Christians in the past and now, should have one authority in their beliefs and practice and that is the Word of God. Ancient and current governments know this a threat to their authority and their ability to manipulate Christians so the Bible has been banned as much as possible. Many Christians have died to bring the Bible to others and when you see a government – in the past or now - trying to prevent the Bible from being read by the common person, that is a pretty strong argument against that government being a “Christian” country.

 

The summation of all this that I believe history supports the claim that the plight of women would be the same or worse as it had been if not for Biblical Christian influences on cultures and governments. If I am wrong my other challenge still stands: Islam treats women as inferior creatures and property of men. I have read the Quran and Hadith passages that support this view and I see it practiced in the world. How is this compatible with a just fair and merciful God? Why should people not suspect that Islam is a mere human invention that allows men to treat women immorally?

 

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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 23 February 2009 at 6:55am
Originally posted by Apollos

I accept the idea that not everyone who claims to be a Christian is actually one. To the degree they don’t follow Jesus’ commandments, they misrepresent Him and God. So when I speak of Christianity in this forum I am using it in two contexts. One is doctrinally and on the essential doctrines there has been a consistency in Christianity from the beginning. The other context has to do with practice and I will agree with you that Christians have not nor do they follow Christian doctrines consistently.

 
Is this in response to me asking  if you agreed the Church did not/does not teach what Jesus did?
 
What essential doctrines of Christianity elevate women. specifically? It would be nice if you could share with us some. You have not adderessed a lot of points that were raised.
 
On the contrary, when I go through the bible, I see a lot of supressive attitudes towards women. I try not to offend other ppl's beliefs, so if you like I could mention them. (1 Timothy 2:12, "But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.")
 
 So, I provided examples of the early Christians and their influence because it is the best reflection of Christians who practiced what they believed and taught.
 
Pray give better/more substantial examples - e.g. referring them to your scripture and sources which say that they actually elevated women's status. Not your 'opinion'.
 
  Ancient and current governments know this a threat to their authority and their ability to manipulate Christians so the Bible has been banned as much as possible.
Really? How? When? By whom?
 
 Many Christians have died to bring the Bible to others and when you see a government – in the past or now - trying to prevent the Bible from being read by the common person, that is a pretty strong argument against that government being a “Christian” country.
 
I thought you stressed before, that the early days of Christianity are the best example of Christianity (Before Islam). Back then, the common Christian was not even allowed to read the bible! They couldnt even read/understand the language! The bible was not made accessible to the common man until waaaaay later. Until that point, the Monks/Preachers/Church had hold over the bible. Infact, later when some modern Christians wished to translate the Bible - it was met with much hostility and scandal. If anyone has prevented the Bible from bieng read/understood by the common person, it was the Christians themselves.
 
 

 

The summation of all this that I believe history supports the claim that the plight of women would be the same or worse as it had been if not for Biblical Christian influences on cultures and governments.

 
So say you. Please provide a reference/source for that. Women were not 'elevated' until yeeeeears later. . . and 'Christianity' as such did not have a role in it. Unlike Islam, Judaism etc, Christianity has always had a purely theological effect on its people . . .
 
Contrary to what you think - Muslims and Islamic Philosophy were significantly responsible for bringing the West out of thier Dark Ages. (via Spain, Sicily, Naples) One of the people  responsible for translating Muslim works and bringing them to Christian Europe was "theologian Raymond who was the Archbishop of Toledo from 1130 to 1150 AD. This is just one example. Such muslim works are responsible for shaping Christian thoughts and attitudes towards various subjects, including sciences, humanities, culture, arts etc."
 
"Farabi exercised a great influence on the philosophy of the Middle Ages; his book Isha’ al-‘Ulum was translated into Latin and was established in Christian schools, just as it had been in Islamic schools, as an indispensable reference. Many thinkers made use of this work, such as Roger Bacon (1214-1280 AD), Jerome of Moravia (the first half of the 13th century), Raymond Lull (1235-1315 AD) and many others. "
 
There are various other examples.
 
If I am wrong my other challenge still stands: Islam treats women as inferior creatures and property of men. I have read the Quran and Hadith passages that support this view and I see it practiced in the world. How is this compatible with a just fair and merciful God? Why should people not suspect that Islam is a mere human invention that allows men to treat women immorally?
 
This is probably due to a lack of Islamic understanding. How are women treated as inferior creatures?
 
On the contrary, this is what Islam has to say:
 
 "If any do deeds of righteousness be they male or female and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them. (The Noble Quran, 4:124)"
 
"For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God's praise,- for them has God prepared forgiveness and great reward(The Noble Quran, 33:35)"
 
As for your statement "allowing men to treat women immorally" , and how women are 'treated as property'  . . . Alhamdulilah, He (Allah) is very direct on that:
 
"O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower [money given by the husband to the wife for the marriage contract] ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good.  (The Noble Quran, 4:19)"
 
 
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Quote Apollos Replybullet Posted: 23 February 2009 at 9:53am

From Chrysalis:

What essential doctrines of Christianity elevate women. specifically? It would be nice if you could share with us some. You have not adderessed a lot of points that were raised.

 

On the contrary, when I go through the bible, I see a lot of supressive attitudes towards women. I try not to offend other ppl's beliefs, so if you like I could mention them. (1 Timothy 2:12, "But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.")

 

From Apollos:

I provided some examples in the original post on this topic. Please look there.

 

The other passages you refer to concern order and submission in the Church. The same person (Paul) you quote for “suppressive” statements is the one who said women are equal to men; the same guy who called specific women his fellow workers. You are confusing submission with inferiority. The New Testament tells us that Jesus submitted Himself to His earthly parents but He was not inferior to them. Christians are told to submit themselves to authorities because of order not inferiority. The reason Paul had to make the statements you refer to is because Christian women were so comfortable in their equal status that some were ignoring the order of authority in the Church.

 

From Apollos:

 

Ancient and current governments know this a threat to their authority and their ability to manipulate Christians so the Bible has been banned as much as possible.

 

From Chrysalis:

Really? How? When? By whom?

 

From Apollos:

You answer this question yourself further down. During the Dark Ages, by those calling themselves Christian leaders but actually Vasal rulers of the Government.

 

From Apollos:

Many Christians have died to bring the Bible to others and when you see a government – in the past or now - trying to prevent the Bible from being read by the common person, that is a pretty strong argument against that government being a “Christian” country.

 

From Chrysalis:

I thought you stressed before, that the early days of Christianity are the best example of Christianity (Before Islam). Back then, the common Christian was not even allowed to read the bible! They couldnt even read/understand the language! The bible was not made accessible to the common man until waaaaay later. Until that point, the Monks/Preachers/Church had hold over the bible. Infact, later when some modern Christians wished to translate the Bible - it was met with much hostility and scandal. If anyone has prevented the Bible from bieng read/understood by the common person, it was the Christians themselves.

 

 

From Apollos:

You are correct on all this but your timing is off. This was not the Early Church experience but what occurred after the Fall of Rome – during the Dark Ages. (Hence the name: Dark Ages). Yes the rulers did call themselves “Christians” but that was the point I made earlier: They did not follow what the Bible said and they knew that if the Bible was available to the common person they would lose their control over people. I assume you know Islam arose after the Fall of Rome?

  

From Chrysalis:

[in Islam] How are women treated as inferior creatures?

 

From Apollos:

Lets just focus on one example – Sharia law. Please let me know if I am wrong on any of this or if you simply think it is equal treatment for women:

A woman counts as half a man in giving evidence in a court of law or in matters of inheritance. A husband has the moral and religious right and duty to beat his wives for disobedience or for perceived misconduct. A woman does not have the right to choose her husband, or her place of residence, to travel freely or have freedom in her choice of clothing. In many Islamic countries a Muslim woman is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man whereas Muslim men are allowed to marry non-Muslim women. There are many more but please address these.

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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 23 February 2009 at 11:42am
Originally posted by Apollos

From Apollos:

I provided some examples in the original post on this topic. Please look there.

 
I did read your original post on the topic, You did not give any evidence from scriptures or any references, you just wrote an essay on what you thought and percieved to be the case. So you dont have any evidence from scriptures/other sources, thats oK, I shall not insist further. However, until you do post some references, no point in telling us what you think.
 

The other passages you refer to concern order and submission in the Church. The same person (Paul) you quote for “suppressive” statements is the one who said women are equal to men; the same guy who called specific women his fellow workers. You are confusing submission with inferiority. The New Testament tells us that Jesus submitted Himself to His earthly parents but He was not inferior to them. Christians are told to submit themselves to authorities because of order not inferiority. The reason Paul had to make the statements you refer to is because Christian women were so comfortable in their equal status that some were ignoring the order of authority in the Church.

 
So Paul basically made up something and said it, which Jesus did not. Who is Paul to ask women to keep quiet in Church and be ' submissive' ? Basically this verse is telling us that women are not allowed to be 'active' church members, and should only attend if they 'remain silent'. The underlined part of yours is kind of baseless and ridiculous.
 
The bible verse clearly states that women cannot teach men, and should keep quiet when dealing with a man, in very clear words.
 
And since you started the comparision, lets see what the Islamic practise is - in clear contrast:
 
Women can be teachers, and scholars. They can even teach men, something the Bible says Christian Women should not do. Thus Muslim Women can even hold certain positions of authority, e.g Teacher-Student, Scholar etc. (which Christian women are not supposed to)
Prophet Muhammad's wife Aisha (R.A) taught religion, to men as well, older then her. Another wife of his, Khadija (R.A) was a business woman. Muslim Women spoke in Masjids (Mosqes) actively engaging in discussions, asking questions. . . during Prophet Muhammad's time and later. They even had the right to stand up and question a Caliph. (Umar R.A and the old woman)
Muslim women participated in battles, and not only for medical-aid, some even fought battles. DURING PROPHET MUHAMMAD'S TIME.
 
Here is a list of Female Muslim Scholars, perhaps you can in good time share a list of female christian scholars:
 
 " Hafsa, the daughter of Ibn Sirin,5 Umm al-Darda the Younger (d.81/700), and 'Amra bin 'Abd al-Rahman, are only a few of the key women traditionists of this period. Umm al-Darda' was held by Iyas ibn Mu'awiya, an important traditionist of the time and a judge of undisputed ability and merit, to be superior to all the other traditionists of the period, including the celebrated masters of hadith like al-Hasan al-Basri and Ibn Sirin.6   (note: muslim female scholars have held superiority over male scholars at times.) 'Amra was considered a great authority on traditions related by A'isha. Among her students, Abu Bakr ibn Hazm, (note: Ibn Hazm, the renowned scholar was the student of a female scholar) the celebrated judge of Medina, was ordered by the caliph Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz to write down all the traditions known on her authority.7
 
After them, 'Abida al-Madaniyya, 'Abda bin Bishr, Umm Umar al-Thaqafiyya, Zaynab the granddaughter of Ali ibn Abd Allah ibn Abbas, Nafisa bint al-Hasan ibn Ziyad, Khadija Umm Muhammad, 'Abda bint Abd al-Rahman, and many other members of the fair sex excelled in delivering public lectures on hadith. These devout women came from the most diverse backgrounds, indicating that neither class nor gender were obstacles to rising through the ranks of Islamic scholarship.
 
Zaynab bint Sulayman (d. 142/759), by contrast, was princess by birth. Her father was a cousin of al-Saffah, the founder of the Abbasid dynasty, and had been a governor of Basra, Oman and Bahrayn during the caliphate of al-Mansur.9 Zaynab, who received a fine education, acquired a mastery of hadith, gained a reputation as one of the most distinguished women traditionists of the time, and counted many important men among her pupils
 
In the fourth century, we find Fatima bint Abd al-Rahman (d. 312/924), known as al-Sufiyya on account of her great piety; Fatima (granddaughter of Abu Daud of Sunan fame); Amat al-Wahid (d. 377/987), the daughter of distinguished jurist al-Muhamili; Umm al-Fath Amat as-Salam (d. 390/999), the daughter of the judge Abu Bakr Ahmad (d.350/961); Jumua bint Ahmad, and many other women, whose classes were always attended by reverential audiences
 
The Islamic tradition of female hadith scholarship continued in the fifth and sixth centuries of hijra. Fatima bin al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn al-Daqqaq al-Qushayri, was celebrated not only for her piety and her mastery of calligraphy, but also for her knowledge of hadith and the quality of the isnads she knew.12 Even more distinguished was Karima al-Marwaziyya (d.463/1070), who was considered the best authority on the Sahih of al-Bukhari in her own time. Abu Dharr of Herat, one of the leading scholars of the period, attached such great importance to her authority that he advised his students to study the Sahih under no one else, because of the quality of her scholarship. She thus figures as a central point in the transmission of this seminal text of Islam.13 As a matter of fact, writes Godziher, 'her name occurs with extraordinary frequency of the ijazas for narrating the text of this book.'14 Among her students were al-Khatib al-Baghdadi15 and al-Humaydi (male students)
 
Among these, one might mention in particular Fatima bint Muhammad (d.539/1144; Shuhda 'the Writer' (d.574/1178), and Sitt al-Wuzara bint Umar (d.716/1316).18 Fatima narrated the book on the authority of the great traditionist Said al-Ayyar; she received from the hadith specialists the proud tittle of Musnida Isfahan (the great hadith authority of Isfahan).

 

I think you got the point, I shall stop here.  . . But for the record, there are numerous more names of prominent female scholars in Islam. How fortunate for us Muslims that our women were not asked to 'keep quiet' and 'not teach men'. . . . Feels good to be a muslim woman.
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 23 February 2009 at 12:27pm

 Ancient and current governments know this a threat to their authority and their ability to manipulate Christians so the Bible has been banned as much as possible.

 From Chrysalis:

Really? How? When? By whom?

 From Apollos:

You answer this question yourself further down. During the Dark Ages, by those calling themselves Christian leaders but actually Vasal rulers of the Government.

 

I already know of the great atrocities committed in Christendom, by Christians. But what current governments today ban the bible?

 

 From Apollos:

Lets just focus on one example – Sharia law. Please let me know if I am wrong on any of this or if you simply think it is equal treatment for women:

Since you have not commented on any of the Qur'anic verses I mentioned that talk of your supposed notion of 'inferiority' . . . I assumed that it cleared your misconception of how Islam treats women. . . however, it seems that it still has not. Did you skip over the Quranic Verses? Something tells me that facts/reality doesnt really matter for you (since you never post any yourself), but okay, lets play along, for the reader's sake.

 

A woman counts as half a man in giving evidence in a court of law

 

It is not true that two female witnesses are always considered as equal to only one male witness. It is true only in certain cases. There are about five verses in the Qur’an that mention witnesses, without specifying male or female. There is only one verse in the Qur’an, that says two female witnesses are equal to one male witness. This verse is Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 282. This is the longest verse in the Qur’an and deals with financial transactions. It says:

"Oh! ye who believe!
When ye deal with each other,
in transactions involving future obligation
in a fixed period of time
reduce them to writing and get two witnesses
out of your own men and if there are not two men,
then a man and two women, such as ye choose,
for witnesses so that if one of them errs
the other can remind her."
            [Al-Qur’an 2:282]

This verse of the Qur’an deals only with financial transactions. In such cases, it is advised to make an agreement in writing between the parties and take two witnesses, preferably both of which should be men only. In case you cannot find two men, then one man and two women would suffice.

Similarly in financial transactions, two men are preferred. Islam expects men to be the breadwinners of their families. Since financial responsibility is shouldered by men, they are expected to be well versed in financial transactions as compared to women. As a second option, the witness can be one man and two women, so that if one of the women errs the other can remind her. The Arabic word used in the Qur’an is ‘Tazil’ which means ‘confused’ or ‘to err’. Many have wrongly translated this word as ‘to forget’. Thus financial transactions constitute the only case in which two female witnesses are equal to one male witness.

However, some scholars are of the opinion that the feminine attitude can also have an effect on the witness in a murder case. In such circumstances a woman is more terrified as compared to a man. Due to her emotional condition she can get confused. Therefore, according to some jurists, even in cases of murder, two female witnesses are equivalent to one male witness. In all other cases, one female witness is equivalent to one male witness. There are about five verses in the Qur’an which speak about witnesses without specifying man or woman.

While making a will of inheritance, two just persons are required as witnesses. In Surah Maidah chapter 5 verse 106, the Glorious Qur’an says:

"Oh you who believe!
When death approaches any of you,
(take) witnesses among yourself when making bequests."
                                  [Al-Qur’an 5:106]

two just persons of your own (brotherhood)
or other from outside if you are journeying
through the earth and the chance of death befalls you."
                                  [Al-Qur’an 65:2]

Two persons endued with justice in case of talaq.

"Four witnesses are required
in case of charge against chaste women,
                                  [Al-Qur’an 24:4]

There are some scholars who are of the opinion that the rule of two female witnesses equal to one male witness should be applied to all the cases. This cannot be agreed upon because one particular verse of the Qur’an from Surah Noor chapter 24, verse 6 clearly equates one female witness and one male witness:

"And those who launch a charge
against their spouses, and have (in support)
no evidence but their own -
their solitary evidence can be received."
                                [Al-Qur’an 24:6]

Hazrat Ayesha (RA) hadith narrated of one witness

Many jurists agree that even one witness of a woman is sufficient for the sighting of the crescent of the moon. Imagine one woman witness is sufficient for one of the pillars of Islam, i.e. fasting and the whole Muslim community of men and women agree and accept her witness! Some jurists say that one witness is required at the beginning of Ramadaan and two witnesses at the end of Ramadaan. It makes no difference whether the witnesses are men or women.

Some incidents require only female witness and that of a male cannot be accepted. For instance, in dealing with the problems of women, while giving the burial bath i.e. ‘ghusl’ to a woman, the witness has to be a woman.

The seeming inequality of male and female witnesses in financial transactions is not due to any inequality of the sexes in Islam. It is only due to the different natures and roles of men and women in society as envisaged by Islam. (Islamic Resource Foundation)

Bible, Female Witnesses and Law:
 
Since you brought up the comparision yourself, in your orginal post - and continue to do so..... despite not wanting to initially - I feel it is relevant to quote what the Bible has to say about female witnesses. Unlike in Islam - where in cases of alleged adultery, both man and wife have an equal footing and the woman's word/witness that she did not commit adultery is adequate in the Islamic court of law. Whereas, in the bible, a woman accused of adultery is guilty until proven innocent - and her word does not matter: Numbers 5:11-31 , rather, an unfaithful wife test is done.
 
Under Islamic Law, a muslim female has the right to make an oath and stand by it - whereas in the bible, the father or the husband has the right to break her oath:
 
Numbers 30: 4-8,16

4 and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. 5 But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the LORD will release her because her father has forbidden her.

 8 : But if her husband forbids her when he hears about it, he nullifies the vow that obligates her or the rash promise by which she obligates herself, and the LORD will release her.
 
As far as the testimony of Christian women is concerned:
 
 John Gill says in his commentary...

Then both the men between whom the controversy is,.... The man that bears the false witness, and the man against whom it is borne:

shall stand before the Lord; as in the presence of him, the omniscient God, and as represented by judges and civil magistrates, whose vicegerents they are; so it seems to be explained in the next words, which are exegetical of these:

before the priests and the judges which shall be in those days; which shall compose the sanhedrim, or court of judicature; and this seems to confirm it, that by priest and judge, in
Deuteronomy 17:9 are meant priests and judges; Jarchi says, this Scripture speaks of witnesses, that is, of the false witness that testifies wrong against a man, and another that contradicts his testimony, and teaches that there is no witness by women; and so it is elsewhere said {a}, an oath of witness is made by men, and not by women; on which it is observed {b} that a woman is not fit to bear witness, as it is written,

then both the men,.... men and not women; and the above writer remarks further, that it teaches that they ought to bear testimony standing.

{a} Misn. Shebuot, c. 4. sect. 1. {b} Bartenora in ib.

Appollos: "or in matters of inheritance".
 
Since we are on the subject, please share Bible Verses that give inheritance rights to women.
 
 Atleast Islam gives woman the right to inheritance! Unlike Christianity, so really, Muslim Women are better off than Christian Women in financial matters. Also, this claim is strange coming from a member of a faith that did not have inheritance until recently, and even if Christian women did end up getting thier inheritance, it was in control of thier male guardian - unlike Islam. Here is the answer to your query:
 
 
The Glorious Qur’an contains specific and detailed guidance regarding the division of the inherited wealth, among the rightful beneficiaries.

The Qur’anic verses that contain guidance regarding inheritance are:

* Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 180

* Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 240

* Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 7-9

* Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 19

* Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 33 and

* Surah Maidah, chapter 5 verse 106-108

There are three verses in the Qur’an that broadly describe the share of close relatives i.e. Surah Nisah chapter 4 verses 11, 12 and 176. The translation of these verses are as follows:

"Allah (swt) (thus) directs you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females, if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; If only one, her share is a half.

For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; If no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

In what your wives leave, your share is half. If they leave no child; but if they leave a child, ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what ye leave, their share is a fourth, if ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child, they get an eight; after payment of legacies and debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question, has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to anyone). Thus it is ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-Knowing Most Forbearing"
                                  [Al-Qur’an 4:11-12]

"They ask thee for a legal decision. Say: Allah directs (them) about those who leave no descendants or ascendants as heirs. If it is a man that dies, leaving a sister but no child, she shall have half the inheritance. If (such a deceased was) a woman who left no child, Her brother takes her inheritance. If there are two sisters, they shall have two thirds of the inheritance (between them). If there are brothers and sisters, (they share), the male having twice the share of the female. Thus doth Allah (swt) makes clear to you (His knowledge of all things).
                                 [Al-Qur’an 4:176]

In most of the cases, a woman inherits half of what her male counterpart inherits. However, this is not always the case. In case the deceased has left no ascendant or descendent but has left the uterine brother and sister, each of the two inherit one sixth. If the deceased has left children, both the parents that is mother and father get an equal share and inherit one sixth each.

In certain cases, a woman can also inherit a share that is double that of the male. If the deceased is a woman who has left no children, brothers or sisters and is survived only by her husband, mother and father, the husband inherits half the property while the mother inherits one third and the father the remaining one sixth. In this particular case, the mother inherits a share that is double that of the father. It is true that as a general rule, in most cases, the female inherits a share that is half that of the male. For instance in the following cases:

1. daughter inherits half of what the son inherits,

2. wife inherits 1/8th and husband 1/4th if the deceased has no children.

3. Wife inherits 1/4th and husband 1/2 if the deceased has children

4. If the deceased has no ascendant or descendent, the sister inherits a share that is half that of the brother.

In Islam a woman has no financial obligation and the economical responsibility lies on the shoulders of the man. Before a woman is married it is the duty of the father or brother to look after the lodging, boarding, clothing and other financial requirements of the woman. After she is married it is the duty of the husband or the son. Islam holds the man financially responsible for fulfilling the needs of his family.

In order to do be able to fulfill the responsibility the men get double the share of the inheritance. For example, if a man dies leaving about Rs. One Hundred and Fifty Thousand, for the children (i.e one son and one daughter) the son inherits One Hundred Thousand rupees and the daughter only Fifty Thousand rupees. Out of the one hundred thousand which the son inherits, as his duty towards his family, he may have to spend on them almost the entire amount or say about eighty thousand and thus he has a small percentage of inheritance, say about twenty thousand, left for himself.
 
On the other hand, the daughter, who inherits fifty thousand is not bound to spend a single penny on anybody. She can keep the entire amount for herself. Would you prefer inheriting one hundred thousand rupees and spending eighty thousand from it, or inheriting fifty thousand rupees and having the entire amount to yourself ? ? ?  (Islamic Resource Foundation)

 

 PS: Will post answers to the rest of your questions later, as you would naturally require some time to read and digest the above. As you can see, each question takes up quite some space/indepth discussion.



Edited by Chrysalis - 23 February 2009 at 1:14pm
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Hayfa
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 23 February 2009 at 2:48pm
And i would also argue that the right of divorce, right to vote etc..  has alot to do with the loss of power by the Catholic Church and the rise of humanism and secularism.
And really I do think 'Christianity' as it has become did little to elevate the status of women. What Jesus said really did not come into play.

And funnily you ask about Shariah.. I know plenty of Muslim women who want real Shariah law in their countries.. they WANT those rights.. big time.
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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Quote believer Replybullet Posted: 23 February 2009 at 2:56pm
Jesus brought radical change to the way women were treated.
 
1 Corinthians 7

3The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.

 
Most important-
Ephesians 5

 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her



Edited by believer - 23 February 2009 at 2:57pm
John 3
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
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Quote Apollos Replybullet Posted: 23 February 2009 at 4:35pm
The Muslims here have informed me of some Islamic statements I was not aware of and to the degree I assumed the Quran supported the poor conditions for Muslim women, I stand corrected.
 
On the other hand, I find much of the debate here to be academic. Like people who argue that America is hated by the world all the while there are tens of millions of people trying to go there. My observations about the condition of Muslim women is derived from traveling in the Middle East and the United States, listening to women who have left Islamic countries and listening to Muslim men talk about women. All of this leads me to the conclusion that very few women choose Islam on their own. On the other hand, the majority of Christians and Church attendees are women and this can be proved objectively. I can't prove my suspcicions about what Muslim women would choose if they could. Can you?
 
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