Thursday, April 24, 2008


Mohammad's final sermon on women, made during his last hajj:

“Now then, O people, you have a right over your wives and they have a right over you. You have [the right] that they should not cause anyone of whom you dislike to tread your beds, and that they should not commit any open indecency (fahishah). If they do, then God permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain from [evil], they have the right to their food and clothing in accordance with custom (bi’l-maruf). Treat women well, for they are [like] domestic animals (‘awan) with you and do not possess anything for themselves. You have taken them only as a trust from God, and you have made the enjoyment of their persons lawful by the word of God, so understand and listen to my words, O people. I have conveyed the Message, and have left you with something which, if you hold fast to it, you will never go astray; that is, the Book of God and the sunnah of His Prophet. Listen to my words, O people, for I have conveyed the message and understand [it]. Know for certain that every Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, and that all Muslims are brethren. It is not lawful for a person [to take] from his brother except that which he has given him willingly, so do not wrong yourselves. O God, have I not conveyed the message?” It was reported [to me] that the people said, “O God, yes.” And the Messenger of God said, “O God, bear witness.” (Tabari, vol.9, pp.112-114).

This excerpt will help you in answering the highlighted questions posed by the good doctor in the body of the article below...

Women in Muslim world
By Dr Farrukh Saleem

Muslims do not treat women right. According to the Global Gender Gap (GGG) report, the planet's ten-worst offenders are: Yemen, Chad, Pakistan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Benin, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt and Oman. Of the ten, nine are Muslim-majority states. At the other end of the spectrum, the planet's best countries for women to live in are: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Philippines, Germany, Denmark, Ireland and Spain. Not even one of the top-ten is a Muslim-majority state.

GGG collected data from a total of 128 countries to develop a comprehensive, scientific index. The GGG Index is based on four different sub-indices -- namely, economic participation, educational attainment, political empowerment and health -- while each of the sub-indices has half a dozen components.

Under economic participation, five of the worst-offenders are: Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Oman and Bahrain. Under educational attainment, the worst-offenders are: Chad, Yemen, Benin and Pakistan. The best: Denmark, United Kingdom, Australia, France and Belgium. Under political empowerment the worst are: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt and Iran. The best: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Spain.

For women, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan comes out as one the worst of countries to live in; there are only two other countries worse off than is Pakistan -- Yemen and Chad. Under economic participation, Pakistan is ranked 126 out of 128. Educational attainment, 123 out of 128. Health, 121 out of 128. Political empowerment, 43 out of 128. Surprisingly, Pakistani women are worse off this year than they were last year.

Al Mamlakah al Arabiyah as Suudiyah, or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is ranked really low, too. Under economic participation, Saudi Arabia is ranked 127 out of 128. Educational attainment, 87 out of 128. Health, 60 out of 128. Political empowerment, 128 out of 128.

Al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah, or the Republic of Yemen is worse than both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Under economic participation, Yemen is ranked 128 out of 128. Educational attainment, 127 out of 128. Political empowerment, 127 out of 128.

Intriguingly, there is a correlation between poverty and status of women. Some of the worst offenders are also the poorest of the poor (with the exception of oil wealth). Most of the Arab world is far below global averages and conditions, unfortunately, are actually deteriorating -- not improving. Yes, there are a few exceptions. The UAE, for instance, has invested massive resources into educating its women. Bahrain now has a woman parliamentarian.


Is this religion or just culture? Allah made or manmade?

Can you think of a Muslim-majority country that has risen to the height of glory? Could it be because we let half of our accumulated brainpower go to waste?

Muslims do not treat women right. Muslims are 22 per cent of humanity but produce less than five per cent of global GDP. Imagine, 95 per cent of global GDP is produced by non-Muslims!

Pertinent Links:

Women in Muslim world

2) Global Gender Gap Report - 2007

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