Written By Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi, Riyadh
Translated by Nehal Anwar Qasmi, Najran
Brief Sketch of Imam Abu Hanifa's Life:
Nu'man bin Thabit bin Nu'man bin Marzuban, better known by his nickname Abu Hanifa, was born in Kufa in 80 A.H. He was of Persian origin. His grandfather Nu'man bin Marzuban was regarded even by the elite class of Kabul as wise and astute man. Marzuban, his great-grandfather, had been ruler of a part of Persia. It is recorded in Imam Abu Hanifa's biography that his father Thabit was once brought to Hazrat Ali, the companion of the Prophet (PBUH), who prayed for him and for his descendents. At that time, Thabit was too young and the prayer that Hazrat Ali made for his lineage resulted in birth of the highly esteemed scholar Imam Abu Hanifa in the family.
Imam Abu Hanifa at his early age acquired a basic education and chose a trade as his career, but he was intelligent and had gifted in-born talent. That is why Shaikh Amir Shabi (17A.H.-104A.H.), a noted Muhaddith of Kufa who had the privilege of meeting over 5000 companions of the Prophet (PBUH), suggested that he should continue to learn more about Ilm ul Kalam, Hadith & Fiqh. Thus he left the trade and studied those subjects so dedicatedly from the various scholars of Kufa, Basra and Baghdad that he mastered all those subjects and was widely acclaimed as the greatest Imam in the academic world.
Abu Jafar Mansoor an Abbasid Caliph who was well aware of Imam Abu Hanifa's popularity tried to force him to become Chief Judge of the State, but Imam Abu Hanifa declined and swore not to accept the post. This invoked the anger of the caliph and finally Imam Abu Hanifa was detained in jail in 146A.H. Even there, the indomitable jurist continued to teach those who were permitted to come to him. Imam Muhammad the great Muhaddith and Faqih is one of Imam Abu Hanifa's pupils who learnt from him in jail. The caliph of that period was so scared of his increasing popularity that he poisoned him. When Imam Abu Hanifa felt the effect of poison and became sure that the death was imminent, he went into Sajdah and died. He was buried in Khaizran graveyard in Baghdad and almost 50,000 people participated in the funeral.
The man who had the honour of transmitting Hadiths from Prophet's companions and great Taabi'een said goodbye to the world in 150 A.H. A brief sketch of his life reveals that he willingly sacrificed his life so that the caliph wouldn't be able to impose his own decisions upon him.
The Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) Prophecy About Imam Abu Hanifa:
The famous commentator of the Qur'an, Shaikh Jalaluddin Siuti Sha'fei Misri (849A.H – 911 A.H) quoted in his book (تبييض الصحيفة في مناقب الامام أبي حنيفة) a number of Hadiths that clearly prophesize about Imam Abu Hanifa and have been mentioned in different words in Bukhari, Muslim etc.:
“If knowledge were found near the star Pleiades, some people of Persia would acquire it even". (Narrated by Bukhari). Similar Hadiths with slightly different words have been recorded by Muslim and other books Hadith. After quoting all these Hadiths, the commentator Shaikh Siuti adds that in his view the Hadiths are obvious prophecies about Imam Abu Hanifa and they are so clear that we need not to look for other evidence.
Shaikh Ibn Al Hajar Al Haitamy Almakki Al Sha'fei (909 A.H - 937 A.H) writes in his book (الخيرات الحسان في مناقب امام أبي حنيفة) "Some pupils of Shaikh Jalaluddin Siuti believe the Hadiths mentioned above indicate towards Abu Hanifa, because there was no other man of his caliber in Persia who could reach the level of his greatness.
Explanation: We may differ on who or what has been meant by those Hadiths, but various scholars of different schools of thought including the two quoted above concede the point that it was Imam Abu Hanifa who was prophesied by the Prophet ( PBUH).
Imam Abu Hanifa's Status as a Tabi‘ee:
When asked about Imam Abu Hanifa's status as Tabi'ee, the renowned scholar of Hadith Hafiz ibn Al Hajar Asqalani commented that Imam Abu Hanifa was born in Kufa in 80 A.H, the period when a group of Prophets' companions were alive. Hazrat Abdullah bin Aufa lived in Kufa and Hazrat Anas bin Malik in Basra, thus it is probable that Imam Abu Hanifa got a chance to see them. Ibn-e-Saad also reports from his Sanad that beside Hazrat Anas bin Malik there were many other companions who were alive, so it is likely that Imam Abu Hanifa is a Tabi'ee and happened to see a few of them.
Most of the Muhaditheen including Khatib Baghdadi, Allama Ibn Hajr, Allama Nawawi, Allama Zahabi, Allama Zain ul Abidin Sakhawi, Hafiz Abu Na'im Asbahani, Imam Dar-Qutni, Hafiz ibn Abdul Bar, Allama ibnul Jauzi etc. are of the opinion that Imam Abu Hanifa got the chance to see Hazrat Anas bin Malik.
As per the Muhadditheen’s given definition of a Tabi'ee, it is not compulsory for a Tabi'ee to report Hadith from Sahaba. The mere sight of him is enough to be called Tabi'ee. Imam Abu Hanifa not only saw the companions of the prophet but also reported Hadiths from a few of them, especially Hazrat Anas bin Malik.
The above mentioned opinions of the scholars of Fiqh and Hadith, suggest that Imam Abu Hanifa was born at a time when many companions were alive, and got to see some of them. Moreover, the Prophet (PBUH) himself prophesied about Imam Abu Hanifa, as described earlier, which is an obvious testimony of his greatness.
Hadiths which Imam Abu Hanifa reported directly From Companions:
Shaikh Abu Ma'shar Abdul Karim bin Abdussamad Al Tabri Al Maqri Al Shafi'ei wrote a booklet in which he listed all the Hadiths that Imam Abu Hanifa reported directly from Sahabas like: 1. Hazrat Anas bin Malik 2. Hazrat Abdullah bin Jaza Al Zubaidi 3. Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah 4. Hazrat Ma'qal bin Yasar 5. Hazrat Waathila bin Al As'qa 6. Hazrat A'isha bint Ajr (May Allah be pleased with them).
Explanation: Although, Muhadditheen differ on the exact number of companions from whom Imam Abu Hanifa directly transmitted Hadiths, they all agree on the point that he was a Tabi'ee.
Kufa - The Center of Scholars of Fiqh and Hadith:
During the caliphate of Hazrat Umar Al Farooq, Iraq was conquered. Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqqas a close companion of the Prophet (PBUH) got permission from Hazrat Umar Al Farooq and established a new city of Kufa where he employed the most eloquent and linguist people from different Arab tribes. Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood also was made a part of the plan. He was knowledgeable and well versed with Sunnah and Islamic jurisprudence. Even other companions time and again referred to him in day to day Masa'il. The Prophet (PBUH) said "If a person wants to recite the Qur'an, the way it was revealed, he should follow the method of Ibn-e-Umm-e-Abd" (Abdullah bin Mas'ood). Once the city was fully established, Hazrat Umar sent Abdullah bin Masood to teach Qur'an and Sunnah. He remained there throughout the period of Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Uthman caliphate teaching Qur'an and Sunnah to the inhabitants of the city. When Hazrat Ali was chosen as caliph he shifted Darul Khilafah to Kufa and it became a huge hub of education, where a large number of Sahabah and Taabi'een, especially Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood, and his students were always available to teach Qur'an and Sunnah.
Imam Abu Hanifa inherited the legacy of Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood through three of his teachers: Shaikh Hammad, Shaikh Ibrahim Nakha'i, and Shaikh Al'qama. He accompanied Shaikh Hammad for 18 years and replaced him in Kufa when he died. Since Imam Abu Hanifa inherited Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood’s legacy, we see his opinions in Masa'il of Fiqh are generally based on Hadiths narrated by him. For instance, Rafa Yadain before & after Roku is one of a few issues in which Hadiths are contradictory, but Imam Abu Hanifa acts upon the Hadith of Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood, and says it is not Sunnah.
Composition of Hadiths in Caliphate of Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz and Imam Abu Hanifa:
Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz during his caliphate appointed two prominent scholars of Hadith Shaikh Abu Bakr bin Al Hazam and Shaikh Muhammad bin Shihab Zuhri to collect all Hadiths in books. Till then, generally the Hadiths were not preserved in books, instead they were learnt by heart. These two were the first who compiled them in books. The Prophet (PBUH) prohibited his companions from writing Hadiths, so that they would not get messed up with the Qur'an. A few Faqih Sahaba, could distinguish Hadiths from the Qur'an, and they were allowed to write them. But in the subsequent period, the rightly guided caliphs collected the Qur'anic verses and shaped them into a book. Now there was no fear of the Qur'an and Hadiths being mixed up together. So Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz commanded Muhadditheen to compile Hadiths in books from Hadiths that were preserved in the hearts of various people.
This first collection consisted mostly the Hadiths that were attributed to the Prophet (PBUH) by two narrators in the middle; the Tabi'ee and the Sahabi. Some were attributed even by one narrator. Since the period was nearer the period of the Prophet (PBUH) and the narrators were either Sahabi or Tabi'ee there was no possibility of the Hadith, being weak or false.
At that time this collection was available for Imam Abu Hanifa. So he derived all his Shar'i Masa'il from it. In general, he got the Hadiths which reached the Prophet (PBUH) by two narrators in the middle, he also narrated Hadith with one narrator but they are few. The Hadiths with two narrators in the middle are called Thuna'i. These types of Hadiths are considered of highest quality but they are not available in any of Bukhari Muslim etc. Bukhari records 22 Hadiths with three narrators (Thulasiyat). Out of them 20 are reported by the pupils of Imam Abu Hanifa.
Islamic Regime From 80 A.H To 150 A.H & Imam Abu Hanifa:
Imam Abu Hanifa, as mentioned in the first chapter, was born in 80 A.H. during the regime of the Umayyad caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan. Abdul Malik died in 86 A.H. six years after Imam Abu Hanifa's birth. Then, his son Walid bin Abdul Malik took over the regime. He reigned for 10 years and died in 96 A.H., vacating the place of governance to his brother Sulaiman bin Abdul Malik. The new caliph Sulaiman would only rule for 3 years and died in 99A.H., but prior to his death he chose another member of the family, Hazrat Umar bin Abul Aziz, who was not his son nor his brother, for the caliphate. This was a strange decision and thus people were surprised by it. However, they were happy. Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz ruled for a short span of 2 years & 6 months (99A.H-101A.H), but his regime was so just and fair that it reminded people of the caliphate of rightly guided caliphs and earned him the title of the fifth rightly guided caliph.
The authors of history attribute many valuable achievements to Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz, but the most significant of all was his collection of Hadiths which has already been mentioned. Imam Abu Hanifa was now 19-21 years old and witnessed the period when Hadiths were being collected in books.
He continued to live in Kufa through most of the remaining period of the Umayyad caliphate, but in the last days of the caliphate he migrated to Makkah due to some differences between him and the government. He lived for 7 years in Makkah. Then, he again came back to Kufa when the Umayyad caliphate was finished and the new governance of the Abbasid caliphate was established.
Abu Jafar Al Mansoor the Abbasid caliph offered Imam Abu Hanifa the post of Chief Judge of the state, but he refused because he knew well that Al Mansoor was not sincere and his only intention was to enhance his regime. Incensed by his refusal, the ruler had Imam Abū Ḥanīfah arrested, locked in prison and tortured. He was never fed nor cared for. Even there, the indomitable jurist continued to teach those who were permitted to come to him until he died in the prison in 150 A.H. Imam Ahmad bin Hambal very often wept when he recalled the torture Imam Abu Hanifa went through at Al Mansoor's hand and prayed for him. (Al Khairatul Hisaan: Vol 1, Page 59).
Imam Abu Hanifa and Science of Hadith:
The Hadiths transmitted through Imam Abu Hanifa are rare in the famous books of Hadith and that is why some bigoted groups of people are apt to believe that he knew little about Hadiths. In fact this opinion is based on hatred and prejudice that the enemies of Imam Abu Hanifa have deep in their hearts. The man who learnt Science of Hadith when he was only 20 year old, lived in the golden period of the companions, Taabi'een and Tab-e- Taabi'een, and got the Hadiths of the Prophet through only one or two narrators in the middle. He spent eighteen years of his life with pupils of the great Faqih Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood, and lived in the period of Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz when Hadiths were being collected. Abu Hanifa learnt the Science of Hadith from various Scholars of Kufa, Basrah, Baghdad, Makkah and Madina who were the great Muhadith of all time. He derived thousands of Masa'il from the Qur'an and Hadith, played a vital role in composition of Fiqh, and produced a large number of scholars who enlightened the world with their Islamic knowledge. How it is possible that such man was ignorant or knew little about Hadith. It is as if we say that Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Uthman didn't know much of Hadith, and that is why their narrations are rare in the books. While it is obvious to everybody that all three of them were closer to the Prophet (PBUH), they had their own reasons for not narrating all what they heard from him. Similarly, Imam Abu Hanifa was as great a Muhaddith as he was a Faqih.
The Famous Books of Hadiths and Imam Abu Hanifa:
The famous books of Hadiths like Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Abu Da'ood, Nasa'i, Ibn-e-Majah etc. were written almost 100 years after the demise of Imam Abu Hanifa. Even their authors, the majority of whom were pupils of Imam Abu Hanifa's pupils, were not born at his time. But Imam Abu Yousuf and Imam Muhammad the two acclaimed pupils of Imam Abu Hanifa collected his Hadiths as well as lessons of Fiqh and shaped them into books. Most of them are still available. If we compare these books with others, we will find them more authentic and reliable as they consist of Hadiths which reach the Prophet (PBUH) through only two narrators in the middle.
Teachers Of Imam Abu Hanifa:
The biography authors count almost 4000 senior scholars from whom Imam Abu Hanifa learnt. He himself says: "There is not a single Muhaddith in Kufa and Basra that he hasn't got benefit from". For more detail, read Biography of Imam Abu Hanifa. Here is a short list of his teachers: Shaikh Hammad bin Abi Sulaiman, Shaikh Ata bin abi Rabah, Shaikh Ikrama Barbari, Shaikh Imam Auza'I, Shaikh Imam Makhool and two of the seven famous Faqih of Al Madina Al Munawwarh.
Students of Imam Abu Hanifa:
Allama Shibli Numani mentions in 'Siratun Numan' that the circle of Imam Abu Hanifa's class was even wider than border of the contemporary caliph's governance. Imam Shafi'ie says "Those who aspire to be perfect in Fiqh, should read Imam Abu Hanifa's Fiqh". He also says: "If he had not been the student of Imam Muhammad (Pupil of Imam Abu Hanifa) he would not have had the high status in Fiqh". The list of his pupils is so large that this small piece is not adequate, that is why, it is better to name only a few, who were closer to him and continued to teach as per his Maslak. 1. Imam Abu Yousuf 2. Imam Muhammad bin Hassan Al Shaibani 3. Imam Zufar bin Huzail 4. Imam Yahya bin Sa'id Al Qattan 5. Imam Yahya bin Zakariya 6. Muhaddith Abdullah bin Mubarak 7. Imam Wakee bin Al Jarrah Imam Da'ood Al Ta'i etc.
The Collection of Fiqh:
Scholars have defined the Science of Fiqh in different words, but the common point of all the definitions is to understand Islamic law in the light of Qur'an and Hadith. Before we understand the Fiqh-e-Hanafi, we need to know an important principle that Imam Abu Hanifa set for himself. He said, “If I want to know a ruling of Shari'ah about an issue, I first see Qur'an and Hadith. If that issue has not been mentioned in both of them, I search the sayings or actions of the companions. If it is also not there, I go through the Fatawa of others, and think of my own Qiyas or Ijtihad.” He further says, “if I get a Hadith (though weak in Sanad) on a particular issue I always prefer Hadith over my own Ijtihad.” Imam Abu Hanifa did not make this principle on his own account, but he derived it from the famous Hadith in which the Prophet (PBUH) told to Hazrat Mu'aaz bin Jabal to do so. Imam Abu Hanifa learnt from three very intimate pupils of Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood. That is why, the Fiqh-e-Hanafi as a whole is based on his Hadiths. He was a Faqih and people, even when the Prophet (PBUH) was alive, turn to him in Masa'il of Shari'ah. He taught Qur'an and Hadith in Kufa. Shaikh Alqama bin Qais and Shaikh Aswad bin Yazid were his two closest students. Once he said that whatever he learnt from the Quran and Hadith, he taught to Alaqam and now his knowledge was no more than Alqama's.
When both Shaikh Alqama and Shaikh Aswad died, Shaikh Ibrahim Nakha'i was chosen to become their successor in Kufa. He made so many valuable contributions to the Fiqh that people started calling him the Faqih of Iraq. The most significant achievement of Shaikh Ibrahim Nakha'i, as Fuqaha write, was a collection of Fiqh that was later shaped into books by Abu Hanifa's pupils, especially by Imam Muhammad, Imam Yousuf and Imam Zufar. These books are still available.
Explanation: Today, some people read a few pages of Hadith and feel themselves inclined to denial of Fiqh. But the fact is, to understand the Qur'an and Hadith, and derive Masa'il of Shari'ah from them is called Fiqh. Moreover, the pupils of Imam Abu Hanifa had composed the Fiqh-e-Hanafi even before books like Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Abu Da'ood, Nasa'i, Ibn-e-Majah, Tabrani, Baihaqi, etc. came into existence. So, if the Fiqh was of no importance, the authors of those books of Hadiths would definitely have rejected it.
Point: If we go through the history, we will find that all the previous governments, in particular Abbasid and Umayyad, followed the Fiqh-e-Hanafi in 75 percent of their judicial and civil laws. Even today, the judicial laws of majority of Muslim countries are based on Fiqh-e-Hanafi.
The Opinions of Ulama-e-Ummat About Imam Abu Hanifa:
The previous chapters have clarified Imam Abu Hanifa's status as Muhaddith and the contributions he made towards Fiqh. Now, this chapter describes the opinions, Ulama-e-Ummat hold about him.
· Imam Mis'ar bin Kidam (153 A.H ) often told the people that he had not envied any of the men of Kufa except two persons: Imam Abu Hanifa & his Fiqh, and Shaikh Hassan bin Salih & his piousness. (Taarikh-e-Baghdad Vol: 14, Page: 328)
· Imam Auza'i the Faqih and Muhadith of Syria (157 A.H ) used to say: "Imam Abu Hanifa knows the complicated issues better than any other man of knowledge". (Manaqib-e-Kurdi, Page: 90)
· Imam Da'ood Al Ta'i ( 160 A.H ) said: Imam Abu Hanifa has got knowledge that touches the heart of believers. (Al Khairat Al Hisaan, Page: 32)
· Once Imam Sufyan Thori (167 A.H ) told a man who had just visited Imam Abu Hanifa that he had been fortunate to meet the greatest Faqih on the surface of earth. (Al Khairat Al Hisan, Page: 32).
· Imam Malik bin Anas (179 A.H) often confessed that he had not seen a man like Imam Abu Hanifa. (Al Khairat Al Hisan, Page: 28)
· Imam Waki bin Al Jarrah (195 A.H ) said that he had not met a Faqih greater than Imam Abu Hanifa.
· Imam Yahya bin Mueen (233 A.H ) generally delivered Fatwa in accordance with what Imam Abu Hanifa had said and memorized his Hadiths. (He heard a number of Imam Abu Hanifa's Hadith). (Jami Bayanul Ilm by: Allama Ibnul Bar Vol: 2 Page: 149).
· Imam Shafi'i (204 A.H) says we all need Imam Abu Hanifa in Fiqh. If a man wants to become perfect Faqih, he is required to study his Fiqh. (Taarikh-e-Baghdad Vol: 23 Page: 161).
· Imam Muwaffaq bin Ahmad Makki referred to Imam Bakr bin Muhammad Zaranjri (152 A.H) had told him that Imam Abu Hanifa's book 'Kitabul Aathar' is a selection, out of 40000 Hadiths. (Manaaqib Imam Abu Hanifa).
The topic in question is indeed very vast. It requires volumes to cover all aspect of Imam Abu Hanifa's life and his contributions towards Hadith and fiqh. Here, in this article I have attempted to collect the summarized data related to Imam Abu Hanifa and remove wrong perception of few people regarding his knowledge about Hadith. Allama Jalaluddin Siuti wrote a comprehensive biography of Imam Abu Hanifa titled 'تبيض الصحيفة في مناقب الإمام أبي حنيفة '. For detailed information on the subject, I advise readers to read this book.
Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi, Riyadh
Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
The issue of women's right has been the most complicated one in the human history. All the Civilizations of the world have adopted the two extreme positions on this matter. Rome, Greece and Europe had tested the two extremes throughout their history. Some civilized nations like Greece once and presently the so-called civilized Western nations have equated them with men in every sphere of life. They drew them out of their homes for total emancipation. While other Country like ancient Persia went to other extreme, describing women as a blunder of Nature and a creature, which ought to be ignored. (1) The Greece, Rome and Christian Europe regarded women as the root cause of evil, gateway to Satan and an unavoidable creature. The women had no value and no status in the society. (2) Hinduism regarded women as a salable commodity. The women were deprived of basic human rights. Even a widow had to burn herself with the dead body of her husband. (3) The Islamic viewpoint regarding women is quite moderate. Unlike the other religions and civilizations of the world, it offers a divine solution to this matter. It directly addresses the nature and appeals to the heart of human beings. It adopts middle path and takes into consideration the physical formation of the women to give them their due status in human society.
Women in Islam
According to Islam women are equal partners to men in building a human society. They have their own rights, privileges and status. They play important and equally significant role in the development of human civilization. They must be given education and training so that they can efficiently perform their duties. They have right to chose their spouse and enjoy their life. They inherit property from their father and husband. When she is a child her father has responsibility to bring her up and to provide educational facilities. When she is a wife it is her husband's duty to respect her sentiments and give her due rights. When she is a mother her son is asked to behave gently and provide extraordinary love and care and remain obedient to her. The women have been assigned the duty to look after homely affairs. They have to arrange home well and take care of the family members. They have been given instructions by Islam to put veil on their bodies and not to display their feminist charm to outsiders.
Why women have been ordered to manage home?
Here is a common question asked by Non-Muslims 'why only women are forced to cover and veil. Before we go to answer we must understand some natural facts so that we can realize the situation in a broader perspective.
It is a universal fact that every creature doesn't hold same status. As human beings are supreme to all, so only a senseless person is going to equate them with animals. In the same fashion all the creatures have been categorized by nature itself. Even the duties and mental approach of them differ from sex to sex. This is an absolute truth, none can deny.
The women have been given a different type of physical and psychological system from men. The biological and scientific researches reveal the fact that the women have entirely different structure ranging from body formation to the cells and particles of body. Having being grown up she undergoes menstruation every month and pregnancy now and then. It is medically proved that a woman is nearer to illness in menstruating and pregnancy days. She loses her temper and suffers from many abnormal changes. A mother has to suckle her baby and nourish. It requires full time attention.(4) Because of these natural and physical reasons a woman is not able to discharge her duties like earning livelihood, sponsoring family, working hard, govern a country, fighting in the battle field and deal with the challenges of the world. It is unjust on her part to put these duties on her weak shoulder. Biologically women are to bear a child and nurse. Their advancement is to make their biological nature grow not to suppress it and turn to an opposite direction. Therefore, Islam has drawn a different framework for both man and woman. The women have full freedom to excel in their field. The duty of nursing a child and management of the house is of greater value than to earn money. If a woman earns bread she serves an ordinary purpose and leaves the important one incomplete. If she nourishes a child with full attention she will cooperate with the society to produce a good and noble member for it. This job is much more important for her than the first one. Even Antom Nimlov, a renowned communist scientist of Soviet Union admits this fact and writes in his book "The Biological Tragedy of Women”:
"Biologically men and women are not equal and they were not put equal burdens."(5)
Apart from biological aspect, the women were equal to men historically. There passed many civilizations on this earth which gave them chances to go ahead shoulder to shoulder with men but they failed. Nowhere in the world women could prevail over the men. There were only men who ruled the world, in general, and dominated the history.
Purdah for Women
Purdah (veil, Hijab) code in Islam is well connected with that of marriage and Islamic family system. The West considers the society a group of individuals free to indulge in any activity that involves them personally. On the contrary, Islam considers all society a unit. It does not allow an individual to carry out such an action that damages the social structure though it is confined apparently to his/her personality.
Islam believes that a human civilization can survive only when the society is clean, pious, systematic, and responsible. The success of the society lies in its spiritual development. Free sexual relation, uncontrolled carnal desires, shamelessness and nudity is disastrous for society. It will lead it to a horrible end. Even some western writers have admitted that the family system is a must for any flourishing society. The last president of Soviet Union Michael Gorbachov says in his book "Prostraika" chapter "status of women":
"Our family system has been destroyed. It will put an end to our nation. The disadvantages of women emancipation are more than its advantages"(6)
So Islam has put certain restrictions and regulations in order to protect. It has forbidden marriage between close relatives (Gair Mahram) to purify the family atmosphere and lessen the chances of sexual relations to the least degree. It commands Muslims to marry as soon as it is possible. Islam asks men to cover always their body from umbilicus centre to kneel while the women were commanded to cover their body except the face, hand and feet all the time. It is unlawful for both men and women to open these parts before any person other than their spouses. Women have been prohibited to go out and walk about without any obvious reason. They should lower their voice and not to talk to outsiders with softness in their speech. If they go outside they have to fulfill the condition of Purdah. The Holy Qura'an says:
"Stay at home and do not show off in the manner of the women of the days of ignorance."(7)
"O' prophet! direct the wives and daughters and the women of the believers that they should put down their outer cloaks from their head over their faces. This will make it possible for them to be distinguished so that they will not be molested"(8)
(3)" Direct the believing women to restrain their looks and guard their senses and not disclose any part their beauty or adornments, save that which is apparent thereof……"(9)
According to these verses she has to cover her face too when outside. Nearly all the Islamic scholars have stated that women should cover their faces. They can open the eyes if needed. It is better for them to open only one eye.
In Islam a woman should stay in house even it is better for her to offer prayers in a corner of her home. It is of greater virtue than to attend congregation in the mosque. When a woman goes out she attracts the undue attention of people. This attention promotes sexual lust and urges a man to commit adultery. So in the sight of Islam a bad glimpse is the first step towards adultery that causes a good deal of harm and ruination to the society. That is why the Prophet (pbuh) said:
"the eyes commit adultery and it is their looking (at forbidden things), the hands commit adultery and it is their catching (the forbidden), the legs commit adultery and it is their walking (towards forbidden) and the adultery of tongue is talking (to prohibited persons), and the heart wishes then (finally) the private parts confirm it (by doing) or belie it (by avoiding)."(10)
Looking deeply into the social teachings of Islam and the capital punishments set for adulterers and adulteress, it appears that Islam has eased the conditions of marriage and made adultery difficult enough. Isalm not only ordered women to veil their body but it has commanded men also to shun to cast a brazen and bad look at women. They were instructed to lower their gaze and guard their modesty. The Quraan says:
“Direct the believing men to restrain their looks and to guard their senses. That is purer for them.”(11)
Here a question may be raised that according to Islam when women are not permitted to come out of home then how they will satisfy their need. It is noteworthy that Islam has solved their financial problem. Being a daughter she will be fed and brought up by her father. Being a wife she will be paid and given all facilitates by her husband. If she is a sister or mother her brother or son will provide money, food and all necessities of life. If there happens no male to care for her then the Muslims of the locality or an Islamic state is responsible respectively. It is obligatory on men to give the women their due rights. All the details are mentioned in Fiqh books.
Employment & Business for Woman
Apart from this she can do business and make money. She is allowed to join an institution or office to strengthen her economic status. But there is a condition she must fulfill it. She will never be allowed to show her body and be a plaything in the hands of males. She cannot work at a place where she is not safe from male intervention. (12)
Some people object that Islam has deprived women of opportunities to advance and suppressed their inner abilities. Only those who have no knowledge of Islamic history and women’s natural abilities raise this question. Muslim women have their own remarkable history. There were women teachers who used to teach men. The women used to be scholars, writers and pious (waliah). There were mothers who follow Hijab code brought up countless giant, genius and towering personalities of the world. Instead of being hurdle, Hijab helped them to reach the heights of fame and utilize the inner capabilities given to them. Hijab helps men and women both to utilize their time and opportunities in a constructive direction. When a man and woman are attracted towards each other they waste their time, money and abilities in frivolities. It is only Hijab that prevents them to kill their energies in petty rather destructive matters.
Equality in Islam
Today the West shouts slogans of women emancipation and equality. As per the West a woman is free to live as she likes. None can object on her action, relation and speech. She can run in the work field parallel with men. Islam also gives her equality and liberty, but they differ from those of the West. Islam gives a woman equal justice, equal protection, equal honour and equal rights to live. But it does not believe in the equality of work field because the field of their work is different from men. If the women are driven out of their field and taken to that of men the whole system will be reduced to chaos. It will harm the society more, for they will not be able to produce a good person for the future of the society. It will be just “killing the goose that lays the golden eggs”. Islam provides her full freedom in term of speech, movement and relationship. Interestingly, the advancements that the West has given to women is not appreciable because it has not given them these advancements as a woman. They have brought them to this height turning them into men. Their slogans of equality and freedom are empty and hollowed. There is no ground reality that is seen. Not only this but they have added burdens to the women’s homely work cleverly in the name of emancipation and equality. Now women are supposed to look after the child, cook the food, arrange the home and go to office to earn money. Men share their responsibilities with women but none comes the women’s burden and work. This is not only a mere exploitation but also rather a criminal act. The women in West could not come yet up to the grade of men. Men have been occupying all the important posts and status. Women are only exploited employees and workers. Equality and liberty is just a lip service and paper writing. On the contrary they have used women as an instrument of entertainment and enjoyment. They have pulled them out of their houses to the streets, offices, dancing clubs and beer bars just to serve their own end. The concept of women emancipation is nothing but an illusion. Antom Nimlov, a communist author is bound to say in his book "The Biological Tragedy of Women:
"If any one talk of giving less right to women a few people will support it. We ourselves will oppose. But we should not deceive ourselves that a practical equality between men and women is as easy as we think. Soviet Union has given them more rights than any country of the world, but the fact is that women could not find their positions."(13)
“If a man treats women equally the women themselves consider it a weakness of the man. There is neither a scientist, an author, a businessman, a communist nor a student who considers women equal to him."(14)
Finally, the sisters are requested to deliberate the matter thoroughly. It is better for them not to fall prey of “women emancipation & equality” because they biologically, naturally and historically are not to chase the men. Producing a noble, intelligent and talented child is, in no way, of less important. Actually it is women to whom goes the credit of men’s greatness. The West has deprived them of their freedom and mental peace. It has made them a puppet in the hands of tyrant men. They use women on every step of life and put extra burdens on them.
Ø No religion or civilization of the world has given women their due rights except Islam
Ø Islam has a moderate and divine view-point regarding women
Ø Women are as important as men
Ø Women are the supervisors of internal affairs while men have to deal with the outside world.
Ø Women have rights as men
Ø The slogan of women emancipation in West is an illusion
Ø The West exploits women. The women have to do their work and support the men too.
Ø Women are naturally, biologically and historically not able to discharge hard duties.
Ø The prosperity of a society lies in an tight family system
Ø The western civilization who ignored family system is on the edge of destruction
Ø Hijab protects a family-bound society from perishing
Ø Hijab is a beauty and a symbol of dignity for women
Ø Hijab does not bar women to achieve high goals.