Showing posts with label life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Creation and Purpose of Humanity in Qur'an al Kerim

Humanity and Jinn, says Qur'an al Kerim, have been created to worship Allah swt. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. The creation of humanity, is briefly, but in good clarity, described in Qur'an al Kerim. Humans do not resemble Allah swt, may we conclude from Sourah Al Ikhlas. Several Qur'anic verses in Sourah 7 suggest, that humanity descends from first prophet Adam. It is likely to assume, he and his wife, were the first humans. Man was created from 'earth', from 'water', 'a single being, soul', and from 'a fluid', says Qur'an al Kerim. Qur'an does not confirm Darwin's evolution theory; that humans, and other living creatures, were gradually and over several generations, developed from one species into another. Qur'an says, the first human was, deliberately and willingly, created from 'mud', 'clay', 'earth', 'dust'; then from 'a drop of fluid'. Apparently simultaneously, each human is created from 'a soul'. Not only Adam; each individual is created from a single soul, as a man or as a woman, and is given a mate from it. Humans are created as pairs. Created from one soul, yet, no two humans are identical. It's most likely, that indeed Adam had a spouse, but Qur'an doesn't say, how she was created, nor if she was created 'from' Adam. She and Adam may also be created simultaneously from 'one soul'. Her name isn't mentioned. Tradition says, her name was Hawwa. (Chawa in Hebrew, or Eve in the Christian Bible.) There's a hadith saying, 'woman' is created of a 'rib' -- but, it doesn't say, what rib it is. Is it man's rib; is it the X-chromosome, or other. We now know, however, that the female egg contains two X-chromosomes, and only the male seed contains the gender-deciding X- or Y-chrosome. So, woman receives her gender, indeed, from man. And, the hadith seems to imply all women in general, not only Adam's spouse. Not all Qur'anic words have been verified. It's not verified, how humans are created in pairs. What's the plan behind that. Yet, the physical creation of humans, the pregnancy, has been described in fairly identifiable and accurate wording. Each fetus is developed and formed 'in stages', as say verses 22:5; 18:37; 39:6; 75:37-40. Traditionally, commentators focused more on the male seed than on the female egg, yet, Qur'an doesn't always mention, which of them is the 'fluid' that develops into a 'clot'. The female egg is the biggest human cell and is filled with, mostly, water and is transported through the fluid of the ovary. The male seed, however, is the smallest human cell and travels independently in water. So, sometimes, both can be the 'drop of fluid' mentioned in Qur'an.

Adam was created as 'viceroy' on Earth. He was given a leading position on Earth, however, he wasn't made with moral perfection. This much, the angels knew, when Allah swt announced, He had planned to place a leader figure on Earth, for whom they all had to prostrate. The angels had many questions, yet they all resigned to Divine rule -- except for one, Iblis. Iblis was the only angel, who couldn't accept Adam's leadership. Iblis's disobedience led to his downfall forever, away from the rank of angels. But, Iblis requested respite from downfall till the day of humanity's resurrection from their death. He was granted respite, but no forgiveness. From then, he received the title 'Satan'. Iblis, from then on, made it his life task to spite humanity and lead them astray from the righteous path of Allah swt. Adam and his wife were given a privileged dwelling place in the proverbial Garden, but not without strings attached. They were tested in their obedience to Allah swt. Everything in this garden was allowed to them as food, except a specifically mentioned tree. If more people were present in the Garden, is unknown, btw. Satan was swift to find them in the Garden and, successfully, entice them both to eat from this tree. Their disobedience, made Adam and his wife self conscious. Some commentators, compare this state of awkwardness and shame with coming of age: loosing childhood innocence, when committing the first act of grownup disobedience. They implored Allah swt for His forgiveness. Allah did forgive them partially. This incident led to a new decision by Allah swt: Humanity lost their privileged residence in the Garden and was sent 'down' to Earth. We can't say, however, Allah swt had made a new plan; it was plan to release then on Earth anyway. Residence on Earth, was, most probably, to be their main life assignment, as says verse 2:30. They were allowed to use whatever they needed on Earth, until a specified time, the day of humanity's resurrection. They would receive Divine guidance, however, Satan, too, was dismissed from the Garden. If more people were dismissed from the Garden, is unknown. If any human would lend his or her ear to Satan and his helpers and allow themselves to be led astray from the Divine path, he or she would then be assigned hellfire, after the day of resurrection. So, angels and humans alike, they all are given Divine bounty, but they may loose it, once they decide for disobedience. From then, Allah swt will stop His guidance to them, individually.

Humanity's second creation and new future will start at the day of resurrection, Yawm al Qiyamah. Then, those who followed Divine guidance, will be allowed into Jennah, paradise, and those who rejected it, will go to hellfire, Jahannam. In a nutshell.




These are applicable Qur'anic texts and ahadith:

'And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not. (30) And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful. (31) They said: Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that which Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise. (32) He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide. (33) And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever. (34) And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye freely (of the fruits) thereof where ye will; but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. (35) But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time. (36) Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful. (37) We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (38) But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (39)' (2:30-39)

'O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you). Lo! Allah hath been a watcher over you.' (4:1)

'And He it is Who hath produced you from a single being, and (hath given you) a habitation and a repository. We have detailed Our revelations for a people who have understanding.' (6:98)

'And We have given you (mankind) power in the earth, and appointed for you therein livelihood. Little give ye thanks! (10) And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration. (11) He said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee? (Iblis) said: I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud. (12) He said: Then go down hence! It is not for thee to show pride here, so go forth! Lo! thou art of those degraded. (13) He said: Reprieve me till the day when they are raised (from the dead). (14) He said: Lo! thou art of those reprieved. (15) He said: Now, because Thou hast sent me astray, verily I shall lurk in ambush for them on Thy Right Path. (16) Then I shall come upon them from before them and from behind them and from their right hands and from their left hands, and Thou wilt not find most of them beholden (unto Thee). (17) He said: Go forth from hence, degraded, banished. As for such of them as follow thee, surely I will fill hell with all of you. (18) And (unto man): O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden and eat from whence ye will, but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. (19) Then Satan whispered to them that he might manifest unto them that which was hidden from them of their shame, and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest ye should become angels or become of the immortals. (20) And he swore unto them (saying): Lo! I am a sincere adviser unto you. (21) Thus did he lead them on with guile. And when they tasted of the tree their shame was manifest to them and they began to hide (by heaping) on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Lo! Satan is an open enemy to you? (22) They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost! (23) He said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while. (24) He said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and thence shall ye be brought forth. (25) O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame, and splendid vesture, but the raiment of restraint from evil, that is best. This is of the revelations of Allah, that they may remember. (26) O Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you as he caused your (first) parents to go forth from the Garden and tore off from them their robe (of innocence) that he might manifest their shame to them. Lo! he seeth you, he and his tribe, from whence ye see him not. Lo! We have made the devils protecting friends for those who believe not. (27)' (7:10-27)

'And know that your possessions and your children are a test, and that with Allah is immense reward.' (8:28) & (64:15)

'And his comrade, while he disputed with him, exclaimed: Disbelievest thou in Him Who created thee of dust, then of a drop (of seed), and then fashioned thee a man?' (18:37)

'Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?' (21:30) 

'We appointed immortality for no mortal before thee. What! if thou diest, can they be immortal! (34) Every soul must taste of death, and We try you with evil and with good, for ordeal. And unto Us ye will be returned. (35)' (21:34,35)

'O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth).' (22:5)

'And of His signs is this: He created you of dust, and behold you human beings, ranging widely! (20) And of His signs is this: He created for you helpmeets from yourselves that ye might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo! herein indeed are portents for folk who reflect. (21)' (30:20-21)

'Who made all things good which He created, and He began the creation of man from clay; (7) Then He made his seed from a draught of despised fluid; (8) Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of His Spirit; and appointed for you hearing and sight and hearts. Small thanks give ye! (9) And they say: When we are lost in the earth, how can we then be re-created? Nay but they are disbelievers in the meeting with their Lord. (10) Say: The angel of death, who hath charge concerning you, will gather you, and afterward unto your Lord ye will be returned. (11)' (32:8-11)

'Allah created you from dust, then from a little fluid, then He made you pairs (the male and female). No female beareth or bringeth forth save with His knowledge. And no-one groweth old who groweth old, nor is aught lessened of his life, but it is recorded in a Book, Lo! that is easy for Allah.' (35:11)

'He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate; and He hath provided for you of cattle eight kinds. He created you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, in a threefold gloom. Such is Allah, your Lord. His is the Sovereignty. There is no God save Him. How then are ye turned away?' (39:6)

'I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. (56) I seek no livelihood from them, nor do I ask that they should feed Me. (57)' (51:56,57)

'And that thy Lord, He is the goal; (42) And that He it is who maketh laugh, and maketh weep, (43) And that He it is Who giveth death and giveth life; (44) And that He createth the two spouses, the male and the female, (45) From a drop (of seed) when it is poured forth; (46)' (53:42-46)

'Was he not a drop of fluid which gushed forth? (37) Then he became a clot; then (Allah) shaped and fashioned (38) And made of him a pair, the male and female. (39) Is not He (Who doeth so) able to bring the dead to life? (40)' (75:37-40)

'And We have created you in pairs' (78:8)  

'From what thing doth He create him? (18) From a drop of seed. He createth him and proportioneth him, (19) Then maketh the way easy for him, (20) Then causeth him to die, and burieth him; (21) Then, when He will, He bringeth him again to life. (22)' (80:18-22)

'He is created from a gushing fluid (6) That issued from between the loins and ribs. (7)' (86:6,7)

'Say: He is Allah, the One! (1) Allah, the eternally Besought of all! (2) He begetteth not nor was begotten. (3) And there is none comparable unto Him. (4)' (112)


And, finally, these ahadith:

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 114, Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (trouble) his neighbor. And I advise you to take care of the women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women."

Book 008, Number 3467, Sahih Muslim:

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported:

Woman has been created from a rib and will in no way be straightened for you; so if you wish to benefit by her, benefit by her while crookedness remains in her. And if you attempt to straighten her, you will break her, and breaking her is divorcing her.


Sources:


 MuslimMatters 
Quran Miracles
Embryology
BioNinja
Wikipedia
University of Southern California USC-MSA Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement (Compendium of Muslim Texts) http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Mentions of Life in Qur'an al Kerim

Water and earth are main components of life, says Qur'an al Kerim. 'Earth' as a concept, is more than just dead matter, such as sand, clay, or planet Earth itself. It also refers to the elements of all living and dead matter, including the tissue of plants, animals and people. Matter can be solid, as is clay, but also liquid, such as water. Qur'an acknowledges, water isn't the only liquid. Qur'an hints at difference between the elements, in verses 30:22, and 35:27&28. All living creatures develop from  'grain', 'seed', or a 'drop of fluid'. Qur'an doesn't elaborate on how the male and female component precisely form this 'seed', but it does hint at this process in several verses. Earth both undergoes, and molds, the life cycles of birth and death of its living species. Water has a key role in this process. But, at Yawm al Qiyamah, all the deceased, buried in Earth, are resurrected and brought back to life.

According Qur'an, the creation of life is a deliberate process, result of divine choices. Qur'an doesn't say, when exactly life first appeared. Nowadays, there's an evolution theory saying, that new species have gradually and randomly developed over generations, under influence of a selection process in a challenging, changing environment. Qur'an denies those theories. Yet, Qur'an confirms, that optimized solutions for creation are chosen (40:64 and 67:3). And when species have lost their function, they will be replaced by new ones (40:68 and 53:43-55). Evolution in creation means: Allah creates new species, from their beginning, in their finalized form and character. The succession of their appearance, however, may be seen as an evolution. Qur'an confirms nor denies existence of extra-terrestial life; same goes for hermaphrodites, or other kinds of a-sexual procreation. And anything else that we know exist, but isn't mentioned in Qur'an. Qur'an, however, says in verse 16:8, that 'He created that, which you know not.' There's enough, that people don't know. But, that doesn't mean, it doesn't exist.

Many living creatures, and also many other natural phenomenons, such as water, air, shadow, light, and celestial bodies, have been created to serve and feed man, and other creatures; for many purposes. But, firstly, each creature in nature, living or dead, is created to worship Allah swt; not man or other creatures. Qur'an gives examples, such as the bee; honey; cattle; birds; the spider (29:41); and the plants we use for agriculture.

The verses quoted below give a summary of the many Qur'anic verses about life: 2:28,29; 2:117, 2:164, 6:95, 6:143, 13:4, 16:3-14, 16:65-69, 16:77-81, 21:16-18, 21:30, 22:5, 24:41-45, 30:19, 30:22, 30:30, 32:5, 35:27,28; 36:33-36; 36:80-82; 39:52, 40:62, 40:68, 42:12, 51:49, 53:43-55, 67:3, and 78:8-16.




'How disbelieve ye in Allah when ye were dead and He gave life to you! Then He will give you death, then life again, and then unto Him ye will return. (28) He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things.' (2:28,29)

'The Originator of the heavens and the earth! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.' (2:117)

'Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sendeth down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and (in) the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth: are signs (of Allah's Sovereignty) for people who have sense.' (2:164)

'Lo! Allah (it is) Who splitteth the grain of corn and the date-stone (for sprouting). He bringeth forth the living from the dead, and is the bringer-forth of the dead from the living. Such is Allah. ...' (6:95)

'Eight pairs: Of the sheep twain, and of the goats twain. Say: Hath He forbidden the two males or the two females, or that which the wombs of the two females contain? Expound to me (the case) with knowledge, if ye are truthful. (143) And of the camels twain and of the oxen twain. Say: Hath He forbidden the two males or the two females, or that which the wombs of the two females contain; or were ye by to witness when Allah commanded you (all) this?' (6:143)

'And in the Earth are neighbouring tracts, vineyards and ploughed lands, and date-palms, like and unlike, which are watered with one water. And we have made some of them to excel others in fruit. Lo! herein verily are portents for people who have sense.' (13:4)

'He hath created the heavens and the earth with truth. High be He Exalted above all that they associate (with Him). (3) He hath created man from a drop of fluid, yet behold! he is an open opponent. (4) And the cattle hath He created, whence ye have warm clothing and uses, and whereof ye eat; (5) And wherein is beauty for you, when ye bring them home, and when ye take them out to pasture. (6) And they bear your loads for you unto a land ye could not reach save with great trouble to yourselves. Lo! your Lord is Full of Pity, Merciful. (7) And horses and mules and asses (hath He created) that ye may ride them, and for ornament. And He createth that which ye know not. (8) And Allah's is the direction of the way, and some (roads) go not straight. And had He willed He would have led you all aright. (9) He it is Who sendeth down water from the sky, whence ye have drink, and whence are trees on which ye send your beasts to pasture. (10) He it is Who sendeth down water from the sky, whence ye have drink, and whence are trees on which ye send your beasts to pasture. Therewith He causeth crops to grow for you, and the olive and the date-palm and grapes and all kinds of fruit. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for people who reflect. (11) And He hath constrained the night and the day and the sun and the moon to be of service unto you, and the stars are made subservient by His command. Lo! herein indeed are portents for people who have sense. (12) And whatsoever He hath created for you in the earth of divers hues, lo! therein is indeed a portent for people who take heed. (13) And He it is Who hath constrained the sea to be of service that ye eat fresh meat from thence, and bring forth from thence ornaments which ye wear. And thou seest the ships ploughing it that ye (mankind) may seek of His bounty and that haply ye may give thanks.' (16:3-14)

'Allah sendeth down water from the sky and therewith reviveth the earth after her death. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for a folk who hear. (65) And lo! in the cattle there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, from betwixt the refuse and the blood, pure milk palatable to the drinkers. (66) And of the fruits of the date-palm, and grapes, whence ye derive strong drink and (also) good nourishment. Lo! therein is indeed a portent for people who have sense. (67) And thy Lord inspired the bee, saying: Choose thou habitations in the hills and in the trees and in that which they thatch; (68) Then eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of thy Lord, made smooth (for thee). There cometh forth from their bellies a drink divers of hues, wherein is healing for mankind. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for people who reflect.' (16:65-69)

'And unto Allah belongeth the Unseen of the heavens and the earth, and the matter of the Hour (of Doom) is but as a twinkling of the eye, or it is nearer still. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things. (77) And Allah brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers knowing nothing, and gave you hearing and sight and hearts that haply ye might give thanks. (78) Have they not seen the birds obedient in mid-air? None holdeth them save Allah. Lo! herein, verily, are portents for a people who believe. (79) And Allah hath given you in your houses an abode, and hath given you (also), of the hides of cattle, tent-houses which ye find light (to carry) on the day of migration and on the day of pitching camp; and of their wool and their fur and their hair, caparison and comfort for a while. (80) And Allah hath given you, of that which He hath created, shelter from the sun; and hath given you places of refuge in the mountains, and hath given you coats to ward off the heat from you, and coats (of armour) to save you from your own foolhardiness. Thus doth He perfect His favour unto you, in order that ye may surrender (unto Him).' (16:77-81)

'We created not the heaven and the earth and all that is between them in play. (16) If We had wished to find a pastime, We could have found it in Our presence - if We ever did. (17) Nay, but We hurl the true against the false, and it doth break its head and lo! it vanisheth. And yours will be woe for that which ye ascribe (unto Him).' (21:16-18)

'Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?' (21:30)

'O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth).' (22:5) 

'Hast thou not seen that Allah, He it is Whom all who are in the heavens and the earth praise, and the birds in their flight? Of each He knoweth verily the its worship and the its praise; and Allah is Aware of what they do. (41) And unto Allah belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and unto Allah is the journeying. (42) Hast thou not seen how Allah wafteth the clouds, then gathereth them, then maketh them layers, and thou seest the rain come forth from between them; He sendeth down from the heaven mountains wherein is hail, and smiteth therewith whom He will, and averteth it from whom He will. The flashing of His lightning all but snatcheth away the sight. (43) Allah causeth the revolution of the day and the night. Lo! herein is indeed a lesson for those who see. (44) Allah hath created every animal of water. Of them is (a kind) that goeth upon its belly and (a kind) that goeth upon two legs and (a kind) that goeth upon four. Allah createth what He will. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.' (24:41-45)

'He bringeth forth the living from the dead, and He bringeth forth the dead from the living, and He reviveth the earth after her death. And even so will ye be brought forth.' (30:19)

'And of His signs is this: He showeth you the lightning for a fear and for a hope, and sendeth down water from the sky, and thereby quickeneth the earth after her death. Lo! herein indeed are portents for folk who understand.' (30:24)

'... There is no altering (the laws of) Allah's creation. That is the right religion, but most men know not' (30:30)

'He directeth the ordinance from the heaven unto the earth; then it ascendeth unto Him in a Day, whereof the measure is a thousand years of that ye reckon.' (32:5)

'Hast thou not seen that Allah causeth water to fall from the sky, and We produce therewith fruit of divers hues; and among the hills are streaks white and red, of divers hues, and (others) raven-black; (27) And of men and beasts and cattle, in like manner, divers hues? The erudite among His bondmen fear Allah alone. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.' (35:27,28) (And 30:22).

'A token unto them is the dead earth. We revive it, and We bring forth from it grain so that they eat thereof; (33) And We have placed therein gardens of the date-palm and grapes, and We have caused springs of water to gush forth therein, (34) That they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hands made it not. Will they not, then, give thanks? (35) Glory be to Him Who created all the sexual pairs, of that which the earth groweth, and of themselves, and of that which they know not!' (36:33-36)

'Who hath appointed for you fire from the green tree, and behold! ye kindle from it. (80) Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the like of them? Aye, that He is! for He is the All-Wise Creator, (81) But His command, when He intendeth a thing, is only that he saith unto it: Be! and it is.' (36:80-82)

'Know they not that Allah enlargeth providence for whom He will, and straiteneth it (for whom He will). Lo! herein verily are portents for people who believe.' (39:52)

'Allah it is Who appointed for you the earth for a dwelling-place and the sky for a canopy, and fashioned you and perfected your shapes, and hath provided you with good things. Such is Allah, your Lord. Then blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!' (40:64)

'He it is Who quickeneth and giveth death. When He ordaineth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.' (40:68)

'His are the keys of the heavens and the earth. He enlargeth providence for whom He will and straiteneth (it for whom He will). Lo! He is Knower of all things.' (42:12)

'And all things We have created by pairs, that haply ye may reflect.' (51:49) 

'And that He it is who maketh laugh, and maketh weep, (43) And that He it is Who giveth death and giveth life; (44) And that He createth the two spouses, the male and the female, (45) From a drop (of seed) when it is poured forth; (46) And that He hath ordained the second bringing forth; (47) And that He it is Who enricheth and contenteth; (48) And that He it is Who is the Lord of Sirius; (49) And that He destroyed the former (tribe of) A'ad, (50) And (the tribe of) Thamud He spared not; (51) And the folk of Noah aforetime, Lo! they were more unjust and more rebellious; (52) And Al-Mu'tafikah He destroyed (53) So that there covered them that which did cover. (54) Concerning which then, of the bounties of thy Lord, canst thou dispute?' (53:43-55)

'... Thou (Muhammad) canst see no fault in the Beneficent One's creation; then look again: Canst thou see any rifts? ...' (67:3)

'And We have created you in pairs, (8) And have appointed your sleep for repose, (9) And have appointed the night as a cloak, (10) And have appointed the day for livelihood. (11) And We have built above you seven strong (heavens), (12) And have appointed a dazzling lamp, (13) And have sent down from the rainy clouds abundant water, (14) Thereby to produce grain and plant, (15) And gardens of thick foliage.' (78:8-16)

Source:
http://www.quranexplorer.com




Friday, January 26, 2018

Mentions and Meaning of Water in Qur'an al Kerim

Water appears in Qur'an al Kerim as a circulating entity. It streams through earth, and through living and dead creatures. It serves as a nutrient and building element. It is carried by clouds and in larger streams; on, and through, earth. It is an independent element, and it is no integral part of the earth, or the organism. Yet, without water, a living organism just dies and dries out. And vice versa, earth 'comes to life' thanks to water, because both earth and water are living creatures' building materials. This basic fact of life and nature, is used as a metaphor for beginning and end of each creation, among which humanity and Earth. The metaphor of water may exhort humans to do their best in the life that is granted them, and it may fill them with a sense of gratitude. Water may come and go, and shouldn't be taken for granted. Hail and snow aren't ignored, as shows ayat 24:43. Water is important element of the entire system of nature, where each element has its exact place and, directly or indirectly, serves all others.

Apparently, water has existed since eternity, without first beginning, as says ayat 11:6.

Water is a carrier of small particles of different minerals and other solid goods from the Earth and from living creatures. Their quantities and qualities differ per lake, sea, or ocean, depending on the land on which the water flows, and depending on the time spent at location. Rain water comes fresh from the sky and is relatively pure, whereas water in the deeper parts of the ocean may have been there for centuries and will contain many small earth, plant, and animal particles. Hence, vast bodies of different seas meet, at several spots on Earth, but they don't easily mingle. Qur'an describes these phenomenons in some of the verses below.  

These are some of the many Qur'anic verses about water:

'The similitude of the life of the world is only as water which We send down from the sky, then the earth's growth of that which men and cattle eat mingleth with it till, when the earth hath taken on her ornaments and is embellished, and her people deem that they are masters of her, Our commandment cometh by night or by day and We make it as reaped corn as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do we expound the revelations for people who reflect.' (10:24)

'And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days - and His Throne was upon the water - that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct.' (11:6)

'And in the Earth are neighbouring tracts, vineyards and ploughed lands, and date-palms, like and unlike, which are watered with one water. And we have made some of them to excel others in fruit. Lo! herein verily are portents for people who have sense.' (13:4)

'He it is Who sendeth down water from the sky, whence ye have drink, and whence are trees on which ye send your beasts to pasture. (10) Therewith He causeth crops to grow for you, and the olive and the date-palm and grapes and all kinds of fruit. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for people who reflect. (11) ... And He it is Who hath constrained the sea to be of service that ye eat fresh meat from thence, and bring forth from thence ornaments which ye wear. And thou seest the ships ploughing it that ye (mankind) may seek of His bounty and that haply ye may give thanks.' (16:10,11,14)

'Allah sendeth down water from the sky and therewith reviveth the earth after her death. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for a folk who hear.' (16:65)

'(O mankind), your Lord is He Who driveth for you the ship upon the sea that ye may seek of His bounty. Lo! He was ever Merciful toward you. (66) And when harm toucheth you upon the sea, all unto whom ye cry (for succour) fail save Him (alone), but when He bringeth you safe to land, ye turn away, for man was ever thankless. (67) Feel ye then secure that He will not cause a slope of the land to engulf you, or send a sand-storm upon you, and then ye will find that ye have no protector? (68) Or feel ye secure that He will not return you to that (plight) a second time, and send against you a hurricane of wind and drown you for your thanklessness, and then ye will not find therein that ye have any avenger against Us?' (17:66-69)

'And coin for them the similitude of the life of the world as water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingleth with it and then becometh dry twigs that the winds scatter. Allah is Able to do all things.' (18:45)

'Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?' (21:30)

'And we send down from the sky water in measure, and We give it settle in the earth, and lo! We are Able to withdraw it. (18) Then We produce for you therewith gardens of date-palms and grapes, wherein is much fruit for you and whereof ye eat; (19) And a tree that springeth forth from Mount Sinai that groweth oil and relish for the eaters. (20) And lo! in the cattle there is verily a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, and many uses have ye in them, and of them do ye eat; (21) And on them and on the ship ye are carried.' (23:18-22)

'Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covereth him a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness. When he holdeth out his hand he scarce can see it. And he for whom Allah hath not appointed light, for him there is no light.' (24:40)

'Hast thou not seen how Allah wafteth the clouds, then gathereth them, then maketh them layers, and thou seest the rain come forth from between them; He sendeth down from the heaven mountains wherein is hail, and smiteth therewith whom He will, and averteth it from whom He will. The flashing of His lightning all but snatcheth away the sight.' (24:45)

'Have they not seen how We lead the water to the barren land and therewith bring forth crops whereof their cattle eat, and they themselves? Will they not then see?' (32:27)

'And the two seas are not alike: this, fresh, sweet, good to drink, this (other) bitter, salt. And from them both ye eat fresh meat and derive the ornament that ye wear. And thou seest the ship cleaving them with its prow that ye may seek of His bounty, and that haply ye may give thanks.' (35:12)

'Hast thou not seen how Allah hath sent down water from the sky and hath caused it to penetrate the earth as watersprings, and afterward thereby produceth crops of divers hues; and afterward they wither and thou seest them turn yellow; then He maketh them chaff. Lo! herein verily is a reminder for men of understanding.' (39:21)

'He hath loosed the two seas. They meet. (19) There is a barrier between them. They encroach not (one upon the other).' (55:19,20)

'Have ye observed the water which ye drink? (68) Is it ye who shed it from the raincloud, or are We the Shedder? (69) If We willed We verily could make it bitter. Why then, give ye not thanks?' (56:68-70)

'Say: Have ye thought: If (all) your water were to disappear into the earth, who then could bring you gushing water?' (67:30) 

'Let man consider his food: (24) How We pour water in showers (25) Then split the earth in clefts (26) And cause the grain to grow therein (27) And grapes and green fodder (28) And olive-trees and palm-trees (29) And garden-closes of thick foliage (30) And fruits and grasses: (31) Provision for you and your cattle.' (80:24-32)

Sources:
http://www.quranexplorer.com
http://www.answering-christianity.com/oceanology.htm



Friday, January 12, 2018

Gog and Magog; Space, Sun, Moon, Earth and Celestial Bodies in Qur'an: True or False?


When the Qur'an mentions celestial bodies in space, it's unavoidable to talk about their beginning and their end. Yawm al Qiyama, the Day of Resurrection, is usually mentioned in the same verses. The verses' focus is on our destination and task during our lives, rather than on explaining physical creation, nature and function.

Qur'anic perspective is a long term, divine observation. It's not a human observation. Hence words as 'We molded the Earth and planted there firm mountains,' or 'a Day that lasts a thousand years in your calculation' (32:5 & 22:47); 'a Day whereof the span is fifty thousand years' (70:4) or 'he reached the setting-place, or the rising-place of the Sun.' It refers to, firstly, the divine concept of time. Allah, God, is eternal, whereas every creature, has a temporary lifespan only. And, that lifespan is always 'short', compared with eternity. And, Allah can't be calculated in size, time, or limits. Therefore, it's justified to speak of 'molding' the mountains with 'hands', when to humans, the process of mountain formation, is a lengthy, immense, and sometimes violent process. And obviously, a day on Jupiter is longer than a day on Earth.

Living creatures, are created from water and 'clay', earth. Water is always same, but clay and earth, are not. The different colors of latter, indicate difference in substance, though Qur'an doesn't elaborate on that. (Verses 35:27,28 and 30:22.) We best read Qur'an as an invitation to gain knowledge of everything around us, because knowledge may help us connect with Allah. And, secondly, there's also reference to light and its sources. For a reason, the Sun and stars, are described as 'lamps' and the Moon as 'a light'. We know now, that the stars, among which the Sun, are direct sources of light.

Qur'anic stories about nature, usually can't be described as mythology. There's a few exceptions, such as the story of Gog and Magog. The story is an allegory rather than a myth. The story appears in other literature, too. Many commentators have referred to Alexander the Great being its main character. Alexander romances, which first appeared in Greece in the third century BC, were favorite reading and reciting material in medieval Europe. There are hadiths about a man claiming, towards the prophet, having seen the gate of Gog and Magog. The Torah and Bible (Ezekiel 38) mention Gog, ruler of land named Magog. Also in more recent days, these names have reappareared. Russian Jews spoke of Napoleon invading Russia. A few years ago, a book was written, 'Gog and Magog, the clans of chaos', with tales from all over the world about newcomers who are seen as primitive clans who overthrow the existing order. Turcs overthrew parts of ancient Persia; the Mongols overthrew Southwest Asia; Indonesian examples appear, too. I'd say, the Qur'anic story may be a reference to mythology, but Gog and Magog generally indicate change and ending, rather than hostile people or tribes. It perhaps indicates beginning and ending of world history. In the Qur'anic story, a primitive, perhaps ancient, people could florish after a heroic, traveling warrior had pushed back Gog and Magog by erecting a wall, with help of these people, as ordered by Allah swt. However, Gog and Magog return at the Day of Resurrection, which is the end of the world. If we look at it this way, the Qur'anic tale is a story of its own, with reference to mythology. It's meaning as a natural phenomenon cannot be disputed: Earth had a beginning, and it will have an ending. Earth was given the chance to live by keeping Gog and Magog at bay. But, it will die, at a pre-ordained day, under the turmoil of Gog and Magog. Qur'an says, Yawm al Qiyama is a misfortune only to those, who rejected Allah swt during their lives.

Qur'an doesn't say which was created first: Heaven; matter; celestial bodies, among which Earth; fluids; or gas. All Qur'an says, is: They've always been there, and once, heavens and earth were one clutter; then they were separated. This makes sense, because the thought that matter was created from the non-existing or nothing, is an impossibility. Qur'an doesn't say, whether only our planet Earth was made from this earth, or also the other celestial bodies. Heaven was 'a smoke', ie small, gaseous particles floating in space, some of which were 'molded' into bigger celestial bodies. Qur'an says, distances, positions and orbits of Sun, Moon, and other celestial bodies, are regulated and planned. They are 'punctual', so people may orientate at sea and enjoy the benefit from the rotation of light: Night and day. The cosmos has been created and, then, extended. Life is created from water and earth, 'clay', in several colors. Let's remember, that Qur'an was written for an everyday human perspective; hence it uses metaphors that are useful to the average person. That doesn't mean, Qur'an contains incorrect texts. We can't falsify them. The texts correspond with modern theories -- and also theories, partly haven't been falsified.

Qur'anic verses quoted here, are 2:255, 6:95-99, 10:5, 18:83-99, 21:30-37, 32:5-10,47,65; 35:27,28, 36:36-42, 39:5, 41:9-12, 51:47-49, 54:1-6, 55:5-12, 70:1-11, 71:16, 75:6-10, and Surah 81:


'Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.' (2:255)

'Lo! Allah (it is) Who splitteth the grain of corn and the date-stone (for sprouting). He bringeth forth the living from the dead, and is the bringer-forth of the dead from the living. Such is Allah. How then are ye perverted? (95) He is the Cleaver of the Daybreak, and He hath appointed the night for stillness, and the sun and the moon for reckoning. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Wise. (96) And He it is Who hath set for you the stars that ye may guide your course by them amid the darkness of the land and the sea. We have detailed Our revelations for a people who have knowledge. (97) And He it is Who hath produced you from a single being, and (hath given you) a habitation and a repository. We have detailed Our revelations for a people who have understanding. (98) He it is Who sendeth down water from the sky, and therewith We bring forth buds of every kind; We bring forth the green blade from which We bring forth the thick-clustered grain; and from the date-palm, from the pollen thereof, spring pendant bunches; and (We bring forth) gardens of grapes, and the olive and the pomegranate, alike and unlike. Look upon the fruit thereof, when they bear fruit, and upon its ripening. Lo! herein verily are portents for a people who believe.' (6:95-99)

'He it is Who appointed the sun a splendour and the moon a light, and measured for her stages, that ye might know the number of the years, and the reckoning. Allah created not (all) that save in truth. He detaileth the revelations for people who have knowledge.' (10:5)

'They will ask thee of Dhu'l-Qarneyn. Say: I shall recite unto you a remembrance of him. (83) Lo! We made him strong in the land and gave him unto every thing a road. (84) And he followed a road (85) Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu'l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness. (86) He said: As for him who doeth wrong, we shall punish him, and then he will be brought back unto his Lord, Who will punish him with awful punishment! (87) But as for him who believeth and doeth right, good will be his reward, and We shall speak unto him a mild command. (88) Then he followed a road (89) Till, when he reached the rising-place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had appointed no shelter therefrom. (90) So (it was). And We knew all concerning him. (91) Then he followed a road (92) Till, when he came between the two mountains, he found upon their hither side a folk that scarce could understand a saying. (93) They said: O Dhu'l-Qarneyn! Lo! Gog and Magog are spoiling the land. So may we pay thee tribute on condition that thou set a barrier between us and them? (94) He said: That wherein my Lord hath established me is better (than your tribute). Do but help me with strength (of men), I will set between you and them a bank. (95) Give me pieces of iron - till, when he had levelled up (the gap) between the cliffs, he said: Blow! - till, when he had made it a fire, he said: Bring me molten copper to pour thereon. (96) And (Gog and Magog) were not able to surmount, nor could they pierce (it). (97) He said: This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the promise of my Lord cometh to pass, He will lay it low, for the promise of my Lord is true. (98) And on that day we shall let some of them surge against others, and the Trumpet will be blown. Then We shall gather them together in one gathering.' (18:83-99)

'Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe? (30) And We have placed in the earth firm hills lest it quake with them, and We have placed therein ravines as roads that haply they may find their way. (31) And we have made the sky a roof withheld (from them). Yet they turn away from its portents. (32) And He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit. (33) We appointed immortality for no mortal before thee. What! if thou diest, can they be immortal! (34) Every soul must taste of death, and We try you with evil and with good, for ordeal. And unto Us ye will be returned. (35) And when those who disbelieve behold thee, they but choose thee out for mockery, (saying): Is this he who maketh mention of your gods? And they would deny all mention of the Beneficent. (36) Man is made of haste. I shall show you My portents, but ask Me not to hasten.' (21:30-37)

'And they will bid thee hasten on the Doom, and Allah faileth not His promise, but lo! a Day with Allah is as a thousand years of what ye reckon.' (22:47)

'Hast thou not seen how Allah hath made all that is in the earth subservient unto you? And the ship runneth upon the sea by His command, and He holdeth back the heaven from falling on the earth unless by His leave. Lo! Allah is, for mankind, Full of Pity, Merciful.' (22:65)

'Allah it is Who created the heavens and the earth, and that which is between them, in six Days. Then He mounted the Throne. Ye have not, beside Him, a protecting friend or mediator. Will ye not then remember? (4) He directeth the ordinance from the heaven unto the earth; then it ascendeth unto Him in a Day, whereof the measure is a thousand years of that ye reckon. (5) Such is the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, the Mighty, the Merciful, (6) Who made all things good which He created, and He began the creation of man from clay; (7) Then He made his seed from a draught of despised fluid; (8) Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of His Spirit; and appointed for you hearing and sight and hearts. Small thanks give ye! (9) And they say: When we are lost in the earth, how can we then be re-created? Nay but they are disbelievers in the meeting with their Lord.' (32:4-10)

'Hast thou not seen that Allah causeth water to fall from the sky, and We produce therewith fruit of divers hues; and among the hills are streaks white and red, of divers hues, and (others) raven-black; (27) And of men and beasts and cattle, in like manner, divers hues? The erudite among His bondmen fear Allah alone. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.' (35:27,28) (And 30:22)

'Glory be to Him Who created all the sexual pairs, of that which the earth groweth, and of themselves, and of that which they know not! (36) A token unto them is night. We strip it of the day, and lo! they are in darkness. (37) And the sun runneth on unto a resting-place for him. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Wise. (38) And for the moon We have appointed mansions till she return like an old shrivelled palm-leaf. (39) It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit. (40) And a token unto them is that We bear their offspring in the laden ship, (41) And have created for them of the like thereof whereon they ride.' (36:36-42)

'He hath created the heavens and the earth with truth. He maketh night to succeed day, and He maketh day to succeed night, and He constraineth the sun and the moon to give service, each running on for an appointed term. Is not He the Mighty, the Forgiver?' (39:5)

'Say (O Muhammad, unto the idolaters): Disbelieve ye verily in Him Who created the earth in two Days, and ascribe ye unto Him rivals? He (and none else) is the Lord of the Worlds. (9) He placed therein firm hills rising above it, and blessed it and measured therein its sustenance in four Days, alike for (all) who ask; (10) Then turned He to the heaven when it was smoke, and said unto it and unto the earth: Come both of you, willingly or loth. They said: We come, obedient. (11) Then He ordained them seven heavens in two Days and inspired in each heaven its mandate; and We decked the nether heaven with lamps, and rendered it inviolable. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Knower. (41:9-12)

'We have built the heaven with might, and We it is Who make the vast extent (thereof). (47) And the earth have We laid out, how gracious is the Spreader (thereof)! (48) And all things We have created by pairs, that haply ye may reflect.' (51:47-49)

'The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain. (1) And if they behold a portent they turn away and say: Prolonged illusion. (2) They denied (the Truth) and followed their own lusts. Yet everything will come to a decision (3) And surely there hath come unto them news whereof the purport should deter, (4) Effective wisdom; but warnings avail not. (5) So withdraw from them (O Muhammad) on the day when the Summoner summoneth unto a painful thing.' (54:1-6)

'The sun and the moon are made punctual. (5) The stars and the trees adore. (6) And the sky He hath uplifted; and He hath set the measure, (7) That ye exceed not the measure, (8) But observe the measure strictly, nor fall short thereof. (9) And the earth hath He appointed for (His) creatures, (10) Wherein are fruit and sheathed palm-trees, (11) Husked grain and scented herb.' (55:5-12)

'A questioner questioned concerning the doom about to fall (1) Upon the disbelievers, which none can repel, (2) From Allah, Lord of the Ascending Stairways (3) (Whereby) the angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a Day whereof the span is fifty thousand years. (4) But be patient (O Muhammad) with a patience fair to see. (5) Lo! they behold it afar off (6) While we behold it nigh: (7) The day when the sky will become as molten copper, (8) And the hills become as flakes of wool, (9) And no familiar friend will ask a question of his friend (10) Though they will be given sight of them. The guilty man will long to be able to ransom himself from the punishment of that day at the price of his children' (70:1-11)

'And hath made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp?' (71:16)

'He asketh: When will be this Day of Resurrection? (6) But when sight is confounded (7) And the moon is eclipsed (8) And sun and moon are united, (9) On that day man will cry: Whither to flee!' (75:6-10)

And, Surah 81.

Hadith: Imam Al-Bukhari transmitted in his Sahih the following Hadith: A man told the Prophet (S.A.W.S) that he had seen the dam of Gog and Magog. The Prophet (S.A.W.S) asked: “How did you find it?” The man said: “I found it like Al-Burd Al-Muhabbar (striped garments).” The Prophet (S.A.W.S) said: “You have seen it.”

Sources & Further Reading:
Quran Explorer
The story of Dhul Qarnain at Wikipedia
The story of Gog and Magog at Wikipedia
The story of Yajuj and Majuj at IqraSense.com
Ezechiël 38 at Shalomgemeente
Cool Cosmos
http://harunyahya.com/ for comparative studies of Quran, Bible and science
https://archive.org/details/TheBibletheQuranScienceByDr.mauriceBucaille Open source full text of Maurice Bucaille's book 'The Bible, Qur'an, and Science

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Female Authority in Islam


I'll try to explain, why women in Islam aren't the doormats as they are usually depicted, without too much repetition of previous blogs with the same tags. See those for any proof of my next words. We, men and women, are created equally. Men aren't women's 'head', nor are they the 'real' representant of humanity, nor are they created in God's image. God isn't even a male, says Qur'anic verse 112:4. Men and women procreate differently, though. This results in a different life course for men and women. It's more likely, that women start at a career outside the home at a later moment in their lives than that men do. Women must start young, if they want a family; men can usually start at any time when they are past childhood. Speaking generally. This is the reason, why Qur'an lightens the duty (if applicable) to cover themselves for women past childbearing age, in verse 24:60. But there's no law to prevent women to start any career at any age, with exception of prostitution. And women aren't even barred from leadership in society; female leaders in religious history testify to that. Fir'aun's wife; Bilqis, the queen of Saba; and Maryam, are examples. This is something we shouldn't forget. Something else we shouldn't forget, is that early Islam left us important female scholars, yes scholars, such as Aicha, wife of the Prophet. She explained many hadiths for us, answered questions, knew the Qur'an by head. And she wasn't the only one.

Also a traditional housewife, has authority. Firstly, as a wife and a mother. Secondly, in Muslim societies, also the housewife has an economic role and property of her own. That property, is hers. She is free to do business with it. 'Housewife' as a concept, is in western society associated with someone stripped of her independence, because women had no property and couldn't do business, work, or sign their own papers. Women in the west can do business, work and place their signature, nowadays. But, in reality, they still have very little property to themselves. Home ownership without debt, is a prerogative of Muslim society. And, perhaps, of other societies outside western culture. What does this mean for the Muslim housewife? She can use her house and garden for poultry, livestock, vegetable culture, arts and crafts; for personal or commercial benefit. That has economic benefit to her and her family. It will add to her self-reliance. A woman has every right to own land, a house, and her husband may very well accept her contribution to the family property. A woman can go live with her husband in his home, but the other way round, is just as acceptable, and isn't unusual. A woman may not need her husband's marriage gift. Why not? Because she has fortune and income of her own. She has every right to choose to keep her independence and has no obligation to hand over her estate to her husband or other male relative. In Islam, all people with good mental health, are allowed to mind their own business, work, own, inherit.

All in, female authority does exist in Islam. The discussion shouldn't be necessary, really. Surah 4 gives some verses to this effect, 4:4-7, among others:

'And give unto the women (whom ye marry) free gift of their marriage portions; but if they of their own accord remit unto you a part thereof, then ye are welcome to absorb it (in your wealth). (4) Prove orphans till they reach the marriageable age; then, if ye find them of sound judgment, deliver over unto them their fortune; and devour it not by squandering and in haste lest they should grow up Whoso (of the guardians) is rich, let him abstain generously (from taking of the property of orphans); and whoso is poor let him take thereof in reason (for his guardianship). And when ye deliver up their fortune unto orphans, have (the transaction) witnessed in their presence. Allah sufficeth as a Reckoner. (6) Unto the men (of a family) belongeth a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, and unto the women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, whether it be little or much - a legal share. (7)' (4:6&7)

Source & Further Reading:
Quran Explorer

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Male Authority in Islam



Islam has a reputation for being male-dominated. To what extent is this true? In my previous two blogs, I've tried to show, that men and women, basically, are seen as equals. This contrary to the Bible. Like the Bible, Islam favors love above rules and regulations. Love between people can even save their souls in the hereafter, even if the people you love have lived better lives than you yourself. Honesty and loving intention is more important than behavior. It should be the start and finish of everything else!

Yet, Islam has also tried to solve some organizational issues in family life, and here we no doubt notice, that men and women have somewhat different positions, based on their difference in biology. These have an influence on family life. The most striking difference is women's ability to give birth and men's physical strength, which is reflected in several Qur'anic verses, mentioned below. Having said this, we shouldn't get stuck in dialectic, organizational issues. Is man the head of the family? Qur'an doesn't say so. Scholars and commentators do, however, even if the woman owns the family home. They leave us with a picture of a Muslim woman married at seventeen to an older well-established man, by her father, in order to live with her husband and his family, rarely leaving the home, and having no say in the family or the working life. Of course she exists: The young girl marrying into a family. But there's no ideal situation promoted in Islam. All Islam tries to achieve, is a situation where, within their capabilities, men and women can avoid certain pitfalls that may jeopardize a happy, stable life. And, perhaps more importantly, create a secure environment for children. Now, what do we normally see, between men and women? It's true, that women have less physical strength; they are the ones who bear children and bring them to life, with all the health risks attached to it; they have a much shorter reproductive cycle than men. But furthermore, women also have similarities with men. We all have professional capabilities, after all. This aspect is also reflected in Islam, which is why women have the right to inherit, work, own, and do business. Naturally, this leads to a situation, where women own businesses, homes, and obligations outside the family, where male relatives can't just barge into. A woman can employ a man, or she can offer a new husband a home. Women won't find these right in the Bible, which was reflected in legislation of western nations, until recently. Something else we've seen through the ages, is that women have received less credit for their works and even for their existence. Men aren't keen on working with women on an equal footing, let's not deny that, and that may be a gross injustice. Islam mentions all these aspects, including their ugly consequences--discrimination, sexual abuse, even infanticide to female babies. Even women don't always appreciate each other as their fellows and equals--probably a reason why discriminatory legislation could persist, during so many centuries.

Nevertheless, women's life cycle is different from men's. If they want children, they should dedicate their young years to having them. Bearing them and taking care of them during the first few years, is for women a time consuming task, that may put their health at risk, which is why Islam has exempted women from the obligation to work, without denying them their own work and property. It also entitled your mother to be the first person in your life to your help. Men can have a very large progeny with many women, also (almost) simultaneously. Islam favors them having a family with only one woman, but allows them to have four wives at the same time, if he can treat them as equally as possible, and if it doesn't unjustly disrupt the family.

But women also have a stronger physical tie with their children than men. They rarely live with the insecurity, whether their child is actually theirs, for obvious reasons. It's one of the reasons why marriages exist: To make sure, that a child has two known biological parents, who are in a committed, formal relationship, at least during the time it was conceived. All religions promote this phenomenon. In Islam the woman should make sure, that her husband can rely on one thing: that the children they give life to, are his. This is why her husband is entitled to insight in her life, friendships and activities.  All of this, however, without spying her or heavily mistrusting her, because these are sins in Islam. He must provide for her, he may not take her property, and he must give her a wedding gift. There is no joint property between husband and wife and, therefore, no need to make a prenuptial agreement to separate properties. Qur'anic verses inform us in more detail. He may never ask her to return his gifts. However, she may return him his gifts, if she wants to end the marriage. She can choose not to accept a wedding gift, or to provide for herself. A lot of controversy surrounds Qur'anic verse 4:34, the one that may say husbands can beat disobedient wives. It's not sure, if this is actually the intention of the verse. The Arabic word daraba has many meanings, of which 'beating' is only one. The verse could say, that a husband has the right to 'reconsider' his behavior towards the wife. The next verse, number 4:35, explicitly gives wives the right to end the marriage, if the husband abuses her. The Prophet exhorted men to treat their wife with kindness and without violence, too. After all, violence is in direct contradiction to love and kindness. Another thing a husband likes to rely on, is that the wife do her best to work on their relationship. She must be careful with his property, help him when he asks her to, and give him joy and sexual contact. All of this, is a right they both have towards each other, but a wife may be able to spend more time and energy to it in case she isn't in a job. Hadiths mention this aspect.

Qur'an says, that women can't be in a marriage with more than one man, unless the woman is kept captive. Men can. Men don't have to wait several months to remarry, after their previous marriage has ended. The reason is, that women would have uncertainty about their children's paternity. This explains, why women can remarry immediately after the end of their previous marriage in only two situations: They had no sexual relationship with the previous husband during several months prior to the end of the marriage, or she gives birth very soon after the end of the marriage. It doesn't really matter here why the marriage ended, be it death or divorce. However, in case of divorce, the husband must testify when the sexual relationship ended, rather than consent the wife to a divorce. That moment decides, when the woman can remarry. If he refuses to do so, it doesn't mean he can stall the woman for ever. Qur'an says this in verse 2:228. The husband may not prevent the wife to divorce, this in spite of what some commentators and scholars may have said. However, this all explains the Qur'anic words 'men have a degree above women'. It's not so much an economic, legal or political issue; it's a purely biological difference. Women receive their man, then they give birth, and for all of this, they need a safe, stable environment--also for their man.

Now about female leadership. There's a problem here. Many people tend to treat Qur'anic examples as meaningless anecdotes, but how can they be, in a book of religious law? I wonder, what attitude has caused so many people to deny the obvious. We should read religious texts with honesty, unclouded by our own tastes. Qur'anic Surahs 27 and 34 narrate about the queen of Saba (Sheba) who was 'provided with every requisite; and a magnificent throne', but who was humble enough to listen to another monarch, king and prophet Suleyman (Salomon), when she and her people didn't believe in God. This makes her an example of a female leader who, when listening to solid advisors, can bring her people to spiritual benefit. This is also the case for Pharaoh's wife, when she disobeyed her husband the Pharaoh and took care of prophet Musah. And for Mary, mother of Jesus (`Issa). Scholars and believers don't see Mary as a prophet, but an example for mankind she is nonetheless. Only one profession is forbidden to women: Prostitution. And even in that case, she may be forgiven, if she was forced into it, or if she has good deeds to compensate.

Is the woman forbidden to travel, work, or leave the home? Surah 33 contains some verses especially for the Prophet's wives: They must stay at home, and talk with visitors from behind a screen. This rule has to do with their safety. They have a public position, and more than others, they may suffer physical attacks. Like in modern days. Yet, there are hadiths indicating, see below, that they did leave their homes, and no one reacted excessively, the Prophet himself included. It's simply not true, that they weren't allowed to leave the home. Some Muslims, however, see in these rules an example for other women to follow. Yet, women must also take care of their business, work, or families. They are more entitled to ask other male relatives to step for them, but they're not exempted from it. As a rule, women have no obligation to spend their income on their family. They may keep their income and property to themselves. That's why, on the other hand, they inherit less than men in several situations. Sons inherit more than daughters, also, but during life, they must be treated equally, concerning gifts and such. Hadiths on travel for women are not unanimous, as shown below. Certain is, that women can travel, also alone. They can live on their own, too. Traveling more than several days is disfavored. In the good travel conditions we enjoy nowadays, that means, that most travel is allowed for women in Islam. A visit to the haramein is different, because the Kaabah is only mosque in the world where men and women pray together. So women must travel there with a male relative, or in a larger group of women.

All in, Islamic texts reflect what we know from everyday life: That intimate relationships are a challenge, and bring out the best or the worst in people.

These are the, imo, most relevant Qur'anic verses and ahadith of the Prophet saws on this topic:

Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad). Qur'an 2:223

Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. Divorce must be pronounced twice and then (a woman) must be retained in honour or released in kindness. And it is not lawful for you that ye take from women aught of that which ye have given them; except (in the case) when both fear that they may not be able to keep within the limits (imposed by) Allah. And if ye fear that they may not be able to keep the limits of Allah, in that case it is no sin for either of them if the woman ransom herself. These are the limits (imposed by) Allah. Transgress them not. For whoso transgresseth Allah's limits: such are wrong-doers. And if he hath divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she hath wedded another husband. Then if he (the other husband) divorce her it is no sin for both of them that they come together again if they consider that they are able to observe the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah. He manifesteth them for people who have knowledge.  When ye have divorced women, and they have reached their term, then retain them in kindness or release them in kindness. Retain them not to their hurt so that ye transgress (the limits). He who doeth that hath wronged his soul. Make not the revelations of Allah a laughing-stock (by your behaviour), but remember Allah's grace upon you and that which He hath revealed unto you of the Scripture and of wisdom, whereby He doth exhort you. Observe your duty to Allah and know that Allah is Aware of all things. When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their ('Iddat), do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on equitable terms. This instruction is for all amongst you, who believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is (the course Making for) most virtue and purity amongst you and Allah knows, and ye know not. Mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years; (that is) for those who wish to complete the suckling. The duty of feeding and clothing nursing mothers in a seemly manner is upon the father of the child. No-one should be charged beyond his capacity. A mother should not be made to suffer because of her child, nor should he to whom the child is born (be made to suffer) because of his child. And on the (father's) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father). If they desire to wean the child by mutual consent and (after) consultation, it is no sin for them; and if ye wish to give your children out to nurse, it is no sin for you, provide that ye pay what is due from you in kindness. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is Seer of what ye do. Such of you as die and leave behind them wives, they (the wives) shall wait, keeping themselves apart, four months and ten days. And when they reach the term (prescribed for them) then there is no sin for you in aught that they may do with themselves in decency. Allah is informed of what ye do. There is no sin for you in that which ye proclaim or hide in your minds concerning your troth with women. Allah knoweth that ye will remember them. But plight not your troth with women except by uttering a recognised form of words. And do not consummate the marriage until (the term) prescribed is run. Know that Allah knoweth what is in your minds, so beware of Him; and know that Allah is Forgiving, Clement. It is no sin for you if ye divorce women while yet ye have not touched them, nor appointed unto them a portion. Provide for them, the rich according to his means, and the straitened according to his means, a fair provision. (This is) a bounden duty for those who do good. If ye divorce them before ye have touched them and ye have appointed unto them a portion, then (pay the) half of that which ye appointed, unless they (the women) agree to forgo it, or he agreeth to forgo it in whose hand is the marriage tie. To forgo is nearer to piety. And forget not kindness among yourselves. Allah is Seer of what ye do. Qur'an 2:228-2:237

Those of you who die and leave widows should bequeath for their widows a year's maintenance and residence; but if they leave (The residence), there is no blame on you for what they do with themselves, provided it is reasonable. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise. For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous. Qur'an 2:240, 241

O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you). Lo! Allah hath been a watcher over you. Give unto orphans their wealth. Exchange not the good for the bad (in your management thereof) nor absorb their wealth into your own wealth. Lo! that would be a great sin. And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice. And give unto the women (whom ye marry) free gift of their marriage portions; but if they of their own accord remit unto you a part thereof, then ye are welcome to absorb it (in your wealth). Give not unto the foolish (what is in) your (keeping of their) wealth, which Allah hath given you to maintain; but feed and clothe them from it, and speak kindly unto them. Prove orphans till they reach the marriageable age; then, if ye find them of sound judgment, deliver over unto them their fortune; and devour it not by squandering and in haste lest they should grow up Whoso (of the guardians) is rich, let him abstain generously (from taking of the property of orphans); and whoso is poor let him take thereof in reason (for his guardianship). And when ye deliver up their fortune unto orphans, have (the transaction) witnessed in their presence. Allah sufficeth as a Reckoner.
Qur'an 4:1-6

Lo! Those who devour the wealth of orphans wrongfully, they do but swallow fire into their bellies, and they will be exposed to burning flame. Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females, and if there be women more than two, then theirs is two-thirds of the inheritance, and if there be one (only) then the half. And to each of his parents a sixth of the inheritance, if he have a son; and if he have no son and his parents are his heirs, then to his mother appertaineth the third; and if he have brethren, then to his mother appertaineth the sixth, after any legacy he may have bequeathed, or debt (hath been paid). Your parents and your children: Ye know not which of them is nearer unto you in usefulness. It is an injunction from Allah. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise. And unto you belongeth a half of that which your wives leave, if they have no child; but if they have a child then unto you the fourth of that which they leave, after any legacy they may have bequeathed, or debt (they may have contracted, hath been paid). And unto them belongeth the fourth of that which ye leave if ye have no child, but if ye have a child then the eighth of that which ye leave, after any legacy ye may have bequeathed, or debt (ye may have contracted, hath been paid). And if a man or a woman have a distant heir (having left neither parent nor child), and he (or she) have a brother or a sister (only on the mother's side) then to each of them twain (the brother and the sister) the sixth, and if they be more than two, then they shall be sharers in the third, after any legacy that may have been bequeathed or debt (contracted) not injuring (the heirs by willing away more than a third of the heritage) hath been paid. A commandment from Allah. Allah is Knower, Indulgent. Qur'an 4:10-12

As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them or (until) Allah appoint for them a way (through new legislation). If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful. Qur'an 4:15,16

O ye who believe! It is not lawful for you forcibly to inherit the women (of your deceased kinsmen), nor (that) ye should put constraint upon them that ye may take away a part of that which ye have given them, unless they be guilty of flagrant lewdness. But consort with them in kindness, for if ye hate them it may happen that ye hate a thing wherein Allah hath placed much good. And if ye wish to exchange one wife for another and ye have given unto one of them a sum of money (however great), take nothing from it. Would ye take it by the way of calumny and open wrong? Qur'an 4:19,20

And covet not the thing in which Allah hath made some of you excel others. Unto men a fortune from that which they have earned, and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned. (Envy not one another) but ask Allah of His bounty. Lo! Allah is ever Knower of all things. Qur'an 4:32
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all). If ye fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation: For Allah hath full knowledge, and is acquainted with all things. Qur'an 4:33, 34

If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men's souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practise self-restraint, Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do. Ye will not be able to deal equally between (your) wives, however much ye wish (to do so). But turn not altogether away (from one), leaving her as in suspense. If ye do good and keep from evil, lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. But if they separate, Allah will compensate each out of His abundance. Allah is ever All-Embracing, All-Knowing. Qur'an 4:128-130

And they assign daughters for Allah! - Glory be to Him! - and for themselves (sons,- the issue) they desire! When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! Qur'an 16:57,58

Allah has bestowed His gifts of sustenance more freely on some of you than on others: those more favoured are not going to throw back their gifts to those whom their right hands possess, so as to be equal in that respect. Will they then deny the favours of Allah? Qur'an 16:71

Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace: for Allah encompasseth all, and he knoweth all things. And let those who cannot find a match keep chaste till Allah give them independence by His grace. And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation), write it for them if ye are aware of aught of good in them, and bestow upon them of the wealth of Allah which He hath bestowed upon you. Force not your slave-girls to whoredom (prostitution) that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful.Qur'an 23:32,33

"I (Suleyman/Solomon's messenger, the Hoopoe) found (there) a woman ruling over them (the Queen of Saba) and provided with every requisite; and she has a magnificent throne. Qur'an 27:23

"I (Suleyman/Solomon's messenger, the Hoopoe) found her (the Queen of Saba) and her people worshipping the sun besides Allah: Satan has made their deeds seem pleasing in their eyes, and has kept them away from the Path,- so they receive no guidance,- Qur'an 27:24

And he (Solomon) diverted her (the Queen of Saba) from the worship of others besides Allah: for she was (sprung) of a people that had no faith. Qur'an 27:43

She was asked to enter the lofty Palace: but when she saw it, she thought it was a lake of water, and she (tucked up her skirts), uncovering her legs. He said: "This is but a palace paved smooth with slabs of glass." She said: "O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul: I do (now) submit (in Islam), with Solomon, to the Lord of the Worlds." Qur'an 27:44

O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women: if ye do fear (Allah), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just. And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless. Qur'an 33:33,34

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 Allah's praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. Qur'an 33:35
O ye who believe! If ye wed believing women and divorce them before ye have touched them, then there is no period that ye should reckon. But content them (financially) and release them handsomely. Qur'an 33:49

O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war, and the daughters of thine uncle on the father's side and the daughters of thine aunts on the father's side, and the daughters of thine uncle on the mother's side and the daughters of thine aunts on the mother's side who emigrated with thee, and a believing woman if she give herself unto the Prophet and the Prophet desire to ask her in marriage - a privilege for thee only, not for the (rest of) believers - We are Aware of that which We enjoined upon them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess - that thou mayst be free from blame, for Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. Qur'an 33:50

O ye who believe! Enter not the Prophet's houses,- until leave is given you,- for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation: but when ye are invited, enter; and when ye have taken your meal, disperse, without seeking familiar talk. Such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet: he is ashamed to dismiss you, but Allah is not ashamed (to tell you) the truth. And when ye ask (his ladies) for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs. Nor is it right for you that ye should annoy Allah's Messenger, or that ye should marry his widows after him at any time. Truly such a thing is in Allah's sight an enormity. Qur'an 33:53

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. Qur'an 33:59

We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, "O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou has bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as Thou mayest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam." Qur'an 46:15

When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned - For what crime she was killed; Qur'an 81:8,9
Allah citeth an example for those who disbelieve: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot, who were under two of Our righteous slaves yet betrayed them so that they (the husbands) availed them naught against Allah and it was said (unto them): Enter the Fire along with those who enter. And Allah citeth an example for those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh when she said: My Lord! Build for me a home with thee in the Garden, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his work, and deliver me from evil-doing folk; And Mary, daughter of 'Imran, whose body was chaste, therefor We breathed therein something of Our Spirit. And she put faith in the words of her Lord and His scriptures, and was of the obedient. Qur'an 66:10-12

Here are some hadiths by Sahih Bukhari:

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 69:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet said, "Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam)."


Volume 2, Book 20, Number 192:

Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
The Prophet said, "A woman should not travel for more than three days except with a Dhi-Mahram (i.e. a male with whom she cannot marry at all, e.g. her brother, father, grandfather, etc.) or her own husband.)"

Volume 2, Book 21, Number 288:

Narrated Qaza'a Maula: (freed slave of) Ziyad: I heard Abu Said Al-khudri narrating four things from the Prophet and I appreciated them very much. He said, conveying the words of the Prophet. (1) "A woman should not go on a two day journey except with her husband or a Dhi-Mahram. (2) No fasting is permissible on two days: 'Id-ul-Fitr and 'Id-ul-Adha. (3) No prayer after two prayers, i.e. after the Fajr prayer till the sunrises and after the 'Asr prayer till the sun sets. (4) Do not prepare yourself for a journey except to three Mosques, i.e. Al-Masjid-AI-Haram, the Mosque of Aqsa (Jerusalem) and my Mosque."


Volume 3, Book 33, Number 249:

Narrated 'Amra:

Aisha said, "the Prophet used to practice Itikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan and I used to pitch a tent for him, and after offering the morning prayer, he used to enter the tent." Hafsa asked the permission of 'Aisha to pitch a tent for her and she allowed her and she pitched her tent. When Zainab bint Jahsh saw it, she pitched another tent. In the morning the Prophet noticed the tents. He said, 'What is this?" He was told of the whole situation. Then the Prophet said, "Do you think that they intended to do righteousness by doing this?" He therefore abandoned the Itikaf in that month and practiced Itikaf for ten days in the month of Shawwal."


Volume 3, Book 33, Number 251:

Narrated Ali bin Al-Husain:

Safiya, the wife of the Prophet told me that she went to Allah's Apostle to visit him in the mosque while he was in Itikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan. She had a talk with him for a while, then she got up in order to return home. The Prophet accompanied her. When they reached the gate of the mosque, opposite the door of Um-Salama, two Ansari men were passing by and they greeted Allah's Apostle . He told them: Do not run away! And said, "She is (my wife) Safiya bint Huyai." Both of them said, "Subhan Allah, (How dare we think of any evil) O Allah's Apostle!" And they felt it. The Prophet said (to them), "Satan reaches everywhere in the human body as blood reaches in it, (everywhere in one's body). I was afraid lest Satan might insert an evil thought in your minds."


Volume 3, Book 48, Number 826:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: 

The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind."


Volume 4, Book 51, Number 5:

Narrated Sad bin Abu Waqqas: 

The Prophet came visiting me while I was (sick) in Mecca, ('Amir the sub-narrator said, and he disliked to die in the land, whence he had already migrated). He (i.e. the Prophet) said, "May Allah bestow His Mercy on Ibn Afra (Sad bin Khaula)." I said, "O Allah's Apostle! May I will all my property (in charity)?" He said, "No." I said, "Then may I will half of it?" He said, "No". I said, "One third?" He said: "Yes, one third, yet even one third is too much. It is better for you to leave your inheritors wealthy than to leave them poor begging others, and whatever you spend for Allah's sake will be considered as a charitable deed even the handful of food you put in your wife's mouth. Allah may lengthen your age so that some people may benefit by you, and some others be harmed by you." At that time Sad had only one daughter.

Volume 4, Book 51, Number 14:

Narrated Ibn Umar: 

I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "All of you are guardians and responsible for your charges: the Ruler (i.e. Imam) is a guardian and responsible for his subjects; and a man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for his charges; and a lady is a guardian in the house of her husband and is responsible for her charge; and a servant is a guardian of the property of his master and is responsible for his charge." I think he also said, "And a man is a guardian of the property of his father."


Volume 4, Book 54, Number 538:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that."


Volume 7, Book 62, Number 24:

Narrated Sahl bin Sad As-Sa'idi:

A woman came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! I have come to give you myself in marriage (without Mahr)." Allah's Apostle looked at her. He looked at her carefully and fixed his glance on her and then lowered his head. When the lady saw that he did not say anything, she sat down. A man from his companions got up and said, "O Allah's Apostle! If you are not in need of her, then marry her to me." The Prophet said, "Have you got anything to offer?" The man said, "No, by Allah, O Allah's Apostle!" The Prophet said (to him), "Go to your family and see if you have something." The man went and returned, saying, "No, by Allah, I have not found anything." Allah's Apostle said, "(Go again) and look for something, even if it is an iron ring." He went again and returned, saying, "No, by Allah, O Allah's Apostle! I could not find even an iron ring, but this is my Izar (waist sheet)." He had no rida. He added, "I give half of it to her." Allah's Apostle said, "What will she do with your Izar? If you wear it, she will be naked, and if she wears it, you will be naked." So that man sat down for a long while and then got up (to depart). When Allah's Apostle saw him going, he ordered that he be called back. When he came, the Prophet said, "How much of the Quran do you know?" He said, "I know such Sura and such Sura," counting them. The Prophet said, "Do you know them by heart?" He replied, "Yes." The Prophet said, "Go, I marry her to you for that much of the Quran which you have."


Volume 7, Book 62, Number 33:

Narrated Usama bin Zaid:

The Prophet said, "After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women."

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 123:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "It is not lawful for a lady to fast (Nawafil) without the permission of her husband when he is at home; and she should not allow anyone to enter his house except with his permission; and if she spends of his wealth (on charitable purposes) without being ordered by him, he will get half of the reward."


Volume 7, Book 62, Number 127:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-'As:

Allah's Apostle said, "O 'Abdullah! Have I not been formed that you fast all the day and stand in prayer all night?" I said, "Yes, O Allah's Apostle!" He said, "Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them (the fast) at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you."



Volume 7, Book 62, Number 160:

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas :

The Prophet said, "No man should stay with a lady in seclusion except in the presence of a Dhu-Muhram." A man stood up and said, "O Allah's Apostle! My wife has gone out intending to perform the Hajj and I have been enrolled (in the army) for such-and-such campaign." The Prophet said, "Return and perform the Hajj with your wife."


Volume 7, Book 62, Number 165:

Narrated Salim's father:

The Prophet said, "If the wife of anyone of you asks permission to go to the mosque, he should not forbid her."


Volume 7, Book 62, Number 168:

Narrated 'Abdullah:

The Prophet said, "A woman should not look at or touch another woman to describe her to her husband in such a way as if he was actually looking at her."


Volume 7, Book 62, Number 171:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

Allah's Apostle said, "When anyone of you is away from his house for a long time, he should not return to his family at night."


Volume 7, Book 64, Number 272:

Narrated 'Aisha:

Hind bint 'Utba came and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Abu Sufyan is a miser so is it sinful of me to feed our children from his property?" Allah's Apostle said, "No except if you take for your needs what is just and reasonable."


Volume 7, Book 71, Number 656:

Narrated Abu Mas'ud:

The Prophet forbade the utilization of the price of a dog, the earnings of prostitute and the earnings of a foreteller.


Volume 7, Book 72, Number 845:

Narrated Abu Juhaifa:

that he had bought a slave whose profession was cupping. The Prophet forbade taking the price of blood and the price of a dog and the earnings of a prostitute, and cursed the one who took or gave (Riba') usury, and the lady who tattooed others or got herself tattooed, and the picture-maker.


Volume 8, Book 73, Number 1:
Narrated Al-Walid bin 'Aizar:

I heard Abi Amr 'Ash-Shaibani saying, "The owner of this house." he pointed to 'Abdullah's house, "said, 'I asked the Prophet 'Which deed is loved most by Allah?" He replied, 'To offer prayers at their early (very first) stated times.' " 'Abdullah asked, "What is the next (in goodness)?" The Prophet said, "To be good and dutiful to one's parents," 'Abdullah asked, "What is the next (in goodness)?" The Prophet said, To participate in Jihad for Allah's Cause." 'Abdullah added, "The Prophet narrated to me these three things, and if I had asked more, he would have told me more."


Volume 8, Book 73, Number 2: 

Narrated Abu Huraira:

A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man said. "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man further said, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your father."


Volume 8, Book 73, Number 6:
Narrated Al-Mughira:

The Prophet said, "Allah has forbidden you ( 1 ) to be undutiful to your mothers (2) to withhold (what you should give) or (3) demand (what you do not deserve), and (4) to bury your daughters alive. And Allah has disliked that (A) you talk too much about others ( B), ask too many questions (in religion), or (C) waste your property."


Volume 8, Book 73, Number 42: 

Narrated Jarir bin 'Abdullah:

The Prophet said, "He who is not merciful to others, will not be treated mercifully.


Volume 8, Book 73, Number 65: 

Narrated Al-Aswad:

I asked 'Aisha what did the Prophet use to do at home. She replied. "He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer."


Volume 8, Book 73, Number 68: 

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Zam'a:

The Prophet forbade laughing at a person who passes wind, and said, "How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then he may embrace (sleep with) her?" And Hisham said, "As he beats his slave"


Volume 8, Book 73, Number 90: 

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales; and do not look for the others' faults and do not spy, and do not be jealous of one another, and do not desert (cut your relation with) one another, and do not hate one another; and O Allah's worshipers! Be brothers (as Allah has ordered you!")


Volume 8, Book 73, Number 144: 

Narrated Thabit:

that he heard Anas saying, "A woman came to the Prophet offering herself to him in marriage, saying, "Have you got any interest in me (i.e. would you like to marry me?)" Anas's daughter said, "How shameless that woman was!" On that Anas said, "She is better than you for, she presented herself to Allah's Apostle (for marriage)."


Volume 8, Book 73, Number 190: 

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud:

A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! What do you say about a man who loves some people but cannot catch up with their good deeds?" Allah's Apostle said, "Everyone will be with those whom he loves."


Volume 8, Book 73, Number 190: 

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud:

A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! What do you say about a man who loves some people but cannot catch up with their good deeds?" Allah's Apostle said, "Everyone will be with those whom he loves."


Volume 8, Book 74, Number 257:

Narrated 'Aisha:

(the wife of the Prophet) 'Umar bin Al-Khattab used to say to Allah's Apostle "Let your wives be veiled" But he did not do so. The wives of the Prophet used to go out to answer the call of nature at night only at Al-Manasi.' Once Sauda, the daughter of Zam'a went out and she was a tall woman. 'Umar bin Al-Khattab saw her while he was in a gathering, and said, "I have recognized you, O Sauda!" He ('Umar) said so as he was anxious for some Divine orders regarding the veil (the veiling of women.) So Allah revealed the Verse of veiling. (Al-Hijab; a complete body cover excluding the eyes). (See Hadith No. 148, Vol. 1)


Volume 8, Book 76, Number 474: 

Narrated 'Aisha:

The Prophet said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and receive good news because one's good deeds will not make him enter Paradise." They asked, "Even you, O Allah's Apostle?" He said, "Even I, unless and until Allah bestows His pardon and Mercy on me."


Volume 9, Book 88, Number 219: 

Narrated Abu Bakra:

During the battle of Al-Jamal, Allah benefited me with a Word (I heard from the Prophet). When the Prophet heard the news that the people of the Persia had made the daughter of Khosrau their Queen (ruler), he said, "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler."


And here are some hadiths by Sahih Muslim:

Book 008, Number 3233:

Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said to us: 0 young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains eyes (from casting evil glances) and preserves one from immorality; but he who cannot afford It should observe fast for it is a means of controlling the sexual desire.

Book 008, Number 3465: 

'Abdullah b. Amr reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman.

Book 008, Number 3467:

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported: Woman has been created from a rib and will in no way be straightened for you; so if you wish to benefit by her, benefit by her while crookedness remains in her. And if you attempt to straighten her, you will break her, and breaking her is divorcing her.

Book 012, Number 3970: 

Nu'man b. Bashir reported: My father conferred a gift upon me, and then brought me to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) to make him a witness (to it). He (the Holy Prophet) said: Have you given such gift to every son of yours (as you have given to Nu'man)? He said: No. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Don't you expect goodness from them as you expect from him? He said: Yes. of course. He (the Holy Prophet) said: I am not going to bear witness to it (as it is injustice). Ibn Aun (one of the narrators) said: I narrated this hadith to Muhammad (the other narrator) who said: Verily we narrated that lie (the Holy Prophet) had said: Observe equity amongst your children.
Abu Dharr reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying that he reported it from his Lord, the Exalted and Glorious: Verily I have made oppression unlawful for Me and for My servants too, so do not commit oppression. The rest of the hadith is the same (as 6246.)


The Prophet pbuh exhorted his followers to treat their wives well and without violence, and to respect their rights for themselves. He explicitly mentioned this after his last pilgrimage to Mecca, when he gave his followers a last qhutba, a sermon that has become one of the most quoted texts in Islam:

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

This is a lot of text, but when we read it well, a clear picture appears of what may be expected from a man and a woman in their capacity of: Human being, man or woman.

Sources:
University of Southern California USC-MSA Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement (Compendium of Muslim Texts) http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje
The Quran and its Message http://quransmessage.com/welcome.htm