Women in Islam

women’s role in Islamic culture
(Redirected from Muslim woman)

The experiences of Muslim women vary widely between and within different societies. At the same time, their adherence to Islam is a shared factor that affects their lives to a varying degree and gives them a common identity that may serve to bridge the wide cultural, social, and economic differences between them.

Girl Reciting the Qur'ān (Kuran Okuyan Kız), an 1880 painting by the Ottoman polymath Osman Hamdi Bey, whose works often showed women engaged in educational activities


  • I think that mind-sets are changing in the Middle East. Poll after poll is showing that men see the value of greater female participation and empowerment. We still have a long way to go, but Islam should not be used as a scapegoat. The obstacles that face women today are more cultural. It's not about the religion.
  • The reality of women in Islam is a prefabricated destiny.
    • Tariq Ali - The Clash of Fundamentalisms, Crusades, Jihads and Modernity (2002)
  • The so-called Muslim women’s movement is predicated on the idea that Muslim men, not Islam, have been responsible for the suppression of women’s rights. For this reason, Muslim feminists throughout the world are advocating a return to the society Muhammad originally envisioned for his followers. Despite differences in culture, nationalities, and beliefs, these women believe that the lesson to be learned from Muhammad in Medina is that Islam is above all an egalitarian religion. Their Medina is a society in which Muhammad designated women like Umm Waraqa as spiritual guides for the Ummah; in which the Prophet himself was sometimes publicly rebuked by his wives; in which women prayed and fought alongside the men; in which women like Aisha and Umm Salamah acted not only as religious but also as political—and on at least one occasion military—leaders; and in which the call to gather for prayer, bellowed from the rooftop of Muhammad’s house, brought men and women together to kneel side by side and be blessed as a single undivided community.
    • Reza Aslan, (2005). No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam., p.136
  • I often think that woman is more free in Islam than in Christianity. Woman is more protected by Islam than by the faith which preaches Monogamy. In Al-Quran the law about woman is more just and liberal. It is only in the last twenty years that Christian England, has recognized the right of woman to property, while Islam has allowed this right from all times.
    • Annie Besant, The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras, 1932, pp. 25, 26.
  • Islam taught me that men and women are equal in the eyes of God. It is this message of Islam that has empowered me, has strengthened me, and has emboldened me. The Prophet’s wife, Bibi Khadija, was a rich and successful businesswoman. Throughout the Holy Koran, there is example after example of women as leaders, women being respected, women as equals. It is this tradition of Islam that has allowed me to battle for political and human rights, and strengthens me today.
  • The Koran is clear about the fact that women are not the equals of men. Men are a step (daraja) above them (Q2:228). They are also in au- thority (qawwāmūn) over them, and reasons are given for this (Q4:34). Significant asymmetries appear in the law of marriage: polygyny is permitted (Q4:3), but polyandry would seem to be unthinkable; di- vorce (ṭalāq) is something men do to women (Q2:230–­32, 236; Q33:49; Q65:1), not the other way around. In other connections women may not be left out altogether, but men get preference.... The Koran is concerned that women be treated decently (e.g., Q2:229, 240–­41); but all told, it does not regard them as equal. The development of these themes in the larger Islamic tradition is not out of line with these scriptural foundations.
    • Cook, Michael - Ancient religions, modern politics _ the Islamic case in comparative perspective-Princeton University Press (2014)
  • In Islam, men and women are moral equals in God's sight and are expected to fulfill the same duties of worship, prayer, faith, almsgiving, fasting, and pilgrimage to Mecca. Islam generally improved the status of women compared to earlier Arab cultures, prohibiting female infanticide and recognizing women's full personhood. Islamic law emphasizes the contractual nature of marriage, requiring that a dowry be paid to the woman rather than to her family, and guaranteeing women's rights of inheritance and to own and manage property. Women were also granted the right to live in the matrimonial home and receive financial maintainance during marriage and a waiting period following death and divorce.
  • Muslims have a very bad attitude to homosexuality, they're very intolerant … And women. For them women are second class citizens. What we are witnessing now is a clash of civilisations, not just between states but within them.
  • That his [Muhammad's] reforms enhanced the status of women in general by contrast with the anarchy of pre-Islamic Arabia is universally admitted.
  • The fatal blot in Islām is the degradation of women.… Yet it would be hard to lay the blame altogether on Moḥammad. The real roots of the degradation of women lie much deeper. When Islām was instituted, polygamy was almost necessitated by the number of women and their need of support; and the facility of divorce was quite necessitated by the separation of the sexes, and the consequence that a man could not know or even see the woman he was about to marry before the marriage ceremony was accomplished. It is not Moḥammad whom we must blame for these great evils, polygamy and divorce; it is the state of society which demanded the separation of the sexes, and in which it was not safe to allow men and women freely to associate; in other words, it was the sensual constitution of the Arab that lay at the root of the matter.
  • The emancipation of women, more than any other single issue, is the touchstone of difference between modernization and westernization. The emancipation of women is westernization; both for traditional conservatives and radical fundamentalists it is neither necessary nor useful but noxious, a betrayal of true Islamic values.
  • The real place of women is the house and she has been exempted from outdoor duties…She has however been allowed to go out of the house to fulfil her genuine needs, but whilst going out she must observe complete modesty. Neither should she wear glamorous clothes and attract attention, nor should she cherish the desire to display the charms of the face and the hand, nor should she walk in a manner which may attract attention of others. Moreover she should not speak to them without necessity, and if she has to speak she should not speak in a sweet and soft voice.
    • Abul A'la Maududi, Purdah and the status of Women in Islam, 1991, p. 140, Taj Company Ltd, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • [Women in Islamic countries] are exposed to male domination as a rule rather than as an exception... If anyone protests... as I have done, you are sure to be branded as a witch... What I demand is freedom for women from male domination and a uniform code... It that can be construed as blasphemy, I cannot help it.
    • Taslima Nasrin. In : The Sunday Observer. October 3, 1993. Quoted from Ram Swarup, Woman in Islam, 2000, p. 45.
  • One cannot but ponder the question: What if the Arabs had been Christians? To me it seems certain that the fatalistic teachings of Muhammad and the utter degradation of women is the outstanding cause for the arrested development of the Arab. He is exactly as he was around the year 700, while we have kept on developing. Here, I think, is a text for some eloquent sermon on the virtues of Christianity.
  • ‘For the Quran says,’ declare the ulema of Deoband settling a matter to which we shall soon turn, ‘the husband is the master.’ Apologists by contrast never tire of telling us that no religion has given as high a place to women as Islam, that no body of law has given them as many rights as the shariah. Yes, at the time of marriage, a woman is given mehr which in theory is hers: in fact, it is customary to have the bride renounce it on the nuptial night itself, and, as we shall see, for this there is sanction from Allah Himself; and the word itself for dower— ujoor— is one at which humanists, to say nothing of feminists, will wince—for it means the hire paid for use of the woman. Yes, a daughter is entitled to a share in the estate of the father, but it is to be half that of a son. Yes, a woman’s evidence can be taken into account, but it is to count for one-half of that of a man. And so on. These rules of shariah are not fortuitous. They follow from the view of women which is set out in the Quran and Hadis— that they are to be second to men, that their function is to obey husbands and satisfy them in every particular, that they are deficient mentally, that they are ungrateful, that a woman advancing is the devil, that a woman receding is the devil, that they shall form the majority in Hell...
    • Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)
  • The education of women, in particular their being awakened to new values, their being trained for new professions, their being awakened to their rights—all this is anathema; it is held to be injurious to them, in fact it is declared to be the way to disrupting society and undermining Islam.
    • Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)


The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary (3rd edition, 1938) by Abdullah Yusuf Ali.
  • Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and ye are their garments. God knoweth what ye used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them, and seek what God Hath ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) God: Approach not nigh thereto. Thus doth God make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint.
  • Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear God. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe
  • Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods. Nor is it lawful for them to hide what God Hath created in their wombs, if they have faith in God and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And God is Exalted in Power, Wise.
  • And their Lord hath accepted of them, and answered them: "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: Ye are members, one of another: Those who have left their homes, or been driven out therefrom, or suffered harm in My Cause, or fought or been slain,- verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath;- A reward from the presence of God, and from His presence is the best of rewards."
  • O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- reverence God, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for God ever watches over you.
  • If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.
  • From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large,-a determinate share.
  • God (thus) directs you as regards your Children's (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased Left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases ('s) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by God; and God is All-knowing, Al-wise.
  • O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good.
  • And in no wise covet those things in which God Hath bestowed His gifts More freely on some of you than on others: To men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn: But ask God of His bounty. For God hath full knowledge of all things.
  • They ask thy instruction concerning the women say: God doth instruct you about them: And (remember) what hath been rehearsed unto you in the Book, concerning the orphans of women to whom ye give not the portions prescribed, and yet whom ye desire to marry, as also concerning the children who are weak and oppressed: that ye stand firm for justice to orphans. There is not a good deed which ye do, but God is well-acquainted therewith
  • 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, God is well-acquainted with all that ye do.
  • Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding, and practise self-restraint, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. But if they disagree (and must part), God will provide abundance for all from His all-reaching bounty: for God is He that careth for all and is Wise.
  • And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors; Unless they repent thereafter and mend (their conduct); for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by God that they are solemnly telling the truth. And the fifth (oath) (should be) that they solemnly invoke the curse of God on themselves if they tell a lie. But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By God, that (her husband) is telling a lie. And the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of God on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth.
  • 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 God and His Apostle. And God only wishes to remove all abomination f rom you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.
  • For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God's praise,- for them has God prepared forgiveness and great reward.
  • 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 God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
  • God has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who pleads with thee concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to God: and God (always) hears the arguments between both sides among you: for God hears and sees (all things).

  • 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.
  • Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
  • Lo! men who surrender unto Allah, and women who surrender, and men who believe and women who believe, and men who obey and women who obey, and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth, and men who persevere (in righteousness) and women who persevere, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their modesty and women who guard (their modesty), and men who remember Allah much and women who remember - Allah hath prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward.
  • Surah iv, 1:-"O Men! fear your Lord, who hath created you of one man (nafs, soul), and of him treated his wife, and from these twain hath spread abroad so many men and women. And fear ye God, in whose name ye ask mutual favours—and reverence the wombs that bare you. Verily is God watching you!
    • Quran, quoted from T.P. Hughes, Dictionary of Islam
  • Surah lx. 10-12:—"O Believers! when believing women come over to you as refugees (Muhajirs), then make trial of them. God best knoweth their faith; but if ye have also ascertained their faith, let them not go beck to the infidels; they are not lawful for them, nor are the unbelievers lawful for these women. But give them back what they have spent for their dowers. No crime shall it be in you to marry them, provided ye give them their dowers. Do not retain any right in the infidel women, but demand back what you have spent for their dowers, and let the unbelievers demand back what they have spent for their wives. This is the ordinance of God which He ordaineth among you: and God is Knowing, Wise. And if any of your wives escape from you to the Infidels from whom ye afterwards take any spoil, then give to those whose wives shall have fled away, the like of what they shall have spent for their dowers; and fear God in whom ye believe. "O Prophet! when believing women come so thee, and pledge themselves that they will not associate aught with God, and that they will not steal or commit adultery, nor kill their children, nor bring scandalous charges, nor disobey thee in what is right, then plight thou thy faith to them, and ask pardon for them of God: for God Is Indulgent. Merciful!"
    • Quran, quoted from T.P. Hughes, Dictionary of Islam
  • Surah xxiv. 4—9:-"They who defame virtuous women, and bring not four witnesses, scourge them with fourscore stripes, and receive ye not their testimony for ever, for these are perverse persons.--- "Save those who afterwards repent and live virtuously; for truly God is Lenient, Merciful! "And they who shall accuse their wives, and have no witnesses but themselves, the testimony of each of them shall be a testimony by God four times repeated, that he is indeed of them that speak the truth. "And the fifth time that the malison of God be upon him, if he be of them that lie. "But it shall, avert the chastisement from her if she testify a testimony tour times repeated, by God, that he is of them that lie; "And a fifth time to call down the wrath of God on her, if he have spoken the truth."
    • Quran, quoted from T.P. Hughes, Dictionary of Islam
  • Surah xxiv. 81:— "Speak to the believing women that they train their eyes, and observe continence; and that they display not their ornaments, wept those which are external; and that they throw their veils over their bosoms, and display not their ornaments, except to their husbands or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their sons, or then- husbands' Sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male domestics who have no natural force, or to children who note not women's nakedness. And let them not strike their feet together, so as to discover their hidden ornaments. (See Isaiah iii. 16.) And be ye all turned to God, O ye Believers! That it may be well with you"
    • Quran, quoted from T.P. Hughes, Dictionary of Islam


Sahih al-Bukhari, compiled by Muhammad al-Bukhari. Translated into English by Muhammad Muhsin Khan in The Translation of the Meanings Of Sahih Al-Bukhari, 1971. Text online.
:Note: the content inside parentheses, except complimentary phrases or durood, are commentaries by the translator and are not present in the original Arabic text.
  • Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "I was shown the Hell Fire and most of its inhabitants were women who were ungrateful." It was asked, "Do they disbelieve Allah?" He replied, "They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful to the charitable deeds done to them. If you have always been benevolent to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, 'I have never received any good from you."
    • Vol. 1, Book of Belief (Faith), Hadith 28
  • Narrated Qaza'a, the slave of Ziyad: Abu Sa'id who participated in twelve Ghazawat with the Prophet said, "I heard four things from Allah's Apostle (or I narrate them from the Prophet ) which won my admiration and appreciation. They are: 1. "No lady should travel without her husband or without a Dhu-mahram for a two-days' journey. 2. No fasting is permissible on two days of 'Id-al-Fitr, and 'Id-al-Adha. 3. No prayer (may be offered) after two prayers: after the 'Asr prayer till the sun set and after the morning prayer till the sun rises. 4. Not to travel (for visiting) except for three mosques: Masjid-al-Haram (in Mecca), my Mosque (in Medina), and Masjid-al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem)."
    • Vol. 3, The Penalty for Hunting by a Muhrim, Hadith 87
  • Narrated Ibn Abbas: That he heard the Prophet saying, "It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman, and no lady should travel except with a Muhram (i.e. her husband or a person whom she cannot marry in any case for ever; e.g. her father, brother, etc.)." Then a man got up and said, "O Allah's Apostle! I have enlisted in the army for such-and-such Ghazwa and my wife is proceeding for Hajj." Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said, "Go, and perform the Hajj with your wife."
    • Vol. 4, Book of Jihad (Fighting for Allah's Cause), Hadith 250
  • Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah 's Apostle said, "Treat women nicely, for a women is created from a rib, and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion, so, if you should try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So treat women nicely."
    • Vol. 4, Book of Prophets, Hadith 548
  • Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari: Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Many amongst men attained perfection but amongst women none attained the perfection except Mary, the daughter of `Imran and Asiya, the wife of Pharaoh. And the superiority of `Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. an Arabic dish) to other meals."
    • Vol. 5, The Virtues and Merits of the companions of the Prophet, Hadith 113
  • Narrated 'Uqba: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "The stipulations most entitled to be abided by are those with which you are given the right to enjoy the (women's) private parts (i.e. the stipulations of the marriage contract)."
    • Vol. 7, Book of Nikah (Wedlock), Hadith 81
  • Narrated Ibn `Abbas: Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) cursed those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners) of women and those women who are in the similitude (assume the manners) of men.
    • Vol. 7, Book of Dress, Hadith 773
  • 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."
    • Vol. 8, Book of Good Manners, Hadith 2
  • 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."
    • Vol. 9, Book of Afflictions, Hadith 219

Sahih Muslim, compiled by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj. Translated into English by Abdul Hamid Siddiqui, 1976, International Islamic University Malaysia.
Note: the content inside parentheses, except complimentary phrases or durood, are commentaries by the translator and are not present in the original Arabic text.
  • It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah b. Umar that the Messenger of Allah observed: O womenfolk, you should give charity and ask much forgiveness for I saw you in bulk amongst the dwellers of Hell. A wise lady among them said: Why is it, Messenger of Allah, that our folk is in bulk in Hell? Upon this the Holy Prophet observed: You curse too much and are ungrateful to your spouses. I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion but (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of the wise, besides you. Upon this the woman remarked: What is wrong with our common sense and with religion? He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to one man, that is a proof of the lack of common sense, and you spend some nights (and days) in which you do not offer prayer and in the month of Ramadan (during the days) you do not observe fast, that is a failing in religion.
    • Vol. 1, Book of Faith (Kitab Al-Iman), Hadith 142
  • Masruq reported: It was mentioned before 'A'isha that prayer is invalidated (in case of passing) of a dog, an ass and a woman (before the worshipper, when he is not screened). Upon this 'A'isha said: You likened us to the asses and the dogs. By Allah I saw the Messenger of Allah saying prayer while I lay on the bedstead interposing between him and the Qibla. When I felt the need, I did not like to wit to front (of the Holy Prophet) and perturb the Messenger of Allah and quietly moved out from under its (i. e. of the bedstead) legs.
    • Vol. 1, Book of Prayers, Hadith 1038
  • Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of Allah. You too have right over them, and that they should not allow anyone to sit on your bed whom you do not like. But if they do that, you can chastise them but not severely. Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner.
    • Vol. 3, Book of Pilgrimage, Hadith 2803
  • Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: It is not lawful for a Muslim woman to travel a night's journey except when there is a mahram with her.
    • Vol. 3, Book of Pilgrimage, Hadith 3104
  • Ibn 'Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) delivering a sermon and making this observation:" No person should be alone with a woman except when there is a Mahram with her, and the woman should not undertake journey except with a Mahram." A person stood up and said: Allah's Messenger, my wife has set out for pilgrimage, whereas I am enlisted to fight in such and such battle, whereupon he said:" You go and perform Hajj with your wife."
    • Vol. 3, Book of Pilgrimage, Hadith 3110
  • Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, if he witnesses any matter he should talk in good terms about it or keep quiet. Act kindly towards woman, for woman is created from a rib, and the most crooked part of the rib is its top. If you attempt to straighten it, you will break it, and if you leave it, its crookedness will remain there. So act kindly towards women.
    • Vol. 4, Book of Marriage, Hadith 3468

Sunan Abu Dawood, compiled by Abu Dawood. Translated into English by Ahmad Hasan, 1984.
  • Narrated Ma'qil ibn Yasar: A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: I have found a woman of rank and beauty, but she does not give birth to children. Should I marry her? He said: No. He came again to him, but he prohibited him. He came to him third time, and he (the Prophet) said: Marry women who are loving and very prolific, for I shall outnumber the peoples by you.
    • Vol. 2, Book of The Rites of Hajj, Hadith 2045
  • Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: The marriage of a woman who marries without the consent of her guardians is void. (He said these words) three times. If there is cohabitation, she gets her dower for the intercourse her husband has had. If there is a dispute, the sultan (man in authority) is the guardian of one who has none.
    • Vol. 2, Book of Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Hadith 2078
  • Narrated Mu'awiyah ibn Haydah: I said: Apostle of Allah, how should we approach our wives and how should we leave them? He replied: Approach your tilth when or how you will, give her (your wife) food when you take food, clothes when you clothe yourself, do not revile her face, and do not beat her.
    • Vol. 2, Book of Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Hadith 2138
  • Iyas ibn Abdullah ibn Abu Dhubab reported the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) as saying: Do not beat Allah's handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them. Then many women came round the family of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) complaining against their husbands. So the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.
    • Vol. 2, Book Book of Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Hadith 2141
  • Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.
    • Vol. 2, Book of Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Hadith 2142, classed as Da'if (weak) by Al-Albani.[1]
  • `A’isha said: the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) never struck a servant or a woman.
    • Vol. 5, Book of Model Behavior of the Prophet, Hadith 4768

  • It was narrated from Aishah that: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Marriage is part of my sunnah, and whoever does not follow my sunnah has nothing to do with me. Get married, for I will boast of your great numbers before the nations. Whoever has the means, let him get married, and whoever does not, then he should fast for it will diminish his desire.”
    • Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book of Marriage, Hadith 1846
  • It was narrated from Samurah that: the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) forbade celibacy. Zaid bin Akhzam added: “And Qatadah recited: 'And indeed We sent Messengers before you (O Muhammad), and made for them wives and offspring.'”
    • Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book of Marriage, Hadith 1849
  • It was narrated that: Sulaiman bin Amr bin Ahwas said: “My father told me that he was present at the Farewell Pilgrimage with the Messenger of Allah. He praised and glorified Allah, and reminded and exhorted (the people). Then he said: 'I enjoin good treatment of women, for they are prisoners with you, and you have no right to treat them otherwise, unless they commit clear indecency. If they do that, then forsake them in their beds and hit them, but without causing injury or leaving a mark. If they obey you, then do not seek means of annoyance against them. You have rights over your women and your women have rights over you. Your rights over your women are that they are not to allow anyone whom you dislike to tread on your bedding (furniture), nor allow anyone whom you dislike to enter your houses. And their right over you are that you should treat them kindly with regard to their clothing and food.' ”
    • Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book 9, Hadith 1851
  • It was narrated that: Abdullah bin Abu Awfa said “When Muadh bin Jabal came from Sham, he prostrated to the Prophet who said: 'What is this, O Muadh?' He said: 'I went to Sham and saw them prostrating to their bishops and patricians and I wanted to do that for you.' The messenger of Allah said: 'Do not do that. If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone other than Allah, I would have commanded women to prostrate to their husbands. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad! No woman can fulfill her duty towards Allah until she fulfills her duty towards her husband. If he asks her (for intimacy) even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse.' ”
    • Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book of Marriage, Hadith 1853
  • It was narrated that from Musawir Al Himyari from his mother that: she heard Umm Salamah say: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: 'Any woman who dies when her husband is pleased with her, will enter Paradise.' ”
    • Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book of Marriage, Hadith 1854
  • It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that: the Messenger of Allah said: “Marry, for I will boast of your great numbers.”
    • Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book of Marriage, Hadith 1863
  • It was narrated from Ibn 'Abbas that: the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives."
    • Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book of Marriage, Hadith 1977

  • Abu Hurairah narrated that The Messenger of Allah said: “The most complete of the believers in faith, is the one with the best character among them. And the best of you are those who are best to your women.”
    • Jami` at-Tirmidhi Vol. 2, Book of Suckling, Hadith 1162
  • Sulaiman bin Amr bin Al-Ahwas said: “My father narrated to me that he witnessed the farewell Hajj with the Messenger of Allah. So he thanked and praised Allah and he reminded and gave admonition. He mentioned a story in his narration and he (the Prophet) said: “And indeed I order you to be good to the women, for they are but captives with you over whom you have no power than that, except if they come with manifest Fahishah (evil behavior). If they do that, then abandon their beds and beat them with a beating that is not harmful. And if they obey you then you have no cause against them. Indeed you have rights over your women, and your women have rights over you. As for your rights over your women, then they must not allow anyone whom you dislike to treat on your bedding (furniture), nor to admit anyone in your home that you dislike. And their rights over you are that you treat them well in clothing them and feeding them.”
    • Jami` at-Tirmidhi Vol. 2, Book of Suckling, Hadith 1163
  • It was narrated from Mu'awiyah bin Jahimah As-Sulami, that Jahimah came to the Prophet and said: "O Messenger of Allah! I want to go out and fight (in Jihad) and I have come to ask your advice." He said: "Do you have a mother?" He said: "Yes." He said: "Then stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet."
    • Sunan an-Nasa'i Vol. 4, Book of Jihad, Hadith 3106
  • Malik related to me from Zayd ibn Aslam from 'Amr ibn Mu'adh al-Ash-hali al-Ansari that his grandmother said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'O believing women! Let none of you despise giving to her neighbour even if it is only a roasted sheep's trotter.'
    • Muwatta of Malik ibn Anas, chapter 58, hadith number 4
  • Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Take my advice with regard to women: Act kindly towards women, for they were created from a rib, and the most crooked part of a rib is its uppermost. If you attempt to straighten it; you will break it, and if you leave it alone it will remain crooked; so act kindly toward women".
    • Riyad as-Salihin, Introduction, Hadith 273. [2]
  • Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "The believers who show the most perfect Faith are those who have the best behaviour, and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives".
    • Riyad as-Saliheen, Book of Miscellany, Hadith 278
  • Abu 'Ali Talq bin 'Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "When a man calls his wife to satisfy his desire, she must go to him even if she is occupied with the oven".
    • Riyad as-Salihin, The Book of Miscellany, Book 1, Hadith 284
  • Narrated Hakim bin Mu'awiyah al-Qushairi on his father's authority: I asked, "O Allah's Messenger, what is the right of the wife of one of us upon her husband?" He replied, "That you should give her food when you eat, and clothe her when you clothe yourself, and do not strike her on the face and do not revile her.
    • Bulugh al-Maram, Book 8, Hadith 1152
  • Whosoever female dies while her husband is pleased with her, will enter Paradise.
    • Mishkat al-Masabih Book I, Section 'Duties of husband and wife', Hadith No. ii, 60
  • Abu Huraira told that when God’s Messenger was asked which woman was best he replied, “The one who pleases [her husband] when he looks at her, obeys him when he gives a command, and does not go against his wishes regarding her person or property by doing anything of which he disapproves.”
    • Mishkat al-Masabih Book 13, Hadith 188
  • The prophet once said to a woman: 'Watch how you treat your husband for he is your Paradise and your Hell.
    • Kanz- el-'Ummal, Volume 22, Hadith Number 868
  • "I have not left any calamity more detrimental to mankind than women."
    • The Teaching of Muhammad, as given in the Traditions, quoted from T.P. Hughes: Dictionary of Islam.
  • "A bad omen is found in a woman, a house, or a horse.
    • The Teaching of Muhammad, as given in the Traditions, quoted from T.P. Hughes: Dictionary of Islam.
  • "The best women are those that ride on camels, and the virtuous women of the Quraish are these who are affectionate to young children and who are most careful of their husband's property."
    • The Teaching of Muhammad, as given in the Traditions, quoted from T.P. Hughes: Dictionary of Islam.
  • "The world and all things in it are valuable: but more valuable than all is a virtuous woman."
    • The Teaching of Muhammad, as given in the Traditions, quoted from T.P. Hughes: Dictionary of Islam.
  • "Look to your actions and abstain from the world and from women, for verily the first sin which the children of Israel committed was on account of women."
    • The Teaching of Muhammad, as given in the Traditions, quoted from T.P. Hughes: Dictionary of Islam.
  • "God will reward the Muslim who, having beheld the beauties of a woman, shuts his eyes."
    • The Teaching of Muhammad, as given in the Traditions, quoted from T.P. Hughes: Dictionary of Islam.
  • "Do not visit the houses of men when they are absent from their homes, for the devil circulates within you like the blood in your veins. It was said, 'O Prophet, in your veins also?' He replied, 'My veins also. But God has given me power over the devil and I am free from wickedness.'"
    • The Teaching of Muhammad, as given in the Traditions, quoted from T.P. Hughes: Dictionary of Islam.
  • "Two women must not sit together, because the one may describe the other to her husband, so that you might say the husband had seen her himself."
    • The Teaching of Muhammad, as given in the Traditions, quoted from T.P. Hughes: Dictionary of Islam.
  • "Do not follow up one look at a woman with another, for verily the first look is causable, but the next is unlawful."
    • The Teaching of Muhammad, as given in the Traditions, quoted from T.P. Hughes: Dictionary of Islam.

Other Islamic texts

  • "As for Ali, he said, 'Women are plentiful, and you can easily change one for another."
    • Ibn Ishaq 734 - [3]
  • "Lay injunctions on women kindly, for they are prisoners with you having no control of their persons."
    • Ibn Ishaq 969 -[4]
  • Dealing with a Rebellious Wife - When a husband notices signs of rebelliousness in his wife (whether in words, as when she answers him coldly when she used to do so politely, or he asks her to come to bed and she refuses, contrary to her usual habit; or whether in acts, as when he finds her averse to him when she was previously kind and cheerful), he warns her in words ("Your obeying me is religiously obligatory"). If she commits rebelliousness, he keeps from sleeping (having sex) with her without words, and may hit her, but not in a way that injures her... it is permissible for him to hit her he believes that hitting her will bring her back to the right path.
    • Reliance of the Traveller M10.11
  • Now then, O people, you have a right over your wives and they have a right over you. You have [the right] that they should not cause anyone of whom you dislike to tread on your beds; and that they should not commit any open indecency (fāḥishah). If they do, then God permits you to forsake them in bed and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain from [evil], they have the right to their food and clothing in accordance with custom (bi’l-ma‘rūf). Treat women well, for they are [like] captives ('awan) with you and do not possess anything for themselves. You have taken them only as a trust from God, and you have made the enjoyment of their persons lawful by the word of God, so understand and listen to my words, O people. I have conveyed the Message, and have left you with something which, if you hold fast to it, you will never go astray: that is, the Book of God and the sunnah of His Prophet. Listen to my words, O people, for I have conveyed the Message and understand [it]. Know for certain that every Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, and that all Muslims are brethren. It is not lawful for a person [to take] from his brother except that which he has given him willingly, so do not wrong yourselves. O God, have I not conveyed the message?
    • Al-Tabari, Vol. 9, p. 113, No. 1754

See also

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