Women Being Unable to Go out, and the Idea They Are Prone to Deception by Satan
A woman is ‘Awrah (i.e. should not be exposed); and whenever she goes outdoors, satan receives her. (Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban and Sunan Abu Dawud)
Woman is the mainstay, the beauty and fineness of society. It is a great blessing for a society to have women in it, for them to have the right to speak out and be in charge, to be involved in decision-making mechanisms and to have their opinions sought. Woman has been specially created by God to be able to perform detailed analysis, make complex decisions, think of all precautions beforehand and to be highly considerate and intelligent. That is why the value attached to women in Islam is so high. Once that is fully understood, Islam will be properly comprehended across the world.
It is for these reasons that internal and external forces have striven for hundreds of years to cause damage within Islam, especially on the subject of women. Using fabricated hadiths and superstitious practices, as well as various customs and traditions referred to as “rules” that actually have no place in Islam as a shield, they have tried to give the impression that a woman is a second class, despised, repulsive and dangerous entity prone to leading people into sin.
The devilish attitude to women of the fanatical mentality that is filled to overflowing with hostility toward women and hatred has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.
In the above false hadith, for instance, a woman is described as being predisposed to immorality, unable to control herself, weak-willed, unreliable in faith and prone to devilish promptings. That is the reason for all the talk of women being allowed out as little as possible, being kept under supervision and having a strong tendency to immorality in the event that they do go out, thus giving the idea that their every action needs to be monitored.
Yet it is perfectly clear that these fabricated words were never spoken by our Prophet (pbuh). It is the fanatics, with their deep enmity towards women, who spout fatuous falsehoods and ascribe them to our Prophet (pbuh), who in point of fact entrusted his life to women in battle, set aside space for women in assemblies and who felt a profound love and respect for them. In the time of our Prophet (pbuh), as we have already seen in detail, women took their place in battle, were present in all kinds of social environments, engaged in business and were among the leading preachers of the faith. The verses of the Qur’an contain not the slightest suggestion that women are too dangerous or inherently foolish to be allowed out of doors; on the contrary, in the Qur’an God reveals the psychopathic nature of the fanatic attitude to women and how that mentality engaged in fiendish activities in the time of our Prophet (pbuh):
When any of them is given the good news of the very thing which he himself has ascribed to the All-Merciful [i.e. of a baby girl] his face darkens and he is furious. (Qur'an, 43:17)
when the baby girl buried alive is asked for what crime she was killed, (Qur'an, 81:8-9)
When one of them is given the good news of a baby girl, his face darkens and he is furious. He hides away from people because of the evil of the good news he has been given. Should he keep her ignominiously or bury her in the earth? What an evil judgment they make! (Qur'an, 16:58-59)
John William Godward's oil painting “On the Balcony,” 1911
A woman must learn how to live, not from a man, but from the Qur'an.
The verses in question provide an all too illuminating description of the terrifying nature of the fanatic attitude towards women and show how much this attitude is cursed by God. A mentality that was filled with rage and turned black when it learned that its child was a daughter and that went even further, committing infanticide by burying that child alive existed in the past, and they will have to give account in the hereafter for their actions as described in verses 8 and 9 of Surat at-Takwir. This enmity toward women is a source of great anger in the Sight of God.
John William Godward's oil painting “Nerissa,” 1906
Despising women, whom God says He has created in the finest form, and comparing them to dogs, asses and pigs, and describing them as a misfortune is totally incompatible with the moral values of the Qur'an. Muslim women are saintly people who are praised in the Qur'an, cited as role models, who are loved and respected and who are blessings.
As we have seen, the fanatic mindset that overflows with enmity toward and hatred of women has never altered its misogynistic attitude toward them for hundreds of years. Since these people knew that the verses of the Qur’an did not support their wicked way of thinking, they instead sought to wreak harm through these fabricated hadiths: That is the main reason for the existence of these horrifying false hadiths about women in particular.
In another fabricated verse on the subject, the fanatics seek to train women by starving them almost to death and not letting them wear attractive clothes. According to that diseased mentality, if a woman is starved and only given old and shabby clothes to wear she will be less inclined to want to go outside. The false hadiths in question read:
Let women go hungry, but not enough to harm them, and with only few clothes, though do not go to extremes in that. That is because if women can eat their fill and dress well, there is nothing they like more than going out and walking around. But if they are relatively hungry and naked, there is nothing better for them than sitting at home. ( Ibn al-Jawzi, Mawdu’at, II/282283; Suyuti, al-Laali, II/154 Ibn Arrak, Tenzihus Sharia, II/212213)
Strengthen your control of women through (providing them with) insufficient clothing, for when a woman comes to have excessive dresses and ornaments, she tends to roam outside home. (Nahj al-Fasahah, p. 216)
A man may have lost his teeth and become ugly while his wife happens to be young and very beautiful. It is possible that such a woman, who may have gone out to the market or to other places where she may have been invited, sees handsome men and upon her return home is reluctant to be responsive to her husband’s amorous advances. This is the result of the visit of a woman to markets and social gatherings to say the least. (Imam Sharani, al-Uhud al-Qubra)
The description of women in the false hadiths in question is an abnormal creature, literally one of an animal that cannot control itself anywhere it goes, that tends to act in the light of its own instincts rather than out of faith in, and fear of, God and that therefore needs to be kept in check by various precautions. Such a description is exactly that the fanatics have of women. What concerns us is the perspective of the Qur’an, not that of the fanatic. The Muslim woman described in the Qur’an fears God. She therefore knows very well how she should dress in which environment, how to protect her chastity and honor, and how to behave in the shops, at the market and during celebrations. The Qur’an is all she needs to know. She has no need of a man to tell her in order to know that, nor to tell her what to wear or eat. It is God Who will decide, not a mortal man. Men are given no such authority or license anywhere in the Qur’an. Men are given no privileges or attributes to allow them to claim that they possess such rights anywhere in the Qur’an. Since God addresses female believers in the Qur’an in the same way that He does male believers, a woman will see and understand what our Lord says to her in the Qur’an and strive to act on it in the most perfect way.
In order to act on the morality described in the Qur’an, all a woman needs is to fear God. Those people who maintain that piety can only be established by being imposed by a man are fanatics, who are quite literally prisoners of these terrible false hadiths.
In addition, God reveals in the Qur’an that Muslims, be they men or women, should eat and drink everything that is lawful - without overdoing it of course - come to the mosque in the finest clothes, wear jewels and be clean and well-groomed. There are no verses about a woman not going out of doors. On the contrary, it can clearly be seen from verses that the social responsibilities that God imposes on women require that they play an intensive role in social life. Those hadiths are therefore at complete variance with the Qur’an.