Many people have long held the erroneous notion that men are better than women. In Men & Women, Hamza Yusuf makes clear the positions and roles of men and women in society according to the Quran and Sunnah and sheds much-needed light on several often misunderstood Quranic verses and hadiths concerning the relationship between the two.
His eye-opening discussion of issues such as the hijab, marital rights, and domestic violence, will prove invaluable for all listeners, particularly couples who want to improve understanding in their marriages and individuals who want to be reassured of Islam's honor of women.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Before I talk about what I want to talk about I just want to dispel a myth, I am sure most of you are aware that it is a myth but some of you might not be and that is the idea that has somehow crept into Muslim culture that boys are better than girls or actually more preferable and I think part of the problems that we have in our Muslim communities have to do with cultural problems and I would say that if they are universalised they just manifest differently according to different cultures.
The United States is also a country that suffers from that same problem in its view and attitudes towards women and in fact Dr Abdul Hakim Winter wrote a paper that is really worth reading called “boys will be boys” and in that paper he describes the fact that it is actually Islam that prevents this very insidious idea from taking over because if you look outwardly at the situation that we have the vast majority of men have certain qualities that are superior to the vast majority of women in the outward and most of them have to do with physical qualities and in fact the physiology of women’s design, it is not designed for rough sports and one of the major problems occurring in America because young girls are beginning to play contact sports and rough sports is the increase in the number of sport related injuries that actually related to physical structures, the difference between the knees of men and the knees of women, the difference between the hips, female hips are very different. The shoulder blades, if you look at the basic bone structure of a woman and you look at the basic bone structure of men they are different, there is a physical difference.
Now obviously there are certain women that are very strong and there are certain men that they are weak and so it is something that is more of bell curve type of understanding but one of the things that Dr Winter points out in that paper is that when you have a society that begins to create a culture of this outward over-achievement that basically he says it is the women will eventually suffer greatly because they are compelled to compete with men in areas that there was never meant to be any competition and this is why there is this attempt now to reach this threshold where females can actually compete in make sports categories so there is the idea of finally getting a woman who can make it pro-basketball in the men’s league. Now, as of now it was a great historical event when this poor woman dunked a basketball in a basketball game recently, it was considered like this immense event that she was able to do this dunk that occurs every single day all over the country by men playing basketball. Is this what we want out women to be doing and competing in and what Islam does it creates a competition not in the outward but in the inward and in that it is the men who are disadvantaged which is really interesting. So the opposite happens.
If you look at a sports track, if you watch an Olympic sport or even in high school, you have the people in the outward lap are given a head start because the people in the inward lap have a shorter run on that first lap. By the second lap because they can all move into the inward lap it will equal out but they put the runner who was in that outward lap, they give him a head start so it equals out and that is why men are given things that they do spiritually like the quwamma. You see men are there to maintain women, that is that little head start that they get and that is hwy Allah mentioned that in the Quran that giving men the infaq was something that He have a fadal there. A fadal is an excess because men need that in a relatiohsip in which the woman is raising children, a woman is having childbirth. A woman has a jihad according to the hadith which is sahih in her house that is ongoing and many men will never get the opportunity to actually by involved in a jihad which is one of the highest maqams in Islam and so Allah gives men a head start spiritually because when they reach out on yaum al qiyammah, it is basically equalled out in a lot of things.
One of the other things is one of the greatest qualities of the human heart is riqah is a type of brittleness and the Prophet praised the Yemenis because they are more brittle hearted than other people in other words they wept easier and that was better for them in terms of their relationship with Allah because one the descriptions that Allah gives about people that love Allah is that they weep easily. Now spiritually women have a total advantage over men in that area because most men have a very difficult time weeping and the Prophet actually said that if you cannot do it then at least fake it.