FAQ in the category of Woman

1 For a woman who has made a miscarriage, is there a period of waiting to recover? How should be acted if it is not sure whether the organs of the child were formed?

There is a spacial situation that women face after childbirth characterized by bleeding in the genital and lasting at most for forty days. This is called recovering after childbirth and this bleeding is called after-childbirth bleeding.
This recovering period changes from woman to woman. For some women this can be as short as even one day. This period finishes with the end of bleeding. There is no minimum time for this period. But the maximum time is forty days. If the bleeding still continues forty days after the birth, this blood is no longer recovering blood, but istihada (vaginal bleeding except menstruation and after-childbirth bleeding).

The cleaning intervals in the period of bleeding after childbirth (forty days) are also counted in this period. For example, if, after the birth, blood comes for ten days and then stops for five days and again starts and comes for ten more days, these twenty five days are all counted in the forty-day waiting/recovering period.
With the miscarriage of a baby whose organs like hands and feet had developed, the recovering period occurs and generally continues for ten to fifteen days.

If the woman does not know whether the baby's organs have developed or not as she has suffered a miscarriage, she acts like this: If the miscarriage happened at the beginning of her menstruation period and blood continued from then on, she absolutely abandons her prayers and fasting as long as her menstruation days. This is because during those days she is either in her monthly period or in afterbirth recovering. And then she takes a bath and performs her prayers as long as the cleaning period. Then, she again abandons her prayers during her period because she is still either in afterbirth recovering or in monthly period. She acts in this way during these forty days performing her prayers in cleaning periods but not in menstruation periods.

If she has suffered a miscarriage after her monthly period: She performs her prayers during her cleaning days as the miscarriage occurred during these cleaning days. And then during the days in her monthly period she absolutely abandons the prayers because she is either in afterbirth recovering or in monthly period.

The women in afterbirth recovering cannot perform the prayers, cannot fast, cannot read and  hold the Quran. They also cannot circumambulate the Ka'bah in Mecca, cannot enter mosques and cannot get into sexual relation with their husband. The husband of a woman in afterbirth recovering cannot benefit from his wife's this part of body: from the belly down to the lower part of the knees, unless there is a piece of cloth covering this part. If there is a covering there, provided that there is no intercourse, he can caress and make love.

The obligatory daily prayers that could not be performed during the afterbirth recovering are not compensated later on, but the fasting days that are missed are compensated afterwards.

After the afterbirth bleeding stops, the woman gets a ghusl (full ablution of the whole body) and starts to perform her worship and prayers. She can start sexual relation with her husband only after she takes a bath or after at least one prayer's time has passed since the blood stopped.

The woman in afterbirth recovering can recite the verses that are prayers with the intention of praying to God. She can remember God and praise Him. The meals she cooks, the leftovers of what she eats and drinks are clean. Her husband can sleep with her on the same bed and can benefit from her to a certain extent as is explained above. There are certain reasons and purposes why women are kept away from certain prayers and religious duties at this time. In this period, on the one hand, because of the certain liquids that women discharge, they are not in a state of complete cleanliness. On the other, they need rest because they are ill and tired. One of the reasons that sexual relation is forbidden during that time is that the woman is not ready for such a relation physically and psychologically. Furthermore, the relation at this time is also medically dangerous. This temporary prohibition in sexual life also causes love and longing between couples to increase.

Menstruation and Post-childbirth Bleeding


Menstruation is a natural type of blood that flows at regular intervals from a woman’s uterus after puberty. God has laid down certain rules in connection with this, as a concession to the woman, in consideration of her condition.

Menstruation usually lasts 3 to 10 days and nights, varying from woman to woman. Most women have a regular number of days for their monthly menstrual period. The number of days may fluctuate and the period might come a little early or a little late. So when a woman sees menstrual blood, she should consider herself to be menstruating. When it stops, she should consider herself clean. If more blood appears after her menstrual period has ended, but does not have the same color as menstrual blood, it should not be considered as menstruation.

Post-childbirth bleeding is the blood that comes during and after childbirth. It may begin to come 2 or 3 days before delivery and be accompanied by labor pains. There is no minimum limit as to how long a woman will bleed, but generally the upper limit is within 40 days.

Women are prohibited from performing certain acts while they are in this condition, such as follows:
     * She cannot pray (salat) after she begins to bleed and does not have to make up any missed prayers.
    * She cannot observe any obligatory (Ramadan) or supererogatory fasts. She must make up the obligatory fasting days after regaining her ritual cleanliness. If bleeding begins during a supererogatory fasting day upon which she had intended to fast, she must make it up.
    * She can do all pilgrimage rites except circumambulating the Ka‘ba (tawaf).
    * She should avoid mosques or places of worship, and cannot touch the Qur’an, whether the original or in translation. She cannot recite it from memory, but can read the verses of prayer and supplication with the intention of praying. (She cannot perform salat but can supplicate and recite the prayers mentioned in the Qur’an with the intention of saying prayers or making supplications.)
    * A man cannot have sexual intercourse with his wife while she has post-childbirth bleeding, for she is not allowed to make herself available to him. However, he can kiss, hug, or touch her anywhere besides the pubic region. It is better and highly advisable to avoid the area between the navel and the knees.
When a menstruating woman stops bleeding, she must perform a complete ghusl (major ablution). After this, she must resume praying and fasting, can enter the mosque, make tawaf, recite the Qur’an, and engage in allowable sexual intercourse. She must make up the fasting days that she missed during Ramadan, but not the prayers. The same rules apply to women in post-childbirth bleeding.


Istihadha (Non-menstrual Vaginal Bleeding)


In some women, bleeding never stops; in others, it continues for longer than normal. This blood is called istihadha. Likewise, any blood coming before puberty and after menopause is also considered istihadha.
A woman with this condition should calculate when her period would normally end, and then stop praying during the days of her calculated period and follow all of the other menstruation-related rules. For the rest of the days, her bleeding should be treated as istihadha. If she does not have a regular period or does not remember when it used to occur, but can distinguish between the two kinds of blood based on color, thickness, and smell (i.e., menstrual blood is dark, thick, and has a strong odor, while istihadha is bright red, thin, and less disagreeable in smell), she must act accordingly. If she does not have a regular period and cannot distinguish between the two types of blood, she must consider the blood coming for 3 to 10 days every month as menstruation and calculate it from the time she first noticed her vaginal bleeding.
There is no difference between a woman beset by istihadha and one who has a complete cessation of menstrual flow, except as follows:
    * If the first woman wants to perform wudu’ (ritual ablution), she should wash the blood from her vaginal area and then apply a menstrual pad or wrap the area with a clean rag on top of a wad of cotton to catch the blood. Any blood coming out after that is of no account.
    * She must perform wudu’ for every obligatory prayer.


Ghusl (Major Ablution)


Ghusl means major canonical ablution or a complete washing of the body. It becomes obligatory after sexual intercourse, even if only the head of the penis disappears into the vagina. Any discharge of semen, and the completion of menses and post-childbirth bleeding.
Taking ghusl every Friday before the congregational prayer is highly advisable, for the Prophet always did so. Before beginning ghusl, one should make the intention to perform it and, if one will pray after performing it, also the prayer.
Things Forbidden to a Ritually Impure Person
People who are in this state cannot pray, circumambulate the Ka'ba (tawaf), enter a mosque or place of worship unless necessary, or touch the Qur'an or any of its verses except with a clean cloth or something similar.
What Makes One's Ghusl Valid?
    * Rinsing the mouth thoroughly so that all of its parts are cleaned properly.
    * Rinsing the nose right up to the nasal bone.
    * Washing all bodily parts thoroughly, including the hair.
The best way to perform ghusl is as follows:
    * Having the intention (niyyat) to cleanse the body from (ritual) impurity while washing oneself.
    * Washing the hands up to the wrists three times.
    * Washing the private parts thoroughly.
    * Removing all filth from all bodily parts.
    * Performing ablution.
    * Washing all bodily parts three times, including the hair thoroughly. No part, even the size of a pinpoint, is allowed to remain dry. Rubbing and pressing the body is not obligatory.

2 Is it permitted for women to pluck their eyebrows, to remove hairs on their face and between and around their eyebrows?

Allah created each person with a separate beauty. The beauty in which the seal of oneness is read on the face of human beings is the beauty that is inherent and natural. It is a sign of being a slave of Allah to keep it, to thank Allah for the characteristics and beauty he owns and be content with what Allah has granted.
Therefore a person should not make any changes in his/her body if it is not something vital or obligatory. Our Prophet (PBUH), who prohibited to make changes in the human body without any real necessity, said Allah had cursed “those women who tattooed and who have themselves tattooed, those who pluck hair from their faces and those who make spaces between their teeth for beautification” for changing what Allah has created and warned them.(1)
By acting upon this hadith the fiqh ulama said it is permissible for a woman on whose face a beard or mustache grows to remove them; however it is not permissible for a woman to make her eyebrows thin, to put them out of their natural state, to arrange the eyelashes, to use false eyelashes. Teeth, eyebrows and eyelashes are like organs. There is no drawback in removing the hairs by a woman on her face that grow later and that were not present in the beginning because they are not like eyebrows or eyelashes. Similarly, there is no drawback for women to remove the hairs on their legs. For they are not counted as an organ like eyebrows.

In the books of fiqh (Islamic Law) we see the following principle:

-The hairs on the face which make women look ugly, are removed. If such hairs as beard and mustache, which are peculiar to men, grow on women's faces, it is permissible to remove them.

“Ibn-i Abidin stated that beard and mustache were not of the creation (fitrat) of women (not natural for them), therefore (if they grow) it is good (mustahab) to remove them

Shaving is not the best way of removing those hairs, but the best way is through such medical methods as epilating wax, powder, or the like.” ( Kadın İlmihali, Mürşide Uysal, p. 370) 

As is understood, it is good (mustahab) for a religious woman to make herself attractive to her husband. There is also the wisdom of protecting her husband from other women's attraction.  
As for the hairs between or around the eyebrows: 
“There is a normal form of female eyebrow. The extra hairs which exceed this form, and which seem ugly and make the woman look ugly and therefore disturb her, can be removed. It is not regarded permissible to make normal eyebrows thinner by following the fashion, or to change their position...” (Prof. Dr. Hayreddin Karaman) Islamic scholars have thought for a long time about what the religious decree is for women's plucking the hairs on their faces, making their eyebrows thinner, and making their eyelashes longer. It has been a matter of much discussion among Islamic scholars what deeds the expression in the following hadith of the Prophet includes: “May Allah damn the woman who plucks her facial hairs and who has them plucked.” (Bukhari, 'Libas', 84; Muslim, 'Libas', 120). 
According to the majority of scholars, if such hairs as beard and mustache, which are not peculiar to women, grow on her face, it is permissible for a woman, with the intention of looking beautiful to her husband and with his permission, to remove them, to make up in order to be more beautiful, to remove the scattered hairs around her eyebrows (around and between the eyebrows); and the prohibition in the hadith is about women's plucking her facial hairs and her eyebrows in order to go out and to be seen more beautiful to the strangers. 
The Malikis (one of the rightful sects in Islam) and some scholars, though, view it as changing the creation and therefore do not see it in any way as permissible or they see it as ominable (makrooh). 
As a result, it is more appropriate to understand the prohibition in the hadith of plucking hairs as prohibition of removing hairs of eyebrows in order to make them thinner and change their place with the intention of looking more beautiful to others; rather than removing facial hairs (beard, mustache hairs) which grow later as a result of an illness or any other malady and which make a woman's face look ugly. 
It is a requisite of belief in Allah that humans should respect the blessing of the body which Allah has given them as trusts, and that they should reciprocate His blessings by offering thanks. It is an expression of the love that a Muslim woman feels for Allah that she protects the beauty Allah has given to her face without distorting it and thus respects His work of art, and adds beauty to her beauty by reflecting the gleams of peace of spirit and of heart onto her face.  

Dr. Jale Şimşek

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Is it halal (lawful or permitted) for a woman to wear a wig, cut or dye her hair?

3 ear piercing
4 How a divorced woman should spend her divorce period?

First of all it is not true that she cannot talk with anyone.

A woman who has been waiting for the iddah of divorcement, the maintenance payment is obligatory upon her husband. For this reason it is not necessary for her to go out. It is her husband’s responsibility to look after her.And turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave” (At-Talaq, 65/1)

A woman, who has been waiting for the iddah of death, may have to go out for working because of the death of her husband (maintenance payer).

IDDAH

The definite number and the latest limit for it. Community. According to the Islamic Law(Fiqh), the period of time that a woman must wait to remarry as a consequence of nullification of her marriage with her husband because of death, divorce or one of the reasons of annulment.
The time for waiting (Iddah) can change depending on the reason why a marriage ends.

1) If the marriage ends as a consequence of the death of the husband, the time for Iddah is four months and ten days. As a matter of fact, this Ayah (verse) in the Quran explains the issue “Those of you who die and leave wives behind, let these wait by themselves for four months and ten days al-Baqarah, 2/234).
2) The iddah time for a woman who is pregnant is till she gives birth to. The rule is fixed no matter if the marriage ends because of divorce or the death of the husband. In the Ayah, “And those who are heavy with child their appointed time is when they have laid down their burden”  ( at-Talaq, 65/4).
If the pregnancy has occurred outside marriage and if, of course, the woman wants to marry the father of her child, she can marry immediately. According to Hanafis and Shafis, she can marry immediately but the intercourse is delayed till the birth. In a relationship outside marriage, if it is not known whether the woman is pregnant or not and if she wants to get married to another man, she must wait till she menstruates for once. If the woman never menstruates because of her age, it is enough for her to wait for a month.

3)  The waiting time for a divorced woman, if she is not pregnant, is the time for three periods. It takes place in about three months for women who have normal periods:
“Divorced women shall wait by themselves for three Periods” (al-Baqarah 2/228)

4) The waiting time for younger and older ones who do not have periods is three months: “As for your women who have despaired of further menstruating, if you are in doubt, then their waiting period is three months as well as those who have not yet menstruated.” (at-Talaq, 65/4). Accordingly, the waiting time for women who have not menstruated yet and have despaired of further menstruating is three months after divorcing.

If an official marriage ends with a returnable one or an irrevocable one, the woman has a right to demand alimony. Namely, the husband she divorced must look after her. However, if the marriage ends as a consequence of her husband’s death, the woman cannot take alimony because the man in charge of giving alimony is dead. The goods he left behind, according to the rules of inheritance, belong to heirs of him.  
His wife, if she has children from her husband who died, has the right to take one-eighth of the inheritance, if she does not, she takes one-fourth. It is possible for her to maintain her life by using that right of her instead of demanding alimony. Moreover, if the woman has goods or property belonging to her or she can take mahr (precious things or Money she took while marrying) that she did not take before and they are the protective rights for women.

In that case, the effects of marriage keep on during the waiting time. After the waiting time, the relationship between the woman and the man is cut off. If a man divorces a woman with three Talaqs, it is not possible for him to remarry her without Hullah any more. If he divorces her for one time or twice, spouses can be reconciled in the returnable divorcing during the waiting time and there is no need to re-do the marriage contract. After the waiting time (Iddah), the returnable divorce turns into a fixed one. But spouses can get married again with a new marriage contract. The marriage goes one with two rights of divorce if only one divorce has taken place, and with one right of divorce if two divorces have taken place.

5 Is it permissible for a Muslim woman to go out or travel alone?

It is permissible for a Muslim woman to go out inside city if she wears clothes ensuring tasattur. However, it is not permissible for a woman to set out on a journey alone.
First, let us take a look at the Hadiths which are related to the issue:
Abu Said al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: “It is not lawful for a woman believing in Allah and the Hereafter to undertake a journey extending over three days or more, except when she is in the company of her father, or her son, or her husband, or her brother, or any other Mahram.”1
The issue is reported in another account as two days:
Abu Said al-Khudri reported: “Allah's Messenger forbade a woman to undertake a journey extending over two days but with her husband, or with a Mahram”2
The issue is reported in another account as one day:
Abu Hurayrah reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: It is not lawful for a Muslim woman to travel a night's journey except when there is a Mahram with her.3
Giving this Hadith as a proof, Imam Awzai and Abu Layth say the following:
It is not lawful for a Muslim woman to travel one-day journey without accompanied by a Mahram with her. However, if the distance is shorter than one-day journey, she can go alone.”4
While explaining those Hadiths, the Hadith scholars say the following:
According to Hanafi School, a Muslim woman without accompanied by her husband or a Mahram must not travel extending three-day distance or more. However, it is permissible for a Muslim woman to go by herself for a distance less than that without those mentioned-above with her. Also in Hidaya it is said that it is Mubah for a Muslim woman to travel alone for less than three-day distance without accompanied by a Mahram. 5
Imam Ayni also talks about this question and its answer related to that matter: if you said “Aisha traveled alone, without accompanied by a Mahram, Acting upon it, a group from the scholars said a woman could travel without accompanied by a mahram”,  I would say to you: “Since Aisha was the mother of all believers, she was Mahram to all. Whoever traveled with her, he or she would be a Mahram. This rule cannot be valid for the other women. That answer belongs to Abu Hanifa.6
As far as it is understood from all those narrations and reports, a Muslim woman cannot travel a three-day journey without accompanied by a Mahram such as her husband or father, brother, son, and uncle. It is not permissible. However, she can travel alone for a distance less than that. The Ijtihad (judicial opinion) of Imam Awzai which says that a Muslim woman cannot travel even one-day journey without accompanied by a Mahram seems more important in terms of being cautious. Here, by “outside the district”, it is meant outside the city. There is no limit in Hadiths about how many days a Muslim woman should travel alone inside the city because the inside of the city  is residential district; it is thought that it is secure.
However, sometimes there can be urgent cases for journeys outside city for a woman. Today, after possible measures are taken, it means that it is secure and they can travel alone since they will travel by bus, train, and plane. In those cases, there is no harm to travel alone. As it is mentioned above, there is an urgent case.
It can be evaluated in the same category when a Muslim woman gets into a cab alone inside the city. Even if the inside the cab is seen, the woman who gets into a cab is alone with the driver. Thus, she should prefer to sit in the back seat. On the other hand, as it is possible to come across with evil-minded drivers, it is also possible to be addressed in a bad way by drivers. In order to prevent those kinds of cases from happening, she should use her mind and try not to meet those kinds of people. After all, it is the best for a woman not to prefer getting into cabs unless she has to.
As for the issue of Hajj:
For someone to be considered as responsible for Hajj duty, he or she must be a Muslim, sane, mature, free, and capable. To be capable means that she or he must have financial possibilities and health. For that reason, one must have financial possibilities to be enough for himself and persons for whom he is responsible till he returns from Hajj; he must not have a disease or handicap  preventing him from going to Hajj, and there must not exist a life-threatening situation on the way to Makkah (the way should be secure and clear).
Furthermore, women must travel with a Mahram (first degree relative) or their husbands. If someone who has neither husband nor a Mahram and has the other conditions of Hajj wants to perform Hajj, which is Fard, she can perform Hajj together with trustable women in accordance with the sect of Shafii; there is no need to make fake marriages for it.
Hajj is not fard for those who do not fulfill those conditions mentioned-above. If they had possibilities to perform Hajj and later lost those possibilities, they would still be responsible for the duty of Hajj. For example, if a rich person, after the time of Hajj, is caught with a chronic disease, he or she has to send someone in place of herself or himself. For that reason, a Muslim should perform the Hajj duty as soon as possible and at the earliest opportunity.
According to the sect of Shafii, for Hajj can be obligatory (wajib) for a woman, she needs to go together with a Mahram or her husband, or a few trustable women. Namely, if a woman has a Mahram or husband, she goes together with them to Hajj, if she does not, then she can go to Hajj together with a few women. If she cannot find those mentioned-above, she does not have to go to Hajj even if ways are safe. However, if she still wants, she can go. If a woman performed Hajj, which was Fard, and wants to go for nafilah (supererogatory) hajj, she just can go with her husband or a Mahram. It is not permissiblel for her to go to Hajj even together with women.
footnotes:
1. Muslim, Hajj: 423.
2. Muslim, Hajj: 416.
3. Muslim, Hajj: 421. Tirmidhi, Rada: 14.
4. Umdatu’l-Qari, 7: 130.
5. İbn Majah Translation, 8: 69. Tuhfatü’l-Ahwazi, 4: 332.
6. Umdatu’l-Qari, 7: 128.
Mehmed Paksu

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Can a woman perform the duty of Hajj or Umrah without a mahram?

6 Is wearing a headscarf fard in Islam?

There are two verses in the Quran on this issue. In these verses Allah (swt) says clearly: 

O Prophet! say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments (when out of doors)” (1)

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms [in public> beyond what may [decently> be apparent thereof; hence, let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms.” (2) 

In the verses, believing women are not told exactly how to veil and which parts to show. But this hadith (word of prophet Muhammad) explains the verses. Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) told to his sister-in-law Hz. Asma, “O Asma! It is not correct for a woman to show her parts other than her hands and face to strangers after she begin to have menstruation.” (3)

Therefore it is a must for a Muslim lady reaching to puberty to cover her head, told by Allah and His messenger. It is fard (religious duty) to cover the head except the face part, the neck and the chest. And to show them is haram (forbidden) since it means quitting a fard. The ones who do not cover become committing sin and take a big responsibility since they don’t obey the command of Allah and His messenger. A person becoming a sinner repents to be cleared from his sin and begs Allah’s pardon. 

“And those who, having done an act of indecency to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, remember Allah, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah? - and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath,- an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!” (4)

So for a sin to be forgiven we are required not to insist on it when there is no excuse.

A hadith on this issue tells: 

When the believer commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents, quits that sin and asks for forgiveness from Allah, his heart is cleaned from that spot. If he goes on the sin, that spot gets bigger. There the ‘covering of the heart by the sin’ taking place in the Quran indicates this.” (5)

There is a road to the kufr (disbelief, denial) in every sin” expresses an important truth. Such that, a person insisting on a sin gets used to that sin by time and becomes unable to quit it. This addiction leads him to the bigger spiritual dangers. It goes to the belief of sin’s not having a punishment in the afterlife, and even to the belief of there should be no Hell. (6) 

In order not to be exposed to such a danger and not to be deceived by the Satan we should quit our sins and pull ourselves together.

1) Surah (chapter) of Ahzab (The Allies), 59. 

2) Surah of Nur (The Light), 31. 

3) Abu Dawud, Libas: 33.

4) Surah of Âl-i-Imran (The Family Of Imran), 135-136. 

5) Ibn Maja, Zuhd: 29.

6) Lem'alar, p. 7; Mesnevî-iNuriye, p. 115. 

Mehmet Paksu

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The limit of tasattur of woman is designated in the Holy Qur’an as follows:

Does a women have to wear full sleeve clothing in the home?

Can the hair of a woman be uncovered while her husband performs salah in the same room?

 

7 Can a woman in Islam shape her eye brows?

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 Is it halal (lawful or permitted) for a woman to wear a wig, cut or dye her hair?

8 Does a woman have to cook for her husband?

The woman’s nafaqa, which consists of food, clothes, and a place to stay, has to be met by her husband under legitimate conditions. It is necessary to avoid extravagance because our Prophet (pbuh) said to a woman, “Take from the property of your husband what will be sufficient for you and for your child.”

It is a moral duty and honorable service for a woman to cook, bake bread, do the washing, sweep the rooms, arrange the housework and try to relieve the burden of her husband. (Hukuku İslamiyye Ö. N. Bilmen 2/483)

Our Prophet (pbuh) said to Fatima, his daughter, "You should take care of the housework and Ali should take care of the things outside the house." Our Prophet is the best example in the family life as he is in everything. The most important cause of our troubles in the family to day originates from our deviation from the Quran and the Sunnah.

If your wife does not do the housework, you can warn her. However, it is not appropriate to punish or beat her.

9 Is it permissible for women to go visiting the graves?

First of all, let us have a look at the hadiths (saying or tradition of the Prophet Muhammad) about the subject:
According to the relation of Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated as follows:
Visit the graves because it reminds you of the hereafter.”1

According to the relation of Ibn Mas’ud, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated as follows:
I had forbidden you to visit the graves. Visit the graves from now on. It is because visiting the graves makes you consider the world unimportant and reminds you of the hereafter.”2
In the first years of Islam, the Prophet had banned visiting the graves because, in those times, people were not able to refrain themselves from the customs of jahiliyya (ignorance) completely yet and they could not get rid of some of their old habits. They committed some deeds which did not belong to Islam such as inappropriate talking, declamations and boasting with their famous relatives which had died.   
That issue is mentioned in a hadith related by Nasai as follows:
Whoever desires to visit the graves can do it now; do not say a bad word (to that person)”
However, as people become adapted to Islamic rules and conducts in time, those kinds of concerns had diminished by themselves. Thereupon, the Prophet abolished the prohibition and allowed visiting the graves and he even encouraged it for the reasons such as “reducing the passion for the world, and breaking the apron strings and reminding the death and the hereafter.”
As for the issue whether women are permissible to visit the gravers or not, there are some hadiths that prohibit it and even become proof that it is haram (act or deed which is prohibited by Allah). For example, according to the relation of Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) cursed the women visiting the graves.3
The following expressions attract out attention in the explanation of that hadith:

When women go visiting the graves, they mostly cry out, tear their clothes, hit themselves, do not respect to their husbands’ rights, and do not obey the Islamic veiling and they even go there by dolling themselves up. Because of those unfavorable behaviors, they were subjected to the curse of the Prophet (pbuh) to be kept away from the Divine mercy.

Some Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanafi scholars who used the hadith that we have mentioned above as a proof believe that visiting the graves by women is haram.
However, according to most of the Hanafi scholars primarily, and some Maliki and Hanbali scholars, women are permissible to visit the graves. The prohibition of women’s visiting the graves was in the time when visiting the graves was prohibited. The permission given later implicates not only men but also women at the same time.

Moreover, the Hanafi scholars use the following hadith which was related by Abd Allah Abu Mulaika as a proof for that issue:
One day Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was returning from the graveyard.

“I asked her: ‘O, the mother of the believers! Where are you coming from?’
‘I am coming from a visit to the grave of my brother Abdurrahman.’, she answered.
I asked: ‘Did the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) not ban visiting the graves?’

She stated: ‘Yes, he banned visiting the graves, but he ordered it later.’”4
The hadith commentators call attention to these points in those hadiths: the permission the hadith gives is for the women who go out in veil, consider the hereafter, take lessons from the states of the people in the graves and leave hue and cry, beating their faces, tearing the collar of their clothes and saying bad words. And the ban put is for only the women who set unfavorable behaviors forth.   

In conclusion, it can be said that women, especially the young ones can go visiting the graves on condition that they are accompanied by old women such as their mothers or aunts or by men who are their relatives. Such a precaution is generally important in big residential areas more. Otherwise, while trying to perform a meritorious action, it will be unavoidable to commit sins and meet some undesirable situations. In fact, women do not repeat such visits all the time. It is possible and more favorable for them to send the prayers they will bestow to their dead relatives by reciting them at home. If those dead persons have faith, the spiritual presents, no matter where they are sent from, reach their spirits. The closeness or remoteness of the distance does not matter.

1 Ibn Majah, Janaiz: 47.
2 Ibn Majah, Janaiz: 47.
3 Ibn Majah, Janaiz: 49.
4 The Translation and Explanation of Sunan Ibn Majah, 4: 439
Mehmet Paksu Aileye Özel Fetvalar (Fatwas Peculiar to the Family)

10 Should women wear overcoat or jilbab to cover themselves (for tasattur)?

As far as we know, the name or picture of is worn is not important in Islam. The important one is its function. The function is whether dresses cover the whole body or not.

If a dress is like that, namely, the scarf covers the whole hair on head, the overcoat covers the contours of the body fully, the thick socks cover all skin, and the necessary covering will do its function whatever you call it.

This way of dressing is the result of Fatwa. It is obligatory.

Furthermore if you also wear jilbab over this way of dressing, of course it is the result of Taqwa, it is highly appreciated. It is to hide oneself completely.

It is not possible to force everybody to wear jilbab, because Taqwa is optional but fatwa is obligatory. Those who want or are interested in can prefer to wear it and those who do not want to wear it should not be insisted, because forcing oneself to wear according to Taqwa could cause not getting dressed according to Fatwa; some other negative results could also happen. Everybody can be interested in the way of wearing according to Fatwa; if we show the way of dressing according to Taqwa for those who cannot get dressed according to Fatwa, they will have difficulty and they can lose interest.

It means that a wide headscarf, an overcoat or a topcoat that is wide and long enough to conceal the contours of the body, a thick pair of socks, a pair of shoes whose heel part is closed, will be enough for the way of covering according to Fatwa. Almost everybody can adopt and wear it. In addition to this, wearing jilbab is a high virtue because it is the result of Taqwa. However, it should not be as a result of insistence; it should be a result of preference and love. Striving for the best can sometimes prevent from performing the good one. At that point, a person can regret saying “I wish I would do just the good one firstly, the best later

Furthermore, today we need to make people love the way of Islamic dressing. Not everybody can wear jilbab, which is the summit of covering oneself. However, a beautiful overcoat or an elegant topcoat, a wide and an elegant headscarf, and a thick pair of socks attract almost every woman’s interest. Those who wear in this way will not be exposed to the pressure of the environment and covet those who see it. So, it would be a favorable way of Islamic dressing and it would prevent an unfavorable way. Those who have kismet to get dressed like that will see they are happy and at ease. After they find ease to get dressed according to Fatwa, they can think of getting dressed according to Taqwa. Then we would talk about advancement.

It is a reality that there are many hesitant people who do not know how and like whom they will live. To be a model for them, to seem in a way that they will like, and to make them feel that they can perform the Islamic rules is a very important service and virtuous guidance. Namely, a woman with the Islamic way of dressing is a preacher and guide for those hesitant people. With their elegant way of dressing, they are a model, warning and advice for them. Those who have kismet will wear and be interested in this reasonable way of dressing. The whole duty is in the hands of our women with the Islamic way of dressing. They should be in a clean and an elegant way, far away from showing that kind of dressing bad and ugly.

This criterion from the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah is very good warning and guidance for our covered women:

Women who get dressed properly and cause it spread will take its price. Those who do not get dressed properly and made it spread will take its penalty." It means that we should get dressed properly and take its price; and we should get away from getting dressed improperly.

11 How is a free Muslim woman dresses when there are other people near her?

When a woman is alone at home, she should cover between her navel and knees. There are angels that never leave a person. Therefore, it is virtuous for a woman to cover between her navel and knees.


The Messenger of Allah said:


"Avoid being naked because there are beings that never leave you except when you are in the toilet and when you have sexual intercourse."


A woman can be dressed as she wishes when she is with her husband. There is no limit of dressing between the wife and husband. It is permissible for a woman to put on make-up and wear immodest dresses in order to make herself beautiful for her husband. There is no drawback to having her head uncovered and wearing short-sleeved dresses. 
It is recommended for a woman to keep herself clean, put on nice perfume and clean dresses when her husband is at home.  
It is permissible for a woman to wear nice clothes and jewelry and to put on make-up.


İbn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "As my wife adorns herself for me, I adorn myself for her. I do not want to take all of my rights from her so that she will not take all of her rights from me because Allah, the Exalted, stated the following: "And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them." (the Quran, al-Baqara:228.)
How is a free Muslim woman dresses when there are other people near her?
 

a) When she is with her husband: The wife and husband can look at any parts of their bodies. There is no obligation of covering between the wife and husband because sexual intercourse becomes legitimate as a result of Islamic marriage; so, there is no doubt that looking and touching, which are slighter than sexual intercourse, are legitimate. However, it is more appropriate in terms of good manners not to look at the private parts. In fact, the following was reported from Hazrat Aisha: "I have never looked at the sexual organ of the Prophet (pbuh)”, in another narration, ”I have never looked at his sexual organ, and she has never seen mine.". (see Ahmad b. Hanbal, VI, 63, 190; al-Qurtubi, ibid, XII, 154.)


b) When she is with her mahram relatives: The woman can uncover her hands, feet, arms, hair, ears, neck and shins when she is with her relatives that she can never marry like her father, son, brother, father-in-law and step-son. It is halal for them to look at those parts of the woman because it is necessary to carry out some tasks and services due to being relatives and being in the same place, and a mischief cannot be thought of. However, she cannot uncover her abdomen and back; it would be shamelessness. As a matter of fact, the husband starts the procedure of divorce by saying his wife, “You are like the back of my mother to me” in zihar divorce. In the verse that determines zihar and the way of returning from it in case of repentance (al-Mujadala 58/1, see Elmalılı, ibid, VII, 450 et al), the attention is attracted to the back of the mother. Therefore, the back and the abdomen of the woman should be regarded among the parts that need to be covered in the presence of relatives. Since we will examine the relatives that a woman can be without cover when she is with them below, we have explained it shortly here.


c) When she is with other women: The parts of a woman that need to be covered when she is with other women are between her navel and knees. A woman can uncover the other parts (al-Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar, l, 45.). However, polytheist women are excluded. Therefore, it is not permissible for a woman to uncover her mahram parts when she is with women polytheists or deniers.  As a matter of fact, scholars like İbn Jurayj, Ubada b. Nusay and Hisham al-Qari' regard it makrooh (abominable) for a Muslim woman to be kissed by a Christian woman or to show her mahram parts to a Christian woman.  Ubada b. Nusay mentions the following letter that Hazrat Umar wrote to Abu Ubayda b. al-Jarrah (d. 18/639): "I heard that the women of the People of Zimmah (Christians and Jews) enter public baths together. Prevent them from doing it because it is not permissible for a zimmi to see a Muslim woman naked. When Abu Ubayda received the letter, he made the following announcement: If a woman goes to a public bath without any excuse, she means to whiten her face. May Allah blacken her face on the day of Judgment, when faces whiten (see Aal-e-İmran, 3/106,107.)." (al-Qurtubi, ibid, XII, 155.) Abdullah b. Abbas (d. 68/687) explains the reason why the non-Muslim women are excluded regarding the issue as follows: "It is not halal for a Muslim woman to be seen uncovered by a Christian or Jewish woman because they may tell their husbands about the uncovered state of the Muslim women. " (al-Qurtubi, ibid, XII, 155.) However, the issue has led to different opinions among Islamic scholars. As a matter of fact, there is a fatwa stating that a Muslim woman does not have to uncover her body when she is with her female slave.


d) When she is with non-mahram men: All of the body of a Muslim woman except her face, hands up to her wrists, and her feet is mahram for non-mahram men. Although there is disagreement about the feet, according to the sound opinion, the feet can be left uncovered. Those parts have to be covered both during the prayers and outside the prayers. We mentioned the form of covering the head and body and the qualifications of tasattur above. Therefore, we have mentioned it shortly. 


e) Uncovering the body due to an obligation or treatment: When there is an obligation like treatment, it is permissible for doctors, midwives, people who give injections and dressers to look at and to touch mahram parts. However, women should prefer women doctors, midwives and health personnel about their health problems. When they are not available of if they are available but they are not as good the male doctors in terms of expertise and skills, then the rule: “Obligations make objectionable things mubah (permissible)” is applied. However, the obligations are evaluated based on their quantities (Majallah), items 21, 22)

12 Is it religiously allowed for women to work? Is it religiously proper to work amongst men?

We do not know any prohibition that prevents a woman from working. But, there are some rules that are supposed to be obeyed by the woman. When she doesn’t obey these rules, she becomes a sinner.

In Islam there is no discrimination in being human between a man and a woman; they are equally liable for demands and prohibitions of God. All people are responsible with living on the earth and serve on the way of God, it doesn’t matter whether woman or man. In Islam there is no difference about the main rights and responsibilities between a man and a woman, as there is no difference in being a servant to God.

In Islam the rights and freedom given to men are equally given to women. There is no discrimination between a man and a woman about the main rights like living, to protect and to develop your material and spiritual life; personal freedom and safety; conscience, religious beliefs and freedom of conviction; freedom of expense and possession of property; Having an assertion or defense in the court as a suitor or defendant by using legal ways, equivalence before the laws, a fair judgment, immunity of property, preservation of honour, the right to marry and establish a family, privacy and immunity of life, guarantee of livelihood.
In holy Quran it is mentioned that the Prophet had an obeisance. (Mümtehine, 60/13). That shows the independence of women’s will clearly. So, being a woman is not a reason to lose the capacity of right and action. In case of violation of her rights by her husband or any other person, she has the right to complain to the court and demand to remove that injustice.

The position of women and discussions of her rights in Islam focus on participation of women in social life and work and have a job in the public service.

According to Islam, a woman can work inside or outside the house; can help to her husband in meeting the family’s needs. It is possible that the roles of the spouses can change, it depends on circumstances. The thing which is important is the order and peace of the family life and the proper choice of the spouses about the responsibilities that are suitable to abilities and features of them. According to some sources, there is a hadith that tells that the prophet gave the responsibility of the inner works of the house to his daughter Fatima and gave outside works to his son-in-law imam Ali. [İbn Ebî Şeybe, Musannef, X/165, No: 9118; XIII/284, No: 16355; Ömer Nasuhî Bilmen, Hukuk-i İslamiyye, II/484. That is not a binding rule that makes up a family model for Muslim people; it is a solution, in form of an advice, based on needs and traditions.

The assistance and contribution of woman to her family and the community is so big that it can not be underestimated.The women are equal with the men in economical and commercial domains and have no hindrance. They have all kinds of rights about the law of commerce and debt that men have. In Islam all people, men or women, are encouraged to work. “That man will have nothing but what he strives for” (Necm, 53/39);”…Men will be rewarded according to their deeds and women will be rewarded according to their deeds. Rather implore God bestow upon you His bounty…..." (Nisa 4/32)

There is no a sign of discrimination between men and women in the verse about the trading and domain of work “O Believers! Do not devour your property among yourself by unlawful ways; but rather trade with it by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves; surely God is ever Merciful to you.” (Nisa, 4/29) and in the hadith “It is better for a person from you to get his rope and fetch some wood and sell it from being a beggar.”(Buhârî, Büyû’ 5)

Men or women, all people have right to gain money on the condition that they obey the  general principles that the religion tells like; frankness, honesty, trust, truthfulness, abiding by the promise, having commitment to agreements and conditions and not exploiting the other side’s weakness, ignorance and troubles.
From the explanations above we can infer both that women can work and can not work. If she has the conditions she can work, if not she can not work.

One of the fundamental principles for a woman to work is to be careful about her religious coverage of herself and her dignity and gravity mustn’t be underestimated. Also she mustn’t be in the same place with a stranger man alone.
It was told by the Prophet that when a man and a woman are alone, the third one will be the devil. In such a satiation, “halvet” (being alone with the opposite sex at the same place) occurs and it requires punishment for both man and woman like “mehr-i misil” (for man) and ”tâzir” (for woman).
In conclusion, we can say that the woman, who has to work since she is in need, can work in a place where there will be no harm to her dignity and chastity. She can have social relation with the men around with that gravity and dignity. The place lacking these features is not a good place for a woman to work.
It is an obligation for man to work and maintain the family, the woman is supposed to stay home and look after her children. The man has to work and try to meet the needs of his wife. The conditions mentioned above for women who has no such a protector and who is in need and poverty. A woman whose husband doesn’t let her work can not have a right to have a job. She is supposed to live on the money of her husband, or she needs her husband’s permission.
A woman can work at house or working place of a stranger man on the way that Islam required, with several women or in an open place. There is no hindrance in this. But if she stays in a closed place with a stranger “halvet” (explained above) occurs and that is a sin. (El-Fıkıh 'ala'l-Mezahip el-Arbaa, v.3 p.125).

About your second question:

The fatwa (a legal verdict given on a religious basis) on dressing for a woman is that a woman suppose to cover all over body apart from hands and face. A dress in order to be suitable for hijab (covering), a woman both must cover her private parts and wear a thick dress in order not to be transparent. If she wears a jeelbab (woman’s outdoor overgarment) on that dress willingly this is called taqwa (fear of Allah, piety). This kind of dressing is praiseworthy.

Fatwa is an obligatory act of religion. As for taqwa, it is a willingly and voluntarily act. There must not be any forcement on this kind of dressing for taqwa. Those who are interested in wearing jeelbab, voluntarily prefer it. There must not be any insistence on those who do not want to wear jeelbab.

As for your question: If you want to work and make an addition to livelihood, as long as your husban’s consent, you can work in accordance with allowable criterion of fatwa. As it is understood from your question, you have no problem with that. It is ok.

If you feel uncomfortable without jeelbab, you do not have to work. However if that will bring about financial difficulties, you can work on condition with the criterion mentioned above. It is your preference.

13 I am pregnant and I experience menstruation. Can I perform the prayers in that state?

According to medical data and to the majority of Islamic jurists, a pregnant woman does not experience menstruation. Therefore, if a pregnant woman experiences bleeding, she is responsible for performing her prayers and fasting as it cannot be the bleeding of menstruation. On condition that she takes ritual ablution as subject to the regulations of the mustahaza (excused), she can perform the prayers, handle the Qur'an, read (recite) it, and she can enter a mosque.
As soon as the pregnant gives birth, she becomes nufasa (being in the state of recovery from childbirth). When bleeding stops and she takes ghusl (complete ablution of the body), she becomes subject to the normal regulations and fulfills her religious duties accordingly. (Orhan ÇEKER)
The blood of istihaza (excuse) does not prevent fasting, or performing the prayers. It does not pose hindrance against sexual intercourse, either. Women in the state of istihaza are accepted as excused. They perform their worships in compliance with the regulations to which the excused are subject. In the Era of Bliss, one day a woman came to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, and asked:
“I continuously bleed; shall I stop performing prayers?” The Prophet said in response:
No, it is because of an illness in the blood vessel, not menstruation. When your period comes, stop praying; when your period passes, take ghusl (complete ablution) and cleanse yourself, and after that perform your prayers by taking ritual ablution separately for each one of the five daily prayers. Continue doing it until menstruation period comes again.” That narration clearly shows that the state of istihaza is subject to the regulations belonging to the state of excuse. (Mehmet Dikmen)
ISTIHAZA
The blood that comes for less than three days or more than ten days from the sexual organ of a woman who experiences menstruation. The blood that comes during pregnancy and the blood that continues for more than forty days after childbirth is the blood of istihaza. Again, the blood that comes from the sexual organ of female children under the age of nine and the women who are older than fifty five years and who have stopped menstruation is accepted as the blood of excuse.
The blood of istihaza is like blood that is discharged from any organ of the body. With it, only ablution is annulled. If it continues, that person is accepted as excused. Such a woman takes ablution and performs the prayers and fasts. Such a situation does not pose an obstruction against worship and sexual intercourse between the spouses. If the istihaza blood continues for a complete time period of a prayer without stopping and without giving the opportunity to perform the prayer, and ifit recurs in each prayer time at least for once after that, then that person is accepted as excused.
The excused takes ritual ablution at each prayer time (five times in a day). As long as no other state which annuls his/her ablution takes place, his/her ablution remains valid until the next prayer time starts. That the blood of excuse continues in the mean time does not annul the ablution, nor does it hinder worshipping. (ash-Shawkani, Naylul-Awtar, Egypt, n.d., I, 253, 321).
According to Abu Hanifa, the ablution of the excused is not annulled with the coming of a prayer time, but with its going. According to Abu Yusuf, the ablution of the excused is annulled with both the coming and the going of the prayer time. For example, the ablution taken after the sunrise, according to Abu Yusuf, is annulled with the coming of the noon prayer. (see the article Excuse)

According to Imam Shafii, the excused should take ablution for each prayer s/he performs; his/her ablution ends when the prayer s/he performs ends.
In conclusion, as the blood of istihaza is discharged as a result of a disorder in the genital, that person is subject, in general, to the regulations by which the excused abide. (al-Qasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi', Beirut 1402/1982, I, 39 et al.; Ibnu'l-Humam, Fathu'l-Qadir, Egypt, 1389/1970, I, 179- 185; al-Fatawa'l Hindi,  Beirut 1400/1980, I, 37-41).
Şâmil İA

14 Is it permissible for women to shave the facial hair on their faces?

There is nothing wrong with removing the hairs on the face for a woman because they are not naturel. So It is not forbidden to shave them. For more detailed information, please read the article.

Acting upon that hadith, fiqh scholars state that a woman with hairs on her face like a mustache and beard can remove them; however, they also state that thinning eyebrows and changing their natural forms, cutting the eyelashes and using false eyelashes are not permissible because teeth, eyebrows and eyelashes are organs. There is no drawback to removing the hairs on the face for a woman because they are not original; they are things that appear later. Similarly, there is no drawback to removing the hairs on the legs for a woman because they are not organs like eyebrows. 

When we look at the fiqh books, we see the following judgments:

– The hairs on the face that make  a woman ugly can be removed. If things like beard and mustache that are normally seen in men appear in women, it is permissible to remove them. 

“Ibn Abidin says beard and mustache are not natural in women therefore it is mustahab (recomended) to remove them! 

The best way to remove those hairs is not shaving but using natural depilatories like wax or powder.” ( Kadın İlmihali, Mürşide Uysal, p. 370) 

It is understood that it is recommended for a woman to make herself attractive for her husband. One of the wisdom of it is protecting her husband from the attraction of other women. 

As for the hairs between the eyebrows and around them: 

“There is a normal form of the eyebrow of a woman. The hairs that are not normal, that seem ugly and make a woman ugly and therefore disturbing her can be removed. It is not permissible to thin the normal eyebrows and to change the places of the eyebrows in order to be up to date.” (Prof. Dr. Hayreddin Karaman) 

The judgment about plucking the hairs on the face, thinning the eyebrows and lengthening the eyelashes of women has kept Islamic scholars busy a lot. Regarding this hadith of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) “A woman who plucks or has the hairs on her face plucked is cursed by Allah” (Bukhari, 'Libas', 84; Muslim, 'Libas', 120), Islamic scholars have discussed what acts that expression included." 

According to most of the scholars, it is permissible for a woman to remove the hairs that are not natural for a woman (like beard, mustache), to wear make up and to remove the scattered hairs around her eyebrows (between the eyebrows and around them) in order to seem beautiful for her husband with the permission of him; the prohibition in the hadith is to remove her hairs on the face and to pluck her eyebrows when she goes out and for non-mahram men. 

Consequently, it is better to understand the plucking that is prohibited in the hadith not as the hairs that appear later as a result of an illness and that make the face ugly (like beard and mustache) but as thinning the eyebrows or plucking the hairs of eyebrows to move them upwards in order to seem beautiful for others. 

Man needs to show respect to the body that his Lord entrusted him to the extent that he believes in Allah and needs to thank Him for His bounties. Therefore, when a Muslim woman maintains the beauty that Allah gave to her face, it shows her respect to Allah; and when she adds more beauty to it by reflecting the spiritual luminescence of the peace of her, it shows her love towards allah, the Exalted, the owner of that face. (Dr. Jale Şimşek)

 

15 What's the position of female slaves (concubines) in Islam? Is it allowed to have more than one female slaves?

There is no slavery legally. In this sense, this situation can not be valid in today’s world. That is, someone cannot say that “this man is my slave”.

Every man has been created as free. He worships only Allah. Freedom is the fundamental right and feature of a man. However, man’s right of freedom that he has had by birth has been taken from him throughout the history. As a result of many wars and raids, people had been deprived from their freedom, bought and sold like goods. Especially the law of Rome and the philosophy of Greeks caused the slavery to be seen as a necessity and people were bought and sold in the market like commercial goods.

On the other hand, every nation found it necessary to maintain the institution of slavery in order to weaken their enemies, shrink their population, and increase their own power. Before Islam, slavery was very common among Arabs. Plundering and fights among tribes went on without interruption. Men, women, and children taken captive by them were made into slaves. The slavery was regarded as inferior to being an animal by Arabs in the Jahilliyyah period. Therefore, they made them work in very hard jobs, and tortured and oppressed them. Sometimes, they left them to die not by giving them any food and sometimes they killed them for nothing. They used women as concubines. As a matter of fact, it was encouraged to have slaves. Just for this reason, they made attacks on the other tribes and took women captives by killing men. Islam arose in such a time. As it was not possible to completely remove such an issue which was the problem of the humanity in that period, the atmosphere that time was not suitable for it. The removal of the institution of slavery could have caused some difficulties for the new-founded Islamic State.
As it is the case in every issue, the understanding of war (Jihad) of our religion is different from the understanding of war of the other nations. The aim of Jihad is not to shed blood, tyrannize, or conquer some lands aimlessly; its aim is to inform people about Allah’s laws, prevent attacks against Islam, and direct people to the true path and the happiness in both worlds. For this reason, it was forbidden by our Prophet to kill children and women even if they were enemies unless they actually attacked muslims.1 However, it was also clear enough that freeing them would pose a danger to the new-founded Islamic State. Since their population would increase within a few years, it would be possible for them to pose a danger to Muslims. In such an atmosphere, it was obligatory to take them captives.

On the other hand, the other side was always taking Muslims captive. For the balance, Muslims needed to take captives from them. In this way, both the balance was constructed and the other side was weakened. Moreover, captive Muslims were saved from slavery by exchanging them with captives of the enemies. Besides, freeing captives on ransom financed the spreading of Islam.

As it is seen, Islam did not, for the first time, invent the slavery and making women into slaves. Because of some drawbacks, Islam could not eliminate it completely but tried to remove it step by step. Slaves who were inhumanly tortured and exploited in many ways in every period of history felt relieved thanks to Islam. Our religion made the institution of slavery humane by destroying the wild and cruel face of it. Slaves have been given many human rights and they were taken under protection by law.

There is a chapter telling about those rights under the title of “freeing slaves” in Hadith and Fiqh books.  
In our religion a strong affection and protection had been shown towards people deprived of their freedom and some laws were made in order to make people losing their freedom be free again. For example, a Muslim who commits a sin must make atonement for it. Those who break Ramadan fast, kill someone by accident, or do not keep their promises must make atonement. The atonement is generally freeing male and female slaves. There are many verses regarding the issue.
It should not be forgotten that slaves and concubines who lose their freedom as a result of wars are human beings though they have a different status. For this reason, in our religion, freeing slaves has been accepted as a very good deed and regarded the same as worshipping. There are a lot of Hadiths which encourage it to be done. One of those hadiths is as follows:

"Whoever frees a Muslim slave, Allah will save all the parts of his body from the (Hell) Fire as he has freed the body-parts of the slave."2

Another way of freeing a slave is “a slave’s making a contract of emancipation with his master in return for a payment” (mukatabah). The master assesses a certain amount of money for the slave, and the slave works to earn that money and then pays it to free. Allah has ordered Muslims to do it and said the following:

Those your right hand owns who seek their freedom, make a contract with them accordingly if you know some good in them, and give them from the wealth of Allah that He has given you.” 3

On the other hand, it has been said that giving sadaqa (alms) to such a person who seeks his freedom is more precious than the other kinds of sadaqa.

On the other hand, our religion lays the equal life and livelihood down as a condition between the slave and the master. It has been recommended that slave and master should eat together and the slave should be seen as a member of the family. According to our religion, the master should make the slave eat what he himself eats and make him wear the same kinds of clothes as he wears. The master should not hurt his slave..4

It is not suitable to call a slave in a hurtful way. It has been recommended that the master should call his slave as “ son”, “daughter” not as “slave” or “concubine”. 5

Since male and female slaves are deprived of education, teaching them good manners and improving their education are among the duties of the master.

As it is seen, not to set a slave free or to have a slave under those conditions entails a big responsibility. Ahmad Cevdet Pasha has expressed the difficulty of having a slave with this concise sentence: “In Islam, having a slave is being a slave."

Yes, it can be seen how big a reform Islam has realized regarding the issue when one thinks that it has improved the institution of slavery and defended slaves by making a lot of laws. If we remember the fact that the West, which teaches the lesson of civilization to the world, exploited people especially the Islamic World by the idea of invasion and colonialism, and  that even today the United states and the Republic of South Africa treat the black people as second class citizens, then can one not understand which nation made slavery keep on? The oppression and torture Russia inflicted on people in the Iron Curtain countries made people be tired of living. No one can deny that Russia expelled people from their homes and tortured them inhumanely in the camps of Siberia.

It is clear enough that the institution of slavery was not invented by Islam and on the contrary Islam improved it a lot. In the light of that knowledge, it can easily be understood that Islam has brought the real freedom and the right path to the mankind.

Female slaves and their position

Women and girls taken captive by the enemy during the war were taken as female slaves. Because they were regarded as the spoils by the law, they were given, by the Islamic State, to ghazis (warriors) who needed a servant. They were bought and sold as if they were commercial goods unless they were set free. After that moment, the female slaves were accepted and treated as a member and part of family. The master who had a female slave could employ her in the daily and personal works of him and if he wished, he could have a sexual relationship with her. Although it seems unusual at first sight, it was accepted normal in the historical conditions of that time. In fact, there is a permission about it in the Quran. In the Surah of Al-Mu’minun the permission is expressed as follows:
Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame.”10
There are two important advantages of, for the benefit of female slave, that the master sexually has a relationship with his female slave. The first and most important one is that those women whose husbands died at war can be prevented from being neglected. Otherwise, it would be unavoidable that they would prostitute themselves. In this way, she would be dependent on her master’s home.

The other advantage: if she gave birth to a child from her master, she would be called “ummul walad” (the mother of the child). That child from the female slave is considered as free. Her mother becomes free and does not pass to the heirs by inheritance when her master dies. If she did not have the child or if her master did not set her free, like the other goods, the female slave would pass to the heirs by inheritance.
It was not obligatory that the master and female slave should be wife and husband. The master can employ her only as maidservant. If husband of the female slave was among the captives, their marriage will continue; then it is not religiously permissible to have a sexual intercourse with the female slave. Even if their masters are different, the master cannot sexually benefit from that female slave. 6
Along with those matters, Islam encouraged people (masters) to marry the male and female slaves with each other. In the Surah of an-Nur the following is stated:
And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Sâlihûn (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. 7  Thus, slaves can be made equal to some extent. Islam always recommends masters to set slaves free and encourages them to get married with female slaves. In a Hadith, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) explains the issue as follows:

"He who has a slave-girl and educates and treats her nicely and then manumits and marries her will get a double reward."8

Paying attention to those explanations, one can understand how well Islam has defended the rights of male and female slaves. A female slave was not seen just as a human whose womanhood would be exploited. She, at the same time, was a member and part of the family. She was the most responsible woman at home after her mistress.

A man could liberate his female slave by setting her free; he could also give her to someone as a present. The two female slaves that Muqawqis, the Emperor of Egypt, sent to the Prophet (pbuh) were like that. Those two female slaves had become Muslims by changing their religion on the way to Makkah. As it is known, the Prophet (pbuh) got married to one of those female slaves, Maria. Then she gave birth to Abraham. After Abraham was born, the Prophet set Maria free. Thus, she was in a position that the other wives of the Prophet desired to be in her place. The Prophet married the other female slave called Shirin with his poet, Hassan Bin Sabit.

Today a Muslim cannot keep a woman as a female slave from non-Muslim countries referring to the example above because the institution of slavery which was a historical event is not present any more in today’s world. On the other hand, the female slave given as a present to our Prophet was also a female slave even with Muqawqis. Muqawqis had not sent a woman from his own nation as a present.

1. Muslim, Jihad: 24; Ibn Majah, Jihad: 30.
2. Muslim, Itq: 21; Bıı/tnn , Itq: 1.
3. The Surah of an-Nur, 33.
4. Bukhari, Itq: 15.
5. ibid 16.
6. Istılâhat-ı Fıkhiyye Kamusu, 3:402.
7. The Surah of an-Nur, 32.
8. Bukhari, Itk: 15.
Mehmed Paksu

16 Can women be imam for men and women?

Jurisprudential aspect of the issue:
• Women’s duty as imam in prayers is divided into two as women’s duty as imam for women and for a mixed community (men and women together) or for only men.
• As for women’s duty as imam for other women, there is information in hadith sources that when Umm Salama and Aisha, wives of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), lead the prayers as imam for women, they did not stand in front of other women and performed the prayer with them in the middle of the first line. Islamic jurisprudents have found it permissible for women to carry out the duty of Imams for other women both in daily prayers and tarawih prayers. However, according to Hanafis, it is abominably permissible.
• As for women’s duty as imam for a mixed community of men and women or only for men, the Prophet exceptionally allowed a woman named Ummu Waraqa, a hafiz of the Quran, to carry out the duty of imam for her own household, which is stated in early hadith sources. Ummu Waraqa’s household consisted of two slaves, one man and one woman, whom she set free on condition that they would be free after her death. The male slave was old. (Abu Dawud, Salat, 61; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, 6/405; Ibn-i Sa’d, Tabaqat, 8/457; Bayhaqi, Sunan-i Kubra, 1/456). Judging by this narration, some scholars such as Imam Ahmad, Abu Thawr, Muzani, Tabari and Ibn Taymiyya stated that women can be imam for men when there is an obligation.

• However, mujtahids such as Imam Azam Abu Hanifa and Shafii and the majority of jurisprudents did not admit it permissible for women to be imams for men. If such a prayer was performed, men’s prayers would be invalid; they have to perform it again; because as it is narrated from Hazrat Jabir and Hazrat Ali, “Women cannot be imam for men” (Bayhaqi, Sunan, 3/90; Ibn-i Abi Shayba, Musannaf, 1/430; Ibn-i Rushd, Bidayatu’l-Mujtahid, 1/114; Zukhayli, al-Fiqhu’l-Islami and Adillatuhu, 2/175; Nawawi, al-Majmu, 4/223; Din İşleri Yüksek Kurulu Kararları, Presidency of Religious Affairs, 23.06.2002)

On the other hand, another narration in Daraqutni is that our Prophet allowed Ummu Waraqa to be imam for other women in prayers. (Daraqutni, Sunan, 1/279). Anyway, it can be seen clearly that our Prophet allowed a woman to be imam in prayers only for a female slave and an old male slave who were in her house. Those people whom she led the prayer for were her own household. And it was a specific case.
In addition, the Messenger of Allah stated that it was more virtuous for women to perform their prayers at home. (Abu Dawud, salat, 53; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, 6/371; Mustadrak, 1/328).
Social and political aspects of the issue:
Today we are faced with the misunderstanding of the issue of woman in Islam. Those who cannot see the whole picture of Islam consider the fact that women cannot be imam in prayers as evidence that women are deemed second-class people in Islam. However, during the times when women were not treated like human beings, humankind saw a true equality between men and women owing to the prophets who are the representatives and conveyors of the divine revelation. Nevertheless, today women’s physical appearance and femininity are highlighted, which is considered to be the freedom of women, and women are put forward as people who have to fight against men. If we can be objective and reasonable we will see that it is indeed Islam that brought true equality between men and women. Islam has not only given importance to women when they had physical attractiveness, but also in their childhood, adulthood, in marriage, as mothers, as aunts and as grandmothers, in short, in all stages of their lives, and respected them.
 It is not inequality but justice to evaluate men and women separately because they are created with different characteristics and different structures. Allah created women with characteristics such as delicacy, chastity, compassion and motherhood. No human being can give women more than what Allah gave them. Every right which seems to be given to women degrades them and makes them look ridiculous; because the Creator knows the best for us; if only we could understand divine revelation truly. There is not a sura (chapter) named “men” in the Quran. It is stated “And in nowise 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” in the 32nd verse of chapter an-Nisa, which means “women”.
Allah created both men and women as human beings. However, He placed in their natures different characteristics that complete each other. Regarding them as means of conflict instead of accepting them as pieces that complete each other means to fight against nature.

17 the hair of women

Yes, it can be uncovered. There is no drawback for the prayer that a man performs when his wife’s head is uncovered in the same room.

18 Is it true that more women go to hell than men? If the answer is "yes" then why?

Bukhari (Hayd, 6; Zakat, 44) and Muslim (Eeman 122)  reported this Hadith in their books. Evaluating the narration coming from Bazzar, Haythami said that it was trustable (sound). (see Majmau’z-zawaid, 3/118).
It will be useful to explain some points regarding the Hadith:
The Prophet said that hadith to encourage women to give sadaqah, not just to blame them.

-Being in majority does not mean that the number of women will be much greater than men in Hell. The judgment will be true even if there are two women more than men in Hell.

-There are two crimes that women did more than men and those crimes increased the amount of women who will go to Hell. One of those crimes: women curse everything without paying much attention to whether they are men, women, children, things or animals. The other is that they are so ungrateful to people who do good deeds and favors, especially to their husbands. Even if they always receive kindness from a man,  they can forget about all of those good deeds and favors if they are exposed to only one unpleasant act.

-After we see the conditions of women in today’s world, we think it is easier to understand that Hadith.

The number of women can always be more than the number of men. Especially those born towards the end of time on the earth will be women. There are some signs in the narrations about the issue. When the issue considered in the light of things mentioned above, the issue will be clearer.

19 What are the rights of women in Islam? How do you answer the claims that Islam puts pressure and limitations on women?

In the periods before Islam, women were not regarded as humans. The religion of Islam elevated women to the rank where they needed to be. Freedom does not mean to be able to live as the soul of a person and Satan want. On the contrary, it means to live as the Creator wishes. For, a person who does not obey the wish of Allah obeys the wish of his soul and Satan. 

Let us explain the general rights of women briefly:

"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..." (an-Nahl, 16/58 )

In the verse above, Allah explains how the people of Jahiliyyah regarded women. However, the following is stated in the Quran:  

"He creates what He wills (and plans). He bestows (children) male or female according to His Will (and Plan)." (ash-Shura, 42/49)

A woman is born just like a man; she is also a baby like a male child. Parents will be held responsible if they discriminate between them when they show them compassion and when they give them presents; they will also be regarded to have ignored the advice and will of the Prophet and they will be deprived of the intercession of the Prophet. Knowing that the feelings of Jahiliyyah would relapse from time to time, the Prophet (pbuh) emphasized the importance of the education of girls as follows:

"A father who raises three, two or even one daughter will be together with me in Paradise." (Ibn Majah, Adab 3)

When a girl is born, an animal (aqiqa) is sacrificed as a sign of thanking just like when a boy is born.  She has to be given a nice name and she has to be educated by her mother. She has to receive her sexual education from her mother. No verse or or hadith that encourages science and knowledge excludes women. On the contrary, the Prophet (pbuh) advised the education of especially women and ordered men to protect their rights. Mujtahid women were raised in his period. (For instance, Aisha, the wife of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is one of them.)

A woman is raised without any discrimination and when she becomes old enough to get married, it is her right and a sunnah to see the candidate who wants to marry her. If she does not like the candidate, she has the right to reject him; the insistence of her parents, guardians or the candidate will not change anything. 

When she decides to get married, she can insist on receiving as much mahr as she wants. Mahr is her natural right and life guarantee determined by Allah. She can spend it however she likes as long as it is legitimate. She can spend her mahr and other property on charity or on business; she can establish companies, buy shares, etc; she can earn money and spend the money she earns however she wishes. All of the expenses for the house and the woman have to be met by the man. The man has no right to say to her, "Buy your ornaments, clothes and cosmetics yourself". He has to provide her sustenance based on his income. If the man cannot meet her expenses after marriage, the woman's demand of a divorce will be accepted.

Her husband cannot humiliate her; he should not forget that she is his partner. He cannot get angry with her and leave her alone at home.

"The best man is the one that treats women in the best way." (see Bukhari, Nikah 43; Muslim, Fadail 68)

To joke, to have fun and to entertain one's wife are among the duties of the husband.

A man cannot beat his wife unless she rebels, violating law. (See verse 34 of the chapter of an-Nisa and its interpretations regarding beating women. For instance, see Ibn Kathir IV/257; Qurtubi VI/170,172,173; Elmalı IV/1351; Abu Dawud, Manasik 56; Ibn Majah, Manasik 84; Muslim, Hajj 147; Tirmidhi, Rada'11; Abu Dawud, Manasik 56; Halabi Saghir p. 395; Halabi Kabir p. 621; Canan, Terbiye p. 391;) A man cannot disturb his wife through sudden arrivals originating from his jealousy.

In a hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) prohibited a man who was away from home for a long time from returning home suddenly at night. One of the reasons for this is to give time to the woman to shave her armpit and pubic hair and to make up and to comb her hair. The hadith regarding the issue is as follows:

"When you return home at night, do not go to her directly; let her shave and comb her hair." (Bukhari, Nikah 121,122; Muslim, Rada' 58, Imarah 181,182; Darimi, Nikah 32, Jihad 163; Musnad NI/298)

The scholars who explain the hadith state that coming home suddenly at home might mean that the man suspects his wife.

- The husband also has the duty of satisfying his wife sexually. The Prophet (pbuh) likened the man who ended sexual intercourse very quickly when he ejaculated to roosters, that is, to animals. He also advised people not to start sexual intercourse without patting and caressing the women. (From Daylami, Ghazzali, Ihya N/52 (Trnsl. N/129); see also Suyuti, al Jamiu's-Saghir (with Fathu'I-Qadir) VI/323) For, a man can be aroused at once by looking but a woman becomes ready for sexual intercourse after a long period of caressing. A good man is a person who manages to prepare his wife for the intercourse and makes her satisfied as he himself is satisfied. The men who think of only themselves during sexual intercourse should not forget that they oppress the women and that they take pleasure by torturing their wives.

- The woman has the right to divorce from a man who cannot have a sexual intercourse with her in the period one year after the marriage.

The woman has the right not to accept sexual intercourse before receiving her “prompt mahr.”

- The sustenance of the woman, her treatment and medication have to be met by the man. If the woman cannot bake bread, her husband has to buy bread. If the woman wants to make up, the man has to pay for the accessories and perfume. The husband has to buy two dresses or two-piece suits every year, one being for the summer and the other for the winter. If a disagreement occurs, the quality of the garments is determined by the local authorities. The woman can demand sustenance when her husband goes on an expedition for the days he is absent. If she wants, she can demand a separate bed to sleep on when she is menstruating. 

- She can ask for a servant based on the situation of her husband. The wage of the servant has to be paid by the husband. The woman does not have to do any housework except the housework that is traditionally done by housewives in that region. 

If she needs, she can agree on certain amount of sustenance with her husband. If that amount turns out to be insufficient, she can want it to be increased; if her husband does not agree, she can apply to the court. 

- If the woman does not want the relatives of her husband, the husband has to hire or buy a separate house for her. The reason for this decree is the fact that they will prevent her from joking and from having sexual intercourse with her husband. Furthermore, the woman has the right to demand a separate room if she has children except for very little children who are not aware of sexual intercourse.

- The woman has the right to visit her parents once a week; the husband cannot prevent it.

The woman has the right to work in legitimate business that does not harm the rights of her husband.

If the woman wants to go to a public bath after menstruation and puerperium, her husband has to pay for the public bath; however, if it is known that the woman does not cover her parts of the body that need to be covered in the public bath, she is not sent to the public bath.

The husband has to provide sustenance for his wife that he divorced revocably or irrevocably during the period of iddah.

What we have mentioned up to now are some of the examples mentioned in fiqh books on the rights of women over men. They are not advice but legal rights that have sanctions. If women are forced to work and do the hard work that only men can do in some places, it is not the fault of Islam but the fault of those who live contrarily to Islam.

- Most of the Islamic scholars state that the woman has the right to vote when there is an election. For, there is no evidence stating that they have no such rights. Besides, election means paying allegiance. The Prophet (pbuh) accepted allegiance from women. (see al-Mumtahina (60) verse 12 and its interpretations) The view of everybody including young girls was asked for the caliph to be elected after Hz. Umar (ra). [see Muhammed Hamidullah, Islam Müesseselerine Giriş Ist.1981, p. 112 (reported from Ibn Kathir)]

When the woman dies, her shroud has to be bought by her husband.

(For more detailed information of the items presented in summary above, see Ibn Abidin, Raddu'l-Muhtar, Egypt 1380 (1960) NI/571 etc. See also nafaqa parts of all fiqh books, especially Sarakhsi, Mabsut V/180, etc.)

As it s seen, a woman is a person who has no worries and concerns about sustenance; that is, she has full social security. They are all legal rights to be determined by the court when a disagreement arises. In Islam, the husband and wife are not two enemies that always try to get rights from one another. They are two halves of a whole that complement, help and support each other; for instance, the Prophet (pbuh) helped his wives with housework; Hz. Ali (ra) and his wife Fatima (ra) worked in cooperation.

WOMAN IN THE FAMILY:

Islam states that the man and the woman were created equally:

"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female..." (al-Hujurat, 49/13).

Islam also states that it does not discriminate between man and woman and that they are not superior to each other in birth, death and life after death. For, man will stand and be reckoned in the presence of Allah alone.  (Maryam, 19/93) The state of the believing women who do righteous deeds and never leave the way of Allah is mentioned as follows: "Whoever works righteousness, man or woman and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions."  (an-Nahl, 16/97).

The difference between man and woman originates from their bodies; it is stated that women are weak and delicate beings. Therefore, differences are seen in their functions in individual and social life; it is seen that women are protected there. Islam did not push women down as it was the case in Jahiliyya life beliefs; it did not make women dominant either as it is the case with matriarchal families. Islam has introduced such a family model that every member of the family has different duties and there is no injustice in those duties. Islam adopted a family model that launched a new era, eliminating all of the attitudes that could put pressure on women in the family and that could harm the family.

Islam gives the duty of being the head of the family to the man.

"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..." (an-Nisa, 4/34).

Allah states the following in another verse giving the duty of being the head of the family to the man:

"...(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 Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise." (al-Baqara, 2/28)

The man has to meet all of the needs of the family and to protect the family from all kinds of external effects; he has very important responsibilities. The man cannot interfere with the personal property of the woman in the family; he cannot lay a burden on her. Furthermore, if the woman does not want to look after her baby, she can ask a maid from her husband; she does not have to do housework, either. However, household duties and responsibilities like that are the indications of the taqwa of women; therefore, they are encouraged by the Prophet (pbuh). The woman is supposed to obey the legitimate order of her husband. (Abu Dawud, Nikah, 40).

The continuation of Islamic family life is possible only through preserving mutual rights.

"You have some rights over women and women have some rights over you." (Tirmidhi, Rada, 11).

What is meant by the surrendering and obedience in mutual rights for the woman is to fulfill her duties toward her husband legitimately.

RIGHTS OF THE WOMAN OVER HER HUSBAND:

Since the man is obliged to put bread on the table, he has to meet the material needs of the woman and do it legitimately. (an-Nisa, 4/34). The man has to treat the woman well and protect her rights:

"...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 Allah brings about through it a great deal of good. " (an-Nisa, 4/19).

Islam prohibits man from misusing "the authority of managing and leading the family". What is meant here is to maintain the order in the family. Therefore, it is not permissible for the man to use this privilege by oppressing the woman. Only through this principle can the relationships between the man and the woman continue normally.

Islam lets women use their abilities and efficiency in terms of social relations maximally and within legitimate boundaries. In this social framework, Islam lets women work, take part in activities and study in order to help Muslims. (Bukhari, Ilm, 36;Ibrahim Jamal, Müslüman Kadının Fıkıh Kitabı, trnsl by Beşir Eryarsoy, İstanbul 1987, p. 483, ff)

"A woman is like a rib. If you try to straighten it, it will break. If you want to be happy, leave it as it is." (Bukhari, Nikah, 79).

"The best of you is the one that treats his wife in the best way." (Tirmidhi, Rada, 11; Ibn Majah, Nikah, 50).

We learn from the hadiths above that the Prophet (pbuh) always warned Muslims about women and that advised people to get on well with them. Women should not be beaten; they should be given advice. However, if they rebel, disobey their husbands, sit together with non-mahram men, waste the property of men and reveal the secrets of the family, they are admonished first; then, they are rebuked severely; if there is no change, they can be beaten slightly to warn. (an-Nisa, 4/34). If beating slightly causes no change, they should not be beaten severely.

RIGHTS OF THE HUSBAND OVER THE WIFE:

"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... " (an-Nisa, 4/34).

Women should obey and show respect to their husbands so that their husbands would carry out their duties at home properly. The woman has to obey her husband regarding legitimate issues. Besides, the housework she does and looking after children will increase the taqwa of the woman. For, Islam did not render them obligatory for women; it encouraged women to do them so that they would attain the consent of Allah.

Men are superior to women because of having some natural qualities and powers that women lack. However, it does not mean that men are superior in terms of honor and virtue. (Mawdudi, Tafhimu'l Qur'an, I, İstanbul 1986, p. 317, 318).

"If a woman performs five daily prayers, fasts for a month in Ramadan, protects her chastity and obeys her husband, doors of Paradise will be opened for her." (Bukhari, Misqat, II/202).

However, the obedience mentioned in the hadith is related to the issues that are in compliance with the orders of Allah; if the husband wants something that is contrary to the orders of Allah, she does not have to obey him.  For, obedience to Allah is superior to obedience to the husband. 

Satisfying each other sexually is something that is necessary in the family; therefore, it is not appropriate for either party to ignore it. The woman should be aware of this fact and should show respect to her husband regarding the issue. Islam states that men and women are equal in terms of creation. There is no difference regarding worldly punishments in the equality of women and men. The punishment for the crimes committed against men and women are the same. The fact that a woman receives half share in inheritance compared to a man is not something humiliating or inequality. When it is taken into consideration that the husband has to look after the wife, that he has to meet her needs, that the woman's parents or guardian have to look after her and meet her needs before marriage and that her husband has to do them after marriage, it is clearly understood what Allah means by this decree.   

The woman does not have to give anything to the man from the inheritance that she receives if she does not want to do so. However, man has to meet her needs. Thus, it is possible for the woman to receive the inheritance but not to spend it. (Ibrahim Jamal, ibid p. 485).

Allah created the woman as the hostess of the house. The man is obliged to earn money for the family; the woman is obliged to spend the money properly for the household. For, the woman is the shepherd of the house of her husband. Islam does not regard the woman responsible for any other things. The Quran encourages the woman to stay at home with the following verse:

"And stay quietly in your houses..." (al-Ahzab, 33/33)

However, in some cases, she can go out. For instance, if there is no man to look after the household, if she has to work due to financial difficulties, if the man cannot earn enough money, if the man is ill and cannot work, etc, the woman can go out and work.   

"Allah allows women to go out to meet their needs." (Bukhari-Muslim).

However, when the conditions of life today are considered, a Muslim woman cannot protect herself from the eyes of evil men in the market, streets and business life no matter how careful she is. Therefore, women should keep away from streets even if she has financial difficulties.

Islam gives women duties at home and eliminates the need for working. Islam will save the spirit of man who is betrayed in war and peace.

References:

- Seyyid Kutub, İslâm Kapitalizm Çatışması, İstanbul 1988, p. 129;
- Said Havva, Islam, trnsl by Said Şimşek, Ankara nd., p. 197, ff;
- Mustafa Sibai, Kadının Yeri, İstanbul 1988, p. 57 ff.;
- Abdullah Nasuh Ulvan, İslâmda Aile Eğitimi, I, p. 221 ff.;
- Ömer Ferruh, İslâm Aile Hukuku trnsl by Yusuf Ziya Kavakcı, İstanbul 1976, p. 228 ff;
- Hz. Peygamber ve Aile Hayatı, Komisyon, İstanbul 1989, p. 171 ff;
- M. Ali Haşimi, Kur'an ve Sünnette Müslüman Şahsiyeti, trnsl by Resul Tosun, İstanbul 1988, p. 63 ff.
  (Şamil İslam Ans, Kadın item)

20 Is it permissible for Muslim women to remove the extra hairs between or around her eyebrows?

As for the hairs between or around the eyebrows:

“There is a normal form of female eyebrow. The extra hairs which exceed this form, and which seem ugly and make the woman look ugly and therefore disturb her, can be removed.

"Shaving is not the best way of removing those hairs, but the best way is through such medical methods as epilating wax, powder, or the like.” ( Kadın İlmihali, Mürşide Uysal, p. 370)

But, it is not regarded permissible to make normal eyebrows thinner by following the fashion, or to change their position...” (Prof. Dr. Hayreddin Karaman) Islamic scholars have thought for a long time about what the religious decree is for women's plucking the hairs on their faces, making their eyebrows thinner, and making their eyelashes longer. It has been a matter of much discussion among Islamic scholars what deeds the expression in the following hadith of the Prophet includes: “May Allah damn the woman who plucks her facial hairs and who has them plucked.” (Bukhari, 'Libas', 84; Muslim, 'Libas', 120).

According to the majority of scholars, if such hairs as beard and mustache, which are not peculiar to women, grow on her face, it is permissible for a woman, with the intention of looking beautiful to her husband and with his permission, to remove them, to make up in order to be more beautiful, to remove the scattered hairs around her eyebrows (around and between the eyebrows); and the prohibition in the hadith is about women's plucking her facial hairs and her eyebrows in order to go out and to be seen more beautiful to the strangers.

The Malikis (one of the rightful sects in Islam) and some scholars, though, view it as changing the creation and therefore do not see it in any way as permissible or they see it as ominable (makrooh).

As a result, it is more appropriate to understand the prohibition in the hadith of plucking hairs as prohibition of removing hairs of eyebrows in order to make them thinner and change their place with the intention of looking more beautiful to others; rather than removing facial hairs (beard, mustache hairs) which grow later as a result of an illness or any other malady and which make a woman's face look ugly.

It is a requisite of belief in Allah that humans should respect the blessing of the body which Allah has given them as trusts, and that they should reciprocate His blessings by offering thanks. It is an expression of the love that a Muslim woman feels for Allah that she protects the beauty Allah has given to her face without distorting it and thus respects His work of art, and adds beauty to her beauty by reflecting the gleams of peace of spirit and of heart onto her face.

Dr. Jale Şimşek

Editor's Selected Links;

Beard and mustache were not of the creation (fitrat) of women (not natural for them).

Is it halal (lawful or permitted) for a woman to wear a wig, cut or dye her hair?

21 Can women read the Quran while they are menstruating?

A woman cannot read or recite even a verse from the Quran when she is in menstruation. She can only read some verses that contain supplication like the chapter al-Fatiha and ayah al-kursi with the intention of prayer. A woman who is in menstruation can listen to the khatm al-Quran (reading the Quran from the beginning to the end). It is hoped that she receives the reward of the khatm when she listens to it.

22 What are the religious duties that should be performed for miscarried children?

It is necessary to wash the miscarried children who had any sign of life (such as voice, breathing, moving…). Children who were born dead, and whose all organs formed must be washed as well. Miscarried children whose organs were not totally formed are not washed. They are buried, wrapped in a cloth, without a name. Funeral prayer for them is not performed. According to Hanafis, if a child dies after giving a voice right after birth, it is considered to have been alive at the time of birth and it is given a name, washed, and funeral prayer for it is performed. However, if there was not any sign of life, that is if it was already dead at the time of birth, it is given a name, washed and buried wrapped in a cloth without performing funeral prayer. (Wahba Zuhayli, Islam Fıkhı, 3/60)

23 What is the Islamic evaluation of slandering a chaste woman?

Chastity means moral virtue and maturity that enables one to refrain from derogatory behaviors in the eyes of Allah and people, by resisting one’s desires. And honor means, with its general meaning, the sum total of values that shape one’s moral characteristics and which is the reason of respect for the person himself and his close relatives. Honor, with its peculiar and narrow meaning, means chastity and purity in terms of sexuality.

Chastity and purity, with their both meanings, are amongst people’s main rights in Islam and attacks against them are deemed as crimes and sins; and they are subject to worldly and otherworldly sanction. Prohibition of fornication and of what may lead to fornication, and orders and regulations about hijab (covering) are indeed actions aimed at protection of individuals’ chastity and honor, and social moral values.

Slandering a chaste woman is called “Qazf” in Islamic terminology.

Qazf literally means throwing something hard, throwing words out of mouth, aspersing and slandering one’s chastity. It is a law term which means accusing an innocent man or woman of fornication, with words such as “you fornicated…” or “you fornicator”. Qazf is one of the great sins. On the issue, Allah stated “Those who slander chaste women, indiscreet but believing, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter: for them is a grievous Penalty” (an-Nur, 24:23). The Prophet (pbuh) counted qazf amongst seven factors which led one to destruction in his Hadiths. (Bukhari, Wasaya, 23).

The punishment for qazf is flogging him/her eighty times and rejecting his/her witnessing: “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” (an-Nur, 24:4). Accordingly, the crime of slandering one with fornication is valid only when the accuser accuses one of fornication and he can bring at least four witnesses to prove that crime.

Stripes are hit on not a specific part of the body, but on various parts of body. Besides, outer clothes such as coats and mantles of the criminal are taken off.

That the person slandered is “muhsan” means that s/he is free, sane, pubescent, Muslim and innocent.

If a person admits to have slandered and attempts to retract, it is not accepted and s/he is punished.

If a person slanders one with anything other than fornication, such as sinfulness, infidelity or maliciousness, s/he is sentenced to the penalty, if there is, established by the Islamic state.

Even if a person punished because of slandering repents, his/her evidence is not accepted. (see: an-Nur, 24:4). However, s/he gets rid of sinfulness. On the other hand, according to Shafiis, s/he both gets rid of sinfulness and his/her evidence is accepted from then on. (see: al-Qurtubi, al-Jami’fi Ahkam al-Quran, Beirut, 1965-1966, XII, 190-195; Elmalili Hamdi Yazir, Hak Dini Kur’an Dili, Istanbul 1936, IV, 3478-3483).

Disinterested criteria have been employed in proving crimes for which there are severe penalties such as fornication in Islamic law in order to protect especially indispensable values; and those crimes were not punished until they were proved. This attitude is an important precaution taken in order to prevent wearing out the institution of family and tainting individuals’ chaste and honor easily. Indeed, since people are very careful about their honor and chaste, in other words, since people’s chaste resembles an untainted, clean and white floor, any gossip on the issue is very effective and causes a state of victimization which cannot be compensated for that person. Islam laid down serious conditions of proving for such a serious accusation in order not to give rise to such gossips and to prevent judging by suspicion and prejudice. When the crime is impossible to prove with precise evidence, Islam orders people to keep silent and to keep their personal judgments and information to themselves.

All of the other kinds of slanders and calumnies apart from fornication that is aimed at chaste and honor are also forbidden by the Quran and sunnah, criticized and, even though declared to require responsibility, is not punished; and it is left to the community’s initiative to take necessary precautions on the issue. In this sense, it is possible and necessary for communities to make some lawful regulations and find various solutions in accordance with their era and social conditions in order to protect their peace and unity. As a matter of fact, it would not be appropriate to leave the prevention of gossips, wrong information and slanders solemnly to religion’s and social structure’s way of sanction. Law system’s supportive precautions on the issue always play an important role.

24 Is the wudu (ablution) of women invalidated because of the natural leakage? Is it appropriate for a woman to imitate another madhhab (sect)?

- According to the phrase used in the question, the issue is the natural leakage, which is referred to as “rutubatul-farj” (normal wetness of the vagina) in fiqh books, not the blood or leakage of menstruation or puerperum. From this point of view, it will be better to express that leakage as “normal wetness”. With that explanation, we want to agree on the same diagnosis.

- The answer to the question, according to the views of Hanafi and Shafii scholars, is as follows:

The view of Hanafi scholars:

- The normal wetness that women see in their vaginas should be considered to be the same as the leakage coming from the mouths and noses of people and the sweat coming out of their bodies. (See Raddu’l-Mukhtar, 1/166). Therefore, the wetness in question is clean, and it does not invalidate wudu.

However, according to Hanafi scholars, anything that comes out of the front and back canals invalidates wudu (See Raddu’l-Mukhtar,1/134; Maydani, al-Lubab, 1/17).

The following statement is present in the catechism of the Directorate of Religious Affairs of Turkey: “Any liquid or thing that comes out of urinary canal and anal canal invalidates wudu (ibid, 1/199).

The view of Shafii scholars:

- Imam Nawawi states in his works that the wetness coming out of the woman’s vagina is not dirty/is clean according to the soundest view (al-Majmu, 2/570; al-Minhaj-a’s-siraju’l-wahhaj, p.23).

Ibn Hajar explains it as follows: The wetness mentioned by Nawawi is something between the mazi and sweat; it comes out of the vagina (from the inner front surface) and it is not compulsory to wash it. The leakage that comes from the deep part of the vagina (from the inner part where the womb is) during the birth together with the baby or before it is dirty (See Tuhfat’ul-Muhtaj/Shirwani, 1/3o1; see also Raddu’l-Mukhtar, 1/313).

Some scholars dealt with the issue in three dimensions. Accordingly, the leakage/wetness that comes from the vagina of the woman comes from the place where it is necessary to wash after urination (the place that opens when the woman sits) is clean. If the wetness comes from the deepest part of the vagina, it is definitely dirty. If the leakage comes from the part of the vagina that is not necessary to wash but still from the inner front part, there are two views about it. According to the soundest view, it is clean. According to another view, it is dirty (See Ianatu’t-talibin, 1/104, Tuhfat’ul-Muhtaj/Shirwani, 1/3o1).

Imam Nawawi stated the following regarding the issue: “When urine, feces, wind, worms, discharge, blood, stone or any other substance come out of the urinary or anal canal of a man or woman, the wudu is invalidated. For instance, it does not matter whether the wind comes out of the front or back part of a man or woman; the wudu is invalidated. There is no disagreement about it in Shafii madhhab (see Nawawi, Majmu, 2/4).

- According to what we understand from those explanations above, the leakage – in the form of wetness – coming out of the inner-front part of the vagina is regarded to be clean. However, it does not seem easy to say that it does not invalidate wudu. We have not been able to find any other statement except this statement we have quoted from “Raddu’l Mukhtar” above: “The normal wetness that women see in their vaginas should be considered to be the same as the leakage coming from the mouths and noses of people and the sweat coming out of their bodies” in the source books that will make us say the wudu will not be invalidated. It is necessary to act in accordance with the general ijtihad of scholars. However, especially those who are anxious and apprehensive and those who cannot manage to cope with it can act in accordance with the fatwa mentioned above.

25 Can a woman wear a headscarf even if her husband dislikes?

The women do not need to comply with her husband in the matters of not being appropriate to the consent of Allah. Both woman and her husband become sinner if she unveils her scarf just because her husband wants.

One of the causes for divorce is high-conflict and intellectual disagreements. The divorcement can be justified if the husband bullies her and hinders her from performing her worships.

Yet, if the woman does not divorce despite being tyrannized by her husband, she will be rewarded by Allah. She keeps doing her religious duties and rejects harams that her husband wants her to do.

26 What kind of clothes should women wear (for tasattur)?

It is not religiously permitted for a woman to wear dresses which are so thin as to reveal the color of the skin in the presence of men to whom women can get married. Those dresses can be many kinds such as shirt, skirt, headscarf and socks.


Accordingly, there are some rules for a reasonable tasattur; we must pay attention to them:
--- The dresses must not be so thin or transparent as to reveal the body.
--- They should not be so ornamental and colored as to catch attention.
--- They should not be so narrow as to reveal the contours of the body.

Even if the Salat (prayer) with narrow shirt and trousers is accepted by Allah, it is not proper by the Religion for it will seduce and catch attention of those who look at. The late Ibn Abidin also emphasizes this point in his book. (Raddu'l-Mukhtar, 5/238)

On the other hand, women have to wear properly, and they have to avoid looks, talks and style of walking which catch the attention of men.

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Should women wear overcoat or jilbab to cover themselves (for tasattur)?

27 Are Muslim girls allowed to wear lose fitting jeans?

It is permissible if a woman wears a wide enough trousers hiding the shape of her body and covers her hips hanging down her upper clothing.
One day a woman falls down from her donkey on the path near to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He immediately turns his head to another direction. Then his companions tell him that no private part of the woman was seen because she wore pants under her skirt. Upon this Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) prays for women wearing pants under their skirts and preventing their legs from being seen even if they fall down.
As Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) praised, wide/loose/baggy trousers can provide the needed covering when getting on a bus, going upstairs etc.
(Ahmed Şahin)
Islam does not order a certain way of dressing and apparel. It does not force its followers to take a certain way of dressing. Additionally, something that Islam orders must not be forgotten. The main criterion on clothing of a woman is understood as:
1- Covering the private parts. (The private parts of a woman is the whole body except hands and face)
2- Not wearing transparent, short and tight clothes. (That is to say, the body and underclothes must not be seen.)

28 melk yamen

Milk yamin means concubine. The marriage with concubines is expressed as “whom your right hand possesses. It is also called as “milkul yamin or aqdul milk”. The verse related to the issue is as follows:
“If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess: and Allah hath full knowledge about your Faith. Ye are one from another: wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable…” (an-Nisa, 25)
Fornication is definitely haram (forbidden). It is not licit to marry for a certain period of time in return for money by making an agreement. Having a mistress or a doxy are different forms of fornication. When a Muslim man needs to marry, he should primarily prefer a free believing woman if it is possible; it is permissible for him to marry a woman from the People of the Book (Christian or Judaist). Then, marrying a believing slave and a non-Muslim slave are preferred. Since a slave belongs to someone else, there are some drawbacks in marrying a slave; therefore, it is better to be patient and remain single for some more time than to marry a slave. The fact that, in the verse, the female slaves are described as ‘your girls’ and thinking that ‘all people originated from the same parents, Adam and Eve’ and asking people not to despise the slaves and not to avoid marrying them are important documents showing that Islam appreciates all people. War is the only fundamental source of slaves in Islam. Slavery is not the only alternative for the prisoners of war. If prisoners of war become slaves, people treat them almost like free people and aim to show them and to guide them to the true path.
The explanation of the late Elmalılı (a mufassir (interpreter)) about the verse:
Here muhsanat has the meaning of owning therefore it means free women. That is, whoever cannot afford to marry a free and believing woman should marry a young believing female slave that he owns. To marry a female slave will not cost much. However, a Muslim should always prefer a believing woman. A Muslim should definitely not regard marrying a believing woman and a female slave as humiliation because Allah knows your belief best; you are among you; those of you who are free and those of you who are slaves believe in the same religion. Marrying them when necessary with goodwill is not humiliation. The risk of fornication is real humiliation. However, preferring female slaves to free women means infringing the rights of free women. Therefore, a man who is married to a free woman is not allowed to marry a female slave; it is makrooh (abominable) or haram for a man who can afford to marry a free woman to marry a female slave. Then, marrying a female slave is regarded as humiliation. Although Imam Shafi’ regarded it as haram taking into consideration the opposite concept, Imam Azam Abu Hanifa said it was makrooh and added that what was haram was marrying a female slave while one was married to a free woman.
As for the condition, decree and aim of the validity of marrying a female slave: Marry female slaves by getting permission from their owners and give them their mahr (marriage gift) and allowance in the best way; Marry them due to their attributes of "not committing fornication, not taking paramours, living chastely..." and maintaining those attributes.
The word “Ahdan”in the verse is the plural of "Haden". It means to have a secret lover. During the period of Jahiliyyah, there were two kinds of fornication. One was by running a brothel openly; the other was taking someone as a paramour and committing fornication secretly. Mot acts of fornication involved female slaves. Islam banned both forms of the fornication. It should be noted that in the verse that dealt with women, the fornication of men was banned openly; here, the fornication of women was banned openly. It includes good manners and rhetoric.
It was explained that free women would not condescend to commit fornication and that since it was not appropriate to think about even the possibility of their prostitution and fornication, it could be planned by men and their unchastity. It was also explained that the female slaves were thought to be committing fornication due to their needs and that it was customary in the period of Jahiliyyah but it was caused by the immorality of men and that the disgrace could only be removed by men. It was added that if men acted with good intentions and carried out their duties, the female slaves would be freed from disgrace and poverty and therefore Muslims should be interested in ensuring the chastity and goodness.
Therefore, if female slaves commit fornication after they get married and their chastity is ensured, then half of the punishment that is due for free women must be applied to them. They will have no excuses under those circumstances; however, they will not be regarded in the same level as free women as long as they are slaves. Therefore, marrying female slaves are advised for men who face the risk of committing fornication and committing sin by not being able to control their lust. Otherwise, it is better for them to be patient. Imam Shafi’ deduces the meaning that it is better not to marry whether a free woman or a female slave and that worshipping is better than marriage. However, it is clear that this decree is about female slaves as Hanafis understand it. Therefore, marriage is wajib (obligatory) for those who can afford to pay mahr and to sustain their families if they face the risk of committing fornication. It is wajib for a man like that to marry a female slave if he cannot afford to pay mahr for and sustain a free woman; it is mandub (recommended) for him to prefer a believing female slave. To save female slaves from poverty is something desired. A believing female slave deserves it more than unbelievers. Therefore, marriage is wajib for those who face the risk of fornication. 
If there is no risk of fornication, then marrying a female slave is not wajib not even mandub because a marriage like that may cause free women to lose esteem, may deteriorate the nobility of the lineage and the choice of children. Therefore, Hazrat Omar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, A person who marries a female slave loses half of his freedom.” However, the drawbacks mentioned above are nothing at all in comparison to the risk of fornication. Fornication means eradicating one’s sperms directly and in general a filthy meanness both for men and women and a disgrace for humanity. No male animal goes after the female just to waste his sperm. No male animal including the dog jumps on the female by force unless the female invites except male animals imprisoned by men; male animals have sexual intercourse only to inseminate the female. It is known that the camels smell the pee of the female in order to find out whether the female is inseminated or not.
To sum up, even in the intercourse of the animals, there is no trait of fornication. Their nature and creation, in other words, their instincts, will not allow it. This disgrace, this love of infertility is an evil that puts men in a position lower than animals. Instead of facing that evil, it is better to marry a female slave. However, if there is no risk of fornication, patience and remaining unmarried is better. Although, remaining unmarried means being deprived of having children and reproduction, "Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

29 liberty and independence of muslim women
The value that Islam gave to women
When the past is investigated, it is seen that women had a more destitute and mistreated look when compared to men in the flow of the history. Some negative events in Islamic world brought out some wrong ideas like that Islam ignores women and doesn’t give importance to them.
In Islam there is no difference in being human between a man and a woman; they are equally liable for demands and prohibitions of God. All people are responsible with living on the earth and serve on the way of God, it doesn’t matter whether woman or man. In Islam there is no difference about the main rights and responsibilities between a man and a woman, as there is no difference in being a servant to God.
Women don’t have a secondary importance and value according to men in creation. As a principle the best of people is the one who is best in taqwa (having good deeds and keeping away from wickedness) (el-Hucurât 49/13). In Quran a woman and a man who have different physiological and psychological traits are regarded as complements each other instead of regarding one of them superior to the other or regarding them as equal. (El-Bakara 2/187)
“Never will I allow to be lost the deed of any of you, man or woman.” (Al-i İmran, 3/195)
“And of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them and ordained between you love and compassion; Most surely there are signs in this for thinking man.” (Rum, 30/21) These two verses a woman according to Islam is never regarded as a secondary person.”
The holy book Quran clearly pointed out the needs of a man and a woman for each other as a human being by saying; “They are your garments and you are their garments.” (Bakara, 2/187)
The position of women in several civilizations and communities before the rise of Islam must be searched comprehensively to fully understand the rights and the value, importance that Islam gave to women. In an era when it is discussed whether women are human being or not and whether they have souls or not and when they are totally dependent on men, when they didn’t have share from inheritance even they are regarded as a part of the inheritance, Islam religion declared that women are human beings established their rights in inheritance and put them in a place where they not only receive orders but give orders according to situations, put them in a place where they should be.
In holy Quran it is mentioned that the Prophet had an obeisance. (Mümtehine, 60/13). That shows the independence of women’s will clearly. In Islam the fundamental rights that are given to men are equally given to women. The right of living, freedom of expense and possession of property, equivalence before the laws, a fair judgment, immunity of property, the freedom of belief and opinion, preservation of honour, the right to marry and establish a family, privacy and immunity of life, guarantee of livelihood. In these fundamental rights, there is no difference between men and women.
It is known that women took part in social life in the first years of Islam. Women came to mosques, they sat before the Prophet; they used to ask questions about things special to them, questions that even today’s women can’t dare to ask. They never felt shy when they asked. They performed their prayers in the mosque, they used to listen the advices of the Prophet.
This application continued in following years. At one time, caliph Omar told the “mehir” (livelihood given to women), were too high and needed to be reduced in his preach, one of the women in the mosque stood up and objected ;”You cant take the right given to us by God, because this is a rule of the Quran. Caliph Omar, in respond to that objection, “Thank to God that there are such women who can tell my faults.” Again at the time of Caliph Omar the duty called "hisbe" which is the job to control the order and security was given to women.
When we look at the applications in Islamic countries, it is clearly seen that the rights given to women during the times of the Prophet decreased slowly since traditions are regarded as religion and accepted as religious rules.
With the effect of that understanding, in some countries women are seen as sexual objects, belittled and became outcast in the society. This application is adopted by followers of the other religions on different parts of the world for centuries. Except for some exceptions, women and men were not equal in civil and political rights by this century. In the last century, the west had bad experiences in women rights. It is a reality that, in countries where women had all rights needed, it was discussed whether women had souls or not and whether they are humans or not by the nineteenth century.
As a conclusion: we can say that in Islam a human equals to the human. In this understanding, discrimination between men and women are out of question.
Mehmet Nuri YILMAZ
Is it religiously allowed for women to work? Is it religiously proper to work amongst men?
We do not know any prohibition that prevents a woman from working. But, there are some rules that are supposed to be obeyed by the woman. When she doesn’t obey these rules, she becomes a sinner.
In Islam there is no discrimination in being human between a man and a woman; they are equally liable for demands and prohibitions of God. All people are responsible with living on the earth and serve on the way of God, it doesn’t matter whether woman or man. In Islam there is no difference about the main rights and responsibilities between a man and a woman, as there is no difference in being a servant to God.
In Islam the rights and freedom given to men are equally given to women. There is no discrimination between a man and a woman about the main rights like living, to protect and to develop your material and spiritual life; personal freedom and safety; conscience, religious beliefs and freedom of conviction; freedom of expense and possession of property; Having an assertion or defense in the court as a suitor or defendant by using legal ways, equivalence before the laws, a fair judgment, immunity of property, preservation of honour, the right to marry and establish a family, privacy and immunity of life, guarantee of livelihood.
In holy Quran it is mentioned that the Prophet had an obeisance. (Mümtehine, 60/13). That shows the independence of women’s will clearly. So, being a woman is not a reason to lose the capacity of right and action. In case of violation of her rights by her husband or any other person, she has the right to complain to the court and demand to remove that injustice.
The position of women and discussions of her rights in Islam focus on participation of women in social life and work and have a job in the public service.  
According to Islam, a woman can work inside or outside the house; can help to her husband in meeting the family’s needs. It is possible that the roles of the spouses can change, it depends on circumstances. The thing which is important is the order and peace of the family life and the proper choice of the spouses about the responsibilities that are suitable to abilities and features of them. According to some sources, there is a hadith that tells that the prophet gave the responsibility of the inner works of the house to his daughter Fatima and gave outside works to his son-in-law imam Ali. [İbn Ebî Şeybe, Musannef, X/165, No: 9118; XIII/284, No: 16355; Ömer Nasuhî Bilmen, Hukuk-i İslamiyye, II/484. That is not a binding rule that makes up a family model for Muslim people; it is a solution, in form of an advice, based on needs and traditions.
The assistance and contribution of woman to her family and the community is so big that it can not be underestimated.
The women are equal with the men in economical and commercial domains and have no hindrance. They have all kinds of rights about the law of commerce and debt that men have. In Islam all people, men or women, are encouraged to work. “That man will have nothing but what he strives for” (Necm, 53/39);”…Men will be rewarded according to their deeds and women will be rewarded according to their deeds. Rather implore God bestow upon you His bounty…..." (Nisa 4/32)
There is no a sign of discrimination between men and women in the verse about the trading and domain of work “O Believers! Do not devour your property among yourself by unlawful ways; but rather trade with it by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves; surely God is ever Merciful to you.” (Nisa, 4/29) and in the hadith “It is better for a person from you to get his rope and fetch some wood and sell it from being a beggar.”(Buhârî, Büyû’ 5)
Men or women, all people have right to gain money on the condition that they obey the  general principles that the religion tells like; frankness, honesty, trust, truthfulness, abiding by the promise, having commitment to agreements and conditions and not exploiting the other side’s weakness, ignorance and troubles.
From the explanations above we can infer both that women can work and can not work. If she has the conditions she can work, if not she can not work.
One of the fundamental principles for a woman to work is to be careful about her religious coverage of herself and her dignity and gravity mustn’t be underestimated. Also she mustn’t be in the same place with a stranger man alone.
It was told by the Prophet that when a man and a woman are alone, the third one will be the devil. In such a satiation, “halvet” (being alone with the opposite sex at the same place) occurs and it requires punishment for both man and woman like “mehr-i misil” (for man) and ”tâzir” (for woman).
In conclusion, we can say that the woman, who has to work since she is in need, can work in a place where there will be no harm to her dignity and chastity. She can have social relation with the men around with that gravity and dignity. The place lacking these features is not a good place for a woman to work.
It is an obligation for man to work and maintain the family, the woman is supposed to stay home and look after her children. The man has to work and try to meet the needs of his wife. The conditions mentioned above for women who has no such a protector and who is in need and poverty. A woman whose husband doesn’t let her work can not have a right to have a job. She is supposed to live on the money of her husband, or she needs her husband’s permission.
A woman can work at house or working place of a stranger man on the way that Islam required, with several women or in an open place. There is no hindrance in this. But if she stays in a closed place with a stranger “halvet” (explained above) occurs and that is a sin. (El-Fıkıh 'ala'l-Mezahip el-Arbaa, c.3 s.125).

30 Can a woman perform prayers while pregnant? If yes, what is to be taken into account?

A pregnant woman is to perform the prayers. If a just, expert doctor, in other words a doctor who performs at least the minimum obligations of religion and who abstains from grave sins, says that it is dangerous for the woman to stand while performing prayers, she may perform her prayers in a sitting position.
According to medical data and to the majority of Islamic jurists, a pregnant woman does not experience menstruation. Therefore, if a pregnant woman experiences bleeding, the woman is responsible for performing her prayers and fasting as it cannot be the bleeding of menstruation. On condition that she takes ritual ablution as subject to the regulations of the mustahaza (excused), she can perform the prayers, handle the Qur'an, read (recite) it, and she can enter a mosque.
As soon as the pregnant gives birth, she becomes nufasa (being in the state of recovery from childbirth). When bleeding stops and she takes ghusl (complete ablution of the body), she becomes subject to the normal regulations and fulfills her religious duties accordingly.

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I am pregnant and I experience menstruation. Can I perform the prayers in that state?

31 Is it allowed to get the tubes tied? (To kill the ability of a woman to bear children)

As it is understood from the hadiths : “Get married and multiply, for, I will boast with your plenitude on the Doomsday”. (Bayhaqi 7:81) and “Marry the women that are pretty and fertile” (Abu Dawud, Nikah, 2; Ibn Majah, Nikah,1), we get an important aspect of the marriage, that is, ensuring the continuation of the generation. The important point here is, to take the necessary cautions to prevent the reproduction abilities beforehand.

There are some exceptions regarding the issue, as in every case.  Under certain conditions, birth control is allowed as the Prophet(PBUH) permitted “Azl” (Azl: removing the man’s organ from the female’s organ before ejaculation, during the intercourse)

As for the issue of getting the tubes of a woman tied medically:

It is, medically and religiously, an unfavorable method to remove the ability of reproducing of both man and woman. It has many side effects. Temporary sterilization is partially acceptable. It is applicable in some cases where the mother’s health is endangered.

For example, after the third cesarean operation, if another one is dangerous for the mother, when the womb is already opened to take the baby out, the tubes may be tied in order to make the sterilization. (?nsan ve Cinsi Hayat (Human and the Sex Life), p 100)

As it is seen, this practise is both temporary and it is not for everyone, to be always applied. Namely, it can be the last resort, when required. In such cases, if the medicine does not allow, then the religion does not, either. Therefore, if such a compulsive case occurs, then a group of doctors’ decision should be referred to, instead of only one doctor.

Mehmed PAKSU

32 islamic law of divorce

If the court decides that it is necessary, then the divorce is carried out and that decision is valid.

33 What is the reason behind the fact that the man pays the woman mahr (dowry) for marriage? Why does the man have to pay it but not the woman?

There has been a division of tasks between the woman and the man since ancient times so that the tasks about the dwelling and family will be fulfilled in the best way. The man works outside and works very hard when necessary to earn the bread. The woman directs the house, cooks meals and looks after the children. Therefore, all of the financial responsibilities lie on the man not woman. Mahr and nafaqa (alimony) are among those responsibilities. That division of tasks is in compliance with the nature and creation of man and woman and with the divine sunnah. Since man is stronger, he is more apt to work and earn money. The following is stated in the Quran: "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." (an-Nisa, 4/34).
Mahr is like a reserve fund for the woman during her marriage life. If a woman loses her husband suddenly or if they are divorced, it will be very difficult for her to stay in the house of her husband; mahr will support her until she starts a new life.

34 Can you give information about the importance of wearing the Hijab?

Unveiling Oppression


by Kathy Chin


I wrote this article about my experiment with hijab when I was a senior at UCLA. It originally appeared in the October 1994 issue of al-talib. I recently found out that "Unveiling Oppression" has proliferated the internet in English and other languages. This was surprising to me. I didn't think what I've written resonated so much with people. This article has even made it into a Lesson Plan on Veiling. I've posted the version that was originally published. The versions that I've seen on the other sites on Google are not exactly how it first appeared.


I walked down the street in my long white dress and inch-long, black hair one afternoon, and truck drivers whistled obscenities at me. I felt defeated. I had just stepped out of a hair salon. I had my hair cut short, telling the hairdresser to trim it as she would a guy's. I sat numbly as my hairdresser skillfully sheared into my shoulder-length hair with her scissors, asking me with every inch she cut off if I was freaking out yet. I wasn't freaking out, but I felt self-mutilated.

It wasn't just another haircut. It meant so much more. I was trying to appear androgynous by cutting my hair. I wanted to obliterate my femininity.

Yet that did not prevent some men from treating me as a sex object. I was mistaken. It was not my femininity that was problematic, but my sexuality, or rather the sexuality that some men had ascribed to me based on my biological sex. They reacted to me as they saw me and not as I truly am.

Why should it even matter how they see me, as long as I know who I am? But it does. I believe that men who see women as only sexual beings often commit violence against them, such as rape and battery. Sexual abuse and assault are not only my fears, but my reality. I was molested and raped. My experiences with men who violated me have made me angry and frustrated.

How do I stop the violence? How do I prevent men from seeing me as an object rather than a female? How do I stop them from equating the two? How do I proceed with life after experiencing what others only dread?

The experiences have left me with questions about my identity. Am I just another Chinese-American female? I used to think that I have to arrive at a conclusion about who I am, but now I realize that my identity is constantly evolving.

One experience that was particularly educational was when I "dressed up" as a Muslim woman for a drive along Crenshaw Boulevard with three Muslim men as part of a newsmagazine project. I wore a white, long-sleeved cotton shirt, jeans, tennis shoes, and a flowery silk scarf that covered my head, which I borrowed from a Muslim woman.

Not only did I look the part, I believed I felt the part. Of course, I wouldn't really know what it feels like to be hijabed - I coined this word for the lack of a better term - everyday, because I was not raised with Islamic teachings.

However, people perceived me as a Muslim woman and did not treat me as a sexual being by making cruel remarks. I noticed that men's eyes did not glide over my body as has happened when I wasn't hijabed. I was fully clothed, exposing only my face.

I remembered walking into an Islamic center and an African-American gentleman inside addressed me as "sister", and asked where I came from. I told him I was originally from China. That didn't seem to matter. There was a sense of closeness between us because he assumed I was Muslim. I didn't know how to break the news to him because I wasn't sure if I was or not.

I walked into the store that sold African jewelry and furniture and another gentleman asked me as I was walking out if I was Muslim. I looked at him and smiled, not knowing how to respond. I chose not to answer.

Outside the store, I asked one of the Muslim men I was with, "Am I Muslim?" He explained that everything that breathes and submits is.

I have concluded that I may be and just don't know it. I haven't labeled myself as such yet. I don't know enough about Islam to assert that I am Muslim.

Though I don't pray five times a day, go to a mosque, fast, nor cover my head with a scarf daily, this does not mean that I am not Muslim. These seem to be the natural manifestation of what is within.

How I am inside does not directly change whether I am hijabed or not. It is others' perception of me that has changed. Repeated experiences with others in turn create a self-image. I consciously chose to be hijabed because I was searching for respect from men. Initially, as both a Women's Studies major and a thinking female, I bought into the Western view that the wearing of a scarf is oppressive. After this experience and much reflection, I have arrived at the conclusion that such a view is superficial and misguided: It is not if the act is motivated by conviction and understanding.

I covered up that day out of choice, and it was the most liberating experience of my life. I now see alternatives to being a woman. I discovered that the way I dress dictated others' reaction towards me. It saddens me that this is a reality. It is a reality that I have accepted, and chose to conquer rather than be conquered by it. It was my sexuality that I covered, not my femininity. The covering of the former allowed the liberation of that latter.

This article was originally published in the October 1994 issue of al-talib. I was s senior at UCLA majoring in Psychobiology and Women's Studies at the time.

Posted by kathychin at April 28, 2004 11:06 PM

35 After the Prophet (Pbuh) married Hadrat Khadija (R.A), who did the housework? Did they work together?

Although the Prophet was married to many women, he usually used to do his chores himself. A hadith (saying or tradition of the Prophet Muhammad) related by our mother Aisha tells us the following: The Messenger of Allah used to behave like anyone in his house. He used to patch his own cloths, repair his shoes and help his wives for the housework. At the time he was doing those, his name was being mentioned all over the world; everybody was talking about him and the religion he had brought. He used to manage his time so that he was able to find the opportunity for such chores besides his so important duties. He was worthy of being at the highest degrees of every favorable trait and he was so…    
The Messenger of Allah not only used to do his own chores but also used to help the others. Qadi Iyad relates: One day a woman who have bats in the belfry came and pulled him by holding the arm of the Messenger of Allah and told him: Come and do my such work in my house. The woman pulled him by his arm and he followed her and then also Sahaba (the companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) followed them… and the Messenger of Allah did the work the woman mentioned easily and returned. That work was maybe sweeping the house or wringing the washed laundry. Whatever the essence of that work was, the Messenger of Allah did it because he was a natural person.

In short, the house holding of the Messenger of Allah was perfect: his managing so many women at such ease and his being extremely loved by them all… even his being the beloved of their hearts, the teacher of their minds and the ruler of their spirits… and his unbending from his duty and being careful at the tasks related to the state and the nation while doing those is an obvious evidence and proof of his prophethood. Even if there were no other proofs, the line he followed in his house holding was sufficient as a proof of his prophethood.

36 Is it compulsary for women to cover their head when the adhan is called and when the Quran is recited?

A woman does not have to cover her head when the adhan is called and when the Quran is recited if there are not any non-mahram men around. 

37 islam clothing
There isn’t any drawback for a woman not to cover her head while there isn’t any foreign man (whom to get marry with is permissible) near her. (El-Fetava’l- Hindiya, 5/333)
But, a woman should cover at least in between her kneecap and navel, even if she is alone in the house. There are some angles that are always with the person. They suffer pain if the private parts of the person are not covered. Thus, covering in between her kneecap and navel is virtue for a woman.
The Messenger of God says; “Retrain from being naked for there are someone who never leave you alone except while you are in toilet or having sexual intercourse.”
A woman can wear whatever she wants while she is with her husband. There isn’t any covering limit between husband and wife. To beautify and dress herself up to seem beautiful in the eyes of her husband is lawful. There is no drawback for a woman to loose her hair and to wear short sleeved clothes while she is in her house.
Being extremely clean and wearing pleasant odors and finery clothes while being alone with her husband is religiously recommended.
To deck herself up with adornments and fine clothes and to put her make up on for her husband is religiously permissible to a woman.
Ibn-I Abbas (may God be pleased with him) said; “As my wife deck herself up for me, so do I deck myself up for her. I don’t want to get all my rights on her, so that she doesn’t want to get all her rights on me too. Because the Lord God says; “And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable…” (Al-Bakara: 228)
The verse given below briefly explains that to whom the women can show their hairs, heads, necks and adornments. (Sabunî, Ravaiu’l-beyan, 2/159-160)
“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male attendants free of sexual desires, or small children who have no carnal of women; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah in repentance, that ye may be successful.” (An-Nur, 24:31)

38 If a woman wants to wear niqab (face veil) but her husband dislikes it, what should they do?

Wearing the niqab (face veil) is not fard (obligatory). Thus if the husband dislikes it and that leads to a big conflict between couples then she may not wear it. Because wearing niqab is not fard (obligatory) like wearing a head scarf.

Editor's Selected Links

What is the decree over head-scarf? What kind of danger does going out without a headscarf take women to?

How were Muslim women commanded to veil themselves?

How did the first tasattur (veiling, covering oneself) start? How did the wives of the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) carry out the command of tasattur?

What are the Significant Points in the Relations Between Man and Woman?

39 What is a husband's responsibility when his wife uncovers her hair?

If the man consents to his wife's going out without headscarf, he is responsible, too. However, if his wife goes about without headscarf although he does not consent to, then the responsibility is on the woman. The man is not responsible for it.

If the woman does not follow the commands of the religion, her husband counsels her. He tries to encourage her to read books about the importance of covering oneself and the place it has in the religion and tries to get her to listen to good orators who are learned about the issue.

If she does not come to reason, although the man has tried; with the intention to save her eternal life, he should behave a little strictly toward her; and if she still does not change her attitude, he should keep away from her temporarily. If she does not settle down despite it, either, then his duty is fulfilled. From then on, the responsibility is on the woman. If the man does not apply those sanctions, but only counsels, again he is not responsible for the woman's sin. There is no obligation to apply sanctions in any case. The important thing is giving the necessary pieces of advice and warnings and not approving in heart of the woman's sin and not to consent to it.

There is no need to divorce such a woman. Especially after marrying and having children, it is bitter to apply to divorce. As it is permitted in Islam to marry a Christian or a Jewish woman-though not good-, it is by all means permitted to marry a sinful but believing woman. 

40 Wish of Wife

Trying to please one's husband or wife is a very good deed, but we do not know if there is a special surah about that, but you can read any of surahs with the intention of praying for such a matter.

Also, we don't have any idea about the foods that will be useful.

41 Why do women have half the men's right of testimony?

The essentials which form the fundamentals of the Islamic Law are based on revelation (of Allah). They are outlined in the Qur’an. In other words, the legal essentials are established and ordained by the Creator of the Universe. Whatever the age, atmosphere and circumstances in which one lives, those essentials are the source of peace and means of comfort. This is because these decrees are the most suitable ones for man’s creation. When the decrees and jurisdiction in the Qur’an are studied, the outstanding point is that both corporeal and spiritual existence of man is taken into consideration.
In the matter of witnessing, it is possible to observe that, too. The translation of the verse about giving testimony is as follows:
“… And call upon two (Muslim) men among you as witnesses. If two men are not there, then let there be one man and two women, from among those of whom you approve as witnesses, that if either of the two women errs (through forgetfulness), the other may remind her…” (1)

So, here, the basic matter is directly related to the creation of women. This is a requisite of their psychological aspect. The underlying disposition of woman is excitement and she lives with her excitements. Therefore, ideas get rooted in her heart rather than her mind and develop effects in this way. She cannot really remain unbiased in the face of events. She approaches phenomena with intuition as her conscience and mercy prevail.
Due to that quality of theirs, the Qur’an says: “Women may forget, therefore they should be given helpers in testimony.” It is expressed by Allah the Almighty who created the woman. So, it is an unchanging rule. Are there not among women those who do not easily forget and those who have sharper memories than men? Of course, there are, but generally, this psychological state is seen in women more often. It is just natural that they cannot retain events in their memories long.
On the other hand, the woman is more introverted. She has a world of her own. She is busy with the housework all day. She takes care of children and of their upbringing. Very few women are interested in trade, business, and politics. How will a woman who is so away from the outer world be aware of the events that take place there, how will she learn about them and retain them in her mind and to what extent will she be able to bear witness?
By accepting two women’s testimonies equal to that of one man, and thus not burdening the woman with the responsibility as much as that of the man in the matter of witnessing, Islam does not harm her right, on the contrary, protects it and prevents her from sinning. This is because bearing witness is a tough duty that brings about great responsibilities.

In a verse in the Qur’an, the following is stated:

“… And do not conceal the testimony; he who conceals it, surely his heart (which is the center of faith) is contaminated with sin. God has full knowledge of what you do.” (2)

In hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) it is pointed out that witnessing bears great responsibilities and that wrongful testimony is counted among the greatest sins.

Indeed, Islam protects woman from great sins and prevents her from committing such a sin as wrongful testimony, by way of deception by some weaknesses of hers through excitement or through acting emotionally. Islam has taken precautions against it by appointing a helping woman beside her. Just for this reason, in some testimonial matters, two women replace one man.

Sometimes women may act jealously in the matters they will testify and the feeling of rivalry may prevail. Therefore, they may blemish the realization of justice by concealing some aspects of the matter. However, if two women bear witness, doubts will be eradicated as one of them will clarify the point the other conceals.
On the other hand, that the testimony of two women is deemed equal to the testimony of one man does in no way mean that the woman is worth half the man. This is only a sign that great importance is given to the presence of all sorts of assurance in testimony. In what kinds of lawsuits does the woman bear witness, from which of them is she exempt, and in which is she deemed half the man?

Islamic Law exempted woman from testimony in such crimes which require the punishment called ‘had’ as adultery, alcohol and robbery and in such punishments as ‘qisas’ (retaliation) and does not accept her testimony in them. In these lawsuits, the punishment of adultery requires four men’s testimonies and the others those of two men. In such lawsuits as related to trade, selling and purchasing, marriage and divorce, which fall into the category of relations and dealings, if there are not two men, then the testimonies of one man and two women are stipulated. However, in such matters in which men are not very competent such as the determining of virginity, the conditions that emerge during birth concerning the mother and baby, and establishing the milk brotherhood/sisterhood, one woman’s testimony is sufficient. Moreover, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) saw one woman’s testimony as sufficient even in the matter of divorce. This is because the real aim in testimony is the preservation of rights, maintenance of justice and the realization of the truth. One of the wisdoms of not applying for woman’s testimony in the punishments of ‘had’ and in qisas (retaliation) is the sensitivity to prevent the slightest doubt in such matters. This is because in the lawsuit of qisas with an incomplete statement, a right would have been violated or a human being would have been wrongly retaliated. Such an inclination as forgetfulness and being overcome by emotions concerning women might overshadow the matter.
(1) Al-Baqarah, 282.
(2) Al-Baqarah, 283.
Mehmet Paksu

42 Doesnt women face draw more attention comparing to their hair? Why is hair covered up but not face?

Protecting woman from man’s glance and determining the boundaries between genders, headscarf sets a private area by imposing a ban. Since, the union of community depends on the honor of man, and that the measurement of this criterion is the woman’s virtue protected in private area.
Headscarf is mentioned in the Qur’an. In the verse, “ Women should draw their headscarves (veils) over their bosoms” (Chapter An-Nur, 31),  the word “humur” is the plural of “himar” meaning “headscarf”.
Those who say “The word himar in the Qur’an means only veil not headscarf” are certainly mistaken. Although the root of this word has meanings of “covering, intervention, approach”, derivatives which are taken from the same root have different meanings. For example, the word “hamr” means wine, “hamir” means sourdough, “humar” means hangover; they are all derivatives of the same root. The word in question “himar” is used in the meanings of veil and cloth that covers the entire body.
Articles about Tasattur, questions and answers:
Does a woman’s face not draw more attention in comparison to their hair? Why is hair covered up but not the face?
Today in some regions of our country and other Islamic countries women, especially young ones, wear tulle, apart from the headscarf against men that makes their face invisible but enables them to see outside. Sometimes, the whole face except the two eyes or one eye is covered with a part of headscarf.
The issue of whether covering woman’s face on the street or near outsider men could be evaluated from the point of Islamic view as follows:
The limit of tasattur of woman is designated in the Holy Qur’an as follows:
“And tell the believing women that they (also) should restrain their gaze (from looking at the man whom it is lawful for them to marry, and from others’ private parts), and guard their private parts, and that they should not display their charms except that which is revealed of itself; and let them draw their veils over their bosoms” (Qur’an, The Light (An- Nur), 24/31)
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters, as well as the women (wives and daughters) of the believers, to draw over themselves some parts of their outer garments (when outside their homes and when before men whom they are not forbidden to marry because of blood relation). This is better and more convenient for them to be recognized (and respected for their decency and decorum) and not harrassed. (Qur’an, The Confederates (Al- Ahzâb), 33/59)
“Do not go out flaunting your charms as (women used to do) in the former times of Ignorance” (Qur’an, The Confederates (Al- Ahzâb), 33/33)
“Nor should they stamp their feet (i.e. act in such a manneras to) draw attention to their charms (and arouse the passion of men).” (Qur’an, The Light (An- Nur), 24/31)
Two pieces of veil, one is headscarf and the other is outer cloth,  are mentioned in the above verses. Getting covered in a way to hang the headscarf down over the collars aims at coverin the woman’s head, hair, ears, neck, throat and bosom. In the pre-Islamic era, women’s heads were not entirely exposed.  They wore head-bands to keep their tied hair up in a bun at the rear of their head, thus revealing their neck and the upper part of their bossom so that their ornaments could be seen. The outer veil was a loose garment that covered up the entire body of the woman and it was not transparent and tight (not exposing the contours of the body).
There is no clarity about covering the face in the verses. However, from the statement “not to reveal ornaments or the places of their body for jewelry”, Islamic legislators debate whether this part needs to be covered or not by thinking of women’s face is the section of body for jewelry and beauty.  
According to Hanafis and Malikis, in the prescriptive verse of covering, the statement “except that which is revealed of itself” (Qur’an, The Light (An- Nur), 24/31) indicates woman has some parts of her body that does not have to be covered in the street. Those parts are the face and hands. That opinion is narrated by sahabs (companion of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) and tabiins (those who lived after Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was dead but had conversed with at least one of his companions) such as Said b. Jubayr, Ata and Dahhak. (See  at-Taberî, Jamiul-Bayan fî Tefsîril-Qur'an, XVIII, 118).
One of the important piece of evidence about the issue is the following Hadith narrated by Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her): “Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) wearing a thin dress. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma', when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands” (Abu Dawud, Libas, 31; Qurtubî, al-Jami' Li Ahkamil-Qur'an, Beirut 1405, XII, 229).
On the other hand, there is a unanimous agreement that a woman could keep her hands and face uncovered while in the prayer. Those places of the body should not be considered as awrah (Parts of the body that are not supposed to be exposed to others) even outside prayer, because covering the places of awrah is fardh (obligatory) in the prayer. Not covering those parts of the body indicates that it is not fardh. A woman keeps her hands and face uncovered during Hajj (Pilgrimage).
Woman needs her hands uncovered while doing housework, holding necessary things, and even covering the veil, as there is a difficulty for her to cover her face up with regard to seeing around and breathing. On the other hand, there is a need of uncovering the face for the procedures such as testimony in court and marriage. Therefore, according to the principle of “the absolute necessities are appreciated as much as their own values” there is no drawback for undressing those parts of body (Elmalılı, Hak Dini Kur'an Dili, İstanbul 1960, V, 3505, 3506).
According to Shafiis and Hanbalis, te face and hands are considered as awrah places. For them, the verse “not display their charms” bans to uncover the ornaments. Ornament either comes from creation and includes face and hands or it is in he form of adorning from outside such as garment, jevelry, dye, and eyebrow burn. Since the verse absolutely bans disclosing ornaments, the parts of body considered as ornaments should not be displayed in the presence of strangers. These two sects explain the statement  “...except that which is revealed of itself” as displaying off veil in circumstances such as a gust or being untied without purpose and planing (Muhammed Alî as-Sâbûnî, Tafsîru Âyâtil-Ahkâm, Damascus 1397/ 1977, II, 155).
Their evidence based on the hadith is as follows: Jabir b. Abdillah narrated, "I asked the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him)  about the situation of glancing at women. He said "Turn your eyes away" (Abu Dawud Nikâh, 43; Tirmizî, Adab, 28; Ahmad b. Hanbal, IV, 358, 361). The first place to come into mind about glancing at women are their faces and hands. Abdullah b. Abbas reported, “while al-Fadl b. Abbas was riding behind Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) a woman came to him (to the Holy Proppet) and asked for a religious verdict. Fadl looked at her and she looked at him. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) turned the face of al-Fadl to the other side” (Bukharî, Maghazî, 77; Hajj, I ; Muslim, Hajj, 407).
Here, the covering is due to the risk of incitement that is opening the way for fornication. However, the meaning of “covering the face of woman” or “woman’s face is also an awrah” is not obviously expressed in Hadith. Looking at women with lust or hassling them with meaningful glances by sahabas is intended to prevent. When such a fear of incitement appears, Muslim women should protect their chastity and avoid becoming a target of men’s glances. Because covering the faces of sahabas’ wives is not obviously narrated, it is very difficult to say whether covering the face with a veil is fardh or sunnah (acts and deeds of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) as there is no unanimous agreement on the issue. Perhaps it is a way of protection by some young and beautiful women to avoid men’s hassling glances and to keep their hearts clean. (for more information, see: Qurtubî, ibid., XII, 229 et al.; as-Sâbunî, ibid., II, 154 et al.; at-Tabarî, ibid., XVIII, 118; Muhammad Ayyûb Kâkul, 2. baskı, Syria t.y., p. 27 et al.; Elmalılı, ibid., V, 3505 vd.; İbrahim Jamal, Müslüman Kadının Fıkıh Kitabı, trns. Beşir Eryarsoy, İstanbul 1989, p. 124 et al.; Faruk Beşer, Hanımlara Özel İlmihal, İstanbul 1989, p. 243 et al.).

Hamdi DÖNDÜREN

43 Is it permissible to shape your eyebrows if there is a trace of injury?

If there is a discomforting display when one looks at it, then it could be done in order to cover it. Here the most important point is you have to listen to your conscience too, if your conscience does not feel right about it, then do not do it.

44 Is having an abortion religiously permissible?

Is having an abortion religiously permissible?
People are encouraged to have children in the hadiths having the meaning “The auspicious of your women is the one who is capable to have children”. “ The child’s odour is from the Heaven’s odour” and “Favourable child is heavenly light in the world, and joy in the hereafter.”
Giving so much importance to this subject, our religion protects the child in the uterus till the child is born and burdens some responsibilities to the parents. It doesn’t’ permit to terminate the existence of the child in the uterus called “fetus” by propounding arbitrary and fictitious reasons although there is no real reason. It considers the ones performing such a crime as “murderers”. Because, “the fetus” is counted as a human being.   
As a fetus is considered as a human being after it is animated; having a miscarriage, that is, having an “abortion” in medicine terminology is like killing an adult person. If the fetus isn’t animate yet, since having an abortion in this case is deemed as preventing an innocent from coming into the world, then again it implies a serious responsibility. The late Umar Nasuhi describes the women making such a mistake to maintain their beauties like that:
“The women commiting such a murder for the desire to protect the beauty and freshness granted to them in the pure youth age are the ones with a brutish-nature. Doesn’t such a hardhearted mother have a lower essence than a wild beast eating her infant while it is alive? 
Sentencing the ones committing abortion to the punishment of “reproving”, the Islamic Law takes preventive measures as far as possible. However, it also points out the permissible aspect of abortion and the course of action when abortion relies on a real reason. 
We can summarize the matter in this way by taking the Dictionary of the Islamic Jurisprudence Terminology  (Istılahat-ı Fikhiyye Kamusu) as a basis:
Aborting a fetus isn’t counted as a murder and it doesn’t entail any physical or spiritual responsibilities if there is a certain excuse or necessity. That is:
Because of a sanitary reason that affects his mother’s health, a fetus whose limbs can not be recognized yet can be aborted as a result of a medical inspection, examination and diagnosis. 
There is also such an explanation:
If a woman becomes pregnant while she has a sucking baby, and meanwhile if her suck lessens gradually and her baby gets hungry because of the deficiency of suck, and if the family doesn’t have the opportunity to employ a foster mother and the baby will become sick and will die, then it is permissible to have a miscarriage. Because, in this case, the fetus isn’t counted as a formed human being but a bit of flesh or a blood-clot. However, the born baby in arms is a living human. In this respect, there is no drawback in having an abortion to protect the living baby. (Dictionary of the Islamic Jurisprudence Terminology, 3: 145-149.)  
Applying any kinds of methods to prevent pregnancy without giving any harm to the woman is permissible. But this method mustn’t terminate the insemination evermore. But if a fetus has come into existence, it is not the same case. According to Ghazali and many of the Maliki scholars, committing abortion without a serious excuse is religiously forbidden (haram) even if occurs in the first days of the fetus. 
According to some Islamic jurists, abortion is permissible before 42 days pass over the fetus. We say 42 days because according to the rumor of Muslim, after 42 days pass over the sperm (nutfe), Almighty Allah sends an angel to it, He gives a shape to it and He begins to form its ears and eyes. In short, after 42 days pass over the fetus, it gets into a shaping progress and so interfering in it isn’t permitted. (Halil Gönenç, Fatwas for The Current Matters II. 326.)
After that period, having an abortion isn’t permitted. Because, a fetus having partially recognizable limbs is counted as a human being. To abort such a fetus is the same as killing a living person.
Besides the permission discussed above, especially now, children can be nourished without being in the need of suck. Therefore, if the child can eat baby food and his family is able to afford these expenses, it is convenient not to commit an abortion. But if the child gets sick and becomes thinner and also has a vital danger when he is weaned, then the permission discussed above can be used of. But every family must take into account its own opportunities and conditions before making use of the judgment above.
Moreover, parents can take less dangerous precautions like removal and birth control methods till their child is weaned so that there will be no need to unwanted methods like abortion.  

45 Can women touch the translations of the Qur'an when they are in menstruation period and when they do not have wudu (ablution)?

Women can read the translations of the Quran without touching Ayat (verses) which are written in Arabic when they are in menstruation period and when they do not have wudu (ablution).

46 Is it permissible for woman to perform prayers with make-up on her? Does cream and lipstick prevent wudu (ablution)?

It is permissible to perform prayers with make-up on you. Cream and lipstick do not prevent wudu (ablution) but nail polish prevents wudu. You should remove the nail polish before making wudu.

47 Is it permissible for a woman who has to make ghusl (full ablution) to breastfeed her baby, to do the cleaning and to do the washing-up?

A woman who has to make ghusl can breastfeed her baby, do the cleaning and do the washing-up before making ghusl when it is necessary. Not having ghusl does not prevent her from doing things like that.   

However, our scholars have warned us that we must not delay making ghusl until the time of the current obligatory prayer is over. Not to make ghusl although the time of a prayer elapses means to miss a prayer. It is not permissible to miss a prayer without an excuse.

Therefore, a woman who has to make ghusl can do necessary chores, do the cleaning, even cook but she must make ghusl as soon as possible; she must not delay ghusl until the time of the current obligatory prayer is over. The Messenger of Allah reminded us that the ground that a junub person (a person who has to make ghusl) steps on would curse him and warned us not to delay ghusl in the hadith that he warned those who delayed ghusl without an excuse.

However, a person who needs ghusl is not najis (impure, filthy). He is dirty spiritually but he is not regarded as najis. When Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) asked the Messenger of Allah a question about the issue, he received the following answer: Subhanallah (Allah is free from imperfection)! Is it ever possible for a Muslim to be najis?

Thus, a junub person is dirty spiritually but that dirtiness does not mean he is najis, which involves being disgusted.

48 Help required...!!!One of these moderist scholars have this opinion about how hijab is not fard..how do i prove my point?
What does our religion say about the hijab?

Firstly let us look at the religious part of the hijab. There are two verses in the Quran on this issue. In these verses Allah (swt) says clearly:

“O Prophet! say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments (when out of doors)” 1
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms [in public] beyond what may [decently] be apparent thereof; hence, let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms.” 2

In the verses, believing women are not told exactly how to veil and which parts to show. But this hadith (word of prophet Muhammad) explains the verses. Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) told to his sister-in-law Hz. Asma:
“O Asma! It is not correct for a woman to show her parts other than her hands and face to strangers after she begin to have menstruation.” 3

Therefore it is a must for a Muslim lady reaching to puberty to cover her head, told by Allah and His messenger. It is fard (religious duty) to cover the head except the face part, the neck and the chest. And to show them is haram (forbidden) since it means quitting a fard. As can be understood clearly from the verse that it is considered to be a purpose for “protecting the chastity”. Even though the women who do not cover their head protect their chastity, this is not considered to be a protection suitable to the command of Allah. They become committing sin and take a big responsibility since they don’t obey the command of Allah and His messenger.
If it is a sin for a believing woman not to cover her head in public, what can she do to overcome this responsibility? If she will come across with a vital danger or burn or a similar health problem when she covers her head, she may not do it until the danger goes away. But if there is not such a situation it should be covered.

What if she does not cover? As we told earlier she becomes a sinner. A person becoming a sinner repents to be cleared from his sin and begs Allah’s pardon.
In the surah (chapter) of Al-i-Imran (The Family Of Imran) take place these verses:

“And those who, having done an act of indecency to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, remember Allah, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah? - and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath,- an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!” 4
So for a sin to be forgiven we are required not to insist on it when there is no excuse. What if we insist on committing a sin only producing excuses like we can’t defeat our nafs (self, false ego) or the thought of how our environs will react to it? A hadith on this issue tells:

“When the believer commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents, quits that sin and asks for forgiveness from Allah, his heart is cleaned from that spot. If he goes on the sin, that spot gets bigger. There the ‘covering of the heart by the sin’ taking place in the Quran indicates this.” 5
Yes, the saying “There is a road to the kufr (disbelief, denial) in every sin” expresses an important truth. Such that, a person insisting on a sin gets used to that sin by time and becomes unable to quit it. This addiction leads him to the bigger spiritual dangers. It goes to the belief of sin’s not having a punishment in the afterlife, and even to the belief of there should be no Hell. That is to say, may Allah keep it from happening, that seed of sin in the heart may turn green by time and become a tree of oleander. 6

In order not to be exposed to such a danger and not to be deceived by the Satan we should quit our sins and pull ourselves together.
Thus this way we both fulfill a fard (religious duty) by considering Allah’s command above everything, and do not accept the Satan’s offer as “not to wear hijab”. Besides it is not appropriate for a Muslim both to fulfill good deeds to gain Allah’s approval and to fool himself by the deceptions of Satan at the same time.

1. Surah (chapter) of Ahzab (The Allies), 59.
2. Surah of Nur (The Light), 31.

3. Abu Dawud, Libas: 33.
4. Surah of Âl-i-Imran (The Family Of Imran), 135-136.

5. Ibn Maja, Zuhd: 29.
6. Lem'alar, p. 7; Mesnevî-iNuriye, p. 115. 

(Reference: Mehmet Paksu, Sunnah and Family)

What does our religion say about the head covering? To what kind of danger not covering the head leads the person?

There are two verses in the Quran on this issue. In these verses Allah (swt) says clearly:

O Prophet! say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments (when out of doors)” (1)
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms [in public] beyond what may [decently] be apparent thereof; hence, let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms.” (2)

In the verses, believing women are not told exactly how to veil and which parts to show. But this hadith (word of prophet Muhammad) explains the verses. Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) told to his sister-in-law Hz. Asma, “O Asma! It is not correct for a woman to show her parts other than her hands and face to strangers after she begin to have menstruation.” (3)
Therefore it is a must for a Muslim lady reaching to puberty to cover her head, told by Allah and His messenger. It is fard (religious duty) to cover the head except the face part, the neck and the chest. And to show them is haram (forbidden) since it means quitting a fard. The ones who do not cover become committing sin and take a big responsibility since they don’t obey the command of Allah and His messenger. A person becoming a sinner repents to be cleared from his sin and begs Allah’s pardon.

And those who, having done an act of indecency to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, remember Allah, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah? - and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath,- an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!” (4)

So for a sin to be forgiven we are required not to insist on it when there is no excuse.
A hadith on this issue tells:

When the believer commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents, quits that sin and asks for forgiveness from Allah, his heart is cleaned from that spot. If he goes on the sin, that spot gets bigger. There the ‘covering of the heart by the sin’ taking place in the Quran indicates this.” (5)
There is a road to the kufr (disbelief, denial) in every sin” expresses an important truth. Such that, a person insisting on a sin gets used to that sin by time and becomes unable to quit it. This addiction leads him to the bigger spiritual dangers. It goes to the belief of sin’s not having a punishment in the afterlife, and even to the belief of there should be no Hell. (6)

In order not to be exposed to such a danger and not to be deceived by the Satan we should quit our sins and pull ourselves together.
1) Surah (chapter) of Ahzab (The Allies), 59.

2) Surah of Nur (The Light), 31.

3) Abu Dawud, Libas: 33.
4) Surah of Âl-i-Imran (The Family Of Imran), 135-136.

5) Ibn Maja, Zuhd: 29.
6) Lem'alar, p. 7; Mesnevî-iNuriye, p. 115.

Mehmet Paksu

49 Can you give information about the beating of wives?

The authority of man in the family, and the situation and attitude of the woman against that authority are explained in the following verses: 

"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." (an-Nisa: 4/34-35).

Let us try to understand the issue by interpreting those two verses:

That not the husbands but all men are defined as protectors and maintainers (qawwamun) in the 34th verse are based on two reasons.

a) Allah gave some people better talents than others; therefore, men are equipped with more appropriate properties than women in terms of protection and administration. 

b) Men undertake the responsibility of sustaining the family and other financial responsibilities. According to some interpreters, the first one of those reasons is an unchangeable property of the human nature; in general, mind and reasoning are predominant in men, and feelings are predominant in women. Physical strength is important in terms of protection and men are more powerful in it. The second reason does not originate from the human nature but from habits, customs and attitudes. Those functions of men were more intense in the age when Islam emerged; those functions still continue considerably today. According to the rules of the Islamic law, man is responsible for the sustenance of the family all alone and he has responsibilities with financial aspects like mahr (dowry), diyah (blood money), jihad/military service.

What authorities and duties does being “qawwam” contain? The interpreters and mujtahids who answered the question by taking into consideration not only the lexical meaning of  it but also the practices, customs and traditions attributed the term qawwam, which meant “standing over something, dominant, caring, looking after” the meanings of “leadership, administration, education, protection, defending, improvement, earning and production”. Throughout history, men have undertaken those tasks and attributes more than women. The meaning that is attributed to the word is “head of the family”.

It is understood from the verse that men are generally superior in terms of administration, defense and protection but when the subsequent sentences are taken into consideration, it will be seen that domination and administration prevail in the family. The founding elements in the family are the husband and the wife. There are religious, ethical and legal rules that constitute, administer and direct that basic structure.  If the rules are obeyed, there will be no problem. If the parties break the rules and transgress each other’s rights, various measures and sanctions to restore the order and to realize justice will step in. In the verse mentioned above, the transgression of the wife is dealt with; in the 128th verse of the same chapter, the rebellion (nushuz) of the husband is dealt with. The woman is defined with two words: salihah (virtuous; righteous; pious) or nashizah (rebellious), based on the aspect whether she fulfills her duties in the family or not. Salihah women fulfill their duties truly both at the presence of their husbands and other family members and when they are not present; they do not transgress the rules adopted by the society, do not betray their families and do not disgrace their honor. What should be done against women who show signs of rebelling the law (nushuz) and have the risk of being nashizah; how should the order and law of the family be maintained? At this point, the Quran gives the duty to the husband first with the attribute of the head of the family. If the husband cannot maintain the order despite the measures that have been taken and if it is feared that the family will break up, arbitrators will step in. In the verse, what the husband can do to stop the woman who rebels the law and tries to destroy the legitimate family order are listed as follows: to give advice, to leave her alone in bed and beat her. To give advice and to leave her alone in bed did not bring out any problems but the measure of beating has become an issue of dispute especially in our age in terms of women’s rights and human honor. As a matter of fact, when the books of interpretation (tafsir) and hadith are examined, it can be seen in the following extracts that there are interpreters who interpret the verse differently and say that it is not permissible for a husband to beat his wife even when she rebels.

The most important base of the measure and judgment of beating except the verse above is the related hadiths. In the hadiths that are healthier and sounder than the ones that state the opposite, our Prophet (pbuh) forbids beating the women and calls them “worthless” and asks the men, "How will a person who lashes his wife like a slave during the day go into the same bed as her at night?" (Bukhari, "Nikah", 93; Abu Dawud, "Nikah", 60).  What the old interpreters mentioned as the reason for the revelation of that verse is interesting in that it shows the opinion of the Prophet about “beating of wives”, which was a common practice among Arabs. Sa'd b. Rabi' of Ansar slapped his wife who had rebelled and his father-in-law complained to the Prophet about him. Our Prophet said, "Let the woman slap her husband in the same way" but before it was carried out, the verse we mentioned above was revealed; it was understood that the husband could beat his wife in that case and the order of the Prophet was canceled. (Jassas, 188; Ibnu'l-Arabi, 415).

The form and amount of the beating were dealt with and it was recorded as a general rule that the beating should not harm the woman, should not leave any marks and her face should not be hit. According to some interpreters, the beating is completely symbolic; for instance, according to Ata, it should be carried out with something like miswak (special, soft branch of a tree with which teeth are cleaned and which is as long as a toothbrush) (Jassas, 189; Ibn Atiyya, 48).

Ata, one of the second-generation interpreters, dealt with the sanction to be imposed on the women who transgressed the law and the hadiths regarding beating the women together and reached the following conclusion: the husband can show his anger and fury but cannot beat his wife who has rebelled but has not cuckolded. Two tafsir scholars – one is old, the other is contemporary - that explained that approach of Ata based their judgments on different reasons. According to Abu Bakr Ibnu'l-Arabi, Ata said the beating mentioned in the verse expressed permissiveness and the hadiths that forbade beating women in general expressed and brought about the judgment of abomination and said, in conclusion, “the husband cannot beat his wife.” According to Ibn Ashur, one of the contemporary interpreters, Ata had the opinion that verses and hadiths brought different judgments for different situations and concluded  that giving advice and refusing to share the same bed belonged to the husband and that imposing sanctions like beating, etc based on the degree of rebellion and transgression belonged partly to the husband ad in general to the authorities and administrators. If the husband beats his nashizah wife lightly and without harming her (in order to train her and to protect the family), he will be allowed to do it; but if he transgresses and abuses that permission, the authorities can definitely forbid men from beating their wives (V, 43-44).

The judgment that the woman can be beaten lightly by her husband not because she has adulterated but because she has rebelled, transgressed the family rights, rejected her husband that she has loved and been together for a long time is also dealt with historically. According to Ibn Ashur, the permission of beating was given based on the customs, traditions and moods of some societies and levels of the community; it is not permissible everywhere and all the time. A husband can beat his wife in case of nushuz only if beating is not regarded as blameworthy, abnormal, contemptuous, harmful and contrary to law in the community that they live in, and if the fury of the husband can be felt by the wife only through beating; the permission is valid only for those communities and situations. The following words of Hazrat Umar comparing the people of Madinah and Makkah in terms of domination over women show that the relations and attitudes can change as the communities change: " We, muhajirs (immigrants from Makkah), dominated over our wives; they always obeyed us; When we came to Madinah, we saw that the women of Madinah were dominant over their husbands; then, our women started to resemble them and act like them." (Bukhari, "Nikah", 83; Ibn Ashur, V, 412).

As some scholars like Ata stated, the fact that Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) never resorted to the permission of beating (Ibn Majah, nikah 51) and said, “he who beats his wife is not a good person” (Hazimi, al-itibar, 142) can be evaluated as proof that although the permission of beating is present in the Quran as a deterrent, it is not appropriate to use that permission (cf. Ibn Ashur, an-Nisa, the interpretation of the verse, 4/34).

Question:

What is meant by fearing disloyalty and ill-conduct of the woman? There exists the permission of beating the wife, but why is the woman asked to show patience when her husband commits the same sin?

Answer:

Is there a logical explanation of the judgment “ the husband having the right to beat his wife when she commits”? Men are more powerful than women at a rate of ninety-nine per cent. If the spouses want to continue the marriage, they have no alternative other than “making peace and compromising”. The Quran offered that way through the following advice:

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 practice self-restraint, Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” (Nisa, 4/128).

In the verse, two reasons are given for men to be qawwam: The first one is natural endowment, which is expressed by the sentence, “Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other.” However, that sentence has such a subtlety that although it indicates the superiority of men in terms of being the head of the family, it does not explicitly say, " Allah has given men more (strength) than women"; thus, it does not attribute absolute superiority to men, and indicates that women can be superior by having the qualities that men do not have. (Elmalılı, N/ 1348-19)

In that natural endowment, that is in the ability of management and administration, some women may be more successful than their husbands. In that case, the second reason (in the field of business, the role based on gender) necessitates men to be “qawwam”, by giving the responsibility of sustaining the household, hence the responsibility of winning the bread. It is the reason of being “qawwam” formed by the efforts of men, not as a natural endowment. To express it in the words of Elmalılı, "then the men who cannot fulfill their responsibilities, who try to grab the money and property of their wives and who do not protect the honor of their families are not regarded as “real men” "(ibid N/1350). Therefore, they cannot be the men who are allowed to beat their wives. (see Qurtubi V/169)

One of the key words mentioned in the verse is “nushuz”. The word "Nushuz" means uprising, rebelling, not showing respect to each other’s rights and disgusting each other, etc based on the meaning of being high in the root of the word. (see Qurtubi V/ 170-171; Elmalılı N/1351; Ibn Kathir N/257) Then, the man that is given the right to beat is the “real man” who has the quality of being “qawwam” (see Elmalılı, ibid); and the woman that is allowed to be beaten is the woman that is “nashizah”: Besides, as it is understood from the rest of the verse, the situation has become so bad that it is feared that the marriage will “break up”.  In other words, at this point, either the “real man” will be given the authority to give the “nashizah” that brought the marriage to the verge of break-up a slight punishment as if he is a sergeant and the problem will be solved without giving way to break-up, or the break-up of the family will be allowed despite all kinds of social, psychological and economic harms. The verse advises the first way. Thus, the family secrets will also be prevented from being revealed in courts .

The following words that the Prophet (pbuh) said in his Farewell (Hajj) Sermon regarding the issue explains the verse in a way: “Fear Allah in respect to women. They are your helpers given to you by Allah. And it is your right that they do not make admit anyone of whom you do not approve to your home. If they do so (if they allow the people you do not approve of in your home), you can beat them – without causing them suffering. It is your duty to provide them with their food and clothing in accordance with the custom.”(Muslim, hajj,147; Ibn Kathir, the interpretation of an-Nisa 34th verse)

As it is seen, the reason of beating the woman is related to admitting a person that the man does not want into the house in the hadith. “The person that the man does not want or like” means a person who causes suspicion. 

As a matter of fact, not fulfilling the duties that she needs to do in the house means nushuz/rebellion but the most critical point in terms of the man is doing something that makes the man suspect. It is understood that the “nushuz/rebellion” mentioned in the verse means a “suspicious situation” that dynamites the peace in the family.

As a matter of fact, it is possible to see from the sentence: “Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard” present in the related verse (an-Nisa 4/34) such an indication. The fact that the Quran describes that familial “rude attitude” in a subtle and “very polite” phrase shows its subtlety of expression and kind style. 

The beating of a woman who paved the way for such a situation lightly – as it is expressed in the hadith – will serve as a reasonable valve for the man preventing him from exploding like a blown up balloon, from breaking up the marriage at once; it will also enable the devilish seditions and delusions that are aroused in his brain to be let off gradually.  However, the presentation in the verse as “first give advice, then stay away from her and then, as the last resort beat her” is a painting of wisdom that people who believe in Allah’s justice, knowledge and wisdom should contemplate on and try to comprehend.

50 Hijab Conflict with Non-muslim mother.

First of all, not being obedient and not rebelling are not the same things. A Muslim boy or girl cannot say evil things and shows attitudes to upset his/her parents; on the other hand, if they ask for any things contrary to Allah’s orders and bans, they are not abided by. Therefore, a Muslim girl dresses up in accordance with Islamic tradition, but she should never answer back her mother regarding tasattur (for a woman to cover her head and her body) issue. She should try to satisfy her mother’s mind and heart by explaining the issue with a smiling face.
Narrated by Asma' bint Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased wıth her):
“My mother came to me, hoping (for my favor) during the lifetime of the Prophet. I asked the Prophet about how I should treat her, " My mother has come. Shall I treat her kindly?" He replied, "Yes."." (Bukhari, Hiba 28, Adab 8, Muslim, Zakat 50 (1003); Abu Dawud, Zakat, 34 (1668)
There are many arguments on Esma’s mother who is mentioned in Hadith (saying or tradition of the Prophet Muhammad). For us, the judgement that the Hadith states is essential. It is understood from the hadith that it is necessary to show our humanitarian responsibilties, respect to our parents, even if they are infidels. As a matter of fact, to be incumbent on giving livelihood to the parents even if they are infidels, is concluded from this Hadith.
The importance of the issue of giving respect and livelihood to parents even if they are infidels is understood from the fact that the revelation came after that Hadith and it is ruled in the Qur’an. “God does not forbid you, as regards those who do not make war against you on account of your Religion, nor drive you away from your homes, to be kindly to them, and act towards them with equity. God surely loves the scrupulously equitable.” (the Qur’an, Mumtahina (the Examined One), 8)
The following verse is more obvious about being respectful to parents even if they are mushrik (a person who assigns partners to Allah):

“But if they strive with you to make you associate with Me something of which you certainly have no knowledge (and which is absolutely contrary to Knowledge), do not obey them. Even then, treat them with kindness and due consideration in respect of (the life of) this world. Follow the way of him who has turned to...”  (the Qur’an, Luqman, 15)
According to those statements, the requirement of showing respect and esteem to Muslim parents even they are as very sinful is automatically comprehended.
Obedience and rebelling are different things. Absolute obedience on parents is commanded as long as there is no disobedience to Allah. So, accomplishing all their wishes, which are not contrary to Allah’s command, is required. Their wishes contrary to Allah’s orders cannot be obeyed. However, the respect and esteem should continue.
Allah is the One who converts hearts and we need to turn towards Him. The fondness, esteem, and respect of children for their parents may lead to softening of their hearts. The goal and intention must be to gain them.
Our religion has accepted maternal aunt and maternal uncle as in the place of mother, and also paternal aunt and uncle as in father’s position. For this reason, to respect and esteem them is considered as if it is done for parents. Their prohibited wills are not abided by; however, it is necessary to show them respect and esteem; and visiting them is also necessary.
As for the other relatives, stopping visiting relatives is not right. Instead of stopping visiting relatives even if they are evil doers, we need to try to treat them.
Everybody can act like a brother with good people in good days. Acting like a brother at the most difficult times and not abandoning his brothers with their sins and evils is important. That exposes what a real loyalty and friendship is.
Working as much as possible to recover some faults, based on belief and failures in terms of Islamic way of living, of our relatives is our responsibility; and endeavoring to warm our relatives to the reality and justice is also our responsibility.
The recommendation of God Almighty to the Prophet is clear:  “And (O Messenger) warn your nearest kinsfolk”. (the Qur’an, The Poets, 214) This divine recommendation is valid for everyone, isn’t it?

51 Is having abortion religiously permissible?

People are encouraged to have children in the hadiths having the meaning “The auspicious of your women is the one who is capable to have children”. “The child’s odor is from the Heaven’s odor” and “Favorable child is heavenly light in the world, and joy in the hereafter.”
Giving so much importance to this subject, our religion protects the child in the uterus till the child is born and burdens some responsibilities to the parents. It doesn’t’ permit to terminate the existence of the child in the uterus called “fetus” by propounding arbitrary and fictitious reasons although there is no real reason. It considers the ones performing such a crime as “murderers”. Because, “the fetus” is counted as a human being.   
As a fetus is considered as a human being after it is animated; having a miscarriage, that is, having an “abortion” in medicine terminology is like killing an adult person. If the fetus isn’t animate yet, since having an abortion in this case is deemed as preventing an innocent from coming into the world, then again it implies a serious responsibility. The late Umar Nasuhi (an Islamic scholar) describes the women making such a mistake to maintain their beauties like that:
“The women committing such a murder for the desire to protect the beauty and freshness granted to them in their pure youth age are the ones with a brutish-nature. Doesn’t such a hardhearted mother have a lower essence than a wild beast eating her infant while it is alive?” 
Sentencing the ones committing abortion to the punishment of “reproving (tazir)”, the Islamic Law takes preventive measures as far as possible. However, it also points out the permissible aspect of abortion and the course of action when abortion relies on a real reason. 
We can summarize the matter in this way by taking the Dictionary of the Islamic Jurisprudence Terminology  (Istılahat-ı Fikhiyye Kamusu) as a basis:
Aborting a fetus isn’t counted as a murder and it doesn’t entail any physical or spiritual responsibilities if there is a certain excuse or necessity. That is:
Because of a sanitary reason that affects his mother’s health, a fetus whose limbs can not be recognized yet can be aborted as a result of a medical inspection, examination and diagnosis. 
There is also such an explanation:
If a woman becomes pregnant while she has a sucking baby, and meanwhile if her suck lessens gradually and her baby gets hungry because of the deficiency of suck, and if the family doesn’t have the opportunity to employ a foster mother and the baby will become sick and will die, then it is permissible to have a miscarriage. Because, in this case, the fetus isn’t counted as a formed human being but a bit of flesh or a blood-clot. However, the born baby in arms is a living human. In this respect, there is no drawback in having an abortion to protect the living baby. (Dictionary of the Islamic Jurisprudence Terminology, 3: 145-149.)  
Applying any kinds of methods to prevent pregnancy without giving any harm to the woman is permissible. But this method mustn’t terminate the insemination evermore. But if a fetus has come into existence, it is not the same case. According to Ghazali and many of the Maliki scholars, committing abortion without a serious excuse is religiously forbidden (haram) even if occurs in the first days of the fetus. 
According to some Islamic jurists, abortion is permissible before 42 days pass over the fetus. We say 42 days because according to the rumor of Muslim, after 42 days pass over the sperm (nutfe), Almighty Allah sends an angel to it, He gives a shape to it and He begins to form its ears and eyes. In short, after 42 days pass over the fetus, it gets into a shaping progress and so interfering in it isn’t permitted. (Halil Gönenç, Fetwas for The Current Matters II. 326.)
After that period, having an abortion isn’t permitted. Because, a fetus having partially recognizable limbs is counted as a human being. To abort such a fetus is the same as killing a living person.
Besides the permission discussed above, especially now, children can be nourished without being in the need of suck. Therefore, if the child can eat baby food and his family is able to afford these expenses, it is convenient not to commit an abortion. But if the child gets sick and becomes thinner and also has a vital danger when he is weaned, then the permission discussed above can be used of. But every family must take into account its own opportunities and conditions before making use of the judgment above.
Moreover, parents can take less dangerous precautions like removal and birth control methods till their child is weaned so that there will be no need to unwanted methods like abortion.

52 Is it right for women who are dressed according to Islamic rules to wear their headscarves covering their shoulders?

Women used to cover their heads in the Age of Jahilliyya.Yet, they used to tie their headscarves over their napes of the necks or they used to let these ties down the back.  Their collars would open and their necks and bosoms could be displayed. So, in order to fix this situation, Allah commanded “ Let them draw their veils over their bosoms”. ( the Qur’an, an-Nur, 24:31) The function of this veil is to cover firstly the head and then the neck and the bosom without a visible part left. And a thin and unattractive headscarf should be used. It would be wrong to say “ you should cover this or that way”. ( see Elmalili, Hak Dini, the interpretation of 31th verse of the surah an-Nur from the Qur’an).

Accordingly, the wisdom behind covering over the collars is to cover the neck, the chest and the bosom. According to the dressing of women today, necks and bosoms are covered when the headscarf is worn inside a topcoat or a bodice. Once this way of dressing is done, covering of a headscarf this way is religiously acceptable. What matters is covering the body according to Islamic rules.

A Muslim woman’s covering her head is the command of both Allah and the Prophet (pbuh). In other words, covering the head, neck and bosom, leaving the face uncovered is religiously obligatory. Uncovering them is regarded as a haram since it is considered to be abandoning an obligation.

A headscarf which a woman wears must not be too thin to make its underneath visible. This kind of covering is not considered to be appropriate. Moreover, women must avoid light-colored and eye-catching scarves that might attract people’s attention. One cannot say that this type of scarf is acceptable.

Not only headscarf but also the other outfits of women must not be made of attractive, colored fabrics. If the scarf over the veil has colors and a look that can be considered as an adornment, this type of covering cannot be regarded as a suitable one.

In the 33th verse of the surah al-Azhab from the Qur’an, the following is stated : “(Prefer to) remain in your homes (unless there is a need. If you do go out for a need,) do not go out flaunting your charms as (women used to do) in the former times of Ignorance.” ( the Qur’an, al-Ahzab, 33:33)

The word “flaunting” , according to Zamakhshari, refers to : “ in general meaning, attempt to reveal what needs to be concealed; in specific meaning, women’s displaying their adornments and charms to non-mahram men.”

 Imam Al-Suyuti says : “ Women’s walking attractively and their displaying their natural and artificial beauty and charms in inappropriate places without a neat covering of their heads, and their attracting with their adorment and attitudes the interest and attention of those who do not have the right to benefit from them.”

Al-Alusi describes his point of view as : “ To me, today’s some sort of women’s covering as outfit when they leave their houses can be considered as adorment which should not be displayed to non-mahram men because, they are colorful and attractive clothes.”

Accordingly, women must be careful about the covering they wear; they must also be careful about it so that it will not be considered as adorment.

Since Allah knows best the nature of those whom He created, because of women’s innate natural attractiveness, He commands them to cover their body parts that are attractive. The decrees both in the Qur’an and the sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) is clear in this issue and these decrees show that covering is obligatory. All the scholars of Islamic schools, Islamic jurisprudence, hadith and interpretation agree on this issue.

The Prophet (pbuh) warns women and heads of the family. It must not be forgotten that inappropriate dressing, behavior and attitudes contrary to Islamic rules will result into losing the chance to enter Paradise and into punishment in Hell. It is never right to risk our eternal lives just for the sake of the short worldly life and bodily appetites.  

They all will surely change if repented for. Allah accepts repentance of those who repent. Allah becomes more pleased with repentance of those who commit sins than a person who finds what he has lost. So, we advice those who have made the mistake of uncovering to repent to God; they must both cover their bodies according to God’s commands and commit their prayers so that they can have their chance to enter Paradise. Otherwise, Allah asks those who do not obey the decrees and prohibitions in the Qur’an this question : “Where are you going?)  ( At-Takwir, 81:26)

Let us ask it ourselves : “ Where are we going?”

We believe that it will be better if we act considering these warnings.

53 Is it religiously permitted to read the Qur'an commentary books without (wudu) ablution? If permitted, is it permissible for women to read them when they are in menstruation period?

It is allowed to touch and read the Quran commentary, Hadith, and Fiqh books without ablution.

It is regarded abominable (makrooh) to read them for those who are in menstruation period and puerperum. Here makrooh is tanzihan makrooh because it is necessary to touch them. Therefore, some scholars have said that there is no evil in touching or reading them. In order to show respect for scholars’ views, it is better touch those books by having a piece of cloth, shirt, etc between the books and your hand.

54 Is it OK that I don't wear the hijab yet?

It is necessary for a Muslim man and woman who have reached the age puberty to cover their bodies according to the rules of Islam. If they do not do so, they will have committed haram.

Besides, what matters is the consent of Allah, not other people's criticism. In such a situation, it is possible for you to set an example for the other Muslims and be a means of their tasattur in accordance with Islam.

Man is not held responsible for the bad thoughts that come to his minds unless he practices them. However, the idea of taking of one's headscarf due to some reasons originates from not being able to understand its importance fully. In the course of time, this causes a woman to uncover when she faces a small trouble.

First, let us a have a look at the religious aspect of covering the head for women. There are two verses regarding the issue in the Quran. God Almighty states the following clearly in those verses:

"O prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad)..."1

"And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms..."2

In the verses, it is not stated clearly how the believing women need to cover their bodies and what parts of their bodies they can leave uncovered. However, the following hadith interprets the verses: The Prophet addressed his sister-in-law, Asma, as follows:

"O Asma! When a woman starts to menstruate (who has reached pubery), it is not permissible for her to show any parts of her body except her hands and face to non-mahram men."3

Thus, it is the order of both Allah and the Prophet (pbuh) for a Muslim woman who has reached the age of puberty to cover her head. That is, it is fard al-ayn for her to cover her head excluding her face but including her neck and her breasts. To leave them uncovered is haram since it means abandoning a fard. Besides, as it is clearly understood from the verse, "guarding their modesty" is one of the reasons for covering the head. Even if the women who leave their heads uncovered guard their modesty, it is not a guarding that is in accordance with the order of Allah. They become sinners since they do not obey the order of Allah and His messenger; thus, they will be held responsible for it.  

It is haram and a sin for a believing woman to go out by leaving her head uncovered; what can she do in order to get rid of this responsibility? What to do is certain. If there is a risk of a vital danger or a burn or a similar medical problem, she can leave her head uncovered until that danger or risk is eliminated. However, if there is no such risk, it is necessary to cover the head.  

What happens if she does not cover it? As we have stated before, she will be a sinner. A sinner needs to repent and ask for forgiveness from Allah in order to get rid of this sin.

The following verses are present in the chapter of Aal-i Imran :

"And those who having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls earnestly bring Allah to mind; and ask for forgiveness for their sins,―and who can forgive sins except Allah?,―And are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord and gardens with rivers flowing underneath an eternal dwelling; how excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)."4

Thus, for the acceptance of repentance and for the forgiveness of a sin, it is necessary not to insist on that sin if there is no excuse. What happens if a person keeps committing a haram by using it as an excuse not to be able to overcome one's soul and how the people around him will react? A hadith regarding the issue is as follows:

"When a believer commits a sin, a black point appears in his heart. If he abandons this sin and asks forgiveness from Allah, his heart is purified of that black point. If he keeps committing that sin, the blackness will increase. "The stain covering the heart" mentioned in the Quran is used in this sense."5

The statement, "Within each sin is a path leading to unbelief" expresses an important fact. A person who continues to commit a crime gets used to it in time and cannot leave it. This habit leads him to bigger spiritual dangers in time. He starts to believe that sins will not necessitate any punishment in the hereafter; he even starts to believe that there is no Hell. That is, the seed of the sin that settles in the heart can be transformed into a tree of oleander - God forbid.6

So as not to be exposed to such a danger and not to be deceived by the suggestions of Satan, it is necessary for a person to abandon the sin that necessitates repentance and to pull himself together.  

Thus, you will do a fard deed by accepting the order of Allah as superior to everything and you will refuse Satan, who causes a delusion in you in order to make you leave your head uncovered. Besides, it is impossible for a Muslim both to try to attain the consent of Allah and to fall into a ridiculous state like not offending Satan by committing some deeds. 

Footnotes:

1. al-Ahzab, 59.

2. an-Nur, 31.

3. Abu Dawud, Libas: 33.

4. Aal-i Imran, 135-136.

5. Ibn Majah, Zuhd:29.

6. Lem'alar (Flashes), p. 7; Mesnevî-i Nuriye, p.115.

55 It is said that there is a hadith stating that the religion of a woman is half or incomplete. Is there a hadith like that?

First, let us read the meaning of a hadith that forms the basis of the issue.

Abu Said al-Khudri, one of the Companions, narrates:

"It was either Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha. The Messenger of Allah came to the place where we performed eid prayers. There were women on one side. He walked past them and addressed them as follows: 

"O women! Give sadaqah (ask for forgiveness) a lot. For, I was shown the people of Hell; most of them were women."

Thereupon, the women asked:

"O Messenger of Allah! What did we do? Why are the majority of the people of Hell women? "

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) answered:

"For, you curse people a lot and act ungratefully toward your husbands. It is strange that I have never seen anybody leading a wise and religious person astray more than you, whose religion is incomplete."

The women asked again:

"In what way is our mind and religion incomplete?"

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"Is the witnessing of a woman not regarded as half compared to a man?"

The women said,

"Yes, it is."The Messenger of Allah explained it and asked again:

"It originates from the incompleteness of her mind. When she menstruates, she waits for days and cannot perform prayers; she cannot fast in Ramadan for a few days. Is that not right?"

The women said,

"Yes it is."(Bukhari, Hayd:6; Muslim, Iman:132.)

As it is clearly seen in the hadith, the Prophet (pbuh), explains the incompleteness of a woman's religion as being unable to perform certain kinds of worship when she menstruates. It exists in the nature of women. Every woman menstruates in certain days of every month. On those days, she cannotperform certain kinds of worship. She is exempted from some of them but she is asked to perform others later. 

A woman who menstruates cannot perform prayers, fasting and circumambulation of ziyarah in hajj on those days. She performs fasting and circumambulation later but she is exempted from the prayers that she cannot perform. A woman who cannot perform them on certain days has to keep away from certain religious services and duties. There is some incompleteness in her religious life in appearance because prayer (salah), fasting and hajj are three of the five principles of Islam; therefore, a woman who cannot do them on certain days is incomplete compared to a man. 

It means the incompleteness here is relative. A man who can perform five daily prayers throughout the year and who can fast for a month during Ramadan is perfect in terms of these worships but a woman is regarded as incomplete. For instance, a woman who menstruates for a week every month cannot perform prayers about three months in a year; therefore, she is incomplete compared to a man. However, this incompleteness is in terms of quantity not quality. When a woman does not perform prayers during menstruation, she actually fulfills a fard because it is fard for a woman not to perform prayers and fasting when she menstruates and it is haram to do them. 

That is, a woman is regarded to worship when she does not perform prayers; she obeys Allah's order and receives rewards.

56 Is it permissible for menstruating women to read the Holy Qur’an and its translation; is it also necessary to cover the head while reading?

It is permissible for women to read the translation of the Quran while their heads are not covered. It is also permissible for menstruating women to read the translation of the Quran.  Because its translation is not like the original Qur’an.

Junub (impure, who needs to perform ghusl (full ablution)), menstruating or post-partum bleeding women cannot recite any of the verses of the Quran; it is not permissible.

A menstruating woman or a person who has no ablution cannot touch the Qur'an if it contains both the Arabic Qur'an and its meaning. Menstruating women can read the meaning of the Qur'an that does not contain its Arabic.

The messenger of Allah (PBUH) states the following regarding this issue:

“A junub or menstruating woman cannot recite anything from the Quran.”1

that is, she cannot recite even less than a verse from the Quran with the intention of reciting the Quran. However, it is permissible to recite some verses from the Quran, to pray, to praise Allah, to take shelter in Allah, to mention the name of Allah, when starting something or in order to teach the Quran.

For instance, the verse which is sunnah to read when getting in or on a vehicle

“Subhanallazi sakhkhara lana haza wama kunna lahu muqrinin (Glory to Him Who has subjected these to Our (use), for We could never have accomplished this (by ourselves)).”2

Also the verse to be read when getting off a vehicle

“Rabbana anzilni munzalan mubarakan wa anta khayru’l-munzilin (O my Lord! Enable me to disembark with Your blessing: for You are the Best to enable (us) to disembark).3

The verse when the news of misfortune or death is received,

“Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun (To Allah we belong and to Him is our return).4

Also saying, “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim” when starting to do something and to say, “Alhamdulillah” to thank Allah are of the same kind.

Similarly it is not haram to read chapters al-Fatiha, al-Falaq, an-Nas, al-Ikhlas and the verse ayatul kursi with the intention of mentioning and remembering Allah.

According to Maliki sect, there is no drawback for a menstruating or post-partum bleeding woman to recite a small part from the Quran.The small amount is as much as the verses mentioned above. As evidence, they present the fact that they remain in that state for a long time.

According to Hanbali and Hanafi sects, it is permissible to read the Quran by dividing words into syllables, because such reading is not “reciting”. They also accept it as permissible to look at the Quran and read it silently without uttering any words because in that case, there is no reciting. 5

All of those views are differences of ijtihad (deducing decrees) of mujtahid (capable of exercising ijtihad) imams depending on various pieces of evidence and they are all correct.

In addition, it is permissible to recite sentences of tawhid (oneness) and zikr (mentioning the names and attributes of Allah) like Kalima Shahada, Kalima Tawhid, istighfar and salawat once or more than once.

According to Imam Azam Abu Hanifa, it is permissible for menstruating or post-partum bleeding women to hold religious books like tafseer (interpretation), hadith and fiqh (Islamic law) except the Quran. However, they must not touch the verses in those books.

As for writing the verses of the Quran by women in those periods, we see the following in al-Fatawa’l-Hindiyya:

“It is makruh (disliked, undesirable) for junub people and menstruating women to add a verse among the things they are writing. However, it will not be makruh if they do not read those verses.” Imam Muhammad says ‘in my opinion, it is the best for those people not to write any verses from the Quran’ recommending caution and care regarding that issue.”

Accordingly, since basmala is a verse in the Quran, it will be better if menstruating women do not write it.

By the way, no matter which sect she follows, a menstruating woman cannot touch even one verse of the Quran. However she can hold the Quran by a piece of clean cloth or paper that is not attached to the Quran.

Footnotes:

1 Ibn Majah, Taharah: 105.
2 Chapter az-Zukhruf, 13.
3 Chapter al-Muminoon, 29.
4 Chapter al-Baqara, 156.
5 Wahba Zuhayli, al-Fiqhu’l-Islami wa Adillatuhu, 1: 288-9.
6 Ibn Majah, Taharah: 119.
7 Bidayatu’l-Mujtahid, 1:110; al-Fiqhu’l-Islami wa Adillatuhu, 1: 422.

Mehmed Paksu - Fatwas peculiar to familial life

57 Is it permissible for women to go swimming in the sea?

The wives of the Prophet (pbuh) did not go swimming in the sea.

It is not permissible for women to go swimming in the sea if their body parts that are necessary to be covered (all of the body except the hands, face and feet) are uncovered and among men even if they wear clothes. However, it is permissible for women to swim in a secure place allocated to women if they cover their body parts that are necessary to be covered.

The parts of the body of a woman that are necessary to be covered in the presence of other women are the same parts as the parts of the body of a man that are necessary to be covered in the presence of other men. Therefore, it is not permissible for Muslim women to look at the body parts of other women between their navels and knees. However, a non-Muslim woman can look only at the face and hands of a Muslim woman; she cannot look at her other body parts.

58 Is it religiously permissible for a woman to wear a gold bracelet or a gold name bracelet?

"And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah that ye may attain Bliss." (an-Nur, 24/31)

The parts of the body of a woman that are fard to cover are her whole body except her hands and face. The hadith that forms the basis of this issue is as follows:

According to the narration of Hz. Aisha, Asma, her sister, went to the presence of the Prophet (pbuh) wearing a thin, transparent dress. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw her, he turned his face away from her and said,

"O Asma! It is not permissible for a woman to show the parts of her body to strangers apart from these parts (he showed his face and hands) after she reaches the age of puberty." (Abu Dawud, Libas)

It is not permissible for a woman to show the jewels and ornaments that are worn over the places that are fard to cover to non-mahram men. 

The jewels and ornaments except rings (the jewels and ornaments worn on feet, arms, neck, rings, etc) are regarded as a woman's ornaments; so it is not permissible to show them to non-mahram men. It is necessary for the ring(s) not to attract attention. It does not matter what the ring is made of.

59 Is it permissible for women to go swimming wearing swimming suits in accordance with tasattur rules?

Firstly, women are not the only people whose body parts that are necessary to be covered are open on the beach; there are also men whose body parts that are necessary to be covered are open. The women can see those men. It is haram for women to look at the body parts of men between their navels and knees.   

Secondly, the swimsuits worn by women cover the body but when water touches the swimsuit, the outlines of the body of a woman become distinct; thus, tasattur is not ensured fully. Therefore, it is not permissible to go swimming like this.

60 What are the types of worshipping that women can perform in their menstruation period?

Islamic scholars say, "It is mustahab for a woman who is in menstruation period to make wudu for each fard prayer time, to sit in the place where he performs prayer as long as that prayer lasts and to say Subhanallah and La ilaha illallah so as not to forget her habit." The following is stated in another narration: "Such a woman is given the reward of the best one of the prayers she has ever performed."

If a woman is in menstruation or puerperum in Ramadan, the Night of Power (Laylatul-Qadr), eid days, holy nights, which are very honorable and valuable and in which their sins are forgiven and their degrees are elevated, and if she intends to spend those days and nights worshipping, she will definitely receive her share of blessing from those blessed and nice days and nights based on her intention as it is stated in the following hadith:  

"Everybody is given their due based on their intention: " (Bukhari, Bad’u’l-Wahy, 1, Ayman, 23; Muslim, Imarah, 155; Abu Dawud, Talaq, 11; Tirmidhi, Fadailu’l-Jihad, 16)

For, this state of being unable to perform prayers is not something that women can change and that takes place upon their request; therefore, they will not be deprived of rewards. 

Intentions are better than words and deeds because showing off is possible in words and deeds but not in intentions.

61 The most virtuous four women are mentioned; who are the most virtuous women?

According to what we learn from various hadiths, there are four most virtuous women. They are Asiya, the wife of Pharaoh, Maryam, the mother of Hz. Isa (Jesus), Khadijah, the wife of the Prophet (pbuh) and Fatima, his daughter.

It should not be forgotten that Allah does not bestow his favor upon anybody randomly and does not grant anything to anybody without any reason. When there is a divine grace and grant, there is definitely some valuable service, sacrifice and patience; our Lord evaluates them in favor of their doers and rewards them without losing any of the deeds.  

Let us think about the sacrifices and patience of the women who were elevated to the rank of the big sisters of the women of Paradise. Let us have a look at the virtues and patience that enabled them to reach that rank.  

Do you know whose wife Asiya is? Pharaoh's. Does it not necessitate a lot of patience to be the wife of a tyrant like Pharaoh, who went too far by claiming to be God? Can this family life continue with simple endurance? 

The second one is Hz. Maryam.

Our Lord created Hz. Adam without a mother and father; He created Hz. Isa without father in order to show that He can create man without a father too. The people around her who could not receive this message accused and slandered Hz. Maryam. They asked her, "How did you beget this child?" Hz. Maryam showed patience and endured this cruelty.

The third one is Hz. Khadijah. Not only did she sacrifice her wealth for the sake of the Prophet (pbuh), that is, her husband, but she also suffered hunger for years and underwent an economic boycott. However, she never complained; she preferred to show patience. In return for this patience, she was elevated to the rank of the big sisters of the women of Paradise.

What about Hz. Fatima? She showed patience whenever she encountered poverty, which she encountered throughout her life. She never filled her stomach with barley bread and led a life in hardship and poverty.

Once, the Prophet (pbuh) could not eat the food he was served in a house where he was a guest due to shedding tears; he put some food aside and said to the people there,  "Take this to Fatima; she has not eaten something like this for three days."

Once, the Prophet (pbuh) asked Bilal, who was late for the prayer, why he was late. Bilal said,

– Your daughter, Fatima, was grinding barley with the hand mill. Her child started to cry and I took the hand mill and ground the barley. Fatima looked after the child; therefore, I was late."  

As we understand from the determinations in the book called "Fatimatuz-Zahra", Hz. Fatima led a very hard life. She always ground barley in the hand mill to produce flour to make bread and she had to carry the water that she drew from the well; therefore, wounds occurred in her hands and shoulders.  

Despite all of these difficulties, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) warned and advised her as follows:

– O my daughter! Do not complain due to the hardships and difficulties you have. If you show patience, Allah will make you (like the ones before you) one of the big sisters of the women of Paradise. And He did. 

Yes, Allah is just. He definitely rewards those who show patience, sacrifice themselves and put up with hardships. Those who show patience in this world will be sent to Paradise and they will be elevated based on the level of their patience and the hardships they suffered; they will even be elevated to the rank ofthe big sisters of the women of Paradise.

62 Is it permissible for a women to make up in the religion of Islam?

The religion of Islam allows adorning and putting on some paints under certain circumstances. As it is known, during the era of mujtahid imams, most of the paints and make-up materials of today did not exist. However, there were some paints obtained from henna and roots of some plants. Therefore, in their ijtihads, they usually gave general decrees and determined the principles to be applied for the new make-up materials to be produced later.

A woman or a man can adorn and make up in order to seem more attractive to his/her spouse in their house; it is permissible. However, if they do it in order to attract the attention of other men or women, it is makruh; it can even be haram based on their intentions and attitudes.

The Adorning of Women: Women can paint their bodies with paints that do not form a layer over the skin in order to appear beautiful to their husbands. They can wear make-up unless it is too much. However, they must not wear make-up and they must wear hijab (cover their bodies except their hands and faces) when they go out or where non-mahram men can see them. It is not permissible to do otherwise.

There are two objections to women growing nails and applying nail polish. The first one is that it is definitely makruh (abominable) to grow nails. The second one is that it forms a layer on the nail and prevents water from penetrating to the skin while making wudu (ablution) and ghusl (full ablution); thus, it causes the wudu and ghusl to be invalid. Then, we advise women the following: The woman is the mother and housewife. She can only adorn herself for her husband. She must not polish her nails because she cooks, does the washing, makes wudu and ghusl. If she makes up on her face only for her husband and pays attention to cleanliness, she will get rewards. It is sunnah for man to be clean and attractive for his wife, too.

In addition, it is haram for women to show their hair to non-mahram men. If she makes up and adorns herself in order to seem more beautiful, her sins will increase. When a Muslim woman makes wudu and ghusl, if the paint or the substance on her skin does not let water penetrate to her skin, her wudu or ghusl becomes invalid. Then, it is not appropriate for women to adorn themselves and to make up except for appearing beautiful to their husbands. If a woman has put on make-up and has adorned herself for her husband, it is necessary for her to remove the paints that prevent water from penetrating to the skin and then to make wudu or ghusl. (see Kaynaklarıyla İslam Fıkhı, Celal Yıldırım, IV/209-210)

63 How should we understand woman being created from man's rib?

One of the facts expressed by the verses regarding the issue is as follows: Humanity is in need of an institution based on mutual love and respect, which is called family. Its establishment means salvation of humanity. The creation of Adam's wife from him is another evidence of divine power. However, what matters is giving information about Allah’s creation of Hz. Adam's wife, who completed his deficiency and eliminated his loneliness.  

Fakhruddin ar-Razi states the following:

"There are many secrets under this issue...” (1)

Enter under the command of your Lord about education and protection. Avoid opposing His order and act in accordance with public security. Beware His severe punishment. Your Lord created you from one soul, one person. Therefore, all of you are actually brothers coming from the same father; all of you are humans and creatures of one creator. Acting upon these principles, you should obey the rights of brotherhood by basing the principles related to law on the reality of humanity and the principle of education; you should avoid acting contrarily to the order of your Lord. Yes, your Lord created a soul and

"He created, of like nature, his mate." (an-Nisa, 4/1)

He granted such a bounty. He created a couple, one of them coming from the soul of the other.

"Glory to Allah, Who created in pairs all things." (Yasin, 36/36)

Therefore, it is necessary to appreciate the value and greatness of this boon and power, to know that creation and things are the work of the power of Allah, who is the creator of things, not the work of nature, to obey Him and to fear His torture. 

It is known through observation and experiment that both a male and female child can come from a father. In fact, if the creative power was in the nature of things, neither man could come from clay nor a girl could come from a man. For, if nature is not regular and harmonious, it is nothing. However, a male is not harmonious with a female nor is a female harmonious with male. 

"Allah did choose Adam above all people." (Aal-i Imran, 3/33)

“He (Allah) created him (Adam) from dust, then said to him: 'Be' and he was." (Aal-i Imran, 3/59)

As it is understood from the verses above, Hz. Adam was created from dust (soil) by being chosen. Hz. Hawwa (Eve) was created from Adam by being split from him. It is stated as follows: in hadiths:   

"Hawwa was created from one of Adam's ribs." (2)

It means being split from him. This meaning is the foundation of being spouses. The following is stated in a sound hadith:

"Woman is like a rib. She was created from a crooked rib. If you attempt to straighten it, you will break it. Her breaking means divorce." (3)

The crooked rib here indicates a splitting but it is also an example showing the difference between the nature of man and woman and including a warning that trying to make women like men means breaking them. It is also stated in hadiths that this splitting took place at the beginning of the creation in Paradise.

Footnotes:

1. Fakhru-Razi, IX/167.
2. Bukhari, Nikah 79; Muslim, Rada 65; Tirmidhi, Talaq 12; Darimi, Nikah 45; Ahmad b. Hanbal, II/428, 449, 530 and V/164.
3. Muslim, Rada 64; Nasai, Nikah 15; Ahmad b. Hanbal, II/168.

(Elmalı M. Hamdi YAZIR, Hak Dini Kur'an Dili)

64 What is Ghurra? When is it given? Who gives it? Who is it given to?

As a term, ghurra means compensation to be paid by a person who causes the death of a fetus in the womb by committing a crime.

In Islam, man has basic rights like owning property, living, honor etc. The right of living is the first and most important one. Therefore, a child (fetus) is put under protection as soon as it starts to exist in the womb; a person who harms the fetus is to face some worldly and otherworldly penalties. When the father, mother or anybody else hits the back, abdomen, sides or any other organ of a pregnant woman, or when anybody threatens the woman to beat, kill or reprimand her by frightening her and causes the woman to have a miscarriage, two possibilities occur. The child dies or is born alive.

The fine for ghurra is paid within one year. Even if one year passes, it is necessary to pay it in a single sum.

According to the soundest view of Hanafis, Hanbalis and Shafiis, the money for ghurra needs to be paid within one year. Ghurra is paid to the inheritors of the fetus - except the one who caused its death - in accordance with the religious inheritance law. (see Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, VII, 716; Wahba az-Zuhayli, al-Fiqhu'l-Islami, VI, 364).

The amount of ghurra is five camels; that is one twentieth of the blood money; it is 50 dinars (200 gr. of gold coins) according to Hanafis. According to the majority of the other fiqh scholars, it is 600 dirhams (1680 gr. of silver) (see Qasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi', V/325; Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, V/799; Ibn Rushd Bidayatu'l-Mujtahid, II/ 407).

The following was reported from Abu Hurayra:

"Two women of the tribe of Hudhayl fought with each other. One of them flung a stone at the other, killing the fetus in her womb. The case was brought to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). He gave judgment that the ghurra of her unborn child be paid by her paternal relatives." (Muslim, Qasama, 36; Bukhari, Tibb, 468, Abu Dawud, Diyat, 19; Nasai, Qasama, 39; Ahmed b. Hanbal, II-274, 535; ad-Darimi, Diyat, 21).

The crime of abortion and its punishment:

(Prof. Dr. Hayrettin Karaman)

Accepting the fetus as a human "who will be completed based on the genetic program inherent in him", fiqh scholars agree that it is a murder (crime) to eliminate it but they say it must definitely be known that thing in the womb was a fetus (child in the womb) in order to decree that this murder took place. It is stated that as long as the possibility of the swelling and movement in the abdomen to originate from a tumor, gas, etc, exists, it is not regarded a murder to eliminate it. According to the majority of the scholars, "it is necessary for the thing to come out and to be seen that it is a fetus" to remove the possibility. The conditions that a certain period of time needs to pass, the organs of the thing taken out or aborted need to be apparent though partly for the murder to occur are based on the same reason; the aim is to determine that the thing taken out or aborted is a human being. Today, it is very easy and it can be determined through a simple examination whether the thing in the womb is a fetus or not; therefore, the hesitations and differences of opinion regarding the issue are regarded to have been removed.  

Another thing that fiqh scholars take into consideration to decree that it is a murder is the condition of knowing whether the fetus died as a result of an intervention. In the past, the ways of knowing whether the fetus in the womb was alive or not were limited and it was possible to know it only at advanced phases; therefore, some fiqh scholars said, "The fetus must come out alive and die afterwards; otherwise, in cannot be known before intervention whether it was dead or not." There is no hesitation regarding the issue today; it has become possible to know whether the fetus is alive or not in all phases and to know the reason of death.

An important element in terms of determining penalties for qisas (retaliation) and diyah (blood money) is "intention". Maliki fiqh scholars decreed that the murder was committed intentionally if the deed that caused the death of the fetus was done intentionally. According to the preferred view of the other three madhhabs, the murder is regarded as similar to intentional or accidental, not intentional, since it is not certain that the fetus was a human and it was alive in the womb before it was eliminated.  

The penalty for the death, elimination and miscarriage of the fetus as a result of an unjust and physical deed (violence) of the mother or somebody else is determined as follows in classical fiqh based on the following different situations: 

When the fetus comes out dead:

In that case, it is doubtful whether the death originated from a deed; so, the penalty for it is diyah. The diyah, which means financial compensation and which is called "ghurra", is five camels or the equivalent.

When the fetus comes out of the womb alive but then dies due to the violence inflicted when it was in the womb:

In that case, it becomes certain that death occurred due to an external intervention; so, qisas is necessary according to those who regard the murder of the fetus as "intentional" and full diyah is necessary according to those who regard the murder of the fetus as "accidental or similar to intentional". Full diyah is one hundred camels or the equivalent for a boy and fifty camels or the equivalent for a girl (it is calculated as about 213 grams of gold). The diyah is paid to all of the inheritors except the murderer. If the inheritors waive, then no diyah is necessary to be paid.  

When the fetus comes out of the womb alive but then dies due to some other reason:

In that case, death does not occur due to the deed of miscarriage or removal; so, tazir punishment is necessary for those who cause the preterm birth. Tazir is the punishment that is left to the decision of the state or the judge.

When the fetus comes out after the death of the mother or does not come out but remains inside:

In that case, either the fetus will die or preterm birth will occur. In both cases, tazir is necessary unless it is known that the deed of the criminal caused it; if it is known, the punishment is determined based on the other cases mentioned above. 

The punishment given to the killer of the fetus does not consist of qisas and diyah only; there is also kaffarah (atonement), which necessitates freeing a slave, if it is impossible fasting two months without interruption and if it is impossible - according to some fiqh scholars - to give meals to sixty poor people one day.

The punishment for abortion today:

Abortion means killing a baby that is known to be alive in the womb in any phase and emptying the womb. There is no doubt here that the thing that is killed is a fetus, that it is alive before abortion and that the deed of killing is done intentionally. In that case, the deed of abortion is an intentional murder unless it is based on a legitimate excuse - explained above - and the punishment for it is the punishment given for such a murder.

GHURRA

Ghurra lexically means whiteness, brightness, the whiteness on the forehead of a horse, effusion and the first night and day of the lunar month. The plural form of it is ghurar. As a term, it means the compensation to be paid by a person who causes the death of the fetus* by committing a crime.

In Islam, man has fundamental rights like the immunity of property, life and honor. The right to life is the first one. Therefore, a child is put under protection beginning from the moment it goes to the uterus; those who harm it are given some worldly and otherworldly penalties. When the father, mother or anybody else hits the back, abdomen, sides or any other organ of a pregnant woman, or when anybody threatens the woman to beat, kill or reprimand her by frightening her and causes the woman to have a miscarriage, two possibilities occur. The child dies or is born alive.

When the fetus comes out of the mother dead, the one who causes the fetus to die is to pay diyah for the fetus. The diyah for the fetus, whether it is male or female, whether the crime is committed intentionally or accidentally, is ghurra. The amount of ghurra is five camels; that is, one twentieth of the blood money; it is 50 dinars (200 gr. of gold coins) according to Hanafis. According to the majority of the other fiqh scholars, it is 600 dirhams (1680 gr. of silver)(al-Qasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi', V/325; Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, V/799; Ibn Rushd Bidayatu'l-Mujtahid, II/ 407).

The following was reported from Abu Hurayra: "Two women of the tribe of Hudhayl fought with each other. One of them flung a stone at the other, killing the fetus in her womb. The case was brought to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). He gave judgment that the ghurra of her unborn child be paid by her paternal relatives." (Muslim, Qasama, 36; Bukhari, Tibb, 468, Abu Dawud, Diyat, 19; Nasai, Qasama, 39; Ahmed b. Hanbal, II-274, 535; ad-Darimi, Diyat, 21)

The criminal who intentionally causes the fetus to die needs to pay the ghurra from his own money or property. It is paid as gold or silver. Only Malikis regard intention as possible. When the fetus is killed accidentally, if the diyah of the criminal is one-third or more, the ghurra is to be paid by the paternal relatives.

According to the majority of the Islamic fiqh scholars, the crime can be committed accidentally or in a way similar to intentionally and the diyah has to be paid by the paternal relatives. According to the majority of the scholars, one of the paternal relatives is guilty here. According to Hanafis, when the mother has a miscarriage using some medicine or doing something without the permission of her husband, the paternal relatives need to compensate for ghurra. If the husband gives permission for the miscarriage or if the woman does not do it intentionally, ghurra is not necessary since no violation of rights is in question.  (Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, VII, 716; Wahba az-Zuhayli, al-Fiqhu'l-Islami, VI, 364). The fine for ghurra is paid in one year, diyah in three years; the diyah which is equivalent to one third of the diyah of a Muslim, like the diyah of a dhimmi, is paid in one year.

The imams of four madhhabs agree unanimously that ghurra is divided among the relatives of the fetus based on their shares in inheritance. However, if the father is guilty, he cannot have any shares from ghurra because he is like a person who kills someone unjustly. The killer cannot get any inheritance from the person he kills (Abu Dawud, Diyat, 18; Tirmidhi, Faraiz, 17; Ahmed b. Hanbal, I, 49).

According to Hanafis, when a fetus whose creation has been completed is born dead here, the criminal does not have to pay kaffarah; however, it is regarded appropriate for the criminal to do charity as much as they can of their own accord and ask for repentance in order to approach Allah (al-Qasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi, VII, 326, Ibn Abidin, Raddu'l-Mukhtar, V. 418).

If a fetus dies due to a deed that is regarded as a crime after it comes out of the womb alive, this deed is not regarded to have been done intentionally according to Hanafis; it is regarded to have been committed accidentally or in a way similar to intentionally. For, the formation of the fetus and its living do not occur when the deed is intentional. Therefore, the punishment of full diyah is necessary and the criminal cannot get a share from the diyah. Hanafis also regard the punishment of kaffarah necessary in such cases. If the fetus is twins or triplets, etc, the punishment is multiplied accordingly. If the mother dies due to violence after the death of the fetus or if the fetus comes out alive after the death of the mother and then it dies, the criminal has to pay two diyahs: one for the mother and one for the fetus.  If the fetus comes out dead after the death of the mother, only the diyah for the mother needs to be paid. No payment for diyah is necessary but the punishment of tazir is applied. For, there is no clear evidence showing that the crime caused the fetus to die. Besides, it is highly probable that the fetus died due to the death of the mother. In that case, the fetus is regarded as an organ of the mother (al-Qasani, Badayiu's-Sanayi, VII, 326, VIII, 326; Ibn Abidin, Raddu'l-Mukhtar, V, 417; Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, VIII, 811 Ibn Rushd, Bidayatu'l-Mujtahid, II, 408).

According to Hanafis, gurra punishment is applied also for the baby of a non-Muslim woman. For, the diyah of an unbeliever is like the diyah of a Muslim.

Hamdi DÖNDUREN

65 Is it true that Hz. Umar prevented his wife from going to mosque because he was jealous of her?

Like everybody, Hz. Umar is also jealous of his spouse. However, Hz. Umar did not prevent his wife from going to mosque. On the contrary, there are narrations showing that he did not do so:

“One of the wives of Hz. Umar used to offer fajr (morning) and isha (night) prayers in congregation in the mosque. She was asked, 'Why do you insist on going to mosque for prayer though you know that Umar dislikes it and is jealous of you?' She replied, "The statement of the Messenger of Allah 'Do not stop Allah's women-slaves from going to Allah's mosques' prevents him from this act." (Bukhari, Jumua, 13)

“Atika bint Zayd, the wife of Umar Ibn al-Khattab, used to ask Umar for permission to go to mosque. He would keep silent; so she would say, "By Allah, I will go to mosque unless you forbid me."Umar would not forbid her." (Malik, Muwatta, Qiblah, 14)

Clear statements of the Prophet (pbuh) regarding the issue exist in hadith resources:

“If the wife of any one of you asks permission to go to mosque, do not forbid her.”(Bukhari, Adhan, 162; Jumua, 13; Muslim, Salat, 134)

“'Do not stop Allah's women-slaves from going to Allah's Mosques.” (Bukhari, Jumua, 13; Muslim, Salat, 136)

There are narrations indicating that women also went to mosque and joined the congregational prayers like men during the time of the Prophet (pbuh).  (see Muslim, Salat, 133; Haythami, Majmau’z-Zawaid, 2/33)

On the other hand, it is known that the Prophet stated the following: 

“It is better for women to perform prayers at home but do not prevent them from going to mosques.”

“It is better for a woman to pray in private chamber than in her living room, and better for her to pray in a hidden corner of her private chamber than in her private chamber.” (Abu Dawud, Salat, 52-53)

Besides, a woman came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said to him, “O Messenger of Allah! I like performing prayers with you." The Prophet answered her as follows:

“I know that youlike performing prayers with me but the prayer you perform in your private chamber is better the one than you perform in your living room; the prayer you perform in your living room is better the one than you perform in the lounge of your house; the prayer you perform in the lounge of your house is better the one than you perform in the mosque of your tribe; and the prayer you perform in the mosque of your tribe is better the one than you perform in my mosque.” (see Haythami, Majmau’z-Zawaid, 2/34)

Besides, Hz. Aisha stated the following upon the incidents that took place:

“If Hz. Prophet (pbuh) had seen the new things women invented, he would have prevented them from going to mosque like the women of Children of Israel were prevented.” (Bukhari, Adhan,163; Muslim, Salat, 144; Muwatta, Qiblah, 15)

Accordingly, it is religiously permissible for women to go to mosques and places where knowledge is taught. However, there are some rules that both men and women need to obey. The decree to be given about the issue can change based on the obedience to those rules. It is necessary to understand the different decrees in hadiths and fiqh books in this context. (see Marghinani, al-Hidaya, al-Maktabatu’l-Islamiyya, nd. 1/57; Fatawa al-Hindiyya 5/346)

Everybody, whether male or female, that joins the community needs to be careful about their cleanliness in terms of their spirit, body and attitudes so as not to disturb people materially and spiritually. In cases of violation, those who disturb others and those who are disturbed can decide themselves based on their conscience.  

This is not limited to women going to mosque only. It interests everybody related to all aspects of their lives.

66 Are men superior to women? What are the reasons for it?

When we dealt with the issue "Islam and Women" at the beginning, we actually showed the points about which women are equal to men. We should say here first that there is no verse or hadith in Islam showing that men are absolutely superior to women.

"... And is not the male like the female..." (Aal-i Imran, 3/36)

The verse above does not mean that men are superior.

"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...." (an-Nisa, 4/34)

The verse above does not indicate absolute superiority either. The phrase "because He made men superior to women..." is not used in the verse. That is, superiority is relative. The ability to manage was given to men. Women can be superior in another issue. If the woman did not have a heart full of compassion, the man would bring up his child like a robot. Women are superior in this issue. Besides, Allah states the following without discriminating between men and women: 

"... Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you..." (al-Hujurat, 49/13)

That is, women are equal to men as humans. Both of them were created from a single "nafs" (soul/person). (an-Nisa, 4/1) Their origin is the same. One of them was not created from a substance of high quality and the other of low quality.

If a woman does a bad deed, she obtains a sin and if she does a good deed, she obtains a thawab. If she says a prayer, Allah "answers" her. That is, women are not different from men in terms of going to Paradise or Hell. If she manages to do something in the world, she gains a profit; if she commits a crime, she is punished. If she has a shop, she does not have less profit because of being a woman; her salary or wages are not low because she is a woman. Contrarily, women are punished less severely than men regarding certain crimes.

Women are not behind but forward in some situations in terms of prestige and respect among people.

When a Companion asked, "Who is more entitled to be treated with the best way by me?", the Prophet (pbuh) said,"Your mother." The man asked twice more,"Who is next?" The Prophet answered twice,"Your mother." When the man asked for the fourth time,he said,"Your father." (Bukhari, Adab 2; Muslim, Birr 1)

I do not know what is the origin of the following statement but it is certain that it originates from a religious thought: "If one's father calls a person who is performing a prayer, his prayer is not invalidated but if his mother calls, his prayer is invalidated and it is necessary to answer her."

That is, there is no difference between women and men in terms of creation, being a slave of Allah, worshipping, praying, crime and punishment, that is, in servitude, respect and prestige, in brief, in being humans.

67 They say a woman who gives birth is purified of her sins. Is it true?

Labor pains are atonement for sins. Even a slight trouble is a means of atonement for the sins of a believer. Since birth is very painful, it is hoped that it will be a means of atonement for the sins of the mother. However, we cannot make a definite decree that all of her sins are forgiven.

There are hadiths about the virtues of giving birth:

"There are seven kinds of martyrdom other than being killed in the way of Allah: the victim of a plague is a martyr; the one drowned in the sea is a martyr; the one who dies of pleurisy is a martyr; the one who dies of the internal disease is a martyr;  the victim of a fire is a martyr; the one who dies under debris is a martyr; a woman who dies while giving birth is a martyr." (For the hadiths about the martyrs other than war, see Bukhari, Adhan, 32, Jihad, 30; Muslim, Imara, 164; Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 65, Fadailul-Jihad, 14; Ahmad b. Hanbal, I, 22, 23, II, 323, 325)

"A woman who is pregnant is like a soldier on duty until she gives birth and until she stops breastfeeding her baby. If she dies during this period, she receives the reward of a martyr." (see Ahmed GÜMÜŞHANEVİ; Ramuz al-Ahadith)

"When a woman becomes pregnant, she receives the reward of one who fasts, one who worships during the night, and one who fights for Allah with taqwa. And when she has labor pains, Allah grants her so much reward that nobody knows its limit because of its greatness. And when she breastfeeds her child, for every suck of the child, Allah gives her the reward of reviving a person. And when the period of breastfeeding the child is finished, one of the great angels of Allah taps her side and says: ‘Start your deeds afresh.’" (see Ahmed GÜMÜŞHANEVİ; Ramuz al-Ahadith)