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?
Submitted by on Mon, 29/12/2014 - 14:04
Dear Brother / Sister,
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.
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- I am a woman who does not wear hijab but I perform prayers. Are the prayers performed by a woman who does not wear hijab valid?
- Why should a woman who menstruates perform fasting as qada later since she does not perform prayers as qada?