Is there a hadith as follows?: "Never will succeed such a nation as lets their affairs carried out by a woman."
Submitted by on Fri, 18/03/2011 - 11:47
Dear Brother / Sister,
Yes, there is a hadith as follows: "Never will succeed such a nation as lets their affairs carried out by a woman." (Bukhari, Maghazi, 82, Fitan, 18; Tirmidhi, Fitan, 75; Nasai, Qudat, 8; Ahmad b. Hanbal, V, 43, 51, 38, 47). b- According to Hanafis, it is permissible for a woman to be a judge that deals with financial issues because her witnessing is valid for daily issues. However, a woman cannot be a judge for issues that necessitate hadd (severe penalty) and qisas (retaliation). According to the most of the scholars, the judges and the heads of states must be male. A woman cannot be a judge or a head of a state; the evidence is the hadith quoted above: “Never will succeed such a nation as lets their affairs carried out by a woman." (Bukhari, Maghazi, 82, Fitan, 18; Tirmidhi, Fitan, 75; Nasai, Qudat, 8; Ahmad b. Hanbal, V, 43, 51, 38, 47). In some narrations, the same hadith is as follows: “Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler." Since the duty of presidency includes the duty of judging too, the difference in the narration will not affect the result. The reason why women are not given the duty of judging is explained as follows in classical fiqh resources: The duty of judging necessitates having full view, being shrewd and having experience related to the incidents in life. The fact that the experience of women is less and that they are not involved in the incidents in life very much is very important. On the other hand, the judge needs to have some sessions with male scholars, witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants. It is forbidden for a woman to have a session with men for fear of mischief. Allah states one of the features of women regarding witnessing as follows: "And get two witnesses, out of your own men And if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her " (al-Baqara, 2/282). Therefore, women are not deemed appropriate for the post of a president or a governor because neither the Prophet nor the four Caliphs nor those who followed them appointed a woman judge or governor. (see Ibn Rushd, II, 449; ash-Shirbini, IV, 375; Ibn Qudama, IX, 39). However, the reasons given above may be insignificant for the believing women who were educated in accordance with Islamic criteria, who have a good command of law, who obtained the sagacity to give religious fatwas for the problems Muslims face, who knows the Islamic society well, and who gained experience by observing social events closely today. On the other hand, the fact that today the courts are open to everybody and that the defendant, witnesses, plaintiff, legal experts and the audience sit in the places reserved for them eliminates the fear of women and men staying together in a private room and the fear of mischief. However, since the ugliest affairs of the society, cruelty, injustice and harsh conflicts are dealt with in the courts, it is more appropriate for a believing woman, who is kinder and more sensitive than a man, to prefer other professions that are more suitable for her nature. This sensitivity of women is also valid for the posts of governing and presidency. Ibn Jarir at-Tabari states the following regarding the issue (d. 310/922): It is permissible for a woman to be a judge regarding every issue because since it is permissible for a woman to become a mufti, it should be permissible for her to become a judge, too." (az-Zuhayli, VI, 483). Due to the issues discussed above and similar issues, there are some scholars who object to women working as a judge and becoming a president but there are also others who say there is no drawback to it provided that they have the necessary qualifications. Those who have the view that it is permissible for a woman to be a president interpret the hadith, "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler" as a sentence uttered for a specific state not for all nations and states in general. According to them, Hazrat Prophet informed people that the State of Sasanids, which was ruled by a woman, would fall. As a matter of fact, it fell after a short while. They think that the Prophet did not mean all times and all of the states ruled by women. However, the other scholars say that the hadiths includes all times and nations and that women cannot be judges, governors or presidents.
The judgment made by the Turkish Higher Committee for the Religious Affairs is as follows: “In Islam, there is no discrimination between men and women because they are humans; both are responsible for the orders and prohibitions of Allah. All people, whether men or women, are responsible for improving the earth and worshipping Allah. There is no difference between a man and a woman in terms of being humans and worshipping Allah; there is no difference between them in terms of basic rights and responsibilities, either. The basic rights and freedoms given to men in Islam are also given to women. Accordingly, there is no discrimination between women and men in terms of basic rights like maintaining and developing one’s material and spiritual existence, the freedom of conscious, religious belief and thought, being a defendant or plaintiff before the judges in the court by making use of legitimate ways, the right to be treated with equality and justice before the law, dwelling immunity, protecting one’s honor, the right to marry and establish a family, privacy immunity and security of earning one’s living. The fact that it is mentioned in the Quran that the Prophet took the oath of fealty from women (al-Mumtahina, 60/12) expresses the independence of the will of woman in Islam clearly. Therefore, being a woman is not something that limits the rights and deeds. Women have the right to appeal to the court if the rights that they have are violated by their husbands or others and ask the judges to eliminate the injustice. A substantial part of the discussions regarding the place and rights of women in Islam is about the participation of women in social life, their work life and undertaking official duties.
1. Women Taking Part in Commercial Life and Business: According to Islam, a woman can work at home or outside and help her husband earn a living, as a general rule. It is possible for the roles of spouses in the family life to change based on the conditions and necessities. What matters is to lead a peaceful and regular life and to undertake responsibilities in accordance with the possibilities and abilities of individuals in a balanced way. The narration mentioned in some resources that Hazrat Prophet gave the duty of taking care of the domestic responsibilities to Hazrat Fatima, his daughter, and the external responsibilities to Hazrat Ali, his son-in-law, (1) is not a binding rule that aims to form a family model for Muslims but a recipe in the form of advice based on necessities, traditions and customs. Besides, the contribution of a housewife to her family and the community is too important to despise. Women and men are in an equal state in the financial and commercial fields; women are not exposed to any limitations because they are female; they have all of the rights and powers that men have in the field of trade and law of obligations. In Islam, people are encouraged to work, without discriminating between men and women; the following is stated in the Quran: "That man can have nothing but what he strives for" (an-Najm, 53/39); "… to men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn: but ask Allah of His bounty..." (an-Nisa 4/32). There is no discrimination between men and women in the following verse about trade that is deemed within the framework of working: “O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: but let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual good-will: nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah hath been to you Most Merciful.” (an-Nisa, 4/29), and in the following hadith: “One would rather take a rope and cut wood and carry it than ask others”(2). Everybody, whether man or woman, has the right to earn money legitimately as long as they observe the general principles imposed by Islam regarding human relations and commercial life like lucidity, honesty, trust, straightforwardness, keeping promises, abiding by the terms and agreements, not taking advantage of people’s weakness, ignorance and troubles.
2. Ruling Women: In some resources, there are views and judgments that limit the duty of public affairs for women. However, those views and judgments do not originate from definite expressions of verses or hadiths; they are the conclusions that the scholars made taking into account the socio-cultural and economic conditions that they were experiencing. Beginning from the period of Hazrat Prophet, women started to work in private and public sectors as teachers, officials, doctors, nurses and municipal police officers. As a matter of fact, Hazrat Umar appointed Shifa b. Abdullah as a supervisor in the Madinah market. Almost all of the scholars agree on it. However, there are many different opinions as to whether they can work as judges and as senior administrators. Most of the Islamic scholars hold the view that women cannot work as judges. However, that view is not based on a clear verse or hadith but on the traditions and considerations of the society. Hanafis and Ibn Hazm hold the view that women can act as judges for the kinds of cases for which they can be witnesses. Islamic scholars like Tabari and Hasan al-Basri think that there is no religious drawback to women working as judges. Those views show that Islamic scholars of the classical period stated their views about whether women can be judges or not acting upon their information, culture and experiences in their own era. There are views in classical fiqh resources that women cannot work as senior administrators. They also originate from the information, culture and experiences of the scholars in their own era. Since being a judge and a senior administrator is an important public duty in the society, Islam is interested in the qualities that are necessary to fulfill those duties properly; it does not make a discrimination based on gender, age or color. Women during the period of Hazrat Prophet and the Companions made ijtihads and judgments, and gave fatwas, that is, they worked as judges and administrators in a sense, took part in wars and carried out political activities that could affect the decisions of the government although the negative views about them had not been fully eliminated yet. However, putting the rights and powers women have into practice and women’s taking active roles in social life are entirely related to socioeconomic and cultural conditions and necessities. Islam regards it sufficient to state basic rights and criteria and leaves the rest to the course of the development of the Islamic communities. Similarly, it is stated in classical resources that one of the conditions of being a head of state is being a man and the hadith, "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler."(3) is used as evidence; in order to support that view, it is also stated that the head of the state needs to lead the army when there is a war and to recite the Friday sermon and lead the prayer. Like all other public duties, qualifications and abilities are necessary for the duty of presidency; therefore, what matters for the duty of presidency is not the gender but qualifications and abilities. On the other hand, the head of the state does not have to lead the army when there is a war, does not have to recite the Friday sermon and lead the prayer. It is possible for the head of the state to appoint others to fulfill those duties. As for the hadith, “Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler", Hazrat Prophet informed people that the State of Sasanids, which was ruled by a woman, would fall after a short while. As a matter of fact, it fell after a short while. On the other hand, the fact that when Balqis, the Queen of Sheba, is mentioned in the Quran, no negative expressions are used and the fact that there were in the past and there are now strong states ruled by women but survived for a long time shows that the hadith of the Prophet regarding the issue does not contain a general judgment. Therefore, there is not a definite and binding verse or hadith that prohibits a woman from working for the public. Therefore, it is religiously permissible for a woman who has sufficient qualifications and abilities to work as an administrator including a president.
3. Conclusion: Under the light of the explanations above, it has been decided that a) the same rights and freedoms that are given to men are also given to women in Islam; being a woman does not limit any rights and deeds, b) everybody, whether man or woman, has the right to work, to do business and to take part in business life as long as long as they observe the basic principles and decrees introduced by Islam and general rules of morality, c) there is no drawback to a woman who has sufficient qualifications and abilities working as an administrator including a president”. 1- Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, X/165, No: 9118; XIII/284, No: 16355; Ömer Nasuhî Bilmen, Hukuk-i İslamiyye, II/484. 2- Bukhari, Buyu’ 5. 3- Bukhari, Maghazi, 82; Tirmidhi, Fitan, 75.
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