Is a caliphate mandatory in Islam

MFI blog

Rasulullah, A PROPHET WHO FIGHTED FOR WOMEN RIGHTS, was born 1448 years ago today.

I totally agree with the American historian Pierre Crabitès (d. 1943) when he states that the Prophet Mohammed was "probably the greatest advocate of women's rights the world has ever seen".

Like no other person, the Prophet Muhammad enjoys a pre-eminent authority among Muslims, both women and men. Believing men and women find “a good example” in him, according to the Koran (33:21). As a spouse, he was charming and loving, a gentleman, so to speak, who did not hide his love for his wife in public. At home he helped with housework and in the kitchen.

He acted with great severity against misogynist behavior in his society. After all, he was commissioned by God to eliminate injustice and discrimination against women and to work towards equality. His loving approach and his understanding of the needs and expectations of women moved many men to rethink and change their previously rough behavior. Time and again, women have referred to the example of the prophet in conflicts with their husbands and thus induced their husbands to rethink.

Ahmad ibn Abdallah at-Tabari (d. 1295) wrote an extensive work on the wives of the Prophet. In it, the women describe Mohammed as a husband who was "gentle, romantic and uncomplicated" with them. In a time and society in which women were not respected, the Prophet carried out God's command in the Koran “Do please your wives in an agreeable manner!” In the best possible way in their own families. A close friend of the Prophet, Omar ibn al-Khattab, who later became the Second Caliph, said: “I swear we did not value women in the pre-Islamic Jahiliya period until the Prophet received the revelation in which women's rights were addressed and we should change our behavior. "

The revelation of the Qur'an taught men to respect and respect mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, and all women. The Koran grants the parents, and thus also the mother, the highest degree of respect for God himself: “Your Sustainer has decreed that you should not worship anyone but Him. And do good to your parents. Should either of them or both of you reach old age in your care, never say 'Bah!' To them or scold them, but always speak to them with respectful speech and humbly spread the wings of your tenderness over them and say: 'O my Sustainer ! Grant them your grace, just as they cared for me and raised me when I was a child! ‘” (17: 23-24).

In keeping with this verse of the Koran, the Prophet called upon people to respect their mother. A hadith reports about it: A man came to the Messenger of God and said: "O Messenger of God, who is most entitled to my benevolent manner?" The Prophet said: "Your mother!" The man further asked: "Who else?" Prophet said: “Your mother!” The man further asked: “Who else?” The prophet said: “Your mother!” The man further asked: “Who else?” The prophet said: “Then your father!” This tradition shows that a mother deserves the triple respect of a father. This entitlement was granted to the mother because of the hard work during the various stages of her child's life, during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and for the shared responsibility in bringing up the child. She is the queen of the house and the main actor within the family members. It is difficult to find a Muslim on earth who does not know the prophet's statement: "Paradise lies under the feet of the mother" - so for the man the way to paradise leads through the woman!

It is strange that the respect for the mother is absolutely undisputedly considered very important by Muslim men, while the respect for the wife all too often looks very different. Honoring the mother but humiliating the wife - the mother of one's own children - is highly paradoxical. That is why the Prophet Mohammed repeatedly emphasized that the wife, or the woman in general, is to be respected and respected: “Women have the same value as men. Only those who are dignified value women and only those who are undignified degrade them. ”“ The best among you is the one who treats his wives best. ”“ The most perfect believer is the one who behaves the best / He has morality, and the best of you is the one who treats his wife well ”are his most famous statements on the relationship of believing men to women. Accordingly, a good believer is someone who is good to women, and whoever discriminates against them is a bad believer - regardless of how much he prays, recites the Koran or visits the mosque.

The Koran says the following about the emotional and ethical-moral relationship between man and woman: “And it belongs to His signs that He created partner beings for you of yourselves so that you can find peace with them, and He has love and between you Mercy posited: Verily in this are messages for the pensive people ”(30:21). This verse uses three basic terms: rest, love, and mercy. A fulfilled partnership is the place where you can find peace, warmth, affection, security, mercy and love. “In the Arabic language there are different words for different kinds of love. For example, love between parents and children, siblings or believers is referred to as hubb. Mawaddah, meanwhile, describes the love between spouses, in which mutual attraction plays a role. This is not just a prerequisite for a mutually fulfilling relationship. This attraction is also the source and energy for two people to be together. "

The Prophet, who never hid his emotions, says publicly: “On earth I was loved about women and fragrant fragrances; and the prayer (salah) was made the light of my eyes. ”The Prophet has shown in an exemplary manner how one should demonstrate this love and affection - and that in a patriarchal society, in which only authoritarian and“ manly ”behavior counted. His wife Aisha, for example, reports that the Prophet was watching a game of a group of guests from Ethiopia with her in the mosque and that they were both cheek to cheek. She even says that when they showered, they doused each other with water. When asked what the Prophet was actually doing at home, she replied: “He did everything a man should do at home: cleaning, washing, cooking and serving himself. He mended his clothes, mended his shoes and ran his own errands. He tried not to be a burden to anyone. " Aischa describes his behavior towards women with the following words: “He was very humorous and laughed. He had the most beautiful character, did not offend, did not use swear words and did not make a loud voice. He did not return bad things in the same way, but forgave and forgave. "

Aisha tells how she once accompanied the prophet on a journey and he sent the other companions away and suggested a race for her. She won. A few years later, after she had put on weight, he suggested that she race again. She explained that she was no longer as slim as she used to be. Mohammed insisted and won this time. "That's the answer to that race," he joked. So the prophet was a man who carelessly competed with his wife, and he spoke about his love for her in public: “Aischa, you are my favorite among people”.

Another anecdote deals with a difficult love story between a slave named Mughit and his wife Burayra, who is also a slave. Aisha gave the woman's owner money to buy her out. After she was free, she decided to leave her husband. He loved his wife dearly and ran through the streets of Medina weeping with heartache. He kept asking her to come back to him. But she declared that she no longer needed him and did not love him. When the Prophet heard of Mughit's grief, he stood up for him at Burayra. She wanted to know: “Are you telling me to come back to him? Do I have to? ”“ No, ”replied the Prophet,“ I only ask and mediate. ”Then she stuck to her refusal and Mohammed accepted this. To his friend Abbas he said:“ O Abbas, you are amazed by Mughit's love for Burayra and don't you hate him? "

This shows that women were free to make choices about their lives. The Prophet rejects coercion in marriage, but also a side-by-side life without real communication between the partners, as is common today in some Muslim spouses (but not only there). In another case, the Prophet requested divorce for a woman who had turned to him because she had been forced into marriage. It goes without saying that every girl, every woman, has the freedom to choose her own partner. Under no circumstances may she be forced to marry against her free will. The prophet of God acted in an exemplary and exemplary manner at a time when the fate of a young woman was dictated by her father or eldest brother. When a young woman who was about to be forced into marriage by her father complained to the Prophet, he took her by the hand and went with her to her parents. He explained to the father that his actions were not legitimate for Muslims and that his daughter had the right to decide for or against a candidate for herself. The father then turned to his daughter and asked her why she had turned this to the prophet. She said, "So that everyone can learn that Muslim women can choose their husbands themselves."

The prophet took an equally decisive stand against violence in marriage. “He never used violence against his wives or household helpers. Nor did he take revenge, ”reports his wife Aischa. When women complained that their husbands were harsh and violent towards them, he relentlessly addressed it: “Some women came to me and complained about the violence at home. The men who use violence should know that they are not good people. " “How bad is the man who beats his wife during the day and goes to bed with her in the evening! Please don't do that! " The prophet did not hide cases of domestic violence, but addressed them publicly, condemned them clearly and removed the taboo from the subject.

The Prophet Mohammed loved his only daughter Fatima very much and showed her that too. When she came home, he got up to kiss her. Even if a father should treat all children equally, he would have preferred them rather than the sons when it comes to caring for them: “Treat your children equally if you give them something. If I had to give priority to one gender over the other, I would give priority to female, ”he said.

Because he stood up for the weak and disadvantaged and in the society of that time women were socially and economically dependent and dependent, like orphans, he declared very decisively: “Oh God! You know that I declare the violation of the rights of the two weak, orphans and women, a grave sin and that I strongly warn people against any violation of their rights! "

He encouraged women to be present in public and encouraged them to do so. He required women to attend all community prayers. This was true even if the prayers were late at night. Women were just as naturally present at all Friday and festive prayers as men. There was no prayer in his mosque where women were excluded and only men were present. Nevertheless, this is exactly the case in many mosques today! The Prophet neither represented the position of many men, nor was he silent about it, but declared publicly: "You must not forbid your wives to visit the mosque!" Even as the area in the mosque intended for men became more and more crowded, he did not allow the Women’s area would have been released for men. In some mosques today, the areas are separated by a screen, or often even in separate rooms, which was not the case in the Prophet's mosque.

Umm Waraqa, a widow who knew the Koran by heart, was commissioned by the Prophet himself to lead the prayers in her family as an imam. A male slave belonged to her household, so she also acted as an imamine in front of a man to whom she was not related. With reference to this tradition, some influential scholars, such as Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal and Imam Ibn Teymiya, advocate that when a suitable man is not available, a woman can lead prayer for men. Aisha held a prominent position among the women of the community and led the prayers for them as imam. All of this presupposes that the Prophet expressly encouraged and asked women to be educated and qualified: “Acquiring knowledge is a duty for all Muslims”, regardless of gender. Indeed, there are many examples of the Prophet's wives taking on the role of teachers and lawyers who were consulted by men and women alike. One of the Prophet's wives, Hafsa, kept a complete and reliable collection of suras in her care, which, after the Prophet's death, became the basis for the first written copy of the Koran, and thus for all editions of the Koran to this day.

The political and social engagement of women is expressly desired in the Koran itself! In the so-called "Vow of Aqaba" women also swore the oath of allegiance, which is a thoroughly political act (60:12).

The prophetic tradition thus creates a healthy relationship between men and women: Both support each other, come together, communicate trustingly and respectfully with one another. Only a few of the numerous examples have been cited here that demonstrate this unequivocally. There is no clearer contradiction to all those who describe Islam as misogynistic, but also to those Muslims who pretend to follow the Prophet but oppress their wives, daughters and sisters. They stand in the worst possible contrast to the prophet, whom they should have for example and example!

But how, if the prophet himself was so exemplary towards women, could a misogynist discourse arise and such behavior spread so much?

The first period of Islam, during the Prophet's lifetime, was also the most progressive. It was shaped by Islamic values, which are both universal and generally human. Instead of faithfully following these authentic Islamic core values, Muslims mixed them up with their traditional customs, tribal traditions and cultures. If they had continued the reforms begun with the Koran and the example of the Prophet, instead of weakening them, stagnating and straying again, Muslim women would have experienced full equality before everyone else and would have been ahead of many other societies in this today.

Imam Dr. Benjamin Idriz