By Mirza Ahamat –May 6, 2017
All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulema pronouncements to the Proposed Amendments to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, strongly resisted by the Muslim majority.
Woman’s equality to Man enshrined in the Holy Quran.
To the Proposed Amendments to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce act the pronouncements of the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulema (ACJU) that Women are not worthy of being appointed as Qazis and there is no need for review of the marriageable age for women, had sparked off a wave of protests among Women’s organization and the concerned Muslim public in general. ACJU’s contention is that the law is perfect in its present form and so no need for reform. The decision to debar women seeking appointment as Qazis has been based on a Hadeeth that according to knowledgeable sources is not relevant and does not specifically relate to the suitability of women’s appointment as Qazis. A very comprehensive study on the subject had been undertaken by eminent Islamic scholars and made presentations through the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) to the UN conference on Women Beijin 1995. One paper titled the Status of women in Islam by Dr Jamal Badawi and another paper titled Woman and Family life in Islam, portraying the status rights and role of the Muslim woman according to basic sources of Islam presented by WAMY. Every aspect on the subject had been dealt meticulously in the presentations dispelling any doubts and ambiguities surrounding the subject. Some of the features of the presentation are put forward to enlighten the Sri Lanka Muslim community the right perspectives on the issues involved.
Womans equality with man supported in the Holy Quran
Any fair investigations of the teachings of Islam or into the history of Islamic
Civilization will surely find clear evidence with Woman’s equality with man in what we call today as Political rights. This includes right of Election as well as nomination to political offices. It also includes women right to participation in public affairs.
Although not mentioned in the Quran one Hadeeths of the Prophet is interpreted to make a woman ineligible for the position of head of State. The Hadeeth referred is roughly translated “A people will not prosper if they let a woman be their leader”.
This limitation has nothing to do with the dignity of woman or with her rights It is rather related to natural differences in the biological and psychological make up of men and women.
According to Islam the Head of State is no mere figure head. He leads people in prayer especially on Fridays and festivities. He is continuously engaged in the process of decision making pertaining to the security and the well being of the, people. This demanding position or any other similar one such as the Commander of the Army is generally inconsistent with the psychological and physiological make up of woman in general. It is a medical fact that during the monthly periods and during their pregnancies women undergo various Psychological and physiological changes. Such changes may occur during an emergency situation thus affecting her decision without considering the excessive strain which is produced. Moreover some decisions require a maximum of rationality and a minimum of emotionality, a requirement which does not coincide with the instinctive nature of women.
Even in modern times and in most developed countries it is rare to find a woman in the position of Head of state acting as more than a figure head, a woman commander of the armed forces even a proportionate number of women representatives in parliaments or similar bodies. One cannot possibly ascribe this to the backwardness of various nations or to any constitutional limitations on women’s rights. To be in such a position as head of State or as a member of Parliament. It is more logical to explain the present situation in terms of the natural and indisputable difference between man and woman, a difference which does not imply supremacy of one over the other. The difference implies rather complementary role of both sexes in life.
Man and woman are physical forms of the same soul
The Quran the final and eternal guide of all mankind makes it very clear that man and woman are two physical forms of the same soul hence no original difference between them.God declares in the very opening verse, aptly entitled chapter An Nissa.
O Mankind ! Be conscious of your Sustainer who has created you out of one living entity and out of it created its mate and out of the two spread abroad a multitude of men and women. And remain conscious of God, in whose name you demand ( your rights) from one another and of these ties of kinship. Verily God is ever watchful over you! An Nisa 4 1
The divine declaration has spelled an end to the discrimination against women, in that the whole mankind is the offspring of a single human soul and originally everyone man and woman has the same descent and no one is nobler or meaner by birth. It has made it clear that all human beings man and woman are servants of the True God. Therefore they should worship and serve Him ,Islam thus dismissed the notion that man is more honored for being a man and a woman is inferior for being a woman.