The position of Women

Equality and partnership of men and women

That men and women were created as equals is indicated by quotes from Bible and Qur’an. The quotes about the creation of humankind show that men and women were created together, or separately from one another and for one another, to live as pairs in mutual care and protection. Paul writes that through their faith in Jesus men and women are equal. The Qur’an states that it is equitable that the rights of women are similar to those of men.

In the stories men play the dominant role. However Martha Frederiks shows us several impressive Biblical woman who also play a remarkable role in the Qur’an. The first of these is the Biblical Eve, the mother of life. Referred to in the Qur’an as Adam’s wife, she receives the name Hawwa in Islamic tradition. Barbara Stowasser shows how the image of Hawwa became twisted into a negative Biblical mold. To Mary fell the high spiritual honor of giving virgin birth to Jesus. The Qur’an relates of her education at the hands of the priest Zacharias. Some Muslims see her as the equivalent of a prophet. The angel Gabriel gave to her God’s creative word as he did to Moses and Muhammad.

Jesus makes no distinction between men and women. He takes women very seriously, protecting them from such harsh treatment as stoning, or forced divorce. He calls a woman ‘the daughter of Abraham’, an honor that the Hebrew Bible reserves for men. Mary Magdalene is his close disciple, loyal to Jesus until the end, the first to see him resurrected from the dead. The Acts of the Apostles 7:12 recount the conversion of ‘not a few…prominent women.’

Although not mentioned in the Qur’an, Muhammad was first married to a highly independent and well-educated woman called Khadijah, who ran her own business. She helped him cope with his first revelations, gave him the financial space means to develop his new religion and became his first convert.


The oppression of woman is criticized both in Bible and Qur’an. In Genesis, the story of Paradise Lost implies that the actual dominance of men over women is a punishment, not an ideal situation. The Qur’an speaks with abhorrence about the gruesome habit of polytheists to bury their undesired baby girls alive. Women seem prone to mistreatment more than men. On the

other hand, the story of Moses shows that the physical strength of men can make them prone to slaughter.

Depending on translation and interpretation, it seems as if the supposed inferiority of women sometimes seeps into the Holy Books themselves. Thus, Paul refers to the creation of Eve out of Adam, and her responsibility for the first sin, as legitimate grounds for the dominance of men. (Paul to)1 Timothy 2:13-14

The Qur’an grants men and women similar rights but adds that men have a degree of right or advantage over them.

Hitting wives?

The Qur’an contains a much-debated passage in which a man is supposedly granted permission, if not ordered, to beat a disobedient wife. 4 The Women, 34 This passage has been used to legitimize much suffering on the part of women. However, it can and has been interpreted and translated in a variety of ways.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali, whose translation is used in this book, speaks of the duty of a man to protect and support his wife and of a woman to take responsibility in his absence. If she falls short, the husband may not resort to brutally venting his anger.

Even the comment in the Saudi Arabian authorized version of Yusuf Ali’s translation stresses that cruelty should be avoided.

Four steps mentioned are: Note 547 to 4 The Women, 34 p. 220

“1. Perhaps verbal advice or admonition may be sufficient

2. If not, sex relations may be suspended;

3. If this is not sufficient, some slight physical correction may be

administered; but Imam Shafi’I considers this unadvisable, and all

authorities are unanimous in depreciating any sort of cruelty,

even of the nagging kind.

4. If all this fails, a family council is recommended”.

This is a far cry both from the wife bashing that goes on both in Muslim and non-Muslim countries; and from Islam bashers would have us believe. On the contrary, the verse is an admonition to men to restrain themselves not correct their wives without good reason, without first trying to reason things out and observing a cooling-off period. Only if all this fails is the man authorized to administer at most a light blow, restraining himself from verbal violence. If she mends her ways, her husband may not harm her. In other words, a man must control himself.

Laleh Bakhtiar1 holds that the relevant word ‘wa’dribuhunna means ‘to go away’ rather that ‘to beat’, implying that the passage contains rules on initiating a divorce procedure. Ahmed Ali 2 translates the term as ‘to make love,’ as the camels do, by the male getting on top of the female.

Abou El Fadl argues that hitting one’s wife is ugly, running counter to the search for God’s beauty. He notes that the Prophet never hit his wives. p.108-9 Indeed, Muhammad forbade the hitting of any woman: “Never beat God’s handmaidens” . Abu Dawud, Al-Nasai, Ibn Majah and Ahmad

The ‘disobedience’ for which the wife is to be punished refers to God, not the husband. The women is to guard in her husband’s absence not what her husband, but ‘what Allah would have her guard.’ Disobedience to one’s mate cannot itself be held a sin. In some cases obedience to God might even call for saying no to a husband. The example in the Qur’an is that of the Pharaoh’s wife, who opposed her husband’s oppressive policies. So, the verse must refer to a grave transgression of divine rules rather than against the capricious will of the husband. As a tentative conclusion, (what more have human beings to offer?) Abou El Fadl, notes that in the case of such a grave transgression, it is up to the state, not the husband, to administer the punishment, after due process of course. 109-113

So there is quite a variety of translations and interpretations. None of them, however, sanctions brutal and uncontrolled violence against women.

The religious, social and economic position of women

What do the Books have to say on the position of women outside the family circle? The apostle Paul bars women from positions requiring speaking in church or perhaps even in public, such as teaching. 1 Timothy, 2:12 This has led Church authorities to reserve priesthood for males, although several Protestant denominations do permit women to hold positions of leadership. Although the Qur’an contains no comparable statement banning women from positions of responsibility, the position of Imam is reserved for males, at least when leading a male or mixed congregation. This is opposed by liberal Muslima’s. Thus, the internal debate within Christianity and within Islam on the acceptability of women leading religious ritual shows similarities, even though the Scriptures differ.

As for economic liberties, the Hebrew Bible presents a mixed picture. On the one hand, women are limited in their economic freedom, because their decisions are subject to the veto of their father or husband. On the other, Proverbs paints a picture of women as competent and independent in their economic dealings.

The Qur’an emphasizes the financial independence of women. They are paid for the work they do, just as men are. A married woman is free to dispose of her husband’s dowry as she sees fit. In Europe, the dowry, now a forgotten concept, used to be brought into the marriage by the woman, to be managed by her husband. In the Qur’an, the man offers the dowry to the woman for her own disposal. He is obliged to support his wife, especially during her maternity leave, which can last, should she desire, up to two years. She is not required to contribute to the family income. Divorced women and their children also have a right to support from the former husband. The obligation to support a wife and children can justify the inheritance by boys of twice as much as girls-a rule nowadays abrogated when women are financially independent.

In the Qur’an, some doubt is cast on a woman’s ability in the commercial sphere, since her trustworthiness to act as a witness is valued at half that of a man. This verse refers to commercial transactions, where women might have insufficient knowledge. In areas in which women are experts, a woman’s witness will be valued higher than that of a man. In any case, both sexes are eligible to serve as witnesses, asking for support from their own sex as the need arises.

The ambivalence of sex

Of course, sex plays a major role in male and female relationships. The evaluation of sex is ambivalent in both books: it can lead to joy and pain. The Song of Songs from the Hebrew Bible praises eroticism. speaks in the New Testament of a more sober and moral love between men and women. He warns against lust, which can bring with it a whole series of evils, from jealousy to murder. In the Qur’an, spouses are a gift of God. Their relationship is one of love and compassion. The earthly love between men and women can find its example and completion in Paradise. But, it can also lead men and women astray. One should resist temptation as Joseph did.


Therefore, sex should be limited to marriage. This point of view, strongly emphasized in both books, is understandable. At the time of writing, no effective contraceptives were available. In this way, marriage protects the unborn child from a miserable life as the bastard of an unmarried woman. Muhammad’s concern for children without parents is not surprising, given that his mother was widowed before his birth and died when he was still a boy. His position is not anti-sex as such. On the contrary. In the Qur’an, man fulfils his divine destiny in an erotically satisfying marriage. God does not demand celibacy, as practiced by Christian monks.

The book of Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible praises the good wife as a precious treasure on whom the husband depends. To Paul, marriage, desirable as a remedy for promiscuous lust, is a relationship of reciprocity. In the final analysis, however, celibacy is, for Paul, superior to marriage, which brings a whole set of new problems, deflecting one’s attention from God.

Paul and Islam

In both Christianity and Islam, Paul is a controversial character. He is honored as the architect of Christianity; his passages on love are often read at wedding ceremonies. However some Christians criticize Paul for reducing women to an inferior role and a negative view on homosexuals. The attitude of Muslims to Paul is also ambivalent. On the one hand, he is rejected as a ‘self acclaimed’ prophet, who pushed himself in between Jesus and Muhammad. Paul is seen as the corrupter of the original message of Jesus and is accused of creating a wedge between Christians and Muslims. Paul is understood to have written very negatively about Muhammad and the angel Gabriel who recited the Qur’an to him.

I pray that God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from our message to you! It doesn’t matter if that person is one of us or an angel from heaven. I have said it before, and I will say it again. I hope God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from what you have already believed.” Galatians 1:8-9

On the other hand, Muslims sometimes refer to Paul as St, short for Saint, and cite his letters in arguing for harsh policies toward women and homosexuals not found in the Qur’an. For instance, on a website from Iran, we read the following:

“The headcovers are clearly mentioned not in the Qur’an but in the BIBLE as St. Paul’s instructions: ‘But every Woman who prays or prophesies with HER HEAD UNCOVERED dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, LET HER BE COVERED.’ ”(Paul to the) 1 Corinthians 11:5-6 Imam Reza Network http://www.imamreza.net/eng/imamreza.php?id=6407

As for condemning homosexuals, St Paul’s letter to the Romans 1:22-27 is cited to explain the spread of AIDS as a rightful punishment of God for ´unnatural´ sex. www.imamreza.net/eng/imamreza.php?id=3280 As noted, the Qur’an contains no general condemnation of homosexuals and no specific condemnation of homosexual love. The Bible does.

Dress code

In the Qur’an, the dress code for men and women is linked to the ambivalent attitude toward sexual desire. So as to avoid seducing the other sex, both are required to dress and behave modestly in public, in order not to seduce the other sex. Clothing in the Qur’an does not have a primarily religious nor a hierarchical significance. The Qur’an is explicit about the need forwomen to cover their breasts, not about the need to cover their head. The relevant verses are open to diverse interpretations, as many as the variety of headgear worn by Muslimas. They often look to the Hadith for further guidance. Special attention is paid to the women of the Prophet, who must have been more vulnerable to assault than other women.

The Bible is more explicit about covering the head, but the motives are hierarchical, and religious women with hats express their subservience to the man and to God. Women should dress modestly, and, especially when going to church, should cover their head to express their subservience to the man and to Jesus. Some Muslims refer to Paul when arguing for Muslimas to cover their heads.


Motherhood plays an important role in both Books. In Genesis, the pain women may bear in delivery is explained as a punishment for the sin of Eve. The Qur’an mentions a mother’s pain as a good reason for her child to be kind to her. Proverbs says that children praise their mother with good reason.

The joys of motherhood are expressed in the stories about two remarkable women: Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Qur’an tells the same tale of the miracle of these unexpected pregnancies. The Qur’an says God is directly involved in the birth of every human and that He closely follows the beginning and end of each woman’s pregnancy.

In the Qur’an, children and grandchildren are gifts from God. Depending on the translation – and in line with the rejection of the murder of baby girls – this phrase is understood to include daughters and granddaughters.


Adultery is a threat to marriage and is strongly rejected in both Books. In the Hebrew Bible the punishment for adultery is stoning to death. Jesus rejects this, saying:

Let him who is without sin throw the first stone.”

In the Qur’an, the death penalty is reserved for murderers and those who cause wanton destruction. For adultery the punishment must therefore be milder. Both parties to adultery receive lashes of the whip, but only after due process, involving four witnesses instead of the usual two. They are allowed to remarry with other adulterers or unbelievers. If they repent, God is forgiving. Women are protected against false accusations.


In the Hebrew Bible, a man is allowed to cast out his wife simply by giving her a ‘divorce letter´ Jesus rejects this custom. The union between man and wife is sanctioned by God and cannot be broken by humans. Paul echoes the words of Jesus words by arguing that divorce is forbidden. Marriage is seen as a God given union that no man may break up.

Remarrying after divorce is considered tantamount to adultery. Divorce is allowed only if one’s partner is not a Christian.

The Qur’an also takes a stance against the ease with which men in those days could throw out their wives. Divorce is not encouraged, but is possible, after a just procedure. A woman has the right to complain about her husband, secure in the knowledge that God hears her words. If a man or a woman and their relatives have done everything they can to bring about reconciliation, they are entitled to ask for a divorce. This is granted only after a procedure that leaves room for reconciliation and protects the woman’s interests. In any event, nothing should be rushed as long as the woman could still be carrying the man’s child. Even after divorce, a man is obligated to support his wife and children. The interests of both parties are safeguarded as far as possible by the involvement of relatives from each side. The divorce should take place in a friendly atmosphere. Afterwards, both parties are allowed to remarry.


In the Hebrew Bible, having more than one official wife is described as a legitimate state for persons of wealth and high position. Kings such as David and Solomon were allowed many wives. Polygamy also has a social function. A married man may marry his brother’s wife after his death. However, a man with more than one wife may not give preferential treatment to the children of his favorite wife. In the New Testament, polygamy is not rejected outright, although monogamy becomes the norm, certainly for church officials.

In the Qur’an, polygamy is allowed for a social goal, i.e., to ensure that war widows and their children are provided for. Of course, the stepfather must take good care of both the children and their possessions. Because of the financial burden a marriage places on the man, the number of wives is limited to a maximum of four. A polygamist must treat his different wives equally in all respects, even though it is acknowledged that, in practice, this is impossible. Indeed polygamy is hardly practiced, and nowadays is often considered by the family as a shameful state. A woman can divorce if her husband takes another wife, especially when she has inserted this as a condition in her marriage contract.

Women in paradise?

In Bible and Qur´an, whoever believes and acts well is promised everlasting rewards. The differences concern the sexual state of the inhabitants of paradise. As Jesus says, sexual differences will evaporate in heaven. In the afterlife, men and women will be without sex, like angels. Erotic images used in the Bible in connection with heaven refer to the New Jerusalem, not to a woman.

On the other hand, the Qur’an explicitly promises deserving women an afterlife in Paradise, on the basis of their own merit. The Greek philosopher Plato, who represented the state of the art religious thought for centuries, reserves heaven for men, with noble women first to be reincarnated as male before reaching the stars. Plato Timaeus , 42B

The Qur’an invites women to strive for paradise to which they will be welcomed as women. There they can enjoy ecstatic happiness as men can. In the Gardens of Paradise, people retain their sex, experience rejuvenation, and dwell as loving couples.

Qur’an not as mysogynous as often thought

Thanks to extremists on both sides, the Qur’an has the reputation for misogyny. This chapter demonstrates that the Qur’an contains less oppressive statements about women than is often assumed. The Bible, on the other hand, contains more statements about the inequality of women than many Christians or Jews are prone to believe. If noticed at all, many Christians and Jews see these misogynic verses as outdated, abrogated by the principles of equality and love in the Bible and by generally-accepted human rights.

On the other hand, many Muslims seem to take inequality farther that the Qur’an allows. Might they be taking their cue from certain Bible passages rather than from their own Holy Book? On the basis of the Qur’an verse

“So if you are in doubt about what We have revealed to you, ask those who have been reading the scriptures before you.” 11 Hud,94, (Haleem 2004)

A Muslim must ask the People of the Book for advice when the Qur’an offers no conclusive statement. That gives Muslim interpreters a legitimate reason for turning to the more conservative passages on Women in the Bible. Ironically, the more liberally-minded People of the Book reject the oppressive verses about women in the Hebrew Bible and the Letters of Paul that fundamentalist Muslims unwittingly rely upon. In repressing women, the more traditionally-minded Muslims are, – to paraphrase the French saying, ‘plus royalist que le Roi’ ‘more royalist than the King’- more Biblically correct than the People of the Bible.

1 Laleh BakhtiarThe Sublime Qur’an, Kazi Publications Inc.

first translation by a Woman

2 Ahmed Ali, Al-Qur’an: A Contemporary Translation, Princeton University Press


Male and female equal
So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. Genesis 1:27

…the LORD made a woman out of the rib. The LORD God brought her to the man, and the man exclaimed, “Here is someone like me! She is part of my body, my own flesh and bones.” Genesis 2:22-23

Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are…a man or a woman. Galatians 3:28

Man and woman depend on each other

…men and women need each other. It is true that the first woman came from a man, but all other men have been given birth by women. 1 Corinthians 11:11-12

Slaughtering baby boys

…the king, (Pharaoh ed.) gave a command to everyone in the nation, “As soon as a Hebrew boy is born, throw him into the River Nile! But you can let the girls live.”

Exodus 1: 22

Herod…gave orders for his men to kill all the boys who lived in or near Bethlehem and were two years old and younger. Matthew 2:16

He will rule over you

Then the LORD said to the woman,

“You will suffer terribly when you give birth. But you will still desire your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16
(Adam said ed.) “She came from me, a man. So I will name her Woman!” Genesis 2:23

Women who claim to love God should do helpful things for others, and they should learn by being quiet and paying attention. They should be silent and not be allowed to teach or to tell men what to do. After all, Adam was created before Eve, and the man Adam wasn’t the one who was fooled. It was the woman Eve who was completely fooled and sinned. (Paul to) 1 Timothy 2:10-14
If you are a wife, you must put your husband first. 1 Peter 3:1

A wife should put her husband first, as she does the Lord. A husband is the head of his wife… When God’s people meet in church, the women must not be allowed to speak. They must keep quiet and listen, as the Law of Moses teaches. If there is something they want to know, they can ask their husbands when they get home. It is disgraceful for women to speak in church.

(Paul to the) Ephesians 5:22-23;1 Corinthians 14:33-35

Economic position of women

These are the laws that the LORD gave Moses about husbands and wives, and about young daughters who still live at home. Numbers 30: 16

Suppose a young woman who is still living with her parents makes a promise to the LORD…if he hears about it and objects, then she no longer has to keep her promise. The LORD will forgive her, because her father did not agree with the promise. Suppose a woman makes a promise to the LORD and then gets married…if her husband hears about the promise and objects, she no longer has to keep it, and the LORD will forgive her.

Numbers 30: 2-3, 5-6, 8,13

Women who claim to love God should do helpful things for others, and they should learn by being quiet and paying attention. They should be silent and not be allowed to teach or to tell men what to do. After all, Adam was created before Eve, and the man Adam wasn’t the one who was fooled. It was the woman Eve who was completely fooled and sinned. (Paul to) 1 Timothy 2:10-14

A truly good wife is… like a sailing ship that brings food from across the sea. She knows how to buy land and how to plant a vineyard, and she always works hard. She knows when to buy or sell, and she stays busy until late at night. She makes clothes to sell to the shop owners. She is strong and graceful…Her words are sensible, and her advice is thoughtful. Show her respect-praise her in public for what she has done. Proverbs 31: 10-11,14-18,24-26,31

Drunk with love; love is kind

Kiss me tenderly! Your love is better than wine, and you smell so sweet. All the young women adore you; the very mention of your name is like spreading perfume.

Songs of Solomon 1:2-3

And you, my love, are an apple tree among trees of the forest. Your shade brought me pleasure; your fruit was sweet. You…showered me with love. Refresh and strengthen me…

I am hungry for love! Song of Solomon 2:3-5
My darling, you are perfume between my breasts. Songs of Solomon 1:13

You are a princess, and your feet are graceful in their sandals. Your thighs are works of art, each one a jewel; your navel is a wine glass filled to overflowing. Your breasts are like twins of a deer. …your hair is so lovely it holds a king prisoner. You are beautiful, so very desirable! You are tall and slender like a palm tree, and your breasts are full. I will climb that tree and cling to its branches. I will discover that your breasts are clusters of grapes…Kissing you is more delicious than drinking the finest wine. Songs of Solomon 7:1-3 5-9

In the same way, a husband should love his wife as much as he loves himself. A husband who loves his wife shows that he loves himself. Ephesians 5:28

Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick-tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Dark side of love

Lusting for sex at pagan shrines has made you unfaithful to me, your God. Hosea 4:12

Don’t be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex. Colossians 3:5

If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. (Paul to the) Galatians 5:16-17,19

Marriage – flesh of my flesh

…and the man exclaimed. “Here is someone like me! She is part of my body, my own flesh and bones. She came from me, a man… That’s why a man will leave his own father and mother. He marries a woman, and the two of them become like one person. Genesis 2: 23-24

A truly good wife is the most precious treasure a man can find! Her husband depends on her, and she never lets him down. She is good to him every day of her life…Proverbs 31:10-12

It is true that anyone who desires to be a church official wants to be something worthwhile. That’s why officials must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage. 1 Timothy 3:1
Well, having your own husband or wife should keep you from doing something immoral. Husbands and wives should be fair with each other about having sex. A wife belongs to her husband instead of to herself, and a husband belongs to his wife instead of to himself. So don’t refuse sex to each other, unless you agree not to have sex for a little while, in order to spend time in prayer. Here is my advice for people who have never been married and for widows. You should stay single, just as I am. But if you don’t have enough self-control, then go ahead and get married.1 Corinthians 7:2-5, 8-9

A woman’s head to be covered
A woman should wear something on her head. It is a disgrace for a woman to shave her head or cut her hair. But if she refuses to wear something on her head, let her cut off her hair. Men were created to be like God and to bring honour to God. This means that a man should not wear anything on his head. Women were created to bring honour to men. It was the woman who was made from a man, and not the man who was made from a woman. He wasn’t created for her. She was created for him. And so, because of this…a woman ought to wear something on her head…
1 Corinthians 11:6-9

Women must not pretend to be men/ wear men’s clothing. The LORD your God is disgusted with people who do that. Deuteronomy 22:5

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
Don’t depend on things like fancy hairstyles or gold jewellery or expensive clothes to make you look beautiful. Be beautiful in your heart by being gentle and quiet. This kind of beauty will last, and God considers it very special. 1 Timothy 2: 9-10


The man Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. Genesis 3:20

Then the LORD said to the woman, “You will suffer terribly when you give birth. But you will still desire your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

…and the man Adam wasn’t the one who was fooled. It was the woman Eve who was completely fooled and sinned. But women will be saved by having children.

1 Timothy 2:14-15
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby moved within her. The Holy Spirit came upon Elizabeth. Then in a loud voice she said to Mary: God has blessed you more than any other woman! He has also blessed the child you will have. Luke 1:41-42

( A truly good mother ed.)…takes good care of her family and is never lazy. Her children praise her, and with great pride her husband says, “There are many good women, but you are the best!” Proverbs 31: 27-29

Monogamy preferable

After David moved to Jerusalem, he married more women…1 Chronicles 14:3

Suppose two brothers are living on the same property, when one of them dies without having a son to carry on his name…his widow…must marry her late husband’s brother…Deuteronomy 25:5

And the king must not have a lot of wives – they might tempt him to be unfaithful to the LORD. Deuteronomy 17:17

Well, having your own husband or wife should keep you from doing something immoral.

(Paul to the) 1 Corinthians 7:2

That’s why officials must have a good reputation and be faithful

(monogamous ed.) in marriage.

(Paul to) 1 Timothy 3:2

Sex outside marriage

Be faithful in marriage. Exodus 20:14

If any of you men have sex with another man’s wife, both you and the woman will be put to death. Leviticus 20:10
Suppose a man starts hating his wife soon after they are married. He might tell ugly lies about her, and say, “I married this woman, but when we slept together, I found out she wasn’t a virgin.” If this happens, the bride’s father and mother must go to the town gate to show the town leaders the proof that the woman was a virgin… if the man was right and there is no proof that his bride was a virgin, the men of the town will take the woman to the door of her father’s house and stone her to death.

Deuteronomy 22:13-15, 20-21
But I tell you that if you look at another woman and want her, you are already unfaithful in your thoughts. Matthew 5: 28

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses brought in a woman who had been caught in bed with a man who wasn’t her husband….they said (to Jesus ed.), “Teacher, this woman was caught sleeping with a man who isn’t her husband. The Law of Moses teaches that a woman like this should be stoned to death! What do you say?”

(Jesus ed.) stood up and said, “If any of you have never sinned, then go ahead and throw the first stone at her!” The people left one by one, beginning with the oldest. Finally, Jesus and the woman were there alone. Jesus…asked her, “Where is everyone? Isn’t there anyone left to accuse you?” “No sir,” the woman answered. Then Jesus told her, “I am not going to accuse you either.John 8: 3-11


Suppose a woman was divorced by her first husband because he found something disgraceful about her. He wrote out divorce papers, gave them to her, and sent her away. Deuteronomy 24: 1-4

Some Pharisees wanted to test Jesus. They came up to him and asked, “Is it right for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

Jesus answered, “Don’t you know that in the beginning the Creator made a man and a woman? That’s why a man leaves his father and mother and gets married. He becomes like one person with his wife. Then they are no longer two people, but one. And no one should separate a couple that God has joined together. I say that if your wife has not committed some terrible sexual sin, you must not divorce her to marry someone else. If you do, you are unfaithful.”

Matthew 19:3-9

I instruct married couples to stay together, and this is exactly what the Lord himself taught. A wife who leaves her husband should either stay single or go back to her husband. And a husband should not leave his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11
It is a terrible sin for a man to divorce his wife and marry another woman. It is also a terrible sin for a man to marry a divorced woman. Luke 16:18
A wife should stay married to her husband until he dies. 1 Corinthians 7:39

Men and women as angels

When God raises people to life, they won’t marry.

They will be like the angels in heaven. Matthew 22:30

Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband. Revelation 21: 2


Man and woman from one soul
It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his (her? ed.) mate of like nature, in order that he (she? Ed.) might dwell with her (him? ed. ( in love). 7 The Heights,189

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. 2 The Heifer, 228

Men and women in pairs

And Allah…made you in pairs.

35 The Originator of Creation, 11
The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another.9 Repentance,71

A daughter a disgrace?
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! With shame he hides himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! what an evil (choice) they decide on? 16 The Bee, 58-59

Men have an advantage

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. 2 The Heifer, 228

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, (to Allah ed.) and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard.

As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat (leave, or sleep with ed.) them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, do not seek against them means (of annoyance).

4 The Women,34

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 you do good and practice self-restraint, Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do. 4 The Women, 128

Economic position of women
Whoever works righteousness, man or woman…to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions. 16 The Bee, 97
To men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn.

4 The Women, 32
And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it and enjoy it with right good cheer. 4 The Women,4
The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years… the father… shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms. If they both decide on weaning…there is no blame on them. 2 The Heifer, 233

For divorced women maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous. 2 The Heifer, 241

From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large, -a determinate share.
Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children’s (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females. 4 The Women, 7,11

And get two witnesses, out of your men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as you choose, for witnesses. So that if one of them errs, the other can remind her. 2 The Heifer, 282

Love…hints of paradise

It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his (her? ed.) mate of like nature, in order that he (she? ed.) might dwell with her (him? ed.) (in love). 7 The Heights 189

And among His Signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts). 30 The Roman Empire, 21

Allah has promised to Believers, men and women, Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting bliss. 9, Repentance, 72

And (there will be) Companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes, – Like unto Pearls well-guarded.
And made them virgin – pure (and undefiled), – Beloved (by nature), equal in age, – For the Companions of the Right Hand.

Round about them will (serve) youths of perpetual (freshness)…

56 The Inevitable Event, 22-23; 36-38,17

Relativity of earthly love
Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: women…heaped-up hoards of gold and silver…Such are the possessions of this world’s life; but in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals…3 Al-‘Imran,14

“The wife of the (great) Aziz is seeking to seduce her slave (Joseph ed.) from his (true) self: Truly he has inspired her with violent love: we see she is evidently going astray.” 12 Yusuf, 30

Marriage – created in pairs
O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women.

4 The Women,1
He has made for you pairs from among yourselves… 42 The Consultation,11

And Allah has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature, …16 The Bee, 72

And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts). 30 The Roman Empire, 21

Marry those among you who are single…if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace. 24 the Light,32

We sent…Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy. But the Monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them… 57 The Iron, 27

Chastity and clothing
O you Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness, – that is the best. 7 The Heights, 26

Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them… Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.

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 (must 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…and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. 24 The Light, 30-31

O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. 33 The Confederates, 59

Read! (or Proclaim!) in the name of your Lord and Cherisher, Who created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood. 96 Read, 1-2

It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when you knew nothing. 16 The Bee, 78
He makes you, in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness. 39 The Crowds, 6
And no female conceives, or lays down (her load), but with His knowledge. 35 The Originator of Creation, 11
Allah knows what every female (womb) bears, by how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or do exceed.

Every single thing is before His sight, in (due) proportion.

13 The Thunder 8

We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.

46 The Winding Sand-tracts, 15

And Allah has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren… 16 The Bee,72

Polygamy, only if…

If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear you shall not be able to deal justly

(with them) then only one…to prevent you from doing injustice.

4 The Women, 3

You are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire. 4 The Women, 129

Sex outside marriage

Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste…24 The Light, 33

Nor come near to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils). 17 The Israelites, 32

The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, – flog each of them with a hundred stripes:

Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever.

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.

Those who slander chaste women, indiscreet but believing, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter: for them is a grievous Penalty.

24 The Light, 2-4, 23

A serious breach
Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who pleads with you concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to Allah and Allah (always) hears the arguments between both sides among you. 58 The Woman who Pleads, 1
If you fear a breach between them…appoint(two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation…

4 The Women, 35
Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods. Nor is it lawful for them to hide what Allah has created in their wombs… And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation.

2 The Heifer, 228

When you divorce women…do not turn them out of their houses…so give them a present. and set them free in a handsome manner. 65 The Divorce, 1; 33 The Confederates, 49
For divorced women maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous.

When you divorce women… do not prevent them from marrying…2 The Heifer, 241, 232

Men and women in paradise

If any do deeds of righteousness, be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Heaven… 4 The Women,124
Allah has promised to Believers, men and women, Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein…Gardens of everlasting bliss. 9 Repentance, 72
You enter the Garden, you and your wives, in (beauty and) rejoicing. 43 The Gold Adornments, 70