## Rebuttal to Agniveer: Islam and women’s right

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Agniveer’s Ist argument :

Women = Dog or Donkey or Pig or Black Dog

1. Narrated ‘Aisha: The things which annul prayer were mentioned before me (and those were): a dog, a donkey and a Woman.”  (Bukhari,V1B9N493)

2. Muhammad said: Cut off your prayer when a dog, an ass, a pig, a Jew, or a woman passes in front you, but it will suffice if they pass in front of you at a distance of over a stone’s throw.  (Book #2, Hadith #0704)

3.  The Messenger of ‘Allah said: …y prayer would be cut off by (passing of an) ass, woman, and black Dog. When he was asked about the specialty of black dog, he said: The black dog is a devil.  (Muslim, Book #004, Hadith #1032)

4. Believers, approach not prayers with a mind befogged or intoxicated until you understand what you utter, nor when you are polluted, until after you have bathed. If you are ill, or on a journey, or come from answering the call of nature, or you have touched a woman, and you find no water, then take for yourselves clean dirt, and rub your faces and hands. Lo! Allah is Benign, Forgiving. (Qur’an 4:43)

Response: ( By Karim )

Blue text = hadith quoted by the christian missionaries

Black text = islamic response and explanation of the hadith in question

Abu Dharr reported: THE MESSENGER OF ‘ALLAH (may peace be upon him) SAID: When any one of you stands for prayer and there is a thing before him equal to the back of the saddle that covers him and in case there is not before him (a thing) equal to the back of the saddle, HIS PRAYER WOULD BE CUT OFF BY (passing of an) ASS, WOMAN, AND BLACK DOG. I said: O Abu Dharr, what feature is there in a black dog which distinguish it from the red dog and the yellow dog? He said: O, son of my brother, I asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) as you are asking me, and he said: The black dog is a devil. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1032)

Response:

The translation given is practically unreadable, so I am translating it again:

Abd Allah ibn al-Samit said: Abu Dharr said: Allah’s Messenger — Allah bless and salute him! — said:

“When one of you stands in prayer, what definitely constitutes a barrier for him is an object placed in front of him of the same height as the back of a camel-saddle. If it is not in front of him and of the same height as the back of a camel-saddle, then some [stray] donkey, or some woman passing, or some black dog will cut off his prayer.” I said: “O Abu Dharr! What is it that makes a black dog different from a red or yellow dog?” He replied: “O dear cousin! I asked Allah’s Messenger — Allah bless and salute him! — the exact same question. He said that the black dog is a devil.”

Notes on the legal rulings based on this hadith and its meaning:

The passing of the above-mentioned in front of the person at prayer does not invalidate his prayer according to the vast majority of the Imams of Law, Salaf and Khalaf (early and late authorities) who concur that the meaning of “will cut off his prayer” is not literal but means: “will make his prayer imperfect” due to the distraction they will cause in people’s hearts, while Imam Ahmad considered that only the passing of a black dog actually invalidates it. This was mentioned by Imam al-Nawawi in Sharh Sahih Muslim and al-Mubarakfuri in Tuhfa al-Ahwadhi.

In other words the hadith does not view women as impure or equal to animals, thats nonsense, what the hadith ment is that women who pass by in front of a praying person , can distract that person during his prayer (which would make his prayer imperfect) , just like a dogg will distract his prayer. It’s like beauty and the beast, the beauty can distract his attention (due to it’s beauty) and the beast can distract his attention (due to it’s smell or sound/wildness etc) .

Abu Huraira reported: THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH (may peace be upon him) SAID: A WOMAN, AN ASS AND A DOG DISRUPT THE PRAYER, but something like the back of a saddle guards against that. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1034)

‘Urwa b. Zubair reported: ‘A’isha asked: What disrupts the prayer? We said: THE WOMAN AND THE ASS. Upon this she remarked: IS THE WOMAN AN UGLY ANIMAL? I lay in front of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) like the bier of a corpse and he said prayer. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1037)

Response:

Again the hadith doesn’t say ‘nullify’ but ‘disrupt’ which in the other hadith quoted before is explained as ‘will cut off his prayer’ , which means ‘“will make his prayer imperfect” due to the distraction they will cause in people’s hearts.

Interestingly, Urwa ibn Zubair was Aisha’s nephew!

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
Qatadah said: I heard Jabir ibn Zayd who reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas; and Shu’bah reported the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) as saying: A menstruating woman and a dog cut off the prayer. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 2, Number 0703)

Response:

This hadith shows that there is no difference between a menstruating or menstruating women, both can disrupt person his prayer, since it all had to do with distraction (see Imam nawawi’s sharch sahih muslim) in these hadith. The reason why this hadith uses the word ‘menstruating’ women is because women are not allowed to pray during menstruation and therefor the women that would pass by in front of the praying men (during their 5 times a day obligated prayer) were menstruating women, thats why the prophet said ‘a menstruating women’. The fact that other hadith narrations don’t use the word ‘menstruation’ proof that the hadith in question all has to do with things that can distract a person during his prayer. The menstruation itself has nothing to do with the issue of distraction during prayer, since the prophet (saw) himself prayed while his menstruating wife aicha (ra) was laying in bed in front him, and secondly since the prophet (saw) recited the quran while his menstruating wife aicha was close to him. The prophet (saw) also touched the clothes of his menstruating wife Maimuna during prayer.

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: I was sleeping in front of the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) with my legs between him and the qiblah. Shu’bah said: I think she said: I was menstruating. ( Sunan Abu Dawud Book 2, Number 0710 )

Narrated Maimuna: (the wife of the Prophet) During my menses, I never prayed, but used to sit on the mat beside the mosque of Allah’s Apostle. He used to offer the prayer on his sheet and in prostration some of his clothes used to touch me.” ((Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 6, Number 329)

Narrated ‘Aisha:  “The Prophet used to recite the Quran with his head in my lap while I used to be in my periods (having menses).  (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, ONENESS, UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH (TAWHEED), Volume 9, Book 93, Number 639)”

Aisha reported:  “The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) would recline in my lap when I was menstruating, and recite the Qur’an.  (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Menstruation (Kitab Al-Haid), Book 003, Number 0591)”

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
Ikrimah reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas, saying: I think the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: When one of you prays without a sutrah, A DOG, AN ASS, A PIG, A JEW, A MAGIAN, AND A WOMAN CUT OFF HIS PRAYER, but it will suffice if they pass in front of him at a distance of over a stone’s throw. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 2, Number 0704)

Response:

All these things clearly proof that it all has to do with distraction (things that mostly would distract a man during prayer) and nothing else. The thins mentioned by the prophet (saw) in this hadith could mostly distract a person during prayer (women are mentioned, because a menstruating women does not have to pray, and therefor most likely would pass by in front of a man during prayer, since all persons are obligated to pray, except the menstruating women) . A jew could distract a muslim during praying due to his typical outstanding jewish look (the long white beards/jewisch clothes etc. ) , also many jews and muslims were rivals back then (due to wars etc.) , seeing ones rival could off course distract oneself during prayer. The pig could distract the praying person due to its bad smell and loud sound, the magian could distract the praying person due to his outstanding look, the women could distract a person due to their beauty (while he should be 100% with his mind to Allah swt during prayer instead of women or other things) , in other words all these thoughts ‘“will make his prayer imperfect” due to the distraction they will cause in people’s hearts.

Conclusion:

The hadith in question do not compare women at all with animals, secondly the hadith in question talks about things that mostly distract men from prayer, in other words it’s all about distraction and not about menstruation (since the prophet touched the clothes of his menstruating wife during prayer etc) or impurity of animals, this is not the point here. Let us take a final look again at the main hadith, and summarize all:

Abd Allah ibn al-Samit said: Abu Dharr said: Allah’s Messenger — Allah bless and salute him! — said:

“When one of you stands in prayer, what definitely constitutes a barrier for him is an object placed in front of him of the same height as the back of a camel-saddle. If it is not in front of him and of the same height as the back of a camel-saddle, then some [stray] donkey, or some woman passing, or some black dog will cut off his prayer.” I said: “O Abu Dharr! What is it that makes a black dog different from a red or yellow dog?” He replied: “O dear cousin! I asked Allah’s Messenger — Allah bless and salute him! — the exact same question. He said that the black dog is a devil.”

Notes on the legal rulings based on this hadith and its meaning:

The passing of the above-mentioned in front of the person at prayer does not invalidate his prayer according to the vast majority of the Imams of Law, Salaf and Khalaf (early and late authorities) who concur that the meaning of “will cut off his prayer” is not literal but means: “will make his prayer imperfect” due to the distraction they will cause in people’s hearts, while Imam Ahmad considered that only the passing of a black dog actually invalidates it. This was mentioned by Imam al-Nawawi in Sharh Sahih Muslim and al-Mubarakfuri in Tuhfa al-Ahwadhi.

A’isha said:

Are you [the narrator of that hadith] equating us [women] with dogs and donkeys? It happened to me more than once that I was lying down in bed, and the Prophet — Allah bless and salute him! — would come in, the bed being between us, and pray. Disliking to stand up in his face, I would slink down towards the bottom of the bed until I cleared my bedcover.”

Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari mentioned that al-Bukhari adduced this hadith to show that the fact that a man at prayer faces a woman does not necessaily distract him.

Among the benefits of A’isha’s narration of the Prophet’s behavior — Allah bless and salute him — are the following:

1. An important elaboration on the general legal rulings inferred from the previous hadith, specifying that distraction is not an inevitable fact for all people. This is confirmed by another narration from `A’isha in Bukhari states that at other times she would continue to sleep, and that the Prophet — Allah bless and salute him — would touch her lightly upon prostrating so that she would withdraw her legs to make way for him, then she would stretch them again when he got up.

2. The clarification that women are less likely to cause distraction because they can take care to avoid whatever causes it, especially a spouse, as this situation is the likeliest to occur frequently in the life of Muslims.

3. The teaching that one should not mindlessly equate women with animals in the course of relating this authentic hadith.

Osama’s note:

In other words it’s all about distraction (things that can distract a man during prayer, which would make his prayer less perfect) , a beautifull women can distract a man during prayer, just like a stinking ass or wild dogg can distract a man during prayer, this does not mean that women and asses/dogs are viewed equal (which is a redicilous claim) , it’s beauty and the beast, but both can distract a man during prayer. The fact that women are singled out in the hadith quoed by christian missionaries has to do with the fact , that women more likely can distract a men from prayer , then muslim-men can do to other muslim-men (when a man for example is offering an extra prayer on the street somewhere, cause normally during the 5 obligated prayer-times, all muslims have to pray, except menstruating women or little children) . However every person has it’s own nature and weakness, some can easily get distracted (even by other muslim-men) during prayer while others not, thats why the general rule is that nobody should pass by a praying person , women AND MEN.

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 9, Number 489 Narrated Busr bin Said: that Zaid bin Khalid sent him to Abi Juhaim to ask him what he had heard from Allah’s Apostle about a person passing in front of another person who was praying. Abu Juhaim replied, “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘If the person who passes in front of another person in prayer knew the magnitude of his sin he would prefer to wait for 40 (days, months or years) rather than to pass in front of him.” Abu An-Nadr said, “I do not remember exactly whether he said 40 days, months or years.”

Here the prophet clearly tells us that such a person (could be man or woman) would commit a sin, why would he commit a sin ? Off course because he probably could distract a person during prayer, which could ‘cut off’ that persons prayer (make his prayer less perfect or imperfect) . So both men and women can distract a person during prayer, which would ‘cut off’ / make less perfect ‘ someones prayer. The reason that women are sometimes singled out in a hadith, is because a beautifull women more likely distracts a man from prayer then an ordinary muslim-man and secondly in most cases during the normal 5 times a day obligated prayer, all men have to pray except menstruating women, thats why the prophet pointed out to ‘menstruating women’ in the hadith and not to men, since they are obligated to pray.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 9, Number 487 & 488: Narrated Abu Salih As-Samman: I saw Abu Said Al-Khudri praying on a Friday, behind something which acted as a Sutra. A young man from Bani Abi Mu’ait, wanted to pass in front of him, but Abu Said repulsed him with a push on his chest. Finding no alternative he again tried to pass but Abu Said pushed him with a greater force. The young man abused Abu Said and went to Marwan and lodged a complaint against Abu Said and Abu Said followed the young man to Marwan who asked him, “O Abu Said! What has happened between you and the son of your brother?” Abu Sa’id said to him, “I heard the Prophet saying, ‘If anybody amongst you is praying behind something as a Sutra and somebody tries to pass in front of him, then he should repulse him and if he refuses, he should use force against him for he is a satan.’ ”

Here again we clearly see that a prayer can be distracted by anybody (men and women) who passes by in front of the praying person, the prophet clearly said: anybody ( ALSO MEN ! ) , so again the claim that ‘ women are compared to doggs/asses ‘ is foolishness and not true, since the hadith in question quoted by the christian missionaries only talks about things that can distract a man during prayer, this can also be man.

Allah Almighty knows best. Blessings and peace on the best of creation, our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his Family and all his Companions.

Agniveer’s IInd Argument :

Women are like horse (Evolution of Islam!)

Readers would be thinking that how one can compare women with dogs and pigs, but since Islam is humanitarian; it also has something, which is better than dogs and pigs to compare!

5.  Allah’s Messenger had said. If bad luck is a fact, then it is in the horse, the woman and the house.  (Muslim, Book #026, Hadith #5526)

6. The Prophet said: There is no hamah, no infection and no evil omen; if there is in anything an evil omen, it is a house, a horse, and a woman.  (Muslim, Book #26, Hadith #5524)

Response : ( By Karim)

the Hadith mentioned above has come in most of the major books of Hadith in the words near to the ones quoted here. However, the following text of it contained in the sixth volume of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hambal’s Musnad presents the true picture in this regard:

• Abu-Hassan reports that two people came to A’ishah and said to her that Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Prophet used to say that bad luck is to be found only in women, horses and houses. At this A’ishah replied: By the God who revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet! The Prophet never said this; what he did say was that the People of the Jahilliyyah hold this opinion…

It is evident from this text of the Hadith that this saying has been erroneously attributed to the Prophet (sws).
He had actually quoted the views held by the people of Jahilliyyah (age of ignorance)

It is actually Vedic religion which has deprived basic rights of women and made them equivalent to dogs and pigs, read the article Women in Hinduism for more information.