O our Shaykh, we have heard that some of the women present within some of the universities, schools, and colleges or some of the women who deliver lectures, (give) lessons or even recite the Qur’aan specifically on the morning broadcasts (we have heard that) these women’s husbands are never able to enjoy them because they are Mutarajjilaat (i.e. they imitate men or are masculine). We would like some clarity from you as it relates to this question.
The principle as it relates to this issue is a poor upbringing. From the reasons for the poor upbringing is the corruption of the society and corruption of the curriculums which the education of the men and women or male and female youth is predicated upon their foundation. That is because the female students in the schools, I am almost certain, have not heard the likes of his (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) statement:
لعن الله الرَجُلة من النساء
“May Allaah curse the manly women.”
Likewise, the other Hadeeth which ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated saying: “Allaah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) cursed the men who resemble women and the women who resemble men.” I believe that the female students who graduate from the high schools or from that which is above that, then likes of this Hadeeth or that Hadeeth (the first one) has not crossed their ears. And if it be that either of them has crossed their ears on any day, then it is from that which goes in one ear and out of the other ear. Because the curriculums which are taught or the lessons which are given on the basis of them do not allow the teacher, even if she may be religious, to go over the likes of this subject.
It is known within the legislation, and according to the people who have knowledge regarding it, that the basic principle with the man is that he goes out of his home to work for the benefit of his family and his children. On the contrary, the basic principle regarding the woman is that she remains sheltered within her house and that she does not go out of it acting in accordance with the statement of her Lord, the Blessed and High:
وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى
“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance…” (Al-Ahzaab 33:33)
So when the woman came to be like the man; going out in the morning, and returning in the evening; then she came to be, in that, similar to the man whether she knows it or not and whether she realizes it or not.
Due to this, we have not returned in these later times to seeing the adolescent virgin girls who are ashamed to let their vision fall upon a man. Rather, she, from the severity of her modesty, would cast her vision to the ground to look at her footsteps while she is walking. We have not returned to seeing this young lady who, the likes of her, was well known; even during the times of pre-Islamic ignorance, not to mention during the era of the early, radiant, pure Al-Islaam. In this vein, there has come within the Saheeh, in description of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) that he: “Was shyer than a virgin within her dwelling.”
This virgin to whom the leader of mankind (alayhis-salatu was-salaam) has been compared in his shyness, we have not returned to hearing about her in this time of ours. That is because in most instances the women resemble the men. There is no doubt that there are many reasons for this. From the most prominent of them, is the rule of the governments of the Kuffaar over many of the Islaamic lands, so that their habits, traditions, tastes, and their manners which are contrary to the upright disposition have spread therein. So the generations of people have inherited them and the male and female professors who claim to guide (the youth) have accepted them. All of these (people) have spread amongst this upcoming generation of young men and young ladies what they refer to as equality between women and men. So this is from the reasons from the spread of the scanty amount of modesty amongst the women which has made many of them to be masculine. From that in which there is no doubt is that the manliness of the woman makes her have a presumptive personality in front of her husband; perhaps raise her voice at him, and maybe she will humiliate him in front of some of his or her relatives (out of supposed) superiority on her part over her husband.
Where is this as it relates to that which has come in the farewell advice of the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) to the man regarding the women? This is substantiated by his (alayhis-Salaam) statement using a justification which is in complete opposition to the upbringing which we see in this present time. That is his (alayhis-Salaam) statement:
استوصوا بالنساء خيرًا ، فإنهن عوانٍ عندكم
“Treat the women well, for they are ‘awaan to you.”
The point of reference is that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) when he ordered with good treatment to the women in this Hadeeth, he (alayhis-Salaam) justified that by his statement:
فإنهن عوانٍ عندكم
“…for they are ‘awaan to you.”
Meaning, they are like slaves. The slave is not able to do anything with his master. Likewise, is the Muslim woman who conducts herself with the correct Islaamic manners. She is, with her husband, like a slave.
Due to this, he (alayhis-Salaam) feared for the men to be excessive, in this befitting description, towards the women and thus wield authority over them, compelling them, and oppressing them. For this reason he ordered with good treatment towards the women and me mentioned a reason for that; and that (reason) is his statement:
فإنهن عوانٍ عندكم
“…for they are ‘awaan to you.”
The women today have become such that the men are not in need of advice regarding them. Rather, the affair has changed and become such that the women are in need of being advised to treat the men well because they have become independent in their jobs and in their liberties. We often hear from some of them:“There is no difference therein between me and my husband. He is a spouse and I am a spouse. He is a partner and I am a partner with him in life.”
So it is upon the Muslim women who cling to their religion that if they are tried with anything from mixing with this society, that they try to save themselves from being affected by anything from this filth which many of the women have fallen into because of what we have mentioned from corruption in the upbringing and corruption of the society. This is a reminder and the reminder benefits the believer. As-Salaamu Alaykum.
May Allaah reward you with good, wa Alaykum As-Salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh.
Translated By: Raha ibn Donald Batts