SHOULD A WOMAN SPEAK IN PUBLIC?
Karimah bint Dawood, muslim chaplain, well being writer.
As salaam alaikum, I was recently sent this excellent paper, SHOULD A WOMAN SPEAK IN PUBLIC? by the Da‟wah Institute of Nigeria, I have emailed them to ask permission to copy on to my blog but their email address is not valid any more.
This is an exert from the paper which presents pro and cons for this theme, I am forwarding this as a little taster of a paper worth reading mashallah.
A Woman Speaking in places of worship
In a well-known incident during the Caliphate of „Umar ibn al-Khattab, a woman openly disagreed with him in the mosque over the issue of limiting the value of the bridal gift (mahr) given in marriage. Being convinced of her argument, „Umar agreed with her and publically reversed his opinion. He even went so far as declaring, “… everyone‟s knowledge is better than mine”.10 In another version, „Abdul-Razaq cites „Umar as saying, “A woman debated with „Umar and outdid him in the debate.”11
Had the voice of a woman been part of her „awrah, and had women been prohibited from speaking in public, or in the mosque, the lady would surely have been corrected by „Umar or any of the several Companions present.12
10 Tafsir Ibn Kathir 1/468
11 Tafsir Ibn Kathir 7/180. A similar narration is found in Ibn Hajr‟s Fath al-Bari, vol.9, p.191; cited in Afzalur Rahman, The Role of Muslim Woman in Society (London: Seerah Foundation, 1986), p.79
12 Prohibiting women from speaking in church is a teaching found in early Christianity, as observed in the New Testament of the Bible, 1Corinthians 14:34-35 that, “As in all the Churches of the Saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” This is a view that is not found in any of the two foundational sources of Islamic Law (i.e. the Qur‟an and Sunnah
Da‟wah Institute of Nigeria
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