Islamic Research

Some Criticism Against Feminism

Here is some of the criticism of the Islamic Scholars against feminism.

Feminism is defined as “the belief in the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes” []

However, Islam beliefs women are not like men.

Allah says:

لَيْسَ الذَّكَرُ كَالاٍّنثَى

And the male is not like the female [3:36]

Imam ash-Shanqeeti (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “The wife of Imran said “and the male is not like the female” and she is truthful in that without a doubt. And the disbelievers and their followers say: ‘men and women are the same’. No doubt every intelligent one would attest to this denial [in the verse] and deny this affirmation [that men are like women]” [Adwaa al-Bayyan (7/633). See: al-Idahaatul-Muwthiqah pg. 204]

It is important to note that this statement was said by the mother of Maryam (may peace be upon her) who happens to be a woman.

Shaikh Ahmad Shakir (may Allah have mercy upon him) said commenting on [4:34] of the Quran:

As for the women of our era, then they have become full of pride, vanity, and transgression due to our enemies from the colonizers who impart on to them an immoral, wicked education. So they claim for themselves the right to have equality to men in everything of their apparent affairs. They are in reality arrogant and tyrants. They want to rule men outside of the house and they transgress the Islamic legislation. Even in what is clear in the texts of the Quran and Sunnah, rather they want to be judges and occupy the affairs of men which is not for them, and remove themselves from what Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) have commanded. They disbelieve [in the notion] that men are the protectors and maintainers of women [4:34] and in also in the Hadith:

لَنْ يُفْلِحَ قَوْمٌ وَلَّوْا أَمْرَهُمْ اِمْرَأَةً

A people who make a woman their ruler will never be successful [al-Bukhari (no. 1409)]

until they have become greedy and seek to obtain the position of judges and other than it. They are helped by men who merely resemble men” [Umdatul-Tafseer (pg. 1500). See: al-Idahaatul-Muwthiqah pg. 205]

While women are not equal to men in all affairs, they are equal in some affairs. There are forms of worship specific for each gender in accordance to their differences. However, men and women are both rewarded by Allah for the good they do.

Imam Ibn ul-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) wrote: “Chapter: the wisdom in the equality between a man and woman in some affairs of the religion and not others. As for his statement: ‘man and women are equal in the physical forms of worship, in the corporal punishment, but the woman was given half in regards to blood money, witnessing, and in relation to the ‘aqeeqah’, then this also is the perfection of the Legislation and its wisdom and kindness. For the benefit in the physical forms of worship and the benefit of punishments is shared between men and women. The need for one of two groups is like the need of the other. So it is not befitting to separate between them [in relation to that]. Yes, they are differentiated in the appropriate places like in regards to the [obligation] of the Friday prayer and the congregational prayers. So men are obliged to come unlike women because they are not the people who emerge, go out, and mix with men. Likewise they are differentiated in the worship of fighting in the way of Allah in which women are not its people. However, they are equal in the obligation of hajj due to both requiring its benefit and in the obligation of Zakat, fasting, and purification…” [‘Ilaam al-Muwaqi’een (2/104). See: al-Idahaatul-Muwthiqah (pg. 209-210)]

The feminists call for many things that oppose the legislation of Islam and only reinforce the underlying belief that men are equal to women in the various spheres of life.

Shaikh Bakr Abu Zaid (may Allah have mercy upon him) wrote that feminism hopes to achieve the following objectives in the Muslim world:

  1. “[Feminism] calls to the removing of the Hijab from the face (i.e. the Niqab) and to change the Jilbab to what is called the ‘Abayah. This is a mouthpiece to calling for the removal of the Hijab from the body and towards the wearing of alluring clothing in all its types: alluring in its form, towards nakedness by wearing short clothing, towards tight clothing that describes the body parts, and which is transparent making the woman’s body visible. It calls to the imitation of men in clothing and to the imitation of disbelieving women in clothing
  2. [It] calls to move women from being veiled in the houses away from strangers to free-mixing in all spheres of life
  3. [It] calls for the integration of women in all spheres of life. This is a call for women to be in the streets and public places uncovered, showing off their charms . . .” [Harraastul-Fadilah (pg. 96)]

These are just some of the un-Islamic calls of Feminism. This is because Feminism is a secular movement that is far away from religion. The above matters directly challenge the commands of Allah and his Messenger (ﷺ). For example, the imitation of men by women.

The Prophet (ﷺ) cursed women who imitate men and vice versa:

‏ لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المتشبهين من الرجال بالنساء، والمتشبهات من النساء بالرجال‏ ‏

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) cursed men who copy women and cursed women who copy men [al-Bukhari (no. 5885)]

Hafidh Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:

at-Tabari (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: the meaning is that it is not allowed for men to resemble women in clothing and adornment that is specific to them and vise versa. I (Ibn Hajar) say: likewise in terms of speech and walk . . .” [Fathul-Bari (13/381)]

That is why the son of Shaikh Hammad al-Anaasri (may Allah have mercy upon him) said regarding women’s liberation:

سمعت الوالد يقول : يقولون اليوم : تحرير المرأة ، بل هو تخريب المرأة

I heard my father (Shaikh Hammad al-Ansaari) say: “Today they say: women’s liberation, rather it is the sabotage of women

[Majmoo’ al-Tarjumah al-‘Allamah Hammad ibn Muhammad al-Ansaari (2/556)]

And Allah Know Best

Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan

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