Does Islam consider Women equal to dogs?


This article is a response to the critics who misquote the following Hadith

Narrated ‘Aisha: The things which annual prayer were mentioned before me (and those were): a dog, a donkey and a woman. I said, “You have compared us (women) to donkeys and dogs. By Allah! I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in (my) bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I disliked to sit and trouble the Prophet. So, I would slip away by the side of his feet.”

 

This article has three rebuttals taken from different websites
First rebuttal: Does Islam consider women like donkeys and dogs?

Second rebuttal: Response to: women, dogs & Islamic prayer

Third rebuttal: Response to suggestion by WikiIslam that Women are considered equal to dogs in Islam

Does Islam consider women like donkeys and dogs?

http://www.letmeturnthetables.com/2008/08/does-islam-consider-women-like-donkeys.html

It has been observed that many anti-Islamic sites are misquoting a Hadith and polluting the innocent minds about the noble faith of Islam.The translation of the Hadith goes as;

Narrated ‘Aisha: The things which annul prayer were mentioned before me (and those were): a dog, a donkey and a woman. I said, “You have compared us (women) to donkeys and dogs. By Allah! I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in (my) bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I disliked to sit and trouble the Prophet. So, I would slip away by the side of his feet.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 484)

They argue that as here woman, dogs & donkeys are mentioned together so this is a degradation of women.

The notion is refuted in the very same tradition:

Infact if one is in his senses than the very text of the Hadith shows that its not Islam that-God Forbid!!- considers women as donkeys or dogs but it was the understanding of certain people whom Sayyidah Aisha (RA) rebuked. Again read the translation of the Hadith with special attention to the words emphasized.

Narrated ‘Aisha: The things which annul prayers were mentioned before me (and those were): a dog, a donkey and a woman. I said, “You have compared us (women) to donkeys and dogs. By Allah! I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in (my) bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I disliked to sit and trouble the Prophet. So, I would slip away by the side of his feet.”(Bukhari , Hadith 484)

It’s plain enough that some people mentioned the things which, according to their understanding, annulled prayers and they mentioned “dog, donkey & woman”.But then Sayyidah Aisha (RA) rebuked them by saying “You have compared us (women) to donkeys and dogs” and then she clarifies that this not something taught by the Messenger of ALLAH (pbuh) as, she said; “By Allah! I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in (my) bed between him and the Qibla.”So where is the confusion? The problem is the same that I often mention that these missionaries, these devil incarnates yell such obscenities only in an attempt to get rid of their frustration that they have when they see Islam as the fastest growing religion of the world.

Other Hadith and meaning of the ‘annulment of Salah’:

Now some people may bring some more Ahadith from the Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself like the following;

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: Ikrimah reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas, saying: I think the Messenger 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.” (Abu Dawud, Hadith 703. Albani classified it as Da’if)

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.” (Muslim, Hadith 790)

But even these Ahadith never mean that these things annul the prayers, it only means that they can divert ones attention, they disrupt the prayers.

Imam Nawawi, a famous Scholar writes in his commentary to this hadith from Sahih Muslim;

“Here disruption only means to have a negative effect on the prayers by the way of occupation of heart in these things.” (Sharah Al-Nawawi 2/266).

All these things mentioned here can disrupt one’s attention. A Jew because of his particular appearance and the fact that they were having a row with Muslims then, seeing an adversary can obviously distract one’s attention. A pig or an ass can become a source of distraction because of their course and loud voice and bad smell, a Magian because of his unusual appearance (see from the point of view of Arabs then). And a woman could distract because of her beauty while prayers need full time attention.This is enough to prove that it’s only about being a cause of distraction that women are mentioned with all these things. It’s not that-God Forbid!-some parallel is drawn here.

Its not to degrade woman. Read the following!

Now its not degradation for the females but only the truth is mentioned that if a woman passes in front of a man, this can get his attention diverted and that will effect the quality & sincerity of ones prayers. It never means that, God-Forbid, a parallel is being drawn between woman and other things mentioned. These are mentioned together only because they can divert ones attention.See its just as if a person says; “Humans, dogs & donkeys are all living beings”, this does not mean that humans are considered equal or same as dogs & donkeys or some parallel is being drawn between all these. Or does it?

It’s about mature women only:

And this is said for the grown up women only not small kids for they cannot divert ones attention in that sense.

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 (i.e. grown up) woman and a dog cut off the prayer.” (Abu Dawud, Hadith 704. Albani classified it as Sahih)

Nothing annuls Salah as such:

Nothing annuls the Salah as such but these things can disrupt ones attention. Read the following Hadith;

Narrated Ayyash bin Abu Rabiya:The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Nothing annuls prayers.” (Sunan Darqutni, Hadith 1396. Ibn Hujr classified ir as Hasan in al-Diraya 1/178)

In the end I’ll only repeat a statement of Sayyidah Aisha (RA) from the very Hadith the heathen bring forward; “By Allah! I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in (my) bed between him and the Qibla.”

Hope all this will help understand!

INDEED ALLAH KNOWS THE BEST!

 

Response to Women, Dogs & Islamic prayers

By Karim

Blue text = hadith quoted by the christian missionaries

Black text = islamic response and explenation 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.

The second hadith about Aicha’s reaction will be explained later in my conclusion by sheikh g.f. haddad.

 

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.

 

The renowned sunni scholar Sheikh G.F. haddad Commented on the next hadith:

`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.

 

My own 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.

 

Response to Suggestion by WikiIslam that Women are Considered Equal to Dogs in Islam

http://islamicresponsesatblogger.blogspot.in/2010/09/response-to-suggestion-by-wikiislam.html

WikiIslam attempted to prove that women are considered no better than dogs and donkeys by the Holy Prophet (saw) in the Ahadith by quoting various traditions. I will quote the website here:

[BEGIN QUOTE]

“You have made us (i.e. women) dogs.”

Narrated ‘Aisha: The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, “Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people).” I said, “You have made us (i.e. women) dogs. I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in my bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I would slip away. for I disliked to face him.”

Sahih Bukhari 1:9:490

Narrated ‘Aisha: The things which annual prayer were mentioned before me (and those were): a dog, a donkey and a woman. I said, “You have compared us (women) to donkeys and dogs. By Allah! I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in (my) bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I disliked to sit and trouble the Prophet. So, I would slip away by the side of his feet.”

Sahih Bukhari 1:9:493, See Also Sahih Bukhari 1:9:486Sahih Muslim 4:1032Sahih Muslim 4:1034Sahih Muslim 4:1038Sahih Muslim 4:1039 004:1039 adds “and the asses”

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.

Abu Dawud 2:704

[END QUOTE]

The following tradition was left out by WikiIslam which proves a point besides the one made above:

Narrated ‘Aisha: It is not good that you people have made us (women) equal to dogs and donkeys. No doubt I saw Allah’s Apostle praying while I used to lie between him and the Qibla and when he wanted to prostrate, he pushed my legs and I withdrew them.  (Book #9, Hadith #498)

(Sahih Bukhari)

Either way, the meaning of the above Ahadith has been misconstrued, since Hazrat Ayesha (ra) was explaining that women were not equal to dogs and donkeys, rather it was alright for a woman to be in front of a man when he prayed. Hazrat Ayesha (ra) knew the Prophet better than the people so she corrected their views on the subject of praying without a Sutrah. She lived with him in his own home, while the people only learned about what he did when they saw him on some occasions.

As for the third Hadith about praying without a Sutrah, it is better for someone to not pass in front of another who is praying without a Sutrah since it can be spiritually harmful to that individual:

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When any one of you prays he should not let anyone pass in front of him (if there is no sutra), and should try to turn him away as far as possible, but if he refuses to go, he should turn him away forcibly for he is a devil.  (Book #004, Hadith #1023)

(Sahih Muslim)

The grievousness of passing in front of someone praying is given in the following Hadith:

Busr b Sa’id reported that Zaid b Khalid al-Juhani sent him to Abu Juhaim in order to ask him what he had heard from the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) with regard to the passer in front of the worshipper. Abu Juhaim reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: If anyone who passes in front of a man who is praying knew the responsibility he incurs, he would stand still forty (years) rather than to pass in front of him Abu Nadr said: I do not know whether he said forty days or months or years.  (Book #004, Hadith #1027)

(Sahih Muslim)

Thus, the meaning of the above Ahadith are that it is better to not be in front of someone else while they are praying because of the sin one could get from being in front of someone. Hazrat Ayesha slipped away when the Prophet (saw) prayed and he was in front of him because of her courtesy for him and his concentration during his (saw)’s prayers.

 

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