The Islamic Woman’s Role defined by Al-Ghazali

August 18, 2010 § 13 Comments

Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali is considered to be the greatest Muslim scholar ever existed after the prophet Muhammad. He is called “The Defender of Islam”. He has written around 1,000 books in the Fiqah of Islam. In his well-renown Book, “The Revival Of The Religious Sciences” Al-Ghazali defines the woman’s role:

– She should stay at home and get on with her spinning

– She can go out only in emergencies

– She must not be well-informed nor must she be communicative with her neighbors and only visit them when absolutely necessary

– She should take care of her husband and respect him in his presence and his absence and seek to satisfy him in everything

– She must not leave her house without his permission and if given his permission she must leave secretly

– She should put on old clothes and take deserted streets and alleys, avoid markets, and make sure that a stranger does not hear her voice, her footsteps, smell her or recognize her

– She must not speak to a friend of her husband even in need

– Her sole worry should be her “al bud” (reproductive organs) her home as well as her prayers and her fast (starvation for Allah)

– If a friend of her husband calls when her husband is absent she must not open the door nor reply to him in order to safeguard her “al bud” (vagina)

– She should accept what her husband gives her as sufficient sexual needs at any moment

– She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs at any moment

The great theologian then warns all men to be careful of women for their “guile is immense and their mischief is noxious; they are immoral and mean spirited”.Like a true Muslim cleric Ghazali states “It is a fact that all the trials, misfortunes and woes which befall men come from women” [3.2]

In his Book “Counsel for Kings,” Ghazali sums up all that a woman has to endure because of Eve’s misbehavior in the Garden of Eden:

“When Eve ate fruit which He had forbidden to her from the tree in Paradise, the Lord, be He praised, cursed women with eighteen punishments:

– menstruation

– childbirth

– separation from mother and father and marriage to a stranger

– pregnancy

– not having control over her own person

– a lesser share in inheritance; (one half of the male as per the Quran)

– her liability to be divorced and inability to divorce

– its being lawful for men to have four wives, but for a woman to have only one husband

– the fact that she must stay secluded in the house

– the fact that she must keep her head covered inside the house

– the fact that two women’s testimony has to be set against the testimony of one man

– the fact that she must not go out of the house unless accompanied by a near relative

– the fact that men take part in Friday and feast day prayers and funerals while women do

– disqualification for leadership and judgeship

– the fact that merit has one thousand components, only one of which is attributable to women, while 999 are attributable to men

– the fact that if women are profligate they will be given twice as much torment as the rest of the community at the Resurrection Day

– the fact that if their husbands die they must observe a waiting period of four months and ten days before remarrying

The idea that a woman’s sole purpose and “duty is to stay at home to satisfy the sexual appetite of her husband” is again summed up in Ghazali’s Book “Proof Of Islam.” Ghazali is still so highly revered amongst the majority of Muslim clerics that that he is called “Proof of Islam”. The most influential thinker of Islam, Ghazali, molded the minds of billions of Muslims with his opinions on women’s character :

“If you relax the woman’s leash a tiny bit, she will take you and bolt wildly….

Their deception is awesome and their wickedness is contagious; bad character and feeble mind are their predominant traits …” [R2]

Ghazali also exhorted women: A wife should never refuse her bud (vagina) to her husband even if it is on the saddle of a camel

Al-Gazali urged those men who teach their women to write : “Do not add evil to unhappiness” learning his lessons from his prophet Muhammad and caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab who commanded :

“Prevent women from learning to write, adopt positions
opposite those of women. There is great virtue in such opposition.”

As the supreme cleric Ghazali defined marriage for generations of Muslims :

“Marriage is a form of slavery. The woman is man’s slave and her duty therefore is absolute obedience to the husband in all that he asks of her person. A woman, who at the moment of death enjoys the full approval of her husband, will find her place in Paradise.” [R1]

The prophet Muhammad defines woman as “The woman is awrah”. Therefore, Islam views women as awrah. The Encyclopedia of Islam defines awrah as pudendum, that is “the external genitals, especially of the female”. [Latin pudendum (literally) a thing to be ashamed of] The followers of Imam Hanbal and Shafi’ (major factions) consider even the woman’s voice, hands, and face to be awrah (genitalia), and therefore
should be covered. [3.3] [7]


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§ 13 Responses to The Islamic Woman’s Role defined by Al-Ghazali

  • Bella says:

    Dear Janette,

    I firstly would like to say I am a huge fan of Imam Ghazali he is certainly a man of wisdom.

    Secondly, as a muslim Woman, let me tell you this , Islam puts women in a high position, respects and gives women rights that western women only recently fought for.

    Thirdly, the way in which your article is written testifies to your poor understanding, dropping a list of points which are 1. not referenced 2. misquoted and badly paraphrased in an intent to make a scholar look bad.

    Lastly, I do feel sorry for people like you because they seek to make Islam look bad, however it just shows the hatred within and how uneducated you are on the matter.

  • Anonymous says:

    Lol this cockroach that wrote this is a member of the Zionist movement.

  • Ahmed says:

    Having studied under traditional Islamic scholars, I confidently say that what is written here does not reflect Islamic teachings at all.

    First of all, Imam Ghazzali is *not* the most respected scholar after the Prophet Muhammad. There are many respected scholars, and Imam Ghazzali is noted for his contributions to philosophy/mysticism, not marital etiquette.

    Additionally, there are numerous versus of the Qur’an and prophetic narrations in contradiction with the above statements. It is well known that the Prophet’s wife Ayesha was very well-educated and one of the greatest scholars of Islam. The Prophet instructed the companions to seek knowledge from her, and she taught the Companions and the next generation of Muslims for many years until passing away. Muslim scholars have a long and celebrated history of female scholarship, including Fatima al-Zahra, who founded the world’s first university.

  • Martin Dace says:

    The authorship of the second part of ‘Counsel for Kings’ is disputed:

    I have so far been unable to trace the sayings you attribute to Al Ghazali and unfortunately you fail to give references. This leaves your assertions in doubt.

  • Elżbieta B. Wawrzyńska says:

    Dear Janette Dillerstone,

    the post offers us excellent information about Imam al-Ghazali.

    (The friends of Sharia Law don`t like any criticism on the Imam.)

    Thank you very much.


    Elżbieta B. Wawrzyńska

  • yunus mohamed says:

    This religon is a blight on the humanity of woman.

  • saifali says:

    This post is completely unfounded. I will go as far as to say that it is malicious antagonism through misinformation. I can quote the Quran off the top of my head that completely neutralizes the views expressed in this post as false. For example:

    “”And among His signs is that He has created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may live in tranquillity with them; and He has created love and mercy between you. Verily, in that are signs for those who reflect.” (30:21)”

    This quotation from the Quran cannot possibly be reconciled with the views presented in the post and the Quran is not a self-contradicting. Please do not pay any heed to the views expressed here or if you are curious, demand references and sources from the author.

  • Anon says:

    This post is stunning in its ignorance and absurdity… Al-Ghazali’s works are available in translation for anyone who wants to read them – so please go to the source and ignore the garbage written here.

  • Khursheed says:

    Reblogged this on World of the hereafter(akhirah) and commented:
    On Women

  • Anonymous says:

    When you write an article such as this, or any other article for that matter please cite the reference at the end of the article so people can cross check themselves. i am unable to do that here and thus see this article as mostly conjecture.
    If you can point me in the right direction with regards to your references then that would be useful

  • […] works of any non-Muslim (kafir), tended to be at the writing vanguard of encouraging caliphs to strip women of comprehensive human […]

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Flippin the raya and Flippin the raya, MandyGrey. MandyGrey said: The prophet Muhammad defines woman as genitalia -a thing to be ashamed of #Islam #Imams #Muslims #Sharia #News #tcot […]

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