The Superiority Men Enjoy over Women
Allah, the Almighty, says in the Qur’an:“Men are superior to women because Allah has favoured some over others and because of their wealth, which they spend.” [Chapter 4, Surah Nisā, Verse 34]
الرجال قوامون علي النساء بما فضل الله بعضهم على بعض و بما أنفقوا من أموالهم
The Superiority Men Enjoy over Women: From the time a human is born, his life revolves around obedience. Be it as he grows from a little infant into a talking toddler, to attending at least a decade of school, then pursuing his desired career, to living the rest of his life in a marital relationship – he finds himself subjected to obedience, albeit in various forms.
As a little child, rules are set up and taught in his home by his parents, which he obediently adheres to. As a learner, rules set out by teachers, mentors and principals must be obeyed.
For a woman, part of fulfilling her role as a wife is that she constantly keeps in mind the likes and dislikes of her husband and keeps up with them, provided they’re within the ambit of Shariah.
Most importantly, as a servant of Allah, every Muslim is required to follow the guidelines and principles laid down in Shariah to the best of his ability, thereby fulfilling his main purpose and objective in this temporary world.
Coming to our discussion, “The Superiority Men Enjoy over Women”, is something many women often disagree with.
These disagreements give rise to movements such as the “Feminists” – women who demand equality in the rights and social standing of men and women.
In Islam, a man (of course, a woman’s legal mahram or husband) has been entrusted with the role of a guardian over her, someone who takes care of her, guides her when she tends to slack, helps her throughout her life’s journey and, together, they work on improving her inner strength.
In the verse quoted above, the Arabic word, قوامون, often translated as “superior to women”, refers to someone who takes care of another, just like a parent cares for a child, or a ruler for his subordinate.
We know and all agree that, for any country, management, institute, business or plan to prosper and remain successful, it undoubtedly requires a leader such as a principal, president, director, manager, etc. Without these leadership roles, the world itself would be in chaos, an utter mess, and why would this be?
Simply because all these institutes, countries, industries, etc. form part of our world. If any one of them were in disarray due to the lack of a leader, the entire country would collapse. Similarly, every family requires a head or leader and this leader has been appointed by Allah Himself.
Millions of families all over the globe, each one containing kids, a woman and her husband. Allah has chosen the man, simply because men are created emotionally and physically stronger, in such a way that a woman cannot match.
Yes, women are blessed with intelligence too, but their strengths are different to that of men. They’re described as crooked and emotional, as they’re created from the rib of a man – but if the rib was not crooked, it wouldn’t protect the heart as well as it does. Allah has created women as emotional beings, to fulfil their specific roles as nurturers, not leaders, but should be respected, nonetheless.
Just as it would be an issue if men become like women, it’s also a major issue if women begin to mimic men and demand their “rights” by desiring an equality that makes them identical to men instead of complementary to them.
Allah has stated in the Qur’an that men should assume this leadership role, as the head of the family unit.
This statement will remain, always and forever, with no-one having the right to question the authority Allah has given men over their womenfolk.
To the men: Allah also says in the very same chapter of the Qur’an:
و عاشروهن بالمعروف“And treat them with kindness”
The first verse quoted above, does not, in any way at all, permit men to treat women harshly, nor allow them to use this Allah-given authority in an abusive manner whatsoever.
Allah, in His utmost wisdom, mentions in this beautiful speech of His, the clear command of treating women with justice and kindness. A woman, when treated in a respectable, beautiful manner, will be the best woman.
And, as mentioned earlier, women are emotional creatures, hence the command to treat them with gentleness and compassion.
It is said that a woman is created by Allah from the man’s rib. Although the rib is a crooked bone, man cannot live without it.
If any one of his ribs were to be fractured or missing, he would surely be in extreme discomfort. Likewise, although a woman may be flawed and emotional, she’s a great means of solace, protection and comfort to her partner. She can change the world if her guardian supports her and treats her well.
“A woman is not created from the head to be superior over men, nor from the feet to be trampled upon by him. Rather, she is created from his side, to be equally respected, close to the heart, to be loved and near his arm – to be protected.”Matthew Henry
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