The Spiritual Aspect

The Spiritual Aspect
1. According to the Qur'an, men and women have the same spiritual human nature:
O mankind: Reverence your Guardian-Lord Who created you from a single person
created of like nature his mate and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men
and women; reverence Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and
(reverence) the wombs (that bore you): for Allah ever watches over you. (Qur'an 4:1)
It is He who created you from a single person and made his mate of like nature in order
that he might dwell with her (in love). When they are united she bears a light burden
and carries it about (unnoticed). When she grows heavy they both pray to Allah their
Lord (saying): "If You give us a goodly child we vow we shall (ever) be grateful."
(Qur'an 7:189)
(He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among
yourselves and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing
whatever like unto Him and Her is the One that hears and sees (all things.) (Qur'an
2. Both genders are recipients of the "divine breath" since they are created with the
same human and spiritual nature (nafsin-waahidah):
But He fashioned him in due proportion and breathed into him something of His spirit.
And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding):
little thanks to you give (Qur'an 15:29)
3. Both genders are dignified and are trustees of Allah on earth.
We have honored the children of Adam, provided them with transport on land and sea;
given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors
above a great part of Our Creation. (Qur'an 17:70)
Behold your Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said
"Will you place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we
do celebrate Your praises and glorify Your holy (name)?" He said: "I know what you
do not." (Qur'an 2:30)
4. According to the Qur'an, woman is not blamed for the "fall of man." Pregnancy and
childbirth are not seen as punishments for "eating from the forbidden tree." On the
contrary, the Qur'an considers them to be grounds for love and respect due to mothers.
In narrating the story of Adam and Eve, the Qur'an frequently refers to both of
them, never singling out Eve for the blame:
O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the garden and enjoy (its good things) as you
[both] wish: but approach not this tree or you [both] run into harm and transgression.
Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them bringing openly before their minds all
their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said "Your Lord only forbade you
this tree lest you [both] should become angels or such beings as live forever." And he
swore to them both that he was their sincere adviser. So by deceit he brought about
their fall: when they tasted of the tree their shame became manifest to them and they
began to sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their Lord called
unto them: "Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy
unto you?" They said: "Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: if you forgive us
not and bestow not upon us Your mercy we shall certainly be lost." (Allah) said: "Get
you [both] down with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place
and your means of livelihood for a time." He said: "Therein shall you [both] live and
therein shall you [both] die; and from it shall you [both] be taken out (at last)." O you
children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame as well as
to be an adornment to you but the raiment of righteousness that is the best. Such are
among the signs of Allah that they may receive admonition! O you children of Adam!
Let not Satan seduce you in the same manner as he got your parents out of the garden
stripping them of their raiment to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you
from a position where you cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends (only) to
those without faith. (Qur'an 7:19-27)
On the question of pregnancy and childbirth, the Qur'an states:
And We have enjoined on the person (to be good) to his/her parents: in travail upon
travail did his/her mother bear his/her and in years twain was his/her weaning: (hear
the command) "Show gratitude to Me and to your parents: to Me is (your final) Goal.
(Qur'an 31:14)
We have enjoined on the person kindness to his/her parents: in pain did his/her mother
bear him/her and in paid did she give him/her birth. The carrying of the (child) to
his/her weaning is ( a period of) thirty months. At length when he/she reaches the age
of full strength and attains forty years he/she says "O my Lord! Grant me that I may be
grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon both my parents
and that I may work righteousness such as You may approve; and be gracious to me in
my issue.Truly have I turned to You and truly do I bow (to You) in Islam
[submission]." (Qur'an 46:15)
5. Men and women have the same religious and moral duties and responsibilities. They
both face the consequences of their deeds:
And their Lord has accepted of them and answered them: "Never will I suffer to be los
the work of any of you be it male or female: you are members of one another ..."
(Qur'an 3:195)
If any do deeds of righteousness be they male or female and have faith they will enter
paradise and not the least injustice will be done to them. (Qur'an 4:124)
For Muslim men and women and for believing men and women, for devout men and
women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant,
for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity,
for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard
their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has
Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (Qur'an 33:35)
One Day shall you see the believing men and the believing women how their Light runs
forward before them and by their right hands: (their greeting will be): "Good news for
you this Day! Gardens beneath which flow rivers! To dwell therein for ever! This is
indeed the highest Achievement!" (Qur'an 57:12)
6. Nowhere dow the Qur'an state that one gender is superior to the other. Some
mistakenly translate "qiwamah" or responsibility for the family as superiority. The
Qur'an makes it clear that the sole basis for superiority of any person over another is
piety and righteousness not gender, color, or nationality:
O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you
into nations and tribes that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you
in the sight of Allah is (one who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full
knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (Qur'an 49:13)
7. The absence of women as prophets or "Messengers of Allah" in prophetic history
is due to the demands and physical suffering associated with the role of messengers and
prophets and not because of any spiritual inferiority.

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