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What is the philosophy behind the prohibition of Homosexuality?

400..1.633076One of the forbidden acts in Islam is homosexuality. Islam from one side has advised the Muslims to get married and has advised the people to help the youth to get married and from the other side, Islam has forbidden masturbation, adultery, and homosexuality.

At first, it must be differentiated between a person who has tendency to the same sex of his/her gender, and the one that is homosexual and commits that great sin, because in the first case, the person because of having a kind of illness, has this tendency but till he/she does not commit the sin, he/she is not considered as a sinner.

This kind of illness can be caused by physiological or mental or cultural reasons and can be cured.

So let’s see what philosophy this prohibition has.

One of the philosophies that can be mentioned is that it leads to the reduction of generation.

It is appropriate to see what are the benefits of getting married? And what are the harms of other ways of satisfaction of the lust?

In a marriage a person gets three things:

1) Perfection.

2) Tranquility.

3) Production.

About the first factor we say: the sophistication that is made prepared through marriage cannot be obtained through anything else. You can see in the society that when two opposite sexes get married with each other, because of the differences that are in each gender, they play a role of a complementary for each other. Man is in need to woman and woman is needful to man and this is very obvious for an unbiased person.

About the second factor i.e. tranquility, we say that it can be the most important benefit of getting married. Allah said in the holy Quran in chapter Room verse 21:

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

“And of his signs is that he created for you wives from among yourselves that you might reside with them, and has put kindness and mercy between you. Surely, there are signs in this for those who think”.

Before getting married, the single person might consider him/herself alone and without a refuge but when he/she gets married he/she finds a refuge and tranquility, and this feeling of tranquility, leads to intellectual and emotional stability, dignity, and the feeling of being precious.

The third benefit of getting married that we mentioned was the matter of production, and that is the thing that makes the generation of human to be continued, the perfection of the creation of the mankind is to produce people that are believers in Allah, righteous humans, and good doers.

In Islamic perspective, having the good children is considered as a good and righteous deed, and it is effective in the welfare of the parents. And another point in this regard is that having children is something that helps the family to be happy and dynamic and it is a fact that no one can deny it.

And of course beside the various benefits of marriage, the correct answer (from sanitary point of view) to the call of lust is fulfilled through marriage.

These benefits cannot be obtained in any way, other than marriage.

It is proved by the scientific researchers that the homosexual person has a very dangerous relation with his/her partner even though they might use some tools as preventers.

Around the area of anus, there are some nerves that are so much sensitive to anything that enters in it and they show reaction very quickly.

Digestive system has two sphincters that they act as hatches, one is internal and involuntary and the other is external and voluntary. When we feel that we need to relieve ourselves, the internal sphincter opens involuntarily but the last stage of that is voluntary and if we decide to relieve ourselves, it opens.

The anal sex, or every entering in the anal, causes the external sphincter to be damaged and causes it to not have a good and right function; it means that it causes that sphincter to open involuntarily, so after a while the person cannot have the control over the stool.

On the other hand a lot of illnesses like Hepatitis or H.I.V or Syphilis can be transmitted more easily through anal. It is important to know that for the mentioned reasons, the anal intercourse is not a good relation between the couple in the marriage,

And homosexuality causes the person to be reluctant to the opposite sex and after a while the person will not be able to have intercourse in the marriage,

A lot of the homosexuals, after a while find the feeling of being away from their real personality and they refuge to some other sins like drinking wine or other moral detours.

All of this detailed discussion is some of the harms and dangers of this shameful great sin.

What is the philosophy behind “Doa” or asking from Allah?

adult-and-child-making-duaOne of the things that are so much recommended in Islam is the matter of Doa or asking from Allah.

In the dictionaries, the word of “Doa” has been defined as calling or asking.

There are different motives for Doa, like gaining a benefit or being away from a harm in the material or spiritual matters or cursing or asking for forgiveness etc.

When the human knows that he/she is in a very deep and complete need of his/her Lord the All-Mighty Allah, and Allah is needless of everyone or everything and He is the most powerful and the most knowledgeable and the wisest and the most merciful one, and there is a constant and inherent need to such a being, it makes the human to ask from Allah because Allah is in charge of everything.

Asking from Allah is in the innate nature of human, the holy Quran has mentioned it in chapter Isra verse 67:

وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الْضُّرُّ فِي الْبَحْرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدْعُونَ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاكُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ أَعْرَضْتُمْ وَكَانَ الإِنْسَانُ كَفُورًا

“And when misfortune befalls you at sea, all except He of those to whom you supplicate forsake you; yet when He delivers you safely to the land, you turn away. The human is unthankful”.

we can understand from this verse that at the time of emergency and the time of getting disappointed from everything other than Allah, the human refuges to Allah, but at the other times, many humans forget their Lord and refuge to everyone other than Him.

Doa or asking from Allah, teaches us to remember that there is a lord that He is the only one who can really do everything even though the other people does not want that thing to happen, and this is called  in the theology “التوحید الافعالی” witch mean there is only one being who is independent in His actions and He needs nothing and no one for doing an action, of course this does not mean that we believe in predestination (which means that we are obliged to do anything which Allah wants and we have no will), but this means if Allah wants something to do, no one can overcome His will.

The other philosophy of Doa is that this action is a cause for Zikr or remembrance of Allah and Zikr is the means that gives us tranquility, Allah said in the holy Quran chapter Raad verse 28:

أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”

Another philosophy of Doa is that it is a way to talk to our beloved Lord, it is very obvious that the one who has fallen in love with someone, always wants to be with his/her beloved and wants to talk to him/her and he/she enjoys this talking so much.

We can ask Allah through Doa to fulfill for us the material wishes or to give us the hereafter bounties and help us to be on the straight path, the path that He is satisfied with us.

Another benefit of Doa is to remove the coming problems from us.

The other philosophy of Doa is that through it, we ask Allah to pay attention to us. Allah said in the holy Quran chapter Forghan verse 77:

قُلْ مَا يَعْبَأُ بِكُمْ رَبِّي لَوْلَا دُعَاؤُكُمْ

“Say: my lord would not concern Himself with you but for your prayer”.

it is good to mention that some people think that if we ask Allah for solving our problems, it means that it is against the system of cause and effect, the system that is prevalent in this world, but we say as the answer to that: let’s imagine an illness, it can be cured through two ways, the first, through using the medical treatments and the second, sometimes through asking from Allah to heal that, so it is not against that scientific system of the world i.e. cause and effect, because the cause can be several.

Imam Sadiq peace be upon him said:

“I advise you to do Doa, because you don’t get near (to Allah) through anything like Doa.”

Let me mention very important topic, and that is the common question, is there any condition for Doa to be fulfilled or let’s say in this way: why some of our Doas are not fulfilled?

For answering this question we must notice that sometimes some of our wishes are not suitable for us to be fulfilled, and because Allah is so much wise and merciful, He does not fulfill that, imagine when a child is ill and eating the cake is harmful for him/her, it might happen that this child asks the parents to give him/her that the cake and he/she may cry and insist on that, but the parents do not give him/her that, in your idea, is this reaction of the parents, a good reaction or not? Can anyone blame the parents because of that and call them stingy or unmerciful?

The same example is applied to our discussion, sometime it is not appropriate for us to have something and for this reason Allah does not fulfill our Doa. But we because of our incomplete and limited knowledge insist on it.

The next answer can be this: how much do we listen to the commands of Allah? I mean how much we obey Allah, that now we except Allah to fulfill our Doa as soon as we ask Him?

But we must not get disappointed from asking Allah, because Imam Ali peace be upon him narrated a Narration from the Prophet of Islam that he said:

“No believer asks Allah except it will be fulfilled, and that happens in different ways, either it is fulfilled in this world or in the hereafter (through changing to the bounties or elevating the position of that person etc.) or it is a cause for forgiving the sins of that person.”

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Source:

Tebyan.net

What is the philosophy behind Hijab in Islam?

hijabOne of the obligations in Islam is Hijab; Hijab in Arabic dictionaries is defined as “covering”, and the reason that this word is used in Islamic ruling, is because in Islam man and women are ordered to have Hijab, but of course for the reasons that will be mentioned soon, this covering by the woman is wider than that of man.

The women in Islam are ordered to have Hijab from the men who are not among their Maharim like their fathers, brothers, uncles etc. and about the amount of this covering; it must cover their bodies except their faces and their hands till their wrists.

A question arises here, why women are ordered to observe this rule?

Some reasons and let’s say philosophies are mentioned in this regard, like:

1) Keeping the balance of tranquility in the society.

It has been proved in psychology that man can be turned on (in sexual appeals) by looking, and woman through touching.

A woman by observing Hijab, keeps herself safe from the impure looks by the impure men, but the women are not like men, for this reason, observing Hijab for men, is not that much important. For reaching to the tranquility, Islam has ordered both men and women; Islam has ordered men to ovoid from looking at the women and on the other side has ordered women to cover themselves from the men.

2) The second philosophy of Hijab is to keep the families safe from being collapsed, because if the women do not cover themselves in the public eyes or come out from their houses with make-up, it makes the men of the society to be attracted to them and after a while makes the men reluctant to their spouses and it may little by little lead to the divorce of different families.

3) The third philosophy can be that Hijab prevents the society members from committing adultery and corruption, because the man is like that if he gets turned on sexually, he might be stuck mentally in the sexual imaginations and after a while pushes him to have illegal intercourse with that women or other women and this very obscene sin, will be committed, the sin that is one of the greatest sins and disobediences of the All- Mighty Allah. And the society can be full of illegitimate babies that in a lot of these cases, the fathers of these babies do not care about them and leave their responsibilities toward them and a lot of these babies will be exposed to different dangers when they get older, and that is an important matter that is common in the west.

3) The other philosophy of Hijab can be that it prevents women from being considered as a tool for just sexual matters; you can see that when a woman has Hijab, what a greatness and majesty, it gives to her. But you see in the west that the women with no Hijab are used for advertisements of the little things like the toothbrush and other things.

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Source:

Akhlagh.porsemani.ir

 

What is the philosophy behind the prohibition of Adultery in Islam?

adultryCommitting adultery is one of the great sins in Islam.

The evilness of this very shameful sin is accepted in almost every religion, nation and group.

The holy Quran says about adultery in chapter Isra verse 32:

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاء سَبِيلًا

“Do not draw near to fornication, for it is an indecency, and its way is evil”.

some points can be taken from this verse, the verse does not say, just do not commit this sin, but rather it says: do not also get near to it, and getting near to this sin can be done through its preliminaries like, looking at the scenes that are unlawful and make the sexual appeal to be turned on, or looking at the opposite sex with pleasure, or looking at the sexual movies or pictures or being alone with the opposite sex in a private place, or even some hardships which are created by the parents at the time of the marriage of their children can be a kind of the preliminaries of adultery.

Another point from this verse is that it is a bad path that can lead to other sins, for example the one who commits this sin, he/she usually wants to do this sin again and again with different persons and a lot of times for obtaining the situation of this sin,  might do dangerous acts, like attacking houses of people or even killing someone or if he/she cannot reach to that wanted person, he/she might commit suicide etc.

The bad consequences of adultery are so much, like the cutting of the generations, collapsing the foundation of the family, removing the purity and  Hayaa(modesty), being a cause for different illnesses and a way for transferring them like H.I.V, making the illegitimate children that in a lot of cases, they do not grow in a good upbringing, and in a lot of cases their  parents especially fathers leave their responsibilities towards them, the indefiniteness of the father of a child, creating the enmity and hatred among people etc.

At the end we mention a Narration from Imam Ali peace be upon him who has narrated it from the Prophet of Islam that he said:

“There are six bad consequences in the adultery,  three of them are in this world and three of them are in the hereafter, the three consequences of adultery in this world are these: it takes away the (spiritual) light of face, it cuts the aliment and sustenance, and it enhances the destruction of the human, and the three which are in the hereafter are these: it is a cause for the wrath of Allah and it is a cause for the hardship of the calculation( of the deeds on the day of judgment) and it is a cause for entering or immortality in the hellfire.”

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Source:

Hoghogh.porsemani.ir

 

What is the philosophy behind Retaliation in Islam?

courtroomOne of the criminal laws in Islam is the subject of Ghesaas or retaliation. In the dictionary, the Arabic word i.e. ” قصاص” has been translated as this:

“To follow up the trace of something”

And this word in Islamic culture means to follow up the trace of a crime and to retaliate the same crime to the committer of that crime.

The holy Quran talks about it in chapter Bagharah verse 179:

وَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَاةٌ يَاْ أُولِيْ الأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

“O’ owners of minds, for you in retaliation, is life, in order that you be cautious”.

It has been mentioned in the history that the Arab before the emergence of Islam, were fighting with each other and sometimes they were killing tens of the members of a tribe,  just as the retaliation for a person that was killed, but when Islam emerged, this religion described the justly way of retaliation.

Islam forbade those barbaric acts of retaliation and brought it into the court, a place through which, the guilty person can be distinguished and his/her crime can be proved through lawful ways and the amount of crime can be defined and the amount of retaliation can be known.

The holy Quran says about the retaliation in chapter Maaidah verse 45:

وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا أَنَّ النَّفْسَ بِالنَّفْسِ وَالْعَيْنَ بِالْعَيْنِ وَالأَنفَ بِالأَنفِ وَالأُذُنَ بِالأُذُنِ وَالسِّنَّ بِالسِّنِّ وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

“we have written for them a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds equal retaliation, but whosoever forgoes it as a freewill offering, it will be an expiation for him. Whoever does not judge according to what Allah has sent down, such are wrong doers”.

You know nowadays some people around the world, blame Islam because of having retaliation approved, and they say it is against humanistic bases, but we say as the answer to this blaming and as the philosophy of retaliation:

Imagine a murderer that has murdered several persons, we can leave him and just advise him by some classes or books etc. and the other reaction is to kill and retaliate such a dangerous person, because if we leave him alone and let him be free, after a while he gets more saucy and continues his crimes, there is an interesting poem in Persian in this regard that says:

Being merciful to the wolf which has sharp teeth, it is the cruelty toward the sheep.

And by retaliation of that murderer, it can be a lesson for the others to abstain from committing such a crime.

And we realize from the first mentioned verse in this essay of the Quran (that expresses the retaliation as a means in which there is life), that our aim from retaliation is not just killing a single individual, but rather it is a means for keeping the life of the society members safe. So this rule is not against the humanistic emotions and in fact is it a kind of mercy to the members of the society.

And we say that Islam is a religion in between, and is out of any extreme, so we do not see this religion as the distorted Judaism that says: that just retaliation must be done to the committer of a crime and not  like the distorted Christianity that says: be merciful to all people. We see that in Islam we have been advised to forgive in some cases, for example in the deliberate murdering(not the murdering  which is committed out of mistake) there are three choices for  the family of the murdered, first is to ask from the court to retaliate the murderer, second is to receive blood money instead of retaliation and the third is to forgive without receiving any thing as blood money, but to sum up, we say: in the cases that if we leave the murderer free, it is considered as a way to make him saucy and he may continue to kill others, in this case, retaliation is better, but when the murderer is really regretful and he never wants to continue such a crime, it is better to forgive him and it is something that we can take from the above mentioned discussion.

 

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Source:

Islamquest.net

What is the philosophy behind Friday Prayer?

friday prayer

One of the kinds of prayer in Islam is Friday prayer, a congregational prayer in which the Muslims gather on Friday and after listening to two sermons, perform two Rak’ats in congregation. This prayer is obligatory at the time of the presence of the infallibles, i.e. the Prophet of Islam and his infallible vicegerents i.e. 12 Imams, but now that is the time of occultation of the twelfth Imam, there is a difference in the decrees of the Maraji(Islamic experts) but most of them do not see it as obligatory, like the time of the presence of the infallibles.

Let’s see what are the philosophies behind such a prayer?

This prayer is a big gathering of the Muslims for a religious program and we can say that it is the biggest gathering after Hajj.

The holy Prophet of Islam said:

“Friday is the Hajj for those who are not able to perform Hajj”.

The imam of Friday prayer, before performing prayer, gives two sermons in which many useful and beneficial subjects are posed, the first sermon is for religious issues and the second is for politics and the events of Islamic society and the world.

So apart from the benefits that we can catch from participating in this prayer, as a worship, (just like every Ibadah and worship that has many benefits like getting close to Allah and growing spiritually, and cleaning the inside and removing the darkness of negligence), we get aware of the events of our society and the political analysis.

In the beginning of both sermons, the subject of Taqwa (which means God-fearing and feeling ourselves in the presence of Allah and observing His obligations and prohibitions) is advised and discussed.

In the first sermon, some of the imams of Friday prayer, present the exegesis of the holy Quran or the exegesis of Nahjol Balagha(which is a book in which the words and sermons and letters of Imam Ali peace be upon him have been compiled) or other beneficial religious subjects.

Through the second sermon, the imam of this prayer, talks about some political or social issues and analyzes them, like the situations of Islamic society and the world or descriptions of happening events or dangers that might threaten the Islamic society etc.

Because this prayer is performed in a place in which many Muslims gather, it is known as a public tribune, so there are different social programs which sometimes are held there, for example some times before starting the sermons of  the imam of prayer, some political individuals have speeches about different social and political issues.

Sometimes before this program or after the prayer, the Muslims participate in some demonstrations like what takes place in the day of Quds in which the Muslims show their protection for the oppressed people of Palestine or other places around the world, so it is another benefit of this important religious gathering.

This gathering can be a means for the unity among Muslims, because you see that in this prayer, the people that might not be present in the congregational prayer during the week, participate in Friday prayer.

Beside this program, you can see some places that are specified and prepared for the financial helps for the needy people in the society or in the other countries.

This gathering adds to the mobility of the Muslims, and it is a way for visiting and getting aware of each other.

So for all of these mentioned benefits, you see that the enemies of Islam are always afraid of this stronghold.

This prayer throughout the Islamic history has been used as a kind of powerful political stronghold for the governments, so we see that in the right governments like the government of the holy Prophet of Islam or Imam Ali peace be upon them, they were using this gathering in the best possible way and the wrong government also were using it, but as a misuse for achieving their wishes.

Sometimes the enemies of Islam design vicious plans against Muslims, but just one Friday prayer, removes and destroys those evil plans, because of the knowledge that Muslims get through this religious program.

In the hope that the twelfth Imam will come and the Friday prayer will be performed behind him.

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Source:Tebyan.net

What is the philosophy behind the importance of night Prayer in Islam?

islam-prayer

One of the most recommended worships and Ibadah is night prayer.

There are 11 Rak’ats for night prayer, five prayers which each have two Rak’ats and a single prayer which has one Rak’a.

There are so many benefits for the night prayer which appear in this world and the worlds after death, that we will mention some of them.

There are some recommended and Mostahab prayers that are called Nafilah which literally means, something that is additional and is not obligatory, among them and one of the most important one of them is night prayer. As it is clear from the name of this prayer, it is a prayer which its time is from the religious midnight till the time of morning Azan(call to prayer), and as much as it is performed nearer to the time of morning Azan, it causes more rewards and blessings.

There are some recommended Doa and rituals for this prayer, but just like the base of this prayer that is not obligatory, they are not obligatory too, and we can perform as much as we are jolly and ready and eager to perform, for example we can just perform last three Rak’ats of it or we can perform it in the state of sitting, because the recommended prayers (even though we are able to perform it at the state of standing) can be performed while siting or even while walking. And if we cannot perform it in its time, we are allowed to perform it out of its time and as Qaza prayer (out of its specific time) and all of these, show the importance of this prayer.

Waking up in the midnight or the time near to the morning Azan for worshiping Allah, is very praised by Islam. Allah said in the holy Quran chapter Isra verse 79:

وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا

“As for the night there is a voluntary deed for you to keep vigil in part it. Perhaps your lord will raise you to a praiseworthy station”.

Imam Sadiq peace be upon him said:

“The one, who does not perform night prayer, is not among our (real and perfect) Shia and followers.”

There is an interesting Narration in which Imam Sadiq peace be upon him narrated for his father, and his father from his father till the holy Prophet of Islam, that he said:

“Allah prides of a servant who performs the night prayer as Qaza (it means that the servant could not perform night prayer in midnight, so he/she performs it during day instead of night) and Allah says: O’ my angels, my servant performs something that I did not make it obligatory upon him/her as Qaza(as compensation), be witness, I forgave him/her.”

Let me mention some of the benefits of night prayer which are derived from the holy Quran and the Narrations.

1) Fulfilling our Doa and wishes.

One of the companions of Imam Sadiq peace be upon him said: I asked the Imam: people say that the holy Prophet of Islam has said: there is a time in the night, that if a servant, asks Allah in that time, definitely his/her Doa and wish will be fulfilled, the Imam said: yes (it is true). I asked the Imam: when is that time? And the Imam replied: between the midnight till the last third of the night. I asked the Imam, is it something that is in a specific night or every night? And the Imam answered: it is for every night.

2) Friendship with Allah.

The holy Prophet of Islam said: “Allah did not adopt Prophet Abraham as His friend, except because of feeding people and performing night prayer while the people were asleep.”

3) Glory.

Imam Ali peace be upon him said: “Allah has put five things in five things (it means that these five things can be obtained through those five things), among them, the Imam said: and majesty and grandeur (can be obtained) in performing night prayer.”

4) It makes the face, good and loveable.

5) It makes the temper, good.

6) It removes the sorrow.

7) It compensates the sins which are committed during day.

8) It is a cause for making the heart, awake and alive.

And as the last point and as a summery to all of above mentioned benefits, let me bring a saying from Ayatullah Qazi, one of the most important Islamic scholars in the field of practical morality, he said to one of his students:

“O’ my son, if you seek the material and worldly matters, perform night prayer and if you seek the spiritual and hereafter positions, perform night prayer.”
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Source:
Akhlagh.porsemani.ir

Ultimate Questions in Philosophy of Religion – eBook

Ultimate-Questions-in-Philosophy-of-Religion

Shaykh Mansour Leghaei, in this book delves into the philosophy behind several intrinsic faith matters such as belief in God, free-will or predeterminism, the question of evil and much more.[divider]

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” width=”400px” ]Name: Ultimate Questions in Philosophy of Religion
Author: Shaykh Mansour Leghaei[/box]

[button color=”green” size=”medium” link=”http://www.byislam.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Ultimate-Questions-in-Philosophy-of-Religion.pdf” target=”blank” ]Download “Ultimate Questions in Philosophy of Religion” – PDF[/button]

Philosophy of Islam – eBook

Philosophy-Of-Islam

Fundamental Islamic topics such as principles of religion, man, Iman (faith), definitive knowledge, monothesim of the Qur’an, name and attributes of God, guides of humanity, evolution, history, self-making, family, economy and social system.[divider]

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” width=”400px” ]Name: Philosophy of Islam
Author: Sayyid Muhammad Husayni Beheshti
Muhammad Jawad Bahonar[/box]

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What is the philosophy behind the dower for women?

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In the Age of Ignorance, since the people did not attach any significance to the women, they would essentially place the dower of the women, which was their incontrovertible right, in the hands of their guardians and it was looked upon as the rightful property of the guardians. At times, they would even stipulate the dower of a woman to be the marriage of another woman; for example, a brother would give his sister in marriage to a person, who, in reciprocation, would marry his sister to him and this itself would be the dower of the two women.

Islam abrogated all these unjust customs and, allocating the dower as a categorical right of the women, has repeatedly counselled the men, in the verses of the Qur`an, to strictly and completely respect this right of the women.

In Islam, no fixed amount has been ascertained for the dower and it is reliant upon the understanding reached between the two spouses. However, in numerous traditions it has been greatly emphasized to refrain from stipulating a weighty dower, but this is a ruling which is recommended, not obligatory.

At this point the question which arises is that both man and woman benefit equally from the matrimonial alliance – an alliance that is based on mutual benefits. This being the case, what is the need for man to pay a sum, large or small, as dower to the woman? Also, does this issue not deal a blow to the personality of the woman and impart an appearance of trade and transaction to marriage?

It is in the light of the above points that some individuals vehemently oppose the issue of dower, especially West-stricken ones, who derive their inspiration from the fact that dower is a custom, unconventional in the West. Whereas (the reality is that) not only does the excision of the dower not elevate the personality of a woman, rather, it serves to jeopardize her position.

Explanation

Admittedly, both man and woman derive equal benefits out of a matrimonial alliance. Nevertheless there is no denying the fact that in the event of a divorce, the woman has to sustain a greater loss, since:

Firstly: Man, due to his special physical ability, generally possesses a greater control and yields greater influence in the society. However much people may seek to deny this outright reality in the course of their discussions, the state of human social life which we observe with our own eyes – even in the European societies, wherein women enjoy the so-called total freedom – reveals that high earning jobs are principally held by men.

In addition, men possess greater options when embarking upon another spouse-selection, but this is not so in the case of widows – especially after witnessing some aging and being deprived of their assets of youth and beauty – since the options that lie before them, in selecting a new spouse, are greatly diminished.

Considering these aspects, it becomes evident that the conveniences and resources which a woman loses after marriage is much more than what a man loses and so, in actuality, the dower is something which serves to indemnify a woman’s losses and a means for securing her future. Apart from this, the dower is also looked upon as a deterrent for man to seek separation and divorce.

Admittedly, the dower, according to the laws of Islam, becomes obligatory upon the husband as soon as the matrimonial alliance is entered into, and the wife is entitled to claim it from him immediately, but since it generally remains as an obligation upon the man, not only is it regarded as savings for her future but also a backing, which safeguards her rights and prevents the disintegration of her marriage alliance (of course exceptions do exist, but what we have stated holds true for the majority of the cases).

If there are people who have wrongly interpreted the dower as being a kind of ‘price-tag’ for the women, this meaning has no connection with Islam, for Islam has never looked upon the dower as a ‘cost’ or a ‘price’ of a commodity. The most excellent proof for this is the formula of marriage in which the ‘man’ and the ‘woman’ are officially looked upon as two fundamental parties of the marriage alliance whereas the dower is regarded as a surplus issue and is placed on the side-lines.

It is for this reason that if, in the formula of marriage, the dower is not mentioned, the formula does not become void whereas if, in a transaction, the amount is not stipulated, it would definitely become null and void (of course, it should be noted that if the dower has not been stated in the formula of marriage, the husband, after the consummation of marriage, is obliged to pay the wife mahr al-mithl (suitable dower), i.e. the dower, which is usually paid to women of similar and equal stature.)

From the above we conclude that the dower is a kind of ‘compensation of loss’ and ‘backing to safeguard the rights of a woman’ and not a ‘rate’ or a ‘price-tag’; probably, the use of the word nihlah – meaning largesse – in verse 4 of Suratul Nisa is an allusion to this very fact.