Ghazali On Women In Islam
A Shiraz EvilTwin November 30, 2000
Today there is a struggle between the non practicing Muslims and the devout Muslims. The devout Muslims want divisions along religious lines while the non practicing Muslims simply want a better life.
The devout Muslims are clerics, scholars and professional salesmen of Islam who are ready to use everything from desperate violence to mental terror. Their first target is subjugation of the non practicing Muslims who want to re interpret Islam of the old (the Islam of Mohammad's time) so that they may live in peace and prosperity.
What would happen if non practicing Muslims began following Islam ? What would happen if they listened to their clerics, scholars and Ulama ( knowers ) like Ghazali ? The famous and revered leader (Imam) Ghazali (1058-1111) represents the pinnacle of understanding of Islam [Notes on Ghazali (what status does Ghazali enjoy? Go to ) ] .
What is the mentality of the greatest teacher and preacher of Islam ? Particularly how did Ghazali view women ? While you read the following keep asking yourself the question "Would I as a decent human being" (assuming you want to be one) "would I associate myself with such a religion ? Would I let my mothers and sisters and daughters live under such a religion ?"
In The Revival Of The Religious Sciences (importance of the references go to ) 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. [3.1] 
- 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".
- 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 of 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:
- separation from mother and father and marriage to a stranger;
- 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 not;
- disqualification for ruler ship 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 Proof Of Islam. Ghazali is still so highly revered amongst the majority of Muslim clerics that that he is called "proof of Islam".
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 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 (organs) to her husband even if it is on the saddle of a camel. And he equally urged those men who teach their women to write : "Do not add evil to unhappiness" learning his lessons from Mohammad and Omar who commanded : "Prevent women from learning to write. adopt positions opposite those of women. There is great virtue in such opposition."
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'I (major factions) consider even the woman's hand and the face to be awrah (genitalia), and therefore should be covered. [3.3] 
Such are some of the sayings from the putative golden age of Islam. The golden age of Islamic feminism. Would you like to return to such a "golden age" as described by the Islamic clergy ? Would you as an honorable man subject women to the above ? Would you as self respecting woman submit yourself (Islam literally meaning submission) to the above ? Would you stand by while such acts are committed in the name of religion and culture ? Would you not consider the above criminal ? Would you deny humanity to half the inhabitants of this globe ? Would you not liberate your brothers and sisters from Islam ?
Who was Ghazali ?
"He was the greatest theologian produced by Islam." Encyclopedia of Islam
"He is recognised as the most influential Muslim thinker of all time..."
"No 'alim can have his rank." - 'Abdallah bin 'Alawi al-Haddad
Al-Faqih ul 'Allamah Isma'il bin Muhammad al-Hadhramy calls Imam al-Ghazali "Sayyidul Musannifeen" (the leader of all the authors).
Imam Abu'l Hasan al-Shadhili once saw Mohammad in a dream pointing to Ghazali and asking Moses and Jesus whether they had seen such a hibr (most knowledgeable scholar) in their ummah (Muslim community). They responded "No".
Praise for The Revival Of The Religious Sciences (Ihya'Ulum al-Deen) from Muslim clerics:
Shaikh ul-Akbar 'Abdallah al-'Aydaroos (865 A.H -1461 C.E) said that The Revival Of The Religious Sciences (Ihya) is a sharh (_explanation_) of the Holy Qur'an Kareem and the Hadith Shareef, and the reading of it brings maghfira (forgiveness of Allah).
"The Ihy'a approaches being a Quran" Nawawi Ibid., Vol V, p. 6.
The belief that the wife is the slave of the man is also shared by other influential clerics such as Razi, and Ibn al-Araby (Ibn al-'Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur'an, part one, p. 63).
Shaikh 'Abdallah al-'Aydaroos calls it the "bahral muhit" (the encircling ocean) and "a'jubatuz-zamaan" (the marvel of the times). He advises that if anyone acts on it, he will get the love of Allah, the love of Mohammad, the love of the angels, the love of all the Prophets; and the love of the awliyaAllah (friends of Allah).
Shaikh 'Abdallah al-'Aydaroos and Shaikh Abubakr al-'Aydaroos (914 A.H-1508 C.E) popularized the books of Ghazali so much that several editions of the Ihya were produced in their time. Dars (lessons) used to be given from the Ihya and in the time of Shaikh Abubakr al-'Aydaroos, the reading of the Ihya from all 1800 pages of it, was completed 25 times. This tradition continues to this day among the 'ulama (scholars).
Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-Kaazruni said, that if all the books were to perish, the Ihya would be sufficient to replace them all.
Shaikh 'Ali bin Abubakr bin Shaikh 'AbdulRahman al-Saqqaf said that if a non-believer opened the Ihya, he would become a Muslim.
The Ihya is widely considered "medicine for the heart, medicine for the soul and a means to achieve everlasting bliss in paradise".
Some excerpts and basis for Ihya :
[3.1] "If blood, suppuration, and pus, were to pour from the husband's nose and the wife licked it with her tongue, she would still never be able to fulfill his rights over her. "
Suyuti, commenting on Q. 4:34.
[3.2] "Had it not been for women, God would have truly, truly been worshipped."
Kanz-el-'Ummal (Treasures for Scholars), Vol. 21, Hadith No. 825.
[3.3] "The woman is awrah. When she goes outside (the house), the devil welcomes her." By Mohammad
Ihy'a 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut, Vol II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 65. Reported by Tirmizi as a true and good Hadith.
 "Omar [one of the Khalifs] was once talking when his wife interjected. Upon this he said to her: 'You are a toy, if you are needed we will call you.'"
Al-Musanaf by Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn 'Abd Allah Ibn Mousa Al-Kanadi who lived 557H., Vol. 1 Part 2, p. 263. See also Ihy'a 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al- Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut, Vol II, Kitab Adab al- Nikah, p. 52.
 "Women are toys, so choose." By Amru Bin al-Aas, also a Khalif
Kanz-el-'Ummal, Vol. 21, Hadith No. 919.
 "If a woman offered one of her breasts to be cooked and the other to be roasted, she still will fall short of fulfilling her obligations to her husband. And besides that if she disobeys her husband even for a twinkling of an eye, she would be thrown in the lowest part of Hell, except she repents and turns back." By Mohammad
Tuffaha, Ahmad Zaky, Al-Mar'ah wal- Islam, Dar al-Kitab al- Lubnani, Beirut, first edition, 1985, p. 176. It is also quoted in Al- Musanaf by Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn 'Abd Allah Ibn Mousa Al-Kanadi who lived 557H., vol. 1 part 2, p. 255.
 "Women have ten awrat (genitalia). When she gets married, the husband covers one, and when she dies the grave covers the ten." By Mohammad
Kanz-el-'Ummal, Vol. 22, Hadith No. 858. See also Ihy'a 'Uloum ed- Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut, Vol II, Kitab Adab al- Nikah, p. 65
 "The companions of Mohammad used to block the windows and the holes in the walls of their houses, so that their women do not look at other men. Omar said, Get your women used to the word 'No'."
Ihya' 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut, vol. II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 53.
[R1] ]. Ihya' 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut, vol. II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 64
[R2] Ihy'a 'Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut, Vol II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 51.