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The Muslim Brotherhood and Women

Tuesday 25-04-2017 - 12:13 AM

With regard to the Muslim Brotherhood’s claim that women can become leaders in the Freedom and Justice Party, in the case that she is elected, this claim has turned out to be a fallacy. The Muslim Brotherhood and its leaders had objected to the appointment of women in the media office of the group. At the time, sources from the group revealed that a state of controversy had developed among the MB members who rejected the appointment of women in leading positions.

Recently, MB leaders, who have written opinion articles, disclosed the group’s real stance which is to reject the promotion of female MB members. This rejection popped up when the followers of Mahmoud Ezzat, acting Supreme Guide of the MB, appointed a number of women at the group’s offices in Turkey and London, as well as its media office in Egypt. It brings to mind a current incident, when similar opposition sparked inside the Salafist political camp when parliament stipulated a law that electoral lists must include a certain number of women.

MB founder Hassan al-Banna was once quoted as saying:

"It may be said that Islamic religion differentiates between men and women in many circumstances and conditions, and does not equalize between them totally. This is so accurate."

This statement caused him more trouble when he tried to justify his position by saying, "This devaluation is actually for the woman’s sake more than anything else."

He added, "There are some scientific fields which are not in need of women, and it would be better for her to use her time in other beneficial things ... Women do not need to learn neither different languages nor special technical studies. They also do not need to expand in the study of rights and laws."   

The Brotherhood's hostility towards women is clearly obvious in their fatwas; a ‘fatwa’ being the ruling given by a recognized authority on matters in Islam. Fatwas from the MB were issued in the group's magazine titled ‘The Call.’ This magazine was first published in the 1970s. It was administered and supervised by the group's late Supreme Guide, Omar Telmecani, and its Editor-in-Chief was Saleh Ashmawy, General Deputy of the MB. At the time, the group's Mufti - a Muslim legal expert who is empowered to give rulings on religious matters - was Mohamed Abdalllah Al-Khatib. He was responsible for answering the questions sent to the magazine related to fatwas. Al-Khatib had been a member of the MB Guidance Office since 1990, until he resigned in 2010, citing health issues.


We will present some examples of MB fatwas on women, which show the group’s practical vision of women:


·       A question was sent by a Muslim man living in Germany. It was published in issue No. 39 of the magazine, and released in August, 1979.

"I’m curious about the interpretation of this Hadith –a saying of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)–which says: "There are two types of people who will be punished in Hell and whom I have not seen: men having whips like the tails of cows and they will be beating people with them, and, women who will be dressed but appear to be naked, inviting to evil; and they themselves will be inclined to it. Their heads will appear like the humps of the Bactrian camel inclined to one side. They will not enter Jannah (Heaven), and they will not smell its fragrance which is perceptible from such and such a distance."

The answer to the second part of the question was as follows:

The second part of the Hadith tells us about types of women who were described as “dressed but appear to be naked” because their clothes actually aim to show the attractiveness of their body, rather than covering themselves, so they are considered naked. This is similar to most of women's clothing these days. The Hadith also refers to modern hairstyles and wigs made by hairdressers. All the nudity and artificialness aim at stirring passions and seduction. Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) says, “Any woman who wears perfume then passes by people so that they can smell her fragrance, is an adulteress.

The Hadith also warns us about these types of people and tells us that they are not included under Allah’s mercy because they are the enemies of Allah, His Messenger and humanity ... Every Muslim must guard the faith within himself, his house and society. He must also avoid imitation and imitators, and advise each other on truthfulness and patience. Every Muslim woman must avoid these features mentioned in the Hadith so that they can smell the fragrance of Jannah and be one of its people. Otherwise, they will face dangerous results. “And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.” (Quran -Al Baqarah: 281)


·       A question was sent by “N.S.Z” living in Sohag, Egypt, published in issue No. 58 of the magazine and released in February, 1981.

What is the Sanad (reference) of the Hadith which says “A people who make a woman their ruler will never be successful.” What is the ruling of Islam on women’s public governance?

The Brotherhood provides a final and decisive answer revealing their strict rejection:

The Hadith is true and mentioned in the books of: Sahih Al-Bukhari, Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-Nasa'i and Sunan at-Tirmidhi Hadith. It was narrated by Abu Bakr that when the Prophet (pbuh) was informed that the Persians had crowned the daughter of Khosrau as their ruler, he said so, (the above mentioned Hadith).

The late preacher, Al-Mawdudi said, "When we add this Hadith to the Quranic verse “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women” (An-Nisa:34), we will find that women are not eligible to assume leading positions such as the presidency, ministers, or being legislative members counseling governmental institutions.

Some may say that the Quran described men as maintainers of family, not state policy. Our reply to those violators of the Quran and Sunnah is as follows: If Allah did not make women the maintainers of their homes, He will not permit them to lead a state which includes millions of homes. We see now some women who criticize the religion. Some say, "I am against the hijab (veil) and that veiled women terrify children by their odd appearance. Others say, "Islam does not impose the hijab on women,” and then violate the rules imposed by Allah, saying, "this issue needs discussion.” How could a people professing such evil things assume leading state positions?

On the other hand, there is a difference between allowing women to takeover leading positions, which is not allowed in Islam, and acting as a jurist, consultant or Mufti for their gender. The Prophet (pbuh) had consulted his wife, Um Salmah, after the Khudaibiya agreement. The caliphs had also consulted women if they saw them as qualified. Some followers said whenever we disagreed over an opinion, jurisprudence, science or poetry, we tended to the Mother of the Believers, Aisha, and she always gave us the right fatwa. 


·       A question was sent by “F.M. Gamal” living in Cairo, Egypt, published in issue No. 43 of the magazine and released in December 1979.

I am a young devout person and maintain my prayers, however I get affected when seeing a blatant woman or listening to love stories. I fear for my religious pious. What can I do? Is masturbation allowed, especially that there are many people like me?

The answer to the first part of the question was as follows:

The MB Mufti said: I noticed that a large number of messages talk about this issue. I appreciate this noble sense of fear for religion in young people. The religious Muslim youth are at a loss when they go out on the streets to university or work. They find blatant women wearing see through or revealing clothes, in addition to those girls who wear men's clothes and vice versa. All these things were made by the enemies of Islam, who took advantage of the absence of the Islamic system which protects individuals, families and the nation.

The Protocol IX of ‘Elders of Zion’ stipulates, “We have deceived the young generation of non-Jews and made them corrupt by teaching them false principles and theories.

Truthful believers of the Islamic countries should think about practical solutions to the problems of young people. It’s not acceptable to ignore sexual instincts, “there is no monasticism in Islam." The parents should abandon the complexities of society, and consider marriage as obedience to Allah, rather than a commodity for sale. We should help young men, who can afford basics needs, to get married. We, clerics, should apply what we call for, if we want to provide solutions to our problems. This is the best thing we can offer to our Islamic call.


·       A question was sent by “Alaa Ahmed” living in Daqahlia, published in issue No. 64 and released in August, 1981.

We are divided over the issue of family planning. Some permit it, while others forbid it. How do you see this issue?

The answer of the magazine was as follows:

The magazine had discussed all the aspects of this issue and its sources refer back to the Crusaders. I emphasize that the call for birth control is suspicious, and we should expose the forces which promote it in our society. We see the whole world works to increase its descendant and offers thousands of awards. We see heads of churches and monasteries refuse birth control and recommend increasing their descendants. Do they aim to reduce the population of  the Islamic nation in preparation to eliminate Muslims? This behavior should be disclosed for the people. The Muslim monotheists deserve care more than anyone on earth, as they are the most precious people. “What would my Lord care for you if not for your supplication?” For you [disbelievers] have denied, so your denial is going to be adherent.” (Al-Furqan:77)


·       A question was sent by a Muslim woman in issue No. 40 and released in September, 1979.

I applied for a job in a private company, and then I was selected to work as a secretary for the director of company. I would like to inform you that I need this job, however I’m a Muslim girl who fears Allah, and I have heard a lot of bad things about the nature of this job. Would you give me advice?

If a Muslim woman is forced to work outside her home, Islamic Sharia would allow that on the condition that she follows the morals of religion. She should not work in jobs prohibited by the Sharia, and should not engage with strangers except in necessary cases, taking into account modesty in clothing and speaking. “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused.  And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (Al-Ahzab: 59) “Do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech.” (Al-Ahzab: 32)

The Muslim woman should avoid being alone with her male colleague or manager in or outside the workplace. Working as a secretary for a director requires spending some time only with him. “No man is alone with a woman but the devil is the third one present.” Listen my Muslim sister; I think you have heard enough about the nature of this job, and nothing will justify working in such a position. I advise you to keep away from suspicions, and preserve your religion and honor. Cheer up because Allah will prepare a way out.

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