Friday, April 15, 2005

A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?"
"Because I need to" she said.
"I don't understand," he said.
His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will."
Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?"
"All women cry for no reason," his dad answered carelessly
The little boy, still wondering why women cry, finally asked the old wise shaikh. "He surely knows the answer", he thought.
"Ya Shaikh! Why do women cry so easily?"
He answered: "When Allah made the woman she had to be made so special. He made her strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort. He gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that comes from her children. He gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining. He gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child hurts her very badly. He gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart. He gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts is wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly. And lastly, He gave her a tear. This is hers and only hers exclusively to use whenever she needs it. She needs no reason, no explanation, its hers."
"You see my son, the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the beauty of her face, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides."
The little boy got the answer and never asked the question again.
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sara said...

Fear of God and honoring one's fellow men - this is the twin foundation of Islam laid down in the Quran in these words:
"Mankind, fear your Lord who created you from one soul and created man's mate from the same soul, form these two scattering on earth many men and women. Fear God, in whose name you entreat one another, and be careful not to sever your ties of kinship. Allah is watching over what you do."

The words, "and created man's mate from the same soul" have been explained as meaning that first Adam was created from earth; then a rib was taken from his body, out of which Eve - his mate - was formed. But there is nothing in the Quran to support this theory. It is a biblical explanation, not a Quranic one. Here is what the Book of Genesis has to say about the creation of Eve:

"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; "And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.

From this biblical tradition comes the theory that Eve was created from Adam's rib. This story has been given credence by some commentators of the Quran, who have used it to explain Eve's creation "from the same soul as Adam." But this notion does not stand up in the face of established fact, and it has been proven that, over the centuries, the Bible has been subjected to alterations and additions. Its present form is no longer as the prophets originally taught it. Along with prophetic inspiration, it has received a fair injection of human interpolation. For this reason, one cannot rely on explanations given in the Bible, nor is it proper to explain verses of the Quran in the light of biblical statements.

Neither in the verse of the Quran quoted above, nor in any other verse of the Quran, is there any mention of Eve having been created from Adam's rib. The Quran says only that Eve was created from "it." What this "it" refers to is the point in question. Most of those commentators who have penetrated deep into the meaning of the Quran have taken "it" to refer to "species": Eve was created - not from Adam himself - but from the same species as Adam. This is the explanation given - among others - by Abu Muslim Asfahani, and it is this explanation that fits in with other verses of the Quran.

In several verses of the Quran the world for "soul" (nafs) has been used to mean "species." Such verses provide a clear elucidation of the verse quoted above. A selection of them is given here:

"God has created for you spouses, of your own kind."

"And of His signs is that He has created for you - of your own kind - spouses, that you might take comfort in them."

"Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you spouses of your own kind, and the cattle He has also created in pairs."

From a perusal of these verses, one can see that the same word has been used for the spouses of ordinary human beings as was used for Adam's spouse in the verse quoted above. Just as Eve was created from Adam's nafs, so other women have also been created from the same nafs - or kind - as their male counterparts.

Clearly there is no question, in these other verses, of inferring that every female spouse has been created from the body of the male. There is no alternative but to take the word nafs, occurring in these verses, as meaning 'kind.' God has created for you spouses of your own kind, the Quran is telling us, in order that they may provide you with true companionship in your journey through life.

To summarize, women and men are from the same species. Biologically speaking, women have not been extracted from the bodies of their male counterparts. God fashioned them according to His Will, just as He fashioned men in accordance with His Almighty Will and Power.

Sayings of The Prophet

Now we come to certain sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, in which the Arabic word dil' has been mentioned for the word "rib." The first thing that has to be remembered here is that these traditions are about ordinary women, and do not refer to the creation of Adam and Eve. It is the manner of every woman's creation that is being dealt with, not specifically that of Eve. One of the relevant sayings is as follows: "Treat women well, for they have been created from a rib."

Now this cannot be taken to mean that women have actually been created from a rib, for this has no connection with the point conveyed in the rest of the sentence, which is that women should be treated well. A correct interpretation of the word 'rib' has to be one that fits in with the underlying purpose behind the Prophet's statement.

The statement, "women have been created from a "rib", should be taken metaphorically, not literally. What the Prophet wished to convey was this: "Women are akin to a rib and should be treated with due consideration." There is another tradition which explains what this means. "A woman is like a rib," said the Prophet, "if you try to straighten it, it will break."

This saying of the Prophet Muhammad, related in the Sahih of both Bukhari and Muslim - the most authentic collections of traditions - makes it clear that women are like ribs; they are not actually created from ribs. The allusion is figurative not literal. Light is also cast on the meaning of the metaphor. Ribs break when one tries to straighten them. So it is with women. Rather than try to straighten them, it is better to let them be.

"Women have been created from ribs," and "Women are like ribs," are just two different ways of saying the same thing. The Prophet used a parable to explain the delicacy of women's nature, pointing out that they should be treated in accordance with their nature. Their delicate emotional constitution should always be borne in mind

Summarized from: "Women between Islam and Western Society"

sara said...

The righteous have cried, the worshippers have cried and the believers have cried. And in this time there are people by whom a complete year passes and they do not drop a single tear from the fear of Allah. O Allah we seek refuge with you from hard hearts. O Allah soften our hearts to Your remembrance!