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"Women Are Short Of Faith And Intelligence"— Muhammad Said

The Egyptian contemporary scholar Sheikh al-Sha’rawi stresses the fact that Muhammad uttered this statement. This is recorded in Vol. 4, p.21 of his famous book, "You Ask And Islam Answers". Al-Sha’rawi, who is regarded as the Sheik of Islam, relies on the former recognized scholars. We encounter the following dialogue in the Sahih of al-Bukhari (Vol. l, p. 83) and in the Mishkat al-Masabih (p.15) which took place between Muhammad and some women:

"Muhammad said: ‘I have seen that you, in spite of being deficient in mind and religion, rob even a wise man of his senses.’ They said: ‘Allah’s messenger, where lies our deficiency of reason and faith?’ He said: ‘Is not the evidence (testimony) of a woman equal to half the evidence of a man?’ They said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘This is because of the deficiency of your minds (mental status). Is it not a fact that when you enter the period of menses, you neither observe prayer nor observe fast?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ Then he said: ‘This is the deficiency in your faith."’

"Women are short of faith and intelligence!" A strange statement uttered by Muhammad which is an obvious insult to the women who asked him! Why, Why, Muhammad? He responds with the above-mentioned, weird reasons. If God does not command women to fast or to pray during their menstrual period, why should He regard this matter as a lack of faith and religion? Is it because they obey God’s orders? Or is prayer a mere physical exercise of standing up and prostrating? Or is it a matter of lifting the heart up to God at any time?

What about the woman’s testimony in court? According to Islamic law, the testimony of a woman is equal to one half of a man’s testimony. This is one of the incomprehensible, unjustifiable Qur’anic laws which is regarded as another insult to women. If Muhammad attempted to justify this on the basis of women’s lack of faith and intelligence, it would be an excuse which is worse than an offense. Thus, when Muhammad tried to justify his attitude, he really rendered women another insult especially by claiming that a woman is equal to half a man.

Taken from http://answering-islam.org/BehindVeil/btv3.html#CH3 (Note: We do not necessarily endorse this site or its views.)