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Misconceptions About Women in Islam
  Why Two Women Witnesses?
Author: S.M. Khan
Source: Extracted from the Book (additions/modifications A. Iyad)
Article ID : MSC030001  [28010]  
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Also, the fact that women are known to be more sensitive and emotional than men must not be overlooked. It is well known, for example, that under identical circumstances women suffer much greater anxiety than men. Numerous medical references on this aspect of female behaviour can be given but to quote as a specimen, we read in 'Sex Differences in Mental Health' that: "Surveys have found different correlates of anxiety and neuroticism in the two sexes. Women and men do not become equally upset by the same things, and being upset does not have the same effect in men as in women. Ekehammer (1974; Ekehammer, Magnusson and Ricklander, 1974) using data from 116 sixteen-year-olds, did a factor analysis on self-reported anxiety. Of the eighteen different responses indicating anxiety (sweating palms, faster heart rate, and so on) females reported experiencing twelve of them significantly more often than males. Of the anxiety-producing situations studied, females reported experiencing significantly more anxiety than males reported in fourteen of them."[11]

It is in light of the above findings of psychologist, psychiatrists and researchers that the saying of Allaah, the Exalted:

And get two witnesses of your own men, and if there are not two men then a man and two women such as you choose for witnesses - SO THAT IF ONE OF THEM ERRS, THE OTHER CAN REMIND HER... [Baqarah 2:182]

can be understood. One must also bear in mind that forgetfulness can be an asset. A woman has to be put up with children presenting all kinds of emotional problems and a woman is certainly known to be more resilient than man. The aim of presenting these research findings on a number of aspects related with the theme is to indicate that a woman by her biological constitution faces such problems. It does not however make her inferior to man but it does illustrate that she is different. Viewed in this way, it can only lead one to the conclusion that Allaah knows His creation the best and has prescribed precise laws in keeping with the nature of humankind.

Allaah, the Creator is - as always - All-Knowing and man (or the disbeliever in Allaah and the final, perfected, revealed way of life, Islaam) is - as usual - either ignorant and arrogant.

Footnotes

1 Psychiatry in Practice, April 1993, p.14.

2 Psychiatry in Practice, April 1993, p.18.

3 Psychological Medicine, Monograph Supplement 4, 1983, Cambridge University Press, p.6.

4 Psychological Medicine, Monograph Supplement 4, 1983, Cambridge University Press, p.7.

5 Psychiatry in Practice, October-November, 1986, p.6.

6 Psychiatry in Practice, May, 1987, p.18.

7 Psychiatry in Practice, May, 1987, p.18. As has been mentioned above the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist. Rather, he merely conveyed the truth that was revealed to him. It is in the context of this quotation and the one before it that the following saying of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) can be understood: "Treat your women kindly. The woman has been created from a rib, and the most curved part of a rib is its upper region. If you try to straighten it you will break it, and if you leave it as it is, it will remain curved. So treat women kindly." And in another narration: "If you try to straighten her you will break her and breaking her means divorce." [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim]. This is very important advice for the man - for him to have patience and not to try to 'reform' the behavioural pattern of the woman during these times i.e. 'to straighten her'. He will not be able to do that, as it is biological in origin. Instead, he should maintain and protect his relationship with her by showing kindness.

8 Psychiatry in Practice, November, 1987, p.26.

9 Psychiatry in Practice, Winter, 1989, p.16.

10 Psychiatry in Practice, Winter, 1989, p.17.

11 Katherine Blick Hoyenga and Kermit T. Hoyenga in 'Sex Differences in Mental Health', p.336.


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