Monday, December 24, 2007

Wilson, Piper and Wright

Don't know how many of my readers are keeping up with the whole controversy re the New Persective on Paul, but Piper has written a book interacting with Wright, and Wilson is reviewing the reviewer's (Piper's) review. Here is the link, for those interested:

http://www.dougwils.com/index.asp?Action=ArchivesByTopic&TopicID=33

The new ones are posted on his blog as often as he writes them.

Blessings,
Jesse Broussard

5 comments:

Dr Ali said...

Prophet Muhammad’s Patterns of Peaceful Communication
By: Ali Zohery
Background
The Prophet Muhammad was assigned the Mission of peace in the world by Allah. The fundamental purpose was to attain peace with the lord, peace with the universe and peace with the people. The Quran, in very plain words, announces the arrival of the prophet of peace in these words: “ O People of the book! Our Messenger has come to you, Light has come to you from Allah and a book which guides to the truth, whereby Allah leads to ways of peace those who seek His pleasure.” ( 5:17-18) These verse stress that the Prophet was sent to guide the people to the way of peace. The west misunderstood Islam and stereotyping it with violence and terrorism.

What does it mean to be a Muslim? Islam literally means submission, and, in Arabic, the root word for Islam (SLM) is peace. To be Muslim, then, is the struggle to peacefully submit to reality, and this implies a perfectly balanced sense of self. Self that is founded on the knowledge of its place in Creation, and that exists in perfect empathy with the rest of Creation.)from an article in Islam online: The Conquering Force of Islam,By Ramzi Kysia, 11/12/2001)

Peace is the most common word on a Muslim's tongue. Whenever two people meet, they exchange greetings, wishing each other peace: "Peace be upon you." But peace cannot prevail except through justice. Since the concept of justice may differ from one man to another, or from one society to another, Muslims believe that real justice is that which is specified by Allah (God).

Research Questions
History proves that religion has been one of the main causes of resentment and enmity among humans. Millions of people lost their lives fighting against each other only in the name of religion. In view of this how can we say that the religion of Islam is a source of peace? How wars could be used for the specific purpose of securing peace and justice?

Methodology:

Textual analysis is a method used by researchers to “describe and interpret the characteristics of a recorded or visual message” (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994, p.225). Textual analysis describes the content, structure, and functions of messages contained in texts. The purpose is to ascertain the meaning intended by the producer of a text (Hirsch, 1967); other scholars focus on how consumers perceive and interpret text, regardless of the meaning intended by the producer.

Textual analysis can be used to answer the two major questions posed in communication research: “What is the nature of communication?” And “How is communication related to other variables?

Within textual analysis is embodied rhetorical criticism that owes its working definition to Aristotle’s work on “the available means of persuasion” Rhetorical criticism itself is defined as “a systematic method for describing, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating the persuasive force of messages embedded within texts” (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994, p.229)



Textual Boundaries:

Where does A text begin and end? If a text has a determinate state, then it would necessarily follow that we should be able to localize the text. But where? The language of the text suggest that we end the text where language ends. (Joseph Grigely, Textualterity, Art, Theory, and Textual Criticism, P. 130) The language that the prophet used set unlimited boundaries to the text. The message of the prophet was not intended for his local people. It was for all people every where and for all generations to come.

Textual Event
Joseph Grigely argues that text might be prepared for a specific event and he raises the issue of the notion of iterability (iterare, to repeat; iterum, again). Repeatability is a universal quality in textual studies, where efforts are made to produce or reproduce a particular text. (Joseph Grigely, Textualterity, Art, Theory, and Textual Criticism, P. 93)

Significance of the Study

The religion of Islam is misunderstood in the western world. The Muslims images in the west are stereotyped with violent, terrorism and backwardness. Understanding the Religion of Islam would correct the wrong ideas and introduce the religion of Islam with its valuable values and principles to the non-Muslims. The values of Islam, if applied, would be a public and private policy. A way of life, every one would enjoy and live in peace with each others regardless their different backgrounds, colors or ethnicity’s.

Theoretical Framework
The Narrative Paradigm Theory
We are a species of storytellers. And it should be no surprise—humans have been on Earth far longer than written language. Long before recorded history, the only means our ancestors had to preserve their history is through stories told and retold through countless generations. Today we call these folk tales, old wives tales, fairy tales. Although the Bible is a book of stories, its really a book of rules and human values cleverly disguised to be infinitely applicable.

Donald Foster’s favorite Bible story is Mel Brooks playing Moses. He proclaims, "I bring you the Word of God! I bring you these stone tablets containing the Fifteen.... [sound of falling, smashing, crumbling rock] "...containing the Ten Commandments!" A story, even in jest, is a marvelous way to convey a message and have it stick.

The prophet Muhammad used the narrative methods to highlight a specific value or to give an example of what he was talking about. Al- Bara bin Azib narrated that when Prophet Muhammad concluded a peace treaty with the people of Hudaibiya, Ali bin Abu Talib wrote the document and he mentioned in it, “Muhammad, Allah’s Apostle.” The pagans said, “Don’t write: ‘Muhammad, Allah’s Apostle’ for if you were an apostle we would not fight with you.” Allah’s Apostle asked Ali to rub it out, but Ali said, “I will not be the person to rub it out.” Allah’s Apostle rubbed it out and made peace with them on the condition that the prophet and his companions would enter Mecca and stay there for three days, and that they would enter with their weapons in cases.

Authors West & Turner, citing Walter Fisher and the Narrative Paradigm, assert that a narrative method is a better rhetorical tool than a rational approach. In addition to Fisher's list describing the narrative paradigm, Donald Foster adds:

Humans imagine themselves in the story.
A story creates images, which as we know, are compelling.
People are more likely to trust a story as a factual recounting of an event.

On the other hand, an appeal to logic (the prime tool in a rational paradigm) engages the listener's mind in analytical thinking. By its very nature, analytical thinking demands a contrary hypothesis—even if unconscious—so begins with a negative perspective.

An important aspect is that the listener must find a meaning in the narrative—I believe, the listener must feel part of the story. He must identify with the players, with the message, or with the circumstances. During any communication, of any type, the narration must "pull in" the listener.

Another key feature is narrative rationality—in essence, the "believability" of the message. It must be factual, truthful, and correspond to elements of knowledge and belief the listener already holds as truth. Anything else generates cognitive dissonance. The Muslim audiences believe the prophet in all his narrations of any story. The narration method is a mean to deliver a specific rule or instruction. When the prophet tells a story related to his instruction that will make it easy to remember and to apply when it is needed. For the non-Muslim audiences, the narrative method, that the prophet used, would be a way to convince them with idea that the prophet was conveying.

Coherence in a narrative is the property of "feeling right". The story matches and fits with the listener's expectations, values, and experiences. The narrative must fit the listener's "mental model". Another characteristic, fidelity, is "ringing true".

Some of Fisher's properties of narrative sound like the process in a court of law. Are the statements true and factual? Has any important data been omitted or distorted? What is the reasoning? How is the data relevant? Does the narrative address the important and significant issues? (Donald Foster, The Narrative Paradigm Theory)
Literature Review, Findings, Interpretation and Analysis
Allah in the Quran commands people to return the evil that is done to them by others to not only with good, but with best!.

Verse 13:22 "Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord; establish regular prayers; spend out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (Eternal) Home."

Verse 23:96 "Repel evil with that which is best: We are Well-acquainted with the things they say."

Verse 41:34 "Nor can goodness and evil be equal. Repel (evil) with that is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!."

Verse 28:54 "Twice will they be given their reward, for that they have persevered, that they avert evil with good, and that they spend (in charity) out of what We have given them."

Verse 42:40 "The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) Loveth not those who do wrong."

Whether people speak evil of you, in your presence or behind your back, or they do evil to you in either of those ways, all is known to Allah Almighty. It is not for you to punish. Your best course is not to do evil in your turn, but to do what will best repel the evil. Two evils do not make a good.

You do not return good for evil, for there is no equality or comparison between the two. You repel or destroy evil with something which is far better, just as an antidote is better than poison. You foil hatred with love. You repel ignorance with knowledge, folly and wickedness with the friendly message of Revelation. The man who was in bondage of sin, you not only liberate from sin, but make him your greatest friend and helper in the cause of Allah Almighty!. Your credit for returning evil with good and paying for charity is double. Also if you forgive and return the evil with good, then Allah Almighty will love you and reward you.

"It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). (The Quran, 3:159)"
"Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men; for Allah loves those who do good. (The Quran, 3:134)"
"Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant. (The Quran, 7:199)"
"Allah loveth not that evil should be noised a broad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done; for Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth all things. (The Quran, 4:148)"
"Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan doth sow dissensions among them: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy. (The Quran, 17:53)"
"Who avoid vain talk; (The Quran, 23:3)"
"And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: 'To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant.' (The Quran, 28:55)"

"...if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people...(The Quran, 5:32)" In this Noble Verse we clearly see that Allah Almighty honors all the innocent souls that He created. Killing any innocent soul is so hated by Allah Almighty that He considers it as a crime against all of Mankind.

"Those who invoke not, with God, any other god, nor slay such life as God has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication; - and any that does this (not only) meets punishment. (The Quran, 25:68)" In this Noble Verse we clearly see that Allah Almighty considers the innocent soul "sacred". He will punish those who kill the innocent souls (by throwing them in hell).

Negative impressions of Islam are most often based on a lack of accurate and objective information. As God states in the Quran, Islam's revealed text: 'O mankind! We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know and honor each other (not that you should despise one another). Indeed the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most righteous.' (49:13)"The Quran also states: 'Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best who have strayed from His Path and who receive guidance.' (16:125)

5:16 “Wherewith Allah guideth all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace and safety, and leadeth them out of darkness, by His will, unto the light,- guideth them to a path that is straight”

8:61 “But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah. for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things).”

25:63 “And the servants of ((Allah)) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, "Peace!";

28:55 “And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: "To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant."

49:9 “If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies then make peace between them with justice and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just).” ( The above Quran Verses were translated by Yousef Ali. The Internet search engines were used to gather verses related the peace keyword)

In the last farewell, the Prophet made it clear that:

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a White has no superiority over a Black nor a Black has any superiority over a White except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly."

The message of the Prophet that he delivered included a very important concept, i.e., equality of mankind. People are equal in the sight of Allah and in front of the law. They were born from Adam and Eve. Both of these parents, and all of us are made of dust – no one is better than the other.

The concept of equality is based on justice: All are equal and no one can claim that he is more pious or even more righteous than the other except through piety and righteousness. (Sakr,1998, p. 19)

Um Kulthum heard Prophet Muhammad saying, “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.”

George Bernard Shaw said about The Prophet Muhammad: "He must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him (Prophet Muhammad) were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness."
(The Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936)

A man came to the Prophet one day and said, "I want to perform Jihad [struggle]." Mohammad asked, "are your parents alive?," and when the man said they were, he told him, "perform Jihad by taking care of them" (al-Bukhari).
In the West, there is a misconception that Islam was forced on people and spread by war. In fact, Islam was spread largely through trade, and its converts were often from among the poor, and those who suffered from unjust oppression within their societies. Like Jesus, Mohammad taught that the poor would enter heaven before the rich, and that all people are equal before God, except in piety. The Prophet Mohammad did fight when the family of Islam was threatened, and popular tradition holds that inscribed on his sword were the words, "Forgive him who wrongs you; join him who cuts you off; do good to him who does evil to you; and speak the truth even if it be against yourself."
The word for war in Arabic is harb. To fight is unhf, and to kill is qateel. Jihad means none of these. Jihad is to struggle, to strive, and to overcome. In Islam, there are two forms of Jihad: greater and lesser. Greater Jihad is the struggle within ourselves to destroy our egos, to become less selfish and submit our wills to the greater Will of God. Lesser Jihad is the struggle against worldly oppression, and it must be understood in this context. It is our failure to live in submission to God that leads to our personal pains and failures in life, and it is through those shortcomings that we can come to commit injustice against others. As people of faith, it is our duty to help both the oppressed and the oppressors. We help the oppressed by lifting their oppression, and we help the oppressors by preventing them from doing harm to their brothers and sisters in the world.
There is no such thing as the concept of a holy or a just war in Islam. All wars result either in or from injustice - or both. Muslims are permitted to fight only against injustice and in self-defense. When Muslims fight, they are severely restricted in how they can fight. The ends do not justify the means. Two of the most repeated phrases in the Qur'an are that God loves those who act equitably, justly and mercifully, and that God does not love those who exceed limits. In war, Muslims must not kill non-combatants, children, the elderly, or the infirm. Nor are Muslims allowed to use torture, or to destroy crops, animals, or people's homes in war. And if in the course of war the enemy honestly sues for peace, then, regardless of who has advantage, peace must be granted. Indeed, the Prophet Mohammad taught that a perfect Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands mankind is at all times safe (al-Bukhari and Muslim). .)from an article in Islam online: The Conquering Force of Islam,By Ramzi Kysia, 11/12/2001)

Qaradawi stated that "Islam, the religion of tolerance, holds the human soul in high esteem, and considers the attack against innocent human beings a grave sin, this is backed by the Qur'anic verse which reads:
” Who so ever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and who so ever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind," (Al-Ma'dah:32).
"The Prophet is reported to have said, 'A believer remains within the scope of his religion as long as he doesn't kill another person illegally',".
Haphazard killing where the rough is taken with the smooth and where innocents are killed along with wrongdoers is totally forbidden in Islam. No one, as far as Islam is concerned, is held responsible for another's actions. Upon seeing a woman killed in the battlefield, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, denied the act and said: "That woman shouldn't have been killed anyway!".
Even in times of war, Muslims are not allowed to kill anybody save the one who is indulged in face-to-face confrontation with them. They are not allowed to kill women, old persons, children, or even a monk in his religious seclusion.
Qaradawi then asserted that is why killing hundreds of helpless civilians who have nothing to do with the decision-making process and are striving hard to earn their daily bread, such as the victims of the latest explosions in America, is a heinous crime in Islam. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have stated that a woman was qualified to enter Hell because of the cat she locked up to death.
"If such is the ruling applied in protecting animals, no doubt, aggression against human beings, a fortiori, deserves greater protection, for human beings are honored by Allah Almighty and are His vicegerents on earth," he added.
"I categorically go against a committed Muslim's embarking on such attacks. Islam never allows a Muslim to kill the innocent and the helpless. (Yusuf al-Qaradawi -Islam Online- News Section – Nov. 05, 2001)

The two main sources of the religion of Islam: The Quran and the traditions (Sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad) clearly are against killing innocent people.

A man asked the prophet: “which act in Islam is the best?” The prophet replied, “to give food, and to salute everyone, whether you know them or not.” In another tradition, the prophet said: “You will not enter paradise until you believe, you will by no means believe until you love one another. Shall I inform you of something which, if you do, you will love one another? Give currency to salutation amongst you”



Conclusion – Recommendation

The narrative methods that the prophet used to deliver his message through his sayings made his ideas clear and convincing. His narrative fidelity and truthfulness was not questioned from his followers or enemies. Even before his prophethood, he was known by “the trusted and the honest one”. Textual analysis of his sayings would clarify his message to be correctly understood. Hundreds of books are written for that purpose in most languages of the world.

The Prophet taught exactly what the ancient Prophets had been teaching. The high and noble aim of preaching such a universal religion is to unite the nations of the world, establish peace, and eradicate all causes of conflict. Today the world is out of joint. People all over the world are searching for peace.

The light of scientific knowledge is spreading. But it has signally failed to dispel clouds of hatred and hostility which have spread darkness. Every now and then, plans for world peace are put forward. But they prove all too superficial.

The most effective panacea for world peace was proclaimed by the Prophet Muhammad. He forcefully exhorted the people that they should cherish reverence for the Prophets of all nations, and live up t b7

o their revealed teachings.

This panacea was tried with unparalleled success in Arabia, where the warring tribes were cemented into brotherhood. This panacea can be tried even today. It will surely lay the foundations of real and enduring union and peace.

Belief in the Unity of God alone can bring about unity among nations. As this teaching is universal in character, the Prophet who gave it to the world, was rightly entitled "Mercy for all people.”

Just as one universal religion is an effective means of uniting the nations, it is also a guarantee for establishing international peace and justice.

The Prophet laid the foundation and the guidelines for establishing peace and justice among the nations. If any teachings can put an end to conflicts and strengthen the bonds of human brotherhood in these times of crisis, it is the Prophet's teachings. (www.islamia.com The Prophet Muhammad on International Peace and Justice by Maulana Sadr-ud-Din Sahib)

References

1. Holly Qur’an

2. Akbar, M. U. (1991). The orations of Muhammad the Prophet of Islam. New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan.

3. Baran, S. J. & Davis, D. K. (2000) Mass Communication Theory, Wadsworth, p. 236

4. Besant, A. (1932). The Life And Teachings Of Muhammad, Madras, P. 4.

5. Denzin, N. K & Lincolin, Y. S. (2000) Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, inc., Thousand Oaks

6. Encyclopedia Britannica: (Vol. 12)

7. Faizi, S. F. H. (1997). Sermons of the prophet. New Delhi, Kitab Bhavan

8. (The Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936)

9. Gibbon, E. And Ockley, S. (1870). History Of The Saracen Empires, London, P. 54)

10. Glubb, J. B. (1991). The life and Times of Muhammad. Chelsea, MI: Scarborough House.

11. Grigely, J. (1995). Textualterity, Art, Theory, and Textual Criticism, University of Michigan Press.

12. Haykal, M. H. (1976). The life of Muhammad. USA: American Trust

Publications.

13. Lane-Poole, S. (1994). The speeches & table-talk of the Prophet Muhammad. New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan.

14. Lings, M. (1983). Muhammad his life based on the earliest sources. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, Ltd.

15. Naidu, S. (1918). Ideals Of Islam, Vide Speeches & Writings, Madras, P. 169

16. Peters, F E. (1994). Muhammad and the origins of Islam. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

17. Rauf, M. A. (1996). The life and the teaching of the prophet Muhammad. Alexandria, VA: Al-saadawi publications.

18. Sadr-ud-Din Sahib, The Prophet Muhammad on International Peace and Justice --www.islamia.com

19. Sakr, A. (1998) The farewell Khutbah of the Prophet, Foundation for Islamic Knowledge, Illinois

20. Shah, S. I. A. ( 1996). Muhammed the Prophet. Reno, NV: Tractus Books.

21. Siddiqui, A. H. (1991). Life of Muhammad. Chicago, IL: Library of Islam.

22. Zahur-ul-Haque, (1995) Muhammad the Greatest Leader, New Delhi, pp. 51- 53

23. Kysia, Ramzi, (11/12/2001), The Conquering Force of Islam, Islam online,)

Dr Ali said...

Textual Analysis of the Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad
By: Ali Zohery

Background

Pilgrimage in Islam was prescribed during the 9th year of the Islamic Hijra or 623 C.E. The prophet of Islam deputed Abu Baker to lead the pilgrims to perform the Haj. During the 10th year of Hijra, the Prophet left Medina on the 26 of Zul Qi’dah with an average of 90,000 Muslims who joined him to perform Haj. On the 9th of Zul Hijjah the Prophet left Makkah to Arafat with a group of Muslims who exceeded 115,000. At the Mount of Mercy (Al Rahmah), the prophet mounted his camel, and addressed the Muslims while Rabi’ah Ibn Umaiyah Ibn Khalaf was repeating after the Prophet sentence by sentence. This khotba was the last one that the Prophet delivered. The haj performance to Makkah and Arafat was the only one and the last one that the Prophet did. For this reason, the speech that he gave was called Khutbatul Wida’: The farewell Speech, the Farewell Khutba, The farewell Sermon, or the Farewell Address. (Sakr, The farewell Khutbah of the Prophet, p.13). This research is to analyze the text of the Farewell address of the Prophet Muhammad from semiotics and discourse analysis approaches.

Statement of the Problem:

Textual Analysis of the last sermon of the Prophet is to interpret the text and to address the issues that has been mentioned by the prophet and regarded highly by all Muslims.

In his address, the Prophet addressed several issues:

· Freedom to all

· Sanctity of life, wealth and property

· Equality of all races

· Justice in front of the law and in front of Allah

· Women’s rights and obligations

· Exploitation and Monopoly

· Rights of others

Research Question
The study seeks to investigate the following specific research questions:



After about fourteen centuries from delivering the Last Sermon of the prophet, are the issues at the statement of the problem still relevant to the human society in the modern times? Or were they just related the Prophet time and place only?

Methodology:

Textual analysis is a method used by researchers to “describe and interpret the characteristics of a recorded or visual message” (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994, p.225). Textual analysis describes the content, structure, and functions of messages contained in texts. The purpose is to ascertain the meaning intended by the producer of a text (Hirsch, 1967); other scholars focus on how consumers perceive and interpret text, regardless of the meaning intended by the producer.

Textual analysis can be used to answer the two major questions posed in communication research: “What is the nature of communication?” And “How is communication related to other variables?

Within textual analysis is embodied rhetorical criticism that owes its working definition to Aristotle’s work on “the available means of persuasion” Rhetorical criticism itself is defined as “a systematic method for describing, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating the persuasive force of messages embedded within texts” (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994, p.229)

Textual Boundaries:

Where does A text begin and end? If a text has a determinate state, then it would necessarily follow that we should be able to localize the text. But where? The language of the text suggest that we end the text where language ends. (Joseph Grigely, Textualterity, Art, Theory, and Textual Criticism, P. 130) In the farewell address, the language that the prophet used set unlimited boundaries to the text. The message of the prophet was not intended for his local people. It was for all people every where and for all generations to come. The prophet used the terminology “O People” He did not use “O Muslims” or “O Believers”. He asked the attended people to deliver His words to others and the others to others.

Textual Event
Joseph Grigely argues that text might be prepared for a specific event and he raises the issue of the notion of iterability (iterare, to repeat; iterum, again). Repeatability is a universal quality in textual studies, where efforts are made to produce or reproduce a particular text. (Joseph Grigely, Textualterity, Art, Theory, and Textual Criticism, P. 93) The last sermon of The Prophet Muhammad has been known, repeated, produced, reproduced, printed, reprinted and will stay forever in the world since it was delivered by the Prophet fourteen centuries ago.

At lest, two million Muslims from around the world every year, they stand at the same mountain of Arafat in Makkah and they remember the Prophet’s last sermon and its universal values that brought to the world.

Theoretical Framework
Sensemaking

Dennis Jaehne explores the process of sensemaking by giving the following example: “imagine yourself in a world before meaning. This is difficult, if not impossible to do, so we will need a metaphor to help us. Suppose I plunk you down in a strange place in total darkness. Now suppose I give you a flashlight. Your first reaction is to shine the light on something so you can see it, so you can begin to make sense of where you are. Gradually, as you shine your beam of light in more and more places, you render your situation more and more meaningful. Places where you don’t shine your light remain in darkness and have no meaning for you yet. Now imagine that words and their concepts work just like your flashlight. When you have a word/ concept for something, it becomes real to you, and meaningful. You can see it in your mind’s eye or in the world around you. You can talk about it to yourself (that is you can think about) or to others…Obviously, communication requires a sender and a message, but also, a receiver. You always alternate between both sender and receiver roles. But both roles require you to interpret the world so that it is meaningful (so that it make sense) to both you and your fellow communicators.” (Baran, S. J. & Davis, D. K. Mass Communication Theory p. 236)

Now let us link the above to the message that the Prophet Muhammad communicated to the humankind.

Jafar son of Abbu Talib acting as the Muslim spokesman to the king of neighboring Abyssinia summarized the teachings of Muhammad to explain their situation thus:

“O King! We were living in ignorance, idolatry and immorality. We honored no relative and assisted no neighbor. The strong among us exploited the weak. Then God sent us a prophet, one of our own people whose descent, conduct and good faith and morality we are all well acquainted. He called us to the unity of God, and taught us not to associate any other being with him. He forbade us the worship of idols, which we and our fathers used to worship. He commanded us always to speak the truth, to remain true to our trust, to love the relatives and to be good neighbors. He forbade us to slander the virtuous women or consume the property of the orphans. He ordered us to fly from vices and to abstain from the evil, to offer prayers, to give alms and to keep the fast. We believed in him; we followed him. Our people, however, persecuted us and sought to bring us back to idolatry and their other abominations. As they made life intolerable for us in Mecca, we chose your country and came here to live under your protection in peace.”

The king refused to deliver up the refugees and the Quraish returned to Mecca discomforted (Zahur-ul-Haque, Muhammad the Greatest Leader, pp. 51-53).

The above statement from Jafar shows what kind of sensemaking that the Prophet made to his people when he started communicating his message. At the last sermon address, the prophet was not addressing his local people only but the humankind at large. The Prophet message made sense at his time and changed the life of the people from the condition that Jafar described above to Islamic nations, their populations exceeds 1.2 billion Muslims. The Prophet last sermon contains universal values and principles if they are applied; there would be justice, fairness and equality between people regardless their races, colors or ethnicity’s.

Significance of the Study

The religion of Islam is misunderstood in the western world. The Muslims images in the west are stereotyped with terrorism and backwardness. Interpreting, analyzing and understanding the last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad would correct the misunderstanding and introduce the religion of Islam with its valuable values and principles to the non Muslims. The values mentioned in the last sermon of the Prophet, if applied, would be a public and private policy. A way of life, every one would enjoy and live in peace with each others regardless their different backgrounds, colors or ethnicity’s.


Universality of the Speech
The Prophet directed his Speech to all humankind. He used the term “O People” seven times. He used the terminology “O Men” once. In the farewell address, the Prophet did not use the terminology “O Muslims” or “O Believer). The prophet intention was to address all people regardless their religions, colors or times (his time or any time after him until the day of Judgement). The Prophet’s message was and still is to every person every where in the world

In Surah Saba’ in the Qur’an Allah Says:

“We have not sent you but as a universal (Messenger) to mankind, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most understand not.” (34:28)

After praising and thanking Allah the Prophet began with the words:

"O People! Lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore, listen carefully to what I am saying and take these words to those who could not be present here today."

At the beginning of the address, the prophet asked the people to pay close attention to what he was about to say. He demanded that his message to be delivered to all mankind, to be transformed and transported from place to place and from generation to generation. The task of doing that was laid upon the shoulder of those who were listening to him to deliver his message to all mankinds.(Sakr, 1998, p. 35) Did they deliver his message as he requested? The number of Muslims around the globe would answer this question. There are over 1.2 billions Muslims.

One of the main businesses of the people at the time of the prophet was commerce and trade. The Muslims Merchants as they traveled from land to land, they delivered the message of Islam as they were dealing with people every where they been to.

"O People! Just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that he will indeed reckon your deeds."

The prophet gave examples with matters that the people at the gathering knew very well. Every one knew how sacred “this month” Zul Hijja, “this day” day of Arafa, “this city” city of Makkah. Therefore, the life and property of people are sacred too.

Sanctity of life has been declared by Allah in the Quran. People are to be protected and their lives are to be preserved. People have to be dignified, respected and honored. Their properties are to be protected and saved. The sanctity of life is to remain well preserved until the day of judgement. (Sakr, 1998, p.22)

"Allah has forbidden you to take usury, therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital is yours to keep .You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequality. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all interest due to Abbas Ibn 'Aal-Muttalib be waived."

The concept of economic exploitation is totally prohibited in Islam. Since Usury is a form of economic monopoly and exploitation in a capitalistic system, the rich will undoubtedly become richer, while the poor will automatically become poorer. The Prophet in his final and last sermon abolished all type of economic exploitations. Usury was declared to be prohibited and people are not to deal with, even if they have had agreement or a contract with someone. (Sakr,1998, p. 23) Nobody above the law, the uncle of the prophet “Abbas Ebn Abdul Motalb” who was around the same age of the prophet and both grew up together was to wave the usury that he was to receive like anybody else. There was no difference between relatives and non-relatives.

The Qur’an states emphatically that usury is totally unlawful. Islam abolished all types of economic exploitations. In Surah Al- Baqarah (The Cow) verse number 275, the following is stated: Those who devour usury will not stand except as stands one whom the evil one by his touch hath driven to madness. That is because they say: “Trade is like usury” but God hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. Those who after receiving direction from their lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past; their case is for Allah (to judge) but those whereat (the offence) are companions of the fire: They will abide therein (forever).

At the same Surah, verse number 276, The Qura’n stated: God will deprive usury of the blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For he loveth not creatures ungrateful and wicked.

A strict judgement from God on the usury issue came loud and clear in the following two verses at the same surah:

278. O ye who believe! Fear God, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye are indeed believers.

279. If ye do not, take notice of war from God and His Apostle: But if ye turn back, Ye shall have your capital sums: deal not unjustly, And ye shall not be delt with unjustly. (Sakr,1998, p. 24, 25)

"Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabiah ibni al-Harithiah."

At the above statement, the Prophet declared the Termination of Pagan Society. The laws ruled by the Pagan society were over; and they were terminated, abolished and replaced by the devine rules of Allah. Again, there was no exception, even when it comes to one of his relative.

"O men! the unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calendar in order to make permissible that which Allah forbade, and to prohibit what Allah has made permissible. With Allah, the months are twelve in number. Four of them are holy, there are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Shaban."

The number of the months in the book of Allah is twelve since He created the universe. These months are solar or lunar. Both of which are of great importance to human beings: to calculate the number of years, to make use of arthmatics and many more are the benefits of the calendars.

In surah Al-Tawbah (Repentance), Allah says:

“The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year)- So ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth…” (9:35)

Allah decided that there are four months in the year that are sacred. These months are Zul Qidah, Zul hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. Muslims are to observe their sacredness; no one has the right to change them or to temper with the calendar. (Sakr,1998, p.p. 30,31)

"Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will be able to lead you astray in big things so beware of following him in small things."

The prophet instructed the humankind to worship Allah, to obey Him and to follow His Rules and regulations. He informed them that Satan lost hope in making people to worship him, but he did not lose hope in diverting them from practicing the teachings of Islam. He will create animosity among people, and he will be able to divert their attention from the straight path. The Prophet warned humankind from falling into the path of Satan. (Sakr,1998, p. 26)

"O People it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well never to be unchaste."

The best declaration for women’s rights is spelled out in the farewell speech of the prophet. He demanded that husbands should treat their wives with kindness and gentleness. Men are to know that their women are their partners. Islam recognizes the duties and responsibilities of both partners and, hence, emphasizes that man is the HEAD, while the woman is the HEART of the family. Both are needed and both are complementary to one another. The rights and duties of each spouse toward the other were declared and explained. (Sakr,1998, p. 26)

"O People! listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers, fast during month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Haj if you can afford it."

The prophet asking the people to listen to him in a very serious mental state about the five pillars of Islam:

1. Witnessing that there is no God except Allah (the Arabic word for The God)

Witnessing that Muhammad is God’s Messenger

2. Performing the five prayers a day

3. Fasting the month of Ramadan

4. Giving ZAKAT (giving percentage of one’s wealth to the poor)

5. Performing Haj to Makkah, once in a lifetime if it can be afforded.

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a White has no superiority over a Black nor a Black has any superiority over a White except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly."

The message of the Prophet that he delivered included a very important concept, i.e., equality of mankind. People are equal in the sight of Allah and in front of the law. They were born from Adam and Eve. Both of these parents, and all of us are made of dust – no one is better than the other.

The concept of equality is based on justice: All are equal and no one can claim that he is more pious or even more righteous than the other except through piety and righteousness. (Sakr,1998, p. 19)

"Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone."

Islam prohibited transgressions at all levels. Justice is the name of the game. Whoever commits injustice and transgresses his limits, the penalty will fall upon him. Allah does not like those who commit injustice, and those who are transgressors. The prophet asked people to stick to the right path at all times. (Sakr,1998, p. 23)

"O People! No Prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore O People! and understand words that I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray."

The prophet declared that neither new religion nor a prophet would come after him. Muslims are to be united only if they take the Qur’an of Allah and the sunnah of the Prophet (the Prophet’s Sayings, Deeds and Actions) as their standards for their life activities. They will be guided by Allah; they will stay on the straight path. Allah demanded from the Muslims to obey him and to obey His Prophet. In surah Al-Imran (The family of Imran) Allah says: “And obey Allah and the Apostle; that you may obtain mercy.” While in Surah Al- Nisa (The Women), the Qura’n states the following: “He who obeys the Apostle, obeys Allah…”

"All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly."

The prophet made the attended people responsible about transforming his wards to others where they are (place to place), and whenever they will be (generation to generation). The Prophet acknowledge that whoever would receive his wards in a later time, might be more knowledgeable and understanding of the meaning of his wards more than who listen to him directly.

"O Allah, be my witness, that I have conveyed your message to your people."

As part of this sermon, the prophet recited to them a revelation from Allah, which he had just received, and which completed the Quran, for it was the last passage to be revealed:

“This day the disbeliever's despair of prevailing against your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me (Allah)! This day have I perfected for you, your religion and fulfilled My favor unto you, and it hath been My good pleasure to choose Islam for you as your religion.” (Surah 5, Ayah 3)

The sermon was repeated sentence by sentence by Safwan's brother Rabiah (RA), who had powerful voice, at the request of the Prophet and he faithfully, proclaimed to over ten thousand gathered on the occasion. Towards the end of his sermon, the Prophet asked

"O people, have I faithfully delivered unto you my message?" A powerful murmur of assents "O Allah! yes!" arose from thousands of pilgrims and the vibrant words "Allahumma Na'm," rolled like thunder throughout the valley. The Prophet raised his forefinger and said: "O Allah bear witness that I have conveyed your message to your people."

Conclusion
The farewell address of Prophet Muhammad was indeed addressed to all humankind at all times and for all generations. It encompasses many aspects of life (general and specific). He laid down the foundation of morality, chastity, modesty, justice, equality, brotherhood, and accountability. He abolished economic exploitation, human enenslavement, paganism, transgression and all systems that contradict with the system of Allah.
He demanded that the congregating Muslims should deliver his message to all humankind. Accordingly, they did deliver the message. The final Address of the Prophet should be taught in schools and its universal values and principles are to be followed by all segments of the society. These values and principles made sense when they were first delivered. They are making sense now. All people are in need to them every where. They will make sense forever until the day of judgement, because the original source of these values and principles came from GOD the CREATOR of the universe.

Definition of terms
1. Abu Baker: Prophet Muhammad friend and companion during the emigration and was the First ruler of the Muslims nation after the prophet’s death.

2. Allah: The GOD (in Arabic)

3. Allahumma Na’m”: O Allah !yes

4. Jafar : the prophet’s cousin and a brother of Ali (the prophet’s son in law)

5. Hijra: emigration of the prophet from Makkah to Medena. The event used to mark the beginning of the Islamic calandar.
6. Khotbah: sermon or speech

7. Makkah: the city where the Prophet was born. The Kaaba is located in Makkah, where about two million Muslims pilgrims go to every year.

8. Qur’an: The holy book of Muslims

9. Rabi’ah ibn Umaiyah ibn khalf: a name of a Muslim person who repeated the last sermon of the Prophet.

10. Surah: section of the Qur’an

11. Zakat: percentage of the wealth from the rich to the poor

12. Zul Hijjah: the 12th month of the Islamic calendar.

13. Zul Qi’dah: the 11th month in the Islamic calendar.



References:

1. Holly Qur’an

2. Akbar, M. U. (1991). The orations of Muhammad the Prophet of Islam. New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan.

3. Baran, S. J. & Davis, D. K. (2000) Mass Communication Theory, Wadsworth, p. 236

4. Besant, A. (1932). The Life And Teachings Of Muhammad, Madras, P. 4.

5. Denzin, N. K & Lincolin, Y. S. (2000) Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, inc., Thousand Oaks

6. Encyclopedia Britannica: (Vol. 12)

7. Faizi, S. F. H. (1997). Sermons of the prophet. New Delhi, Kitab Bhavan

8. Gibbon, E. And Ockley, S. (1870). History Of The Saracen Empires, London, P. 54)

9. Glubb, J. B. (1991). The life and Times of Muhammad. Chelsea, MI: Scarborough House.

10. Grigely, J. (1995). Textualterity, Art, Theory, and Textual Criticism, University of Michigan Press.

11.Haykal, M. H. (1976). The life of Muhammad. USA: American Trust Publications.

12. Lane-Poole, S. (1994). The speeches & table-talk of the Prophet Muhammad. New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan.

13. Lings, M. (1983). Muhammad his life based on the earliest sources. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, Ltd.

14. Naidu, S. (1918). Ideals Of Islam, Vide Speeches & Writings, Madras, P. 169

15. Peters, F E. (1994). Muhammad and the origins of Islam. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

16. Rauf, M. A. (1996). The life and the teaching of the prophet Muhammad. Alexandria, VA: Al-saadawi publications.

17. Sakr, A. (1998) The farewell Khutbah of the Prophet, Foundation for Islamic Knowledge, Illinois

18. Shah, S. I. A. ( 1996). Muhammed the Prophet. Reno, NV: Tractus Books.

19. Siddiqui, A. H. (1991). Life of Muhammad. Chicago, IL: Library of Islam.

20. Zahur-ul-Haque, (1995) Muhammad the Greatest Leader, New Delhi, pp. 51-53

Jesse Broussard said...

I apologize for taking so long to respond; I had wanted to give your lengthy and involved response the attention that I felt it deserved. I'm also very lazy, and I eat a lot of Kettle Chips, so it took a bit longer than it otherwise would have.

I do not at all deny that you are far more versed on the topic of Islam than I am, but you seem to have a somewhat blinding bias. You did not even respond to my charge against the Islamic view of women (which was the main point of my paper). I had fifteen hundred words, and in your far lengthier response, you failed even to address my main point.

On the topic of Jihad, I would refer you to my paper. I do not doubt that the vast majority of Muslims do hold to the view of Jihad that you have propounded, but the Muslim empire obviously believed that the Prophet meant something a little more aggressive. It's a pity that he didn't clarify.

On his mission to bring peace, you bring me to a point that I was unable to make in my freshman rhetoric paper due to space limitations. In any closed environment (Id est, earth) with two or more opposing wills, there cannot be peace. Only when all earth is united under a common banner will there be peace. We have seen all to clearly how Islam attempts to bring peace.

If you feel that my response to your response is inadequate, I would be delighted to interact with you more. Should you desire to do so in this forum, I would gladly post any comments of yours as an actual post, instead of merely a comment, and we could have a running debate. I would honestly love to get down into the actual text and the interpretation of it, and have no doubt that I could learn a great deal from you.

Blessings in the Name of the Triune God,
Jesse Broussard

Anonymous said...

The prophet Muhammad Pattern of

Communication Toward Women

By: Ali Zohery



Introduction:

The condition of women before Islam:
Islam came at a time when women all over the world were being oppressed and exploited.

The most any society would accord the woman was to admit that she was part of the human race. They never admitted her dignity or gave her rights and responsibilities equal to those of men. The Greeks considered her to be an object of pleasure and amusement. This view was articulated in the text of Deemo Stayn:
He said: “We take prostitutes for pleasure, lovers to care for our daily health, and wives to give us legitimate children.”
The Romans gave the father and husband the right to sell her to whomever they pleased.
The Arabs gave the son the right to inherit the wife of his father (not his own mother) just like he would inherit his father’s wealth and his steed! That is if she were lucky enough not to have been buried alive at birth.
This was the case with the rest of the world’s societies, like the Persians and the Hindus.
Women remained in this horrible state without protesting or rebelling against it. No one else was to do so either. Nor were there any social or economic developments that would require a betterment of her status.

Then Prophet Muhammad came, proclaiming her rights and her equality with men. He established for her all of her rights to bring her out of the miserable state that she was in and elevate her to the noble status that she deserves.

In Islam there is absolutely no difference between men and women as far as their relationship to God is concerned, as both are promised the same reward for good conduct and the same punishment for evil conduct. The Qur'an says:

And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women. (2:226)

The Qur'an, in addressing the believers, often uses the expression,'believing men and women' to emphasize the equality of men and women in regard to their respective duties, rights, virtues and merits. It says:

For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God's praise, for them has God prepared forgiveness and great reward. (33:35)

This clearly contradicts the assertion of some the Christian Fathers that women do not possess souls and that they will exist as sexless beings in the next life. The Qur'an says that women have souls in exactly the same way as men and will enter Paradise if they do good :

Enter into Paradise, you and your wives, with delight. (43:70) Who so does that which is right, and believes, whether male

or female, him or her will We quicken to happy life. (16:97) (Abdur Rahman,Women in the Qur'an and the

Sunnah -Ahmadu Bello University, Zaire.)


Research Questions:
How Does Islam Elevate The Status Of Women?
Why The Western Media Has Negative Stereotypes Of Muslim Women?

Why Are SO Many Women Converting To Islam?

Significance of the Study

The religion of Islam is misunderstood in the western world. The Muslim Women images in the west are stereotyped with backwardness and being oppressed by men. Understanding the Religion of Islam would correct the wrong ideas and introduce the religion of Islam with its valuable values and principles to the non-Muslims. The values of Islam, if applied, would be a public, private policy and a way of life. The western media show the Muslim women in a negative image. This study is to introduce the real status of the Muslim women from the two main sources of Islam: The Quran and the tradition of the prophet Muhammad.

Theoretical Framework:

Stereotypes Theory

(Infante at all, 1997) define Stereotypes that they are are mental categories shared by group members about other groups based on learned opinions rather than information about a specific individual.

Ford and Stangor (1992) tested the hypotheses that when forming stereotypes of social groups, the attribute dimensions which are most differentiated will most likely become stereotypical. They suggest that stereotypes may be best viewed as the characteristics that are most strongly associated with a group in memory. Therefore, stereotypes of a group are the attributes that are most likely to come to mind when thinking about a particular group. (http://www.student.richmond.edu/~sjohnso2/stereotypes.html)

In the past, when so many attacks were launched against Islam under an open and unabashed crusader flag, various popes used to encourage some fanatics to write booklets containing lies against Islam, distorting the message and reviling the religion. Many of the strongest stereotypes are from this era.

After the church withdrew from this activity, the number of these attacks was obviously reduced. Yet they did not stop altogether. They took another form under a different banner, the pretext of freedom of expression. Only the approach has changed. It is a fact that Islam receives a most Hostile media coverage. It is not difficult to see that Muslim's are being stereotyped as a threat to the "New World Order". (About Al-Islam and Muslims v1.9)

Literature Review, interpretation and analysis:





During the time of the Prophet, Islam diminished the excessive practices of Jahiliyyah by imposing new laws using the principle of gradualism. Islam granted women their dignity and allowed them to claim equal rights with men in all spheres of life. The Qur'an teaches Muslims that God created both men and women from the same soul:

“O mankind! reverence Your Guardian-Lord, Who created you From a single Person, Created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain Scattered (like seeds) Countless men and women.”

In the period of nascent Islam, women played prominent roles in all realms of life: religious, political, educational, legal, moral, economic, and military. A few examples will show what Islam accomplished in raising the educational level of women and will highlight Muslim women's contributions to the growth of knowledge in Islamic society.

The Prophet gradually but persistently allowed women to assume important positions in society. He designated his wife A'isha as a religious authority by stating "take half of your religion from this ruddy-complexioned woman." Through the Prophet's encouragement, A'isha played a visible and active role in the political, legal, and scholastic activities of the Muslim community. The Prophet chose her as one of the people who would pass on knowledge of the Qur'an and his practices to later generations of Muslims. A'isha herself taught famous scholars about the Qur'an and Hadith. In addition, she narrated 2,210 Hadith of the Prophet, and scholars have noted that one-fourth of the norms of Shari'ah law were also narrated by her. 70 In almost every respect, A'isha appears to have been not only one of the Companions of the Prophet, but also an exceptional person.

Other women played prominent roles in the growth and enrichment of Islamic civilization. Imam Nawawi stated that Umm al-Mu'minin Hafsa "was one of the intellectual and intelligent persons." He also spoke about the mother of Anas, Umm Sulaim, as one of the learned and knowledgeable Companions of the Prophet. Imam Nawawi expressed a similar opinion about Umm Atiyah, saying "[s]he is reckoned among those of the Companions who won excellence and honor and participated in jihad with the Prophet." Imam Bukhari stated that "Umm Darda' sat in Tashahud [as a witness] as a man sits and was a jurist (therefore her actions are authoritative)."

Islam did not prevent women from participating in armed revolutionary resistance or legal decision-making. Zaynab, Ali's daughter, was a revolutionary, and Umm Atiyah, Hafsa, Asma' bint Abi Bakr, and Sahla bint Suhail were all jurists. Women also participated in the bay'ah and, thus, were an integral part of the political process. In fact, through the bay'ah, they contributed later on to the election of the third khalifah. In short, women were equal participants in the growth of the early Islamic state.

The well-known saying of Omar Ibn al-Khattab, the second Rightly-Guided khalifah, demonstrated the change in the status of women which had occurred with the advent of Islam: "By God, we did not pay attention to women in jahiliyyah until God said about them in the Qur'an what is said, and gave them their share in matters." (Leila P. Sayeh And Adriaen M. Morse Jr, An Incomplete Understanding Of Gradualism Islam And The Treatment Of Women, 30 Texas International Law Journal 311)

when prophet Muhammad died after twenty three years Islam only spread in Arabia. This religion of Islam was basically spread by four or five individuals who had the most in teaching. One of them was the prophet's wife `Aa’isha. She is among the most to have narrated his statements and likewise she is amongst the three, four, five who have mostly given religious pronouncements, who have given religious verdicts, explained what these verses in the Quraan meant or what the words of the prophet meant.

Look at any other civilization in the history of humanity, you will not find a women playing a role in its establishment where it can be attributed to her efforts for its establishment. The Greeks - look at the philosophers Plato, Aristotle and others - all were men. The early church fathers writings were basically men and until today the idea of women scholarship is limited in some areas of the church. The French writers at the French revolution and Voltaire and the Russians were men. The founding fathers of the United States were men, and also other civilizations are basically based upon men. Islam is the only civilization which is known by humanity where a leading input in terms of its transmission and establishment was based upon the efforts of women. (Ali Al-Timimi, Elevation of Women's Status)
Equality Between Men and Women in Islam:
Islam establishes the principle of equality between men and women in all aspects of life that they are equal in, because both of them are equally human. It distinguishes between them in some areas, taking into consideration the natural differences between them and the special qualities that each of them has.
The areas of equality are as follows:
1. Equality in their human origins:
Islam conclusively establishes that all human beings have a common origin. This fact is mentioned in many verses of the Qur’ân:

“O Mankind, fear your Lord who created you from a single soul and created from it its mate and brought forth from the two of them many men and women.”

“O Mankind, verily we created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes so you may know one another. Verily the most honorable of you with Allah are the most righteous.”

2. Equality in their destiny:
Islam also establishes that all of mankind is going to return to Allah who created them, and everyone – male and female – is going to be recompensed for his or her worldly deeds. They will receive well if they did good and they will be requited with evil if they did evil. Allah says:

“And every one of you will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection.”

Allah says:

“A human being will have nothing except for what he does. And his deeds will be seen. Then he will be recompensed fully.”

Allah says:

“So their Lord accepted of them their supplication and answered them: ‘I will never allow the work of any of you to be lost, male or female. You are from each other.”

Allah says:

“Whoever works righteousness as a believer, whether male or female, we will truly give a good life and We shall pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.”

According to the Qur'an, men and women are equal before God; women are not blamed for violating the "forbidden tree," nor is their suffering in pregnancy and childbirth a punishment for that act. Islam sees a woman,

whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marital gift is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she may keep her own family name rather than adopting her husband's.

Roles of men and women are complementary and collaborative. Rights and responsibilities of both sexes are equitable and balanced in their totality.

In his Farewell sermon, the Prophet Muhammad declared: "O People it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women but they also have rights over you.

Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and

clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well never to be unchaste."

The best declaration for women’s rights is spelled out in the farewell speech of the prophet. He demanded that husbands should treat their wives with kindness and gentleness. Men are to know that their women are their partners. Islam recognizes the duties

and responsibilities of both partners and, hence, emphasizes that man is the HEAD, while the woman is the HEART of the family. Both are needed and both are complementary to one

another. The rights and duties of each spouse toward the other were declared and explained. (Sakr,1998, p. 26)

Woman enjoys certain privileges of which man is deprived.

She is exempt from some religious duties, i.e., prayers and fasting, in her regular periods and at times of confinement. She is

exempt from all financial liabilities. As a mother, she enjoys more recognition and higher

honor in the sight of God (31:14-15;46:15). The Prophet acknowledged this honor when he declared that

Paradise is under the feet of the mothers.

She is entitled to three-fourths of the son's love and kindness with one-fourth left for

their father. As a wife she is entitled to demand of her prospective husband a suitable dowry that will be her own. She is entitled to

complete provision and total maintenance by the husband. She does not have to work or share with her husband the family

expenses. She is free to retain, after marriage, whatever she possessed before it, and the husband has no right whatsoever to any of her

belongings. As a daughter or sister she is entitled to security and provision by the

father and brother respectively. That is her privilege. If she wishes to work or be self-supporting and

articipate in handling the family responsibilities, she is quite free to do so,

provided her integrity and honor are safeguarded.( Hammuda Abdul-Ati, The Status of Woman in Islam from "Islam in focus")

Why are so many Women converting to Islam ?

At a time when Islam is faced with hostile media coverage particularly where the status of women in Islam is concerned, it may be quite surprising to learn that the majority of converts to Islam are WOMEN

According to "The Almanac Book of Facts", the population increased 137% within the past decade, Christianity increased 46%, while Islam increased 235%. In a recent poll in the (US), 100,000 people

per year in America alone, are converting to Islam. For every 1 male convert to Islam, 4 females convert to Islam, Why?

1. The Bible Convicts Women as the originalSinners, (ie. Eve picking from the forbidden tree){Genesis 2:4-3:24}. The Koran Clarifies it was Adam Not Eve {Qur'an 7:19-25}

2. The Bible says "The Birth of a Daughter is a loss" {Ecclesiasticus 22:3}. The Qur'an says both are an Equal Blessing { Qur'an 42:49}

3. The Bible Forbids Women from Speaking in church {I Corinthians 14:34-35}. The Qur'an says Women Can argue with the Prophet {58:1}

4. In the Bible, divorced Women are Labeled as an Adulteress, while men are not {Matthew 5:31-32}. The Koran does Not have Biblical double standards
{ Qur'an 30:21}

5. In The Bible, Widows and Sisters do Not Inherit Any Property or Wealth, Only men do{Numbers 27:1-11}The Koran Abolished this male greediness { Qur'an 4:22} and God Protects All.

6. The Bible Allows Multiple Wives{I Kings 11:3} In The Koran, God limits the number to 4 only under certain situations (with the Wife's
permission)and Prefers you Marry Only One Wife{ Qur'an 4:3} The Koran gives the Woman the Right to Choose who to Marry.

7. "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives" {Deuteronomy 22:28-30} One must ask a simple question here, who is really punished, the man who raped the woman or the woman who was raped? According to the Bible, you have to spend the Rest of Your Life with the man who Raped You. The Prophet Muhammad Says {Volume 9, Book 86, Number 101} Narrated by Aisha:" It is essential to have the consent of a virgin (for the marriage)".

9. Women were given rights to Vote less than a 100 years ago in the (US), while the Quran (42:38) gave Women Voting rights almost 1,500 years ago.

10. Islam has unconfined Women and has given them the human right to reach for the sky. There have been Muslim Women Presidents through out the centuries, The Muslim countries have voted for and elected Female Presidents. (Mohamed Ghounem & Abdur Rahman, Why are so many Women converting to Islam ?)
Conclusion

Islam has immensely improved the status of women compared to the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The Quran has offered women dignity, justice, and protection which ,for long, have remained out of their reach. That's why it is no surprise to find that most converts to Islam, today, in a country like Britain are women. In the U.S. women converts to Islam outnumber men converts 4 to 1. The problem is that the majority of the population in the West do not know these facts. They easily believe the media's distorted image of Islam. What the Quran has given to women is unparalleled in the history of religion. ( Sherif Muhammad, February 10, 1995, Women in Islam Versus Women in The Judaeo-Christian Tradition:The Myth & The RealityFriday khutbah). Today people think that women are liberated in the West and that the Women’s liberation movement began in the 20th century. Actually, the women’s liberation movement was not begun by women but was revealed by God to The Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century. The Qur’an and the Traditions of the Prophet (Hadith or Sunnah) are the sources from which every Muslim woman derives her rights and duties.( Mary Ali & Anjum Ali, Women's Liberation Through Islam)

References:

1. Holly Qur’an
2. Akbar, M. U. (1991). The orations of Muhammad the Prophet of Islam. New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan.

3. Ali Al-Timimi, Elevation of Women's Status
4. Baran, S. J. & Davis, D. K. (2000) Mass Communication Theory, Wadsworth, p. 236
5. Besant, A. (1932). The Life And Teachings Of Muhammad, Madras, P. 4.
6. Denzin, N. K & Lincolin, Y. S. (2000) Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, inc., Thousand Oaks
7. Encyclopedia Britannica: (Vol. 12)
8. Faizi, S. F. H. (1997). Sermons of the prophet. New Delhi, Kitab Bhavan
9. Gibbon, E. And Ockley, S. (1870). History Of The Saracen Empires, London, P. 54
10. Glubb, J. B. (1991). The life and Times of Muhammad. Chelsea, MI: Scarborough House.
11. Hammuda Abdul-Ati, The Status of Woman in Islam from "Islam in focus
12. Infante at all, 1997, Building Communication Theory, waveland press



13. Mohamed Ghounem & Abdur Rahman, Why are so many Women converting to Islam ?)
14. Sayeh, Leila P. And Morse, Adriaen M. Jr., Islam And The Treatment Of Women: An Incomplete Understanding Of Gradualism, 30 Texas International Law Journal 311
15. Sherif Muhammad, February 10, 1995, Women in Islam Versus Women in The Judaeo-Christian Tradition:The Myth & The RealityFriday khutbah)

Prophet muhammad leadership, communication and Ethics said...

The prophet Muhammad Pattern of

Communication Toward Women

By: Ali Zohery



Introduction:

The condition of women before Islam:
Islam came at a time when women all over the world were being oppressed and exploited.

The most any society would accord the woman was to admit that she was part of the human race. They never admitted her dignity or gave her rights and responsibilities equal to those of men. The Greeks considered her to be an object of pleasure and amusement. This view was articulated in the text of Deemo Stayn:
He said: “We take prostitutes for pleasure, lovers to care for our daily health, and wives to give us legitimate children.”
The Romans gave the father and husband the right to sell her to whomever they pleased.
The Arabs gave the son the right to inherit the wife of his father (not his own mother) just like he would inherit his father’s wealth and his steed! That is if she were lucky enough not to have been buried alive at birth.
This was the case with the rest of the world’s societies, like the Persians and the Hindus.
Women remained in this horrible state without protesting or rebelling against it. No one else was to do so either. Nor were there any social or economic developments that would require a betterment of her status.

Then Prophet Muhammad came, proclaiming her rights and her equality with men. He established for her all of her rights to bring her out of the miserable state that she was in and elevate her to the noble status that she deserves.

In Islam there is absolutely no difference between men and women as far as their relationship to God is concerned, as both are promised the same reward for good conduct and the same punishment for evil conduct. The Qur'an says:

And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women. (2:226)

The Qur'an, in addressing the believers, often uses the expression,'believing men and women' to emphasize the equality of men and women in regard to their respective duties, rights, virtues and merits. It says:

For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God's praise, for them has God prepared forgiveness and great reward. (33:35)

This clearly contradicts the assertion of some the Christian Fathers that women do not possess souls and that they will exist as sexless beings in the next life. The Qur'an says that women have souls in exactly the same way as men and will enter Paradise if they do good :

Enter into Paradise, you and your wives, with delight. (43:70) Who so does that which is right, and believes, whether male

or female, him or her will We quicken to happy life. (16:97) (Abdur Rahman,Women in the Qur'an and the

Sunnah -Ahmadu Bello University, Zaire.)


Research Questions:
How Does Islam Elevate The Status Of Women?
Why The Western Media Has Negative Stereotypes Of Muslim Women?

Why Are SO Many Women Converting To Islam?

Significance of the Study

The religion of Islam is misunderstood in the western world. The Muslim Women images in the west are stereotyped with backwardness and being oppressed by men. Understanding the Religion of Islam would correct the wrong ideas and introduce the religion of Islam with its valuable values and principles to the non-Muslims. The values of Islam, if applied, would be a public, private policy and a way of life. The western media show the Muslim women in a negative image. This study is to introduce the real status of the Muslim women from the two main sources of Islam: The Quran and the tradition of the prophet Muhammad.

Theoretical Framework:

Stereotypes Theory

(Infante at all, 1997) define Stereotypes that they are are mental categories shared by group members about other groups based on learned opinions rather than information about a specific individual.

Ford and Stangor (1992) tested the hypotheses that when forming stereotypes of social groups, the attribute dimensions which are most differentiated will most likely become stereotypical. They suggest that stereotypes may be best viewed as the characteristics that are most strongly associated with a group in memory. Therefore, stereotypes of a group are the attributes that are most likely to come to mind when thinking about a particular group. (http://www.student.richmond.edu/~sjohnso2/stereotypes.html)

In the past, when so many attacks were launched against Islam under an open and unabashed crusader flag, various popes used to encourage some fanatics to write booklets containing lies against Islam, distorting the message and reviling the religion. Many of the strongest stereotypes are from this era.

After the church withdrew from this activity, the number of these attacks was obviously reduced. Yet they did not stop altogether. They took another form under a different banner, the pretext of freedom of expression. Only the approach has changed. It is a fact that Islam receives a most Hostile media coverage. It is not difficult to see that Muslim's are being stereotyped as a threat to the "New World Order". (About Al-Islam and Muslims v1.9)

Literature Review, interpretation and analysis:





During the time of the Prophet, Islam diminished the excessive practices of Jahiliyyah by imposing new laws using the principle of gradualism. Islam granted women their dignity and allowed them to claim equal rights with men in all spheres of life. The Qur'an teaches Muslims that God created both men and women from the same soul:

“O mankind! reverence Your Guardian-Lord, Who created you From a single Person, Created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain Scattered (like seeds) Countless men and women.”

In the period of nascent Islam, women played prominent roles in all realms of life: religious, political, educational, legal, moral, economic, and military. A few examples will show what Islam accomplished in raising the educational level of women and will highlight Muslim women's contributions to the growth of knowledge in Islamic society.

The Prophet gradually but persistently allowed women to assume important positions in society. He designated his wife A'isha as a religious authority by stating "take half of your religion from this ruddy-complexioned woman." Through the Prophet's encouragement, A'isha played a visible and active role in the political, legal, and scholastic activities of the Muslim community. The Prophet chose her as one of the people who would pass on knowledge of the Qur'an and his practices to later generations of Muslims. A'isha herself taught famous scholars about the Qur'an and Hadith. In addition, she narrated 2,210 Hadith of the Prophet, and scholars have noted that one-fourth of the norms of Shari'ah law were also narrated by her. 70 In almost every respect, A'isha appears to have been not only one of the Companions of the Prophet, but also an exceptional person.

Other women played prominent roles in the growth and enrichment of Islamic civilization. Imam Nawawi stated that Umm al-Mu'minin Hafsa "was one of the intellectual and intelligent persons." He also spoke about the mother of Anas, Umm Sulaim, as one of the learned and knowledgeable Companions of the Prophet. Imam Nawawi expressed a similar opinion about Umm Atiyah, saying "[s]he is reckoned among those of the Companions who won excellence and honor and participated in jihad with the Prophet." Imam Bukhari stated that "Umm Darda' sat in Tashahud [as a witness] as a man sits and was a jurist (therefore her actions are authoritative)."

Islam did not prevent women from participating in armed revolutionary resistance or legal decision-making. Zaynab, Ali's daughter, was a revolutionary, and Umm Atiyah, Hafsa, Asma' bint Abi Bakr, and Sahla bint Suhail were all jurists. Women also participated in the bay'ah and, thus, were an integral part of the political process. In fact, through the bay'ah, they contributed later on to the election of the third khalifah. In short, women were equal participants in the growth of the early Islamic state.

The well-known saying of Omar Ibn al-Khattab, the second Rightly-Guided khalifah, demonstrated the change in the status of women which had occurred with the advent of Islam: "By God, we did not pay attention to women in jahiliyyah until God said about them in the Qur'an what is said, and gave them their share in matters." (Leila P. Sayeh And Adriaen M. Morse Jr, An Incomplete Understanding Of Gradualism Islam And The Treatment Of Women, 30 Texas International Law Journal 311)

when prophet Muhammad died after twenty three years Islam only spread in Arabia. This religion of Islam was basically spread by four or five individuals who had the most in teaching. One of them was the prophet's wife `Aa’isha. She is among the most to have narrated his statements and likewise she is amongst the three, four, five who have mostly given religious pronouncements, who have given religious verdicts, explained what these verses in the Quraan meant or what the words of the prophet meant.

Look at any other civilization in the history of humanity, you will not find a women playing a role in its establishment where it can be attributed to her efforts for its establishment. The Greeks - look at the philosophers Plato, Aristotle and others - all were men. The early church fathers writings were basically men and until today the idea of women scholarship is limited in some areas of the church. The French writers at the French revolution and Voltaire and the Russians were men. The founding fathers of the United States were men, and also other civilizations are basically based upon men. Islam is the only civilization which is known by humanity where a leading input in terms of its transmission and establishment was based upon the efforts of women. (Ali Al-Timimi, Elevation of Women's Status)
Equality Between Men and Women in Islam:
Islam establishes the principle of equality between men and women in all aspects of life that they are equal in, because both of them are equally human. It distinguishes between them in some areas, taking into consideration the natural differences between them and the special qualities that each of them has.
The areas of equality are as follows:
1. Equality in their human origins:
Islam conclusively establishes that all human beings have a common origin. This fact is mentioned in many verses of the Qur’ân:

“O Mankind, fear your Lord who created you from a single soul and created from it its mate and brought forth from the two of them many men and women.”

“O Mankind, verily we created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes so you may know one another. Verily the most honorable of you with Allah are the most righteous.”

2. Equality in their destiny:
Islam also establishes that all of mankind is going to return to Allah who created them, and everyone – male and female – is going to be recompensed for his or her worldly deeds. They will receive well if they did good and they will be requited with evil if they did evil. Allah says:

“And every one of you will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection.”

Allah says:

“A human being will have nothing except for what he does. And his deeds will be seen. Then he will be recompensed fully.”

Allah says:

“So their Lord accepted of them their supplication and answered them: ‘I will never allow the work of any of you to be lost, male or female. You are from each other.”

Allah says:

“Whoever works righteousness as a believer, whether male or female, we will truly give a good life and We shall pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.”

According to the Qur'an, men and women are equal before God; women are not blamed for violating the "forbidden tree," nor is their suffering in pregnancy and childbirth a punishment for that act. Islam sees a woman,

whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marital gift is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she may keep her own family name rather than adopting her husband's.

Roles of men and women are complementary and collaborative. Rights and responsibilities of both sexes are equitable and balanced in their totality.

In his Farewell sermon, the Prophet Muhammad declared: "O People it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women but they also have rights over you.

Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and

clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well never to be unchaste."

The best declaration for women’s rights is spelled out in the farewell speech of the prophet. He demanded that husbands should treat their wives with kindness and gentleness. Men are to know that their women are their partners. Islam recognizes the duties

and responsibilities of both partners and, hence, emphasizes that man is the HEAD, while the woman is the HEART of the family. Both are needed and both are complementary to one

another. The rights and duties of each spouse toward the other were declared and explained. (Sakr,1998, p. 26)

Woman enjoys certain privileges of which man is deprived.

She is exempt from some religious duties, i.e., prayers and fasting, in her regular periods and at times of confinement. She is

exempt from all financial liabilities. As a mother, she enjoys more recognition and higher

honor in the sight of God (31:14-15;46:15). The Prophet acknowledged this honor when he declared that

Paradise is under the feet of the mothers.

She is entitled to three-fourths of the son's love and kindness with one-fourth left for

their father. As a wife she is entitled to demand of her prospective husband a suitable dowry that will be her own. She is entitled to

complete provision and total maintenance by the husband. She does not have to work or share with her husband the family

expenses. She is free to retain, after marriage, whatever she possessed before it, and the husband has no right whatsoever to any of her

belongings. As a daughter or sister she is entitled to security and provision by the

father and brother respectively. That is her privilege. If she wishes to work or be self-supporting and

articipate in handling the family responsibilities, she is quite free to do so,

provided her integrity and honor are safeguarded.( Hammuda Abdul-Ati, The Status of Woman in Islam from "Islam in focus")

Why are so many Women converting to Islam ?

At a time when Islam is faced with hostile media coverage particularly where the status of women in Islam is concerned, it may be quite surprising to learn that the majority of converts to Islam are WOMEN

According to "The Almanac Book of Facts", the population increased 137% within the past decade, Christianity increased 46%, while Islam increased 235%. In a recent poll in the (US), 100,000 people

per year in America alone, are converting to Islam. For every 1 male convert to Islam, 4 females convert to Islam, Why?

1. The Bible Convicts Women as the originalSinners, (ie. Eve picking from the forbidden tree){Genesis 2:4-3:24}. The Koran Clarifies it was Adam Not Eve {Qur'an 7:19-25}

2. The Bible says "The Birth of a Daughter is a loss" {Ecclesiasticus 22:3}. The Qur'an says both are an Equal Blessing { Qur'an 42:49}

3. The Bible Forbids Women from Speaking in church {I Corinthians 14:34-35}. The Qur'an says Women Can argue with the Prophet {58:1}

4. In the Bible, divorced Women are Labeled as an Adulteress, while men are not {Matthew 5:31-32}. The Koran does Not have Biblical double standards
{ Qur'an 30:21}

5. In The Bible, Widows and Sisters do Not Inherit Any Property or Wealth, Only men do{Numbers 27:1-11}The Koran Abolished this male greediness { Qur'an 4:22} and God Protects All.

6. The Bible Allows Multiple Wives{I Kings 11:3} In The Koran, God limits the number to 4 only under certain situations (with the Wife's
permission)and Prefers you Marry Only One Wife{ Qur'an 4:3} The Koran gives the Woman the Right to Choose who to Marry.

7. "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives" {Deuteronomy 22:28-30} One must ask a simple question here, who is really punished, the man who raped the woman or the woman who was raped? According to the Bible, you have to spend the Rest of Your Life with the man who Raped You. The Prophet Muhammad Says {Volume 9, Book 86, Number 101} Narrated by Aisha:" It is essential to have the consent of a virgin (for the marriage)".

9. Women were given rights to Vote less than a 100 years ago in the (US), while the Quran (42:38) gave Women Voting rights almost 1,500 years ago.

10. Islam has unconfined Women and has given them the human right to reach for the sky. There have been Muslim Women Presidents through out the centuries, The Muslim countries have voted for and elected Female Presidents. (Mohamed Ghounem & Abdur Rahman, Why are so many Women converting to Islam ?)
Conclusion

Islam has immensely improved the status of women compared to the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The Quran has offered women dignity, justice, and protection which ,for long, have remained out of their reach. That's why it is no surprise to find that most converts to Islam, today, in a country like Britain are women. In the U.S. women converts to Islam outnumber men converts 4 to 1. The problem is that the majority of the population in the West do not know these facts. They easily believe the media's distorted image of Islam. What the Quran has given to women is unparalleled in the history of religion. ( Sherif Muhammad, February 10, 1995, Women in Islam Versus Women in The Judaeo-Christian Tradition:The Myth & The RealityFriday khutbah). Today people think that women are liberated in the West and that the Women’s liberation movement began in the 20th century. Actually, the women’s liberation movement was not begun by women but was revealed by God to The Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century. The Qur’an and the Traditions of the Prophet (Hadith or Sunnah) are the sources from which every Muslim woman derives her rights and duties.( Mary Ali & Anjum Ali, Women's Liberation Through Islam)

References:

1. Holly Qur’an
2. Akbar, M. U. (1991). The orations of Muhammad the Prophet of Islam. New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan.

3. Ali Al-Timimi, Elevation of Women's Status
4. Baran, S. J. & Davis, D. K. (2000) Mass Communication Theory, Wadsworth, p. 236
5. Besant, A. (1932). The Life And Teachings Of Muhammad, Madras, P. 4.
6. Denzin, N. K & Lincolin, Y. S. (2000) Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, inc., Thousand Oaks
7. Encyclopedia Britannica: (Vol. 12)
8. Faizi, S. F. H. (1997). Sermons of the prophet. New Delhi, Kitab Bhavan
9. Gibbon, E. And Ockley, S. (1870). History Of The Saracen Empires, London, P. 54
10. Glubb, J. B. (1991). The life and Times of Muhammad. Chelsea, MI: Scarborough House.
11. Hammuda Abdul-Ati, The Status of Woman in Islam from "Islam in focus
12. Infante at all, 1997, Building Communication Theory, waveland press



13. Mohamed Ghounem & Abdur Rahman, Why are so many Women converting to Islam ?)
14. Sayeh, Leila P. And Morse, Adriaen M. Jr., Islam And The Treatment Of Women: An Incomplete Understanding Of Gradualism, 30 Texas International Law Journal 311
15. Sherif Muhammad, February 10, 1995, Women in Islam Versus Women in The Judaeo-Christian Tradition:The Myth & The RealityFriday khutbah)

Wodehousian Fun