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Women are superior to men- Sayyed Kamal AlHaidery

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He argues that according to the Quran, women are superior to men.  In this talk he isnt concerned with ahadith, although he does very briefly mention them.

He gives 2 Quranic arguments that women are better than men.

The first is based on Surah Thuha and Surah Kawthar.  He says in Surah 93:5 Allah swt promises to give something to the Prophet to make him well-pleased.  This is the only place that Allah swt is seeking the pleasure of the Prophet, whereas the guiding principle is usually opposite  - that the Prophet and everyone else ought to be seeking the pleasure of Allah.  Allah swt makes the Prophet well-pleased by giving him Kawthar, which is a progeny from Fatima [a] - a female.  Thats the gist that I understood, but I dont really get how that shows the superiority of women over men.

The second argument is more persuasive, although ultimately Im not convinced.  It is based on the verse in Surah Aal-Imran:

فَلَمَّا وَضَعَتْهَا قَالَتْ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَضَعْتُهَا أُنْثَىٰ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا وَضَعَتْ وَلَيْسَ الذَّكَرُ كَالْأُنْثَىٰ ۖ وَإِنِّي سَمَّيْتُهَا مَرْيَمَ وَإِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ {36}

[3:36] So when she brought forth, she said: My Lord! Surely I have brought it forth a female-- and Allah knew best what she brought forth, and the male is not like the female --, and I have named it Mariam, and I commend her and her offspring into Thy protection from the accursed Shaitan.

The bit I have underlined above is not the mother of Mariam talking - it is a parenthetical sentence according to Sayid Kamal.  He argues that 'the male is not like the female' shows that women are superior (as long as they meet the conditions of piety etc).  When the mother of Mariam gives birth to Mariam, she is saddened that her child is a girl.  This is because girls were seen to be inferior to boys - women inferior to men.  You can imagine her thinking 'women arent like men' ie not as good as men.  But Allah swt refutes this by saying the opposite:  Men are not like women, i.e. men arent as great as women.  In other words:  you are saddened because women are seen to be inferior to men, but in fact they are better than men.

Ultimately Im not convinced, not because I know he's wrong about the verse, but because there seem to be multiple ways to read the verse, and I'm not convinced that his way of reading it is the correct one.

I said earlier that his focus was on the Quran and not on hadith, but he does briefly mention ahadith which seem to place women beneath men in status, e.g. 'women are deficient in intellect'.  Sayyid Kamal says that its the cultural bias of people that makes them focus on these ahadith, but ignore other ahadith that seem to imply the superiority of women.  He mentions that there are ahadith that say blessings are in women specifically.  He doesnt quote the ahadith but says they are many.  The implication is that this makes women superior, because they have this great quality essentially or perhaps more readily.

He's probably the first Marji' or Ayatollah, or even famous Muslim scholar to say that women are greater than men.  

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43 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

He's probably the first Marji' or Ayatollah, or even famous Muslim scholar to say that women are greater than men.  

A few years ago my relative mentioned to me this ayah [Holy Qur'an 3:36and how this showed the superiority of women, so I'm sure he read this in a book or saw it in a Farsi newspaper or video. However, this is controversial. Isn't the ayah really saying that women are not less than men, as many people believed/believe? Allah SWT is the Creator who decides if the fetus will remain a female or if the hormone to change it to a male is turned on. Allah has made all of us equal. The only superior person is the one with taqwa. 

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4 hours ago, monad said:

Gets popcorn. LOADS OF IT.

Everybody have their popcorn and pizza?

OK, l'II start.  :D

Women are "superior to men" in:

Spending Money

Complaining

Turning the Furnace-Up (to a higher temperature)

Faster in getting angry at children.

Better at knowing what is on-sale.

Cooking -usually

Washing dishes -usually

Floor scrubbing.

Seeing a spec-of-dirt at 30 paces

Grade Skool

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:salam:

Brother have you watched all of the videos of the series? I have all of them transcribed into English (except lecture 11 - which wasn't that great and parts of lecture 10 since it was a lot of repetition) and of course these are being conducted daily in Qom, and he has barely gotten into the meat of his discussion. Although I haven't published the transcriptions on my blog yet due to certain reasons. In any case, Sayyid Kamal hasn't made any real arguments for women being superior or inferior to men, rather so far he is only trying to present an alternative interpretation where he says the complete opposite of men being superior to women can also be argued if need be. One thing that should be understood regarding Sayyid Kamal in order to give a lot of his talks some context, is that he is someone who thinks out loud a lot. These are discussions that pretty much do not happen in the seminaries, and he is right to being these conversations and throw these ideas out (whether they are his own original ideas or not) so at the very least they can be studied and/or critiqued.

During my time here, it has become clear to me that much of the seminary - students and scholars - is clueless about the modern world and is heedless in a bubble of its own, so it does make me respect Sayyid Kamal a bit more than others - although it is obvious he does not have complete information (for example in one of the videos he praised women studies programs in the West). There is one Western Shaykh who is a student of his (don't want to mention his name) and a few other Western students who also know him much better than I do, and I have spoken to the latter to at least get this information across to the Sayyid (that for example, there is a lot of dirty feminist politics behind women studies programs etc). I am also trying to set up a meeting with him through his office to discuss some of these things with him. Unfortunately he also gets a lot of heat and censorship for it (his talks were shut down for a decent amount of time, and just restarted again in his office).

Nevertheless, I believe he has made some very interesting points worth contemplating over even in this series alone.

Wasalam

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hi men & women are equal in Holy Quran & Islam(shia) their difference is on their piety but Lady Fatima (A) is superior of all women & men of Earth & Heaven & Maryam (A) is superior to all  women except Lady Fatima (A)

Edited by Ashvazdanghe

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I believe that women are more innocent. Maybe I am wrong but I believe that history proves it.

Men are superior in physical powers and women are superior in emotional powers and emotional powers are superior to physical powers.

Mothers are also superior to fathers or maybe its better to say that motherhood is superior to fatherhood.

I am not going to conclude that women are superior because the superiority depends on the degree of piety.

P.S1: history proves that women are in general more pious.

P.S 2: Now I can conclude that women are superior not because they are women but because they are more pious (but I am not 100% sure).

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6 hours ago, hasanhh said:

Everybody have their popcorn and pizza?

OK, l'II start.  :D

Women are "superior to men" in:

Spending Money

Complaining

Turning the Furnace-Up (to a higher temperature)

Faster in getting angry at children.

Better at knowing what is on-sale.

Cooking -usually

Washing dishes -usually

Floor scrubbing.

Seeing a spec-of-dirt at 30 paces

Grade Skool

Faster in getting angry?!

Women, in general, are more patient than men.

Men, compared to women, get easily angry and then forget it soon.

Women, in contrast, dont get angry as easily as men but if they become angry, they cannot easily forget and forgive.

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3 hours ago, Ibn al-Hussain said:

. In any case, Sayyid Kamal hasn't made any real arguments for women being superior or inferior to men, rather so far he is only trying to present an alternative interpretation where he says the complete opposite of men being superior to women can also be argued if need be.

Salam brother,

Its pretty clear he's not merely giving an alternative possible interpretation, but his own interpretation.  For example, when it comes to the second argument, he explicitly says that his opinion is that the relevant bit of the aya is parenthetical, and not the words of Mariam's {a} mum.  And then he goes on to argue that the wording implies that women are superior to men.  Then he says that because of this, if a human is created a woman, then they should be proud of this.  And straight after this he says 'this is my understanding' and that others are entitled to their own understanding.  Then in the next video, he refutes the claim that the relevant part of the aya is restricted to Mariam only, and says that the context doesnt restrict the generality of the Aya and applies to all women (provided they are pious etc)

Admittedly I have only watched 2 of the videos, so if there is something elsewhere that casts a different light on what he said please let me know.

3 hours ago, Ibn al-Hussain said:

One thing that should be understood regarding Sayyid Kamal in order to give a lot of his talks some context, is that he is someone who thinks out loud a lot. These are discussions that pretty much do not happen in the seminaries, and he is right to being these conversations and throw these ideas out (whether they are his own original ideas or not) so at the very least they can be studied and/or critiqued.

Although I am not happy with some of the things he has said in the past, I have a lot of respect for Sayid Kamal and for his knowledge and intellectual approach.  I am glad he is doing these bahth kharij talks.  

3 hours ago, Ibn al-Hussain said:

I am also trying to set up a meeting with him through his office to discuss some of these things with him. Unfortunately he also gets a lot of heat and censorship for it (his talks were shut down for a decent amount of time, and just restarted again in his office).

This is really good brother, I pray you are successful.  Please let us know if you manage to speak to him and what his response is.

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11 hours ago, .InshAllah. said:

 

Ultimately Im not convinced, not because I know he's wrong about the verse, but because there seem to be multiple ways to read the verse, and I'm not convinced that his way of reading it is the correct one.

I said earlier that his focus was on the Quran and not on hadith, but he does briefly mention ahadith which seem to place women beneath men in status, e.g. 'women are deficient in intellect'.  

Such narrations are mostly unauthentic. If women were deficient in intellect, then men and women would not be equally punished for their sins.

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:ws:

Quote

Its pretty clear he's not merely giving an alternative possible interpretation, but his own interpretation. 

One thing to note about any Bahth Kharij is that you cannot come to a conclusions regarding a scholar's opinions until a certain topic is actually complete (and definitely not by looking or reading any one lesson from a middle of a series). The natural course of a Bahth Kharij is to open all plausible interpretations, present those arguments, and critique them where possible. I've encountered this way too many times during my readings of transcriptions of Bahth Kharij, where it appears that a scholar is arguing for a certain opinion, and even makes strong arguments for it, but 20-odd lessons later arrives at a conclusion which is the complete opposite.

This is not to say that Sayyid Haydari isn't challenging the mainstream notion (about men being superior), but I don't think it is fair to say that his final conclusion is that women are superior to men. He has to clarify a lot of things which he hasn't - how he explains the verse which says men are a degree higher, how he addresses the issue of superiority vis-a-vis taqwa (which he begins discussing in lesson 13), if he does believe women are superior is this ontological or something else, etc.? What he claims to be "his understanding" is the grammatical point where he takes both of the last 2 statements in the verse as a parenthetical statement, rather than the words of Maryam's (s) mother. You can read the Arabic transcription of the lesson here: http://alhaydari.com/ar/2017/10/61362/

Given that this series is going to be happening for a long time (as he alludes to in the first few lessons), it is way too early to see what Sayyid al-Haydari's final opinions are on the subject. Another thing to keep in mind is that his lessons are very different because of the foundations he builds his arguments on - these are foundations which are not mainstream to begin with, such as his views on the whole Qur'an vs. Hadith discussion, and most importantly views he has in epistemology (a lot of views he has on the latter topic are views I agree with).

Wasalam

Edited by Ibn al-Hussain

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Other things women are more intelligent than Men are:

Conducting long, aimless, pointless conversations  :discussion:

Innocuous Recriminations --like starching Our underwear.

- like using hot chili pepper on our eggs.

-like putting your matching tie in the laundry

-like throwing out our old things while preserving "dust collectors" (miniatures)

- like cleaning out your desk for you

-like having her friends over --on a rotating locational basis-- during the soccer game

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On 10/28/2017 at 4:24 AM, Ibn al-Hussain said:

What he claims to be "his understanding" is the grammatical point where he takes both of the last 2 statements in the verse as a parenthetical statement, rather than the words of Maryam's (s) mother. You can read the Arabic transcription of the lesson here: http://alhaydari.com/ar/2017/10/61362/

I believe you are referring to this bit:

 وأنا مع هذا القول الثالث لان الآية بعد أن وجد أن أم مريم تحسرت لان هذا المقول خصوصاً قوله وليس الذكر كالأنثى إذا كان المقول أم مريم المفروض القضية تصير معكوسة إني وضعتها أنثى وليست الأنثى ماذا؟ لأنها ماذا تريد ذكراً حتى يخدم فالآن تحسرت وحزنت فلا معنى لان تقول وليس الذكر كالأنثى لابد أن تقول وليست الأنثى كالذكر لأني وضعتها أنثى  

He says the words 'the male is not like the female' are not from the mother of Mariam, and this is his opinion.

He then gives some explanation why.

He then goes on to say:

ليس قولها الله اعترض هنا على من على أم مريم قال أين تذهبين ما لك كيف تحكمين أنتِ كنت تريدين ذكر ومن قال لكِ أن الذكر قيمته عند الله كالأنثى بل الأنثى أعظم من الذكر بمراتب فلمَ أنت متحسرة أنت مشتبهة متوهمة أن الأنثى ماذا؟ أقل من الذكر بل أن الأنثى أعظم ماذا؟ أعظم من الذكر ولهذا القرآن ماذا يقول؟ يقول وليس الذكر ماذا؟ كالأنثى

 Allah objects to those who hold Mariam's mother's view (regarding the inferiority of women), saying: ... the female is greater than the male by stations, so why are you upset?  You are upset and confused that the female is less than the male. Rather, the female is greater than the male, and for this reason the Qur'an says 'the male is not like the female'.

Then he mentions the narrations about blessings being in women.  Then objects to the claim that the aya is specifically restricted to Mariam.  Then says that you should be proud if you are created a female (provided you are pious).  Then he criticizes people who devalue his opinion, basically confirming what he said previously was his opinion 

لا يفتخر وكذلك هنا فإذن المرأة ينبغي إذا وجد الإنسان وخلق امرأة لابد أن تفتخر أنها ماذا؟ أنها امرأة وأنها أنثى الآن انظروا هذه الثقافة التي يقول بحسب فهمي ومن حق الآخر يقول سيدنا هذا فهمك أقول بلي أنت الذي تقوله أيضاً ليس فهمك لماذا فهمك باءك تجر وباءنا لا تجر؟!

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1 hour ago, Ibn al-Hussain said:

One thing to note about any Bahth Kharij is that you cannot come to a conclusions regarding a scholar's opinions until a certain topic is actually complete (and definitely not by looking or reading any one lesson from a middle of a series). The natural course of a Bahth Kharij is to open all plausible interpretations, present those arguments, and critique them where possible

I don't doubt that he will qualify it with conditions, expand upon, try and reconcile other texts with it, etc, so I am not saying that it is his final word.  But if he were later to say that women aren't superior to men, then he would be contradicting himself.  Maybe this isnt his final opinion, and maybe he will change his mind, but based on what he has said he believes that the Quran teaches that women are superior.  I just cant see him saying 'actually the Quran doesnt say that women are better than men', after explicitly saying that it does.  He may present a more naunced opinion, but cant deny the basic claim without contradiction.

You are following his lectures more closely than I am, so please post anything that says otherwise.

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6 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

I believe you are referring to this bit:

The issue here is that he isn't discussing the specifics of this superiority. Superiority in what, from what perspective? He does mention an alibi from narrations that say a daughter brings more blessings when she is born - and perhaps from that perspective she is superior to a male - but in his talk he also throws in the phrase ولكن بشرطها وشروطها (with its appropriate conditions), which essentially keeps him free from the attribution of having claimed absolute superiority of women over men (in all and every aspect). So even if he were to qualify this same position with conditions, he can justify himself by saying this was clear and obvious or that I hadn't claimed absolute superiority to begin with.

If you look at the first two or so lectures you will see how he actually begins his talk building an argument for men being superior to women through the Qur'an, but he leaves it at that. This is because he is in a stage of his discussion where he is throwing out a lot of different plausible interpretations, but he himself has said he will dwell into them in more depth over the course of these lessons.

Wasalam

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