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[Closed/Review]Mujtahidah (female Allamah)

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So: I was wondering about the status of female clerics in 12erism after I ran into an article on Zohreh Sefati.

What is the status of the female Ayatullah? As I understand it, it is controversial but some maraja' support it. Can anyone give me more information?

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So: I was wondering about the status of female clerics in 12erism after I ran into an article on Zohreh Sefati.

What is the status of the female Ayatullah? As I understand it, it is controversial but some maraja' support it. Can anyone give me more information?

Fadlallah, Saanei, and Jannaati support the idea in principle. They don't see maleness as a requirement for a scholar being someone to follow. The key in their mind is intellectual capacity and study to a sufficient level, something attainable by women.

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Fadlallah, Saanei, and Jannaati support the idea in principle. They don't see maleness as a requirement for a scholar being someone to follow. The key in their mind is intellectual capacity and study to a sufficient level, something attainable by women.
I was somewhat taken aback by the comment made that there were scholars who felt a woman could not be a Source of Imitation... as if having a woman's body prohibits it or something? It made no sense as a person is a jurist, not a jurist with male body parts.

I know the woman I mentioned has stated that in her mind, the role of a jurist is not only as a Source of Imitation and hence women should still attain the rank of mujtahidah, but I feel that answer is incomplete. I was just curious what reason a woman could not be a Source of Imitation... I mean, literally it's pretty much because she has juyuub? Doesn't make any sense to me.

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I was somewhat taken aback by the comment made that there were scholars who felt a woman could not be a Source of Imitation... as if having a woman's body prohibits it or something? It made no sense as a person is a jurist, not a jurist with male body parts.

I know the woman I mentioned has stated that in her mind, the role of a jurist is not only as a Source of Imitation and hence women should still attain the rank of mujtahidah, but I feel that answer is incomplete. I was just curious what reason a woman could not be a Source of Imitation... I mean, literally it's pretty much because she has juyuub? Doesn't make any sense to me.

There are many hadiths from the Prophet and Imams (as) which are 'sexist' in the eyes of today's feminists. The essential gist of them is that, on the whole, the qualified male is the ruler and authority, over the family and the society. This is also commonsense.

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I was somewhat taken aback by the comment made that there were scholars who felt a woman could not be a Source of Imitation... as if having a woman's body prohibits it or something? It made no sense as a person is a jurist, not a jurist with male body parts.

I know the woman I mentioned has stated that in her mind, the role of a jurist is not only as a Source of Imitation and hence women should still attain the rank of mujtahidah, but I feel that answer is incomplete. I was just curious what reason a woman could not be a Source of Imitation... I mean, literally it's pretty much because she has juyuub? Doesn't make any sense to me.

Exactly. The requirements for being a marja are intellectual and spiritual. Since women and men are equal in their capacity to achieve the required intellectual and spiritual development, there is no problem with it. It's really quite simple and natural if you sit for a few moments and analyze what it takes for a person to be a marja. Then you ask yourself if a woman is incapable of achieving these qualifications, and you obtain the obvious answer that, no, certainly a woman can attain the qualifications. And then it becomes obvious that the status quo of men only being marjas is simply a matter of historical tradition. There's no principled basis for it. Incidentally, the 3 jurists I mentioned have the same opinion about leadership of a nation.

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Salaam allaikum,

While women may have the same intellectual capacity they do not have the same emotional capacity for leadership roles. This is clear and proven that women are way more emotional than men. This is good in roles of mothering and being a wife (or even in certain job roles) but its detrimental in such roles as a judge who oversees criminals and as a mujtahid who has to make hard decisions of life and death regarding emotional issues.

I personally don't put much stock in these 3 scholars...we have hundreds of others who have completely different opinions. I'm not going to base my religion on a minuscule minority opinion that clearly fails reality.

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Salaam allaikum,

While women may have the same intellectual capacity they do not have the same emotional capacity for leadership roles. This is clear and proven that women are way more emotional than men. This is good in roles of mothering and being a wife (or even in certain job roles) but its detrimental in such roles as a judge who oversees criminals and as a mujtahid who has to make hard decisions of life and death regarding emotional issues.

I personally don't put much stock in these 3 scholars...we have hundreds of others who have completely different opinions. I'm not going to base my religion on a minuscule minority opinion that clearly fails reality.

Good to see sexism is alive and well on the ShiaChat.com board.

Do you even know any women? Do you realise that there are judges on all kinds of courts in the world and who order executions? All over the world? There are women leaders as well, and soldiers.

Your argument is without merit and indicates a lack of understanding of women.

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Salam

^I am a woman and have been all my life. I am not going to act like I'm something that I am not in order to achieve "equality" between men and women, which in reality means women want to kill their femininity and become men, not be equal to them.

I have and continue to make decision and commit actions solely driven by emotion and lacking in logic. Sometimes I do something knowing in my head that I shouldn't but having a strong emotional want to do this thing. Sometimes I am extremely irritable and get annoyed for absolutely no reason, and sometimes I get immensely down and depressed again for no reason. Hormones largely drive a lot of women, if they are out of their teenage years their menstrual cycle has an affect and if they aren't getting it because they are pregnant their pregnancy has an affect.

Maybe some women are affected less than others, but there are also some emotional men. This does not change that in general men are better for the job than women. And that is why from what I know women are allowed to be marjas for themselves once they reach the appropriate level, but not for others.

Wasalam.

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Salaam allaikum,

^Well then sister if you agree islam has delegated this role to men then there has to be a reason right? It can't simply be "because". There has to be a wisdom behind it.

When it comes down to it pound for pound women are more emotional than men. How can someone who is more emotional be chosen over someone who is less to give out a death sentence for example. Here we are speaking generally.

Some people see this as sexism or unfairness but its actually very fair. Let me give an example.

In the Olympics the races are segregated between men and women. Why? Because their bodies are physically different. It would be patently unfair to make a woman race against a man. She would lose hands down. If we afford western feminist logic to this its because the Olympics is a "sexist" organization who is composed of male chauvinists. These are just soundbytes. The reality is that it would be unfair to make someone who is physically weaker race against someone who is physically stronger. Does this make women inferior?

Again in warfare women are virtually never given combat roles. Look at the US military. Why is this?

This is simply the reality and men and women are different physically, mentally, and psychologically. In the whole scheme of life with all the various roles they are definitely equal. But they are not the same in every single aspect. We can never say a mans body and a womens body are "equal" and that if someone disagrees they are "sexist".

What Islam has done is its given men and women proper roles and boundaries that will allow them to use their natural skills and talents to the fullest extent. With this your allowed to grow to your fullest potential without being exploited.

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Being in relationship myself, I will say that my fiance also reacts and acts many times more on her emotions and passions than logically or reasonably. I am not making this up so doesn't matter what anyone says. I find that I am always the one in our relationship who has to bring out the advantages/disadvantages to something, or consequences of something, or rationale behind something to her.

I find many of my relatives and friends' wives/fiances, etc act the same. Islam says males are more suitable OVERALL for these roles, leadership, whatever etc.

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Say you become a Mujtahidah, wouldn't that stop you from being married? From becoming pregnant? Raising children?

Islam has never been about sexism, Allah (swt) has given each gender certain roles which they could perform better than the opposite sex. Many men have raised children, however if you compare it to the upbringing of a woman it's incomparable! Does Heaven lie under the feet of the mothers or fathers?

A man asked the Prophet (saww) who should you respect the most the man asked three times and each time the Prophet (saww) responded "your mother" on the forth time asking the prophet (saww) responded "your father", why wasn't the father given that respect?

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neither marraige nor childbearing is wajib. even so, why would being a marja prevent a woman from marriage and children anymore than it does a man? pregnancy doesn't stop a woman from being able to read, write or think critically. heck, old age is a far greater danger to cognitive abilities and i don't see anyone telling these marjas they need to shut up and retire after 60.

Edited by AnotherUmmAli

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neither marraige nor childbearing is wajib. even so, why would being a marja prevent a woman from marriage and children anymore than it does a man? pregnancy doesn't stop a woman from being able to read, write or think critically. heck, old age is a far greater danger to cognitive abilities and i don't see anyone telling these marjas they need to shut up and retire after 60.

erm....so whats stopping you from becoming a marja yourself ? :unsure:

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I feel that people here who are arguing for women being marjas have failed to understand the importance of a woman and the power she yields as a mother.

Men are marjas. Women are marja makers.

If anyone reads the life history of Sayyed Radi and Sayyed Murtadha [two of the biggest Imami scholars], it was their mother who shaped their lives and it was she who looked after their upbringing and education. Sayyed Radi even went to the length of saying that he wouldn't be what he was if it hadn't been for his mother.

Allah has delegated responsibilities to men and women and instead of trying to upstage and compete with each other, we should try to understand the wisdom behind the laws of Islam and follow it to the T.

Being a good mother is of as much importance as being a marja and it is good mothers who make great societies and nations.

There is an excellent lecture by Ammar Nakhswani on this.

The Mother of Prophet Musa (a.s) - Spiritual and physical nourishment

Having said that, I think there is a little misunderstanding here. From what I know, no marja says that a woman cannot become a mujtahid. They all just say that she cannot become a marja i.e a source of emulation. If she wishes she can attain ijtihad and doesn't need to follow a scholar.

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ummm, just a question, how can a female become a marj' when she cant lead prayers?????????

a female can reach the level of an ayatullah in knowledge of course...

imam Askary was reported saying that we (imams (excluding imam Ali) (as)) are the proof (hujja) of Allah tabaraka wa ta'ala on earth and Fatimatul Zahra' is the proof upon us...

even though Fatimatul Zahra' (as) has reached such a high status, she was reported to be leading any prayers...

and if nowadays female alims cant lead prayer, how can they an Umma???

Edited by ibrahim1088

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neither marraige nor childbearing is wajib. even so, why would being a marja prevent a woman from marriage and children anymore than it does a man? pregnancy doesn't stop a woman from being able to read, write or think critically. heck, old age is a far greater danger to cognitive abilities and i don't see anyone telling these marjas they need to shut up and retire after 60.

umm, retire after 60?

hmm, i dont think that they go to hawzahs to get paid or because they simply didnt find a job so hawzah was their best pick (in fact some of them started going to hawzahs at an early age like 15 or even less... and most alims keep on learning till the last breath, there was this alim who wrote a book and he was about 100 yrs old, he would tie the pen around his hand so that when his hand shakes, he would still be able to write...

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Salaam,

To be honest, men are more "emotional" and "irrational" Islamically speaking. A quick perusal through any book on Fiqh would highlight that.

There 'must' be another reason :-)

Wasalaam

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I can't believe a query about female Ayatullahs managed to immediately descend into the most offtopic pile of misogyny instead. I don't know why I bother with this site sometimes. Women are emotionally unable to function as leaders? Ask Benazir Bhutto, Indira Gandhi, Sirivamo Bandaranaike, Isabela Perón, Madeleine Albright... Current eight countries have female presidents (Argentina, Chile, Finland, India, Ireland, Liberia, The Philippines and San Marino) and nine have female prime ministers (Bangladesh, Germany, Haiti, Iceland, Moldova, Mozambique, The Netherlands Antilles, Ukraine and the Åland Islands).

Ask the female police officers and detectives and firefighters if they are unable to match men. Ask the female soldiers.

Foolishness, I should have known it would descend into "women are unable, but only because they are special." Such rubbish!

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Salaam,

Ok - but seriously, IF women are supposedly emotional and irrational etc etc etc and all that other garbage...then why does Islamic Law seem to depict men as irrational, emotional, unable to control their emotions, and thusly provided them with "outlets" to maintain these "deficiencies"?

I mean seriously, you just have to hear the [Edited Out] that comes such as, "even if the man is angry and in the wrong - keep quiet even under these circumstances"

"If a man has needs woman must do this and do that and drop everything"

"Women can control certain things, men can't"

"Men go away to war and need a woman laa dee daa"

"Women are left when their men are abroad, nothing they can do about it"

Seriously, take a browse through certain sections of fiqh, akhlaaq, and history and seriously women seem a hell a lot more qualified to lead.

Another angle you could come from is this, if a woman is not fit to lead, then she is not fit to be a mother. If you are geniunely trying to convince me that women are irrational and emotional and unable to make rational decisions etc etc etc, then how the hell can you put such a precious thing as a child in her care?

Wasalaam

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If women truly were as capable as men of leading societies and such, then why haven't they? The vast majority of societies in human history have been patriarchal in terms of where real authority lies (matriarchies are exceptionally rare), things like that don't just happen by accident. As to the few examples in modern history one can come up, thanks for proving my point. The majority of them were disastrous, either utterly inefficient, corrupt, or just plain evil, killing whatever femininity they had in order to assert their power over others.

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Women maybe not able to become maraja or whatever, but that doesn't mean they don't get the same, if not greater rewards the maraja do for rightly guiding the people. Behind every great scholar, is a GREAT woman. Imam Khomeini, Allamah Tabatabaei, Ayatollah Bahjat, I mean...wow.

Allamah Tabatabaei was once complimented on his Tafsir al Mizan. Do you know what he said? Half of all the thawaab for that monumental piece of work was for his wife. His wife was a homemaker.

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Salaam allaikum,

^Well then sister if you agree islam has delegated this role to men then there has to be a reason right? It can't simply be "because". There has to be a wisdom behind it.

When it comes down to it pound for pound women are more emotional than men. How can someone who is more emotional be chosen over someone who is less to give out a death sentence for example. Here we are speaking generally.

Some people see this as sexism or unfairness but its actually very fair. Let me give an example.

In the Olympics the races are segregated between men and women. Why? Because their bodies are physically different. It would be patently unfair to make a woman race against a man. She would lose hands down. If we afford western feminist logic to this its because the Olympics is a "sexist" organization who is composed of male chauvinists. These are just soundbytes. The reality is that it would be unfair to make someone who is physically weaker race against someone who is physically stronger. Does this make women inferior?

Again in warfare women are virtually never given combat roles. Look at the US military. Why is this?

This is simply the reality and men and women are different physically, mentally, and psychologically. In the whole scheme of life with all the various roles they are definitely equal. But they are not the same in every single aspect. We can never say a mans body and a womens body are "equal" and that if someone disagrees they are "sexist".

What Islam has done is its given men and women proper roles and boundaries that will allow them to use their natural skills and talents to the fullest extent. With this your allowed to grow to your fullest potential without being exploited.

pesarak you have given examples which point to mens general physical strength over women. well apes have greater physical/athletic strength than man. by your logic we should do taqleed of apes :lol: theyre stronger!

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Wow. The Archie Bunker squad is out in full force.

This nonsense about emotionality and rationality is tiresome. If you folks are going to sling lame, weak arguments, at least be creative and come up with something new so that I don't get bored while demolishing your flimsy attempts at justifying your chauvenism. Is that too much to ask?

These are well trod paths, so I'll stick to point form.

Neither men nor women are disembodied spirits. Both are spirits embodied in animal shells of flesh, blood, and numerous biochemicals. Estrogen does have an impact on emotion, which in turn colours thought patterns. But guess what? So does testosterone. Those who would drone on about the inherent relative rationality and control over their emotions in men would do well to explain certain phenomena:

-The male passion for sports, and the fights and riots that occur over soccer, hockey, and football

-The phenomenon of road rage and the relative frequency of incidence in men in comparison to women

-The level of violence amongst men as compared to women, including rape and other sexual violence

-The relative frequency of domestic violence by men as compared to women, including cases of men killing their wives because she didn't cook his steak right

-When's the last time you saw a woman get into a verbal or physical fistfight with a shop teller? The last time you saw a man?

-The financial figures on the porn industry

-and others could be mentioned

Our ideal figures were neither stereotypically male nor stereotypically female. They were a balanced mix of the best stereotypical traits of each. This is true of male figures like Jesus and Muhammad and female figures like Maryam and Zainab and Fatimah.

God, and reality are neither male nor female, but a mix of each. Indeed the mystics will tell you that the immanent, merciful, nurturing, loving "female" aspects of God are actually stronger than the distant, transcendant, stern, "male" aspects.

Proper delivery justice is not about a detached, unemotional, abstract approach to the accused, but must of necessity include understanding, empathy, compassion, and mercy. That is, a proper judge must have a proper balance of "male" and "female" traits. Both men and women can achieve this balance.

A woman judge can actually bring a stronger, more vibrant understanding to legal issues that affect women. As such, the presence of women maraja is a desirable thing to ensure that a full and balanced understanding of law is elaborated.

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Men are marjas. Women are marja makers.

tbh this would be the end of the thread, but I must quote Ay. Bahjat on the issue, when he was asked why no women were prophets or Imams, and he replied - "Motherhood is equal to prophethood".

All this western equality malarky falls when you consider that the infinitely wise Allah did not make any prophets or Imams as women. Good luck on proving Allah to be sexist.

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Salaam allaikum,

you have given examples which point to mens general physical strength over women.

Not at all i was slowly showing that men and women are different. While this might seem obvious there are many people who can't fathom this. Until you show them that men and women are physically different you can't show that they may be emotionally or mentally different. I'm glad we agree on the physical aspect. If one sex is stronger than the other physically is it possible in the emotional aspect one sex can be stronger or less emotional than the other?

Yes Absolutely.

Again is it possible the way we think we may be different as well?

Again Absolutely its possible.

To brother Kadhim,

I do see where you are going with this but you pointed out things which are rare and are actually criminal actions (which are by definition aberrations of normal behavior). I personally don't know anyone who has had an incident of road rage in their life. I don't know any rapists or people who get into fights all the time etc. We can't quote criminal acts which are frowned upon in society and use them as the general markers for behavior. I doubt you've ever ran someone over in the streets and nor have i lol.

Let me see if i can find some studies on this. The fact that women are more emotional (hormonal flux) is a proven scientific fact...i shouldn't really be arguing the point.

Anyways back to Sis Smiley...its possible theres another reason behind this but this factor seems to be the strongest and most logical. Allah knows best.

It would be more accurate to say that men may be a little bit better at controlling their emotions, but women are clearly better at managing their emotions. (In other words, women are more likely to display their emotions, but men are more likely to become incapacitated or make regrettable choices due to theirs.)

Well sister this was actually my point. If men are better at controlling their emotions they can make more "raw" or "logical" decisions unaffected by them. By displaying your emotions it means you are allowing it to affect your actions. While by controlling them it means you are not allowing it to affect your actions.

Ultimately this is good in raw decision making..not good where mercy or care is supposed to be shown. (good for the murderer but very bad for the young child (or for a doctors patient)).

To cap this all off i really believe that in the whole scheme of life Allah has made men and women equal, just not equal in the exact same ways. Women have more rights in certain areas and men have more rights in certain areas. Men have more responsibilities in certain areas and women have more responsibilities in certain areas. At the end of the day it balances out in a beautiful harmonious way.

Edited by seyedmusawi

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To brother Kadhim,

I do see where you are going with this but you pointed out things which are rare and are actually criminal actions (which are by definition aberrations of normal behavior). I personally don't know anyone who has had an incident of road rage in their life. I don't know any rapists or people who get into fights all the time etc. We can't quote criminal acts which are frowned upon in society and use them as the general markers for behavior. I doubt you've ever ran someone over in the streets and nor have i lol.

Let me see if i can find some studies on this. The fact that women are more emotional (hormonal flux) is a proven scientific fact...i shouldn't really be arguing the point.

Some of the more extreme acts mentioned were rare, but they are merely end cases of common male irrationalities. We are more likely to lose our temper and get into arguments while driving, while having a dispute with a neighbor or shopkeeper or a CSR on the phone. I will grant you that you probably haven't run someone over while driving, but I will find it hard to believe if you say you've never pounded the steering wheel and cursed a bit when confronted with someone cutting you off or riding your bumper or driving too slowly in front of you.

Male sports obsession is quite commonplace. Men are also more likely to engage in stupid, risky behavior to look good in front of the boys. There is a reason why men pay more for car insurance than women, and why men die early more than women.

The bottom line: in my 3 decades on this earth, including 6.5 years of marriage, women are no more incapacitated on average than men by hormones or emotion. It's a baseless argument.

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If women truly were as capable as men of leading societies and such, then why haven't they? The vast majority of societies in human history have been patriarchal in terms of where real authority lies (matriarchies are exceptionally rare), things like that don't just happen by accident. As to the few examples in modern history one can come up, thanks for proving my point. The majority of them were disastrous, either utterly inefficient, corrupt, or just plain evil, killing whatever femininity they had in order to assert their power over others.

If Muslims were truly as capable of leading societies and such, then why haven't they? Christian White men have been ruling over much of the world for centuries now, things like that don't just happen by accident. Most societies ruled by Muslims are either utterly inefficient, corrupt or just plain evil killing whatever humanity they had in order to assert their power over others.

Tell, me, is their something inherently unfeminine about asserting power over others?

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Anyways back to Sis Smiley...its possible theres another reason behind this but this factor seems to be the strongest and most logical. Allah knows best.

Well sister this was actually my point. If men are better at controlling their emotions they can make more "raw" or "logical" decisions unaffected by them. By displaying your emotions it means you are allowing it to affect your actions. While by controlling them it means you are not allowing it to affect your actions.

You are strongly standing by a point that you arent even sure of. YOU pointed ME to this thread because you wanted me to feel, and I quote: "inadequate". This isnt about pointing out obvious logic, its a silly fight about whos better than who. I have worked (and am working) with both men and women. There are irrational men and women. And also rational men and women who make good leaders. To say that women are more inclined to act irrationally is insulting a whole gender in ways which quite frankly you have neither the knowledge or place to do.

Who would be more appropriate to lead a group of people, Fatima (as) or you? You were righter than you think by starting out by using strength as an example of how men and women are generally different, and hence why one leads the other. You see humans are animals, and animals generally allow dominant, stronger individuals to lead a group. From a biologist's point of view there really isnt anything surprising in that men are leaders. It is more socially acceptable because we are animals and behave like them.

And please, if youre going to use science to back up your beliefs, again, at least be in a position where you hold a significant amount of knowledge on the subject.

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