This is the subtitle of the chapter Position of Woman in the Islamic Shariah in Wahiduddin Khan’s book Woman between Islam and Western Society. Khan writes:
Even the modern world still finds it unimaginable that a woman should be given a high government office. In a poll taken in 1972, the majority of American voters said that they would rather have a black man than a woman as president. The idea of a woman president was ridiculed. Someone joked: “When the lady president delivers her child, the hospital bulletin will have to announce that ‘the President and baby are doing well.'”
The Persian emperor Chosroes died during the life of teh Prophet. His courtiers crowned Chosroes’ daughter queen. On hearing this news, the Prophet said, “A nation which makes a woman its ruler will not progress.”
The researchers of modern age now testify to the truth of this time-honored principle laid down by Islam. Fourteen hundred years ago, Islam held that a woman was not fit for so high a position as that of a sovereign. While until recently this could have been regarded as a mere assertion made a very long time ago, today it is accepted as a scientific fact. What the Prophet had said as a matter of inspiration has now been established, after a long period of study and research, as a reality. This is clear proof that Islamic principles are based on facts of nature and not just on supposition and conjecture.
I thought this was timely since just recently I had posted on Muslim women and politics. Now that I have come out of my initial shock at Khan’s ideas regarding women and positions of power, I can point to the sources of my horror:
1. What does he mean by “researchers of modern age now testify to the truth of this time-honored principle”? Who are the researchers? What was their study? What is all this about?
2. Is there a “time-honored principle laid down by Islam” that women are absolutely unfit “for so high a position as that of a sovereign”?
3. Is it a “as a scientific fact”? Really?
4. Isn’t whatever Khan has written actually unsupported “supposition and conjecture” which he presents as an Islamic principle?
5. Is women having babies a joke that should be ridiculed? Does it make woman “unfit”?
So now you know why I have been chewing on my furniture lately!