Praise be to Allaah.
We appreciate our brother’s keenness to find
out and follow the evidence from the Qur’aan, but there will not necessarily be evidence specifically from the Qur’aan for every issue. Rather the
evidence for many rulings is to be found in the saheeh Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), not the Qur’aan.
The Muslim has to follow the evidence of both the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad),
and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you
believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination”
Allaah has commanded us to obey Him and to
obey His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and He has commanded us to refer matters of dispute to His Book and the
Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and
whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). And fear Allaah; verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment”
(12) narrated from al-Miqdaam ibn Ma’di Yakrib that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Soon there
will come a time when a man will be reclining on his pillow, and when one of my hadeeth is narrated to him, he will say, ‘The Book of Allaah is
(sufficient) between us and you. Whatever it states is permissible we will take as permissible, and whatever it states is forbidden, we will take
as forbidden.’ Verily, whatever the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has forbidden is like that which Allaah
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh
The evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah
indicates that it is not permissible for a woman to assume positions of senior public authority, such as the caliph (khaleefah), minister of state
(wazeer or vizier) or judge (qaadi) and so on.
1 – Evidence from the Qur’aan:
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of
women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means”
The words “Men are the protectors and
maintainers of women” mean that they spend on them and protect them, and also that they (men) are the rulers and governors, and the ones who
go on military campaigns, and none of these are the role of women.
Ibn Katheer said:
It means the
man is in charge of the woman; he is her leader, the ruler over her who disciplines her if she goes astray.
“because Allaah has made one of them to
excel the other” means, because men are superior to woman, and a man is better than a woman. Hence Prophethood was given only to men, as is
the role of caliph, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No people will ever prosper who appoint a woman in
charge of them.”
Tafseer Ibn Katheer,
2 –Evidence from the Sunnah:
narrated that Abu Bakrah said: When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) heard that the people of Persia had
appointed the daughter of Chosroes as their queen, he said, “No people will ever prosper who appoint a woman in charge of them.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4163.
Al-Shawkaani said in Nayl al-Awtaar,
This indicates that women are not qualified
to rule, and it is not permissible for people to appoint them as rulers, because they must avoid that which will cause them not to prosper.
Al-Maawirdi said, in the context of his
discussion of the position of wazeer:
It is not permissible for a woman to play
this role, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “No people will prosper if they delegate their affairs to a
woman.” And because these positions require wisdom and resolve, which women may be lacking in, and requires appearing in public to handle matters
directly, which is haraam for them to do.
Ibn Hazm (may
Allaah have mercy on him) said, in the context of his discussion on the role of caliph:
There is no dispute that it is not
permissible for a woman (to be caliph).
Al-Fasl fi’l-Milal wa’l-Nihal,
In al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (21/270)
are agreed that one of the conditions of the position of caliph is that the holder should be male. The leadership of a woman is not valid, because
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No people will ever prosper who appoint a woman in charge of them.” That is
also so that he will be able to mix with men, to devote his time solely to dealing with affairs of state, and because this position involves
handling very serious matters. The responsibility is great and this is a man’s role.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn
Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked the following question:
What is the Islamic view on a woman being
nominated as a candidate for the position of head of state, or head of a government, or a public ministry?
It is not permissible to appoint or elect a
woman as head of state. This is indicated by the Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus. In the Qur’aan, Allaah says (interpretation of the
“Men are the
protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other…”
The ruling in the verse is general and
includes a man’s position of leadership in his family, and applies more so to his position of public leadership. This ruling is supported by the
reason given in the verse itself, which is men’s intellectual superiority and better understanding etc, which are basic qualifications for
In the Sunnah, the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No people will ever prosper who appoint a woman in charge of them.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari.
Undoubtedly this hadeeth indicates that it is
haraam for a woman to take a position of public leadership, or to become the governor of a province or city, because all of that comes under the
general meaning of the hadeeth, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that those who appoint a woman as their
leader will never prosper. Prospering means being successful and doing well.
The ummah unanimously agreed in practical
terms at the time of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and the imams of the first three generations, which the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) testified were the best of generations, that women should not be appointed as governors or judges. There were women who were
brilliant in religious knowledge, to whom scholars would refer concerning knowledge of Qur’aan, hadeeth and religious rulings, but no woman
aspired to positions of public leadership during that time or any other position of that nature. The shar’i responsibilities of such positions
cannot be carried out by women, because that involves travelling to the provinces, and mixing with the members of the ummah, and meeting with
them, and leading the army sometimes in jihad, and negotiating with the enemy, and accepting oaths of allegiance from members of the ummah, and
meeting with them, men and women, at times of war and peace, and so on. This is not appropriate for a woman, and it goes against the rulings of
sharee’ah that are established to protect her and keep her safe from having to go out and mix in such a manner.
Rationally speaking, women should not be
given positions of public office, because what is required of the one who is chosen for such a position is that he should a man of great resolve,
determination, smartness, will power and good management skills. These characteristics are lacking in women because they have been created with
weakness in their intellect and thinking, and with strong emotions, so electing them to such positions is not in the interests of the Muslims and
does not help them to achieve greatness.
And Allaah is the source of strength. May
Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and companions.
issue no. 890.
And Allaah knows best.