Prohibit can be defined as a command that formally forbids (something) by law, rule, or other authority. But why are we often forbidden from doing certain things? Why do we have to avoid doing certain things? Because they are look as not good for us, because they are not meant for us to have, and because we are not meant for it – some of the arguments. The person or authority who forbids us from doing a particular task always seems to have a valid reason, and something or someone has given him/her the authority to act on your behalf.
The relationship between women and Islam is complex and is defined by both Islamic texts and the history and culture of the Muslim world. The Quran explicitly states that men and women are equal, but also says in 4:34 that “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to respect the other, and because they spend from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard.” Although the Quran does say this, the superiority of men is interpreted in terms of strength by the context – men maintain power over women. This verse however refers to a relationship between a husband and wife, not as a society in whole. In general, women played much bigger role in Islam than most people many modern day rulers would imagine, there are examples of female warriors in the armies of Prophet Muhammad.
However, as we learned in Top 10 Fast Facts about Islam Worth Knowing, our modern interpretation of Islam is quite different and is not always correct. As such women are restricted from doing certain things and are prohibited from:
1. Going out with uncovered head
A Muslim woman is not allowed to go outside of her home with her head uncovered. Hijab can be translated into a clock or a coat which covers a woman’s body, including her head and her face. It’s not necessary that women wear a hijab, they just have to make sure that your clothing is decent enough and is not revealing any of your body part. Modern interpretations of the Qa’aran have now enforced women to wear a hijab in social circles as a way to protect them from the dirty stares of men and men who have dirty minds. It is believed that whenever men see a woman they acquire this very sick kind of idea in their mind about that woman. No one knows how does a man’s mind works but God knows therefore to protect her from the negative thinking of men, he asked her to cover herself whenever going out.
This issue is quite debatable among scholars, especially when they come to discuss whether or not women could go perform Hajj without Mahram (conditional upon the presence of just companions of course). Their differences pertain to whether they take the letter (face value) of the Prophet’s Hadeeths related to this issue or the purpose of it and why the Prophet PBUH gave that specific verdict, and whether it was related to conditions/constraints at the time or it is just beyond time, culture, and specificity in general…
We should not, as Muslims, argue too much in Fiqhi opinions, as too much dispute on those issues would cause discord (fitna) among brothers and sisters.
In Islam it is believed that traveling involves hardship and exhaustion and because of the weakness a woman and the need to have someone to help her and stay by her side, it is forbidden for a woman to travel. Things may happen to her that may cause her to lose control.
A Muslim woman may may live alone and will need to be subject to the condition that she is trustworthy and is not seen as a woman of dubious character. With regard to a woman travelling alone, it is just not allowed.
3. Marrying non-Muslim men
A Muslim women is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man. Such an order is supposedly given from God because in Islam the women follow the religion of the husband therefore if Muslim woman marries a non-Muslim man she won’t remain a Muslim anymore. A Muslim man is allowed to marry non-Muslim women but that women should be either Christian or Jew and should follow a holy book.
4. Disobeying husband
A Muslim wife should be as obedient as she can to her husband. This preserves the nuclear family and protects it from collapsing. This is part of Islam’s organizing of the family structure.
One should note that a wife’s obedience to her husband falls into one of four categories:
1- To ask her to do something this is commanded by Islam, such as the five prayers. Here the wife must obey her husband, and she would be considered sinful from two perspectives if she fails to obey.
2- To ask her to do something which is beneficial to him, or to refrain from doing something which is harmful to him, such as things which have to do with his food or clothes. She should obey him here unless there is a valid excuse not to.
3- To ask her to do something which falls into her personal affairs, such as asking her to give him money or forbidding her from speaking to a friend for no good reason. Here she can obey him if she wants but she does not have to. She should consider the benefit and harm of such obedience.
4- To order her to disobey Allah’s commands, and here she must disobey her husband.
It is also a woman’s duty not to leave the house unless the husband permits it. She should also never sleep outside the house unless she has permission.
5. Physical interaction with other men
Physical interaction between man and a woman is not permitted in Islam. You are not allowed to interact (touch) any other man or woman except for your own spouses, this scenario is applied for both the genders. A woman is not allowed to indulge with any men other than her own husband. Communication is allowed to a minimal. It is well suited that a man should hangout with men and a woman should hang out with women because it does not lead to the birth of any unmoral thought in the hearts of men and women, according to modern Islamic laws.
6. Eye-contact with men
It is said that the eyes of a person reflects his true personality. Being able to see is a blessing from above, but with your eyes you can see all the good things as well as bad things. Islam does not allow women any kind of eye contact with men because this contact is the first step to all the unethical feelings. Even if you want to speak to men then you communicate through the door or the window, but the women must not come face to face with a na-mehrum man. A Muslim woman is very respectable and not everyone can have the pleasure of seeing her or even talking to her face to face.
One of the prohibited acts in Islam is lesbianism. “Lesbian” is a term most widely used to describe lust and sexual desire between females. Theologians – ulamas usually refer to the three hadith, which mention the word “liwat” (on behalf of the people of Lot, referred to male homosexuality, and this whole of this phenomenon) and “sihak”, indicating relationship between two women. In the first hadith it is being said: “When a man is being covered with another man, the throne of the Almighty is being shaken.” In the second hadith it is being said: “Both active and passive homosexual partners supposed to be killed.” In the third hadith it is being said about women: “Sihak between two women is adultery” (az-Zina).
Anal sex with own wife simultaneously condemned too. In hadith it is being said: “Cursed is one who enters in his wife through the anus.”
8. Fitted and cleavage clothes
Allah orders the women to cover their ornaments and not to wear clothes that show their cleavage. The curves of a woman are the private parts of the body; they become the victim of the dirty stares of men, generate malicious ideas and ruin the reputation of that woman in the eye of men. Therefore a Muslim woman has been asked not to wear much fitted clothes; her clothing must cover all the body parts properly.
9. Soft corner for na-mehrum
In Islamic sharia legal terminology, a mahram is an unmarriageable kin with whom sexual intercourse would be considered incestuous, a punishable taboo. Current usage of the term covers a wider range of people and mostly deals with the dress code practice of hijab.
Anyone who a Muslim, including women, is not allowed to marry is mahram, if they are of the opposite sex and have reached puberty. A partial list of what is considered a mahram can be found in Surah 24, Ayah 31, of the Quran.
Islam forbids a woman to wear any such thing which can divert the attention of men towards her, stuff such as perfumes, makeup, jewels or very fancy clothes. According to Islamic Laws, Perfumes have a very strong smell. If a person wearing perfume will enter a room, every person present would notice that person. Similarly if a woman wearing perfume passes by, then she will divert all the attention towards herself. A Muslim woman is not an object for exhibition but a symbol of respect.