THE WOMAN'S STATUS IN
CHRISTIANITY & ISLAM
This page was created to compare a woman's status
as seen in Christianity and Islam.
The sources are mainly the Bible, Quran, and the
teachings of Prophet Mohammed.
The First Woman / Eve
"When the woman (Eve) saw that the
fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and
also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She
also gave some to her husband (Adam), who was with her, and he
ate it...Then the man (Adam) and his wife heard the sound of the
Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?" He (Adam)
answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I
was naked; so I hid." And he (God) said, "Who told you that you
were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you
not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman (Eve) you put here
with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have
done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." To
the woman he (God) said, "I will greatly increase your pains in
childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your
desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." To
Adam he (God) said, "Because you listen to your wife and ate
from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of
it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil
you will eat of it all the days of your life."
(God said):"O Adam! You and your wife
dwell in the Garden, and enjoy (its good things) as you wish:
but do not approach this tree, or you run into harm and
transgression." "Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them
(Adam and Eve), bringing openly before their minds all their
shame that was hidden from them (before): he (Satan) said: "Your
Lord only forbade you this tree, lest you should become angels
or such beings as live for ever." "And he (Satan) swore to them
both, that he was their sincere adviser." "So by deceit he
brought about their (Adam and Eve) fall: when they tasted of the
tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew
together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies. And their
Lord called to them: "Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell
you that Satan was an avowed enemy to you?" "They said: "Our
Lord! We have wronged our own souls: if You do not forgive us
and do not bestow upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be
Female Gender vs. Male Gender
"...if a woman have conceived seed, and
born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days...but if
she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks..."
|"To Allah belongs the
dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills.
He bestows female children to whomever He wills and bestows male
children to whomever He wills.
"He who is involved in bringing up
daughters, and accords benevolent treatment towards them, they
will be protection for him against Hell-Fire."
The Female Spiritual Essence
"I find more bitter than death the woman
who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are
chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner
she will ensnare." "Look," says the Teacher, "this is what I
have discovered: "Adding one thing to another to discover the
scheme of things-while I was still searching but not finding- I
found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright
woman among them all."
|"And Allah sets forth, as
an example to those who believe, the wife of Pharaoh: behold she
said: 'O my Lord! build for me, in nearness to You, a mansion in
the Garden, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings, and save me
from those that do wrong," "And Mary the daughter of Imran, who
guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our
spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord
and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants)."
"Heaven is at the feet of the
|"When a woman has her
regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will
last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till
evening. anything she lies on during her period will be unclean,
and anything she sits on will be unclean. Whoever touches her
bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be
unclean till evening. Whoever touches anything she sits on must
wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean
till evening. Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting
on, when anyone touches it, he will be unclean till evening."
Ali asked the Prophet Mohammed if when a
man and a woman make love then their clothes stick to them from
the sweat of their bodies, or if when a woman has her period her
clothes stick to her body, are the clothes considered unclean?
The Prophet replied: "No, the
uncleanness is only in the semen and the blood."
Sexual Relation During Her Menses
"Do not approach a woman to have sexual
relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period."
|"They ask you concerning
women's courses (period). Say: They are a hurt and a pollution:
so keep away (of making love) from women in their courses, and
do not approach them until they are clean..."
A Woman's Right to Education
|"let your women keep
silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to
speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also
saith the law, and if they will learn anything, let them ask
their husbands at home: for it is a shame for woman to speak in
|Seeking knowledge is
obligatory on every Muslim man and Muslim woman.
Right to Inheritance
|"Say to the Israelites,
'If a man dies and leaves no son, turn his inheritance over to
|"From what is left by
parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a
share for women, whether the property be small or large, -a
Dressing Modesty / Head Covering
|"Now I want you to realize
that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman
is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or
prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every
woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors
her head...If a woman does not cover her head, she should have
her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have
her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head"
1 Corrinthians 11:3-6
"I also want women to dress modestly,
with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or
pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate
for women who profess to worship God"
1 Timothy 2:9-10
|"O Prophet! Tell your
wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should
cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that
is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not
molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
...they (believing women) should not
display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily)
appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their
bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands,
their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their
husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their
sisters' sons, or their women...or small children who have no
sense of the shame of sex..."
|"After he left Hebron,
David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons
and daughters were born to him."
2 Samuel 5:13
"He (Solomon) had seven hundred wives
of royal birth and three hundred concubines..."
1 Kings 11:3
"And Lamech took unto him two wives:
the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other
"If a man have two wives, one beloved,
and another hated, and they have born him children, both the
beloved and the hated; and if the first-born son be hers that
was hated: then it shall be, when he maketh..."
"if he take him another wife; her food,
her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall her not diminish."
"If you fear that you shall not be able
to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice,
two, or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be
able to deal justly (with them), then only one... to prevent you
from doing injustice."
Prohibition in Marriage
|"Do not take your wife's
sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while
your wife is living."
|"Prohibited to you (for
marriage) are: -your mothers, daughters, sisters...and two
sisters (the wife and her sister) in wedlock at one and the same
|"...Anyone who divorces
his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.
And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she
|"O Prophet! When you do
divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and
count (accurately) their prescribed periods: and fear Allah your
The Divorcee & Widow
|"...who marries the
divorced woman commits adultery."
"'The woman he (the priest) marries
must be a virgin. He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman,
or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his
|"If any of you die and
leave widows behind, they shall wait concerning themselves four
months and ten days: when they have fulfilled their term, there
is no blame on you (marrying widows) if they dispose of
themselves in a just and reasonable manner..."
The Respect of Parents
|"Then he (Jesus) went down
to Nazareth with them(his parents) and was obedient to them..."
"For Moses said, 'Honor your father and
your mother,' and, 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must
be put to death."
"Each of you must respect his mother
|"He (God) has made me
(Jesus) kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable."
"And We have enjoined on man (to be
good) to his parents: in travail (pains of childbirth) upon
travail his other bore him, and in two years was his weaning:
(hear the command), "Show gratitude to Me and to your parents:
to Me is (your final) Goal."