Al-Quran, Surah Hajj, Surah 22, Verse 5:

O mankind! if ye have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (our power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babies, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much), and (further), thou seest the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs)


This is from Bijay – from IIT, Powai, Bombay. He asks… ‘Islam’ does not allow intermingling of sex in work place – is this modernising or outdated ?- Please explain and ‘Can a woman work as an Airhostess, since it is a decent and highly paid job?

A. (Dr.Zakir): Regarding the first question, that Islam does not allow intermingling of sexes – Is this modernising or outdated ? If you mean by modernising, that you keep your women for sale, that you intermingle with them, or you can even take the profession as modeling, then I feel that Islam is outdated. Because women … by the Western media, by the Western cul­ture – they have said that they have given more rights to the women … they are raising the status of the women – actually they are degrading it. According to statistics, it tells us that 50% of the women in America, who go to universities and work places, are raped – Do you know that? 50%, why? – Because most of the jobs in America, involve intermin­gling of sexes. If you think that a lady should be raped, it is modernising, then Islam is outdated – if you think not, then Islam is the most modernising.

Regarding the 2nd part of the question – Why is not… does Islam allow a woman to work as an Airhostess, since it is a highly paid job, and a decent job. I do agree with the first part, I do agree it is very highly paid – But the second part, let us analyse. The Airhostesses are normally chosen… main criteria for selecting Airhostess, is beauty – you will never find an ugly Airhostess. They are selected because they are young, they are selected because they are attractive. They are made to wear clothes, which are against the Islamic ethics – they are made to wear cosmetics to attract the customers. They have to tend to certain needs of the passengers, which are mainly men, in which there is close proximity between the man and woman. And many a times the gents passeng­ers unnecessarily, they involve in conversation with the Airhostess, and even if the Airhostess wants to give fitting reply, she can not, because her job is at stake. Many a times, the passenger may say… ‘Madam please tie my seat belt’ – the Airhostess has no option, but she has to tie the seat belt. What is going to happen? – there is going to be close proximity between the opposite sex. Many Airlines also serve alcohol – Islam prohibits any man or woman to serve alcohol. That is the reason, all the Airhostesses are women. There are gents pursers… male pursers in the flight, but they rarely attend to the customers – they are in the kitchen. It is the opposite – In the plane it is the opposite… in the plane it is the opposite. And believe me, an Airlines cannot do without employing ladies. Even the Saudi Airlines, ‘Supposed to be’, in inverted commas … the most Islamic, ‘Supposed to be’, inverted commas … even they have ladies Airhostesses. But since they can not have Saudi girls … it will be difficult – they import the girls, they have foreign Air­hostess. Double standards … double standards – there is no option. The Airline is a profession, which… in which you have to have ladies to attract the customers – and you will be shocked to know that certain rules of Airlines. For example, Indian Airlines as well as Air India… it states that… ‘After you are selected, you cannot marry for 4 years’ – Some Airlines tell you that… ‘If you get pregnant, your job is terminated.’ Imagine, some Airlines say that… ‘You retire at the age of 35’ – Why?… Because you are no longer attractive. Do you call it a decent job?

Q. Assalamo Alaikum, I am Sayed Riaz speaking – I am in business. As you said and as I know, that in Islam, men and women are equal – So why is it that a woman in Islam, is not entitled to equal property Rights? – thank you.

A. (Dr. Zakir): Brother has posed a question, that I said that in my lecture, that economical rights of women and men, are equal. So how come she is not entitled to her equal rights, when it comes to inheritance – and normally people say that the woman gets 1/2 the share, as compared to that of the male. The answer to this question, is given in the Qur’an, in Surah Nisa, Ch. No. 4, Verse No. 11 and 12, which gives the guidelines, how the inheritance should be divided. It says… ‘Allah has ordained for your as regarding your children… as regarding your children’s inheritance – for a female, a share half that of the male, and if only daughters 2 or more, they share in a two third – if only one, they get half’.  The Verse continues… ‘And one sixth share for the parents, if the deceased have children. If you have no children… if the deceased has no children, the mother gets one third. If the deceased has brothers and sisters… mother gets one sixth’. And the Verse continues… Verse number 12 says… ‘As in what your wife leaves your share is half, if there are no children, and your share is one fourth, if there are children. As in what you leave for your wife, your wife’s share is one fourth, if there are no children, and one eight if there are children’. In short, most of the time, the female gets half the share of the male counter part, but not in all cases. For example, for a uterine brother and sister, both get one sixth, if the deceased has got no ascendant or descendent… both get equal share. If the deceased has got no children, both mother and father get equal share of one sixth. And in certain cases, if the person who has died, is a lady who has got no children, the husband gets half, the mother gets one third, and the father gets one sixth. That means, there are cases in which the woman even gets double than that of the male coun­ter part – that is, the mother gets double than that of the father. But I agree with you, in most of the cases, the female gets 1/2 the share as compared to the man, when it is considered to daughter and a wife. But the answer to this, is that since man… since man is held responsible for the financial aspects of the family, and in order not to do injustice to the man, Allah has given a higher share to the man, as compared to the woman – Otherwise we will have to have a lecture on… ‘The rights of men’. I would like to give an example – Suppose a person dies, and after the properties have been distributed… the share of the children, remaining is one and a half lakh – and that person has two children, one son, one daughter. According to the Islamic Shariah, the son gets 1 lakh Rupees, and the daughter gets fifty thousand Rupees – but of the one lakh Rupees which the son receives, he has to spend, may be the majority of it, on looking after his family – may be eighty thousand  or… eighty thousand … or 1 lakh, he has to spend on looking after the family. But that lady when she receives 50,000 she does not have to spend a single pie on looking after her family. 

Q. Salam-Alaikum, I am Kamar Syed – Deputy Secretary, Home Department. In your elegant speech, you have mentioned that for a divorced woman… after the divorce, the husband looks after her during the period of ‘iddat’… maintenance allowance is given to her – But after ‘iddat’, I presume that the parents are supposed to look after the girl – In case the parents do not have the provisions to look after the girl, I would ask you… what is the girl suppose to do?

A. (Dr. Zakir): Sister has asked a very good question, that suppose a lady, she is  divorced – It is the duty of the husband, to provide support till the ‘iddat’ period, which lasts for may be 3 months, or till pregnancy. After that… as I mentioned in my lecture, it is the duty of the father or the brother, to look after her. If suppose, the father and the brother are unable to look after such ladies, it is the duty of the other close relatives, to look after her. If the other close relatives do not look after her, it is the duty of the Ummah, Muslim… Muslim Ummah… that we should set up organisations, and have Zakat funds, with which we can look after such ladies. Even if this does not work, it is the duty of the Islamic State, as the last resort, to look after such ladies. Hope that answers the question.

Q. My name is Mohammed Ashraf – my question is – Is adoption allowed in Islam?

A. (Dr.Zakir): Brother has asked the question – Is adoption allowed in Islam. If by adoption, you mean that you take a young child… a poor child and give him lodging, boarding, clothing bringing into your house … Islam has always stressed in the Qu’ran that you should help the poor people, help the needy people – You can even get a child to your house, and give him your fatherly love. What Islam objects to is, you cannot legally adopt – you cannot give your name to the child – Legal adoption, is prohibited in Islam. Why? … because if a person adopts a child legally, there can be several complications. First, if that man… sorry… the child, whether it is a girl or boy, it will loose its identity. Point number 2… if suppose after you adopt a child, you may have your own children – No one can say, that you will never have children throughout your life. If you have your own children, you will be bias towards your own child, than the adopted child. Point number three… if the children born to you…  if they are of opposite sex of that of the adopted child, they cannot freely stay in the same house… because they are not blood sisters and brothers, to each other. If the adopted child, after he grows up –  If it is a girl…  after she grows up she will have to do Hijab  with the so called father, because he is not his original father. If the adopted child is a man… if it is a boy and he becomes elderly, he becomes a man, and then if he marries again – there has to be Hijab  between the daughter-in-law, and the so called father. And there are several other reasons… and besides that, if you the adopt a child, you will be depriving many of your relatives of their rights. When after a person dies, whatever property he has, is divided according to whatever is mentioned in the Qur’an. If the person has children, and if he adopts a child, but natural he will be… he will be depriving a share of his own child. If the person… if he dies,  if he has a children… then the wife will get half the share as she should get , if she has no children, including the mother. If there are children, she gets one sixth… if there are no children, she gets one third. Again if you adopt a child, you are depriving the share of your mother. So to prevent these complications, legal adoption is prohibited in Islam.

Q. As-Salam Alaikum, I am Saima Kadri – and my question is that, why there are no women Prophets in Islam.

A. (Dr. Zakir): Sister has posed a question – why are there no ‘Women Prophets’ in Islam? If by ‘Prophets’ you mean, that a person who receives the message and who acts like a leader to the people, then I can say for sure, that in Islam we have got no ‘Women Prophets’. And I think it is right, because if a woman has to be a Prophet – The Qur’an clearly states, that man is the leader of the family. So if the man is the leader in the family… how can he lead the… how can a woman lead over the people? Come to the second part – a Prophet has to even lead the congregational prayers. And as I said earlier, that there are certain postures like Qayam, Ruku, Sujud, standing, bowing and doing the Sujud… prostration – and which, if a Woman Prophet does, the congrega­tion behind, will get disturbed. There are situations like… the Prophet has to meet with the common man, very regularly. If it is a Woman Prophet… Islam does not allow intermingling of sexes. If the Prophet is a lady… she… and if she gets pregnant – but natural, she will not be able to do her duties for a few months. If she has children, it will be difficult for her, to do the duty of the mother as well as the Prophet. And a man is more capable of doing the duty of the Prophet, and the father… as compared to a woman, who does the duty of a mother, as well as the Prophet. But if you mean that a Proph­et is a person who is chosen, and who is pure and holy, then there are several examples – and the best example I can quote is, of Bibi Mariyam (may Allah be pleased with her). It is mentioned in Surah Maryam, Ch. No. 3, Verse No. 42… (Arabic)… ‘And behold the angels said to Mary’. (Arabic)… ‘That Allah has chosen thee, and purified thee, and purified above the women of all nations’. If you mean ‘a Prophet’ is a person who is chosen and purified, then we have the example of Bibi Mariyam (May Allah be pleased with her), who was the mother of Jesus( May peace be upon her). We have other examples – If you read in Surah Tahrim, Ch. No. 66, Verse No. 11, it says that…  ‘As an example for the believers, is the wife of the Pharoah’…  Bibi Asiya (May Allah be pleased with her), she prayed to Allah (SWT)…‘Make for me, in nearness to Thee, a Mansion in the Garden, and save me from the Pharaoh, and its evil things’. Imag­ine… she was the wife, of the most powerful person of that time…Pharaoh – and she rejects all the luxuries, and asks for Allah (SWT), in exchange…a Mansion in the Garden. According to Islam, there are 4 Prophet women, besides Bibi Mariyam and Bibi Asiya (may Allah be pleased with them) – The other the examples are of Bibi Fatema and Bibi Khatija, (May Allah be pleased with them both). Hope that answers the question.

Q. I am Prakash Lote – first of all, I thank organisation for calling people of faiths – and so I am asking another question. For all the Religions, whether it is Hinduism, Christian, or Islam… in books there are many good things. But for years… after thousands of years, the practices of all the Religions, have been discriminatory towards women, and no Religion is a exception to this. So the question is… what is written in the books, whether it is Bible, Qur’an or Gita or whatever it is, whether that is more important, or the practice of the society which is more important? And if practice is more important, then we should give very little importance to what is being written in all such Holy Books, including Qur’an, Gita, whatever it is. So on this, I will expect answer, where in practice, what could be done…instead of saying what is being written in this book, or that book.

A. (Dr. Zakir): The brother has asked a very good question – He says that… all the Scriptures speak about good things, but let us see what people practice. We have to pay more importance to the practice, than to theoretical things – and I do agree with him. What we are doing here is… that I have said in my lecture, that many Muslim societies have deviated away from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. What we are doing here is, we are calling the people to come closer to the Qur’an and Sunnah. Regarding the first part of the question, that all the Religious Scriptures… all Religious Scriptures speak good, so it is useless talking about Religious Scriptures – I do not agree with you. I have given a lecture on ‘Status of Women in Islam and other Religions’, and I have compared the status of women in Islam, as compared to Hinduism, to Buddhism, to Christianity, and to Judaism – and there I have compared, and you yourself can be the judge, if you have opportunity to hear that lecture – you can hear that lecture, you yourself can judge, which Religion gives the maximum rights. Even if you agree, theoretically Islam gives a maximum rights – Now we have to practically follow it. There are people who are following certain aspects… certain aspects, people are not following it. For example, Islamic Law – where it comes to Criminal punishment and Civil rights, Saudi… Saudi Government is doing very good, Alhamdullillah – Even they are deviating, away from the Qur’an, in certain aspects. What we have to do is, we have to take the practical example of the Saudi Government, as a Islamic law of Criminal pun­ishment, and if it is practicable, apply it throughout the world. And check another society, which is practicing the Islamic law in the social aspect, and if it is the best, you apply to the other world. What we have gathered here, brother… is to make you realise, this law is the best law – If we are not putting in practice, we are to blame… not the Religion. So that is why, we have called the people… so that they will understand Qur’an and the Hadith, in the right practice – They will understand Qur’an and Hadith in the right way, and put it into practice. I hope that answers the question.