Q. My name is Iliyas, and I am a student – The question is… Can a woman become the head of the State?

A. (Dr. Zakir): The brother has asked the question – can a woman become the head of a State? There is no text in the Qur’an, which I know, which states that… a woman cannot become a head of the State. But there are several ‘Hadiths’ – for example, one Hadith says that… ‘The people who have their leader as a woman, will not succeed’. Some of the scholars say that… ‘This only refers to particular time, in which this Hadith was related, especially at the time when Persia had their leader as a queen’. The other scholars say… ‘No if refers to all the times’. Let us analyse, whether it is advisable for a woman, to be a head of a State, or not. If a woman is head of a State, in an Islamic Country, she may have to lead the congregational prayers. And if a woman leads the congregational prayers… in Islam we adopt several postures, like Kayam, Rukhu, Sujud – standing, bowing and prostra­tion – If a lady is doing that in front of a gents congregation, I am sure it will cause disturbances in the prayers. If she happens to be head of a State, of a modern society like the one we have today –
Many a time, the head of a State has to have meetings, with other heads of State… which are usually gents. Many a times, they have closed door meetings, in which no one else is allowed, and if a woman has a closed door meeting with another gent… Islam does not permit her to do that. Islam does not permit a woman to be alone with a ‘Na-Mehram’, with ‘a foreign male’… in closed doors – Islam does not permit intermingling of sexes. The head of the State, many a times receives over publicity by video shoot­ing, and by photography, and many a times, it involves in close proximity with the other heads of State, and with other gentlemen – There­fore, you can keep photographs of the head of States. If it is the lady… may it be Margret Thacher, or any one else, you find her photographs… shaking her hands with many men – Islam does not allow such free, intermingling of sexes. The heads of the State requires, that it should meet the common man. A lady, if she is head of the State, it will be difficult for her to meet the common man, and try and solve her problems. And science tells us that… ‘A woman during her menstrual period, she undergoes certain behavioral, mental and psychological changes, due to the release of the sex hormonestogene’. And these changes, will surely disturb her in making decisions, if she is the head of the State. Science also tells us that the women have more verbal and… verbal, and vocal skills as compared to the man. And a man has got more… ‘Spacialability’. ‘Spacialability’ means, ‘The Ability to imagine things, to imagine the future, to imagine the future project’. And ‘Spacialability’, is very important for the head of the State. A woman has be given an edge over the men, in verbal and vocal skills, which are required for her motherhood. A woman… she may get pregnant, and surely she may require a rest, for a few months. Who will look after the State, for those few months – She may have children … Her duty as a mother, is very important. And it is more practicable, for a man who can do both the duties … of a father, as well as head of a State, as compared to a woman … if she has to do the duty of a mother, as well as of head of the States. So I am more inclined to those scholars, who say that… ‘Women should not be made the head of State’. But that does not mean, that women cannot take part in making decisions. As I mentioned in my speech, they have a right to vote, they have a right to take part in law making. During the treaty of Hudaibia, Ume-Salma (May Allah be pleased with her), she supported and guided the Prophet, at a time when the whole Muslim community was disturbed – She guided him, and she supported him. As you know, that though the Prime Minister or the President may be the head of the State – but many a times, the PA and the secretary… they are the ones who make the decisions. So surely, a woman can help the man, in making decisions of the States. I hope that answers the question.

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