The Idea that Women are a Barrier to People Living by the Faith
John William Godward'nun "The Peacock Fan" adlı yağlı boya tablosu, 1912
Were there no women, God would be worshiped properly. (Suyuti, Sahih Bukhari, Ibn-i Adiyy, Abu Khatim, Ibn-i Jawzi, Muhammed Nasuriddin and Ibn-i Hibban all accept this hadith.) (Silsilat al-Ahadisuzzaif: 74, Tenzihusharia: 1/62, Al-Leali: 2/59)
Were it not for women, all men would go to paradise. (Ibn-i Arrak and As-Saqafi do not accept the hadith. [Jamiussaghir: 2/113])
Let us first of all recall one very important point; the misogynistic mindset described in the false hadiths appears absolutely nowhere in the Qur’an.
Moving on to the content of the fabricated hadiths above, it is not women or other blessings of this world that prevent people who are weak in, or devoid of faith, from living by religious moral values, but their own weakness of conscience, mind and will. God has created this world as a test. In the same way that people are tested throughout their lives with troubles, difficulties, diseases and weaknesses, so they are also tested by blessings and good things. Women are one of the blessings and jewels of this world. Like every blessing, however, how that blessing is evaluated depends on the moral values of the person possessing that blessing. God reveals in the Qur’an that the blessings of this world are created as a test:
To mankind the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colors: women and children, and heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, and horses with fine markings, and livestock and fertile farmland. All that is merely the enjoyment of the life of this world. The best homecoming is in the Presence of God. (Qur'an, 3:14)
Like women, children, gold, silver, splendid animals, farmland and wealth are all blessings of this world and provided for people to enjoy. However, a person who has faith will also be aware that all these blessings really belong to God, that all the blessings found in this world are transitory, and that the most and finest forms of all blessings are to be found in paradise. None of these blessings therefore turn such people away from God or prevent them striving on His path. If a person falls into heedlessness on account of any of these blessings and no longer seeks God’s approval in all things, then this is something stemming from his own weakness of faith; it is not the fault of the blessings, but of the person himself. It is therefore the person himself who will have to face the consequences, so long as he does not correct himself. It will do no good to a person trying to blame someone else in the hereafter.
Therefore, a man who seeks to hold women responsible, on the basis of these false hadiths, for all his own errors, sins and evil deeds, is merely deceiving himself. According to the Qur’an, faith means that a person must serve God properly, no matter what the conditions or circumstances. Nobody will be able to use the idea that, “I was unable to worship properly because of women” as an excuse in the hereafter. As we are told in a verse, “... man will be clear proof against himself in spite of any excuses he might offer” (Qur'an, 75:14-15) In other words, no matter what excuses a person may come up with, he is still perfectly aware of the truth. Some people who blame women for their own lapses on the basis of these false hadiths are of course perfectly well aware that they are being hypocritical and making up the whole idea up. Ignoring the fact in this world will change nothing in the Presence of God, where “...Every self will be paid in full for what it earned. They will not be wronged.” (Qur'an, 3:25)