Sunday, February 13, 2011

Women knew the religion more than Umar!

one day Caliph Umar during the course of his sermon to the people, said: “If any one marries and fixes a mehr (dowry) for more than 400 dirhams for his wife, I will inflict the prescribed punishment on him and will deposit the excess amount in the Baitu’l-Mal (Public Treasury).”

A woman from the audience called out: “Umar! Is what you say more acceptable or Allah’s ordinance? Does not Allah Almighty say: ‘And if you wish to have (one) wife in place of another and you have given one of them a heap of gold, then take not from it anything.’” (4:20)

Having heard this verse and the retort of the woman, Umar said: “You have better knowledge of fiqh and problems than Umar, all of you, including even the women observing purdah sitting in their homes.”

Then Umar again mounted the pulpit and said: “Although I have forbidden you to give more than 400 dirhams as dowry to your wives, I now permit you to give as much as you like beyond the appointed limit. There is no harm in it.”

This hadith shows that Caliph Umar was not well versed in the Qur’an and jurisprudence. Otherwise, he would not have said something so obviously incorrect that he could be silenced by an informed woman

1. Jalalu’d-din Suyuti in his Tafsir-e-Durru’l-Mansur, vol. II, p.133;
2. Ibn Kathir in his Commentary, vol.I, p.468;
3. Jarullah Zamakhshari in his Tafsir-e-Kashshaf, vol.I, p.357;
4. Fazil Nishapuri in his Tafsir-Gharibu’l Qur’an, vol.I, in connection with the sura Nisa (The Women) of the Holy Qur’an;
5. Qartabi in his Tafsir, vol.V, p.99;
6. Ibn Maja’ Qazwini in his Sunan, vol.I; Asadi in Hashiyya-e-Sunan, vol.I, p.583;
7. Baihaqi in his Sunan, vol.VII, p.233;
8. Qastalani in his Irshadu’s-Sari-Sharh-e-Sahih Bukhari, vol.VIII, p.57;
9. Muttaqi Hindi in his Kanzu’l-’Ummal, vol.VIII, p. 298;
10. Hakim Nishapuri in his Mustadrak, vol.II, p.177;
11. Abu Bakr Baglani in his Tamhid, p.199;
12. Ajluni in his Kashfu’l-Khufa’, vol.I, p.270;
13. Qazi Shukani in Futuhu’l-Qadir, vol.I,P.407;
14. Dhahabi in his Takhlis-e-Mustadrak;
15. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju’l-Balagha, vol.I, p.61 and vol.VII, p.96;
16. Hamidi in his Jam’-e-Bainu’s-Sahihain;
17. Faqih Wasiti Ibn Maghazili Shafi’i in his Manaqib;
18. Ibn Athir in his Nihaya.

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