Can I Run For President?
Is there something in Islam that prohibits a woman from becoming a head of state?I don't know what is the 'official' or conventional wisdom on this issue. Thinking logically though I can't see why not but if anyone has a conclusive answer I'd be glad to hear it.
Some arguments I have heard against:
1) There is this hadith:
"The hadith, related by Abu Bakra, states "God has benefited me from a word I heard from the Prophet (PBUH) on the day of the Camel, after I had been about to join the ranks of the people of the Camel. [Abu Bakra] said ‘When the Prophet was informed that the people of Persia had crowned the daughter of Kisra as their ruler, he said: No people will ever succeed if they hand their affairs to a woman.’" Sahih al-Bukhari, trans. by M.M. Khan, Kazi Publications, 1983, vol. 5, p. 508, no. 508; vol. 9, p. 170-171, no. 219."
2)And this Ayah:
"And the divorced women shall undergo, without remarrying, a waiting period of three monthly courses: for it is not lawful for them to conceal what God may have created in their wombs, if they believe in God and the Last Day. And during this period their husbands are fully entitled to take them back, if they desire reconciliation; but, in accordance with justice, the rights of the wives with regard to their husbands are equal to the husbands’ rights with regard to them, although men have a degree (darajah) over them. And God is almighty, wise. "
So if the interpretation here is that men are somehow superior to us by a degree then I guess the argument is we shouldn't be allowed to rule over them.
3)And this Ayah:
"Men shall take full care (qawamuna) of women with the bounties which God has bestowed more abundantly[preferred] (faddala) on some of the former than on some of the latter, and with what they may spend out of their possessions. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard the intimacy which God has ordained to be guarded."
(Quran 4: 34).
So again if we interpret this to mean qawama(guardianship) belongs to men over women then a woman cannot be the head of state because she would have to listen to whoever her 'guardian' is.
4)Women are forbidden to lead prayer so they should not lead countries.
5)Women are emotional & may start a war because they have PMS.
When I was in the States, these verses & hadiths were often thrown at me by people who were anti-Islam as proof that Islam subjugates women. When I tried to do research into their context & interpretations there were too many different answers so I declined to comment because I didn't want to present my personal opinion as Islam.
Now after the incident in New York where an American Muslim woman lead a Friday prayer & also after women finally got the vote in Kuwait I'm beginning to hear them over here a lot - from Muslims this time. I noticed them coming up in social discussions more & more as people debate current affairs & contemporary issues.
Personally I think No. 4 doesn't make sense. Even if it's true that women can't lead the prayer that is a matter of ritual. It has no practical reason. You can't really question rituals like prayer. It's just like asking why we have to do rukoo3 once & sujood twice in every rak3a?No special reason. That's just the way it is.
But being a head of state is a matter of political rights. It's a matter of Sharia.That IS open for debate. So fine if a woman is President & she can't lead Friday prayers, get someone else to lead them. Don't see why that should stop her from being President.Who says the head of state must head the prayers anyway?
No.5 I simply present but refuse to comment on or on the whole naqisat 3aqlin wadeen interpretations because I find that when I get into these discussions I forget that my mother raised me to be a lady.