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Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Is a woman allowed to be a head of state?

        There is no direct reference in the Quran, which says that a woman should not be a head of state. However since Islam considers man to be the leader of the house, therefore the head of the state should also be a man.
        There is a Hadith in which the Prophet said that people will not succeed if they have a woman as the head of state. Some Scholars say this refers only to a particular state at the time of the prophet  i.e. Persia where a Queen was made the leader. 
(Sahih Al-Bukhari 9.219)

But all the Scholars unanimously agree that a woman cannot be a Khalifa.

Let us analyze the pros and cons of a woman being the head of state in the present context:

1.    The head of State has to lead congregational prayers. A woman cannot be an Imam be cause during prayers (Salaah) there are several postures to be adopted such as Qayam, Ruku, Sujud, that is standing, bowing and prostration, and if a woman leads prayers, with men standing behind, it is bound to create dis turbance and distraction.
2.    The head of state very often has to meet other heads of state who are usually men. Many a times they have to have private closed-door meetings. Islam does not permit a woman to be alone in a closed room with any Non-mahram (i.e. a male except her father, brother, husband, son, father-in-law, son-in-law). Islam does not permit Inter-mingling of sexes.
3.   There is usually a lot of media exposure of the head of state. Photographs and Video recordings are regularly taken. There is normally some physical contact  between the head of State and other dignitaries, including hand shakes.
4.    The head of state has to normally meet women and men regularly to attend to them and to try help solve their problems.
5.    During the menstrual cycle, there are certain mental, psychological and behavioral changes, which take place in women due to the release of the sex hormone oestrogen.
6.   According to Medical Science, women in general perform better than men in vocal and verbal skills irrespective of the level of oestrogen. Men perform better in Spatial relationships which is the ability to see or imagine objects in space for e.g. think in advance how a building or a project will turn out.
        The decision of a leader is related mainly to this spatial relationship skill.
        Verbal, vocal and other skills of a woman are very important for her as a mother to raise a child. Here Allah (SWT) has given women an edge over men.
        This study was done by two psychologists of Canada both of whom were women.
7.     If a woman gets pregnant, she requires rest for at least a few months during which she will not be able to attend to the duties as a head of state.
8.     If she has children, her responsibility as a mother is important than that as a head of state.
        Therefore I am more inclined to the view of those scholars who say that a woman should not be made the head of state. However this does not mean that women cannot take active part in politics. They have a right to vote as well as take part in law making.
        When the treaty of Hudaibiya was signed most of the people were disturbed. It was the wife of the Prophet, Umme - Salma, who gave him advice and support ed him. Though the Prime minister is the most important person in our country, many a times the advisers and the personal assistants are the ones that shape the decisions and have more influence. 


  1. mashallahhh...wonderful logical pointss....jazakallah khair

  2. MashahAllah...JazakaAllah this Question was asked a woman from me some days ago but i had not given the proof.......Now inshahAllah i will share this with her.........

  3. Masha Allah. God bless u for clarifying a key issue which many non Muslims want to exploit the dignified Muslim women.