Is not the Marxian view which sees both man and woman as two equal members of the working class more favourable for the woman than the Qur'anic vision ?

MM AKBAR
      
It was on the basis of the doctrine that private property was the cause of all evils that the Marxist ideologues gave form and substance to their doctrines. It was on these grounds that communism analysed man-woman relationships as well. 'In the Capitalistic system, man-woman relationship is exploitative. Indeed, the tradition of monogamy itself originated as a result of the necessity for protecting private property. With the elimination of private property, man will be liberated from all evils.' This is the perspective of Communism. We can understand the communist view of the woman from the Marxian analysis of the state of family relationships in the upcoming socialist system.

'Men and women, irrespective of whether they be Hindu, Muslim or Christian, may undertake work and offices that befits their capacity; may select the mates of their own choice and live together as long as they like; may resort to divorce if either of the partners dislikes the other; may if so desirous, take a new mate and then lead another marital life. It is such a state of affairs that modern democracy as well as Socialism, its highest form,is aiming to achieve' (E.M.S : Reply to Questions, Chinda weekly, 1993, November 25)

The Marxist tradition, which analyses mankind on the basis of economic relations alone, considers the institution of the family, moral values and all else as the by products of an exploitative system. The genesis of the afore mentioned communist view point stems from the outlook that man and woman are, for all foreseeable purposes, independent and are, in themselves, two distinct individualities who are, in no way, mutually associated. The Marxian visionaries never even considered the fact that the institution of the family was an indispensable factor in society. They also refuse to see the fact that the roles of both man and woman in the family are as unique in themselves, as they are complementary. The concept of mutuality in man-woman relationship is, after all, in opposition to the Marxian contradiction of progress through conflicting interests. It is because of the limitations of such an outlook that it enunciates that woman be made to work like  man and that they are to choose mates as and when they please.

Marxism is unable to even consider the natural differences between man and woman and the divergence in emotions that exists within them. It seeks to measure woman on the basis of her capacity to work .It refuses to see the mother in her. It does not consider her weaknesses and difficulties. It does not tolerate the fact that it is  man who is to be her protector.

In short, therefore, Marxism measures woman on the basis of her labour value alone. There is, however, a reason for this as well. For, after all, it (i.e., Marxism) was the product of the intellects of two men. (There has not been the slightest influence of Jenny, the wife of Marx, or of Helena, his concubine, upon the formulation of the Marxist vision). They were, furthermore, men who viewed the world and all in it on the basis of economic relations. For this same reason, therefore, the Marxist view of woman, in reality, reeks of nineteenth century male chauvinism. It stubbornly refuses to see the distinct qualities of  woman.

Islam, on the other hand, considers firstly the motherhood of woman when it talks of her. The Prophet (e) had taught that 'paradise lies at the feet of the mother'. His advice to  man was that he was to always be kindly disposed towards her. 'Accept my advice that you are to behave kindly with women.' The greatness of woman is never to be measured on the basis of her capacity to work. Muhammad (e) had taught that it was rather to be based on her behaviour. He once said that 'a righteous woman was the greatest  fortune of a man.' Woman is the heroine of the family and the mother of society. Man is to protect and support her. The laws of the Qur'an are such that they remind man of her weaknesses and, thereby, help him in being able to protect and support her. The Qur'anic verse that '... And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree over them and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.' (2:228) makes all these very clear and explicit. Indeed, this proclamation is the very basis of all family laws in Islam.