42) How substantial is the allegation that the social setup envisioned by the Qur’an is a male dominated one?

This is a baseless allegation. Certainly, it is the Creator of man and woman who is best aware of their natures. On giving a little thought it will become clear that the moral system recommended by the Lord God can never be the cause of the overlordship of one group to the detriment of the other. The problem is then not of the moral system as such. It is more a problem of the type of criterion that is used to measure it. The Qur’an teaches that it is the cooperation and mutuality between man and woman which works as the foundational basis for the very existence and furtherance of the institution of the family. Indeed, the Qur’an formulated laws on the ground that to ensure the permanence of any moral code it is necessary that the institution of the family is itself manifested in good order. It is possible, however, that those who believe in the ideology of the necessity of the collapse of the family, will find the Qur’anic laws unacceptable. But those who think over the existence of human society which is grounded in morality can never say that even one among the Qur’anic laws is in favour of male domination.
The Qur’an teaches that in the preservation of the solid edifice of the family, both the man and the woman are to play their respective roles. It is from this foundational basis that the Qur’anic laws concerning their rights, responsibilities and duties emanate. The Qur’anic vision with regard to man and woman may be summarised as follows:

One : Both man and woman originated from the same soul. They are like the two sides of a coin. Although both are independent, it is their mutuality which gives each its fullness.

Two : Neither can a woman be like a man nor a man be like a woman. Each has its very own different, yet, potentially mutual, existence.

Three : Both man and woman have then rights. However those rights are to be attained not through violence. It must be through mutual cooperation.

Four : Both have their respective duties. It is only by virtue of fulfilling these duties that both the individual and the society can survive.

Five : It is against the very law of nature for a man to undertake the responsibilities of a woman and for a woman to try to fulfill those of a man. Each has to perform its own duty.

Six : It should not be at the expense of the other’s rights that each seeks to fulfill one’s obligations and enjoy one’s own rights.

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