The Status of Women in the Hadith

The major duality inside Islam is male/female. There is one set of rules for men and another set of rules from women. If there were no submission, then there would need to be only one rule: men and women are treated the same. If they are not to be treated the same, then many more rules are needed.

There is only one area in which men and women are treated equally — both sexes will be judged on the basis of their lives on Judgment Day, but when a woman is judged, she will be judged on how well she obeyed her husband.

There is not much material in the Koran, Hadith and Sira about females. Only about 9% of the Koran and about 12% of the Sira refers to woman. The overwhelming amount of the doctrine is about men. But there is more than enough in this Trilogy of doctrinal texts to govern the smallest detail in the life of a woman from birth to death.

The Hadith (Traditions) are a record of Mohammed’s words and actions and are revered as one of the foundations of Islamic canonical law. The most authoritative collection is Sahih Bukhari which is the basis for this analysis.

These statistics show the bias in the Hadith against women. There are four status categories, high, equal, low and neutral. Since “neutral” has no status, there is no reason to include it in this analysis.

High Status (Example:  praised as a mother)
Equal Status (Example:  on Judgement Day)
Low Status (Example:  told what to do)

The Status of Women in the Hadith

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Supporting Data

Reference Word Count Hadiths Percentage
Low 45,580 296 89.4%
Equal 3,509 33 10%
High 62 2 .06%
Totals 49,151 331  
Neutral 68,543 434