MANHOOD IN THE QUR’AAN AND SUNNAH
By Shaikh Muhammad Musa Nasr
Translated By Isma’eel Alarcon
Source: Al-Asaalah Magazine, Issue 20 (pg. 19-21)
Verily from the many misfortunes of these current times, which cannot be counted or numbered, is that many of the males have lost their manhood. This is since not every male is a man – no matter how long his moustache grows, such that it stands when he stands or sits when he sits. Manhood is not twining a moustache or wearing pants or even yelling in gatherings. Rather, manhood is only when someone characterizes himself with (the attributes of) men, in both inward and outward appearance, as well as his inner and outer nature.
The scholars have defined manhood as: “The man (rajul): A male from the species of mankind, the opposite of a woman.”
Ar-Raahgib Al-Asfahaanee said: “A man is specific to the male amongst mankind. Allaah says: â€˜And if We would have made him an angel, We would have made him a man.â€™ [Surah Al-Anaâ€™aam: 9] A woman is called a she-man (rajula) if she imitates a man in some matters. The poet said: â€˜They will never attain the sanctity of the she-man.â€™” [Al-Mufradaat fee Ghareeb Al-Qurâ€™aan of Al-Asfahaanee (pg. 189)]
It is said of the young boy, when he reaches puberty, that he is a man. And itâ€™s plural is men (rijaal).
And in the revelation, it is stated: “And get two witnesses out of your own men.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 282]
The plural of the plural is rijaalaat. The word rajul (man) can also be used as an adjective, meaning severity and completeness.
The Prophet (saws) forbade the woman from being masculine and becoming like a man. The hadeeth states: “He (saws) cursed the women who imitate men.” These are the women who imitate men in their dress, their appearance, their manner of walking and so on. So based on this it is possible to define manhood as: “A male characterizing himself with those things that a man is customarily characterized with.” [Al-Kulliyaat of Al-Kafawee (1/293)]
Manhood in its most apparent of meanings is: A personâ€™s characterizing himself with that which men are customarily described with, such as carrying heavy loads and taking on heavy burdens. From the clearest examples of this is the undertaking of the burden of the Message on the part of the noble messengers, of whom Allaah said: “And We did not send before you except men whom We revealed (the Message) to.” There is proof in this that women were not given the strength to carry the burdens of this Message. Therefore, the Wisdom of Allaah required that He send messengers from the male gender and not from the female gender, and also that the major leadership position be for a man and not for a woman.
Allaah has praised men because of their being true to their covenants. So their failing to abide by this covenant would negate their manhood. Allaah says: “Amongst the believers are men who kept true (i.e. fulfilled) their covenant with Allaah.” [Surah Ahzaab: 23]
And Allaah praised them by saying that they love to purify themselves: “In it (the masjid) are men who love to clean and purify themselves.” [Surah At-Tawbah: 108] And He praised them by mentioning that they busy themselves with worshipping and obeying Him, and that they do not busy themselves with worldly affairs above worshipping Him, obeying Him and remembering Him. Allaah says: “Men who neither trade nor sale (i.e. business) diverts (them) from the remembrance of Allaah.” [Surah An-Noor: 37]
Allaah has given the man guardianship over the woman, as He says: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other and because they spend (to support them) from their wealth.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 34]
And He has given superiority to the male gender over the female gender: “And men have a degree (of responsibility) over them (women).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 228]
And He made the testimony of one man equal to the testimony of two women, as He says: “And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses.” [Surah Al-Baqaah: 282]
Manhood is an attribute of the prophets. Allaah says: “Is it a wonder for mankind that We have sent Our Revelation to a man from among themselves.” [Surah Yoonus: 2]
“And We sent not before you (as messengers) any but men unto whom We revealed, from among the people of townships.” [Surah Yoosuf: 109]
Manhood is the most exalted of male attributes, as Allaah says: “…those who do not possess vigor (towards women) from among the men.” [Surah An-Noor: 31]
As for the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet, then manhood and men are mentioned in it. Abu Moosaa reported that the Prophet (saws) said: “Many amongst men reached the level of perfection, but no woman has reached this level except Maryam Bint â€˜Imraan and Aasiyah, the wife of Pharaoh. And verily, the superiority of â€˜Aaâ€™ishah over the rest of the women is like the superiority of thareed (a bread and meat dish) over all the other foods.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]
And Abu Hurairah (raa) reported that: “Saâ€™ad Ibn â€˜Ubaadah Al-Ansaaree (raa) said: â€˜O Messenger of Allaah, what should be done if a man finds another man with his wife – should he kill him?â€™ He (saws) said: â€˜No.â€™ So Saâ€™ad said: â€˜ Rather, yes, by the One who honored you with the Truth.â€™ So Allaahâ€™s Messenger (saws) said: â€˜Hear what your master says.â€™” [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]
The hadeeth with its understanding gives clear proof that the person who does not feel any jealousy (i.e. moral shame) for his wife is not a man. In fact, some ahaadeeth assert that he is a dayooth (pimp), and that Paradise is forbidden for him.
So is this person who agrees that immorality occur amongst the women of his household a man? And is that person who allows his wife to go out displaying her adornment (i.e. without Hijaab) a man? And are those people men who allow their daughters to intermingle and socialize with males in the work areas and who allow them to be alone with men in their offices? No, by the One in whose Hand my soul is in. So how great is this crime and how heavy is this misfortune when the males lose their manhood. So they become as if you cannot see any manhood in them except like that of false apparitions and mirages. However, manhood is in one valley and they are in another valley altogether.
Indeed, the westernized model of upbringing – with its ideologies, educational system and laws – work to feminize the males and kill the manhood found in them. In the same manner, it works to masculinize the woman and to give her ascendancy over the man, snatching the guardianship from out of his hand and pulling the carpet from under his feet, until he and his female counterpart become equal in every respect.
So how many are they from those whose manhood was snatched away from them, whether intentionally or unintentionally, in our societies? And Allaah is the One whose aid we seek!
THE RULING ON SHAKING HANDS BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN
By Imaam ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn Baaz
Taken from Magazine of the “Islamic University” [Issue 2, 1390H]
Question: “It has become very common amongst us in these days, when a man goes away on a journey and then returns, a group of women from his “group” come to him and greet him and kiss him and so on, during the days of ‘Eid, such as ‘Eid-ul-Fitr and ‘Eid-ul-Adhaa. Is this permissible?”
Answer: It is well known from evidences in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, that a woman must not shake hands with or kiss a male that is not a mahram to her, whether it is an occasion of celebration or when arriving from a journey or for any other reason. This is because the woman is ‘awrah (i.e. she must be covered) and a fitnah (i.e. a source of temptation). So she must not touch a man that is not considered a mahram  to her, regardless if it is her cousin or someone distant from her. And she must not kiss him or he kiss her.
We do not know of there being any difference of opinion amongst the scholars regarding the prohibition and rejection of this matter. This is because it is from the things that cause fitnah (trials and tests) and it is from the means that lead to what Allah has forbidden from the lewd and shameless acts and the customs that oppose the Divine Legislation. It is not permissible for the Muslims to remain upon these customs and to stay attached to them. Rather they must abandon them and fight against them. And they should give thanks to Allaah for having blessed them with knowledge of His Laws and for enabling him to abandon what angers Him.
Allaah sent the Messengers – at the head of whom was our prophet Muhammad – to call the people to single Allaah out in worship and to obey His commandments, and to abandon what He forbade and to fight against the evil practices (of old).
So it is obligatory to abandon such a practice (of shaking hands). And it is sufficient to give the greetings with speech, without touching or kissing. And there is much sufficiency in what Allaah has legislated and permitted for us over what He forbade and disallowed. Also, the greeting must be done while the woman is wearing the Hijaab, especially with the young females, because uncovering the face is not allowed. This is due to it being from the greatest part of a woman’s beauty that Allaah has forbidden her to expose, where He says: “And let them not expose their beauty, except to their husbands or their fathers or their husbands’ fathers…” [Surah An-Noor: 31]
And Allaah says in Surah Al-Ahzaab: “And if you ask them concerning a matter, then ask them from behind a veil (Hijaab). That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts.” [Surah Ahzaab: 53]
And He says: “Say to your wives and your daughters and the believing women to let them draw (from) their jilbaabs, (placing it down) all over themselves. That is better that they be known (as free women), and so that they won’t be molested. And Allaah is All-Forgiving, the Bestower of Mercy.” [Surah Al-Ahzaab: 59]
And He says: “And the Qawaa’id (old women past age of child-bearing), who do not expect wedlock, there is no sin on them if they discard (i.e. take off) their (outer) garments, without doing so in a manner so as to show off their adornment immorally (tabbaruj). But if they refrain from doing that, this is better for them. And Allaah is the All-Hearer, All-Knower.” [Surah An-Noor: 60]
The “Qawaa’id” here refers to old barren women. Allaah explains that there is no sin on them if they decide to remove their outer garments from off their faces and such, so long as they do not do it in a manner in which they would be exposing their beauty wrongly. But continuing to wear the veil is better for them, due to what it offers from distancing her away from fitnah.
And if they are going to expose their beauty wrongly, then they must not take off their outer garment, but instead continue to veil, even if they are old barren women.
So from all of this, we come to know that the young women are obligated to wear the Hijaab, by way of the veil, in all situations, whether they would be exposing themselves improperly or not. This is because the fitnah that can be caused by them and the danger of their unveiling is greater.
And since Allaah has forbidden the women from unveiling, then forbiddance of touching and kissing (male strangers) takes greater precedence. So it is an obligation to abandon all of this and warn against it, and to advise one another to abandon it. May Allaah direct all of us to what pleases Him and protect us from the things that bring about His Anger. Verily, He is the Most Magnanimous, Most Generous.
 Translator’s Note: From the several ahaadeeth clearly prohibiting shaking hands between men and women not related to each other (i.e. not mahaarim) are: The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “That a man get struck with an iron needle in his head is better for him than that he touches a woman that is not permissible for him (to touch).” [Reported by At-Tabaraanee, Al-Bayhaqee and others and Imaam Al-Albaanee authenticated it in Silsilat As-Saheehah (1/447-448)] And the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Indeed, I do not touch the hands of women.” [At-Tabaraanee in Al-Mu’jam-ul-Kabeer (24/342) and authenticated in Saheeh Al-Jaami’ (no. 8054)] And ‘Aa’ishah (radyAllaahu ‘anhaa) said about the Prophet: “I swear by Allaah! The hand of a woman never touched the hand of Allaah’s Messenger – rather he would take the oath of allegiance from the women verbally.” [Saheeh Muslim (3/1489)]
 Translator’s Note: A mahram is a man a woman is permitted to uncover in front of, such as her husband, brother, father and all those other males mentioned in Surah An-Noor (24: 31).