Explanation of the Hadith "women are weaker mentally"

Q: There is an authentic hadith I believe in Sahih Bukhari that many critics of Islam quote where the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is explaining as to why a woman’s testimony is half to that of a man. As I mentioned these critics imply that Islam insults and degrades women by calling them deficient in intelligence, and to prove their point they use this hadith. In this era when feminism narrative is getting aggressive how do we respond to such assertions of our religion’s critics.

Can you please explain what is the accurate meaning of this hadith?

Are we as Muslims supposed to advocate women is intellectually deficient as critics of islam claim?

Sadly I have seen cases myself where practicing muslim youth have come to declare that they have issues with shariah perhaps might be committing kufr because of such actions. I do not want the same happening within my own family and children. I believe we can only strengthen iman of our families and prevent apostasy within muslim community if we are intellectually prepared to deal with ideological challenges.

I will await your clarification to my questions above.

A: Why should you pay attention to people who have made it their business to find faults in something that is absolutely perfect. It is like someone who challenges you that 2 plus 2 is five; you will not waste your time in entertaining his arguments as you are convinced that his arguments are totally flawed.

Overall, women are weaker mentally and physically. This is an accepted fact which nobody can dispute. When they are weaker then they need to be given additional support. Therefore, men are appointed to manage them so that nobody can exploit them and take advantage of them. This is what these critics and secularism are aiming towards to take them as equals and thereafter exploit them. You may have never heard of a woman challenging a man in an international boxing fight or wrestling. It is because they are going to be degraded. It is so senseless that it is not worth delving into.

The Quraan Shareef explains that because of their weakness they may forget to mention something or the other, or at times some women may be manipulated. So there is some additional support in order that advantage may not be taken of her.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)