I recently came across this list of ten "controversial" quran iyat that supposedly shows how Islam oppresses women. The list is called "Top 10 quran quotes every woman must see" and contains verses that have actually been cut and also some misinterpreted. As this list has been reposted on so many sites and nobody seems to have defended them, I decided to do some research and put up an explanation to all these iyat.
9. "Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise." [Surat Al-Baqarah:228]
"The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and best of you are those who are best to their wives." - Prophet Muhammed (s)
8. Allah directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases Is) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether Your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise.." [Surat Al-Nisa:11]
7. "O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write between you in justice. Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So let him write and let the one who has the obligation dictate. And let him fear Allah, his Lord, and not leave anything out of it. But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men, then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her. And let not the witnesses refuse when they are called upon." [Surat Al-Baqarah:282]
Ridiculous places like Saudi Arabia and their "1 male witness=2 females" have got it so, so, SO wrong.
6. And if he hath divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she hath wedded another husband. Then if he (the other husband) divorces her it is no sin for both of them that they come together again if they consider that they are able to observe the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah. He manifesteth them for people who have knowledge. [Surat Al-Baqarah:230]
5. "And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except 'ma malakat aymanukum'. This is the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them, give them their due compensation as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise."
Here are two examples, although there are many more:
1. "And do not make Allah the subject of your OATHS (aymanukum). Be righteous and secure and reconcile among the people; and Allah is Hearer, Knower. Allah will not call you to account for your OATHS (aymanukum); but He will call you to account for what has entered your hearts... [2:224]
2. "And do not use your OATHS (aymanukum) as a means of deception between you, that a foot will slip after it has been made firm, and you will taste the evil of turning away from the path of Allah, and you will have a great retribution" [16:94]
"Ma malakt aymanukum" in the context of this iya is thought to actually refer to believing women who are married to disbelievers and escape their husbands, seeking to marry faithful men. The faithful swear an oath to take these women under their wing, because they no longer have anyone to care for them. Technically these women are now "committed by oath". This is an example of "ma malakat aymanukum". The faithful men can marry these women provided that the woman returns the dowry to her previous husband.
The bottom line is that the ayah 4:24 is setting believing men a restriction: they are not permitted to marry certain women. Among these restricted women, are all married women except those committed to you by OATHS.
4. "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or 'ma malakat aymanukum', that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice." [Surat Al-Nisa:3]
3. And you will never be able to be equal between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [towards one] and leave another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah - then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.
2. "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (their husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) 'idribuhunna'; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all)."
1. "The waiting period of those of your women who have lost all expectation of menstruation shall be three months in case you entertain any doubt; and the same shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated. As for pregnant women, their waiting period shall be until the delivery of their burden. Allah will create ease for him who fears Allah."