WomenFamily > The Woman's Personality and Role in Life.
The Woman's Personality(An edited summary
of Sayyed Fadlullah's view)
and Role in Life
Women in the Queen are cited as role models for both
men and women, which proves that Islam does not consider women as
anything but equal to men; their innate weakness and tendency to be
emotional can surely be overcome if favorable conditions and a strong
belief are available.
The woman's Personality
How do we discover the woman's personality? Should we
go to the religious texts? Or should we study the elements of this
personality through the woman's interactions in life?
We believe that the second option is the objective and
realistic one. It also constitutes a base for understanding the religious
texts enabling us to interpret them in a way that does not contradict
with the outside world, or to deduce that some traditions are not
authentic since they contradict the principles of our doctrines as
manifested by the Quran and the authentic traditions.
In the light of these guidelines, we observe that it
is difficult to distinguish between a man and a woman who live in similar
cultural social and political circumstances. The man's awareness and
understanding of these circumstances is not greater than that of the
woman. On the contrary, we see in many examples that women have outdone
men in their clear vision and deep understanding owing to certain
internal and external factors. This is what we notice in certain historic
examples when the women live in favorable cultural and social conditions.
They were able to assert their effective and active role that is based on
the pillars of thought and doctrine.
This is what the Quran tells us when Allah talks about
Lady Mary (a.s.) and the Pharaoh’s wife, and this is what history tells
us when it speaks about such models as Khadija, the Mother of believers,
Fatima Az-Zahra' (The Prophet's daughter) and Zainab bint Ali…. And about
the positions and stands those great ladies had that are based on their
belief, spirituality and understanding of the religion and the
circumstances around them and how they challenged the situations that
confronted them. All these prove that there is no difference between them
and the men that lived in their time.
If some people talk about certain unique traits in the
personality of these woman, we do not find any special attributes they
were adorned with except that they lived in natural circumstances that
enabled them to develop spirituality and mentally, as well as their
commitment in practice and that the elements of their personality were
able to balance one another in a natural way to allow them to develop in
the way they did. We cannot say that they were granted supernatural
powers in a way that we can no longer say that they are ordinary women,
for this is not proved beyond any doubt, although in the case of Mary,
Allah says that he had chosen her due to her spirituality and obedience
But if God has guided her by the spirit He sent her,
there is no supernatural power she possesses as such.
It is a grace from Allah that aimed at guiding her as
to how to act and to give her spiritual strength to continue to act in
the normal way she did and to give her more strength to fight the natural
human weakness that lies in her just as any man would encounter in such
The Quran of Sheba is a Quranic example of how wise a
woman could be, as a ruler that studies all the elements and examines all
the options before taking any decision, a woman that is not ruled by her
emotions but by her mind. These attributes enabled her to rule over men
who found in her the rational and capable person that is capable of
running their affairs.
We deduce form this example that women are capable of
overcoming the inner weakens that negatively affect their judgment,
suggesting that weakness in women is not an inescapable fate.
Another example we should study is Pharaoh’s wife who
lived a life of extreme extravagance, but she refused all that because of
her belief which made her unable to reconcile between the life she was
living in and the poverty and deprivation of the masses, as well as her
husband's role in wronging them.
Thus, she asked Allah to build her a place in Heaven
as a symbol of her refusal of the reality and to enable her to be strong
each time she found some weakness taking the better of her. She asked God
to save her from Pharaoh and his tyrannical actions, as well as the
people who helped him in his wronging.
Thus she became a role model for believers both men
and women. Mary(a.s.) too was a role model for all believers in her
belief in God and in her morals and devoutness, to the extent that all of
her life was an extended prayer and a token of belief in Allah and
obedience to His Will . God cites as an example of
those who believed, the wife of Pharaoh. She said: "My Lord, build a home
for me near You in Paradise, and save me from Pharaoh and his works; and
save me from the transgressing people." Also Mary, the daughter of Imran,
who maintained her chastity. So We blew into her from Our spirit, and she
believed in the words of her Lord and His Scriptures; and she was of
those who were obedient. 66:11-12
Taking the strong believing women as role models for
both men and women, clearly indicates that the Quran acknowledges the
woman's ability to be a strong person who can overcome any innate weakens
in her. The woman, thus, could well be a role model just like the man,
since both are capable of humanistic giving without any differences
pertaining to their sex.
The difference in sex does not hinder the ability of
being strong on the levels of thinking, giving, having a strong willpower
and the ability to take the right decision and the right position after
studying all options, once the circumstances that favor creativity and
rational thinking are available.