Manhood in the Qur'aan and Sunnah

Author: Shaykh Muhammad Musa Nasr

Source: al-Asaalah Magazine, Issue 20 (pg. 19-21)
Translator: Al-Manhaj

Published: Wednesday 29th July, 2015

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: ‘And if We would have made him an angel, We would have made him a man.’ [Surah Al-Ana’aam: 9] A woman is called a she-man (rajula) if she imitates a man in some matters. The poet said: ‘They will never attain the sanctity of the she-man.’” [Al-Mufradaat fee Ghareeb Al-Qur’aan of Al-Asfahaanee (pg. 189)]

It is said of the young boy, when he reaches puberty, that he is a man. And it’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 (صلى الله علیه وسلم) forbade the woman from being masculine and becoming like a man. The hadeeth states: “He (صلى الله علیه وسلم) 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 person’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 (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said:

“Many amongst men reached the level of perfection, but no woman has reached this level except Maryam Bint ‘Imraan and Aasiyah, the wife of Pharaoh. And verily, the superiority of ‘Aa’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 (رضي الله عنه‎) reported that:

“Sa’ad Ibn ‘Ubaadah Al-Ansaaree (رضي الله عنه‎) said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, what should be done if a man finds another man with his wife - should he kill him?’ He (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said: ‘No.’ So Sa’ad said: ‘Rather, yes, by the One who honored you with the Truth.’ So Allaah’s Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said: ‘Hear what your master says.’”[/b] [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 ñ 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!


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