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Is Woman a Man’s Plantation?

Rights of Women in Islam


Qur’an has provided woman as a toy and a means of sensual and carnal pleasure for man and by this sexual discrimination and ignorance of the rights of half the population of human beings has authorized man to seek sexual pleasure from his spouse. It is claimed that such stereotyping is inconsistent with human rights and secularism and has no place in today’s world where the mutual satisfaction of both male and female is a must.

This hypothesis refers to the following Qur’anic Verse:

نِسَاؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَكُمْ فَأْتُوا حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ وَقَدِّمُوا لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ مُلَاقُوهُ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe. (1)

If we clear out thoughts from innuendos associated with negative opinions and approach this Verse with an open mind and without prejudgment we shall see that the situation is just the opposite of what the negative campaigns portray it to be. In other words, not only the above Verse does not authorized man to seek carnal pleasure at his discretion, it associates this relationship with the goal of producing offsprings.

Consider the following explanations:

1. The analogy of woman to tilth or cultivated land is a comparison of realm of plants to producing offsprings is an allusion to sowing which is noting other than reaping the harvest.

2. The phrase َقَدِّمُوا لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ (… but do some good act for your souls beforehand, …) is clearly indicating that the main goal of a marriage is producing and raising worthy and decent children who are the natural products of any marriage. It is worth mentioning that marriage for purposes other than those of producing offspring has not been prohibited.

3. The emphasis of the Verse on observing َاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ (fear of God,) which is a means of self-control in overcoming sexual desires and unjust temptations, and the admonition mentioned at the end of the Verse regarding meeting with God (on the day of judgment) stated to warn the heedless, indicate that not only the Qur’an does not consider woman to have been created for the carnal pleasure of man, but that it warns men to consider this matter with the notion of sowing seeds and growing flowers in the garden of humanity. (2) The allegory to this is the fact that the pleasure of eating and the sense of taste are created not for indulging in overeating, but for acquiring energy for continuation of life and for endeavoring to grow to the point of human perfection.

4. The above Verse, which immediately follows the Verse regarding women’s menstrual cycles, is apparently to eliminate the imaginary and groundless fears of some religious edicts (including those of Judaism and Zoroastrianism) in considering the uncleanliness of this natural phenomenon in women. This Verse emphasizes that women’s menstrual cycle is only a discomfort during which sexual contact should be avoided. After that one can come to this garden for nurturing and nourishing one’s offspring as one would approach a plantation for the purpose of sewing seeds

5. The good tidings at the end of the Verse is that it calls on the believers and encourages them to choose virtues and praiseworthy behavior in dealing with women. In the above Verse (2:223) is there even the slightest reference to men possessing ownership over women and the right to unilaterally seek carnal pleasure, for which the Qur’an has been blamed repeatedly?


1) Qur’an 2:223

2) The reason why man has been told he could enter this garden for nurturing and nourishing his offspring and this recommendation has not been given to women seems to be inherent and natural considering the nature of men and women. Just as in the world of plants and animals it is always the male who seeks the female, so it is with humans where begging and entreating is done by the male