An Objection to Women Heading a State
Political Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

It has been expressed in your journal that a woman can become a head of state. As far as the matter of heading the state by a woman is concerned, I think that Islam teaches us that the head of the family should be a man and since family is the basic unit of the state or society, then how is it possible that it should not be implemented in the whole structure of the society. Only that structure is considered to be a solid structure whose overall shape is similar to that of its basic units. Please explain.


In this regard, it needs to be understood that a family structure and a state structure are inherently different from one another as far as their governance is concerned.

According to the Qur’ān, the head of a family is chosen on the basis of temperament and physical qualities and because of the fact that the head should be the bread runner of the family. It says that men in general are more suited not only temperamentally and physically for this purpose, they have also been entrusted with the responsibility of earning for the family.

On the other hand, in accordance with the Qur’ānic injunction “Their affairs are decided on the basis of mutual consultation, (42:38)”, the head of a state should be the person who enjoys the confidence of the majority. If, in some country, a woman enjoys this confidence then, of course, it means that it is the will of the majority that a woman should rule them. In such cases, it is essential to follow the will of the majority.

In other words, it can be said that since criterion of selection of a head of a family is different than that of selection of a head of state, one cannot analogously deduce a directive for one on the basis of the other.

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