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May 31st, 2007

Verse on equality of men and women

“So their Lord accepted their prayer, (saying): I will not suffer the work of any worker among you to be lost whether male or female, the one of you being from the other. So those who fled and were driven forth from their homes and persecuted in My way and who fought and were slain, I shall truly remove their evil and make them enter Gardens wherein flow rivers — a reward from Allah. And with Allah is the best reward.” (3:195)

The words highlighted above, “the one of you being from the other” (ba`zu-kum min ba`z), are generally taken to mean that men and women are born, each from the other. We too have been accepting them in this sense.

However, one or two translators render these words as “you are all as each other” or “each is like the other”. Maulana Muhammad Ali in Bayan-ul-Quran has also given this as an alternative interpretation. He writes in note 592:

“Or it means that you, men and women, are alike in terms of behaviour and qualities. … You all are one, you are like kindred.”

Thus, “you, men and women, are the same as each other” is a meaning of these words.

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