Equality of the sexes.
58. Equality of the sexes. Men and women are created spiritually equal in the eyes of God: In the Bahá’í Writings we find that equality of the sexes holds a high station in the eyes of God. God created woman not below the feet of man to be walked on, but from the side of man: JUDAISM: Genesis: 2:21 “And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof:” Genesis: 2:22 “and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man.” Genesis: 2:23 “And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis: 5:1 “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;” Genesis: 5:2 “male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” God didn’t even make the distinction of calling woman by a different name; they were the same in His eyes. Judges: 4:4 “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.” Women were even Judges of Israel before the time of the kings; and going further we find in Christianity: CHRISTIANITY: Matthew: 8:14 “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.” Matthew: 8:15 “And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.” Matthew: 27:55 “And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him.” Here we find that Jesus allows women to minister, take care of him, showing no distinction or favoritism between the sexes. The bible demonstrates to us that Christ allowed women to speak to him, to touch him, to interact with him, to be his disciples and apostles and tend to his needs, which went against the custom of that day and time. John 8:31 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, (which were male and female). If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” Jesus treated women equally and respectfully and if not for man’s doings, women would hold a high status in the Christian Faith and a place of high respect in the world. Mark: 16:9 “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” Mark: 16:10 “And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.” Jesus appeared to Mary first when he rose up: Galatians: 3:26 “For ye are all the children of God” 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” 2 Corinthians: 6:18 “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith The Lord Almighty.” 1 Timothy: 5:21 “I charge thee before God, and The Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” 1 Corinthians: 11:12 “For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things (are) of God.” There were even gospels written by women, example: the gospel of Mary.
BABI RELIGION: “This is the Day of Resurrection,’ he told her, ‘the day when all secrets shall be searched out. Not by their outward appearance, but by the character of their beliefs and the manner of their lives, does God judge His creatures, be they men or women.”’
The Bab: (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 551)
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 4)
97. “Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily, to him will We give a new life, a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions (man or woman equally).”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 16)
35. For Muslim men and women — for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s (God‘s) praise — for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 33)
“What! Has (Allah) taken Daughters out of what He Himself creates, as a likeness to (Allah) Most Gracious; they (become) females angels who themselves serve Allah.” Don’t think because she’s a female she is not made in Allah’s image, like man; that, according to Muhammad, would be a foolish assumption.
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 43)
ZOROASTRIANISM: 10. “Whoso, man or woman, doeth what Thou, Mazda Ahura (God), knowest as best in life, as destiny for what is Right (give him) the Dominion through Good Thought. And those whom I impel to Your adoration, with all these will I cross the Bridge of the Separator.”
(Zoroaster, The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Yasna 46)
“We sacrifice to all the good female creatures in Thy creation, and do we sacrifice to Thee, (O Thou Who Art) Ahura Mazda, The Skillful Maker, on account of all that which Thou hast made; many things and good things (in Thy world). And do we sacrifice (equally) to all those male creatures in Thy creation, which are Thine, and which are meet for sacrifice because of Righteousness the Best.” “And we sacrifice to all that is holy and do we sacrifice to all the truthful and correctly spoken words, even those which have both rewards and Piety within them.” “Yea, do we worship (You Ahura) for all the protection and shielding, for guarding and watching over us.” “I call upon the Gathas here, the bountiful holy ones, ruling in the ritual order; yea, we sacrifice to you, (O ye Gathas!) for protection and shielding, for guarding and watching. Mine may ye be as a preparation. For me, for (mine) own soul I call on (you), and we would worship (you) for protection and for shielding, for guarding and for watching (over us).” “And we sacrifice to The Lord; and to His lore, and to Zarathushtra himself seek out a friend and a protector. And I say to thee (O Zarathushtra!) to make to thee a friend holy beyond the holy, and truer than the true, for that is the better thing; for he is evil who is the best to the evil, and he is holy to whom the holy is a friend, for these are the best of words, those which Ahura Mazda spoke to Zarathushtra. And do thou, O Zarathushtra! pronounce these words at the last ending of (thy) life.”
(The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Yasna 71)
“Man or woman, O Mazda who for my sake, sticks to what You told to be the best asset of life (virtue) for virtue and nonchalance through conscience, and those whom I associate in Your worship, with all of them, I would cross the Chinvat bridge.” “There is no discrimination against anybody. Everyone, man or woman, can cross the Chinvat bridge if he (or she) sticks to conscience, rectitude and nonchalance.” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan pp. 532 and 534)
(Hindu, Laws of Manu chapter 9)
4. “These two, man and woman, are like the right and the left wings of a bird, which are deficient and excessive. The Brihat (the left wing) is man, the Rathantara (the right wing) is woman. The excess belongs to the man, the deficiency to the woman. Therefore they are deficient and excessive.” 5. “Now the left wing of a bird is verily by one feather better, therefore the left wing is larger by one verse.” (Therefore for the bird of humanity to truly take flight the two wings of humanity must become equal, or no true flight, for mankind, is possible).
(Hindu, Upanishads vol. 1, Aitareya-Aranyaka Part 1)
BUDDHISM: “The Lord Buddha replied to Sabuti, saying: “Truly a most excellent theme. Attend diligently unto me and I will enunciate a Truth whereby the mind of a good disciple, whether man or woman, seeking to attain supreme spiritual wisdom shall be adequately sustained and enabled to bring into subjection every inordinate desire.” (Buddha, Diamond Sutra)
“Good disciples, whether man or woman, should thus arrange their thoughts instinct or intelligence, -from these changeful conditions of being, I urge you to seek deliverance in the transcendental concept of Nirvana. Thus shall disciples be delivered from the immeasurable, innumerable, and illimitable world of sentient life, but, in reality, there is no world of sentient life from which to seek deliverance. And why? Because, in the minds of enlightened disciples there have ceased to exist such arbitrary concepts of phenomena as an entity, a being, a living being, a personality.” (Buddha, Diamond Sutra)
“Truly a most excellent theme. Attend diligently unto me and I will enunciate a Truth whereby the mind of a good disciple, whether man or woman, seeking to attain supreme spiritual wisdom shall be adequately sustained and enabled to bring into subjection every inordinate desire.” (Buddha, Diamond Sutra)
SABEANISM: “The Mandaean religion stresses the importance of the active role of women in life since she constitutes half of society. Man and woman are equal creatures in the greatest miracle of heavenly creation. All the holy books including the Ginza Rba emphasize that the Great Creator created all creatures. He created Adam and Eve by His power, from clay, and created them as two equals. The woman is a symbol of fertility, regeneration and the cornerstone of the family and its happiness.” (Sabeanism, Mandaean, in the name of the Great Life (Haiyi/God).
“Blessed and praised be Life (Haiyi, God) Who Is filled with Love and Compassion for all these souls: (all humanity, all man and womankind). Praised be Thou, my Lord, Manda-d-Hiia (Savior God), For Thou raisest up these souls” “O Thou (First Life, Haiyi, God), art a Lord Who art, All Mercy and Love.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapters 35 and 70) “Thou art Enduring, First Life (Haiyi, Qadmaiyi, God) before Whom no being had existence, Unearthly One from worlds of light, Supreme Being that art Above all works, above the Ancient Radiance and above the First Light; above the life which emanated from The Life (Haiyi, Creator of All) and above the Truth (kushta), which was of old in the Beginning! Thou, Manda-d-Hiia, (Savior God) hast established for Thy chosen that which Thou hast revealed to us from the book Nhur (Be light) so that release from their bodies was made possible to them.” This is the light that is found everywhere and yet invisible to the naked eye. And so, “Good is The Good and for The Good and Love of His Nature is set upon those who love His Name. We will seek and find, speak and be heard. We have sought and found, have spoken and been heard in Thy presence, my Lord, (First Life, Haiyi, God, Manda-d-Hiia)!” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba – chapters 48 and 72)
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 14)
“Fear not, nor be Thou grieved, for indeed unto such as have responded to Thy Call, whether men or women, We have assured forgiveness of sins, as known in the presence of the Best Beloved.” “Verily We are equitable in Our judgement.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, pp. 35 and 54)
BAHA’I FAITH: “Bahá’u’lláh states there must be “equality of man and woman. He has declared that in the estimation of God there is no distinction of sex.” The one whose heart is most pure, whose deeds and service in the Cause of God are greater and nobler, is most acceptable before the divine threshold — whether male or female.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace)
“Among the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh is the equality of women and men. The world of humanity has two wings — one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 288)
“Abdu’l-Bahá smiled and asked: ‘What will you say if I prove to you that the woman is the stronger wing?”’ “Abdu’l-Bahá then continued more seriously: ‘The woman is indeed of the greater importance to the race. She has the greater burden and the greater work. Look at the vegetable and the animal worlds. The palm which carries the fruit is the tree most prized by the date grower. The Arab knows that for a long journey the mare has the longest wind. For her greater strength and fierceness, the lioness is more feared by the hunter than the lion.” “The mere size of the brain has been proved to be no measure of superiority. The woman has greater moral courage than the man; she has also special gifts which enable her to govern in moments of danger and crisis. If necessary she can become a warrior.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 102)
“Upon another occasion ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said to a group of friends around him: “Taken in general, women today have a stronger sense of religion than men. The woman’s intuition is more correct; she is more receptive and her intelligence is quicker. The day is coming when woman will claim her superiority to man.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 104)
“Woman has everywhere been commended for her faithfulness. After the Lord Christ suffered, the disciples wept, and gave way to their grief. They thought that their hopes were shattered, and that the Cause was utterly lost, till Mary Magdalene came to them and strengthened them saying: ‘Do you mourn the body of Our Lord or His Spirit? If you mourn His Spirit, you are mistaken, for Jesus lives! His Spirit will never leave us!‘ Thus through her wisdom and encouragement the Cause of Christ was upheld for all the days to come. Her intuition enabled her to grasp the spiritual fact.” “Abdu’l-Bahá then added: ‘But in the sight of God sex makes no difference. He or she is greatest who is nearest to God.”’
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 104)