Following are excerpts from a sermon delivered by the Emir of Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh, Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi, posted on the Internet in July 2013.
Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi: Oh women, if you believe in the Koran of Allah, the Koran says about you: "Abide in your homes, and do not display yourselves as in the former days of ignorance." Oh women, remain within the four walls of your home. Do not stray outside the home. Who said this? Allah did. "Abide in your homes, and do not display yourselves as in the former days of ignorance."
Before the Prophet Muhammad, women used to walk around without the purdah [veil]. Do not go outside the home, don't go around naked on the streets and in the markets. Beware, do not go shopping. You have a son, you have a husband – ask them to go shopping. Why should you go?
You will stay in your husband's home, protect your husband's belongings, and raise children. These are your duties. Why should you go out?
Why should you send your daughters to garment factories? You have lots of jobs to do. Where is your wife? Teaching at school. She becomes a doctor, you are a doctor. Your daughter also works at school. She works at a garment factory. Everyone is earning money, yet you still cannot meet your needs. There is poverty, poverty everywhere.
In the past, one person used to earn a salary, and with that he would feed everybody well – husband, wife, son, and daughter. Today, there is no prosperity whatsoever.
Why do you send your daughters to work in a garment factory? She leaves at the time of the morning prayer – at 7 or 8 a.m., and has not returned every by 8, 10, or 12 at night. You do not know with what man she goes around and how much fornication she is involved in. You do not know. She earns money by fornicating. Will that bring prosperity?
Your women are educated in schools, colleges, and universities. You should educate them up to grade four or five. That way, after you marry her off, she can do bookkeeping for her husband's earnings. That is enough.
This is the age of mobile phones. Everybody has a mobile phone. Women have mobile phones. Men have mobile phones. Male and female students have mobile phones. Male students take the phone numbers of female students, and a female student gets numbers from male students at college…
In colleges and universities, women are seated at the front. I wonder what sort of education the men are getting.
Women are like tamarind, tamarind, tamarind. If a child eats a tamarind and you watch, your mouth will salivate. Tell me, is that true or false? If you walk under a tamarind tree, your mouth will salivate. In the market, where they sell tamarind - if you pass by, your mouth will salivate. True or false?
Women are even worse than that. If you see a woman, your heart salivates and you feel like marrying her. You feel like having a love marriage, a court marriage. True or false?
A woman is like a tamarind. You study day and night next to women, and you cannot keep your heart pure. You walk with them in the streets, and you cannot keep your heart in place once you shake hands with them.
However old you may be, if you see a woman and shake hands with her, you will have bad thoughts in your heart. This is the fornication of the heart. Ultimately, this will turn into actual fornication. Is this true or false? You tell me, brother.
If an old man says that he does not have bad thoughts when he sees a woman, I say to him: "Oh old man, you suffer from impotence. You have lost your manhood. That is why you do not have bad thoughts upon seeing a woman."
Why do you want birth control? Do you know what it means? It is to make a male infertile, and for a woman, it means stitching up her womb, so that semen cannot pass through. This is birth control. In times bygone, we used to make animals infertile, and now it has come to humans.
Beware, beware. The Prophet Muhammad said: "My followers, marry a woman from whom there will be many children."
"Marry a woman from whom there will be many children." The Prophet Muhammad said: "On Judgment Day, I will be proud that my followers are huge in number." "[Marry] two, three, four. Make the nation grow." One of the Prophet's Companions, after getting married, said to the Prophet: "I cannot provide food or clothing for my wife." The Prophet of Allah said: "Marry another wife." The Companion said: "What kind of answer is that? I cannot provide for even a single wife, so how can I marry another?" The Prophet said: "Listen to me, and marry another."
Who provides for us? Allah does. Why do you talk of birth control? It is not you who feeds them. Allah says: "I will feed you and your children."