The best time to go to war

and to remember women's deficiencies

New York City public schools to close doors on two Muslim holidays

Under the new policy, the city’s 1.1-million-pupil public school system will close ... for Eid al-Adha, which is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice (celebrates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice a son) ... [and] Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.

The Associated Press, Mar. 04 2015.

With his followers more convinced than ever of the need to rid the world of unbelievers after a period of intense immersion in the Koran, God's Messenger would usually use the holidays to give his army its marching orders.

Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri:

The Prophet used to proceed to the Musalla (open space outside a mosque that is mainly used for praying, Encyclopedia of Islam) on the days of Id-ul-fitr and Id-ul-Adha; the first thing to begin with was the prayer and after that he would stand in front of the people and the people would keep sitting in their rows. Then he would preach to them, advise them and give them orders, (i.e. Khutba). And after that if he wished to send an army for an expedition, he would do so.

Bukhari 15.76

It was also during one of these two festivals that the Prophet made one of his more succinct observations about women's deficiencies.

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) of Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)."

They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle?"

He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you."

The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?"

He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?"

They replied in the affirmative.

He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?"

The women replied in the affirmative.

He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."

Bukhari 6.301

For women, mothers in particular, knowing that for most of them Hell will be waiting, must dampen their enthusiasm for the holidays.

Bernard Payeur