Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said

Our religion (Islam) has defined a position for women (in society): motherhood

Is this true?

  • 1
    This is honestly a very vague question. Politicians say what politicians say. But, what is "defined position" supposed to mean? If you mean whether it is preferred to be a mother rather than not be, the answer is of course. Likewise with father, because having children is recommended.
    – The Z
    Jan 11, 2022 at 0:33

2 Answers 2


I'm not a fan of Erdogan, but not doubt that the primary role of women in society is motherhood, a crucial role that can never be properly replaced and compensated by any other. The detrimental consequences of Elite funded secular feminism in the West for family life and social coherence further confirms the importance of preserving the traditional maternal and paternal roles.

This however does not mean that Islam is patriarchal just as it is neither matriarchal. In Islam, the one and only supreme authority is Allah and His commandments, and men and women should act in such a way that best reflects the Divine Will and Grace in human personal and social life, which, in regards with human sexuality, materealizes only when natural sexual and family roles are recognized and properly fulfilled. This will guarantee long-term sustainable harmony and strength of the society that will in turn allow it to work towards its greater social and political Islamic aims: new generations with proper upbringing and education (in terms of moral, spiritual and scientific growth) which could then focus on advancing collective ideals of the society such as economic growth, social justice, jihad against foreign oppressors and enemies for preservance of Islamic society etc.


In Islam the primary role isn't motherhood. The primary role is being a lover to her husband. Just as the primary role of the husband a caretaker and lover for her and their children.

Imam Ali’s (P) states:

جهاد المراة حسن التبعل

“A woman’s jihad (as a wife) is having good behavior towards the husband”.

Having kids is one of the most possible outcomes and of the main byproducts of having good care for her husband.

Having kids in itself isn't the main objective. The main objective is to help the father so he can help her and his family back. (In men-dominant families (e.g. Islam), the role of father is slightly more critical because he's the bread winner). Sometimes helping is to have one kid, sometimes it's to delay that so the husband can stand on his feet.

Why isn't it the main objective?

Because a woman can't ever say, oh dear husband, go and find yourself another lover for tonight, or this week. If she does that, then the foundations of the family will be shackled. Nor from the perspective of Islam she can bring up the excuse that I'm too tired of taking care of the kids, since the husband or she herself can find substitutes for the role of mother.

If the husband wants to invite people over, then it's considered jihad for her to help. If she beautifies herself for her husband then she's done a great jihad. And just as going beyond for your wife is part of faith (ایمان), going beyond and toiling for your husband is part of faith.

The faith of a woman isn't all about praying or having hijab, just as the faith of a husband isn't all about providing or praying, it's also about having great morals and showing love to his wife and pleasing her.

As a side note, I personally find the role of mother in today's world too much of a work for women. 1000 years ago, families were closer to each other and the kids were either playing with other kids, or with their grandparents or with the maid or with the mother. Now it's mostly the mother. So people think that's her primary role. But her primary role is to bury her husband with love. So he returns the favor. Unfortunately she has much less time to spruce up herself these days.

Note: This isn't to say she has to love her husband because it's her duty or if she doesn't she'll get punished. They have to be out of love. Marriage is suppose to be about love, but God forbid if they run into any issues, then Islam has pre-defined rules. The husband can claim that she was not honoring the agreement between them, just as she can claim her husband didn't give her mahr or nafaqa or isn't sleeping with her.

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