A widespread concept perceived by the western society is being promoted nowadays against Islam in regard of women’s rights. Such culture claims that Islam oppresses women and that they are being underestimated in comparison with men.
Having this vain idea precedent in mind does not allow people to know the truth except for whoever actually investigates and searches for it. Women issues probably come first on the agenda of suspicions induced by Islam opponents. Therefore, herein, I will try to spotlight some cases that prove the dignity, honor, and care Islam attains for women.
All that it takes to preserve her honor!!
Since Islam performs all that it takes to preserve woman’s honor, fornication is forbidden, a punishment that involves a hundred lashes is prescribed upon this act in case both persons are single, but the punishment of adultery is even more grievous if both are married, for thereon, they should be sentenced to death by stoning.
However, as Islam ordains such serious sentence, it also imposes very hard conditions to prove the act of fornication; as four witnesses must testify seeing the process of sexual intercourse itself clearly upon which the death sentenced shall be applied.
This is attributed to the serious consequences of accusing a woman of such disgraceful crime, one that can ruin her life, reputation, and honor.
God says in the Qur’an:
And those who accuse their wives [of adultery] and have no witnesses except themselves – then the witness of one of them [shall be] four testimonies [swearing] by Allah that indeed, he is of the truthful. And the fifth [oath will be] that the curse of Allah shall be upon him in case he is of the liars. But it will prevent punishment from her if she gives four testimonies [swearing] by Allah that indeed, he is of the liars. And the fifth [oath will be] that the wrath of Allah be upon her if he was of the truthful. [Quran.com/24/6, 7, 8, 9]”.
Correspondingly, God has given the wife a chance to refute the accusations mounted against her by testifying four counter-testimonies that her husband is a liar.
However, when God revealed Qur’an in this regard, the penalty ordained on the man in case he lies is graver than that imposed on the woman in the very same situation, this is because the consequences of such an act on the woman is much more harmful than that on the man.
Allah has threatened the one who lies against his wife in that situation to be subject to God’s Curse, which means to be expelled from His mercy, whereas the woman who lies in return will be subject to God’s wrath, which is also a serious punishment, but still, less serious than the earlier one.
How about some accusations!!
To enhance the importance of that matter, God has also made the punishment of those who accuse virtuous Muslim women of fornication without evidence backing their accusations to be lashed eighty lashes and that their testimonies are never to be accepted ever again.
And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses – lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. And those are the defiantly disobedient”. [Quran.com/24/4]
He also says:
Indeed, those who [falsely] accuse chaste, unaware and believing women are cursed in this world and the Hereafter; and they will have a tremendous torment”. [Quran.com/24/23]
What about women’s prestige within marriage bond?
Certainly as Islam preserves women’s honor and reputation, it also preserves their prestige and esteem.
In the past, Arabs used to practice a bad habit called Zhihar (a man likening his wife to an unmarriageable relative), it was an oral speech pronounced by the husband to his wife declaring her to become prohibited for him in marriage like his mother, sister, or any other unmarriageable relative as a sort of punishment to her when they both quarrel or he gets angry at her. However, this dummy act used to permanently end the marriage relationship between spouses; causing the ruin of the family life as then. Even if the man realized the mistake he fell in by offering such practice, it would be too late for him to retract.
At that time, after the spread of Islam, a woman had a fight with her husband, so he pronounced the word of Zhihar against her, she was grief-stricken, went to Prophet Muhammad asking him to find her a solution for her problem, but he had nothing to do thereof.
God heard her prayers and complaint and revealed verses of the Qur’an for her sake to solve her problem; He revealed verses in which the expiation of such act is to be offered by the husband in order to be able to get back to his wife and live happily together again.
Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah. And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing. Those who pronounce Zhihar among you from their wives – they are not [consequently] their mothers. Their mothers are none but those who gave birth to them. And indeed, they are saying an objectionable statement and a falsehood. But indeed, Allah is Pardoning and Forgiving. And (the ones) who back away from their women and thereafter go back on what they have said, they shall then set free a neck (Literally: there should be a freeing of a neck, i.e., manumission of a slave) even before the two of them touch one another. By that you are admonished; and Allah is Ever-Cognizant of whatever you do. And he who does not find [a slave] – then a fast for two months consecutively before they touch one another; and he who is unable – then the feeding of sixty poor persons. That is for you to believe [completely] in Allah and His Messenger; and those are the limits [set by] Allah . And for the disbelievers is a painful torment”. [Quran.com/58/1/2/3/4]
Allah has made the expiation of this act of Zhihar very difficult for men to prevent them from using it haphazardly to threaten women or punish them.
No doubt that Islam preserves women’s rights, unlike what is falsely alleged and promoted, it also ensures an honorable stable life for them outside and inside marriage bond.
The above mentioned were some examples from the Qur’an regarding the care and honor Islam sustains to women and there are much more to be related in the Hadith (narrations) from Prophet Muhammad that will be displayed in another article subsequently.