Islam and Women’s Rights

After a long history of injustice (You can watch the video below), the divine revelation echoed in the

After a long history of injustice (You can watch the video below), the divine revelation echoed in the wide desert of Arabia with a noble and universal message which came to change the ugly human history and to create a life which humanity had never witnessed before in all its civilizations:

The rights of Muslim women were given to them by Allah, who is All-Compassionate, All-Merciful, All-Just, All-Unbiased, All-Knowing and Most Wise. These rights, were taught by the perfect example of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), were given by the one Who created us and Who alone knows what rights are best for our female natures.

  • The most basic right of a woman in Islam is the knowledge and recognition that she never has to ask or demand or fight for her rights which are guaranteed to her by Allah.

O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good

  • Islam considers a woman to be equal to a man as a human being and as his partner in this life. Women have been created with a soul of the same nature as man’s. The Prophet Muhammad said:

             nAssuredly, women are the twin halves of men”. Prophet Muhammad PMUH [Reference: Sunan Abu-Dawud]

  • Muslim women gained full ownership over their money, while husbands had the responsibility to provide for them even if their wives were wealthier than them.
  • Women in Islam were given the right to divorce instantly on returning the dowry, something other religions don’t allow.
  • Men and women in Islam have the same religious and moral duties and responsibilities.  Each human being shall face the consequences of his or her deeds.
  • Islam proved Eve’s innocence of tempting Adam to disobey God’s Command, and being the cause of banishment from Paradise. Islam also refutes the myth that Eve was the origin of evil in the world, stating that it was Satan who tempted both Adam and Eve, so Islam does not blame Eve alone for the First Sin.

The Quran makes it very clear that both Adam and Eve were tempted, that they both sinned and were both forgiven after their repentance. Allah says in the Quran:

nThen Satan whispered suggestions to them both in order to uncover that which was hidden from them of their private parts (before); he said: “Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortals.” And he (Satan) swore by Allah to them both (saying): “Verily, I am one of the sincere well-wishers for you both.” So he mislead them with deception. Then when they tasted of the tree, that which was hidden from them of their shame (private parts) became manifest to them and they began to stick together the leaves of Paradise over themselves (in order to cover their shame). And their Lord called out to them (saying): “Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you: Verily, Satan is an open enemy unto you?” They said: “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” (Allah) said: “Get down, one of you an enemy to the other (i.e. Adam, Eve, and Satan, etc.). On earth will be a dwelling-place for you and an enjoyment, – for a time.” He said: “Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (i.e. resurrected)} [Quran 7:20-25]

 

Islam does not view pregnancy and childbirth as punishments for “eating from the forbidden tree.” The Quran esteems pregnancy and childbirth as sufficient reasons for the love and respect due to mothers from their children.

n And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.{ [Quran 31:14] 

  • Islam Gives Men and Women Equal Rights: In reality, and in Islam, the rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of man, but they are not necessarily identical with them. Equality and sameness are two very different things. Women and men are physically very different from one another, although they are equal to each other in other important ways.
  • Muslim women have the right to get knowledge and education.
  • Women in Islam have the right to seek employment.

Islam regards the woman’s role in society as a mother and a wife to be her most sacred and essential one and neither maids nor baby sitters can possibly take the mother’s place as the educator of an upright, complex-free, and carefully-reared child.  Such a noble and vital role, which largely shapes the future of nations, cannot be regarded as idleness; however, there is no decree in Islam that forbids women from seeking employment whenever there is a necessity for it, especially in positions which fit her nature best and in which society needs her most.

Women in Quran:

The Noble Quran is replete with verses speaking about women, which indicates the honorable status Islam holds for them. There is a full Soorah (Chapter) named: “Women”. This Chapter is among the longest ones in the Quran. Hereunder are some of such verses (which mean):

n …But give them [a gift of] compensation – the wealthy according to his capability and the poor according to his capability.} [Quran 2:236]

n Lodge them [in a section] of where you dwell out of your means and do not harm them in order to oppress them.} [Quran 65:6]

n…give them their due compensation as an obligation.} [Quran 4:24]

n… and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave.} [Quran 4:7]

n…and give them from the wealth of Allah which He has given you.} [Quran24:33]

n… and you (husbands) are their (wives) garments.} [Quran 2:187]

n…seek not against them means (of annoyance).} [Quran 4:34]

Women in Sunnah (Prophetic Teachings):

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent by Allah Almighty, among many other things, to elevate the status of women and maintain their honor. He said:

  • “Treat women good.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
  • “The best amongst you is the one who treats his family the best, and I treat my family the best.” [At-Tirmithi and others]
  • “You (men) are responsible for providing for them (women) in the best way.” [Muslim]
  • “The most rewarding wealth is the wealth you spend on your family.” [Ahmad]
  • “Whatever you spend (on your family) is counted as a charity, even the morsel of food that you feed your wife.” [Maalik]

Islam has also granted the woman special rights as a mother, a daughter and a wife.

The rights given to women in Islam prove that Islam elevated the status of women and assure that women in Islam are not oppressed. The mistreatment of women in some Middle-Eastern countries or Muslim families is due to cultural factors that some Muslims wrongly follow, not because of Islam.

It is worthwhile to state that the status which women reached during the present era was not achieved due to the kindness of men or due to natural progress. It was rather achieved through a long struggle and sacrifice on woman’s part and only when society needed her contribution and work, more especially during the two world wars, and due to the escalation of technological change.

In the case of Islam such compassionate and dignified status was decreed, not because it reflects the environment of the seventh century, nor under the threat or pressure of women and their organizations, but rather because of its intrinsic truthfulness.

 The truth about women before Islam & in other beliefs

For more, hear from Muslim women about their lives, and why they converted to Islam, watch this amazing movie:

Watch!

ISLAM IN WOMEN

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References:

  1. Islamreligion.com- “The status of woman and gender equity in Islam” by Mostafa Malaekah
  2. http://www.realislam.com/muslim_women.htm
  3. http://www.islamswomen.com/articles/women_in_quran_and_sunnah.php
  4. http://www.callofhope.com/islam-and/islam-and-women/84–woman-before-a-after-the-advent-of-islam-
  5. The book: “The Status of Women in Islam”  By Jamal A. Badawi
  6. The book: “is Islam the solution” by Mohamed Emara
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