Status of Women In Islam

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There does exist a gap between the rights of womenIn the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Mercifuloutlined in the Quran, and the prevalent reality in theMuslim world. However, images of Muslim women asignorant, oppressed and submissive are stereotypical.The rights and responsibilities of women are equal to those of men but they They do no justice to the large number of Muslim womenare not necessarily identical.This difference is understandable because men andwhose conviction in Islamic concepts of familywomen are different, in their physiological and psychological make-up.cohesiveness, happiness and individuality ensures theirsense of self-fulfillment.The status of women in Islam, is an issue that isthat women are inferior to men.Thus it is perhapspertinent in present times; both due to the divergencemore apt to refer to the Islamic approach on of cultural practices in the Muslim world from thegender relations, as one of “equity” rather than theIslamic perspective and the erroneous perceptioncommonly used word “equality”, which could bein the West, that Islam subjugates womenfolk.misunderstood to mean equality in every minuteaspect of life, rather than overall equality.A dispassionate study of the primary sources ofIslam, along with an analysis of the position ofQuestions about Islam?or would you like to:Visit a Mosque?Womenstatus ofwomen in societies where Islam was implemented,actually proves that for women, Islam is a specialTHE SPIRITUAL ASPECTblessing.The sacred text of the Glorious Qur’an and thehistory of early Muslims bear witness to the fact“Prior to Islam,” write the authors of The Culturalthat women are considered as vital to life as men.Atlas of Islam, “a woman was regarded by her par-ents as a threat to family honor and hence worthyIslam refuted the idea that Eve tempted Adam toSubscribe to our mailing list?INCorrespond with our email team?Islamof burial alive at infancy. As an adult, she was a sexdisobey God, and thus caused his downfall. Theobject that could be bought, sold and inherited.Qur’an says that they both disobeyed, and negatesFrom this position of inferiority and legal incapac-the idea that women are a source of evil.Speak with others on our Message Board?Embrace Islam?ity, Islam raised women to a position of influenceand prestige in family and society.”In a world where women were no more thanCall toll free 1.877.WHY.ISLAMobjects of sexual gratification for men, and at aor visit our website at www.whyislam.orgThe rights and responsibilities of women are equal totime when the religious circles argued over1 . 8 7 7 . W H Y. I S L A Mthose of men but they are not necessarily identical.whether women were human or not, possessingP.O. Box 1054, Piscataway NJ 08855-1054w w w. w h y i s l a m . o r gThis difference is understandable because men andsouls, Islam proclaimed:LOCAL CONTACT:women are different, in their physiological andpsychological make-up. With this distinction in“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of A N I C N A P R O J E C Tmind, there is no room for a Muslim to imaginea male and a female.” [Al-Qur’an 49:13]Prophet Muhammad (p) helped with household chores,of the deceased kin’s property, a share that dependsStatus of women in Islamalthough the responsibilities he bore and the issues he facedon her degree of relationship to the deceased andin the community were immense.”the number of heirs. This share is hers, and no one“O Mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord,Who created you from a single person, created of like naturecan take it away or disinherit her. Even if thehis mate, from them scattered countless men and women. Fear Allah, through whom you demand yourThe responsibility of maintaining social and moral deceased wishes to deprive her by making a will tovalues lies on both men and women. Both must refrainother relations or in favor of any other cause, themutual rights and reverence the wombs (that bore you), for Allah ever watches over you.” Al-Qur’an 4:1from all deeds and gestures that might stir the passions ofLaw will not allow him to do so.people other than their legitimate spouses or cause evil sus-Men and women are of the same family, and as suchProphet (p) replied, “Your mother.”The man asked, “Whopicion of their morality.Women are exempt from all financial liabilities. As ahave similar rights and duties, and their Lord prom-is next?” The Prophet (p) said, “Your mother.” Again thewife, a woman is entitled to demand of her prospec-ises them in the Glorious Qur’an:man asked, “Who is next?”The Prophet (p) repeated, “YourWomen are entitled to freedom of expression just as men are.tive husband a suitable dowry that will be her own.mother.” The man asked for a fourth time, “Who is next?”Among the early Muslims, women participated in publicShe is entitled to complete provision and total main-“Never will I waste the work of a worker among you,The Prophet (p) then replied, “Your father.”2life, especially in times of emergencies. It is reported intenance by the husband. She does not have to workwhether male or female, the one of you being from thethe Qur’an and in history that women not only expressedor share with her husband the family expenses. Sheother.” [Al-Qur’an 3:195]On another occasion,when a man came to the Prophet (p), andtheir opinion freely but also argued and participated inis free to retain, after marriage, whatever she pos-expressed the desire to join a military expedition, theserious discussions with the Prophet (p) himself as well assessed before it, and the husband has no right what-Thus, in the Islamic tradition, a woman has an Prophet (p) asked him if he had a mother.When he repliedwith other Muslim leaders. They were not shut behindsoever to any of her belongings.As a daughter or sis-independent identity. She is a responsible being inthat he had, the Prophet (p) advised him, “Stay with her, foriron bars or considered worthless.ter she is entitled to security and provision by theher own right and carries the burden of her moralParadise is at her feet.”3father and brother respectively.That is her privilege.and spiritual obligations.If she wishes to work or be self-supporting and par-As daughters, women have a right to just and equitableTHE ECONOMIC ASPECTticipate in handling the family responsibilities, she istreatment from their parents.The Prophet(p) gave glad tid-Islam grants women equal rights to contract, to enterprise, toquite free to do so, provided her integrity and honorTHE SOCIAL ASPECTings to those who did not insult their daughters or favoredearn and possess independently. A woman’s life, her prop-are safeguarded.Women have as much right to education as men do.sons over daughters.4erty and her honor are as sacred as those of a man. If sheAlmost fourteen centuries ago, Prophet Muhammadcommits any offense, her penalty is no less or more than ofIt is thus clear that the status of women in Islam is (p)1 declared that the pursuit of knowledge is incum-A woman has the right to accept or reject marriage pro-a man’s in a similar case. If she is wronged or harmed, shevery high. Islam has granted them rights that matchbent on every Muslim, male and female.This decla-posals, and her consent is a prerequisite to the validity ofgets due compensation equal to what a man in her positionbeautifully with their duties.What Islam has estab-ration was very clear and was largely implementedthe marriage contract. A marriage is based on mutualwould get.5lished for women is that which suits their nature,by Muslims throughout history.peace, love and compassion. Dr. Jamal Badawi, a Canadiangives them full security and protects them againstIslamic scholar, states in his book Gender Equity in Islam:Islam has given women a share of inheritance. Before Islam,disgraceful circumstances and uncertain channelsIslam elevated the position of women in society andwomen were not only deprived of that share,of life.treated them on an equal footing with men, and in“The husband is responsible for the maintenance,but were themselves considered as property to be some cases, as a mother for instance, clearly gaveprotection and overall leadership of the family within theinherited by men. Out of that transferable property Islam1 (p) here stands for “peace be upon him”them precedence over men.Thus when a man askedframework of consultation and kindness. The made an heir,acknowledging the inherent 2 Reported by Bukhari3 Reported by Ahmad, Basa’i and Al-BaihaqiProphet Muhammad (p): “Who is most entitled tomutuality and complementarity of husband and wife doesindividuality of women. Whether the woman is a wife or4 Reported by Ahmadbe treated with the best companionship by me?” thenot mean ‘subservience’ by either party to the other.mother, a sister or daughter, she receives a certain share5 Al-Qur’an, 2:178; 4:45, 92-93