Islam has given dignity and respect to Muslim women in society and in religion Islam that didn’t give in any other religion. Islam establishes that men and women are equal, it does recognize that they are not identical. God created men and women with unique physiological and psychological attributes. In Islam, these differences are embraced as vital components to a healthy family and community structure with each contributing their distinctive talents to society. Allah says:
وَاللَّاتِي يَأْتِينَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَائِكُمْ فَاسْتَشْهِدُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةً مِّنكُمْ فَإِن شَهِدُوا فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِي الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّىٰ يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ أَوْ يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلًا
“And those who commit [the] immorality from your women then call to witness against them four among you. And if they testify then confine them in their houses until comes to them [the] death or Allah makes for them away.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:15)
Islam assigns a position of great honour to a mother. A woman has the right to accept or reject marriage proposals and her approval is required to complete the marriage contract. She cannot be forced to marry someone against her will and if this occurs for cultural reasons, it is in direct opposition to Islam. By the same principle, women also have the right to seek divorce if they are dissatisfied with their marriage. Allah says:
نِسَاؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُوا حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّىٰ شِئْتُمْ وَقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُم مُّلَاقُوهُ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
“Your wives (are) a tilth for you, so come (to) your tilth when you wish, and send forth (good deeds) for yourselves. And be conscious (of) Allah and know that you (will) meet Him. And give glad tidings (to) the believers.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:223)
Islam is a blessed religion for all then how can it be convenient for the faithful Muslim women bearers. This notion is wrong and women have the same rights towards education as men do. Islam recognizes the great role that women play in the upbringing of children and that the future of mankind and societies depends on mothers. Allah says:
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
“Whoever does righteous deeds whether male or female while he (is) a believer, then surely We will give him l a life good, and We will pay them their reward to (the) best of what they used (to) do.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:97)
In the west, the common picture of a Muslim woman is the stereotype of a woman hidden behind a veil, a voiceless, silent figure, bereft of rights. It is a picture familiar to all of us, in large part because this is invariably how the western media portrays women in Islam. Allah does not make any distinction about the importance of men and women, to Allah both men and women are equal as he stated in the Quran. Allah says:
لِّلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ يَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ إِنَاثًا وَيَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ الذُّكُورَ
“To Allah (belongs the) dominion (of) the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He grants to whom He wills females, and He grants to whom He wills [the] males.” (Surah Ash-Shura, 42:49)
Muslim women should understand the rights and roles that Islam has given to them and then in light of those rights and roles, they must perform all the social and Islamic roles with absolute dedication and commitment. Islam is the complete way of life and a divine religion that is not lacking in any sense, let alone upholding women’s rights. Allah says:
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَمَسَاكِنَ طَيِّبَةً فِي جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ وَرِضْوَانٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
“Allah has promised the believing men and the believing women Gardens, flow from underneath it the rivers (will) abide forever in it and dwellings blessed in Gardens (of) everlasting bliss. But the pleasure of Allah (is) greater. That, it (is) the success great.” (Surah At-Tawbah 9:72)
In Islam, women have all sorts of rights. Considering women as lesser beings or subjugating them is not to be proven from any aspect of the Quran or hadith, rather they have rights that allow them to be a productive part of the society and be a practising Muslim as well.
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
- “God loves those who are kind.” (Quran 5:13)
- “And the male is not like the female.” (Quran 3:36)
- “God wants to lighten things for you since man was created weak!” (Quran 4:28)
- “They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them.” (Quran 2:187)
- “And for women are rights over men, similar to those of men over women.” (Quran, 2:228)
- “Never will I allow the loss of the work of any worker amongst you, male or female; you are of one another.” (Quran 3:195)
- “Does not the One who created, know? And He is the Most Kind, the All-Aware.” (Quran 67:14)
Islam considered giving women an equal entity and declared their status as a beneficial and important part of the society and did whatever possible to ensure that women experienced and enjoyed the same respect in the society as men. Women make up half of society and they are responsible for the nurturing, guidance and transformation of successive generations. It is the woman who pervades principles and faith into the souls of the nation.
Role of Muslim Women:
- The Quran and the role of women: As the Islamic state and religion expanded, interpretations of the gender roles laid out in the Quran varied with different cultures.
- Women as Mother: Islam holds great respect for mothers and endorses the followers to respect their mothers. “Paradise is at the feet of the mother.”
- Women as Sister and Daughter: Islam ensures that in both these roles sister and daughter women enjoy absolute respect, care, and protection. In Islam both male children and female children are equal and a parent is as responsible for the education and upbringing of female children as they are responsible for the male.
- Local cultural traditions: Many nomadic women, however, maintained their traditional freedom of movement and less restrictive dress codes even after conversion to Islam.
- Female political leaders in Muslim societies: Today there is a small but growing number of women in the parliaments.
- Women as religious leaders: Sufism is an important branch of Islam emphasizing mysticism and one’s relationship with God. There are numerous women teachers, preachers, and Islamist leaders.
- The “veil”: The veil is often seen in the West as a symbol of Muslim women’s subordinate position in society, but its meaning and use vary enormously in Muslim societies
- Dignity and Protection from Harm: Good researchers will make sure that people’s rights are always respected.
- Inheritance: Whether a woman is a wife, mother, sister, or daughter, she receives a certain share of her deceased relative’s property.
- Women as Wife: The character of men in an Islamic society is established about their treatment of women. Islam is the first religion that settled the rights of women as wives and associated the element of giving respect to them.
There have been great Muslim women in the history of Islam that stand out as true role models for Muslim Women. The lines below firstly discuss the importance of learning and education in Islam and then discuss the equality of this opportunity in both genders. It is the woman who pervades principles and faith into the souls of the nation. Allah says:
أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَاءِ بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ
“Why do you approach the men (with) lust instead of the women? Nay, you (are) a people ignorant.” (Surah An-Naml 27:55)
Islam has an extensive tradition of protecting the civil liberties of women based on the guidelines set forth by God and His Prophet. Muslim women should understand the rights and roles that Islam has given to them and then in light of those rights and roles, they must perform all the social and Islamic roles with absolute dedication and commitment. Islam is the complete way of life and a divine religion that is not lacking in any sense, let alone upholding women’s rights. Allah says:
وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَأْتُوا بِأَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَاءَ فَاجْلِدُوهُمْ ثَمَانِينَ جَلْدَةً وَلَا تَقْبَلُوا لَهُمْ شَهَادَةً أَبَدًا وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
“And those who accuse the chaste women, then not they bring four witnesses, then flog them (with) eighty lashes(s) and (do) not accept their testimony ever. And those, they (are) the defiantly disobedient.” (Surah An-Nur 24:4)
Islam is the only religion that gives women fair rights of inheritance. Muslim women should understand the rights and roles that Islam has given to them and then in light of those rights and roles, they must perform all the social and Islamic roles with absolute dedication and commitment. Islam is the complete way of life and a divine religion that is not lacking in any sense, let alone upholding women’s rights.