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Status of Women in islam
Transcript of Status of Women in islam
Women in Islam
The Spiritual aspect
The Economic aspect
The Social aspect
AREA TO COVER...
A man came to Prophet Muhammad (P) asking:
O Messenger of God,
who among the people
is the most worthy of
my good company?
The Prophet (P) said, Your mother. The man said then who else: The Prophet (P) said, Your mother. The man asked, Then who else? Only then did the Prophet (P) say, Your father.
Holy Prophet (SAW) said
"The world and all things in the world are valuable, but the most valuable thing in the world is a virtuous woman."
Hazrat Umme Salmah (RAnha) narrates that once Hazrat Maymoonah (Ranha) and I were in the presence of the Holy Prophet (SAW) when Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Maktoom (RA) and presented himself to him. The Holy Prophet (SAW) ordered "Veil yourselves from him." I replied, "O’ Prophet of Allah (SAW) is he not blind and unable to see us" The Holy Prophet said, "Are you both also blind? Are you not casting your sight upon him."
Social status is the position or rank of a person or group, within the society. A woman’s passes through three main phases in her life. First she is some one’s daughter, then she becomes a wife, and then she becomes a mother. Islam’s bestows upon her a special importance and dignity in all three spheres.
In conclusion, Islam has an extensive tradition of protecting the civil liberties of women.
Women are empowered with many rights and protections under Islamic law and are honored with a dignified stature in society.
Muslim woman are given a role, duties, and rights that most women do not enjoy today, even in the west. Yet, the religion which revolutionized the status of women is being portrayed as repressive to women
Aisha (RAnha) said Asma entered upon the Apostle of God (pbuh) wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of God turned his attention from her and said, "O Asma, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her except that she displays parts of her body except this and this," and he pointed to her face and hands.
“The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and best of you are those who are best to their wives.”
“I commend you to be kind to women.”
“When husband and wife look at each other with love Allah look at them with mercy”.
"...But consort with them in kindness, for if you hate them it may happen that you hate a thing wherein God has placed much good."
[Noble Quran 4:19]
The Holy Prophet PBUH said, ‘‘The best among you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best among you to my family’’.
"A Muslim must not hate his wife, and if he be displeased with one bad quality in her, then let him be pleased with another which is good.
Islam has advised husbands to treat their wives with great respect, kindness and love. Islam recognizes woman as full and equal partner to man in their matrimonial relationship. Man is father and woman is mother in the house-hold. She enjoys absolute equality as an equal member of the family unit.
As a wife
The Prophet (SAW) said “Daughters are a blessing ,they are kind, helpful, good companions, blessed, and like cleanliness”. [Vasa'il, v.21, p.362]
Prophet (SAW) said that
“he, who has two daughters and takes care of them in a befitting manner, he and I will be in paradise like this.” He(SAW) joined his two fingers to emphasize the point).
“He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonour or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision.”
“And when the news of (birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with grief.”
The Holy Prophet stated:
“Paradise lies under the feet of mothers.”
PROPHETS WORDS REGARDING mother
"Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood." [Noble Quran 17:23-24]
Social Status of woman in islam
The respect for women has been lost.
Marked increase in the divorce rate.
Neglect of children.
Children are not being educated and trained in an Islamic way.
Jobs of male personnel being taken by females, resulting in the increase of unemployment.
Increase in the instances of rape.
"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty......And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms...." (24:30,31).
Islam considers happy family is foundation of happy society.Marriage in Islam is based on mutual peace, love and compassion.
According to Islamic Law, women cannot be forced to marry anyone without their consent.
To be satisfied by her husband
"They (your wives) are a garment for you, just as you are a garment for them" (2:187).
"And one of His (God's) signs is that He has created wives for you from your own species, that ye may be comforted with them, and has put love and tenderness between you" (30:21).
In the pre-Islamic period, daughters were buried alive. Islam condemned such a crime in the strongest terms. Prophet (SAW) defined it as a great virtue to look after daughters.
As a daughter
According to QURAN
“And we have enjoined on man to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.”(Surah Luqman :14).
Islam considered kindness to parents next to the worship of God.
As a mother
Since Islam is complete code of life.
Islam has outlined values for a successful married life.Islam has defined the line of action for both, the husband and wife for a balanced and pleasant family life. Each has been given equal rights and has assignedequal responsibilities in the respective area of performance for each life partner.
The history of Muslims is rich with women of great achievements.
"O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed..."
Islam have mentioned various rules in regards to behavior and appearance.
To provide a virtuous society .
Islam recognized the rights of adult women more than 1,300 years before the west gave economical rights to women.
Any adult woman has the right to possess or to own or to dispose any of her own property in any way she feels fit irrespective of whether she is single or married.
The first time that rights of married women was recognized in the West whereby she could own and dispose of property without the control, approval or consent of her husband was in 1870s in England under the “Married Women Property Act”. This Act was later amended in 1882 and 1887
Legal & Political status
Right of EMPLOYMENT
Right of INHERITANCE
Women have no Financial Obligations
Economic & Political Aspect Woman in Islam
Right of TESTIMONY
Hazrat Khadija, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was one of the most successful businesswomen of Makkah, and she freely spent from her wealth to support her husband and the cause of Islam.
At the time of marriage, a woman is entitled to a financial gift (dowry) from her husband. This dowry is legally owned by her.
In the case of divorce, she has the right to keep whatever she owned before the divorce and anything she personally earned after marriage.
Women have no Financial Obligations
Women as Home Maker
Examples of Politically Active Women
Right to participation
HERE WE GO............
EXAMPLES OF MUSLIM WOMEN TODAY
I would like to mention a few contemporary Muslim women who have and continue to contribute to today's world.
Queen Noor of Jordan Laleh Bakhtiar - author and scholar, psychologist
Rabia Terry Harris - translator and writer
Haja Noura Durkee: Author, lecturer, teacher
Nahid Angha: Psychologist, founder International Assoc. Of Sufism
Mouna Abul Fadl - Author. Scholar
Leila Ahmed - Author and Scholar; first Muslim woman appointed to the faculty of Harvard Divinity School
Audrey Shabbas - Educator, founder of Arab World and Islamic Resources (AWAIR)
Many Muslim women helped in the battlefield by providing water and giving first aid to the soldiers.
During the battle of Uhud, a lady by the name Nasiba was among the people who protected the Prophet (S.A.W) and while doing so she received several wounds and injuries for which the Prophet (S.A.W) appreciated and praised her.
Right to Vote
Islamic historical records indicate women's active right to vote and participate in the political decision-making process .In early Islam women were included in the giving of the bai’ah. The Quran addresses
An article titled "Islam and Women's Work" published in ALJUMUAH analyzes a woman's development stages should be in the care of an adult male. These stages are:
While she is a child, she is under the care of her father.
After she marries, the responsibility falls on her husband.
If she has neither a father nor a husband, the responsibility of her care falls on her brother.
If she has no male relative, the obligation falls upon the Muslim community.
She has no obligation to share her money with her husband or any other family members, although she may choose to do so out of good will.
The word imam as used in the Quran means a source of guidance so the leader should guide the people along the path of Islam.
The following hadith, related by Ahmad and Muslim and reported by Ibn Masud, states that the Prophet (S.A.W) said:
"The imam of a people should be the one who is the most versed in the Quran. If they are equal in their recital, then the one who is most knowledgeable of the sunnah. If they are equal in the sunnah, then it is the one who migrated first. If they are equal in that, then it is the eldest. And one should not lead prayer in another’s house without permission."
"As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hand as punishment by way of example from Allah for their crime." (5: 38)
In Islam the punishment for committing a robbery is the same for men and women: that is cutting off the hands.
"The woman and man guilty of fornication, flog each of them with 100 stripes." (24:2)
Once again the punishment for fornication is the same for both the man and woman guilty of this heinous deed.
Before Islam, women all across the globe were deprived of inheritance and were themselves considered property to be inherited by men.
In some Western countries, even after the advent of Islam, the whole estate of the deceased was given to his/her eldest son.
“From what is left by parents and those nearest related, there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large -- a determinate share”. (Qur'an 4:7)
Males inherit more but ultimately they are financially responsible for their female relatives: their wives, daughters, mothers and sisters.
Right to participation in Law-making
No distinction has been made in the Qur'an with reference to the participation of men and women in the consultation process.
“And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend” ( 42: 38)
Once Hazrat Umar was discussing about regulation of Mehr in the Mosque. They were considering putting restrictions on the Mehr as some people discouraged young Muslim men from getting married. A lady from the back-seat of the Mosque objected, giving Qur’anic reference and said,
" When Allah has not put restrictions on the Mehr then who are you to put restrictions to it."
Hazrat Umar humbly replied that “the woman was right and Umar wrong”.
In Islamic law woman is accepted as a witness.
“And let two men from among you bear witness to all such documents [contracts of loans without interest]. But if two men be not available, there should be one man and two women to bear witness so that if one of the women forgets (anything), the other may remind her”. (2:282)
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
The Prophet said, "Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind."
Men and Women are treated equally in Islamic law.
The Shariah protects the life and safety of both men and women.
If any man murders a woman, the “Hadd” punishment of Qisas will be applied to him and he will be put to death as a punishment for his crime.
“O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered - the free for the free, the slave” (2:178)
In the days of the Prophet (S.A.W) a Jew killed a girl by crushing her head. The messenger of Allah ordered him to be killed in the same way.
The second Khalifa of Islam, Hazrat Umar (R.A), put to death a number of persons who were accomplices to the murder of a women.
If a woman forgives the murderer of her husband by accepting “Diyah” nobody is entitled to reject her decision.
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.
Right to participate in Public Affairs
"The believing men and women are protectors of one another." (9:71)
A woman, just like a man, can give someone the right of seeking refuge and security among the Muslims
This is proven by the famous story of Um Hani' when she gave protection to a polytheist who sought refuge with her on the day of the conquest of Makkah after her relative threatened to kill that person (for some past enmity) so the Messenger of Allah (Peace be Upon Him) said,
“We protect and give asylum to whomever you give asylum O Um Hani'.” (Bukhari #350)
Islamic law gives more Financial Security to women than to men.
“Men shall take full care of women with the bounties which God has bestowed more abundantly on the former (men), than the latter (women) and with what they may spend out of their possessions.” (4:34)
“No human being shall be burdened with more than he is well able to bear: neither shall a mother be made to suffer because of her child, nor, because of his child, he who has begotten it. And the same duty rests upon the [father's] heir.” (2:233)
Women have no Financial Obligations
May Allah, Most High, forgive our sins and admit us among His righteous servants. Ameen :-)
Abu-Hanifah and other jurists uphold that a qualified Muslim woman may be appointed to the position of a judge.
Omar, the second Caliph after the Prophet (S.A.W) appointed a woman (Um Al-Shifaa' bint Abdullah) as the marketplace supervisor, a position that is equivalent in our world to "director of the consumer protection department."
In countries where Muslims are a numerical minority, some Muslim women, while recognizing the importance of their role as mothers, may be forced to seek employment in order to survive.
Umm Imara defended the Prophet during the Battle of Uhud after the Muslims were defeated. Umar ibn al-Khattab said:
"I heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying ‘On the day of Uhud, I never looked right or left without seeing Umm Imara fighting to defend me.’“
Umm Salma, one of the Prophet’s wives, was instrumental in advising the Prophet during the crisis at Hudaybiya in 628 A.D.
Her advice prevented disunity among the Muslims after the Treaty of Hudaybiya.
To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth... (2:284)
“And He (Allah) has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: behold, in that are signs indeed for those who reflect.” (Qur'an 45:13)
The Shari'ah recognizes the full property rights of women before and after marriage. They may buy, sell any or all of their properties.
For this reason, Muslim women may keep their maiden names after marriage, an indication of their independent property rights as legal entities.
RIGHT TO POSSESS PERSONAL PROPERTY
Historically, Muslim women have played a significant role in political discussions and even argued with the Prophet himself.
"O Prophet! Whenever believing
women come unto thee to pledge
their allegiance to thee...then
accept their pledge of allegiance."
The Prophet (S.A.W) was also the head of state and the women confirmed the allegiance to him which is equivalent to choosing him as the head of state.
In 645 A.D. (23 A.H.) Umar send Abdul Rahman to consult with people as to who should be the next leader.
Abdul Rahman consulted both women and men, and through this process Uthman was selected to succeed Umar.
The Shura Council of Saudi Arabia, after January 2013 reserved parliamentary seats for women.
Women can work and is entitled to get equal pay if she does the same job as that of a male.
There is no text in the Qur’an or the Sunnah which makes it unlawful for women to work or to do any lawful job or profession.
“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance” (33:33)
If she is married she should take the permission of her husband.
Many jobs which are forbidden for women are also forbidden for men, for example serving liquor, working in gambling dens, dealing in corruption and dishonest businesses, etc.
A true Islamic Society should have some women as professionals such as physicians, nurses, teachers, etc.
Legal & Political status
The status of women in society is neither a new issue nor is it a fully settled one.
Oppressed, inferior, and unequal – for many people, these are the first words that come to mind when thinking about women in Islam.
Today people think that women are liberated in the west and that the women's liberation movement began in the 20th Century.
These stereotypes confuse Islam with cultural practices and fail to recognize that Islam has empowered women with the most progressive rights since the 7th century.
God devotes an entire chapter of the Quran, the holy book of Islam, to women.
And the believers, men and women, are friends one of another. They enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Surely Allah is Mighty, Wise (9:71).
WOMEN IN THE PAST
Let us travel back into history to trace how a woman was treated in pre-Islamic society. Prior to Islam, a woman’s status in the sight of all nations of the World was nothing more than the value of household goods.
They were treated like animals.
They were bought and sold.
They had no choice in the matter of marriage; they had to silently accept the highest bidder.
They never inherited, even from their close relatives.
In fact, she herself would become an item of distribution just like any other commodity of inheritance in a descendant’s estate.
Women were regarded merely as properties and possessions of men.
Even in the so-called modern European countries they were not even regarded as human. Even in religious matters women were given no status by the men, for they were not considered to be worthy of prayer or fit to be counted as human.
It was generally accepted that it was permissible for men to bury their daughters alive, and this heartless act of inhumanity was regarded as an act sight of humanity and respect. Furthermore, it was generally accepted that if a lady was murdered then her murderer could not be punished in any way. Neither was he to be killed in retaliation nor was he to pay blood money. According to many religions, when a man dies, his wife has to burn herself to death.
Women in Ancient Civilization
In India, subjection was a cardinal principle. Day and night must women be held by their protectors in a state of dependence says Manu. The rule of inheritance was agnatic, that is descent traced through males to the exclusion of females. In Hindu scriptures, the description of a good wife is as follows: "a woman whose mind, speech and body are kept in subjection, acquires high renown in this world, and, in the next, the same abode with her husband."
A Roman wife was described by an historian as: "a babe, a minor, a ward, a person incapable of doing or acting anything according to her own individual taste, a person continually under the tutelage and guardianship of her husband." In Roman Law a woman was even in historic times completely dependent. If married she and her property passed into the power of her husband... the wife was the purchased property of her husband, and like a slave acquired only for his benefit. A woman could not exercise any civil or public office, could not be a witness, surety, tutor, or curator; she could not adopt or be adopted, or make will or contract.
In Athens, women were not better off than either the Indian or the Roman women. Athenian women were always minors, subject to some male - to their father, to their brother, or to some of their male kin. Her consent in marriage was not generally thought to be necessary and "she was obliged to submit to the wishes of her parents, and receive from them her husband and her lord, even though he were stranger to her."
...all real property which a wife held at the time of a marriage became a possession of her husband. He was entitled to the rent from the land and to any profit which might be made from operating the estate during the joint life of the spouses. As time passed, the English courts devised means to forbid a husband's transferring real property without the consent of his wife, but he still retained the right to manage it and to receive the money which it produced. As to a wife's personal property, the husband's power was complete. He had the right to spend it as he saw fit.
According to English Common Law
Only by the late nineteenth Century did the situation start to improve. "By a series of acts starting with the Married women's Property Act in 1870, amended in 1882 and 1887, married women achieved the right to own property and to enter contracts on a par with spinsters, widows, and divorcees." As late as the Nineteenth Century an authority in ancient law, Sir Henry Maine, wrote: "No society which preserves any tincture of Christian institutions is likely to restore to married women the personal liberty conferred on them by the Middle Roman Law."
Allaah (The Most High) said:
"And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief!
He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision." (An-Nahl 16:58-59)
And as part of a description of various events on the Day of Judgment, the Quran mentions:
"And when the female (infant) buried alive (as the pagan Arabs used to do) shall be questioned. For what sin she was killed? (At-Takwir 81:8-9)
Conditions of Women in Arabia
All European countries in the Dark Ages, women were treated worse than slaves. They were not regarded as human beings but as sort of a sub-species between humans and animals.
In those days before Islam, women were treated like slaves or property.
Their personal consent concerning anything related to their well-being was considered unimportant, to such a degree that they were never even treated as a party to a marriage contract.
Women were used for one purpose, and then discarded.
They had no independence, could own no property and were not allowed to inherit.
In times of war, women were treated as part of the prize.
Simply put, their condition was unspeakable.
In addition, the birth of a daughter in a family was not an occasion for rejoicing, but was regarded with humiliation. The practice of killing female children was uncontrolled. With the advent of Islam came the verse from the Quran condemning those who practiced female infanticide:
Allah states in the Qur’ân:
“And stay in your houses and do not display yourselves like that of the time of ignorance.” (Surah Ahzab)
And at another place:
“And tell the believing women to lower their gazes (from forbidden things) and protect their private parts and not to show off their adornments only that which is apparent.” (Surah Nur)
WHAT QURAN HAS REVEALED REGARDING WOMEN
THE PROPHET REGARDING WOMEN
“To have intercourse with ones wife is charity and a means of reward ". The Sahabah ? inquired. “O’ Prophet ? is there a reward for fulfilling your desires also?” The Holy Prophet replied, “Had he fulfilled his desires in the wrong place would he not have sinned?” The Sahabah answered “Yes.” So the Prophet then said, “In order to safeguard oneself from sin one will undoubtedly attain reward.”
It was under these circumstances that Prophet (SAW) raised woman’s status to a height which was never given to her before. She was empowered to lead a dignified life and commanded respect and honor. A woman’s passes through three main phases in her life: First she is some one’s daughter, then she becomes a wife, and then she becomes a mother. Islam’s bestows upon her a special importance and dignity in all three spheres. It is dealt in depth by the Holy Qur’an. Unlike other religions, Islam has bestowed upon woman a distinct status. She is equal to man in getting rewards by Allah (SWT) for her virtues like man.
WOMAN IN ISLAM
Women are half of the humanity. They are the cause of our very being and constitute the essential and integral part of our society. The world would have been barren without them
The status of the Muslim woman in Islam is a very noble and lofty one, and her effect is very great in the life of every Muslim.
In the midst of the darkness that engulfed the world, the divine revelation echoed in the wide desert of Arabia with a fresh, noble, and universal message to humanity:
"O Mankind, keep your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate (of same kind) and from them twain has spread a multitude of men and women...” [Noble Quran 4:1]
The Quran states: "He (God) it is who did create you from a single soul and therefrom did create his mate, that he might dwell with her (in love)..." [Noble Quran 7:189]
"The Creator of heavens and earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves"[Noble Quran 42:11]
"And Allah has given you mates of your own nature, and has given you from your mates, children and grandchildren, and has made provision of good things for you. Is it then in vanity that they believe and in the grace of God that they disbelieve?" [Noble Quran 16:72]
The first person to get martyred was also a woman. Abu-Jahal tied the right arm and leg onto one camel and tied the left arm and leg to another camel and shouted out:
“O’ Sumayyah radiallhu anha forsake the religion of Muhammad ?.” She replied,
“O’ Abu-Jahal make this camel run one-way and the other camel in the opposite direction, but I will never forsake the religion of Muhammad ” She was then martyred.
THE FIRST MARTY
THE FIRST PERSON TO ACCEPT ISLAM
Also, the first person to accept Islam was not a man, but it was a woman. Hazrat Khadija the wife of the Prophet .
These rights, which were granted to women more than 1400 years ago, and 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. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
"O You who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at time of marriage) you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good." (An-Nisa 4:19)
Islam is the only religion which has given woman the status in accordance to her nature and determined her rights and duties according to the chemistry of her personality. Islam gave woman that dignity which no other ideology or faith has ever given.
The wonderful change brought about in the status of women by Islam is evident from an early revelation. The verse of the Quran reads:
He (Allah) grants females to whom He pleases and grants males to whom He pleases, or He grants them both males and females(42:49, 5
Note here that the female is mentioned before the male; thus one daughter actually has precedence over one son.
Allah (SWT) Gave the Arab Women Their Rights
The highest favour which God has bestowed upon man is the gift of Divine revelation, and we find women, to whom Divine revelation came, spoken of along with men. The Quran mentions revelation from God coming to Mary. God’s revelation to Mary is mentioned in the following words:
And when the angels said, O Mary, Allah has chosen thee and purified thee and chosen thee above the women of the world (3:41).
This kind of revelation comes only to those who reach the highest rank of closeness to God. No other religious book has given such a high spiritual position to women.
The Quran provides clear-cut evidence that woman is completely equated with man in the sight of God in terms of her rights and responsibilities.
The Quran states:
"Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds" [Noble Quran 74:38]
It also states:
"...So their Lord accepted their prayers, (saying): I will not suffer to be lost the work of any of you whether male or female. You proceed one from another..." [Noble Quran 3:195]
"Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him will We give a new life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to their actions." [Noble Quran 16:97]
Woman according to the Quran is not blamed for Adam's first mistake. Both were jointly wrong in their disobedience to God, both repented, and both were forgiven. [Noble Quran 2:36, 7:20-24]
The Spiritual Aspect
Islam Gives Men and Women Equal Rights
In reality, 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. Islam recognises the position of women to be equal to that of men, both from a material as well as spiritual point of view. No religion of the world accords as high a status to women as Islam. Indeed, no other religious Book and no other reformer have done a fraction of what the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have done to raise the status of women.
In the Qur'an Allah frequently addresses both the man and the woman. In one passage Allah reveals:
"For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women who are patient, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise - For them all has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward." (33:35)
So, fourteen centuries ago, Islam made men and women equally accountable to God in glorifying and worshiping Him - setting no limits on her spiritual progress. In the Qur'an in the first verse of the chapter entitled "Women", God says:
"O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it its mate and from them both have spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom you claim (your rights) of one another, and towards the wombs (that bore you). Lo! Allah has been a Watcher over you." (4:1)
Islam further confirms that both men and women are equal in the sight of God. In the Quran, God declares, “…Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you…” (49:13) At another place in the Quran, God clearly states that all humans are equal: “To whoever, male or female, does good deeds and has faith, We shall give a good life and reward them according to the best of their actions.” (16:97)
Thus, we have seen that according to the Quran and the Tradition, there is no difference between men and women with God, and morally and spiritually they can rise to the same eminence. I will conclude with verse 124 of chapter 4 of the Holy Quran:
And whoever does good, whether male or female, and he is a believer, these shall enter the Garden, in which they shall be given sustenance without measure (40:40).
I have present a true picture of the status of women and proved from verses of the Holy Quran that they have the same moral qualities, spiritual rank and material standing as men.
Right to Get an Education
In the words of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW):
"To seek knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim."
Muslim here meaning male and female Muslims, as women are the twin halves of men. The Prophet (SAW) also said:
"Whoever follows a way to seek knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a way to paradise."
A woman in Islam has the right to knowledge and education. Allah (SWT) encourages women to read and keep up the learning process. He also bestows His mercy upon all who seek knowledge, and gives them high status:
"Is one who is obedient to Allah, prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord (like one who disbelieves)? Say: "Are those who know equal to those who know not?" It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allah’s Signs and Verses). (Az-Zumar 39:9)
"O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies, (spread out and) make room. Allah will give you (ample) room (from His Mercy). And when you are told to rise up (for prayers, Jihad, or for any other good deed), rise up. Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. (Al-Mujadilah 58:11)
This is referring to religious knowledge, in the first place, and to any other kind of knowledge, in the second place, where one has the intention of benefiting herself, her family and the Islamic society.
Islam has laid utmost importance on education and the acquisition of knowledge in our individual and social life. He (SAW) has emphasized the importance of giving education even to the house maid. One can imagine how important knowledge and education should be for mothers and daughters. Woman has the right to acquire knowledge like man.
Sayyidina Aa’yesha (RAnha) is one of those seven “muhaddisaat” who has expertise in the knowledge of traditions and is privileged to record and narrate 2210 traditions of Prophet (SAW). . Imaam Zuhri (RehmA) writes that Aayesha (RA)’s knowledge is more than the knowledge of all Ummahaat-ul-Momineen plus all other women put together. [Tabqaat-e-Saad. Vol. 2 p. 375].
Women were also encouraged to receive education in the arts of writing and calligraphy. This can apply to modern day computer and communication skills.
Hafsa (RAnha) knew writing, which was a merit in those days, when most of the men were not educated and had writing skills. In modern times if it becomes necessary to earn a living to supplement her family income, a woman can support her husband and family by working, but it must be within the bounds of Shari’ah.
The Holy Quran