Archive for the 'women' Category

Islam And Women

يناير 8, 2009

Islam And Women

Honour has been conferred on woman under the canopy of Islam; in a way it has never been conferred on her under the canopy of any other religion or law.

Recognizing Her Humanity And Equality with Man

Islam has recognized her humanity, and that she was created from Adam,

As Allah Most High said:

“O you people: revere God, your Creator, and entertain the profound reverence dutiful to Him, Who brought you into being from one single soul -Adam- and from him did He created his mate -Eve-. “(Sura 4:1)

It is in the Noble Hadith :

“ Women are, indeed the counterpart of men. ”

(Cited by Abroad and Abu Dawood , and AI-Tirmizly)

And just as Islam has made her equal in obligations from the point of view of eligibility for work, obedience and reward thereof,

He Most High said:

“There did God respond favorably to their invocation and answer their prayer; He said: ” indeed I do not annul,  withhold nor withdraw the fruit which anyone , man or  woman ,is entitled to reap from deeds of wisdom and piety, you spring one from the other. “ (Sura 3:195)

Allah the Almighty said:

“ Men have a rightful claim to he apportioned the proper share of what they have earned (by Labour or inheritance), and women have a rightful claim to he apportioned the proper share of what they have earned (by labour or inheritance). ” (Sura 4:32)

Equality, as a basic principle does not dispute some of the disparities in Law, which are dictated by the nature of woman, and her adaptability to perform her basic duty in the world, and as dictated by the basic system in the distribution of responsibility as Allah Sanctified has willed it. 

Protecting Her Life And Good Care or Her

Islam preserved woman’s right in life and graceful up-bringing and so it is prohibited for the female of the species to be buried alive,(some people in pre-Islamic, days of ignorance used to carry out the barbaric practice of burying alive baby girls), and it prevented negligence in their up-bringing Furthermore, it guaranteed her right to inherit, and other financial rights .

Her Rights To Private And Free Property

Islam guaranteed for woman the right to property and disposal of property, without having to seek the permission of her guardian or husband. Allah Most High said in connection with her right to dowry:

“ And give the women, whom you join in wedlock their dower with good will. But if they- the women- willingly remit a part thereof of their own accord, then you may eat I it into your hearts and enjoy it, may it give you pleasure; may it do you good “( Sura 4:4) 

        Allah Almighty also said:

“ And if any of you decides to dissolve his marriage contract with his wife in favor of matrimonial union with another, and you had dowered your divorcee when you joined in wedlock with a talent of gold, you should not recover the least part of it; would you reclaim what is their right by.fraud and you stand manifest in deceit and falsehood.” (Sura 4:20) 

Respecting Her Opinion In Marriage Bonds

Islam respected her opinion in marriage, and prevented forcing marriage upon her. Islam forbade that she be inherited as if she were a commodity, as had been, the custom in the “Age of Ignorance.” In the same way, Islam forbade preventing her from marriage at her own risk or for coveting her property.  

        For example Allah Most High said:

“O you who have conformed to Islam: women are not a property to be inherited against their following the death of their husbands; you are, forbidden to copy this pagan Custom, nor are you allowed to ill treat them to force them to give up a part of the dower of the property which you have given them, unless they have been proven of guilty of flagrant lewdness “  (Sura 4:19) 

So Islam systematized the divorce of women where it had been promiscuous In the Age of Ignorance. It respects her opinion if she requests it -(Divorce)-, to avoid harm and the like. 

Respecting her as wife

Islam honored the woman as wife, with good marital relations with kindness, just treatment of her in general; and it preserves for her the right to make conditions in marriage which will guarantee her comfort, and to word off harm from her.

Honoring her as Mother

Islam honored the woman as mother. So, it has just enjoined filial piety and goodness to her. Indeed, it made her portion of filial piety and loyalty greater than that accorded, to the father, owing to her burden during pregnancy, labour, suckling and upbringing.

        Allah Most High said:

“We commanded to man his parents to commit them to his kind care (and to display to them a friendly and a kind disposition). With travail does his mother hear him in her womb.“ ( Sura 31 : 14 )

And in the Hadith is the injunction upon good companionship to her, thrice mentioned, and after that the companionship of the father (only once)-(unanimous).

Her right to social activities and the wisdom in the veil

Islam proffered to woman the right to social, cultural, and indeed, political activities relative to that which suits her, and to the role prescribed for her by Islam. Within the bounds of this right, which is enjoyed outdoors, Allah has made provisions for her safeguard, Thereby preventing prying upon her, or exploiting her dealings with people. Among these provisions are what man and woman have in common (passion), and what concerns woman, such as aversion of the unlawful glance. By covering her enticing parts, and avoiding doubtful seclusion with a man securing chastity, and honour , in general. Texts in support of this are numerous.   

The Status of Woman in Islam

نوفمبر 18, 2008


    The status of woman in Islam constitutes no problem. The attitude of the Qur’an and the early Muslims bear witness to the fact that woman is, at least, as vital to life as man himself, and that she is not inferior to him nor is she one of the lower species. Had it not been for the impact of foreign cultures and alien influences, this question would have never arisen among the Muslims. The status of woman was taken for granted to be equal to that of man. It was a matter of course, a matter of fact, and no one, then, considered it as a problem at all. 

    In order to understand what Islam has established for woman, there is no need to deplore her plight in the pre-Islamic era or in the modern world of today. Islam has given woman rights and privileges which she has never enjoyed under other religious or constitutional systems. This can be understood when the matter is studied as a whole in a comparative manner, rather than partially. The rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of a man but they are not necessarily identical with them. Equality and sameness are two quite different things. This difference is understandable because man and woman are not identical but they are created equals. With this distinction in mind, There is no problem. It is almost impossible to find even two identical men or women.

    This distinction between equality and sameness is of paramount importance. Equality is desirable, just, fair; but sameness is not. People are not created identical but they are created equals. With this distinction in mind, there is no room to imagine that woman is inferior to man. There is no ground to assume that she is less important than he just because her rights are not identically the same as his. Had her status been identical with his, she would have been simply a duplicate of him, which she is not. The fact that Islam gives her equal rights – but not identical – shows that it takes her into due consideration, acknowledges her, and recognizes her independent personality.

    It is not the tone of Islam that brands woman as the product of the devil or the seed of evil. Nor does the Qur’an place man as the dominant lord of woman who has no choice but to surrender to his dominance. Nor was it Islam that introduced the question of whether or not woman has any soul in her. Never in the history of Islam has any Muslim doubted the human status of woman or her possession of soul and other fine spiritual qualities. Unlike other popular beliefs, Islam does not blame Eve alone for the First Sin. The Qur’an makes it very clear that both Adam and Eve were tempted; that they both sinned; that God’s pardon was granted to both after their repentance; and that God addressed them jointly. (2:35-36); 7:19, 27; 20:117-123). In fact the Qur’an gives the impression that Adam was more to blame for that First Sin from which emerged prejudice against woman and suspicion of her deeds. But Islam does not justify such prejudice or suspicion because both Adam and Eve were equally in error, and if we are to blame Eve we should blame Adam as much or even more. 

    The status of woman in Islam is something unique, something novel, something that has no similarity in any other system. If we look to the Eastern Communist world or to the democratic nations, we find that woman is not really in a happy position. Her status is not enviable. She has to work so hard to live, and sometimes she may be doing the same job that a man does but her wage is less than his. She enjoys a kind of liberty which in some cases amounts to libertinism. To get to where she is nowadays, woman struggled hard for decades and centuries. To gain the right of learning and the freedom of work and earning, she had to offer painful sacrifices and give up many of her natural rights. To establish her status as a human being possessing a soul, she paid heavily. Yet in spite of all these costly sacrificeqs and painful struggles, she has not acquired what Islam has established by a Divine decree for the Muslim woman. 

    The rights of woman of modern times were not granted voluntarily or out of kindness to the female. Modern woman reached her present position by force, and not through natural processes or mutual consent or Divine teachings. She had to force her way, and various circumstances came to her aid. Shortage of manpower during wars, pressure of economic needs and requirements of industrial developments forced woman to get out of her home – to work, to learn, to struggle for her livelihood, to appear as an equal to man, to run her race in the course of life side by side with him. She was forced by circumstances and in turn she forced herself through and acquired her new status. Whether all women were pleased with these circumstances being on their side, and whether they are happy and satisfied with the results of this course is a different matter. But the fact remains that whatever rights modern woman enjoys fall short of those of her Muslim counterpart. What Islam has established for woman is that which suits her nature, gives her full security and protects her against disgraceful circumstances and uncertain channels of life. We do not need here to elaborate on the status of modern woman and the risks she runs to make her living or establish herself. We do not even need to explore the miseries and setbacks that encircle her as a result of the so-called rights of woman. Nor do we intend to manipulate the situation of many unhappy homes which break because of the very “freedom” and “rights” of which modern woman is proud. Most women today exercise the right of freedom to go out independently, to work and earn, to pretend to be equal to man, but this, sadly enough, is at the expense of their families. This all known and obvious. What is not known is the status of woman in Islam. An attempt will be made in the following passages to sum up the attitude of Islam with regard to woman.

The Status of Woman in Islam 
from “Islam in focus” By Hammuda Abdul-Ati, PH.D.