Are Muslim Women Given Rights They Deserve?

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Islam has given a man and a woman equal rights and responsibilities but they are not necessarily identical, for equality and identical are quite different things.

The difference is understandable because man and woman were created as equal and not identical.

The status of a woman in Islam is something unique and valuable and this can be far much better understood if we know how women were considered in the pre-Islamic era, whereby they were considered to be part of the property one would earn.

And not only this, but also the birth of a girl child would anger the father and as a result she was buried alive as Allah has stated in the holy Quran:

‘When one of them is informed of a birth of a female his face becomes dark and he suppresses grief.” Quran 16:58.

Even if we look at the different cultures of our society, we would see that a girl child is considered as a less important creature so that she is never entitled to any rights or privileges as a boy child.

The only best that can ever happen to her after birth is getting married whereby she is subjected to all forms of human rights violations. And if we look at our modern society a woman is never happy even in a happy position even if it means having everything that would bring happiness.

In order for her to enjoy the full liberty to whatever she is entitled to, she is supposed to offer painful sacrifices and to some extent it may even involve sexual harassment but in return, she does not have the full liberty that Islam has bestowed upon women.

Frankly speaking, a Muslim woman is given her full rights and responsibilities. She is entitled to have quality education just like the prophet SAW said, “Pursuing education is incumbent to every Muslim” that is a man and a woman.

In addition, educating a woman is far much important because she is the first teacher in the school of humanity, a woman never thinks about satisfying her needs but rather she thinks about the society at large as the saying goes, ‘[when] you educate a man, you educate an individual but [when] you educate a woman, you educate a nation.’

Islam has also given a woman the freedom of expression. Her opinions are taken into consideration and can never be disregarded just because of her gender. The Quran and history both record that women  not only expressed their opinions freely but also argued and participated in serious discussions with the prophet SAW and other Muslim leaders.

In addition, the followers of the prophet SAW used to seek knowledge from Aisha (R.A) as was also emphasized by the prophet (SAW) saying “learn half of your deen from aisha (R.A).”

She is also entitled to work in all works of life, be it in the political, economic and education sector.

Just as Allah has stated in the holy Quran, “the believing women and men are allies of one another Quran 9:71.”

She has also been given the right to choose to whom she is supposed to get married to as this is considered as the last choice one can make in life and failure to have the best choice would lead miseries throughout one’s life.

Prophet stated that a girl is supposed to marry by her free will and not by force.

Imam Al-Bukhaari in his report, quoted the following texts from al-Khansa’ bint Khidam that support woman in this issue:

 

“My father married me to his nephew, and I did not like this match, so I complained to the Messenger of Allah . He said to me:

 

‘Accept what your father has arranged.’ I said, ‘I do not wish to accept what my father has arranged.’ He said, ‘Then this marriage is invalid, go and marry whomever you wish.’ I said, ‘I have accepted what my father has arranged, but I wanted women to know that fathers have no right in their daughter’s matters (i.e. they have no right to force a marriage on them).’” See Fath al-Bari, 9/194, Kitab al-nikah, bab ikrah al-bint ‘ala al-zawaj; Ibn Majah, 1/602, Kitab al-nikah, bab man zawwaja ibnatahu wa hiya karihah; al-Mabsut 5/2.

 

And this is how Islam has respected a woman in various forms by giving her full rights and responsibilities that is whether in the office, home, school and the society at large. What Islam has established for a woman is that which suits her nature, gives her full security and protects her against disgraceful circumstances and uncertain channels of life.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Mashallah sister. well written article. I hope this will be a reminder to our fellow sisters in islam who still think that islam offers little to women. May Allah protect us from all misconceptions.

  2. Thank you sister for the beautiful article. Indeed Islam gives women full rights like men but different responsibilities. Since our body mechanisms are different, Allah has assigned us different responsibilities in this world. But when it comes to religious duties, each person is answerable to Allah. Man and woman both have the same duties towards Allah. Islam does not discriminate between man and woman. In Islam, a woman can own property, she can inherit. Is an obligation for her to seek knowledge like a man. Is an obligation for her to pray 5 times a day like a man. And so is an obligation for a woman to comply to all 5 pillars of Islam like it is for a man. When a woman get married in Islam, she does not forfeit her father's name for the husband's. In Islam, a woman doesn't lose her identity. Unlike the Western culture where a woman has to forfeit her identity-what does this mean? Islam gives women rights, freedom, choice and above all, identity.

  3. This is a superb article which reminds me of an imperative role women play in all aspects of life; In his last sermon (Khutbah), Rasool (saw) was quoted to have said ""Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers." Islam in its original state gave women privileges and imposed no harsh restrictions or double standards upon them. It is very true from this article that women suffered a lot in the pre-Islamic era; they had no right to inherit husband's wealth… In the Roman law for example, a woman was considered a purchased property of a husband and 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 guardian; she could not adopt or be adopted, or make will or contract and many more, just to mention a few. With the coming of Islam more than 1400 years ago, the complete light which illuminated the horizon, distinguished between the wrong and the right. We now understood the rights of every human being especially that of a woman who, for a long time had been man's slave.

    Thank you sister for bringing this topic and may Allah increase your knowledge as well as all women of this Ummah.

  4. All has been said sister. keep it up! Mashaa Allah…. It so beautiful how this article has been presented by our sister in Al-Islam. Islam is clear on the rights of everything in the Dunniyah,rights of Men,rights of Women,the rights of a masjid, rights of children, rights of the orphan, you name it, its there in Al-Islam. Myself coming from a christian background, i appreciate the many avenues that have been cleared by the so many beautiful concerpts of life in islam.

    Muslims and non-muslims too witness the oppressions of women that goes on in muslim societies, no doubt there are so many crazy things that muslims (especially us MEN) subject the women to that contradict with what the deen has set out. I am quick to point out that the religion of ISLAM is FREE from all the vices.. The point is, Islam has given women their rights, and we the muslims take that away from them, a'uzhubillah! Just as Islam as a religion has dealt with the issues of racism and tribalism, but you will find some of the most racist people in the dunniyah coming from among the muslims. I have seen this myself but this is not to say we all have to be guilty of the crime of racism.

    I have seem oppression and abuse of women/girls' rights in the community i found myself into after embracing islam… not to make Ghiba of anyone, but this area was predominated by our brothers from west africa, there daughters get married at the will of their fathers and these innocent girls have no say in this issue. Worse off, usually you will find they marry their daughters sometimes to very old men… am not saying there is anything wrong with an old man marrying a young woman, Laa! but the whole setup over in that community is just unpalatable the fact that most of these girls have no word in the issue. A situation i personally witnessed was one where a 14 year old girl whose father comes from west africa, it was so drammatic that since this girl insisted that saince the man who wanted to marry her was in mozambique (also of west african origin), he should send a photo of himself, the girl's father tricked her by asking her huby to be to send a photo when he was atleast young, and the man did that, he sent a photo of his twenties whilst in actuallity he was over fifty years. The girl was excited and she was taken to mozambique from zambia only to find a very old man…this is lying to say the least, unfortunately the man had so many health complication and died (may Allah have mercy upon him) after 7 years of their marriage to this girl.

    In conclusion, all i am trying to say is, when the people who oppose islam say ISLAM oppresses women, its not that they have read that this is what islam says, they have actually been observing what the muslims are doing and point the accussing finger to the religion of ISLAM which is free from all evils. Not until we return to the Qur'an and the authentic Sunnah of our Habib nabi Muhammad (SAW), we will always be ridiculed by the enemies of Islam….Let us put up the JIHAD to be from among the GHURABA (stranger-the people who rectify the issues islamically). I seek forgiveness from Allah for anything evil that i may have said in any of my comments and may he azwajal accept anything good in this article from our sister and put it in the meezaan of hasanat for our benefit in the dunniyah and yaumul-qiyamah. Aameen

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