The Rising Status of Women in Islam
Many people have a misconception that women in Islam are oppressed. They think that this oppression is because men seem to have more rights in Islam. This section shall show that Islam never oppressed women but actually Islam gave women a high rank since she plays a huge role in building the society. This article shall discuss women rights in Islam.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
For men there is a share in what the parents and the nearest of kin have left. And for women there is a share in what the parents and the nearest of kin have left, be it small or large-a determined share.
Whoever does good, whether male or female, and is a believer, We will surely bless them with a good life, and We will certainly reward them according to the best of their deeds.
Give women their dower in good cheer. Then, if they forego some of it, of their own will, you may have it as pleasant and joyful.
O you who believe, it is not lawful for you that you should forcibly take women as inheritance. Do not hold on to them so that you may take away some of what you have given them, unless they commit a clearly shameful act. Live with them in the recognized manner. If you dislike them, then it is quite likely that you dislike something and Allah has placed a lot of good in it.
The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
Mothers suckle their children for two whole years, if they wish to complete the term, and clothing and maintenance must be borne by the father in a fair manner. No one should be burdened with more than they can bear: no mother shall be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor any father on account of his. The same duty is incumbent on the father’s heir. If, by mutual consent and consultation, the couple wish to wean [the child], they will not be blamed, nor will there be any blame if you wish to engage a wet nurse, provided you pay as agreed in a fair manner. Be mindful of God, knowing that He sees everything you do.
Indeed, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous deeds to gardens beneath which rivers flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearl, and their garments therein will be silk.
[They are] reclining on beds whose linings are of silk brocade, and the fruit of the two gardens is hanging low.
And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth – that He may recompense those who do evil with [the penalty of] what they have done and recompense those who do good with the best [reward]
Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.
And [recall] when Moses prayed for water for his people, so We said, “Strike with your staff the stone.” And there gushed forth from it twelve springs, and every people knew its watering place. “Eat and drink from the provision of Allah , and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.
And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.
Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah , and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience. This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said in a hadith:
Sahih Muslim 2328 a
‘A’isha reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) never beat anyone with his hand, neither a woman nor a servant.
Sahih Muslim 1468 a
Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) as saying:
He who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, if he witnesses any matter he should talk in good terms about it or keep quiet. Act kindly towards woman, for woman is created from a rib, and the most crooked part of the rib is its top. If you attempt to straighten it, you will break it, and if you leave it, its crookedness will remain there. So act kindly towards women.
Sunan Ibn Majah 1847
The Messenger of Allah said: “There is nothing like marriage, for two who love one another.
The Messenger of Allah said: “The most complete of the believers in faith, is the one with the best character among them. And the best of you are those who are best to your women.
Riyad as-Salihin 316
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A person came to Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and asked, “Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?” He (ﷺ) said, “Your mother”. He again asked, ”Who next?” “Your mother”, the Prophet (ﷺ) replied again. He asked, “Who next?” He (the Prophet (ﷺ)) said again, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Then who?” Thereupon he (ﷺ) said,” Then your father.
Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1162
The Best Of You Are Those Who Are Best To Their Women. — Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)
Sunan Ibn Majah 1977
The Prophet said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.
The Prophet said: “The most complete of the believers in faith, is the one with the best character among them. And the best of you are those who are best to your women.
Riyad as-Salihin 280
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The world is but a (quick passing) enjoyment; and the best enjoyment of the world is a pious and virtuous woman.
Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 112
Ibn ‘Abbas informed Ibn az-Zubayr, “I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while his neighbor goes hungry.
Hadith 26, 40 Hadith an-Nawawi
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Every joint of a person must perform a charity each day that the sun rises: to judge justly between two people is a charity. To help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it, is a charity. And the good word is a charity. And every step that you take towards the prayer is a charity, and removing a harmful object from the road is a charity.” [Al-Bukhari] [Muslim]
Sunan Ibn Mājah 3669
Whoever has three daughters and he is patient with them, he gives them food and drink, and he clothes them, then they will be his shield from the Hellfire on the Day of Resurrection.
Sahih al-Bukhari 3432
Narrated `Ali: I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “Mary, the daughter of `Imran, was the best among the women (of the world of her time) and Khadija is the best amongst the women. (of this nation).
Sunan Abi Dawud 567
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying; Do not prevent your women from visiting the mosque; but their houses are better for them (for praying).
Sahih al-Bukhari 6968
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A virgin should not be married till she is asked for her consent; and the matron should not be married till she is asked whether she agrees to marry or not.
The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever raises two girls then I and he will enter Paradise like these two.” And he indicated with his two fingers.
Sahih al-Bukhari 5199
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “O `Abdullah! Have I not been formed that you fast all the day and stand in prayer all night?” I said, “Yes, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)!” He said, “Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them (the fast) at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.
The Qur’an describes the reaction of fathers to the birth of daughters:
In pre-Islamic times, Arabs used to feel disheartened and annoyed when a girl was born. Fathers would even say, “By Allah, she is not as blissful as a son; her defense is crying and her care is but stealing!” They meant that their daughters could not defend their family except by screaming and crying, and that they could only care for their family by taking from their husband’s money to give to their own family. In some cases, fathers were allowed to bury their daughters alive out of actual or expected poverty or to avoid the disgrace she might bring upon the family when she grew up.
The Qur’an denounces and derogates such practices. Some verses regarding this topic include:
And when the girl-child who was buried alive is asked. Upon what sin was she killed for.
And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief. He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide.
The Quran condemns the killing of children, regardless of gender:
Quran al-Anaam Verse 140
Losers are those who kill their children foolishly, without knowledge, and hold as prohibited what Allah has provided them, falsely ascribing it to Allah. They have gone astray, and they are not on the right path.
Do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide sustenance to them and to you, too. Killing them is a great sin indeed.
- Some ancient laws gave the father the right to sell his daughter if he wished; while others allowed him to hand her to another man who would either kill her or own her if the father killed the other man’s daughter. When Islam was revealed, it decreed a daughter – like a son – was a gift from Allah, to be granted to whomever Allah wishes of His worshipers
To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what He wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males,Or He makes them [both] males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and Competent.
In Islam, women are considered equal to men in terms of their spiritual worth and are entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as men. The Qur’an and Hadiths emphasize the importance of treating women with kindness, respect, and dignity. Women have the right to education, to work, to own property, and to engage in business transactions. Islam also grants women the right to choose their own spouse and to seek a divorce if necessary. Women are also entitled to financial support from their husbands, even if they work outside the home. In addition, women have the right to inherit property, and the share they receive is equal to that of men. Islamic history is filled with examples of women who were leaders, scholars, and businesswomen, including Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad, who was known for her intelligence, wisdom, and contributions to Islamic scholarship. In contemporary times, there are many Muslim women who are successful professionals, scholars, and activists, and who work to promote women’s rights and gender equality within Islamic societies. However, there are also instances where cultural practices and patriarchal attitudes have led to the marginalization and mistreatment of women, despite the teachings of Islam. It is important to distinguish between cultural practices and the true teachings of Islam, and to work towards creating societies where women are respected, empowered, and treated as equals.