The status of women in Islam
varies widely in contrast with various cultures across the world. The role of
women in Islamic society is based on Holy Quran teachings i.e. spiritual
equality between both genders, and the idea that women have to exemplify
femininity and men masculinity. Muslim men are directed to give respect, love,
care, and protection to their women. Women in Islam enjoy freedom to vote,
express her thoughts & ideas, and to choose her life partner.
The rules laid down by the Quran in the matter of the legal rights of woman are
clear and comprehensive. The Quran says:
"Men shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave, and
women shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave"
"For men is the benefit of what they earn. And for women is the benefit of what
they earn" (4:32)
Islam declares that man and woman both came from the same source (the Quran
repudiates the idea of woman being created from the rib of man), so that both
must possess the same quality of soul. The following verse is clear about this:
"Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and
the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful
men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women, and the
humble men and the humble women, and the almsgiving men and the almsgiving
women, and the fasting men, and the fasting women, and the men who guard their
private parts, and the women who guard, and the men who remember ALLAH much, and
the women who remember ALLAH much - ALLAH has prepared for them forgiveness and
a mighty reward" (33:35).
In contrast to the popular views on the rights of woman as against those of man,
we have the following in the Quran:
"And they (i.e. women) have rights similar to those against them in a just
The interdependence of man and woman is still more clearly asserted in the
"They (your wives) are a garment for you, just as you are a garment for them"
a) As a child or an adolescent
In olden times, female child were buried alive by some Arabian tribes. In Holy
Quran it is stated:
"And when the female (infant) buried alive - is questioned, for what crime she
was killed." [81:8-9]
Islam has urged to stop this practice by criticizing it in harsh tone.
"When news is brought to one of them, of (the Birth of) a female (child), his
face darkens and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself
from his people because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain her on
(sufferance) and contempt, or bury her in the dust? Ah! What an evil (choice)
they decide on?" [16:58-59]
Islam asks to give equal rights to females, to stop injustice and equality.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) says:
Whosoever has a daughter and he does not bury her alive, does not insult her,
and does not favor his son over her; God will enter him into Paradise. [Ibn
Hanbal, No. 1957]
The right of females to seek knowledge is not different from that of males in
Islam. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
"Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim". [Al-Bayhaqi]
Muslim includes both males and females.
b) As a wife:
Among the most impressive verses in the Holy Quran about marriage is as follows:
"And among His signs is this: That He created mates for you from yourselves that
you may find rest, peace of mind in them, and He ordained between you love and
mercy. Lo, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect." [30:21]
According to Islamic Law, women cannot be forced to marry anyone without their
The concept of Mahr, a marriage gift is given by Islam to give protection to
women. It is presented by husband at the time of marriage and is included in the
nuptial contract, and that ownership is not transferable to husband or father.
Similar to marriage there are Islamic laws regarding the divorce.
The Holy Quran states:
"When you divorce women, and they reach their prescribed term, then retain them
in kindness and retain them not for injury so that you transgress (the limits)"
[2:231] [2:229 and 33:49]
c) As a mother:
The love care and respect for mother in Islam is at supreme.
Islam urged children to be kind to their mothers, and treat them with honor and
Holy Quran states:
"And we have enjoined upon man (to be good) to his parents: His mother bears him
in weakness upon weakness..." [31:14] [46:15, 29:8]
A renowned saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is:
"Paradise is at the feet of mothers." [In An-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad]
View Original Article Written by Fazal Haq: