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How Women Are Truly Viewed in Islam?

Despite the prevalent misconceptions, most particularly in western societies, the status of women in Islam is equal to men.

International Women’s Day, observed annually on March 8, focuses on directing global attention on the state of women to fight bias, stereotypes and discrimination. Its goal is to make the world more diverse, equitable and inclusive for them.

Despite the prevalent misconceptions, most particularly in western societies, the status of women in Islam is equal to men.

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has preached the importance of women, centuries ago in a sexist society where female infanticide was a cultural norm.

Quran explicitly states that men and women are equal and it clearly forbids female infanticide.

From the Muslim point of view, Islam provides women with legal protections in the areas of marriage, divorce, and inheritance that are considered to mark a vast improvement over the situation of women in pre-Islamic societies.

While Islamic laws were sometimes believed to disfavor women, it is important to note that dominant traditions of male authority in some Arab communities have made it difficult for women to enjoy the rights guaranteed by the Quran.

However, nowadays several reforms have taken place leading to improved opportunities for women to educate, work, etc. and in general to greater empowerment of women.

Nonetheless, even in non-Muslim modern societies women are still facing some hardships in the areas of divorce, employment, and political activity.

Many of the negative stereotypical beliefs centering around women in Islam have their roots not in Islamic guidance but in cultural practices, which stand in direct opposition to the teachings of God and His Prophet (PBUH).

Considering the confusion between history, cultural practices, and religion, it is of great significance to find out what do the Quran and the Ahadith actually teach us about the status of women in Islam?

According to the Quran, the difference in sex is neither a credit nor a drawback for men and women.

What makes one, either a man or a woman, valuable and respectable in the eyes of God is not one’s prosperity, intelligence, physical strength or beauty, but only one’s God-consciousness and awareness or what is called taqwa in Islamic teachings.

Quran clearly states:

“Every soul will be detained for what it has done.” [Quran 74:38]

“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.” [Quran 16:97]

Some Christian teachings assume that Eve was the one that seduced Adam, causing a negative conviction toward women, and this is contrast with Islamic tecahings. According to the Quran Eve is not blamed for Adam’s first mistake. Adam and Eve were jointly disobedient to God, they both repented, and both were forgiven. In fact, in one verse (20:121), Adam specifically, was blamed.

In terms of marriage, forcing women to marry anyone without their consent, is against the Islamic law.

Quran and prophet Muhammad (PBUH) strongly recommended kind treatment and companionship.

The Qur’an states:

“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion…, And live with them in kindness.” [Quran 4:19]

Based on Quran marriage is sharing between the two halves of the society, and that its objectives, beside perpetuating human life, are emotional well-being and spiritual harmony. Its bases are love and mercy:

“And one of His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may find comfort in them. And He has placed between you compassion and mercy. Surely in this are signs for people who reflect.” [Quran 30:21]

Investigating women’s political rights in the Holy Quran, women are evidently equal to men in this regard.

In Islam women have the right to vote as well as the nomination to political offices and participating in public affairs.

Both in the Quran and in Islamic history there are examples of women who participated in serious discussions and argued even with the Prophet (PBUH) himself.

In respect of economic status of women in Islam, it is worth mentioning that, Quran acknowledge women’s right of ownership.

Women, single or married, hold the right to their money, real estate, or other properties. The Islamic law never suggests that a woman is a minor simply because she is a female.

There is no decree in Islam which forbids woman from seeking employment. Moreover, there is no restriction on benefiting from woman’s exceptional talent in any field.

While in some cultures women were themselves an object of inheritance, Islam recognizes women’s right of inheritance. Her share is completely hers and no one, including her father and her husband, can make any claim on it.

Some argue that, as women’s share of inheritance is one half of men, so they worth half of men.

This variation in inheritance rights is due to the variations in financial responsibilities of men and women according to the Islamic Law.

In Islam, men are fully responsible for the maintenance of their wife, children, etc.

Women, on the contrary, are not burdened with any claims on their possessions. Their possessions before marriage do not transfer to their husband. Women are not obligated to spend on their family out of such properties or out of their income after marriage.

As Islam is used against women, it is essential to clarify misunderstandings and misconceptions among those who use the religion to oppress women.

source:iqna

About Ali Teymoori

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