There are different people from different regions who have negative image of women in Islam especially those from the east or west like the women who are pregnant have to do all the house chores throughout the day, the women who are uneducated have no right to make any decision, the women are oppressive either if they are educated or uneducated, women are the slave of men, the wife is responsible for taking care of husbands family and all. The western media played an important role in displaying such image specifically and intentionally into the minds of the society about status of women in Islam. The reality is opposite to what western society thinks and assumes. The images are not that harsh but the images have been moulded in such a way that old tales and all the sayings that had been immersed from different misunderstandings or ignorance enter into the society and after many years, it transforms to the religion and word of God. Despite the fact that those were all fabricated stories. This is the reason that status of women had been changed in the perspective of other cultures.
It is a common thinking in the west that women became liberated in the 20th century and from that century onwards women are liberated but the fact that had been untold is that women got liberation at the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) in actual when the women were actually oppressed by the men of different religions. The Prophet came and revealed the words of Allah, for women. The Quran and different Hadith discuss the rights and duties of women.
The difference between Equality and similarity of rights:
The rights defined for women might be equal in the eyes of a man but it might not be identical or similar. Equality and similarity are not one and the same thing. The difference could be understood easily by the example as man and women are not similar so is the case of rights. The distinction between these two is of paramount importance. If status of women in Islam is clear in the mind of, there will be no room left to think for a minute that women are inferior in any term with the man. The fact that Islam has given rights to women and mention it separately is a proof that women have a unique identity, Islam acknowledges her and also recognizes her as an independent identity and personality. According to the Ayah (33:35) of Quran, Allah reveals that:
For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women who are patient, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise – For them all has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (33:35)
The rights of women in Islam:
A woman is no doubt considered as an important entity and an equal partner in the procreation of human. The man is going to be the father and women is going to be the mother and both will be the essential elements for a child. By this partnership, women share the equal rights in every aspect, she has the equal responsibilities, equal rights, equal identities, equal humanity she is maintaining as her partner is having. So it’s been 1400 years and Islam made it clear those women shares the equal rights and men and women are accountable equally in front of Allah the superior. Allah set no limits in its spiritual progress. In the first verse of Surah #4, Quran states that:
“O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from its mate and from them both have spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in whom you claim (your rights) of one another, and towards the wombs (that bore you). Lo! Allah has been a Watcher over you. (4:1)
O mankind! Verily we have created you from a single (pair) of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other. (49:13; cf.4:1)
So the rights of the women could not be neglected at any cost.
Civil rights of women according to Islam and Quran:
If we consider the civil rights of women, the first and mandatory right that comes in the mind and is of great importance is education. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
Seeking knowledge is a mandate for every Muslim (male and female).
Keeping people ignorant equals oppression; whether man or woman. In the case of women, their civil rights were considered necessary for the proper functioning of the community.
Islam grants a woman the freedom of choice and expression and recognizes her individuality. Women are encouraged to contribute opinions and ideas. Women were allowed at the time of Muhammad (SAWW) to ask questions and to offer their opinions concerning Islam and if there are any ambiguities, they could ask, even if they want to ask or inquire questions economically or socially, women were allowed to ask. Every Muslim should study and learn the Holy Quran to know the importance that Islam has given in society.
Even the right to vote was given 1400 years ago to the women. When the women used to come to Prophet (SAWW) and swore their commitment to him, the Prophet (SAWW) had to accept their oath. This enables the women to participate publically for the miscellany of their leaders. Nor does Islam prohibit women from taking the position at the government level until or unless she is not creating any confusion to the opposite gender. You can learn the Holy Quran from online Quran teacher to know the rights of women that Islam has given to Muslim women.
The history shows that status of women in Islam had participated in the public life at the earlier stages. They use to accompany the Muslim armies during different battles and to nurse the wounded, she uses to serve the warriors and so on and so forth. Women were not just there to sit behind the bars or were considered worthless creatures on earth at that time of Islam, as we see today. Women today are in terrible and deteriorating condition. After the era of prophet (SAWW) people kept themselves ignorant of the teachings of Islam and the old cultural practices begin to consider as the part of Islam with the passage of time and this in return leads to many baddish that are still going on and considered as the important ritual of Islam just because we are the truly ignorant of Islam nowadays and we only prefer to practice the things that were just the part of culture in a particular era.
Rights of Women Economically in Islam:
In reference to the status of women economically it possesses certain unique rights. Right from the beginning of Islam, financial security was one of the assurances for women. Women were entitled to receive several marital gifts and the most important gift from the husband right after marriage was Haq Mehar. No married women were responsible for spending her own money on the household, men were responsible for the household and even they are responsible for protecting the rights as well as to spend it on the family, wife, and children. Whether she is a mother, wife or a daughter, Islam kept a share in the Kins property and no one was allowed to disinherit her.
Allaah says: and live with them honorably [al-Nisa’ 4:19]
And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise [al-Baqarah 2:228]
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
I urge you to treat women well. [Narrated by al-Bukhari, 331; Muslim, 1468]
The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives. [al-Tirmidhi, 3895]
Some important examples of women:
There are certain examples of women who were working at the time of Prophet (SAWW) and were maintaining the integrity and respect of Islam as well.
- Rufaidah bint e Saad ( first professional nurse who acted at the time of Uhad, Hunain etc)
- Umm Ummarah Al Ansariyah (who acted as nurse at the time of uhad, hunain, yumamah)
- Umme Attiyah (took care of water, food in battlefields and also used to perform circumcision)
- Hazrat Khadijah (who used to do business at that time)
The Muslim women were given many other rights as well. if the Muslim properly learn about Islam, they would be able to know that what rights actually the women possess and in return women could enjoy the role and duties that they are unaware of these days due to lack of information about themselves. Nor a Muslim woman is different from any other woman who is having a different set of belief or religion nor they are inferior to other women in any respect. They share equal rights, beliefs, know equal knowledge and can work in any field equally without any hesitation.