Tuesday, 29 May 2007

The Noble Status of Women in Islam

Women In The Past

Prior to Islam, a woman's status in the sight of all nations of the World was nothing more than the value of household goods. They were treated with much disrespect. They were bought and sold. They had no choice in the matters of marriage; and they had to silently accept the highest bidder. They never inherited, even from their close relatives. In fact, she herself would become an item of distribution just like any other commodity of inheritance in a descendant's estate. Women were regarded merely as properties and possessions of men. Even in religious matters women were given no status by men, for they were not considered to be worthy of prayer or fit to be counted as human.

Such was the conditions of societies in the past, that it was considered accepted and permissible for men to bury their daughters alive, and this heartless act of inhumanity was then regarded as an act of protecting honour and respect.

It was also generally accepted that if a lady was murdered then her murderer could not be punished in any way. Neither was he to be killed in retaliation, nor was he to pay blood money. According to many religions too, when a man dies, his wife has to kill herself too.

Women According to the Prophet Muhammad SAW

The Noble Prophet Muhammad SAW, with Divine guidance taught mankind the true value of humanity. From the darkness and polytheism into the light and monotheism.

The Prophet Muhammad SAW enforced justice, thus - making it obligatory for men to fulfill the rights of women. Just as it is necessary for women to fulfill the rights of men. The Prophet Muhammad SAW freed women from the slavery of man. A woman was granted the ownership of her life and property. No person has the right to use her wealth without her permission. Just as males are entitled to their share in the estate of their relatives, females also have their own rights. To spend upon one's wife and to keep them happy within the boundaries of Islam is regarded as an act of worship.

The blessed Prophet SAW has stated:

"To have intercourse with one's wife is charity and a means of reward."

The Sahabah RA enquired:

"O, Prophet ? Is there a reward for fulfilling desires also?"

The Holy Prophet SAW replied:

"Had he fulfilled his desires in the wrong place would he not have sinned?"

The Sahabah RA answered:


Then the Prophet SAW said:

"In order to safeguard oneself from sin, one will undoubtedly attain reward."

Depriving Women of Their Biggest Right

To deprive a woman of her rights is undoubtedly a severe oppression, which Islam has wiped out by means of very just and moderate laws. The so-called lifestyle of women is also a form of injustice to give them a "free right" depriving them of their true right, to be guided and protected by men i.e. their husbands or fathers.

Parents' Indoctrination of Their Daughters

Unfortunately, nowadays, the parents themselves encourage their daughters to go and earn their own livelihood and when things go wrong they question themselves as to how the situation came about. They will cry for months on end little knowing that they themselves sent their daughters to the Fire. How is it that they do not know that the livelihood obtained from the menfolk working is enough to reasonably sustain the family. People complain and give lame excuses of not having enough money, which "forces" them to send their womenfolk to work. The fact is - what is longed for are the unnecessary extras in life, which will undoubtedly be questioned and reckoned on the Day of Judgement. In such issues, the husbands and fathers will be accountable.

Revelation in the Qur'an Regarding Women

Allah states in the Qur'an:

"And stay in your houses and do not display yourselves like that of the time of ignorance." (Surah Al-Ahzaab)

And at another place in the Qur'an Allah SWT orders:

"And tell the believing women to lower their gazes (from forbidden things) and protect their private parts and not to show off their adornments, (except) only that which is apparent." (Surah An-Nur)

In Surah Al-Baqarah Allah SWT has declared:

"And the men have superiority over the women."

Many women who are activists of "women's rights" do not understand the true context of this Ayat. This ayat infact explains the right of women to be protected by their husbands and menfolk. In other words, men are their guardian and governors. The difference could be likened to the necessity of appointing a captain in a football team, where the captain is subjected to the same rules and privileges of his team mates. But a greater responsibility and a higher rank has been conferred upon him in order to maintain a proper system for the smooth running of the team. This analogy provides a clear-cut example for comprehension.

Women In Today's Modern Society

During the pre-Islamic era, women were treated like animals and household goods. Unfortunately today the modern world has ushered in a second period of ignorance.

Some of the ill effects created by removing women from under the guardianship and authority of men are:

a) The respect for women has been lost.

b) Marked increase in divorce rates.

c) Neglect of children.

d) Children not being educated and trained in an Islamic way.

e) Jobs of male personnel being taken by females, resulting in injuries (e.g. pregnant women ordered to operate heavy items at work); and the increase of unemployment.

f) Increase in the instances of rape and sexual abuse.

g) The rise in the unemployment amongst males leads to loafing idleness which encourages alcoholism, drug abuse, rape, murder, robbery and a host of other social evils.

All this in the name of "liberation". Truly - it is not worth it.

Nowadays, there are evil notions misrepresenting the status of the rank of women in Islam. This information is given by people who consider women in Islam to be prisoners who have no rights and is always under the domination of man. The importance given to a woman can be deduced from the following Hadith:

The Holy Prophet SAW has stated:

"The best amongst you is the one who is the best towards his wife." (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Dasimi)

On another occasion the Prophet SAW stated:

"Paradise lies under the feet of mothers." (Bukhari)

On another occasion the Prophet Muhammad SAW was questioned by one of his Companions RA:

"Who deserves the best care from me?"

The Prophet SAW replied:

"Your mother."

The Prophet SAW repeated this three times.
When he was asked the fourth time he replied:

"Your father and your near relatives." (Imam Bukhari's Adab-ul-Mufrad)

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