Islam is derived from the word “Slim” which means “peace.” Thus the word Islam itself answers all the questions and misunderstandings that has spread far and wide. We need to understand that when the name of a religion is peace, how-come can it be brutal & inhumane against any other faith. Islamic scholarship promotes peace and ensures a better world for everyone to live in. The topic of women’s rights in Islam has now become a title of great misunderstanding and fallacy due to Islamophobia created by the western media & manipulating culprits. The rights that Islam provided to women are innumerable and unique for no other religion has given such rights. Yes, Women grabbed more rights from the west than their concerned culture’s provided them with but such rights stabbed them back. In this shameless struggle the women lost her culture, motherhood, respect & what not else. In western culture women is being treated like a commodity in the name of liberty, freedom and enjoyment. Media can be seeing sexualizing the women by spreading nudity & obscene advertisements.Almighty Allah said in Quran (Chapter: 4, Verse no: 124) that “One who does righteous deeds amoung the believers, whether male or female, they for sure will enter Jannah and they will not be wronged a speck.” In the above mention verse Allah doesn’t differentiate women and men, but gives equal rights to both. In the eyes of Islam the beloved and succesful is one who does righteous deeds irrespective of gender. It is a known fact that women does differ physically, biologically, and psychologically from men and accordingly Islam has provided the rights to both on the basis of equality. Under some circumstances women experience more rights than men because the situation and the nature of problem determine so. Same stands true for men. Take the following example:
A boy and a girl are studying in the same class having same subjects. Both gave exams at the same time, after result comes out both he same marks percentange (let it be 90%), but when we check the subject wise results the marks of both differ in one subject. Girl student has secured more marks and in another subject boy student has secured more, but in whole both are at the same position and same rank. Same is the case with rights of women and men in Islam though in some circumstances the rights may differ according to physical and biological needs but both are same in the eyes of Islam. We need to understand that they’re equal but not identical. If we were to describe the rights to woman that Islam has provided, it will take me years to define. By classifying the rights into major groups, I’ve tried to introduce you to some important rights that beautiful Islam secures every woman with!
1) Spiritual Rights : In many religions other than Islam, labour pain of a woman is considered as a punishment, but Islam strongly regrets such eligations against her. In the eyes of Islam the status of woman gets elevated than a man after giving birth to a child and most importantly the valuable paradise comes under her feet.
2) Economic Rights: When we look at the era of ignorance, woman was treated like a commodity, she was not given a right to own anything. She was taken as an object of pleasure to men. In some of the countries woman was used as a currency, as a payment to buy goods and other materials. But Islam gave her a right to property and wealth. A woman is the owner of her property in the same was as is a man. She can spend her money righteously where ever she wants to and no one has a right to stop her. The right to property was given to woman in India almost 7 years before but Islam gave it more than 1450 years before. That is the beauty of Islamic rights and the dynamism that Islam promotes. In islam woman too has been given a choice to own her business but under the legal banners of our personal law (Shariyah), and the money she does make is of her own, so no one can take it from her. The basic needs of a woman be it cloth , food and accomodation is the responsibility of her father, brother or her husband (if married). Islam has beautified the lives of women. At the time of marriage Islam directs man to give woman something (can be cash or kind) called as “Mehar” and taking anything from woman is strongly prohibited.
3) Social Rights: Islam gave woman a right to live. In the era of ignorance people considered it a duty to burry their daughters alive & having daughters was considered as shameful. Islam not only prohibited such shameful act but called it a sin as well.
4) Birth of a girl is considered full of mercy in Islam: When a woman gets married Islam calles her “Mohsina”-the one who saves you from the bad deeds and encourages you towards righteous deeds. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) while commanding to treat the women well said: “The best among you is the one who is best with his wife.” Allah has mentioned in Quran (Chapter: 2, Verse:187): “They (women) are your clothing and you are their clothing” means they are the one who hide your defects and you hide theirs. Here also Islam doesn’t duffer the rights of women as compared to men.
5) Educational Rights: Allah mentioned in Quran (Chapter:96, Verse: 1): “Read with the name of your lord, the one who creats.” Here the command to acquire knowledge is same for both men and women. In one of the hadith Prophet Mohammad (SAW) said: “It’s the duty of every man and woman to acquire knowledge”. From these sayings alone we can understand the importance of women education in islam.
6) Political Rights : It is mentioned in Quran (Chapter: 9, Verse: 71): “And the men and women who believe are the protectors of each other, they command with goodness and stop over weirdness.” In this verse of holy book both men and women are permitted to command others for righteous deeds and prohibit each other from the evil ones. By this verse it can be clearly understood that both men and women have political rights in the eyes of Islam. Quran also mentions: “O Prophet (pbuh) When believing women comes to you to pledge allegiance and covenant you that they will neither associate anything with Allah nor they will steal, and neither they will commit adultery nor will they kill their children and will niether invent any slander in front of their hands and feet nor will disobey your goodness. So take allegiance from them and ask forgiveness of God to them, surely God forgives and is merciful.” The said verse clearly indicates that Islam has given women the right to vote back before 1450 years. Islam provides women the right to put forward her opinions in law making processes and other issues. She can openly put-forth her will and it should be accepted in case it is correct and fruitful and considerable.
( The author is a freelancer and frequently writes for “ Kashmir Horizon”. Views are his own)