Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Status of Women in Islam

Often Muslim women are under the spotlight for being oppressed, mistreated, and having no rights. These, however are false claims made by those who have no knowledge about the religion of Islam. Have they spoken to Muslim women themselves? Are those who are criticizing Muslims, Muslims themselves? . Then why are they even talking like are scholars of Islam ? It's surprising isn't it ? That the media is all about being tech savvy yet they can't even use their own hand to type in "The beautiful truth about Islam" or "The honour of women in Islam", but instead they use their mouths to talk about nonsense that their small little brains have concluded about Islam and Muslims! Talk about stupidity at it's finest! (newsflash, being brutally honest here, but I used to be one of these small-minded idiots who had no clue about Islam except for what I saw on the news, and even then I had no idea what a Muslim was!) 

Women in Islam are treated like queens. The first believer was a woman. Paradise lies under the feet of the mother because of her status as a woman. The wife is the covered pearl at her finest and the women in Islam are encouraged to seek knowledge in order to educate her own children so that she can raise them to be successful individuals who spread peace, kindness and gratitude throughout the world. Wow, I guess Muslim women are just THAT oppressed (sarcasm) !? Remember this :

"NO men are born great...men are born children and through the process which a women is part of, they become great." 


Well, here are just a FEW out of the many beautiful verses from the Qur'an about the women in Islam and her status. To those who know nothing about Islam, try talking to a PRACTICING Muslim and see for yourself the beauty and respect that women receive. Pick up the Qur'an and immerse yourself with powerful verses that prove to you that women are valued and protected in Islam rather than seen as weak and feeble. Better yet, as we are all living in the age of technology, use your Ipad, Iphone or Samsung Galaxy SIII to google about "Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)" , "The beauty of Islam", "Honouring women in Islam".. and you will be surprised to know that the media has it ALL wrong. 

Just a few verses from the Glorious Qur'an: 



1. Woman is recognized by Islam as a full and equal partner of man in the procreation of humankind. He is the father; she is the mother, and both are essential for life. Her role is not less vital than his. By this partnership she has an equal share in every aspect; she is entitled to equal rights; she undertakes equal responsibilities, and in her there are as many qualities and as much humanity as there are in her partner. To this equal partner- ship in the reproduction of human kind God says:
O mankind! Verily We have created your from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other...
Qur'an, 49:13; 4:12. 
She is equal to man in bearing personal and common responsibilities and in receiving rewards for her deeds. She is acknowledged as an independent personality, in possession of human qualities and worthy of spiritual aspirations. Her human nature is neither inferior to nor deviant from that of man. Both are members of one another. God says:
And their Lord has accepted (their prayers) and answered them (saying): 'Never will I cause to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female; you are members, one of another...
Qur’an 3:195; 9:71;33:35-36;66:19-23. 
She is equal to man in the pursuit of education and knowledge. When Islam enjoins the seeking of knowledge upon Muslims, it makes no distinction between man and woman. Almost fourteen centuries ago, Muhammad declared that the pursuit of knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim male and female. This declaration was very clear and was implemented by Muslims throughout history.
4. She is entitled to freedom of expression as much as man is. Her sound opinions are taken into consideration and cannot be disregarded just because she happen to belong to the female sex. It is reported in the Qur'an and history that woman not only expressed her opinion freely but also argued and participated in serious discussions with the Prophet himself as well as with other Muslim leaders (Qur'an, 58:1-4; 60:10-12). Besides there were occasions when Muslim women expressed their views on legislative matters of public interest, and stood in opposition to the Caliphs, who then accepted the sound arguments of these women. A specific example took place during the Caliphate of Umar Ibn al-Khattab.

5. Historical records show that women participated in public life with the early Muslims, especially in times of emergencies. Women used to accompany the Muslim armies engaged in battles to nurse the wounded, prepare supplies, serve the warriors, and so on. They were not shut behind iron bars or considered worthless creatures and deprived of souls.

6. Islam grants woman equal rights to contract, to enterprise, to earn and possess independently. Her life, her property, her honour are as sacred as those of man. If she commits any offence, her penalty is no less or more than of man's in a similar case. If she is wronged or harmed, she gets due compensations equal to what a man in her position would get (2:178;4:45, 92-93).

7. Islam does not state these rights in a statistical form and then relax. It has taken all measures to safeguard them and put them into practice as integral articles of Faith. It never tolerates those who are inclined to prejudice against woman or discrimination between man and woman. Time and again, the Qur'an reproaches those who used to believe woman to be inferior to man(16:57-59, 62; 42:47-59; 43:15-19; 53:21-23).

8. Apart from recognition of woman as an independent human being acknowledged as equally essential for the survival of humanity, Islam has given her a share of inheritance. Before Islam, she was not only deprived of that share but was herself considered as property to be inherited by man. Out of that transferable property Islam made an heir, acknowledging the inherent human qualifies in woman. Whether she is a wife or mother, a sister or daughter, she receives a certain share of the deceased kin's property, a share which depends on her degree of relationship to the deceased and the number of heirs. This share is hers, and no one can take it away or disinherit her. Even if the deceased wishes to deprive her by making a will to other relations or in favour of any other cause, the Law will not allow him to do so. Any proprietor is permitted to make his will within the limit of one-third of his property, so he may not affect the rights of his heirs, men and women. In the case of inheritance, the question of quality and sameness is fully applicable. In principle, both man and woman are equally entitled to inherit the property of the deceased relations but the portions they get may vary. In some instances man receives two shares whereas woman gets one only. This no sign of giving preference or supremacy to man over woman. The reasons why man gets more in these particular instances may be classified as follows:

First man, is the person solely responsible for the complete maintenance of his wife, his family and any other needy relations. It is his duty by Law to assume all financial responsibilities and maintain his dependents adequately. It is also his duty to contribute financially to all good causes in his society. All financial burdens are borne by him alone.

Secondly, in contrast, woman has no financial responsibilities whatsoever except very little of her personal expenses, the high luxurious things that she likes to have. She is financially secure and provided for. If she is a wife, her husband is the provider; if she is a mother, it is the son; if she is a daughter, it is the father; if she is a sister; it is the brother, and so on. If she has no relations on whom she can depend, then there is no question of inheritance because there is nothing to inherit and there is no one to bequeath anything to her. However, she will not be left to starve, maintenance of such a woman is the responsibility of the society as a whole, the state. She may be given aid or a job to earn her living, and whatever money she makes will be hers. She is not responsible for the maintenance of anybody else besides herself. If there is a man in her position, he would still be responsible for his family and possibly any of his relations who need his help. So, in the hardest situation her financial responsibility is limited, while his is unlimited.

Thirdly, when a woman gets less than a man does, she is not actually deprived of anything that she has worked for. The property inherited is not the result of her earning or her endeavours. It is something coming to them from a neutral source, something additional or extra. It is something that neither man or woman struggled for. It is a sort of aid, and any aid has to be distributed according to the urgent needs and responsibilities especially when the distribution is regulated by the Law of God.
Now, we have a male heir, on one side, burdened with all kinds of financial responsibilities and liabilities. We have, on the other side, a female heir with no financial responsibilities at all or at most with very little of it. In between we have some property and aid to redistribute by way of inheritance. If we deprive the female completely, it would be unjust to her because she is related to the deceased. Likewise, if we always give her a share equal to the man's, it would be unjust to him. So, instead of doing injustice to either side, Islam gives the man a larger portion of the inherited property to help him to meet his family needs and social responsibilities. At the same time, Islam has not forgotten her altogether, but has given her a portion to satisfy her very personal needs. In fact, Islam in this respect is being more kind to her than to him. Here we can say that when taken as a whole the rights of woman are equal to those of man although not necessarily identical (see Qur'an, 4:11-14, 176).

9. In some instances of bearing witness to certain civil con- tracts, two men are required or one man and two women. Again, this is no indication of the woman being inferior to man. It is a measure of securing the rights of the contracting parties, because woman as a rule, is not so experienced in practical life as man. This lack of experience may cause a loss to any party in a given contract. So the Law requires that at least two women should bear witness with one man. if a woman of the witness forgets something, the other one would remind her. Or if she makes an error, due to lack of experience, the other would help to correct her. This is a precautionary measure to guarantee honest transactions and proper dealings between people. In fact, it gives woman a role to play in civil life and helps to establish justice. At any rate, lack of experience in civil life does not necessarily mean that women are inferior to man in her status. Every human being lacks one thing or another, yet no one questions their human status (2:282).

10. Woman enjoys certain privileges of which man is deprived. She is exempt from some religious duties, i.e., prayers and fasting, in her regular periods and at times of confinement. She is exempt from all financial liabilities. As a mother, she enjoys more recognition and higher honour in the sight of God (31:14-15;46:15). The Prophet acknowledged this honour when he declared that Paradise is under the feet of the mothers. She is entitled to three-fourths of the son's love and kindness with one-fourth left for their father. As a wife she is entitled to demand of her prospective husband a suitable dowry that will be her own. She is entitled to complete provision and total maintenance by the husband. She does not have to work or share with her husband the family expenses. She is free to retain, after marriage, whatever she possessed before it, and the husband has no right whatsoever to any of her belongings. As a daughter or sister she is entitled to security and provision by the father and brother respectively. That is her privilege. If she wishes to work or be self-supporting and participate in handling the family responsibilities, she is quite free to do so, provided her integrity and honour are safeguarded.

11. The standing of woman in prayers behind man does not indicate in any sense that she is inferior to him. Woman, as already mentioned, is exempt from attending congregational prayers, which are obligatory on man. But if she does attend she stands in separate lines made up of women exclusively . This is a regulation of discipline in prayers, and not a classification of importance. In men's rows the head of state stands shoulder to shoulder to the pauper. Men of the highest ranks in society stand in prayer side by side with other men of the lowest ranks. The order of lines in prayers is introduced to help every one to concentrate in his meditation. It is very important because Muslim prayers are not simply chanting or the sing-a-song type. They involve actions, motions, standing, bowing, prostration, etc. So if men mix with women in the same lines, it is possible that something disturbing or distracting may happen. The mind will become occupied by something alien to prayer and derailed from the clear path of mediation. The result will be a loss of the purpose of prayers, besides an offence of adultery committed by the eye, because the eye-by looking at forbidden things - can be guilty of adultery as much as the heart itself. Moreover, no Muslim man or woman is allowed during prayers to touch the body of another person of the opposite sex. If men and women stand side by side in prayer they cannot avoid touching each other. Furthermore, when a woman is praying in front of a man or beside him, it is very likely that any part of her dressed body may become uncovered after a certain motion of bowing or prostrating. The man's eye may happen to be looking at the uncovered part, with the result that she will be embarrassed and he will be exposed to distraction or possibly evil thoughts. So, to avoid any embarrassment and distraction to help concentrate on mediation and pure thoughts, to maintain harmony and order among worshippers, to fulfil the true purposes of prayers, Islam has ordained the organization of rows, whereby men stand in front lines, and women behind the children. Anyone with some knowledge of the nature and purpose of Muslim prayers can readily understand the wisdom of organizing the lines of worshippers in this manner.

12. The Muslim woman is always associated with an old tradition known as the "veil". It is Islamic that the woman should beautify herself with the veil of honour, dignity, chastity, purity and integrity. She should refrain from all deeds and gestures that might stir the passions of people other than her legitimate husband or cause evil suspicion of her morality. She is warned not to display her charms or expose her physical attractions before strangers. The veil which she must put on is one that can save her soul from weakness, her mind from indulgence, her eyes from lustful looks, and her personality from demoralization. Islam is most concerned with the integrity of woman, with the safeguarding of her morals and morale and with the protection of her character and personality (Qur'an, 24:30-31).

13. By now it is clear that the status of woman in Islam is extremely high (in comparison to other religions) and realistically suitable to her nature. Her rights and duties are equal to those of man but not necessarily or absolutely identical with them. If she is deprived of one thing in some aspect, she is fully compensated for it with more things in many other aspects. The fact that she belongs to the female sex has no bearing on her human status or independent personality, and it is no basis for justification of prejudice against her or injustice to her person. Islam gives her as much as is required of her. Her rights match beautifully with her duties. The balance between rights and duties is maintained, and no side overweighs the other. The whole status of woman is given clearly in the Qur'anic verse which may be translated as follows:

And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but man have a degree (of advantage as in some cases of inheritance) over them
(Qur’an 2:228)
This degree is not a title of supremacy or an authorization of dominance over her. It is to correspond with the extra responsibilities of man and give him some compensation for his unlimited liabilities. The above mentioned verse is always interpreted in the light of another (4:34).
It is these extra responsibilities that give man a degree over woman in some economic aspects. It is not a higher degree in humanity or in character. Nor is it a dominance of one over the other or suppression of one by the other. It is a distribution of God's abundance according to the needs of the nature of which God is the Maker. And He knows best what is good for woman and what is good for man. God is absolutely true when He declares:

        O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, Who created you from a single  person, and created of like nature his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. (Qur’an 4:1)

http://www.missionislam.com/discover/status_of_women.htm 

Don't get cultural traditions and customs mixed up with ISLAM as ISLAM is perfect, but human beings are not. 

5 comments:

  1. Salam alaikum sister, I usually always enjoy reading your posts, but I couldn't finish reading the article when I read what you wrote in the first paragraph,

    "Shia's are not even worthy of being considered Muslims".

    I am not Shia, but my husband has friends and family who are. Who are we to say who are Muslim and who are not? Shia's follow the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, they just do not use the same books of hadiths as the Sunni's.

    A Muslim is one who is in submission to Allah and follows the five pillars of Islam. If someone says and believes that there is only one God and Muhammad is the final messenger then they are Muslim.

    Instead of creating division and strife among our Ummah, why can't we learn to love each other for who we are and how the other chooses to worship Allah. Islam is a relationship between ourselves and Allah. Only Allah has the right to say who is Muslim and who isn't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are some basics of aqeedah that makes shias not muslims. There are some actions/beliefs that if a muslim does/believe in that nullify one's shahada. The person must then re-take his shahada and repent.

      Delete
  2. @ UmmAhmad, Walaikumassalam wa rahamtulahi wa barakatu.

    Please see my post that is dedicated to you and others who share the same ideology as you.
    I am but doing my duty as a Muslim. "On the authority of Abu Sa`id (radhiallahu `anhu) that the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, "Whoever sees something evil should change it with his hand. If he cannot, then with his tongue; and if he cannot do even that, then in his heart. That is the weakest degree of faith." Sahih Muslim

    "Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islâm), enjoining Al-Ma'rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islâm has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful."3:104

    After reading my post, do you still think Shia follow the Qur'an and Sunnah? I'm not sure where you are getting your knowledge on about Shia and that they follow the Qur'an and Sunnah. It does not mention anywhere in the Qur'an or Hadith that hating upon the Sahabah is ok, nor does it say cursing Aaisha (radi Allahu anhu) is Sunnah, nor does it state that imam's are better than prophets, nor does it say that it is ok to think that the Qur'an is fabricated. All these are AGAINST the Qur'an and Sunnah and are regarded as kufr.

    Jazakilah kheyr for your comment and may Allah forgive me if you have felt offended or dissatisfied with my views on Islam.

    ReplyDelete
  3. and btw sis, I was not aware that there was other Hadith other than that of the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallalahu aleyi wasselum). Sunni simply means following the Qur'an and Sunnah. If Shia use a book that the Sunni don't use, that simply means that they do not follow the Qur'an and Sunnah.

    and saying "who are we to judge who are Muslims".... so a Muslim who kills innocent people like that which Bashaar Assad is doing, he is considered Muslim then and I should continue to call him a Muslim? He is Shia, so I shouldn't judge him for his evil actions, and I should just sit tight and be ok with him? When someone is a clear kafir and doing something outside of the proper teachings of Islam, we must do something about it, we can't just there and say "oh yeah, shia is part of Islam even though they kill Sunni's and think it's ok to lie and curse the companions of the Prophet (pbuh), and to answer your question:
    "If a person forbids someone from an evil, the one who is being forbidden from doing this evil says, "You do not know what is in my heart," or they say "Who are you that you judge me?" So what do you say in regards to this?

    Answer:

    In the name of Allaah, all praises are for Allaah, and may peace and salutations be upon the one [Muhammad] sent as a mercy to all of mankind and upon his family and all of his companions.

    "Whoever from amongst you sees an evil then let him change it with his hands, if he is unable then with his tongue and if he is unable then with his heart, and that is the lowest of faith." [Muslim]

    The point we are referring to in this hadeeth is the statement of the Prophet - salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam: "Whoever sees." So the evil which is seen with the eyes has to be stopped with the hand, and this is if a person has an authority and he has the ability to do so. If he is not able to stop it with his hand, he does it with his tongue. So he should say to the person, "this is an error," "this is haraam," "this is in opposition to the truth," etc. This is the first thing.

    The second thing is that the statement of this person "You don't know what is in my heart," we say just as Hasan al Basree - rahimahullaah - said:

    "Eemaan (faith) is not outer decoration, nor mere hope. Rather it is what settles in the heart and what is affirmed by actions. Whoever spoke good and did righteous actions, it will be accepted from him. But whoever spoke good but did wicked actions, it will not be accepted from him."

    So if you have within you something which is good, but your action is erroneous, it is a must that this error be spoken against.

    Then, thirdly, we say to these individuals:
    we were not commanded to look into what is in the hearts of the people. We were not commanded to ask the people, is this or that in your heart? However, the actual error that was done is rejected and clarified.

    The final matter is that we remind you of the hadeeth of the Prophet - salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - in which he said:

    [In another narration, he says: "Worry about your own self." Al-Albaanee authenticated it in Silsilatul-Ahaadeethis-Saheehah (2598).]

    That which is meant by this statement is that he is asking the person not to disapprove of what he does. So I fear that this statement (mentioned in the question) falls under this hadeeth, thus it will be trying to reject those who command the good and forbid the evil. And it is upon the Muslim who fears Allaah, if an evil that he committed is refuted, that he remembers and takes admonition, and that he leaves this evil, and completely stop" Shaykh Ahmad ibn 'Umar Baazmool

    hope that helps clears things up for you regarding saying "who am I to judge who is Muslim or not"...one who says that when clearly witnesses acts of kufr, has nothing but weak iman. May Allah guide you and continue to keep those rightly guided upon siratul mustaqeem , Ameen.

    ReplyDelete

Assalamualaikum, please be mindful about what you are about to write. Think about it before writing and make sure it is something positive and beneficial, otherwise it will be deleted and ignored. JazakiAllah kheyr ! Sisters ONLY! xo