Women's Rights in Islam
Islam has bestowed rights upon women and abolished the bad treatment that they received in the Pre-Islamic era, where they were treated as commodities and had no say in society, nor had the right to own anything at all. Women are very precious for Allah and Islam did not differentiate between the rights of women and the rights of men, and Allah considered both their rights in an equal way. And our religion emphasized women’s rights to ensure they are not violated.
One of the longest Surah in the Quran was named after the beautiful, the blessed, the softhearted creature of Allah, a woman. A full Surah in the Quran is called An-Nisaa (Women), and it speaks in a large part of it on women’s rights in inheritance, marriage and other related things in life. Another Surah called At- Talaq talks about Islamic conditions in preserving women’s rights.
Islam honored the woman and gave her many rights that she was prohibited from before Islam. It granted her rights that were not granted to her by other religions.
The First person to believe in the prophet & support him in his journey and to follow the religion of Islam, was a woman; Khadija “The wife of the prophet (ﷺ)”. This is to assure that she is a very important creature and has an important role in society.
We present to you a list of rights granted for women in Islam:
1- The Right To Life
The first and the most important right that Islam provided for the Muslim woman, is the right to live.
يَتَوَارَىٰ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ مِن سُوءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِ ۚ أَيُمْسِكُهُ عَلَىٰ هُونٍ أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَابِ ۗ أَلَا سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ (59)
Islam states that it is forbidden to kill a woman. Even in states of war, killing a woman is prohibited. It is narrated by Ibn 'Umar that “a woman was found killed in one of the battles; so the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) forbade the killing of women and children.” (Muslim)
2- The Right To Equal Judgment and Reward
Islam views the woman as a man's partner in assuming the responsibilities of life since she plays a fundamental family and societal role. She is considered similar to a man in terms of fate and stature, except for what is excluded by Sharia law in some matters. Islam addresses men and women in the Quran and Sunnah in the same way and treats them in an equal manner. Both are required to complete all the duties of a Muslim worshipper and the religious traditions with some exceptions and facilities for women.
And another heartwarming promise in the Quran:
3- The Right to Seek Knowledge and Education
The prophet encouraged both women and men to read and learn, and every woman has the right to Education and learning, any place in the world. A woman is encouraged to seek knowledge in Quran and Sunnah, but also she is allowed to profit from her talents and skills to consider different fields and contribute to society.
Anas Ibn Malek reported Allah’s messenger (ﷺ) saying, “Seeking knowledge is an obligation laid on every Muslim” (Ibn Majah)
It is a blessing for our Ummah that many women, throughout Islamic history, held noble positions as teachers, nurses or scholars, next to being super mothers and wives.
4- The Right to Alimony
The responsibility of the financial need of the female and other needs of her are to be met by the closest male relative whether it is her father, her husband, her grown-up son, or even her uncle. He needs to provide for her food, clothing, accommodation, in addition to health expenses. Every male must support his female relatives financially and not let them need anything, not even worry about work to afford herself her living expenses.
In regards to economic rights, the Muslim woman is sometimes favored over the men. At the time of marriage, women are the ones who receive the dowry (Mahr) from men, in honor of her and to show the sincerity of the man that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.
In addition to this, Islam offers her additional money, in different ways to let her buy whatever she likes as long as it is within the instructions of Allah and it has no haram in it.
5- The Right to Inheritance and Financial Independence
Islam raises the status of the woman and elevates her. It gives her the right to have a percentage of the inheritance after she was prohibited from it in the Pre-Islamic era as well as in other religions. Although it might seem that she gets a lesser amount than a male gets, yet in fact, the male relative is still responsible to spend money on her, and the percentage allocated to him is to be spent on him, as well as all other females in the family that he is responsible for. The money a female gets from the inheritance is not to be spent on her basic life needs, yet it is solely for her to decide on what to spend them.
Muslim Woman has the right to earn money, own property, make transactions, spend her money on what she likes ( in Halal ways), such as Sadaqah or gift. She is also allowed to work or have her own business in conditions that preserve her status and respect her femininity.
6- The Right to Choose a Spouse
Islam gives the woman the full right to choose her husband and keep her name after marriage. It is her choice to reject or accept a proposal and meet the person several times before making her decision, in presence of her family members.
7- The Right to Be Honored and Treated Kindly
Women are loved by Allah and they are granted specific blessings and rewards, allocated to them as mothers, daughters and wives.
Islam recognized the physical and emotional differences that describe a woman and ordained men to respect that. This does not make her any inferior to a male, yet it is a duty for men to consider when dealing with the female
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) forbade insulting women and ordered to treat them with kindness and mercy.
On different occasions, and on his farewell Khutba, he said, “Act kindly towards women” (Al Bukhari, Muslim and At-Tirmidhi)
Islam has taken care of the woman's special physical and emotional circumstances, so it reduced some duties from her such as Jihad and Jumaa prayer and temporarily waived some obligatory duties during menstruation and the postpartum period, such as prayer and fasting.
Our religion protected the woman from all acts of oppression and honored her as a daughter, a mother, a wife, a sister, an aunt and in all her statuses. Islamic law in general aims to provide protection and appreciation for women. It also wants to offer her a stable life full of justice, compassion and kindness. We are very blessed to be Muslim women and loved by Allah. We shall be proud of our prophet and our religion that honored and preserved us in all different means.
💐May Allah bless and protect all women, our mothers, our daughters and wives and may Allah grant them Jannah with no prior torment.💐
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