According to mainstream media WOMEN ARE NOT EQUAL IN ISLAM! However, scholars, Quranic verses and Prophetic sayings prove otherwise. The Quran has a whole chapter based upon an important female in history. Surah Maryam, chapter 19.Islam transformed the way females were looked at spiritually, legally, religiously, economically and otherwise. Almost 14 centuries ago Islam recognised the rights of females, which were not controlled, by men, politics or pressures of society.What many media outlets get wrong is confusing Arab culture with Islamic traditions and rulings, which in turns has a harmful effect on how the depiction of Islam is made.
Allah says, “Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” Quran (33:35).
It granted females specific rights to inherit property, to consent to marriage, to specify terms and conditions in their marriage, to seek divorce, also recognised her as an independent human being. Islam stated that children mainly young girls should be cared for and protected, as the practice of infanticide was being practiced pre-Islam.
Abu Sa’id al-Khurdi said that the Messenger of Allah ﷺsaid, “No one has three daughters or three sisters and is good to them but that he will enter the Garden.” Al-Albani.
The Prophet ﷺ elevates the status of women and daughters in general, by referring to them as a means of entering Paradise. A female is able to inherit wealth and property, but also earn, to keep and use it as she pleases, described in Islam. A common statement that is used, BUT SHE ONLY GETS HALF THE WEALTH OF A MAN! Under Islamic Law which so heavily criticised, there are 11 cases in which a woman earns the same of as a man, 14 cases where a she earns more than a man, five cases where she earns and a man does not and only four cases a she inherits less than a man. However, these cases all depend on the circumstances and situations.
Sheikh Mohamed Abdalla says, “One of the most important aspects of Islam, is that it came to protect a women’s individuality and protect her single identity as a human being who is equal before God.”
The introduction of Islamic Law changed the marriage from a status to a contract in which she can can accept or disagree conditions in the marriage. If a she is forced into marriage the it is not binding.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “The virgin should not be given in marriage until her permission has been sought.” Al-Bukhari.
The western culture has impacted a females role, and in turn has affected her positive impact in society. While Christian priests gathered at the Council of Macon to discuss whether women had souls that could be saved, which they deemed could not be apart from Mary.The French held a conference in 586 CE to determine whether the soul of women was human or animal, they came to the conclusion that it was in fact human, but her purpose was to serve men. Meanwhile many Islamic scholars stated that a she is not required to cook, and if she refuses to do so, her husband cannot force her, from a legal perspective. Doctor Nadwi based at Oxford University published a 40 volume dictionary containing the biography of about 8000 women scholars in the field of hadith and Prophetic tradition (sunnah’s).
“People assume women did not play a main role in the religious science of Islamic civilisation.”, said Sheikh Mohamed Abdalla.
In one of the biographies a scholar by the name of Karima al-Marwaziyya who died in 1070 and was the best authority on the sahih Al-Bukhari. Many male scholars would learn from her in order to become teachers themselves. As we can see Islam was brought down not only to perfect humanity but to provide females with the rights that were not previously given to them.International Women’s Day should not be the only time we fight for the rights of females, but we should continue to empower our wives, daughter, mother, sisters and aunties on a daily basis.
“And they (women) have rights similar (to those of their husbands) over them to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” Quran (2:228).