How does the Qur’an view women?

“Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research is a research institute which aims to instill conviction and inspire contribution based on mainstream Islamic texts.” In today’s age, the status and rights of women in society have never been more in the spotlight. Millenia long traditions like Islam are today accused of being unjust in their treatment of women, and Muslims are faced with the challenge of staying true to their faith whilst responding to these criticisms. A critical factor in this challenge is properly understanding the way that Islam actually views women. To do this, we can go to back to the fundamental source of Islamic law, which is the Qur’an. Here is a list of the different teachings the Qur’an holds regarding men and women.
  1. Women are equally human

“O humankind! We have created you from a single male and female, and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” [Qur’an 49: 13]
  1. Women are equally eligible for salvation

“Allah has promised the believing men and believing women gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetual residence; but approval from Allah is greater. That is the great attainment.” [Qur’an 9: 72]
  1. Women are equally eligible for reward

“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while a believer—We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.” [Qur’an 16: 97]
  1. Women’s lives are equally inviolable

“And when the infant girl [who was] buried alive is asked, for what sin she was killed.” [Qur’an 81: 8-9]
  1. Women are equally able to promote good

“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Qur’an 9: 71]
  1. Women are a sign of God’s Mercy

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [Qur’an 30: 21]
Read more in ‘We Used to Have No Regard for Women’: Gender Equity and the Advent of Islam by Maryam Al-Dabbagh, Omar Suleiman, Roohi Tahir, Mohammad Elshinawy