Women Holding Public Positions
ISLAM honors women and regards her as equal and vital to life asman. Generally speaking, we can say that leadership in Islam isbased on the ability and qualifications for the job. If a woman isqualified for a job and can do it well, she can be chosen for theposition.Woman's invaluable work, in fact, is to look after her children andhusband. As for employment, which is meant for earning a living, sheis permitted to do it provided that the following conditions are met:First, it should be legal. The Muslim woman is not permitted to workin a place where she will be in privacy with non-mahram(marriageable) man, or in clubs where she is supposed to offeralcohol to people.Second, she should abide by the Islamic morals in dress, talk, etc.Third, woman's employment should not be at the expense of herprincipal work, namely caring about her children and husband.Accordingly, the Muslim woman is permitted to go to work as long asshe is in need of money and there is no person responsible for hermaintenance, and the above conditions are met. In this context, weshould recall the story of the daughters of Prophet Shu`ayb (peacebe upon him) about whom the Glorious Qur'an says: And when atthe water (a well) of Madyan (Midian) he found there a group of men, watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two womenwho were keeping back (their flocks). He said: What is the matterwith you? They said: We cannot water(our flocks) until theshepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man. (Al-Qasas 28: 23)Apparently, Prophet Shu`ayb's daughters went out to give water totheir flocks because their father was an old man and they had nobrothers.Admittedly, the Muslim society is in need of working women incertain fields such as education and medicine in order to educate andtreat women.