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in the Muslim world from the Islamic perspective and the erroneous perception in the west, that Islam subjugates womenfolk. Prior to Islam, write the authors of the cultural atlas of Islam, a women was regarded by her parents as a threat to family honor and hence worthy of burial alive at infancy. As an adult, she was a sex object that could be bought, sold and inherited. From this position and level of inferiority and legal incapacity, Islam raised women to a position of influence and prestige in family and society. The rights and responsibilities of women and men are equal to those of men but they are not necessarily identical. Refer to this clip of mine for better understanding on status of women’s Insha’Allah. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG626kfYOF4 1.The Spiritual Aspects: The sacred text of the Glorious Quran and the history of early Muslims bear witness to the fact that women are considered as vital to life as men. It is Islam that refuted that eve tempted Adam (as) to disobey God, and thus caused his downfall. The Qur’an says that they both disobeyed and negates the idea that women are a source of evil. In many of the other faiths they say that pregnancy is a curse of God to the women as because of the sins of eve God cursed Eve and said she will bear labor pains. Islam does not believe in these concepts, Allah says in Surah Nisa ch:4 ,V:1 that “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights),
and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) . Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. Pregnancy does not degrades the status of women it infacts uplifts the status of women in Islam. Also Allah says in Surah Al Ahqaf ch:46 ,v:15 that “And We have enjoined on man the doing of good to his parents. His mother bears him with trouble and she brings him forth in pain. And the bearing of him and the weaning of him is thirty months. Till, when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years, he says : My Lord, grant me that I may give thanks for Thy favour, which thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do good which pleases Thee; and be good to me in respect of my offspring. Truly I turn to Thee, and truly I am of those who submit” Allah says in Surah Luqman ch: 31, V: 14 that “And we have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.” In a world where women were no more than a objects of sexual gratification for men , and at a time when the religious circles argued over whether women were human or not , possessing souls , Islam proclaimed and Allah said in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah Hujarat ch:49 ,v:13. Says: O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa (i.e., he is one of the Muttaqun (the pious). Verily, Allah is All- Knowing, wellAcquainted (with all things). Men and women are of the same family , and as such have similar rights and duties and their lord promises them in the Glourious Quran in Surah Ale Imran ch:3 ,v:195. Says: So, their lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them) “Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you , be he male or female. You are (members) one of another, so thse who emigrated and were driven out from their homes, and suffered
harm in My Cause , and who faught , and were killed (in My Cause) , verily , I will expiate from them their evil deeds and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise); a reward from Allah, and with Allah is the best of rewards.” Thus in Islamic tradition, a woman has an independent identify. She is responsible being in her own rights and carries the burden of her moral and spiritual obligations.
The Social Aspects: 1. Women have as much rights to education as men do. Almost fourteen centuries ago, prophet (sws) declared tht the pursuit of knowledge is incumbent on every muslim male and female, refer to the hadith which says : "Talabul ilmi faridatun ala kulli muslimoon wal muslimaat" Allah hu Allam...This declaration was very clear and was largely implemented by mulsims thoroughout history. Also Quote the hadith of sahih Al Bukahri vol:8 ,book of Adab ch:2 ,hadith : 2 , where a man came to the prophet sws and asks him ,"who is entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me ?" the prophet sws replied , " your mother , he again asked who next, he sws replied your mother , he again asked who next , he sws replied your mother it happened three times then the fourth time the man asked and the prophet sws replied your father...this is the status of mother she gets 75% of the love and companionship of the children. 2. On another occasion , when a man came to the prophet sws and expressed the desire to join military expedition , the prophet sws asked him if he had a mother. When he replied that he had, the prophet sws advised him, “Stay with her (mother), for paradise is at her feet."
3. As daughters, women have a right to just and equitable treatment from their parents. The prophet sws gave glad tidings to those who did not insult their daughters or favored sons over daughters. 4. A Women in Islam has the right to accept or reject the marriage proposals, and her consent is prerequisite to the validity of the marriage contract. A marriage is based on mutual peace, love and compassion. As Allah says in the Glorious Qur'an in Surah Nisa ch:4 ,v:19 that , " O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good." 5.women not only expressed her their opinions freely but also argued and participated in serious discussions with the prophet sws himself as well as with other Muslim leaders. They were not shut behind iron bars or considered worthless. Economic Aspects: Islam has given women a share of inheritance. Before Islam women were not only deprived of that share, but were themselves considered as property to be inherited by men. you can quote from Surah Nisa ch:4 ,V:11-12 that “ 11. Allah commands you as regards your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females; if (there are) only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half. For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are
nearest to you in benefit, (these fixed shares) are ordained by Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise. 12. In that which your wives leave, your share is a half if they have no child; but if they leave a child, you get a fourth of that which they leave after payment of legacies that they may have bequeathed or debts. In that which you leave, their (your wives) share is a fourth if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave after payment of legacies that you may have bequeathed or debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone). This is a Commandment from Allah; and Allah is Ever All-Knowing, MostForbearing.” She does not have to work or share with her husband the family expense. As a daughter she is entitled to security and provision by the father and brother respectively. It is thus clear that the status of women in Islam is very high. Islam has granted then rights that match beautifully with their duties. What Islam has established for women is that which suits their nature, gives them full security and protects them against disgraceful circumstances and uncertain channels of life. The rest Allah hu Allam and Allah knows the best....
By , Syed Asif Ali Shah , (SERVANT OF ALLAH , IN THE SERVICE OF ISLAM)
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