“(Women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them.” (Quran 2 :228)

One of the greatest thinker and philosopher of Islam, Sir Allama Iqbal, after having studied the Quran thoroughly said : If I were not a Muslim, and if I wouldn’t have considered the Quran as the word of God Almighty, I would have concluded after reading the Quran that it was written by a great woman, because the amount of concern that has been given to the rights of women in the Quran, no other religious scripture exists till this date, on the face of the earth, that has emphasised and detailed the rights of women as the Quran has specified for woman.

God devotes an entire chapter of the Quran, the holy book of Islam, to women. In addition, God directly addresses women repeatedly throughout the Quran. Islam proclaims that all human beings, men and women, are born in a pure state. The goal of every Muslim is to preserve this purity by shunning evil tendencies and beautifying their inner being with virtuous traits. “The most valuable thing in the world is a virtuous woman.”

Allama Iqbal was absolutely right in his conclusions. Pre-Islamic period i.e 14 century back where woman had no spiritual or legal right further she had no right to live as human, it was common practice among people to bury their baby daughters alive. Woman had no value and status in the society. Women were considered transferable property, Islam honored women in society by elevating them and protecting them with unprecedented rights. Islam gave women the right to education, to marry someone of their choice, to retain their identity after marriage, to divorce, to remarry, (polygamy is also a way to protect weak woman e.g divorcee, widow, orphan) to work, inheritance rights, to own and sell property, to seek protection by the law, to vote, and to participate in civic and political engagement. It looks at a woman with respect and gives her honor therefore God dedicated an entire chapter of Qur’an comprising of 176 verses to the women i.e “Surah Nisa” (complete surah for woman).

1400 hundred years ago where civilizations had become corrupt and ignorance was widespread neglecting ethics and morals regarding gender as men were dominant in the governance and economic sector, these masses ignorant from ethics and virtues not only overpowered the female sex but also uaed them according to their desires without any sort of control, in regards to their being, dignity, respect and equality. This passes on and on until when the status of the female sex was reduced and crushed to disreapectfulness and violation of their personal and basic human rights, to the point that they were looked upon as unequal.

At this point where all old scriptures and divine legislations were forgotten and fabricated, there had to be a new legislation to be implemented upon these masses. Can a labour and a writer be equal? They have a a degree above the other in different senses, the writer is better mentally whereas the labour is better physically. But on the basis of humanity they are absolutely equal. Similarly men have a degree over the woman in terms of natural strentgh and resistance, and woman have a degree over men in their emotional strength. But on the basis of humanity they are only equal. Who would want their wife or sister to take the burden of labour when there is a man amongst them?

Islam has obliged this right of women as a responsibility over man of his being stronger to them so as to oblige men to be manly and sensible enough intellectually that they need to assist and protect the rights of the female sex more. More, because they have been given an advantage in certain cases and that is a responsibility over men, that is to safeguard especially the rights of women, no matter which gender runs the economic government or whosoever aspect of life on earth. Man will bear the maintenance and all the expenses, raise woman’s status by giving mahar at the time of marriage, she can take khula too (right to take sepration)
Such honouring of daughters/ woman/ mother/sister is the complete opposite of how people were accustomed to dealing with females in the pre-Islamic era. Prophet Muhammad pbuh taught his followers that it is God’s commandment to treat women with gentleness and affection because, he said, “they are your mothers, daughters, wives, aunts.”

One of the companions, may Allah be pleased with him, who had killed his daughter in the era that preceded Islam narrated his story: “We would worship idols in the pre-Islamic era and kill our daughters. I had a daughter, who, when she was old enough to comprehend and talk, would rejoice whenever she saw me and would immediately respond. One day, I called her and told her to follow me, so she did, until we reached a well that belonged to my tribe. I then took her by her hand and threw her in the well, and the last thing I heard her cry was: ‘O father! O father!’i will not ask for food !”

Naturally the Prophet pbuh was appalled when he heard what the father had done. His heart ached with sorrow.Tears welled up in his eyes and spilled down his face and into his beard. The Prophet pbuh wept so much that his face and beard became very wet and the hairs on his beard were all straggly with water. (Ad-Daarimi)

Humanity was trapped in the depth of darkness and superstition as people were living in ignorance. This was the social condition in which came Allah’s mercy in the form of Prophet Muhammad pbuh. ”

“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds”. (Quran 21 : 107)The Prophet’s pbuh mercy toward women was not surprising, because Almighty God had appointed him as a mercy for the whole of creation.

K. S. Ramakrishna Rao a professing Hindu, writes in his book ‘Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam’, “ Muhammad, the Refuge of orphans; Muhammad, the Protector of slaves; Muhammad, the Emancipator of women, He was simply the servant of God and His Messenger.

Islam which not only grants the woman’s rights and freedoms but enforce the society for being responsible to ensure that their rights and freedoms are upheld.
Women are empowered with the most progressive rights and protections under Islamic law and are honored with a dignified stature in society since the 7th century. Islam grants security to the woman in all sphere of her life. Men and women bith are equal in the eye of God.

A person came to God’s Messenger pbuh and said: Who among the people is most deserving of a fine treatment from my hand? He said: Your mother. He again said: Then who (is the next one)? He said: Again it is your mother (who deserves the best treatment from you). He said: Then who (is the next one)? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Again, it is your mother. He (again) said: Then who? Thereupon he said: Then it is your father.”(Sahih Muslim)

The Quran exclusively emphasises about the woman rights and protection.Thus, Islam has raised and uplifted the status of women by giving her honor and respect in all the role of her life as a mother, wife daughter, and a sister.

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SZ Shaikh

SZ Shaikh

You can't change someone's behaviour, all you can do is remind them, and hpoe that God will change their heart.

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