Islam makes it clear that in no respect is a woman’s status less than that of a man.
Today’s western society claims to have granted women rights allowing them the freedom that is considered equal to men. Such rights including the right to education, equal working rights, the right to vote, the right to own property, were only granted to women as recently as a few decades ago. On the other hand, you might be surprised to know that Islam granted women these, and many other rights, more than 1400 years ago!
Contrary to popular belief, Islam is the only religion that established a perfect body of precept – giving full protection to the rights of women, making them equals of men, both in spiritual and religious spheres of life, giving them an independent position, granting them proprietary rights, and making their responsibilities and rights as part of divine religious law.
No other religion has safeguarded the rights of women as Islam has done.
Islam has blessed women with the greatest of kindness and established their rights – socially, economically, and spiritually.
“But whoso does good works, whether male or female, and is a believer, such shall enter heaven…” [4:125].
According to Islam, the most important goal and greatest objective of a human being are to attain righteousness and nearness to God—and both men and women have equal capacities in achieving this goal. Likewise, men and women will be rewarded equally for their actions:
“Surely men who submit themselves to God, and women who submit themselves to Him, and believing men and believing women, and obedient men and obedient women and truthful men and truthful women, and men steadfast in their faith and steadfast women, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their chastity and women who guard their chastity, and men who remember Allah much and women who remember Him—Allah has prepared for all of them forgiveness and a great reward” [33:36].
While the spiritual realm is most important, Islam immensely values the equitable status of women in the secular world.
Islam was the first religion to champion the educational and economic rights of women.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) remarked:
“It is the duty of every Muslim man and every Muslim woman to acquire knowledge.”
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had high respect for the knowledge, education, and wisdom of his wives. Indeed, after his death, the entire Muslim community sought the advice of his wives. This demonstrates that women in Islam are respected as important sources of knowledge. Prophet Muhammad said:
“Half the religion of Islam can be learned from Ayesha (the Holy Prophet’s wife).”
Contrary to some assumptions, Muslim women are active in every sphere of life and are among the most educated women in the world. There are Muslim female heads of state, doctors, lawyers, journalists, engineers, as well as mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters.
The Islamic concept of modesty is one that is often misunderstood.
Islam urges both sexes to dress modestly and guard their eyes. Women are enjoined to cover their heads and wear an outer garment to conceal their beauty from strangers. Her outer appearance encourages society to focus on her inner, intellectual merit rather than her physical characteristics.
We recognise and uphold the power, equity, and equality of women. Women in Islam are blessed with rights and responsibilities that have been granted by Almighty God, and any being who restricts or fails to provide these rights to women are contradicting the teachings of Islam.