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OnIslam.net

Eminence Islam Gives Women

By Harun Yahya
Muslim Thinker — Turkey
15964
The mentality of despising women, externalizing them from society and regarding them as second class is a wicked pagan attitude which have no place in Islam. The Qur’an gives the highlights of a civilized social relationship between men and women.

The position of women in Islam has recently been an issue of debate. Some misconceptions arise from either traditional practices that are mistakenly thought to be “Islamic” or from prejudices. However, the real issue is how women are regarded in the Islamic faith; and when we look at this, we see that Islam brings a great social value, freedom and comfort to women.

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The commandments of Almighty Allah about the status of woman and the relations between man and woman, which have been revealed to us through the Qur’an, comprise full justice. In this regard, Islam suggests equality of rights, responsibilities and duties among both of them.

In fact, Islam is based on sympathy, tolerance and respect for the human being; it does not discriminate against woman in this matter. Examples of good morals communicated to us in the Qur’an are universally compatible with human nature, and is valid for all stages of history.

 

A Support for Each Other

Respect for woman and women’s rights are within this scope. In the Qur’an, Almighty Allah emphasizes that many tasks and responsibilities of women are the same as for men. Furthermore, while performing these tasks and responsibilities, men and women are to help and support each other.

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{The men and women of the believers are friends of one another. They command what is right and forbid what is wrong, and establish prayer and pay alms, and obey Allah and His Messenger. They are the people on whom Allah will have mercy. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.} (At-Tawbah 9:71)

 

Same Status, Reward and Punishment

Islam does not see the woman as an object. Therefore, it is not seen as appropriate that a woman of good morals should marry a man of bad morals, or vice versa.
Almighty Allah also emphasizes that believers will be rewarded in the same manner according to their deeds, regardless of gender.

{Their Lord responds to them: I will not let the deeds of any doer among you go to waste, male or female. The one of you is as the other…} (Aal `Imran 3:195)

{Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did.} (An-Nahl 16:97)

In another verse, Muslim men and Muslim women are considered together and it is stressed that both have the same responsibility and status in the sight of Allah.

{Men and women who are Muslims, men and women who are believers, men and women who are obedient, men and women who are truthful, men and women who are steadfast, men and women who are humble, men and women who give alms, men and women who fast, men and women who guard their private parts, men and women who remember Allah much: Allah has prepared forgiveness for them and an immense reward. (Al-Ahzab 33:35)

There are many more verses in the Qur’an stating that men and women are exactly equal regarding their responsibilities towards their Lord as well as the rewards or punishments they shall receive in return. There are a few differences, however, in terms of social issues, but these are meant for the comfort and protection of women. The commands of the Qur’an regard the biological differences resulting from their creation and suggest a system that maintains equal justice for both the man and the woman.

Islam does not see the woman as an object. Therefore, it is not seen as appropriate that a woman of good morals should marry a man of bad morals, or vice versa. This is revealed in the noble Qur’an as follows:

{Corrupt women are for corrupt men and corrupt men are for corrupt women. Good women are for good men and good men are for good women. The latter are innocent of what people say. They will have forgiveness and generous provision. (An-Nur 24:26)

Also in marriage, duties and responsibilities of the spouses toward each other require equality. Almighty Allah demands both spouses be protective and supervising for each other. This duty is expressed in the Qur’an in the following terms:

{…They are an apparel for you and you are an apparel for them…} (Al-Baqarah 2:187)

Many rules and commandments exist in the Qur’an regarding the protection of the marital rights of women. Marriage is based on the will and consent of both parties; the husband has to provide economic support for his wife (An-Nisaa’ 4:4); the husband has to look after his ex-wife after divorce (At-Talaq 65:6).

 

True Emancipation

Women in Islam (Special Folder)

As the verses make clear, Islam governs justly man-woman relations and terminates harmful practices resulting from customs and traditions of pre-Islamic societies. An example of this is the situation of woman in the Arab society before Islam. According to pagan Arabs, women had been regarded as inferior and it was a shame to have a daughter. The fathers having daughters sometimes preferred to bury them alive than to announce their birth. By way of the Qur’an, Almighty Allah has prohibited this evil tradition and warned that on the Day of Judgment such people will definitely be held to account for these evil deeds.

In fact, Islam brought a great emancipation for women who were severely persecuted in the pagan era. Prof. Bernard Lewis, known to be one of the greatest Western experts on the history of Islam and the Middle East, makes the following comment in his book  The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years:

In general, the advent of Islam brought an enormous improvement in the position of women in ancient Arabia, endowing them with property and some other rights, and giving them a measure of protection against ill treatment by their husbands or owners. The killing of female infants, sanctioned by custom in Pagan Arabia, was outlawed by Islam. But the position of women remained poor, and worsened when, in this as in so many other respects, the original message of Islam lost its impetus and was modified under the influence of pre-existing attitudes and customs.

In a society where all moral values of Islam are practiced comprehensively, the social position of women becomes as exalted as cannot be compared even with the societies that we consider today as modern and developed.
Thus we can say that the mentality of despising women, externalizing them from society and regarding them as second class is a wicked pagan attitude which have no place in Islam.

Two devout women are particularly mentioned in the Qur’an as good examples for humankind. One is Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, and the other one is the wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh; despite her husband’s evilness, she is described as an ideal Muslim. (see, At-Tahrim 66:11,12) The noble Qur’an also describes a very kind and civilized conversations between Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) and the Queen of Sheba (An-Naml 27:42-44), and between Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and two young ladies (Al-Qasas 28:23-26). These two conversations give the highlights of a civilized social relationship between men and women.

Hence, there is no way that a Muslim can have a bigoted approach toward women. In a society where true Islamic morals are practiced, an immense respect and sympathy will be shown to women, and it will be maintained that they live in freedom and comfort.

The fundamental rule of the tafseer of the Qur’an is making sure that the derived meaning is in conformity with the integrity of this noble book. When this is considered, it becomes apparent that all the rules laid down by Almighty Allah regarding women actually form a social structure that makes it possible for women to live in the most comfortable and happiest way. In a society where all moral values of Islam are practiced comprehensively, the social position of women becomes as exalted as cannot be compared even with the societies that we consider today as modern and developed.

Islam does not see the woman as an object. Therefore, it is not seen as appropriate that a woman of good morals should marry a man of bad morals, or vice versa.
This article has been taken with modifications and with kind permission from the author’s website HarunYahya.com.
Harun Yahya was born in Ankara in 1956. He studied fine arts at Istanbul's Mimar Sinan University and philosophy at Istanbul University. Since the 1980s, he has published many books on political, faith-related, and scientific issues.

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