The Status of Women in Islam

The Status of Women in Islam

The status of women in Islam is often misunderstood with words like unequal, oppressed & inferior being thrown around to describe many despite the fact that this is totally false and couldn’t be further from the truth. Many people who are unfamiliar with Islam often confuse Islam with cultural practices thus failing to understand the true rights of women in this beautiful religion.

Islam gave rights to women over 1400 years ago which they had never been granted before during the era of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance). This includes the west who have only in the last few decades began granting women these rights. Lets look at some of them below.

An infographic outlining the rights given to women 1400 years ago

Over 1400 Years Ago Islam Gave Women the Right to:

 1) An Education 

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) declared that it is the duty of all Muslims (both male & female) to strive and gain knowledge.

A great example of this was the wife of our Rasool (SAW), Aisha (RA). Upon the passing of the Muhammed (SAW) both men and women would travel to learn from her as she was considered a great scholar.

 2) Islam Declared Men & Women Are Equal in Creation 

Islam and the Qur’an make it very clear that men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah (SWT). There are a number of quotes from the Qu’ran which are proof of this, one of which includes:

Their Lord responded to them: “I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female – you are equal to one another. Thus, those who immigrate, and get evicted from their homes, and are persecuted because of Me, and fight and get killed, I will surely remit their sins and admit them into gardens with flowing streams”Qur'an 3:195

 3) Accept, Reject or Negotiate a Marriage Proposal 

Just as with men, women are free to accept, reject or negotiate a marriage proposal as they wish.

 4) Inheritance 

Both men and women have the right to a share of inheritance from what their parents and close relatives leave whether it be a small or large amount.

 5) Work & Earn Her Own Income 

Women are free to work and earn their own income. Furthermore, unless stipulated in the marriage contract, women are free to keep thier income and do with it as they please. Men are required to provide for their spouse and families.

 6) Obtain a Divorce on Bad Grounds (Khula) 

A women has the right to divorce her husband on bad grounds. Furthermore, she can gain custody of their children after the divorce.

 6) Muslim Women & the Hijab (Head Scarf) 

Muslim women observe the hijab and sometimes an additional veil which covers the face (excluding the eyes). They do this because God has instructed women to wear it as a means of fulfilling His commandment for modesty. It must not be forgotten that this type of covering has been worn by religious women throughout history including Nuns so it’s nothing out of the ordinary for righteous women.

There are a number of additional benefits to observing the hijab, some of which include:

  • More likely to keep Men at a distance and avoid unwanted advances.

  • Helps identify you as a Muslim & a representative of Islam.

  • Helps you become closer to Allah (SWT).

  • Protects you from the suns harmful rays in warmer countries.

  • You are free of bad hair days and spend less time getting ready.

  • Hijab is great for hygienic purposes and head coverings are used in many professions.

  • Hijab keeps your hair free from pollution, dust and other things that may damage your hair.

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of the status of women in Islam. If you enjoyed this article be sure to check out our other ones.

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