Assalaamu-Alaykum – Peace be Upon you
Whether you are a Muslim or a non-Muslim, I’m sure everybody’s either heard or read this before; that Islam is a religion which oppresses women.
Or you may have heard or read that Islam doesn’t give women equal rights, etc, etc…..and the list goes on.
One thing in common with all these statements is that they are all untrue! It is clearly evident from whoever publishes or believes these sorts of comments to be true, that they have obviously not done their research and found out the real position of women in Islam.
Let me tell you how highly Islam regards women, let me tell you what the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us:
He taught us that that the thing every Muslim strives to attain as the purpose of his or her existence; the pleasure of Allah and a place in Jannah (Paradise), can be attained by being obedient, faithful and respectful to our mothers. Indeed, the Prophet of Islam stated that ‘Jannah lies under the feet of your mother.’
This means that every Muslim, throughout his or her life, is expected to be highly respectful and to honour one’s mother in every single way. Now have a look at society today, and how it teaches us to ‘talk back’ to our mothers and fathers as a sign of so-called ‘independence’, and look at how Islam exalts the status of being a mother – look at how Islam raises the profile of women!
What about our sisters and daughters- what have they done not to deserve any respect??
Well when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) started expounding upon the principles of Islam, he gave daughters and sisters the rights they never had before Islam came to the fore. Regarding the issue of inheritance, women in general have an Islamic right to one third of their father’s estate. And furthermore, the other two thirds which may be distributed between their brothers or husbands, bring an obligation upon the husband or brother to provide for their sister/wife out of their portion. So in reality, the wife/sister/daughter/mother is not only getting her own share of the estate, but also, through the obligations upon the men, a share in their portion as well.
Now how can anyone say that Islam does not provide for women or that Islam ‘oppresses’ women?? Why would Islam give women any share at all if they weren’t expected to spend it in their own way and according to their own whims and fancies?? Just another one of the MANY ways in which Islam has actually exalted the status of womankind through independence and freedom of choice.
Still not convinced?
What about the wives you say – what about their independence?
Well first of all, I would have to say, that all depends upon your definition of independence…..
If you are of the opinion that a woman, who is the Queen of her house, is not independent if she has to stay at home and cook for her husband, but that she is independent if she toils at some cafe serving tea to strangers, then sorry, but I think you need to have a bit of a re-think as to what you define as independence.
Allah has promised any woman who fulfils the rights of her husband and safeguards his honour and property a place in Paradise. Now of course this works both ways, and Islam also clearly stipulates that the wife also has rights which the husband must fulfil.
But just going back to the part about safeguarding honour and property – how many women these days yearn to have supervision of their own little piece of the pie? Every woman I think!! Every woman wants to be in control of the house, car, children, etc, etc. And Islam gives it to them – Islam states that they are the Queens of the Households and must safeguard not only their own honour, but the honour of their husbands, family and property. So if that is not independence as a by-product of the responsibility conferred upon women Islamically, then I don’t know what is!!!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m, not saying that women should not go out and work full stop. On the contrary, in this age of high bills and broken families, the woman is sometimes forced to take on work to support herself and her dependents. However, when that is not the case and the woman does not have income to worry about, then she should fulfil the obligations set by Allah, i.e. to her husband and family, and then go out and work, if needed, and according to the principles of Shariah.
So there you have it, just a small snapshot of the vast mural that is women’s rights as given to them by the way of life of Islam. And I’m sure that any fair minded person will see, that if the media and other biased parties did their research objectively, then there is no way on this earth that they could ever say that Islam degrades or suppresses women – because that would be an outright lie and the media wouldn’t want to print lies now……………would they…..?
And Allah knows best.
Ma’as-salaam – With Peace