Islam is the only religion in the world which emphasizes so much on the women rights. An article on the women rights in Islam is presented here.
Holy prophet (S.A.W) said,
“Among you the most respectable is the one who respects women and the most dis-respectable is the one who disrespects the women.”
The character of Women throughout the history shows struggle for their rights. The patriarchal society was very cruel towards women. After Second World War when number of men reduced women had to do jobs. The different waves of feminism drew attention towards the rights of women. Every male was acting on “Man is for sword and women for needle”. It was thought that man should command and women have to obey. If we draw a circle men are in the center and women are pushed towards the periphery in context of rights.
Women Rights in Islam
Islam always behaves like an ambassador of rights of all people especially the women rights in Islam”. It claims itself as complete code of life. Islam ignited the light of rights and dignity of women 1400 years ago.
Before Islam the women treated like slave and used just as a property. Wife-hood and motherhood were regarded as women’s most significant professions. They had no independent opinions, no share in property, can’t go to get education. Women considered intellectually inferior to men. In Arabia, the inhumane traditions were common before emergence of Islam. But after the spread of Islam, women rights in Islam were highlighted.
The plight of women before the advent of Islam was miserable. Daughters were killed and buried alive. Women were treated like animals and were beaten harshly. They were not allowed to get proper education. After the death of husband, mother would become the legacy of elder son.
Causes of backwardness of Women
The causes for the backwardness of women in society includes Poverty, Illiteracy, Unemployment, Health level in Social sector.
In Cultural sector Dowry, Male dominance. Vani (Compensation of any sin of men in form of females — daughter , sisters and all ladies of their families). Satti (firing alive wife with the dead body of her husband) traditions are main causes. Whereas, Domestic Violence, Honor killing, Bride burning, Rape, Acid throwing are causes of illiterate minds of men and their families.
Politically: Rotten government, Legally: Discriminatory laws and Religiously: The misinterpretation of Islam are some other causes.
Islam removed all these dark practices by giving honor, justice, esteem to women by declaring “Paradise under the feet of mothers” and making women rights in Islam as the key factor for all.
Women rights in Islam are complete and comprehensive. Some of the women rights in Islam are given below.
Right of Equality:
Islam gives equality, equal rights to everyone –men and women. Men and women can never be same due to difference of nature, physically appearance, but are equal for the rights they should have. And it is just because of difference of creation that different duties are assigned to both.
For example, the up bringing of children is assigned to women as First Education area is mother’s lap so that she should be stay covered in her protective home and give full attention to the children. And the of guardian given to man so that he go for work and earn for his family.
Right of Employment:
In case of employment Islam never restricts women to do job even business. Hazrat Khadija tul Qubra (R.A) a respected lady was doing trade at the time of emergence of Islam. Islam actually give the concept of SATAR—that dress protects women from evil society. If a women dressed up according to Islam there is no issue in women employment.
Right of Education:
As far as Education is concerned, Islam gave full rights to get education which is the cornerstone in life of everyone. It is right of every one without any gender discrimination. There are many Hadith of Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) which emphasize on the women rights in Islam.
“You have to get education even its available in China”.
“Education is mandatory for men and women.”
So, no body can restrict a girl from getting education. Its her right to get same education as boys get.
By the great example of Hazrat Ayesha (R.A) who was the teacher of 8000 companions. She was expert in history, medicine, hadith, literature and law. It is clear that at that time education of women is not forbidden. By examples of respectable ladies, it can be seen that women rights in Islam were focal point in the teachings of Islam.
Rights about status and honor of Wife:
Full justice is taught by Islam to men in case of multiple marriages. All wives should be treated equally. It is non appreciable act when a person is not financially and morally strong and gets married with two wives at same time. Even man should marry single woman when he is in that status in which he can bear the expense.
Anyone having more than one wife and not been able to maintain equal and fair treatment among all wives will severely be treated by Allah on the Day of Judgment. These teachings also protect women rights in Islam.
Share in Property:
Its just due to Islam that women get right in inheritance. Women have half share in parent’s property as compared to a man. This is due the fact that women usually do not have financial responsibilities of their family.
Rights of Widows:
For the tradition of SATTI in tribes, Islam under its practices for “women rights in Islam” give freedom to women for their betterment after her husband’s death, right to live as widow or can re-marry,
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“And those of you who die and leave wives behind, these (wives) shall wait concerning themselves four months and ten days. And when they have reached the end of their period, no sin shall lie on you in anything that they do with regard to themselves according to what is fair. And Allah is aware of what you do”. (Ch.2:Vs.235)
In this verse women are given freedom to marry after the death of their husbands but on completion of ‘Iddat (the fixed period) and according to the hadith – “A widow can choose her own Wali (guardian)”. Therefore, this is the freedom that was given to women against the customs of old ages.
Islam is the first sun that embraced women with light of all social, economical, legal and political rights. It was done 15 centuries before when there was no concept of women rights. Teachings of Islam are unambiguous for every era. Nobody can blame Islam for the present state of suppresses women. Islam is evergreen religion for making women strong in their position by describing their rights. Instead of blaming Islam, the blame should be given to those who forgotten the teachings of Islam and misinterpret these teachings.
Today Women is in much better position in prespective of their rights, due to the steps taken by Government especially of Muhtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and General Pervaiz Musharaf. And it is due to the awareness of rights in every single person especially in youth.
Women should be treated according to their rights as in khutaba hijtul Weda, Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) said,
“O, people fear from Allah in the matter of women, treat them carefully and fairly as Islam teaches you.”