Gender Equality in Islam

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Gender Equality

Both men and women were created by Allah (SWT) without being subjected to one another. In every aspect of their lives, Islam has ensured gender equality and women’s rights. Islam ensures that men and women have equal rights and that there is no discrimination between them. However, due to socio-cultural norms and practices, the promise of Islam is not always converted into concrete acts.

Many Quranic verses emphasize the equality of men and women before God, as partners in the lifelong battle to love and worship God while living in an imperfect world.

Gender Equality

Rights and status of women in Islam:

In both the Muslim world and the Western world, the question of women’s rights in Islam has been a critical topic of discussion and intense debate.

On the one hand, many Muslims and Muslim countries use Islamic texts to justify gender equality and impose social and legal limits on women’s rights and freedoms. Renaissance in the West, on the other hand, use these popular but conventional misogynistic understandings to justify their xenophobic allegations against Islam and Muslims. A woman has the following rights according to Islam.

  • An independent identity
  • Rights of Education
  • Rights to carry the burden of spiritual and moral obligation
  • Choose a profession
  • Rights to own property

Islam is the faith that liberated Muslim women by granting them equal rights to their male counterparts. There are various misunderstandings about women’s rights in Islam. Muslim women have been known to believe that their faith is oppressive and backward. Some people make the gross mistake of thinking that all of a Muslim’s actions and habits are related to Islam.

Man & Women in Islam:

The main purpose of this study is to pick out how the rights of women are ensured in Islam.
There is no difference between men and women in Islam when it comes to their relationship with Allah, as both are promised the same reward for good behavior and the same punishment for wrongdoings. Allah declares:

“And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women.” (2: 228)

Rights of women before Islam:

To understand the rights, honor, dignity, and status of women in Islam, one must first consider their position long before the arrival of Islam. They were treated like slaves during the period, and their lives were usually worse than those of animals. The Prophet (peace be upon him) advised that all forms of cruelty, injustice, and harsh treatment of women be stopped. He treated them with respect.
He advised Muslims.

“The best of you are them who behave best to their wives”

In Islam, a woman who has legal standing and can enter into contracts or make bequests in her name is entirely self-regulating. She has the same rights as males to practice any profession or run a business, and she has the same authority to dispose of her property. Women are entitled to an inheritance in various capacities, including mother, wife, sister, and daughter. Women are respected and honorable in Islam, as the demand of Islam to males is to treat their spouses with compassion and full respect.

Allah declares:

“And among His signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly these are signs for those who reflect.” (30:21)

Marriage-Foundation of Social Life:

Marriage is the foundation of social life and the start of a family. It is mandatory (Wajib) for a man who has the financial means to pay the dower (Mahr) and bear the expenses of a wife and children, is physically fit, and fears that if he does not marry, he will be enticed to commit adultery (Zina), as well as for a woman who has no other legal means of support and fears that her sexual urge will drive her to commit adultery (Zina) (Doi, 1992). It safeguards society and human beings against filth and unrestrained behavior.

Allah created men and women to be in company with one another and to procreate and live in peace and serenity following Allah’s commandments and the guidance of His Messenger.

Right to choose profession:

As one of the two important pillars of society in Islam, women, like men, have a variety of obligations to the family and community. Laziness, conceit, and those who do not work are not tolerated in Islam. In Islam, there is no distinction between men and women when it comes to employment, and both are required to work.

Women in Islam have the choice to choose their job, but they must keep in mind that due to their physical structure, they have some limits.

They must be more conscious before engaging in any job because they are wonderful, sensitive, attractive individuals. Though women in Islam have the freedom to pick their occupations, there are some limitations. For example, a married woman cannot choose a profession that would deprive her husband of his conjugal rights or children of maternal love, care, and devotion.

Right to own property:

In terms of property ownership, Islam accords women the same respect as men. She has the right to acquire property in legal ways and become its owner. She also has the right to dispose of it in whatever legal manner she sees fit. Nobody, neither her father, spouse, mother nor even her children, has the authority to meddle with her property. It is not her responsibility to cover any of the family’s expenses, either her own or the children’s. Her husband has no claim to her personal belongings. She is not responsible for her husband’s debt. However, if he needs money, he can borrow it from her. She will have all the rights as a creditor in such a scenario.

Right to seek Knowledge:

Both men and women are required to acquire knowledge of Islam. In this aspect, an unmarried woman has complete freedom in obtaining knowledge. No one can prevent her from doing so. A married woman has the right to learn, but she must respect her husband’s and children’s rights.

Conclusion:

Islam is a complete and all way of life. It covers all areas of human life from womb to tomb. Both men and women are given equal human rights. Allah created both of them for worship and feudal rulers. Moreover, Allah created them to play separate roles in society. But there is no moral superiority between them. Women’s rights in every field of life are protected by Islam, just as they are for males. The religious are the only ones who do not discriminate between men and women. It also prohibits men from dominating women.

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