“Empowering Women: Exploring the Rights of Women in Islam”

Before the beam of Islamic religion spread in the globe, woman was in a very horrible situation. There was no respect and dignity for her. Men used her just like an instrument. In ancient Arabic lands such as Makkah, Medina, Yemen and other cities, woman was given no human rights. It’s narrated that giving birth to a female child was a shame and embarrassing to the people living in Arabian Peninsula. Therefore, they were burying the female child alive as soon as she was born. Because, having a woman in house wasn’t endurable for them.

Furthermore, a woman had got no rights of heritage in her father, mother or husband’s wealth. It was thought that the heritage of a person should be for someone who is more powerful and mighty. And since a woman is weak and feeble, therefore, she has to be given nothing from it. Also, woman had become a private property for a man and his family once she got married to him. She would have no choice in her life, and even about herself once her husband passed away. It means if her husband had passed away, the family members of his husband may have taken any decision about her life without her desire.
It’s important to say that this wasn’t the case only in Arabic lands. In ancient Greece, woman couldn’t declare herself as a citizen of the city, and didn’t possess her special identity. Indeed, she must have known as a spouse of one of the Athenians. In addition, she could be married without her consent even if she was a child. And this marriage was nothing more than passing an instrument from the father to husband. This was despite the fact that they believed some of their gods to be female. So, what about the people around the world who even didn’t accept her as a human?
This was the case in approximately all civilized and uncivilized countries of the world. With Islamic religion blooming in east and west, woman also got particular and justifying rights along with all the rights and rules that Islam brought to the human life. Islam declared the woman to be a part of the human society without whom, this society is almost devastated and considered as nil. From Islamic perspective, all human beings has come from both male and female gender, and both have got the same rights in this society. As almighty Allah (SWT) says in Quran: “O people! We have created you from male and female, and have made you branches and clans so that you may understand each other. Indeed, the most virtuous among you is the nearest to Allah.” (Quran, chapter 49, verse 13).
Pay attention that Quran not only accepts woman as the root of humankind, it also insists on the fact that male gender has got no superiority on the female. Rather than it, anyone from male or female who is god-fearing and is virtuous would be thought as more superior than others. It means the scale for measuring grades and superiority in Islam is fear from Allah, not physical power or structure, tribe, wealth or beauty. No matter how weak the woman is. She can achieve higher levels in this world and in the Akhirah, by her good deeds, honesty and faith on Allah, and piousness.
Furthermore, Allah (SWT) mentions the women in many places of his book along with the men to indicate their equality and same creation. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: “verily, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believer men and the believer women, the obedient men and the obedient women, the honest men and honest women, the steadfast men and the steadfast women, the humble men and the humble women, the donating men and donating women, the fasting men and the fasting women, the men who remember Allah frequently and the women who remember Allah frequently: for all of them, Allah has prepared forgiveness and high rewards.” (Quran, chapter 33, verse 35).
Furthermore, Allah (SWT) has named some women in his book as the noblest personalities of the human history such Mariam (Mary) and A’sia (wife of pharaoh). Allah (SWT) says in his book: “and when the angels said: O Mariam! Verily, Allah has elected and purified you and has exalted you above the women of the world.” (Quran, chapter 3, verse 42). It’s important to note that in the first part of the verse, Allah (SWT) declares Mariam more superior than all the people (whether they are men or women) of the world. It means Mariam had got higher degrees and rewards than all the men of that time (except Jesus PBUH).
Also, there were many women in the prophet’s period who were highly educated, literate, and more superior to many men living in that time. For instance, the prophet’s wife Hazrat Aisha (RA) is the one who has narrated 2210 hadiths from the prophet (SAW) in different topics, and is one of the leading narrator in the field of hadith. People were traveling from far away regions to meet her and get her precious advices about the inquiries they had. She was the solver of many troubles regarding the Deen of Islam.
In addition, it’s narrated from Abu Hurairah (RA) that a person came to the prophet of Allah (SAW) and asked: who is more rightful of my fair behavior? The prophet (SAW) said: your mother. He asked again: then who? The prophet (SAW) said: your mother. He asked again: then who? The prophet (SAW) said: your mother. He asked again: then who? The prophet (SAW) said: your father. (Sahih Al- Bukhari, 5971). This hadith shows that among the parents (that contains male and female gender), the female gender (mother) is more rightful and deserves to be respected rather than the male gender.
Eventually, there are many hadiths of the prophet Muhammad (SAW) that evidently show respect to the women, and force men to respect her, to protect her, to give value and higher position to her. And the propagation led by the western world insisting that Islam has deprived woman from her real humanistic rights, and has confined her to merely obey men, is blind and without any truth. A righteous person would never even listen to their ridiculous propaganda once he/she gets the real information from Quran and hadiths of the prophet (SAW).

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