Life Style

Women’s empowerment in Islam

Story Highlights
  • Equality
  • Rights

In Islam, contrary to widespread perception, women are shown respect and are given equal status. In spite of the fact that he lived during a period in which sexism was pervasive, the Prophet (saw) delivered passionate speeches on the importance of women. He lauded the unique roles that women play in the family and the community, while at the same time condemning misogynistic practices and fighting for women’s rights.

The origin of many of the unfavorable preconceptions about women in Islam can be traced back to cultural practices that not only devalue the rights and experiences of women but also run directly counter to the teachings of Allah (SWT) and His Prophet. Such cultural practices include polygamy, female genital mutilation, and female infanticide.

In contrast to the stereotypical image of the silent and obedient Muslim woman who covers her face with a headscarf, Islam was founded with the intention of honoring and defending women, protecting them from the wolves of humanity, ensuring that their rights are protected, and elevating their status.

Equality

According to the Quran, Adam and Eve had the same soul when they were formed, which means that they are both equally responsible for their acts and equally valued. We Muslims believe that every person, regardless of gender, is created in a state of innate goodness and that it is our duty to protect that goodness by upholding our faith and behaving in a way that is congruent with our highest aspirations.

The principle that all individuals should be treated similarly is also fundamental to different schools of thought within Islam. The most important passage may be found in the Quran, “The men believers and the women believers are responsible for each other. They enjoin the good and forbid the evil, they observe prayers and give charitable alms and obey God and his Prophet.” (Qur’an, 9:71).

Rights

610 CE was a misogynistic time when Muhammad (saw) lived. European and Arabic traditions did not offer women equal rights to men. In Saudi Arabia, where Islam began, women couldn’t run businesses, own property, or inherit money. Many women were married against their choice, few females were educated, and many newborn girls were abandoned or buried alive.

The Prophet (saw) and Khadija (RA), his accomplished businesswoman wife, opposed such injustices and advised men to treat women with respect. In Islam, human life is sacred and marriage is a personal choice that should never be forced. Islamic law allows women to possess and sell property, own and manage businesses, claim dowry at any moment after marriage, and engage actively in politics and public life. Turkey and Pakistan have both had female presidents.

“The pursuit of knowledge is a duty of every Muslim, male or female,” said the Prophet (saw).

Muslims all across the world make it their life’s work to imitate the Prophet’s behavior by continuing the Prophet’s Sunnah and achieving the same level of success that he did (saw). Included in this is the need to fight for the rights of the millions of oppressed women who are still present in the world today.

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