Women and Islam: the truth at last
This seems to be one of the hottest topics in the news media these days and it is absolutely essential that the Muslim nation be told the truth about women in Islam, because as ill-informed as the West is about Muslim women, most Muslims are even more worse off. So without wasting anymore of your time I’m going to jump right to the common misconceptions about Muslim women.
Common Misconception # 1:
Allah prefers men over women and that is why Allah has given men all the rights and women all the responsibilities,
i.e., women are second class citizens.
“…And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” (Quran 2:228)
Notice how the word ‘similar’ is used to describe the rights of
the two sexes. And notice the use of the word ‘responsibility’, not power, not influence. It is therefore inappropriate to make sweeping statements that claim that Islam considers women to be second class citizens in society.
Common Misconception # 2:
Women will not enter Paradise no matter how noble their deeds are. (This is usually the one that non-Muslims are
“And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of Allah (Muslim), such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqira (speck on the back of a date-stone), will be done to them.” (Quran 4: 124)
Some of the Rights of Muslim Women include:
- The right to an education up to any level she desires.
- The right to choosing her husband.
- The right to seek employment.
- The right to own a business/ property/ wealth.
- The right of inheritance.
- The right to worship Allah.
- The right to be respected and treated well by her family including her husband?.
- The right to divorce and custody of her children.
When most people think of Muslim women, they think of women dad in Burqas, always fearful of men and without
any rights of their own. This is a misconception that has arisen and although it would be very interesting to go into details of why and how this misconception has been allowed to become so mainstream, at this point in time, all I can say is that it’s important to realize that when you just take a look at one Islamic injunction in isolation without understanding the whole system of life that Islam perpetuates then you often look at things with incomplete
knowledge and hence your analysis and your judgment tends to reflect your lack of knowledge about the facts on
the ground. It is essential, therefore, that as a Muslim when you decide to make your own comments about the status of women in Islam, you must thoroughly research and understand all . the issues involved rather than simply making comments without understanding and knowing fully the issues at hand because that tends to create confusion and fuels the misconceptions about Muslim women that people in the West have.
Source:Real-Life Lessons From The Holy Quran. Available at kalamullah.com