Women in Islam justice or oppression!!!
A question to answer….
In the midst of the darkness that engulfed the world, the divine revelation echoed in the wide desert of Arabia with a fresh, noble, and universal message to humanity: “O Mankind, keep your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate (of same kind) and from them twain has spread a multitude of men and women” (Holy Qur’an 4: 1).
A scholar who pondered about this verse states: “It is believed that there is no text, old or new, that deals with the humanity of the woman from all aspects with such amazing brevity, eloquence, depth, and originality as this divine decree.”
Stressing this noble and natural conception, the Holy Qur’an states:
“He (God) it is who did create you from a single soul and there from did create his mate, that he might dwell with her (in love)…” (Holy Qur’an 7:189)
“The Creator of heavens and earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves …” (Holy Qur’an 42:11)
“And Allah has given you mates of your own nature, and has given you from your mates, children and grandchildren, and has made provision of good things for you. Is it then in vanity that they believe and in the grace of God that they disbelieve?” (Holy Qur’an 16:72)
But how Islam deals with women regarding their stature in society from it’s various aspects?.
1. The Spiritual Aspect
The Qur’an provides clear evidence that woman is completely equal to man in the sight of God in terms of her rights and responsibilities. The Holy Qur’an states:
“Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds” (Holy Qur’an 74:38).
It also states:
“…So their Lord accepted their prayers, (saying): I will not suffer to be lost the work of any of you whether male or female. You proceed one from another …” (Holy Qur’an 3: 195).
Woman according to the Qur’an is not blamed for Adam’s first mistake. Both were jointly wrong in their disobedience to God, both repented, and both were forgiven. (Holy Qur’an 2:36, 7:20 – 24). In fact, in one verse (20:121), Adam specifically, was blamed.
In terms of religious obligations, such as the Daily Prayers, Fasting, Poor-due(charity) and Pilgrimage, a woman is no different from a man. In some cases, women have certain advantages over men. For example, a woman is exempted from the daily prayers and from fasting during her menstrual periods and forty days after childbirth. She is also exempted from fasting during her pregnancy and when she is nursing her baby if there is any threat to her health or her baby’s. If the missed fasting is obligatory (during the month of Ramadan), she can make up for the missed days whenever she can. She does not have to make up for the prayers missed for any of the above reasons. Although women can and did go into the mosque during the days of the prophet and thereafter, their attendance at the Friday congregational prayers is optional while it is mandatory for men.
2. The Social Aspect
a) As a child and an adolescent
Despite the social acceptance of female infanticide among some Arabian tribes, the Qur’an forbade this custom, and considered it a crime like any other murder.
“And when the female (infant) buried alive – is questioned, for what crime she was killed.” (Holy Qur’an 81:8-9).
Criticizing the attitudes of such parents who reject their female children, the Holy Qur’an states:
“When news is brought to one of them, of (the Birth of) a female (child), his face darkens and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain her on (sufferance) and contempt, or bury her in the dust? Ah! What an evil (choice) they decide on?” (Holy Qur’an 16: 58-59).
Far from saving the girl’s life so that she may later suffer injustice and inequality, Islam requires kind and just treatment for her. Among the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (P.) in this regard are the following:
Whosoever has a daughter and he does not bury her alive, does not insult her, and does not favor his son over her, God will enter him into Paradise. (Ibn Hanbal, No. 1957).
Whosoever supports two daughters till they mature, he and I will come in the day of judgment as this (and he pointed with his two fingers held together).
The right of females to seek knowledge is not different from that of males. Prophet Muhammad (P.) said:
“Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim”. (AlBayhaqi). -Muslim as used here includes both males and females.–
b) As a wife:
The Qur’an clearly indicates that marriage is sharing between the two halves of the society, and that its objectives, beside perpetuating human life, are emotional well-being and spiritual harmony. Its bases are love and mercy.
Among the most impressive verses in the Qur’an about marriage is the following.
“And among His signs is this: That He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest, peace of mind in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect.” (Holy Qur’an 30:2 1).
According to Islamic Law, women cannot be forced to marry anyone without their consent.
Ibn Abbas reported that a girl came to the Messenger of God, Muhammad (P.), and she reported that her father had forced her to marry without her consent. The Messenger of God gave her the choice . . . (between accepting the marriage or invalidating it). (Ibn Hanbal No. 2469). In another version, the girl said: “Actually I accept this marriage but I wanted to let women know that parents have no right (to force a husband on them)” (Ibn Maja, No. 1873).
Besides all other provisions for her protection at the time of marriage, it was specifically decreed that woman has the full right to her Mahr, a marriage gift, which is presented to her by her husband and is included in the nuptial contract, and that such ownership does not transfer to her father or husband. The concept of Mahr in Islam is neither an actual or symbolic price for the woman, as was the case in certain cultures, but rather it is a gift symbolizing love and affection.
The rules for married life in Islam are clear and in harmony with upright human nature. In consideration of the physiological and psychological make-up of man and woman, both have equal rights and claims on one another, except for one responsibility, that of leadership. This is a matter which is natural in any collective life and which is consistent with the nature of man.
The Holy Qur’an thus states:
“And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them, and men are a degree above them.” (Holy Qur’an 2:228).
Such degree is Quwama (maintenance and protection). This refers to that natural difference between the sexes which entitles the weaker sex to protection. It implies no superiority or advantage before the law. Yet, man’s role of leadership in relation to his family does not mean the husband’s dictatorship over his wife. Islam emphasizes the importance of taking counsel and mutual agreement in family decisions. The Qur’an gives us an example:
“…If they (husband wife) desire to wean the child by mutual consent and (after) consultation, there is no blame on them” (Holy Qur’an 2: 233).
Over and above her basic rights as a wife comes the right which is emphasized by the Qur’an and is strongly recommended by the Prophet (P); kind treatment and companionship.
The Holy Qur’an states:
“…But consort with them in kindness, for if you hate them it may happen that you hate a thing wherein God has placed much good.” (Holy Qur’an 4: l9).
Prophet Muhammad. (P) said:
The best of you is the best to his family and I am the best among you to my family.
The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and best of you are those who are best to their wives. (Ibn-Hanbal, No. 7396)
As the woman’s right to decide about her marriage is recognized, so also her right to seek an end for an unsuccessful marriage is recognized. To provide for the stability of the family, however, and in order to protect it from hasty decisions under temporary emotional stress, certain steps and waiting periods should be observed by men and women seeking divorce. Considering the relatively more emotional nature of women, a good reason for asking for divorce should be brought before the judge. Like the man, however, the woman can divorce her husband without resorting to the court, if the nuptial contract allows that.
More specifically, some aspects of Islamic Law concerning marriage and divorce are interesting and are worthy of separate treatment. When the continuation of the marriage relationship is impossible for any reason, men are still taught to seek a gracious end for it.
The Holy Qur’an states about such cases:
“When you divorce women, and they reach their prescribed term, then retain them in kindness and retain them not for injury so that you transgress (the limits)”.(Holy Qur’an 2:231).
c) As a mother:
Islam considered kindness to parents next to the worship of God.
“And we have enjoined upon man (to be good) to his parents: His mother bears him in weakness upon weakness…” (Holy Qur’an 31:14)
Moreover, the Qur’an has a special recommendation for the good treatment of mothers:
“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none save Him, and that you be kind to your parents.” (Holy Qur’an 17:23).
A man came to Prophet Muhammad (P) asking:
O Messenger of God, who among the people is the most worthy of my good company? The Prophet (P) said, Your mother. The man said then who else: The Prophet (P) said, Your mother. The man asked, Then who else? Only then did the Prophet (P) say, Your father. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
A famous saying of The Prophet is “Paradise is at the feet of mothers.” (In Al’Nisa’I, Ibn Majah, Ahmad).
“It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
3. The Economic Aspect.
1400 years ago, Islam decreed a right of which women were deprived in other cultures, both before Islam and after it (even as late as this century) – the right of independent ownership. According to Islamic Law, a woman’s right to her money, real estate, or other properties is fully acknowledged. This right undergoes no change whether she is single or married. She retains her full rights to buy, sell, mortgage or lease any or all her properties. It is nowhere suggested in the Law that a woman is a minor simply because she is a female. It is also noteworthy that such right applies to her properties before marriage as well as to whatever she acquires thereafter.
“Unto men (of the family) belongs a share of that which Parents and near kindred leave, and unto women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, whether it be a little or much – a determinate share.” (Holy Qur’an 4:7).
Her share in most cases is one-half the man’s share, with no implication that she is worth half a man! It would seem grossly inconsistent after the overwhelming evidence of woman’s equitable treatment in Islam, which was discussed in the preceding pages, to make such an inference. This variation in inheritance rights is only consistent with the variations in financial responsibilities of men and women according to the Islamic Law. A man in Islam is fully responsible for the maintenance of his wife, his children, and in some cases of his needy relatives, especially the females. This responsibility is neither waived nor reduced because of his wife’s wealth or because of her access to any personal income gained from work, rent, profit, or any other legal means. But this is not the case with the women. Women have no obligation towards the financial needs of the family. If they wish they can support the family with their own money but if they don’t then it is no sin on them.
Is this justice or oppression !!!!?
Now it’s up to you our reader to decide whether Islam gave women their full rights or not…
this article is taken from : http://www.islamfortoday.com/women.htm