Written by Sajid Iqbal
“They have to walk 10 steps behind their husband”
“They can’t even work”
Yeah yeah, heard it all before and probably a lot more. What is it with people thinking Islam treats women as second class citizens? Don’t tell me, you sometimes wonder that too? Well STOP THERE, because you’ll be surprised just how many rights women are given in Islam. Not Convinced ? Read on ! You will soon realise that its not the Spice Girls who introduced 'Girl Power' but it was Islam.
Next time you think Islam oppresses women, a woman is worth half a man and that Islam treats them like second class citizens then never forget this:
What does Islam give to women? Islam elevated the status of women 1,400 years ago by declaring them equal to men, giving them the right to work, right to education to the highest level, right to vote, right to take public office, right to join the army, right to divorce (God forbid), right to inheritance, right to marry who she wishes (yippie!!) and so on and so forth, the list is endless….you got all day?
Are Muslim women allowed to work?
There is NO legal provision in either the Qur’an or the Sunnah (sayings & way of life, of the Prophet ( blessings and peace be upon him)) which prevents a woman from seeking a career or a job. Women are permitted to take up such important professions as teaching, medicine, lawyers, accountants, MP, journalist – just to name a few!
In British and other western countries women don’t even get paid equally for doing the same job as a man!(1)
The money a Muslim woman earns is her own. In the Western world, on the other hand, any property a woman possessed, belonged exclusively to her husband. WHAT? It’s true.(2)
So I hope that’s made things crystal clear!
Are Muslim women allowed to seek Education?
You bet they are! Acquiring knowledge in Islam, is a duty binding both males and females. In a hadith (saying) of the Prophet (Blessing and peace be upon him) it states: “It is a duty on both men and women to seek knowledge (religious and secular)”. (Ibn Maajah)
Yet, it was not until the beginning of the 20th Century that Western women were allowed to attend University. Shocking!(3)
So girls, get yourselves down to college/University!
STATUS OF THE MOTHER
Do you want to know something that will make you fall of your seat? Around that time the child was only recognised to have one parent – the father! In Islam, however, the status of the mother is so high, that the Prophet (Pbuh) said – “Jannah ( Paradise) is at the feet of the Mother”.(Bukhari & Muslim )
Islam gave women political rights including voting and taking part in political activities such as sitting in parliament and becoming MPs. Lets not forget that women only got the right to vote in Britain in the beginning of the 20th century!
It took three generations for the British woman to win the most basic rights. Outrageous!Women underwent arrest, humiliation, hunger strikes, protest marches – JUST TO GET THE RIGHT TO VOTE!
Voting was secured as late as 1918. Society was very hostile towards women, regarding them as, wait for it – Deviants. Yet Islam gave women these rights 1400 years ago without them even asking for it!
What rights does a Muslim woman have over her husband?
If there’s one thing that the West believe to be true – is that a Muslim woman has to walk 10 steps behind her husband, she has no say in any matter and she’s there to cook, clean and look beautiful for her ‘Purpose in life’ (husband) to appear. YEAH RIGHT!
Just get your head around some of the rights Islam has provided for women and realise what real GIRL POWER is all about:-
Any money she earns or inherits is her own and her husband still has to provide for her… now we're talking about girl power!
On Marriage, she is entitled to receive a gift, Mahr, (which is usually in the form of money) and this is her own property.
Under Islamic Law a woman cannot be married off without her consent. She has final approval on a marriage partner and she can refuse and cancel a marriage arranged without her consent.
She is not required to change her maiden name upon marriage, as Islam recognizes her independent legal personality.
A great number of Jurists, say that the wife is not required to perform the household chores! ( Malik & Shafi – schools of thought).
Although the Prophet(saw) was such a great leader, he assisted in the house cleaning and mended his own clothes. SO HUSBANDS DO SOME HOUSEWORK PLEASE!
It is the husbands duty and full responsibility to provide expenses for: food, clothing, recreation etc, even if his wife is filthy rich!
Contrary to common belief – in the Islamic law a husband cannot, I repeat cannot, beat his wife or even mistreat his wife.
There is a saying of the Prophet ( Blessings and peace be upon him) “ … The best of those are those that are best to their wives”. (Tirmidi)
She also has the right to initiate a separation from marriage if her rights under marriage are not being granted. SO A WOMAN DOES HAVE THE RIGHT TO DIVORCE.
Widows have the right to remarry, and they are in fact encouraged to do so.
The Customs of dowry, is a practice which has never been sanctioned by Islam.
I’ve got to stop or I’ll end up writing a book. Believe me this list is endless!
“Why do Muslim women have to cover? This is oppression surely!”
Nowadays, topless and mini skirts are OK but covering yourself is 'oppression'… Who you trying to fool? Take a good look around, be honest – do you think women are being degraded? Yep, so do I.
Women wearing next to nothing selling cars, plastered upon bill boards, upon magazines, the internet and just about anywhere and everywhere. Blimey, if that’s not degrading, what is? Islam emphasizes on modesty. No person should be seen as a sex object. Men also have to dress modestly.
What are the benefits in covering?
When a woman puts on her hijab, dresses moderately and steps out. She’s sending out a message LOUD & CLEAR – “Deal with my mind and not my body”. What will happen:-
Men will stop flirting with you, they’ll start talking to you.
You’ll be taken seriously, because they won’t be looking elsewhere.
There will be no arm around the shoulder or waist, they’ll stand almost a yard apart.
Ask any sister who dresses Islamically, and she’ll tell you, that by behaving like a Muslimah, she attracts a GREAT AMOUNT OF RESPECT.
BLAME MEN NOT ISLAM
Not Islam, but sadly some Muslim men, do oppress women today. This is because of their cultural habits or their ignorance about Islam.
So what we find is that Islam gives women wonderful rights and has done for over 1400 years. Women are by no means seen as second class citizens in Islam....actually it looks like women have more rights in Islam than men do!
THE LARGEST GROUP OF CONVERTS TO ISLAM IS WOMEN BETWEEN THE AGES 16 AND 24!(4)
- www.eoc.org.uk/EOC eng/dynpages/camp_pay.asp
- Muslim converts Association