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A Repost on Status of women in Islam

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mariyah View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 April 2007 at 7:40pm

Asalaamu alaikum:


this is a repost from another Islamic forum for women:

PM me if you want the link:



We live in an environment and time in history wherein ideas and notions held only one generation ago as axiomatic truths are now under scrutiny and thus, subject to criticism, or at least a Re-examination.

The on-going debate as to the role of women in society in general, and in Islam and Muslim practice in particular, are good examples of this. I will point out that some Feminist writers have actually advocated very strongly a new world which is 'genderless'!

Donna J Haraway puts her vision in the following words;

"The Cyborg is a creature in a post gender world.It has no truck with bisexuality..or other seductions to organic wholeness.{'The Gendered Cyborg, pg 51, Routledge, New York 2003 edit.]

The Islamic position obviously contradicts such a radical position, as it sees Men and Women as having been created by the All-Wise and Powerful God. Thus, we are to have no negative associations with gender. On the contrary, we are to be proud and content with how God made us and how God has made others.

"O mankind, Surely, We{God} have created you from a Male and a Female...So you may know each other...Surely, God is knowing, Aware"{Q 49:12}

The Qur'an recognizes that differences exist between the genders in both physical and emotional terms. Allah says "The Male is unlike the female.."[Q 3:36]. These teachings, however do not negate the rights of Women in any sphere of life, be it employment, marriage, motherhood, etc...

It is true, however, that Muslims often ignore the honors and rights given to women by the Qur'an and the Literature of Hadeeth. In this regard, The following brief facts should be noted.

[1] Women are addressed on equal footing.

"Truly, Muslim men and Muslim Women, Believing men and women, Devoted men and Women, Honest Men and Women, Patient Men and Women, Humble men and Women...Allah has prepared for them 'Maghfirah' and a Magnificient Reward"{ 33:35}[see footnote 1]

[2] Women have a stronger spiritual base.

This is perhaps a controversial statement, in light of the fact that Muslim
practice is that Women suspend Prayers and Fasting while Menstruating. In fact, these practices have been used as reasons to attack Islam by Many Non-Muslim commentators.

However, we tend to forget that the Prophet Muhammad  also said "Paradise lies under the feet of women"{Bukhari, and Tirmidhi].

Why would God's messenger say that? Every women, excluding those who have certain medical abnormalities, has the capability of carrying a child in Pregnancy, of giving birth and nursing children.

These entail great Physical and emotional changes. This is, in short, a Jihaad for the mothers. Out of such struggle, the mother's love and appreciation of the simple blessings grow. The benefits are almost too numerous to note here.

The same cannot be said of us Fathers!

[3] Other noteworthy facts.

[A] The Qur'an has an entire Surah named "The Women" {An-Nisa'}#4.

The Qur'an has a chapter named after the Mother of Jesus: "Mary"[Maryam} #19.

[C] Women are to be given dowry, not the men.

It should also be noted that it is true that the Qur'an directs inheritance to be divided in a manner which the females receive less than the males[Qur'an 4:11-12] however it is also true that Men are the main providers for the family[4:34] and thus have greater responsibility. The dowry, while admittedly largely symbolic, also acts as an insurance policy in case of divorce or death.


This is by no means intended to be a comprehensive look at the status of women in Islam, it is only intended to promote discussion among Muslims and Non-Muslims. All comments questions are welcome. May Allah bless and guide us all.
ft.1-"Maghfirah" is usually translated as "Forgiveness". However, in Arabic this can also be understood to refer to "protection".

Edited by Maryah
"Every good deed is charity whether you come to your brother's assistance or just greet him with a smile.
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