Women’s Rights in the Quran Essay
The religion of Islam, unfortunately, has been exposed many unfair criticisms from nonmuslims. Especially about how Islamic Laws are treated towards the women. There are plenty of misinterpretations and accusations.
It needs to mention about fundamental and basic principles in Islam.
According to Islam, human beings are not evil and sinful creatures, and they do not come to the world with tendency to sin. Human beings are not sinful until they choose to sin. Unlike Christianity, a newborn baby considered to be pure, innocent, and considered as if s(he) a given present from Allah. There is even a saying in Turkish ‘like a paradise-scented child’. This saying refers that the children are innocent and as if they are coming from the paradise.
Also, every human is equal in Islam regardless of their race, color, and class. Islam is not definite with only one age, it is for every age. Khurshid Ahmad describes the aim of Islam as, Islam aims at establishing an equilibrium between these two aspects of life – the material and the spiritual. (36)
Another detail in Islam is that how Quran describes Eve. In Quran, Eve is not represented an evil or a seductive woman. Quran puts an equivalent blame on Adam’s and Eve’s mistake. It does not separate Eve from Adam. Eve is not portrayed as a deceiver or a seducer. Eve is not blamed for seducing Adam to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree. Actually, in Quran Surah Taha, verse 121” … Thus, Adam disobeyed his Lord, and fell.” This verse states that Adam is especially blamed for the sin not Eve.
Another important detail is that the original sin concept. It does not exist in Islam. For this reason, Adam’s sin is not inherited to the other human beings like it does in Christianity. This is because Adam and Eve repented to Allah and they had forgiven. Allah does not punish anyone for other’s sins. Therefore, in Islam, everyone is responsible for their own actions, and their own sins.
The Quran provides clear-cut evidence that woman in completely equated with man in the sight of Allah in terms of her rights and responsibilities (Ahmad 136). In Quran Surah Al- Imran verse 195 ” Their Lord answered the Prayer thus: “I will not suffer the work of any of you, whether male or female, to go to waste; each of you is from the other…” This part of the verse simply refers that there is no discrimination between a man and a woman in the presence of Allah. In Islam, the superiority only occurs when it comes to the actions.
Other features are not important. For instance, being a man or a female, noble or ignoble, those features do not affect the actions that have done. It is crystal clear that there is no difference between a man and a woman. Later on, the Quran states again that there is no discrimination between a man and a woman in Surah An-Nisaa verse 124 ” But whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, and is a believer— those will enter Paradise, and will not be wronged a whit.” The only thing that matter is the actions.
Another Surah emphasizes the same topic again, in Surah An-Nahl verse 97 ” Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while being a believer, we will grant him a good life—and We will reward them according to the best of what they used to do.” As long as following Allah and embrace the religion, believers will be rewarded by their works and actions.
In Islam there are some religious obligations, for instance, routine prayers, fasting, alms, and going on a pilgrimage. A man and a woman have same obligations and duties for those religious obligations. Except some circumstances, to give an example, a woman can be privileged from prayers throughout her mensuration. The same case applies for fasting. There can be some exceptional for the women, otherwise the man and the women are equally responsible for the obligations.
In the Pre-Islamic age of ignorance, if someone has a daughter as his or her first child, burying her was vastly common amongst the various Arabian tribes. Surah An-Nahl verses 58-59 describe the how people react when they have a daughter. ” And when one of them is given news of a female infant, his face darkens, and he chokes with grief.
He hides from the people because of the bad news given to him. Shall he keep it in humiliation, or bury it in the dust? What an evil choice they decide on?” Quran unquestionably and strictly forbids the infanticide. With the acceptance of Islam, the daughters were protected and treated fairly. Females had gained rights with the Islam. Surely, during the age of ignorance women were treated as if they were the objects, and they had no right.
Prior to the advent of Islam, woman had no rights to speak of. When a woman’s husband died, any of his male relatives would simply appropriate her, as if she was an animal or a commodity ( Al-Ghazili)
The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) has a saying about treating the daughters ” Whosoever has a daughter and he does not bury her alive, does not insult her, and does not favor his son over her, Allah will admit him to Paradise because of her.” (Ibn Hanbal Hadith No 1957). Even just by deducing from this Hadith that in Islam, the daughter has an equal position with the son. Moreover, it can be said that how treating a daughter significant for awarding the father with the Paradise.
Woman in the marriage in the Quran states in one of the Surah which is Al-Rum verse 21 ” And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” The Quran clearly indicates that marriage is sharing between the two halves of the society, and its objectives, beside perpetuating human life, are emotional well-being and spiritual harmony. Its bases are love and mercy (Ahmed 138). Furthermore, a woman cannot force into marriage without her own approval according to Islamic Law.
The rules for married life in Islam are clear and in harmony with upright human nature. A woman and a man 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 (Ahmed 138). In Surah Al-Baqarah verse 228 ” … And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them.
And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” Having a degree has to do with the maintenance and protection of a women, and as Khurshid Ahmed refers that it is the natural difference between the sexes which entitles the weaker sex to protection. It does not imply no superiority or advantage before the law, and the man’s role of leadership in relation to his family does not mean the husband’s dictatorship over his wife (138).
One of the distinction between Islam and Christianity is about remarriage of the widows. Unlike Christianity, the widows or divorced women do not expose to discrimination against the unmarried women or another. According to Islam, a divorced or widowed woman has the right to remarry without any shame or denunciation. In fact, the Quran allows the betrothal of a divorced or widowed woman even during her period of transition (Jawad 34). In Surah Al-Baqarah 235 states as:
It shall be no offence for you openly to propose marriage indirectly to such women or to cherish them in your hearts. Allah knows that you will remember them. Do not arrange to meet them in secret and, if you do, speak to them honorably. But you shall not consummate the marriage before the end of their waiting period. Know that Allah has knowledge of all your thoughts. Therefore, take heed and bear in mind that Allah is forgiving and merciful.
This verse mentions there is no sin in offering a marriage implicitly to a woman whose husband died and waiting for the iddat. The explanation of Iddat is a period of time during which a divorced or widowed woman may not remarry (oxforddictionaries.com). This offering can be through expressing the intention of the man by asking questions or stating his wishes to the woman. By this way, woman’s opinion will find out, and if the woman wishes to marry that man, it will be prevented the woman to promise someone else.
Islam values the treating respectful and kind to the parents, but especially to the mothers. In Islam, women are also valued being a mother too. For instance, In the Quran, there is a suggestion for the polite behavior for the mothers. In Surah Luqman verse 14 ” And we enjoined upon man to be dutiful to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness upon weakness…” Likewise, in Surah Al-Ahqaf verse 15 ” And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment.
His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship…” Surah Al-Ahqaf verse 15 indicates that Allah ordered to us to treat our parents kindly and take care of them. It is also emphasized that how our mothers suffered during her pregnancy with having sickness and at the same how challenging her labor was.
Similarly, in Surah Al-Isra verse 23 is regarding the good and polite treatment towards the parents ”Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that you be good to your parents. If either of them or both of them reach old age with you, do not say to them a word of disrespect, nor scold them, but say to them kind words.”
There are several sayings of The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). One day, The Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) stated: ” Be regretful!” when they say ” Who? O The messenger of Allah!” The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) replied as ” It is the person who cannot enter the Paradise because he did not show respect one or both of his parents in their old age.” (Birr and S?la 251) Furthermore, The Prophet Mohammad has a well-known saying ” Paradise is at the feet of mothers” (Ibn Hanbal). One more case can be given as:
A man came to Mohammad (pbuh) asking, ” O Messenger of Allah, who among the people is the worthiest of my good company? ” The Prophet (pbuh) said, ”Your mother.” The man said, ”Then who else?” The Prophet (pbuh) said ”Your mother.” The man said, ” Then who else?” The Prophet (pbuh) said, ”Your mother.” The man said, ”Then who else?” Only then did the Prophet (pbuh) say ”Your father.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). The financial status of a woman is secured in Quran. It can be easily seen in the verses of the Quran.