Page 141 - Islam In Focus

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world are rapidly rising and divorce laws are increasingly liberalized. However,
divorce in Islam remains a remarkable moral act. Mates are commanded by God to be
kind and patient and are reminded of how one may dislike something in one’s mate in
which God has placed much good and virtue. They are assured of God’s help if they
mean well and stay together. But if they must part by divorce, it is to be sought
without intent of injury or harm. If they part gracefully and honorably, God assures
them of enrichment of His all-reaching bounty. The whole marital context, from
beginning to end, is centered around and oriented to the belief in God. The verses
dealing with divorce are not dry legal stipulations; they commence and conclude with
moral exhortations of a high order. The moral commitments of the parties extend far
beyond the divorce date. Indeed, the entire question is so incorporated into a highly
moral system that divorce is rightly regarded as a moral act in the main
The Status of Woman in Islam
The status of woman in Islam constitutes no problem. The attitude of the Qur’an and
the early Muslims bear witness to the fact that woman is, at least, as vital to life as
man himself, and that she is not inferior to him nor is she one of the lower species.
Had it not been for the impact of foreign cultures and alien influences, this question
would have never arisen among the Muslims. The status of woman was taken for
granted to be equal to that of man. It was a matter of course, a matter of fact, and no
one, then, considered it as a problem at all
In order to understand what Islam has established for woman, there is no need to
deplore her plight in the pre-Islamic era or in the modern world of today. Islam has
given women rights and privileges which she has never enjoyed under other religious
or constitutional systems. This can be understood when the matter is studied as a
whole in a comparative manner, rather than partially. The rights and responsibilities
of a woman are equal to those of a man but they are not necessarily identical with
them. Equality and sameness are two quite different things. This difference is
understandable because man and woman are not identical but they are created equals.
With this distinction in mind, there is no problem. It is almost impossible to find two
identical men or women
This distinction between equality and sameness is of paramount importance. Equality
is desirable, just, fair; but sameness is not. People are not created identical but they
are created equals. With this distinction in mind, there is no room to imagine that
woman is inferior to man. There is no ground to assume that she is less important than
he just because her rights are not identically the same as his. Had her status been
identical with his, she would have been simply a duplicate of him, which she is not.
The fact that Islam gives her equal rights - but not identical - shows that it takes her
into due consideration, acknowledges her, and recognizes her independent personality
It is not the tone of Islam that brands woman as the product of the devil or the seed of
evil. Nor does the Qur’an place man as the dominant lord of woman who has no
choice but to surrender to his dominance. Nor was it Islam that introduced the
question of whether or not woman has any soul in her. Never in the history of Islam
has any Muslim doubted the human status of woman or her possession of soul and
other fine spiritual qualities. Unlike other popular beliefs, Islam does not blame Eve
alone for the First Sin. The Qur’an makes it very clear that both Adam and Eve were