Page 142 - Islam In Focus

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tempted; that they both sinned; that God’s pardon was granted to both after their
repentance; and that God addressed them jointly. (2:35-36; 7:19,27; 20:117-123). In
fact the Qur’an gives the impression that Adam was more to blame for that First Sin
from which emerged prejudice against woman and suspicion of her deeds. But Islam
does not justify such prejudice or suspicion because both Adam and Eve were equally
in error, and if we are to blame Eve we should blame Adam as much or even more (In
connection with this discussion, see the Concept of Sin above.)
The status of woman in Islam is something unique, something novel, something that
has no similarity in any other system. If we look to the Eastern Communist world or
to the democratic nations, we find that woman is not really in a happy position. Her
status is not enviable. She has to work so hard to live, and sometimes she may be
doing the same job that a man does but her wage is less than his. She enjoys a kind of
liberty which in some cases amounts to libertinism. To get to where she is nowadays,
woman struggled hard for decades and centuries. To gain the right of learning and the
freedom of work and earning, she had to offer painful sacrifices and give up many of
her natural rights. To establish her status as a human being possessing a soul, she paid
heavily. Yet in spite of all these costly sacrifices and painful struggles, she has not
acquired what Islam has establish by Divine decree for the Muslim woman
The rights of woman of modern times were not granted voluntarily or out of kindness
to the female. Modern woman reached her present position by force, and not through
natural processes or mutual consent or Divine teachings. She had to force her way,
and various circumstances came to her aid. Shortage of manpower during wars,
pressure of economic needs and requirements of industrial developments forced
woman to get out of her home - to work, to learn, to struggle for her livelihood, to
appear as an equal to man, to run her race in the course of life side by side with him.
She was forced by circumstances and in turn she forced herself through and acquired
her new status. Whether all women were pleased with these circumstances being on
their side, and whether they are happy and satisfied with the results of this course is a
different matter. But the fact remains that whatever rights modern woman enjoys fall
short of those of her Muslim counterpart. What Islam has established for woman is
that which suits her nature, gives her full security and protects her against disgraceful
circumstances and uncertain channels of life. We do not need here to elaborate on the
status of modern woman and the risks she runs to make her living or establish herself.
We do not even need to explore the miseries and setbacks that encircle her as a result
of the so-called rights of woman. Nor do we intend to manipulate the situation of
many unhappy homes which break because of the very "freedom" and "rights" of
which modern woman is proud. Most women today exercise the right of freedom to
go out independently, to work and earn, to pretend to be equal to man, but this, sadly
enough, is at the expense of their families. This is all known and obvious. What is not
known is the status of woman in Islam. An attempt will be made in the following
passages to sum up the attitude of Islam with regard to woman
1. Woman is recognized by Islam as a full and equal partner of man in the procreation
of humankind. He is the father; she is the mother, and both are essential for life. Her
role is no less vital than his. By this partnership she has an equal share in every
aspect; she is entitled to equal rights; she undertakes equal responsibilities, and in her
there are as many qualities and as much humanity as there are in her partner. To this
equal partnership in the reproduction of human kind God says: