Page 143 - Islam In Focus

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O mankind! Verily We have created you from a single (pair) of a male and female,
and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other. . . .(Qur’an,
49:13; cf. 4:1)
2. She is equal to man in bearing personal and common responsibilities and in
receiving rewards for her deeds. She is acknowledged as an independent personality,
in possession of human qualities and worthy of spiritual aspirations. Her human
nature is neither inferior to nor deviant from that of man. Both are members of one
another. God says:
And their Lord has accepted (their prayers) and answered them (saying): ’Never will I
cause to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female; you are members, one
of another … . (3:195; cf. 9:71; 33:35-36; 66:19-21)
3. She is equal to man in the pursuit of education and knowledge. When Islam enjoins
the seeking of knowledge upon Muslims, it makes no distinction between man and
woman. Almost fourteen centuries ago, Muhammad declared that pursuit of
knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim male and female. This declaration was very
clear and was implemented by Muslims throughout history
4. She is entitled to freedom of expression as much as man is. Her sound opinions are
taken into consideration and cannot be disregarded just because she happens to belong
to the female sex. It is reported in the Qur'an and history that woman not only
expressed her opinion freely but also argued and participated in serious discussions
with the Prophet himself as well as with other Muslim leaders (Qur'an, 58:1-4; 60:10-
12). Besides, there were occasions when Muslim women expressed their views on
legislative matters of public interest, and stood in opposition to the Califs, who then
accepted the sound arguments of these women. A specific example took place during
the Califate of Umar Ibn al-Khattab
5. Historical records show that women participated in public life with the early
Muslims, especially in times of emergencies. Women used to accompany the Muslim
armies engaged in battles to nurse the wounded, prepare supplies, serve the warriors,
and so on. They were not shut behind iron bars or considered worthless creatures and
deprived of souls
6. Islam grants woman equal rights to contract, to enterprise, to earn and possess
independently. Her life, her property, her honor are as sacred as those of man. If she
commits any offense, her penalty is no less or more than a man's in a similar case. If
she is wronged or harmed, she gets due compensations equal to what man in her
position would get (2:178; 4:45, 92-93)
7. Islam does not state these rights in a statistical form and then relax. It has taken all
measures to safeguard them and put them into practice as integral articles of Faith. It
never tolerates those who are inclined to prejudice against woman or discrimination
between man and woman. Time and again, the Qur'an reproaches those who used to
believe woman to be inferior to man (16:57-59, 62; 42:47-50; 43:15-19; 53:21-23)
8. Apart from recognition of woman as an independent human being acknowledged as
equally essential for the survival of humanity, Islam has given her a share of