Women in Islam have a great and high status that was not found in any other religion before. The honor of Islam to man includes man and woman equally because they are equal in the rulings of Allah in this world as they are equal in regard to His Reward and Retribution in the Hereafter. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And indeed We have honored the Children of Adam." He also says: "There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related." [Surat An-Nisa ': 7].
He (Glory be to Him) says: "And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them." He also says: "The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ '(helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another." Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. * And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small."
He (may He be Exalted) says: "So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female." [Surat Al `Imran: 195].
He (Glory be to Him) says: "Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e., Paradise in the Hereafter)." [Surat An-Nahl: 97].
Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of Allah (Muslim), such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqira (speck on the back of a date-stone), will be done to them." [Surat An-Nisa ': 124].
This honor given to women in Islam has no instance in any other religion, doctrine, or law.
The Roman civilization decreed that women are slaves belonging to man and they have no rights at all. In Rome, a large assembly was held to discuss the issue of women and decided that women are spiritless creature, therefore they will not inherit the afterlife, and moreover they are considered filth.
Likewise, women in Athens were considered abandoned luggage and were bought and sold, and were considered an abomination of Satan.
The ancient Indian codes decided that epidemic, death, hell, poison of snakes, and fire are better than women. Furthermore, their right of life ends by the decease of their husbands who are their masters, so when they see the burning of their husbands' corpses, they have to throw themselves into fire otherwise they shall be cursed.
As for women in Judaism, they were judged as follows in the Old Testament: "I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness. And I find something better than death: the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her." [Ecclesiastes Chapter 7: 25 - 26].
It is understood that the Jews and the Christians venerate and believe in the Old Testament.
That was the status of women in ancient times, whereas their conditions in middle and modern times are explained by the following facts: The Danish writer explained the Catholic church trend towards women by saying: "During the Middle Ages, European care for women was very limited depending on the trend of the Catholic doctrine that counted women a second rank creature.
In France, a meeting was held in 586 AD to discuss the issue of women's nature and whether they are human or not. After lengthy discussion, they decided that women are human but they were created for the service of men.
Article 217 of the French law states that a married woman, even if her marriage is based on the separation of her properties from the properties of her husband, has no right to donate, transfer her property, mortgage, or own something either for money or for free without the involvement of her husband in the contract or at least his written consent.
In England, Henry the 8th prohibited English women from reading the Bible. Until 1850 AD, women were not counted among citizens and continued until 1882 to have no personal rights. [The series of Comparative religions by Dr. Ahmad Shalaby, vol. 3: P. 210 - 213].
As for modern women in Europe, America, and other industrial countries, they are mean creature who are used for commercial purposes where they are an essential part of advertising campaigns propaganda and deteriorated to the extent that they strip naked to advertise for a commodity; furthermore the display of their bodies have been regulated to be a pleasure for men everywhere. As long as they can serve and offer either from their money, bodies, or minds, they are the place of care, but when they grow old or lose their basic elements of giving, the entire society will abandon them and they spend the rest of their lives alone or in psychiatric hospitals.
You may compare this with what have been mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an, where Allah says: "The believers, men and women, are Auliya' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another." [Surat At-Tawbah: 71].
Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) Similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) To what is reasonable." [Surat Al Baqarah: 228].
Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) says: "And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. * And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small." [Surat Al Isra ': 23 - 24].
When the Lord honored them in that way, He explained to the entire humanity that He created them to be mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters, and for that He ordained special rulings for them without men.
origin of this article is excerpted from the book of "Al Islam: Usuluh
wa Mabadi'uh [Basics and Principles of Islam] by Dr. Muhammad ibn
`Abdullah Al Suhaim.
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