RIGHTS of women in Islam is a topic which almost everyone is talking about, be it a young little girl with little knowledge and experience or some scholar who is expert on the subject. It certainly has two sides like that of a picture or say a mirror. One side is that of what modern mass media is projecting and the other side is what Islam teaches. One side is based on the truth, powerful facts, arguments and knowledge about the religious teachings, where other side is of Muslims who don’t follow these teachings.
The basic field in which Islam looks unfair to women is the traditional gender roles. Let’s discuss how the gender roles in Islam are and why they seem unfair and what is the possible reason behind what looks a little like ‘discrimination’. Let me ensure you that its not discrimination and let us see why it seems more reasonable than unfair to a young Muslim girl like me.
The traditional gender roles in Islam are simple as it all starts from the house. Women are supposed to deal with all the matters related to the house including looking after and carrying for young children. While the men deals with the financial matters which is his obligation and in turn this means he has to do all the job that concerns the outside of the house. When it comes to dressing both men and women are supposed to dress modestly and a special female clothing called ‘veil’ is added to traditions later on. To specify this even more I’d like to add that men are ordered to lower their eyes first while women were ordered to cover their beauty. The exact two verses from the Holy Quran are as follows:
“Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is well aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts, and that they disclose not their natural and artificial beauty except that which is apparent thereof, and that they draw their head-coverings over their bosoms, and that they disclose not their beauty save to their husbands, or to their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands or their sons or the sons of their husbands or their brothers, or the sons of their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, or their women, or what their right hands possess, or such of male attendants as have no sexual appetite, or young children who have no knowledge of the hidden parts of women. And they strike not their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may become known. And turn ye to Allah all together, O believers, that you may succeed.” [Chapter 24, Verses 31 – 32]
Therefore, not only women but also men are supposed to be as modest (in their dressing) and in their acts as well.
So when the mass media claims that “VEIL” is a sign of oppression and gender based discrimination, the above mentioned verses of Holy Quran are very clearly explaining the fact that ‘chastity’ should be protected by both women and men according to pure Islamic teachings and the basis of veil is nothing more than a protection for both sexes.
Let us move on to the other famous issues faced by the Muslim women reportedly. Education is a very important part of anyone’s life be it a Muslim or non-Muslim. Let us see if Islam restricts women from getting educated or the uneducated society and false historical traditional beliefs coming in between the course of getting education and staying enlightened and loosing the right to do so. According Islamic teaching getting education is an obligation for both men and women,
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) has said
“Acquiring of knowledge is obligatory to every Muslim male and female.”
After addressing these basic issues now let’s see if the problems that the Muslim world are facing these days are a product of Islamic teaching or false guidance and historical orthodox traditions. I’ve put enough knowledge on the table now the ball is in your court. Here are some basic issues highlighted by mass media in order to defame Islam.
The most famous heated debate is the law in Saudi Arabia that restricts women from driving. Another talk of the town is domestic violence, which according to Islamic teachings is not permissible since Islam is the religion of peace and love nothing can be forcefully or violently done or made to be done to or by anyone be it a women or a man. On the other hand in Iran and Afghanistan at education and employment opportunities were either completely taken away from women or limited provision was subjected. Both of these issues have nothing to do with the Islamic teachings as I’ve discussed earlier.
To enlighten you a little more. I’d like to discuss the status of a women in Islam in the light of the teachings of Holy Quran.
“And they (the women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in equity” [Chapter 2, Verse 229]
Student of intermediate pre-engineering, from Karachi Pakistan with passion of writing.
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