Friday, 20 February 2015


In terms of moral, spiritual duties, acts of worship, the requirements of men and women are the same, except in some cases when women have certain concessions because of their feminine nature, or their health or the health of their babies. "Whatever men earn, they have a share of that and whatever women earn, they have a share in that." [Noble Quran 4:32]. The Quran explicitly, in more than one verse, 3:195, 4:124, specified that whoever does good deeds, and is a believer and then specifies "male or female" God will give them an abundant reward.

In Europe until the 19th century, women did not have the right to own their own property. When they were married, either it would transfer to the husband or she would not be able to dispense of it without permission of her husband. In Britain, perhaps the first country to give women some property rights, laws were passed in the 1860's known as "Married Women Property Act." More than 1300 years earlier, that right was clearly established in Islamic law.

Secondly, there is no restriction in Islamic law that says a woman cannot work or have a profession, that her only place is in the home. In fact, by definition, in a truly Islamic society, there must be women physicians, women nurses, women teachers, because it's preferable also to separate teenagers in the volatile years in high school education. And if she chooses to work, or if she's married with the consent of her husband, she's entitled to equal pay, not for equal work, but for work of equal worth. The duty, not the right, the duty of education, as the Prophet (SAW) said, is a duty on every Muslim, male and female.

Thirdly, when it comes to financial security, Islamic law is more tilted in many respects towards women. These are several examples:

During the period of engagement, a woman is to be on the receiving side of gifts.

At the time of marriage, it is the duty of the husband, not the bride's family. He is supposed to pay for a marital gift. The Quran called it a gift, and it is exclusively the right of the woman. She doesn't have to spend it on the household, she doesn't have to give it to her father or anyone else.

If the woman happened to own any property prior to marriage, she retains that property after marriage. It remains under her control. Also, in most Muslim countries, the woman keeps her own last name, and her own identity.

If the woman has any earnings during her marital life, by way of investments of her property or as a result of work, she doesn't have to spend one penny of that income on the household, it is entirely hers.

The full maintenance and support of a married woman is the entire responsibility of her husband, even though she might be richer than he is. She doesn't have to spend a penny.

As far as treatment of daughters is concerned, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Anyone who has two daughters, and did not bury them, did not insult them and brought them up properly, he and I will be like this," holding his two fingers close together. Another version adds, "And also did not favor his sons over daughters."

One time the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was seated. A companion was sitting with him. The companion's son came. He kissed his son and put him on his lap. Then his daughter came, and he just sat her by his side. The Prophet told the man, "You did not do Justice," meaning he should have treated the daughter equally, kissed her and put her in his lap also. Indeed, whenever the Prophet's daughter Fatimah came to him, in front of everyone, he stood up, kissed her and let her sit in his favorite place where he'd been sitting.

Adapted from <>

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