Status of Women in Islam by N. Sehar

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Status of Women in Islam

By Dr. Najam-us-Sahar Butt (FSP)

There is a lot of talk about women’s rights in Pakistan and other Muslim countries these days. The western media is projecting a very gruesome and poor plight of the women in Muslim countries with the intention of distorting the section image of Islam. Unfortunately, this propaganda is proving quite effective and the entire west and a small section of females in our society have misinterpreted Islam as being the cause of their troubles instead of the Aryan culture that we have inherited.

Family, society and ultimately the whole mankind are treated by Islam on an ethical basis. Differentiation in gender is neither a credit nor a drawback to anyone. Therefore, when we talk about status of woman in Islam we should not think that Islam has no specific guidelines, limitations, responsibilities and obligations for men. What makes one valuable and respectable in the eyes of Allah, the Creator of mankind and the universe, is neither one's prosperity, position, intelligence, physical strength nor beauty, but only one Allah-consciousness and awareness (taqwa).

Islam was revealed at a time when people denied the humanity of the woman; some were skeptical about it; and still others admitted it, yet considered the woman a thing created for the humble service of the man. 

With the advent of Islam, circumstances improved for the woman. The woman's dignity and humanity were acknowledged for the first time. Islam confirmed woman’s capacity to carry out Allah's commands, her responsibilities and observation of the commands that lead to heaven.

Islam considers woman as a worthy human being, with an equal share in humanity to that of the man. Both are two branches of a single tree and two children from the same father, Adam, and mother, Eve. Their single origin, their general human traits, their responsibility for the observation of religious duties with the consequent reward or punishment, and the unity of their destiny all bear witness to their equality from the Islamic point of view. 

The status of women in Islam is something unique that has no parallel in any other religion. In the midst of the darkness that engulfed the world, the divine revelation echoed in the wide desert of Arabia with a fresh, noble, and universal message to humanity: "O Mankind, keep your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate (of same kind) and from them twain has spread a multitude of men and women".(An-Nisa:1)

A scholar who pondered about this verse states: 
"It is believed that there is no text, old or new, that deals with the humanity of the woman from all aspects with such amazing brevity, eloquence, depth, and originality as this divine decree."

Stressing this noble and natural conception, then the Quran states:  “He (God) it is who did create you from a single soul and there from did create his mate, that he might dwell with her (in love)”.(Quran 7:189)

In the early days of Islam when a girl was born, she was buried alive. This custom is still observed in Hinduism. However, the Holy Quran forbade this custom and considered it a crime like any other murder. The Quran says: -  "And when the female (infant) buried alive - is questioned, for what crime she was killed."(Quran 81: 8-9)

Far from saving the girl's life so that she may later suffer injustice and inequality, Islam requires kind and just treatment to her. The sayings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), in this regard, are following:  “Whosoever has a daughter and he does not bury her alive, does not insult her, and does not favor his son over her, God will enter him into Paradise”.

The Holy Quran provides us a clear-cut proof that woman is equal in all respects with man before God in terms of her rights and responsibilities. The Holy Quran states:  "Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds"

(Quran 74:38)

In terms of religious obligations, such as offering...
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