Today people think that women are liberated in the West and that the women's liberation movement began in the 20th century although in actuality, the women's liberation movement was not begun by women but was revealed by God to a man in the seventh century by the name of Muhammad (peace be upon him), who is known as the last Prophet of Islam. The Qur'an and the Traditions of the Prophet (Hadith or Sunnah) are the sources from which every Muslim woman derives her rights and duties. Introduction
A woman in Islam occupies a unique position, where she is ranked in a manner, which enables her to be respected in the fashion that she desires. In our contemporary society Islam is considered an oppressive religion. In this society, women are viewed as objects: they are used, abused and victims of terrible crimes. In Islam, women are held high in esteem. Islam has liberated women from many things and has given them back their self-respect. Through reading this booklet you can learn of the many benefits that a Muslim woman gains. You can also learn of the Shar’i view regarding women in certain situations, which gives you an insight of how to behave and practice in correct accordance to the Qur’an and Sunnah. Allah Ta’aalaa states in the Qur’an:
"And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness. " (2: 228) This aayah of the Holy Qur’an shows that the status of men and women are equal in that their rights are mutually compulsive (obligatory). However, these "rights" are slightly different, as extorted in the verse: "Men are in charge of women because Allah hath made the one of them excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women)." (4: 34) Over 1,400 years ago, Islam raised the status of women from a position of oppression to one of liberation and equality. In an era when women were considered possessions, Islam restored women to a position of dignity. A Muslim woman knows her place in society and knows her place in the family infrastructure. Her religion is her first priority; therefore, her role is clear-cut and defined. A Muslim woman, far from being oppressed, is a woman who is liberated in the true sense of the word. She is a slave to no man or to any economic system; rather, she is the slave of God. Islam clearly defines women’s rights and responsibilities spiritually, socially, and economically. Islam’s clear-cut guidelines are empowering; they raise women to a natural and revered position. An expectant mother would silently pray that the child she would bear would be a boy. Backing her desire for a boy would be an inner fear created by the men of her clan. For, if a girl was born, the mother would be reprimanded, her honor diminished. The father instead of rejoicing would be overcome with a mixture of shame and embarrassment. To announce the birth of a girl would be an issue of degradation and dishonor. The father’s only solution would be to silently take the child away and bury her alive beneath the ground. RIGHTS OF WOMEN
* Spiritual rights:
The spiritual and moral duties for men and women are essentially the same. In fact there are certain concessions given to women. Pregnant ladies and menstruating women need not fast during such days, but later compensate for the same. The reward and punishment of Allah is in no way connected with the gender.
* Economical rights :
As I mentioned earlier, the job should be within the limits of Islamic Shariah and within modesty levels. Besides the professional jobs I mentioned, they can work in industries and small scale factories which are so made that they exclusively employ ladies or have separate sections for gents and ladies staff. She can also engage in business and when required, enter into transactions with gents through a Mehram such as her husband, son etc. The best example I can quote is that of Prophet Muhammad’s (Pbuh) wife, Bibi Khadija (R) who was a very successful...