Sunday, 7 November 2010

Faith of Islam abolished the principle of discrimination between men and women

   The Faith of Islam abolished the principle of discrimination between men and women as human beings. It also abolished any discrimination between them before the law and in civil rights, and Islam ordained that men and women be equal in that respect. Islam declared that men and women are equal as human beings in this world and in the Hereafter. This is expressed in the following Quranic verses: “And their Lord hath accepted of them, and answered them “Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female ye are members one of another. [1] “… to men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn “[2]

“We have honored the sons of Adam…”[3]By the “sons of Adam”, is meant the offspring of Adam, namely the human race with its men and women.

        The Faith of Islam not only permitted the Muslim woman to acquire knowledge, but also commanded her to do so in so far as it would assist her in her life in this world and in the Hereafter. The Prophet Muhammad - blessings and peace be upon him - said that the quest for knowledge is the obligation of every Muslim man and woman.

        Before the advent of Islam, Hafsa, the daughter of `Omar bin Al Khattab had been taught the fundamentals of writing by a woman called Al Shifaa’ Al `Adawiyya and after the Prophet, blessings and peace upon him, married Hafsa, he asked Al Shifaa’ Al Adawiyya to continue teaching her how to improve her handwriting.

        The Faith of Islam permits the Muslim woman to hold any post outside her home, provided that she assumes it in a respectable dignified manner that does not in any way subject her to any embarrassing situation that does not observe the teachings of Islam. Her employment must not harm her reputation in any way, nor must it prevent her from carrying out her duties as a wife and a mother.

        Islam permits the working woman to associate with the male sex in public according to the rulings and teachings of the Qur’an and the Traditions of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him.

        Islam grants the Muslim woman equal civil rights and grants her the right to manage her own business affairs such as participating in legal contracts that deal with the sale or the purchase of any property or goods, in addition to her legal right to grant gifts and to contract a will. Islam also grants her the right to personally manage her wealth and supervise all her financial affairs. These rights naturally necessitate associating with the male sex and it is a well-known historical fact that `Aisha daughter of Talha - the granddaughter of Abu Bakr Al Siddiq fought side by side with men in the battles against the infidels and that she fought bravely with spears and arrows.

        The Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him, led men and women together into battle and granted Sa’eed, daughter of Ka`b, the same share of the spoils as the men in the Battle of Khyber. He also seated Umaya, daughter of Qays Al Ghâfir ya, behind him on his camel on their way to the Battle of Khyber after the battle was won, awarded her a medal for her outstanding courage in battle, in the same way that heroes are awarded medals today. Umaya wore this medal all her life and according to her desire, the medal was buried with her when she died.

        Another example of courageous womanhood is Um Hakim, daughter of Al Harith who participated in the battle against the Romans while she was still a newly-wed bride. Her husband had been martyred before her eyes, but instead of wailing over his dead body, she seized the pole of the tent in which her marriage had been consummated and killed seven of the enemy at the archway which is still known as the Archway of Um Hakim.

        From the above mentioned incidents, it is clear that Islam Permits the association of the two sexes, provided that no immorality ensues. In order to preserve a moral and chaste community, Islam ordains certain rulings and terms and prohibits certain matters. Islam prohibits a man and a woman from being alone together unless, according to Islamic laws, they are religiously prohibited from marrying one another, such as a brother and sister or a maternal aunt or uncle or a paternal aunt or uncle or a father and mother or a grandfather or a grandmother or a grandchild.

        A Muslim woman’s apparel must clothe her completely except for her face and hands. Islam also ordains that she must not ostentatiously display her beauty, and her conduct and speech should be dignified, so as not to arouse any temptation in those with whom she is conducting her business. This is expressed in the following Quranic verses “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them and God is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof ; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex ; and that they Should not Strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers I turn ye all together towards God that ye may attain Bliss.”[4]

        Also “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad).”[5]

        The following Quranic verses are addressed to the wives of the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him “O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women if ye do fear (God), be not too complaisant of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire but speak ye a speech (that is) just. And stay quietly in your houses and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance “[6]“be not too complaisant of speech…” means not to speak to men in a soft voice which might arouse temptation.

     “And stay quietly in your houses…” means that they should not go out unless there be a specific reason for doing so “Make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance” means that they should not make an ostentations display of their ornaments as did the women of the Pre-Islamic era. Although these verses are addressed to the wives of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, Muslim women are encouraged to follow in their footsteps since they are the ideal of Muslim womanhood.

      May Allah make our efforts sincere and keep us all on the straight path...........

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