WOMEN RIGHTS IN ISLAM
Before Islam,women were considered as dejected beings, female children were buried alive, divorce was only in the hands of the husband, inheritance was only for the males and oppression was widespread. Islam abolished these practices.
Even now, in “developed countries”, women are not granted respect, dignity and honor. Men and women have to work equally to earn their living. Islam however, regards women as precious, valuable, not to be disrespected or disgraced. It is man’s duty to work and raise his family. Women are not burdened to work outside the home. Although, they are allow to work under some circumtances. The mistreatment of women in some countries or Muslim families is due to cultural factors that some Muslims wrongly follow, not because of Islam.
Why would many women around the world willingly embrace Islam, if it is an oppressive religion? If we compare Islam to other religion, we see that it offers justice between the two genders. While men and women have equal rights as a general principle, the specific rights and responsibilities granted to them are not identical. Men and women have complementary rights and responsibilities.
Over fourteen hundred years ago, Islam gave women rights that women in the West have only recently began to enjoy. Annie Besant, (1847-1933) British theosophist and nationalist leader in India, President of the Indian National Congress in 1917, said,
“In Al-Quran the law about woman is more just and liberal. It is only in the last twenty years that Christian England, has recognized the right of woman to property, while Islam has allowed this right from all times.”
[The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras, 1932, pp. 25, 26]
Men and women are all descended from Prophet Adam (A.S) and Hawa (A.S). Islam does not accept for either of them anything but justice and kind treatment.