Unfortunately there are many muslims who believe that because Islam gives men the right of having authority over their wives, then this means that they are superior to women and have more honor than them. Men are not superior to women and women are not superior to men in Islam due to gender. Allah Almighty makes it perfectly clear that those superior in His sight are those who have more taqwa (God fearing consciousness)…
“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other) **Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you**…” [Surah 49:13]
In Islam, men and women DO NOT HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS. Their rights are different because of their nature. Their rights are not equal, rather they are EQUALLY BALANCED.
Islam believes in equality between men and women – Equality does not mean identicallity.
Suppose in a classroom 2 students, student ‘A’ and ‘B’, during an examination both come out first – Both secure 80% marks – 80 out of 100
Out of the hundreds of students, 2 come out first ‘A’ and ‘B’
When you analyze the question paper, the question paper has 10 different questions, each carrying 10 marks.
In question 1 student ‘A’ got 9 out of 10, and student ‘B’ got 7 out of 10 – So in question 1 student ‘A’ was higher than student ‘B’.
In question 2, student ‘A’ got 7 out of 10 and student ‘B’ got 9 out of 10,
– Student ‘B’ was higher than student ‘A’ in question number 2.
In question 3 both of them got 8 out of 10, both were equal
So when we add up the marks of all the ten questions, both student ‘A’ and ‘B’ got 80 out of 100
So in short, student ‘A’ and student ‘B’ are over all equal
In some question ‘A’ is higher than ‘B’, in some question ‘B’ is higher than ‘A’, in others both are equal
In the same fashion, taking the example that since Allah has given man more strength – Suppose a thief enters the house will you tell, ‘I believe in women’s rights – I believe in women’s rights’ – will you tell your mother, your sister and your daughter, to go and fight the thief?’
No, but natural you’ll fight him – If required they may interfere – under normal circumstances since Allah has given you more physical strength, you have to go and tackle the thief.
So here, in physical strength, man is one degree higher than the woman
Let us take another example where. where it comes to giving respect to the -where it comes to respecting the parents – The children are supposed to respect the mother 3 times more than the father.
Here the women have one degree higher than the men – Over all both equal
“..And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them..” [2:228]
a) The things which men can do and women cannot
* Point no: 1 (Men are protectors of women as a whole)
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means”[al-Nisa’ 4:34]
* Point no: 2 (Awrah)
A woman’s ‘awrah includes her entire body. The least that can be said is that she should not uncover anything except her face and hands
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be knownso as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”[al-Ahzaab 33:59]
* Shaykh Muhammad Salih Al Munajjid said in Islam QA fatwa no: 1105
The Qur’aan commands women to wear clothes that are different from those worn by men, because of the differences in the ways each sex is tempted by the other. The temptation posed by men is less than the temptation posed by women, so the clothes that women should wear are different than the clothes that men wear. It makes no sense to tell women to expose the parts of the body that men are allowed to expose, because of the differences in the temptation posed by a woman’s body and a man’s body (end quote)
* Point no: 3 (Obligatory prayers)
Prayer in the mosque is obligatory for men, but not for women; a woman’s prayer is in her house but she can pray in Masjid as well.
* Point no: 4 (Jihad)
Jihad (Jihad bil Saif/fighting)is not obligatory for women, but they can help if men are in need.
b) Things which women can do and men can not
* Point no: 1 (Silk and Gold)
a) Abu Dawood (3535) narrated that ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took a piece of silk in his right hand and a piece of gold in his left and said, ‘These two are forbidden for the males of my ummah.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 3422.
b) “These are haraam for the males of my ummah and permitted for the females.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2/1189).
* Point no: 2 (Rights of Mother)
A Mother has 3 times more right over her children then the father
Proof: Saheeh Muslim Book 032, Number 6180:.Abu Huraira reported that a person came to Allah, ‘s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Who among the people is most deserving of a fine treatment from my hand? He said: Your mother. He again said: Then who (is the next one)? He said: Again it is your mother (who deserves the best treatment from you). He said: Then who (is the next one)? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Again, it is your mother. He (again) said: Then who? Thereupon he said: Then it is your father
* Point no: 3 (Mahr)
Man gives the dower to his wife even if it is mountain of Gold.
Proof: Surah 4:4 (And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift)
* Point no: 4 (Monthly periods of women)
Women are commanded in their monthly periods to leave prayers.
Mu’adhah said: “I asked Aishah: Why must we make up the fasts missed due to our menstruation, but not the prayers [ missed through menstruation] ?” She said, “That was what the Messenger of Allah told us to do. We were ordered to make up the fasts, and we were ordered not to make up the prayers.” [ Fiqh as-Sunnah 1.71a ]
* .Point no: 6(Martyr when a woman die during child birth)
Shaykh Muhammad Salih al Munajjid said in IslamQA Fatwa no: 8800
If a woman dies with a child in her womb, or she dies during childbirth or after childbirth but within the period of nifaas (post-partum bleeding), she is considered to be a shaheedah in sha Allaah. according to hadith of Maalik (1/233) and Abu Dawood, 3/482)]
Males and Females are equal as per rewards are concern. (unfortunately few muslims think that in matters of deed men have the authority)
[004:124] And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of Allah (Muslim), such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqeera (speck on the back of a datestone), will be done to them.
[016:097] Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.
[040:040] “He that works evil will not be requited but by the like thereof: and he that works a righteous deed – whether man or woman – and is a Believer- such will enter the Garden (of Bliss): Therein will they have abundance without measure.