Are Women in Islam Respected as Much as Men?

Contrary to popular belief, women in Islam has been empowered and respected. We previously discussed the Islamic viewpoint on the rights of women and the position of women in the society. Knowing that the justice considers equal rights for both men and women, it revealed that Islam had given “equal” -not similar- rights to women and men. Here, we provide more evidence on the Islamic approach to demonstrate that females are greatly respected in Islam. 

 


Women in Islam and Love for Daughters

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In the pre-Islamic era in Arab countries, females were considered as weak members of the society, and they were an economic burden especially during times of famine since they were supposed to be less useful. If a girl was born to a family, the father became disappointed (“And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief.” (16:58)) and afraid of that girl being held captive by the invaders in the future, which would bring shame to the family. So, they used to bury baby girls alive (“Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground?” (16:59)). 

 


Of course, Islam prohibited this practice by the divine commands in the Quran as well as the deeds and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The reaction of the Quran to this act is: “evil is what they decide” (16:59) and adds: “do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them” (6:151).

 

 

This act is so blamed and hated in Islam that in Surah Takwir it is said on the Day of Judgement, the first issue that will be dealt with before everything else will be burying the baby girls alive: “For what sin she was killed” (81:9). This demonstrates how invaluable females are in Islam. 

 


Islam also attempts to show the position of the daughter in the family and how she brings blessings to it. In this regard, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said: “God bless the father who has daughters. Daughters are lovely and bring divine blessing, and sons are like good news. Daughters are enduring good deeds (Baqiyat al-Salihat)” [1].

 

 

He (PBUH) wondered why people were unhappy and sorry for having a daughter and said that daughters are like fragrant flowers for him to smell [2]. Imam Sadiq (AS) said that: “Daughters are your good deeds and sons are your blessings. You will be asked for the blessings you have been given, but you will be only rewarded for your good deeds” [3].

 

 

This narration emphasizes how important female children and women in Islam are and warns us to treat them well. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has advised buying gifts for the family members and said that this act would be rewarded similar to giving charities. Then, he (PBUH) adds: “Firstly give your daughters their gifts, and then your sons. Because whoever makes her daughter happy is similar to the one who has set one of the children of Ishmael free (AS)” [4]. 

 


Islam Respects the Wives 

woman in islam, salamislam


The respect and importance given to daughters are also pointed out about women in Islam and especially wives such that according to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the best of men is the one who is the best to his wife. And, he (PBUH) is the best man who other men should follow in act and behavior towards their wives [5].

 

 

Another manifestation of the respect for the wives is the Islamic point of view on polygamy. Islam does not approve of polygamy; rather it has restricted polygamy by setting some terms and conditions on that matter. 

 


Islamic Advice on Respect for Mothers

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Mothers are of high value in Islam because of their efforts such as how they withstand the difficulties during the pregnancy, the care and protection they provide after giving birth to the baby, the selfless sacrifices they make so that the child could grow up in the most comfortable condition and with the best education.

 

 

The rights of mothers are even known to be superior to those of fathers [9]. According to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), one can never pay back the rights of the mother [6]. 

 


Last word …

 


This amount of concern about females from childhood to motherhood and the considerations for the equal rights for women in Islamic teachings all the indicate the respect and attention paid to women in this religion.

 

 

References:


[1] M. Nuri, "Mustadrak al-Wasa'il", vol. 15, p. 115, T. 17700.
[2] "Makarim al-Akhlaq Supplication", p. 219.
[3] Shaykh Al-Kulayni, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 6, p. 6.
[4] Shaykh Al-Amili, "Wasa'il al-Shi'a", vol. 15, p. 227.
[5] Shaykh al-Saduq, "Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih", vol. 3, p. 443.
[6] H. T. Nuri Ṭabarsi, “Mustadrak al-Wasail”, vol. 15, p. 203.