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Women Rights in Islam

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“Women’s rights in Islam” is great controversial topic going on nowadays. The world is colored with different cultures and religions. Most people come up with different thoughts for other religion’s people by just having one look on them. Veil is obsession for some people, whereas, being bald is freedom in some people’s point of view. There are lots of misconceptions about women’s rights in Islam among non muslims. If women are covering their body or if they like to stay at home, people think that they don’t have any freedom in this religion and women are obsessed. But this is not reality. A person cannot point out anything wrong and blame other’s religion just because of his own confusion. He needs to study thoroughly and then come up with opposing viewpoints. Therefore, the misconception about women’s rights in Islam should be removed because women have equal rights, veil is for their protection, and they have freedom of speech and expression.
First of all, women have equal rights in Islamic world. Islam highly encourages to give women their equal rights. This includes all types of rights, spiritual, economic, social, education, legal, and political rights. According to Islamic concept, men and women are created equal. They have spirits given by God. Neither man has superiority on woman nor has woman. The duties assigned to both are same. The same five prayers a day are obligatory for women which are for men. Everybody will get the reward for his own deeds on the Day of Judgment. If muslim women are supposed to fulfill their duties then why not their rights are equal in the eyes of western world. According to Zakir Naik: “In terms of moral, spiritual duties, acts of worship, the requirements of men and women are the same, except in some cases when women have certain concessions because of their feminine nature, or their health.” (Naik).
In Islam, there is no concept that women cannot work. The only concept in Islam is that women and men should work separately which leads to misconception that women are forced to stay home and their only place is home. However, Islam encourages women to choose professions like teaching, nursing, and doctor. That can also help other Muslim women because they will not feel any hesitation that a man is diagnosing them. An adult woman can own, she has option to dispose also without anyone’s consultation regardless of whether she is married or not.

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For social rights, Islam strongly prohibits the killing of women. Muslim world condemns any kind of torture and abuse towards women. Before the advent of Islam, people use to burry their daughters alive. But Islam refused the thought to rejoice at the birth of son and get saddened at the birth of daughter. According to Islamic concept, when God is most happy with someone, he rewards him with a daughter. From this point, a person can imagine how much importance and value a woman has in the religion of Islam. “It says that a man asked the Prophet Muhammad “Who requires the maximum love and respect and my companionship in this world?” He replied , “Three fourth of the better part of the love and respect goes to the mother – One fourth of the remaining part of the love and respect goes to the father.” (Hashmi).
The very first guidance to mankind was to read, means seek knowledge. All the other obligations of praying and fasting came later but the first thing was to read. Islam pays utmost attention on getting knowledge of man as well as woman. The Prophet said that, “seek knowledge even you have to go to China.” This quote was just example of showing the importance of seeking knowledge. Obviously China was not developed 1400 years before. But the main focus is to learn and seek knowledge no matter how far you have to go. This order applies to women also which shows that there is no point to say that women don’t have any educational rights in Islam. They can even go miles away from their home. If woman is literate, she can benefit her whole generation with good manners, knowledge, and the teachings of how to search for truth but if she is not. The same generation will be destroyed.
According to the article, “The Quran protects women’s rights” by Khalida Tanveer Syed, “According to the Islamic law, men and women are equal. The Islamic Law protects the life and property of a man and woman both.” (Tanveer). The legal rights and laws apply to the women in the same way as on men. In Islam, if a woman robs, her hands should be chopped. The female nature will not protect her. This punishment is same for women and men. The legal rights also include adopting husband’s name or keeping the maiden name. Many non muslims think that Islam does not give choice of adopting husband’s name. It is completely option to woman. If she wants she can keep her maiden name and she does not have to change or she can adopt her husband’s last name.
Woman inherits her father’s property. She has share in the property. No one has authority to ask her about her share. She can do whatever she wants. She can spend or she can keep. After marriage her husband has the responsibility to fulfill the expenditures of home and her takecare. But that does not mean she cannot work. She can work if she wants but she is not supposed to spend a single penny on house expenses. If both ends are not meeting easily, she can help but she does not have to. Many people hear about arrange marriages in muslim families and think that they force the girl to get married but in Islam women have complete choice of choosing her husband. She also has the right to seek divorce.
In Muslim world, women should politically support each other. They have the right to participate in law making. They can even take part in battle fields but not under normal circumstances because it is the duty of men. This is often misunderstanding that when in all the matters, men and women are equals then why it is mentioned in the holy book of muslim that man is one degree higher than woman in strength. Here is the example about Islam believes in equality not identicality. Because God has given man more strength, imagine a thief enters the house will the man tell, ‘I believe in women’s rights.’ Will the man tell his mother, sister and his daughter, to go and fight the thief? No, but natural he will fight him. So here, in physical strength, man is one degree higher than the woman. But on the other hand mother is 3 times given the preferance than father so mother is one degree also higher. Overall both men and women are equal.
Critics say that women are not considered as equal members in Muslim societies. Women are targeted with vengeance and brutality. The disbelievers of women’s rights in Islam also say that man can divorce his wife easily by saying “I divorce you” three times but women have difficulty seeking divorce. Women are burden in Muslim societies and they just stay home taking care of their children and house. Traditions and religion are the common things that hinder women’s progress. According to article, “Islam and women’s rights,” “In Muslim societies religion governs all aspects of life and has priority over secular laws and local customs, therefore, the excuse that tradition alone is responsible for women’s oppression is untenable.” (Islam and..).
Many non muslims think that veiling is oppression for muslim women, but it is not. It is for the protection of woman from strange men’s sights. Her husband, father, and brothers are the only persons who can see her. Because God has made man and woman opposite in nature, they obviously attract each other. To prevent the danger of getting indulged in bad things, veiling was ordered. So that husband and wife have no conflicts.
Lastly, woman in Islamic world has freedom of speech and expression. She can express her on views on different matters. Women can also prepare speeches and can give speeches in women gatherings. The wives of prophet use to do that. They listen the teachings from the Prophet and deliver them to women. There is also equality in expressing views between man and woman. In Islam husband and wife are called the dress each other so that both listen and understand one another.
So going through all the above consequences, it is clear that woman have equal rights, freedom of speech and expression in Islam. Women can do any kind of work as long as they are in their dress code. If any person is not giving the rights to woman, that does not mean Islam does not have rights for women but the person is violating Islamic laws.

Works Cited

Citaions
Dr. Zakir Naik. Women Rights in Islam – Modernising or Outdated?
Hashmi, Sohail H ( Sep2010) Journal of Religious Ethics. The rights of muslim women.
“Islam and Women’s Rights.” Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. .
Khalida Tanvir Syed . “Women in Islam” : The Quran protects women’s rights. University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada . (2011)

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