Womens’ Rights in Islam

“The best of you are those who are the best to their wives” – Prophet Muhammad

Recognised as Individuals

Whether single or married, women are recognised as individuals. Married women are not required to take on their husbands name as they retain their own identity as an individual.

The Right to Education

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) stressed the importance of education for every individual. Many notable Muslim female scholars existed around the time of the Prophet, most notably the Prophet’s wife Aisha. Education is an equal right for men and women in Islam.

The Right to Choose a Spouse

In Islam a woman has the right to accept or reject a marriage proposal. The freely given consent of the women is a prerequisite for a valid marraige. Forced marriages are a cultural practice and have no basis in Islam.

The Right to be Maintained

A married women is exempt from all household financial liabilities. She is entitled to complete provision and maintenance by her husband. It is her decision whether she wishes to work and whether she supports the family financially. As a daughter, she is entitled to security and provision from her father and brother respectively.

The Right to Retain Property

A woman property/assets always remain hers to spend as she wishes. This right remains after marriage and her husband has no right over anything she owned prior to the marriage.

Right to Inheritance

Islam gave women the right to Inheritance, Prior to this, in Arabia, women themselves were treated as property to be inherited by men!

Equal in Front of God

Men and women will be rewarded and held accountable equally by God, who states in the Qur’an that the only difference by which he will judge is piety and righteousness;

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you. Indeed, God is knowing and Aware”  (Al-Qur’an, Chapter 49 : Verse 13)

In Conclusion

The mistreatment of women in some Muslim countries and societies is purely down to cultural attitudes and is not based on any Islamic teachings. Images of Muslim women as oppressed and submissive are stereotypical, and do no justice to the large number of Muslim women whose firm conviction in the Islamic concepts of family cohesiveness and happiness, and their own individuality, ensures their sense of self-fulfilment.

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