by Nadieh Esmaeil Poor
The issue of women in Islam has always been one of the most common topics brought up by non-Muslims during debates with Muslims. I see the whole issue as a great misunderstanding among non-Muslims, and the main reason for it is not having good, accurate resources for information and research; in addition to the fact that some people judge religions by meeting and observing the actions of a few followers of that religion. For example many people believe that Islam forbids women to work when they see a Muslim housewife; when in fact its a personal choice.
Islam does not regard women as inferior to men. In fact it states that men and women are created “equal” in the site of Allah. The rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of a man but they are not necessarily identical with them. The status of a woman in Islam is unique and has no similarity in any other system.
Some of the basic rights of women which people might not be aware of are as follows:
· The right and duty to obtain education.
· The right to have their own independent property.
· The right to work to earn money if they need it or want it.
· Equality of reward for equal deeds.
· The right to express their opinion and be heard.
· The right to negotiate marriage terms of her choice.
· The right to obtain divorce from her husband, even on the grounds that she simply can’t stand him.
· The right to keep all her own money
· To refuse any marriage that does not please her even if the parents are insisting or forcing them.( Islam does not consider the marriage legal without the consent of any of the spouses whether its male or female) and so on.
There are many other rights regarding the status of women in Islam for a more detailed explanation and information you can visit http://www.jannah.org/sisters/statuswomen.html
I would like to end my post with a verse from the Holy Quran regarding this matter which says, ” 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 Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”(Quran ,43:13)
Allah knows the best.