Rights of women in Islaam
The issue of Women in Islaam has been the subject of all kinds of controversies,misunderstandings and especially misinformation. This work will discuss and explain this subject according to the precise teachings of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah (sayings, acts, i.e., the traditions) of Allah’s Messenger
The Qur’aan speaks of similarity in terms of creation. God tells us that He created a single soul and from it its mate, then He made countless men and women from those two (see Qur’aan 4:1). The Qur’aan does not contain the belief that the man alone is created in the image of God.
Because of this fundamental similarity between men and women, the Qur’aan declares that women have rights similar to the rights against them according to what is equitable (Qur’aan 2:228).
In a time when women were devalued and female infants were buried alive, the Qur’aan raised the value of women and prohibited female infanticide. Due to the Qur’aan, this practice was abolished, but in recent times advances in the science of genetic selection has encouraged some unbelievers to practice a modern form of female infanticide.
The Qur’aan also abolished the practice whereby inheritance went to only the oldest male heir. Instead, a woman can inherit from her father, her husband, and her childless brother (see Qur’aan 4:7, 32, 176).
In Islaam when a woman gets married she does not surrender her maiden name, but maintains her distinct identity. Some Muslim women have adopted the surnames of their husbands, but this is due to cultural influence, not Islaam.
In a Muslim marriage the groom gives a dowry to the bride, not to her father. This becomes her private property to keep or spend, and is not subject to the dictates of her male relatives. Any money she earns or receives is similarly her very own.
Under Islamic Law a woman cannot be married without her consent. She has final approval on a marriage partner and she can repudiate a marriage arranged without her consent. She also has the right to initiate a separation from marriage if her rights under marriage are not being granted.
Widows have the right to remarry, and they are in fact encouraged to do so.
The Qur’aan places on men the responsibility of protecting and maintaining their female relatives. This relieves women of the need to earn their own living. It also means that a man must provide for his wife even if she has money of her own. She is not obligated to spend her money in the maintenance of her family. Incidentally, a woman is also not required to cook for her family, although she may do so out of love and compassion. The example of our noble Prophet, on whom be peace, is that although he was such a great leader, he assisted in the house cleaning and mended his own clothes.
In return for the added responsibility, the Qur’aan gives men the degree (Daraja) of leadership (see Qur’aan 2:228; 4:34). This does not mean that men should dominate women, but rather that they should deal with them in kindness, mercy, and love (see Qur’aan 4:19; 30:21).
Meaning of Daraja men have above women:
The best and most correct way to understand the meaning of a Quranic verse is to look at the explanation of the verse given by the Companions of the prophet.
the verse: And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise (Al-Qur’aan 2:228).
In other words, Allaah :
(1) gave men and women similar rights; then
(2) He gave the men a greater degree of responsibility over the women than that of women over men. It follows that the rights owned to the wife are unnegotiable, whereas the husband has to give up certain rights. This is not a feminist reading but the actual explanation of Ibn `Abbas (companion of the prophet) according to al-Tabari in his Tafsir, and the latter preferred it over all other commentaries of that verse (Al-Tabari said the best explanation is that of Ibn `Abbas).