Islam and respect of woman rights (Part 2/2) [Archives:2005/895/Opinion]

November 17 2005

Respect of woman education rights

Seeking knowledge is obligatory for both men and women as Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said “Acquiring knowledge is compulsory for every man and woman” (Naratted by Al-Tabarani). Islam puts high emphasis on education because it is the way towards fearing Allah. Qura'n states: “Only those fear Allah, from among his servants, who have knowledge (35:28). Qura'n urges all believers, male and female, to ask scholars about things that they do not know in all aspects of life. “ ask the people of message if you do not know” (21:7). Women used to ask the Prophet Muhammad about Islam with no restrictions. For example, Qura'n has a whole chapter (No.58) which was named after a woman who argued with the Prophet about her husband. This chapter starts with the story of this woman: “Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you concerning her husband and direct her complaint to Allah. And Allah hears dialogue; indeed, Allah is listening and seeing” (58:1). A woman is not only permitted to ask scholars directly but also she has the ability to argue even with the Prophet. She does not have to go through her husband or any one of her relatives to ask about her concern.

Islam permits women to tutor both women and men but with a barrier in the case of men in order to protect her and their hearts from immoral thoughts and temptation. A woman can become a scholar and the best example for that is Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. She was a scholar and she used to be a reference for Muslims in religious matters. Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him praised her knowledge when he advised Muslims to take half of their religion from her. She is one of the most educated narrators of the statements of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.

Women have been involved in critical issues during the Islamic history. For example, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and his companions went to Makka to perform pilgrimage but the infidels of Makka stopped them. Then the Prophet made a peace treaty with them and one condition in the treaty is that Muslims should return this year and come back next year to perform the pilgrimage. Then his companions became sad because they had to come back without performing the pilgrimage. The Prophet peace be upon him ordered them to shave their heads and to do their sacrifices. But the companions hesitated in answering the Prophet's call. Then the Prophet peace be upon him complained to his wife and consulted her in the issue, she advised him to lead by example and get his hair shaved and to do his sacrifices, then his companions would fallow him instantly; once the Prophet started all companions followed him.

Respect of woman spiritual rights

A woman is not the glory of man but Muslim men and women are the glory of each other as Qura'n confirms “The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His messenger (9:71). “And their Lord responded to them “Never will I allow to be lost the work of worker among you, whether male or female, you are of one another ((3:195). Men and women are equal in the praise for Allah and the best of them is the most righteous as Qura'n stated “O mankind, indeed we have created you from male and female and made you people 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 49:13). Allah calls both men and women in Qura'n as believers who do good deeds and He gives glad tidings for both righteous men and women according to the best of their actions “..but whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – those will enter paradise, being given provision therein without account.” (40:40)