Secular media often targeted status of women in Islam. In particular, the western people, who talks about giving free rights to Muslim women as enjoyed by European women. The Islamic dress of code for women, “HIJAAB”, is cited by many as an example of the ‘suppression’ of women under Islamic law.
Let us first see the status of women in earlier civilizations where she was considered as objects of lust.
Degradation of women before advent of Islam
The status of women in earlier civilizations was very stumpy, to the extent that they were denied basic human dignity as we see status of women in Greek civilization.
Greek civilization: – The Greeks considered women to be subhuman and inferior to men. Prostitution became a regular practice amongst all classes of Greek society.
And see her status in Roman Civilization
Roman Civilization: – In Romans a man even had the right to unjustifiably take the life of his wife. Prostitution and nudity were common practice amongst the Romans.
Pre-Islamic Arabia: – It was a custom to cherish the birth of male children and to bury the female children alive because of shame and poverty.
Islam doesn’t degrade and disgraced a woman rather it raised and uplifted the status of woman by giving honor to her 1400 years ago.
As we see how our beloved prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) gave reward for upbringing girls:
The Reward of upbringing Girls:
The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ! has said:
“Whoever looks after two girls till they reach maturity, he and I will enter Paradise together like these two (fingers).” (Muslim and A t- Tirmidh 1)
Worth of Women in Islam
In Islam, women are encouraged to contribute their opinions and ideas. There are many traditions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which indicate women would pose questions directly to him and offer their opinions concerning religion, economics and social matters.
The Prophet Muhammad (sallalaahu alayehi wasallam)’s narrations speak of women with praise and respect. He! Once said:
“The world and all things in it are precious, and the most precious thing in the world is a virtuous woman.” (Ahmad and Muslim)
He! also said:
“Shall I not inform you about the best treasure a man can have? It is a virtuous woman who pleases him when he looks at her, who obeys him when he commands her, and who guards herself when he is absent from her.”
The Honor of Mother in Islam:
In a famous incident, a man came to the Prophet ! and asked:
“O Messenger of Allah, who is the person who has the greatest right on me with regards to kindness and attention?” He replied: “Your mother.” “Then Who?” He replied: “Your mother.” “Then who?” He replied: Your mother.” “Then who?” He replied: “Your father.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)
The Qur’an also discusses the immense honor and respect due to both parents, and especially to mother:
“And we have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.” (Surah Luqman 31:Ayat-14)
Islam and Modesty
The Quran says that Hijaab has been prescribed for women so that they are recognized as being modest women, which may also prevent them from being molested. Suppose two equally beautiful twin sisters walk down a street. One of them is attired in the Islamic Hijaab, i.e. the complete body is covered, except for the face and the hands up to the wrists. The other sister is wearing western clothes, such as a miniskirt or shorts. Around the corner is a lout who is waiting for a catch to tease a girl. Whom will he tease – the girl wearing the Islamic Hijaab or the girl wearing the miniskirt or shorts? Naturally, he will tease the girl in the more revealing dress. Such dresses are an indirect invitation to the opposite sex for teasing and molestation. The Quran rightly says that Hijaab prevents women from being molested.
Liberation of women in Western Society
Western talk of women’s liberation is nothing but a disguised form of exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul, and deprivation of her honor. Western society claims to have ‘uplifted’ women. On the contrary, it has actually degraded them to the status of concubines, mistresses and society butterflies that are mere tools in the hands of pleasure seekers and sex marketers.
In conclusion, the Muslim woman was given a role, duties and rights 1400 years ago that most women do not enjoy today – even in the West. These are from Allah and are designed to keep balance in society; what may seem unjust or missing in one place is compensated for or explained in another place. A woman in Islam can do any business she chooses, as long as her action will not affect her honor and no man can force her to marry without her will