The respect accorded to women by Islam (2)
Belief and good deeds ensure eternal salvation. Only those whose faith is perfect and whose deeds are absolutely for the sake of Allah Most High will be successful.
Any person who follows this path will be honorable before Allah Most High and the person who is bereft of faith and deeds will be deserving of His wrath, regardless of whether that person is male or female.
Only men don’t complete this world. Allah Most High has made women also an integral part of this world. A woman is a companion for her husband, an honor for her father and an asset to the whole society.
However, before Islam things were not such. Birth of a girl child would be considered a matter of dishonor so much so that some stonehearted people would bury their daughters alive. The Holy Quran describes this in the following words:
And when the news (of the birth) of a daughter is disclosed to any of them, his face turns dark and he gets pent up with anger. He seeks to hide himself from people due to the (presumed) bad news that is given to him. (He now gets down to thinking) whether he should keep her (alive) despite humiliation and disgrace, or bury her (alive) in the earth. See! How wicked is the decision that they make! Surah Nahl (16:58, 59)
This heinous crime cannot be condemned enough. Islam condemned this line of thinking very severely. Anyone who did so would be held accountable before Allah Most High. The poor girl child who was buried would be asked, as a consolation, as to if she had committed some crime that she was buried in this manner. As mentioned in the Holy Quran:
And when the infant girl buried alive will be asked, for what crime was she slain? Surah Takweer (81:8,9)
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) also discouraged the line of thought that girls are inferior to boys. He gave glad tidings of reward on bringing up and education and instruction of girls:
Translation: Any person who has a daughter and that person didn’t bury her alive, didn’t consider her inferior and didn’t prefer boys over her, Allah Most High will enter that person into paradise. (Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith No. 5148)
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) also said:
Translation: The person who raises 3 girls, educates them, performs their marriage and treats them with kindness, paradise is granted to that person. (Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith No. 5149)
Many such Hadith can be found in the corpus of Hadith literature. This is the reason why special attention is paid to the education and bringing up of girls in Muslim households.