The respect accorded to women by Islam
The woeful condition of women before Islam came doesn’t need to be described. Islam lifted her up from the abyss of indignity and put her on the pedestal of respect and reverence. Women were denied inheritance. Islam made her the inheritor of her parents, her husband, etc. Her wish and will was not counted at all for marriage and separation. Islam granted her, her due rights in these matters.
As a human being, a woman is also accorded the same respect and dignity that men are accorded. There is no discrimination of any kind in this. The Holy Quran describes this in the words:
O mankind! Fear your Lord, Who (initiated) your creation from a single soul, Surah Nisa (04: 01)
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) described this is the words:
Translation: Women are the co-species of men. (Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith No. 236)
The word used in this Hadith is “Shaqeeqa” which means of similar kind in birth and nature. Thus, Imam Khattabi (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) writes: With respect to their birth and their (intrinsic human) nature, they are like men, as if they have emerged out of men.
As per Islam, to consider women as inferior to men in any way is baseless and absolutely wrong. Islam states clearly that by virtue of being human, the honor of men and women is the same.
Islam doesn’t declare gender to be the basis of superiority and inferiority. The standard of excellence is piety and consciousness of Allah Most High.
[To be continued…]