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Women have long been devoid of justice. If we look through the pages of history, women have always been the sufferers. In ancient times in Egypt people saw associated them with the devil. People never saw them as a blessing. Very often when a female baby was born, she was buried alive. Women were tortured and treated as slaves. After the coming of Islam the status of women was uplifted and brought equal to man. Allah almighty says in the Holy Quran:

O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them,except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. (Surah Al-Nisa 4:19)

This shows how the men should behave and interact with women. Islam abolished woman slavery. Islam raised the voice against slavery and considered it as a social injustice whether male slavery or female. Women were given the rights to go outside homes, get education, and do job and even keep the wages to themselves and spend the way they like. Most people don’t know about the rights and are misguided by what others tell them. They should study the Holy Quran and Hadith themselves and they will find out that Women have been given equal rights to men in Islam.

Restricting woman to the house in the name of wedlock and household responsibilities against their will is also a form of slavery. Muslim woman is not bound to stay at home and compromise with every whim of her caretakers at cost of sacrificing her desires. It is her goodness that she compromises and does not demand much but it is not a compulsion put on her by the religion. It is unfortunately, the social setup and male chauvinism. However, things and situations do improve with the right knowledge and information about one’s rights and duties. Women should focus more upon learning the basics themselves and then transfer their knowledge and findings to their offspring. A slow but gradual process can bring about an ever-lasting change for the women worldwide.

Women in Islam are granted numerous rights, as their status is considered equal to men. Women are suppose to be given the right of getting higher education, to attend mosques, the right to marriage by their own consent, to do jobs and even business. Women have the right to go outside home and in the community.

Nowadays when we look around the world we see that those countries are progressing where there is less gender discrimination and where women are working side by side with men. Women are the ones who turn out to be the best teachers. They mold the young minds of today for a better tomorrow. Islam doesn’t prohibit women from working. In fact Islam allows them to even do business and keep all the money to themselves and spend it the way they like. Islam only asks that a woman should be modest in her dress and protect herself and her chastity.

Women suffered a lot before the advent of Islam but slowly and gradually they were granted rights and freedom as Islam spread in the vast corners of the world. Women started to know their rights and started to live their life the way they want to. Women however,are still suffering in some parts of the world, and it is the duty of the Muslims to help and support their sisters.

Many religious scholars speak in the favor of women rights but if you take a sneak look at their household, you may find their own women cladded and wrapped in the veils in the name of so-called Islam within the boundaries of their home or inside the four walls. It is not Islamdevoid the woman of any of her rights. The so-called Muslims have used Islam to suppress the women. What needs to be changed is this thinking and of course, women can do this if they get united and trained. A good mother can bring about change in the society by giving proper training and guidance to her male children. She can put good seeds in their minds and teach them from day one to respect and honor the women. These boys when turn into adult males would bring about change in their own perspective and treatment towards the opposite gender as well as that of the society. Unless the women could know themselves thequalities, they posses thatthey could manipulate with these attributes Allah given them they can never expect any thing changing for them in the social setup where they exist.

In olden times people used to give more importance to male children. Sometimes they even buried their female children alive because they considered them as a burden. The Quran prohibits the killing of female infants. Allah almighty says:

“Kill not your children for want of sustenance, for it is Allah who will give sustenance to youand your children.” [Surah Al-Anam, Ch:6, Verse:  51]

In Islam killing of children is considered as a major sin. Even those who didn’t go to the extent of killing their own blood, they treated their daughters badly and in an unspeakable way.

Islam granted equal rights to females. Daughters are now of equal status as the son. Whatever we feed our son we should feed the same to our daughter. She has the right to be well clothed, and she has the right to security and freedom of expression.  Daughters tend to be more faithful in this life as well as the afterlife. There is a hadith reported in Tirmizi, which states that whoever has three daughters and feeds them, clothes them, and is kind to them, they will become a shield for him and protect him against the torture of hell-fire.

A fine balance is required for the parents to maintain between their both sons and daughter’s upbringing. Giving the daughter equal rights does not mean to raise her like a male child but it means to educate and treat her the same manner you treat your son. Give them freedom and good moral education to perform their roles well. Give them enough support to stand against the wrong and fight for the right. Do not make them emotionally weak and have lack of confidence. The young girl needs all the necessary education to bring about the changes in the society from day one. As Napoleon said,“If you give me a good mother i will give you a good nation” so keep this factor in mind that you are not raising just a girl but it is her who has the ability to give birth to all these famous men. It was only a woman when she gave birth to prophets and she still is a woman when she is killed in the name of honor and man made customs.

One of the most important rights of wife is that husband has to support her through thick and thin. If the husband does not support her, she is not obligated to fulfill her duties. Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“And upon the father is mother’s sustenance and her clothing according to what is reasonable. No person shall have a burden on him greater than he can bear”. [Surah Al-Baqarah]
Wife should be treated with care, and kindness. A husband should always listen to her. He should buy things for her that he likes for himself and keep her well. Wife has an equal status in the decision making at home. Wife has the right to do job, acquire higher education and she should not be prohibited from doing that. It is prohibited in Islam to beat your wife and it is considered bad if you do so. It is quite easy to mention the rights of wife or women in Islam but what is difficult is to follow them. We do not see many people following them. Women especially the Muslim women suffer ill-treatment. Those people who do not treat their wives or other women with respect are illiterate even after being literate.
It is not only the men responsible for the ill treatment of women but it is the women themselves not standing against their own gender. When they are playing the role of a mother in law, they forget that the women whom they are treating badly belong to the same gender they are. When they are not educated well and not equipped with the right religious and academic training, they tend to create hell for other women as well. The women do the most harm to other women so they need to wake up as well and take stand for the rights of others rather than snatching away even the right to exist.

Women have been given great importance and value in Islam. Their role as a mother has greatly been admired by Islam. Woman is the one who has to suffer for nine months to bring her child into the world. Her job does not only end there. She cares for her child, spends sleepless nights just for the comfort of her baby, nurtures him, and teaches him moral values among many other things.
In Islam the noblest thing is satisfying and caring for one’s parents. Mother has been given three times more importance than the father. Therefore, in Islam, every day is like a mother’s day and we always have to care and respect our parents and never even bristle. The Muslim woman enjoys great security and care as a mother from the hands of her child. In Islam it is said that if one’s mother dies, he has to fulfill the vows he had made to his mother before her death. The importance of caring and respecting mother is clear from the Hadith narrated by Jahmah:

I said to the Holy Prophet, “O Messenger of Allah, I desire to go on a (military) expedition and I have come to consult you.” He asked me if I had a mother, and when I replied that I had, he said, “Stay with her because Paradise lies beneath her feet”.

Let us turn the table now. Charity begins at home you must have heard and this is exactly that one should do and act. Muslim woman should very well know this and try to implement in their lives. It is not only the children who should respect and honor you but it should be you who should present yourself in such a way that they are compelled to love you. If you want your children to be respectful to you then you will have to teach them right from the beginning. Help them learn and educate them with latest technology but do not neglect to transfer your traditional and cultural values. Let their Islamic concept be clear and they should know what Islam is teaching about the rights and duties, afterwards expect them to become good Muslims and loving son or daughter. As a woman, you have this key role of nurturing and raising a human being according to the teachings of Quran and Sunnah. Therefore, if you have neglected your duties under any circumstances you may not retain the right to complaint afterwards.
Author : Sazia Jilani

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