Women in Islam and in Our Society

Islam has empowered women with the most progressive rights since the 7th century. In Islam women are not inferior and unequal to men. There was a time when female children were buried alive and Arabian women were considered as transportable property, Islam honored them and shield them with unrivalled rights. They were given right to education, right to marry someone of their own choice, to divorce and to keep their identity after marriage etc. Additionally, the women had played a vital role in development of nations and societies, but those nations and societies restricted them by violating their rights that Islam has given. The people of the societies so called religious persons, violet the women’s rights and involve the religion in the violation. Perhaps, they have forgotten that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) tried to transform the mindset of Arabs regarding the treatment of women, and Islam raised the respect of women in the society. In our society women are being used as home stuffs. Early childhood marriage, honor killing and violation of right to Education are the elements that excluded women from humanism and put them in animalism.
Early childhood marriage is very common in rural areas of our society. Female children are considered as a burden to their parents, and the parents want to depart them as soon as possible. Each year, 12 million girls are being married before the age of 18 that is 23 girls every minute and nearly 1 girl in every 2 seconds (UNICEF). Particularly in Pakistan, about 21% of the girls are married before the age of 18 (UNICEF 2017). Child marriage involves different reason behind it such as exchange of daughters, settlement of debts and others. If we see it from Islamic point of view, it does not give any specific age of marriage either for a girl or a boy. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
“And for such of your women as despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be three months, along with those who have it not” (Al-talaaq 65:4)
Now, it is clear that Islam does not allow parents to get their daughters marry unless they reach their age of menstruation. Women are often seen weak, mentally depressed; and often remain ill, when they are being married before their menstruation age. Additionally, when they feel that they are sold out by their parents to marry for the above mentioned reasons, they become inferior and start thinking themselves aimless and worthless in the world.
Another terrifying problem in our society is honor killing (karo kari). Karo kari means that a man can kill a woman for she brought dishonor to the family by having affairs with another man. Over 1000 such cases are reported a year. This crime is common in the areas with having less literacy. Besides, karo kari became trend in some communities for getting a kind of fine from the man (karo) by blaming to have affairs with their woman. Thus, they get the amount and kill their innocent daughters, sisters or wives relentlessly, and claim to have permission in Islam. Islam is severely against this monster. Hazrat Halaal bin Humayyah, companion of Holy Prophet (SAW) came to the Prophet and said “Oh Muhammad (SAW)! I have seen my wife with another man with my own eyes.” Holy Prophet (SAW) answered: “either bring four witnesses or ready for the punishment for slander”
This incident clears that this inhuman crime has nothing to do with the religion, and is planted in cultural and tribal practices. Man and woman relationships are clearly defined in the Islam and punishment for adultery is based on the certain principals that Islam has laid out. In Islamic jurisprudence, a person cannot be punished unless the accusers present four eye witnesses in order to testify in the court against the executioner.
Like other rights of women, the right to education is also violated in our society. About two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women, and the women from rural areas have the highest ratio, says UNESCO. If the women could get their better Education, they would not be facing problems in the society. More ever, if they would be educated, they would be aware of their social rights and would never let their rights be violated. Though, successive international assemblies, agreed on a vision that all children should have access to Education so that they may enable themselves to realize their potential as individuals, parents, citizens and workers. Many societies’ specially Muslim tribes do not follow them. They claim that sending female girls out of home to schools or other Educational institutions is beyond religious teachings. And they claim that the Islam has laid stress on covering (parda), so it will be contravene of Islamic commands. However, Islam always laid stress on seeking knowledge for every Muslim, man or woman. Our Holy Prophet (SAW) said:
“Acquisition of knowledge is binding on all Muslims” (both men and women without any discrimination). (Al-Sunan, 1:81 ยง224.)
In the above Hadith, the word Muslim refers to all the Muslims, man or woman. Furthermore, bu Sa’id al-Khudri, a companion of the Prophet (SAW) reports that some women came to the Prophet (SAW) and said: “men have gone forward (in acquisition of knowledge). Therefore, also fix a day for our welfare.” The Holy Prophet (SAW) appointed one day for them. He (SAW) would meet them on that day, and educate those regarding commands of Allah Almighty. (al-Bukhari in al-Sahih, 1:50.). Hence, it becomes very much clear that Islam is always in favor of women’s Education, and does promote it.
Given these facts, Women is always been victimized in different ways, and their fundamental rights are always violated by the inhuman social customs prevalent in our society. Perversely, Islam honored women and protected them with unrivaled rights. Islam is intolerant of injustice with women in any condition contrary to those societies who do so and involve it as an excuse.

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