Nowadays, women were given places in society and may stand equally with men, regardless of any religion, race, and ethnicities. We can see women giving a talk in the parliamentary, sitting in the government’s position, and holding portfolios. Back in the 17th and 19th centuries, divorce was prohibitively expensive. So, some lower-class British people sold their wives instead of paying the private Act of Parliament.

We also heard about the injustice against women that had already taken place since the age of ignorance proceeding the Islam era. At the age of barbarism, darkness, and ignorance of God’s providence, before the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the rise of Islam, infanticide (killings of the newly-born infant) was widely practiced by the Arabs – both males and females infants were killed.

 وَلَا تَقۡتُلُوۤا۟ أَوۡلَـٰدَكُمۡ خَشۡیَةَ إِمۡلَـٰقࣲۖ نَّحۡنُ نَرۡزُقُهُمۡ وَإِیَّاكُمۡۚ إِنَّ قَتۡلَهُمۡ كَانَ خِطۡـࣰٔا كَبِیرࣰا

“Do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely killing them is a heinous sin.” [Surah Al-Israa:31] 

However, the females are more opposed to being killed because they are considered weak creatures and an economic burden to the family. The fathers are also afraid of the female being captive by an opposing tribe, which would bring shame to the family

 وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِمَا ضَرَبَ لِلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ مَثَلࣰا ظَلَّ وَجۡهُهُۥ مُسۡوَدࣰّا وَهُوَ كَظِیمٌ

“Whenever one of them is given the good news of what they attribute to the Most Compassionate, his face grows gloomy, as he suppresses his rage.”[Surah Az-Zukhruf:17]

Besides that, women were deprived of the right of inheritance. According to the late Prof. Mahmoud Hamdy Zakzouk from Al-Azhar, Egypt:

“With the advent of Islam, women were granted a definite share of the inherited estate. Explaining this, there are only four cases in which a man inherits a double share of a woman, but there are more than 30 cases in which a woman inherits either the same as a man or even more or the woman inherits while the man does not inherit anything”

Prof. Mahmoud Hamdy Zakzouk

Looking back at the history of women in Islam, we can see that Islam has lifted women to the highest rank of equality and justice more than any other religion on earth. Islam ordered its believers to treat them well—even in divorce.

 ٱلطَّلَـٰقُ مَرَّتَانِۖ فَإِمۡسَاكُۢ بِمَعۡرُوفٍ أَوۡ تَسۡرِیحُۢ بِإِحۡسَـٰنࣲۗ

“Divorce may be retracted twice, then the husband must retain ˹his wife˺ with honour or separate ˹from her˺ with grace” [Surah Al-Baqarah:229]

Islam even asks each of their believers to get education, no matter whether they are male or female. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated in his traditions:

طلب العلم فريضة على كل مسلم

“He (PBUH) also complimented those who treat their wives with good deed”

 قال: قال رسول الله ﷺ: أكمل المؤمنين إيماناً أحسنهم خلقاً، وخياركم خياركم لنسائهم

“Coming back to the modern era, we can also see how women influenced worldly life and are highly involved in society through the painting of Osman Hamdi Bey, one of the Uthmaniah’s Empire polymath back to the year 1880. Osman works and painting often showed women engaged in educational activities.”

Fatimah al-Fihri was an Arab woman who is credited with founding the al-Qarawiyyin mosque in Morocco. She is also known as “Umm al-Banayn”. She had discovered a mosque complex in the city of Fes and has now developed into a university, named the University of al-Qarawiyyin. Proudly, the world’s oldest university began its journey in the hands of a woman.

University of al-Qarawiyyin

Among the most influential female figures in Islam are the wives of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. The Mothers of the Believers, Saidatina Khadijah, is known for her loyalty to the Prophet Muhammad since the beginning of Islam. She gave all her wealth for the sake of Islam. And also Saidatina Aisyah is known for her wisdom and being an authoritative source of Islamic knowledge.

However, this huge chance given by Islam has nothing to do with the radical movement of feminism. Using the name of ‘human rights’, a few international conferences on the so-called Islamic feminism had taken place in Spain in 2008 and Indonesia in 2017. A combination of Islam and feminism has been advocated as “a feminist discourse and practice articulated within an Islamic paradigm” by Margot Badran in 2002.

Islamic feminism is defined by Islamic scholars as being more radical than secular feminism and as being anchored within the discourse of Islam with the Quran as its central text. This movement bravely interprets the religious texts from the Quran and the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from a feminist perspective.

In conclusion, Islam emancipated women in all respects, and women are empowering this world with their thoughts and actions. An empowered woman is someone who knows her strengths and isn’t afraid to embrace them. To be empowered means to be in control of your life, aware of your capabilities, and ready to take on even your biggest dreams. But, how do we know which of them are the best? The Prophet answered this question almost 1500 years ago. He (PBUH) said:

الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَخَيْرُ مَتَاعِ الدُّنْيَا الْمَرْأَةُ الصَّالِحَةُ

“The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman” [Sahih Muslim]

Provide by,

Nik Humaira’

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