Women in Islam have their rights, they are equal to men and have the right to express themselves.   

Before Islam women were treated as property or something to own and control. They were treated like slaves with no rights, they weren’t allowed to get their share of the inheritance, nor be treated as human beings.

Before Islam, women were forced to work in prostitution, actually, some men forced their wives to work in prostitution. Men were allowed to marry any number of women, to marry two sisters at the same time, and to do whatever they pleased with women.  

Women were used as a sort of payment, if the man couldn’t pay his debt then his wife would be taken instead. They treated women as something to own. When a female child is born the father will bury her alive to wash away his embracement.

What is the role of Female in Islam? what is the status of women in Islam? that’s what we will find out and more, let’s get started.

What is the status of women in Islam?

Islam came to honor women give them their rights and enhance their status. Our beloved prophet said the following about the rights of Women in Islam:

Abu Hurairah reported that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and asked: “O Messenger of Allah, who is the person who has the greatest right on me with regards to kindness and attention?” He replied, “Your mother.” “Then who?” He replied, “Your mother.” “Then who?” He replied, “Your mother.” “Then who?” He replied, “Your father.”

The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“All people are equal, as the teeth of a comb. There is no claim of merit of an Arab and non-Arab, or a white over a black person, or a male over a female. Only God fearing people merit a preference with God.” [Ahmad b. Hanbal, Al-Musnad, vol. 6, p. 411.]

In many countries Islam is used against women to oppress them, changing the meaning of the Quranic verses, and sunnah just to force women to behave according to what they please. It is essential for women all over the world to learn and understand the rights of women in Islam, and not to let anyone control them in the name of Islam. As a matter of fact, Islam shows that women are equal to men, they are not property or something to control.

What rights and responsibilities do women have in Islamic teachings?

Islam came to change everything, to show that women are equal to men and that they have rights. Women are not property and a female child is not a bad omen and shouldn’t be buried alive. But what are the rights of Women in Islam from a sharia perspective? Let’s find out:

1. Women in Islam as wives.

Islam shows every man how to treat his wife with kindness. It shows that women in Islam have rights over their husbands. Men should treat their wives with kindness, make them live a decent life, and help them, not treat them badly, take their money by force, and beat them up like some men do.

The verses that say that a man has a degree over his wife, it doesn’t mean that he is better than her and that he can force her to do anything, what it means is that he is the one who is responsible for spending on the house and take care of the family.

Allah says in the holy Quran about Women in Islam:

“O believers! It is not permissible for you to inherit women against their will1 or mistreat them to make them return some of the dowry ˹as a ransom for divorce˺—unless they are found guilty of adultery.2 Treat them fairly. If you happen to dislike them, you may hate something which Allah turns into a great blessing.” [al-Nisa 4:19] 

“O humanity! Be mindful of your Lord Who created you from a single soul, and from it He created its mate,1 and through both, He spread countless men and women. And be mindful of Allah—in Whose Name you appeal to one another—and ˹honour˺ family ties. Surely Allah is ever Watchful over you.” (al-Nisa 4:1)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Women are the twin halves of men.”

Allah says in the holy Quran:

“They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them.” (2:187)

“And among His signs is this, that He has created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them; and He has put love and mercy between you. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” (30:21)

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I urge you to treat women well.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 331; Muslim, 1468)

The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said about Women in Islam: “Fear Allah in respect of women.”

“The best of you are they who behave best to their wives.”

“A Muslim must not hate his wife, and if he be displeased with one bad quality in her, let him be pleased with one that is good.”

“The more civil and kinder a Muslim is to his wife, the more perfect in faith he is.”

The prophet encouraged his followers to help the widow. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said: “One who makes efforts (to help) the widow or a poor person is like a mujahid (warrior) in the path of Allah, or like one who stands up for prayers in the night and fasts in the day.”

Also, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3895; Ibn Majah, 1977; classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Tirmidhi)

2. Women as daughters in Islam.

One of the rights of women in Islam is to be treated with kindness, to give her the right to live her life, not to bury her alive. Islam encourages men to raise their daughters well, educate them, and give them their rights.

In order to encourage men to take care of their daughters the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood, he and I will come like this on the Day of Resurrection,” and he held his fingers together. (Narrated by Muslim, 2631)

Ibn Majah (3669) narrated that ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Whoever has three daughters and is patient towards them, and feeds them, gives them to drink and clothes them from his riches, they will be a shield for him from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.” (Classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Ibn Majah)

3. the right of sisters in Islam.

Among the rights of women in Islam is her right to be treated kindly as a sister and aunt.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “O people! Spread (the greeting of) salam, offer food (to the needy), uphold the ties of kinship, and pray at night when people are sleeping, and you will enter Paradise in peace.” (Narrated by Ibn Majah, 3251; classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Ibn Majah)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah, may He be exalted, said to the ties of kinship: ‘Whoever upholds you, I will support him, and whoever breaks you, I will cut him off.’” [Al-Bukhari (5988)]

4. The mother’s right in Islam.

To show the significance of taking care of women in Islam as mothers, Allah said that Paradise lies at the mother’s feet. Obeying your mother, taking care of her, respecting her, and making her happy, are of great reward to you.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: A man came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, who is most deserving of my good company?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then who?” He said: “Then your father.” [Al-Bukhari (5971) and Muslim (2548)]

Women in Islam are honored, Islam encourages men to treat women kindly. And to show the significance of a mother in Islam Allah said that the Paradise lies at the mother’s feet. The best and fastest way to paradise is being good to your mother, obeying her, and treating her with kindness. Pleasing one’s mother pleases Allah.

A mother has rights over you, you shouldn’t disobey her, make her angry, disrespect her, or hurt her with words. It is your duty toward your mother to be kind to her, do your best to see her happy, be there for her, and respect her, even when she grows old and weak. Take care of her just like she did when you were just a baby.

Allah says in the holy Quran about Women in Islam:

وَوَصَّيْنَا ٱلْإِنسَـٰنَ بِوَٰلِدَيْهِ إِحْسَـٰنًا ۖ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُۥ كُرْهًۭا وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًۭا ۖ وَحَمْلُهُۥ وَفِصَـٰلُهُۥ ثَلَـٰثُونَ شَهْرًا ۚ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُۥ وَبَلَغَ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةًۭ قَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِىٓ أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ ٱلَّتِىٓ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَىَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَٰلِدَىَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَـٰلِحًۭا تَرْضَىٰهُ وَأَصْلِحْ لِى فِى ذُرِّيَّتِىٓ ۖ إِنِّى تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَإِنِّى مِنَ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ ١٥

“We have commanded people to honor their parents. Their mothers bore them in hardship and delivered them in hardship. Their period of bearing and weaning is thirty months. In time, when the child reaches their prime at the age of forty, they pray, “My Lord! Inspire me to always be thankful for Your favors which You blessed me and my parents with, and to do good deeds that please You. And instill righteousness in my offspring. I truly repent to You, and I truly submit ˹to Your Will˺.” [al-Ahqaf 46:15]

۞ وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوٓا۟ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ وَبِٱلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـٰنًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ ٱلْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّۢ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًۭا كَرِيمًۭا ٢٣

وَٱخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ ٱلذُّلِّ مِنَ ٱلرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ٱرْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِى صَغِيرًۭا ٢٤

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor.

And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young’” [al-Isra 17:23, 24]

 Women in Islam should be respected and treated with kindness. The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) instructed us to treat our parents with kindness.

Mu’awiyah ibn Jahimiah al-Sulami (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah, I want to go for jihad (battle) with you, seeking thereby the Face of Allah and the Hereafter.

He said, “Woe to you! Is your mother still alive?”  I said, Yes. He said, “Go back and honor her.”

Then I approached him from the other side and said: O Messenger of Allah, I want to go for jihad with you, seeking thereby the Face of Allah and the Hereafter. He said, “Woe to you! Is your mother still alive?”  I said, Yes. He said, “Go back and honor her.” Then I approached him from in front and said, O Messenger of Allah, I want to go for jihad with you, seeking thereby the Face of Allah and the Hereafter. He said, “Woe to you! Is your mother still alive?”  I said, Yes. He said, “Go back and honor her (lit. stay by her feet), for there is Paradise.” [Classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah.]

5. The right of Women in Islam to Inherit.

Before Islam, women didn’t have the right to get their share of Inheritance, because they were seen as objects or property not equal, or human with rights. But Islam came to show the right of Women in Islam to inherit.

Allah says in the holy Quran:

لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌۭ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ ٱلْوَٰلِدَانِ وَٱلْأَقْرَبُونَ وَلِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِيبٌۭ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ ٱلْوَٰلِدَانِ وَٱلْأَقْرَبُونَ مِمَّا قَلَّ مِنْهُ أَوْ كَثُرَ ۚ نَصِيبًۭا مَّفْرُوضًۭا ٧

“For men there is a share in what their parents and close relatives leave, and for women there is a share in what their parents and close relatives leave—whether it is little or much. These are obligatory shares.” [An-Nisa: 7]

يُوصِيكُمُ ٱللَّهُ فِىٓ أَوْلَـٰدِكُمْ ۖ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ ٱلْأُنثَيَيْنِ ۚ فَإِن كُنَّ نِسَآءًۭ فَوْقَ ٱثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُنَّ ثُلُثَا مَا تَرَكَ ۖ وَإِن كَانَتْ وَٰحِدَةًۭ فَلَهَا ٱلنِّصْفُ ۚ وَلِأَبَوَيْهِ لِكُلِّ وَٰحِدٍۢ مِّنْهُمَا ٱلسُّدُسُ مِمَّا تَرَكَ إِن كَانَ لَهُۥ وَلَدٌۭ ۚ فَإِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّهُۥ وَلَدٌۭ وَوَرِثَهُۥٓ أَبَوَاهُ فَلِأُمِّهِ ٱلثُّلُثُ ۚ فَإِن كَانَ لَهُۥٓ إِخْوَةٌۭ فَلِأُمِّهِ ٱلسُّدُسُ ۚ مِنۢ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍۢ يُوصِى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ ۗ ءَابَآؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَآؤُكُمْ لَا تَدْرُونَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ لَكُمْ نَفْعًۭا ۚ فَرِيضَةًۭ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًۭا ١١

۞ وَلَكُمْ نِصْفُ مَا تَرَكَ أَزْوَٰجُكُمْ إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّهُنَّ وَلَدٌۭ ۚ فَإِن كَانَ لَهُنَّ وَلَدٌۭ فَلَكُمُ ٱلرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْنَ ۚ مِنۢ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍۢ يُوصِينَ بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍۢ ۚ وَلَهُنَّ ٱلرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمْ إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّكُمْ وَلَدٌۭ ۚ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ وَلَدٌۭ فَلَهُنَّ ٱلثُّمُنُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُم ۚ مِّنۢ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍۢ تُوصُونَ بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍۢ ۗ وَإِن كَانَ رَجُلٌۭ يُورَثُ كَلَـٰلَةً أَوِ ٱمْرَأَةٌۭ وَلَهُۥٓ أَخٌ أَوْ أُخْتٌۭ فَلِكُلِّ وَٰحِدٍۢ مِّنْهُمَا ٱلسُّدُسُ ۚ فَإِن كَانُوٓا۟ أَكْثَرَ مِن ذَٰلِكَ فَهُمْ شُرَكَآءُ فِى ٱلثُّلُثِ ۚ مِنۢ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍۢ يُوصَىٰ بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ غَيْرَ مُضَآرٍّۢ ۚ وَصِيَّةًۭ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَلِيمٌۭ ١٢

“Allah commands you regarding your children: the share of the male will be twice that of the female.1 If you leave only two or more females, their share is two-thirds of the estate. But if there is only one female, her share will be one-half. Each parent is entitled to one-sixth if you leave offspring.2 But if you are childless and your parents are the only heirs, then your mother will receive one-third.3 But if you leave siblings, then your mother will receive one-sixth4—after the fulfillment of bequests and debts.5 ˹Be fair to˺ your parents and children, as you do not fully know who is more beneficial to you.6 This is an obligation from Allah. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

You will inherit half of what your wives leave if they are childless. But if they have children, then your share is one-fourth of the estate—after the fulfillment of bequests and debts. And your wives will inherit one-fourth of what you leave if you are childless. But if you have children, then your wives will receive one-eighth of your estate—after the fulfillment of bequests and debts. And if a man or a woman leaves neither parents nor children but only a brother or a sister from their mother’s side˺, they will each inherit one-sixth, but if they are more than one, they ˹all˺ will share one-third of the estate1—after the fulfillment of bequests and debts without harm ˹to the heirs˺. This is a commandment from Allah. And Allah is All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.” [An-Nisa, 11:12]

Islam ensures the women’s right to Inheritance and anyone who doesn’t do as Allah orders will be punished. That’s the right of Women in Islam to inherit.

6. Women’s Right in Islam to Seek Knowledge.

Women in Islam have the right to seek knowledge just like men, there is no difference between them in Islam. No one can stop women from acquiring knowledge and proper education.

7. The right of women in Islam to own properties.

Among the rights of women in Islam is that women are free to own property just like a man does. She can buy a car, a house, or whatever she pleases.

8. Women have the right to work.

In Islam, women are free to work and choose their profession.

Who are some influential women in Islamic history and leadership?

Khadīja bint Khuwaylid.

One of the most influential women in Islam is Khadija. Khadija took the place of her father after his death and became a famous merchant at a time when women were thought of as objects and were oppressed. All merchants respected her and she was known for her integrity and trustworthiness. Her business strived and she became the wealthiest merchant of Quraish. Khadījah bint Khuwaylid is a source of inspiration for all Muslim women.

Aisha bint Abu Bakr.

One of the most influential women in Islam is Aisha bint Abu Bakr. She spread the Teachings of the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and Islam, narrating the sayings of the prophet, and became a famous scholar. She narrated around 2,210 hadiths, about various topics.

Khawlah Bint Al-Azwar.

One of the most influential women in Islam is Khawlah Bint Al-Azwar. A remarkable woman in the time of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, she is from the Bani Asad tribe. Her family was among the earliest to embrace Islam. Khawlah’s father, Al-Azwar, trained her in the art of swordsmanship, turning her into an exceptional warrior.

Khawlah’s skills were so outstanding that she earned a reputation as one of the greatest female warriors in history. Opponents on the battlefield even likened her prowess to that of Khalid Bin Walid, a renowned male warrior. Khawlah’s life became legendary, and her legacy endures.

She stands as an inspirational figure, proving that both men and women can be fierce defenders of their beliefs. Khawlah Bint Al-Azwar’s story serves as a timeless example of courage and determination, showcasing that anyone can stand up for what they believe in, regardless of their gender.

What is the concept of modesty and hijab in Islam, and why is it important?

Muslim women wear hijab as part of their faith, to show Allah that they believe in him and to obey him. As we see in surah Surah Al-Ahzab, Allah says:

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be recognized and not be abused. And ever is Allah forgiving and merciful.”

In this verse, Allah orders women to wear the hijab to protect them from being abused by men. Therefore, Women in Islam wear the Hijab.

Because of Islamic rules regarding women, some people spread the idea of how Islam is being so strict on women. Every religion has its rules and regulations that its followers must adhere to, and in comparison, to the rights of women in Islam, women’s rules are not intended to oppress them at all.

As a matter of fact, all haram (forbidden) things in Islam are forbidden for both men and women. However, there are some gender-related rules, but it’s not for women only either. For example, wearing silk and gold is haram for men, but permissible for women. On the other hand, wearing shorts in public is forbidden for women and permissible for men, and so on.

These rules have a purpose that Allah SWT intended and ordered us to comply with. This doesn’t mean that Islam is exclusively strict on women or treats them as objects to be covered and hidden.

Women In Islam should cover their bodies and dress in loose clothing, you might think that this is not fair or that Islam treats women strictly but you are wrong. Islam instructed women to cover their bodies for their own sake, if you don’t believe that then look around, women who are wearing exposing clothes get sexually harassed by men or hear bad words from them.

What Islam wants is to keep women safe, women should hide their beauty so that they won’t get hurt by men. And that is not discrimination or oppression like others say.

How does Islam promote women’s education and the pursuit of knowledge?

The Quran urges all Muslims, regardless of biological gender, to put effort into the quest for knowledge as it continually encourages Muslims to study, ponder, meditate, and learn from Allah’s signs in nature. Women in Islam have the right to be educated and pursue knowledge.

“And those who strive in Our (cause), – We will certainly guide them to our Paths: For verily Allah is with those who do right”

(Surah Al Ankabut)

Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad’s (sunnah) stated or performed examples both support the equal rights of men and women to pursue knowledge. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

“Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave”

Prophet Muhammad’s interest in female education was evident in the fact that he used to teach both men and women. Prophet Muhammad’s teachings were greatly sought after by both genders.

Early women in Islam used to learn how to memorize Quran and Quran Tajweed rules to perfectly recite the Quran and use it in their lives. Furthermore, it was stated that there were many female Islamic scholars at the time of Early Islam.

Women in Islam have the right to seek knowledge just like men, there is no difference between them in Islam. No one can stop women from acquiring knowledge and proper education.

One of the women’s rights in Islam is to be treated with kindness, to give her the right to live her life, not to bury her alive. Islam Sharia encourages men to raise their daughters well, educate them, and give them their rights.

In order to encourage men to take care of their daughters and women in Islam the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood, he and I will come like this on the Day of Resurrection,” and he held his fingers together. (Narrated by Muslim, 2631)

Ibn Majah (3669) narrated that ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Whoever has three daughters and is patient towards them, and feeds them, gives them to drink and clothes them from his riches, they will be a shield for him from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.” (Classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Ibn Majah)

What opportunities do women have in economic and business ventures in Islam?

From day one, Islam didn’t prevent women from working and didn’t even make it obligatory to stay at home to serve the family. Prophet Muhammad’s wife Khadija (May Allah Be Pleased with Her) was a popular merchant before and after Islam was revealed.

Women also worked as Islamic teachers and scholars in the early days. The wives and daughters of Prophet Muhammad were the first to convey his words and make efforts to clarify Islamic teachings to other women. Women in Islam have the freedom to work and have a career that they please.

What are women’s rights in marriage and divorce according to Islamic teachings?

Women in Islam have the freedom to choose who to marry, they shouldn’t be forced to marry someone they don’t like. Instead, they should be asked about what they want. Also, a woman can ask for a divorce in Islam. Women can also initiate divorce through the procedure of khul’, which is a type of no-fault divorce mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah where the husband’s permission is not necessary.

How does Islam empower women through its values and teachings?

In Islam, a woman is a self-sufficient individual. She has the authority to create any contract or bequest in her name. She has the right to inherit her roles as a mother, a wife, a sister, and a daughter. She is completely free to pick her husband. Unlike the pre-Islamic Arabian pagan culture that had an illogical aversion towards its female children, whom they used to bury alive.

Women in Islam have their rights, unlike other religions, which consider women to have inherent vice and wickedness and males to have inherent virtue and majesty, Islam considers men and women to be of the same essence, formed from a single soul.

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.”

(Surah An-Nisaa)

Important to note that the previous ayah is taken from Surah An-Nisaa which translates to ‘women’s chapter,’ highlighting how Quran cared to include a chapter named after women, talking about women in Islam, their rights, and status.

Women are spiritual and intellectual equals to males. The primary contrast it draws between them is in the physical sphere, which is founded on the equitable concept of fair distribution of work.

The Quran also emphasizes the unity and equality between a man and his wife.

“They are a garment (i.e. vestment, mutual protection) for you, and you are a garment for them.”

(Surah Al-Baqarah)

How can we challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about women in Islam?

To challenge the stereotypes and misconceptions about Women in Islam one should learn about their rights and Islamic values. Every parent should ensure to teach their children about women’s rights in Islam and understand its meaning.

Now we know the rights and roles of Women in Islam. I hope you found what you were looking for, and if you like the article share it with your family and friends, and don’t hesitate and drop a comment below.

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