Women’s Rights in Islam
Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds and prayers
and greetings be upon His honorable messenger
This study has taken a great deal of time and effort. I ask only that you read it and pass it around, and I hope that as many people as possible would benefit from it. I seek nothing in return but Allah’s pleasure and generous rewards.
Women have suffered great injustices throughout the ages; they have been deeply wronged, profoundly exploited, despite the fact that they are the mothers, the sisters, the wives, the daughters and the aunties; all of whom are the gentlest of creation and the dearest of humans to our hearts.
I will project to you, dear readers, the injustices women were subjected to in the olden and in modern times, then I will shed the lights on the mercy bestowed by the Lord of the worlds on women, and how He has honored them and elevated their status. So, please stay with me until the end.
Chapters of Shame:
It is shameful that humanity was not treating women as human beings. All past civilizations exercised various types of torture, injustice and oppression on women.
Ancient Greeks described ‘the woman’ as the poisoning tree and described her as being filth made by Satan. She used to be sold as a commodity.
Romans said she had no soul and, as a sort of torture, they poured hot oil over her. She used to be dragged by horses until death.
Chinese described her as the painful water, which takes away happiness, and that a Chinese has the right to bury his wife alive and, if he dies his family will be entitled to inherit her as part of his legacy.
Indians described her as worse than death, hell, poison, snakes, and fire. The woman had no right to live after her husband's death; and they claimed that she should be burned with him.
Persians permitted the marriage of the unmarriageable women with no exception, and it was allowed for a Persian to sentence his wife to death!
Jews described her as a curse because she was the reason of seduction; that she was dirty when in menstruation and they permitted her father to sell her.
In Christianity: The French held a conference in 586 AD to determine if the woman could be considered human or not, and whether she had a soul or not. If she had a soul, they asked was it a human’s or an animal’s soul? And if it were a human’s soul, was it at the same level as that of a man’s or at a lower level? They finally decided that she was human, but she was created only to serve the man. The English parliament issued a decree during the reign of Henry the 8th, which banned women from reading the New Testament because they were sullied and dirty. Luther, the head of the Protestants (which make up the majority of the American population today) said, “If women tire, or even die; all this doesn’t matter. Let them die during birth, for this is the reason they were created”.
And when the anesthetization was introduced for childbirth in 1847, the church objected to it being used. It claimed that God said, in the holy book, to Eve after committing the sin and eating from the forbidden tree, “With pain shall you give birth”; as if to say, “how could we have mercy on women, when God has decided that she suffers during birth? We then have to help God in his revenge on women !!”
Before Islam, Arabs used to bury the newborn baby girls alive or throw them into a well in a very brutal manner.
Women's rights in the world's conscience in figures
To exercise injustice over the weakness of women, here is where manhood has been marred. Where is the so-called manhood when tyranny is exercised over women?
Let the figures speak for themselves about the conscience of the civilized world from China to America!
Statistics indicate that one out of every three girls aged 14 years, is subjected to rape; there are half a million American rape cases yearly; 61% of American girls lose their virginity before the age of 12 and studies show that four million American women get beaten each year at the rate of one every 15 seconds.
The Times Magazine published a report on incidents of beatings that American wives encounter, and stated that between 2000 to 4000 wives get beaten to death.
The ‘Women Institute’ in Madrid, Spain, revealed a set of staggering statistics about America alone… Let us have a look:
- In 1980 there were 1,553,000 abortions, 30% of this is for women under twenty years of age, while police reports state that the real figure is three times this number. So, I murmured, “approximately 5 Million!”
- In 1982, 80% of the women who had been married for over 15 years had divorced.
- In 1984, about 8 Million women live alone with their kids without any external support.
- In 1986, 27% of the citizens live off women’s expenses!
- In 1982 there were 65 rape cases for every 10 thousand women, and in 1995, 82,000 rape crimes were committed, of these 80% were committed within the family and amongst friends, while police reports confirm that the real figure is 35 times this number! So, I murmured to myself, “this would make 82000 X 35 = 2,870,000! Note that that was twelve years ago!
- In 1997 according to the associations defending women’s rights, a woman gets raped every 3 seconds, while the official authorities denied this claim saying that this figure is too exaggerated and that the correct figure is one every 6 seconds! So, I murmured, “that would be 10 cases every minute! And if multiplied by 60, the figure would be 600 rape cases in one single hour! And 600X24 = 14,400 rape cases a day, and so on to reach a round figure of 5,184,000 for the whole year! And, if we base our calculation on the associations’ estimated figures, this number would exceed 10 Million rape cases in this jungle!
- In 1997, statistics reported that some 4000 women get killed each year by their husbands or by those whom they live with, 74% of the elderly and poor are women and 85% of those live alone without any support or assistance.
- From 1979 to 1985 Latin American women who migrated to USA, had secret operations operated on them, which turned them barren, without their knowledge!
- From 1980 to1990 there were nearly one million women working in prostitution in USA, and in 1995 the total income from prostitution institutions and their marketing agents reached US$ 2500 Million!
In Britain, over the past 15 years, London police alone have received one hundred thousand calls a year from women beaten by their husbands, 79% of Americans beat their wives, and 83% were admitted to hospitals at least once to get treatments following incidents of beating; while one hundred thousand German women are beaten by men annually.
In Spain, in 1990, 93% of Spanish women use contraceptive pills for a period of 15 consecutive years throughout their lives, and in 1990, 130,000 women reported physical assault and beatings by the men they live with whether their husbands or boyfriends.
One lawyer stated that the complaints of violent physical abuse and beatings reached 54,000 in 1997 while the police that confirmed the real figure was ten times that number. So I murmured, “54000 X 10 = 540,000!”
In 1995, one Million women underwent plastic surgery as a result of beating, i.e. an average of 1: 5 women living in Madrid and the surrounding areas.
Moreover, there are daily reports about brutal killings of women at the hands of the men they live with. This annual report is called ‘Women Encyclopedia ‘, published by “the Institute of International of Women Studies “, headquartered in Madrid, and is recognized worldwide.
In France, there are 2 Million women who get beaten every year, while 60% of the complaints received at night by Paris police are appeals for help from women offended and abused by their husbands. This prompted Michelle Andre, Secretary of State for Human Rights, to say, “Animals sometimes are treated better than women, for if a man beats a dog in the street someone will complain to animals’ welfare society, but if a man beats his wife, no one in France will interfere.”
In China, studies showed that more than a quarter million people commit suicide each year. The bigger shock is that suicide is the cause of death in one third of all death cases among young women. The study also confirms that there are more than 2 million suicide attempts annually, of which about a quarter million succeed.
The Heavenly Sanctuary
Allah sent Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH), as mercy to all humanity. His characteristics changed the ugly face of history and shaped a new an unprecedented life for humankind and all its civilizations.
Islam came to rule the following, “… And due to them [i.e. the wives] is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable”. 2:228
Islam says, "…And live with them in kindness”. 4:19
Islam says, "… do not prevent them from remarrying their [former] husbands…”. 2:232
Islam says, “…But give them [a gift of] compensation - the wealthy according to his capability and the poor according to his capability…” 2:236
Islam says, “…Lodge them where you dwell, according to your means…” 65:6
Islam says, “…and do not harm them in order to oppress them…” 65:6
Islam says, "…so, give them their due compensation as an obligation.” 4:24
Islam says, “…and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave (of the inheritance).” 4:7
Islam says, “… and for women is a share of what they have earned…” 4:32
Islam says, "… and give them from the wealth of Allah which He has given you…” 24:33
Islam says, "…They are clothing [cover] for you and you are clothing [cover] for them…” 2:187
Islam says, "…O my people! These are my daughters; they are purer for you…" 11:78
Islam says, "… seek no means against them… “4:34
Islam says, "…It is not lawful for you to inherit the women by compulsion…” 4:19
Islam says, “… and do not make difficulties for them in order to take back part of what you gave them…” 4:19
Islam says, " … then [after that] either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment…” 2:229
Mercy on Earth
The honorable Messenger (PBUH) came to highlight for us the status of women:
- He was once asked, “Who is your most favorite person?” He answered, “Aisha [who was his wife].”
- He used to bring gifts and presents and say, “take this to so and so, she was a friend of Khadija [who was his first wife].”
- He (peace be upon him) is the one who said, “I urge you to treat women well.”
- He also said, “A believing husband should not harbor hatred to his a believing wife. If she has characters that he hates, he should ignore them and concentrate on her good characters”.
- He also said, “Women and men complement one another in humanity”.
- He also said, "The best of you is he who treats his family well, and I am the best of you in treating my family".
- He also said, “It is an obligation on you to clothe them [your wives] and provide for them in kindness”.
- He also said, "The greatest returns from your money [in rewards from Allah], is the dinar you spend on your family".
- He also said, “A righteous woman is one of the sources of happiness for the son of Adam”.
- In the Prophetic Sunnah (traditions), Aisha (his wife – may Allah be pleased with her) was quoted as having said, “Allah’s apostle and I used to wash from the water in one container”.
- The Prophet (PBUH) also said, "whatever you spend [for the sake of Allah] you will reap the rewards for it, even if it is the morsel that you place in your wife’s mouth”.
- From the biography of the Prophet (PBUH), it was cited that a woman came to the Prophet (PBUH) and said, “O Prophet of Allah, ask Allah to bless me and on my husband” so the Prophet (PBUH) said, “May Allah's peace and blessings be upon you and your husband”.
There are numerous proofs that Islam is the true liberator of women.
To clarify further, I will now explain how woman's rights are protected and safeguarded in Islam, throughout all the stages of her life, from the cradle to the grave.
Verses and Declarations:
1. Islam safeguards the woman's rights as a helpless fetus in her mother's abdomen. If a mother gets divorced, while pregnant, Islam enjoined on the father to spend on her and support her financially during pregnancy. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, " … and if they were pregnant then you should spent on them until they deliver their babies" 65:6
2. Islam safeguards the woman's rights by ruling out that a baby's mother should not be punished or penalized while pregnant with him/her, so that the baby does not suffer consequently. In the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it was narrated that a Lady from Ghamid came to the Prophet to receive punishment for her sins saying, “ O messenger of Allah purify me from my sins”. The Prophet replied saying, “No, not until you have delivered your baby”.
3. Islam safeguards the woman's rights even if she is born out of an illegitimate relationship (this is an equal right whether the child is male or female), so it is forbidden to kill a child inside his/her mother’s womb. The example of the woman from Ghamid above refers, as the prophet had not ordered the pregnancy to be terminated.
4. Islam safeguards the woman's rights if she is killed deliberately or by mistake inside her mother’s womb, by her receiving compensation (blood money) or having the killer penalized. In the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), a reference is made to a woman from Hathli who killed her fellow wife and her unborn baby.
5. Islam safeguards the woman's rights as a suckling infant; Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, “Mothers shall breast feed their children for two whole years; (that is) for those who wish to complete the suckling.” 2:233
6. Islam safeguards the woman's rights as a suckling infant. It was narrated that after the Lady from Ghamid delivered her baby, she went to the Prophet and requested the application of the penalty on her but the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, "go breastfeed your baby and come back after he has been weaned”.
7. Islam safeguards the woman's rights after she is born, through the provision of clothing and means of living for her: "… Upon the father is the duty of providing for the mother [and her child] and clothing her according to what is acceptable” 2:233
8. Islam safeguarded the woman's rights during the period of raising and bringing her up, which lasts a number of years. Islam makes it incumbent on the father to provide for her during this period, which is a natural extension to providing for children in general.
9. Islam safeguards the woman's rights to inheritance throughout her life, from early to old age. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, “… and if there be women more than two, then theirs is two-thirds of the inheritance, and if there be one ( only ) then the half " 4:11
10. Islam protects the woman's right in choosing a suitable husband, where she has the right to accept and consent (in spoken words) to the marriage if she had been married previously. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, "A woman who had been married previously shall be married only after her expressed order has been obtained…”
11. Islam protects the woman's right when she weds if she has never been married before. The prophet (Peace be upon him) said, " … and a virgin shall be married only after her consent is obtained ".
12. Islam protects the woman's right in marriage, and makes it incumbent upon her husband to give her a dowry. Allah (SWT) says "… So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them, give them their due compensation as an obligation.” 4:24
13. Islam protects the woman's right to keep her dowry after divorce. The husband has no right to claim any part of the dowry in exchange for granting divorce unless the wife gives up her right to it in order to obtain her freedom. Allah (SWT) says: “… And it is not lawful for you to take anything of what you have given them unless both fear that they will not be able to keep [within] the limits of Allah.” 2:229
14. Islam protects the woman's rights to ownership and disposition of property, her rights to enter into sales and purchase contracts, to rent and to enter into partnerships. It protects her rights to lend and mortgage, to leave a will, an endowment or a charity.
15. Islam protects the woman's rights to request the annulment of the marriage contract when hidden faults in her husband’s character become apparent. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There shall be no harming, nor reciprocal harming”.
16. Islam protects the woman's rights to honor her dignity and prohibits using her as an object of lustful enjoyment even within an official marriage contract. Islam has therefore prohibited the “mut'ah marriage”, a fixed-term (temporary) marriage, during which the woman is used solely for sexual enjoyment, and then divorced after the lapse of that period. Our honorable Prophet has prohibited that until the Day of Judgment.
17. Islam protects the woman's rights to leave a will after her death. Allah (SWT) says, “… of what your wives leave… after any bequest they [may have] made or a debt”. 2:12
18. Islam protects the woman's rights when divorced. Allah (SWT) says, “… for divorced women a provision in kindness: a duty for those who guard (against evil)”. 2:241
19. Islam protects the woman's rights when she is pregnant, a right she shares with the unborn fetus. Allah (SWT) says: “ … and if they were pregnant then you should spend on them until they deliver their babies…" 65:6
20. Islam protects the woman's rights to shelter and accommodation in the case of revocable divorce. Allah (SWT) says, “…Lodge them where you dwell, according to your means…” 65:6
21. Islam protects the woman's rights by regulating the rules of divorce. In this regards she cannot be divorced unless in a state of purity [not menstruating] and during a period where no sexual intercourse has taken place, to ensure that there is no pregnancy. This is important to establish the nature of her prescribed waiting period, which Allah has fixed for women meant to be divorced ('Iddah). Allah (SWT) says: “ … divorce them for [the commencement of] their waiting period and keep count of the waiting period…” 65:1
22. Islam protects the woman's rights to a gift if she is divorced before the consummation of marriage or the nomination of her dowry, as a gesture of solace and consolation to her. Allah (SWT) says, “There is no blame upon you if you divorce women you have not touched, nor specified for them an obligation. But give them [a gift of] compensation - the wealthy according to his capability and the poor according to his capability…” 2:236
23. Islam protects the woman's rights in the case of divorce after the nomination of her dowry but before the consummation of marriage, to take half the dowry unless she forgoes her right to it. Allah (SWT) says, “And if you divorce them before you have touched them and you have already specified for them an obligation, then [give] half of what you specified - unless they (the women) forgo the right to it…” 2:237
24. Islam protects the woman's rights to choose to return to her husband who divorced her once or twice after the end of her prescribed waiting period (‘Iddah) with a new marriage contract. Islam prohibits preventing her from doing so if there is an agreement between the two parties. Allah (SWT) says, “… do not prevent them from marrying their [former] husbands, if they mutually agree on equitable terms”. 2:232
25. Islam protects the woman's rights to have custody over her children unless she remarries. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “You have more right over him unless you [re] marry”.
26. Islam protects the woman's rights by enforcing the conditions of the prescribed waiting period (‘Iddah) so that her pregnancy can be determined and if so, her rights can be maintained. Allah (SWT) says, “Divorced women remain in waiting [i.e. do not remarry] for three periods.” 2:228
27. Islam protects the woman's rights by enforcing the system of counting the prescribed waiting period (‘Iddah) from beginning to end so she does not have to wait unnecessarily, and consequently be prevented from remarrying due to lack of information about the timing. Allah (SWT) says: “ … and keep count of the waiting period…” 65:1
28. Islam protects the woman's rights to accommodation during the prescribed waiting period (‘Iddah) and ordains it prohibited to drive her out of her home. Allah (SWT) says: “ … do not turn them out of their houses…” 65:1
29. Islam protects the woman's rights in the case of divorce before the consummation of marriage. In this case her prescribed waiting period (‘Iddah) is not counted. Allah (SWT) says: “ … O you who have believed, when you marry believing women and then divorce them before you have touched them [i.e. consummated the marriage], then there is not for you any waiting period to count concerning them..” 33:49
30. Islam protects the woman's rights to maintenance during her prescribed waiting period (‘Iddah) after a revocable divorce.
31. Islam protects the woman's rights by prohibiting tampering with the prescribed waiting period (‘Iddah); meaning that a husband might divorce his wife up until just before the end of her ‘Iddah then returns her; then repeats that to prolong the divorce proceedings. Allah (SWT) manifests that this is committing injustice to oneself. Allah (SWT) says, “…and do not keep them, intending harm, to transgress [against them]. And whoever does that has certainly wronged himself…” 2:231
32. Islam protects the woman's rights from the moral and sensory perspective and makes it prohibited on her husband to upset or offend her during her ‘Iddah period. Allah (SWT) says, “…and do not harm them in order to oppress them…” 65:6
33. Islam protects the woman's rights as a widow, and makes her entitled to inherit from her husband’s legacy. Allah (SWT) says, “…And for them [i.e. the wives] is one fourth if you leave no child. But if you leave a child then for them is an eighth of what you leave…” 4:12
34. Islam protects the woman's rights as a widow when her husband dies before consummating the marriage or nominating a dowry for her, by allocating a dowry given to other women of similar status, and giving her the right to inheritance, as was ordained by the Prophet (peace be upon him) to Burou’ bint Washiq Al-Ashja’eiah.
35. Islam protects the woman's rights as a breast-feeding mother by allocating wages for her, a right she shares with the breast-fed child. Allah (SWT) says, “…And if they breastfeed for you, then give them their payment…” 65:6
36. Islam protects the woman's rights by honoring her feelings towards her baby during the breast-feeding period. Allah (SWT) prohibited fathers from taking babies away from their mothers after divorce to be breast-fed by strangers, to cause them grief and sadness. Allah (SWT) says, “… no mother should be harmed through her child…” 2:233
37. Islam protects the woman's rights by giving her the freedom to choose whether to breast feed her baby after divorce or not, if there is a discord between the two parties. Allah (SWT) says, “ … but if you are in discord, then let some other woman breast feed for him (the father of the child)” 65:6
38. Islam protects the woman's rights during her menses by forbidding sexual intercourse with her, due to the harm it causes her and guarding against her feeling of repulsion. Allah (SWT) says, “ …keep away from wives during menstruation…” 2:222
39. Islam protects the woman's rights during her menses by allowing the act of loving-making, fondling and foreplay without the actual intercourse. This is a proof that the aim is not to avoid contact with women in this period but rather to avoid intercourse due to the harm it causes. Aisha (RAA) [the Prophet’s wife] narrated, “During the menses, the Prophet used to order me to put on an Izar (dress worn below the waist) and used to fondle me”.
40. Islam protects the woman's rights to dignity and honor during her menses. There are examples in the way the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to treat his wives during this period to support this. Aisha (RAA) narrated that, “we [the Prophet and I] used to drink from the same cup; he would put his mouth on the same spot I drank from and would finish my drink when I was in menses”. She also narrated, “While in menses, I used to comb the hair of Allah's Apostle” and “The Prophet used to lean on my lap and recite the Quran while I was in menses” and “we would sleep together in one cloth while I was in menses”.
41. Islam protects the woman's rights by prohibiting having anal intercourse with her, as this is considered unjust and wasteful of her rights.
42. Islam protects the woman's rights against incriminating her of committing acts of fornication without the testimony of four witnesses. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, “Those who commit immorality [i.e. unlawful sexual intercourse] of your women – bring against them four witnesses from among you.” 4:15
43. Islam protects the woman's rights by punishing whoever incriminates her of committing fornication, without proof, with lashing. Allah (SWT) says, “And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses – lash them with eighty lashes..” 24:4
44. Islam protects the woman's rights by observing a just penal system, which ordains an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth and a life for a life etc unless she forgives or accepts blood money. Allah (SWT) says, “We ordained therein for them, a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth and for wounds a legal retribution”. 5:45
45. Islam protects the woman's rights so that if she is raped the rapist is to be killed; this is a part of the Islamic Penal Code for ‘highway robbery’. Allah (SWT) says, “Indeed the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land.” 5:33
46. Islam protects the woman's rights by forbidding killing women in wartime, even if they were atheists. It was narrated by the Companions of the Prophet that the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade the killing of women and children during wartime.
47. Islam protects the woman's rights and makes it incumbent on her husband to support her financially and provide for her maintenance and clothing. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “It is an obligation on you to clothe them [your wives] and provide for them in kindness”.
48. Islam protects the woman's rights by making it her husband’s duty to groom himself to her (in dress and perfume) and to talk to her and treat her in kindness. This stems from it being a reciprocal duty on both husband and wife towards one another. Allah (SWT) says, “… And due to them [i.e. the wives] is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable”. 2:228
49. Islam protects the woman's rights by forbidding her husband to verbally abuse her, as was narrated the Prophet as having said, “You should give her food when you eat,… and do not revile her”.
50. Islam protects the woman's rights by making it prohibited for any separation between husband and wife, when there’s a misunderstanding between them, to take place anywhere other than inside the house. This is so the wife does not feel desolate or face harm in his absence. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “… and do not separate yourself from her except in the house”.
51. Islam protects the woman's rights by giving her a chance to groom herself ready to receive her husband after a long absence. It prohibits him from surprising her by coming suddenly when she is unprepared and her appearance is shabby as this may affect her self-esteem. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When you arrive at night from your trip, give your wife (who had been waiting long for you) ample time to shave and groom herself before you enter the house”.
52. Islam protects the woman's rights by keeping the details of her sexual relationship with her husband secret. Islam prohibits having this secret divulged. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “do not do this [divulge details of the intimate relationship]; this would be like a male and a female devils having sexual intercourse on the street under everyone’s gaze”.
53. Islam protects the woman's rights in having children. It does not allow the husband to withdraw away from his wife during intercourse (before ejaculation) [‘azl] without her permission. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The husband shouldn’t do ‘azl without his wife’s permission”.
54. Islam protects the woman's rights by making it incumbent on the husband to attend to his wife’s sexual needs. This is represented by the story of Othman ibn Math’oun when he became too preoccupied with fasting and night prayers to attend to his wife’s needs. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him, “Am I not an example for you? I sleep and I pray, and I fast and eat and I marry women, so fear Allah, Othman, your wife has a right over you”
55. Islam protects the woman's rights by ordering her husband not to approach her in bed except only from the place where she finds enjoyment as ordained by Allah. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, “… come to them from where Allah has ordained for you”.
56. Islam protects the woman's rights in social life and ensures her peace of mind and harmony with her relatives. It prohibits for a man to marry two sisters, or a woman and her maternal or paternal aunt, or a woman and her niece, at the same time. The Prophet has been cited as having said that in the Hadith. In addition, Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, “Prohibited to you … that you take [in marriage] two sisters simultaneously,…” 4:23
57. Islam protects the woman's rights by making it incumbent on the husband who has more than one wife to treat them equally, and not to favor one in treatment over the other. Allah (SWT) says in Quran, “And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] to your wives, even if you strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [toward one] and leave the other hanging”. 4:129
58. Islam protects the woman's rights by protecting her honor. It made it prohibited for foreign men to look at her. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze…” 24:30
59. Islam protects the woman's rights in matters concerning her religion. Historically, it prohibited the return of migrating Muslim women to the nonbelievers so they were not to be swayed away from their religion or prosecuted by the enemies of Islam. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, “… And if you know them to be believers, then do not return them to the disbelievers; they are not lawful [wives] for them, nor are they lawful [husbands] for them…” 60:10
60. Islam protects the woman's rights against her husband’s abstention away from her. It prohibited the husband from staying away from his wife for more than four months, after which period she has the right to ask for divorce to protect herself from deviation and harm. Allah (SWT) says, “For those who swear not to have sexual relations with their wives is a waiting period of four months…” 2:226
61. Islam protects the woman's rights when travelling. It prohibited her from travelling alone without the company of a ‘Mahram’ (either her husband or someone whom she is prohibited to marry i.e. father, son, brother, uncle etc) for fear of having her falling victim to stalkers or lurkers. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “No woman shall travel without the company of a Mahram, and no foreign man shall enter upon her unless she is in the company of a Mahram”
62. Islam protects the woman's rights by protecting her body and soul together. It equates her to a precious jewel, the beauty of which no one other than her husband is allowed to enjoy. Hijab has therefore been ordained in Islam to safeguard the woman’s honor, elevate her status and to protect her from the harm of stalkers. Allah (SWT) says, “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known [as chaste believing women] and not be abused” 33:59
63. Islam protects the woman's rights in acquiring Khula’ (a divorce a wife obtains after paying compensation). This can be granted to a wife who cannot tolerate the life with her husband. During the times of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the wife of Thabit bin Qais came to Prophet and said, "O Prophet of Allah, I do not blame Thabit for any defects in his character or his religion, but I cannot endure to live with him." On that Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Will you return his garden to him?" She said, "Yes." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her husband, “Accept the garden, and divorce her”.
64. Islam protects the woman's rights as an orphan, by allocating a share for her out of the war booty. Allah (SWT) says, “And know that anything you obtain of war booty – then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and the orphans” 8:41; also, by allocating a share for her from the treasury. Allah (SWT) says, “And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns – it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans” 59:7. In addition, Islam has given her a share of the inheritance when it is divided. Allah (SWT) says, “And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of it…” 4:8. Islam has also given her a share of charity given by benevolent spenders. Allah (SWT) says, “…Say, whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy…” 2:215.
65. Islam protects the woman's rights as a mother even if she were a disobedient Muslim or an infidel. It made it incumbent on her children to treat her with kindness and graciousness, and warned against using abusive words against her no matter how mild. Allah (SWT) says, “… say not to them [your parents] ‘fie’ and do not repel them but speak to them a gracious word” 17:23
66. Islam protects the woman's rights by honoring her constitution, her descent, her color and her status; and prohibits that she is scorned or despised because of any of these factors. Allah (SWT) says, “… let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them” 49:11
67. Islam protects the woman's rights in taking her counsel and respecting her opinion. This is amplified in the tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when the Prophet he took the advice of his wife Umm Salama during the Al-Hudaibiya treaty as has been narrated by Al-Bukhari and others.
68. Islam protects the woman's rights in enjoying righteous deeds and forbidding repugnant deeds according to Islamic Shari’a. Allah (SWT) says, “The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong …” 9:71
69. Islam protects the woman's rights in education and by making it a duty for her to gain knowledge and to have knowledge provided for her. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Seeking knowledge is a duty on every Muslim [whether a male or a female]”
70. Islam protects the woman's rights in preserving her health by giving her license not to fast if she was pregnant or breast-feeding babies. The Prophet (peace by upon him) said, “Allah has relieved the traveler of part of the prayers, and the pregnant and breast-feeding women the fasting”
71. Islam protects the woman's rights in preserving and honoring her body after her death, this is a right both men and women share. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Breaking the bones of the dead is like breaking those of the living”.
72. Islam protects the woman's rights in making her the best enjoyment of the worldly life. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The worldly life is an enjoyment, and the best enjoyment therein is a righteous wife”
73. Islam protects the woman's rights in the grave, this is a right both men and women share. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “It is better for a person to sit on burning piece of coal that would burn through his clothes right to his flesh than to sit on a dead person’s grave”
74. Islam protects the woman's rights in giving her justice and making her an equal partner with Adam in committing the first mistake and by making Satan the reason behind the temptation to both of them. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, “But Satan whispered to them to make apparent to them that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said, ‘your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal’ ”. 7:20; and “And he swore [by Allah] to them, ‘indeed, I am to you from among the sincere advisors’ “. 7:21 and “so he made them fall through deception… “. 7:22
75. Islam protects the woman's rights in giving her the right to provide refuge and shelter to Muslims in need. An example of this is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) had been cited as saying, “We give refuge and shelter to those whom you have given, Umm Hanei [mother of Hanei]”.
What the Western Civilization calls for today
1 . In summary, the western civilization today guarantees the obliteration of woman’s identity, and the violation her most basic rights.
2. From her early years, the western woman eyes the future as a phantom with which she is ill equipped to wrestle. As soon as she turns sixteen, she is thrown out to the unjust hurricane of freedom to surrender her femininity to the merciless claws of lust, and the tyranny of futile exploitation.
3. The western civilization calls women to abandon their femininity and to act more like men. They then face a reality that does not agree with their nature, and fall into the brunt of depression.
4. The freedom there created a society that sees no development or advancement for a woman assuming the role of a chaste pure nurturer of her children at home. She becomes torn between the violations of the street and society’s perspective of her as a burden. She subsequently finds the only way out is suicide.
5. The western civilization calls upon women to leave home in the name of liberty and freedom. Once this is done, she becomes a subject of exploitation; she has her rights violated beginning with her honor. In essence, this is the biggest treachery in history and it is perpetrated against the gentlest of God’s creatures.
6. Western civilization exploits women’s financial situation and call them to all vices. Women become cheap commodities traded easily between merchants of morality. When women lose their honor, committing moral sins become easy. They then lose the most valuable characteristic Almighty Allah has favored them with, and that is their femininity, their most special quality and their dearest identity.
7. The moral system in the west today propagates poisonous fruits in all aspects of life. Women today are worse off than they have ever been. They used to kill women, now they make women kill themselves.
• Hilisyan Stansiri said, "Stop the mixing between males and females, restrict girls’ freedom, better still go back to the age of the veil, as this is better for you than the decadence and degeneracy of Europe and America”.
• The French Beret said (addressing Muslim girls), “Don’t take European families as role models for you; they are nothing but bad examples”.
• The famous actress Marilyn Monroe, who wrote an advice to fellow women just before her suicide, said, “Beware of glory … beware of those who deceive you with stardom… I am the most miserable woman on earth… I could not be a mother… I am a woman who prefers staying at home and leading the honorable family life above everything else. The honorable family life is the symbol of true happiness for any woman, if not for the whole of humanity”. In the end she said, “I have been wronged by all the people, working in the movies makes cheap commodities of women, no matter what the glory or the fame”.
• The writer Lady Cook said, "Men are accustomed to mixing, this made women seek behaviors that disagree with their nature. The more the mixing the greater is the number of illegitimate children. The consequences are clear to all. So fathers, do not be tempted by the money your daughters bring in working in factories and other places; teach them to stay away from men. Statistical data show that adultery increases with mixing of men and the women. Don’t you realize that the majority of illegitimate children belong to women who work in factories or who work as house maids where they are exposed to men's gazes? Had there been no doctors to administer abortion pills and medicines, there would have seen quadruples the figures we see today. It is a sordid state of affairs to see men in our country refusing to marry the girls unless they are experienced; meaning those girls who have children from adultery, so that they can benefit from them. This is the lowest most despicable form of civilization. How bitterly have women suffered from this kind of life!”
• In this regard, British writer Annie Rode says, "If our girls work in houses as servants or maids that would be better than working in factories where they become polluted by the filth which robs them of the splendor of their life forever. I wish our country were like Muslim countries, where decency, chastity and purity are the dress of servants and slaves, who enjoy the same excellent treatment enjoyed by the children of the master of the house, while their honor remain intact. Yes, it is a shame that the British allow their girls to become symbols of vice through their mixing with men. Why don’t we seek the behavior that agrees with our girls’ nature as ordained by divine religions? Why don’t we leave men’s work to men to safeguard women’s honor?”
• The Egyptian newspaper 'Al Akhbar' published the following in its 20/10/1972 issue: "This week, the annual party of ‘The Woman of the Year’ was held. A great number of ladies from all walks of life attended. The speeches made in Princess Anne's presence focused on women’s freedom and their needs. The winner was a 17-year-old girl who was selected unanimously. The girl expressed her absolute refusal of the feminist movement. She said that she would rather keep her femininity and that she does not want to wear the trousers, meaning that she doesn’t want to challenge men. She wants to be a woman and her husband to be a man. Everybody applauded her including Princess Anne.
• Dr. John Kishler, an American psychiatrist, announced in Chicago that 90% of American women are frigid and 40% of men are barren. He further added that the advertisements that depend on the pictures of naked girls are the reason for the decrease of the sexual drive amongst the American people. (For more details refer to the American Congressional Committee Report on the investigation into juvenile crimes in America entitled: "The collapse of the Ethics of the American Society” - The naked society in documents and figures, p. 11)
A Message to women all over the world
Dear women, these rights are not man-made, but rather a mercy from the Lord of the worlds presented in the form of the religion of Islam. Before, and even more than, you, Islam was a subject of injustice. This is Islam, which the soldiers of Satan, from the east and the west, have fought. This is Islam, which the leaders of liberalism have falsely accused as having transgressed women’s rights. What type of a so-called ‘civilized’ system do you live under? And one last question; what excuse do you have for not embracing the mercy of Allah represented by Islam?
The above data show that those who call for westernizing women and liberating them from the Islamic teachings are divided into three categories:
They are either:
1. the enemies of Islam and its people; who do not believe in this great religion and prefer to remain atheists. For them there is no greater sin than atheism.
2. they are so-called Muslims; the hypocrites and secularists. They trade in religion, and have no fear of God and observe no conscience when dealing with people.
3. they are Muslims who are ignorant of the essence of the Islamic teachings; they easily fall victims to the imported western ideology, and would regard the status of the people of the western civilization as filthy if they witnessed it.
A Final word
Please endeavor to publish this work on as many forums as possible and in all possible languages. The spread of the word of Islam is a responsibility on every Muslim. As the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said, “By Allah, if Allah were to guide just one man [or one woman] through you, it would be better for you than red camels [i.e. the most valuable of possessions]”.