What Women want from Men | Islamic Education | English Subtitle | IU |
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Today people think that women are liberated in the west and that the women's liberation movement began in the 20th Century. Actually the women's liberation movement was revealed by God to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the seventh century. The Qur'an and the Traditions of the Prophet (Hadith and Sunna) guarantee every Muslim woman certain rights and duties.
2. EQUALITY VS. SAMENESS
These rights are equal to those of a man but they are not necessarily identical. Equality and sameness are two different things. This difference is understandable because man and woman are not identical but they are created equals. The distinction between equality and sameness is of paramount importance. With this distinction in mind, there is no room to imagine that woman is inferior to man, just because her rights are not identical. Had her status been identical with his, she would have been simply a duplicate of him, which she is not. The fact that Islam gives her equal rights - but not identical rights- shows that it takes her into consideration, acknowledges her, and recognizes her independent personality and role.
In the Qur'an Allah frequently addresses both the man and the woman. In one passage Allah reveals:
"For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women who are patient, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise - For them all has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward." (33:35)
3. Human Rights:
Woman is recognized by Islam as equal partner in the procreation of humankind. Man is the father, woman is the mother, and both are essential for life. By this partnership, woman has an equal share in every aspect; she is entitled to equal rights; she undertakes equal responsibilities, and she has as many qualities and as much humanity as her partner. So, fourteen centuries ago, Islam made men and women equally accountable to God in glorifying and worshiping Him - setting no limits on her spiritual progress. In the Qur'an in the first verse of the chapter entitled "Women", God says:
"O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it its mate and from them both have spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom you claim (your rights) of one another, and towards the wombs (that bore you). Lo! Allah has been a Watcher over you." (4:1)
And again in the Qur'an:
"O mankind! Verily we have created you from a single (pair) of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other." (49:13; cf.4:1)
4. CIVIL RIGHTS:
When we then consider the area of civil rights, education is of greatest importance. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Seeking knowledge is a mandate for every Muslim (male and female)." Keeping people ignorant equals oppression; whether man or woman. In the case of women their civil rights were considered necessary for the proper functioning of the community.
Recognizing her individuality, Islam grants a woman freedom of choice and _expression. We are encouraged to contribute opinions and ideas. Women would pose questions directly to the Prophet (sal) and to other Muslim leaders and offer their opinions concerning religion, economics, and social matters. (Qur'an 58:1-4; 60:10-12)