The liberating religion of Islam in that Dark Age granted women their suppressed rights. On the one hand, the explanatory and illustrative messages of Quran rose up and challenged the inaccurate culture of ignorance that deprived women of their right of inheritance, whereas they were considered as inferior and dependent on man, and when the female children were buried alive. On the other hand, the great Prophet of Islam promoted the veneration of the women practically by venerating and respecting his wife Khadijah and his daughter Fatimah Zahra (Peace be upon them).
Whenever Fatimah entered any place where the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his progeny) was present, he stood up out of respect for her and kissed her hands and by this behaviour he replaced the old dark culture of ignorant times by the new and elevated culture of Islam.
Does Islam Consider Women And Men As Equal?
From the perspective of Islam, God’s consideration of the status of man and woman is equal as human beings. To shed light on this issue, we refer to the first verse of Chapter “The Woman” which is as follows:
[4:1] O mankind! Reverence your Guardian Lord who created you from a single soul and he created from that its mate. And from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women – fear Allah, through whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (that bore you): for Allah ever watches over you.)4:1)
According to this verse, the origin of human beings creation, including both man and woman, is regarded as “primordial ego” that is sacred soul and there is no distinction between them as a human beings.
Therefore, the status of the soul of man and woman in the presence of God is the same and equal and this justice in creation is emphasized in the Glorious Quran.
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)
Meaning of Protectors and Maintainers (Responsible)
The word “Responsible” applies to the person who is in a position of trust. For this reason in lexical meaning, the word “Responsible” is applicable to everyone who has effective responsibility. Since the responsibility of undertaking and providing the subsistence and supporting the family financially, according to Islam, is on man, the overlord in this honorable verse of Quran, has introduced men as the supporter of women. They are responsible for undertaking the subsistence of life and providing the expenses of family members.
Therefore, the above verse does not mean that men are superior or excelsior in comparison with women, but it is an expression of responsibility for men in front of the family as protectors and maintainers.
After explaining equality and parity status of women and men in the presence of God and viewpoint of Islam, it is worth answering several other questions in this field like the difference in inheritance between men and women, polygamy, temporary marriage and the right of divorce and so on.