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 Women's Rights in Islam ...............................

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sacha
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PostSubject: Women's Rights in Islam ...............................   Sun 12 Apr - 11:38

Women's Rights in Islam
We should point out that human rights in Islam are not merely rights
but are religious obligations. This means that it is obligatory for
every person to protect them and restore them if they are taken away.
It is equally obligatory upon society to make sure that every
individual can enjoy his or her rights to the fullest.


Islam has secured for the woman every human right. This includes her
intellectual, religious, social, economic and political rights.

Intellectual and Religious Rights
Islam has
guaranteed every man and woman the right to think and believe as they
choose. It considers thinking and investigating to be an obligation
upon every human being. There are numerous verses in the Qur’ân that
encourage people to think about and investigate the phenomena both in
the world around them and in the wonder of life itself. Allah says: - Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the Earth and all the things that Allah has created?”


- Say (O Muhammad): “Behold all that is in the Heavens and the Earth.’
But neither signs nor warners benefit those who do not believe.”


- Say: “‘Travel in the land and see how Allah originated Creation.”

- Say (O Muhammad): “I exhort you to one thing only: that you stand up
for Allah’s sake together and individually and reflect: there is no
madness in your companion (Muhammad).”
As for the right to one’s own belief, Islam has guaranteed it and
forbidden anyone to compel another to change his or her belief. Allah
says: - There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the true path is clearly distinct from error.


- So, will you (O Muhammad) then compel mankind so they will become believers?

- You (O Muhammad) are merely a warner. You are not a dictator over them.
The Qur’ân threatens those who persecute believing men and women in order to turn them from their faith:
Verily those who persecute the believing men and women and
then do not turn to Allah in repentance, they will have the punishment
of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the Fire.
From all of these texts, the independent religious identity of the
woman becomes quite clear. No one else can impose upon her what she
should believe. She must, of her own free will, decide what to believe.
Allah says: - O you who believe, if believing women come to you as
emigrants, examine them. Allah knows best their faith. Then, if you
ascertain that they are true believers, do not send them back to the
disbelievers.


- O Prophet, if believing women come to you to give you their pledge
that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah, nor steal,
nor commit fornication, nor kill their children, nor commit slander,
nor forge falsehood (to making illegitimate children belong to their
husbands), nor disobey you in goodness, then accept their pledge and
ask Allah to forgive them. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most
Merciful.

- O wives of the Prophet! Whoever of you commits manifest lewdness will
have a double punishment. This is easy for Allah. And whoever of you is
obedient to Allah and His Messenger and works righteous deeds will be
given a double reward.
When Islam came, women accepted Islam and made the emigration to
Madinah, even though their fathers, husbands, and the rest of their
male relatives remained disbelievers. Umm Habîbah, the daughter of Abû
Sufyân, accepted Islam and emigrated in spite of the fact that her
father was one of the leaders of the disbelievers. Even when her
husband abandoned Islam, she remained steadfast in her belief.


Fâtimah, the daughter of al-Khattâb, became Muslim before her brother
`Umar did and was the cause for him accepting Islam, because of her
faith and because she stood up to him when he found out about her
becoming a Muslim and wanted to abuse her.


Umm Kulthûm, the daughter of `Uqbah b. Abî Mu`ît, accepted Islam and
emigrated in spite of the fact that every member of her family remained
polytheists.


There were many women who accepted Islam and were the reasons for their
husbands accepting Islam. Umm Sulaym – the wife of Abû Talhah al-Ansârî
– and Umm Hakîm bint Huzâm – the wife of `Ikrimah b. Abî Jahl – were
among these women.
Social and Economic Rights
Not only does Islam recognize her right to think and believe as she
likes, it considers her to be an active member of society who can make
a valuable contribution. Islam, therefore, secures for her many rights,
including the right to an education, the right to own property and to
use it at her own discretion, and the right to work.



1. The right to an education: In Islam, seeking knowledge is a
religious duty upon every man and woman. This is because knowledge is
integral to Islamic life. In the light of knowledge, a person’s eyes
are opened. This person can then worship the Lord with proper insight
and understanding. Allah says: Read in the name of your Lord who created. Who created
the human being from a clot. Read, and your Lord is the Most Generous.
Who taught by the pen. Who taught the human being what he knew not.
Knowledge is a gift from Allah to every human being. Consequently, it
is a right granted to all. No man or woman may be barred from it. The
woman’s right to knowledge is exactly the same as a man’s. She must
know the teachings of her religion and may acquire a deep understanding
thereof. The verse mentioned above is addressed to all humanity,
ordering them to read and to learn. It was the first verse of the
Qur’ân to be revealed. It does not differentiate between men and women.



This is what the woman enjoyed since the first days of Islam’s history.
Women used to compete with men in attaining knowledge at the mosque and
at the houses of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him). Their strong
desire for knowledge made the women ask the Messenger (peace be upon
him) to set aside a special day for teaching them, above and beyond the
general lessons that were open to women and men alike. Allah’s
Messenger did, in fact, set aside a special day to remind them and to
teach them.


Due to the care given by the women and the attention to knowledge given
by Islam, many great scholars, jurists, writers, and poets appeared
among the women during the era of the Companions and the Successors,
and during every era of Islamic history.



2. The right to own and dispose of property:
This is established by the Qur’ân in many of its verses. Allah says:
- Men have a share of what they earn and women have a share of what they earn.


- Men have a share of what their parents and relatives leave behind,
and women have a share of what their parents and relatives leave
behind, whether the estate be small or large – a legal share.


- And give to the women their dowries with a good heart; but if they,
of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it and
enjoy it without fear.
There is consensus among the scholars of Islam that all economic
activities of a woman, like buying, selling, leasing, giving gifts, and
giving collateral, are legally valid and that she has a completely
independent economic existence.



3. The right to work:
In Islam, a woman can practice any
occupation that she chooses, as long as that occupation is lawfully
permitted for men and women to engage in. There is no restriction
placed upon her in this. From the dawn of Islam, women engaged in many
occupations such as commerce, agriculture, and manufacturing.


A woman came to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and said to him:
“I am a woman who engages in buying and selling.” She then asked him
for the legal rulings pertaining to some of the commercial transactions
that she used to engage in.


Another woman came to him complaining that one of the men forbade her
from working on her farm. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:
“Go work your date palms; for perhaps you might give some charity or do
acts of righteousness.”



4. The right to inheritance:
When Islam established inheritance
for the woman, it was the first time in history that women were able to
enjoy this right. The Qur’ân establishes for her this right in a number
of its texts. Allah says:- Men have a share of what their parents and relatives
leave behind, and women have a share of what their parents and
relatives leave behind, whether the estate be small or large – a legal
share.
- Allah commands you regarding your children’s (inheritance): to the
male a portion equal to that of two females; if there are only
daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance;
if only one, her share is half. For parents, a sixth share for each if
the deceased left children. If there are no children and they are the
only heirs, the mother has a third…
- You have half of what your wives leave if they have no children, but
if they leave a child, then you receive a fourth of that which they
leave after payment of legacies that they may have bequeathed or debts.
They have a fourth of what you leave behind if you leave no child, but
if you leave a child, they receive an eighth of that which you leave
after payment of legacies that you may have bequeathed or debts. If the
man or woman whose inheritance is in question has left no other heirs,
but has left a brother or a sister, each one (if no more than two) gets
a sixth, but if they are more than two, they share in a third.
- If a man dies leaving a sister but no child, she shall have half the
inheritance. If the deceased is a woman who left no child, then her
brother inherits from her. If they are two sisters, they shall have
two-thirds of the inheritance...
5. The right to marry:
Islam establishes for the woman the right to have a choice as to whom she will share her life with. Allah says:
- And do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands if they mutually agree on a reasonable basis.


- When have fulfilled their term (of waiting after the death of their
husbands), there is no sin on you if they if they dispose of themselves
in a reasonable manner.
Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “A previously married woman
has more rights over herself, and a virgin must have her permission
sought.”


There are cases where Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) annulled
the marriages of women who were married against their will.
Political Rights
In spite of the newness of this terminology, we find, if we review the
Islamic texts and look back on the experience of the early Muslim
societies, that Islam has established for the woman rights that can be
labeled political rights. Among these are the following:



1. The right to give consultation:
There are many verses in the
Qur’ân that establish the principle that Muslim affairs, in general,
are to be based on mutual consultation. It is the business of the
Muslims to exchange opinions and consult each other on these matters.
Allah says: <blockquote>- And consult them in the affairs.

- And their affairs are by mutual consultation.
These general texts pertain equally to both men and women.


We find that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) would consult his
wives on issues of general import. For example, he consulted with Umm
Salamah on the occasion where he had ordered his Companions to shave
their heads and come out of their pilgrim state at Hudaybiyah. They did
not do so, because they hated turning away from Mecca without making
pilgrimage to it. She advised him to shave his own head and sacrifice,
so he did so and all the others hurried to follow suit. He then praised
her and commended her for her keen intellect.


We find that the group of people led by `Abd al-Rahman b. `Awf who were
active in selecting `Uthmân as Caliph was comprised of both men and
women, whereby “they came to the ladies in their private rooms to seek
their consultation with regards to selecting `Uthmân.” This is what we
find in the historical source works. It indicates to us that even those
women who remained concealed in their dwellings were consulted on the
matter.



2. Emigration and giving allegiance:
Muslim women emigrated to
Abyssinia and to Madinah. This emigration was equivalent to what we
refer to today as seeking political asylum.


This was a time when the Muslims were being oppressed in Mecca and were
forbidden from expressing their views and calling to their faith. They
emigrated, seeking a place where they would be afforded the opportunity
to practice their rites and express their beliefs. The first place the
Muslims chose to go to was Abyssinia, because at that time it was ruled
by a king who never oppressed anyone in his domain.


Muslim women emigrated during this time, sometimes unaccompanied, like
Umm Kulthûm bint `Uqbah b. Abî Mu`ît and Umm Salamah (may Allah be
pleased with them both) did during the women’s emigration. This is
mentioned in the Qur’ân: <blockquote>O you who believe, if believing women come to you as emigrants, test them.
As for the oath of allegiance, it is a political and religious pact
between the Muslims and Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) that is
an expression of their faith in the Messenger and their political
affiliation with his cause. The following verse talks about the oath of
allegiance given by women: O Prophet, if believing women come to you to give you
their pledge that they will not associate anything in worship with
Allah, nor steal, nor commit fornication, nor kill their children, nor
commit slander, nor forge falsehood (to make illegitimate children
belong to their husbands), nor disobey you in goodness, then accept
their pledge and ask Allah to forgive them. Verily, Allah is
Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
This list includes a clause of political significance: “nor disobey you in goodness...



3. Enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong:
The
Qur’ân has established the role of the believing women in enjoining
what is right and forbidding what is wrong. Allah says: <blockquote>The believers, men and women, are protectors of one another; they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. </blockquote>
This duty, just as it includes the responsibility to rectify social
ills, also has political dimensions that manifest themselves in giving
advice and admonition to those holding political power.


As for military combat, Islam has not made it obligatory upon the
woman, but it is permissible for her to participate in the war effort,
usually as a noncombatant with duties like getting water to the
fighters and tending to the wounded. In spite of this, in some battles,
women saw combat. Umm Sulaym al-Ansâriyyah defended Allah’s Messenger
(peace be upon him) during the battle of Uhud and was wounded about ten
times.



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samaria
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PostSubject: Re: Women's Rights in Islam ...............................   Sun 12 Apr - 17:45

Islam has respected and evaluated women .


Thank you Sacha.



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PostSubject: Re: Women's Rights in Islam ...............................   Sun 12 Apr - 18:22

We are proud to be Muslims.
Thank you sacha



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PostSubject: Re: Women's Rights in Islam ...............................   Sun 12 Apr - 20:48

Great topics and themes you are bringing to this forum. Thank you, Miss Sacha


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