Women's Issues

Women and Islam

Written by:

Maulan Khalid Siafullah Rahmaani Sb.

Founder Chairman Al-Mahad Al-Aali Al-Islami, Hyderabad.

Email: [email protected]

Translated by:

Taha Jaunpuri

Email: [email protected]

      The prophet's essence, in common, rained as an spring cloud over the all classes of humanity, like draught hit and barren fields, but, in particular, two classes were the most wretched, tyrannized and pitiable and not only, it was their condition in the all areas of Asia, Europe, Africa, but also in Rome and Iran despite the people of these both countries were distinguished, due to their culture, science and arts. These two classes were of slaves and women. That is why, naturally, Islam succored, sympathized and put them on the top and honored them among society. By the virtue of Islamic teachings, the trading of slaves and the atrocities faced by women, which kept on happening since thousands of years, got eradicated in the few centuries and it played a crucial role in reforming the society. 
        The women used to be deemed as a property before the arrival of Islam. The Qur’an conceptualized that the woman is an integral part of humanity as man (Al-Hujrat). Many people were considering women an inauspicious creature because they caused the removal of Adam from the paradise. Women used to be considered the door of sin in the Christianity and Judaism. While the Qur’an has held responsible Adam and Eve for this faux pas, but, held Adam more responsible than Eve and stated that he acted against his Lord's Order and slipped. [Surah Taha, Aayat No:112) It was a colossal revolution of the thoughts and Faiths, through which this misconception, occurring since centuries, got removed. Women were not having right to possess any property and utilize it as they desired. Islam gave women the right to possess property and utilize it at their discretion (Al-Nisaa, Aayat No: 19).
        It is reality, that as much Islam has given women the right, taken care of their softness and kind-heartedness, better than that any religious or human law could not have solved their problems. Normally, women have three statuses, daughter, wife and mother. Sometime a woman becomes widow or gets divorce due to unpleasant condition. Now we should find out how much rights Islam has given to them in different conditions and how did iron out their problems? 
      DAUGHTER: The Prophet has informed all the virtues about upbringing the daughter. He said “ the one who is blessed with one or two daughters and brings up in such a way, that he provides her with good education and trains up nicely, he will be very closer to me in the paradise as the first finger and second finger are" [Tirmizi, V:02 P:13 Abwaabul-Birr Wal-Silah]. The Prophet stated this kind of glad tidings and did not herald about son's upbringing. People used to be dejected and sad at baby girl's birth and, unfortunately, owing to be away from perfect religion and being in ignorance, people showed grief and sorrow at the time of baby girl's birth. This sort of thinking has been condemned in The Qur’an. (Al-Zukhruf Ayat no: 17, Al-Nahl,Aayat no: 58/59).
          In Shariah, the responsibility of upbringing the daughters and making their all needs end, is on the shoulder of father, unless she is married. When the sons have come of age, in most conditions, father is not responsible for son's expenses, but in case of daughters, while they have come of age, the responsibility of bearing expenditure is incumbent upon father, unless they are married and depart to in-law's home. (Aalam Ghiri,V 01, P 563).

It is to note that it is not allowed for the parents to treat sons with upgrading and daughters with downgrading. The Prophet uttered “The one who is blessed with daughter, makes her alive, not behaves daughter with dirt and not prefer sons upon daughter, Allah will make him enter Paradise” (Abu Dawood, V.02 P.70).
After coming of age, parents and family members are not allowed to marry her without her consent and to impose their opinions upon her. The prophet necessitated getting the consent of daughter in Nikaah procedure. A woman complained the Prophet (saws) that her father made her married without her consent. The Prophet (saws) dissolved that marriage (Sahih Al-Bukhari: V.02, P.71). If any patron except father and grandfather made her married or the father or grandfather made her married, while the father and grandfather are famous in inexperience of day to day affairs, so daughter has right, after coming of age, to dissolve that Nikah.
If parents wish to hand over the properties to their issues, it is necessary to give them away equally. Likewise, if any one gifts daughter money or property under the parent’s upbringing, the daughter will be owner of the gift. The parents and family members will not be allowed to exercise that gift without the consent of daughter. There is the share of daughter after the death of parents and it is half compared to sons, since the responsibility, to look after the mother, father, progenitors, juvenile brothers, widow and divorced sister, and the other destitute of family like paternal uncle, sister of father, nephews, nieces, lies on the shoulder of men, therefore, the share of sons is double vis-a-vis daughter.
If the brother dies childless and left only one sister, then she will receive half property and if he left two sisters, then will get one third (1/3). If there are brothers too, then sisters will get half in comparison to brothers, (Al-Nisa, Aayat no 176). Hence, the sisters secure more shares than the other relatives.
WIFE: In Shari’ah wife has been given many rights. The most important thing is that, the Prophet (saws) has made behavior with wife criteria for a man’s good behavior. The Prophet said “ The best among you is that, he who treats her wife like king and I treat my wives like king compared to all of you (Tirmizee, Ibn-e-Maajah, Darmi, Mishkaat: V, 02 P, 281).
Wife is the owner of her all properties and belongings. Whatever she gets as present or inheritance, is her possession. In the same way, whatever she is given at the time of wedding, before or after, or her family members have given her, is under her possession. The husband cannot demand it back. The wife can use it at her will. Husband or other family members cannot bar her.
The responsibility of bearing wife’s maintenance such as food, cloth, remedy and fulfilling other needs, is on husband whether the wife is well-off and husband is destitute (Al-Bahrur-Raaiq: v, 04 P, 188). If wife, to refrain from husband’s unreasonable oppression or demand her lawful right, stays at her mother’s home, then in spite of being at mother’s home, the maintenance is obligatory upon husband. (Aalm Ghiri, V:01,P:545). It is compulsory for husband to look at the living standard of wife’s family in regard with food, residence, clothe etc. For instance, if the living standard of husband is low, and father-in-law’s living standard is high, husband has to provide the wife with middle class standard maintenance (Hidaayah V:02,P:417). It is incumbent upon husband to bear the expenses of the offspring, though wife possesses property. If the husband is financially good, then it is necessary for husband to provide maid to help wife in domestic services. (Hidaayah, V:02, P:419).

If the husband is unable to bear the expenses of wife or does not care of maintenance, while he is able, in this case wife has right to approach Shariah Qazi to get marriage dissolved. If wife does not like to stay at in-laws’ home, she has right to demand separate house and if it is not against any expedience and convenience, so husband has to meet this need end (Hidaayah, V: 02, P: 421).
The husband has no right to stop wife’s parents or her Mahram (a woman’s relative to whom marriage is forbidden and before whom she may appear unveiled in Islam) from visiting her (Hidaayah, V:02,P:421). If wife herself wishes to meet her parents or Mahram, she has this right. Theologians have penned down that if the wife’s Maikah (mother’s homm) is in city, so she can go to visit the parents one day in a week, and other relatives one day in a month and husband should not stop her without reasonable reason (Aalam Gheeri, V:02,P:148). And meeting with Ghair Mahram is already strictly prohibited and horrible sin.
Abusing wife or criticizing her skin color or any other thing is grave sin. The Qur’an assured to treat wife well and said if you see any mistake, connive at that expecting Allah May bring about any good feature in that. (Reference) In Shariah, wife receives inheritance from husband equal to the parents. If the husband has offspring, wife will secure 8th part (1/8) of property and if husband is childless, wife will secure 4th part (1/4). [Al-Nisaa, Aayat no:12).
Mahr (Dower) is wife’s absolute right. It is such right that if the marriage occurs on the condition, that there will be no dower, despite of this condition, dower will be compulsory. The Qur’an has emphasized to pay dower (Al-Nisaa, Aayat no: 04). The Prophet said “the one who got married and intended not to pay dower, is adulterer, (Majma-uz-zawaaid V: 04, P: 284). If husband ties the knot second time for Shariah need, he has to do justice among two wives, in clothes, dresses, food and spending night etc. Doing injustice is Haraam and horrible sin. The Prophet has condemned this kind of husband. The Qura’n said “It is not allowed for a person to get married to two wives if he is unable to do justice between them (Al-Nisaa, Aayat no”03).
WIDOW AND DIVORCEE. Not only Shariah allowed to marry widow but also motivated them. The Qura’n itself turns us to it (Al-Noor) and prohibits us to prevent them from getting married if they wish. The Prophet himself got married to eleven women, out of which ten were divorcee and widows.

      Wives deprived of husbands: The Shariah did not leave women helpless, but made compulsory their pecuniary liability and maintenance on parents and other relatives in turn (Hidaaya, V:02,P:426). It is not any favour or morale rights, but this is a legal right of the women deprived of husbands, which lies mandatorily upon Mahram. It should be noted that, if husband did not pay wife's dower and passed away, at first, the dower will be paid out of husband's left property. It is neither lawful to ask wife forgive dower, at front of dead body, at the time of funeral prayer, nor it is approvable after the demise of husband. The heirs should, first, pay the dower of widow and then the left the property should be carved up for all inheritors according to Shariah.

      The Shariah has given the divorcee special rights as a mother of their children. So, she will look after the their daughters unless they come of age, and sons unless they are seven or eight years old and become capable to fulfill their needs (eating, drinking and purification after answering natural calls) and when mother gets married, the maternal grandmother will have the right of child care and the father has to bear the expenditure until they are under upbringing, even the wage of looker after is on his shoulder. Thus, the divorcees who are having children, can fulfill their needs for a long period of life. 
       MOTHER: The parents are the ones about whose rights, the most emphasizing Aayat have been mentioned in the Qura'n. Moreover, among parents, mother's right is more. The Prophet said “The Eden lies under the feet of mother (Mishkaat, V:02, P:421). A person asked the Prophet “Who is worthy of our good treat the most? The Prophet replied: “mother" the person repeated three times the same question. The Prophet replied three times: “mother" and forth times: “father” (Abu Daawood: V: 02, P:700/799). The Qur’an specifically mentioned the rights and favours of mother (Luqmaan: Aayat No.13, Al-Ahqaaf: Aayat No.15). If mother is indigent, then the maintenance is obligatory on her children (Hidayah, V: 01, P: 266). Even if the mother is not a Muslim, paying maintenance is compulsory upon them. If the mother possesses property and financially is strong, the offsprings should, still, offer something her to get her pleasure. This is obligatory right for offsprings to prevent wife from oppressing mother or mother from oppressing wife. A part from bearing the maintenance of mother, rendering her services and obeying her in Shariah permitted things, is necessary. If mother orders for unlawful thing, then obeying is not allowed; but making her understand methodically. For example, if mother demands dowry or asks to Tatleeq (divorce wife),so not allowed to accept her words. 
        If the offspring dies while the mother is alive, mother will have share in their left property or in the compensation given by government in accidental death. If the dies leaving children, mother will have 6th (1/6) part. If the deceased person leaves no child but his brothers are alive, in this case too, mother will have 6th(1/6)part. And if the defunct person leaves no offspring and has no brother too, mother will get 3rd part (1/3). (Al-Nisaa, Aayat no:11). 
        It is clear from these explanations, that Islam how much takes care of women's right in social life. On one hand, women are free from financial responsibility, on the other hand, the responsibility of fulfilling their financial needs is on their father, husband, son, and brother. Along with these facilities, women, nearly, are considered heirs of the relatives, from whom men receive inheritances and they are paid handsome money in shape of Mahr (dower) by husbands.  Women are not compelled to earn livelihood or to do job like women of western countries; but women have been maid queen of house owing to their softness. To its regret, some people, are unaware of the reality and deem it injustice for women, while it is not injustice or restriction, rather a safety for women and the meaning of word Qawwam mentioned as quality of man (Al-Nisaa, Aayat no:34) is, too, protector and responsible of family's needs. The reality is that, there is justice, balance, matching with human nature and a good care of men and women according their physical physiology in Islamic social rulings. Wherever the people got deviated from right path and went against Islamic Shariah in the world, justice got abolished, family got uprooted, and a plot has been hatched (women have been defamed in public and their dignity has been shattered) on the name of women liberty. 

The Religion in the sight of Allah is only Islam (Al-Qura’n).

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