This article will discuss the gender equality in Islam. Here, we will tackle this topic through main head titles which are the spiritual, economic, social, political and legal aspect in Islam. I hope that this humble effort will contribute to lift the fog of anti-Islam concerning women in Islam.
Foundation of spiritual and human equality:
1- According to Quran, men and women have the same human spiritual nature. “He it is Who did create you from a single soul, and there from did make his mate that he might take rest in her.” (Quran 7: 189)
2- Allah has invested both genders with inherent dignity and does make women and men equally the trustee of Allah. “Verily we have honored the Children of Adam. We carry them on the land and the sea, and have made provision of good things for them, and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with a marked preferment.” (Quran 17: 70)
3- Quran doesn’t blame woman for the fall of man. On the contrary, Quran depicts Adam and Eve as equally responsible for their sin in the garden.
4- Men and women have the same religious and moral duties and responsibilities. Each human being shall face the consequence of his or her deeds. “If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.” (Quran 4:124)
The economic aspect:
1- Financial security is assured for women. They are entitled to receive martial gifts without limit and to keep present and future properties and income for their own security, even after marriage. No married woman is required to spend any amount at all from her property and income on the household. In special circumstances, however, such as when her husband is ill, disabled or jobless, she may find it necessary to spend from her earning or savings to provide the necessities for her family.
2- There is no decree in Islam that forbids women from seeking employment whenever there is a necessity for it, especially in a position that fit her nature. Omar, second Caliph after the Prophet, appointed a woman (mother of Al-shifaa the daughter of Abdullah) as the marketplace supervisor, a position that is equivalent in our world to “the director of consumer protection department.”
The social aspect:
1- It was a habit for Arabs, before prophet Mohammed’s era, to bury the female babies, but Islam came and rebuked this habit, and the unwelcoming attitude of some parents upon hearing the news of the birth of a baby.
2- Education is not just a right but a responsibility for all males and females. Prophet Mohammed said: “Seeking knowledge is a mandatory for every Muslim.“
3- Marriage in Islam is based on mutual respect, love and peace. The female has the right to accept or reject marriage proposal and her consent is a vital thing and if marriage is done without woman’s consent, it will be unlawful. Moreover, prophet Mohammed instructed Muslims regarding women, “I commend you to be kind to women.”
4- If for any reason both husband and wife want to get divorce, priority for the custody of young children is given to the mother.
Political and legal aspect
1- Justice in Islam is genderless. According to Quran, men and women receive the same punishment for crimes such as theft (5:38), fornication (24:2), murder and injury (5:45)
2- The general rule in political life is participation and collaboration of males and females in public affairs. “The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey God and His Apostle. On them will God pour His mercy: for God is Exalted in power, Wise.” (Quran 9:71)
3- There is no text in Quran OR Sunnah (the tradition of the prophet) that precludes women from any position of leadership, except in leading prayer (however, woman may lead another women).
In conclusion, we try as we can to present the status of woman from various aspects to refute the misconception of oppressing women and that they don’t have any right in Islam and they are not but slaves.