Women! Why Do You Attack Islam?
The issue of gender equity is important, relevant, and current. Debates and writings on the subject are increasing and are diverse in their perspectives. The Islamic perspective on the issue is the least understood and most misrepresented by non-Muslims and some Muslims as well. This article is intended to provide a brief and authentic exposition of what Islam stands for in this regard.
Women in Ancient Civilizations:
One major objective of this article is to provide a fair evaluation of what Islam contributed toward the restoration of woman’s dignity and rights. In order to achieve this objective, it may be useful to review briefly how women were treated in general in previous civilizations and religions, especially those which preceded Islam (before 610 AD). Part of the information provided here, however, describes the status of woman as late as this century, more than 13 centuries after Islam.
The status which non-Muslim women reached during the present era was not achieved due to the kindness of men or due to natural progress. It was rather achieved through a long struggle and sacrifice on woman’s part and only when society needed her contribution and work, more especially during the two world wars, and due to the escalation of technological change. While in Islam such compassionate and dignified status was decreed, not because it reflects the environment of the seventh century, nor under the threat or pressure of women and their organizations, but rather because of its intrinsic truthfulness.
If this indicates anything, it would demonstrate the Divine origin of the Quran and the truthfulness of the message of Islam, which, unlike human philosophies and ideologies, was far from proceeding from its human environment; a message which established such humane principles that neither grew obsolete during the course of time, nor can become obsolete in the future. After all, this is the message of the All-Wise and All-Knowing God whose wisdom and knowledge are far beyond the ultimate in human thought and progress.
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(1) This article is an edited version of the booklet (or pamphlet) entitled Women in Islam, compiled by Mostafa Malaekah, from Dr. Jamal Badawi’s The Status of Woman in Islam and Gender Equity in Islam. To receive the original version of this booklet by e-mail, contact Mostafa Malaekah at firstname.lastname@example.org.