Women in islam Essay

This essay has a total of 827 words and 4 pages.

women in islam

By Noha Ragab

What do women and Islam have in common? Besides the stereotyped images that each suffers
from individually, the status of women in Islam is one of the most extremely misunderstood
and incorrectly portrayed things in western society. We can investigate why this is so
later. First, a brief introduction to the actual status of women in Islam is in order.

Before discussing issues pertinent to the social status of women, consider the original
creation of the woman as portrayed by the Quoran (the Islamic holy book) which does not
subscribe to the view that Eve was created from the crooked rib of Adam and thus is of
inferior status: "O humankind, be conscious of your Sustainer who has created you out of
one living entity, and out of it created its mate, and out of the two spread abroad a
multitude of men and women." Instead, the verse of the Quoran shows that there is no
superiority for one sex over the other. This sets the tone for the status of women in

The concept of gender equality in Islam is stressed by the non-superiority of either sex
over the other. It came at a time when it was necessary to elevate the demeaned status of
women and grant them rights equal to those of men. The equality of women in Islam is
evident by the unprecedented legal rights given to them under a monotheistic religion as
defined in the Quoran. As one of many examples, consider the rights of women in marriage
and divorce. Both men and women have equal rights to contract a marriage as well as to
dissolve it. The precondition of marriage is merely the mutual agreement by both parties.
And unlike Christianity, a woman in Islam can divorce her husband at any time if she feels
that she has been dealt with unjustly or even if she is just unhappy with her spouse since
marriage is based upon mutual responsibilities toward each other. Islam has also ensured
the woman's right to remarry pending a three month refrainment period.

As for social rights, Islam has always recognized the prominent role that women play in
society. They are given the freedom to pursue any profession including political
positions. Both in the past and present day, women in Islamic societies have reached
political heights unparalleled in the most "advanced" western nations. Even in the
earliest day of Islam, Aysha, the daughter of the prophet, lead an army of 30,000
soldiers. Currently, women lead two Islamic countries: Benazir Bhutto has served as the
prime minister of Pakistan since 1988 and has been a strong and remarkable leader. Turkey
is also headed by a Muslim woman, Tansu Ciller, who was elected the prime minister in
1993. Here in the U.S., we still have never had a female president and the outlook doesn't
look too good either.

Those are just a few of the facts. Why then is Islam portrayed as a religion that
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