Islam and the Oppression of Women
1400 years ago, Women in Islam were granted many rights in their home and in society such as:
- Right to earn money
- Right to Financial support
- Right to Own properties
- Right to Education
- Right to Inheritance
- Right to Kind treatment
- Right to Vote
- Right to Bridal gift
- Right to Keep their maiden name
- Right to Divorce
- Right to Worship in a mosque
For years, women in Islam have been wearing Hijab of their own will, still but have been told that they are oppressed!
This label also comes from other women. If you would ask western women, they will tell you that they have been liberated, while Muslim women, thanks to Islam, have been oppressed, for years.
I hope that the following will answer some questions you might have about women in Islam, or make you ponder on what is really happening to the women in the world of Islam?
In this topic, we will look at how Islam oppresses women but before we start our discussion about ‘Women in Islam’ and their oppression, and since this topic is about women, we will have to take a seat and look back at the very first woman ever created, Eve!
What does Islam say about First Women – Eve?
We often hear that, because of Eve, we were kicked out of the Garden! So now, Eve, the very first ‘Woman’ ever created, is being blamed for their removal (of Adam and Eve from) paradise and to dwell on earth!
Genesis 2:4-3:24- God prohibited both of them from eating the fruits of the forbidden tree. The serpent seduced Eve to eat from it and Eve, in turn, seduced Adam to eat with her.
Quran – Surat Al-‘A`rāf (The Heights) 7:22 – So he (Satan) made them fall, through deception. And when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And their Lord called to them, “Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?”
So does Islam blames Eve?
No, the Quran does not blame Eve for their mistake!
Nowhere in the Quran can you find a hint that Eve tempted Adam to eat from the tree, or she even was the first one to take a bite! Read both, the Genesis and the Quran verses and see which one puts the blame on Eve!
Now lets look at the below verse, from the Quran, and ponder even more, if what happened was preordained by Allah(SWT) or not?
“And when your Lord said to the angels: I am making a caliph (successor) on the Earth. They said: Are You making therein one who corrupts it and sheds blood, while we hymn Your praise and sanctify You? He said: Surely I know that which you do not know” (Al-Baqara, 2: 30).
Now looking at the above Quranic Verse, we can see that Allah (SWT) has already decided (preordained) to put a successor (Adam) on Earth! If you ponder a little bit about the above verses, you will see that the big plan was already made, by Allah (SWT) to have us dwell on earth!
Also, Islam rejects the concept of original sin, or the idea of all humans are born sinners! And let us all stop blaming Eve for our dwelling on earth!
WESTERN WOMEN ARE FREE
Some women will tell you that they are free! They can wear anything they want, they go out and work while Muslim women have the opposite such as covering themselves, walk 10 steps behind their man, and so on! How can a woman be free in Islam if they don’t dress or undress like some other women?
If western women got their rights in the early 60s, women in Islam got their rights over 1400 years ago.
Women in Islam and the Hijab
Now, let us think about that for a moment! Let us talk a bit about the women in Islam and the ‘Hijab’ using a ‘Rose’ as an example (but of course, in the eyes of Allah, a woman is much more precious than a rose, a diamond, a ruby and so on)
How beautiful is a ‘Rose’? Very beautiful, right? OK, now what does a Rose have beside the beautiful petals? Thorns! Why does it have thorns? for protection!
Muslim women wear Hijab because they believe Allah (SWT) God told the believing men and women to lower their gaze and to dress modestly. Now, did you miss the word ‘Men’! Dressing modestly is actually not just for women, but for men also!
Wouldn’t you protect something that is precious to you?
Want more reasons why Muslim women wear Hijab? Because they learned that, before Islam, women were buried alive as children because then, female babies where thought to be something shameful for a father to have, were used as sex toys and shared among men, they had no right to Inherit from their parents, or hold a political position and so on!
Then Islam came and gave them what they deserved such as freedom, protection, the right to inheritance and do business plus more!
Walk 10 feet behind the man
Some say that Muslim women are so oppressed and have no rights that, when outside with their husband, they have to walk 10 feet behind their husband!
This ‘walk 10 feet behind the man’ is not of an Islamic origin, and is nowhere to be found in the Quran! Mind you that there are places were women have to walk 10 feet behind the mind but this is a cultural thing and not Islamic!
Show me where, in the Quran, it says that women have to be 10 feet behind their husbands while walking? Nowhere!
Want to know more about the Hijab? Without opening the Bible, just look at how the Virgin Mary (AS) is depicted! Is she wearing something extremely similar to the ‘Hijab’? Yes indeed! Was the Virgin Mary (AS) oppressed, or was she a very pious believer?
Muslim women are just continuing the dress code, the Virgin Mary was following, nothing less, nothing more!
Look at how the western world see women! Women are used as an attraction, or object, half naked, if not totally naked, to help sell a product, or a service! Yes, you know what I mean by ‘service’ without going into details!
Our life on earth started with us having our private parts covered! Then many years (thousands) later, we begin to slowly cover ourselves a little more! Then later on, we added more garment and then, we are fully covered!
This is where we can say we advanced and got smarter! Then somewhere in time, somehow and for some unknown reasons, some started to go backward! Go back in time that is, from being fully dressed, more modest and free, to the dark ages when we had less clothes! Yes, I am talking about the era of the ‘Free Woman’, or so it seems!
Muslim woman’s right to marry
In the old days, even now in some parts of the world, a father can offer their daughters as a bride to whomever he pleases! But didn’t you know that Islam actually forbade this practice? A woman has the right to choose who she wants to spend her life with, and not the father! Yes, that is Islam
This is how women are viewed in Islam
- Women have the same spiritual, economic and political position in Islam
- Both, men and women, are trustees and representatives on earth
- Islam does not blame Eve for, both, eat from the forbidden tree
- In piety, men has no superiority over women
- Spiritual duties of men are equal of women (with some exception due to their feminine nature)
- Islam says that whoever does good deeds,both (men and women believers) will get rewarded and not just men
- Islam gave women rights to own properties and keep their name after the marriage
- In Islam, women are entitled to marital gift for their engagement – It is her gift and hers only
- If a woman happens to be working, she doesn’t have to spend a penny on the household! It is the husband’s responsibility to provide
- food, shelter, pay the bills, and so on! Only if she wants to help, she can do so
- Islam, including the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) gave women rights to education
- In Islam, marriage is not where someone marries to his slave but to his partner in life
- In Islam, Allah (SWT) gave women the rights to approve or not approve someone for marriage, and Islam went even further to make
- the bride’s approval a basis of whether the marriage valid or not! In short, the woman as the right to say yes, or no to a marriage offer/request
We can go on and on about women’s right in Islam, but then I will end up with a book but I am not a writer but just a humble servant of Allah, and one that believes in the high status of women and the respect they deserves just as it was giving to them by Allah, (SWT) and his prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Again, Islam has protected and gave rights to women, over 1400 hundred years ago, and not since the 60’s!
If you really want to learn about Islam and and about the rights of women in Islam, I recommend that you read the Quran, and the Seerah (Biography) of the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) instead of learning about them through a biased media!
Teaching of Islam
Are Women in Islam Oppressed?