Unlike other popular beliefs, Islam does not blame Hawa A.S. (Eve) alone for
the First Sin. The Quran makes it clear that both she and Adam (A.S.) were
tempted, both of them sinned and Allah Ta'ala's pardon was granted to both of
them after their repentance. They were addressed by Allah Ta'ala jointly.
Allah Ta'ala eloquently states in the Quran, " O Mankind! keep your duty to
your Lord who created you from a single person, and created of like nature his
mate, and from their twain scattered ( like seeds ) a multitude of men and
Allah Ta'ala further states in the Quran, " He (God) it is who did create you
from a single soul and therefrom did create his mate, that he might dwell with
her (in love)........."
The humanity of woman is declared in these decrees. She is not a great
temptress, nor is she a slave and some chattel created for the amusement to be
used and abused by men.
The crux of the law of Sharia is to preserve the family. The emphasis in
Islam is to move away from the materialistic life to one which is guided towards
having functional individuals, families and communities. Thus the intelligent
one is the one who disciplines himself / herself in order to avoid having
dysfunctional families and as a result dysfunctional communities and society.
The word Islam is derived from the Arabic root "SLM" which means among other
things, peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense the word
Islam means submission to the Will of God and obedience to His law.
Islam was founded by Allah himself and not by Mohammed (sallalaahu alayhi
wassallam) and Islam is not an "ism" as it has been made out to be by some
A Muslim is one who obeys, fully submits to, and worships God alone and bears
testimony that Mohammed (sallalaahu alayhi wassallam) was His last Prophet and
messenger. ( Muslims never worshipped Mohammed ( sallalaahu alayhi wassallam) or
any human being). Muslims believe in all the prophets of God without any
The Muslim woman through her life stages
As a daughter
In pagan Arabia, little girls were considered a burden and a disgrace, so
they were buried alive by their fathers.
With the advent of Islam, Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) is reported to
have said, "Whosoever has a daughter and he does not bury her alive, does not
insult her, does not favour his son over her, GOD will enter him into Paradise."
When a girl is born, it is a sign of honour for the parents. She brings with
her blessings into the home and Allah Ta'ala's rahmah descends upon the family.
It is mentioned in a hadith that Nabi (sallalaahu alayhi wassallam) said, "
When a female child is born, Allah Ta'ala sends His angels to that house. They
come to the dwellers of the house and pray that peace may be upon them, The
angels then cover the newly born girl in the shadow of their wings and caressing
the head of the baby with their hands they say that, this is a weak and frail
person, whoever will bear the responsibility of cherishing her will go on having
the blessing of Allah Ta'ala as long as that person remains alive." ( Al-Mojam
al - Saghir li Tabrani).
He also stated that, " Whosoever maintains two girls until they attain
maturity, he and I will come in the day of judgment like this", ( and he joined
his two fingers held together). (Muslim).
The pursuit of education and knowledge was made incumbent on every Muslim
male and female more than one thousand four hundred years ago.
Every girl has a right to education and she is allowed to seek knowledge
which will benefit her in this world and the hereafter. She is expected to make
a positive contribution to society by applying her skills in the service of her
family and society.
Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) said, " Seeking knowledge is mandatory
for every Muslim."
As a wife
Allah Ta'ala has created men and women as company for one another, so that
they can live in peace and tranquility. It will be found that men and women are
jointly addressed in the Quran.
The Holy Quran states: " And among His signs is that He created for you mates
from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has
put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are signs for those
who reflect. (31:21)
According to Islamic law, women cannot be forced to marry without their
consent. (No marriage in Islam can be valid without the consent of either
Besides all other provisions for her protection at the time of marriage, it
has been decreed that the woman has full the right to her marriage gift which is
presented to her by her husband. It is included in the nuptial contract, and
that such ownership does not transfer to her husband or her father.
Among the aims of marriage is the provision of solace, comfort, peace and
rest, for both of them. Both of them are entitled to each other's companionship
and partnership. The husband has no Shari right to impose his whims and fancies
on her. Although most wives cook and take care of domestic chores, her husband
cannot compel her to wash clothes or cook food.
In fact, Aisha (R.A.) reported that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam)
helped his wives in domestic chores........." He used to mend his shoes, sew his
clothes, and work in his house just as any of you works in his own house."
The rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of a man but
they are not necessarily identical with them. This difference is understandable
because men and women are not identical but they are created equals. Islam thus
takes into due consideration, acknowledges her, and recognizes her independent
A woman is not less important than a man. She has to be treated equally, with
justice and fairness. However, Allah Ta'ala has conferred the responsibility of
leadership in the union to the man.
The Quran states, " And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men)
over them, and men are a degree above them."
The leadership role does not mean the husband's dictatorship over his wife,
rather it emphasizes the importance of consultation, mutual agreement and taking
counsel in the family (decisions).
Economically, a wife does not have to compete in the market place for her
upkeep. In return for the solace she provides to her husband, the Shariah has
commanded the husband to compulsorily fulfill her material and spiritual needs.
He cannot order her to earn a living nor order her to assist in his business.
The husband is encouraged to deal leniently and kindly with his wife when
disputes or differences arise.
Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) is reported to have said, " The most
perfect believers are the ones who are best in conduct, and the best of you are
those who are best to their wives."
Verbal, physical, financial and emotional abuse of a wife is totally out of
keeping of a Muslim man's character. These actions are considered as disgraceful
cowardice and he will be accountable for his cowardly treatment against his wife
in the hereafter. He has to remember that his wife is not his property, she is
Allah Ta'ala's property and was given to him by Allah Ta'ala as a "gift", to be
treasured, respected and cherished.
The Quran states, "Deal with women correctly and with kindness. If then, you
dislike them, then it is possible that you dislike something in which Allah has
created abundance of goodness therein." ( Surah Nisa, Ayat 19).
Just as a husband finds some characteristics disagreeable, he will find other
characteristics agreeable. He is guided to seek and highlight the good in his
As the woman's right to decide about her marriage is recognized, so also is
her right to seek an end for an unsuccessful marriage is recognized.
Divorce is detested by Allah Ta'ala even though it has been made lawful by
This is because it disrupts the stability of the family and rocks the family
Certain steps and waiting periods should be observed by men and women seeking
divorce. A woman can bring her request for a divorce before (Muslim) judge/s who
will grant her a divorce by examining the circumstances.
Marriage in Islam is considered to fulfill five fundamental functions.
Protective and supportive function: Marriage serves as a "shock
absorber" from the pressures of the over-bearing outside world. The ability to
understand, sympathize, and support is a critical function of the spouses. It is
within the ambit of a nurturing, loving and secure home life that marital
harmony thrives and by extension a functional family and community.
Recreational function: Nabi (sallalaahu alayhi wassallam) played and
competed in running with his wife Aisha (R.A.). He would frequently say, " The
best of you are those who are best to their wives." Leisure activities within
the family group are encouraged, as the family that plays together stays
Social function: Marriage unites two families and the couple have to
accord respect to family members and foster ties with both sides of the family.
Nabi (salallaahu alayhi wassalallam) is reported to have said, " Whosoever
desires that sustenance be expanded for him and his life be prolonged, let him
foster ties with the family."
The children learn to interact with their elders and peers. The virtues of
respect, caring , sharing and reciprocating love for the pleasure of Allah
Ta'ala are cultivated.
Educational function: " Nobody shall meet Allah Ta'ala with a sin
greater than that of having left his family in ignorance ( Daylami).
Ibn Atta (R.A.) said that "Aisha (R.A.) was among all the people, the one who
had most knowledge of fiqh, the one who was the most educated, and compared to
those who surround her, the one whose judgment was the best."
Her companions called her " Bahrul Uloom", the ocean of knowledge. This was
due to the vast amount of knowledge she gained from her husband.
Religious function: A religious atmosphere within the home helps to
develop humility and a sense of accountability for all our actions. When the
couple mutually create this atmosphere, they then personify the following verse
of the Holy Quran: " Verily for all men and women who have surrendered
themselves to Allah, all believing men and women, all pious men and women, all
honest men and women, all patient men and women, all humble men and women, all
accountable men and women, all fasting men and women, all chaste men and women
who remember Allah increasingly; Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great
reward" ( 33:35).
Nabi (sallalaahu alayhi wassallam) has said, " This world (and all it's
contents) are but perishable commodities, the best of all perishable commodities
is a pious wife."
Sex within the marriage is not mere sexual gratification, it is an act of
charity. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam ) said, " In the sexual act of each
of you there is sadaqah."
The companions asked, " O' messenger of Allah! When one of us fulfills his
sexual desires, he will be given a reward for it?"
He replied, " Do you not think that if he were to act upon it unlawfully, he
would be sinning? Likewise, if he acts upon it lawfully, he will be rewarded." (
The husband is reminded that he should handle their sexual relationship with
care, warmth, and comfort and not treat his wife as a doormat who can be
dispensed with according to his own selfish desires. He should seek mutual
bliss, satisfaction and fulfillment with her.
As a mother
A woman is a full and equal partner of man in the procreation of mankind. Her
role is no less vital than his.
It is mentioned in a hadith that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, "
Does it not please you ( O Women!) that when you conceive from your husbands
whilst he is pleased with you, then that woman will receive such reward equal to
that of a fasting person in the path of Allah and spending the night in Ibadat.
When her labour pains commence, the inhabitants of the earth and the sky are
unaware of the stores of comfort that are prepared for her. When she delivers
and breast feeds her child, then she will be granted a reward for every gulp of
milk; and if she had to remain awake during the night for the sake of her child,
she will receive the reward of emancipating seventy slaves in the path of Allah.
Do you know who these women are? They are pious, upright, delicately natured
but yet are obedient to their husbands and not ungrateful to them."
Another hadith states: "A woman from her pregnancy till the time of weaning
her child is like one protecting the boundaries of the Islamic state. If she
passes away during this period, she attains the reward of martyrdom (shaheeda).
The mother is the first seat of learning for her children. It is here, in the
warmth of her love and care that the child learns about Allah Ta'ala, Nabi (sallallaahu
alayhi wassalaam), about honesty, fairness, justice, treatment of strangers, the
poor, the helpless, etc. The child's socialization process is not just geared
towards filling his/ her head with information and fairy tales. The child learns
his/ her responsibilities as a Muslim from an early age from the mother who is
truly the centre of the child's universe at that stage.
The Quran has special recommendations for the good treatment of both parents.
Due to the great sacrifices she makes in bearing her children, spending
sleepless nights watching over them when they are ill, virtually turning her day
into night for their comfort and for rearing them with so luch love and
attention, the mother is given precedence and a higher status than the father.
A famous saying of Nabi (sallalaahu alayhi wassallam) is " Paradise is at the
feet of your mother."
A man came to Nabi(sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) asking , " O messenger of
Allah, who among the people is the most worthy of my good company?"
Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) said, " Your mother."
The man then asked, "Who else?"
Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) replied, " Your mother."
The man then asked again, " Then who else?"
Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) said, " Your mother."
The man then asked, " Who else?"
Only then did he get the answer, " Your father."
The Muslim woman's economic status.
Islamic Law fully acknowledged the woman's right to her money, real estate or
other property over one thousand, four hundred years ago. This right undergoes
no change whether she is single or married. She retains her full right to buy,
sell, mortgage or lease any or all of her properties. Her right to her
properties applies even if she acquires them after her marriage. She is not
regarded as a minor simply because she is a woman.
(It was not until 1938 that the French Law was amended so as to recognize the
eligibility of women to contract. A married woman was however, still required to
secure her husband's permission before she could dispense with her private
A Muslim woman is guaranteed her share of inheritance. Before Islam, she was
not only deprived of that share but was herself a "transferable property" to be
inherited by man.
Whether she is a wife or mother, a sister or daughter, she receives a certain
share of the diseased kin's property. This share depends on her degree of
relationship to the diseased and the number of heirs. She cannot be
Even if the diseased wishes to deprive her by making a will to other
relations, or, in favour of some cause, the Law will not allow him to do so.
Her share of inheritance is completely hers, her father and husband can make
no claim on it whatsoever.
As far as the woman's right to seek employment is concerned, it should be
remembered that Islam regards her role in society as a mother and wife as the
most sacred and an essential one, as she largely "shapes the future of nations".
This vital and noble role cannot by any means be fulfilled by maids and
A Muslim man is fully responsible for the maintenance of his wife, his
children, in some cases his needy relatives, especially the females. Her
husband's responsibility is neither waived nor reduced because of his wife's
wealth or because of her access to any personal income gained from rent, work or
Just as her possessions do not transfer to her husband after she marries him,
she is not obliged to spend her wealth on her family. She was also given the
choice of keeping her maiden surname over fourteen hundred years ago.
She is financially secure and provided for.
If she is a wife, her husband is the provider.
If she is a mother, it is the son who is the provider.
If she is a daughter, her father is the provider.
If she is sister, it is the brother who is the provider, etc.
If a Muslim woman wishes to work or be self-supporting and participate in
handling the family responsibilities, she is quite free to do so, provided her
integrity and honor are safeguarded.