A favourite theme for those who try to find something to attack on Islam and Muslims is to assume that Muslim women are oppressed by men. The criticism usually takes the form of Muslim women being forced to cover from head to toe, that if a woman is raped she will be stoned to death, that Muslim women are not allowed to be educated etc…
The status of a woman in Islam is in fact more important than that of a man. It is the woman who is in charge of the family—–the society on a small scale.She is the first person responsible for bringing up the new generation. The Muslim women, as opposed to the Western women, is always honoured and respected as a mother, sister,wife and daughter and her own natural disposition as a woman is neither denied nor ignored. Unlike in the West where there is a gender war going on between men and women vying with each other and competing to be better, in Islam, the Shari’ah (Islamic Law) makes a distinction between the roles men and women based on their own natural abilities, instincts and disposition.Hence the man is obliged to provide food, clothing and shelter for his wife even if she has her own wealth and he is obliged to defend and protect her honour whereas the Muslim woman will look after the wealth and children of her husband. Her basic role is to maintain the household thereby creating a harmonious and efficient atmosphere in the home. This will enable both men and women to pay all the other roles that they have within society including being educated to the highest standards and being statesmen and stateswomen carrying Islam to the world.
The Muslim woman takes the criteria of her actions solely from the revelation, as contained in the Quran and through the actions and sayings of the Messenger Muhammad(PBUH) which are all divinely inspired. Hence, the way that a Muslim woman dresses or behaves are based on the commands and prohibitions of her Lord,Allah, and not the dictates of men. This reality elevates a woman to a status which Western women can only dream of. Many of Western women are subservient to men through the cosmetics and fashion industries .Western women are victim of prostitution and pornography, which are legal in most Western societies but are strictly forbidden in Islam. The Muslim woman is addressed for her intellect and abilities as opposed to being treated as a sex-object. In Islam anything that outstrips a woman of her honour is strongly prohibited.
Dr Ali Ahmad