|The Message of Islam Team|
The enemies of Islam never tire of repeating the claim that Islam is unjust to women, oppresses them, deprives them of their rights and considers them no more than servants and a means of enjoyment for men. This falsehood is refuted by what has been authentically narrated about the Prophet (peace be upon him) regarding the honor he accorded women and his concern for their condition. He used to consult women, deal with them gently, support them in all situations and give them their complete rights in a way never dreamt of before.
Before Islam, the Arabs disliked having daughters and considered them a source of shame. Some of them were even known to have buried their female children alive.
The Qur’an describes it as follows:
And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief. He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide. (16:58-59)
And in the Pre-Islamic days when a woman’s husband died, his sons and relatives inherited her as property; if they wished they would marry her to one of them and if they wished they could prevent her from remarrying and keep her thus until death. Islam did away with all that through its just rulings which guaranteed the rights of women.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) declared that women are equal to men in all aspects of humanity, saying, “Women are but sisters of men.” (Reported by Ahmad) So in Islam there is no conflict between the two sexes as its opponents imagine; rather, a brotherly-sisterly relationship of mutual cooperation exists between them.
The noble Qur’an has confirmed the equality of men and women in the realms of faith, action and compensation in the Hereafter, God Almighty states:
Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember God often and the women who do so – for them God has prepared forgiveness and a great reward. (33:35)
And He said:
Whoever does an evil deed will not be recompensed except by the like thereof; but whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – those will enter Paradise, being given provision therein without account. (40:40)
God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) mentioned his love for women, saying, “Beloved to me from your world are women and pleasant scent, and my greatest pleasure is in prayer.” (Ahmad) So if the Prophet (peace be upon him) loved women, how could he belittle or oppress them?
Moreover, while the Prophet (Peace be upon him) abolished the customary hatred of daughters and the terrible practice of burying them alive, he encouraged raising them well and treating them kindly. On one occasion he said, “Whoever cares for two girls until they reach puberty will come with me thus on the Day of Resurrection,” and he brought together his two fingers. (Muslim) This shows that one attains high position and nearness to the Prophet owing to his care and protection of his daughters until they reach the age of puberty and responsibility. The Prophet also said,
“Whoever has three daughters or three sisters or two daughters or two sisters and lives with them in kindness, fearing God in regard to them, will enter Paradise.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi)
The Prophet was also concerned with educating women. In fact, he even appointed a day for them to assemble and would come to teach them from that which God had taught him. (Reported by Muslim)
He did not make woman a prisoner within the house, as the opponents claim, but allowed her to go out to take care of her needs, visit her relatives and visit the sick. He allowed her to buy and sell in the marketplace as long as she adhered to modest conduct and proper dress. He also allowed her to attend the mosque and forbade preventing her, saying,
“Do not prevent your women from [coming to] the mosques.” (Reported by Ahmad)
He would constantly urge kindness toward her with the words, “Be good to women.” (Reported by Bukhari) This involves good treatment, respect for her rights, concern for her feelings and avoidance of any kind of harm.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged husbands to spend on their wives. He would instruct them:
“You will not spend any expenditure seeking the approval of God but that you will be rewarded for it – even the bite of food you put into the mouth of your wife.” (Reported by Bukhari) He also pointed out that what is spent on the family is the best expenditure, saying, “The best dinar is the one a man spends on his dependants.” (Reported by Muslim) On another occasion he said: “When a man gives his wife a drink of water he is rewarded.” (Reported by Ahmad) When `Irbaadh ibn Sariah heard this statement of the Prophet he hastened to bring some water to his wife to drink, telling her what he had heard from the Messenger of God.
This is how the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught his companions good treatment of women, affection and sympathy towards them, providing them with all kinds of benefit and spending on them appropriately.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) made clear that good treatment of women is a sign of the nobility of a man’s soul and generosity of his nature. He stated, “The best of you is the best of you to your wives.” (Reported by Ahmad) And he forbade hatred of one’s wife, saying, “Let not a male believer hate a female believer; if he dislikes one trait of hers he will be pleased with another one.” (Reported by Muslim)
Thus, the Prophet ordered men to look for the positive aspects and praiseworthy actions in women and overlook the errors and negative aspects, because looking for bad behavior and dwelling upon it leads to aversion and dislike between the spouses.
He also prohibited beating women, saying, “Do not strike the female servants of God.” (Reported by Abu Dawud) And he threatened those who harm them with the words: “O God, indeed, I make binding the right of the two vulnerable ones: the orphan and the woman.” (Reported by Ahmad)
This meant that he would not make lawful the harming of either of them, and whoever does so has exposed himself to difficulty and punishment in this world and the next.
The Prophet also prohibited husbands from exposing the secrets (private aspects) of their wives, as he prohibited wives from exposing the secrets of their husbands. He said, “The worst of people in position before God on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who has intercourse with his wife and then spreads her secret.” (Reported by Muslim)
The Prophet also honored women by prohibiting husbands from assuming evil about their wives or suspicion of them. Jabir a companion of the Prophet reported:
“The Messenger of God (Peace be upon him) prohibited men from surprising their wives by night, suspecting betrayal or seeking to catch their faults.” (Reported by Bukhari)
As for the conduct of God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) with his own wives, it was of the utmost sensitivity and kindness. Al-Aswad reported: “I asked `A’ishah the wife of the Prophet, how the Messenger of God was with his wives. She said, ‘He was in the occupation of his wife,’ meaning that he assisted her in her work. ‘But when it was time for the prayer he would get up for prayer. (Reported by Bukhari)
He (peace be upon him) would try to please his wives and amuse them with pleasant conversation and sweet words. An example of this is when he said to `A’ishah, “I know your anger and your contentment.” She said, “How do you know that, O Messenger of God?” He said, “When you are content you say, ‘Yes, by the Lord of Muhammad.’ But when you are angry you say, ‘No, by the Lord of Abraham.'”
She said, “Yes, by God, O Messenger of God; I do not abandon except your name.” (Reported by Bukhari) She meant that her love of him was firm in her heart and did not change.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) never forgot his wife, Khadijah after her death. Anas reported: “When the Prophet (peace be upon him) got a gift he would say, ‘Take it to so-and-so, for she was a friend of Khadijah. (Reported by Tabarani)
This is how Muhammad (peace be upon him) honored women, so how do those who ridicule Muslim women compare to it?