Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed the Muslim woman has an elevated position in Islaam, as well as a great influence in the life of every Muslim. Since she is the initial school in establishment of the righteous society – if this woman proceeds upon guidance from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), because holding firmly onto both of them distances every Muslim male and female from misguidance in everything.”[2]

Until the religion of Islaam would come and give the woman her rightful status, the Arabs had detested girls being born to them, and this detestation would show on a man’s face upon his learning that a girl had been born to him. Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic, informs of their state of affairs when He, The Most High, said:

وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِالْأُنثَىٰ ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ * يَتَوَارَىٰ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ مِن سُوءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِ ۚ أَيُمْسِكُهُ عَلَىٰ هُونٍ أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَابِ ۗ أَلَا سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ

((And when one of them is given the tidings of a female, his face becomes dark, and he is inwardly grieved. He hides himself from the people because of the ill of that which he has been given tidings of. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the dust? Certainly, evil is what they decide.)) (An-Nahl: 58-59)

The religion of Islaam therefore not only put an end to the negative mindset towards the female gender and of this merciless practice towards them which had existed in some societies, but at the same time it elevated the status of women to one of dignity, and like the men, it gave women the prospect of living a good life, and of attaining great reward, if they believe and work righteous deeds, Allaah, The Most High, said:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

((Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward according to the best of what they used to do.)) (An-Nahl: 97)

Women are likewise to be treated with kindness and respect, whether in the case of one’s mother or sister or daughter, with regard to the treatment of men towards their wives, Allaah, The Most High, said:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

((And live with them in kindness.)) (An-Nisaa: 19)

It was the religion of Islaam that gave the female her due rights, so there entered a new chapter in which the woman was to be granted her true rights, far from the oppression that females had been subjected to from long before, and thus it was the religion of Islaam that taught mankind to give these rights, as ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) once said: “We never used to give significance to women in the days of pre-Islamic ignorance, but when Islaam came and Allaah mentioned them, we saw for them a right upon us due to that.”[3]


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