The Cultivator of Generations, Producer of Great Men
I will point out in it some of what Islam requires of the individual and the society concerning the rights of women.
1. Have you seen the Jewel? Why is it that the people love it while it is simply a piece of stone? It is because it is not so easy to see it, nor can you touch it except by paying an exorbitant price. Similar is the case of the woman – it is forbidden for a man to see her or touch her, in order that he does not dishonour her. She is like an untouched (pure) jewel, which is affected by the least touch.
2. Have you seen how a rose wilts, withers, and loses it luster and beauty if it is touched too much. Likewise, the woman is not allowed to be touched except by one in a lawful relationship of marriage. And whoever attempts to touch her – unlawfully – will earn a severe punishment or death.
3. Do you know the punishment for one who violates the marriage trust and cheats on his wife? The penalty is death, since he has fallen short in regards to the jewel which is with him, in addition to transgressing the rights of others.
4. Have you seen a jewel searching for a person (to possess it)? The same is the case of the women, like a precious jewel, she is the one who is sought out, not the seeker. It is incumbent upon the man to seek her hand. And if she agrees to marry him, then he will present to her a marriage dowry and something from his wealth.
5. Consider the Ruler or Head of State – if every one were able to speak to him directly and sit in his presence, he wouldn’t be held in awe, nor possess the same prestige and status amongst the people that he has. Similarly, the woman is like a noble Queen. It is not the right of every person to speak to her directly or sit in her presence; this is something allowed to the select few.
6. The Supreme Being has created the male strong of body in order that he may go out and earn his livelihood, even in difficult circumstances. This is so that he may serve the women and children of his family. As for the woman, she has been created gentle, soft and sensitive, so that she may cultivate the future generations. The man goes out and works with the natural elements, while the woman deals with the human being (raising the children).
7. What do you think would happen if a lion and gazelle were placed together in one place? Is it possible for them to co-exist? Obviously not! Likewise, it is of necessity that the man be separated from the woman, in the interest of the woman. She is beautiful, attractive and weak. Hence, the strong will overcome her and devour her and violate her chastity – even if she were not willing.
8. The woman who performs work equal to the work of a man is entitled to – and is given – the same salary as the man.
9. The woman is allowed to work but is not burdened to do earn the daily livelihood of the family.
10. The woman – like man – is addressed in the divine revelation with responsibilities for which she – like man – is equally rewarded.
11. The woman is excused from certain religious ceremonies and obligations during her post-child birth and menstrual periods, since these conditions are a cause of weakness and hence, she is in need of rest and relaxation.
12. If a woman dies while giving birth to a child, she is rewarded with the highest station in Paradise.
13. The person who is killed while defending his mother, wife, daughter or sister will be rewarded with the highest station in Paradise.
14. It is permissible for a woman to seek a separation from her husband if he has failed to fulfill her marital rights.
15. Is there anything more valuable to the human being than his life? Indeed, the honour and dignity of women is more valuable, precious and important to the Muslim than his own life.
16. It is permissible for the woman to remarry – whomever she desires – if he is divorced from her husband or widowed.
17. If a woman possesses wealth, she is free to use it in any lawful way, without permission of anyone [father, husband or others].
18. The woman has the right to the inheritance of her relative – at the time of his
death – even if he does not desire that she receive it.
19. It is obligatory upon the man to spend his wealth for the maintenance – housing, food, etc. – of those under his care including his mother, wife or daughter, even if he doesn’t desire to do so.
20. The mother has been given preference over the father – three times over – concerning their right to kindness and benevolence from their children.
22. Whoever truly desires paradise – Know that paradise lies at the feet of the mother, for the one who pleases her.
23. Whoever has daughters and treats them well – they will be a cause of him being screened from the hell-fire.
23. If a man kills a woman intentionally, he no longer deserves to live and will be killed, even if the victim was his wife.
24. The Messenger of Allah – Blessings of Allah and Peace be Upon him – advised concerning the woman: Treat the women well. He also said: The best of you are those who are the best in the treatment of their wives.He also said: No one honours the woman except an honourable man. And no one humiliates her or holds her in contempt except one who is evil, vile, wicked and depraved.
Is there any greater Honour than this?
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