Opinion: Women’s rights from Islamic perspective

General Shura Council honors women revolution activists

Written by Jihan al-Haj Bakri, she is an activist involved in the Syrian Revolution since its beginning. She possesses a degree in Arabic literature and works in the Ministry of Education in the Syrian Salvation Government. She is currently active in women empowerment and advancement, especially widows, through many courses and vocational training.

Islam has honored the women and put great importance in them. The woman in Islam is the mother, sister, daughter and wife. She is her husbands’ partner in carrying the responsibilities of life. They are on the same level as a man in honor and reverence, Allah Almighty appointed both man and woman the mission of succession on earth and proper upbringing of children.

Islam has provided the woman her rights after she suffered during the Jahiliyyah period (Before Islam). She has the right of inheritance and property, marriage and provision. Islam has given her the right of proper care, attention and education since she was a child, and made her the sister of man in all legal rulings.

Islam has protected the woman from the worldly view which states that she is merely a body and material good. Islam has honored her with the Hijab and covering of her body. It made her the virtuous mother whose pleasure is rewarded with Paradise, the righteous wife which is considered the best of worldly life, the daughter with which you could attain the companionship of the Messenger peace be upon him by giving them a proper upbringing.

Revolutionary activists protesting for Daraa

If we compare the role of women in Islamic society and its compatibility with the Western concept of women’s rights, a number of details become clear to us:

Freedom and equality in the Western understanding is considered a crime against women, not an honor. The capitalist system does not take into account the special needs of individuals, but rather deals with them on the basis of the principle of profit, loss and production. Through this system the man does not have to be the sole spender on his family, rather the woman becomes his partner in spending and works inside and outside the house. By tracking the outcomes of reality, we see Western women suffering from a number of economic, security and psychological challenges imposed on them by reality. For example, from an economic point of view, we see that women are required to spend and work just like men, even though they only receive a fraction of the amount received by men, as is happening so far in France. If we compare the position of Muslim women in the economic aspect, we see that the Muslim woman is protected in all aspects and her rights are guaranteed according to Islamic legislation. The man is obligated to spend on her while keeping her financial independence, she does not participate in the maintenance of the household except by her will.

Vocational training center activities

The Islamic religion considered, originated, and applied the concept of women’s rights in a balanced and integrated manner. It did not abolish her role in society, nor did it only teach her rights, but also her duties. Therefore, the saying that the Islamic religion oppresses women is a wrong statement and indicates ignorance of the reality of the Islamic religion. As for the legislative rules and issues related to inheritance, women’s work controls and other conditions that are seen as a shortcoming in women’s right should not be viewed in isolation from the rest of the roles that women and men must play in society, because their roles are complementary and not antagonistic.

The woman in Islam has a high position that she enjoys, and it is a position that Western women have not yet attained, without any exaggeration. It is enough to know that the woman in Islam has a personality that is valued. A Surah has been named after her, it contains what is related to women in marriage, inheritance, divorce, and how Islam takes care of the rights of women, who are partners of men in the journey of life. The Muslim woman must know that the freedom of women in Europe is not real freedom, as they do not have equal rights to pay and work like men.

There is no room for comparing the rights of Muslim women with Arab women, because Islam takes into consideration the psychological needs, physical structure and basic role of women in society . While all these aspects are canceled in Western philosophy when dealing with the concept of women’s rights and duties.

Here an important point should be emphasized, the Islamic religion does not call for equality according to its Western concept, but rather to equality that takes into account the rights and duties of each party. The duties here are related to the physical abilities that distinguish women from men, as women are distinguished over men in many areas, especially the ability to raise generations, while men are distinguished over women by their ability to do hard labor. As a matter of fact, Western women are oppressed because they do their duties outside of the house, when she returns home it’s expected she fulfill her roles in the house too.

Sewing training center under management of Jihan al-Haj Bakri

The reality of women’s rights in the West and the East is still a controversial reality that does not lead to any path; This is because her rights are considered without her duties. When looking at her duties, her physical, psychological and social characteristics are canceled, but if her rights and duties are discussed with a comprehensive and integrative view, just as Islam presented them earlier, a way will be reached that preserves the dignity of women, preserves her rights, and regulates her duties towards herself and towards society.

On the other hand, the Islamic world rejects the interference of Western countries in the issue of Muslim women’s rights. Considering that their concern has no good intentions and that it is a source of evil and abuse of women and the destruction of Arab Islamic societies, which are described as somewhat conservative. Their evidence for this is that the West, which demands that women be given their rights and preserve their dignity and equality with men, is the same as the one who treats women as commodities and pleasure, and encourages the establishment of sexual relations on the basis of benefit, enjoyment and transient interest – unlike Islam, which wants her as a wife and companion, where life is established with her on the basis of affection, mutual respect, integrated responsibility, and parity between them in life.


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Levant 24’s editorial stance.


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