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At a time during the ‘dark ages’ when a newborn girl was buried alive, the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:

"The father who diligently brings up his daughter and gets her married will be rewarded with paradise".

At a time, when her birth was treated as a matter of shame and curse (as being done today) he said:

"Paradise is under the feet of your mother".

When she was the most exploited member of the society, deprived of all basic human rights, the Holy Qur’an declared 1400 years back:

"And with justice, women shall have rights similar to those exercised against them".

Is it not ironical than that; despite the above mentioned facts, the critics of Islam denounce Islam for the alleged second class treatment to the womenfolk, though the facts state otherwise!

Islam recognises perfect and complete individuality of a woman as a person and does not make any distinction between men and women in most respects. The Holy Qur’an declares

"Whoeve works righteousness, man or woman and has faith, verily to him will we give a new life, a life that is good and pure and we will bestow on them such reward, according to the best of their actions" (16: 97)

This verse makes it very clear that the Qur’anic view of woman is no different than that of man. But at the same time, Islam also takes cognizance of the natural differences and inequalities in terms of physical constitution, physiology & the psychological make up between the two sexes.

A woman just can’t do any thing about the billions of cells (of which she is made of), genetically stamped with X & Y chromosomes. And it is this genetic coding, which makes her a different entity from the man. No amount of education, training or change in attire can do away this natural difference. And hence Islam provides reasonable allowances while deciding rights and obligations for women, as will be clear from on going paragraphs.

Considering her physical weakness & vulnerabilities, Islam frees women of all financial obligations and places this responsibility squarely on the shoulders of man, as the protector & provider for his family.

"Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means" (4:34)

So, we find women in a unique position, thanks to Islam; whereby it is their privilege to have similar rights as those enjoyed by men, but at the same time they have been freed of all the financial obligations.

It was Islam that encouraged its followers to educate their women folks. A very high percentage of Islamic literature, Hadith in particular was being narrated by women of that time. That also goes on to prove that Islamic scholars have considered the women as a reliable source or witness to information.

In every epoch of Islamic history, including the time of Prophet (pbuh), one sees Muslim women engaged in every profession that suited them.They worked as nurses, teachers & even as combatants by the side of men when so required. The Islamic jurists admit the possibility of women being appointed as judges of the tribunals.

As regards the social status of women in Islam; it should be noted that as a mother, Islam raises women to such an exalted position in the society, which no man can ever imagine, to reach, as evident by the forgone remark made by the Prophet (pbuh). In the Holy Qur’an, Allah says,

And live with them with kindness and equity"(4:19)

The Prophet (pbuh) also instructed his followers to take utmost care of their women. He said to his companions:

Have therefore the fear of God with regards to women, and I order you to treat them well".

The women is free in her choice of husband, in fact without her consent, the nikah ceremony (marriage) cannot take place. At the same time she is also entitled just like her counterpart, to seek annulment of her marriage, if the husband is incapable of fulfilling conjugal duties or for some other genuine reasons enumerated under the law. Besides, a Muslim wife forms an important member of the “Family's Think Tank” as evident from the life of Prophet (pbuh) who not only confided with his wives but also offered a helping hand in their day to day affairs He said:

The best among you is one who is best towards his wife".

Islam offers polygamy as possibly the most practical and reasonable solution to the problems of the widows and divorcees of the society. Polygamy also safeguards the marital status of those women who are bedridden, suffering from terminal illness and of those found to be inadequate in their conjugal duties. Due to this permission for marrying more then one woman, the Muslims wives can stay with their husbands rather than being thrown out in case polygamy was not permitted.

Islam places women on the same level as those of men in the matter of honour, property and other important matters of life. She can inherit, owns and dispose off her property, wealth etc without seeking permission from anybody, including her own husband.

On the other hand she has no financial obligations towards her family, but does possess the right of maintenance (food, lodging, dressing etc), which her father, husband or brother has to provide on their sole expenses. The notion of maintenance goes so far in Islam that according to law, a wife is not obliged even to give her breast to suckling, if she so desires. It is duty of the father of the child to procure for it a foster mother at his own expenses.

In spite of such status of honour & privilege conferred on women by Islam, if our sisters still like to get fooled by the west promoted feminist movement; we have nothing more to say. It is there for every one to see, how women are being exploited and abused as objects of sex in the name of ‘gender equality’ by those very people who claim to fight for women’s rights.

The only right available to them under the guardianship of their so called protectors is the right to serve them at a mighty cost of dignity and honour as stenos, secretaries, operators, receptionists, packers, hostesses, sales girls and every other lowly placed job under the sun, her master can think fit for her, at remunerations much lower than what is being given to males for a similar job.

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