Woman and Society 6

Woman and Society 6

Woman During the Lifetimes of the Prophets (PBUTH)

In these verses, the Qur'an raises the woman to the highest position and treats her as it treats the man. In the concept of the Islamic message, the man and the woman support each other to communicate the thought. They both reform society and remove corruption and crime. They both convey the message of good and peace and righteousness throughout the earth.

In the second verse, Prophet Noah (PBUH) asked his Lord to forgive both believing men and women. Through the meaning of this prayer, the principles of honoring, love, and respect for the woman spread. That is because the supplication for a certain person has all these meanings.

The Qur'an pictures that believing men and women will be in a halo of light on the day when they meet their Lord to receive their reward according to their deeds.

Thus, we understand that the Qur'an has granted the righteous woman love and support. Besides it has summoned (people) to ask their Lord to forgive the believing woman and bless her. Moreover, it has surrounded the believing woman with a halo of light. Such a woman is she who follows Asiya Pharoah's wife), Mary (the mother of Jesus), Khadija (the wife of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP)), and Fatima (the daughter of Muhammad (PBUH&HP).

Apart from this, we understand the high character of woman and respect towards her when we know that the first martyr in Islam was Sumayyah, the mother of the great companion `Ammar b. Yasir. She was killed by Abu Sufyan, the leader of the polytheists. Thus, Sumayya sacrificed her life for the principles of the Islamic message. That was when the confrontation took place between the terrorists and tyrants, and Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and the deprived and slaves who followed the message of Islam to give them their rights and to save them from ignorance and exploitation. A number of the deprived women hurried to believe in the Prophet (PBUH&HP) at the beginning of his mission. They endured pain, torture, and persecution. So, they emigrated to Habasha and Medina. They supported Allah and His Apostle (PBUH&HP) strongly. The character of the righteous women clearly appear when we look at the view that surrounds the martyrs whom the Qur'an has mentioned: "And the earth shall get radiant with the light of its Lord, and the Book (of deeds) shall be set, and the prophets shall be brought up and the witnesses, and (it shall) be judged between them, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly."(1)

The Muslim woman has not discovered her true position in Islam yet and the Muslim man has not known the true position of the woman in Islam yet. So the relationship between them has become disordered and it will not become ordered until they both follow the principles of the Qur'an and recognize the rights of each other.

If the woman who follows the material civilization knows her position and respect in Islam, she will embrace it.

Preparing the Women to fulfill their Tasks

The process of preparing and educating has an important effect on building and forming man's character. It directs his abilities and merits in a constructive manner. Thus, he is able to carry out his tasks in society. When man is neglected and deprived of education, direction, and organized preparation, he will grow up spontaneously. In other words, circumstances, environment, and events will direct him. All these things kill his character, waste his abilities, and hinder his social growth. Then he will have a weak and unstable character, so he will be unable to deal successfully with society, events, problems, and chances. The conditions of woman should be studied through the picture represented in Islam. This picture is in the Qur'an and the purified Sunnah. It depends on numerous bases. They are as follow:

1. The unity of mankind depending on His words, the Exalted: "O people, keep your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind), and spread from these two many men and women. And keep your duty  to Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship. Surely Allah is ever a Watcher over you."(2) We can understand this verse not only through its great meaning, but also through the Revelation that opened the Sura of al-Nisa' that talks about the affairs of woman with this verse and depends on it. The sura of al-Nisa' is among the greatest Suras. It has 176 verses excluding the bismillah, namely, in the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This surah is regarded as the foundation, legislation, and values that organize the relationship between man and woman, and limit their position and their role in society.

2. The relationship between man and woman depending on love, affection, mercy, calmness, and tranquility. All these qualities are presented in these words of His, the Exalted: "And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves, mates that you may dwell (inclined) unto them, and caused between you love and compassion: Verily in this are signs for a people who reflect."(3)

3. Man and woman are equal in rights and duties: "and for the women shall be similar rights (over men) in fairness."(4) In this verse, Almighty Allah means that man and woman have rights and duties over each other. Each of them has rights and duties. They both should carry out their duties through paying the rights of each other with kindness and good association. With this unique religious, and moral principle, Islam has balanced the relationship between man and woman. Accordingly, it has established an outstanding principle for the rights of woman.

4. The social relationship between man and woman is based on friendship as declared by the Holy Qur'an. Allah, the Exalted: "And the believer men and the believer women, they are guardians to one another." The Qur'an gives this wonderful picture of the relationship between man and woman. This relationship is based on friendship. The highest degrees of love and respect are presented in this relationship. It has been established in the language that the word `wali' means supporter, lover, and friend. Among the clear social phenomena in our world, which suffer from tyrants, are persecution, depression, force, and domination. Thus, this phenomena have negative effects on social dealings, education in school and home, the relations of work, and all kinds of social organization.

The absence of freedom, scorning the character of others, persecuting them, and depressing their will are familiar phenomena in our present society. Nobody protests against them but in some limits which are inappropriate for these phenomena. Woman suffers from the pressure of this phenomena more than man. Our society has inherited backward habits, customs, and concepts. Through them it treats woman. Thus, it scorns the character, abilities, and merits of woman. Moreover, in many environments, man regards woman as a creature below the love of humanity of man. The concepts of isolating woman from advanced social life have come into existence because of backwardness and the absence of Islamic awareness and understanding from the circles of Muslims, and general social, political, and intellectual situation. We find strange that some material writers have ascribed these concepts to Islam.

Because of the conditions of ignorance and backwardness, Muslims have submitted to material intellectual invasion through its two eastern and western schools. Thus, has begun a war waged against Islamic thought and to focus on the conditions of woman in the Islamic world. So, non-Islamic information and cultural foundations, secular parties, and the propagators of materialism and dissoluteness have spared no effort to drag woman from those circumstances and conditions in which she lives in backward society to the circle of dissoluteness, to corrupt woman, and to trade with her affairs politically and culturally. That is because they have become sure of corrupting woman through sexual dissoluteness, and the motto of (woman's rights) and (woman's freedom), being the best way to corrupt the generation of males and females. That is because woman is the source of temptation and sexual excitement. Besides spreading sexual dissoluteness, which they have called (sexual rights), is among the most dangerous ways to destroy the family, to make children homeless, and to destroy human relationship between man and woman.

Thus, the plan of preparing and educating woman faces three directions. They are as follow:

1. The direction that resulted from the conditions of civilizational backwardness and awareness. It is the direction that depends on the base of scorning woman's character, depressing her will, and making absent her human and social role beside man. This direction has been inherited through habits and customs that have resulted from those who have no knowledge of Islam, the conditions of domination, the haughtiness of man, and intellectual backwardness.

2. Material direction: Western material civilization summons (people) to adopt this direction. It is the direction that summons people to believe in sexual dissoluteness that aims at destroying family relationships and empowering persecution and oppression of woman in another way and under the motto of "woman's rights" and "sexual freedom", etc., that makes woman the victim of sexual enjoyment and violation and diseases.

3. Islamic direction: It is the direction that believes in the unity of mankind and organizes the relationship between man and woman according to respect and cooperation that aim at building society and organizing sexual relationship between man and woman not according to dissolute woman's body and to enjoy it and to destroy the foundations of family ties, as it occurs nowadays in Europe, America, Russia, China, Japan, an other countries in the world, that have followed the trend of material civilization. Rather on the foundation of respecting woman's humanity and granting her her rights, for she is a human being with qualities and rights and character.

Continue in the next article: ( Woman and Society 7 )

NOTES:

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1. Holy Qur'an (Zumar 39:69)

Holy Qur'an (Nisa 4:1)

Holy Qur'an (Rum 30:21)

Holy Qur'an (Baqara 2:228)