Islam is falsely accused of being a religion that does not respect women’s rights. Many Muslim scholars have, in actuality, replied to this allegation, relying mainly on the legal texts of the Quran- Muslims’ first source of legislation- and the Sunnah- the second source. Yet, in this article we will try to think the other way round, depending on real incidents and actions to conclusively prove that Islam, religion of equality and justice, never ever wrongs women.
A well-established fact in Islam is that men and women are equal to each other, and that there is no difference whatsoever between them. The only one criterion that proves the superiority of a man over a woman or a woman over a man is the matter of Taqawa (fearing of Allah, the Almighty).
Taking marriage as a case in point, we find that Islam declares clearly that marriage is a firm covenant between man and woman; it provides serenity, affection and mercy for them both, which is why it should be based on mutual love, understanding and respect. It gives both the two parties of marriage the right to choose his/her counterpart, and instructs the husband to give his wife a dowry (a gift) by way of honoring her. It also obliges the wali (guardian) of the woman, due to his wide and long experience in dealing and contacting with men and thus knowing perfectly well about them, to manage the marriage affairs on her behalf. It further declares that woman is not responsible for any financial matters within the family, but it is the husband who is obliged to provide a suitable house for her as well as all the needs and requirements necessary for the continuity of this family, including food, drink, clothes, etc.
Preserving the higher objectives of Islamic Sharia, Muslim jurists and legists stipulated that the marriage contract shall be officially documented in order to keep and protect the rights of women in case of divorce. Islam firmly declares any other sexual relation outside this frame as unlawful and does not guarantee woman’s rights in any way, which is actually the situation in many of the European countries in which young girls are allowed to engage in such unlawful actions.
This is actually what is the English Mirror e-newspaper warned against in its article published February, 4, 2018 under the title of “Schoolgirl mum, 14, on harsh reality of being teen mother and how daughter inspired her to excel in life” in which Shannon Henderson, a teen school girl aged 14, became pregnant from her boyfriend who, as the newspaper said, turned his back on her while her parents broke down in tears when she said she was expecting.
Even though the article reveals that the baby girl inspired her mum to excel at school and apply for university, this is not the condition in most cases reaching 4,800 girls under 19 in Scotland who fell pregnant in 2015- of which 2,803 gave birth, the newspaper says. That is why the girl herself warned other young girls not to do that act: “Finding out I was going to become a teenage mum was terrifying – not the sort of thing anyone ever imagines will happen to them. At first I was in denial … I wouldn’t encourage anyone to fall pregnant so young – it’s definitely not easy …”
Surprisingly enough, the girl- now aged 17- had to work a part time job in order to afford the basic needs for her baby girl and pay for the house they live in together!!!
This is not actually the case in Islam, which blocks the means from the very beginning to adultery in order to protect both men and women from falling prey to such unlawful acts that harm women in the first place- a point which is crystal clear in Shannon’s story. Islam, on the contrary and as mentioned previously, wants to guarantee the rights of women in marriage through declaring any other sexual relation outside the frame of the lawful and officially documented marriage prohibited! This is, in actuality, one particular aspect of how Islam honors woman!