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8 Main Women’s Role in Islam Culture

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In the Holy Quran clearly indicates, the first human being was Adam AS. Allah SWT created him from soil and give him spirit. Otherwise, Allah SWT created Eve from Adam’s left rib to be a life companion and for human race to increase in numbers.


Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah SAW said :

Treat women well. Woman was created from a rib. The most crooked part of the ribb is the top part. If you try to straighten it, you will break it.  If you leave it, it remains crooked. So treat women well”.

There were times in history before Islam comes women were considered the lesser being all over the world. In Arabia the plight of women was beyond narration where having daughters was considered a shame to the extent that parents would bury their girls alive out of shame. Moreover, they also had no rights and were treated like slaves in the household and had no say in any matter of their life. This history means that only men were considered the center creation and universe while the women consider lesser beings with no human rights.

With the arrival of Islam things started to change all over the world in general and Arabia in particular regarding the rights of women. But in many casess sometimes peoples looking in at the women’s role in Islam with several negative connotations. One example of the misconceptions is the role of education. Many people believe that Muslim women are not allowed to receive an education, wich in fact couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, The Prophet’s wife Khadijah was not only businesswoman but very successful one.

See also: Signs of Strong Iman

The Muslim community encourages the role of women in Islam to be one that is educated and the  Islamic world wants them to excel within their areas of interest and expertise. An importantant role of women in Islam is to educated themselves. Both on an academic level and within their culture. Furthermore, it may also reveal to outsiders looking in that role of women in Islam is equalized in comparison to men.

Allah says : “The believers, men and women are protecting friends (Awliya) of one another; they join the ma’ruf (that wich Allah commands) and forbid people form munkar(that which Allah prohibits); they perform salat, and give the zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have mercy on them. Surely Allah is Allmighty, Allwise” (At-Taubah:71)

That’s less information about how the women’s role even in Prophet Muhammad SAW

Besides the information about women’s role even in Prophet Muhammad SAW, below here are the important major of women’s role in Islam that we must know, they are :

1. Becoming Mother for Her Children

One of the most women’s role that we know is being mother. Islam holds great respect for mother and commends the followers to respect their mothers the most of the struggle she does raising a kid to its adult age. Once a Companion asked Prophet Muhammad SAW : “Who is the one most worthy of my car?” The Prophet SAW replied : “Your Mother.”The man asked: “Then whom?” He replied: “Your Mother.”Then Companion asked again: “Then whom?” He replied: “Your Mother.” Then Companion asked again: “Then whom?” He replied: “Then your Father.” (Bukhari)

From this hadith, it’s clear that a mother has four times more right on a child compared to a father, which is quite on contrary to the common notions in the world where father being the head of the family enjoys the maximum and rights. Pertaining to respecting the parents in their old age, Allah Allmighty says in Quran:

Waqodhaa robbuka allaa ta’buduu illaa iyyaahu wa biulwaa lidiini ikhsaanaa, immaa yablughonna ‘indaka ul kibara akhadu humaaaaa aukilaahumaa falaa taqullahumaaaaa affin walatanharhumaa waqullahumaa qaulann kariyamaa. (Verse 17:23)

“Your Lord has decreed that you workship non but Him and that you of them attains old age in your life, say not to thema word of disrespect, nor repel them but address them in terms of honor.”

Thus, from this ayah also it’s clear that a mother has the same right on the children in the old age as a father. Therefor, when treating parents with respect and care, no Muslim is allowed to discriminate between father and mother, and must ensure that they both are cared well.

See also: How to Dua for Success

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2. Sisters and Daughter

In Islam both male child and female child are equal and a parent is as responsible for the education and upbringing of female children as they are responsible of male children. Moreover, as far as the brother sister relation is concerned, it’s respected in Islam and brothers and sisters are to respect and treat each other well. In Quran, Allah Almighty says (Verse 42:49) :

“Lillahi mulku ussamaawaati wa ul ardhi, yakhluqumaa yasyaaaaau, yahabu limayyasyaaaaau inaatsawwayahabu limayyasyaaaaa udzzukuur”.

“He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills.”Therefore, there should be no discrimination betwen male child or female one and both the children must be educated to respect each brother as brother and sister.

See also: Surah for Success in Life

3. Becoming Wife for her Husband

Islam is the first religion that estabilished the rights of women as wives and associated the element of having a say in fillial matters as well as respect with them. Allah Almighty says about wives in Quran in the folllowing way.

“Waminaa yaatihi, an khalaqalakum min anfusikum azwaajallitaskunuu ilaihaa waja’ala bainakum mawaddatawwarakhmah, inna fii dzaalika laa yaatilliqaumi. ” (Verse 30:21)

“And among His signs is this, that He created wives from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility,with them, and He put love and mercy between your (hearts).”

From this ayah of Quran it’s clear that Allah Almighty is the one who has provided wives to men., however, the objective of wives is not only to please men, the objective is that both men and women must live in tranquility is put in the heart of both the partners, hence, husband and wife both have the duty of caring and loving each other for a relationship.

See also: How to be Patience in Islam

Moreover, Allah Almighty also said in Quran :

“They are like a garment to you and you are like a garment to them.”(Verse 2:187)
From this ayah as well it becomes clear that women are the caretakers of men in the same way as men are the caretakers of women.


4. Role in Religiousness

In the pre Islamic era, women were considered synonymous with evil, therefore, the abode of virtue and piety was not something that was given to women, hence they lived their life in ignorane and tyranny. However, with the advent of Islam, Islam claimed that women have the same tendency of being virtuous and pious as men do. In Quran, Allah Allmighty says :

“Yaaayyuhannaasu innaa khalaqnaakummidzakariwa untsaa wa ja’alnaakum syu’uubawaqobaaaaaailalita’aa rafuu, inna akramakum ‘indaullahi anqaakum, innaullaha’aliimun khabiir.”

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you in the sigh of Allah is (the one who is) the most God-fearing. ” (Verse 49:13)

From this ayah it can be deduced that for Allah Almighty everyone is alike and there is no discrimination when it comes to fearing God and being righteous out of that fear. A Muslim women can be and is a righteous and pious out of the fear of God as is a Muslim man.

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5. Role In Matrimonial Relationship

The first thing that shows the rights Islam has given to women pertaining to their matrimonial role is the freedom of marriying someone out of their consent. Therfore, the practice of forcing women to marry someone againts their will is not Islamic at all. Secondly, the attribute of compromise is associated only to women in the world of today with regards to matrimonial relationship. In Quran Allah Almighty says :

“…Live with them (wives) honorably (kindness). If you hate them, it may be that you hate a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of Good.” (Verse 4:19)

This ayah clearly explains that compromise is not only the duty of wife, rather a man also has to be patient in a matrimonial relationship and compromise for better with the other counterpart. Moreover Islam also gave the right of divorce to women fourteen hundred years ago, which enables women to ask for divorce or the two partners can reach a decision after mutual consent.

See also: Types of Salat Prayer

Quran says in this regard.

“Should they (husband and wife) wish to separate from each other in agreement and upon consultation then they can do so blamelessly.” (Verse 2:232)

This verse explained  that getting divorce are wrong and women need to know about this right of theirs so that they can better play their role.

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6. Observe the Pillars of Islam

After the arrival Islam, the changing role of women in society created new opportunities for women in the religious sphere as well. Such as to observe the Pillars of Islam, women must observe the Pillars of Islam like as men. Praying five times each day, fasting during the holy month of Ramadhan and like every Muslim who is physiccaly and financially able making at least one pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

However, women may not pray, fast, or touch the Quran during the menstruation or for period following child birth. During these times, they are considered to be ritually impure. In addition, women who are pregnant or nursing are exempt from fasting during Ramadhan. Nonetheless, they must make up these days that they have missed at a later time.

See also: Types of Salat Prayer

The idea about wether women should pray in mosques or in their homes has changed over time. According to the hadith Prophet Muhammad SAW said :

Do not prevent your women from going to the mosque, even though their houses are better for them.”

But the fact that praying at home is preferable does not mean that that women are not permitted to go to the mosque, as is clear from the following hadith:

From Abdullah ibn Umar  said: “Do not prevent your women from going to the mosque if they ask your permission“. Bilaal ibn ‘Abdullah said, “By Allaah, we will prevent them.”(Ibn ‘Umar) turned to him and told him off in an unprecedented fashion, saying: “I tell you what the Messenger of Allaah (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) said, and you say “By Allaah, we will prevent them !!” (reported by Muslim).

In the day of Muhammad, women performed the morning prayer at the mosque, altough they were required to line up in rows behind the men. They left the mosque before the men, preventing at least in theory, any contacts between the sexes. Recently, Muslims have constructed mosques that provide a separate space for women. However, the women often remain isolated in areas where they cannot see the preacher, which reinforces their marginal role in mosques.

See also: How to Increase Iman in Islam

7. Education

Education role of women in Islam always get in negative statements. People think that Islam prohibits the education of women. It’s lame because there’s not single verse in Quran and hadith of Prophet Muhammad to support this claim. All the commandments of Allah in the Quran does not discriminate againts gender. Women should equally worship Allah like men. Females are supposed to memorize the Quran, fasting in the holy month of Ramadhan, prays five time each day, perform hajj, zakat, wear hijab etc. In Islam, we’re taught that if you educate a man you educate an individual and if you educate a woman you educate an entire nation.

Aisha the wife of Prophet Muhammad was one of the greatest scholars Islam ever had. She had a profound ability to memorize and she memorized the entire Quran and more than two thousand hadith. She also conveyed the teachings of the Prophet to a lot of Muslims at that time.

Furthermore, she played a central role in the political opposition to the third and fourth caliphs Uthmān ibn ‘Affān and ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, even leading an army against the latter at Basra in 656. According to the Prophet, Muslim men should marry righteous and knowledgeable women because she is the woman who is going raise the children. A mother is a school and she is the first teacher of their children. So, the education role is needed and important for a woman.

The statements that Islam does not encourage the education of women is a very big misunderstanding. Besides Aisha, those’re many examples women are educated during in Prophet Muhammad such as Khadija, Umm ‘Ammara, Khawla b.al-Azwar, Zaynab, Rābi‘a al-‘Adawīyya  etc.

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8. Sufism and Shrines

Unlike the legal and scholarly dimensions of Islamic religious life, which depend on literacy and formal education, Sufism involves various physical and spiritual disciplines. Traditionally, Sufi shaykhs were effective religious teachers in Muslim society as well as popular counselors and healers. Sufism is an important branch of Islam emphasizing mysticism and one’s personal relationship with God. The most famous Sufi woman, Rabiah Al-Adawiyah wrote poems of love for God that have continued  to inspire mystics to the present day. Below these is the poem by Rabiah Al-Adawiyah (My Beloved) :

My peace, O my brothers and sisters, is my solitude,
And my Beloved is with me always,
For His love I can find no substitute,
And His love is the test for me among mortal beings,

Whenever His Beauty I may contemplate,
He is my “mihrab”, towards Him is my “qiblah”

If I die of love, before completing satisfaction,
Alas, for my anxiety in the world, alas for my distress,

O Healer (of souls) the heart feeds upon its desire,
The striving after union with Thee has healed my soul,

O my Joy and my Life abidingly,
You were the source of my life and from Thee also came my ecstasy.

I have separated myself from all created beings,
My hope is for union with Thee, for that is the goal of my desire

Shrines dedicated to Muslim saints have traditionally been open to women, mostly Sufis belive that saints are individuals who can intercede with God on behalf faithful and perform miracles. Muslim women frequently visit these shrines, some of which address women’s concerns, such as fertility. Visiting the shrines of saints has been an essential part of the religious lives of Muslim women all over the world.

See also: How to Greetings in Islam

That’s all the informations between major of women’s role and 30 women’s role in Islam culture. We hope all this information could helps you and could useful for us as women and also this information could adding in our Islam knowledge.

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