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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Economic Independence and Education of Muslim Girls...www.jannah.org

Economic Independence and Education of Muslim Girls...www.jannah.org


Islam grants woman equal rights to contract, to enterprise, to earn and possess independently. Her life, her property, her honor are as sacred as those of man. If she commits any offense, her penalty is no less or more than of man's in a similar case. If she is wronged or harmed, she gets due compensations equal to what a man in her position would get (2:178;4:45, 92-93).


Islam does not state these rights in a statistical form and then relax. It has taken all measures to safeguard them and put them into practice as integral articles of Faith. It never tolerates those who are inclined to prejudice against woman or discrimination between man and woman. Time and again, the Qur'an reproaches those who used to believe woman to be inferior to man (16:57-59, 62; 42:47-59; 43:15-19; 53:21-23).


 

She is equal to man in the pursuit of education and knowledge. When Islam enjoins the seeking of knowledge upon Muslims, it makes no distinction between man and woman. Almost fourteen centuries ago,Muhammad declared that the pursuit of knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim male and female. This declaration was very clear and was implemented by Muslims throughout history.


She is entitled to freedom of expression as much as man is. Her sound opinions are taken into consideration and cannot be disregarded just because she happen to belong to the female sex. It is reported in the Qur'an and history that woman not only expressed her opinion freely but also argued and participated in serious discussions with the Prophet himself as well as with other Muslim leaders (Qur'an, 58:1-4; 60:10-12). Besides there were occasions when Muslim women expressed their views on legislative matters of public interest, and stood in opposition to the Caliphs, who then accepted the sound arguments of these women. A specific example took place during the Califate of Umar Ibn al-Khattab.


 

Islamic sources do not prevent Muslim women from working and receiving wages. In the agricultural sec­tor of traditional Islamic society women always worked with men and they were very active in many of the arts and crafts. Islam gave women com­plete economic independence even from their husbands, and over the ages many women have also engaged in trade and been merchants, as was the Prophet's wife Khadija.


Likewise, there is no objection in principle to Muslim women participating in politics. Before modern times there were even occasionally Muslim queens who ruled indepen­dently and many others who exerted great political power behind the scenes. In fact, Zainab (the granddaughter of the Prophet) played a major political role in early Islamic history, as did a number of other women.


 

The views of Islam concerning women bring us back to the question of the Hijab and covering.The Quran commands both men and women to dress modestly and to not display their bodies, and the Prophet asserted that modesty is a central quality in Islam. The Quran also commands women to not display their "ornaments" (zinah) (see Surah 24 (al-Noor), Ayah 30-31).

 

Accordingly, various forms of dress were developed in different parts of the Islamic world.



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