This brochure forms from a section of the author’s latest work entitled the gifts of Islam which has been written for the Centre of Islamic Studies, St. Cross College of the University of Oxford, of which he was recently elected as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. It has been decided to bring out this brochure separately in view of the current campaign tarnishing the image of Islam as an opponent of the rights of women. In this brief paper the author has shown that Islam was the first religion in modern history to guarantee definite right to woman and raise her status from mere chattel, as she was treated all over the worlds, to respectable human being equal to man. The woman, taught Islam, was to be treated with love and kindness and respect as a daughter, sister, wife and mother.
Islam granted woman vast social and economic rights. She has, in Islam, the same right as man to acquire knowledge and cultural training. She enjoys complete freedom in the choice of her husband and can even impose such a condition that her husband would not take another wife or not require her to do certain type of work. No one can marry her to anyone without her express wish and consent. She is entitled to social protection and a decent maintenance from her husband in accordance with his status and means in addition to dowry from him. She has the right of inheritance from her husband, father, son, and other near relations. All that is possessed by her is her private property which can be used, invested or alienated by her in the manner she desires. At the same time, Islam places no economic responsibility on her at any stage. She has the legal right to get a separation from her husband. Islam does not look at marriage as a perpetual bondage; on separation none is tied down to the other for any purpose. She is treated on an absolute equality with her ex-husband in all legal and social matters. All these are recognised by Islam as legal rights of woman for the protection of which she can go to a court of law. All those safeguard are in-built within the socio ethical system of Islam in a way that cannot be found in any old or modern social system
Status Of Women In Islam