Are women equal to men in all affairs?
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and blessings and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
The Conditions of Women in the Arabian peninsula before Islam: In those days, women were treated like slaves or property. Their personal consent concerning anything related to their well-being was considered unimportant, to such a degree that they were never even treated as a party to a marriage contract. Women were used for one purpose, and then discarded. They had no independence, they could own no property and were not allowed to inherit. In times of war, women were treated as part of the prize. In addition, the birth of a daughter in a family was not an occasion for rejoicing, instead she was regarded with humiliation. The practice of killing female children was uncontrolled. With the advent of Islam came the verse from the Quran condemning those who practiced female infanticide: "And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision." (An-Nahl 16:58-59) And as part of a description of various events on the Day of Judgment, the Quran mentions: "And when the female (infant) buried alive (as the pagan Arabs used to do) shall be questioned. For what sin she was killed? (At-Takwir 81:8-9) Outside the Arabian peninsula the woman's conditions were no better. In India, Egypt, and all European countries in the Dark Ages, women were treated worse than slaves. They were not regarded as human beings but as a sort of sub-species between humans and animals. ALLAH GAVE THE ARAB WOMEN THEIR RIGHTS! The rights of Muslim women were given to us by Allah, who is All-Compassionate, All-Merciful, All-Just, All-Unbiased, All-Knowing and Most Wise. These rights, which were granted to women more than 1420 years ago, and were taught by the perfect example of the Prophet Muhammad, were given by the one Who created us and Who alone knows what rights are best for our female natures. Allah says in the Quran: "O You who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at time of marriage) you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good." (An-Nisa 4:19) The most basic right of a woman in Islam is the knowledge and recognition. She never has to ask or demand or fight for her rights which are guaranteed to her by Allah (SWT) Himself. In reality, and in Islam, the rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of a man, but they are not necessarily identical to them. Equality and sameness are two very different things. I think you’ll agree on that, for one thing, women and men are physically very different from one another, although they are equal to each other in other important ways. In the West, women may be doing the same job that men do, but their wages are often less. The rights of Western women in modern times were not given voluntarily, or out of kindness to the female. The modern Western woman reached her present position by force, and not through natural processes or mutual consent of Divine teachings. She had to force her way, and various circumstances aided her. Shortage of manpower during wars, pressure of economic needs and requirement of industry forced women to leave their homes to work, struggling for their livelihood, to appear equal to men. Whether all women are sincerely pleased with these circumstances, and whether they are happy and satisfied with the results, is a different matter. But the fact remains that whatever rights modern Western women have, they fall short of those of her Muslim counterpart! Islam has given the woman what is appropriate for her female nature. It gives her full security and protects her against becoming what Western modern women themselves complain about: a "mere sex object."