“And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in a just manner… (Surah Al Baqarah 2-228)
Islam is a religion of peace, equality, and tolerance. It discusses the issues of life regarding to politics, academics, social, economics, and spirits. In addition, there are also rights and obligations for men and women to act according to Islamic teachings for their prosperity in this world as well as in the eternal life. With respect to women’s rights in Islam, non-Muslims interpret the Islamic teaching in an erroneous manner due partly to lack of understanding; however, it is also partly due to bad conduct of some Muslims in Muslim countries.
Non-Muslim society thinks that women in Islam have no freedom. Men are dominant and women are submissive to her father, brother, husband or son. According to Islamic teachings, Muslim women possess freedom. They have the right to acquire education, choose a career, and select a life partner. The first example was set by Khadija. She was the lady who liked Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and asked him to marry. Muhammad (P.B.U.H) accepted her proposal and married her. Indeed, they also have the right take Khula (the right of Muslim woman to take divorce from her husband in Islam) under the worst circumstances.
Moreover, there are no restrictions for women to work and hold leadership positions. In history, there are famous Muslim women scholars, philanthropists, and rulers. The first wife of Muhammad, Khadija is business women. Also, Ashifa Bint Abdullah was the first woman to be appointed by Caliph Umar Ibn Alkhatab as a market inspector and a manager. According to the Quran, men and women have the same spirit; there is no superiority in the spiritual sense between men and women. In the book “Women’s rights in Islam Modernizing or Outdated” by Zakir Naik, he states:
“In terms of moral, spiritual duties, acts of worship, the requirements of men and women are the same, except in some cases when women have certain concessions because of their famine nature, or their health.”
Another of the most controversial issues among critics is the wearing of the Hijab or Veil. Many opponents assume that by wearing hijab, women lose their identity or it is an oppression act. In Quran, Muslim women are ordered to cover their heads, their necks, and their bosoms. Additionally, they should wear loose and long dresses. The purpose of Hijab in Islam is to protect women from becoming the victim of men’s sexual desires. Islam also requires men to do hijab by keeping their eyes down and to protect their private parts. The Quran states in Surah –An- Noor:
Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That
is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing
women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts not expose their
adornment except their...