The role of women in Islam is unique among religious based societies. The Qur'an and the early Muslims bear witness to the fact that woman is, at least, as vital to life as man, and that she is not inferior to him, nor is she one of the lower species. It was the introduction of foreign cultures that brought these views into the Islamic culture. The woman's role was a matter of fact in the Islamic culture and no one considered it a problem.
The status of woman in Islam is something unique, something that has no similarity in any other system. If we look to the Communist world or to the democratic nations, we find that woman is not really in a happy position. Her status is not enviable. She has to work so hard to live, and sometimes she may be doing the same job that a man does but her wage is less than his. To get to where she is nowadays, woman struggled hard for decades and centuries. To gain the right of learning and the freedom of work and earning, she had to offer painful sacrifices and give up many of her natural rights. To establish her status as a human being possessing a soul, she paid heavily. Yet in spite of all these costly sacrifices and painful struggles, she has not acquired what Islam has established by a Divine decree for the Muslim woman.
Woman is recognized by Islam as a full and equal partner of man in the procreation of humankind. He is the father; she is the mother, and both are essential for life. Her role is not less vital than his. By this partnership she has an equal share in every aspect; she is entitled to equal rights; she undertakes equal responsibilities, and in her there are as many qualities and as much humanity as there are in her partner. To this equal partnership in the reproduction of human kind Allah says:
O mankind! Verily We have created your from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other... (Qur'an, 49:13; cf. 4:1).
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 happened 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...