The issue of women’s rights in Islam has been a particularly hot topic as of late, with the execution of women who attend school in Pakistan, and the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, most of what is known and heard is negative. And as such, people paint all those who practice the religion with the same brush, they allow what little they have heard to form their opinion of a whole religion, of a whole community, a community that forms almost a third of the planet; and that is the problem. People allow the actions of the few to distort their view of the many, and this, coupled with a lack of knowledge, a lack of understanding about the Islamic religion leads to a misrepresentation of Islam that many people view as the truth. Therefore, it is the hope of the author to persuade the reader and to open their eyes to the real meaning of Islam and the real value and placement that a woman has in that community. And to do that, the author will employ the backbone and pillar which most Islamic law is based upon, the holy book of Islam, the Qura’an, and the words of the Prophet Mohammed PBUH, and armed with these tools, among others, this writer will detail the rights of a woman in Islamic society in all its’ various capacities.
A Brief History of Islam
Islam, is described in Encyclopedia Britannica as:
“the major world religion promulgated by the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia in the 7th century ce. The Arabic term islām, literally “surrender,” illuminates the fundamental religious idea of Islam—that the believer (called a Muslim, from the active particle of islām) accepts surrender to the will of Allah (in Arabic, Allāh: God). Allah is viewed as the sole God—creator, sustainer, and restorer of the world. The will of Allah, to which human beings must submit, is made known through the sacred scriptures, the Qurʾān (often spelled Koran in English), which Allah revealed to his messenger, Muhammad. In Islam Muhammad is considered the last of a series of prophets (including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and Jesus), and his message simultaneously consummates and completes the “revelations” attributed to earlier prophets. (Britannica, 2012 )
But in the colloquial terms, it is one of the three Abrahamic religions, and one of the world’s largest religions, being practiced by around 2 billion people. Islam is believed by Muslims to be the one true religion, with Mohammed being the last prophet. The holy book of Islam is the Qur’an written by the companions of the prophet having been revealed to him by the Angel Gabriel, and having memorized it, the prophet then recited it to his companions who proceeded to dictate and record it for future generations. Islam is now the dominant religion in what is known as the Middle East and much of Northern Africa, with it also being the main religion in parts of South-East Asia. It is also practiced in parts of Europe and the Americas although in a smaller percentage. The law in most of the Islamic...