Here’s a quick guide that will help you better understand our faith.

This weighty question has been the subject of lectures, dissertations and books. While we can’t provide an exhaustive answer, here is a glimpse of this commonly misunderstood topic in Islam.

One of the most important points is that in the Quran, God praises the equal status and contributions of both believing men and women:

“Verily, for all men and women who have sur­rendered themselves unto God, and all believing men and believing women, and all truly devout men and truly devout women, and all men and women who are true to their word, and all men and women who are patient in adversity, and all men and women who humble themselves [before God], and all men and women who give in charity, and all self-denying men and self-denying women, and all men and women who are mindful of their chastity, and all men and women who remember God unceasingly: for all of them has God readied forgiveness of sins and a mighty reward.” (Quran 33:35)

In the pre-Islamic Arabian Peninsula and throughout most of the world, for that matter, women were often considered property, could not inherit and had few rights. In fact, the birth of a daughter was often a sign of misfortune, and many were buried alive as a common practice in pre-Islamic Arabia. In the 7th Century AD, Islam elevated the role of women, bringing them many unprecedented rights and protections revealed through the Quran. This included significant social and political privileges, such as the right to education, marry someone of their choice, retain their identity after marriage, divorce, work, own and sell property, vote, seek protection by the law, and to participate in civic and political society.

However heartbreaking it is to see a decline of women’s rights in some Muslim-majority countries, this is due to social, political and cultural customs which are inconsistent with the teachings of Islam.

For further discussion on this topic, see the following: