Rights of women in Islam
Mankind consists of men and women. Both of them have contributed to the development of human civilization throughout ages. Before the advent of Islam women were in a very low position. They were treated like animals. It was considered that women are created only to serve men. Islam raised women’s status from chattels and playthings to respectable human beings, equal to men in all respects. Islam has granted definite rights to women as daughters, sisters, mothers and wives. Islam has granted woman due social and economic rights, elevated her status, and provided moral and legal safeguards in its system for the protection of her rights and status. Woman enjoys the rights to inheritance from her husband, father, children and other near relations. All this wealth is her own property and she can use it, invest it, or give it away to others in any manner as she wishes. She has complete freedom to choose her husband and no one has the right to marry her to anyone without her consent. In Islam women have the same right as men to acquire knowledge. In fact, Islam has given real freedom and emancipation to women and elevated them to the status of humanity with dignity, honour and grace. It is said in the holy Quran: “O mankind! fear your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate.” (Sura Nisa: Ayat 1) “O mankind! Indeed I (Allah) have created you from male and female and made you people and tribes that you may know one another.” (Sura Hujurat: Ayat 13). In holy Quran we see that Allah Jalla Shanuhu says: “Men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn.” (Sura Nisa: Ayat 32). Allah Jalla Shanuhu says: “I never let go to waste the labour of anyone who works among you whether male or female, for in My sight all of you are alike.” (Sura Al-Imran: Ayat 195). Islam has changed the mentality not only of men about women, but also of women about themselves. The writer is an Islamic Thinker and a former Director, Islamic Foundation, Bangladesh.