The Position of Women in Islam

Western ignorance of the World of Islam is almost total, but if there is one area above all others where the vacuum of knowledge has been most effectively filled with misinformation, it is that surrounding the role of women in Islam. In contrast to the common misconception, the Qur’an does not restrict womens’ rights. Women are given the same rights as men are. The status of the Muslim woman in Islam is a very noble and lofty one, and her effect is very great in the life of every Muslim. Indeed the Muslim woman is the initial teacher in building a righteous society, providing she follows the guidance from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger(P).

The Qur’an states categorically that men and women who practice the principles of Islam will receive equal reward for their efforts. (Qur’an 33:35). In the first verse of the chapter entitled An-Nissa’ (The Women), God says:

“O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it its mate and from them both have spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom you claim (your rights) of one another, and towards the wombs (that bore you). Lo! Allah has been a Watcher over you.” (Qur’an 4:1)

Since men and women both came from the same essence, they are equal in their humanity. Women cannot be by nature evil (as some religions believe) or then men would be evil also. Similarly, neither gender can be superior because it would be a contradiction of equality. Women are encouraged in Islam to contribute their opinions and ideas. There are many traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) which indicate women would pose questions directly to him and offer their opinions concerning religion, economics and social matters.

The Qur’an states:

“By the creation of the male and female; Verily, (the ends) ye strive for are diverse.” (Qur’an 92:3-4)

In these verses, God declares that He created men and women to be different, with unique roles, functions and skills. As in society, where there is a division of labor, so too in a family; each member has different responsibilities. Generally, Islam upholds that women are entrusted with the nurturing role, and men, with the guardian role. Therefore, women are given the right of financial support.

The Qur’an states:

“Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend of their wealth (for the support of women).” (Qur’an 4:34)

This guardianship and greater financial responsibility is given to men, requires that they provide women with not only monetary support but also physical protection and kind and respectful treatment.

The Muslim woman has the privilege to earn money, the right to own property, to enter into legal contracts and to manage all of her assets in any way she pleases. She can run her own business and no one has any claim on her earnings including her husband.

The Qur’an states:

“And in no wise covet those things in which Allah hath bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others; to men is allotted what they earn, and to women, what they earn; but ask All?of His bounty, for Allah hath full knowledge of all things.” (Qur’an 4:32)

A woman inherits from her relatives.

The Qur’an states:

“For men there is a share in what parents and relatives leave, and for women there is a share of what parents and relatives leave, whether it be little or much – an ordained share.” (Qur’an 4:7)

The great importance of the Muslim woman’s role whether as wife, sister, or daughter, and the rights that are due to her and the rights that are due from her have been explained in the noble Qur’an and further detailed of this have been explained in the Sunnah.

God Almighty says:

“And We have enjoined upon man to be good and dutiful to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness upon weakness and hardship upon hardship, and his weaning is in two years. Show gratitude and thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” (Qur’an 31:14)

The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed upon her, and the difficulties she has to shoulder responsibilities and difficulties some of which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligations upon a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good companionship with her. And in this matter, she is to be given precedence over and above the father.

Cite this article as: Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi, "The Position of Women in Islam," in Bismika Allahuma, September 22, 2005, last accessed March 23, 2018,


  1. The greek language used in this text is very bad. Soeme of the sentences and phrases are meaningless for the greeks. The translation of the koranic verses are also very bad. The text needs revisioin so that can be read respectedly from the greeks.

  2. Unfortunately, J_follower is a charlatan who pretends he knows exactly what Islam teaches, and yet when challenged to bring scriptural evidence, he fails over and over again. The guy needs to get a life.

  3. [Admin: Deleted for offensive remarks about Muslims. Shut up and get lost, you half-naked man worshiper. Under Shariah, a woman has more rights than what the Bible attributes to a woman.]

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