THE TWIN HALF
"Women are the twin halves of men" so declared the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Salallaahu alaihi wasallam) and instantly raised women to a height they had never known before. Fourteen centuries ago the Holy Qur'aan declared that both men and women have rights upon each other, both shared the obligation of being true and faithful servants of God and that both will be questioned as to their respective rights and responsibilities, and rewarded by the Almighty in accordance with the deeds that each commits.
In Islam a woman enjoys a place of honour and dignity, which in a sense is even higher than that of man. In Islam she is a MOTHER, and while the Qur'aan makes disobedience of parents a mortal and unforgiveable sin, the Prophet of Allaah openly declares: "Paradise lies under the feet of Mothers."
Again as a SISTER, a brother is required in Islam to be kind to her. In certain cases she even inherits her brother's property. As a DAUGHTER she occupies the pride of place in a Muslim household. The Messenger of Allaah has said that whosoever was blessed with three daughters (or even one) and raised them with affection and kindness, gave them a good education and had them decently and honourably married, such a man will enter Paradise.
As a WIFE, a Muslim woman enjoys privileges which are undreamt of by her counterpart belonging to other faiths. She has not only the legal and Islamic rights to have the husband of her choice but also the right to seek separation and divorce from him, if she is not able to live with her husband for one reason or another. Kindness to wives is important in Islamic teachings.
The full effect of the Islamic concept is only now being realised in the Western Civilization. For a long time the Western religion and culture treated women as being inferior to man. till very recently women did not have the right to hold property even in the so called advanced countries. Scholars of Europe devoted their time to discussing whether woman was a "thing" or a "person", and if she was a person whether she possessed an animal or a human soul! Woman was widely regarded as an instrument of the Devil and the cause for the fall of Adam and all the subsequent unhappiness of man on earth. Woman was in fact considered as a 'woe to man', not only that she did not enjoy rights equal to those of man, but she was looked down upon as a liability on the society itself. History is testimony to the fact that every major victory that women scored in the Western world has been wrested from men after a prolonged and bitter struggle. The Western man has not forgiven women for these victories and tries to wreak his vengeance in so many subtle ways. The women's Liberation movement is a furious reaction to the state of affairs in which woman had always been relegated to a degrading position by western man.
Islam is the very antitheses of the way of thinking that is prevalent in western world. It begins by recognising and honouring the independent existence and status of woman as a free willed creature of God equal in honour, dignity and station to man, to certain inalienable rights and inherently capable of shouldering great responsibilities.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad, warned men in these words:
"The rights of women are sacred. See therefore that women are maintained in the rights granted to them" - (Bukhari, Muslim and Mishkat).
He further reminded them of the rights of women:
"Fear Allaah in respect of women." (Muslim).
The Holy Prophet has advised:
"Your good treatment is for your mother and then for your father."
(Bukhari and Muslim).
The Holy Prophet has told Muslim men and women:
"Everyone of you is a custodian and everyone of you is responsible for those who are under your authority. The man is guardian of the persons in his house and the woman is the custodian of the house of her husband and she is responsible for that which is under her custody. So everyone of you is a custodian and everyone of you is responsible for those who are under your custody." (Muslim).
"He who possess four things, prospers in this world and in the eternity - a contended heart, a tongue engaged in remembering Allaah, a body content in calamities and a wife who does not try to commit sin in respect of her person and the wealth of her husband," so said the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Tibrani and Kabir).
There is a practical word of advice from the Prophet on husband-wife relationship:
"A husband should not be angry with his wife. If one of her habits be bad, she has good habits as well." (Muslim).
Maintaining the balance of equality, the Prophet declared:
"Men have rights over wives and wives have rights over husbands. Treat them all with kindness and love." (Muslim).
Reserving all the advantages accruing to a woman, the Holy Prophet enlightened mankind :
"As regard the woman as a wife, the best among you is the one who is best towards his wife and verily there are rights in favour of your wife which are incumbent upon you." (Bukhari & Muslim).
"A good wife, a good house and a good conveyance are the three lucky things for a man" heralded the Holy Prophet (Bukhari). Continuing, he warned, "Whomsoever Allaah gives a pious wife, he is secured with half the religion and as regards the other half, he should fear Allaah." (Tibrani).
The Prophet was pleased to declare that,:
"A woman who says prayers five times a day, keeps fast during Ramadhan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband will enter paradise by whichsoever avenue she likes." (Abu Nayuem's "HULA").
So highly is a woman regarded in Islam that the Holy Prophet is reported to have said:
"The perfect believer is the one who has a perfect character and is kind to his wife."
(Tirmizi and An-Nasai).
Let the West catch up with Islam in the treatment of their women folk.
(Courtesy: Yaqeen International)