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Status of Women in Islam

Updated a long time ago.

The status of women in Islam, is an issue that is pertinent in present times; both due to the divergence of cultural practices in the Muslim world from the Islamic perspective and the erroneous perception in the West, that Islam subjugates womenfolk.

A dispassionate study of the primary sources of Islam, along with an analysis of the position of women in societies where

Islam was implemented, actually proves that for women Islam is a special blessing.

Prior to Islam, write the authors of The Cultural Atlas of Islam, a woman was regarded by her parents as a threat to family honor and hence worthy of burial alive at infancy. As an adult, she was a sex object that could be bought, sold and inherited. From this position of inferiority and legal incapacity, Islam raised women to a position of influence and prestige in family and society.

The rights and responsibilities of women are equal to those of men but they are not necessarily identical. This difference is understandable because men and women are different, in their physiological and psychological make-up. With this distinction in mind, there is no room for a Muslim to imagine that women are inferior to men. Thus it is perhaps more apt to refer to the Islamic approach on gender relations, as one of equity rather than the commonly used word equality, which could be misunderstood to mean equality in every minute aspect of life, rather than overall equality.

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