The Muslim Woman: Her Status in Islam


By the noble Sheikh Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullah)

The status of the Muslim woman in Islam is 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 the building of a righteous society, providing she follows the guidance from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet .

Since adherence to the Quran and the Sunnah distances every Muslim – male or female – from being misguided in any matter. The misguidance that the various nations suffer from, and their being deviant, does not come about except by being far away from the path of Allah – the Most High, the Most Perfect – and from what His Prophets and Messengers, may Allah’s peace be upon them all, came with. The Prophet ( sallahu alayhi wa sllam) said: “I am leaving behind me two matters, you will not go astray as long as you cling to them both, the Book of Allah and my Sunnah.” [1]

The great importance of Muslim woman’s role – whether as wife, sister or daughter, and the rights that are due to her and the obligations due from her – have been explained in the purified Sunnah.

The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed on her, and the difficulties that she has to shoulder – responsibilities and difficulties some, which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligation 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. Allah – the most High – says:

“And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and good 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.” [Soorah Luqmaan 31:14]

Allah – the Most High – said: “And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship, and she brings him forth with hardship. And the bearing and the weaning of him is thirty months.” [Soorah al-Ahqaaf 41:15]

A man came to Allah’s Messenger( sallahu alayhi wa sllam) and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? So he replied: “Your mother”. The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: then who? So he replied: “Then your father.” So this necessitates that the mother is given three times the likes of kindness and good treatment then the father. [2]

As regards to the wife, then her status and her effect in making the soul tranquil and serene, has been clearly shown in the noble ayah (verse), in His – the Most High’s saying:

“And from amongst His Signs is this: That He created from you wives from amongst yourselves, so that you may find serenity and tranquility in them. And He has put between you love and compassion. Indeed, in this are signs for those who reflect.”
[Soorah Ar-Rum 30:21]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (d.774H) – rahimahullaah – said, whilst explaining the term mawaddah means love and affection, and ar-rahmah means compassion and piety – “since a man takes the hand of a women either due to love for her, or because of compassion and piety for her, by giving to her a child from himself…” [3]

And the unique stance that the prophet ‘s( sallahu alayhi wa sllam) wife Khadeejah (radiallahu anha) took, had a huge effect in calming and reassuring Allah’s Messenger , when the angel Jibreel – alayhis-salam – first came to him in the cave of Hiraa. So the Prophet returned to his wife Khadeejah (radiallahu anha) with the first Revelation and with this his heart trembling and beating severely, and so he said to her: “Cover me! Cover me!” So they covered him until his fear was over, after which he told Khadeejah (radiallahu anha) – everything that had happened, and said: ‘I fear that something may happen to me.” So she said to him: “Never! By Allah! Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good ties with relations, you help the poor and the destitute, you serve your guests generously and assist those who have been afflicted with calamities.” [4]

And do not forget about Aaishah (radiallahu anha) and her great effect. Since even the great Sahaabah (Companions) use to take knowledge of Hadiths from her, and many of the Sahaabiyaat (female companions) learn the various rulings pertaining to women’s issues from her…

And I have no doubt that my mother – may Allah shower His mercy upon her – had a tremendous effect upon me, and has a great excellence over me, in encouraging me to study; and she assists me in it. May Allah greatly increase her reward and reward her with the best of rewards for what she did for me.

And there is no doubt also, the house in which there is kindness, gentleness, love and care, along with the correct Islamic tarbiyah (Education and cultivation) will greatly affect the man. So he will become – if Allah wills – successful in his affairs and in any matter – whether it be seeking knowledge, trading, earning a living, or other than this. So it is Allah Alone that I ask to grant success and to guide us all to that which he loves and is pleased with. And may the prayers of peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad , and upon his Family, his companions and his followers.

——————————————
FOOTNOTES:
1.Hasan: Related by Maalik in al-Muwattaa (2/899) and al-Haakim (1/93), from Ibn ‘Abbass radiaalahu’anhu. It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.1871).
2. Related by al-Bukhari (no.59710 and Muslim (7/2), from Abu Hurayrah radialliaahu’anhu
3. Tafseer Qur’aanul-Adheem (3/4439) of Ibn Katheer.
4. Related by al-Bukhari (1/22) and Muslim (1/139), from the lengthy narration of Aaishah radiallahu’anhaa

About Umm Abdulazeez

"I am a Muslim who is upon the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and upon the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih (Pious Predecessors). And that can be said in short by saying, 'I am a Salafee' " [Shaykh Al-Albaanee رحمه الله] ________ Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed knowledge should only be learned for the purpose of fearing Allaah. Indeed, knowledge has been given virtue over other than it because with it Allaah is feared.” [Jaam'i Bayaan al-'Ilm wa Fadlihi by Imaam Ibn Abdil-Barr (rahimahullaah)]
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