Praise be to Allah,This article is mainly to answer the islamophobes who say that islam lays many restrictions on women in comparison to men, This Article will deal in these issues
The things which men can do and women can not do
The things which women can do and men can not do
Males and Females are equal as per rewards are concern
a) The things which men can do and women cannot
Point no: 1 (Men are protectors of women as a whole)
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means”[al-Nisa’ 4:34]
Point no: 2 (Awrah)
A woman’s ‘awrah includes her entire body. The least that can be said is that she should not uncover anything except her face and hands
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be knownso as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”[al-Ahzaab 33:59] .
Shaykh Muhammad Salih Al Munajjid said in Islam QA fatwa no: 1105
The Qur’aan commands women to wear clothes that are different from those worn by men, because of the differences in the ways each sex is tempted by the other. The temptation posed by men is less than the temptation posed by women, so the clothes that women should wear are different than the clothes that men wear. It makes no sense to tell women to expose the parts of the body that men are allowed to expose, because of the differences in the temptation posed by a woman’s body and a man’s body (end quote)
Point no: 3 (Obligatory prayers)
Prayer in the mosque is obligatory for men, but not for women; a woman’s prayer is in her house but she can pray in Masjid as well.
Point no: 4 (Jihad)
Jihad (Jihad bil Saif/fighting)is not obligatory for women, but they can help if men are in need.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
In order for jihad to be obligatory there are seven conditions: being Muslim, being an adult, being of sound mind, being free, being male, being physically sound and being able to afford it financially. With regard to being Muslim, adult and of sound mind, these are essential conditions for all Islamic duties, because a kaafir is not to be trusted in jihad, an insane person cannot go for jihad and a child is physically weak. Ibn ‘Umar said: “I presented myself to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the day of Uhud when I was fourteen years old, and he did not let me join the fighting.” Agreed upon. … With regard to being male, this is stipulated because of the report narrated from ‘Aa’ishah who said: “O Messenger of Allaah, do women have to engage in jihad? He said: “Jihad in which there is no fighting: Hajj and ‘Umrah.” And because women are not able to fight because they are (physically) weak.[From al-Mughni, 9/163]
Point no: 5 (Testimony)
Testimony or bearing witness. The Qur’aan states that the testimony of one man is equivalent to the testimony of two women.Allaah says “And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her” [al-Baqarah 2:282]
The fatwa says
With regard to the testimony of two women being equivalent to the testimony of one man in some cases, that is because women tend to be more forgetful than men because of their natural cycles of menstruation, pregnancy, giving birth, raising children etc. All these things preoccupy them and make them forgetful. Hence the shar’i evidence indicates that another women should reinforce a woman’s testimony, so that it will be more accurate. But there are matters that pertain only to women in which the testimony of a single woman is sufficient, such as determining how often a child was breastfed, faults that may affect marriage, and so on. [Al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta’, 17/7.]
b) Things which women can do and men can not
Point no: 1 (Silk and Gold)
a) Abu Dawood (3535) narrated that ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took a piece of silk in his right hand and a piece of gold in his left and said, ‘These two are forbidden for the males of my ummah.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 3422.
b) “These are haraam for the males of my ummah and permitted for the females.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2/1189).
Point no: 2 (Rights of Mother)
A Mother has 3 times more right over her children then the father
Proof: Saheeh Muslim Book 032, Number 6180:.Abu Huraira reported that a person came to Allah, ‘s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Who among the people is most deserving of a fine treatment from my hand? He said: Your mother. He again said: Then who (is the next one)? He said: Again it is your mother (who deserves the best treatment from you). He said: Then who (is the next one)? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Again, it is your mother. He (again) said: Then who? Thereupon he said: Then it is your father
Point no: 3 (Mahr)
Man gives the dower to his wife even if it is mountain of Gold.
Proof: Surah 4:4 (And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift)
Point no: 4 (Monthly periods of women)
Women are commanded in their monthly periods to leave prayers.
Mu’adhah said: “I asked Aishah: Why must we make up the fasts missed due to our menstruation, but not the prayers [ missed through menstruation] ?” She said, “That was what the Messenger of Allah told us to do. We were ordered to make up the fasts, and we were ordered not to make up the prayers.” [ Fiqh as-Sunnah 1.71a ]
and a women will be rewarded for not praying during their periods.
Allah says [016:097] Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter).
And following command (that do not pray in periods) of Allah and his Prophet peace be upon him is righteousness and in result of Righteousness she will surely be rewarded.
Shaykh Salman al Odha said:
These are matters of Islamic Law. A woman is neither sinful nor blameworthy because of the prayers and fasts that she misses. She, in fact, receives blessings by obeying Allah and abstaining from those acts while she is menstruating. Her testimony as a witness is half that of men only in matters wherein she is generally less versed than men. In other matters wherein women have particular knowledge, like fosterage and virginity, the testimony of a woman is accepted but not that of a man.
Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) attested to the perfect character of four women: Mary, Âsiyah the wife of Pharaoh, Fâtimah, and Khadîjah. He definitely did not mean that these women did not go through menstruation. He was referring to their good character, strength of intellect, and soundness of opinion (end)
It is mentioned in Sharah al Muslim An-Nawawi 4/26 : .
“This ruling – i.e., that prayers should not be made up) is agreed upon by all the Muslims, that menstruating women and women who bleed following childbirth do not have to pray or fast at the times when prayers or fasts are due; they are unanimously agreed that they do not have to make up the prayers, and they are unanimously agreed that they do have to make up the fasts. The scholars said, the difference between them is that the prayers are many and are repeated, so it would be difficult to make them up, unlike the fasts.(end)
Comment: So Islam provided easiness for women in her periods, And on the other hand Male has to pray in Masjid and if he leaves the prayer this is one of the biggest sin,lastly Allaah says “And the male is not like the female”[Aal ‘Imraan 3:36]
.Point no: 6(Martyr when a woman die during child birth)
Shaykh Muhammad Salih al Munajjid said in IslamQA Fatwa no: 8800
If a woman dies with a child in her womb, or she dies during childbirth or after childbirth but within the period of nifaas (post-partum bleeding), she is considered to be a shaheedah in sha Allaah.
a) Raashid ibn Hubaysh narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered upon ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit when he was sick and said, “Do you know who is a shaheed (martyr) in my ummah?” The people remained silent, then ‘Ubaadah said, “Help me to sit up.” They helped him to sit up, then he said, “O Messenger of Allaah, (is it) the patient one who seeks reward from Allaah for his patience?” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Then the martyrs among my ummah would be very few. Being killed for the sake of Allaah is martyrdom, the plague is martyrdom, drowning is martyrdom, stomach disease is martyrdom, and if a woman dies during the post-partum period, her child will drag her to Paradise by his umbilical cord.” The umbilical cord is that which is cut by the midwife when the child is born. [The hadeeth was narrated by Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad with a saheeh isnaad. (al-Musnad, 3/489. There is a corroborating report narrated by Maalik (1/233) and Abu Dawood, 3/482)].
b) ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit also narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Who is counted as a shaheed among you?” They said, “The one who fights and is killed for the sake of Allaah.” The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Then the shaheeds among my ummah would be few. The one who is killed for the sake of Allaah is a shaheed; the one who dies of plague is a shaheed; the one who dies of a stomach disease is a shaheed; the woman who dies with a child in her womb is a shaheed.” [This was narrated by Imaam Ahmad, 5/315, and by Ibn Maajah, and by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh, who said its isnaad is saheeh. A report with a similar meaning was narrated by Muslim, as referred to above.](end)
And there are many other points where a Man is different from women and women are different from men, so how can we say they are equal?
1) Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“Here we should note that there are some people who speak of equality instead of justice, and this is a mistake. We should not say equality, because equality implies no differentiation between the two. Because of this unjust call for equality, they started to ask, what is the difference between male and female?’ So they made males and females the same, and then the communists said, ‘What difference is there between ruler and subject? No one has any authority over anyone else, not even fathers and sons; the father has no authority over his son,’ and so on.
But if we say justice, which means giving each one that to which he or she is entitled, this misunderstanding no longer applies, and the word used is correct. Hence it does not say in the Qur’aan that Allaah enjoins equality, rather it says .
“Verily, Allaah enjoins Al ‘Adl (i.e. justice)” [al-Nahl 16:90]
“and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice” [al-Nisa’ 4:58]
Those who say that Islam is the religion of equality are lying against Islam. Rather Islam is the religion of justice which means treating equally those who are equal and differentiating between those who are different. No one who knows the religion of Islam would say that it is the religion of equality. Rather what shows you that this principle is false is the fact that most of what is mentioned in the Qur’aan denies equality, as in the following verses:
‘Say: Are those who know equal to those who know not?”[al-Zumar 39:9] ‘Say: Is the blind equal to the one who sees? Or darkness equal to light?’ [al-Ra’d 13:16] ‘Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the conquering (of Makkah, with those among you who did so later’ [al-Hadeed 57:10]
‘Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allaah with their wealth and their live’ [al-Nisa’ 4:95]
Not one single letter in the Qur’aan enjoins equality, rather it enjoins justice. You will also find that the word justice is acceptable to people, for I feel that if I am better than this man in terms of knowledge, or wealth, or piety, or in doing good, I would not like for him to be equal to me. Every man knows that he find it unacceptable if we say that the male is equal to the female.” [Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitah, 1/180-181]
d) Males and Females are equal as per rewards are concern.
[004:124] And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of Allah (Muslim), such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqeera (speck on the back of a datestone), will be done to them.
Ibne Kathir Commented: (You are (members) one of another) means, you are all equal in relation to gaining My reward.(end)
And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others. For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned, and ask Allah of His bounty. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything. (4:32)
Ibn Kathir said:
أي: كل له جزاء على عمله بحسبه، إن خيراً فخير، وإن شراً فشر، هذا قول ابن جرير.
indicates, according to Ibn Jarir, that each person will earn his wages for his works, a reward if his deeds are good, and punishment if his deeds are evil. [Tafsir of 4:32]
Note:Allah says in Al Hujaraat ayah 13. “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”
Hadith says “Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,”Verily, Allah does not look at your shapes or wealth, but he looks at your hearts and actions.”
Comment:So whoever Male or female, if he or she has more righteous deeds/actions then he or she is more honorable then others in the sight of Allah.
So men and women both have their field of specialization. Men can not interfere in pregnancy,breastfeeding,wearing gold and silk and other things, and women should not be involved in fighting the enemy (if it is not needed) and other things and they are equal in gaining reward, Whatever is permitted to both of them should be done within the guidelines of Islamic law.