Women's Rights in Islam
There was a time when women were not seen as equal to men. Even in Europe, which claims to support women's rights, women were not treated fairly. In France and other European countries, there was a debate that lasted for four hundred years about whether women were even human beings. After a very long discussion, they decided that women were human, but of a lower status.
But at the same time, while this discussion was happening in Europe, Muslims had a clear set of human rights outlined by Islam many centuries earlier.
When the Prophet Muhammad spread the teachings of Islam, there was a time when Arabs felt ashamed of having daughters. They used to bury baby girls alive right after they were born. Women had no rights to inherit property and were treated poorly in society, almost like animals. Men could marry multiple women. Women were treated like objects.
However, Islam defined rights for women. They were given rights to property and access to education. Their rights as wives were also established by Islam. Islam made it clear that men were responsible for providing for their wives. Many of the rights that Islam gave to women are now being advocated for by modern civilization. In Europe, they are still fighting for rights that Islam granted to women centuries ago. Our society is behind in granting women their rights that Islam has already given them. But this is changing because the rate of literacy is increasing, so we can expect a brighter future for women.
The topic of women and families in Islam is complex and often misunderstood. Many people think that Islam doesn't give women any rights and only subjugates them to men, which is not true. This misconception comes from practices like the burqa and purdah, which make people think that Islam doesn't respect women. However, this is far from the truth in the Qur'an and the early history of Islam.
The reason why women have a lower status in Muslim society is not due to the original teachings of the Qur'an. In fact, the Qur'an introduced reforms to improve the position of women in society before Islam. Many of the unfair practices towards women actually developed from customs in ancient and medieval times and were later associated with Islam.
As society has changed over time, it's become clear that these old standards are no longer suitable. This realization has come after social and economic changes in the twentieth century.