*Understand Islam *
*Does Not Islam Give Freedom to Women? Is Islam a Male Dominated Religion?*
The Qur’an teaches that it is the cooperation and mutuality between man and woman which works as the foundational basis for the very existence and furtherance of the institution of the family. Indeed, the Qur’an formulated laws on the ground that to ensure the permanence of any moral code it is necessary that the institution of the family is itself manifested in good order.
The family is an institution. It is a noble institution that grants peace and tranquility to both halves of the soul. In fact, it is the family that forms the most important of all social institutions.
It is common knowledge that any firm, no matter howsoever good its credentials, is bound to wither away in the absence of a controlling head of affairs. Then is there not the necessity of a head for the family wherein the very foundation of all morality in society is being formulated?
It is indeed, vital that there must be an overseer for properly carrying out all the incumbent responsibilities that arise while maintaining a family right from bringing up children and giving them all the guidance required for making them responsible members of the society. Otherwise, total anarchy and chaos will be the result.
It is his ability to undertake action that is in conformance to thought which makes the man fit to assume the guardianship of the family. Indeed, that is but the very fulfillment of the role which his physical endowment has thrust upon him. He must work for a living; must earn money to feed the family – it is in his hands that all control of the affairs of the family has been placed.
It is for this reason that the Qur’an, while stating that ‘men have control over the affairs of women’, has also emphasized that the reason for this is that “Allah has granted more strength to one above the other and because they spend out of their wealth on them.” (Qur’an 4:34). This is the reason why it is said that the Qur’an, by placing the affairs of the family upon the man, has conferred a great responsibility upon him.
By granting man the control over the affairs of woman and over family it does not mean that he may become a virtual dictator over them. Indeed, leadership itself becomes ennobling and enlivening only in the context of cooperation and mutual consultation. A truly satisfying family life becomes possible only when the man, who is entrusted with the leadership of the family, accepts the Qur’anic recommendation of “treating the women with kindness” as well as the advice of the Prophet to the effect that “he is the best amongst you who treat best the members of his household.”
In short, therefore, the Qur’an, by entrusting the leadership of the family upon the man, has actually sheltered the woman from the same. No one who is versed in the nature of womanhood will take a stand against the Qur’an in this issue.
*The Qur’anic Vision with Regard to Man and Woman May be Summarized as:*
1. Both man and woman originated from the same soul. They are like the two sides of a coin. Although both are independent, it is their mutuality which gives each its fullness.
2. Neither can a woman be like a man nor a man be like a woman. Each has its very own different, yet, potentially mutual, existence.
3. Both man and woman have then rights. However, those rights are to be attained not through violence. It must be through mutual cooperation.
4. Both have their respective duties. It is only by virtue of fulfilling these duties that both the individual and the society can survive.
5. It is against the very law of nature for a man to undertake the responsibilities of a woman and for a woman to try to fulfill those of a man. Each has to perform its own duty.
For those who would like to know more about Islam:
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