Islam Gives Men and Women Equal Rights
In reality, and in Islam, the rights and responsibilities of a woman
are equal to those of man, but they are not necessarily identical with
them. Equality and sameness are two very different things. I think
you’ll agree that, for one thing, women and men are physically very
different from one another, although they are equal to each other in
other important ways.
Muslim Women Have the Right to Go Outside of their Home
Muslim women are not forbidden from going out in the community,
working, or visiting relatives and female friends, if there is no
objection from their guardian/husband and they are covered and behave
and speak according to Islamic guidelines and, if necessary, escorted
by their Mahram (a close male relative). However, a woman’s home
should be the main base that she works from. Allah (SWT) instructed
the wife’s of the Prophet (SAW):
"O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he is
whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy or evil desire for adultery,
etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner.
And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of
the times of ignorance, and offer prayers perfectly (Iqamat-as-Salat),
and give Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah wishes only to
remove Ar-Rijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, O members of the
family [of the Prophet (SAW)], and to purify you with a thorough
purification." (Al-Ahzab 33:32-33)
Islamic jurisprudence has sanctioned that women can work within the confines of shariah value outlined in verse 71,
chapter al-Tawbah (The Repentance) which means:
“The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular
prayers, practice regular charity and obey Allah and His Messenger: On
them will Allah pour His mercy for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise”.
The context of “protectors one of another” can be said to be appropriate to the current social change where education opportunity
and economics have led women supporting their husbands in building a
happy and comfortable family by venturing outside the household.
In Islam, however, the value and importance of women in society and
the true measure of their success as human beings, is measured with
completely different criteria: their fear of Allah (SWT) and obedience
to Him, and fulfillment of the duties He has entrusted them with,
particularly that of bearing, rearing and teaching children.
Nevertheless, Islam is a practical religion, and responds to human
needs and life situations. Many women need, or wish, to work for
various reasons. For example, they may possess a needed skill, such as
a teacher or a doctor.
While Islam does not prohibit women working outside the home, it does
stipulate that the following restrictions be followed to safeguard the
dignity and honor of women and the purity and stability of the Islamic
society, (the conduct of women, after all, is the "backbone" of any
Outside employment should not come before, or seriously interfere with her responsibilities as wife and mother.
Her work should not be a source of friction within the family, and the husband’s consent is required in order to eliminate later
disagreements. If she is not married, she must have her guardian’s
Her appearance, manner and tone of speech and overall behavior should follow Islamic guidelines. These include: restraining her
glances in relation to any men near the work place, wearing correct
Islamic dress, avoiding men, not walking in a provocative manner, and
not using make-up or perfume in public.
Her job should not be one which causes moral corruption in society, or involve any prohibited trade or activity, affect her own
religion, morals, dignity and good behavior, or subject her to
Her job should not be one which is mixing and associating with men.
A woman should try to seek employment in positions which require a woman’s special skills, or which relate to the needs of women and
children, such as teaching, nursing other women, midwifery, medicine
with specialization’s like pediatric or obstetrics-gynecology.