I've seen this claim repeatedly:

The lives of the people who responded to the Quran have changed drastically. It had a tremendous impact on so many people, especially women, since this was the first time that the souls of man and women were declared equal -- with the same obligations as well as the same rewards. -- IslamWeb

In a world where women were no more than objects of sexual gratification for men, and at a time when the religious circles argued over whether women were human or not, possessing souls, Islam proclaimed: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female.” [Al-Qur’an 49:13] -- WhyIslam.org (pdf)

(And it's probably related to how a claim by Alan Turing arose: Do women have soul according to Islam or its various sects?)

Question: Was whether or not women have souls in debate prior to Islam?

I'm after concrete evidence that this claim is true (if it is true).

  • This might be a better fit for History, as it's not about Islam, but the history of other belief systems.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 12:41
  • Do you mean in jahilyah? I guess a tag for that should exist! Or do you mean in christianity and other religion before?
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 17:14
  • I dont know about Islam at all, I'm here to learn, but I was reading about Pre-islamic Arabia, where Islam emerged, there were christians there among other religious groups, and according to the christian genesis "God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them." which to my understanding means both men and women have souls in the beliefs of some of the people who lived in pre-islamic arabia
    – Pablo
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 22:36
  • I don't know what these sources are referring to, and I'm not even sure they're true. I don't know if it's related to Christianity; it could be. Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


Women have always been considered humans/persons in Islam and there has never been such a debate in Islamic history. This is close to European history.

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