Discrimination between men and women and
injustice treatment is common around the world. We see women considered as
second to men when it comes to jobs with high salaries. We can often see the
cruelties involved, too. Sati
or Karo-Kari: where a
woman sacrifices herself because of their history or ritual.
The universal view of the Taliban as 'Islamic representatives' creates
misconceptions. This article will help you understand the right Islamic approach
to women's education.
Importance of Education in Islam
The patriarchy prevailing around the globe affects women in all sectors of
life. Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came with Islam at uncivilized times. When
women were victims of brutal and gross practices and had no rights.
Undoubtedly, it was an era where human right activist could question treatment
discrimination. Islam came with the message of Peace and Education. The
teachings of Islam can turn a person into a respectable and decent man.
In the first revelation of the Holy Quran, Surah Al-'Alaq, Allah said:
''Read, O Prophet, in the Name of your Lord Who created humans from a clinging
clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous, who taught by the pen taught
humanity what they knew not.'' (96:1-5)
With this verse, Allah has stressed acquiring
knowledge, irrespective of gender. The above Ayat addresses any statements that
say education is only limited to males.
He did not discriminate between men and women, then who are we to differentiate?
Indeed Allahu Akbar! He knows the best and guides us to the right path. The
verses of the Quran are the guidelines for everyone, men and women.
Islam frees women from the restraints of patriarchy. It allows them to be
independent in every step of life, including education.
Although it uses the masculine expression in most of its verses, the commands
are meant for women too. Women are also bound to act and impose these
commandments upon themselves.
Otherwise, the pillars of Islam: namaz, Roza, hajj, and zakat, would be annulled
for the females.
Now talking about equality of education as stated in hadith. Anas bin Malik
narrates that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said:
''Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim...'' (Sunan
Ibn Majah 224)
This hadith declares that education is fardh on every Muslim man and woman. The
wives of the Prophet (PBUH) were knowledgeable females, too.
• Khadijah bint Khuwaylid's life is a journey of remarkable wisdom. She was a
wealthy tradesperson, and for her business, she employed many men. This business
could only be possible due to her knowledge and intelligence.
• Aishah bint Abu Bakr was the youngest wife of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and is
known for her impeccable memory. She acquired knowledge from the Prophet (PBUH)
to many details that no woman could gain. She has narrated up to two thousand
hadiths. Meanwhile, she has an authority discussed and learned by scholars
She is an inspiration for Muslim women. She sets an example that women can be
far more educated and more capable than men and can be a teacher for scholars.
Another thing to consider is; a female can be taught by a male teacher, too.
With decent attire, a woman can be instructed by male teachers, as Islam is the
religion for all times, modern or old.
According to a hadith in Sahih
al-Bukhari 7310, the Prophet ensures women's education. As narrated by Abu
Sa'id: A woman came to Allah's Messenger (sws) and said,
"O Allah's Messenger (sws)! Men (only) benefit by your teachings, so please
devote to us from (some of) your time, a day on which we may come to you so that
you may teach us of what Allah has taught you."
Allah's Messenger (sws) said, "Gather on such-and-such a day at such and- such a
place." They gathered, and Allah's Messenger (sws) came to them and taught them
what Allah had taught him.
From the above hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) made arrangements to educate women.
This practice is enough to get that acquiring knowledge is not only applicable
Quran has raised the status of a woman and provided her with revolutionary
rights in the olden times. It is equipped with the knowledge required for a
progressive change in Arab. And to end injustice among the genders.
The rise in the status of women during the times of Muhammad (PBUH) was halted.
Later in the modern world, by some Islamic jurisprudence, the customs were
reformed. Unluckily, these selective customs are given value over the genuine
values of Islam.
Female scholars at the early age of Islam act as role models and should be
looked upon. They are an idol to gain motivation from to focus on woman
empowerment at all levels of politics, religion, society, and economics.
Hafsah, Umm Habibah, Maymunah, Umm Salamah, Aishah, Umm Ad-Darda, and Amrah; are
some of the prominent names of the early and successor age of Islam. They
participated in spreading the words of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as transmitters
These scholars, among many others, are real representatives of Islam. They
learned and worked hard, gaining respect and appreciation from their male
companions. The modern world follows the wrong customs of Islam. It assumes
education is not fit for Muslim women.
In the 21st Century, many women have access to education and job opportunities.
This improvement in inequality has contributed to the progress of society.
Hence, anyone who disagrees with women's right to education is unaware of
Islamic values. They are only speaking from an extreme view and not reflecting
Muslims or, in any way, the teachings of Islam.
Women are half of any society. Not allowing them to study can only
contribute to the regression of the community. Allah has given them the right to
gain knowledge as equals to men.
We should learn from these Islamic role models and aim to gain knowledge. Be it
the field of religion and other worldly sciences; education is the answer to
better selves and community.