Men and Women, Are they Seeking Justice or Equality?
During the era of Muhammad PBUH-in the Arabian Peninsula- women raised the gender equality issue. Arabs discussed and closed this matter over 1400 years ago.
This article will explain to the reader the Islamic perspective of achieving justice between men and women through discussing the following points:
- The concept of justice between men and women in Islam.
- Examples related to women.
- In Islam, gender roles are one of the laws of nature laid down by the Creator.
- Allah likened a man and a woman to the night and the day.
- What is it like to force the equality between men and women?
- Equality between men and women causes injustice to women.
- The conclusion.
At the end of the article, the reader is invited to share his opinion through a poll.
The concept of justice between men and women in Islam.
In Islam, both men and women will face the judgment day with their doings.
Who has more opportunity to go to paradise?
Men or women?
The believer from men and women will go to paradise.
Giving men a better opportunity to go to paradise is not fair. Giving women a better opportunity to go to paradise is not fair as well.
Consequently, both should be able to become believers to win paradise. Accordingly, both need to be able to choose between right and wrong. Therefore, Allah achieves justice between men and women by giving them the ability to:
- Become a believer.
- Be reasonable and offer advice.
- Have the ability to choose between right and wrong.
Examples related to women:
Islam is just with Women. They can become believers same like men. There are several examples of believing women:
- Pharaoh's wife. She asked Allah to build a house in paradise for her. She asked him to save her from Pharaoh and his deeds.
- Mariam (Mary), the daughter of Imran. She was an example of chastity.
On the other hand, there are women who chose to disbelieve although they were wives of prophets. Such as:
- Noah's wife.
- Lot's wife.
There are examples of women who took responsibility and served humanity. For example:
- Umm Salama, one of the prophet's wife. She helped Muhammad PBUH-acting as his advisor- to handle the objection of his companions during treaty of Hudaybiyya wisely. Muhammad's companions were upset for not receiving the order to invade Mecca.
- The Queen of Sheba who was known for her wisdom.
In Islam, gender roles are one of the laws of nature laid down by the Creator.
Allah created physical objects. There are different types of them. Wood and stones, both are physical objects. However, each of them has a use. They may complement each other. But replacing wood with stones in several cases would be ridiculous. For example, factories don't use stones in manufacturing pencils. Although all objects fall under one classification - the physical object- each physical object has a role in nature to fulfill.
Similarly, regardless of the third gender and the gender identity issues. Allah created humans in two biological states. One can be a male or a female. Consequently, there is a role for each gender.
Gender roles are one of the laws of nature laid down by the Creator. They force a sex-based complete social structure. Complete means, each part is in its right place. Should society ask females to replace males the way a stupid factory owner tries to replace wood with stones in creating pencils? The same would be ridiculous as well.
In Islam, men and women are not equal.
Allah likened a man and a woman to the day and the night.
Allah created the day for the movement of humans. However, the night is for them to rest. The day appears for livelihood. The night covers the earth the way clothes cover humans.
Similarly, masculinity assists men to appear and engage in the society to work hard for making a living bravely. On the other side, femininity assists a woman to be like a comfortable bed for a man after a long working day. A woman to a man is like a night to humans. She is the place surrounding a man with amenities.
What is it like to force the equality between men and women?
- It is similar asking the sun to switch off itself.
- It is like forcing humans to sleep at daylight.
- It is like to depend on the moon and stars to become a more powerful light source for the earth without the sun.
Equality between men and women causes injustice to women.
When the wife takes the role of the husband, he loses the surrounding amenities, his wife.
Why do women have to provide comfort to men? Don't they have the right to have a career just like men?
A woman has the right to have a career. But let the same be the only source of her income:
- It robs her the comfort of exercising her natural role.
- It adds to her natural role. It is a burden to a woman. Because taking the role of a man doesn't respectively gives her roles to the man.
It is easy for a man to:
- Wash the dishes.
- Cook a dinner.
- Do laundry.
- Study for children.
However, women can do things men can't do. A man doesn't give birth to children neither nurtures them like a woman, does he?
Based on the above equality between men and women causes:
- The society/life becomes injustice to women.
- Men lose the natural means of comfort.
In conclusion, Justice happens between men and women when each of them fulfills their assigned roles according to their nature. Too often, justice does not come with equality. Furthermore, women in the era of Muhammad PBUH objected raising the gender equality issue. Consequently, Allah ordered men and women not to wish what he gave to one (men) which didn't give to the other (a woman). And vice versa. For the same Allah revealed verse 4:32.