Maria Imtiaz

Economic status of woman in Islam

Economic status of woman in Islam
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Islam made women powerful with the rights that include social, economic and more. In Islam, in terms of economic rights, women are more secure and sound than men. Men have only that property which they make on their own and which they inherit. Women, on the other hand, inherit from their parents as Allah says in Surah An-Nisa: “For men is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, be it little or much- an obligatory share”. They also inherit from their husbands. Allah says “If the husband dies and his wife does not have any children, she inherits one-fourth of the property”. They also receive a good amount of Mehr (bridal gift) at the time of marriage and the Quran calls it a gift and it is exclusively the right of a woman. Allah says “And give the women (upon marriage) their (bridal) gifts graciously, but if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease”.

This amount (as per the set standard) can keep her in a healthy financial position for any investment she may be interested in. Islam allows women to earn or run their own business if they want. Beside Islam has also allowed women to do the lawful job that respects the prescribed code of life (Shariah). In the present scenario, she can become doctor, teacher, nurse and more where she can help society to respect the code of life as well. It is best for a female that she should be attended by a female in various compelling situations and we need to ensure it as much as possible. Islam does not put restrictions over female jobs which are lawful and in which women maintain her Islamic dress code.

It is important to note that women in Islam are free from all economic burdens. Under ideal circumstances, all responsibilities before marriage are on the shoulders of her father and brother. After marriage, the responsibility goes on to the shoulders of her husband and adult son. If she has no male relative, then the responsibility goes on to the Muslim community. Next thing is that whatever a woman earns; she has no responsibility for her family. Her husband can’t compel her to spend her money on family. All family responsibilities are on the shoulders of the father, even if the wife is richer than him. But if she wishes to spend her wealth on her husband or children she can. Abdullah Ibn Masood (RdA) was in a financially weak position. His wife, Zainab (RdA) used to spend on Him. She once approached the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and asked through Bilal (RdA) if she could spend on her husband (in addition to the orphans she was taking care of). An Ansari woman too had the same query. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) replied that theirs was a double reward. One they keep the relationship in good spirit and the other for the charity.

Why Allah made woman free from economic burden? There is logic. Allah has made man and woman with distinct features in order to make society function properly. He has put the responsibility of the family’s internal discipline and stability over the shoulders of the mother and the economic responsibilities over the shoulders of the father. Upbringing children, giving them a good education, teaching them moral ethics and making them good social beings is a huge responsibility. The mother needs time to focus on these responsibilities properly. A woman should not engage herself in economic activities at the cost of the family system and discipline. It is her responsibility to make the home an abode of peace and comfort. Woman’s home and family is her primary sphere of activity and she has been relieved of financial burdens to give the best of her time and energy to the sustenance and growth of the family. The health (strength) of the family gives strength and stability to society as a whole. If the mother follows Islamic principles, family and then society is benefitted; while its weakness makes the growth and very survival of Islam in society very difficult. If a woman goes outside her home for earning while compromising on her primary responsibilities, it disturbs her natural role, the role of nurturing and upbringing her children. However, there are certain areas where you need her services as discussed above and we need to strike a balance.

Under ideal circumstances, the services need to be under proper rules and regulations. There should be separate training departments. A woman should adopt a full Islamic dress code and should strictly follow the teachings of Islam about the opposite sex. The administration should be such that allows a woman to work for at the most 4-5 hours a day so that she can maintain her other primary responsibilities towards her family. If a woman works for the whole day, it will disturb her main role in life that is looking towards home, nurturing and upbringing children and duties towards her husband. Above all, she is not physically ideal for a more hectic schedule.

Islam actually wants to put fewer burdens over the shoulders of the woman. Islam distributes the work of man and woman in a beautiful way. Man for economical burden and woman for the maintenance of the home. But history has proved that man is cleverer than a woman. The man usually doesn’t take part in women work i.e. bottle-feeding his children, washing clothes of the whole family, cleaning his home and more. But woman beside doing her responsibility of homemaking takes part in man’s work. And the man makes her fool by saying her that man and woman are equal in every field; sweet exploitation!

The woman is actually a very sensitive creature that is why Allah Almighty puts fewer burdens over her as compared to man. But if she wishes to earn she can under strict code prescribed by Islam. She is totally free from economic burdens. It depends upon her choice; if she wants to earn she can, if she doesn’t want, nobody can compel her to earn.

PS: Islam is the best way of life; learn to experience and enjoy.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position or editorial policy of Oracle Opinions.

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