How Fair Is The Claim That Islamic Teaching and Practise Give Equal Dignity to Both Men and Women?

Authors Avatar

How Fair Is The Claim That Islamic Teaching and Practise Give Equal Dignity to Both Men and Women?

    There is much controversy surrounding the Islamic religion and its approach to the role of men and women. It is of great speculation whether the two sexes are equal and many people, especially those living in the Western world, believe that Islam is a chauvinistic and oppressive religion. However, many cannot separate between the true teachings of Islam and the actual practises:

    Their Lord responded to them: “I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female, you are equal to one another”

(Surah 3 v 195)

    Allah, Himself, advocates that men and women have a spiritual equality within His eyes. Due to this being written in the Qur’an and considering that the Qur’an is the absolute, unaltered word of Allah, this is obviously what Allah intended. However, many misinterpretations, misleading Hadiths and misunderstood cultural practises have led to the oppressive views:

    Women are naturally, morally and religiously defective


    This is just one of the many examples.

    The first key equality issue arises upon the subject of appropriate dress for both sexes.  Both men and women are expected to dress modestly, as not to insight any sexual immorality; however men may strip to the waist and wear knee length trousers to perform certain tasks. Women, alternatively, must be covered from neck to ankle and cannot wear tight or transparent clothing. Muslim women must also wear a head covering (Hijab); this is to, again, refrain from women being considered as sexual objects as the hair is deemed to be extremely sexual. The wearing of the hijab was a practise of Muhammad’s wives and is also prescribed in the Qur’an:

Join now!

    They should not display their ornaments except as is normal, they should draw their veils…

(Surah 24 v 30-31)

    Many women choose to wear the hijab as part of their discipline and devotion to Allah; others have disregarded it because of its impracticality. Muslim women are not, however, required to wear a full body covering such as the burqa. This sheet-like covering, which only reveals the females eyes, was originally a form of Hindu and Christian ‘social snobbery’ and is only enforced by certain Saudi Arabian cultures yet not by Islam.

    Although ...

This is a preview of the whole essay