International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women's Rights in Islam

International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women’s Rights in Islam

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of women’s achievements, contributions, and rights. It’s a day to reflect on the progress made toward gender equality and to advocate for further advancements. In this article, we delve into the treatment of women before the advent of Islam, the rights granted to Muslim women, and the pivotal role of women in Islam, focusing on influential figures like Khadija (RA), Aisha (RA), and Fatima (RA).

The Status of Women Before Islam

Before the advent of Islam, women across various societies endured a myriad of challenges and limitations to their rights and freedoms. Societies frequently marginalized women, assigning them subordinate roles and denying them basic rights enjoyed by men. Cultural norms, societal structures, and prevalent religious beliefs entrenched this treatment of women.

Many pre-Islamic societies viewed women as the property of men, who subjected them to their whims and desires. They assessed women’s value solely based on their capacity to bear children and fulfill their husbands’ and families’ needs. Education and intellectual pursuits primarily favored men, leaving women with restricted chances for personal growth and advancement.

Furthermore, women faced significant obstacles in terms of economic independence and financial autonomy. Inheritance laws favored male heirs, leaving women with minimal or no inheritance rights. As a result, women were often economically dependent on male relatives, further perpetuating their subordinate status in society.

Additionally, the prevalence of practices such as female infanticide and forced marriages underscored the pervasive disregard for the rights and dignity of women in pre-Islamic societies. Societies regarded women as commodities that male guardians could trade or dispose of at their discretion, depriving them of agency or autonomy over their own lives.

Muslim Women Rights

The advent of Islam brought about a profound paradigm shift in the treatment and rights of women, challenging prevailing norms and advocating for their empowerment and equality. Unlike the prevailing customs of pre-Islamic societies, which often marginalized and oppressed women, Islam granted women a status and dignity previously unheard of.

In Islam, society considers women as equal partners, deserving of respect, dignity, and rights equal to those of men.The Quran explicitly affirms the inherent worth and value of women, emphasizing their role as individuals with rights and responsibilities. This paradigm shift was exemplified by the teachings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who championed the rights of women and actively worked towards their empowerment.

One of the most significant rights granted to Muslim women in Islam is the right to education. Islam emphasizes the importance of seeking knowledge and encourages both men and women to pursue education and intellectual growth. This empowerment through education enables women to participate fully in society, contribute to its progress, and realize their full potential.

Furthermore, Islam grants women rights to ownership, inheritance, and financial autonomy. Unlike pre-Islamic societies where women were often economically dependent on male relatives, Islam ensures that women have the right to own and manage their property, inherit from their parents, and engage in economic activities independently. This economic empowerment provides women with agency and control over their financial resources, enhancing their status and autonomy within society.

Moreover, Islam recognizes and protects the rights of women in matters of marriage, divorce, and family life. Women have the entitlement to freely choose their spouses, consent to marriage, and contribute to the upbringing of their children. Additionally, Islam offers safeguards against abuse and exploitation within marital relationships, guaranteeing that women receive treatment with dignity, respect, and compassion.

How Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) Treated Women

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advocated tirelessly for the rights and dignity of women, emphasizing the importance of kindness and compassion towards them. He exhorted Muslims to treat women with respect and fairness, admonishing them to fear Allah in their dealings with women.

In his teachings, the Prophet emphasized the significance of treating wives with kindness and affection. He reminded Muslims that the best among them are those who treat their wives with the utmost kindness and consideration. He discouraged hatred towards wives and urged patience and forgiveness, emphasizing the importance of focusing on their positive qualities.

During his farewell pilgrimage at Arafat, in the presence of thousands of his companions, the Prophet delivered a powerful sermon stressing the importance of kindness and compassion towards women. He emphasized that a Muslim perfects his faith by showing kindness and civility towards his wife, highlighting the pivotal role of women in fostering harmonious relationships and nurturing families.

The Prophet’s teachings on the treatment of women serve as a timeless reminder of the importance of empathy, respect, and compassion in all aspects of life. His words continue to resonate, guiding Muslims to uphold the rights and dignity of women and to strive for equity and justice in their interactions.

The Last Sermon Of Prophet Muhammad(SAW): “Treat Women Kindly.”

“O People it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well never to be unchaste.”

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Women In Islam

1-Khadija (RA):

Khadija (RA) held a pivotal role in the life of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and he deeply cherished her. As the first wife of the Prophet, Khadija (RA) provided unwavering support, love, and guidance, particularly during the early years of Islam.

Khadija (RA) was not only a devoted wife but also a trusted confidante and advisor to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). Her wisdom, intelligence, and unwavering faith served as a source of strength and comfort for him, especially during moments of doubt and uncertainty.

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) held Khadija (RA) in the highest esteem, expressing his profound love and admiration for her throughout their marriage. He respected her immensely, valuing her intellect, integrity, and unwavering support.

They built their relationship on mutual respect, love, and understanding, setting a timeless example of marital harmony and partnership. Khadija (RA) continued to inspire the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) throughout his life, and he cherished her memory long after her passing.

Khadija (RA) played a crucial role in the Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace Be Upon Him) life, providing invaluable support and guidance. Their relationship exemplifies the importance of mutual respect, love, and partnership in marriage, serving as a timeless example for generations to come.

2-Aisha (RA):

Aisha (RA) played a vital role in preserving and disseminating the teachings of Islam. She became known for her intelligence, curiosity, and sharp memory, enabling her to learn directly from the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and later transmit his teachings to future generations.

As the youngest wife of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), Aisha (RA) shared a special bond with him. Despite the age difference between them, they characterized their relationship by love, understanding, and affection. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) valued Aisha’s insights and opinions, often seeking her advice on matters of personal and public importance.

Aisha (RA) accompanied the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) on various expeditions and played an active role in the Muslim community. Her contemporaries respected and revered her for her knowledge, piety, and devotion to Islam.

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) loved Aisha (RA) dearly, and his affection for her was evident in his words and actions. He treated her with kindness, respect, and tenderness, setting a timeless example of marital harmony and companionship.

3-Fatima (RA):

Fatima (RA), the beloved daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), held a special place in his heart. He was incredibly gentle and tender towards her, displaying immense affection and care from her earliest years.

As a young girl, Fatima (RA) enjoyed playful moments with her father, who cherished every opportunity to spend time with her. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) would lovingly play with her, showing her affection and nurturing her growth with his gentle guidance.

When it was time for Fatima (RA) to marry, the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) sought her approval, respecting her autonomy. Despite being one of the most esteemed men of that time, he deferred to Fatima’s (RA) choice, highlighting his deep love and consideration for her happiness and well-being.

Throughout her life, Fatima (RA) remained a source of comfort and support for the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). He cherished her presence and valued her wisdom, seeking her advice on various matters and confiding in her with trust and affection.

The bond between Fatima (RA) and her father exemplifies the tender and nurturing relationship that exists between a parent and child. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) loved Fatima (RA) dearly, and his actions reflected his deep affection and care for her.


International Women’s Day reminds us of the progress made in advancing women’s rights and calls for further empowerment and equality. In Islam, women have received rights and dignity that were revolutionary and continue to inspire generations.As we celebrate this day, let us honor the legacy of women like Khadija (RA), Aisha (RA), and Fatima (RA) and strive to uphold their values of justice, equality, and empowerment.

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