Gender equality in Islam

Do men and women have equal right in Islam?

It is part of mission of Islam to establish justice and harmony between the sexes with due consideration to the inherent natural differences. God has laid down certain rights and obligations for men and women each in accordance with the nature determined by his/her gender, and complementary to each other. If either departs from his/her specific nature, an unnatural “equality” will be forced. In front of God the two have equivalent standing. However, in relation to each other the rights of the individual are different in the same way as men and women are different in nature. However in general it can be said that the rights of one party are derived from the obligations of the other, and vice versa.

Gender equality in Islam

In accountability to God men and women are equal. The Quran mentions in many verses that reward and punishment in the hereafter does not depend on gender. An example is God’s statement as recorded in chapter 3, verse 195- “I shall not lose sight of the labour of any of you who labours (in My way), be it man or woman….” Accordingly, the obligation to acquire knowledge applies to both sexes equally. Within marriage, men and women are equal in terms of rights and obligations in those areas where they are equal by nature. there are differences only in those areas where the nature of the sexes are different. With regard to religious duties, we shall see there are certain concessions for women pertaining to the nature of women. The law of inheritance takes into account the obligation of the man to provide for his family.

Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 and other laws are defining gender rights in Islam.

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