SHAFAQNA- Islam has made the man and the woman equal in their will and action so far as the management of their lives is concerned. Allah said: The one of you being from the other. (3:195)
She is independent in her will and intention and independent in her action. The woman owns the products of her own will and action as the man owns his own without any difference whatsoever. For her is the benefit of what she earns, and on her is the responsibility of what she does.
According to Islam both are equal; the Qur’an confirms it and Allah shows the truth to be the truth by His words. Side by side, Islam recognizes two special qualities in her, by which the Creator has distinguished her from the man.
First, she is like a tilth for the creation and propagation of the human ra ce. The species cannot exist without her. This distinction calls for some special rules concerning her life. Second, she has a comparatively delicate body and a sensitive perception. This has a tangible effect on her life and on the social and domestic responsibilities entrusted to her.
This is her value in human society – and also the value of the man may be understood from it. These two distinctions are the basis of all the rules that are common to both groups and of those that are reserved for either of the two. Allah says: And do not covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others; men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn; and ask Allah of His grace; surely Allah knows all things. (4:32)
It shows that the contribution made by each group to society is the criterion of the excellence granted to it. And it is this excellence which gives special status to one in comparison to the other. For example, man has been given preference over woman in the share of inheritance; while woman has been given preference over man by being exempted from the responsibilities of maintenance. And no one should covet the preference given to someone else.
There is another type of excellence, which results from the deeds of the doer, whoever he or she might be. For example, the virtues of faith, knowledge, reason, piety and other admirable qualities. And it is the grace of Allah, He gives it to whomsoever He wishes, and asks Allah of His grace.
The proof of the above statement is found in the words of Allah, following the above-mentioned verse: Men are the maintainers of women . . . (3:34).
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