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How Islam Led The World With Women’s Rights – Part 3

Female infanticide

Today, it is quite disheartening to see that some parents rejoice when the newborn child is a male and show their dissatisfaction when the child is a female. But, this should not be the attitude. Islam does not condone this type of behavior, as such was the manner of the parents in the time of ignorance.

In pre-Islamic times, the Arabs used to be disheartened and annoyed with the birth of girls, so that a father, when informed his wife had given birth to a girl, said, “By Allah she is not as blissful as a son; her defense is crying and her care is but stealing!”
He meant she could not defend her father and her family except by screaming and crying, not by fighting and carrying arms. She also cannot be good to them and care for them except by taking from her husband’s money to give to her family. Their traditions allowed the father to bury his daughter alive for actual poverty, or for expected poverty, or out of fear of a disgrace she might bring upon them when she grew up. In that context, the Qur’an says, denouncing and derogating them:

وَإِذَا الْمَوْؤُودَةُ سُئِلَتْ
and when the girl-child that was buried alive is made to ask
بِأَيِّ ذَنبٍ قُتِلَتْ
for what crime she had been slain (Takwir,8- 9)

Marriage described as a companionship
Several excerpts from the Quran describe the relationship between a man and his wife as one between partners and companions, refuting the misconception that Muslim women are their husbands’ servants.
Muslim men are obliged to respect their wives and treat them with kindness no matter the circumstances.

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
And among His wonders is that He creates for you mates out of your own kind. so that you might incline towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think (Rum, 21)

This was a right that Allah granted wives centuries ago via the Quraan. The right to be protected and treated with kindness in the marriage. The right to have a say, or at least be consulted, when decisions are made etc.

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