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women's rights in quran

Quranic Verses that Advocate Women’s Rights

The Quran, the holy book of Islam, holds a significant place in guiding the lives of Muslims worldwide. It addresses various aspects of human life, including the rights and roles of women within society. Despite misconceptions, the Quran contains numerous verses emphasizing the rights, dignity, and empowerment of women. This article aims to delve into some of these verses that highlight their significance and implications for women’s rights.


1. Equality and Dignity

One of the fundamental principles reiterated in the Quran is the equality and dignity of all human beings, irrespective of gender. Surah An-Nisa (4:1) emphasizes the common origin of all humanity, stating, “O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women.” This verse underscores the intrinsic equality of men and women, originating from the same divine source.


2. Education and Knowledge:

Education is a crucial aspect of empowerment, and the Quran promotes the pursuit of knowledge for both men and women. Surah Al-Imran (3:195) encourages believers, regardless of gender, to seek knowledge, stating, “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.'”


3. Legal Rights and Protection:

The Quran outlines specific legal rights and protections for women within various contexts, including marriage, inheritance, and divorce. Surah An-Nisa (4:19) emphasizes the importance of treating women with kindness and fairness, particularly in marital relationships: “And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” This verse highlights the Quranic injunction to uphold women’s rights within the institution of marriage.

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4. Inheritance Rights:

Contrary to cultural practices prevalent in pre-Islamic Arabia, the Quran mandates equitable distribution of inheritance among heirs, including daughters. Surah An-Nisa (4:7) addresses inheritance laws, stating, “For men is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, be it little or much – an obligatory share.” This verse ensures that women receive their rightful share of inheritance, irrespective of societal norms or biases.

You also might want to read: Understanding polygamy in the light of Quran


5. Consent and Agency:

The Quran emphasizes the importance of mutual consent and agency in matters concerning marriage and personal choices. Surah An-Nisa (4:19) emphasizes the necessity of seeking consent in marriage, stating, “O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality.” This verse underscores the importance of respecting women’s autonomy and choices.


6. Protection from Abuse and Exploitation:

The Quran condemns all forms of abuse, oppression, and exploitation, including violence against women. Surah An-Nisa (4:34) unequivocally prohibits any form of physical or emotional abuse, stating, “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has made one of them excel over the other, and because they spend out of their possessions to support them. The good women are obedient, guarding what Allah would have them guard. As for those from whom you fear disloyalty, admonish them, and abandon them in their beds, then strike them.” This verse has been widely misinterpreted, but scholars argue that it actually advises a gradual approach to resolve marital disputes, with physical discipline being a last resort and only in cases of extreme disobedience or disloyalty, within specific guidelines that aim to prevent harm.


Parting Thoughts

The Quran contains numerous verses advocating for the rights, dignity, and empowerment of women. These verses emphasize principles of equality, justice, and compassion, providing a comprehensive framework for promoting women’s rights within Islamic societies. By understanding and implementing these teachings, Muslims can strive towards building societies that uphold the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of gender.


Hafiz Ikram Ullah

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