enemies of islam never tire of repeating the claim that islam is unjust to women, oppresses them, deprives them of their rights and considers them no more than servants and a means of enjoyment for men.
but this is a falsehood refuted by what has been authentically narrated about the prophet pbuh regarding the honour he accorded women and his concern for their condition. he pbuh used to consult women, deal with them gently, support them in all situations and give them their complete rights in a way never dreamt of before.
before islam, the arabs disliked having daughters and considered them a source of shame. some of them were even known to have buried their female children alive. the qur'an describes it as follows:
and when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief. he hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? unquestionably, evil is what they decide. (16:58-59)
and in the pre-islamic days of ignorance when a woman's husband died, his sons and relatives inherited her as property; if they wished they would marry her to one of them and if they wished they could prevent her from remarrying and keep her thus until death. islam did away with all that through its just rulings which guarantee the rights of women as well as those of men.
the prophet pbuh declared that women are equal to men in all aspects of humanity, saying,
"women are but sisters of men." (ahmad, abu dawud and at-tirmidhi) so in islam there is no conflict between the two sexes as its opponents imagine; rather, a brotherly relationship of mutual cooperation exists between them.
the noble qur'an has confirmed the equality of men and women in the realms of faith, action and compensation in the hereafter, for as allah the almighty stated:
indeed, the muslim men and muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember allah often and the women who do so – for them allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward. (33:35)
and he said:
whoever does an evil deed will not be recompensed except by the like thereof; but whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – those will enter paradise, being given provision therein without account. (40:40)
allah's messenger mentioned his love for women, saying, "beloved to me from your world are women and pleasant scent, and my greatest pleasure is in prayer." (ahmad and an-nasa'i – graded as saheeh by al-albani) so if the prophet loved women, how could he belittle or oppress them?
and while the prophet pbuh abolished the customary hatred of daughters and the terrible practice of burying them alive, he encouraged raising them well and treating them kindly. he said,
"whoever cares for two girls until they reach puberty will come with me thus on the day of resurrection,"and he brought together his two fingers. (muslim) this shows that one attains high position and nearness to the prophet rowing to his care and protection of his daughters until they reach the age of puberty and responsibility. he ralso said,
"whoever has three daughters or three sisters or two daughters or two sisters and lives with them in kindness, fearing allah in regard to them, will enter paradise."(at-tirmidhi – graded as saheeh by al-albani)
and the prophet was concerned with educating women. he pbuh even appointed a day for them to assemble and would come to teach them from that which allah had taught him. (muslim)
he pbuh did not make woman a prisoner within the house, as they claim, but allowed her to go out to take care of her needs, visit her relatives and visit the sick. he allowed her to buy and sell in the marketplace as long as she adhered to modest conduct and proper dress. he also allowed her to attend the mosque and forbade preventing her, saying,
"do not prevent your women from [coming to] the mosques." (ahmad and abu dawud)
`and he pbuh urged kindness toward her with the words,
"be advised to be good to women."(al-bukhari and muslim) this involves good treatment, respect for her rights, concern for her feelings and avoidance of any kind of harm.