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Education of women in Islam - I

Auther : Islamweb.net
Under category : The Prophet and Women
4426 2010/09/12 2024/05/23
Article translated to : Español


some prejudiced and ignorant people claim that islam does not encourage women to be educated and that it prefers women to be ignorant or close to it. this is a biased, unfounded allegation against islam. indeed, there is no religion or doctrine on earth that encourages man to seek knowledge as much as islam. islam strongly encourages humans, both men and women, to acquire knowledge in all fields of life, as well as to research and reach the facts.

islam defines knowledge to be the correct way to know allaah the almighty, have belief in him, and surrender to his sharee‘ah. were not the first verses revealed to the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, a strong declaration of this fact? the first verses that were revealed to the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, are those in which allaah the almighty addressed his messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, saying (what means): {recite in the name of your lord who created. created man from a clinging substance. recite, and your lord is the most generous. who taught by the pen. taught man that which he knew not.} [quran 96: 1-5]

this is a command to recite in the name of the creator who created humans, both men and women, from a clinging substance. this refers to the fact that the creation of allaah the almighty is the field for humans to seek knowledge, and that this will guide them to the way of allaah the almighty. researching what allaah the almighty created is the closest and best way for the seekers of knowledge and the pursuers of the truth, wherever they may be and in whichever scientific field they may be engaged.

the revelation began with a command to read, because reading is the most important means of consolidating knowledge and continuing with it. reading comes after writing, which is why allaah the almighty displayed his favor upon his slaves since he taught humans to write with pens which is the greatest tool of writing. this means that allaah the almighty has taught all humans - male and female.
this call with which allaah the almighty invites humans to seek knowledge and establish sciences, since the very beginning of islam, is the greatest evidence of the full equality between man and woman with regard to calling them to science, knowledge, pondering on the creation of allaah the almighty, and using the two correlated means of knowledge; namely, reading and writing.
knowledge is the way to know allaah the almighty, have faith in him, and know the rulings of the religious obligations for both men and women. it is a must for every muslim man and woman to learn all that guides him or her to know the teachings and ordinances of their religion that each of them has to abide by, because each man and woman will be individually reckoned for their acts before allaah the almighty.
humans, both men and women, are tried in this life. each one is fully responsible for his actions as long as he or she is competent, and as long as he or she possesses reason, will, and ability.
since humans are responsible for their actions, they are obligated to acquire all that will enable them to distinguish between truth and falsehood, goodness and evil, benefit and harm, and to know the boundaries of his responsibility before allaah the almighty. 
islam is very keen on teaching woman all that makes her an element of goodness and reform in a secure, happy islamic society that develops towards perfectionand advances towards power and glory.
to do so, islam is keen on women attending islamic assemblies, large and small. islam encourages women to perform the congregational salaahs (prayers), to attend the friday salaah and sermon, and the salaah and sermon of ‘eed even if she has the excuse that prevents her from performing the prayer. islam also orders women to perform hajj (pilgrimage) and ‘umrah (lesser pilgrimage), and encourages her to attend sessions for religious knowledge. moreover, allaah the almighty addresses both men and women together, except in a few cases, which shows his keenness on educating them, cultivating them, teaching them the matters of their religion and allowing them to take part in the issues facing muslims.
a look at the reality of life shows us how important it is for a woman to be upright, knowledgeable, and well-mannered, for the sake of her family and then for the good of the entire society. the extent of a woman's uprightness or corruption within her family determines the extent of the uprightness or corruption of her children.
in addition to this, the woman greatly influences the man whether he is a husband, a father or a brother. the woman's uprightness is more important for the family than the man's uprightness, because the woman can play an effective role in either guiding or corrupting the formation of manners, principles, and habits in young children; this role is much more important than man's role for many reasons:
1-    allaah the almighty has endowed woman with flowing sentiment, a lenient disposition and an ability to be involved and take part in the life of children in accordance with their mentality and nature. this makes her acquire the children's love and confidence, so they imitate her behavior and all that she says or does.
2-    the woman accompanies her children most of the time when they are being brought up. during this stage, a child still has a pure human nature and is like soft dough that can be adapted to traditions and customs. 
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