since women have this great impact on raising children inside or outside her family, they must be properly qualified so as to be a righteous, good example. this can only be done through teaching women how to become righteous educators to bring up children in a good, islamic way and make use of their gentle sentiment to fill their hearts and souls with faith and goodness so that these women would be able to pass them on to the generation which she is raising and educating.
when we see upright, well-mannered children and investigate the reason behind this, we come to know that they have a righteous, upright, well-mannered mother, even if their father is not so. similarly, when we see corrupt, deviated children and search for the reason behind this, we realize that they have a corrupt mother, even though their father may be righteous and well-mannered.
due to these factors and examples that call for the reformation of the education of women and refining their behavior and morals so they would be righteous caretakers, it is no wonder that islam is keen on teaching women. the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would dedicate specific days for women to gather, in addition to the days when they would attend with men, so that he would be able to teach them the divine knowledge which allaah the almighty taught and are related to women only, particularly due to their physical and psychological formation. they had the courage to request that from the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; a request that he responded positively to.
abu sa‘eed al-khudri said,
a woman came to the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and said, “o messenger of allaah, the men get all your speech, so devote to us a day on which we may come to you so that you would teach us of what allaah has taught you.” the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “gather on such-and-such a day.” they gathered and the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, came to them and taught them of what allaah had taught him. he then said: “no woman of you gives three children [i.e., loses them to death] except that they will screen her from the fire.” a woman said, “o messenger of allaah, and two [of her children]?” the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, replied: “and two!” [al-bukhaari and muslim]
this was a woman from the companions who politely and courageously went to the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and confidently addressed him, saying, "men get all your speech, so devote to us a day on which we may come to you so that you would teach us of what allaah the almighty has taught you.”
as men would sit at the front of the sessions of the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, most of the words, admonitions and statements were directed at them. although the call of islam, its rulings, obligations, and admonitions concern both men and women, some issues and rulings are specific to women, while some others are specific to men.
the men obtained their share of knowing the rulings that are specific to them because they could easily and directly speak to the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; they were also bold enough to ask about every matter in their religion. they could ask the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, at any time, whereas women could not always ask about the religious rulings that were specific to women or the solutions to their problems. even if they could attend the sessions of the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, without intermixing with men, they might have felt too shy to ask about their specific matters in the presence of men. therefore, teaching them the rulings that were specific to them and solving their problems entailed dedicating special sessions for them to discuss their issues and give them the rulings and provide them with the teachings in accordance with their psychological, intellectual, moral, and social characteristics as well as in accordance with their responsibility in their life inside and outside their families. for all these reasons, this woman demanded that a specific time be allocated for women to be taught the matters of religion that were specific to them, and for the same reasons the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, accepted and answered her demand.
this is the correct way for women to be educated and driven out of the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge, so that they would fulfill their responsibility in this life in the best and most perfect way. also, in this way, they can properly bear the responsibility while maintaining their chastity and modesty, without being cast into an intermixed society that quickly adopts the corruption that is typical of such societies, causing women to suffer from the desires that trigger acts of disobedience, sins and many other forms of immorality to spread.
sound knowledge is the first means for reforming any society including men and women; both the old and the young.
muslim women, in the beginning of the first islamic era, were enthusiastic to learn the teachings of their religion and the rulings that addressed their specific issues. they gathered at the special sessions which the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, dedicated for them. the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, came to them at specified times; he taught them from what allaah the almighty taught him and he explained matters to them. they asked him about many issues and he answered them.
some female companions of the ansaar were bold enough to ask about the issues that were specific to women. ‘aa’ishah praised them saying, “may allaah have mercy upon the women of al-ansaar; their bashfulness did not prevent them from asking about the matters of their religion.”
at this exalted standard, islam defined its policy for women's education. having manifested all these facts, would the enemies of islam still have anything to say in order to delude people about the issue of women's education, as part of their attempt to give a false image about islam? with this full equality between men and women concerning both knowledge and deeds, would the complaints of those who try to distort the wonderful image of islam continue to hurt our ears with things that cause a sound disposition to be repulsed?