Islamic Human Rights (48)
Although ideological development and social growth is such that the elevated human values have replaced many previous unwanted systems, discrimination against women remains to this day. This fact is even evident in the so-called advanced countries. Meanwhile, the sacred religion of Islam has focused on, and respected the status and rights of women.
The divine religion of Islam, in addition to consideration of personal and collective rights for mankind, has paid especial attention to some human groups. Women are one of the human groups which have been further supported by Islam.
Today, one of the benchmarks of human development is the rate of presence of women in different scenes of activity. Upon the termination of World War II and establishment of the United Nations, focus on the rights of vulnerable strata within the community gained significant importance. One of the vulnerable strata within communities, which always faced discrimination were women.
Up to now, numerable conventions and confabs have been convened by the United Nations and governments in regional and international scenes in regard to women’s rights. Despite the progresses which have been made, the reports released by mass media reveal the appalling and shocking status quo of women in different parts of the world. Today; violence, rape, torture, humiliation, anger, and anxiety are familiar terms for women, across the globe. While in some communities, women have made major accomplishments, still women’s issues are not prioritized in many parts of the world, and women are overtly or covertly marginalized in the community.
Currently, removal of any discrimination against women is a major ideal for many communities, worldwide.
Gender is an irrefutable fact in the world of creation, which has from the very beginning divided mankind into two groups of men and women. This age-old division, on one hand, continues the chain of human life, and, on the other hand, sets the stage for a major never-ending confrontation and comparison.
The actual world and experience has shown that women have been wrongly considered inferior to men, and have been degraded and humiliated. Gender, in addition to other factors, has led to imposition of injustices on women. These injustices have been institutionalized as the result of women’s especial traits, such as their profound patience and tolerance, and their lack of access to legal mechanisms for fulfillment of women’s rights.
Holy Quran, in contrast to other schools of thought, respects the innate nature and creation of the first woman.
The first ayah of Surat al-Nisa notes: “O mankind! Be wary of your Lord who created you from a single soul, and created its mate from it, and, from the two of them, scattered numerous men and women.”
This means that the creation of men and women has taken place from a single soul. Adam and Eve have been both created from clay. Other ayahs of Holy Quran have also stated that men and women are equal in creation, and have no superiority over each other.
Holy Quran considers a common innate nature for all human beings, men and women, both, and notes that they are created equally.
The contemporary Iranian thinker, Martyr Motahari, in criticism of the pessimistic and degrading view toward women, notes: “One of the humiliating views that have existed in the past, which has left an adverse impact on the global literature is consideration of women as the element of sin, claiming that women have been involved in any sin or crime that men have committed. They say that men, innately, avoid sins, and women are the ones who push men toward commitment of sin. They allege that Satan does not directly enter man’s soul, and men are only deceived by women. They claim that Satan tempts women and women tempt men…”
Meanwhile, when Holy Quran narrates the tale of Adam and Eve, it never speaks of the satanic nature of women. In fact, Holy Quran points out that if a man and a woman commit a sin, each one is held accountable for one’s own sin. Holy Quran is against the pessimistic views about women.
Moreover, Holy Quran notes that gender plays no part in men and women’s efforts to attain an elevated status. Several ayahs of Holy Quran note that grant of rewards in Hereafter, and attainment of a close bond with God have nothing to do with gender, and is in fact dependent on the individual’s faith in God and measures. Holy Quran also praises and admires the wives of Adam and Abraham, and mothers of Moses and Jesus.