There is a general impression created by the followers and appeasers of Allah ka deen, which revolves around how Islam has given a lot of rights to women. Some common perceptions connected to this and their counter arguments are discussed here

  1. Kids specially girl children used to be buried at birth before Islam – There were no such traditions or rituals, which can lead us to believe sacrifices were given at the alter of a God or Goddess. In some cases, when there was perhaps abject poverty or the area was effected by famine, perhaps a few crimes of this kind were carried out by specific tribes . Similar cases take place today as well when the child is born out of wedlock or as a result of rape in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh.  At times the mother carries out fratricide due to tough conditions. Some parents even pimp their own girls. The phenomenon of selling girls to wealthy Arabs was prevelant in some Muslim communities not so long ago, and one suspects this is still being practiced secretively. They cannot start pretending that these were the norms of pre Islamic society. There are some examples when families from pre Islamic period used to have 6-7 daughters
  2. The right to inheritance for women was not prevalent before the Islamic era – Women had the right to 50% of inheritance, equal to that of a man. In pre Islamic days, a woman could have her own estate. She could own and run businesses. She had the right to get married of her own free will, to propose a man, and also to divorce a man. The Mughals made women prisoners to burqa, purdah, Niqab, and forced her to be bound amidst four walls. Various scripture was used to ensure women considered being without full Purdah or stepping out the sanctity of the house as a sin:Quran 33:59 says:

    O Prophet, enjoin your wives and your daughters and the believing women, to draw a part of their outer coverings around them. It is likelier that they will be recognised and not molested.

In Chapter 24, The Light, here is what verse 31 states

And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment …

On the other side of this argument, we can see that before Islam, Muhammad’s first wife Khadija was a business woman. After Islam, she became a housewife and her business was wrapped up

  1. Islam has given women the status of authority – There are examples which denote that women were judges or arbitrators. But after Islam, they were limited to being half a witness
  2. Islam gave women their rights back which they never experienced in the Jahalia era (period of darkness)
    Islam had no qualms about continuing with the tradition of slavery, which prevailed during the earlier times, in the tribal Arab culture. Kidnapping the women belonging to the enemy, distributing them among own warriors, maintaining sexual relations with them, keeping the slave girls topless, using them as a gift, allowing for them to be bought or sold, no one faced any challenges in carrying on with these customs. When a woman became a slave after being captured as war booty in Islamic Jihads, her first marriage would be declared as annulled. She would be separated from her children. Therefore, the claim that Islam gave women the rights which were never given by any other society, well this is as far from the truth as most other tall claims.
  3. Islam gives women a place of utmost respect – A woman is not considered a person or a human being under Islam. Women are talked about only in connection with and as a part of worldly possessions including money and property under the Islamic dialogue. There is so much of stress on a woman’s roles as daughter, mother, sister and wife, that Muslims believe that these relations are invented by Islam. They even idealise that before this, there was no concept of a mother, a daughter, a sister and a wife. What positive additions has Islam made to these relations? None.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.