Tolerance In Relation To Women In Islam

Women in Islam have their unique status; they are honored and given many rights. The Prophet s said: “The most complete of all believers in terms of their manners and faith are the best of them to their wives.” (Ibn Hibban)
He s also said: “Be kind to your wives.” (Muslim)

  • A woman is given a dowry when she gets married. She may ask for whatever she wants and it is a duty upon the man to give it to her. Allah, the Exalted, says: “And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously. But if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease.” [4:4]
  • Even if a woman is divorced, she is given her dowry. Allah, the Exalted, says: “And if you divorce them before you have touched them and you have already specified for them an obligation, then [give] half of what you specified – unless they forego the right or the one in whose hand is the marriage contract foregoes it. And to forego it is nearer to righteousness. And do not forget graciousness between you. Indeed Allah, of whatever you do, is Seeing.” [2:237]
  • It is a duty upon the man to take care of all his wife’s financial needs. It is forbidden for him to be harsh towards her. Allah, the Exalted, says: “Let the women [who are undergoing a waiting period] live in the same manner as you live yourselves, in accordance with your means; and do not harass them in order to make their lives difficult.” [65:6]
  • It is the right of a woman to seek the custody of her child if she so wishes. Allah, the Exalted, says: “And the [divorced] mothers should nurse their children for two whole years, if they wish to complete the period of nursing; and during that period the father of the child shall be responsible for the maintenance of the mother in a reasonable manner. No soul is charged with more than it can bear. No mother should be made to suffer on account of her child, and no father should be made to suffer on account of his child. The same duties devolve upon the father’s heir [in case of the death of the father]...” [2:233]
  • A woman is to be given her necessities so that she is properly maintained. Allah, the Exalted, says: “Let the man of means spend in accordance with his means; and let him whose resources are restricted, spend in accordance with what Allah has given him. Allah does not burden any person with more than He has given him. Allah will soon bring about ease after hardship.” [65:7]
  • A woman is given her fair share of inheritance. Allah, the Exalted, says: “Men shall have a share in what parents and relatives leave behind, and women shall have a share in what parents and relatives leave behind, whether it be little or much. This is ordained [by Allah].” [4:7]
  • When a women is in her menstrual or post-natal period, she is not required to do certain acts of worship; she is not required to perform prayers nor is she required to fast. She is to make up for fasts missed in the month of Ramadan afterward. According to the Prophetic Tradition: “Mu’adha said: I asked ‘A’ishah: What is the reason that a menstruating woman completes the fasts (that she abandons during her monthly course) but she does not complete the prayers? She said: We passed through this (period of menstruation), and we were ordered to complete the fasts, but were not ordered to complete the prayers.”
    Also, a woman is not required to perform the farewell circling of Hajj during her menstrual period. The Prophet s said: “The people were ordered to perform the circumambulation of the Ka’ba as the last rite before leaving (Mecca), except the menstruating women who were excused.” (Bukhari)
  • It is not compulsory upon a woman to fight in war. A’ishaht reports: “I said: “O Messenger of Allah! We consider Jihad as the best deed, should we not then go for Jihad?” The Messenger of Allah said, “The best Jihad for women is the accepted Hajj.” (Bukhari)
  • A woman is not obligated to spend of her own money on household matters, even if she has her own source of income. This provision is the duty of the husband.