Women & Men - Different but Equal?
After thousands of years of male dominance, we now stand
at the beginning of the feminine era, when women will rise
to their appropriate prominence, and the entire world will
recognize the harmony between man and woman
-- The Rebbe
A couple who was having communication problems came to
see the Rebbe. The woman said that her husband was consumed
with his work, and that when he finally found time to speak
with her, he criticized her and ordered her around. The husband
said that his wife had no respect for him and didnt
listen to any of his suggestions.
Why do you think your wife should listen to you?
the Rebbe asked.†Because a woman must listen
to her husband, he replied.
But why should a woman listen to her husband?
the Rebbe asked.†Because the man is the master
of the house.
No, said the Rebbe. The first thing
that you as a man must follow is the edict that a man
should honor his wife more than he does himself. And
then the righteous woman will have a husband she can respect
and love. If the man does not fulfill his role, then it is
the woman who must respectfully bring it to his attention.
Contemporary society is just beginning to delve into the true
distinctions between men and women. Besides the obvious physiological
differences, there are also differences in the way men and
women think, speak, and behave.
In order to understand the essential nature of man and woman,
we must do away with human subjectivity and look through G-ds
eyes. Every human being, man and woman, was created for the
same purpose -- to fuse body and soul in order to make themselves
and their world a better and holier place. In their service
of G-d, there is absolutely no difference between a man and
a woman; the only difference is in the way that service manifests
What are the differences between men and women?
Man and woman represent two forms of divine energy; they
are the male and female elements of a single soul.
G-d is neither masculine nor feminine, but has two forms
of emanation: the masculine form, which is more aggressive,
and the feminine form, which is more subtle. For a human being
to lead a total life, he or she must have both forms of energy:
the power of strength and the power of subtlety; the power
of giving and the power of receiving. Ideally, these energies
are merged seamlessly.
Men are physically stronger. By nature, they are usually
more aggressive and externally oriented. In contrast, a woman
usually embodies the ideal of inner dignity. Some people confuse
such subtlety with weakness; in truth, it is stronger than
the most aggressive physical force imaginable. True human
dignity does not shout; it is a strong, steady voice that
speaks from within. The nature of a woman, while subtle, is
not weak. And the nature of a man, while aggressive, is not
brutish. For man and woman to be complete, they must each
possess both energies.
The answer is not for men and women to try to be alike. All
men and women must be themselves, realizing that G-d
has given each of us unique abilities with which to pursue
our goals, and that our primary responsibility is to take
full advantage of those abilities.
What is true liberation for both sexes?
Though feminism rightfully calls for the end of male domination
and abuse, and for equal rights for women, it is vital to
get to the root of the distortion -- that our focus in life,
as man or woman, must not be simply to satisfy our
own ego or needs, but to serve G-d. True womens liberation
does not mean merely seeking equality within a masculine world,
but liberating the divine feminine aspects of a womans
personality and using them for the benefit of humankind.
After so many years of male dominance, we are standing at
the threshold of a true feminine era. It is time now for the
woman to rise to her true prominence, when the subtle power
of the feminine energy is truly allowed to nourish the overt
power of the masculine energy. We have already proven that
we can use our strength to slay the demons around us; let
us now learn to nurture the G-dliness within.
Men and women must realize their respective equal roles and
strive to complement each other in their shared struggle to
improve life. In order to correct the abuse of male dominance,
men must concentrate on using their dominant qualities for
the good. They must use their strength to protect and preserve
the feminine character, helping women realize their true potential
in revealing† G-dliness, which the world so desperately needs
Learn about what it means to be a man or a woman, about masculine
and feminine energy. Learn to live up to your potential, to
balance these energies to lead a productive and meaningful
life -- a G-dly life. And finally, learn to appreciate and
respect your male or female counterpart.
This is an excerpt from Toward a Meaningful Life
The Wisdom of the Rebbe by Rabbi Simon Jacobson.
Now available at our Online
Seperate but equal
|I believe that women and men should be treated equally in society. There aren't many things that are different between men and women other than their physical properties. Something that I found interesting is that: in the word women there is men, in the word she there is he, in the word female there is the word male. This just shows how in society, it used to be thought that women wouldnt be able to survive without a man in her life. But i believe that today men are starting to change their point of view and are understanding that women should be treated equally with them. As once said, "Behind every great man, there's a great woman." and "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." The society should be able to understand that women don't need men to survive and they have the potential to do the same things as men do.|
|ayushi garg, 03/01/2011|
|hiiiii..... I'm a b.tech student of rcvgit ... i got this topic 4 my debate competition and i m in favour of the statement and i thnk in today's senerio both men n women are equal in all aspects expect the physicals...... bcoz today almost all the parents love thr daughter more than thr sons... i m also one of them.. bcoz i have to young brothers but my parents love me more .... and today i can say that all girls are equally educated as boys... but in my case i'm more educated than my brothers .. my fater invest more in me as compared to my brothers.... thanks....|
Men and Women are not equal. Women are superior and have been a long time.
|First off let me say this. I am a middle aged man. Born and raised in Canada. I recently had a minor debate similar to the men vs women equal rights one you have on another blog and it totally made me brainstorm about this topic and I came up with a number of interesting ideas about this, and well I guess I wasnít even able to use all my basis of arguments before the people debating with me gave up trying to contest my points so I went looking to see if anyone had even considered my ideas about this as they are still on the brain. I found your post first, so Iím writing to you. I hope this is not offensive or obtrusive to you for doing so. If this is so, please by all means disregard this but I would like to say based on the post I saw of yours, one you might find shocking. Keep in mind.. if you read this I write candidly though I will refrain from vulgar language and be as respectful as I can as some of my points may be construed as touchy, and Iím sure posting this openly would likely result in at very least a verbal berating despite my ideas. Also as a prelude.. I havenít really done much in terms of formal research to actually be able to diplomatically present my case besides my learning through my years of history in the ways that schools at a young age, and my occasional interest in history documentaries or articles.
You asked Do Women have equal rights? or, Do they still have a long way to go?
I actually believe itís neither, and now Iíll explain and why.
I believe itís Men who have a long way to go.. and Men have been unequal since the laws came into effect. Now I will explain why I believe this is true.
Back in the days before equal rights, yes men had many advantages over women.. but what is also true and rarely if ever acknowledged is.. women also at that time had advantages as well in other ways. What are these? well off the top of my head as used in my earlier debate I have these examples.
I those days I have seen many times men went to work, and women stayed at home.. in essence the man was working for two. The woman did not have to work for a full day under the scrutiny and degradation of a profit seeking employer. This is not to say the woman did not work at all in these cases and yes Iím aware that this wasnít universal but Iím going with the basis that for many it did. The woman would take care of the home and do that work, but the stress from the full work day under the microscope of the corporation is even today a challenge. When it comes to the bottom line in the corporation as history has shown and still does, profit as a priority will always trump the well being of the lower class worker. The only side note to this is the introduction of when safety laws which were and still are required today come into play. However this can also be seen as profit trumping in priority as itís not profitable to be fined or closed down. When it comes to recalls from say for example a car manufacturer.. to decide if the recall is necessary, they figure out the estimate of how much the recall costs vs the settlements they would wind up being required to dish out.. if the settlements beats the recall cost..? The recall is done. Again itís not safety.. itís profit.. Iím sure it wonít be too hard to find more examples however. My point being.. Having to work at home under the duress of your partner is likely not even remotely measureable vs the duress of working for the man when money and profit mean more than the well being of the worker.
Secondly.. Who buys the diamond wedding ring..? And who winds up being more often expected to propose..? Yes the latter isnít completely one sided but Iím going to go with you understand my point.
Whoís father is expected to foot the bill of the wedding? Yep.. the groom.
These are the points I came up with off the top of my head but with more research Iím sure others like.. who opens the door for the other? Whoís coat covers the puddle so it may be crossed without affect? etc etc.
When the laws came into effect for equal rights manís Ďsuperiorityí by law was removed.. but how about these advantages for women? These for the most part I have found donít really fall under the laws so well.. Women did not have the right to vote.. political.. where as womenís advantages are more of a grey area I think? Perhaps someone else can explain my idea better but I will assume you understand my point. The womanís advantages never diminished.. even to this day. Hence the beginning of my reasoning.
I decided to brainstorm further still as I had this thrown at me..
Men in those days and even now get paid higher salaries then women..
Surely, wonít argue that but to a point. When it comes to the upper class this is true.. more men are in top spots and they get paid more.. but I have a rebuttal to this as well as I will explain later but for now lets start with the lower class..
Letís take a look at today.. at a man with no job experience vs a woman with no job experience.
A man with no experience may be able to find themselves doing manual labour for the work day again 8 or so hours..
A woman.. in the sex industry (the oldest profession in the books) or many variations there of can work for 1 hour.. (though how many times have you heard the joke a man lasts for 3 seconds.. 10 seconds.. Iím being generous with the hour I believe) and take home more money than this man does for 1 hour vs 8 hours of labour intensive work. Depending on type of work. Again Iím not discussing ethics, just simply stating this example, Iím not trying to debate ethics just what is. If the woman takes on a minimum wage job.. even today.. who does anything labor intensive generally? Yes.. the woman doesnít in my eyes have to work nearly as physically, also too the expectation for them isnít there.. part of the misconception of ďJust a girlĒ which by the way is used derogatorily by a man, but also can be used by a woman as an excuse.
By the way.. I firmly believe in equality yes a woman can in theory do in a work force the same job as a man. Again Iím trying not to be anything less than diplomatic.
As for the upper class men make more than women this requires some explanation for my point. 2 here really.
First.. I make the argument which can be made with proper research any number of ways.. this: 1% of the worldís population control how much of the worldís wealth? The point Iím making here is.. those with a ďpowerĒ in this case money, strive for what? to keep it. Tooth and nail. Thus a man with plentiful wealth is unwilling to relinquish it to anyone. man or woman. And as stated in the early days a man makes more money and thus have more.. this could be construed as a rather nasty cycle. Apparent even today.
Which may raise this question why were there not women of great wealth or more of them in this upper echelon ? Well sure the laws could be an easy target.. but I have yet another idea that may be a viable point of debate.
And this is it.
This is a woman that turns heads wherever she goes..
or any other such catch phrase.. I am sure proper research could find numerous more examples. Again my apologies, I really havenít done the research my point of debate really deserves, please forgive but I will again assume you understand what I mean by these phrases..
My point being this.. (something I think most women have been conditioned by society by not only by men, but women as well to completely ignore..)
Women.. by nature have while I will define as a power by birth right than men as a majority do not have. Again not universal, but it does exist.
Sugar and spice, and everything nice.. Slugs and snails, and puppy dog tails.. Many women in society are in my opinion blessed with a power.. the power of beauty.. The appearance of the woman is far more aesthetically pleasing than that of the man.. this gives them a ďpowerĒ that some women many not acknowledge, but it surely exists.. not convinced..?
Talk to people in advertising, Iím sure there is plenty ways to explain or prove that if a business wishes to sell more products (and well, they do..) having the smile of a pretty woman in this ad will sell far more products than say a man in said ad selling the same thing. (This of course disregards some products.. perhaps those ads targeted to one gender that do so by making it appear that by using said product the opposite gender will rush into your arms.. if you just by this car!! or such ads as those who make it perceive society will view you as cool because you use their products) But generally speaking look at say a McDonaldís advertisement.. or other such products as get sold to both genders I bet if you view through them, more often not youíll see more happy smiling female faces than men.
Assuming youíre still with me and can accept through my poor research as accepting this Ďpowerí of beauty.. Again this is not to say men donít have it as well.. but in comparison to women, the lopsided comparison is easily found.
This brings me to my final point.. If you can assume and are with me about this Ďpowerí of beauty..
Now.. Iíve been using the term power in quotes as I want to expand a little on this.. I personally donít necessarily recognise power per se.. as my values tell me there is no such thing.. just responsibility.
Now if youíre still following me..
Imagine times past during the beginning of civilizations.. Being able to realise this power of beauty and the aesthetically pleasing appearance of the female form... and youíre beginning to form these positions of influence.. Political leaders.. say.. Royalty etc.. even today as CEOs..
Now.. when does a girl mature into being a woman..? Law says 16? whichever not really my point.. but lets say itís at a young age.. teenager.. impressionable.. and still maturing.. is it possible for the body to mature before the brain? Some peoples brains it seems to me never really do.. but lets leave that.. as a yes.
So.. in theory you have this young woman.. perhaps not fully mentally mature, but the body is.. She has this power.. but maybe.. she doesnít know it.. or maybe sheís aware sheís beautiful.. but doesnít yet understand or recognize it as a power.. I suggest this on the basis of the fact that the discussion I had in this day and age on the blog I debated with a woman who refuted my claim that the female form even had this Ďpowerí she was in complete denial it even existed... However let me continue on the assumption my point is valid.
Again i restate as I see it power doesnít exist.. only responsibility... and how many young.. impressionable teens even understand power.. (think the rich college students.. not yet able to fully understand that they donít have limitations that most in the world do.) Now.. when creating these civilizations in early days of man.. what are the implications to putting someone in a place of responsibility.. with a birth right power.. who doesnít know or maybe doesnít understand how to use their power responsibly? Keep in mind also this.. life spans.. and when the world view believed was middle age etc.. (Life spans of 40 ish yrs only?)
It would be like seating a child as a CEO today.. based on what knowledge existed in these times.. How terrifying would that have been..?
It is that much of a stretch of imagination to say.. in fear of the world coming to an end from abused responsibility.. to decide to prevent such a potential catastrophe from from occurring.. and based on how much people really knew of how the world worked.. then let alone today that it may have been decided that in order to prevent the potential from occurring. The only solution they could possible imagine was.. To prevent a woman from ever being placed into this position of power coupled with their own birth given one? as it might not be possible to ascertain if this power would be used responsibly.. to be fair across the board and decide this? Hence .. could this explain why they were dissuaded being allowed another power .. say riches (upper echelon)or political strength would this be too much for one human being? Coupled with the easy argument in earlier days a womanís job being envisioned as child rearing? With the expendable warrior man so easy to replace? (Men go off to war and die.. woman and theyíre powers.. beauty, child bearing too valuable for survival)
I donít think so... but thatís me...
End conclusion.. Men and women arenít equal despite the belief they should and could be.. As I myself firmly believe. But to the contrary.. Men have a ways to go.. And it will start I believe with the recognition of this power of beauty.. and well also would be fair to say when women today can accept that when equal rights came along.. all of a manís advantages were removed.. but womanís still exists.. and they donít even recognize it.. even to this day.. The woman in todayís world by either refusing to acknowledge this.. or perhaps more fairly not recognizing it does exist.. Is in theoretical essence exactly what women claim to this day men were like prior to equal rights?
This being said.. I firmly believe in equal rights fully across the board between man and woman.. in order to achieve a greater harmony. That being said i do make one exception to this rule.. and when does this occur?
Naturally.. during those 9 months.. and in that time.. both man and woman.. both have less rights.. as I firmly believe that the debate between them it irrelevant as itís the child who is most important.. being the bearer.. the man should do everything in their power to make things easy for a woman not because she is better.. but because the child is.
What do you think...?
|so very interesting|
|The Conditions of Women in Arabia Before Islam
In those days before Islam, women were treated like slaves or property. Their personal consent concerning anything related to their well-being was considered unimportant, to such a degree that they were never even treated as a party to a marriage contract.
Women were used for one purpose, and then discarded. They had no independence, could own no property and were not allowed to inherit. In times of war, women were treated as part of the prize. Simply put, their condition was unspeakable.
In addition, the birth of a daughter in a family was not an occasion for rejoicing, but was regarded with humiliation. The practice of killing female children was uncontrolled.
With the advent of Islam came the verse from the Quran condemning those who practiced female infanticide:
"And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision."
And as part of a description of various events on the Day of Judgment, the Quran mentions:
"And when the female (infant) buried alive (as the pagan Arabs used to do)
shall be questioned. For what sin she was killed? (At-Takwir 81:8-9)
Outside Arabia conditions for women were no better. In India, Egypt, and all European countries in the Dark Ages, women were treated worse than slaves. They were not regarded as human beings but as sort of a sub-species between humans and animals.
Allah (SWT) Gave the Arab Women Their Rights
The rights of Muslim women were given to us by Allah (SWT), who is All-Compassionate, All-Merciful, All-Just, All-Unbiased, All-Knowing and Most Wise. These rights, which were granted to women more than 1400 years ago, and were taught by the perfect example of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), were given by the one Who created us and Who alone knows what rights are best for our female natures. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
"O You who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at time of marriage) you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings
through it a great deal of good." (An-Nisa 4:19)
The most basic right of a woman in Islam is the knowledge and recognition that she never has to ask or demand or fight for her rights which are guaranteed to her by Allah (SWT) Himself.
Rights That Islam Gives to Women
Islam considers a woman to be equal to a man as a human being and as his partner in this life. Women have been created with a soul of the same nature as manís. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
"O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever and All-Watcher over you." (Al-Nisa 4:1)
And in the words of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW),
"Assuredly, women are the twin halves of men." (Sahih reported by Abu-Dawud (RA)
Islam does not blame Eve alone for the First Sin. The Quran makes it very clear that both Adam and Eve were tempted, that they both sinned and were both forgiven after their repentance. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
"Then Satan whispered suggestions to them both in order to uncover that which was hidden from them of their private parts (before); he said: "Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortals." And he (Satan) swore by Allah to them both (saying): "Verily, I am one of the sincere well-wishers for you both." So he mislead them with deception. Then when they tasted of the tree, that which was hidden from them of their shame (private parts) became manifest to them and they began to stick together the leaves of Paradise over themselves (in order to cover their shame). And their Lord called out to them (saying): "Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you: Verily, Satan is an open enemy unto you?" They said: "Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers." (Allah) said: "Get down, one of you an enemy to the other (i.e. Adam, Eve, and Satan, etc.). On earth will be a dwelling-place for you and an enjoyment, - for a time." He said: "Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (i.e. resurrected)."(Al-Aíraf 7:20-25)
In Islamic law a woman is an independent, unique individual in her own right. She has the same responsibilities towards herself, towards Allah (SWT) and towards other human beings as the male, and will be punished or rewarded in the Hereafter without discrimination towards her female gender.
There is no compulsion in religion according to the Quran:
"There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut [anything worshipped other then the Real God (Allah)] and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower."
A Muslim woman is not permitted to change her family name to her husbandís name upon marriage. She is always known by her fatherís name, as a mark of her own identity. In choosing a marriage partner, her consent to accept or reject any prospective suitor for marriage must be respected. A Muslim woman has the right to seek divorce, if necessary within the laws of Islam.
Muslim Women Have the Right to Go Outside of Her Home
Muslim women are not forbidden from going out in the community, working, or visiting relatives and female friends, if there is no objection from their guardian/husband and they are covered and behave and speak according to Islamic guidelines and, if necessary, escorted by their Mahram (a close male relative). However, a womanís home should be the main base that she works from. Allah (SWT) instructed the wifeís of the Prophet (SAW):
"O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he is whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner. And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and offer prayers perfectly (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, O members of the family [of the Prophet (SAW)], and to purify you with a thorough purification." (Al-Ahzab 33:32-33)
A Woman in Islam Has the Right to Get an Education
In the words of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW):
"To seek knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim."
(Declared Authentic By Shaikh Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaani)
Muslim here meaning male and female Muslims, as women are the twin halves of men. The Prophet (SAW) also said:
"Whoever follows a way to seek knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a way to paradise." (Declared Authentic By Shaikh Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaani)
A woman in Islam has the right to knowledge and education. Allah (SWT) encourages women to read and keep up the learning process. He also bestows His mercy upon all who seek knowledge, and gives them high status:
"Is one who is obedient to Allah, prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord (like one who disbelieves)? Say: "Are those who know equal to those who know not?" It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allahís Signs and Verses). (Az-Zumar 39:9)
"O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies, (spread out and) make room. Allah will give you (ample) room (from His Mercy). And when you are told to rise up (for prayers, Jihad, or for any other good deed), rise up. Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. (Al-Mujadilah 58:11)
This is referring to religious knowledge, in the first place, and to any other kind of knowledge, in the second place, where one has the intention of benefiting herself, her family and the Islamic society. Additionally, a husband should not forbid his wife from going out of the house to seek basic religious knowledge, unless he is teaching her at home. The Quran advises mankind to pray:
"Then High above all be Allah, the True King. And be not in haste [O Muhammad (SAW)] with the Quran before its revelation is completed to you, and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge." (Ta-Ha 20:114)
The Right to Go to the Mosque
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
"If someoneís wife asks his permission to go to the mosque, he should not deny it to her."
Women should be covered Islamically, according to the Muslim woman's dress requirements (see Her Dress).
At the same time, a womanís prayer in her home is better, from the standpoint of her household duties and duties as a mother. Also it is better in the sense that it prevents unnecessary mixing with men. The Prophet (SAW) also stated on another occasion:
"But their homes are better for them." (Reported by Abu Dawud and Ahmed)
Islam Gives Men and Women Equal Rights
In reality, and in Islam, the rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of man, but they are not necessarily identical with them. Equality and sameness are two very different things. I think youíll agree that, for one thing, women and men are physically very different from one another, although they are equal to each other in other important ways.
In the West, women may be doing the same job that men do, but their wages are often less. The rights of Western women in modern times were not created voluntarily, or out of kindness to the female. The modern Western woman reached her present position by force, and not through natural processes or mutual consent of Divine teachings. She had to force her way, and various circumstances aided her. Shortage of manpower during wars, pressure of economic needs and requirement of industry forced women to leave their homes to work, struggling for their livelihood, to appear equal to men. Whether all women are sincerely pleased with these circumstances, and whether they are happy and satisfied with the results, is a different matter. But the fact remains that whatever rights modern Western women have, they fall short of those of her Muslim counterpart! Islam has given woman what duties her female nature. It gives her full security and protects her against becoming what Western modern women themselves complain against: a "mere sex object."
The Right to Seek Employment
If you take a look at many societies today, a woman is only valued and considered important if she performs the functions of a man, (while at the same time displaying her feminine attractions to the public). While these women may carry the immense responsibility of bearing and rearing children, you have to admit that they may still be at par with men in nearly every area of life. The result is the present-day confusion concerning sex role differentiation, resulting in very large numbers of divorces and emotionally distraught children.
In Islam, however, the value and importance of women in society and the true measure of their success as human beings, is measured with completely different criteria: their fear of Allah (SWT) and obedience to Him, and fulfillment of the duties He has entrusted them with, particularly that of bearing, rearing and teaching children.
Nevertheless, Islam is a practical religion, and responds to human needs and life situations. Many women need, or wish, to work for various reasons. For example, they may possess a needed skill, such as a teacher or a doctor.
While Islam does not prohibit women working outside the home, it does stipulate that the following restrictions be followed to safeguard the dignity and honor of women and the purity and stability of the Islamic society, (the conduct of women, after all, is the "backbone" of any society):
1. Outside employment should not come before, or seriously interfere with her responsibilities as wife and mother.
2. Her work should not be a source of friction within the family, and the husbandís consent is required in order to eliminate later disagreements. If she is not married, she must have her guardianís consent.
3. Her appearance, manner and tone of speech and overall behavior should follow Islamic guidelines. These include: restraining her glances in relation to any men near the work place, wearing correct Islamic dress, avoiding men, not walking in a provocative manner, and not using make-up or perfume in public.
4. Her job should not be one which causes moral corruption in society, or involve any prohibited trade or activity, affect her own religion, morals, dignity and good behavior, or subject her to temptations.
5. Her job should not be one which is mixing and associating with men.
6. A woman should try to seek employment in positions which require a womanís special skills, or which relate to the needs of women and children, such as teaching, nursing other women, midwifery, medicine with specializationís like pediatric or obstetrics-gynecology.
A Muslim Woman is Required to Dress a Certain Way When She Goes Out in Public
For a Muslim woman, her modest dress is an expression of a universal sisterhood. An Islamic dress also liberates the Muslim woman, and she is then automatically respected for her mind instead of her body. Simply put, she retains her dignity! It is like saying: I am a respectful woman. I am not for every man to look at, touch, or speak to. I am protected, exactly like a precious white pearl which, if touched by everyone, will become black and dirty.
A womanís modest dress protects society from adultery and other forms of illegal sexual relations that lead to the break up of families and corruption of society.
THE RIGHT OF A MUSLIM WOMAN IS TO BE RESPECTED FOR HER MIND AND FOR BEING HER OWN PERSON