Our blessed prophet, Prophet Mohammed (saas), who is sent by God as a savior to whole humanity, is the most beautiful example with his profound faith, wisdom, good morality, nobility and decency.
Our beloved Prophet (saas) used to humor people with pleasant compliments and affection; he valued everyone’s ideas and assumed a conciliating and lenient attitude. He warned everyone around him to avoid harsh and offending words and verbalized the beautiful aspects of the person he talked to. He was the most beautiful mannered of all people. In a verse of the Qur’an, our Lord mentions the superior morality of our Prophet (saas), the role model for all the Islamic World, as follows:
“You will have a wage which never fails. Indeed you are truly vast in character.” (Surat Al-Qalam; 3-4)
With the value he attached to women, with the respect, love, compassion and mercy he felt towards women, our Prophet (saas) also guided the whole Islamic World.
As a matter of fact, the origins of the point of view that despises and humiliates women and that considers them as second class are based upon the time before Islam, the time of ignorance. In ancient Arabic societies, when the family members were given the glad tidings of a girl their faces fell; moreover they even buried their daughters alive. Furthermore, there had been times in which women were sold and bought like a piece of furniture. However, by means of Islam and our Prophet (saas) that is the light of Islam, women whom God compared to a flower in the Qur’an enjoyed an exalted status. By defining women as “treasures entrusted to us by God” our Prophet (saas) held women in high esteem and constructed a system in which women enjoyed the utmost freedom. In the system our Prophet (saas) constructed, women did not feel any kind of fear or worry in society and were not only charged with chores like cleaning, cooking, ironing and doing the laundry but were highly appreciated and valued.
Our Prophet (saas) showed close attention to his own spouses. He showed ultimate attention to strengthen their faith, to make better their health, their joy and knowledge. In the accounts it is stated that he even played games with them and ran footraces to entertain them. Companions emphasized the affection he showed to his spouses by saying “Our Prophet (saas) was the one who joked with his spouses the most.”(1) According to an account related by Hazrat Aisha (ra) “He was the most lenient, most generous, most friendly and most smiling one of all people towards his spouses.” (2)
The kind and beautiful manners of our Prophet (saas) towards women should certainly be a role model for the whole Islamic World. Muslims should be in a race with each other in showing love, respect and kindness towards women, in saying pleasant words and in displaying beautiful manners towards them.
As stated in the hadiths loving women, is a part of the characteristics of Prophets. (3) Our Prophet (saas) said; “I do not suppose that a person’s faith would increase unless his love for women increases.” (4) That means a person would love and value women in the extent of his faith.
A Muslim should be a very strict observant of these beautiful examples displayed by the Messenger of God. For the good pleasure of God, Muslims are responsible for showing the same love, respect and compassion towards women.
God likens women to flowers in the Qur’an and He informs us that superiority is not in gender but in the fear of God, in faith and good morality, in sincerity and piety:
“Her Lord accepted her with approval and made her grow in health and beauty. And Zakariyya became her guardian. Every time Zakariyya visited her in the Upper Room, he found food with her. He said, ´Maryam, how did you come by this?´ She said, ´It is from God. God provides for whoever He wills without any reckoning’.” (Surah Al-Imran;37)
According to the Qur’an women are gentle, remarkable flowers that should be treated very carefully but they are also given superior executive positions. Our Prophet (saas) always told his ummah that the responsibilities of Muslim men and Muslim women are the same. That is why God does not make any differentiation between men and women in the Qur’an and addresses Muslims as “men and women who are Muslims”:
“Men and women who are Muslims, men and women who are believers, men and women who are obedient, men and women who are truthful, men and women who are steadfast, men and women who are humble, men and women who give sadaqa, men and women who fast, men and women who guard their private parts, men and women who remember God much: God has prepared forgiveness for them and an immense reward.” (Surat Al-Ahzab; 35)
Sadly, a twisted point of view regarding women still persists in our days. Women are oppressed, looked down upon, humiliated all around the world and many of them are subjected to violence, oppression and ill treatment. However if a country does not value women and praise them, if they do not constantly make a point of the superior characteristics of women, it would not be possible for it to reach the level of advanced civilization. Societies in which women are despised and regarded as inferior to men, societies in which women are silenced, crushed and forced to take a backseat in society are condemned to remain as backward societies. Throughout history, other societies have never attached any importance to a society that regards women as worthless.
It is crucial for women to enjoy a superior place in the society. They should have at least as much, in fact even more, rights than men. The mentality that considers women solely as sexual objects and the false belief in the superiority of men should be done away with. That is because women are very sharp-minded beings. They are far superior than men in seeing the complicated aspects of incidents and in recognizing the details. Consulting them and following their opinions would bring about abundance and plenty because they are intelligent and tactful. Furthermore women are superior to men in compassion, in mercy, in cleanliness and scrupulousness. They are very valuable, decent, kind, beautiful beings as the ornaments of this world.
However male dominance can openly be seen even in the most developed countries. Simply mentioning the equality of men and women would not be sufficient to sweep away that twisted mentality. An effort should be made to promote the belief in the superiority of women. In fact establishing the superiority of women is a blessing and a beauty. Just as appreciating the value of motherhood, women should be placed in such a valuable place in all aspects of life. The fact that women are physically not as strong in comparison to men by their nature should not mean that they should be less appreciated than men in society; on the contrary, it means that they should be more favored, that they should not be given heavy burdens; in short, it means that they should be valued and shown ultimate attention.
These superior characteristics of women should frequently be emphasized and brought to the forefront in order to become a civilized society. Conducting educational and informative special campaigns by governments in this respect would be very fruitful. Women should be favored in workplaces and in national assemblies: At least half of national assemblies should consist of women. Muslims should adorn themselves with the moral values of our Prophet (saas) and be a role model for the world.
We should not forget that happiness is not possible to attain in a misogynistic system in which democracy does not exist and one in which women are oppressed and are not able to live comfortably. The Islamic World will not be able to find relief if they behave far removed from the moral values of the Qur’an regarding their attitude towards women; that is because half of the servants of God are women and a moral outlook that oppresses women would summon the Wrath of God. That is why this shameful disgrace, that is, the point of view that looks down on women, should be corrected and the rights of women should be made paramount. Male intervention upon women should be removed by giving them an utmost freedom by showing them respect and by holding them in high esteem. A society could only become lofty in the extent of the value they attach to women and gain respect to the extent that they respect women.
(1) Related in Musnad of Hasan B. Sufyan; Huccatu'l Islam Imam Al-Ghazali, Ihya'u Ulum'id-deen, Vol. 2, Translation: Dr. Sıtkı Gülle, Huzur Publishing, Istanbul 1998, p.105
(2) G.Ahmed Ziyauddeen, Ramuz Al-Hadith, Vol. 2, Gonca Publishing, Istanbul, 1997, 531/7
(3) Kulaynî, Qâfî, v. 5, p. 320, hadith no: 1) (Sheikh Tusi, Tehzîbu’l-Ahqâm (Tahran, 1365), v. 7, p. 403)(Majlisi, Bihâru’l-anwar, v.101, p. 75) (Tabersî, Mekârimu’l-ahlâk, p. 197) (Amilî, Vesâilü’s-shia, v. 20, p. 22 (Hadith no: 24923
(4) Kulaynî, Qâfî, v. 5, p. 320, hadith no: 2) (Ibn Bâbaveyh, Men lâ yehzuruhu’l-faqîh, v. 3, p. 384
Adnan Oktar's piece on Islam Today Magazine & Diplomacy Pakistan: