Muslim Women’s Rights: Cultural or Religious?

Photo courtesy of Lyn Ward.Photo courtesy of Lyn Ward.
Photo courtesy of Lyn Ward.

Photo courtesy of Lyn Ward.

According to the Quran, Allah, or God, views men and women as morally equal.

“Among the praiseworthy acts to Allah is to treat your mother with honor and respect,” said the Prophet Muhammad. Many people have twisted the Quran’s scripture to fit their personal ideology of women’s roles in Islamic culture. These people believe that their interpretation is the truth and that they are living the way Allah intended, unlike Islamic belief. They are using their culture to justify their faulty interpretations of the religion.

In Islam, women are granted many rights, yet they still struggle to access these rights. It is the culture that has oppressed these women, not the religion. “Islam entered different cultures and each culture embraced it according to its own traditions,” said Dr. Nahid Angha and her colleague in the academic journal Sufism: An Inquiry.

Historically, in certain cultures, women were viewed as property to be used for the benefit of the man, but with the Quran’s teachings, women began to be viewed as equals spiritually. Yet, many women today are not given the same rights as their husbands or fathers, even though Allah speaks of women’s rights.

Many organizations and reforms of the culture have become available to women. They have allowed women to express their discontent, speak out against violence and bigotry, and slowly gain their rights back. Muslim women everywhere have been able to realize their rights and speak out accordingly.

Many people not belonging to the Islamic religion have not been able to understand the teachings of Allah and His people because it is a new and different concept from their own. We do not look into religions or cultures other than our own, so we are unable to identify the true religion from the extremists who use religion as their excuse for the behavior they exhibit.

When reading the Quran, one would find that it is not very different from the teachings of any other monotheistic religion. Gender roles may appear to be different in Islam, but it is based out of a cultural difference rather than religious teachings. Dacus Library has a copy available for further reading and inquiries.

2 Comments on "Muslim Women’s Rights: Cultural or Religious?"

  1. This was a good article! Good points and good research! I appreciate that you pointed out how people use scripture in any religion and twist it to meet their needs. I think it is important to get to know someone before stereotyping them with their labeled religion / beliefs.

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