Social Status of Muslim Women in Islam

Muslim women in the modern age have a unique image which is sometimes full of misconceptions. We see them as the antithesis of modernity due to their cultural practices. Contrary to popular belief, the discrimination of women in many Muslim societies has nothing to do with them being Muslims. The idea that their religion encourages the poor status of these women is, in reality, an ignorance of their real place in Islam. The underlying philosophy of Islam with respect to women should, therefore, be delineated from the well-entrenched customs that have no attachment whatsoever from the Quranic principles.
The treatment of women in patriarchal Muslim societies is not the true reflection of women in Islam. It is a mistake to misjudge some cultural practices as evidence of their status. These oppressions and injustices under the pretext of religion are nowhere near the ideal treatment they deserve. Women of today have rights in Islam, which although not thoroughly practised across the globe, reveal their worth.
While it is true that women are equally valuable as men, their difference in roles and functions have led others to believe that they differ in status. A woman is expected to obey her father and then eventually her husband, as this is regarded to be the Will of Allah (Pratt, 2005). A certain Quranic verse has led some to believe women’s inferiority: “Men are qawwamūn over women bima God faddala ba’d of them over others, and bima they spend of their own money…” (as cited in Mejia, 2007, p.10). This has been interpreted to mean that men as providers are physically and intellectually above women, thus justifying their authority. There is however evidence to the fact that the hierarchy of gender is not Islamic but was a cultural practice from elsewhere that was embraced by Muslims. Although a man and a woman are physically different, they are nonetheless of equal worth. Women are ordained by God to have a unique role in childbearing and rearing. that is why they have a different dimension (Shirvani, 2006).