Demands for women's rights
women worldwide demand equal rights. There is not a system of law that preserves, maintains and protects what are truly women’s rights, as much as Islamic law does, whether in the past or in modern times. This will be verified and substantiated in the following sections of the book.
Sir Hamilton, the well-known English thinker and philosopher, stated in his book on Islam and Arab Civilization: “The rules, regulations and verdicts concerning women in Islam are clear, frank and open. Islam capitalizes on the complete care that should be given to the protection of a woman against anything that may harm her personally, or cause ill-fame to her reputation or character.”
Gustave Le Bon, the famous French thinker stated in his book “The Arab Civilization”: “Islamic virtuous deeds are not limited to honoring and respecting women, but rather, we can add that Islam is the first religion to honor and respect women. We can easily prove this by illustrating that all religions and nations, prior to the advent of Islam, caused much harm and insult to women.” [p.488] He also points out: “Matrimonial rights which have been stated and illustrated in the Glorious Qur’an and by the interpreters of the meanings of the Glorious Qur’an are far better than European matrimonial rights for both husband and wife.” [p.497]
Over fourteen hundred years ago, Islam began to spread to the known world from Makkah, and then Madinah, where the Prophet of Allah, Muhammad ﷺ taught his message.
Islam spread its light through the revealed scriptures of the Book of Allah, the Qur’an, and the inspired traditions of the Sunnah (Way) of the Prophet ﷺ Muhammad which are the undisputed basis of the Islamic law. The Islamic teachings and system of law had a profound impact on the lives of the followers of Islam, and consequently, this impact affected the societies in the lands where Muslims traveled and settled. Islam spread very rapidly in an astounding manner in the known world and left a comprehensive system of life that addresses every human need. Islam does not contradict, clash with or reject any of the lawful, sound and meaningful requirements of the human being’s existence, which are essential to his continuity in life.
In order to understand changes that Islam brought for women, we must examine briefly the status of women prior to the advent of Islam in the Arab society and other civilizations in the world.