The role and status of women

Islam teaches that men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah - they are individually accountable for their actions, and will be judged equally by Allah.

However, it is believed that men and women are not the same, and that they have different purposes.

Traditionally, it is believed that it is up to the man to provide for his family financially while it is the woman’s responsibility to look after the home and family.

It is the role of the father to make decisions regarding the family, and the woman must be respected within the household. It is normal for a Muslim woman to live with her husband’s family, and her main role is to raise the children and look after the house.

Although the rights of women are different to those of men, they do have some freedoms. They have the right to choose whom they marry, to divorce, to study, to own property, to conduct business and to take part in politics.

There are some key quotes from the Surah - a chapter in the Qur’an relating to this issue:

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Wives have rights corresponding to those which the husbands have, in equitable reciprocity, though, in certain situations men would have the final word and would thus enjoy a preference.Surah 2:229
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Men are appointed guardians over women, because of that in respect of which Allah has made some of them excel others, and because men spend of their wealth.Surah 4:35