Gender Equity in Islam

By: Jamal A. Badawi Ph.D.

Introduction & Methodology


When dealing with the Islamic perspective of any topic, there should be a clear distinction between the normative teachings of Islam and the diverse cultural practices among Muslims, which may or may not be consistent with them. The focus of this paper is the normative teachings of Islam as the criteria to judge Muslim practices and evaluate their compliance with Islam. In identifying what is "Islamic" it is necessary to make a distinction between the primary sources of Islam (the Qur'an and the Sunnah) and legal opinions of scholars on specific issues, which may vary and be influenced by their times, circumstances, and cultures. Such opinions and verdicts do not enjoy the infallibility accorded to the primary and revelatory sources. Furthermore, interpretation of the primary sources should consider, among other things:

  1. The context of any text in the Qur'an and the Sunnah. This includes the general context of Islam, its teachings, its world view, and the context of the surah and section thereof.

  2. The occasion of the revelation, which may shed light on its meanings.

  3. The role of the Sunnah in explaining and defining the meaning of the Qur'anic text.

This paper is a brief review of the position and role of woman in society from an Islamic perspective. The topic is divided into spiritual, economic, social, and political aspects.




They ask thee concerning Zul-Qarnain. Say, "I will rehearse to you something of his story. Verily We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ways and the means to all ends. One (such) way he followed, Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness." He said: "Whoever doth wrong, him shall we punish; then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and He will punish him with a punishment unheard-of (before). "But whoever believes, and works righteousness,- he shall have a goodly reward, and easy will be his task as We order it by our Command."

Then followed he (another) way,Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun. (He left them) as they were: We completely understood what was before him.

Then followed he (another) way, Until, when he reached (a tract) between two mountains, he found, beneath them, a people who scarcely understood a word. They said: "O Zul-qarnain! the Gog and Magog (People) do great mischief on earth: shall we then render thee tribute in order that thou mightest erect a barrier between us and them?

He said: "(The power) in which my Lord has established me is better (than tribute): Help me therefore with strength (and labour): I will erect a strong barrier between you and them: "Bring me blocks of iron." At length, when he had filled up the space between the two steep mountain-sides, He said, "Blow (with your bellows)" Then, when he had made it (red) as fire, he said: "Bring me, that I may pour over it, molten lead." Thus were they made powerless to scale it or to dig through it.

He said: "This is a mercy from my Lord: But when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it into dust; and the promise of my Lord is true." On that day We shall leave them to surge like waves on one another: the trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them all together. And We shall present Hell that day for Unbelievers to see, all spread out.

(The Holy Quran, 18:83-100)


Women's Liberation Through Islam

by Mary Ali and Anjum Ali

    Today people think that women are liberated in the West and that the women's liberation movement began in the 20th century. Actually, the women's liberation movement was not begun by women but was revealed by God to a man in the seventh century by the name of Muhammad (peace be uponhim), who is known as the last Prophet of Islam. The Qur'an and theTraditions of the Prophet (Hadith or Sunnah) are the sources from whichevery Muslim woman derives her rights and duties.


Islam, fourteen centuries ago, made women equally accountable to God in glorifying and worshipping Him - setting no limits on her moral progress. Also, Islam established a woman's equality in her humanity with men.

In the Qur'an, in the first verse of the chapter entitled "Women," God says, "O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it its mate and from them both have spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom you claim (your rights) of one another, and towards the wombs (that bore you). Lo! Allah has been a Watcher over you." (4:1)



Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali

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The Meanings Of The Holy Qur'an  
by Abdullah Yusufali

bullet 1. The Opening
bullet 2. The Cow
bullet 3. The Family Of 'Imran, The House Of 'Imran
bullet 4. Women
bullet 5. The Table, The Table Spread
bullet 6. Cattle, Livestock
bullet 7. The Heights
bullet 8. Spoils Of War, Booty
bullet 9. Repentance, Dispensation
bullet 10. Jonah
bullet 11. Hud
bullet 12. Joseph
bullet 13. The Thunder
bullet 14. Abraham
bullet 15. Al-hijr, Stoneland, Rock City
bullet 16. The Bee
bullet 17. Isra', The Night Journey, Children Of Israel
bullet 18. The Cave
bullet 19. Mary
bullet 20. Ta-ha
bullet 21. The Prophets
bullet 22. The Pilgrimage
bullet 23. The Believers
bullet 24. Light
bullet 25. The Criterion, The Standard
bullet 26. The Poets
bullet 27. The Ant, The Ants
bullet 28. The Story, Stories
bullet 29. The Spider
bullet 30. The Romans, The Byzantines
bullet 31. Luqman
bullet 32. The Prostration, Worship, Adoration
bullet 33. The Clans, The Coalition, The Combined Forces
bullet 34. Saba, Sheba
bullet 35. The Angels, Orignator
bullet 36. Ya-sin
bullet 37. Those Who Set The Ranks, Drawn Up In Ranks
bullet 38. Sad, (the Letter) Sad ( S )
bullet 39. The Troops, Throngs
bullet 40. The Believer, The Forgiver (god)
bullet 41. (signs) Spelled Out, Ha-mim
bullet 42. Councel, Consultation
bullet 43. Ornaments Of Gold, Luxury
bullet 44. Smoke
bullet 45. Crouching
bullet 46. The Wind-curved Sandhills, The Dunes
bullet 47. Muhammad
bullet 48. Victory, Conquest
bullet 49. The Private Apartments, The Inner Apartments
bullet 50. Qaf, (the Letter), ( Q )
bullet 51. The Winnowing Winds
bullet 52. The Mount
bullet 53. The Star
bullet 54. The Moon
bullet 55. The Beneficent, The Mercy Giving
bullet 56. The Event, The Inevitable
bullet 57. Iron
bullet 58. She That Disputeth, The Pleading Woman
bullet 59. Exile, Banishment
bullet 60. She That Is To Be Examined, Examining Her
bullet 61. The Ranks, Battle Array
bullet 62. The Congregation, Friday
bullet 63. The Hypocrites
bullet 64. Mutual Disillusion, Haggling
bullet 65. Divorce
bullet 66. Banning, Prohibition
bullet 67. The Sovereignty, Control
bullet 68. The Pen, (the Letter) N
bullet 69. The Reality
bullet 70. The Ascending Stairways, Staircases Upward, Sckeptic
bullet 71. Noah
bullet 72. The Jinn, Sprites
bullet 73. The Enshrouded One, Bundled Up
bullet 74. The Cloaked One, The Man Wearing A Cloak
bullet 75. The Rising Of The Dead, Resurrection
bullet 76. Time, Man, (every) Man, This (day-and-)age
bullet 77. The Emissaries, Winds Sent Forth
bullet 78. The Tidings, The Announcement
bullet 79. Those Who Drag Forth, Soul-snatchers
bullet 80. He Frowned!
bullet 81. The Overthrowing, Extinguished! Wrapping Things Up
bullet 82. The Cleaving, Bursting Apart
bullet 83. Defrauding, The Cheats, Cheating
bullet 84. The Sundering, Splitting Open
bullet 85. The Mansions Of The Stars, Constellations
bullet 86. The Morning Star, The Nightcomer
bullet 87. The Most High, Glory To Your Lord In The Highest
bullet 88. The Overwhelming, The Pall
bullet 89. The Dawn, Daybreak
bullet 90. The City, This Countryside
bullet 91. The Sun
bullet 92. The Night
bullet 93. The Morning Hours, Morning Bright!
bullet 94. Solace, Consolation, Relief
bullet 95. The Fig, The Figtree
bullet 96. The Clot, Read!
bullet 97. Power, Fate
bullet 98. The Clear Proof, Evidence
bullet 99. The Earthquake
bullet 100. The Courser, The Chargers
bullet 101. The Calamity, The Stunning Blow, The Disaster
bullet 102. Rivalry In World Increase, Competition
bullet 103. The Declining Day, Eventide, The Epoch
bullet 104. The Traducer, The Gossipmonger
bullet 105. The Elephant
bullet 106. Winter, Quraysh
bullet 107. Small Kindnesses, Almsgiving, Have You Seen?
bullet 108. Abundance, Plenty
bullet 109. The Disbelievers, Atheists
bullet 110. Succour, Divine Support
bullet 111. Palm Fibre, The Flame
bullet 112. The Unity, Sincerity, Oneness Of God
bullet 113. The Daybreak, Dawn
bullet 114. Mankind


Acknowledgement: Taken from


Attributes of Allah


Eid Mubarak


Islamic Caligraphy


Islamic Architecture


Natural Beauty


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