Throughout the history there have been different approaches to the concept of the position of women in the society. Sometimes the women were and are under the very hard pressure of their family specially their husbands. On the other hand there is another approach that is so extreme. But both viewpoints have not considered the position of women properly.
But according to the real teachings of Islam despite of the differences between men and women, they are equal in humanity. They both can reach to the highest levels of spiritual perfection and nearness to Allah. The differences between they are derived from two roots, the first is the physical aspects and the second is the emotional ones. Some of the scholars use this likening; they say that men and women are like two stars that each has an orbit in which it moves. The main condition for the perfection of a society which in fact is combined from these two genders is achieved when each of these two continues moving in its own orbit. So the main problems of the societies are created when the roles of each man and woman change and they are away from their own innate nature.
Islam by its teachings has vivified the rights of women, especially at the time of its emergence. When we refer to the books of history we see that what was happening to the women before Islam. The holy Quran describes that situation in some verses, like verses 58-59 in chapter Nahl:
وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُمْ بِالأُنثَى ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ
يَتَوَارَى مِنَ الْقَوْمِ مِن سُوءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِ أَيُمْسِكُهُ عَلَى هُونٍ أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَابِ أَلاَ سَاء مَا يَحْكُمُونَ
“When good news of the birth of a female is given to any of them, his face grows dark and inwardly he chokes.
Because of the evil of the good news he hides himself from people; (pondering) whether he will keep her and be humiliated, or trample her into the dust. Evil is their judgment!”
So a question might arise here; if Islam has considered man and women equally, so what is the reason of some differences in some rules?
There are many discussions from different aspects like psychology, sociology, the philosophies beyond Islamic rules etc. in this regard that God-willing we will elaborate on them, but briefly as the answer to this question we say:
Islam is not against the equality between man and woman. The point here is that Islam does not believe in the similarity in some rules between them. The concept of equality is different from the concept of similarity. Let’s bring an example which is helpful for our topic.
Imagine that a father wants to divide his heritage among his children. He has different kinds of property, like the farm, sheep, house, and store. But because he is aware of the circumstances or capacities or abilities of his children he gives his store to a son, his farm to another, his house to the third and his sheep to the fourth, because he has understood that the first son has the capacity of managing the store, the second has the ability to work in the farm as a farmer. The third son has no house and he is in the very urgent need of that. The fourth is good at being a shepherd. So they are not given the same capital that the other is given, but in this situation we do not call this father as an unjust father, but rather we call him as a wise father.
To be continued.
Source: hawzah.net (narrating from the sayings of Martyr Motahari)