Status of Women in the Holy Quran
Foundations of Spiritual and Human Equity in Islam:
In the midst of the darkness that engulfed the world, the divine revelation echoed in the wide desert of Arabia in the seventh Century with a fresh, noble, and universal message to humanity, described below.
(1) According to the Holy Quran, men and women have the same human spiritual nature:
O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women... (Quran, 4:1, see also 7:189, 42:11, 16:72, 32:9, and 15:29).
(2) God has invested both genders with inherent dignity and has made men and women, collectively, the trustees of God on earth (see the Quran 17:70 and 2:30).
(3) The Quran does not blame woman for the “fall of man,” nor does it view pregnancy and childbirth as punishments for “eating from the forbidden tree.” On the contrary, the Quran depicts Adam and Eve as equally responsible for their sin in the Garden, never singling out Eve for blame. Both repented, and both were forgiven (see the Quran 2:36-37 and 7:19-27). In fact, in one verse (Quran 20:121) Adam specifically was blamed. The Quran also esteems pregnancy and childbirth as sufficient reasons for the love and respect due to mothers from their children (Quran 31:14 and 46:15).
(4) Men and women have the same religious and moral duties and responsibilities. Each human being shall face the consequences of his or her deeds:
And their Lord responded to them (saying): Never will I allow to be lost the work of (any) worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another... (Quran, 3:195, see also 74:38, 16:97, 4:124, 33:35, and 57:12).
(5) The Quran is quite clear about the issue of the claimed superiority or inferiority of any human, male or female. The sole basis for superiority of any person over another is piety and righteousness not gender, color, or nationality (see the Quran 49:13).