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How Prophet Muhammad ﷺ Taught the World the True Value of Women

by Ustaz Abdul Rahman Rahuni

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Most Gracious. Praise and thanks be to Allah, Who sent Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as the bearer of mercy for everyone. Salutations and blessings to him, his family, and his friends.

In the age of jahiliyyah -before Prophet Muhammad ﷺ taught the world the true value of  women- women were regarded as having low social standards. In fact, they were inherited as property following the husband’s death. Even the son has the right to inherit the wife of his father, who is not his mother.

In addition, there were numerous examples of low social values during that time period. Even when a man learns that his wife has given birth to a daughter, his face turns red out of shame. Allah documented their condition in His word:

“When someone is informed of the birth of a daughter, his face turns black (due to sadness and embarrassment), and he becomes enraged.”

When Islam arrived, however, the Prophet ﷺ stated otherwise. According to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, “Whoever has three daughters, and then he patiently takes care of them, gives them food and drink, and clothes from their hard work, there will be a barrier for him from hell on the Day of Resurrection.”

[Narrated by Imam Ibn Majah]

A father and his daughter. (Unsplash/Hasan Almasi)

This hadith instructs a father to glorify and even patiently nurture his daughters, which is in contrast to the ignorant who buried their daughter alive out of shame for having a daughter.

Instead of verbally or physically abusing women, the Prophet ﷺ has commanded the ummah to continue treating them gently and providing for their needs.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “Accept my command and be kind to women. Indeed, they are made from ribs, and the uppermost rib bone is the most curved. If you attempt to straighten it, it will break, whereas if you do nothing, it will remain crooked. Accept my directive and be kind to women.”

[Muttafaqun ‘alaih]

This hadith gives the impression that women have a ‘bent’ attitude. If she excels at one thing, she will compromise on another. She won’t be what all men want because that’s not how women are by nature. Then men should be patient and refrain from pressuring women to change as drastically as he desires.

A still from Janji Zehan, which is available to stream on Qalbox.

In addition, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also took good care of his wife, became her best friend, made jokes with her, and learned how to listen. This attitude is an excellent example of how to communicate with a wife for men.

Occasionally, we hear about women who are victims of domestic violence, husbands who are consistently rude to their wives, and other negative stories about wives. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ even endeared himself to his wife Aisyah by inviting her to a race.

At one point in their travels, ‘Aisyah revealed: “I raced with The Prophet ﷺ and I won.” I once raced The Prophet ﷺ when I was much heavier and he won. His words were, “This race makes up for the last race (so we’re on par)”.

[Narrated by Imam Abu Daud]

While at home, He will maintain a decent appearance for his wife. Upon entering the home, the Prophet ﷺ will maintain a clean mouth. While at home, He’ll assist his wife with household duties.

Aisyah describes the state of the Prophet ﷺ in the home: “The Prophet helps His wife with her work, and when prayer time arrives, He will go to prayer.”

[Narrated by Imam al-Bukhari]

This is part of the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ attitude and personality toward women that men should emulate. Good men are those who treat women with kindness and affection, as opposed to those who abuse and harm them at will.

He said: “The best person is those who kind to his family members. And I’m the best person for my family.”

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ encouraged women to reach their full potential as virtuous servants of God by empowering them and modelling an exemplary attitude toward them. May we continue to honour the women around us in accordance with the example of our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Abdul Rahman Rahuni

Ustaz Abdul Rahman Rahuni. The author is a graduate of the Islamic University of Madinah studying in the field of Islamic Sharia. He is currently an instructor at Sekolah Menengah Ugama Islamiah, Tawau, Sabah.