All the avenues of pleasing God that are open to men are also open to women, as is said in the Holy Qur’an:
“Surely, men who submit themselves to God and women who submit themselves to Him, and believing men and believing women, and obedient men and obedient women, and truthful men and truthful women, and men steadfast in their faith and steadfast women, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their chastity and women who guard their chastity, and men who remember Allah much and women who remember Him, Allah has prepared for all of them forgiveness and a great reward” (1).
Some may think that there are times when women are held back from doing God’s work in order to take care of their children and homes. In fact, women during the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) were worried about the same and sent Asma Bint Yazid as a spokesperson to him; she said:
“May my parents be sacrificed for you! I have come to you as a representative of Muslim women. May my life be sacrificed for you! Women of the east and the west all agree with my view that Allah the Exalted has sent you with the truth for men and women and for us to accept you and also accept the God Who sent you. We women have been confined to homes. We facilitate the fulfillment of their [men’s] wishes and look after their offspring. You men have the advantage over us of attending Friday Prayers, congregational Prayers, visiting the ailing, attending funerals, and going to Hajj. Above all, you also go to Jihad. When any of you goes to Hajj, Umrah, or Jihad, we look after your property, spin cotton for garments, and nurture your children. O’ Prophet of Allah! Are we still not equally deserving of reward along with men?”
The Holy Prophet (sa) turned his blessed countenance towards the Companions and said: ‘Has any of you ever heard anyone express themselves as finely as this woman regarding an issue of faith?’ The Companions submitted: ‘O Prophet of Allah! We never thought that a woman would have such (deep) thinking.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) turned to her and said: ‘O woman, return and inform every woman that for a woman to be a good wife, to be compliant to her husband, and to carry on according to his wishes is equal to all the virtues of men.’ The woman returned delighted, raising the words of ‘There is none worthy of worship except Allah’ and ‘Allah is Great!’” (2).
In another narration, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) said that a woman is the guardian of her home and will be held accountable for it (3).
This article appears in the February 2022 print edition.
1. The Holy Qur’an (33:36)
2. Bayhaqi, Shuab-ul-Iman, Hadith #8369
3. Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 93, Hadith #2
Last modified: February 2022