Oman Observer

What is the status of women in Islam?

Islam grants women numerous rights inside and outside home and in society. Among them is the right to earn a living, financial support, education, inheritance, dowry, being treated kindly, vote, keep their maiden name, choose their spouses, worship, be a witness and participate in public service.
Women are not oppressed in Islam. Anyone (individual or government) that oppresses women or fail to giving women their rights as dictated by the Quran and Sunna is not following Islamic teachings.
Among the many teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that protects the rights and dignity of women is his saying, “… the best among you are those who are the best (kindest) with their women.”
Women are free to choose their spouses and forced marriage is forbidden in Islam. This illegal practise should not be confused with arranged marriage, a practise which prevails in some Muslim societies.
Fair and just divorce is permissible; however reconciliation is what is most encouraged. Polygamy is permissible in Islam, but is restricted to a maximum of four wives and regulated under very strict conditions to ensure just and fairness among all wives and their children.
Polygamy was allowed in Christianity and Judaism without any bounds. Female circumcision, “honour killing’ and any form of body mutilation and violence against women (young or old) is prohibited in Islam.