Recently, the Punjab Assembly passed a law concerning the rights of women; the law covered many aspects. Religious scholars immediately objected, claiming that it was against Islamic laws. Without wishing to become entangled in any controversy, I am merely going to quote here what the Quran ordains on the subject:
“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)” – 49:13.
“And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise” – 2:228.
“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily, to him will We give a new life, a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions” – 16:97.
“To men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn. But ask Allah of His bounty” – 4:32.
“The believers, men and women, are protectors, one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey Allah and His apostle. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise. Allah hath promised to believers, men and women, gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the good pleasure of Allah: That is the supreme felicity” – 9:71-72.
“For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and great reward” – 33:35.
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has give the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard” – 4:34.
“Allah has promised Hell-Fire to the hypocrites, both men and women, and to the unbelievers. They shall abide in it: a sufficient recompense for them. Allah has cursed them, and theirs is a lasting torment” – 9:68.
“It does not behove a believer, male or female, that when Allah and His Messenger have decided an affair, they should exercise their choice. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has strayed to manifest error” – 32:36.
“(O Prophet), enjoin believing men to cast down their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is well aware of all what they do. And enjoin believing women to cast down their looks and guard their private parts and not reveal their adornment except that which is revealed of itself, and to draw their veils over their bosoms and not to reveal their adornment save to their husbands, or their fathers… Nor should they stamp their feet on the ground in such a manner that their hidden ornament becomes revealed” – 24:30-31.
“Their Lord answered the prayer thus: ‘I will not suffer the work of any of you, whether male or female, to go to waste; each of you is from the other. Those who emigrated and were driven out from their homesteads and were persecuted in My cause, and who fought and were slain, indeed I shall wipe out their evil deeds from them and shall certainly admit them to the Gardens beneath which rivers flow.’ This is their reward with their Lord; and with Allah lies the best reward” – 3:195.
“Those who accuse honourable women (of unchastity) but do not produce four witnesses, flog them with eighty lashes, and do not admit their testimony ever after. They are indeed transgressors, except for those of them that repent thereafter and mend their behaviour. For surely Allah is Most Forgiving, Ever Compassionate. As for those who accuse their wives (of unchastity), and have no witnesses except themselves: the testimony of such a one is that he testify, swearing by Allah four times, that he is truthful (in his accusation), and a fifth time, that the curse of Allah be on him if he be lying (in his accusation). And the punishment shall be averted from the woman if she were to testify, swearing by Allah four times that the man was lying, and a fifth time that the wrath of Allah be on her if the man be truthful (in his accusation)” – 24:4.
“Those that accuse chaste, unwary, believing women, have been cursed in the world and the Hereafter, and a mighty chastisement awaits them. (Let them not be heedless of the) Day when their own tongues, their hands, and their feet shall all bear witness against them as to what they have been doing” – 24:23-24.
“And so, when you divorce women and they reach the end of their waiting term, then either retain them in a fair manner or let them go in a fair manner. And do not retain them to their hurt or by way of transgression; whosoever will do that will indeed wrong himself. Do not take the signs of Allah in jest and remember Allah’s favour upon you” – 2:231.