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Women Education in Islam

Women were not given any rights before Islam. They were considered a dependent person through out of her life. Only few people were educated and the rest of the whole society was illiterate. So there was no concept of women education in such society. But Islam gave proper rights to women and make seeking education compulsory for both men and women. Women learnt Qur’an and Islamic teachings along with men. When Hazrat Umar R.A was non-Muslim and came to know that his sister embraced Islam along with her husband, He went to her house to give her punishment. At that time both husband and wife were learning Qur’an from Hazrat Khubab R.A. When Qur’an gives any instruction and uses masculine word for it, this instruction is for both men and women.

Both Men and Women are related when Qur’an says:

قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِى ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ‌ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُوْلُواْ ٱلْأَلْبَــــٰـــبِ

‘Can those who have knowledge and those who do not be alike?’ So only the wise do receive the admonition.           [al-Zumar, 39:9]

So, all the verses and hadiths concerning the acquiring of knowledge does not merely dictate to men; the women on equal terms required to acquire knowledge and there is no discrimination or exception for anyone in seeking knowledge. The first revelation of Cave of Hira was about the importance on knowledge:

ٱقْرَأْ بِٱسْمِ رَبِّكَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ. خَلَقَ ٱلْإِنسَــــٰـــنَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ. ٱقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ ٱلْأَكْرَمُ. ٱلَّذِى عَلَّمَ بِٱلْقَلَمِ. عَلَّمَ ٱلْإِنسَــــٰـــنَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ

(O Beloved!) Read (commencing) with the Name of Allah, Who has created (everything). He created man from a hanging mass (clinging) like a leech (to the mother’s womb). Read, and your Lord is Most Generous, Who taught man (reading and writing) by the pen, Who (besides that) taught man (all that) which he did not know.                             [al-‘Alaq, 96:1–5.]

Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH said:

طَلَبُ الْعِلْمِ فَرِيضَةٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ

Acquisition of knowledge is binding on all Muslims (both men and women without any discrimination).                       [Ibn Maja in al-Sunan, 1:81 §224]

In Islam, all men and women are bound to acquire knowledge. If we have look to our Islamic history, we find a considerable contribution of Muslim Women in Education. Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa R.A, the beloved wife of Holy Prophet PBUH was an expert scholar of Qur’an, Hadith and Islamic Jurisprudence. She has done a great work in these fields. Ummul Momineen Hazrat Umm e Salma (R.A) was another influential woman, who possessed the knowledge of Hadith and Fiqh after Hazrat Ayesha (R.A). Hazrat Asma binte Abi Bakr R.A had also done great work in Hadith narration. Fatima bint e Abbas, Umm e Aiman, Nafisa bint e Hasan, Ayesha bint e Ahmad and many other women were the Islamic scholars during and after the Prophet Era and had a great contribution in the Education of their next generations.

Hazrat Abu Saeed Hazri (R.A) narrated that women were very enthusiastic to learn about their Religion and other knowledge during the period of Prophet PBUH. Prophet Muhammed PBUH was also so much concerned about the education of women.

Abu Saeed Khudri (R.A) narrated that some women came to Prophet PBUH and complained; men are always gathered before you and we cannot benefit, therefore appoint one day for us, so at their request, the Prophet fixed up a separate day and time to impart religious education to them only and listened to their problems, prescribed the solutions and gave them instructions regarding their religious, social and family obligations. (Al-Bukhari)

In the modern Era, it is very necessary to educate the women. According to Islamic teachings, it is the right as well as duty of a Muslim woman to acquire knowledge and no one can deprived them from their right. The education and training of next generation is based on women education.

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