Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Elaborating more on this, the Standing Committee for Scholarly Research and Iftaa’, states:
Islam came to honor women and raise their status, to give them a position that befits them, and to take care of them and protect their dignity. So, Islam commands women’s guardians and husbands to spend on them, treat them well, look after them, and be kind to them. Allah says what means: “And live with them honourably.” (An-Nisaa’ 4:19)
It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives” (At-Tirmidhi)
Islam gives women all their rights and allows them to dispose of their affairs in an appropriate manner. Allah says: “And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” (Al-Baqarah 2:228)
This includes all kinds of dealings, buying, selling, compromising, appointing others to act on their behalf, lending, depositing trusts, and so on.
Islam enjoins upon women the acts of worship and duties that befit them, the same duties as men, namely purification, zakah, fasting, Prayer, Hajj, and other acts of worship.
But Islam gives a woman half the share of a man when it comes to inheritance because she is not obliged to spend on herself or her house or her children. Rather the one who is obliged to spend on them is the man, just as the man is responsible for spending on guests, contributing to payment of ransom money, and spending on reconciling between conflicting groups.
With regard to the testimony of two women being equivalent to the testimony of one man in some cases, that is because women tend to be more forgetful than men because of their natural cycles of menstruation, pregnancy, giving birth, raising children, and so on.
All these things preoccupy them and make them forgetful. Hence according to Islamic Law, another woman should reinforce a woman’s testimony so that it will be more accurate.
But there are matters that pertain only to women in which the testimony of a single woman is sufficient, such as determining how often a child was breastfed, faults that may affect marriage, and so on.
Women are equal to men in terms of reward, remaining steadfast in faith, doing righteous deeds, enjoying a good life in this world and a great reward in the Hereafter. Allah says: “Whoever works righteousness—whether male or female—while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment, and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (that is, Paradise in the Hereafter)” (An-Nahl 16:97)
So we know that women have rights and duties, just as men have rights and duties. There are matters that suit men, so Allah has made those matters the responsibility of men, just as there are matters that suit women so He has made those matters the responsibility of women.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Excerpted with modifications from: www.islamqa.info.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.