9- Equality in the six fundamentals:Dear brothers, women are equal to men in their obligation towards maintaining the six fundamentals for which Islam has come. Islam is established on maintaining those six fundamentals, and whoever violates any of them, is punished by a certain penalty (Hadd) that is mentioned in the noble Quran and is detailed in the Sunnah.
Shari’a (Islamic Law), as you know, is all about interests, mercy, and justice, and every case overpasses justice to injustice, interests to corruption, and mercy to harshness, is not part of Shari’a even if it was justified by thousands of interpretations.
The six fundamentals are religion, soul, mind, honor, wealth, and security, and whoever violates any of them, whether male or female will be punished with a certain penalty that is mentioned in Quran and detailed in Sunnah . Allah the Almighty says:(Cut off (from the wrist joint) the (right) hand of the thief, male or female, as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah. And Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise)[Al Maida, 38]The one who drinks wine, whether male or female, should be whipped eighty times.
Whoever commits adultery will be punished by whipping or stoning, Allah says:(The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes.)[Al Noor, 2]And taking somebody’s life, Allah says:(And there is (a saving of) life for you in Al-Qisas (the Law of Equality in punishment), O men of understanding, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).)[Al Baqara, 179]This Qisas (the law of equality in punishment) is for men and women alike. As for security, the recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is that they shall be killed, crucified or a hand and a food are cut off on the opposite sides.10- Equality in calling to Allah:Dear brothers, Islam also makes men and women equal in calling to Allah. Thereby, every woman should pass her knowledge to other women, and should spread this religion, because Allah says:(By Al-’Asr (the time). Verily! Man is in loss, Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth , and recommend one another to patience.)[Surat Al ‘Asr]When revelation came to the Prophet PBUH and he said to Khadija:I fear that something may happen to me.” She replied, “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your Kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.What does that mean? It means that she was with the Prophet PBUH in his mission.
The first Martyr in Islam was a woman, namely Sumayah and her husband Yaser who were killed in the line of their commitment to their belief, and because they held on to this righteous religion. Hence, women also call to Allah and spread this religion in the field suitable for them and within the permissible limits.11- Equality in inheritance:Dear brothers, men and women are equal in inheritance, Allah says:(There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether, the property be small or large – a legal share.)[Al Nisaa, 7]She is equal to him in inheritance, but in regard of the Ayah that says “the male will have twice the share of the female“ , that is a totally different issue that needs elaborating some other time.12- Equality in transactions (like in contract or avadavat):Men and women are equal in all kinds of transactions such as: signing a contract, buying, selling, donating, almsgiving, lending, or signing a guaranty act.
Thus, women equal men in a lot of things such as signing contracts, transactions, inheritance, calling to Allah, seeking knowledge, being charged with faith pillars, Islam pillars, religious duties, obligation towards purifying the heart, having the good intentions, watching the tongue, in individual duties, in collective duties, in politeness, in education, in believing in Allah, in dignity, in creation, and she is fully equal to him in humanity.
Hence, all the texts I have mentioned from the Quran and Sunnah indicate that the woman is a human being in the full sense of the word, and she is completely equal to man.Male is not like female:Woman equals man in humanity, creation, dignity, religious duties, education, rearing, morals, responsibilities, consequences, and transactions. However, Allah says:(And the male is not like the female)[Al Imran, 36]1- Difference between man and woman is for integration:It is true that woman equals man in a lot of issues. Yet, her physical and mental structure is different from man’s, and this kind of difference doesn’t mean that she is inferior but it means integration (between the two genders). This difference between man and woman makes them repose to each other, complement each other, and it is the secret of affection and mercy which Allah created between the couples.2- Differences are between two genders not two individuals:Dear brothers, talking about differences between male and female or between man and woman, is a trial to tackle the differences between two genders not two individuals, because as an individual, a woman might excel a man professionally and vice versa, but now we are talking about the differences between two genders.
Sometimes you find a woman with ruthless heart and a man with flaming emotions (out of normal nature). However, there are differences between male and female in general.3- Differences are related to biological functions:It is a fact that there are physical differences between women and men. These differences help them match the functions that each of them is charged with, and there is a profound wisdom and a great mercy in the differences and distinctive features that the Creator installed in the two genders.4- Exceptions are meant to show the value of the usual:If that rule had exceptions, that would be (for a profound wisdom) to show the value of the usual. Usual things that have no exceptions don’t attract attention.
Following is an example from our life; cows sometimes get infected with diseases which turn them into wild animals that might attack and kill human who is obliged (in these cases) to put an end to their lives losing their valuable cost. This exceptional case reminds us of the blessing that Allah subdued these creatures to us.(And We have subdued them unto them)[Yaseen, 72]When we see an exception in this life, we should know that it is meant to show us the value of the normal thing, and to acknowledge the blessings that Allah bestowed on His servants.5- Physical differences:According to scientists, women have special physical features suitable for the functions they are assigned to by Allah. They have glands that don’t exist in men; these glands give the feminine characters like smooth skin, nice voice, shyness, and vulnerability.
Moreover, women in general (with a few exceptions) are shorter (by 10 centimeter) than men in all races, and the skeleton of a woman is lighter than that of a man, which makes her less able to move and go around than him. The muscles of women are weaker than those of men by about one third, but her cellular tissue is richer of vessels and sensory nerves which allow her to store fat that gives her the form of her body.
Man’s brain is heavier than that of woman by 100 grams. The ratio of man’s brain to his body is one to forty while the ratio of woman’s brain to her body is one to forty four, and her brain’s convolutions (irregular ridges on the surface of the brain) are less in number and order than men’s. Whereas the part of comprehension is smaller in women’s brain, the center of emotions is more effective than that in men. The lung’s capacity in women is less than that of men, her respiration is faster, her heart is smaller, but her pulse is faster. Allah says:(And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.)[Al Rum, 21]This weakness and these attractive characters make men repose to women. Tackling the differences between women and men is a long topic, but I chose some of the differences to talk about which is better than leaving the topic althogether.