Ask the Schoolar
Ask The Scholar
Question Details

Question: Salaam Now if a woman has young kids or someone to look after then yes its her duty to stay home but women at the Prophet's time (peace be upon him) were involved in a number of activities (like in the workforce the army etc). What I'm trying to say is women should be in the workforce (provided they're clothed properly and the jib doesn't require any haraam activity). So may I have some clarification? Jazakallah for your time.


There is nothing farther from the truth than saying that Islam limits the role of women to homes. Even a casual perusal of the sources and the seerah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) will be sufficient to refute this misconception.

Here are the facts to prove my point:

1.  Allah has clearly stated in the Quran that both men and women are partners in standing up for establishing truth and justice: "And [as for] the believers, both men and women they are close unto one another: they [all] enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and are constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto God and His Apostle. It is they upon whom God will bestow His grace: verily, God is almighty, wise!" (Qur'an: 9: 71).

2. Women were present with the Prophet in all stages of his struggle starting from his mission; they continued to sacrifice and struggle along side men all through his Makkan and Madinina phases until his death.

3. The first martyr in Islam was a woman.

4. Women participated in all the important occasions; they took part in the battles in various capacities,  sometimes even taking up weapons during battles;   

5. Prophet's wife Khadijah's role was not limited to being a passive partner; she was a firm pillar of support;

6. The fact that the Prophet acted upon the advice of his wife Umm Salmah in the crisis he faced in the aftermath of the pact of hudaybiyah says a lot about the Prophet's understanding of the role of women in Islam;

7. It is no wonder then that his wife Aishah was recognized as one of greatest scholars, teachers and jurists of Islam; all the prominent jurists of Madinah as well hundreds of men and women transmitted traditions from him. It a well fact that she excelled as a speaker, teacher, and jurist, and she was consulted by caliphs, jurists and scholars from the companions as well as others.

The above facts will be sufficient to disprove the misconception prevailing among many Muslims as they say that a woman's role is limited to homes. Islam undoubtedly attaches a great value to a woman's role as a mother, caregiver, and nurturer; and therefore, she is not expected to sacrifice her responsibilities in these areas. That is why we learn that Fathimah, the Prophet's daughter, focused on doing the domestic chores, while her husband Ali worked outside to provide for the family.

In conclusion: There is nothing in Islam to prevent women from developing her talents and contributing to the society as long as she does not sacrifice her responsibilities a wife, mother and caregiver at home.


Ask the Schoolar