By: Zainab Alwani
Islam, as the final message from God to humankind, came to light in a brutal and cruel environment. Violence was a common practice in Arabia and around the world at that time. The weak and needy, orphans and widows, and slaves and servants had no defined rights in such a world. Islam came to establish justice and mercy in the heart of a cruel world and prohibited any oppressive behavior. The Qur’an emphasizes that all people are created equal in worth and value regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or class. It revolutionized the status of women at the time by critically analyzing and reforming various global and local customs and traditions related to gender relations at that time. Whereas women were not even considered human beings in pre-Islamic Arabia, Islam recognized women as full human beings and equal to men before God.