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What are some advantages that women are given over men in the teachings of Islam?

Although women seem to receive less inheritance than men, in reality, they receive more. Islam has taught:

Allah commands you concerning your children: a male shall have as much as the share of two females.

(Surah an-Nisa’, 4:12)

However, Islam has also taught that men must spend on their wives and children (Surah an-Nisa’, 4:35). Also, whatever wealth women have is their own and they are not required to spend on anyone. When a man receives inheritance, he must spend it on his family, but when a woman receives inheritance, she does not have to spend it on anyone else. Let’s take a family of a father, mother, and two children as an example. We give the mother $50 and the father $100, and we tell the mother that she can keep her money for herself, but we tell the father that he has to share his money with the mother and the two children. The father will end up with about $25 for himself, the other $75 being spent on his family. However, the mother ends up with about $75 for herself, the $50 she originally received and the $25 that her husband spent on her. This is roughly what Islamic inheritance laws come down to in practical application. Thus, in Islam, women receive more inheritance than men. The daughter of the Promised Messiahas narrates:

Once, my brother Hadrat Mirza Sharif Ahmadra, who after all was also a child, insisted that his bed also be placed close to fatheras, but I refused to give up my place. Hadrat Amaan Janra said, “She always sleeps here, what’s wrong if Sharif also wants to, she should leave her stubbornness for a day or two and let her brother sleep here.” However, the Promised Messiahas said “No, she is a girl, it is more important to comfort her.” 

(Sirat  o Swanih Sayyedah Hadrat Nawwab Mubarakah Begum, p. 67–68)

Hadrat Khalifatul-Masih IVrta condemned cultural biases that place daughters at disadvantages and said:

Hadrat Musleh Mau‘udra had an approach that was completely opposed to this. He was more affectionate towards girls as compared to boys and gave more protection to the rights of girls. At that time we did not understand it, we thought that he was being unfair to us. I would have a fight with my own sister Amtul Basit. She could even scratch my face and still I would get spanked later. If ever I raised my hand on her and Hadrat Musleh Mau‘udra found out about it, it was impossible to escape his punishment. He was indeed mild of heart, but there is no doubt that his rebuke was frightful and I remember his reprimands. Usually, this is why he would get upset with me. My sisters would hit me, and if I defended myself or said something hard, I would in return get spanked again. I understood afterwards that women’s respect was being instilled in our hearts, that it is the delicate gender, and that we can never forget that when Allah entrusts us with the responsibility of the weak and those having tender emotions, then we should make sacrifices and care for their sentiments.

(Hawa ki Betian, p. 157–158)
Updated on January 2, 2019

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