The Status of Woman in the Muslim Community (Ummah)
Shaikh Abdul-Azeez ibn Baaz
The status of the Muslim woman in Islaam is a very noble and lofty one, and her effect is very great in the life of every Muslim. Indeed, the Muslim woman is the initial teacher in the building of a righteous society, providing she follows the guidance from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet , since adherence to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah distances every Muslim - male or female - from being misguided in any matter. The misguidance that the various nations suffer from, and their being deviant, does not come about except by being far away from the path of Allaah - the Most High, the Most Perfect - and from what His Prophets and Messengers, may Allaah's peace be upon them all, came with. The Prophet said: "I am leaving behind me two matters, you will not go astray as long as you cling to them both, the Book of Allaah and my Sunnah."
The great importance of Muslim woman's role - whether as wife, sister or daughter, and the rights that are due to her and the obligations due from her - have been explained in the purified Sunnah.The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed on her, and the difficulties that she has to shoulder - responsibilities and difficulties some, which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligation upon a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good companionship with her. And in this matter, she is to be given precedence over and above the father. Allaah - the most High - says:"And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and good to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness upon weakness and hardship upon hardship, and his weaning is in two years. Show gratitude and thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination." [Soorah Luqmaan 31/14]
Allaah - the Most High - said: "And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship, and she brings him forth with hardship. And the bearing and the weaning of him is thirty months." [Soorah al-Ahqaaf 41/15]
A man came to Allaah's Messenger and said: O Messenger of Allaah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: "Your mother." The man asked: Then who? So he replied: "Your mother". The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: "Your mother." The man then asked: then who? So he replied: "Then your father." So this necessitates that the mother is given three times the likes of kindness and good treatment than the father.
As regards to the wife, then her status and her effect in making the soul tranquil and serene, has been clearly shown in the noble ayah (verse), in His - the Most High's saying:"And from amongst His Signs is this: That He created from you wives from amongst yourselves, so that you may find serenity and tranquility in them. And He has put between you love and compassion. Indeed, in this are signs for those who reflect." [Soorah Ar-Rum 30/21] Al-Haafith Ibn Katheer (d.774H) - rahimahullaah (Allaah have mercy upon him)- said, whilst explaining the term mawaddah means love and affection, and ar-rahmah means compassion and piety - "since a man takes the hand of a woman either due to love for her, or because of compassion and piety for her, by giving to her a child from himself…"
And the unique stance that the Prophet's wife Khadeejah took, had a huge effect in calming and reassuring Allaah's Messenger (upon whom be peace) when the angel Jibreel (Gabriel - peace be upon him)- first came to him in the cave of Hiraa. So the Prophet returned to his wife Khadeejah with the first Revelation and with this his heart trembling and beating severely, and so he said to her: "Cover me! Cover me!" So they covered him until his fear was over, after which he told Khadeejah - everything that had happened, and said: 'I fear that something may happen to me." So she said to him: "Never! By Allah! Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good ties with relations, you help the poor and the destitute, you serve your guests generously and assist those who have been afflicted with calamities."
And do not forget about Aaishah and her great effect. Since even the great Sahaabah (Companions) used to take knowledge of Hadeeths (prophetic narrations) from her, and many of the Sahaabiyaat (female companions) learnt the various rulings pertaining to women's issues from her…And I have no doubt that my mother - may Allaah shower His mercy upon her - had a tremendous effect upon me, and has a great excellence over me, in encouraging me to study; and she assists me in it. May Allaah greatly increase her reward and reward her with the best of rewards for what she did for me.And there is no doubt also, the house in which there is kindness, gentleness, love and care, along with the correct Islamic tarbiyah (education and cultivation) will greatly affect the man. So he will become - if Allaah wills - successful in his affairs and in any matter - whether it be seeking knowledge, trading, earning a living, or other than this. So it is Allaah Alone that I ask to grant success and to guide us all to that which he loves and is pleased with. And may the prayers of peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his Family, his companions and his followers.
 The word 'Sunnah' means the 'legal way or ways, orders, acts of worship and statements of the Prophet , that have become models to be followed by the Muslims'.
 This hadeeth is hasan (good): Related by Maalik in al-Muwattaa (2/899) and al-Haakim (1/93), from Ibn 'Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him. It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.1871).
 Authentic: Related by al-Bukhari (no.59710) and Muslim (7/2), from Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him.
 Tafseer Qur'aanul-Adheem (3/4439) of Ibn Katheer
 Related by al-Bukhaari (1/22) and Muslim (1/139), from the lengthy narration of Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her).