Half the human race, if not more or less, consists of women. Their rights and duties, their status in society, their issues, these are some debates that never grow old. Islam has honoured women very highly. It appreciates them for the good they do in whatever situation they are. It does not expect the same results from each one of them in order for them to reach that certain standard of accomplishment. It does not put them through the stress of being ‘equal’ to men and doing a 9-5 job, or else be a failure. Islam is much more vast and accommodating than that.
This point is proven by the various examples of great women given in the authentic Islamic text. It does not want them to be painted with the same paint in order to be successful. It brings to light different women as role models who had different life situations and faced different problems.
Sahih Bukhari, 3411:
Narrated Abu Musa:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Many amongst men reached (the level of) perfection but none amongst the women reached this level except Asia, Pharaoh’s wife, and Mary, the daughter of `Imran. And no doubt, the superiority of `Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. a meat and bread dish) to other meals.”
In another hadith, we find:
The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ drew four lines on the ground, then he said, “Do you know what this is?” We said, “Allaah and His Messenger know best.” The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “The best of the women of Paradise are Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, Faatimah bint Muhammad, Aasiyah bint Mazaahim the wife of Pharaoh, and Maryam bint ‘Imraan.
[Reported in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad 2663 and it’s Saheeh]
All these women had completely diversified roles and things to cope with.
Asia RA: She had the most tyrannical husband ever, who tortured her like anything. Yet she kept her faith.
Maryam AS: She was slandered even though she was innocent. She had a child to raise without a husband.
Aisha RA: She was widowed in a very young age yet it didn’t stop her from spreading knowledge and educating thousands of people.
Khadija RA: She spent all her wealth and energies in supporting and protecting the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his message of truth when no one else was there for him.
Fatima RA: She served her family, her husband and kids and took care of the house so expertly without any sort of help.
All these women had very different lives and their situations pretty much sum up what women today complain about; a bad husband, no support system, being worked to death etc. Yet they all had one thing in common: a very strong and unwavering faith. It kept them going even when they were tested so hard. And eventually it led to their ultimate success.
May Allah make us beneficial in the circumstances that we’re in and make our faith unwavering and lasting as well. Ameen.