Atrocities on women, be they in the form of domestic violence, discrimination, criminal assaults, gender-based harassment and other forms of physical and psychological harm, have been strictly forbidden by the Qur’an, which confronted an appalling situation at the time of its revelation. Rescuing the gentle gender from inflicted chattel-hood, it conferred on it rights revolutionary in scope and consequence, laying the groundwork for justice for half of humankind, and realizing its potential to contribute to civilization.
But despite vivid reminders and admonishments, Muslim societies still retain vestiges of mindsets and approaches severely frowned upon by Scripture, which appear even in the interpretations of jurisprudential texts. Some of the most cruel and reprehensible practices adopted in the contemporary world by forces claiming to be speaking and acting for the faith, and the fact that they go uncontested in legalistic terms, indicate, on the one hand, a tacit approval, and on the other, an unwillingness and inability to challenge so-called pillars of authority.
By forbidding it, the Holy Qur’an had ended the cruel practice of burying new-born girls alive, and went further to rebuke parents dismayed at the birth of a female child: “When news is brought to one of them of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens and he is filled with inward grief!” Islam not only prohibits female infanticide but also rebukes the thought of rejoicing on the news of birth of a male child and not rejoicing on the news of the birth of a female child.
And again: “With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance) the choice they
Parents are duty-bound to support and show kindness and justice to their daughters. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Whosoever has a daughter and does not bury her alive, does not insult her, and does not favour his son over her, Allah will enter him into Paradise. (Ahmad)
Whosoever supports two daughters until they mature, he and I will come on the Day of Judgment as this (and he pointed with his two fingers held together). (Ahmad)