Women as kinfolk and neighbors

The same general rights are legislated in Islamic jurisprudence for women as are required for men. A concern for the general public welfare and mutual support of one another is a trademark of the Islamic social system. The Prophet (s) said: “The similitude of the believers in their mutual care, love and kindness to one another is like one human body. If one organ aches, this prompts the entire body to be feverish and remain awake.” [Muslim]

And he (s) said:“The believers, one to another, are like a firm structure, supporting one another.” He then intertwined his fingers. [Bukhari & Muslim] [ Ibn Hibbane (10/7), hadith n° 4207.]

A woman as an aunt, niece, cousin, or any type of relative, regardless of the distance, is included in the kinfolk to whom Allah commanded the believers to be good, kind and supportive towards. Allah, the Exalted, states in the Qur’an: “Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship?” [47:22]

The Prophet (s) said: “A person who severs his kinship ties, will never enter Paradise.” [Muslim]

And he (s) said: “Charity to a poor person is one charity, and to a poor relative two charities: a charity as well as the joining of ties of a relative.” [Tirmidhi & Ibn Maajah and verified]

If a woman is a neighbor and she is a Muslim, she is entitled to two rights: the right of Islam, and the right of a neighbor. Allah, the Exalted, states in the Qur’an: “Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinfolk, orphans, the poor who beg, the neighbor who is related to you, the neighbor who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer you meet, and those slaves whom your right hand possesses. Verily, Allah does not like anyone who is proud and boastful.” [4:36]

Islam obligates a Muslim to be good to all of his or her neighbors. The Messenger of Allah (s) said: “Jibreel (Archangel Gabriel) continued to encourage me to take care of the neighbor so much so that I thought the neighbor was going to be made a legal heir.” [Bukhari]

He (s) also said: “By Allah he is not a believer, by Allah he is not a believer, by Allah he is not a believer!” They asked: “Who, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “The one from whose harm the neighbor is not safe.” [Bukhari]

It is also reported by Asfahani in Hilyatul-Awliya that Talhah said: “Umar Ibn al-Khattab went out of his home one night. I decided to follow him to see what he was doing during the night. I saw him entering a certain house and after a while I saw him come out and enter another house. In the morning I went to the first house and entered it to find out who lives there. To my surprise I found an old, blind and disabled woman. I asked her: ‘What did the man, who came in your home last night, want from you?’ She said: ‘This man has been taking care of me for some time now, serving my needs and helping me and supporting me.’”

The Messenger of Allah (s) said: “The person caring for the widows and the poor is like the one who is on the path of Allah”, and as if he said, “like one who stands in prayer without sitting down and like the one who fasts without breaking the fast.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

These are some distinguishing aspects of honoring, respecting, caring for, and supporting women according to Islamic teachings that summarize the rights of women. We believe that women never witnessed this extent of respect and honor throughout the history of mankind on earth. Some traditions show that the Islamic law never tolerated crimes or abuses against a woman during any stage of her life.