Status of Muslim-Islam Women in India

Status of Muslim-Islam Women in India

Last updated: November 19, 2019


  • Education is the single most important tool for social and economic transformation.
  • Especially women must have equal roles to play for the progress of society.
  • Education is the most important thing for any nation.
  • Right to Education Act (RTE) gives fair and equal opportunities to every Indian child to get free and compulsory primary education.
  • Modern studies suggest that female education is more important than maleducation for social and economic development.
  • According to Nelson Mandela,
    • “Education is the greatest engine of personal development.
    • It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor.
    • The son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that children of a farm worker can become the president of a great nation.
  • Muslims, the largest minority community in India, consisting of almost 14.20 percent of the population, are seriously lagging in terms of most of the human development indicators.
  • The Muslim girl and women lag behind their male counterparts and women of all the other communities.
  • India’s Muslim population is the world’s third-largest and the world’s largest Muslim minority population encompassing 13.4% of the world population.
  • Most of the Muslims in India belong to Indian Ethnic Groups, primarily from Persia and the middle east.
  • There is a unique diversity of Muslims in India:
    • Sufi Islam
    • Ahmadiyya Islam
    • Dawoodi Bohra
    • Quranists

Some Atrocities faced by Muslim Women:

      • Clothing
      • Degree of Equality
      • Marriage and Divorce
      • Women in religious life
      • Criminal cases


  • Hijab (A scarf covering the hair) is the Quranic requirement that Muslims, both male and female, dress and behave modestly.
  • Depending upon local views regarding female modesty, they may or may not cover the face or the eyes of the whole body.
  • These variations include:
    • Hijab
    • Shayla
    • Chador
    • Khimar
    • Burkha
    • Al-Almira
    • Niqab

Degree of Equality:

  • Equality of the sexes is an institute in the Quran for Muslim society to achieve ADL (Justice) and QIST (Fair Play).
  • Women are considered unfit for any activities because of their physiology and child-bearing ability.
  • The Quran explicitly states that men and women are equal in the sight of Allah and said: “Men and Women are created from a single soup and are moral equals”.
  • No husband, or any man for that, the matter is a women’s master.

Marriage and Divorce:

  • Marriage customs vary in Muslim dominated countries.
  • The Quran considers the love between men and women to be a sign of God.
  • In Islam, there are separate rules for divorce for men and women under the terms of Islamic Law (sharia).
  • When a man has initiated a divorce, the procedure is called “Talaq”.
  • When a woman has initiated a divorce it is called “Khula”.

Birth Control:

  • Islam is natalist and promotes the birth of as many children as a Muslim couple can produce.
  • It is permissible according to Islamic doctrine to limit (Tahdid an-Nasl) or at least control (AZL) reproduction without suffering the fate of a penalty for the gesture.
  • Whereas limiting the number of children is permissible when a family lacks resources.
  • But, Abortion is Banned in all the countries where Islam is the state religion.

Women in Religious life:

  • In Islam, there is no difference between men and women’s relationship to God.
  • They receive identical rewards and punishments for their conduct.
  • According to Mohammed: “Women are allowed to go to mosque”.
  • However, as Islam spread, it became unusual for women to worship in mosques because of fears of unchastity caused by an interaction between sexes: this condition persisted until the late 1960s.

Criminal Cases:

  • According to the Sunnah: “A woman should not be punished for having been coerced into having sex”.
  • If either the victim or a witness kills the perpetrator of rape during the crime, in order to prevent further the violence of the act. The killing is permissible and is exempt from the laws of murder and killing.
  • According to a Hadith: ”The punishment for committing rape is death, there is no blame attached to the victim.

Educational Situation:

  • The evolution of social and economic status are usually natural outcomes of a good education.
  • For Muslim women, not being able to enter the schooling system seems to be the first obstacle.
  • Those that do manage entry do not seem to be able to continue schooling, let alone go on to higher education.
  • For economically disadvantaged groups, such as Muslims, education would be the most promising means of upward mobility.
  • Different facets of backwardness are also in the sphere of common knowledge now.
  • There is consensus on remedial measures also..
  • There is also a common belief that Muslim parents feel that education is not important for girls and that it may instill a wrong set of values.
  • This leads to a higher drop-out rate among Muslim girls.
  • The ratios of Muslim and non-Muslim in the categories are 1:7 and 1:9.

Importance of women education in India:

  • Women education refers to every form of education that aims at improving the knowledge, and skills of women and girls.
  • It includes formal education at schools and colleges, vocational and technical education, professional education, health education, etc.
  • Women’s education encompasses both literary and non-literary education.
  • Educated women are capable of bringing socio-economic changes.
  • The constitutions‟ of almost all the democratic countries, including India, guarantees equal rights to both men and women.
  • Parents especially in lower strata of society economically send their male child to school but not girl child due to poverty and orthodox thinking.
  • This is one problem where parents do not send their girls to schools.
  • Secondly, it is also common to see that the parents of urban areas often send their male children to better and quality schools.
  • Education liberates women from ignorance, increases self-esteem and helps them take control over their lives and guide the progress of their families.
  • Women are the backbone of a society.
  • They are equally important as men are.
  • The role of women cannot be denied in any society or culture.
  • Educated women can be a better human being, successful mother and responsible citizen.
  • Educating women will unquestionably increase the living standard both at and outside the home.
  • Educated women will give education to their kids and wish them to live a better life.
  • Napoleon once said, “Give me educated mothers I will give you an educated nation.”

The present educational status of Muslim women in India:

  • Women‟s education in India is one of the major preoccupations of the government as well as civil society.
  • There is a famous saying that to educate a girl child means to educate a family.
  • In the Indian society which is patriarchal, girls have fewer privileges and lower status than boys.
  • Many girls cannot attend school due to conservative cultural attitudes.
  • According to Islam, “A mother’s lap is the first school for a child.”
  • There is no priority for men over women in relation to the right to education.
  • Muslim girls and women lag behind their male counterparts and women of all other communities.
  • Among Muslims, 17.6 percent is the dropout rate, higher than the national average of 13.2 percent.
  • The share of Muslims in all courses is low, particularly at the postgraduate level and marginal in the science stream.
  • As shown in the table no1, GER in higher education and graduate programs widely differs across religious communities.
  • Muslims have the lowest GER of 7.70 in higher education as against Christians who enjoy the highest enrolment ratio of 19.85.
  • Muslims are far behind the national GER of 12.59 in higher education.
  • They are the only community who lag behind the national GER.
  • Attainment of Muslim females improved in higher education.
  • Attainment in urban areas from 3.4 percent to 5.3 percent but only marginally from 0.4 percent to 0.8 percent in rural areas.

Islamic perspective on women education:

  • Religion is a means for the people to express collective beliefs concerning social commitment and social solidarity and provides a way for the people to affirm common values, beliefs, and ideas and hence serves as a central value system.
  • Islam is an Abrahamic religion based on prophecy, prophethood, and the revealed text.
  • It began in sixth-century Arabia and spread rapidly to regions outside the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Islam is the second-largest religion, with an estimated 1.2 billion adherents, constituting about 20 percent of the world population in 1998.
  • Approximately 900 million Muslims live in forty-five Muslim-majority countries.
  • After seeing the lower percentage of Muslim women education it becomes imperative to know what Islam says about women’s education in light of the Holy Quran and Hadith (prophetic tradition).
  • There are numerous verses (Aayat) and Sahih Hadith which insist on education equally to men and women.
  • The study of these verses clearly shows, that the prophetic responsibilities of Prophet Mohammad (blessings and peace be upon him) through.
  • His Prophet-hood included a recital of these verses, a purgation of the self-education of the book and wisdom and communication of knowledge.


  • In order to overcome the constraints, faced by Muslim women to achieve empowerment, a multidimensional approach and efforts at both governmental and NGO levels are necessary.
  • The following recommendations are important:

    • The recommendations of the Sachar Committee Report for the socio-economic uplift of Muslims should be implemented rigorously.
    • 15 Point Program meant for uplift of minorities, initiated by the Central Government, should be implemented rigorously.
    • The central government should ensure that the fundamental rights guaranteed to every Indian citizen are enjoyed by Muslims in true letter and spirit.
    • National Human Rights Commission, Minority Commission, and the National Commission of Women should play an effective role in dealing with matters of violation of rights of minorities.
    • Effective steps at all levels should be taken to get rid of the curse of illiteracy which is the root cause of socio-economic backwardness among Muslim women at large.
    • The educated Muslim women should come forward and establish NGOs in order to guide.
    • And create awareness among the deprived Muslim women about the opportunities available.
    • They should take initiative in forming „self-help groups‟ by Muslim women and encourage self-employment and savings.
    • Employment outside the home may be encouraged by providing the facilities of crèches wherever possible.
    • Such NGOs should focus on the awareness of the legal rights of Muslim women including property right

Status of Muslim-Islam Women in India

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Status of Muslim-Islam Women in India Introduction Atrocities faced by women Clothing Degree of Equality Marriage and Divorce Women in religious life Criminal cases Research design Purpose of the study Methodology Importance of Muslim women in India Present conditions of Muslims women in India Like attainment Islamic perspective on women education Conclusion Status of Muslim-Islam Women in India