The Mutual Conjugal Rights
Just as men have religious rights in regards to women, so do women have legal and religious rights in regards to men. If the management and finance of the family is one of the mans duties, providing for the peace and tranquility of the family is the responsibility of the woman. If Islam orders man to be merciful and forgiving towards his wife, it also encourages women to do the same. A verse from the Qur'an reveals that;
"And women shall have rights similar to the rights against in them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And God is Exalted in Power, Wise."
In this verse, after mentioning the problem of divorce and the rights of the couple in this regard says that as men have the right to divorce, women, too, have this right, but they must act in an acceptable manner. In view of the fact that Islamic law is based on human instinct, inevitably, if people act according to their innate demands, they will reach ma'ruf an act acceptable in the eyes of society. This is the realization of Islamic law and one of the accepted principles of the society that individuals should enjoy equal rights in compliance with the law. Each should have authority according to his responsibilities. This equality would not materialize unless the people's dignity was protected by law. In Islam, laws concerning women are based on this principle. They possess rights in relation to their position and responsibility. These rights are protected within the family and the society.
It is only right that a woman should furnish herself with the good qualities of piousness and dignity and well-mannered behaviour toward her husband. This piousness should affect her behaviour when her husband is present and would help to protect his rights when he is absent.
If men are expected to perform jihad and be killed in the battlefields, this momentous task is lifted from women's shoulders. Women, too, with planning family matters and efforts in child training, can gain such values and positions that are equal to mujahids (fighters in the way of Allah).
Islam considers a well-mannered Woman, who acts on her religious responsibilities, equal to a mujahid and her act is considered equal to jihad. This means that martyrdom in the battlefields, with all of its worth, has no superiority over housekeeping, child training and the act of marriage. A judge who issues a verdict or a governor who governs people has no superiority over a pious housewife.
Islam says that women are human creatures just like men. The nature and makeup of every human being, be it male or female, plays a part in society and none has superiority over the other, unless it is by the degree of piousness which is the extent of one's fear of God's punishment, and worship and submission before Him. Also, it is the care with which major and minor religious matters are acted upon. Therefore, the Holy Qur'an says:
"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured ofyou in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)." (49:13)
Equality of Women and Men in Divine Rewards and Punishments
As mentioned earlier, man and women each possess a value and a responsibility. Neither has any superiority over the other, except for the degree of righteousness. Now here, by way of some verses from the Holy Qur'an, we shall prove another important fact. The real dimensions of equality between men and women is in direct relation to the meting out of reward and punishment.
Women and men both according to their actions deserve praise or reprimand' and what is important before the Creator is good deeds and sincerity of intention in acting on matters, Now whether the action was done by a man or a woman makes no difference. God observes even the smallest good and evil deeds and rewards or punishes accordingly.
The Quran has made it clear that no act will be forgotten by God and the value of every person is based on his own actions. The act of every person is his own, no one else will be accountable in his stead. On this basis a woman who Possesses a high degree of faith and knowledge and high moral values is superior to men who have not reached such stages of development. Greatness and superiority are not relevant to sex, race, position, wealth or power, but only to piousness, virtue and knowledge.
"Who ever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, veriy to him will We give a new life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions." (16:97)
We See that a pure and enriched life is offered as reward to the pious. Of course, the condition for a competent action to be accepted is faith in the fact that it complies with the principles of religion and abides with religious law. Another verse emphasizing this is,
"He that works evil will not be requited but by the like thereof; and he that works a righteous deed-whether man or woman, and is a believer such will enter the garden of (bliss) , therein will they have abundance without measure" (40:40)
Another verse tells us,
''If any do deeds of righteousness, be they male or female, and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them." (3:124)