The answers on are based on the research of Ikram Hawramani in the Quran, hadith, scholarly works and respected fatwa sources. You can view Ikram Hawramani's credentials on the about page. Please note that we do not issue fatwas, we only compile the opinions of respected scholars (even when a fatwa is not explicitly cited) to make their opinions accessible to English-speaking Muslims. If an answer does not cite fatwas, please feel free to leave a comment asking for a fatwa citation and we will update the answer as soon as possible to include fatwas.

IslamQA: Does Islam restrict and oppress women?

I have questions to ask regarding verses in Quran. I'm confused if Islam actually promotes equality between genders like how it is said. There are verses about right-hand possession, hitting wife if she doesn't listen, being extremely strict about female's hijab, women not being able to go outside, being under husband's control, if she doesn't accept to have intercourse with her husband she will be cursed by the Angels and so on. I really don't understand why women are placed this way in Islam.

Regarding slavery/right-hand posession, please see: Understanding Islam’s Sophisticated Approach to Slavery

As for wife-beating, please see: A new approach to the Quran’s “Wife-Beating Verse” (al-Nisa 4:34)

Women’s hijab is meant to serve a social function. It is not about restricting women. For details please see chapter 6 of my book An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Understanding Islam and Muslims (you can download it for free here).

Women not being able to go outside is something practiced by some Muslim cultures and not others. It is not something that Islam forces upon us.

As for “being under a husband’s control”, please again see the essay on the “wife-beating” verse. A woman is not under a husband’s control, both of them are under God and the husband’s freedom to act however he likes toward his wife is greatly restricted by Islamic law.

As for “if she doesn’t accept to have intercourse with her husband she will be cursed by the Angels”, that hadith comes from a single Companion (Abu Hurayra). Hadiths that come from a single Companion are known as āḥād (“singular”) hadiths and are inherently doubtful even if they are technically authentic. According to scholars like the great Egyptian scholar Muhammad al-Ghazali (d. 1996 CE), āḥād hadith does not establish certainty; it is only a hint or suggestion by itself unless there are other narrations that support it. We have the example of Umar b. al-Khattab who when he heard a hadith narration that sounded strange or unreasonable he would verify it by asking other Companions. We should follow the same method, always requiring multiple Companions to establish important points. When a single Companion says that such a woman is cursed, this is only a weak hint or suggestion; it does not establish a fact.

For more articles on women in Islam, please see the page Women in Islam.


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