Asmaa bintu Yazeed Al-Ansaariyyah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), a Sahaabiyyah from the Banu ‘Abdil Ash-hal clan, once approached Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) while he was seated among the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and addressed him in the following words:
“May my father and mother be sacrificed for you! I have come to you as a representative of all women. May my life be sacrificed for you! Every single woman, in the east and west, whether she has heard that I will come to you or not, will have exactly the same question as myself. Verily Allah Ta‘ala has sent you with the truth to men and women. We brought imaan in you and in Allah Ta‘ala who deputed you.
We, the women, live with restrictions and limitations. We don’t leave the confines of our homes. We allow you to fulfill your needs with us, and we bear your children. You, the men, have been favoured by your being able to attend the Jumu‘ah Salaah and other salaahs in congregation. You are able to visit the sick and be present at funerals. You perform hajj after hajj and even more virtuous than that is your fighting in the path of Allah Ta‘ala. When any of you (men) leave your home to perform hajj or ‘umrah or to guard the borders of the Islamic territories, it is none other than us women who protect your wealth for you. We sew your clothes for you. We raise and care for your children. Don’t we have a share in your reward O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)?”
On hearing the complaint of this woman, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) turned his face towards the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and asked, “Have you ever heard a woman ask a question regarding her Deen more excellent than the question of this woman?” The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) replied, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! We never imagined that a woman could be inspired to ask a question of this nature!”
Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) turned back to her and said, “Return, O woman, and inform all the women you represent that for you to display excellent conduct with your husband, strive to keep him happy and try your utmost to comply with his ways will equal all the deeds you mentioned.”
Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was so delighted to hear this, that as she walked away she continued to exclaim “Allahu Akbar!” and “Laa ilaaha illallah!”.
(Shu‘abul Imaan #8369)
1. Having a different role to a man does not make a woman backward or oppressed in any way. She has an equal chance to strive for the Aakhirah by fulfilling the role Allah Ta‘ala has chalked out for her. It is actually easier for a woman to earn Jannah as all her efforts are made from the comfort of her home.
2. Fridges are designed to fulfill one purpose and stoves are designed for another. A good fridge is one that keeps its contents chilled and a good stove is one that generates sufficient heat to cook. If a stove is cold or a fridge becomes hot, they will both be considered “out of order”.
Similarly, men and women are different in the purposes for which they were designed. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) therefore taught us that a woman who fulfills her purpose – which largely revolves around her remaining in the home – will actually receive the same reward as that man who leaves his home to fulfill his purpose – which largely involves leaving the home. A woman wishing to behave like a man by adopting the acts of worship specific to him is like a stove behaving like a fridge.