Normative Islamic teachings view women and men as equal on the grounds that all human beings are equal before God because they share the same God-given nature or fitra, dignity, and innate humanity. Both are servants of God, worthy of respect, endowed with a soul and intellect. The Prophet Muhammad taught his followers to treat their sons and daughters the same, and, if anything, to show extra kindness and love to daughters. Qur’anic teachings emphasize that men and women share similar religious obligations such as prayer, fasting, and giving charity, and are equally accountable before and deserving of recompense from God. They are both called upon to seek knowledge, develop their potential, and work together to create a just and righteous society. On an individual level, they enjoy the same rights, including the right to choose their spouse and to own and keep their property and income. While through much of history and still today Muslim women have been viewed and treated as lesser beings in various cultures and societies, this is due to patriarchal interpretations and cultural influences rather than specific scriptural teachings.
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