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Human Status of Woman in the Qur’an (Part 3)
The Qur’an on the other hand has made it explicitly clear in a large number of verses that reward in the life after death and nearness to God to not depend upon sex but upon faith and deeds whether they be of a woman or a man.
Another of the contemptuous views that existed in the past and which have left their undesirable effects in world literature is that woman is the origin of sin and that her existence is the source of sin and temptation. Woman is a small devil.
They say in every sin or crime committed by man woman had her hand. According to them man in himself is innocent of any sin: it is woman who drags him towards sin. They say Satan cannot find his way to man’s being directly:
It is only through woman that he can deceive man. Satan tempts woman and woman tempts man. They say the first Adam who was deceived by Satan and turned out of the Paradise of happiness was deceived through woman. Satan tempted Eve and Eve tempted Adam.

The Qur’an relates the story of the Paradise of Adam but never says that Satan or a snake tempted Eve and she tempted Adam. Neither does the Quran describe Eve as the main person responsible nor does it exonerate her from the sin.
The Qur’an says: O Adam inherent thou and thy wife the Garden and eat of where you will (7:19). Wherever the Qur’an describes the matter of Satan’s tempting it uses the pronouns in the form of the dual (i.e. referring to two persons). It says:

Satan tempted both of them (7:20), so he led them both on by delusion (7:22),And he swore to both of them "Truly I am for you both a sincere adviser.” (7:21)

 In this way the Qur’an strongly refutes the misconception which was prevalent at that time and which is still found in certain quarters and among certain people of this world and exonerates the female sex from the accusation that woman is the source of temptation and sin and is half a devil.

Another contemptuous view which exists concerning woman is in the field of her spiritual ability. They say: "A woman cannot go to Heaven. A woman cannot traverse the spiritual and divine stages of enlightenment. A woman cannot attain proximity to God as can a man.” 

The wives of Adam and Ibrahim (Abraham) and the mothers of Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) are mentioned with great esteem. Although the Qur’an refers to the wives of Nuh (Noah) and Lut (Lot) as being unworthy of their husbands it does not ignore the wife of Fir’awn (Pharaoh) as a woman of distinction under the control of a detestable man. It can be said that the Qur’an purposely seeks to keep a balance in its histories and the leading role in them is not confirmed to men.

About the mother of Musa the Qur’an says: So we revealed to Moses’ mother "Suckle him then when thou fearest for him cast him into the water and do not fear neither sorrow for We shall return him to thee.” (28:7)

About Maryam (Mary) the mother of Isa the Qur’an says that she had attained such an elevated spiritual degree that the angels used to visit her in her prayer-niche and converse with her. Sustenance was supplied to her from an invisible source. She had attained so high a position of Divine favor that it completely astounded the prophet of that time and exceeded his own degree. Zakariyya (the prophet) was dumb-founded when he looked upon her.

In the history of Islam itself there are many pious and distinguished women. There can be few men who are able to reach the high status of Khadijah [1] and no men can except the Holy Prophet himself and ‘Ali could attain the status of Hazrat Zahra. [2] Hazrat Zahra excelled her sons the Imams and all the prophets as well excepting the Seal of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

[1] Khadijah was the Holy Prophet’s first and most dearly beloved wife. She was the first person to believe in his prophet hood and she proved a firm support for him in the first difficult years of his mission.

[2] Hazrat Zahra’ was the Holy Prophet’s daughter the wife of ‘Ali and the mother of the second and third Imams Hassan and Hussein. She is included by the Shia together with the Holy Prophet and the twelve Imams among the fourteen immaculate ones free from sin.