Surat al-Nisa’ 4:1
“O people! reverence God (show piety towards God) Who created you from one nafs (soul) and created from her (the nafs) her mate and spread from them many men and women; and reverence God, through Whom you demand your mutual rights, and the wombs (that bore you), (for) God watches you.” (The Equality Principle Verse)
This Qur’anic ayah (verse) indicates a basic principle, and this principle of original equality. The verse states clearly that both the male and the female were created from the same nafs. Consequently, there is no hierarchy, even a temporal one, in gender creation. Men and women are responsible towards God for their own mortal choices.
The verse articulates a basic general principle about proper gender relations; namely, that they are relations between mates created from the same nafs, which are intended to provide these mates with tranquility, and are to be characterized by affection and mercy.
Surat al-Hujurat 49:13
“O People! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may know each other. Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of God is (the one who is) the most righteous (atqakum) among you…..” (The Diversity Principle Verse)
This is the most important statement in the Holy Qur’an about gender relationships that makes very clear the original equality of all humans regardless of gender, race or class. It explains the sameness of origin of all humans, pointing to the pious path of understanding difference.
This verse reveals difference in the world as an occasion for friendly communication, not conflict and domination. It then accepts a hierarchy in terms of closeness to God, making the standard one of righteousness, something any one of us can strive for and achieve. It explains that we were created from two different genders and made into a multitude of different tribes and nations, so that we may enjoy each other’s differences and company.
Surat al-An’am 6:165
“It is He Who has made you (His) agents, inheritors of the earth: He has raised you in ranks, some above others: that He may try you in the gifts He has given you.” (Qur’an 6: 165)
The Holy Qur’an sets a humble way for humans to deal with their differences and problems based on the recognition that we are all God’s creatures.
Surat al-Tawbah 9:71
“Male believers and female believers, some of them are the wali’s (moral guides, supporters, protectors, guardians, advisors) of others…”
This verse is quite clear as to the gender-egalitarian view of the Holy Qur’an. Men and women have similar religious duties and obligations.
Surat al-Baqarah 2:187
“They (your wives) are your garment, and you (men) are theirs…”
The marriage relationship is defined in the Holy Qur’an as one between equal partners who are to each other as protective garment. This is a reference to the fact that spouses are each other’s sanctuary insofar as each covers the other’s shortcomings and preserves his or her privacy; hence the tranquility and harmony.
Surat Al-Rum 30:21
“And among His signs is this, that he created for you mates from among yourselves, so that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who ponder.” (The Harmony Principle Verse)
This verse articulates a basic general principle about proper gender relations. They are relations between mates created from the same nafs (soul) that are intended to provide these mates with tranquility and are to be characterized by affection and mercy.
(reported words of Prophet Muhammad [Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him])
Khutbat al-Waadaa’ (Farewell Speech) by Prophet Muhammad [Peace and Blessing Be Upon Him], in which he stated:
“O People, all believers are siblings. Your God is one and your father is one. You are all from Adam and Adam is from dust. The most favored amongst you in the sight of God is the one who is most pious; no Arab is favored over a non-Arab except on the basis of piety.”
Hadith: “The best believers in faith are the ones who have the best manners (ethics, morals), and the best among you are those who are best to their wives in manners.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
The Prophet repeatedly advised Muslim men to be gentle and kind to their wives.
Hadith: “Woman and man are two halves that complete each other”