These days there’s much talk about the role of women in society, especially regarding her ’rights’. Equal pay, fair and just treatment of women are self-evident. But there’s more to take into account: the spiritual capabilities and dispositions of women on their path towards the knowledge of Allah (swt).
Al-Tabarânî reports that a woman, who came to be regarded a gifted orator among the Arabs, called Asmâ' bint Yazîd al-Ansâriyah, had been chosen by a group of Arab women as their representative with the Prophet may Allah's peace and blessings be with him - in order to ask him for advice.
She found him among his companions, so she turned to him with the following words:
"By my father and my mother, oh Messenger of Allah ! I was brought to you by these women. Allah has sent you to all men and women and we (for our part) grew in our faith in you and your god.
We - the women - are nevertheless always confined to our houses, where we sit carrying your children, whereas you - the men - are favoured compared to us. You are able to meet each other and reunite [where the Prophet is present], you can help each other at funerals, perform the pilgrimage and even better: take part in the struggle for the sake of Allah (al-jihâd fî sabîl Allâh).
In this way, if someone of you leaves us for the pilgrimage, for the small visit (`umrah ) or for fighting, it is up to us to mend your clothes and bring up your children for you. Are we not then allowed to have part in the reward (ajr) and all the good?"
When the Prophet may Allah's peace and blessings be with him - had listened to her speech he turned (with the whole body) to his companions and said: "Have you heard the question concerning the religion of a woman who expressed it so well?"
The companions answered: "Oh Allah's Messenger! We have never thought a woman would be able to reach such a level!"
Then the Prophet may Allah's peace and blessings be with him - turned to her and said:
"Understand well, oh woman and inform your companions, that to occupy yourselves with the affairs of your husbands (husn al-taba`ul) is equivalent of all this for the woman" [meaning that to perform all the duties and responsibilities of a wife is equivalent of all that men can do].
The woman left and while praising Allah (swt) returned to her friends to tell them everything that the Prophet may Allah's peace and blessings be with him - had told her, and they were all very satisfied with it.