As we have mentioned earlier, there might be some that don’t agree with some principles in Islam (especially some women, when it comes to defining who bears responsibility in a family), but to say that women don’t have their place in Islam… just wait one second!
First of all, let’s just state how important women are in Islam (since Muhammad) historically speaking:
The first person to believe in the prophet Muhammad as a messenger was a woman (his wife Khadija).
The first martyr in Islam was a woman (Somaya, the wife of Yaser).
The Prophet Muhammad had no male surviving offspring, all women.
His lineage (even if he cannot help them in any way) is through his daughter, a woman (Fatima).
Multiple women have taught and transmitted religious teachings to men for centuries (from Aïsha, the wife of the prophet to Hassan Al-Basri’s sister).
The oldest continually functioning university (Al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco) was founded by a woman (Fatima Al-Fihriya).
If we want an example of how important one single Muslim woman can be in the eyes of a Muslim, we could see the story of Al-Mu’tasim. Everyone knows the legend (myth) of Helen of Troy, how she is the face that sailed 1000 ships; all that because of a love triangle. Well, for Muslims, we don’t need to make up that drama. In 837, the armies of Emperor Theophilos, 100 000 strong, attacked, and destroyed the Muslim cities of Zibatrah and Malatya. Fleeing refugees made their way to Samarra where they spoke of the horror of the attack. On that day, a Muslim woman who was taken captive cried out: O Mu’tasim!!! After word reached him of her story; this was the answer he gave to Theophilos: “Ya Kalb Ar-Rum! (Oh you Roman dog!) I have an army of men that stretch from where I stand (Baghdad) to where you stand (Constantinople), who love to fight and die as much as your men love to live.”
After the Muslim armies laid siege and entered as victors (in Amorium), Al-Mu’tasim freed the Muslim prisoners including the woman in question.
This is how women are perceived and treated in Islam, historically, and today.
Now, don’t think that because there are not as many “notable” women as men throughout history that women did not have anything to do with it. You know the saying that behind each great man, there is a great woman. Well, in our case, it is an even greater woman. How many mothers, wives, sisters, daughters… counseled, consoled, and consolidated their men into being men for the ages?