Originally Posted by LaSorcia
LaSorcia, as men and women have different and complementary roles, so they can get various reward/benefit in different ways too. Some of those, the other gender might not be able to do, but they'll have other things that they can do to get reward that the other gender might not be able to do. Nobody is left out, when it comes to the love, mercy, and pleasure of God, and the chance to get closer to Him.
Also, you'll be familiar with the term mankind, referring to humanity as a whole. Generally, people don't say, what about womankind, as they know it refers to both. In many cases of Arabic, the term "man" or "he", is used to refer to an individual of either gender.
In the Qur'an we have some chapters named after prophets. Those chapters are, Jonah, Joseph, (Hud - not mentioned in the Bible I think), Abraham, Noah, and Muhammad (peace on them all). Apart from that, we have a chapter, called Mary. An entire chapter of the Qur'an, named after the esteemed and noble mother of Jesus (peace be on them both), one of the best women to ever set foot on the face of this earth. Even apart from that, we have a chapter called Women. An entire chapter, called women. That in itself, even if nothing else was said, should say something about the position of women in Islam. I am not sure if any other religious book can say that.
According to the Holy Qur'an, men and women have the same human spiritual nature:
O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women... (Quran, 4:1)
God has invested both genders with inherent dignity and has made men and women, collectively, the trustees of God on earth.
The Qur'an does not blame woman for the “fall of man,” nor does it view pregnancy and childbirth as punishments for “eating from the forbidden tree.” On the contrary, the Qur'an depicts Adam and Eve (peace be on them both) as equally responsible for eating from the tree, never singling out Eve for blame. Both repented, and both were forgiven (see the Qur'an 2:36-37 and 7:19-27). The Qur'an also esteems pregnancy and childbirth as sufficient reasons for the love and respect due to mothers from their children (Qur'an 31:14 and 46:15).
Men and women have the same religious and moral duties and responsibilities. Each human being shall face the consequences of his or her deeds:
And their Lord responded to them (saying): Never will I allow to be lost the work of (any) worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another... (Qur'an, 3:195),
And whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, while being a believer - those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged, [even as much as] the speck on a date seed. (4:124)
On the Day you see the believing men and believing women, their light proceeding before them and on their right, [it will be said], "Your good tidings today are [of] gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein you will abide eternally." That is what is the great attainment. (57:12)
See 33:35 in particular, which was revealed by God in response to a question to the Prophet (peace, blessings and salutations of God be upon him) from a Muslim lady asking whether women get similar reward to men. It could have been much shorter if men and women were addressed collectively as believers, but look, Allah in every instance of deeds makes a point of mentioning both men and women:
Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so - for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.
The Qur'an is quite clear about the issue of the claimed superiority or inferiority of any human, male or female. The sole basis for superiority of any person over another is piety and righteousness - not gender, colour, or nationality:
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female, and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. (Qur'an 49:13)