Muslim Women and Leadership
Q: Can Women be Leaders according to the Qur’an?
A: According to the Qur’an, women can be leaders and administrators and judges. Allah creates His servants to be equal. Women and men are equal in Islam. Superiority lies not in whether one is a man or a woman, but in one’s piety. Indeed, women are entitled to be perfect rulers because they are created to be more sensitive in certain regards, as entities whose compassionate aspects are more pronounced and who live by a profound love and affection, and also in terms of the establishment of justice.
But under the bigot mindset, women are despised and treated with contempt. The perverse idea that women cannot be trusted and that their every word needs to be treated with suspicion predominates in bigotry. The Qur’an totally eliminates this perverse way of thinking. In the Qur’an women are described as valuable servants to be respected, whose words are to be trusted and who need to be tended carefully, like plants. Allah absolves women from all kinds of hard work, provides ways of easing their burden on all subjects. Women are protected and watched over in all spheres. Those who claim that the Qur’an addresses men and that this makes men superior fail to interpret the Qur’an properly. The Qur’an imposes more responsibilities on men because of the value attached to women. This is a blessing for women. Allah has issued several special commandments so that women can be at ease and live pleasant lives. This shows the value placed on women in the Sight of Allah, not the superiority of men.
The Queen of Sheba whom the Prophet Solomon (Pbuh) invited to his palace and preached to, occupies an important place in the Qur’an. The Queen of Sheba ruleD in her community. She is both a commander and a judge and a leader. The verses concerning the Queen of Sheba are some of the finest evidence in the Qur’an about women being capable of being leaders. These verses show how all the officials and troops in the state obeyed and were commanded by a woman.