Can Muslim women pursue careers?
Islam was the first and only religion that truly recognized the contributions that women are able to make to society and hence, sought to create a social system that puts the status of women on equal footing with that of men. Both Muslim men and women are enjoined to contribute to the betterment of society and to that effect, Islam does not limit a Muslim woman’s pursuit of leadership roles/duties in any manner.
While a Muslim woman is not obliged to shoulder the financial responsibility of her household, she has the right to to work and attain a professional career if she needs or desires to. Islam encourages Muslim women to seek higher education and other profitable activities, that serve as improvement for her and subsequently for her offspring. However, it must be kept in mind that Islam reminds a woman that her first and foremost responsibility is to her family because she has been entrusted by God with the great responsibility of giving birth to and raising children. While men and women are equal in the sight of God, they have been created differently and thus, have been assigned with different primary roles. Women have the great responsibility of providing such an upbringing of children that ensures the betterment of the future of mankind. Therefore, any profession that interferes with this primary function would be discouraged. However, she is permitted to pursue her career of choice as long as she continues to fulfill her primary obligations in the best manner.