The Qur'an, the only true guidance for humanity, was revealed so that people would know how to deal with all of the situations that they may encounter while in this world. In addition, the Sunnah (example) of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) shows how to implement its teachings into one's life. Allah even made it possible for people to understand how to live the Qur'an's morality by giving examples from the Prophets' and other Muslims' lives: "There is an excellent example in them for you to follow, that is for those whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day. But if anyone turns away, Allah is the Rich Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy" (Surat al-Mumtahana: 6) and "We have sent down Clear Signs to you, the example of those who passed away before you, and an admonition for those who guard against evil" (Surat an-Nur: 34). In these verses, He reminds sincere Muslims, who hope for the best in Hereafter, that the people presented in the Qur'an serve as good examples and guidance for them.
One of these sincere Muslims is Mary, one of the two women noted for their exemplary characters: "Allah has made an example for those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said: 'My Lord, build a house in the Garden for me in Your Presence, rescue me from Pharaoh and his deeds, and rescue me from this wrongdoing people.' And Mary, the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity—We breathed Our Spirit into her. She confirmed the Words of her Lord and His Book, and was one of the obedient" (Surat at-Tahrim: 11-12). Therefore, every believer is responsible for learning about Mary's good character from the Qur'an, which gives the most accurate information, and trying to emulate her.
Allah introduces Mary as having the ideal Muslim woman's character. This character is completely different than the common character of women in today's unbelieving societies, where they usually share a common socially acceptable character handed down from their ancestors. In these societies, men and women are expected to conform to very different sets of character traits, for men's ideals, worldview, lifestyle, and evaluation of events are believed to be different from those of women.
According to the Qur'an, however, men and women have the same responsibilities and characters, for Allah refers to an ideal Muslim character. He defines the Islamic character in the following verse:
Men and women who are Muslims, men and women who are believers, men and women who are obedient, men and women who are truthful, men and women who are steadfast, men and women who are humble, men and women who give charity, men and women who fast, men and women who guard their chastity, men and women who remember Allah much: Allah has prepared forgiveness for them and an immense reward. (Surat al-Ahzab: 35)
We have sent down Clear Signs to you, as well as the example of those who passed away before you and an admorition for those who guard against evil. (Surat an-Nur, 34)
As this verse shows, each person's character is not determined by his or her society's values or continuing traditions, but by the ideal Muslim character. Any woman who adopts this character will have the strongest and the most solid personality possible. And by implementing it in her life, she will win Allah's good pleasure and love, instead of striving to attain status or superiority in her society.
In this book, we deal with the common woman's character as seen in unbelieving societies and analyze how this erroneous character became established. In addition, we explore Mary's character, whom Allah raised above all other women, and thereby define the ideal Muslim woman's character. As a result of this analysis, we will see that this superiority is only in terms of faith, fear and respect of Allah, and fine character, and that every man or woman who does good deeds will be justly rewarded with Allah's good pleasure, mercy, and Paradise, as mentioned bellow: "Anyone, male or female, who does right actions and believes, will enter the Garden. They will not be wronged by so much as the tiniest speck" (Surat an-Nisa': 124).
Another aim of the book is to reveal the inconsistencies in the common women's character in unbelieving societies and to inform people who are looking for the truth about a way of life and morality that will lead them toward honor, respectability, and superiority on Earth as well as in the Hereafter.