- During the early reforms under Islam in the 7th century, reforms in women's rights affected marriage, divorce and inheritance.
- Women were not accorded with such legal status in other cultures, including the West, until centuries later.
- "The dowry, previously regarded as a bride-price paid to the father, became a nuptial gift retained by the wife as part of her personal property.
- Under Islamic law, marriage was no longer viewed as a "status" but rather as a "contract", in which the woman's consent was imperative.
- "Women were given inheritance rights in a patriarchal society that had previously restricted inheritance to male relatives
You can read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Islam