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Sunday, July 19, 2009

DOES ISLAM OPPRESS WOMEN?

Muslim women are being targeted as being oppressed in the Western media because of the Hijaab and gender segregation. A clash of civilization is being made between Islam and the West. It is very important that we understand Islam and the honor that Allah SWT has conferred upon Muslim women.

Muslims must bear in mind that any guidance other than the Guidance of Allah is misguidance and that any law other than the Laws of Allah (Shariah) is repression. It is important for Muslims to realize that the Laws that Allah Revealed is for our own advantage. Allah is Our Creator and He is the One who knows Best His Creatures. Allah has honored the Muslim sisters with Islam- He has made them adherents of a nation of Truth. They are members of the people of Jannah.

Muslim women are given the right to live. Before the advent of Islam women were either buried alive or looked upon as objects of lust but when Muhammad SAW came, he prohibited this. Many religions consider a woman to be soulless but in Islam a woman has a soul. The woman is indeed held in a very high esteem in the religion of Allah since the Prophet Muhammad SAW said that the most precious thing on earth is a virtuous woman. He (The Prophet SAW) also ordered the males to Fear Allah and respect the women. When Allah says “O You who Believe”, he is addressing both males and females. In Islam men as well as women are created to worship Allah. If a Muslim sister says “Alhamdulillah”, she will not be rewarded less than a Muslim brother, who says “Alhamdulillah”,

Muhammad SAW dignified the Muslim woman as a mother. Once a companion came to the Prophet SAW and asked Allah whom he must respect the most, Muhammad SAW said the mother thrice and then said the father. The obligation to wear the Hijaab (S24 V31) is another self-esteem that Allah the Almighty has given to the Muslim sisters. It is an Islamic identity to the woman. The Hijaab is a protective thing to females since they are less prone to be victims of rape. It is a way of judging a lady by what is in her head and not by the shape of her body.

Islam gave women rights much before the Women’s Liberation Movements. Islam empowers women. When the Holy Prophet SAW said that teaching of knowledge is compulsory on all Muslims, the females are included. Aisha RA is an example of an educated Muslim woman- she reported a number of Hadith. It is only in the 19th century that some societies gave women the right to inheritance but more than 1400 years ago Islam gave women property rights. According to the Islamic Law, it is the husband who gives the marital gift (mahar) and not the woman who gives the husband. The mahar is symbolic of the financial right of the Muslim sister. A Muslim woman has her own economic independence and power. When a Muslim woman marries, she can keep her own name. She is not forced to live under the shadow of the husband by taking his name. In addition, in relation to the Shariah, a woman is not forced to marry against her will. Marriage is about two companions who understand each other and not just two beings who are struggling against each other. Islam does not forbid women from giving opinions. Umm Salama RA advised the Prophet Muhammad SAW. Moreover, Umar RA was challenged in the mosque by a woman and without any condescending attitude he recognized his error and accepted that the sister was right.

The above are just few brief examples of the status that Allah SWT has Bestowed on Muslim sisters. It is important that Muslims realize that we are living in a society that calls to liberation of the Muslim women who are abiding by the Laws of Allah, but in reality, that society wants to turn us away from being a slave of Allah. It is a consumer society that wants Muslim sisters to submit to their fashion designers and mix in places which are not allowed in Islam. We must ask Allah to Guide us all since Satan is tricking us by making the evil looking beautiful. We must all search for Islamic knowledge so as to understand the wisdom behind each and every Law of Allah.

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