Opinion | Guest Contributor | 2015.01.30
Islam is constantly under attack, usually by the Western media, and more often than not women's rights are under immense spotlight or a target. Women in Islam have been liberated some 14 centuries ago, whilst women’s rights as we know them today is just about a century old and began in the late 1800's to the 1900's. What is worse though, is Muslim women look up to these same people and follow them especially in behavioural patterns. Guest contributor, Saajidah Malvina weighs in on some parallels.
Islam liberated women at a time when females were seen as a liability and were burnt alive - until there came a messenger Muhammad (S.A.W), who praised a parent who has a daughter or only female children and brings them up correctly. How sad it is today when thousands of females are killed and their fetuses are aborted because of their gender in the 21st century.
Women in western societies did not inherit, and if they did, they were more likely to receive clothing, jewelry or other household furniture. This act remained in Britain until 1925 – a stark contrast to Islam in which men and women inherit. Men only receive double the share of a woman as maintenance as he has double the responsibility than she has in the sight of Allah. Likewise, if a woman owned property then she could not utilise it as she desired - when she married the property would belong to the husband. In Islam however, what belongs to a person is his or hers unless he/she gives ownership willingly without coercion. During the time of the Prophet (S), a woman complained to Nabi (S) that she was left destitute after her husband's death as her brother-in-law took everything away, as was the custom. A commandment was then down sent detailing shares for respective heirs.
Asian culture dictates education is for boys only and the woman's role is only to serve - again is contradictory to Islam and is a matter of culture, which is commonly mistaken as being part of Islam. The first commandment was "read" not directed to any gender and the wives of Muhammad (S) were imminent teachers under whom many illustrious companions studied. They were assets to humanity. Had Islam forbidden women from playing an active role in society the world would have never witnessed their prowess, neither would we have seen the bravery and valour of Nusayba (R.A) or Khawla (R.A), sister of Khalid bin Waleed (R.A) or their likes. The world's first university was founded by a Muslim woman, Fatima al Fihri in Morocco in 859AD.
In Western culture the women works only to return and then fulfill household duties. Studies have shown that even though they work same amount of hours, women work an extra 9 hours doing chores. Two-thirds of women say men don’t help with household chores.
Western culture dictates women equally contribute to household expenses, yet in Islam she can work provided the necessary laws are adhered to, and the money belongs solely and only to her. She can do as she pleases, whilst the man is the nominated breadwinner and the responsibility lies on his shoulders. Despite this, we are indoctrinated that Muslim women are oppressed, suppressed and have no rights whatsoever. The question I pose is – can a woman, like our lauded soapie stars who walk up the aisle 5 times with a body that has more plastic than Tupperware be truly called success? Is a woman who can barely cover her body whilst all stare and ogle be truly liberated? Can a woman who is criticised and judged because of her appearance truly achieve freedom?
Disclaimer: While Radio Islam retains the right to edit and modify guest contributions, Radio Islam makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information included in guest contributions, or those found by following links within the text. Radio Islam will not be liable for any errors or omissions in information relayed in guest contributions. The views and opinions expressed by guest writers or in the comments section do not necessarily state or reflect those of the editors.