Posts Tagged ‘Muslim woman’

It is a common perception amongst non-Muslim folk that Muslim women are an oppressed bunch. It is even more commonly perceived by the Muslim Feminist that Muslim women are oppressed by the laws laid out by the “traditional” scholars of old. The solution to this oppression, as emphasized by many a Muslim feminist, lies in embracing an Islam which is more accepting to women, as the “old” Islam is just not working as well as it should be for a woman.

After all, once upon a time, in a land far, far away, the Muslim woman covered herself as was expected of a practising Muslim woman “of old”. She never intermingled with men, never saw the need to socialise amongst the opposite sex, never left her home unless it was absolutely necessary, never…never…never… Let’s just say she did a lot of “never-ing”.

The Muslim feminist, however, is a force to be reckoned with. She sees no need to stay cooped up in a dusty old house (no sir, that’s what a maid is for), tending to the needs of her children (yes, that would be the nanny), cooking for her husband (well, not always anyway. Who cooks when there’s take-out, right?), praying her salaah at home (What? No women in your Masjid!?! That’s an abomination!) etc. Yes, the Muslim feminist always fights hard to uphold her right to spirituality; the spirituality Islam has afforded her as a woman. It is her religiously-given right (I could not bring myself to say “God-given”, I don’t have the authority).

The same right those “by-the-book” indo/pak scholars had taken away from her, the right they had taken away from so many other helpless Muslim women the world over. They had taken away the Muslim woman’s right to pray, to offer herself to Allah, to submit to Him spiritually, in His house, a house not afforded only to men, but whomsoever proclaimed him/herself a servant of Allah. Or was it? Did these “selfish scholars” really think, really believe they had the right to pull off something so gender-discriminating? Did they not realise the consequences of their “heinous” actions? How could they oppress Muslim women like this and not be answerable? And so began the task of the Muslim feminist.

The Muslim feminist shouts slogans of oppression, of true gender equality and centuries of female repression hidden in the “fatawas” of bearded clergymen under the guise of Islam. It is only under these banners that the Muslim feminist has enshrouded herself under, that she is able to spread her message of “liberation” to the female masses. A voice which stands out, a refreshing song to the Islamically inclined soul, a soul yearning for a closeness to its Creator and a body aching to be freed from the chains holding it to the pillars of Islamic morality.

I chose the phrase “Islamic Morality” because a lot of what is being questioned today by Muslim feminists are issues which affect the morality of Muslim women. It has failed to become about what Islam really is and more about what Islam should be.

When I had first read about the intentions of the Muslim feminist movement in South Africa, I had initially thought that at last, we had a group of strong-willed Islamically-motivated women who were truly prepared to uphold the values and ethos of the true Islamic Woman. Sadly, this has not been so. It is a movement which has not been saved from the ill-intentions of a few to fuel a greater cause, to fuel a greater movement. And it has begun with the women; the mothers of our offspring, the first schools our babies will know; the teachers, the sisters, the aunts, grandmothers and daughters.

The Islamic laws formulated (Most feminists disagree on the principles of formulation) around Muslim women are in place to protect the sanctity of a woman, to protect her modesty; to safeguard her from evil, the very evil which Shaitaan (Satan, the Devil) had vowed to Allah he would create and spread on earth. It is in our best interest to uphold these laws, whether we agree with them or not and whether we practise upon them or not.

My advice to each and every person, male or female, who will read this or who will pass on the message to others is to learn and study true, authentic Islam from the true and authentic scholars. If we dedicate some time to learning about the principles of Islamic Sciences, we might understand the rationale behind certain laws, the wisdom behind the formulation and implementation of these laws and the foresight which the leaders in the respective sciences of Islam held.

Islam does not require change, Islam changes us.

Advertisements