Happy women’s day, happy us day, and as Muslim women per se, just wish to stress we’re happy too… yaaay. I thought I’d mark the event with a little reminder to my fellow sisters in humanity and sisters in Islam, as well as highlight our pride in our Islamic definition of womanhood.
The status of women in Islam is a hot topic, too often clouded with misconception. Yet we hope to reaffirm our honoured status from our personal perspectives. Quran verses show the equality of genders through worth and worship. We are equals in the eyes of God and in no way ever inferior. The prophet Muhammad PBUH honoured women in example and in his sayings, raising her status as a daughter, as a wife and as a mother. His sayings PBUH abolished the favouritism between a son and a daughter, holding true that she would be a parent’s ticket to paradise. A famous saying of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is: “Paradise is at the feet of mothers.” [In An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad] “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
There were no limits on our role models where a woman was a teacher, a scholar and an entrepreneur. Islam had brought about women rights in a time when we would have had none across the globe. The rights to seeking knowledge, political practice and financial independence had long been decreed by Islam centuries ago; in times we still raise such demands in modern society.
Although men are maintainers of women, it is not a status of privilege, nor domination. It is a delicate balance where men are ordered to protect and provide, and marriage is a partnership of compassion and mercy. Sadly, ill practices against women in some of our societies such as forced marriage, domestic violence or FGM persist, yet they are non other than radical culture so clearly denounced 1400 years ago. A walk in her shoes will only show you how a Muslim woman needs no liberation from her Lord; but breaking the mislabelled shackles of oppression, poverty and injustice.
However, there are some differences in duties and endeavours that the modern feminism mistakes for oppression. Yet, in these differences lies our liberation, from standards of men to higher standards. In Islam, Allah dignifies both men and women in their distinctiveness, not in their sameness. And since we believe in the Wisdom of our Creator, we are confidently allowed to be ourselves rather than chase after unfair equality. The nature of Islam as timeless and universal means we trust our rights reserved within its doctrine. And if a western culture consumes women into a stressful male dominated mould, we wish to safeguard our uniqueness, and offer women of the world a chance to celebrate our relevant roles. Let us prioritise our motherhood, safeguard our femininity and respect our modesty against objectification.
Finally, we wish to mark the day in an integrating inviting stance to all women, to revisit our rights and remember our common cause.