Feminism today is a cause that several males and females are trying to champion. This is because they believe that the cause is indeed a noble one. Therefore, they fight for equal right for females, respect for females and above all, a pedestal with equal chances for females, just like the male.
On this note, feminists have developed for themselves a “religion” of their own in feminism, leaving behind what religion (Islam) says about females. This is a result of the various misconceptions which surrounds Islam’s perceptive of a female. And of course, this misconception has turned into myth passed on over the years leading many, especially women to have an apathy for Islam’s jurisprudence on matters concerning females.
For many feminist of this era, that they believe in feminism absolutely arms them with various tools. Tools which are used to confuse. Tools which are used to brainwash and finally, tools which are used to justify their cases in the religion’s light even to many Muslim women who are led to believe they are being held in bondage.
One of such myths which surrounds Islam is that Muslim women are ordered to stay indoor irrespective. For them, Suratul Ahzab, Vs. 33 which says “…and stay in your houses and do not display your finery…” is a tool which is further supported by many myths of a Muslim woman being prohibited from working or leaving her house.
With this, they try to argue justifiably that Islam is in a way against the education of females. For how can a female child learn when she isn’t allowed to leave the house or how will she get the first-hand experience of things if she is confined inside?
Another one of such myths is the position of females in Islam. The common belief is that Muslim females are considered second fiddle in their society, especially the married ones in their home. For they are expected to honor, respect and care for their husbands. Even if prostrating had been allowed, they would have had to prostrate to their husbands.
It is a repeated and known fact that women aren’t allowed to take up leadership position in Islam. For it is believed to be wrong and unaccepted as even a Hadith reported by Bukhari reported that the Prophet (S.AW) decreed that people who appoint a woman as their leader will not prosper. With this fact, feminists take joy in making a case. If Islam is not a misogynist religion, why wouldn’t the females have the same right that the males in their community have? This further strengthens the question of if Islam hates women which many Muslims are used to being asked.
On the issue of choices as well, it is believed that the Muslim females are being “made” to do things, even if they do not want to. They are being “made” to cover their hair, they are being made to stay in abusive marriages because divorce is not allowed and they are being made to have more children than they want to. Simply to many, the women in Islam are porcelain dolls being made to do things without a mind of their own.
Lastly, on public speaking and presentation as well as travelling alone. It is known that Islam doesn’t permit this. However, rather than asking for reasons, the fact that the myth has been passed on over the years remains, leaving many bitter at a religion that respects and love females.
The “modern” woman’s ideology is making many fall astray as more often than not they fail to questions on many of these stories of their religion which are being told to them. Many agree readily with all of these myths for the lack of knowledge. Therefore, in the end, Islam is portrayed in a bad image.
To refute all of this myths, starting from what Islam thinks of women would be ideal. And for this there are various verses of the Quran and better still a whole chapter of the Quran dedicated to females- women as well as many other Hadiths of the Holy Prophet (SAW). However, one which discusses the status of women would be better. For really does Islam place more importance on males than the females?
“O mankind, your Lord is One and your father is one. You all descended from Adam, and Adam was created from earth. He is most honored among you in the sight of God who is most upright. No Arab is superior to a non-Arab, no colored person to a white person, or a white person to a colored person except by Taqwa (piety).’
This Hadith shows evidently that no one is considered superior to the other irrespective of gender, race or colour. Even in terms of religious worship, no gender is excused. Why then would anyone believe that Islam hates women and does not prioritize them?
For each myth that surrounds Islam and Islam’s perspective of females, there are various justifiable reasons which brings to light the truth.
Our society today is one which has been infiltrated with Fitnah of various types. We live in a community where even the decently dressed ladies are subjected to sexual harassment of various kinds. Just in 2018, Lagos recorded 678 rape cases while Kano recorded 105 rape cases. Globally, the rape statistics aren’t welcoming as well, for each country has its predicament. Therefore, is Islam, a religion trying to protect the females in the wrong? To add that neither the Quran nor Hadith mentioned that a woman cannot go out to learn or work to fend for herself if there is a need for it. For Islam, the modesty and the protection of the females are a priority.
Also, it is a common knowledge that two captains cannot run a boat. Therefore, is it wrong for a party to subside in a marriage? Of course, she isn’t expected to be quiet at all time, nor is she expected to challenge her husband at every turn. If the Islam jurisprudence is trying to help people keep their home, is that a wrong turn? If Islam thinks The Muslim Woman is unimportant then why is she the Rabbat-Ul- Bait (Queen of the Home)?
In addition, in a society of women, is a male expected to be called in to lead? Definitely, a woman will take the leadership position in such a case because she is allowed. However, in the case that men are involved, it is expected that the reins are turned over to them, for they are naturally strong and able to make inculpate decisions without emotions confusing them.
If truly Islam is a misogynic oppressive religion, how would this find a place to stay in the Quran? “There is no compulsion in religion. Truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error….”
Clearly, Islam is a religion with freedom, which allows one to choose between what he wants to do and what he doesn’t. However, there is reward for whoever chooses to do good while obeying Allah and following his Messenger. “Every good deed that a human performs is multiplied ten times up to seven hundred…”
If truly Islam gives freedom why then is a Muslim woman not allowed to travel without a Mahram or why is she not allowed to speak publicly on stages? Because cases like that of Maria Mathus Tenorio who was raped and killed on a solo around the world tour could happen. The world isn’t safe for women who have to shun sexual advances after an event simply because they spoke eloquently or for one who has to fight off ogling onlookers on a trip. With a capable Mahram, safety is assured and that only is the intent of Islam. Not limiting the Muslim Women. [9: Daily Star (2018), Backpacker, 25, raped and Killed in first country she visited on round-the-world trip ]
Finally, although Islam frowns at divorce, it is still accepted on certain terms. Therefore, a Muslim Woman who is being oppressed can go for it. In Islam, everyone has a choice including women of any caliber.
For anyone who haven’t had the chance to reason out the myths surrounding feminism and the role of women in Islam, accepting the myth will only be easy. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every member of the Ummah to enlighten the ignorant who are basking in the myth and see to it that the Muslim females are not left behind or allowed to suffer in any case.
- Backpacker, 25, raped and killed in first country she visited on round-the-world trip. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/722443/backpacker-killed-maria-mathus-tenorio-coast-rica-news-travel-the-world/amp
- Bukhari and Muslim Hadith Collection
- The Holy Qura, iQuran Lite Version 2.5.4
- Kano records 105 rape cases, 168 murders in 2018 – Police. (2019, January 02). Retrieved from https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/nwest/303830-kano-records-105-rape-cases-168-murders-in-2018-police.html
- Qureshi, A. (n.d.). 7 questions Muslims are tired of hearing. Retrieved from https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/culture/explainer/7-questions-muslims-are-tired-hearing