Sufis of Delhi
dawn of Islam changed the world's perception of women's rights,
the voice to demand that which was justly theirs and
provided them with unprecedented
is littered with examples of women being treated as lesser
citizens and deprived
of even the most basic of rights. Centuries ago
in societies such as Egypt,
Rome and Greece, which were considered
the most enlightened of their day,
women were at the disposal of men.
Greek philosophers believed that women were of strong emotion
but weak mind
and that they had to be protected from themselves.
Women were classed as either
a wife or a non-wife. The former were
kept for producing legitimate heirs,
while the latter were little
more than instruments of pleasure and amusement
ancient Rome, women were thought to be only slightly more
children. They had no right of inheritance or
ownership. A wife was the
purchased property of a husband, acquired
for his benefit. A father or a husband
had the right to sell his
daughter or wife to whomever he pleased. Women were
chattels and were inherited by the oldest son.
the death of a husband in ancient Egypt, all his belongings,
his wife or wives, were buried in his tomb. The wife
was buried so that
he could benefit from a delicate and tender being
in the next world.
Hindu scripture, a 'good' woman was described as being one "whose
speech and body are kept in subjection" i.e. weak and
The practice of Sati, whereby a wife immolates herself
on her husband's funeral
pyre was a feature of ancient Hindu
cultures. Although the practice was
in theory, voluntary, many
records exist of women being physically forced
to death. A case of
suspected forced Sati occurred as recently as 1987 in
Britain, the right for married women to own property was not
the late 19th century. Even now in some Arab
countries, women are still
denied the right to vote.
dawn of Islam
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) considered the birth of a girl as a
God and a sign of divine attention to the newborn's
parents. The Prophet
kissed his daughter's hand and described her as
a gift from God. He displayed
paternal love, especially to daughters,
as a way to gain nearness to God.
Quran describes girls as a bestowal and a symbol of trust from
have a duty to care for the trust they have received,
and the contentment
of children has even been mentioned as one of the
conditions for entering
heaven. In addition, according to Islam,
looking at the face of one's mother
is considered a pardon for sins.
view of the fact that there are many differences between men and
Quran states that piety is the only criterion for
superiority and not gender.
of the first laws laid down in support of women by Islam was the
of live burials, a practice common in some regions in the
This practice was condemned as an unlawful and
immoral act. The new laws also
prohibited the horrific abuse of
women, which had been a feature of earlier
right to an education is not equal in many societies even to this
under Islam men and women have the same right to be
educated. The daughter
of the Prophet, under the guidance of her
father and her husband, not only
became a knowledgeable person but
also an educator of other women. Her teachings
are still used and
studied by authorities in Islam.
concept that all a woman has is owned by her husband is common
history. Ownership of property is an important right that
was denied to women
in many cultures. In Islam however, women are
independent in the use of their
assets and their husbands have no
right to interfere. Khadijah was the richest
of the women of Arabia
when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) married her. As his wife,
put her wealth at the disposal of the Prophet to be used in
obliges a husband to provide everything that his wife had in
house. According to Islam, a woman is not forced to work
in her husband's
house and may even ask for money in return for the
tasks she performs.
also holds men and women as no different in regard to working.
perform social duties and are generally free in choosing
Islam, women have the right to choose their own spouse, and
parents are only
able to give advice regarding their choice of
husband. Islamic law completely
disapproves of arranged marriages.
The Prophet of Islam (PBUH) nullified marriages
that had been forced
upon women without their consent and approval.
says a close relationship between a husband and wife where
partners are equal
in their attention to one another is important to
guarantee the strength of
the family. According to Islam, a better
and healthier life depends upon relationships
being realized in this
to important social decisions, for example through
voting, is also one of
the first rights that Islam gave to both men
and women. All Muslims are encouraged
to participate in this
important social duty.
truth of Islam's views on women, however, has widely been twisted
corporations and individuals across the world. This
may be due to ignorance
or a lack of understanding, or at worst a
deliberate attempt to misrepresent
the teachings of Islam. For some,
ignorance has become the best tool to control
the masses and a lack
of information on the part of individuals has played
into the hands
of those who seek to counter the growing popularity of the
DAUGHTERS ARE A BLESSING, NOT A BURDEN |
are a great gift from Almighty Allah to all parents. Parents must think of their
children as such treasures that the all the wealth and material resources are
worthless as when compared to one's children. We, as parents, should thank Almighty
Allah for blessing us with children whether they are boys or girls. Today, it
is quite disheartening to see that some parents rejoice when the newborn child
is a male and show their dissatisfaction when the child is a female. But, this
should not be the attitude. Islam does not condone this type of behaviour, as
such was the manner of the parents in the time of ignorance.
are without doubt a great blessing from Almighty Allah.
They are a means of salvation and a path to Jannah for their parents. The Holy
Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated that when a boy is born, then
he brings one Noor (light) and when a girl is born, then she brings two Noors.
It has been narrated in a Hadith that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)
has stated that if parents are kind and generous towards their daughters, then
they will be so close to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in Jannah,
like one finger is to the next. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)
has also stated that the person who is faced with hardship due to his daughters,
and makes Sabr (is patient), then his daughters will be a Purdah (curtain) between
him and Hell.
crux of one narration states that one who loves his daughters and withstands the
hardship of grooming and getting them married, then Almighty Allah makes Jannah
Waajib (compulsory) on him and keeps him protected from the Fire of Hell.
Khwaja Uthman Haaroni (radi Allahu anhu), the Peer-o-Murshid of Khwaja-e-Khwajegaan,
Hazrat Sheikh Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaaz (radi Allahu anhu), states: "Daughters
are a gift from Almighty Allah. Those parents who are kind towards them, then
Almighty Allah is generous towards such parents. Those who are merciful to their
daughters, Almighty Allah is Merciful towards them." The great Saint also
said, "When a girl is born to a family, then between the parents and Hell,
there shall be a distance of five hundred years."
has been stated that when parents rejoice at the birth of a daughter, this is
greater than making Tawaaf of the Kaaba seventy times. Muslims should also remember
that the family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is
from his beloved daughter Sayyidah Fatima Zahra (radi Allahu anha).
brothers and sisters, rejoice on the birth of your daughters, love and guide them
and give them that which is due to them from your belongings. Do not deprive them
of their inheritance as they also have say in this. Remember! Daughters are a
blessing and not a burden.
ISLAMIC HIJAB - ARE MUSLIM WOMEN OPPRESSED?
The feeling still persists
in society that Muslim women wear Hijab or the outer covering because they are
slaves to tradition, so much so that it is seen as a symbol of oppression. Western
society says that women's liberation and independence is impossible unless they
first remove the Hijab. This view is not correct. Why do Muslim women wear the
outer covering that sometimes covers their face and hides the rest of their body?
Allah says in the Holy Quran, Chapter 33, Verse 59: "O Prophet! Tell your
wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer
garments over their persons; that is better, that they should be known (as such)
and not be molested." And in Chapter 24, Verse 31: "And say to the believing
women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should
not display their beauty and ornaments except what appear thereof; that they should
draw their scarves over their bosoms - "
women all over the world are wearing Hijab as a religious requirement and a sign
of respect, not out of a misdirected sense of "tradition." It is both
a sign of a women's obedience to Allah and a manifestation of her faith. The Hijab
is part of a Muslim's religious identity. It gives women dignity and self-respect.
commands women to cover their bodies so as not to trouble men who are weak and
unable to resist temptation. In Islam, men and women are commanded to dress modestly
and not appear "naked" in public, even in all male and female situations.
as a short skirt or a see-through dress can send the signal that the wearer is
available to men, so the Hijab signals, loud and clear: "I am forbidden to
you." Wearing the Hijab protects the female from harassment and men. It is
the western women who are to be pitied for displaying their private self for all
American, Ruth Anderson, has said: "Hijab is not a sign of backwardness,
ignorance or mental incompetence, but a woman's duty and her right."
women in Hijab is like a jewel that is of high exceptional value and that which
must be kept hidden. Wearing the Hijab is a choice that Muslim women make. To
discard the Hijab or expose that part of her body ordered covered by the Divine
Law is to disobey Islamic principles and a women's basic Islamic belief.
RE-INTRODUCTION OF HIJAAB IN INDONESIA
Growing popularity of Islamic
dress code in Indonesia has started a new trend. Women from the middle-income
group have explicitly shown escalating preference to Islamic clothes resulting
in a multi-million fashion industry as admitted by Aami Waamsu, Editor of the
fashion magazine "Femina."
to Taufiq Abdullah Nigar of Indonesian Science Institute, this shocking trend
has developed in the short span of the last 2 - 3 years. This has been in the
wake of the recognition that Indonesian men are more respectful towards women
in Islamic attire. Previously, modern Indonesian women wore tops, pants and ordinary
scarves. Nowadays, preference is given to dignified loose clothing with scarves
completely covering the head.
fever has caught on to such an extent that even non-Muslim designers have resorted
to designing Islamic clothes. Muslim women are active in social, religious and
political fields dressed according to Islamic dressing code. A really interesting
angle of this "fashion revival" is that so impressed are the non-Muslim
women by this trend that they too have begun to imitate it!
BEIJING WORLD CONFERENCE ON WOMEN CONSPIRE TO "LIBERATE" MUSLIM WOMEN
At the Beijing World ("anti-Islam & anti-religion")
Conference, "experts" talked about the need to liberate Muslim women
from Islam, and in general all women from religion. It was easy to see that there
were open attacks against Islam and religion in general. There were also open
talks about rights for prostitutes, lesbians and homosexuals. The Conference also
discussed about the rights of children over their sexual lives.
Freidan, an American feminist leader and author, talked about the dangers Islamic
conservatism poses to women. In a panel session entitled "Muslim Women in
North America", led by a Muslim delegate chosen by the Clinton administration
to represent the US as a liaison between the US and the Muslim and Arab worlds,
a panel member vehemently attacked the Imams of North American Masjids for fanaticism
against Muslim women in the "land of freedom".
another session that was chaired by a feminist Hindu, she described how the Vatican
had come together with Islam for the purpose of denying women's rights. Another
speaker in this session, who was a liberal Catholic, encouraged women to become
more "open" and to acquire power. She also said that "the biggest
mistake in the universe" is to envision an "omnipotent or perfect God."
Dr Riffat Hassan, a professor in Islamic studies from the University of Louisville,
explained how she had been engaged in the last 20 years in developing a "feminist
theology in the context of Islam".
was also clear from the Conference that the powers who were running the UN have
an agenda to impose their own "Shariah" on the entire world. Just by
attending the Conference at government level, the Muslim countries accepted the
principle that they could negotiate about this imposed Shariah. Muslim delegates
did not realise that they were actually "dignifying" a gathering that
could not be dignified.
Conference failed to encourage the individuals need in altering their life styles
in order to combat sexually transmitted diseases; did not encourage family life
and morality; for women (and men) to abstain from early sex; etc. The UN also
encourages that for women to work in a factory or an office is a right; to stay
at home is an oppression. A woman should not be dependent of her husband; she
should be dependent on her boss.
throughout the world, including all South African Muslims, must condemn and reject
this Conference. What about the women in Kashmir who jumped into the Jhelum River
in Kashmir to protect their honour from the Indian forces? Why did the World Conference
on Women not speak about that! What about the 70, 000 Muslim women raped, abused
and beaten in Bosnia? What about the millions in Iraq, Kashmir and Bosnia who
are without food and medicine? The "women's right" which the Conference
speaks about is far from the women's rights which Islam grants. This is nothing
but an attempt by the UN and the world in condemning Islam, Islamic values and
creating a world and society completely devoid of all sensibility and shame. (Facts
extracted from "Impact International" - Vol.25 No.10)
DUTY TOWARDS OUR MOTHERS
A Saint relates that once, having made intention
of performing Haj, he left for Baghdad from where he was to proceed to Hijaz.
In Baghdad, he arrived at the house of Hazrat Abu Hazim Makki (rahmatullahi alai)
where he found Hazrat Abu Hazim Makki (rahmatullahi alai) fast asleep. When he
awoke from his asleep, he came over to the Saint and told him, "I had the
good fortune of seeing Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in my dream
just now, and he asked me to convey a message to you."
is the message?" asked the Saint.
asked me to inform you that it would be better for you if you called off your
journey to Hijaz for purpose of making Haj, and spent time looking after your
ageing mother and keeping her happy at all times. This would enable you to perform
your Haj in the future with Allah's Pleasure."
Saint, upon hearing this, returned home without performing Haj.
ESCALATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN MUSLIM COMMUNITY
This almost taboo
issue is being brought out to the open. Violence against women has reached such
high levels in the Muslim community that almost 1 in 5 families is adversely affected.
Whether it is physical, emotional or sexual abuse, it threatens the very existence
of healthy communities. If women are abused how does a mother then fulfill her
major roles as a wife and a mother? Yet Muslims in South Africa have not yet acknowledged
this as one of the major social problems them all the time. Research clearly shows
that children from abusive homes, themselves become abusive parents. The high
rate of divorce, separation, extra-marital relationships is a daily occurance
in our society. The disruption and breakdown of families leads to a variety of
social problems. (Courtesy: JIMASA - Dec. 1996)
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE
It is Haraam for women to touch the hand, feet
or body of any strange man and it is also Haraam for the man to give her the permission
to do so. The Mashaa'ikh and Peers of today should take a lesson from this. The
evil practice of Mureedas (female Mureeds) kissing the hands and feet of their
Peer-o-Murshid must stop. It is totally Haraam for both to kiss and to be kissed.
It is FARD on the Sheikh to strongly forbid their female Mureeds from doing such
un-Islamic acts. Sayyidah Ayesha Siddiqa (radi Allahu anha) states that there
was never an instance when a woman touched the hands of the Holy Prophet (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) at the time of Bai'at. Likewise, those persons who visit
massage parlours, etc. and have their bodies massaged or rubbed by strange women
is strictly Haraam and a great sin (Kabeera). It is Fard on them to abstain from
such immoral acts and fear Allah, the All Knowing and All Powerful.