Women In Islam
Quite a controversial topic, isn’t it? It is bound to give rise to a difference of opinions when 1.6 billion Muslims, a minority of atheists and agnostics and billions and billions of believers of different faiths interpret one single text of the holy book of the religion, Islam. What intrigue me the most are the numerous interpretations of the same text pertaining to women in Islam. So really, what is the position of women in Islam? The question which has led to many arguments, debates, clashes and serious damages to the society.
Women in Islam, I believe, are respected and admired to the highest point on the scale.
I became aware of that only after I understood the rights and duties of a woman in Islam in the 7th century. Before Islam, there was an era of illiteracy and ignorance where women were objectified. They were buried alive for being a sign of burden and bringing shame to the family. Widows were often burned alive at the time of the death of their husbands, or isolated from the society till their last breath. It was Islam which not only gave women the respect that they deserved but also their rights, which included civil and political rights, rights of inheritance, rights of marriage and education and the right to work. Women in Islam as mothers are held in such high regard that respecting, honoring and loving the mother is believed to make way for her children into heaven. Women in Islam as widows have been given such immense importance that they have been given the right to remarry, unlike in other faiths which just provided these basic human rights to women in the early 1900s. Women in Islam as wives are considered to be the life of the special matrimonial bond and any mistreatment towards her gives her the right to a divorce. Women in Islam as individuals are given all sorts of rights such as political, social, human and civil rights.
Yet they are considered to be oppressed by a certain majority, why?
Fingers always get pointed towards the dress code of women. In this era of moderation where a female is expected to look beautiful, speak soft, act a certain manner, have a certain complexion and features, have certain body dimensions and forcefully believe in the ideologies thought and accepted by the patriarchal society, Islam frees women from all such standards of a judgmental society. It requires women be modest and to dress modestly. That’s all. So why is this considered to be a sign of oppression, tyranny, ill treatment and exploitation of women? Would they all like to be reminded how Islam has been upholding the status of women in the previous centuries as well as the present?
Let’s have a look at the work of Muslim women breaking stereotypes of such oppression in the present century:
- Dr Simar Samar is the Chairperson for the Afghan Human Rights Commission. In this position, she oversees the conduct of human rights education programs across Afghanistan.
- Boushra Almutawakel has worked as a photographer for the United Nations, CARE International, The Royal Netherlands Embassy, The Social Organization for Family Development, The National Institute for Health Education, The British Council and The French Embassy, among many others, while pursuing her own personal photographic projects.
- Dalia Mogahed is the first US Muslim woman in the White House back in 2009. Dalia Mogahed is one of Barack Obama’s ‘closest advisors’ advocating the views and opinions of Muslims across the US in the most simple, recognizable and agreeable way.
- Noor Tagouri is an aspiring first hijabi anchor on US commercial television.
- Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is a filmmaker daring to bring the crucial and dark truths of the society to light. She was won two Oscars for her work.
There is empirical evidence to suggest that Muslim women have been successful within the realms of Islam. It is only after understanding the holy text that one can realize how it is being misquoted to give the impression about oppression.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CourtingTheLaw.com or any other organization with which she might be associated.