Feminism According to Islam - NikahExplorer
Feminism is a social movement and ideology striving for women's political, economic and social rights. The belief revolves around the vicinity of equality among women and men and they are entitled towards equal rights in society. The feminist movement has advocated for a multitude of reasons, including women's right to vote, the right to work and the right to live free of violence. Feminism varies from person to person contrasting to things, facts and figures. The many variants of feminism are associated with a variety of philosophical and political outlooks.
Many people are curious to know whether it is practicable to reconcile feminism with Islam. Islamic feminism is relatively a new terminology solely expressed in a single or paramount religiously grounded discourse taking the Quran as its central context.
Focus on Equity
In the Quran, Allah has revealed Muslims (men and women) equal in faith and dignity. At the same time, they regard the forms and realms of their struggle as distinct, reaffirming the exclusion of women from a public sphere, whether in the perceptions of the secularists, the conservatives or the modernists.
In this dynamic structure and the seemingly imbalanced social economic and political practice, where does the issue of equality legitimately prevail?
As it is said in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 228:
“And for women are rights over men, similar to those of men over women.” [2:228]
Equal Reward and Indiscretion
In the same way, both women and men worship God, meaning that they worship the same Allah, worship the same actions, worship the same scripture and follow the same beliefs. All human beings are equally and fairly judged by Allah. In many verses of the Qur’an, Allah reinforces the equitable treatment and reward for both men and women. Gender is not part of the reward or decision for an individual. These verses show that reward depends on one's actions and not the genders.
Allah says in Surah Tawbah, verse 72:
“Allah has promised to the believers, men and women, gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss.” [9:72]
In another place, Allah says in Surah Al-Imran, verse 195:
“Never would I allow the loss of the work of any worker amongst you, male or female; you are one another.” [3:195]
Knowledge for All
During the time of Prophet (P.B.U.H), great female Muslim scholars exist. Some are belonged to his family and some as his companions or daughters. Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (P.B.U.H), is prominent among all.
Many women are excellent jurisprudential scholars and they have well-known male scholars as students.
The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said, “Education is compulsory for every Muslim.”
Authority to Choose a Spouse:
Islam has valued women by giving them rights to choose spouse. Nevertheless, most people have the idea that parents are pursuing their children for marriage. The custom is cultural and has no origin in Islam. It is indeed prohibited.
At the time of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) a woman came to him and said, “My father has married me to my cousin to raise his social standing and I was forced into it.” The Prophet (P.B.U.H) sent for the girl’s father and then in his presence gave the girl the option of staying married or nullifying the marriage. She responded, “O Messenger of Allah, I have accepted what my father did, but I wanted to show other women (that they could not be forced into a marriage).”
Allah has created men and women with unique roles, abilities and responsibilities to be different. These differences are not viewed as evidences of superiority or inferiority, but of specialization. In Islam, the family holds central importance in an individual’s life. The man is responsible for the financial well -being of the family while the woman contributes to the family's physical, academic and emotional well-being. This promotes co-operation rather than always competition. Strong families are formed and therefore strong societies are formed by meeting their mutual responsibilities.
Emotionally, without one another neither men nor women have been living a happy life. Allah beautifully describes this in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 187:
“They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.” [2:187]
Mothers and Daughters with the Highest Positions
A mother's affection, care and love have the most influence upon a child in the earlier years. The mothers, of course, are the cause of the success of a society. It is therefore only right that Islam should honour and enhance its status.
Allah (S.W.T) says in the Quran:
“And we have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his Parents, His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship.” [46:15]
The Prophet (P.B.U.H) has been once asked, “O Messenger of Allah, who among people is most deserving of my good treatment?” He said, “Your mother.” The man has asked twice more, “Then who?” and he has given the same response. Only until the fourth time did the Prophet (P.B.U.H) responds, “Then your father.” Reward is not only given to the good and kind treatment towards mothers. In fact, Islam has designated a special reward for raising daughters that is not granted for raising sons.
The Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said, “Whoever Allah has given two daughters and is kind towards them, they will be a reason for him entering Paradise.”
Women are deemed to be shameful before Islam, women are used to buried alive, prostitution raged, divorce only in the hands of husbands, legacy has been only powerful, oppression has been widespread. Islam has begun rising and abolishing these practices Even now women are not accorded respect, integrity, honour, and even equal pay for equal work in "developed countries." But Islam regards women, not to disrespect or dishonour, but as precious and valuable beings.