Women’s Rights- An Islamic Perspective

As Muslim women, we have to be aware that the mainstream rhetoric of women’s rights is heavily tainted with secular tones and material values.

The Islamic women’s rights narrative is not the same as theirs.

It was never a part of a properly practicing Islamic society that prevented women from having a voice in society, that prevented women from getting an education or owning property, that shunned women from making any sort of monetary living. Do not confuse their story with ours.

Since the beginning of our history, some of our wealthiest, most intellectual, and most honorable people have been women- even though were covered and travelled appropriately.

The thought that Muslim women need to be freed, that we can’t be physically fit unless Nike makes a breathable hijab for us, that we need role models that look, think, and act nothing like what the Quran and Sunnah wants for us, is an absolute attack on the Muslim woman. And unfortunately, most of us are drinking the poison.

When they talk about how women cannot stand in the same line as men for a hamburger at McDonald’s in Saudi, they do not mention that men cannot go to women areas either.

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When they talk about women covering, they never mention that men have to wear lose clothing too, that they also have an awrah to cover, that they grow their beards and wear their pants above their ankles.

When they talk about men objectifying women, they don’t mention that in the Quran, both men and women are asked to lower their gaze.

When they talk about women working, they don’t mention that women are excused from the responsibility of paying for any living expenses. That not a cent of her money can be touched by her husband or father or anyone. They define “work” as only what is resulting in monetary or material assets, neglecting that any contribution to knowledge or managing domestic matters is work.

In fact, it is a rule in fiqh that everything applies to both men and women unless there is a clear evidence that is gender specific.

It is not that we live in a bubble but that the secular society has created a bubble with our picture on it.

There was nothing inherently wrong with all-women universities and all-women work places. They want to demonize these things by calling it segregation and discrimination while in fact, there are all-women institutions running successfully.

Do not confuse their definitions with ours. Our honor is in Islam, from the Quran and Sunnah on the proper understanding. Counter the attack on Muslim women by studying, learning, and practicing this deen and never let it go, bi ithnillah.

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