Friday Sermon: How Islam Honoured Woman, By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May Allah extol the mention of the Prophet in the highest company of Angels and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him exactly till the Day of Judgement.
O Muslim woman, know that, you are among the hopes of this Ummah!
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Before the advent of Islam, the state in which women lived was disgraceful; as they led arduous and miserable lives. Women’s rights were unheard of and their duties far exceeded their capacity. A woman’s life was spent in distress and agony from the moment of birth until the moment of her death; if she escaped being buried alive as a young girl, she would live in humiliation and contempt for the rest of her life.
In the pre-Islamic era (Jahiliyyah period), people used to bury young girls alive, and if she survived somehow, she was considered of no consequence, as if she had no right to live. So, what kind of life could women at that time expect?
Islam came to save women from a humiliating and disgraceful existence. It guided women to all that honours her and provides her with the respect that is due to her – whether as a beloved young girl, an honoured sister, an affectionate wife or a compassionate and respected mother.
Islam greatly honours women, raises their status and elevates them to the position of which they are worthy, as they are the progenitors of men and the educators of future generations.
Due to the importance of the woman’s role in educating future generations and her direct influence in instilling in them the correct Islamic creed, righteous conduct and morals and teaching them various acts of worship, her enemies exert great efforts to Westernise her and focus on beguiling her through the deceptive glamorous calls that have ensnared the sons and daughters of our Ummah. Such calls include the so-called movement for “women’s freedom”, “women’s rights”, so-called “feminist movements”, and calling for “equality between men and women.”
Muslim women should be made aware of and warned against the conspiracies that are being secretly perpetrated against them in order to drag them into the impure swamps of immorality, by continuously tempting them in every possible way to abandon the teachings of their religion that came to safeguard their honour and ensure their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.
It is truly unfortunate to see that some Muslim women are attracted to these fallacies and lies and even follow them. They have not only adopted such misleading thoughts, they even spread them through various mediums and lead a life of absolute intellectual, social and behavioural subordination to the West. They blindly imitate Western women without thinking. Thus, the following Sahih Hadith of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) applies to them:
“You will continue to follow the ways of your preceding nations, span by span and Zira’ by Zira’ (i.e., a measurement equal to sixty-four centimeters) to the extent that even if they entered a hole of a mastigure, you would follow them (i.e. you will continue to follow your preceding nations so consistently in their disagreeable actions).” The Companions, May Allah be pleased with them said: ”O Messenger of Allah! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said: ”Who else?”
Such women have forgotten that the social, legal, and historical circumstances that faced European woman are totally different from those faced by the Muslim woman. The European woman lived in an unjust society based on human laws rather than divine legislation. Therefore, her rights were exceedingly violated, which made her rebel against her conditions in order to retrieve even a small part of her lost rights.
With regard to the Muslim woman, Islam granted her all her rights more than fourteen centuries ago; hence, she has the right to be proud and hold her head up high by virtue of these rights, which have not been granted to women till this day even in those countries which claim to be “civilised” and “developed.”
O Respected Muslimah! Your enemies are trying to deceive you and use you as their weapon by alleging that they want to free you, while, by Allah, their only purpose is to ruin your chastity and honour and undermine your honourable status and happiness under Islam. You have to stop these oppressors and criminals immediately and firmly because your deviation and loss means the breakup of the family bonds that attach its members; scattering them in life’s mazes.
My Dear Sisters in Islam! Your enemies are lying in wait for you, and continue to wage war against Hijab – a continuation of the events in the early history of Muslims when they conspired to remove a Muslim woman’s Hijab at the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in the market of Banu Qainuqa.
This war is continuing until today, because your enemies realise very well that ruining the Muslim woman means ruining the entire Muslim society.
Undoubtedly, some of those people have grown up under the protection of atheism, thus, they pretend to be Muslims, while they are in fact disbelievers. Such people are very keen to remove the Hijab of the Muslim woman and stain her honour and dignity. Hence, they find that there is no better way than offering them so-called “woman’s freedom” in the guise of “modern Islam.”
O Daughter of Islam! Do not listen to those who beautify the life of dangerous intermixing between the two sexes and abandonment of the Hijab in the name of “freedom” and “civilised behaviour”, so that you are saved from becoming a toy in their hands. Say to them that Allah the Almighty says:
“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves (part) of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an, 33:59]
O Beloved Muslimah! Contemplate the following verse and its lessons, Allah the Most High says:
“And when he came to the well of Madyan, he found there a crowd of people watering (their flocks), and he found aside from them two women driving back (their flocks). He said, “What is your circumstance?” They said, “We do not water until the shepherds dispatch (their flocks); and our father is an old man.” [Qur’an, 28:23]
This Qur’anic verse is part of the story of Prophet Musa, before he was sent to his people as a Messenger of Allah. He went to a distant land to escape from the oppression of Fir’awn (Pharaoh). When he arrived there, he found a group of people watering their flocks, with two women standing apart from them. He asked them why they were standing aside. They told him that they had come to this place to water their flock, as their father was an old man and could not work. Nevertheless, they did not justify themselves under this compelling necessity to intermix with men; rather, they waited until the men had finished and then watered their flocks.
My Beloved Sister! Would you not review your stance, and contemplate on how to define the safe way?
Return to Allah, contemplate the Qur’an, and imitate the wives of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him) as this is the only way to Paradise. Wake up my Sister, before it is too late and before your death and reckoning, when the scale will be set and the Sirat will be placed over Hell and the obedient people will be distinguished from those who are disobedient.
* Muslim Sisters Must Avoid The So-called Feminist Movements
Simple logic: If you adopt a moral standard by which the Qur’an is considered immoral, then you have two choices. You either reject that moral standard or you reject the Qur’an!
Have you heard of the Bechdel Test? This is a feminist standard used to determine whether a written story or film meets the bare minimum requirements of representing women. The Test is straightforward: Does the story or film in question have at least two female characters who speak to each other about something other than a man?
What feminists realised is that many stories and films have minimal female representation and the few female characters that do appear are simply love interests of the male characters, who are the focus of the narrative. This is a gross violation of gender equality and, hence, of justice, as far as feminism is concerned.
Now, is the Bechdel Test a good standard of justice and morality? Is it a good standard for determining female representation and visibility? Virtually all feminists would say, “Yes, of course! Women MUST be represented!”
Well, if we judge by this feminist standard, then the Qur’an would be considered unjust and immoral (as would the Prophet (Peace be upon him), his Companions and literally all the scholars of the Islamic tradition prior to maybe twenty years ago). For example, Surah Yusuf, which Allah describes as “the best of stories,” does not pass the Bechdel Test and, therefore, does not adequately represent women as far as feminism is concerned.
The feminist asks, “How is this the best of stories when not a single woman is referred to by name? How is this the best of stories when the only women mentioned are those who lust after and conspire against a man? What about Yusuf’s mom or sisters? Why are they not mentioned anywhere? Was there not a single positive woman in that time to include in the narrative?” This is all what the feminist sees but the rest of us recognise the folly of questioning Allah in this way.
This is just one example but it encapsulates why many so-called Muslim feminists end up leaving Islam. They eventually realise that the feminist morality they have adopted renders scholars, the Companions, even the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), even Allah as immoral, na’uzubillah. So they reject it all and apostatise!!!
So what is the upshot? Well, first of all, Muslims MUST reject the Bechdel Test, clearly. If the best of all stories in the Qur’an does not meet the feminist standard of morality, then our very Iman depends on throwing that standard in the trash.
Then what can be said about female representation?
Feminists, Muslim and non-Muslim, emphasise representation. “Women’s voices need to be heard!” they shout. Well, of course they do. Islamically, no one disagrees with that. Of course women’s voices are important and need to be respected and represented. Allah acknowledges this in the Qur’an when He says, for example:
“Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her that disputes with you concerning her husband and complains to Allah. And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.”
But feminists are not satisfied with these assurances. It is not enough that women’s voices are represented. They need to be represented in a particular way. Speaking panels need to include as many women as men. Mosque boards need to include a proportional number of women as men. Books need to cite as many women as men. Islamic organisations need to give women as much visibility as men. Etc.
Visibility is the important concept here. To be represented, women must be physically seen. Otherwise, one is guilty of “hiding” and “marginalising” women and this is the epitome of injustice, we are told.
But then, where was the female representation among the Rightly Guided Caliphs? Where is the female representation in Surah Kahf? Where is the female representation in Surah Baqarah? Where is the female representation in Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj? Where is the female representation among the authors of the authoritative Hadith collections or the most prominent books of Fiqh or the most cited books of Tafsir (which is not to deny that there were female scholars?), etc.
If feminism informs our standards of female representation, then we stand to lose a great deal of our religion, if not the entirety of it.
If we dump feminist standards, then what standards should we adopt?
We adopt Islam’s standards, the Qur’an’s standards.
Maryam (RA) was not looking for representation. She was not demanding to speak her mind and “be heard.” Infact, Allah commanded her to remain silent. But then by His command, her baby spoke for her and miraculously defended her from the crib.
We see the same from the Mother of the Believers. They weren’t demanding to stand in front of everyone and “be visible.” They weren’t demanding to be “represented” in every gathering and consultation and on every platform. What lessons should we take from their example? Are those loud, screeching voices that are attempting to disrupt our communities with their calls for “representation” really following any Islamic precedence?
Here is the critical question the screechers don’t want you to ask. Does the lack of visibility from the Sahabiyat (Women Companions) mean that they lacked influence? Absolutely not. It is feminism’s deceit to conflate visibility with influence and power. Influence and power do not require being visible and, in fact, a great deal of power is obtained through deliberate lack of visibility.
Respected Brothers and Sisters! We don’t need to be fooled by this toxic, man-made ideology of feminism that has corrupted the minds and hearts of so many of our brothers and sisters. The time has come to throw it away!!!
* Muslim Women Versus Western Women
Islam positions women in a noble position, because the brilliant generation will be born out of their womb. In the period of jahiliyyah (ignorance period) culture prior to the arrival of Islam, women were considered to be very low and despicable, in fact not a few female newborn were buried alive. They looked at women with one eye, in fact they were even considered contemptible and worthless. After the arrival of Islam, it was proven that the female could breathe in the air freely and the task of building a community that is cultured and civilised, was given to them.
So it is no surprise that in Islam, there is no such thing as discrimination against women, there are no need of the women emancipation and feminism. Because since the first time the religion of Islam was revealed to the surface of the Earth, Islam always uphold the status and dignity of women. And an Islamic Shari’ah like this will not fade with times, it will never be evolved and going through a revolution.
This is in contrast to the Western culture today which is the product of an age that will always change and shift due to the erosion by the time. Whereas, Islam places the men and women in accordance with the nature of each. Therefore, there is no reason for the Muslims, whether they are men, women, old or young, to demand more than what have been outlined by the Creator, Allah the Almighty. Because it is Allah Who is the All-Knowing about the secrets behind the creation of His creatures.
The Western nations in the reform and modernisation, are demanding equal rights (emancipation). However, the concept of emancipation itself is increasingly unclear with times, what should be the emancipation to free women from the shackles of slavery, is instead plunging the women into the abyss of a new slavery. In the capitalist society, women are exploited and becoming a commodity that can be traded with the public, just look at the ads in the information media around us. In a free society, women are taught the permissive culture, that is detached from the values of the normative, only for the benefit of the industry.
Away from the concept of Islam, they are demanding equality, freedom and human rights, whereas they in fact are neglecting the nature and dignity of the women which is supposed to be held in high esteem. In an indirect manner, they are actually claiming that Islam is discriminative against women. Whereas, Islam places the women in a position which does not exceed what has been outlined and destined as women.
Umar Bin al-Khattab ever said:
“At the time of jahiliyyah (ignorance), the women had no value for us. Until finally Islam came and declared that the woman is equal to man.”
This equality that Islam meant covers all aspects, including the issue of rights and obligations. This is very well understood by the women of Islam and therefore they hold very strongly to the teachings of Islam.
It is not rare that there are statements from some Muslims which say:
“The path to the awakening is already very clear, namely by means of going through the path which had been gone through by the European nations. Thus, we can change to be like them, and website must take all that is on them. The bitter, sweet, good and bad, including things that are liked, as well as disliked.” [Taha Hussain, in the future of knowledge in Egypt]
* The Destruction Of The Family
The subsequent problem is no longer just about women’s issues and their rights.
However, it will expand and widen, covering on how to build a household in such ways and styles that correspond to Western civilisation. Thus developed the idea that, in managing a household we no longer have to pay close attention to the rules and values. The role of the “mother” is no longer a woman’s task. That role is the responsibility of the society. In fact, the role can be performed by women and men.
Actually, in Europe, this thought and ideology has given birth to many problems. For example, in France, it was recorded that 53% of the children born do not have clear fathers. In many European countries, there is an increasingly developing trend of not wanting to have children, or even not wanting to get married. The relationship of men and women is merely a free sex relationship without any ties, there is no binding rule. And furthermore, they demanded that abortion is legalised as a direct impact from the outbreak of the free sex culture.
It also had a significant impact on the very sharp rise in the number of crimes. In 1998, the level of crimes in America reached a phenomenal figure. The act of rape occurs every 6 minutes, shooting happens every 41 seconds, murder every 31 minutes. The funds spent on tackling the acts of crime at that time reached 700 million dollars per year (this figure does not include the crime of drugs). This number is equal to the annual income of 120 third world countries.
* Crimes Against Women
The outbreak of crimes provides its own dangers for the women in Europe, so much so that the UN, on 17th December 1999, issued a decision that 25th November is an ‘Anti-Violence Against Women Day.’ There are a lot of facts and data that should be heeded by those who are lulled by the West. In Europe and America, at every 15 seconds, a violence against women happens. And it is not even coupled with the act of rape every day. Causing America to be recorded as a country with the highest number of violence against women. According to the UNICEF records, 30% of violence against women occur in America and 20% in the United Kingdom.
Not to mention the crime of slavery which happens in America, the CNN had broadcasted a report that in 2002, millions of children and women were traded in America every year. More than 120 thousands of women from Eastern Europe and some other poor countries are sent to Europe to be employed as sex slaves. And then more than 15 thousand women, a majority of whom come from Mexico, are sold to America to be employed in the prostitution complexes.
This illicit business even steal away the independence of children in the world, to the point that the UN General Assembly, at its 54th meeting, issued an enactment on the rights of children on 25th May 2000. A decision that was deemed urgent so that prevention would be done, so as the buying and selling of children no longer happen, much less if later they are employed as sex slaves, such as that found in the internet networks.
Observing what is happening in the West, should make us think further if we want to walk in a path that has been taken up by the West. In Israel’s prisons, there are about 100 female prisoners. Why is the West silent over all this? In Palestine, there are more than 250 women who have met their martyrdom, not to mention the women who suffered injuries in the aftermath of Intifadhah. As for the woman in Iraq, suffice it for us what was delivered by the world organization on 22nd February 2005, which stated that the condition of the Iraqi women is not much different from the conditions when they were under the reign of Sadam Husain.
This explains that the independence and freedom of women as touted by America do not touch them at all. In fact, their conditions under the American occupation is much worse. They received rough treatment, they were persecuted, harassed and even raped.
Therefore, as Muslims, let us think clearly, and do not be influenced by the argumentation that feminism and gender equality can be the solution to the problems of women in the Islamic world, such as in domestic violence, women trafficking and other social problems. Until this moment, the Western countries had not been able to prove that they managed to overcome the mentioned social problems. Quite the contrary, moral disintegration have destroyed the social fabric of the Western society, the feminist movement are then blamed because it is considered to have changed the women to become career crazy beings and distanced them from the warmth of a family.
And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.
Your brother, Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, writes from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: email@example.com or +2348038289761.