My Thoughts on Feminism, By Nazeer Ibrahim
I have come across many feminists and articles on feminism and I would like to state my thoughts.
Feminism seeks to fight for women’s rights and give them equal representation in the society thus taking different forms in different places; from those who protest naked in embassies to those who protest in churches, from those who insist on no longer wearing pads to those who no longer want babies. The question is; where does your kind of feminism fit into?
Problems arise when feminists seek to re-define and reconstruct activities to fit their narrative and most times end up declaring anything they don’t like or understand as misogynist or patriarchal, which I believe risks turning them into misandrists. I believe feminists need to understand the fact that not everyone will agree with their brand of feminism.
By trying to ‘civilize’ or ‘modernize’ women whose lives they see as uncivilized and outdated simply because they do not behave or act in approved ways, are they not subtly trying to impose their values and lifestyles on others, which feminism is staunchly against?
What happens when a woman makes a CHOICE that is seen as ‘oppressive’ (like marriage which is ridiculed by some feminists or wearing of Burqa), who has the sole right to decide what is ‘oppressive’ and what is not?
To those feminists critical of the Islamic religion, I encourage them to study and understand Islam instead of listening to hearsay. Women play the most vital role in the Islamic society. The Noble prophet (SAW) was asked who should I honor, he said your mother (3 times) then your father. Women are the heart-beat of an Islamic society for they raise, train and inspire the future members of the society. Islam recognized the rights of women before the Europeans arrived with ‘feminism’. Islam stopped the killings and burials of female children in the Jahiliyyah period. In the 18th century, women could not own properties in Europe, neither could they solely engage in financial transactions, with the advent of Islam, women could own properties; Zainab (wife of Abdullah ibn Mas’ud) is an example. Nana Khadija (wife of the prophet- owned properties before the advent of Islam) and continued her businesses after accepting Islam.
In Islam, the wife and the husband’s relationship are depicted like that of the Sun and the moon, they have DIFFERENT functions, they are meant to complement each other not act as rivals. They are equal before Allah but have different responsibilities in worldly functions. In Islam the wife’s wealth belongs to her alone (she is advised to help out) but the wealth of the husband belongs to BOTH of them and it is COMPULSORY for the husband to provide for the wife. To cap it all, a whole Surah-(chapter) in the Qur’an addresses concerns about women (An-nisa-women) to stress the importance of women in the society. I strongly believe once you are a good Muslim you are automatically a ‘feminist’ without the label.
In the field of education, the Noble Prophet (SAW) said ‘It is compulsory upon every muslim, MALE and FEMALE to seek after knowledge”
Interestingly, The oldest university in the world, University of al-Qarawiyyin was established by a Muslim woman Fatima al Fihri in 859. Aysha (RA) narrated so many hadiths and educated so many women. Nana Asma’u bint Uthman Fodio was at the fore-front in educating women and children during her time. Yet these women remain humbly married.
There are those that always ask; why do MUSLIM women go through a lot of oppression? My answers are simple;
-Societies view many things differently, what might be considered as oppression in one might be considered as modesty in another (e.g wearing of Burqa in western societies)
-People (feminists) need to differentiate between Islamic practices and cultural practices. There are many societies that traditionally ‘oppress’ women and IF coincidentally they happen to be Muslims, the Islamophobes atomically pounce on it. Knowledge on Islam will help eradicate such practices, sadly not all people have ideal knowledge of the the religion they profess.
Feminism IF used as a tool to better the lives of women will definitely go places, but if used as a tool to deride religion and to ‘modernize’ women, it will undoubtedly raise quite a few eye-brows.
I ask for clarity’s sake; do feminists recognize the fact that men have rights too?
Is feminism a tool for young, out of love ladies to vent out their frustrations on all men?
Is the feminist revolution a tool for empowering women and restoring their dignity or a tool for achieving political gains?
@iNazeerr on twitter
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