As an imam, I’m often asked about women’s role in Islam – and this is my message for International Women’s Day

Blue mosque with water fountain

Blue mosque with water fountain in the foreground, in Istanbul, Turkey

Source: Independent

Source: Qari Asim

I’ll never fully understand the fight that women experience daily. I do, however, recognise that fight and see suffering in society as well as in the Muslim community that I know needs to be stopped

International Women’s Day is an incredibly important date, which should act as a reminder that we must live its values on every other day of the year. This year, more than ever, men have a responsibility to take part in the conversation, and have a responsibility to do what they can to further women’s rights. It is not women’s responsibility alone.

Read further

Additional Reading and viewing

Gender Equality in the Holy Qur’an – In the Beginning Man and Woman Were Equal

BBC Big Questions – Are Religions Unfair To Women?

Today is International Women’s Day and We have the Most Extensive Coverage on Women Rights

7 replies

  1. Thank you Zia for sharing a good topic today.
    This is my comment. I love her thought about Islam closer to my faith,
    Is Islam unfair to women?

    My comment is base on Al Quran— the word of God as following;

    All God sent His laws for:
    1. The local laws ( Arab)
    2. The universal laws or mankind laws.

    God is all- Wiser, He knows everythink what is good for people according to the context of time, tradition of people and geograpic.

    For example: local laws treate women are unfair, second class
    Law of slavery—inherintance—polygamy—burqa, Hijab—Usury,Bank—beat wife—forbidden a leader—imam—witness—unclean.

    From tradition or sunnah.
    Women are forbidden sit side by side with male—forbidden go alone withour a guardian male—forbidden sing song at public—forbidden to join family funeral—forbidden drive a car—forbidden to get a good education as boy—forbidden shack hand with male—etc

    These local laws can be reformed or changed accoriding to progess and development if science and technology or depand of geograpic or tradition other countries.

    1.God command prophet, Government or Imam to treate women fairly and equaly to men
    —do justice for all people regardless his or her religion, race, nationality, gender.

    2. God command Government to treat and protect the right or minorities or women’s right.

    3. There is no compulsion in Islam

    4. Women and men has the same right at front of the law.

    My conclusion.
    1. Arab women who live abroad should follow the arab tradition if she wish. But women who is not Arab, do not need to follow Arab tradition.
    Every countries has its own tradition.

    2. The universal laws of Islam should be followed by all Muslim around the world.

    Yes, Islamic local laws can be adjusted or changed it. God create people with different nations, languages, tradition etc.

    May God guide us all to the right path of Islam
    All our love
    Please do not delate it. Thank you

  2. I find Islam to be liberating not oppressive: women are partners.

    Islam is the first religion which systematically empowered women when women were considered as totally subservient to man. There was no concept of her being an independent entity and enjoying equal right with dignity. We live in a country where women are over-sexualised and sold as ‘products’ for capitalist gains. A woman’s beauty is splashed around everywhere, and she is only judged by that. Islam tells a woman to cover up so that she is not abused as Western women are. Islam provides the security and respect to women community than other religions. The western countries are using the women as an entertainment channels. All the women in the world should think about themselves then decide what is right and what is wrong for them in other religions (than Islam)

    Qur’an does lay down certain strict norms for sexual behaviour. Both man woman have right to sexual gratification (a woman has as much right to sexual gratification as man) but within marital frame-work. There is no concept of freedom for extramarital sex in any form. Sex is permissible only with marital framework. Sex, as far as Islam is concerned, is not mere enjoyment but an act for procreation and hence has sanctity.

    It is important here to emphasize that in a patriarchal society men decided the norms of sexual behaviour. It was theorized that man has greater urge for sex and hence he needs multiple wives and woman tends to be passive and hence has to be content with one. This is not true as far as Qur’an is concerned. Qur’an’s approach is very different. It is not greater or lesser degree of sexual urge which necessitates multiple or monogamous marriage.

    Also, in western capitalist countries women’s dignity has been compromised and she has been reduced to a commodity to be exploited. Her semi-naked postures and her sexuality is exploited commercially unabashedly. It is totally against the concept of woman’s honour and dignity. Unfortunately western feminists do not consider this as objectionable but accept it as part of woman’s freedom. Some (though not many) even advocate prostitution as woman’s right to earn her bread.

    UNICEF photo of the year shows, a bridegroom, 40, with his 11-year-old bride in Afghanistan. The bridegroom is going to take care of her and their future children. UNICEF photo of the year must show that the teenage pregnancies and abortion, drug addiction, binge drinking and anti-social behaviour is on the rise in Britain. All of them are burden on British tax-payers. This is sickening. It’s no wonder Great Britain is in such a bad shape. Ten years old British girls are having babies out of wedlock. They are not allowed to get married but are allowed to have babies. Teenage pregnancy rate in Great Britain is the highest in Western Europe. It is a civilised country and Yemen is a backward country because it allows young girls to get married.

    The Holy Quran gives more rights to women than the so called western civilisation.
    Western Secularism cannot teach Muslims how to treat women. Islam teaches us how to be civilised. Islam is a middle path. Women are even abused in the UK Parliament, which is called the Mother of Parliament. It is not just verbal abuse the female MPs have had to deal with. The tradition of killing women for family honour is a “curse”. Violence against women is a global phenomenon. An Australian Judge failed to jail nine males who admitted gang-raping a 10-year old Aboriginal girl, by saying the victim probably agreed to have sex with them. More than half the babies born to British mothers this year will be outside marriage for the first time since records begins. There is a steady decline in marriage among British couples. Nearly all births to Pakistani mothers are within wedlock.

  3. IFTIKHARA—-What do think

    5 Divorces Every Hour In Saudi Arabia
    RIYADH: Divorce in the Kingdom happens at the rate of 127 cases per day, or about five cases every hour.
    This has been revealed in a report by the General Authority of Statistics.
    According to the report, more than 157,000 marriages were recorded in the courts over the past year, while over 46,000 divorce cases were recorded during the same period.
    The report stated, however, that last year the number of divorces recorded a decline from the year before, which saw more than 54,000 cases of divorce. The Eastern Province and Tabuk recorded the highest divorce rates last year — 36.7 percent and 36.1 percent respectively. In Riyadh, the divorce rate was recorded at 31 percent, while Jazan witnessed 17.9 percent.
    The chairperson of the Board of Directors of Mawadah Charitable Organization, Princess Sarah bint Musaed, recently revealed that a quarter of marriages in Saudi Arabia end in divorce, noting that 60 percent of divorce cases occur in the first year of marriage.

    This is a result of Islamic teaching wahhabi In Saudi Arabia
    What fo you think!

    • USA: However, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.
      SOURCE: Marriage and Divorce – American Psychological Association

      Therefore: stop talking silly …

      • That good think in America as I see, American women are indenpendence, wife and husband have job, if she get divorce—it is fine— she has earn money for living and for kids.

        But in Saudi Arabia, when she get divorve, she does not job, she go back to her parents.

        Saudi need to update Islamic law.
        ==Recently, some people claiming to be clerics issued statements contradicting the religion. It is hard to understand. They have no place in our times. They don’t know Islam needed an update and is accordingly updated. You can’t apply the practices applied 15 centuries ago today. Islam changes and adopts to the conditions of different ages. This is the beauty of Islam,” Erdoğan said.===

        That is a big problem. You dont agree! Rafiq?
        Ahmadiyyah should update Islamic law soon as possible!

      • by the way, Arabs do not seem to discriminate against divorcees as much as Pakistanis. It is easier for them to remarry. (Pakistani culture has been influenced by Hindu culture).

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