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She is Queen: Feminism in Islam

Islam is timeless

Feminist dialogue has been heard all over the world. But what isn’t yet heard all over the world is how Islam is among the first to properly introduce the rights of a woman.

While, on the surface, the context of women’s right that was implemented in the time of revelation may seem outdated, if we learn to apply the general teachings of Islam to the rights that have been given to women in the time of the prophet S.A.W, we can realise that the relevance of Islam’s teachings are actually timeless. They will always be applicable and always be a mercy for those who choose to be rightly guided.

What makes Islam so special is that it does not conform to the changing trends of time. It remains true to its essence; that this life is not eternal, and that no matter how the world evolves, we should never fully attach ourselves to this temporary existence. That is not to say we should live isolated from the world, but rather, learn to live in moderation; reaping and sowing seeds of goodness in this world in preparation for that which is to come in the permanent afterlife. This does not come without challenge as modernisation has taken a strong grip on our world.

Let us constantly remind ourselves, that this world is a test designed to challenge our impulses and that everything will come to pass.

Let us learn to navigate through this new world of technology, modernism and liberalism while staying true to the ways of our deen.

The concept of “feminism”

The concept of “feminism”, which is the advocacy of women’s rights, is not a new ideology coming from the west, contrary to popular belief. It is a way of life that was introduced several centuries before.

If you were to google the origin of feminism, you will find that the term “feminism” was coined by a utopian socialist & French philosopher in the early 1800s. However, the concept of “feminism” was already introduced through the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet S.A.W.

“And live with them in kindness. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike something in which Allah has placed good” (4:19)

Why Muslims don’t need “feminism”?

In this day & age, feminism has come to be a range of social movements, political movements & ideologies that aim to define & establish the equality of the sexes. There is a fundamental flaw in this concept.

While we are all equal in the eyes of God and as persons with agency, emotions, intellect and socio-economic needs, men & women are created unique from each other. We are biologically and genetically designed unique and as such also have unique attributes and characteristics to our basic being.

This is not to say that any one gender is superior over the other. What it does mean is that men & women each have qualities and responsibilities unique to the capabilities that have be endowed unto them. We are all equal in rights, but we are unique in responsibility, strengths and attributes.

It is important to understand that our differences do not make either gender any lesser or more superior.

In fact, Islam has raised the status of woman such that they are to be honoured, respected and treated with utmost dignity and kindness. And while women have been raised in honour, it is not without responsibility. Likewise for men, who are constantly regarded as leaders, protectors and maintainers of women, as such, their responsibility to ensure the rights of the women are met is very high and heavy.

One way to look at it, is that in the differences between men & women; there is also equity in value, responsibilities and rights and while we are all equal in value but different in attributes.

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