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The Friday Message - Issue No: 323 - Heroes of Feminism

Muslim-woman-praying-1Issue No: 323
11th January 2019
4th Jamadi al Thaani 1440 A.H.

Salamun alaykum,

Women counted as chattels:

1400 years ago, in the Arabian Peninsula, women were not afforded any rights whatsoever. They were considered as chattels to be counted by man as possessions along with animals and other belongings. Even the right of life was denied. Female infanticide was the norm of the day in Ayyamul Jaahiliyyah- the Age of Ignorance.

Some people wrongly accuse that Islam deprives women of their basic rights.

The social tsunami:

In fact, the announcement of the message of Islam over 1400 years ago brought about a social revolution in mankind. The teachings of the Noble Qur'an and beloved Prophet Muhammad SAWW effected a 'social tsunami' that set into motion a huge change in how society viewed women. Indeed it was just over a short period of time that women became empowered. They were given status of equality to men with the right to life, ownership of property, inheritance and freedom. Essentially Islam stressed women were no longer regarded as property to be owned by the male gender.

It is essential to note that the Noble Prophet Muhammad SAWW was able to do more for women during his lifetime, especially in just the short period of 23 years of his risalah- Messengership- than anybody else; including the feminist leaders in the history of mankind. This is an undisputable fact.

The earliest instance of record of feminist leader Marie de France is in the 12th century. Further not only has Islam liberated women from the evil practices that are still being followed in many societies of the world, but also protected and granted the basic rights to them, some of which have been adapted in recent times.

Hero of feminism:

The Noble Prophet, as the husband to Sayyida Khadija and father to Sayyida Fatima, provided most outstanding role model in recognising and respecting the rights of women in their various functions of living. The lives of Sayyida Khadija, Sayyida Fatima and her two daughters Sayyida Zaynab and Sayyida Ummi Kulthum are paradigms of the empowerment of women in Islam. These noble ladies presented the legitimate female participation in all walks of life including leadership, politics, education, business and social sectors. Indeed, they are eternal role models for not only women, but men too.

The ladies of light:

During these two months of Jamaadi ul Ula and Jamaadi ul Thaani, auspicious occasions of the birth anniversaries of Sayyida Fatima Zahra a.s. and her daughter Sayyida Zaynab a.s. are being celebrated. History records that these two noble personalities along with Sayyida Khadija (beloved wife of Noble Prophet) were the main players of the social revolution initiated by the Noble Prophet to have mankind recognise and elevate the status of women.

Points for reflection:

As we celebrate the birth anniversaries of Sayyida Fatima Zahra a.s. and her daughter Sayyida Zaynab a.s. it is worthy to reflect on the following:

Does not the provision of shar'i –legitimate opportunities for women participation equal to their male counterparts enable the women to realise their full potential and lead to the formation of an enlightened and prosperous ummah?

Is it not sad to note that due to cultural influences in some families, communities and regions, Islam is being (mis)used to deny women their rights which have been safeguarded by the Divine message of Islam?

Today how faithful is a Muslim male to the shar'i –legitimate- empowerment of women?

Do you recognise and encourage this at all level of society including at the home, family, community and the ummah?

Khushali Mubarak.

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah.

Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat