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By: Bisma Farooq Sheikh

West has been trying hard to bring the notion that Islam is anti feminist and Muslims are conservative and pro violence. They are creating Islamophobia. They assert that Islam denigrates women and deprives them from rights and privileges they deserve. Islam favours men in matters related to marriage, divorce, inheritance, and freedom in general. They believe that pardah system also is a tool to suppress women. But is this true?

I proclaim that it is Islam that empowers women and treats them as precious creation. Islam beautifies the status of women.  Long before the advent of modern civilisation when girls were  buried alive at the time of birth; Islam came as a beacon of light. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) forbid people from doing that and gave females a right to live. Islam commanded women to do pardah why? Because Islam perceives women as the precious of all the creation and it is by nature that the more precious a thing is the more covered and hidden we keep it and Islam considers women too precious to be on display for everyone to see. We have lakhs of books but only Quran is covered with gilaf (cover); we have hundreds of monuments and mosques but only kaba is covered with a gilaf (cover). This is the rationale behind pardah.

West gives women independence that is but a honey covered poison; it may have given women the freedom to hangout till late night and excel in every sphere but in reality it denigrates women. The permit prostitution, premarital and extra marital relations; this indicates the worth they have for women. They consider women as commodities; use and throw; but Islam respects women and prohibits the use of women and makes it haram to have pre marital and extra marital relations. Islam protects women by a sacred bond of Nikah; and in Quran it is said “Men and women are clothing (Libas) of each other. Islam ordains husbands from beating wives and told the men to be kind to women or else Allah will be displeased with them.

In last sermon, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)  emphasised “Dear men treat women with kindness, respect them and don’t abuse them.”

Islam encourages rather loves a beautiful romantic bond between husband and wife; Islam orders men to be loving and caring towards wives; help in household affairs and give time to each other. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was so kind and affectionate towards his wives that rarely any man till doomsday will be.  He had never been harsh to them and when Allah blesses prophet with daughter; his joy knew no bounds. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) mentioned several times to companions that “whoever raises his daughters well and with generosity his daughters will become a shield for him from hellfire and will be given  a place in paradise for sure”.(Bukhari, Hadith 499).

Islam gives a unique motherhood status to women. Islam declares paradise under the feet of mother; not under the feet of father or husband. Paradise the ultimate reward; the goal is under the feet of women. What else can be described as women empowerment? In Quran it is mentioned; whoever performs a good deed will be equally rewarded; be it male or female (3;195). It is emphasised in several other verses as well. Besides Allah dedicated one surah in Quran; Surah Al Nisa (Nisa meaning woman) to women. There is no such surah like Surah Rajalun (Rajalun meaning men).

Now, ponder over these things and decide whether Islam is a real feminist or anti feminist; whether it is West and its modernity or Islam that respects the sanctity and accords highest standard to women. And, dear feminists don’t try to strive to  prove men and women are equal.  They are neither superior to each other nor inferior not even equal. Each gender is beautiful and unique in its own way. Each has a role to play which other cannot fulfil. Men and women are like two eyes and two hands; though separate in existence but equally important and complementary to each other.

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