Published on October 9th, 2012 | by Omar


Women are the foundation of our communities

What saddens me as a male is the depths to which we as a gender take out our frustration and ineptitude by oppressing those whom we have the slightest “power” over. The most current point in case is the attack on a 14 year old girl in Pakistan whom they accuse of promoting western values such as the education of girls . Grown men attempting to murder a teenaged girl for encouraging girls to get an education. What better way to keep women down by not enabling them to educate themselves.

There is a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that states that one should be weary of allowing a women of low intelligence to act as a wet-nurse to one’s child. He said that more than milk is passed between them.

A lack of education doesn’t necessarily indicate that a person is un-intelligent but it does stunt their potential. A woman is potentially a mother. A mother is the first teacher a child will ever have. From her they should learn language, communication, math, reading and writing. How able will this generation of women be able to meet the needs of their children in this aspect?

I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters who by the grace and blessing of God are very intelligent. In choosing their names I referred to a lecture series by Dr Umar Faruq Abdullah titled “Famous Women In Islam” which goes through a through list of women from the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to earlier this century that were leaders within the Muslim community. He goes over how the autobiographical dictionaries of these types of women started with large numbers of women within them and have rapidly declined. This decline can be attributed to many things but primarily the colonization of Muslim lands where upon being colonized Muslim men were neutered and oppressed and many (not all) therefore chose to oppress women.

Women during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) were as intelligent as they were courageous. These women understood shariah and Nusayba is most famously noted for asking the Prophet Muhammad why it seemed as though the revelation was aimed towards men rather than women. How do we respond within our own communities when women ask us questions? Today’s actions prove that if you live in northern Pakistan you get put on hit list.

I for one hope to encourage my daughters to learn their religion to a deep degree as well as “secular” knowledge because I firmly believe that the success of our community rides on returning women to their proper place. That proper place being leaders and active participants within our community who actively have their opinion sought after.

May God help return our community to the straight path and may He bless us with the desire and ability to learn about our religion in it’s pure form of tolerance, mercy and understanding. Ameen!

Shaykh Habib Ali al-Jifri on Women

Women in the ‘Hood – Asma Hanif

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