certifired_img

Books and Documents

Islam, Women and Feminism

The woman's head was covered with a sack, her hands were tied and she was tethered to the ground – while a group of turbaned, bearded men hurled rocks at her, breaking her bones and then crushing her skull. According to reports in the press, she had been walking unescorted and was presumed guilty of adultery. The barbarity, allegedly perpetrated by the Taliban in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), was shown on Dubai's Al Aan television. The same footage was televised by a private Pakistani channel on Sept 28 and the story also featured that day in the local print media. -- S Iftikhar Murshed

In early July this year, the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak announced that two women had been appointed judges in the country's sharia Courts.

Marina Mahathir is well known as a leader in many non-governmental organizations such as SIS and the Malaysian AIDS Foundation "The appointments were made to enhance justice in cases involving family and women's rights, and to meet current needs," said prime minister Najib Razak. And while this move seems to have alarmed some of the more conservative judges in the Syariah Courts, the concerns of women's groups have turned out to be unfounded: at the end of July, a special panel decided that female judges do indeed have jurisdiction over the same cases as male judges.

It should be noted that the Qur'an enjoins judges to use their wisdom to ensure justice, stating that "if ye judge between mankind, that ye judge justly" (4:58). The verse emphasises justice without stating whether judges should be male or female. There is therefore no barrier for women to be judges in the Syariah Court system, as they have long been in the civil courts. The task now is to ensure that male or female, judges uphold justice. -- Marina Mahathir

A week ago on my way home from work, in one of Kabul's dusty and unclean streets I saw a little girl clad in a blue burka. She was hardly six and the burka was especially tailored to fit her size. She was playing with other children and was proudly displaying her burka. Her cute demeanor attracted my attention. I kept watching her for a while. The manner she was conducting her movements inside the burka made me smile. As I was leaving, the thought of this child's future made me sad too. She and millions in her age will be most likely forced under burka as me and my generation was. -- Sahar Saba

The policewomen in the Gaza Strip wear a light grey ankle-length cape, a dark grey veil that leaves the face free, and white gloves. In principle, the services of these female custodians of the law are required whenever contact with women is necessary, in all matter ranging from family disputes to the fight against the drug trade. There is a strict separation of the sexes within the Hamas police. Whenever women police are required to accompany their male colleagues on an assignment, both teams drive in different vehicles. -- Ruth Kinet

 

Islam does not place any restriction on women’s education and work.  This is what we must tell those mullahs and maulvis who issue fatwas to deny women their right to work and who consider their earnings to be unlawful or haraam. We need to tell them that Hazrat Khadijah, the first wife of the Prophet, was herself a rich trader. Before he was appointed as a prophet, Hazrat Muhammad used to work for her. In addition, she had several other male employees. If (as some mullahs insist) a woman’s earnings are haraam and if it is also haraam for men and women to work together, one may well wonder if our mullahs and maulvis will now start pointing fingers at these historical facts! -- By Zahid Khan

Much has been written about the tragedy of Karbala that wiped out almost all the male members of the family of the Holy Prophet (Ahle Bayt), and the undying fame of its hero Imam Husain. On the eve of his martyrdom, the great Imam had declared that human dignity could not survive under political tyranny, and it was far more honourable to give your head to a despot than give him your hand and invite disgrace and humiliation.

Karbala is not a saga of a power struggle; it is the story of a heroic endeavour to uphold the principle of human dignity and freedom, the story of supreme sacrifice made in defence of freedom of conscience, which includes the right to reject a political regime that seeks to coerce and compel people into submission against their will. The story has become immortal as Husain refused to confer legitimacy on a despotic, hereditary monarch masquerading as caliph, and thus saved the soul of Islam. - Arif M. Khan

 

Millions of Saudis, of course, still adhere to the strict religious and social conservatism that dates to the 18th century pact made between Mohammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab, a puritanical preacher, and the founder of the Saud dynasty Mohammed ibn Saud. And many conservatives resent the social changes the King is pushing. "Those around King Abdullah use his peaceful positions to impose secular values," says conservative cleric Mohsen al-Awajy. "But Saudi society is a special, tribal society, and neither King Abdullah or anyone else can impose his own interpretation of Islam. They can do nothing without Islam. There is no Saudi Arabia without Islam. There is no royal family without Islam." (Read: "Pope Benedict's Latest Take on Islam."). There's evidence, too, that many women don't want radical change. A government poll in 2006 — one of the few attempts to gauge women's opinions — found that 86% thought women shouldn't work in a mixed environment, and 89% agreed women shouldn't drive. Iman al-Alqeel, the editor of Hayat, a conservative magazine for girls, says most of her readers find the thought of working or studying around boys and men intimidating. -- Andrew Lee Butters

 

"NIQAB" NOT MANDATORY

While identifying the paarts of a woman’s body which should be covered, the Qur’an also gives us evidence to refute the claim of those who associate "Niqab" (Veils, face covers) as an ingredient of a woman’s dress code ordained by Allah. THE EXAMPLE OF MARY the mother of Jesus (p) is mentioned in the Qur'an as the woman chosen and purified above all the women of all the worlds. "And when the angels said: O Mary! Surely Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of all the worlds." (3:42). She has been acalled as an example for the believers and her conduct is called to exemplify: "And Allah sets forth an example to those who believe . . . Mary, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity, so we breathed into her of Our inspiration and she accepted the truth of the words of her Sustainer and His books, and she was of, the obedient ones. (66:11-12). -- Ahlul Bait News Agencya

 

Above all, to question the veil, Muslims must challenge what the US-based academic of Hyderabad origin, Muqtadar Khan, calls the “epistemological hijab”, the curtain that the male Muslim clergy has kept between Islamic scripture and women. Muslims engaged in ripping apart this epistemological curtain can see that during the lifetime of the Prophet and for a while thereafter, the Muslim woman was acknowledged as an autonomous human being. She was considered a person in her own right, not just a mother, sister, wife or daughter. Over fourteen centuries ago, it was both an obligation and a right of Muslim women to participate actively in the religious, economic, social and political life of the community. The clergy must explain how it happened that the female sex subsequently got pushed out of the common public space. The “pious burqa” is but a manifestation of this subversion of early Islam. -- Javed Anand  

Cultural mores, not Islamic ideology to blame, claim Sisters

Women activists advocating for an Islamic political system through the Brotherhood believe that Islam brought justice to women. Their lack of equal rights presently, they insist, has to do more with the cultural, political and social realities in which their movement functions than with the movement itself.

Still, more and more female members of the Muslim Brotherhood are becoming restless about the lack of representation and are seeking ways to increase their numbers in senior positions in the movement itself and, in time, to participate more in the country’s politics. Primarily, these women want a formal consultative position in the Muslim Brotherhood hierarchy. -- Omayma Abdel-Latif

 

Egyptian women break new ground at the mosque

CAIRO, Egypt - Amira Khairy is mobbed by housewives kissing her cheeks in greeting as she arrives to give a lesson on reciting the Quran to women at the Al-Sedeeq mosque in a Cairo suburb. Students set up chairs for the class, and soon the hum of chanting female voices fills one of the building's larger chambers. Up to a 1,000 women may show up for the Quran lessons or twice-weekly religious lectures by women. On any given day, several hundred women buzz around the mosque, organizing clothing drives, cooking meals for the poor or teaching women to read. Al-Sedeeq also has medical clinics and a day care center for children of women who do volunteer work at the mosque.

All the activities are organized by women — not the mosque's male administrators. On one recent day, the only men seen in the building were workers doing renovations and worshippers who popped in to perform one of the five daily prayers required by Islam.-- HADEEL AL-SHALCHI

To Fix Islam, Start from the Inside, Empower Muslim Women Worldwide

Islamic law can be brutal; no amount of cultural theorizing erases this fact. But as a faithful, feminist Muslim, I know that seventh-century cruelty is not inevitable in the 21st century. Human interpretations of divinely inspired words are exactly that—human, fallible and subject to reversal. In October, during the United Nations' annual debate about children's rights, Iran announced its intention to reduce juvenile executions. Campaigns in more than 80 countries and local activists prodded Tehran to that point. The next step is follow-through, and savvy pressure by the United States and other nations can help. The trick for Washington is to listen and learn: listen to dissidents who seek support, respect those who do not and learn from those with a track record of triumph. -- Irshad Manji

Islam, Faith and Feminism: Women find equality in religious traditions

Because they say "it's important to hear women's voices," a local group called Feminists in Faith has formed this fall to discover how religion enriches feminism-and vice versa.

The group, which meets at the University of St. Thomas' Luann Dummer Center for Women in St. Paul, has engaged Christian, Jewish and Muslim women trailblazers, including Dr. Corrine Carvalho, Rabbi Amy Eilberg and Dr. Fatma Reda, to lead the discussion. Touching on everything from the language used to describe God to the ordination of women, they argue that their religions embrace feminism at a basic level, despite the legacy of patriarchy that characterizes each tradition.

One thing the group has set out to do is trace the curvature of feminism, its successes and failures, within each religious community. That line isn't easily drawn, with prevailing thought being tied to the cultural backdrop that is shifting all the time. "As women assert themselves in all walks of life, it is logical that they take a larger and larger role in the faith tradition that nourishes their spirits," said Linda Hulbert, an administrator for the St. Thomas libraries who belongs to the group. Article by Anna Pratt

Also: Leaders’ fury over arrest of 76 Muslim women By Patrick Beja and Westerners Welcome Harems By Daniel Pipes

 
1 2 ..93 94 95 96 97 98


Get New Age Islam in Your Inbox
E-mail:
Most Popular Articles
Videos

The Reality of Pakistani Propaganda of Ghazwa e Hind and Composite Culture of IndiaPLAY 

Global Terrorism and Islam; M J Akbar provides The Indian PerspectivePLAY 

Shaukat Kashmiri speaks to New Age Islam TV on impact of Sufi IslamPLAY 

Petrodollar Islam, Salafi Islam, Wahhabi Islam in Pakistani SocietyPLAY 

Dr. Muhammad Hanif Khan Shastri Speaks on Unity of God in Islam and HinduismPLAY 

Indian Muslims Oppose Wahhabi Extremism: A NewAgeIslam TV Report- 8PLAY 

NewAgeIslam, Editor Sultan Shahin speaks on the Taliban and radical IslamPLAY 

Reality of Islamic Terrorism or Extremism by Dr. Tahirul QadriPLAY 

Sultan Shahin, Editor, NewAgeIslam speaks at UNHRC: Islam and Religious MinoritiesPLAY 

NEW COMMENTS

  • Could Muslims pray for the forgiveness of sins for non-Muslims?۔۔۔۔
    ( By zuma )
  • The most sensible article on the subject.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Atheists believe that they will die like flies and there is no afterlife. Against this backdrop Easter should be viewed. Easter is literally a matter ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • Dear Ghulam Muhiuddin Sahab, What you say is so patently obvious that any person who believes Qur'an to be divine speech ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • A very well written article "it is compassion towards others and good deeds " that are the markers of the strength of faith..but who will ...
    ( By awaya )
  • Dear Zuma, You did not answer the question: ‘And how much pluralism does islam offer to atheists, agnostics, kafirs and Mushrikeen and pagans ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Dear Zuma, I endorse your statement that from the Qur’anic perspective, “Allah accepts non-Muslims whether they are Jews or Christians ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Quran calls Muslims to believe in Allah. Who is Allah? Allah is the creator of all human beings. The following are the supporting quranic ...
    ( By zuma )
  • As Allah accepts non-Muslims whether they are Jews or Christians or other religions as long as they ...
    ( By zuma )
  • I do not question Sharmaji's wisdom but we must be aware that he has a clearly atheistic agenda.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • While the basic Quranic ethics remain eternally valid, the legal or quasi-legal commands derived....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I fully agree.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Our goal for frequency of triple talaq must be an emphatic 0%.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Kafir most certainly does not mean either disbeliever or infidel in the sense in which the Quran uses the word....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Qazi Saheb, the term "Kafir" can also be translated as "Oppressor" or "Religious Oppressor", in view of Naseer Saheb's comprehensive delving into its ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Dear Mr. Ashok Sharma, you seem to have a much better understanding than most Muslims of what Islam's role should be in contemporary times. I ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • recent duly approved exegetic publication, Essential Message of Islam, demonstrates as below that the Qur'an recommends monogamy as the social norm:...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Polygamy negates the Constitutional principle of gender equality. It is an unfair assault on the rights ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • And how much pluralism does islam offer to atheists, agnostics, kafirs and Mushrikeen and pagans and ....
    ( By shan94 )
  • It is not surprising that the letter allegedly published some 15 years ago is not answered for it has a long list of sensitive questions. ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Quran only promises those Muslims who do good deeds to paradise even of those who do evil deeds. The following is the extract: (سورة البقرة, ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Quran 2:62 mentions that Jews, Christians, and Sabians, who believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous deeds will have their reward with ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Inequality in what has come to be known as personal laws exists across all religious...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "Will you then compel mankind, against their will, to believe?” (Q10:99). Words that are so clear and yet so forgotten!....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • New idea is a "bidyat," and they r kafir only No matter from where he is. This world...
    ( By Syed Javed Jafar )
  • Such atrocities only tell us how far we are from what we call 'civilisation
    ( By Meera )
  • Chapar ganju...hindu hindu karta firta hai. Khud ka dharm to pata nahi Aur Islam pe unlngli uthata hai.ek baat kah dun jispe tum ungli uthare ho ...
    ( By Tarik Ahmad )
  • Appeal Ka Asar hooga'
    ( By ASLAM QURAISHI )
  • Dear Sheik Aftar Ali, It appears to me that you have not read the article closely. I have not talked about ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • It is true “An examination of the foundations of the Islamic faith shows respect for Christianity” Koran 5:82 states as follows “And you will find the nearest ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • This is to express ones disgust at this sordid affair generated by blasphemy law anywhere in Muslim world! Historically Muhammad the Messenger of God during his ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Quran 2:11 is applicable to Muslims as well as non-Muslims since it mentions that Muslims should not make mischief on ....
    ( By zuma )
  • I had meant the following comment to be posted in "Islamic World News" section. Sorry!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Quran 2:220 demands Muslims to deal justly and instead of deceitfully. The following is the extract: (سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #220)-Mohsin ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Ok then u accept the salafi or shia ideology
    ( By Sheik Aftar Ali )
  • Respected - dear AIMPLB see how our indian muslims will think differently and identify indian muslim and how integrate all indians. any language - dress ...
    ( By Kolipaka Sudeep Kumar )
  • Proofs please. Some anonymous old man (no name), some anonymous young men (no names), police complaints withdrawn (no FIR records). The name of the....
    ( By Unmai Virumbi )
  • Quran 2:204-205 support the same that Allah dislikes Muslims to make mischief on the earth. The following are the extracts: (سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara....
    ( By zuma )
  • I completely disagree with this statement"The so called fringe is perhaps not the fringe at all; it actually tells us how the majority within this ...
    ( By awaya )
  • Does Allah loves the just? Allah certainly loves the just. Or else, Allah would not mention the phrase, Make not mischief ....
    ( By zuma )