Women and Islam

Despite the various misconceptions and propaganda being spewed, the status of a Muslim woman is actually one that is equal.

It is a well-documented fact our beloved Prophet SAW took to the mimbar and spoke about the importance of women. He celebrated their uniqueness and applauded them for their contributions, hard work and strife in raising families as well as how they positively affected society as a whole. He strongly abhorred women being ill-treated and was an enforcer of their rights. After all, the first person to embrace Islam was a woman; Khadijah (R.A), the greatest scholar of Islam was Ayesha (R.A) and the person who loved the Prophet the most was a woman; Fatima (R.A). May Allah be pleased with them all, Ameen.

Islam honours women, yet in today’s western society, the image portrayed sees Muslim women as voiceless and veiled. Society often confuses what culture dictates with what Islam actually commands. At the end of the day, we need to ALWAYS look at what the Quraan and Hadith, plus the teachings of the Prophet SAW say and use that as a guideline.

Islam teaches us equality and this includes gender equality too. If we were not equal, then even the way we worship would have been intended to be different for men and women. Yet in the Quraan, Surah 9 Verse 71, Allah says

The men believers and the women believers are responsible for each other. They enjoin the good and forbid the evil, they observe prayers and give charitable alms and obey God and his Prophet.”

This verse clearly shows us that whether you are a man or a woman, your responsibility to uphold the Islamic teachings remains the same.

Islam teaches us that women can inherit, gain an education and own property. After all, the Prophet SAW himself married a businesswoman, Khadija (RA). Under Islamic laws, women also have the right to buy and sell property, run businesses, demand their dowry at any point during their marriage, vote and take an active part in all aspects of politics and society.

The Prophet SAW advocated for equal access to education and stated that “The pursuit of knowledge is a duty of every Muslim, man AND woman.” One the most notable examples of a highly educated woman back then would be Fatima (RA).

Today is National Women’s Day, a day celebrated in South Africa which commemorates the march to Parliament, led by a group of strong and resilient women demanding the right for women to vote. Their strength was in their numbers, their diversity and their common goal.

But when I look at Women’s Day, I not only see the plight of the South African woman, I see the plight of all women. More often than not society confuses culture with history and thrown into that mix is religion too. As a Muslim woman, I can’t help but see to it that I use my voice to speak up and speak for my Muslim sisters, many of whom are enduring hardships. More often than not, our Muslim sisters are given the short end of the stick. Western society’s portrayal of us doesn’t help either. Overcoming adversity can only be done, if we all do our part to educate and facilitate.

With that said, Happy Women’s Day to all you phenomenal women out there! And in the words of Mother Teressa, “I alone cannot change the world BUT I can cast a stone across the waters and cause many ripples.”

By Munira Allie
Project Manager by day, everything else all of the time. A wannabe baker and passionate chef who loves an adrenalin rush cos it makes me feel most alive. I love fast cars and daydream about superbikes. I have a predilection for all things nature and love capturing the Almighty’s majestic beauty even more. If I had a statement to describe my life it would be “she turned her can’t into can and her dreams into plans”.


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