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Feminism in Islam

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Feminism is one of the movements adopted by modern-day women to bring about gender equality and provide equal rights to women. Seeing this movement in the framework of Islam, feminism has taken its unique form, which follows the principles of justice, equality, and compassion. The concept of feminism in Islam is explored in the following article, highlighting how Islam contributes to equal female rights in today’s world.

Islam is one of the major religions of this world, which has set guidelines that individuals and the community must follow. The teachings of Islam permit women to pursue their education so that they can build an educated society. They are allowed to progress in their careers and contribute to the betterment of society with hard work. Working women act as role models in our community as they must balance their family and career. Islam has given equal rights to women and men.

Islam is not a religion of suppression. It gave women their basic rights when the world used to slaughter their daughters at the time of birth. At that time, Islam enlightened people’s lives and gave women their rights. These rights are explained in the Holy Quran and various habits of the Prophet Muhammad SAW. Both men and women are the same in the light of Islam, and women are as dignified as men. Islam preaches that all human beings, whether women or men, deserve equal opportunities in every field of life. Men and women are equal in Islam, so they are made partners. No gender is superior to another. Both men and women explore equal opportunities to work and improve their lives.

Islam has given women all those rights that have raised their value. Women are given equal opportunities to seek knowledge and education. An educated mother raises educated sons, resulting in an educated generation. The Prophet Muhammad SAW stressed that it is important for every man and woman to seek education. There is no gender role in it. History has shown that there have been great female Muslim scholars, writers, teachers, and contributors in various other fields of education.

ISL has supported the right of women to work and become financially independent. It is stated in the Holy Quran that women shall have rights similar to those against them, according to what is equitable. This verse shows that Islam is fair in its rules and regulations, empowering women to be financially independent.

While going through Islamic history, many examples are seen in which many women have excelled in various professional fields. The first wife of the Holy Prophet SAW, Hazrat Khadijah, was a successful businesswoman and held a respectable place in society. Hazrat Aisha, his wife, had a strong grip over the laws of Islam. These examples show that women in Islam could pursue careers and hold significant positions in the state’s work.

Islam has also emphasized the role of women as wives and mothers. Nevertheless, this does not mean they cannot pursue their careers and stay home to become homemakers. The teachings of Islam have taught women to keep a balance between their family life and professional life. It is very important to bring about strong bonding in the household. It helps in the smooth running of the household. Men and women should share each other’s responsibilities as life partners. It provides the best environment for the children at home. 

Islam has a set of rules for women that protect their rights in the workplace, as women’s safety is of prime importance. The principles of Islam ensure that working women are always treated with dignity. They should always be given their due respect and should never be mistreated or harassed by their male colleagues. Equality should prevail in the workplace between men and women. Women should always be paid equally to men and should be given an equal load of work. They should not be overburdened by work. The Provision of a safe environment for women is their basic human right. They should have the freedom to express their ideas. Gender discrimination or harassment is strongly prohibited against women in Islam. The culprits of such acts are given barbaric punishments so that no one ever dares to mistreat women in an Islamic society.

In this century, various challenges are faced by working women. A few societal and cultural practices restrict women from pursuing some of their careers. In such circumstances, it is necessary to highlight the difference between cultural norms and Islamic teachings, as cultural practices do not follow Islamic principles. Islam has taught us to adapt to the changing needs of the time. Women should always be given equal rights and should be treated with justice.

Islam has reevaluated the roles of men and women in their marriages. It preaches men to share the responsibilities with their spouses and help them with household work. It perpetuates a sense of partnership between the couple. Islam has challenged the notion that only women are responsible for looking after their home and keeping track of the household chores and child upbringing. Islam has emphasized that men should also help their spouses in daily chore activities at home and help educate their children.

Islamic feminists have collaborated with global feminists as they have common goals of equal gender roles in society. Muslim feminists are actively engaged in collaboration with various feminists across the globe with different backgrounds to have more ideas and to address gender inequality on a larger scale. This collaboration helps in achieving the goal of gender equality all around the world.

Working women in the history of Islam has been shown to impact society greatly. They enjoyed the teachings of justice, women empowerment, equality, and enhanced personal development. Islam has given women the right to seek education, pursue career-oriented goals, and become financially independent. It helps them to survive in various fields of education. After coming to know about the work-life balance, Islam.has given women guidelines on balancing their family and work and becoming nest mothers and wives at home. It is important to understand how Islam gives women equal opportunities and never suppresses them. Apart from this, Islam calls for women’s empowerment, maintains their dignity, and provides them equal rights to those of women.

TAYYAB GILL
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The writer is a student at the School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad.

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