In The Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

WOMENS' LIBERATION IN ISLAM
Some Sayings (Ahadith) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him - PBUH):
* WOMEN ARE THE TWIN HALF OF MEN. * THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN ARE SACRED. SEE, THEREFORE, THAT WOMEN ARE MAINTAINED IN THE RIGHTS GRANTED TO THEM. * AND THE BEST OF YOU ARE THOSE WHO ARE KINDEST TO THEIR WIVES. * THE WIDOW SHALL NOT BE MARRIED UNTIL SHE IS CONSULTED AND THE VIRGIN SHALL NOT BE MARRIED UNTIL HER CONSENT IS OBTAINED. Of all the Liberation Movements that have appeared on the world scene in the past few years, undoubtedly, Womens' Liberation has touched the core of Western Society most profoundly. ISLAM teaches that men and women came from the same essence, possess the same soul, and have been equipped with equal capabilities for intellectual, spiritual and moral attainment. In the economic sphere, women can earn money and possess property just as man can do. "Men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave." (THE HOLY QUR'AN 4:7). The mutual relation of husband and wife is described in the Holy Qur'an as that of a single soul in two bodies so that they might find comfort in each other. Wife is described as an apparel for the husband and the husband as an apparel for the wife. Islam describes the house as a unit in the greater organisation of a nation as a whole. It speaks of husband as being "an administrator and supervisor over the people of the house" and the wife is described as "an administrator and supervisor over the house of the husband and his children." The future of any society may well depend on the integrity of the family unit. In the sphere of marriage and divorce, both men and women have the same right. Marriage has been made a social contract by Islam, and it can be dissolved if it is proves in any way injurious or incompatible to the wife or to the husband. The right of wife to seek divorce was recognised for the first time in the history of mankind by Islam. The Womens' Liberation Movement has demanded that women stop being looked upon as sex objects. The only question that comes to a Muslim's mind is how on earth are you going to look at a young professional lady in a plunging neckline or in a mini-skirt which reveals so much that nothing is left for the imagination, and not consider her as a sex object! Islam, in its humane concern for women, has laid down a guide for women to follow in order that they may move about in society without fear of being taken for nothing but a sex symbol. A verse in the Holy Qur'an (Chapter 24) offers women true liberation: "Tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to draw veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their beauty save to their husbands.." The so-called "emancipation" of women all too often means their merciless commercial exploitation. Perhaps no woman ever knew this better than the American film star, Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962). Monroe became a top "star" in the mid-fifties, the devastating truth drove her to self destruction. She was found dead in her bed…suicide by an overdose of sleeping pills. If we examine the Laws of Islam concerning the dress of women in the full light of Islamic History, we can fully appreciate the beauty and wisdom of this simple truth from Allah (God). By their very nature, women, if they are going to seek true equality and liberation, must take proper precautions to cover their bodies when they are in public. Islam encourages women to enter the professions on a true equality with men, being judged only on their abilities not their beauty. If Western women will examine the religion of Islam (a complete code of living for mankind) with an open heart, they will find that Islam not only assigns a very special role for women as the "guidance of the little ones", but offers them unlimited opportunities to develop their professional abilities on an absolute equality with men.
By: IMAM AHMAD RAZA INSTITUTE INTERNATIONAL (2008)

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