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The Misunderstood Muslimah

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1152
  • Category: Islam

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For centuries, women in Islam have been the victims of wrongful misconceptions for either personal or mutual gain to usually denigrate and slander Muslims and the religion of Islam. Although some do have underlying intention, others purely do it out of sheer ignorance, as simply because they do not understand something they hastily deem it as wrong or preposterous. These misconceptions usually focus on the woman’s rights of equality and opportunity, as well as their position and status in Islam. Their modesty and strong sense of dignity is often misunderstood as oppression by the public and by the media who are also responsible for affirming these delusions. Women as mothers, wives and daughters as taught by Islam and shown by the Prophet Mohammed (saw) is something far greater than what is generally understood by the public.

A rarely known fact about Islam is that it came at a time that actually liberated women whom were deprived of humanity to a point where the father of a new born baby would be disappointed if it was a girl and would actually resort to burying her alive. In Pre-Islamic times, the Arabs believed that daughters were a disgrace and futile as they might bring shame upon a family once they reached adulthood and if there was a threat they would be helpless and would not be able to defend themselves or their family. It is worth noting that both boys and girls alike were actually also buried alive if the father thought they could not support them financially. When the holy Quran was revealed, it severely condemned this practice: “When news is brought to one of them of the birth of a female child, his face darkens and he is filled with inward grief. With shame does he hide himself from his people because of the bad news he has had!

Shall he retain her on contempt or bury her in the dust? Ah! What an evil they decide on?” (Quran 16:59) Islam actually ordered for women to be nurtured, supported and protected by everyone, especially their fathers or brothers. Their treatment of their daughters and sisters if found sound, would actually grant them a place in paradise in the afterlife. Education is a very important aspect of Islamic teachings, and unlike the popular belief women are actually encouraged to pursue a life of learning in order to gain knowledge and wisdom. The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said: “Acquiring knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim.” This clearly shows how important their treatment is in Islam as opposed to the more popular generalizing that women have no status or equality in Islam.

The Islamic dress code for women can be defined as being modest in order to protect themselves and their reputations as it states clearly in the glorious Quran: “O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their bodies (when abroad) so that they should be known and not molested.” (Quran 33:59) The west and the media usually depict the clothing of Muslim women to be outdated and unfashionable, however what they do not realize is that Muslim women do not live for this world and their goals are not to impress the fashion world.

Muslim women guard their chastity and their modesty unlike the accepted social ideas of women at the present time, which is to dress up in order to be attractive. This is unlike Muslim women, whose beauty is internal and not external, it is their actions and their minds what make them beautiful and that is what Islam teaches should happen. Women are not to be treated as sexual objects or as something just to satisfy ones needs, they are to be kept forever in your care. “And among His signs is this: That He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest, peace of mind in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect. (Quran 30:21)

There hasn’t been a religion, culture or society that appreciates, adores, praises or values the woman as a mother more than the religion of Islam does. It recognizes her hardship, struggle and efforts during pregnancy, labour, nursing and the raising of her children. ”And We have enjoined on the human being in (regard to) his two parents the most beautiful conduct. His mother bore him under duress and brought him forth under duress. And his bearing and his weaning was thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of forty, he says, “My Lord and Sustainer, grant to me that I am thankful for the graciousness that You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may work righteousness pleasing to You, and make my offspring righteous. Surely I turn to You and surely I am of those who submit (to You).” (Quran 46:15) Even though Islam teaches to be good to both your parents and treat them with kindness, it favours the mother above the father for all that she does and has done.

A man once asked the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), “Who is most deserving of my respect?” The Prophet’s response was: “Your mother.” The inquirer pressed further, “And then [after my mother]?” The Prophet’s response was repeated: “Your mother.” This continued for a third time, after which the Prophet finally answered, “And then? Your father.” It is also stressed in the words of the Quran the importance of being good to your parents: “Your Lord has commanded that you shall not worship (anyone) but Him and to be good to the parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) ‘Ugh’ nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word. And lower for them ‘the wings of humility’ out of mercy; and pray; ‘O my Lord! Have mercy on them as they brought me up (when I was) little.'” (Quran 17:23-24) It is often related in teachings and sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that, “Paradise is at the feet of mothers”. This means that if one loves, cares for, serves, and protects their mothers, and their mothers are satisfied with their treatment, then Allah with reward you by letting you abide in heaven for eternity.

In conclusion women in Islam are not oppressed or taken for granted, daughters are a blessing and mothers are deeply appreciated. There is not one piece of Islamic texts that teaches to hurt, neglect or abuse women. There is not a shred of evidence that implies that women in Islam do not have rights, and if anything they actually have more rights and higher status than men in the eyes of Allah (god) and as taught by Islamic teachings.

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