Women in Islam
Almighty Allah prohibited killing the soul and aborting children for fear of poverty and need, it is one of the major sins that cause the wrath of the Lord. Almighty Allah says (what can be translated as): “And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.” (Al-Isra’: 31) The scholars differ regarding the ruling on aborting the fetus before the soul has been breathed into it; i.e. in the fourth month of pregnancy, some of them said it is permissible to have an abortion for a legitimate reason like when the pregnancy is a threat to the mother’s life. This was mentioned by the Hanafi scholars, while the Shafaiah and majority of scholars forbade it. As for abortion after ensoulment, the scholars and fuqaha’ agreed unanimously that it is totally forbidden and regarded a major sin. Continue reading
There comes a point in your life when you have to break free from all the chains that hold you back from answering the True Call.
It is a moment where nothing else seems significant and equivalent to the call of the Almighty God and His path of freedom, bliss and satisfaction.
All the lies with which you have been living with start fading and your beliefs as a disbeliever fall like a pack of cards. And what you witness is an Eureka moment, a moment when you realize the truth, when you realize the beauty of Islam. Continue reading
The coming of a first new baby is a time of excitement and every Muslim mother-to-be eagerly awaits the arrival of this special gift. It is easy to find the latest advice and useful practical tips and information about what to expect of the early weeks of motherhood on a day to day basis from Western books, but because they are bereft of the guidance of Islam, they contain little advice for Muslim Women when it comes coping spiritually with the coming of a baby. Every baby is different and some first time mothers find things quite easy and smooth. But nearly all will have moments when they struggle to reorganize their lives and many have a very trying time if their baby suffers from colic or has trouble settling down or if the birth was complicated and long. There are many things Muslim women can do to make this time as smooth as possible and increase their Eamaan. Continue reading
I probably do not fit into the preconceived notion of a “rebel”. I have no visible tattoos and minimal piercing. I do not possess a leather jacket. In fact, when most people look at me, their first thought usually is something along the lines of “oppressed female”. The brave individuals who have mustered the courage to ask me about the way I dress usually have questions like: “Do your parents make you wear that?” or “Don’t you find that really unfair?”
A while back, a couple of girls in Montreal were kicked out of school for dressing like I do. It seems strange that a little piece of cloth would make for such a controversy. Perhaps the fear is that I am harboring an Uzi machine gun underneath it! Of course, the issue at hand is more than a mere piece of cloth. I am a Muslim woman who, like millions of other Muslim women across the globe, chooses to wear a hijab. And the concept of the hijab, contrary to popular opinion, is actually one of the most fundamental aspects of female empowerment. When I cover myself, I make it virtually impossible for people to judge me according to the way I look. I cannot be categorized because of my attractiveness or lack thereof. Compare this to life in today’s society: We are constantly sizing one another up on the basis of our clothing, jewelry, hair and makeup. What kind of depth can there be in a world like this? Continue reading
The hijab is an act of obedience to Allah and to his Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Allah says in the Qur’an:
“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have an option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, has indeed strayed in a plain error.” [Al-Qur’an33:36]
Allah also said:
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc) and not to show off their adornment except what must (ordinarily) appear thereof, that they should draw their veils over their Juyubihinna.” [Al-Qur’an 24:31]
Juyubihinna: The respected scholars from as-salaf as-salih (righteous predecessors) differed whether the veil cover of the body must include the hands and face or not. Today, respected scholars say that the hands and face must be covered. Other respected scholars say it is preferable for women to cover their whole bodies. Continue reading
The topic that I was asked to discuss here at McGill University is the elevation of the status of women in Islam. Many, upon hearing the title of this lecture, might assume it to be an oxymoron because the prevalent idea – at least in the West – is that Islam does not elevate the status of women, but that Islam oppresses and suppresses women. So people might find the title in itself to be shocking or a curiosity at least.
In discussing this topic – since it appears to me that this is a mixed audience of Muslims and non-Muslims – I’d like to make my remarks and comments brief. I will take no more than thirty to forty five minutes, and then allow you an opportunity to ask your questions. Perhaps the question and answer session might be more fruitful in addressing specific accusations, understandings or misunderstandings regarding the status of women in Islam. Continue reading
Islam is criticized for allowing polygamy, for popular culture in the West views polygamy as relatively backward and impoverished. For many Christians, it is a license to promiscuity, and feminists consider it a violation of women’s rights and demeaning to women. A crucial point that needs to be understood is that for Muslims, standards of morality are not set by prevalent Western thought, but by divine revelation. A few simple facts should be borne in mind before any talk of polygamy in Islam.
Islam Did Not Initiate Polygamy
Islam did not introduce polygamy. Among all Eastern nations of antiquity, polygamy was a recognized institution. Among the Hindus, polygamy prevailed from the earliest times. There was, as among the ancient Babylonians, Assyrians, and Persians, no restriction as to the number of wives a man might have. Although Greece and Rome were not polygamous societies, concubinage was a norm. Islam regulated polygamy by limiting the number of wives and bringing responsibility to its practice. In fact, according to David Murray, an anthropologist, historically polygamy is more common than monogamy. Continue reading
The Islamic veil or hijab refers to the loose-fitting, plain and opaque outer garments which cover a Muslim woman’s body. While basically identical to the clothing depicted in traditional Christian representations of Mary (peace be upon her and her son), and every nun who has sought to emulate her since, the hijab is readily singled out as sign of extremism, the supposedly inferior status of Muslim women, Those who see Muslim women as little more than sex objects are dismayed at the phenomena of educated, professional or, in any case, ‘free’ Western women turning to Islam. The claim that female converts are either brainwashed fanatics blinded by their veils or suppressed victims frantic to be liberated is no longer accepted. Although, sensationalist and often politically-motivated reports of oppressed Muslim women in some contemporary backward societies still enforce the negative stereotype. What follows is a brief look at the status of women in Islam though comparing the role of the veil in both Islam and Christianity. Continue reading
Response: Looking at women for whom you are not a mahram is prohibited during the Hajj and other than it; However, its (level of) prohibition is greater during the Hajj.
Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh
ad-Durar an-Naadhirah fil-Fataawa al-Mu’aasirah – Page 451
Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Volume 11, Page 112, Question 2 of Fatwa No.9892.fatwaonline.com
I used to look at veiled women as quiet, oppressed creatures — until I was captured by the Taliban. In September 2001, just 15 days after the terrorist attacks on the United States, I snuck into Afghanistan, clad in a head-to-toe blue burqa, intending to write a newspaper account of life under the repressive regime. Instead, I was discovered, arrested and detained for 10 days.
I spat and swore at my captors; they called me a “bad” woman but let me go after I promised to read the Quran and study Islam. (Frankly, I’m not sure who was happier when I was freed — they or I.) Back home in London, I kept my word about studying Islam — and was amazed by what I discovered.
I’d been expecting Quran chapters on how to beat your wife and oppress your daughters; instead, I found passages promoting the liberation of women. Two-and-a-half years after my capture, I converted to Islam, provoking a mixture of astonishment, disappointment and encouragement among friends and relatives. Continue reading