Academic journal article Researchers World

The Qur'an and Liberation of Muslim Women

Academic journal article Researchers World

The Qur'an and Liberation of Muslim Women

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This paper deals with the most common topic of the oppression of Muslim women. But one thing that will be highlighted in this paper is that the oppression is not religious but social. The common misconception among non-Muslims is that Islam promotes the repression of women. This paper will clearly trace instances to prove that Islam lays great emphasis on the equality of the sexes and the oppression that is inflicted on women is by the society and it has nothing to do with Islam as such. Women were always suppressed by various cultures and laying the blame on Islam solely puts forth the fact that we are unaware of the other civilizations that had gone a step further in oppressing women. A study of Hinduism and its tradition will also bring forth the various ways of oppression done to women. Islam has always been misunderstood. It's not Islam but the laws of the Muslim based institutions that have created this gender bias. There are other aspects that play a major role in determining the identity of a person. Through this paper I will try to unveil these common misconceptions of Islam to reveal the beauty associated with this religion and bask in its glory.

Keywords: Oppression, Muslim Women, Islam, Hinduism, Identity.

INTRODUCTION:

A research conducted in 24 countries by a British research company Ipsos-MORI shows that Muslims are more religious than people of other faiths. Muslims strongly believe that their religion is the only true one and it motivates them to do good work. Going by this statistics, it will be wrong to assume that Muslim women should be so brutally subjugated. A true follower of Islam will never indulge in a heinous task of subjugating women. Islam lays emphasis on the fact that spiritually men and women are equal and have had a common origin. God does not discriminate between men and women in rendering mercy, forgiveness or fulfilling religious obligations like daily worship, fasting, performing the Hajj and so on. The following Qur'anic verse illustrates this point:

"For men and women who are devoted to God - believing men and women, obedient men and women, truthful men and women, steadfast men and women, humble men and women, charitable men and women, fasting men and women, chaste men and women, men and women who remember God often - God has prepared forgiveness and a rich reward." (Qur'an 33:35)

Another verse which promotes the same notion is:

"Anyone, male or female, who does good deeds and is a believer, will enter Paradise and will not be wronged by as much as the dip in a date stone." (Qur'an 4:124)

Hence every true Muslim will ideally be a true feminist as well because Islam lays a lot of stress on the rights of women. As defined in the Wikipedia - "A feminist generally self-defines as advocating for or supporting the rights and equality of women". A detailed study of the Quran shows that Mohammad was the greatest feminist of his times. Islam gave economic rights to women 1400 years ago, much before the Western world.

DISCUSSION:

From times immemorial the blame for the fall of man is put on Eve as she was the one to be lured by Satan. Hence, Christianity proclaims that every woman must bear the pangs of child birth as a punishment for the sin that was committed by Eve. But what many of us are not aware of is that Islam has mentioned that the fault of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree was that of Adam as well as Eve but God being merciful forgave both of them for being truly repentant. There is no single verse exclusively in Quran which states that Eve is responsible for this heinous sin. The Quran uplifts the status of women because of all the hardships that women face during pregnancy. The Prophet has mentioned - "The woman who dies in childbirth or pregnancy is a martyr". The female is thus, at once the source of concupiscence and the theatre for the contemplation of the Divinity in Its uncreated aspect. When a man asked Prophet Muhammad: "Who is most entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me? …

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