“Misconception of Women Empowerment in Islam”

Sadia Yameen
Islam is just not a religion but a complete code of life which guides it followers in almost all the aspects of life. Let’s assume for a while that a person using his mobile had developed some fault. So, who would be able to rectify it? Person himself or the manufacturer?. Of course, its manufacturer; if a person using his mobile would try himself by hit and trial methods, he would cause damage to mobile. Likewise, Allah has created all the human beings and has issued a manual in the form of Holy Quran for our guidance. If we won’t follow the instructions of manual, we will end up in a more mess.Women empowerment has become a hot debate in Pakistan in recent years. Different kind of opinions are being circulated by different segments of society on almost all the media platforms. Different organizations, claiming themselves to be the beacon of women rights has mislead a large portion of our society by not only damaging the very fabric of strong family culture but also has confused the Islamic rights given to women by Islam. The purpose of my paper is not to criticize this segment but to give awareness about women empowerment in Islam.Pre –Islamic era was marked with the killings of women at their child birth and were merely treated as property of their men to whom they use for whatever purpose they feel like. Then Islam came in and all abominations against women were discontinued. Islam elevated the status of women. Allah revealed the entire chapter Surah Nisa (Nisa means woman) mostly covering matters pertaining to the rights of woman and gave them equal rights as that of men. Allah Says, “whoever does good deeds, male or female, and is a (sincere) believer, will enter Paradise and no injustice, even equal to the size of the (tiny) opening on the seed of a date, will be done”. (An-Nisa) Islam has allowed women to get education, have freedom to own and sell property, and even choose their husband and take part in counseling’s affairs. The rights are extended to the level where Allah has freed them from financial burden by assigning it to the men, before marriage to the father and brother and after marriage to the husband. This misconception needs to be shun right away that Islam does not empower women. West has recently given away the rights which Islam had given amost 1400 years ago. For an instance, women were granted right to vote in 1928 in Britain and 1960 in USA. Contrary to the misconception about women empowerment, Islamic history is full of examples reflecting active engagement of women in state and community ranging from battlefield to diplomatic missions. To quote few, Hazrat Khadija (RA) counseled Holy Prophet PBUH on first revelation. Holy Prophet carried her merchandise before marrying her. Hazrat Asma (RA) fought in battles side by side with Muslims. Hazrat Umer entrusted Shifa Abudllah as commercial transaction manager (equivalent to present day finance minister). Hazrat Aisha had been the renowned scholar. Events pertaining to the discriminatory conduct towards women in Pakistan can be attributed to the lack of knowledge, wrong / doubtful interpretation of Islamic teachings, social and cultural issues. West’s Islamophobia and hybrid war tools (some NGOs, media celebrities) are creating a false impression by relating this social problem of Pakistan with Islam. It is purely our own fault that we do not follow the guidelines given to us relating to women rights and end up in a societal and social problems. It up to us whether we continue to be played as a tool in the hands of our adversity by wasting us in endless wasted discussions on media platforms or we take concrete measures to tackle these problems by following the Islamic teachings on the subject.

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