In the present times, where the media’s projections of a particular faith has lead to complete distortion of facts, the people need to see through the reality’s mirror and understand that what is being shown to them need not always be the truth. Misinformed people often develop opinions which are in complete contradiction to the reality. It’s highly unfortunate that despite the progress in technology and with the advent of the internet or the easy availability of literature on any topic of one’s need, people still don’t take the pains of forming a well informed opinion but instead dwell upon the news provided to them and make them the basis of their thinking regarding an issue and have no firsthand knowledge on the issue making them just as ignorant as any illiterate person whose opinions are fed to him and he plays no role in building them. Islam as a faith too has suffered from a lot of misinterpretations throughout the course of time and people who have sought clarifications have realized that there are a lot of myths surrounding Islam which have no concrete backing in the holy Qur’an or the Hadiths which are the sayings of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). They are either misinterpretations of verses of the holy Qur’an or practices prevalent in the society falsely said to be allowed by Islam, everyone needs to check the originality of what is being said to them on their own which can easily done by accessing the Qur’an which is easily available in hundreds of languages throughout the world. One such myth surrounding Islam is that it oppresses women and gives them no rights which is absolutely wrong. Being a Muslim girl who is a hijabi by choice I think it’s my duty to remove whatever ambiguity surrounds Islam with regards to the rights it gives to it’s women followers. As a religion that guaranteed it’s women their rights almost 1400 years ago, it’s preposterous to blame it for doing the opposite. From the spiritual aspect, it’s mentioned in the holy Qur’an that their is nothing as spiritual superiority between the genders. Every moral or spiritual duty is equally distributed amongst them and their isn’t any inequality in the act or in the reward of worship, expectations are existent for women as in the case of certain concessions provided to them on account of their feminine health or the health of their babies. As far as the economic rights are concerned, I would want to remind the reader that it was till the 19th century that Europe didn’t give it’s women the right to own property. After their marriage it was given to their husbands and they couldn’t dispense it according to their own will. Britain gave the “Married Woman Property Act” in the 1860s. It was almost 1300 years earlier that Islamic law guaranteed the same. Islamic law doesn’t prevent women from working, instead in a true Islamic society it’s preferable to have women physicians, women teachers, women nurses etc and she is entitled to equal pay. As far as a woman’s financial security is concerned, Islam has guidelines with regards to it too. From the martial aspect, Islam holds a girl’s right to choose her life partner in high esteem. The approval of a girl to the marriage is the most important prerequisite for the validation of a marriage in Islam.She has the right to agree or to disagree. Also a married couple has equal rights as well as duties towards each other. Islam makes the marriage of a girl easy upon her parents. A girl is supposed to be on the side receiving gifts. For the completion of marriage the groom is to give the bride a gift which belongs only to her and she doesn’t have to spend it on her family. All her earnings belong to her and she isn’t entitled to spend them on her family and her financial security is the responsibility of her husband. As far as a girl’s education is concerned Islam has made the attainment of knowledge compulsory for men as well as women. From the social point of view, Qur’an strongly forbids female foeticide and condemns the chauvinistic attitude of people who celebrate the birth of a son but are saddened by a the birth of a daughter. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stressed upon good treatment of daughters. Whenever his daughter, Fatima would come to meet him, he would stand up and greet her and then make her sit where he had been sitting. Such great was his concern for women that in one of his last commands he said that , “I command you to be kind and considerate to women”. Various misconceptions have been perpetrated in the society but as responsible people it’s our duty to find the facts before blindly believing whatever is fed to us. ————–
About the Author: This article is contributed by Uroosa Wani, our intern.