Happy Womens’ Day!
In aid of International Womens’ Day today. I am re-posting an article I wrote back in 2016.
‘When a Muslim girl is born, she becomes a reason for her father to enter Paradise’.
‘When she grows up and gets married, she completes her husband’s Deen’ i.e without a wife no matter how religious a man is, his faith (deen) is incomplete.
‘When she is a mother, Heaven is at her feet’.
This is Islam. The re-current word here is the girl or female. As she goes through the difference phases of her life. Notice how according to Islam, at every stage of her life, the female is a blessing from the Almighty to mankind.
She is a blessing to her father as a child. A blessing to her husband when she gets married. A blessing to her children when she becomes a mother. A blessing to both men and women in her later years.
Notice also how a male child, although favoured by cultures, is not seen as a blessing much in the same way as a female child.
The majority of people both male and female long for a male child, an heir inherently to carry on the family name and lineage.
In some cultures a son is seen as a way out of poverty, someone who will be a provider, physically strong to help out in the farm and look after the parents when they reach their dotage.
Affluent Europeans have similar preference for sons. Think back of King Henry V111 who married and divorced eight wives in his quest for a son and heir.
Burying baby girls alive was prevalent in pagan Arabia before the advent of Islam. During the time of the Prophet (SAW) girls were not only buried alive at birth, they were a commodity. Women were traded, bought and sold in the open market.
In the event of the death of the father or guardian, women could be inherited along with sheep, camels, blankets and trinkets.
With Islam, things changed for the better. The girl was no longer seen as a burden but a blessing. Women were no longer a commodity. They came from being inherited to inheriting property. They could work. Abortion and burying baby girls was a thing of the past.
The Quran goes into detail about the severe punishment awaiting those who bury/abort a female fetus. Islam forbade the burying of baby girls centuries ago.
In China and India, infant girls are still thrown down the sewer or abandoned by the dump sites by desperate parents longing for a son. Those are the lucky ones. They may be found in the dumpster and taken to a charity where if they are lucky, they will be given up for adoption. In a one child policy, the families would prefer to abort the girl and try for a boy. Repeatedly.
Today the majority of abandoned baby girls up for adoption are Chinese. In both China and India pregnancies are terminated as soon as the sex of the child is revealed as female. In some hospitals now, Indian and Chinese mothers are denied scans which predicts the sex of the unborn child for fear of abortion of the fetus.
Yet many still believe that Muslim women are oppressed.
Former French president Nicholas Sarkozy claimed Muslim women wear the hijab against their will. He even went so far as likening the hijab to a coffin. ‘They looked like walking coffins’.
Sarkozy a French Jew obviously knows nothing about Muslim women. My guess is that he has not taken the time to sit and talk with a Muslim woman in a hijab. Had he done that, he would have found the Muslim woman exceptionally clean, fragrant, beautiful and intelligent. He would have found that she wears the hijab not because someone told her or forced her to but because she wants to! It is her choice.
Far from looking like a coffin, she is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Without restricting clothing she glides serenely like an angel in anonymity amongst the bland cleavage baring, body flashers.
Take the sex and the objectification of women out of the equation and you are left with two human beings.
The Muslimah will use her brain and meet men on an equal footing. No Starvation diet or boot camp for her, she eats well and says Alhamdullilah. She fasts during Ramadan and her weight is in check.
Rejoice for you are a Muslim woman! Your faith demands that you are not a piece of meat. That you are respected, that you are treated as an equal. Which other religion holds women in such high esteem?
If you are a Muslim woman, reading this, then you were a blessing to your parents the day you were born. You are a blessing to your husband or future husband if you are single and when you reach infirm old age, Heaven itself will be at your feet!