Do Muslim women need feminism?

Muslim-Feminist-Feminism-Islam-And-Women-There was a time where I once used to identify myself as a Muslim feminist. However, when I started learning about the sociological perspective of feminism as well as having to teach it, I started getting more of an idea about what the term “feminist” really stands for. In simple terms, it is essentially either trying to mimic men and striving to do everything they do, or completely taking men out of the equation (radical feminism).

Due to my Muslim background, I personally find it more beneficial to use Islam as a guideline that highlights female justice instead of “feminism”. For example, in Islam it is incumbent on a male to provide for his family. A female can work if she wishes to do so but she can is entitled to do whatever she wills with that money. If she wants to contribute to the household, she can, however if she wants to spend all her money on shoes that’s up to her too. Whereas a man is obligated to spend on his family. So just by looking at this example, you can recognise, there are certain systems in place in Islam that are of benefit to women.

What I now find is that the term “feminist” can actually inhibit these benefits that Islam gives to a woman. If we look at the above example, a feminist would technically not agree with such a disposition of where a male is obligated to provide for his wife. Feminists would take offence to this and make the argument that “us men and women are equal, therefore we should do the exact same work/hours and contribute equally. We do not need a man taking care of us. This is what would give us ‘equal rights'”

However, a question I ask myself now when it comes to feminism is, why are we females so adamant on mirroring the male species? What makes men so special? We are two completely different entities, and I just can’t help thinking why don’t we value ourselves as females instead of spending so much of our efforts and energy wanting to be like the men? Also, Islam has given women many rights and opportunities without needing feminism. Below are some examples:

When a Muslim woman, Fatima al-Fihre opened the first university for women in 859 AD, was feminism needed then?

When Khadija (ra) (the first woman to accept Islam) was one of the most prominent businesswoman in Mecca and had many men working under her, and when she actually took the first step and proposed to the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), was feminism needed then?

When Aisha (RA) used to teach the Hadith of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) to hundreds of people, both men and women, was feminism needed then?

The term “Ummah” which means the “the whole community of Muslims bound together by ties of religion” is derived from the word Arabic word for mother: “Umm”. This in itself signifies the importance of women as it suggests the community of Islam would not exist if it wasn’t for the woman. Does feminism need to be attached to this?

I completely acknowledge that there are and have always been many men out there that have been trying to put a patriarchal stamp on the religion, and unfortunately try and portray and interpret the religion through their own misogynistic views. And certain cultural practices subjugate women by pretending it’s what religion stipulates and I find this abominable.

So as you can probably tell, I am still all for women’s rights, and celebrating the greatness of women and am appalled for the inequalities that still exist against the females. But my point merely is, why do we really want to identify ourselves with an ideology created by the Rothschilds and Rockerfellers that’s sole purpose is to confuse females, dismantle the family structure, erode chivalry and make women do more of the graft? Surely we can strive for women’s rights without associating ourselves with such a devious agenda.

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