Often times, we hear the world speaking about the subjugation and oppression of Muslim women. Everyday, without exception, the media throws negative and untrue images about us – we are not free to educate ourselves, we are forced to cover up by the men in our family, we are outdated, we are allowed to be beaten by our men and the list of lies never ends. These are misconceptions and I am not here to clarify any misconceptions – there’s plenty of clarification on the net and you can do your own research if you are sincere.
I am here to clarify the misinterpretation of oppression and to remind you of it’s meaning.
- When I say Westernized women, that includes both Muslims and non-Muslims.
- When I say Muslims, I mean Muslims who actually practice Islam in all aspects of their life.
The understanding of Oppression
We have all been brainwashed into believing that a life lived with principles and morals is oppression. In today’s world, when we say the word oppressed, the first thing that comes to mind is a Muslim woman and when we say the word terrorist, it’s a Muslim man.
I can understand why they think it’s oppressive to conceal our flesh and figures, to not mix with the opposite sex freely, to not drink, smoke, party, sleep with 40 men before you actually get married and basically live worst than an animal. It’s for a very simple reason, they have no guidance and therefore no direction in life.
What Oppression really is
Pay attention and look at what kind of standards these women have to accept. She walks in to a marriage knowing her husbands has slept with many women before her and knowing that he will be sleeping with many women after her – infidelity is the norm in their society.
When the husband dances with another woman or kisses her as a greeting, it’s normal! The night before marriage, they have bachelor parties with strippers. After marriage, a pub or a strip club is just another boys night out. Her husband going out to the club with her best friend is totally fine! It’s 50-50 on the house rent and bills. A love scene is just another scene in the movie. Getting a tan with him on a beach filled with women in bikinis is just another summer day! I could go on and on but I think the point should be understood by now.
They have to accept all of that
filth and it means nothing to them. It’s ‘just how life is’. Do you really, sincerely, truthfully, from your core think that is freedom? Is that what it means to be free? Is that a sustainable way of life? Is that the path to an everlasting marriage?
Westernized or not, we’re all women at the end of the day. We want to be treated with care, kindness and most of all respect. We want to be treated like precious gems. We want our men to be protective of us. We want our men to desire none other than us. I cannot grasp why any of us would accept other than that.
The Honor of a woman
As a Muslim woman, I can tell you from my heart that I would trade nothing for the life I have and for the treatment I receive. Islam gave women rights and honored them long before any government or feminist group did. In 585AD, the churches were still debating if women had a soul and the Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas actually taught that women were defective men, imperfect in both body and soul. Islam considers a woman to be equal to a man as a human being and as his partner in this life. Women have been created with a soul of the same nature as man’s. God says in the Qur’an:
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever and All-Watcher over you.”
And I relate to you a verse from amongst the many verses in the Qur’an about the rights of women:
“O You who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at time of marriage) you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike something and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.”
The most basic right of a woman in Islam is the knowledge and recognition that she never has to ask or demand or fight for her rights which are already guaranteed to her by Allah.
Now, with regards to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) about women, here are some of the things he said about them:
- “The world and all things in it are precious, and the most precious thing in the world is a virtuous woman”
- “The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manners and kindest to his wife.”
- Someone once came to the Prophet and asked, “Who among people is the most deserving of my fine treatment?” He (peace be upon him) replied: “Your mother.” The questioner then asked, “Who next?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Your mother.” He asked again: “Who next?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said again, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Then who?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said: “Your father.
A mother is given precedence and honor multiple times greater than that of a father’s. As a woman, never in my life have I felt more precious than the time I started to practice Islam and understand it with my heart. I was looking for answers about my life that was void of direction and found logical and practical answers in Islam. My life flipped. And there is nothing in this world that I would do to change it and I do not wish to trade places with anyone. I wish everyone in the world could feel what I feel. If the Kings of this world knew the contentment in my heart, they would send their armies and fight me for it.
The men protect me and treat me like I am precious. I have a Mahram (A guardian who is a male relative forbidden for me to marry i.e Father, Brother, Uncles and the husband included) who travels with me. My husband is obliged and responsible to give me shelter, food and clothing. Working is a choice for me and not an obligation. My money is my money and his money is our money – he has no right to decide how I spend what’s mine. The men honor me by not touching me as they like, no handshakes, hugs or kisses. My hijab protects me from being an object and from being freely visualized by men. With the hijab, I am not a piece of meat for a lion to feast on. My dignity is protected and I am respected. Infidelity is unacceptable and it is punishable by Islamic law. Drinking, smoking, drugs, prostitution are crimes. Freemixing is strictly forbidden – there is no friendship between a man and a woman so husbands cannot have ‘female friends that they take to lunches and dinner and buy gifts for’ and likewise for the wife.
If you are a critical thinker, you will see the benefit in the practical laws of Islam. God knows what is best for us because He created us so I advice you my dear sisters, from the bottom of my heart, to put your trust in God and obey Him. It is high time you look into yourselves and ask yourself if you are truly happy with your life. And where are you heading?
Realize that oppression is not in living with principles and morals. Rather it is in living a life that is controlled by the society and what they think of you and in living a life that compromises your value and dignity. Don’t let your life be governed by what people want of you because you will never be able to satisfy them. Live your life in accordance to what your Creator wants of you.
1. The Rights and Duties of Women in Islam – Download
2. The True Liberation of Women – Download