The Western woman prides herself on the belief that the quest for beauty is a matter of choice; that she is free to define for herself the image and appearance that she wishes to adopt in life. However, the reality is far removed from this naive view.
Women Issues / Status of Women in Islam
The Muslim was the one who could save the world from the evil of extremes, because he alone possesses the correct solution of all the problems of man’s community life. But the tragedy of man’s misfortune has been that the one possessing the beacon of Light has himself gone night-blind. Not to speak of guiding others to the Right Path, he himself has got lost and is running after the other blind people in search of light and truth.
The word “Purdah” is used as a title for the set of injunctions which constitute the most important part of the Islamic system of community life. If these injunctions are viewed in their right perspective against the structure of this system, every person who has not wholly lost his powers of discernment will readily admit this to be the only balanced and just view in regard to man’s social life. Then if this system is shown to work practically in its true spirit, the whole woe-stricken world will rush towards this fountain-head of peace and security and seek its help in curing its social maladies. But the question is: Who will undertake such a demonstration? The one who could do this has himself been taken ill for a long time. Therefore, before proceeding further let us have a look at him and try to diagnose his ailment.
Five years ago, I read in the Toronto Star issue of July 3, 1990 an article titled Islam is not Alone in Patriarchal Doctrines, by Gwynne Dyer. The article described the furious reactions of the participants of a conference on women and power held in Montreal to the comments of the famous Egyptian feminist Dr. Nawal Saadawi. Her politically incorrect statements included : “the most restrictive elements towards women can be found first in Judaism in the Old Testament then in Christianity and then in the Quran” “all religions are patriarchal because they stem from patriarchal societies” and “veiling of women is not a specifically Islamic practice but an ancient cultural heritage with analogies in sister religions”.
The participants could not bear sitting around while their faiths were being equated with Islam. Thus, Dr. Saadawi received a barrage of criticism. “Dr. Saadawi’s comments are unacceptable. Her answers reveal a lack of understanding about other people’s faiths,” declared Bernice Dubois of the World Movement of Mothers. “I must protest”, said panellist Alice Shalvi of Israel women’s network, “there is no conception of the veil in Judaism.” The article attributed these furious protests to the strong tendency in the West to scapegoat Islam for practices that are just as much a part of the West’s own cultural heritage. “Christian and Jewish feminists were not going to sit around being discussed in the same category as those wicked Muslims,” wrote Gwynne Dyer.
UPDATE: Unfortunately some of the Islamic publications like Darussalam Publications, ITS (Islamic Texts Society), etc. have demanded the removal of ebooks related to the books they sell and hence we won’t be able to offer this book for download anymore.
Women entering the fold of Islam played an enviable prominent role, side by side their counterparts, in shaping and developing the Muslim society as a model from the onset, emancipating humanity, men and women, from the shackles of deep-rooted ignorance. Women in Islam have a very special place, status, and dignity that is unknown to mankind before or after. The life sketches of the early female believers, in this book, stand as beacon and outstanding models for the so-called “weaker sex” and call for the revival of the pristine, lofty, high position of women in the society once again. The women in this book are listed in categories, such as “Mothers of the Prophet”, “Wives of the Prophet”, “The Prophet’s Daughters”, and many more categories
The Wisdom behind the Islamic Laws Regarding Women: A treatise presented for the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China.
The subject of rights and duties of women in Islam has often been clouded by controversy, personal opinions and sheer ignorance. Although many scholars have dealt with this subject, there has remained a need to discuss wider aspects of the issue. The purpose of this booklet is to remove some of the misunderstandings, prejudiced opinions and false hoods which circulate about the Rights and Duties of Women in Islam.
“The ideal Muslimah is proud of the great position that Islam has given her among humanity. She performs her duties knowing that her role is clearly defined and that her rights are still, even today, greater than any other ideology has provided. She is a woman of moral excellence, true to her nature, not confused by alien and morally bankrupt ideas. She preserves her self-respect and dignity through her piety in obedience to Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (PBUH). She is the role model that every true believer hopes to emulate. This comprehensive work by Dr. Al-Hashimi is a valuable contribution for our English readers who will find the knowledge contained therein truly beneficial and inspiring.”
The following text is an edited translation of a summary of ar-Radd al-Mufhim by Shaykh Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee found in pages 5-20 of the introduction of his book Jilbaab al- Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 3rd edition, 1996, al-Maktabah al-Islaamiyyah.
The general understanding in Islam regarding Sunnah, is that if the Prophet or any of his wives (RA) or companions (RA) are recorded in authentic hadith to have engaged in an act that is not haram (prohibited) as defined by Qur’an or Sunnah, then the act is declared halal (permissible). If the companions engaged in an act that the Prophet was aware of and did not speak out against, it is halal.
It is well-known that the wives of the Prophet covered their faces any time non-mahram men were near. A woman named Asma, who was not a wife of the Prophet , was also recorded as covering her face. Easily, one can conclude that wearing veil is halal (permissible).
However, Muslims and Muslimahs across the world have been in “hot debate” for centuries, over the issue of whether or not covering the face is obligatory upon a Muslimah. Those who argue that it is not required, point to the use of the word khimar in the Qur’an, and explain that today’s modern khimar does not cover the face, and argue that khimar has never referred to the covering of the face, but only to that of the hair, neck, and bosoms. While one cannot deny the support of Hadith that indicate that the Prophet’s wives wore khimar, one must realize that they also covered their faces at all times in the presence of non-mahram men.
The group of scholars agree that it is a highly recommended act to cover the face. The scholars also agree that a woman must cover her adornment, yet some scholars argue that this does not include the face.
This book talks about the value of the obligation of hijab and to beware of display and unveiling, the characteristics of the Hijab are discussed, bringing the glad tidings promised (by Allah) to those women adhering to it. It also points out the danger of dazzling displays of ornaments and beauty as well as the terrible repercussions in this life and in the hereafter.