It’s often understood that only feminists have the answers to how women’s status can be improved. Not true. The women’s revolution came to Islam over 1400 years ago, and that’s no cliché. Read the Quran and Sunnah and the information you need to prove this is all there.
1. Knowledge is power
Knowledge of what the Quran and Sunnah say about women’s rights is crucial. Start by educating yourself. Don’t just stick to the basics. Read about real live Muslim women, the female Companions of the Prophet, to see how Muslim women lived Islam.
Teach Quran Class in your home for girls: A big percentage of girls in some Muslim countries (communities) don’t go to school here in Malawi can be our good example. If you also stay home, start a free Quran class for few hours a week. This will be your vehicle to teach the basics of Islam and life to these girls.
You can start a basic literacy class for adult women of your neighborhood in your living room or visit their living room and have them invite others to learn as well.
2. Moms: use your power with your kids
Mothers play a very powerful role in Muslim societies, where the family unit is still more intact than in other places Alhamdu lillah. But many moms indirectly or directly favor their sons over their daughters. Just as its wrong for fathers to do this, it’s also wrong for mothers. Treat your sons and daughters with love and respect, and do not put one child down while praising the other.
3. Moms: use your power with your sons
For most men, the woman who has the most power and influence over them is their mother. Use this power Allah has blessed you with to raise sons who are Islamically conscious and who understand women’s rights in Islam (and of course, who respect them!).
4. Encourage marriages on the basis of Taqwa
Encourage daughters, nieces, etc. to marry a man who truly fears Allah and will give them the respect they deserve as Muslim women. Marrying because someone is rich, good-looking or smart are nice, but they do not guarantee this man will treat his wife with respect. If women are strong enough to establish and stick to Islamic guidelines of marriage, and are supported for this choice by at least a couple of family members, especially mothers, this will benefit the woman in question and set a necessary example..
5. Speak out using the Quran and Sunnah
Speak out against unIslamic, unjust attitudes and practices using the Quran and Sunnah. Remember that for Muslims, this is the strongest source of authority, and many Muslim men and women with incorrect ideas on women’s rights are at least willing out of respect, to hear what the Quran and Sunnah say.
6. Praise “traditional” women’s work
In an era where women are being told their only step towards liberation is in taking up jobs outside the home, even if it’s not needed or wanted, praising women’s work in the “traditional” sphere is a necessary step. This will serve to remind them that their work is valuable, and it’s not for nothing. It will also remind women (and men) that work that is not compensated in dollars (or dinars or kwachas) is just as, if not more valuable than work that is.
7. Appreciate the Islamicity of girls
Boys are often praised for memorizing Quran and are encouraged to pray. Not so for many girls. Women’s practice of Islam is often given scant attention in Muslim cultures, while emphasized more strongly for boys. Praise girls who try to practice Islam, whether it’s for praying, reading Quran, giving Sadaqa, etc. This support, especially when they are young, can serve as positive encouragement which is likely to stay with them for the rest of their lives.
8. Praise men who treat women Islamically in your home
Does one of your sons or nephews or brothers treat female relatives with the respect Islam orders women to be treated with? If so, hold him up as an example and praise him for this. Your support will serve as an encouragement for him and hopefully send a message to the other men of the family, Inshaallah (God willing).
By following these suggested decisions we may find ourselves one day on the top position and be the exemplary to other communities, and this is what our beautiful religion (Islam) asks us always be on top of good example as we are the best Ummah chosen among the nations. It sounds very difficult and impractical, but if we can give only 20% of our effort the impossible may turn into possible inshaallah
Alhamdu li Llah. I enjoy reading your articles. Keep us posted.
Thank you very much brother for your encouragment, your comments also gives me exra effort because I know only these kind of feedbacks will give me and my fellow writers this spirit of backward never. Jazaka Llah khair for that.
Jazakallah khair for this enlighten article. It is true that a lot of parents do not give more opportunities to their daughters. Rather, they prefer sons. I always say that women are only people who can uplift Malawian Muslim community if given chance and more support. They are loving and at the same time most God-fearing and nobody can deny that. Please lets give these women chance and enough resources for them to work effectively. They are human beings and Muslims, so they deserve it.
I concur with all what you have said,really it is not fair to favor on sons and neglect daughters, children in the family should be ginev equal oppotunity whether in education or any kind of parental care, by doing so we encourage or guarantee the gesture of love among the members of the same family (daughters and sons) This also applies to women in Islam they should be given the opportunity as they are pillers of our Islamic society, it is well known to all of us that a woman is half of a community, by denying this reality then we are infringing their basic rights. Still we have so many examples of how women lived Islam and how they contributed to Islamic affairs during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the examples of Aisha (ra) had to help people both males and females on religious affairs, this is a clear indication that women played and still can play important role towards improvement of our religion, this if only they are to be given the chance and the full support from Muslim brothers.
I am impressed with your article brother Maulidi. I wish if all Muslim families, especially ladies would have access to read this article. We really neglect the girl child, we think she is only good for marriage, period. If school fees is scarce it is the girl child who is asked to drop out of school nomatter how intelligent she might be. We dont care whether she attends madrassah or not.
We ned to work hard in order to change this mindset. After all they say educate a woman and the whole nation is educated. I cry for our Muslim girls here in Malawi.
Thank you very much sister Ida for your good and encouraging comment, lets hope that this article reach the inttended audiences so that they may get benefited from the message inside it. its really very unfortunate to see this double standards by other parents who try to create difference between male and female children of the same family, its our duty to rise up and say no to this dicriminetory set of mind which has only cotributed to the increasing number of uneducated ladies in our Islamic society. The first verse reviewed to the Prophet (pbuh) urged us to read (education) it never spesfied whether this education should be to males and not females, it is general, so its high time we stop this negative thinking of paying attention to one side (males). Its really very sad and you are nearly to shade tears when you see this frightening number of drop outs of Muslim girls, we really need to do something or otherwise I can't see light at the end of the tunnel, lets from today our slogan be equal oppotunity to all regardless of their sex.
thank you brother for this enlightening article. the problem that Islam is facing is that, we mix tradition beliefs with religious beliefs.The prophet (saw) said,"seeking knowledge is an obligation for both male and female muslims."
When the prophet received the revelation of the Qur'an he was never commanded to start praying swalat there and then. it took some years for Allah to give him swalat.my understanding is that Allah had to make sure that our prophet gained some knowledge. then after he had acquired enough religion for him to know why he should pray then Allah commanded him to do so.this is a more reason why Islam asks parents to teach their children how to pray at a tender age without punishing them up to a cerrtain age when they have to start punishing them if they dont pray.here there is no difference as to whether one is a girl or boy.as the brother has outlined above, the parents should make sure that children are treated equitably (not equally because their roles are different).let us not mix tradion beliefs to religious beliefs that way, we will be able to eduacate our children and empower them Islamically.
thank brother for this article once again because it has highlighted very important issues that we tend to overlook may be due to the current modernisation which is not modern at all because the world is over billions of years.
Thank you brother Mahmoud for your brilliant comment which has shaded more light to my article,really this is a big problame we are facing today, people don't differeciate traditional and religious beliefs which has resulted into some miss conception and ideological conduct. Others believe that educating a female is just a watage of time and money because she will end up getting married, thas there is no need of wasting money educating her, this is old versioned mind wemen are no longer as negative as we assume. If we can remove this attitude of when we educate somebody what we expect when he/she finishes his/her education is to get employed, we have never thought that one can get that education just to wipe the ignorance of religious or personal matters. So lets empower our Islam by equiping future leaders of the Ummah with this powerful equipment which is education.
Jazakallah, brother Maulid you are doing a great job.
I urge muslims to take islam holistically. It is complete way of life. If only we could embrace Islamic teachings, we wouldn't have all these misconceptions and myths. Islam encampasses and entails all aspects of life. let us remember that it was Islam that abolished the killing and burrying alive of girl childeren. It raised women level with men
Thank you very much brother Bashir for your encouraging comment and for shading more light to this article. I think we Muslims seem we don't read from the past, if we were we could have learned a lot of thinngs, how the early Muslims lived Islam, and know how they used to solve any kind of disputes among them, brother remember when we say Islam is the way of life, this word brings a lot of meanings inside it only that we Muslims we pay little attention to this. Its very pathetic to see Muslims seeking out side help to solve their own problesms (misunderstandings) we don't know that the out siders take this as an advantage of deepaning our differences. So we have to wake up or otherwise we all will sink together.
You know a mother is the primary teacher of every child ,a male or female.So,if a mother is primarily a greatest teacher she needs to be educated in the first place.Remember the story of Abdul Qadr jaylan, when her mother was pregnant, she used to recite the Holy Quran.We vowed to finish the whole but happened to give birth before this was fulfilled.When this child grew and began madrassa, the then usta'z puzzled with the soft head of his student(Abdul Qadr) asked how he came to know recitation of almost half of Quran,he said he used to hear it when his mother was reciting while he was inside the womb.This means a child can learn from mother even before his or her birth.A mother can discuss issues with her kid yet a father can not.A| mother can interprete issues by the child to other people,a mother can teach a child various duas,good morals etc.in short a mother can bridge communication of a child to other people.Therefore, A good mother should be learned and this begins if a parent of that girl child was sent to school.So let us be conscious with how we handle issues concerning girl children.