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Muslim Women: Productive & Positive in Every Role

Horizon of Life. MAMHTROSO.com Horizon of Life.

Over half of mankind comprises of the so-called ‘fairer gender’; girls and women. Under the laws of Islam, women emerge from their homes on the basis of necessity, and don modest outward attire (hijab) whenever they do.

By not being allowed by Islamic Law to occupy leadership positions in governance, they are supposed to keep their homes as their focus and prime domain of activity, much to the chagrin of contemporary secular feminists and the joy of patriarchal chauvinistic misogynists.

But does this really mean that Muslim women are always out of the limelight and in the background, even if they are passively achieving ‘silent miracles’ inside every home and family?

Does it mean that the actions of righteous Muslim women cannot have a global impact? That they cannot make credible and praiseworthy achievements? That they cannot leave behind a legacy that influences thousands if not millions of men and women in the generations to come?

The different roles that Muslim women play in the overall scheme of things are foundational, and contribute significantly, if not crucially, towards making human society function productively and optimally as a whole.

First, Let’s Drop the Gender Wars

The unique physical, biological and physiological attributes of each gender, with its associated strengths and weaknesses, roles and responsibilities, rights and restrictions, are all part of a test from Allah.

It is prudent to avoid believing and saying that one gender has it better than the other in any way, e.g. to say that men ‘have it easier’ in this world just because they are superior in strength, occupy mainstream leadership positions, and apparently enjoy more physical freedoms than women do, is a very limited way of looking at reality.

Similarly, it would be unwise to say that women ‘have it easier’ in this world just because they have been absolved from the responsibility of working, especially at hard labor jobs, to financially provide for their families.

Those who tend to make claims that constantly put one gender down and elevate the other in order to make it come out looking superior, are usually either misinformed, immature, very young in age, or are frantically searching for answers to their questions and doubts about their own identity and place in the world.

This is because, Allah has wisely used the words “.. because Allah has made some of them excel some of the other” when mentioning men as maintainers of women. That is, Allah did not mention either gender as excelling the other, but rather, hinted that some of them both excel the other in some ways.

Pillars of Support for Each Other

Wise and secure Muslim men and women scrupulously avoid gender-based debates. They know that, simply put, they need each other. They make each other happy. They fulfill and complete each other.

Allah-conscious Muslim women do not smirk or gloat smugly when their accompanying mahram men huff and puff as they lug and carry their heavy baggage for them whilst traveling, just because Allah has absolved them from such toils. They offer their ‘boys’ something to eat or drink, along with gentle words to get them to relax after their hard work.

Similarly, secure and Allah-conscious Muslim men avoid gloating and smirking with a sense of ‘male superiority’ when they behold a sobbing, emotionally distraught woman of their family blowing her lid on something trivial just because she is going through that time of the month. They empathize and offer her support. And they wipe her tears, whilst speaking loving words to comfort her.

The reality is that each and every person in this world is born with their own unique set of trials and pre-ordained provision. Admittedly, some have it harder than others, because Allah plans to compensate them in the next life, provided that they are patient with His decree.

The Inspiring Women of Islam

As I traverse my thirties, I become more and more thankful to Allah for having hitherto granted me enough life experience to be able to ‘see’ a variety of situations, and to see things in a different light than when I was young, less mature, and less experienced.

Being a woman, I interact more with my gender. I often see women in different roles, performing the different duties that Allah has placed upon their shoulders, either by chance or by conscious choice.

Many a time, one girl or woman might find herself performing different roles during the different stages of her life.

She might be an outgoing, intellectually invigorated, and a very studious young singleton, spending her youth at her parents’ house with her nose always in books. But after marriage, she might take on a role for some years that is so different, it makes her forget what it was like to even read a book!

Henceforth, when her children start growing up, she might find herself doing something totally new and different than what she had done for the previous two/three decades of her life. And so on.

The sisters who remain single, work full time, or get divorced, have certain privileges that married women do not. They often have more time and opportunities to interact with and contribute towards the greater community and society outside their home, as well as to care for their parents in old age with full, undistracted devotion.

In short, all women traverse a spectrum of lovely colors defining their roles, duties and responsibilities throughout the different stages of life, each one contributing its share towards the beautiful overall picture that they paint.

Thankfully, there are many female role models of Islam that a modern-day Muslim woman can emulate, depending upon the stage of life and unique personal circumstances that she finds herself in.

Aisha - The Intellectually Gifted Student and Teacher

Are you a single Muslim girl, or a young divorcée with no children, with a love of books, reading, writing, studying, and teaching? Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr, is the example for you!

Although she was married once in her life, she got widowed at a very young age, at which most modern-day girls are only just preparing to go to college. Henceforth, she spent her life propagating the Deen (Religion) of Allah, especially the words and actions of her late husband, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The fact that her gifted and intellectually superior brain got to observe, learn from, and absorb the practical teachings, conduct and character of Prophet Muhammad during her young age, made her retain knowledge at a superlative level and to spread the message of Islam via teaching, well into her mature years.

And although Allah did not bless Aisha with any children, He did give her nieces and nephews through her sister Asma', who learned from her and helped spread the knowledge that she had gained.

Khadijah and Fatimah - Wife and Mother

Cooking, cleaning, enduring the pains of pregnancy and childbirth, breastfeeding, changing diapers, weaning, potty-training, nurturing, educating and raising children upon Islam; obeying their husbands and guarding their properties; maintaining the peaceful, cozy and loving environment of the home on a daily basis, year in and year out.

The women doing all this are the often unseen, unsung heroines behind the closed doors, drawn curtains, and four walls of every home in a residential neighborhood - the wives and mothers, without whose sacrifices we wouldn’t be who we are today.

All the successful men whom these women raise, educate, stand by, and support whilst staying away from the limelight themselves, wouldn’t be able to achieve what they do without the presence of these gentle, feminine pillars of support in their homes.

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and her daughter Fatimah both performed this amazingly pivotal role: that of the loving, supportive, righteous wife and mother during their lives.

And just look at the achievements of the offspring whom they produced and raised!

Maryam & Hajar - Single Mother

Maryam bint `Imran was never married, but she was blessed with one child, whom she raised on a dwelling of higher ground irrigated with natural springs. Her son went on to become a Prophet of Allah as an adult, and endured trials and tribulations in the path of Allah with great fortitude.

Maryam ‘lost’ her son for the rest of her life when Allah raised him up alive. Never married, having had only one child whom Allah raised up to the heavens, she was left alone again. How do you think she spent her time? What do you think she did now that she was ‘free’ of maternal responsibilities, and had no husband to spend her time with?

The Quran says: {..she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout.} (66:12)

No doubt, she spent the rest of her life in the devout worship of Allah.

Hajar, whose courage in the face of adversity all Muslims emulate during the performance of sa’y in every Umrah and Hajj, was also sequestered with her infant son according to Allah’s command, in an uninhabited, arid desert.

She raised him more or less alone during his childhood years, because Allah planned to convert the barren desert in which she was dwelling, into the hustling, bustling central city of worship for Muslims all around the world. Slowly, the place where she lived alone with her son started to get occupied by other families, because of the presence of the spring of Zamzam.

Imagine the young Maryam and Hajar, raising their little boys alone, enduring the hardships of single motherhood without a man beside them?

They had no husband/co-parent while raising their sons during early childhood. They led private, sequestered lives in their homes, very much socially isolated.

Conclusion: Avoid Debates, Stay Productive

There is a sad growing phenomenon in the online world: that of Muslims getting involved in public and often passive-aggressive debates about gender validation and empowerment.

Needless to say, it is prudent to scrupulously avoid such debates and arguments. Instead, focusing our collective energies towards spreading the enlightening knowledge of our Deen is the win-win situation.

Men and women are pillars of support and strength for each other. No matter what role a Muslim woman finds herself playing in life, she should remain positive and productive while it lasts, never undermining the positive impact that she has on everyone around her, including all the ‘boys’ in her family.


Terakhir diperbarui pada Jumat, 11 April 2014 13:50

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