Protests for women rights, and the clash of Feminists and Radicals are a common display but freedom has its price. We often hear weird things in the name of freedom from one group and about decent dignified living from the other.
As the voices for ‘freedom’ are getting louder with each passing day, the complete balanced picture, of freedom and its limits, seems obscure in the bedazzlement of the glittery freedom campaign.
The Western Concept of ‘Freedom’ and ‘Gender Equality’ is apparently quite glittery. But it neglects the very basis of womanhood and masculine character which are very natural. Both man and woman need the equal treatment as humans. But at the same time, one must also acknowledge and appreciate the differences among both the sexes, physiological and psychological as well.
When anyone tries to go against the innate nature, one inevitably has to face disastrous consequences. Which are quite visible in the western societies. The schisms underlying, at the society and family level get draped in flashy images and catchy headlines of ‘freedom’. And the ugliness is camouflaged. It is not a sign of a healthy society, where children are robbed of their innocence at a tender age, and the relationships aren’t pure any more.
Islam gives a beautiful and balanced system, that appreciates the individuality and gives due respect to everyone. It gives certain freedoms to every one and also imposes certain restrictions on ‘everyone‘. Thereby protecting and upholding the rights of each and every individual. Family system and its structure are at the heart of Islamic Law and Society (‘Islamic’ ≠ present day ‘Muslim’).
As a mother,a woman is given the superior stature. As mentioned in Quran and at several places and also mentioned several times by the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم.
Paradise being under her feet! She is also given the great responsibility of nursing and bringing up the child.
“A hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world”
Islam then gives the man, an upper hand over his wife and she needs to obey him. But with power comes responsibility and accountability. It is the man who is responsible for the finances and he is the one to take care of the women folk and establish justice. Being ‘just’ is a great responsibility which is imperative for a person.
The man is given responsibilities and authorities which he needs to strive for, with utmost sincerity and care. Adopting a lacklustre attitude towards the responsibilities amounts to sin, punishable by Allah on the day of judgement.
By distribution of different responsibilities and roles to both the sexes with accountability, along with warning of being watched over by Allah, the foundation of a healthy society is forged.
“He is the irresistible, (watching) from above over His worshippers; and He is the Wise, acquainted with all things.”
The keyboard crusaders of “Freedom” and the “Religious Groups” seem to converge in objective (of upliftment and dignifying the Woman). Their failure to achieve the stated objective is a thing to wonder.
The Liberals / Freedom Crusaders
The answer seems to lie in the fact, that the camp who favour freedom and gender equality either take those portions of Quran and Sunnah that serve their purpose and ignore the commandments that set the limits, as they seem to go against their unchecked desires.
So they thereby try to limit the role of Quran and Sunnah to mere rituals and reject its role as a guiding light of daily life. It is ironic to witness that the people who advocate the right to dress, are the same people who label hijabis and naqabis as backward and conservative. Why being so intolerant, when advocating tolerance to others?
The whole theory of modernism is based on shorter and tighter dress for a woman. The more tight and shorter is the dress, the more modern and more liberal one is considered. Isn’t it being a slave to a very narrow and shallow mindset? This attitude, compounded with the demand for absolute freedom to do whatever with whosoever presents a dangerous cocktail. Family, society, religion have nothing to do with it. Morality seems like an abuse to such “Freedom” groups. They need absolute freedom…which ultimately is Chaos.
Religious people on the other hand normally overlook the rights Islam has given to women, and the restrictions it imposes on man.
- Quran talks about the hijab of men before it speaks about women. Is it emphasized that equally?
- Jahaiz has nothing to do with Islam but it is a matter of life and death for many but most of the them are not ready to give women, their share in property which is emphasized by the Quran.
- Islam gives women, the right to choose their partners, we don’t.
- We are ready to send them to co-ed but we are not ready to give them their right to have an opinion.
- The hudood laws have equal punishments for both the sexes but some societies show bias against men and some against women.
so its more of a personal preference being justified in the garb of religion.
When we talk about Islam and religion it is important to implement it properly and completely. In picking up the selective rulings, the context and spirit is lost. Social injustice and dual standards of morality when mixed with partial implementations of religion prove to be disastrous.
It is important to focus on the family and strengthen it, instead of just preaching about “Freedom” and “Dignity” just in the context of women. Islam emphasizes on the strengthening the bonds of kinship. Family is the basic unit, if it is healthy we can hope that other things will be set in the right direction. When something is missing inside one looks for it outside. Broken families and broken relationships are a great cause of all sorts of social evils including shamelessness and abusive behaviours. The relationships must be fortified by appreciating the similarities and respecting differences and implementing the word of Allah in letter and spirit. Only then we can hope for a society that liberates everyone in the real sense.