The preparations for this year’s Aurat March are underway and have now recently announced on social media. Already the usual accusations are being made: that feminism teaches women to hate men and that feminists oppose the teachings of Islam. What’s good is that every year, more and more men take on the types of men who make these statements. That means more and more men are starting to “get it”, especially among the younger generation.
For anyone who believes that feminism is “against Islam” (whatever that means), here is what I have to say about this, both as a practicing Muslim woman and a feminist.
What Islam teaches is is not total subjugation to any man. Men and women both should only subjugate themselves to Allah. Only Allah can and should dominate us and we must submit to him. That is the first and most important principle of Islam
Where men like these go wrong is to imagine that Islam requires women to subjugate themselves to men in the same way that men subjugate themselves to Allah. This is a completely wrong perception.
Islam in fact encourages women to be economically independent. That is the reason for haq mehr in marriage. That is the reason women can own property and earn money. That is why women do not have to change their names when they get married. That is why women are allowed to seek divorce. That is why women have a share of inheritance. That is why a woman is only responsible for bearing children. The maintenance of the household, household chores like cooking and cleaning and financial upkeep are the man’s responsibility. Check your Quran, Hadith and Sunna if you think this is incorrect. I assure you it is not.
What Islam does encourage in marriage is interdependence. This is why Allah SWT says in the Quran that in marriage, men have certain rights over women and women have the same rights over men. These pertain to sexual fidelity, companionship, privacy, security and overall satisfaction and happiness. Not one person bossing and dominating the other, but two people in a union sanctified by Allah and working together to create a home and a safe haven for their children if they are blessed with them.
Note that infertility is not a good reason for divorce in Islam, but cruelty is.
Men who shout that feminists oppose Islam seem to not have grapsed the true spirit of Islam, which acknowledges the souls of both men and women as equal, the bodies of men and women as different, and the lives of men and women as equally deserving of fulfillment and happiness. This is a responsibility married men and women have to one another in equal measure.
Feminism seeks to put right the imbalances that have made men mistreat women due to financial discrimination and a misuse of their physical strength (domestic violence). It seeks to eliminate unIslamic practices like child rape (under the pretext of marriage). Islam is very well intentioned but patriarchy has corrupted our Islamic values. Feminism is a mechanism by which women work to raise awareness of this and redress the wrongs through legal, societal, and cultural change.
If you are a man who has read what I have have written but it still makes no sense to you, perhaps it’s because you don’t like anything that challenges your need to use Islam to support your sexism. In that case I apologise if this explanation is too sophisticated for your black and white thinking.