Feminism is a movement for the equal rights of women. It was started in late 19th century, in the UK and eventually in the US. As it is related with demanding equal rights for women which are the right to vote, to hold public office, to work, to earn, to earn equal pay, to own property, to receive education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, and to have maternity leave. In short, this movement revolves around all kinds of women rights. It demands liberty, respect and shares for women. On the other hand, if I talk about Islam which is a religion. I can say that Islam is the biggest feminist religion. Much importance is given to the rights of women in this religion. It is a 1400 years old religion which comprises the teachings of Prophet Mohammad and the Quran.
There is a biasness toward female gender and they are considered inferior to men. This biasness has been going on from centuries against women. In result of this biasness, this movement was evolved.
As it is written in Quran that
“o mankind! Fear your Lord Who(initiated) your creation from a single soul, then from it created its mate, and from these two spreads (the creation of) countless men and women.”(al-Qur`an, 4:1)
If we look at this verse of the Holy Quran from a feminist point of view, we can grasp this very idea easily that it is referring to the equality of two genders. of course, this verse is about the creation of men and women that at this level too they are equal. We all know that men are physically strong, there are also reasons which we all also know and Islam also tells us about these reasons. The tasks which are assigned to men to do as responsibility are much more difficult than the tasks of women. Men`s body has been designed in a way that it can do and handle tough and rough task while women`s body also has been designed in a way that it can only do some specific task perfectly. This is not discrimination, some tasks are there which can only women do and some task are also there which only men can perform. We can better understand it in a way that there are some specific purposes of men as well as of women. This very point is given in the Quran like this:
“Men, however, have an advantage over them.” (al-Qur`an, 2:228)
Here, superiority is being given to men in terms of his responsibilities. he is superior to woman in the grade of responsibility. The superiority which has been given to man is justified by responsibilities which are also his headache on the other side. Responsibility and superiority go side by side. He also has been given more strength, courage, emotional stability and two third of wealth in order to protect woman. He is responsible for the protection and financial support of his mother, sister, wife and daughter.
“men are guardian and managers over women” (al-Qur`an,4:34)
Another verse of the Quran is directly pointing towards the equal rights of men and women.
“and according to usage, women too have rights over men similar to the rights of men over women”
This refers to the all kinds of rights which both genders are having over each other in any matter of life.
Regarding economic matters, Quran says
“men will have a share of what they earn, and women will have a share of what they earn”
In this verse, it has been clearly said that women can also earn as well as they can keep their earning with them. One of the finest examples is of Hazrat Khadija, who was the wife of Prophet Mohammad, she was a businesswoman before marriage, she sent a marriage proposal to Prophet Mohammad and Prophet accepted her as she was. One can understand through the example of Prophet Mohammad`s wife that women are given equal rights in Islam in each field of life. There is a balance between the responsibilities and rights of men and women.
Yes, I can say once again my words that Islam is a feminist religion, there is a perfect match between rights given by Islam to women and demands of Feminism movement.
Author: Aqsa Arshad