Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was a feminist and feminism is Sunnah
|January 25, 2013||Posted by Shehla Rashid under Islam, Politics, Women|
Here’s wishing all Muslims a blessed 12th Rabbi-ul-Awwal the birth date of the holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him). Although there exists a lot of debate around whether this day should be commemorated or not, there’s no second opinion on the fact that his birth was a blessing for the entire humanity.
I’m tempted to quote lines from a popular Kashmiri naat (or nasheed)
ba khuda saari khudayi aasi hey pardan andar
galihe nai zaal zulmatan Rasool-e-Muhataram
sallallahu allaihi wassallam
Translation: The truth about God would have remained shrouded in mystery if it weren’t for the holy Prophet (SAW) who released humanity from the clutches of ignorance
The Prophet (SAW) fought for the emancipation of women in a time and place where girl children were buried alive, not allowed to make any choices, not allowed to hold property. In an era when there were numerous war widows, practically without any rights, he (SAW) took the hand of some of them (RAA) in marriage, while making sure that he (SAW) is not biased towards or against any one or few of them (RAA).
All this was very progressive by the standards of that time. And this was about a millennium and a half back. This was when women were not empowered enough to speak up for themselves. Even centuries after he (SAW) lived, we continue to kill the girl child, not just outside the womb but even inside it. If a girl aspires to live, even in her mother’s womb, technology (esp. sex-selective abortion) has made it possible for us to take even that aspiration away from her. If she manages to survive, the society makes sure that her life is hell- she is harassed if she’s well-dressed, taunted if she isn’t, stigmatised if she’s unmarried, tortured if she’s married, objectified as a “house-wife”, objectified as a “sex-object”, talked down if she’s not making money, mentally tortured if she is, she is blamed for getting raped outside the home, but violence against her inside the home is qualified as “domestic” violence, “dowry” death, “bride” burning, “honour” killing, etc. Unique crimes against her are invented, for example “acid attack”, “female foeticide”, “female infanticide”.
Muhammed (SAW) would not be very happy to see this. It’s a shame that, on a day when we commemorate the 1443rd year of his blessed birth, Muslim women in some parts of the world are still subjected to what is another unique crime against womanhood, “female genital mutilation”.
Dear Muslim men and women and all people reading this post, let’s resolve to make the world a place where women can lead their lives with dignity and make choices on their own. Let’s be progressive rather than regressive. Had Muhammed (SAW) not fought against female infanticide I may not be even alive and writing this post right now. He (SAW) was a feminist, in my humble opinion, and thus, feminism should be Sunnah. Feminism need not be advocacy of short skirts. It’s about equality of rights as humans who are capable of experiencing the same emotions- pain, love, joy and freedom. We will never really progress until we treat our women better.
Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (SAW) Mubarak!
Source of Image used above: http://www.clker.com/cliparts/3/a/5/a/1248399275887515453muhammed-pbuh.svg.med.png