Islam came to liberate women. It may seem so farfetched or even absurd, especially with all the provocation and legislation being computed in the West, but during the time before Prophet Muhammad, women and baby girls were considered a burden.
Surah Yusuf revealed this big theme of ‘not knowing’ and ‘knowing only because Allah led them to know’.
In the Quran there are a few surahs and several verses on women. Looking at the 24th surah in the Quran, Surah an-Nur, we can learn 3 characteristics of women inspired by this surah:
- Muhsanat (محصنات) the fortified
This category of women is fortified and protected from committing big sins. She is loving not just to her children and spouse but also managing to keep a healthy relationship with her neighbours.
Another character of this category of women is Qana’ah (القناعة), which means satisfaction.
2. Gafilat (غافلات) the unaware
How is it that being unaware is a good character? According to Buya HAMKA, an Indonesian Islamic scholar; this kind of lady would always be focusing on her affairs and business only. She would never try to deviate from her original goal and always think good and positive about others.
Thus she is unaware of negative thoughts about others.
3. Mū’mina (مؤمنات) believer
The character of this type of believing women is that they are totally obedient to Allah and Ar-Rasul only. Living in this modern era doesn’t break their will to protect themselves from the fitnah or tests and tribulations by potential predators around them. Their mind grows with only positivity.
May we benefit from learning about these characters.
This article was originally written in Bahasa Malaysia by Zirwatul Amal Idrus, and published by the DreamTeam Tadabbur Centre on 28 September 2020. This article is republished here with the Tadabbur Centre’s written permission.
Given that Muslim societies generally have been slow to give women the empowerment that the Quran and the sunnah had granted them, it is not too farfetched to say that in the face of this systemic weakness it is women themselves who have to always be on the alert, to come forward, and do whatever they can to protect and defend themselves. In short, to mobilise themselves in order to restore the empowerment that is their God-given right.
Women were actively engaged in public, political, economic and educational spheres of the early Islamic society. Appointments to the influential posts were based on qualifications and skills of the individual, and not on his or her gender.
Muslim women today are still not adequately empowered with respect to :
economic participation and opportunity;