One of the many arguments people use when they are trying to discredit Islam is the “role of women” and the “oppressive” nature the religion has towards them and more. As Muslims, we all know this isn’t true. We know how Islam puts women on a pedestal, promotes respect for them, protects them and values them. This knowledge isn’t for us to possess alone but to promulgate it since, as the so-called oppressed females it’s up to us to speak for it. Because frankly who are the masses going to believe, the male muftis and Imams or the Muslim females themselves.
Social media is sometimes painted as an enemy of faith, where people spend endless amounts of time doing nothing of value but truthfully, this is where I go for that spiritual enlightenment. Nouman Ali Khan; one of the best Muslim speakers among a number I’ve come across – disseminates lectures that are not only entertaining but also applicable for this day and age. After all, religion never changes though times do. Therefore, one has to know how to address the people of his time, relating to what they are facing, and this man does this and more, admirably.
So back to the role of women, did you know that the next biggest punishment in the Quran after the 100 lashes for adulterers is 80 lashes? And for whom are these 80 lashes? It’s for those who throw words in the direction of women.
“Indeed, those who [falsely] accuse chaste, unaware and believing women are cursed in this world and the Hereafter; and they will have a great punishment” – Quran, Surah An-Nur 24:23
Any single word uttered questioning the integrity and honour of any woman, without any proof i.e. four witnesses, warranties this punishment. Let’s say you are walking at the mall and you see a guy and girl you know talking….alone. Immediately your imagination takes hold of and you choose to think the worst of them. The next time you meet a friend of yours, you immediately decide to recount what you witnessed adding your two cents into it. That right there is all it takes folks. You have hitherto put both the guy and girl under scrutiny, whether you meant to or not. You threw words in their direction. Whether there are or they aren’t it’s not for you to discuss.
The seriousness of talking about a woman is up to the point that the Quran tells us not to ever accept their (the slanderer) testimony.
“And those who accuse chaste women and do not bring four witnesses, flog them (giving) eighty stripes, and do not admit any evidence from them ever; and these it is that are the transgressors. Except those who repent after this and act aright, for surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” –Quran, Surah An-Nur 24:4-5
On the other hand, if you compare it with the case of adulterers, all hope isn’t lost for them for Allah tells us to feel compassion for them. Whilst they are being whipped, mature Muslims were allowed to watch; not as a deterrence but to pray for them to Allah.
Why is it that this crime deserves such a punishment? It is because it takes away the girl and her family’s dignity, which damages the society. It’s said that Allah only punishes in this life crimes against society. He has given every single creation dignity, and it’s not for anyone else to take it away.
WHO can tell me now that Islam doesn’t value women, protect them and guard them? Knowing the amount of love God has for us just makes me love him more. Women are oppressed till today, but there’s a difference between culture and religion. My religion doesn’t teach that.
“Part of the perfection of a person’s Islam is his leaving that which is of no concern to him” – Hadith