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Monday, March 14, 2011

Critical Issues Facing Muslim Women by Khalid Yasin lecture notes

O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women; and fear Allâh through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allâh is Ever an AllWatcher over you. (1) (Quran, 4:1) English translation by Dr. Muhsin on Quran Explorer.

Men and women are equal in the sight of Allah.

Narrated Abu Huraira: A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man said. "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man further said, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your father." (Sahih Bukhari book #73, hadith #2)
• Respect and serve your mother!

• Men and women are not the same. They are different physiologically, psychologically, biologically, emotionally, etc., thus their social roles are not the same.
• Allah, as the Creator, legislated the laws for humankind.

• Islam, especially issues related to women, have been polluted and complicated by nationalism, cultural and ethnic preferences.
• Islam is imprisoned by Muslim nationalism, cultural and ethnic preferences, resulting in many misconceptions, misrepresentations, distortions, etc. regarding Islam and Muslim women.

• One should properly study and understand Islam based on religious sources of Islam, which are the Quran and Sunnah (behavior of Prophet Muhammad SAW), not Muslims!
• Study Islam with an open mind, then look at the Muslims in past history and present and see the differences and similarities between the real Islam and its practices, and “Muslims.”

• Muslims must bring their hawwa (desires, feelings, emotions, and inclinations) with the accordance to what Prophet Muhammad SAW brought (the Quran and his Sunnah), to be a true believer!
• Muslims should not be in denial, blaming non-Muslims for every problem of the Muslims.

Shariah law regulates the life and death of a Muslim.

Beating of women is taken out of context. Verse means “hit lightly.”

Plural marriages (1-4) for men are allowed, but “1 is better if you only knew.”

Allah says for females to observe hijab (headscarf of women).

Marriage and Divorce
• Forced marriages are unIslamic, are cultural, tribal, ethnic practices.
• Arranged marriages with consent of parents and man and woman getting married.
• Muslim women can end marriage. They have a right to divorce.

Female circumcision is not an Islamic practice but cultural, ethnic, and tribal. Islamically, circumcision is mutilation.

• Muslim women have a right to work in any field they want ex. doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, etc., but Islam discourages work that may compromise her morals and endangers her ex. coming home late at night from work.
• They can work, have their own business, be professionals, go to school, etc.

Muslim women can vote and represent society, can be in positions to lead and work towards leadership. They can be in charge of government department and administration.

Muslim women can inherit and own property.

Recommendations for Muslim Sisters
All Muslim women should:
1. Engage in Islamic studies
2. Understand issue of hijab and proper Islamic dress
3. Connect with a Muslim leader, scholar, Imaam, student of knowledge, etc.
4. Prepare for marriage and responsibilities for marriage
5. Find out about community Masjid or center
6. Encourage other Muslim women to be energetic and committed to Islamic movement
7. Respect their husbands, take care of their children, and guard themselves, especially their tongues
8. Be more concerned with responsibilities rather then demanding rights
9. Learn proper dawah skills
10. Develop a world view (think about the whole world)

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