“Today also marks the International Woman’s Day and it is a great day in the Islamic calendar as we celebrate the birth of Lady Fatema (as) on 21st of Jamadul Akher, also known as Islamic Women’s Day.
“Oh you who believe! Be steadfast and strive to excel in steadfastness and be on your guard and fear Allah that you mat prosper.” Chapter No; 3 verse; 201.
For decades people talk about women’s rights and women’s equality with man and opportunities for women to be equal to man in all fields in this life , what does Islam say about this?
Quran says Allah (swt) created both man and woman from the same material. He created you all from one soul (nafs).Human being is not a body; human being is the spirit which is living in the body. That’s why when the soul leaves the body, the body dies .In reality we are not the body, and rather we are the soul of the body. Allah (swt) says I have created you from one body .He doesn’t mention if the soul created was a man or a woman .He says, “I have created you all from one soul. From that body I created your partner.”
He always talks about both in equal terms. So in creation we are from the same source .Who is better in the eyes of Allah (swt)? He doesn’t mention who are the best men or women; He says those who are closer to Him. Make yourselves closer to Allah (swt).
This means we are all headed in the same direction, we have been created in the same level –except those who have taqwa (God Consciousness).
So then, what is equality? We are always asking for and fighting for women’s rights and always talking about equality of women and men. Why are men and women created then? Because then the continuation of life on this earth would cease to exist.
Allah (swt) wanted us to bring up the new generations because a man or a woman alone cannot bring up a child, except when He wants to show His own Power and Might: He can create Isa (as) (Jesus) from Marium without a husband.
He is able, but He made us like this so that we can establish a social life in our own society. We cannot live like animals in the desert or in the jungle, although they are also male and female, they don’t have a communal social life.”Oh People! We have created you from male and a female”
Therefore both genders have to work and participate in the creation of mankind and in bringing up a child to the level of humanity.
When we are born we look like a human being, but we don’t have a qualification of humans yet. We cannot talk, we cannot understand, we cannot serve ourselves, we cannot decide for ourselves, we cannot come up with new ideas, and so we need the assistance of others for several years. Throughout this time, both have to play their role to bring up the child to the level of a human being and to come closer to Allah (swt) .Billions of humans have their own lives, abilities and desires etc but Islam does not want us to stop at this level. He says this is not sufficient;
“I need you to be the best of people. You are the best Nation that has been ever brought out to the people.” So if that is the case, it means we cannot give priority to any one over the other. We can’t say this one is higher than the other. The only thing we can compare ourselves to is taqwa. If we have taqwa then we can say we are higher or we are lower, but if we have no taqwa, then we say we are equal in the eyes of Allah (swt).So this is the responsibility given to us by Allah (swt), both male and female: to create a proper society and hand over our children to the civilization.
For example a handicraft can have different values according to the time and effort put. How much do we concentrate on this? What kind of person are you handing over to the society? Educated with caring good values, lazy, unjust or a humble person etc? It doesn’t matter whether it’s a male or a female. The more value you give to your child when he is with you at home, the more value you get in the eyes of Allah (swt).
When you look at the history of Hazrat Fatema(as),the daughter of the Holy Prophet(saw) ,he showered her with a lot of love and affection as he wanted to set an example to all those around. He said, ’Fatema is part of me , when she is happy, I am happy and Allah (swt) is happy ,when she is upset Allah (swt ) is upset and I am also upset.
This means she had a very high status and is a role model for all women and not only women.
In the Quran, the best and worst role models are women .Allah (swt) also gives an example of two very bad women : the wives of Prophet Nuh and the wife of Prophet Lut were not accepted by Allah (swt).These women were disliked by Allah (swt), so they became role models for the disbelievers.
Yet the wife of Firon (who was the worst king of his time) was a role model for believers. She said to Allah (swt), “Oh my Lord, make for me a house in paradise ,I am not interested in all the things that Firon has :the power ,the wealth and being the first lady of the kingdom . I want Your Happiness, Your Guidance, Your acceptance and Blessings.”
Asiya, Maryam and Khadijah, were top role models in their times and Fatema uz Zahra (as) is the top role model for all for throughout time. She is also a role model for other creations such as jinn and angels.
Hazrat Fatema (as) was born five years before Bethat when Prophet Muhammad (saw) was about 35 years old and her mother Khadija was about 50 years old. She has many other titles. Zahra (Lady of Light) and Sayyidatun Nisa al Alamin. (Leader of all the women of the worlds).
After her mother Khadija passed away ,she was extremely devoted in taking care of her father, and so Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to call her “Umme Abiha”, ( the mother her father). She had great a relationship with her father.
She looked after Prophet Muhammad (saw) like a mother looks after her own son. He had the highest respect for her. He would stand up for and even remove his cloak for her to sit on. How do we deal with our own parents today, especially the young ladies?
As Imam Ali (as)’s wife, she never disrespected him and he never upset her. They never fought nor ever had any disputes or arguments. Imam Ali (as) said,” I never saw anything from her that made me angry.”
Fatema (as) was coached by Prophet Muhammad(saw) and thus she was the role model among the women ,just as ‘Ali (as) was the best embodiment of his coaching and due his qualities ,he was a role model among men. They were the most suitable couple to be married. However Ali (as) was too modest to speak about it. Fatema (as) was a symbol of womanhood in Islam.
Her exemplary but short life teaches us how a daughter, a wife and a mother should behave in their regular lives. She is a role model that we should copy and bring our own kids in the same way Lady Fatema (as) did. The husband is responsible for the children’s welfare, he has to work hard to create ummah (society) that is the best. The father has less time for his children so a mother plays a very important role. So as the wife takes care of the husband, the mother should also have a peace of mind in order to create a better society. Woman should read the history of Lady Fatema (as).
Islam is based on justice .We have been brought here with justice. Prophet Muhammad (saw) said ,”I sent this book which has all the knowledge and scale (intelligence). We all understand good and bad. What does freedom of women mean? Freedom has always been there, freedom for women should not be misused for the benefit of the society. Hijab is important and women are misused and abused in many industries and we should be taking care of these issues. Women have not been created to be used, Islam says no to this as we are the most valuable.”