ON ISLAM & FEMINISM: A WAY OUT OF DIVISION

When it comes to Feminism, my position is that it's futile to argue over a word that has no official definition and can be interpreted in a dozen different ways. There's no Bible of Feminism that we can all go back to and examine. ("Or do you have a book you can study? Rather you have whatever you desire." Surat Nun). So we end up in a tug of war over a word, which we are perceiving differently in the first place. 

One person hates Feminists because he things they're arrogant. To him, Feminism is a decisive force that makes women vengeful towards men. Another person is an advocate because she lived her whole life seeing her mother miserably doing chores all day with no respite or appreciation. To her, Feminism is a force that liberates women from dread. Both parties hate arrogance and don't want to see their moms in dread.

In the context of faithful Muslims who accept the Quran and Sunna as their guidance, if you break it down into specific, objectively defined issues and points, there's going to be a lot of agreement. We have tradition, a religion, that is so voluminous in the counsel it offers, and precise in the wording it uses, that there are very few things that don't have an answer. Even as the Prophet peace be upon him said, "...and He (Allah azza wa jall) remained silent on matters out of mercy towards you, so don't chase after them." The silence of the Quran and Hadith on a matter equals permissibility. 

If a secular group brings an issue to our attention that our community maybe was not thinking about, then I have no problem admitting that and moving into action on it provided it's congruous with the Prophetic Way. However, I will use the framework given to us in the Quran. The Sharia will define the parameters of the thing as well as a crisp list of rights and responsibilities. So I know exactly what I'm going to do and what I won't do. 

I will also know why I'm doing it. The deen gives one a stronger and longer lasting reason to do things. If I'm going to do something because it's a neat idea that everyone seems to be doing, then I'm merely appealing to my whims, which come and go. Human ideas about justice and goodness change over time. But if I base my action on the will of the Creator, the Creator is eternal and never dies, so I will never stop doing it so long as my iman is intact (may Allah protect our faith). 

Lastly, the harm and reward factor. The problem with trends is that huge swaths of people latch on simply for the fear of being left out or getting looked at funny. That's not enough of a motivation. You need true conviction from within to get through the hard times, when the idea is no longer popular. There was a time and place when nationalizing all industries was seen as good. All the elites were into it. I'm sure millions were merely following the wave. But as soon as Capitalism started gaining more support and looked nicer, everyone ditched nationalization.  ​ In sum, we need to shift to discussing specific points and issues with facts and objective terms, instead of arguing over a malleable word. And when we agree that something is congruous with the Sunna and loved by Allah, then we should take it on with iman and taqwa as our foundation and ilm (sacred knowledge) as our guide.

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