Pro-Tip: When you organize a panel where all the speakers are men or you are part of a panel where all the speakers are men and some feminist protests, “Where are the women?!”…
Don’t say this: “Well, if there were qualified women available, we would have definitely included them. I’m so sorry, please forgive me.”
Instead, say this: “Why does every panel have to include women? What in Islam requires such a thing? Please explain to me why my panel is illegitimate just because there isn’t a female body on it.”
The Rightly Guided Caliphs were an all-male panel.
The Founders of the Four Schools of Thought were an all-male panel.
The Transmitters of the Quranic Modes of Recitation were an all-male panel.
The Compilers of the Six Sahih Books of Hadith were an all-male panel.
The Founders of the Schools of Kalam were an all-male panel.
The Founders of the Schools of Arabic Grammar were an all-male panel.
And so on…
By asking these questions and making these points, you reorient the conversation to the ethical standards of Islam, instead of the ethical standards of the batil ideology of feminism.
As far as Islamic ethics are concerned, there is no such requirement that a woman must be represented in every majlis, every panel, every council, etc. None whatsoever. This idea cannot be found anywhere in Islamic ethics — not law, not fiqh, not spirituality, not anywhere.
If justice and morality and ethics and truth included the notion that women must be represented and included in every instance, then Allah would have told us. Revelation would have made that clear and explicit. The righteous Salaf and ulama would have transmitted that and abided by that. Only confused Muslim feminists think or imply that Revelation is incomplete such that they have to add new rules and new ideas from batil ideologies to the Sacred law.
And then they make weak, illogical attempts to “islamicize” those new rules in order to hide their feminist origins. For example: “All-male panels are haram because Khadija (r) was a businesswoman!” or “We must ban all-male panels because Khawlah bint al-Azwar (r) fought in battle!” or “Male scholarship is gender biased because Aisha (r) transmitted hadith!” Uh… what? What kind of moronic ijtihad is this?
People seem to be very confused on this issue. Yes, there were some scholars in our history who were women. But they were a very small minority and no one ever said — no one — that women can *only* learn from other women. No one even said that a woman must be represented anywhere in the institutions of teaching Islam otherwise those institutions are invalid or are committing some grave injustice. No one ever said this for 1400 years.
And why would they say this when the final Messenger ﷺ was a man? Allah didn’t send a female messenger to teach by his side. If women can only properly learn from other women, then the theological implication is that the women of the time of the Prophet ﷺ were treated unjustly wa na`udhubillah because the Messenger ﷺ was a man, not a woman. The implication is that the knowledge of those women was somehow incomplete or less than optimal because they took that knowledge from a man ﷺ, not a woman.
This is, of course, ludicrous, but deviant feminists would have no problem belittling or denouncing even the Sahabiyyat if it allowed them to hold onto their illogical feminist diktats.
Again, try to understand what is being said here rather than projecting biases onto my words. I am NOT saying that there is not a place for female scholarship. Yes, female teachers are necessary in certain circumstances. But this has nothing to do with whether there should be females represented on panels, on boards, on leadership councils, etc. And we *should not* be encouraging this, for many, many reasons that I won’t get into in this post but will be discussing in the future inshaAllah.
One of the many operative ahadith that some Muslim feminists and white knights wish they could get rid of is:
إِذَا كَانَ أُمَرَاؤُكُمْ خِيَارَكُمْ وَأَغْنِيَاؤُكُمْ سُمَحَاءَكُمْ وَأُمُورُكُمْ شُورَى بَيْنَكُمْ فَظَهْرُ الأَرْضِ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ مِنْ بَطْنِهَا وَإِذَا كَانَ أُمَرَاؤُكُمْ شِرَارَكُمْ وَأَغْنِيَاؤُكُمْ بُخَلاَءَكُمْ وَأُمُورُكُمْ إِلَى نِسَائِكُمْ فَبَطْنُ الأَرْضِ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ مِنْ ظَهْرِهَا
They and all of us should seek out ulama to inform us of hadith like this one and to teach us the right understanding about them.