More All-Male Panels, Please

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.”
 
Guess what?
 
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.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Why should we not encourage qualified female representation in panels? Why should women not be encouraged to attain knowledge,skills and expertise in order to serve on these panels? Is it necessary for them to do so?Well no it is not necessary but I am talking about encouragement here. Females should be encouraged to develop themselves.
    As for your point on the Rasul;yes, all the Prophets were male but that has nothing to do with female representation in councils and on boards. There is no link between the two. That point was a red herring.
    Both men and women have a duty to enjoin good and forbid evil anyway.

    • prophethood was not the only example given.

      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.

      • @Parvez: Yes, I know that prophethood was not the only example given. All other examples given do not change my assessment.
        There is no link between the two. Nobody stopped women from finding a School of Thought. If there had been a school of thought founded by a woman it could not be rejected on the basis that it was founded by a woman.
        I am not saying that we MUST have mixed panels. My comment inquired as to why Mr. Haqiqatjou does not ENCOURAGE female representation in panels. What is the reasoning behind him holding such an illogical position?There is nothing in Islam which would discourage female representation in panels and by Islam I refer to Quran and Sahih Hadith.
        Also this argument that just because we have not had a mixed panel or all female panel in the past(in other words that it is not traditional) is a logical fallacy.
        We are not required to follow the tradition- we are required to follow Quran and authenticated Sunnah.That means that those practices that are allowed by these sources but are not found in the tradition are totally legitimate from an Islamic viewpoint.

      • @Parvez:Logically speaking only those women who have the skills,knowledge and expertise would be able to serve on a panel. According to Mr. Haqiqatjou’s train of thought, we should not encourage female representation in panels. So really Mr.Haqiqatjou is not encouraging females to gain the skills,knowledge and expertise to serve on these panels. And that is messed up.

    • why Mr. Haqiqatjou does not ENCOURAGE female representation in panels?

      Simply because neither the Quran or sahih hadith encourage female representation in councils for every matter.

      Also the main points mentioned by Mr. Haqiqatjou are against those who insist that every panel must have women. As stated “Why does every panel have to include women?

  2. Daniel Haqiqatjou,

    If I am not mistaken, you hold that gender roles, specifically traditional* Islamic gender roles, are rooted in facts about biology. That is to say, males and females are psychologically different, and this psychological difference is essential i.e., there are such things as masculine and feminine psyches, and these psyches have essences.

    But what about males and females who don’t conform to this binary? And more pertinently, given that our rights stem from the fact that we have intellect and will, and given that both of these faculties are immaterial, can’t the influences of biology on the mind be transcended?

    • Roughly:

      “If your authorities are good and your rich are generous and your governance is by consultation among yourselves, then the outside of the earth is better for you than its inside, but if your authorities are evil, your rich are miserly, and your governance is (given) to your women, then the inside of the earth is better for you than its outside.”

  3. @Daniel Haqiqatjou: You have quoted a very weak Hadith at the end. Kindly do not do that again because our religion is not based on weak Hadith.

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