No, Muslim Women Don’t Need Careers To Be Empowered

We have some voices in the western Muslim community, both online and in real life, with well-intentioned but ultimately vacuous ideas about Muslim women, ideas that play right into the hands of the very Islamophobes they are trying to fight.

This type of mindset is especially visible on social media. Some Muslim men see the stigma that Muslim women face in the West, and their reaction is an attempt to “fight the stereotypes.”

How do they try to do this?

By highlighting Muslim career women and essentially pleading: “See! Muslim women are NOT oppressed.”

This is really cringeworthy.

Why is this not an intelligent strategy?

Because when we attempt to prove the empowerment and lack of oppression of Muslim women with the appeal to “but hijabis are in so many science and tech careers!” it’s a losing battle.

First, this line of thinking is not really going to convince your ideological enemies. If they are dead set on the belief that Islam oppresses women, showing them pictures of Muslim female engineers and mathematicians ultimately won’t sway them. Their hatred of Islam is too deep-seated for a few pictures to dislodge, so their mind will remain made up. They’ll simply come back with, “Well, fine, these particular Muslim females may not be oppressed, but there are countless others who in fact are. The hijab itself, as a concept, is oppressive because it’s worn by women. Islam is a gendered religion, so it’s patriarchal and misogynistic.”

So hijabi scientist glamour shots don’t really address that central claim.

Secondly, this type of strategy concedes too much. It overcompensates. By highlighting the stereotypical “empowered” and “independent” career woman, it de-emphasizes and undermines the other side: the wife and mother who makes the home. She is the backbone of the family, and therefore, of society. A healthy society is comprised of healthy families, and a healthy family has at its heart a strong and grounded Muslim woman at home. She grounds her family, anchors it. Without her in this important role, there is a noticeable void, a gap, a deficit. There is an obvious and historically documented link between women entering the workforce en masse and the breakdown of the traditional family unit. We pretend that we don’t know this when we adopt a strategy of showcasing career women, in a bid to make our case for women’s empowerment in Islam.

Thirdly, the very strategy of displaying Muslim women in the public sphere is ironic to anyone who has studied the history of non-Muslim colonization in the Muslim world. The hijab and seclusion of Muslim women in Algeria proved to be an obstacle against the French colonial powers. Frantz Fanon, a Martinique-born psychiatrist and anti-colonial intellectual, described the French colonial doctrine thus:

“If we want to destroy the structure of Algerian society, its capacity for resistance, we must first of all conquer the women; we must go and find them behind the veil where they hide themselves and in the houses where the men keep them out of sight.”

In contrast with secular non-Muslim insistence that women be readily visible and on public display, Islam guards the privacy and honor of a woman by shielding her from the gaze of strange men. By establishing a healthy separation between the genders and not making women readily accessible in the public sphere, Islam also maintains the purity of the hearts of individuals as well as the health of society overall. Diametrically opposed to this is plastering Muslim women’s photos on social media, where thousands of strange men can pull up their photos and stare into their faces as long as they desire. This is gross.

Fourthly, this method of showing the empowerment of Muslim women by showcasing them doing “great things” in science and tech (STEM) fields smacks of inferiority complex. It accepts and takes for granted the non-Muslim framework. Instead of questioning the standards set by the opposing side, it simply tries to conform to them. The other side, held by non-Muslims and Islamophobes, holds a specific set of assumptions:

1. Women must work for financial compensation in order to be considered “successful” and “useful to society” and “bettering the world.”

2. The most prestigious careers are in STEM, which are dominated by men. Women ought to be encouraged to enter them.

3. Women must do the same work as men in the same way in order to be seen as “empowered” and “liberated.”

4. The higher up the corporate ladder a woman has climbed and the more educational degrees she has collected, the better off she is.

All of these premises are false. We as Muslims do not hold these views, nor do we submit to them.

We as Muslims submit to the superior values revealed to us within Islam about the genders, their roles, their natures, and how these two genders work together and complement one another in order for society, and humanity, to thrive.

We understand that:

1. There are many other modes of work that are immensely valuable — and utterly irreplaceable — that don’t come with a paycheck from an employer. Highlighting employment as proof of empowerment and success is simply buying into the false claim that careerism is empowerment. Why should we blindly accept this when so many women in the corporate world express high levels of dissatisfaction with their lives? Why should we blindly accept this when all the data proves that women in the West have become less happy the more “empowered” they have become?

2. If a woman is forced to work outside the home, either due to financial need or other pressing circumstances, why should we assume that STEM careers are the best for her? Reflexively pushing women to enter male-dominated fields in order to prove a point about “empowerment” is not wise. These demanding and competitive fields often require women to spends many years on schooling to get graduate degrees. And then, the careers themselves are not always conducive to the best career-life balance, much less balance for a Muslim family. In many cases, a Muslim woman has to sacrifice the possibility of family altogether in order to advance in many STEM jobs.

3. The notion that a woman must prove her merit by striving to compete with men and beat them at their own game is just sad. Feminism pushes women to try to be the same as men, entering the same fields, working the same long hours, having the same level of promiscuity, and falsely promises that women will have the same outcome as men do. Women and men have vastly different needs and natures, and running in the same hamster wheel as men just to prove that she can brings no real happiness to a woman, but she discovers this only when it’s too late. By the time most women realize the futility of competing with men in their spheres, it’s too late to rewind and do it differently. The window for what does bring most women true happiness, namely children and a stable family, has closed, and it’s too late to go back for it.

4. Women who are perpetual students and/ or careerists tend to do so at the expense of family. Feminism promises women that they do it all and have it all: they can climb up the corporate ladder and get multiple PhD’s while also having a husband, starting a family, and mothering children. This is a fantasy that does not play out this way in reality. Countless working women with big careers tend to have dysfunctional relationships and family lives, simply because they put career first. Family gets the leftovers. Even women who are not high-profile lawyers or have other unusually-demanding jobs, statistics reveal that their mental health suffers from the constant stress of being pulled in too many different directions. Unable to focus fully on their professional life but also unable to dedicate themselves fully to home, family, or children, they suffer from feelings of overwhelming depression and chronic anxiety. They try to do everything but simply cannot, exhausting themselves in the process.

Is this what we want for our sisters, when Islam teaches us a better way?

To the Islamophobes who want to say that Muslim women are oppressed, we simply don’t need to play their game. We can just turn the tables on them and respond, “Actually, it is Western women who are suffering the highest levels of dissatisfaction and depression despite their supposedly empowered lives. Instead of worrying about Muslim women, maybe clean up your own house first. And if you need any tips from us Muslims, we are more than happy to help!”

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48 COMMENTS

  1. “It [feminism] is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands.”

    ― G.K. Chesterton

    • Perhaps I can shed light on this idea which G.K. Chesterton was unable to understand.Some women want to reduce their financial dependence on their husbands or keep it at a minimum and working for an employer helps them achieve this. The idea is to diversify their source of support to reduce risk.

      • Allah has placed the financial responsibility on the husband, and if a man doesn’t want to do this, or feels this is a burden rather than a a responsibility, then he shouldn’t be at the top of your list when looking to get married. For a woman, going into a marriage with the mindset that you are a financial burden on your husband is dangerous and incorrect. You are a responsibility, and your main value add isn’t your ability to earn money, and if that is the primary benefit that a woman can add to the family, then that marriage won’t last long. There is no such thing as a financial dependence on a husband, it’s a divine right bestowed by Allah to women. And if one feels that their potential suitor cannot provide the lifestyle that they desire based on his current income, then look for a man who can.
        If one wants to completely reduce the risk of any dependence, then there is a simple way to do this, not get married at all, and focus completely on one’s career. Either one goes into a marriage trusting the person they are marrying or don’t go into that marriage at all.

      • Perhaps you need to suffer the consequences of feminism, and return in 20 years and tell us how that worked out for ya!

      • If we we are serious about any endeavor, we need to either do it with our full heart, mind and soul, or don’t undertake it at all. I know it is scary going into a relationship, especially in today’s day and age where we see divorces left and right in the western muslim communities, and those rates are quickly approaching those of the western rates (which were around 50% last I checked, but probably much higher now). Going into a relationship, or any endeavor as a matter of fact, with the mindset that you might fail and what can you do to reduce your losses, isn’t healthy because the entire time you are focused on your exit strategy for when things go south, and shift your focus away from your actual task of creating an environment where things can work out and blossom into a successful relationship (inshallah). This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, where you are ready to leap at the slightest turbulence or provocation, because, after all, you’ve prepared for this moment all these years, albeit subconsciously, so why not use that trump card, only to regret it later on. Focus on your relationship, trust in Allah, things will work out for the best inshallah.
        If you go into a relationship with the intention of building a strong family unit, to support (not financially) your husband, and children, and cultivate leaders who will be good muslims, and all for the sake of pleasing Allah, then inshallah He will most certainly make things easy for you.
        Assalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah

    • @Abdullah K. Wa alaikum as salam wa rahmatullah was barakatu
      While I do agree with some of what you have stated, I would like to bring up the following points: 1) You forget that men do not face the same risk in Islamic marriage as women do and that is because they have the right of unilateral divorce.2) Many women stay and die in unhappy marriages because of the very fact that they are completely financially dependent on their husband. 3) People can get married for other reasons besides children and it could be that for people children is one of the many aims of marriage 4)Women do not only marry men, so men can provide for their lifestyles. It could be that there is a brother from a lower income background who is more pious or has any other factor in him, which makes him an attractive candidate. In this case, if the woman can help out financially as his wife, then what is the problem. Rights do not always have to be exercised, sometimes they can be forfeited.

      • The purpose of this article is that *should* women pursue a career as the ultimate objective in life. It deals with the default position. There are several fringe cases where women can, and need, to work, but those are edge cases, and should not be what we automatically apply to everyone by default.
        I can definitely answer in more depth if needed, but I wanted to try keeping this as brief as possible. Most women are overall happy with their marriage, most people do want to have children, and most women do marry men who earn more than them. All 4 points mentioned above are not the default, they are edge cases, they are just highlighted more in our current day and age/society to make the the case
        for a desperate need for women to be in the workplace, as if their lives hinge on the balance if they don’t. Having grown up in the west, I myself internalized this notion, almost subconsciously. Living in a society, you tend to pick up the norms, customs, ideas and beliefs, and intentionally or not, you start believing them to be the ultimate truth, and start using them as the guiding principle in all arguments.

        The most important lens I would like to use is the collective 1400 years of Islamic history. If women financial independence was of such paramount importance, why wasn’t this issue raised by any of our ulema throughout that extensive time period? Even in European societies, this change is very recent, last 50 years, and it has brought catastrophic changes to our current societies in the number of single mother households, aging elderly parents dying alone because there is no family structure as everyone is away at work. Clearly, the losers in all of this have been women, first and foremost. And because women have been such a crucial part of the home, men have suffered as well.
        May Allah make it easy for the muslims, for you, me and all of us. Your very username, Mariyam, is a testament of this fact, that one of the most pious women in human history wasn’t someone known for leading great armies, building great cities, or amassing a great student following, but rather she was known for the her devotion and worship to Allah in Seclusion, and it was in that state that Allah (Azzawajal) sent her the angel to give her glad tidings of a blessed son (Eisa (AS)).

  2. What Fanon said about Algeria is applicable to the Soviet Union aswell.

    “At the same time, some Soviet ethnologists became well aware of the fact that the official atheist propaganda was a failure, and that in Muslim Central Asia and the Caucasus, the traditional Muslim communities were rather free from Soviet state control. The most remarkable work in this context was authored by the Moscow ethnologist Sergei P. Poliakov, who conducted field expeditions into Central Asia with his team since the late 1950s. According to his own words, at one point in the early 1980s he was asked, in his function as an expert on Islam, to give a lecture to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet republic of Turkmenistan. To the embarrassed local Party leaders, he presented a memorandum that was no less than a declaration of bankruptcy of the Soviet policy on Islam in Central Asia.

    In his two-hours lecture, and in a very scientific manner with precise statistics, Poliakov exposed that the society of Central Asia not just preserved some Islamic elements but that it was in fact dominated by Muslim traditionalism, and lived in a parallel world to the official Soviet system. Muslim children were still socialized in a thoroughly Islamic spirit, with women being the main transmitters of Islamic morality and traditional norms of behaviour; and Soviet schools were very inefficient in their attempts to re-educate the younger generation in an atheist, internationalist spirit because also the teachers, and the intellectual elites in Central Asia in general, were overwhelmingly Muslim believers.

    Every settlement and every city neighbourhood had its underground mosque, which exerted a tremendous influence on the population; and the local authorities pretended not to notice in order not to get into trouble with Moscow, or because they were part of the Muslim traditionalist system as well.”

    Studying Islam in the Soviet Union
    https://pure.uva.nl/ws/files/836107/81562_PDF_8952oratie_Kemper.pdf

    • With all due respect sister, I don’t think you understand the goal and target of the one who you are indirectly criticising. Please rethink the goal of your article and what it is actually trying to address. Salaam and may Allah protect you.

      • How do we even know if the commenter “Khadeejah” is a Muslim female in actuality.

        It could be any random mischief monger male or female just borrowing a Muslim name.

        Of course, there do exist lots of puppets of the empire who carry Muslim names.

        In either case, he/she/it didn’t bother explaining how/where/when/why the arguments are stupid. Idiots and people of hawa follow a trend. They just shoot from the hip, things like “dumb arguments”, “nonsense” or so on and don’t present any refutation or counter arguments.

    • Really Khadeejah? Can you be more specific? No? You have no counter-arguments? You think being dismissive just makes you correct by default? Sounds to me like:

      C O P E
      O O
      P P
      E E

    • What an intelligent counter sister khajidah. And very gracious as well I might add! A great contribution to humanity indeed! . . . . (Smh)

    • Something we as muslims need to revisit, through the lens of the islamic history itself, is that Muslim women don’t need to have a visible, public presence to have a sense of value and self-worth. They never have had to do this before in Islamic history, and they shouldn’t have to do this now.

      • @Abdullah K. Muslims should stop viewing their history with a rose coloured lens. If we read the exegetical works produced by some personalities, such as Baydawi, Qurtubi and Jalalyn where they openly disrespect women by saying that they are less knowledgable compared to men because they do not generally participate in the public sphere and hence lack life experience. Also, one can unfortunately observe that historically and in present day Muslim majority countries there is a marked preference for male offspring over female offspring. The females are devalued. And that preference tells us that this is because that people respect men’s roles way more and women’s roles as mother and wife are not really valued. Should it be like this? No, but it was and remains so.Perhaps you should analyse why these preferences exist in the first place.

      • A couple of personal questions, if you don’t mind me asking,
        -are you a practicing muslim (based on the traditional sense),
        -have you grown up in the west,
        -and are you from one of these muslim majority countries?
        if so, have you spent a few years, at least, in one those countries?
        -What are your views in general about our scholars and Islam?
        -In your opinion, is Islam mainly open to personal interpretations based on personal opinions and our intellect, or a set of rules sent down by Allah which don’t change over time?

      • I am a practicing Muslim.I have not grown up in the West. I am from one of those Muslim majority countries and I have spent most of my life’s years in Muslim majority countries. I am not a muqallid. The laws which Allah revealed during Prophet Muhammad’s(May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) time are binding until the Last Day. Laws regarding several issues are clear cut.

  3. If a woman wants to have it all, she must realize that she cannot have it all at the same time. In other words the woman cannot work in the same way as a man. It is important to realize that women, unlike their male counterparts have a shorter window for reproduction and if a woman wants to have biological children, then this reality must be integrated into her life plan, otherwise there will be regret.
    The author states that Western women feel a lot of pressure for balancing work and home, but fails to point out that Western men can take a greater share of housework to even out things.
    I would not discourage young females from pursuing careers in STEM, but I would tell them of the pros and cons of such careers and I would do the same for careers in other fields. The author discusses the cons of STEM careers, so I will talk about the pros. Pros include that STEM is in high demand and will remain in high demand. It is because of STEM that we see advancements in technology and healthcare.

    • That is correct, a woman cannot have it all at the same time.
      The dividing of work isn’t always possible, especially in high end jobs. Most professions require incrementally more time to move ahead in the profession, and having one person make that sacrifice is economically a much better call, instead of evenly dividing up the work. There was a very good article on this a while ago that I remember reading, but the jist of it was was essentially this. See link below, for anyone interested in reading it.
      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/26/upshot/women-long-hours-greedy-professions.html

      The pros and cons should be clearly laid out. Most women prefer motherhood and and most women prefer being housewives. It is true, it is because of STEM careers that we see technology flourish, just as it is through women playing an active role in the household we have seen the strengthening of family ties, tranquil households, happy individuals and ultimately happy societies.

    • Although Maryiam makes a really great point about how women are viewed in the middle east. They are not preferred and often overlooked as contributing anything meaningful to society. But I have to disagree when she states “Western men can take a greater share of the housework to even out things”. I dont know what a “greater share” means. But that is not a luxury for most blue collar families. Unless its a small family consisting of just a husband and wife I don’t see how this would work. Children level up the responsibility of the homemaker by a good deal, especially if the children are small. Again the article is correct when the author states that it is a “fantasy” that does not play out in reality.

  4. Some good arguments, but empowerment, careers, and skill sets are important too.

    As a parent, wali, guardian, make sure your house females have a contingency plan in case things go south with the husband or abusive inlaws. Otherwise you are out of touch with reality.

    Not every Muslimah is going to be blessed with a husband who has proper Islamic adab, ikhlaq and wont use his position as a provider to inflict tyranny on the woman. Unfortunately, there are many many Muslim men who do. You probably know someone just like that. If you dont, then mashAllah, you are special.

  5. @ mariyam
    No, the statements of Scholars( some as you mentioned, and not all) regarding woman’s knowledge and experience are not disrespectful and derogatory in any sense except feminist one. These Scholars probably made those statements under the context of women’s more emotional, than Intellectual nature. I’m not saying men aren’t emotional at all and that women aren’t Intellectual but generally women are more emotional than men. So , isn’t there any scope to interpret the statements of those Scholars in a more charitable way rather than just fire them with feminist and modern ( and highly questionable) ideas and subtly and indirectly regard them as blatant misogynists. And projecting the view that most Muslim societies nowadays have greater preference for males than females is just so wrong and inaccurate. It may be true ( and certainly is) in some societies but not all. In fact, it’s not the general view of Muslims. I live in a society where Muslims have almost equal preference for males and females with few exceptions.

    • @It’s good to be Charitable in one’s approach: I clearly mentioned what some of the scholars had to say about woman’s knowledge and life experiences. You can go read the tafaseer produced by the persons, which I mentioned above and confirm for yourself.The scholars gave valuable service but that does not mean that they were perfect or above criticism.
      Secondly, I do not know which society do you live in, but sadly I have not observed what you claim regarding gender preference for offspring to be true. For secondary research you can search online for studies conducted on this topic in Pakistan,Egypt, Bangladesh Nigeria,Morocco,etc..and the results clearly show son preference.

      • Giving some vague study reference doesn’t prove anything rather if some random sample study argument is applied,then many deviant views became mainstream opinions( which is absurd).

        I’m not at all saying that scholars are above reproach ( which no one is except Prophets) but the problems arises when their certain statements are generalized and applied wily-nily to suggest, indirectly, that they were somehow misogynistic. Isn’t it possible to construe their statements charitably or at least give them a benefit of the doubt? Because, if scholars are construed as misogynists, then it certainly casts aspersions on the classical Islamic Scholarship.

  6. I did not white wash their statements. Classical scholarship is valued, but it is not perfect. There is no room to give benefit of doubt when the words used are very clear. Here is an excerpt.
    From Ibn Katheer’s tafseer of 2:228:
    The phrase ‘but men have a degree [of responsibility] over them’ means that they are superior in physical nature, attitude, status, obedience to the commands of Allah, spending, taking care of interests, and virtue, in this world and in the Hereafter…
    *He clearly says that the man is superior to the woman, he indicates that the man’s job is more important that the woman’s. He says that the Male attitude is better than the female’s attitude. No talk about how the genders have complementary strengths.He says that men are superior because they spend. He attaches more prestige to work. Women’s critical role in the family is not acknowledged. In short, his explanation of this ayah is at odds with the Quran and Sunnah.

    You wanted a proper study on offspring gender preferences, here you go:
    https://rc.library.uta.edu/uta-ir/bitstream/handle/10106/11020/SAEED_uta_2502D_11692.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

    • Do you understand Arabic? I looked at the Arabic text and there seems to be a mistake in the translation on some words. This is his words.

      في الفضيلة في الخلق ، والمنزلة ، وطاعة الأمر ، والإنفاق ، والقيام بالمصالح ، والفضل في الدنيا والآخرة

      I’m not sure how منزلة was translated to mean attitude. What does attitude even mean in this context?

      the phrase طاعة الأمر refers to their right of being obeyed, it doesn’t mean they are more obedient just by being men

      As for saying better in the dunya and akhira, I’m not sure why he said the akhira. Because the more pious woman is better than a less pious man. Perhaps he’s referring to the number of men being more than women.

      • Looked at it again. منزلة was translated as status (as correctly shown in your original post). That leaves the question, where did the word attitude come from? It’s not even there in the original Arabic text.

    • One can argue that nothing has validated such “sexist” and “misogynist” claims of these men of the past than modern woman and “free” society.

      Look around the web, look at women and men content creators. The vast majority of content that actually is constructive spreading knowledge and skills are by men. Meanwhile the vast majority of women content creators are selling either beauty or sex. “Social Media”, modern reality and its economy is “sexist”. Not by force, but by complete “free choice”.

      These are not illiterate jahil women from some back woods country. These are the young females of the most “free” and “educated” Western societies from top colleges and universities. Even hijabis have fallen in line with the glamour shekels.

      You have men who are teaching people Primitive Technology i.e how to make fire. On the other hand you have females selling their bath water and used underwear.

      Interesting observation: if you read the comments on these videos created by men teaching how to create shelter, fire, fish and hunt..youll see many females including “influncers” commenting how they wish to live with these men in the wild free of rent, bills and worry.

      I guess “if you build it, she will come”.

      Hahaha…. subhanAllah.

  7. Hey Daniel, why did you censor my reply to this sister? Anything incorrect in that? Please let me know. It looks rude to prevent a reply on the labelling of misogynism on our classical scholars…

  8. I hope Daniel makes a video addressing the issue of classical scholars’ ” misogynistic” statements which I think a lot of feminists love to bash?

    • I hope that people understand that as Muslims our aim is to defend the truth and that our aim is not to defend all the statements of the classical scholars.

      • Also as Muslims we must not apply highly questionable modern ideas especially feminist ones to the statements of classical Scholars and declares them, subtly and indirectly, brazen misogynists…

      • “I hope that people understand that as Muslims our aim is to defend the truth and that our aim is not to defend all the statements of the classical scholars.”

        But that comment is self-imploding!!

        You and I have seen the truth only because of the classical scholars.

        Where would you be were it not for the hadith or tafsir or fiqh corpus?

        You can say that you believe only in the Quran and no hadith (my hunch is you are a Quran-only person) but the same people who mass transmitted the Quran are the ones who mass transmitted the hadith. You can’t as much as offer salah based *just* on the Quran.

        Anyway, from a generic perspective, your point is perfectly valid – Our aim is to defend the truth only, not defend any and all statement of classical scholars. Specially considering that on peripheral issues other than creed and established necessities of Islam, there are as many opinions as there are classical scholars themselves.

        But just remember one thing though – the truth can’t be filtered through the prism of western values. If you cherish the truth as much as you say you do, you’ve got to approach matters from a 150% unbiased and utterly neutral viewpoint.

    • @Ahmad: Assalamualikum
      I am not a “Quran only” Muslim.
      How do we judge whether a scholar’s statements ought to be accepted or not ,whether they be classical or from any other era?We go to the Quran and Sunnah, if the statement is in alignment then we accept, if it is not, then we do not accept.

      • Waleikum Salam

        “whether they be classical or from any other era?”

        There’s a fundamental flaw with that phrase.

        This or other era’s scholars can be judged in light of Quran and Sunnah and the sayings of classical scholars.

        The classical scholars are the ones who were the masters of understandings of Quran and hadith who gave us the various hadith transmissions and the interpretations of the Quran and methodically formulated the various branches of Islamic knowledge. So it’s nonsensical to suggest we can teach them the sciences that they taught us or that we can judge them in light of the Quran and Sunnah based on their own teaching the Quran and Sunnah to us! It’s quite a recursive loop!

        ————————————-
        But anyways, that debate (Ashari & Muqallid vs Salafi) is not for this forum.

        Here we are considering the universally accepted aspects of Islam vs the evils of western liberal secularism.

        Prohibition of homosexuality, upholding gender roles and family values and negating the evils of feminism, despising liberal secularism, promoting hijab and niqab and adherence to the Sunnah – these are all known matters that are common across the board for all Muslims and these are matters that are opposed across the board from all nonMuslims be they Republicans or Democrats or right wing or left wing or atheist or capitalist or communist and so on.
        ——————————————–
        So I don’t see how the “judge the classical scholars in light of Quran and Sunnah” argument works here!!!!????

        Because here we are juxtaposing universally accepted Quran and Sunnah rules against the ethos of western civilization.

        May Allah grants us all knowledge. Aameen. Enjoy your day.

      • @Ahmad: You are absolutely correct about how the whole Ummah has to guard against the evils of the modern world by operating in the Islamic framework. We Muslims have to be very careful regarding our faith and must never let the temporary glamour of this temporary world, ensnare our senses.
        The classical scholars( May Allah be Pleased with them for their efforts)were not infallible and this means that they made mistakes and that they were human and had biases like all of us.
        On the Day of Judgement every person will be responsible for his/her belief and deeds. No soul shall bear the burden of another. We will not be asked about what Abu Haneefah believed in and did and Abu Haneefah will not be questioned about what we believed and did. People are Muslims because of their belief in the Quran and Sunnah, not because of their belief in any particular scholar.

      • *******”The classical scholars( May Allah be Pleased with them for their efforts)were not infallible and this means that they made mistakes and that they were human and had biases like all of us.”**********

        Neither were the sahaba infallible. But their errors were corrected by the Prophet peace be upon him.

        Allah has Divinely protected prophets only, and made them infallible from sinning.

        The point is that to judge the classical scholars’ and point to their errors in scholarship, one has to be higher up in the hierarchy than they were, which is either other senior classical scholars or the sahaba themselves who met them personally.

        Like I said, this is “classical” Ashari vs Salafi debate and not for this forum.

        However, your point needed to be addressed lest people took the wrong meaning away from your comment that classical scholars’ errors can be pointed out in light of the “enlightened” western value system!

        We are talking about errors WITHIN Islam and that they can be pointed out by Muslims who know Islam better than them.

      • @Ahmad: In order to point out flaws in classical scholarship one must have knowledge of the positions that the classical scholars took and the evidences that they used to justify those respective positions.

      • True, and to critique those positions and evidences, one would have to be at a higher level of knowledge and insight than the classical scholars – that is, those senior to them in Islamic learning and leadership. All this being INSIDE Islam – Those judging and those being judged.

        Again, this is not the place for Muqallid vs Salafi debate.

        This is a venue for basic Islamic values (agreed upon by Muslims of all shades) vs basic kufr values.

        We are not here to judge Islam’s foundations based on western value system – is all I’m saying.

  9. Actually all this debate is really the symptom of the post-1960’s hyped up urban living and corporate culture.

    Previously, as well as now, Muslims living in the countryside have never fallen for/into this debate; and for that matter neither have nonMuslims.

    In the country side, women work alongside men and their work is valued too. The Islamic stand is neither for women to shun work completely nor for them to work 9-9 in a corporate job (and make less pay than men with the same job title, as is statistically proven even in pro-feminist enlightened western countries like Sweden or Denmark, which are way ahead of the US on “gender equality”). These issues are case specific.

    I was listening to a talk by a mufti where he said that one of the sahaba used to be a stay at home husband in order to make time for teaching Prophetic hadith to people and he subsided on his wife’s income. (Don’t remember the name of sahabi and other details)

    Women have tilled fields alongside men, and done many jobs alongside men for much of Islamic history, back when small business and self employment was the way to go. They of course did not appear in the public sphere in the sense of corporate officers or activists or politicians or traders migling with men.

    The only thing is that hijab rules be observed, and women not be shoved into the public sphere (by themselves or others), and family not be neglected.

    It is very simple – life goal for men or women should not be career – rather deen and raising family in deen.

    The feminist narrative makes career as the ultimate goal for women to achieve salvation.

    Career is really just a tool to make money. Career and money are a part of life and are even necessary to live a good life. But their priorities do not rank above deen and family. They are not the ultimate aims of life.

    It’s the same thing as living to eat or eating to live.

    *****”I hope Daniel makes a video addressing the issue of classical scholars’ ” misogynistic” statements which I think a lot of feminists love to bash?”******

    Actually those people are closet atheists and those attacks at classical scholars are veiled attacks at Quran and hadith itself. They just don’t have the guts to direct those attacks directly at Quran and hadith.

    They just need to be told that if the believe in Allah, they HAVE TO submit to Him 100% and know full well that they are His slaves completely owned by Him with no escape out of His dominion.

    He does with His creation as He wills.

    He will question us if we followed His commands or not.

    He can’t and won’t be questioned for why He commanded us such and such.

    Those atheist-cum-feminists need to be dealt deadly and ruthless blows to dismantle all their arguments. I do not support a compassionate approach to dismantling atheistic feminism and istihlal of homosexuality. They have to be called out ruthlessly as the murtads they are.

  10. Hello Umm Khalid: Please get Real & discuss Today’s issues for ALL(Non-Muslims & Muslims: Women/Men/Teens/Families/Singles)..in ourUSA, for Big Majority, we have V.Serious issues(Long-Lasting Jobs, Loans/CreditCardBills, Medical-insurance/Bills, LongWorkHours under Pressure-Cooker Bosses, internetDemands(Social+ShowBiz Type) from Middle-School Onwards to 65yrs(SocialSecurityStarts), Finding LongLastingSpouses, etc,etc…ALL above issues applicable to ALL AMERICANS. Your issue also Buried in ABOVE…Think a Little..Rgrds, Journalist Arshad Khan/Memphis(www.UmmaaBroadcasting.US; tweets @Arshad_USA)

  11. This is an interesting article to read…

    Mariyam, I think you are right and you have all my support.
    Women and men get married maybe because they just truly love each other – an happy woman and an happy man are two independent individuals. Of course, women work differently from men because most women have children, so society should evolve to render jobs more flexible in this sense.

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