I came across this post from some supposedly “Islamic” organization:
And I took that personally.
Promotion of unabashed feminism. My response:
>Make your daughter so self-absorbed that no one will want to marry her.
>Spend that wedding money on a college education that will turn her into a feminist who will quietly leave Islam.
>When she graduates, she can finally be a “strong independent woman” by working in a corporate job.
>There, she might fall in love with Tim from Accounting, but she won’t inform you because she knows that, despite all your pro-women views, you’re still not open minded enough to approve of her sleeping around the office.
>After she reaches 35, you wonder why no one’s asking to marry your daughter.
>Turns out, men don’t care that she is “so capable.”
>You use family networks to arrange something.
>She begrudgingly agrees because she has a sudden undeniable urge to have children.
>Marriage is a disaster because you taught her “self-love” and “prepared her for herself,” effectively making her into a self-obsessed narcissist who cannot contribute anything to a functional marriage.
>Divorced single motherhood not as glamorous as the movies make it out to be.
>”My dad ruined my life because he was too controlling.”
Many feminists will be triggered by this, but it is what we increasingly see. Sure there are exceptions to the rule, but this is what “education” is designed to do.
But Shouldn’t We Care About Women’s Education?
Do women need education?
Do men need education?
What is education?
There is no point in answering these questions if you’re just going to regurgitate modern Western cultural values or repackage them as “Islamic.”
So much of Muslim “religious” and “intellectual” output the past 200 years has been to take Western values and artifically project them onto Islam in a clumsy and humiliating way.
Islam established women’s rights!
No it didn’t.
Islam promoted democracy!
No it didn’t.
Islam championed human rights!
No it didn’t.
Islam promotes women’s leadership!
Actually, the opposite.
Among the greatest weaknesses we face is not being able to determine REALITY independently of Western biases.
Give me a *real* analysis of, for example, what is so good about educating daughters in the typical grade-school-to-college route. Go ahead and try.
An embarrassing percentage of Muslims will be too offended to give the question 1 second of thought.
Another embarrassing percentage will start with one of the below:
bUt wE nEEd mUsLim WomEn dOCtorS!!!!
bUt thEre aRe wOmeN sCHolarS in iSlam!!!!
yOu aRe an EXtrEmiSt!!!!
This is the level of thought people are bringing to the table.
How are we going to bring back khilafa and bring back the glory days of the Ummah when our minds are imprisoned by batil modern Western standards of right and wrong, truth and falsehood?
Consider this analysis. This is my attempt. You might think of something even better if you try.
Does my daughter need an education?
Depends on what you mean by education. Also depends on what women need.
Women need to please Allah so they can enter Jannah. I want my daughter to enter Jannah. I also want her to have a happy life.
Does education positively contribute to either?
What is education?
Secular schooling that culminates in a college degree.
What is taught?
Depends on major. It can be vocational (e.g., doctor, lawyer, etc.) or it can be cultural (e.g., women’s studies, liberal arts, history, etc.).
What are the pros and cons of either type?
Cultural education seems to be sheer indoctrination. What value has Islam put in Muslims learning, say, French literature or continental philosophy? What does it contribute to one’s akhira? Nothing. Plus, this type of education is highly correlated with a weakening of iman and even apostasy. If I wanted my daughter to leave Islam, there are few places better for me to send her than college, where she can be indoctrinated by these philosophies. For every Muslima you hear about who graduated without apostatizing, there are 100 you won’t hear about because their parents are too ashamed to admit what happened.
What about vocational?
For my son, he is required to support a wife and children. The average man of the world works hard manual labor for wages. This hard toil is unavoidable and involuntary. #patriarchy If he is able to get through some vocational education to improve his earning power and reduce the toil, it might be worth it.
For my daughter, she is not required islamically to support anyone financially, not even herself, so there is no positive need to pursue vocational education. In terms of vocations, most are not going to be in an Islamically appropriate environment anyway. These vocations threaten my goals for my daughter.
Assuming my daughter is of average intelligence, she will not have high enough IQ to be a doctor, much less a good one. The majority of Muslim women are in the same camp (that’s how the bell curve works). The educational system is designed around this fact. Education is effectively a conveyor belt taking women into the workforce to increase national GDP.
That’s the whole point.
Personally, I’m not interested in sacrificing my daughter for the good of the GDP.
Even if she was above average IQ, I wouldn’t necessarily encourage her into that. Is that going to get her into Jannah? Perhaps. But there are more direct means that will bring her more satisfaction in life.
Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Any woman dies while her husband is pleased with her, she will enter Jannah.”
There are no hadith about Jannah and women doctors.
So, it is in my daughter’s best interest to teach her to be a good wife and teach her to aspire to being a good wife and mother. How can I set her up for success in those areas?
How is education going to detract from that goal? To be a doctor requires at least 24 years of intense, uninterrupted education. Even if everything goes right, she preserves her iman, etc., she will have to spend the peak of her youth, when she is at her peak marriagability, studying. Is it worth it? What if she can’t find a husband after that? Would it be worth it then? Exactly what is she giving up to be a doctor?
Assuming she has above average IQ.
Assuming she is not going to lose iman over the nearly 3 decades of education.
Assuming she is able to get married after.
Assuming she will be able to dedicate anything to her marriage and children while being a doctor.
What percentage of Muslim women are going to meet all these assumptions? Half of one percent? Less?
Seems insane to promote “education” on the basis of something that might only be minimally viable for such a marginal percentage.
What about other vocations? Vast majority of women who work in the world do so because they have no choice and those jobs require no education. Service jobs, cooking, cleaning, working for upper class women who are pursuing education.
The biggest promoters of women’s education in the Muslim world today are upper middle class Muslim men who want their daughters to work “respectable” white collar jobs like the European women they see on TV. Pathetic. Or some of them were just taught the cliche that “education is the most important thing” and they accepted it without a second thought. They can’t really admit that this is the real reason they favor education, so they give one of the reAsOns above.
What if my daughter’s husband dies or divorces her? I will support her. What if I’m gone? My father will support her. What if he is gone? Her brothers will support her. What if they’re gone? Other male relatives will support her. What if there are no other male relatives? She can find another husband. Good thing I trained her to be a good Muslim wife. Many good Muslim men are eager to marry her.
Wouldn’t it just be easier for her to prepare for potential divorce or death by getting a college degree?
Again, going to college has a high cost because she is spending her peak marriagaibility in class instead of securing the highest value husband she can get.
In college, she might be one of the majority whose iman is weakened or destroyed by the time she graduates.
After college, she needs work experience for the degree to mean anything later on. So that’s another 2 years of work instead of being married.
When she finally wants to use the degree when the husband dies (as if that is an inevitability!), she better hope the job market in her country is favorable for her degree. Otherwise, all that time and money was for nought.
(We didn’t even factor in that many college degrees are so expensive, interest-based loans are needed to fund them.)
So this “college degree as back up if the husband dies” is pretty shaky.
So where is the value in education for women?
If we mean, women should be “educated” in Islam, yes I agree if we define “education” in our own way. Knowledge is required for every Muslim, including women. But that’s knowledge of what is obligatory in aqida, ibadat, haram and halal. All can be learned at a young age.
Beyond that, there is no reason to push my daughter. If she has interest (she has above average intelligence), she can study further as long as she is also prioritizing learning how to be a good wife and mother.
So we have broken down what education is, which parts are harmful or potentially useful. We have also put education in its proper position as evaluated by what is ultimately valuable in life and the akhirah.
If we look at our history prior to Western invasion, this is how Muslims were raising their daughters. You will not find a blanket statement encouraging fathers to send their daughters to get an education analogous to the education being promoted today. You will not find anything like this. It is all modern innovation.
Am I holding my daughter back?
Quite the contrary. I am holding her back if I push onto her a failed model for life.
Marriage is completely destroyed in the modern West. Women are becoming men and gender roles are non existent.
The stats on depression, mental illness, personal anguish are telling enough for those who have eyes. Modern education plays a big part.
Do I think little of my daughter?
No, I want the best for her. That was the basic premise of the analysis.
I will always help her and encourage her inshaAllah. If she has an interest or talent, I will nurture her in it through a proper halal outlet. None of that has to do with her getting a college degree, which endangers her in 1000 different ways while offering little except acceptance from a West-intoxicated social environment.
I’m not interested in such acceptance.
Again, this is my analysis. Think of your own, but always bring it back to what is REAL. And Islam defines reality.
There are many scenarios the above does not consider, but it is meant to be general and widely applicable. Allahu `alam.
This is also not an attack on women who have gone through the college route. If you were able to get through it iman intact, alhamdulillah. Many amazing Muslim women have gone through that route, but we need to look at the large impact of that route. There are serious, serious problems here that need to be addressed. Pretending like everything is OK and falling back on cliches are only making matters worse.
Allah protect our daughters and allow us to raise them in the best way.