The Perils of “Educating” Our Daughters

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?

Why?

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.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. How to make your daughter a wage and tax slave. The overwhelming majority of people have jobs not careers. They don’t make a lot of money but just enough to get by and live a decent humble life. Who is going to produce and raise the children of this Ummah if women are having protracted school careers and are in the job market?

    Do people actually consider the negative consequences of removing the mother and wife from the home?….not only for her and her direct surrounding but for the Ummah as a whole?

    What Al Buruj press is prescribing is a recipe for:

    1. singledom/spinsterhood
    2. a life full of financial debt (college and consumer debt)
    4. increased likelihood of zina

    They are basically saying that a muslim woman should rely more on her – likely kafir – employer than on her – muslim – husband. This frankly reveals the hatred and disdain the writer of that post has for muslim men.

    “Narrated `Abdullah:

    We were with the Prophet (ﷺ) while we were young and had no wealth. So Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.””
    https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5066

  2. I support you, but you need to edit your article and put definitions at the top, like you would in a legal agreement, coz most people are just too dumb to think critically and can’t define anything from any perspective other than western.

    I’ve seen liberals who couldn’t bother praying, blissfully cite the verse ‘wa tu’izzu man tashaa wa tudhillu man tashaa’ at their comrades winning some showbiz award for fawahish!

    This sentence for example, is wrong even from a perspective of Muslims in the middle ages:

    Quote–Islam established women’s rights!

    No it didn’t.–Unquote

    What rights are we talking about here? Dignified rights of women that Islam DID provide, like inheritance, nafaqah, etc. or the secularist “right” to march with fags?

    Does ‘education’ include ‘ilmud deen and fiqh and tafsir (authentic, Arabic books; not MSA ‘deen intensives’) and so on or is it only referring to sorority group hugs on campus? Most people are too dumb to ponder!

    Also, in the west itself, college is way overrated. Man or woman, you wouldn’t mean much in the workplace with a degree in history or something. Even from a purely materialistic duniya perspective, unless you’re studying something that gives you some hot, in demand, highly paying skills, you’re just gonna end up a woeful loser lost in the rat race. This is highlighted time and again by labor market experts of the secular world!

    • Sorry for some of my comments that are redundant. Somehow I scrolled past your references to Islamic education on my “smart” phone.

  3. A brilliant article, we must continue to question the ideals of the west which are being shoved down our throats every single day.

  4. Brother Daniel
    For the umpteenth time you nailed it.
    MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY..And I say that as an educated praticing muslim woman.
    I homeschool my 3 daughters and training them to be good muslims, and be good mothers, daughters and sisters. I tell them that their role and foremost resonsibity is to pease Allah swt. Alhamdolilah I am glad Allah guided me to take this route after many prayers. I dont regret it one bit for I dont want them to fit in the garbage of western civilization.

  5. Subhanallah you just spoke my mind. As long as our educational institutions are under the influence of secular/liberal ideologies we must be very careful. Every Muslim needs a sound foundation of Deen before eDucCatInG themselves in these universities.

  6. Weird world we’re living in these days.
    Our original jealous men over their wives are turning into slaves of the westerns or the seculars.
    And our kids are being brain-washed from all sides.
    It’s sickening to have strangers take rule of us so easily, and a big shame for an honored ummah.
    That’s why Allah chose Islam to be sent down on the Arabs. It’s for their jealousy, honesty and sense of honor. (Only one of a whole, not claiming it’s all based around that hehe).

    Can we not play an old wise game? They have their own religion, and we have ours. In today’s secular world it’s they have their opinions, and we have ours. And we will act upon ours just as they act upon theirs but we will not spread with injustice.

    May Allah revive our ummah again, and turn all the Islamic countries together and bound to each other, ameen and safe guard all our brothers and sisters in harsh tribulations, ameen.

  7. Assalamualaikum.
    I think your articles regarding women working have really gotten me to think about the way people have been indoctrinated into this mindset. As a muslimah from Pakistan, I could see around me all the time in my teachers and the girls my age and younger around me, that there was definitely an air of “women are strong and independent” and “marriage is like a prison”. While I understand someone’s perception of this because of legitimate, anti islamic abuse that people might hear about in the news ( which btw is still more fringe than we think), I think I have changed my views on concepts of education, marriage, and work drastically.

    Jazakallah khayr for being the vessel that led to that.

    For those who might have objections to this, I can offer some alternatives:
    – Instead of aiming for the model where women try to get a degree for a career by the age of 25-27, why don’t we prioritize marriage and raising a family, and then if we have time, passion and energy for what ever noble pursuit we want to achieve (like being a doctor or teacher), we can pursue it when our kids are older and more independent.
    Once our mindset is clearly aligned with the feminine purpose that Allah swt has granted us (i.e. of being a righteous wife, and good mother), we can look into different avenues for pursuing our interests for the sake of working:
    – we can look into pursuing diplomas or 1-2 year degrees in employable skills like management or whatever, from online or local less expensive sources.
    – we can also look into International Open University as an alternative to learning from a secular space.
    – For those of us in the muslim world, we can look into studying at Islamic universities or women’s only universities (the latter being embroiled with the same western ideologies that secular universities have, so one should be careful)
    – We can create home-based/online/women’s only businesses or services

    I hope this provides some insights to those who are not satisfied with the idea of “just” being wives and mothers.

    I do have a question though, as I often wonder this with muftis in Pakistan who also promote women staying home. Although I know that out of necessity such as illness, it would be allowed for a female to be treated by a male doctor, or let’s say if every woman becomes a homemaker, then there wouldn’t be female teachers in girls only schools, I was wondering what the balance is here? Or perhaps is the advice given to the public generally, and it is known that there will be women who are exceptions to this rule and will choose to do both house care and work successfully?

    I also think that at some level if women do acquire skills such as medicine, counselling, teaching etc., they could always try to promote a culture of ensuring their families and close friends are benefitting from these skills in a private home based setting, either free of cost, or for a small price. I’d like to hear what everyone thinks.

    • Interesting comment sister. I feel like I can relate to everything here. And I’d love to hear Umm Khaled or Daniel’s take on your last point because it’s something I genuinely wonder too (despite believing most women will be happier being homemakers and if I could, I’d choose it for myself as well).

      And yes there will be women who perhaps go into these fields because they have no choice but to earn a livelihood. And maybe there will be others who are able to balance everything and follow the deen well while working.

      What I think is that we’re too reliant on the westernized state institutions for everything. Education, childcare, medicine, etc. These are things that I believe should be accessible to the family without state intervention, and perhaps if more of us work towards this it might be possible. (Of course I don’t mean PhDs and surgeries should be done at home, but a large majority of all of these services actually can do without the ridiculous gatekeeping). If we could bring all this into the domestic sphere as they used to be, modern women wouldn’t feel so “left out” if they become homemakers. Just my thoughts.

      Would love to hear what those more qualified believe.

  8. Absolutely resonates with the situation here in India as well especially the metropolis like Delhi. Here we have minority universities (with reservation for Muslims) indoctrinating Muslim women with the aqeedah of secularism, feminism, modernism, and quite blatantly, anti revelation exceptionalism. My years in Masters were an eyewash and still reeling from what I witnessed. Your words painted a horrid reality that is not just a cancerous outgrowth for Muslims in the West but also Muslims who live the western delusion reciting the Klaimah of Tawheed.

    • That’s shocking, but true.
      AMU and Jamiah Universities in your country are quite well known as “Muslim” Universities which have anything but Muslim environment. It’s quite well known, again, that many “famous” Alumni of these universities are so secular, so modern, so pro-women feminists that it’s difficult to consider them Muslims.

      • You’d be shocked at what the universities in the Arab world and Pakistan churn out as well. AMU was anyways the project of a zindiq who suffered from an inferiority complex and considered the ruling British to be intellectually superior because of their political colonial pursuits. He wanted Muslims to copy the west, just in an Islamic flavor. He didn’t like being colonized physically and materially, but sadly and wrongly gave in to mental, emotional and intellectual colonization without even realizing it! Not much different to Rashid Rida, Jamaluddin Afghani and other “reformers” like them.

  9. It’s quite sad to see how this blog has become nothing more than a perpetual outrage machine. Such that it has essentially gone from being a decent breath of fresh air in discourse monopolised by a secular paradigm to being little more than a conglomeration of uncritically regurgitated neo-traditionalist reactionary talking points about women with absolutely no attempt to engage with them or present anything new in the slightest.

    The post claims that the original (poorly worded) tweet promotes unabashed feminism but never explains where it does this. It simply launches into attacking a caricature of what it says without actually bothering to engage with or address any of the reasons for why women should be educated, beyond parroting the usual talking points about them allegedly apostatising in droves despite research (like that carried out by the FYI) pointing to this being just as much of a tragedy for muslim men studying in secular institutions as well.

    Here are the issues we should be thinking about and asking ourselves:

    1. Is the familial financial safety net so widespread and effective as to warrant such a widespread denouncement of female post secondary education. Is everyone’s family, muslim or not, willing to provide for a female family member no matter what, as the article hinges on the assumption that they will. Most people don’t live as close-knit tribal bedouins in the desert. For many wives, if they went to their family members expecting to be provided for, they’d look at her like a beggar, and that’s just the way the world is.

    2. The blog post acknowledges the secularising impact that western educational institutions have upon men and the equal risk of them apostatising but seems to dismiss this as being all right since they will have a family to support. But this is utterly absurd. If us men have a family to support when we are older, then going through an educational system that is allegedly likely to result in our apostasy is in fact the last thing we want to do lest we end up non-Muslims and raise our future households in that manner. And so by that principle, us Muslim men attending said institutions is probably even worse than Muslim women attending them precisely *because* of this. Simply glorifying martyring the dīn and faith of a Muslim man entering such a system doesn’t really help address this issue at all.

    3. Returning to the subject of Muslim women within such institutions, if the solution is to simply teach them the basics of their dīn and nothing more because everything beyond this is unnecessary, then how do we begin to deal with situations that actively demand a female professional. Such as nurses, doctors who treat other women, psychiatrists and psychologists who are consulting women. Teachers of female students and solicitors during legal proceedings which involve the consulting of female defendants and witnesses. I’m only 19, but on a practical level, I am not going to be okay with simply instructing my future daughter that she is going to have to skip her surgery because female surgeons weren’t available as women shouldn’t really be receiving an education in secular institutions. More thought and systematic reform needs to be considered here.

    Summary: The blog post fails to present anything meaningful or say anything useful beyond typical right wing talking points. At no point does it seriously consider issues with contemporary educational systems in a holistic manner with regard to how they impact men, as well as the ramifications of not educating women.

    • He’s made plenty of points, all valid. Just to be clear, Daniel is not saying you don’t educate women at all beyond Islamic knowledge, but that you educate them only in areas and places under a proper Islamic umbrella and that too only if there is an Islamically valid benefit to it. Nobody is saying the modern education system is ideal for men either. Furthermore the lack of family safety net you bring up happens most commonly in such educated families, almost as if their education first for women mindset contributed to that. Daniel has nailed the underlying problem of this brainless mantra of education being critical prevalent in our Muslim communities. Islamic knowledge and education is seen as inferior. The Sahaba established the most successful Islamic society in history, the women therein were in no way or shape educated in the modern manner. Rather they were educated to excel in their roles as mothers, wives and caregivers. Yet that society was far better than ours in terms of both the Dunya and the Akhirah.

      • “Only educating women if there’s an islamically valid benefit to it…”
        Is a vague slogan and doesn’t really tell me much of anything or address either of the three points I raised. I think training women as doctors/surgeons would be valid since otherwise, good luck with getting a female gynaecologist for your daughter.

        “Nobody is saying the modern education system is ideal for men either”
        I think you need to re-read point 2. The issues he raised with regard to women demonstrably and statistically impact men just as much, and would moreso be an issue for us since we have to raise families as well.

        “The lack of family safety net you bring up happens most commonly in such educated families” Yeah no it’s pretty universal and that’s besides the point. He claimed women can just fall back on that, but they demonstrably cannot.

    • I find this whole argument of “but what about when you need a female doctor”, quite silly. If you really knew what goes on in medical education you wouldn’t push your daughters into it. The current system, no matter where you go in the world, beats empathy out of its students, and any trace of femininity out of the young women that go into it. And ironically, obstetrics and gynecology is notorious for creating female doctors who are rude and arrogant. I wouldn’t want that for myself or my daughter. Few come out of the system as actual decent people, although they may be skilled in what they do. But as Muslims we should value strength in character over status. And I know this from being in the said system and regretting ever having entered. Not everyone needs to push their daughters into careers, most are statistically going to be depressed even if they enjoy it. Why do people think it’s a good idea?

      • “What about when I need a female doctor” Isn’t an argument in the first place. It’s a simple question reflective of our basic need to survive and require healthcare in order to do so. All the more pressing given that the individuals asserting that we should not be educating women beyond the basics of Islam would usually be the first to not want a male surgeon treating their daughters at all.

        Not going to address the hasty generalisations later on in your comment, but assuming that they are true, I’m not sure how it engages with any of the questions I brought up beyond pointing out very obvious systematic problems in the education system that we are already aware of and are presumably both trying to come up with a solution for.

  10. Daniel said:

    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?
    **********
    Sadly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Things are going to go from bad to worse. Every coming day is going to be worse than the day that preceded it…

    until the arrival of Imam Mahdi.

    This is clearly mentioned in ahadith.

  11. I somewhat agree with this. While it may work in some parts of the world, but here in Toronto, Canada the cost of living is so high that one simply cannot survive on just the husband’s salary, unless he’s making well into the $100K. Hence, it becomes pretty much a necessity for the women to get a decent job as well.

    • The cost of living is so high exactly because women are also working. They are oversupplying the labor market which hampers wage development (because they are competing for the same jobs as their hubands and brothers) and causes inflation – stagnant/lower wages and a higher cost of living is the result.

      Women in the labor market is only ‘beneficial’ voor high earners (where both are highly paid lawyers or doctors for instance), the government (it can now tax four parties istead of one: man, woman, daycare facility and the emplyees of the facility) and employers (employer’s market caused by female labor participation). It’s terrible for the middle and working class.

  12. I appreciate your opinion but I personally do not agree at all. Khadija RA was a business woman, there is nothing wrong in Islam with a woman getting an education and being able to provide for herself without relying on a man. I am grateful for my part time job because my dad has so many expenses but because of my small income on the side I am able to buy things I like skincare etc.. and even give some sadaqa here and there. I am in University to become a journalist and I look forward to reporting on issues which are important. I can be a good wife and mother as well, of course when I have kids they will be my priority but what do I do with all my youth now? I want to spend it by enriching myself by getting an education and not neglecting my Islamic duties as well.

    • No she wasn’t. She was a business owner – which she inherited from her deceased husband. The day to day running and managing of the business was done by men.

      Modernists (not necessarily saying you are one) really like to use this example….’sadly’ it’s completely false.

  13. Recently there has been talks about the American Empire leaving Afghanistan. When I read articles about that they will always bring up education of women and then you have to ask yourselves why? Since when does an enemy want good things for people and traditions they wanna destroy?

    • Education in this context means brainwashing and corrupting. Corrupting the womenfolk of your enemy is the easiest way to neutrilize him. Women tend to be more emotional and easier to succumb to social pressure (they score substantially higher on agreebleness en conformity), which makes it simpler to manipulate them.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnx0NcY75T0

  14. TLDR; skip to last bit for part of why I think a working woman can increase the chances of divorce, I can give link to the full essay I wrote if anyone wants. I’m not as well written as brother Daniel, maşallah.

    I spoke with someone because I was interested in marriage and needed help finding a person. They noticed (in our second meeting) that my beard was now as it should be (natural) and asked if I was salafiy. Anyhow, I mentioned I wanted a housewife and he started to question me about it. He said he agreed with my stance but the way he questioned me didn’t seem like. My tongue was tied and mind went blank so I couldn’t respond at the time. I figured he was testing if I was just blindly following what others have said, so I wrote a little document on my thoughts (influenced by Brother Daniel, and others). Here’s an excerpt regarding how a working woman can lead to increased chances of divorce, resulting in their argument of “she needs a back up plan” being circular and the cause of the divorce:

    A woman being financially independent may increase the chances of divorce – she may act up more, might ask for a divorce thinking herself self-sufficient, or may file for a secular divorce in the court system (without receiving a Shari divorce). Indeed there is wisdom behind a man having the power to divorce but a woman having to go to a judge. In the United States, 70% of divorce is initiated by women; it rises to 90% when filtered for college educated women.1 A friend asked “do you think it’s a healthy relationship if someone wants to leave but they can’t because they feel like they have no choice?”. So I changed my mind, and held the opinion of “it depends on the character of the women”, which is still true. However, the women working in and of itself can cause problems and increase the chances of divorce, such as but not limited to:
    -Feelings of inadequacy in the man
    –He wants to feel like a King, even though he’s just a shepherd of his flock
    –He does not want to compete with someone else at home.
    -Not feeling loved the way he desires
    -Disobedience in the family
    -An untidy home

  15. But here in Indian muslim communities,if a man has a degree he always looks for an educated woman and that’s why many Muslim parents send their daughters to universities so that they can get a better proposal for their daughters

  16. Assalamualaikum.
    I think your articles regarding women working have really gotten me to think about the way people have been indoctrinated into this mindset. As a muslimah from Pakistan, I could see around me all the time in my teachers and the girls my age and younger around me, that there was definitely an air of “women are strong and independent” and “marriage is like a prison”. While I understand someone’s perception of this because of legitimate, anti islamic abuse that people might hear about in the news ( which btw is still more fringe than we think), I think I have changed my views on concepts of education, marriage, and work drastically.

    Jazakallah khayr for being the vessel that led to that.

    For those who might have objections to this, I can offer some alternatives:
    – Instead of aiming for the model where women try to get a degree for a career by the age of 25-27, why don’t we prioritize marriage and raising a family, and then if we have time, passion and energy for what ever noble pursuit we want to achieve (like being a doctor or teacher), we can pursue it when our kids are older and more independent.
    Once our mindset is clearly aligned with the feminine purpose that Allah swt has granted us (i.e. of being a righteous wife, and good mother), we can look into different avenues for pursuing our interests for the sake of working:
    – we can look into pursuing diplomas or 1-2 year degrees in employable skills like management or whatever, from online or local less expensive sources.
    – we can also look into International Open University as an alternative to learning from a secular space.
    – For those of us in the muslim world, we can look into studying at Islamic universities or women’s only universities (the latter being embroiled with the same western ideologies that secular universities have, so one should be careful)
    – We can create home-based/online/women’s only businesses or services

    I hope this provides some insights to those who are not satisfied with the idea of “just” being wives and mothers.

    I do have a question though, as I often wonder this with muftis in Pakistan who also promote women staying home, but then say that women shoukd be teaching girls and men’s and women’s hospitals should be separate. Although I know that out of necessity such as illness, it would be allowed for a female to be treated by a male doctor, or let’s say if every woman becomes a homemaker, then there wouldn’t be female teachers in girls only schools, I was wondering what the balance is here? Or perhaps is the advice given to the public generally, and it is known that there will be women who are exceptions to this rule and will choose to do both house care and work successfully?

    I also think that at some level if women do acquire skills such as medicine, counselling, teaching etc., they could always try to promote a culture of ensuring their families and close friends are benefitting from these skills in a private home based setting, either free of cost, or for a small price. I’d like to hear what everyone thinks.

  17. Interesting article.

    Yes, we need to look out for our daughters, but as your rightly exhort, lets keep it real. In my own local community, I think there’s probably a bigger problem among the sons. Marriage outside of the faith community, all sorts of debauchery (drinking, drug taking, pre-marital sex, you name it) is there. Even worse, there’s this “boys will be boys” kind of double standard, in particular in the immigrant communities, which leads to this massive cognitive dissonance among the youth.

    A story I heard from my cousin last week, a doctor: college age youth with a Muslim name (ostensibly practicing with beard, prayer cap and all) comes in. Unmarried. Tests positive for an STD. Needs to take oral medication. His response: “I can’t, I’m fasting”. This exists.

    My point isn’t to suggests this contradicts anything you said; it’s just sad that we’re constantly mindful of our daughters, and turn a blind eye to the sons as if they are inherently strong in their faith. They’re not. And college is as a corrupting influence on them as the girls. I can immediately list off a dozen or so boys I personally know, as in I saw them grow up, that went into college/university as rather conservative and come out as the SJW, rainbow flag wearing, (and in some cases) ex-muslim types.

    Yes, you raise an interesting point about women waiting too long to get married. But here’s what I observe ALSO happens. The good boys get taken young. What’s left? The ‘Muslim’ men who want to fool around a bit before marriage. Or want to marry for immigration. Who insist that the women work, because they want to kickstart their postponed life and live the dream of 2 kids, a massive house and fancy cars. And so on.

    Don’t neglect your sons for fear of your daughters. They’re both going to face challenges.

  18. Really liked this article. It has given me a lot of food for thought. The comments on this post are also encouraging. I really appreciate the nuanced discourse they provide in supplement to the article.

    I agree with the article but also agree with some of the arguments that present themselves in raising daughters in the world which is now.

    I pray that we all achieve that level of financial security and nurture such a bond of familial ties that makes possible to enact what the author proposes.

  19. This article opened my eyes. Thank you for this article Muslim Skeptic, may Allah bless you. I totally agree with this article and I have myself witnessed the indoctrination of western ideas and false concepts taught in school that led to the fall of many cousin sisters of mine. We must protect our women i.e. Mother, sister, wife and daughter from this poison otherwise it will destroy the entire ummah.

  20. Having studied in a university in a Muslim country and then a university in a Western country, I find myself that students at Western universities are more degenerate, even in thinking & so many lack the naivete & innocence that one may come across in Muslims studying at university (for many, their first or second proper mixed environment experience after years of gender segregated schooling). I would certainly hesitate to send my non-existent hypothetical daughter to these.

    University is the one place in life where you find a buffet of young single men of all shapes & colours. Why some married men send their wives abroad alone to university is a mystery, with so many desperate young men orbiting her or hitting on her on way or another(seen it all myself).
    It is important for Muslim women & girls to have a sense of (financial) independence & be reliant on their mahrams (i.e. father, husband etc) for money & help. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen “independent” Muslim women in universities of varying degrees of religiosity who upon closer inspection have multiple beta orbiters to help (with grocery shopping, heavy lifting, moving, car lifts, emotional sponging). Not really independent if you have men for so many needs, eh?

    Compared to godless & other non-Muslim communities, the Muslim community is not the picture of health by any standard. Let’s be real, so many Muslims (particularly Muslim women who stay at home for the most) suffer from chronic illnesses caused by a sedentary lifestyle like diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, osteoporosis (common in many elder Muslim women due to lack of sunlight exposure), obesity, urinary incontinence ( some cases a byproduct of badly managed diabetes) & other conditions. Who’s gonna treat Muslim women if there are no female doctors, nurses, urogynaecologists or other healthcare personnel? Think broader for once.

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