The slippery slope of Muslim feminism



In the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

 "And the male is not like the female." Q3:36

Possessing knowledge of exact meaning and correct perception of words and, or phrases, is considered a fundamental quality in road to minimizing or eliminating differences of opinions.

  A great Islamic scholar, Abul Abbas Ibn Taymiyah, said in his famous compendium of Religious verdicts (Al-Fataawa vol. 12 pg. 114) that many of the disputes among people are due to unclear words and ambiguous meanings.

  He also argued that the meaning of words could be understood from
three sources; from the Shari'ah (Qur'an and Sunnah); from the Lugah (the language; Arabic); from the 'urf (custom of the people); and if the meaning is not found there, then we have to refer back to the people who first used it.

 But before dissecting the meaning of feminism , it will be wise to
establish some fundamentals of the Deen.

 As Muslims, our loyalty undoubtedly is and must be to Allaah and, we must strive our utmost best at all times to preserve this sacred trust.

 Further, we must refresh our minds with the fact that Allaah has long perfected this religion (al-Islam) and completed His favors upon us 1400 years ago, (in reference to Q5:3); hence what was not considered legitimate 1400 years ago can never be legitimate during this pathetic
and appalling civilization.

  We must also be convinced inwardly that Allaah is the Lord of
Perfection and not the Lord of confusion; He is the Most-Knowledgeable and Most-Wise. Whatever He has systematically decided and chosen for
us out of His Absolute flawless Divine Wisdom has to be perfect and just, whether we understand this or not.

 And in Qur'an 33:36; Allaah says: "It is not for a believer, man or
woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, that they  should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah
and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error."

   Back to the gist at hand, the word 'feminism’ appeared first in
France and in Netherlands in 1878 approximately 143 years ago and, it
was believed to have been coined 35 years earlier by a French
philosopher, Charles Fourier.

  The feminism in its appearance was identified in 1999 by Beasly
Chris, a philosopher, to be "a set of movements and ideologies that
share a common goal: to define, establish and achieve political,
economic, cultural, personal and social rights for women.

  Well, this isn't an article on history but rather a humble endeavour to shared light what Islam has long settled on 1293 years before the inception of the so called "feminist movement".

 Notably, there is no single letter in the Qur'an that enjoins
equality, rather several,enormous verses that enjoin justice.

 Q4:135; Q5:8; Q5:42; Q7:29; Q7:181; Q10:47; Q42:15; Q57:25;
Q60:8-9....and many more.

  For example, in the matter concerning polygamy Allaah didn't use the word "Equal" when it comes to dealing with multiple wives rather Allaah says:
"...but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with
them), then marry (only one)....Q4:3..

 Qur'an is the only religious book on surface of the earth with
inscription to marry only one wife if we fear injustice in dealings
with multiple wives.

 The word equality as opposed to equity means having the same
quantity, measure or value as other while, equity is the quality of being fair or impartial. Islam calls for the later while feminism
calls for the former.

Here, the proponents of feminism want women to be treated equally as men but not equitably.

  Is it then possible for men and women to be treated equally? When it is impossible for men to bear the pains of childbirth not to talk of burdens of carrying pregnancy, or experience the monthly menstrual cycle?

Is it consistent with our intellect, for a woman to have four
husbands? Or would men agree to wear silk and gold when this has been allowed for women only?

 If the answers to the above questions are not in the affirmative, then what equality are the proponents of feminism advocating for?

 Allaah says: "And the male is not like the female." Q3:36

 We share in the sentiments of those shouting the slogan of women's. right but systematically differ in methodologies.


 For them, it is a noble slogan with sinister agenda.

 Oh my Muslim sister, Islam has long liberated you from the shackles
of mental colonialism and slavery and has raised your status from the
position of denigration and lowliness to that of a Queen and a

 When a Muslim lady champions the course of feminism, it makes us cry
and realize how remotely detached the Muslim ummah is from her Islamic rich legacies.

 We are always reading but sadly, what we read (movies, magazines,
websites promoting feminism and gender equality)  the solutions are
not there and;  where we have the solutions, (Qur'an and Sunnah been
only rich legacy) we are not reading.

 Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) in Sharh
al-Aqeedah al-Waasatiah vol. 1 pg 181 said: "We should be aware that
there are some people who are vocal about equality instead of justice, and this is a mistake. We should not say equality, because equality  implies no differentiation between the two. Because of this injustice, they started enquiring differences between male and female ?"

 Islam did not only give women rights but also gave them heights; and women are held in high esteem in Islam, as mothers, they earn more right than the fathers.

 And as wives, men are obliged to be kind and dutiful to them though, men enjoin a degree of honour above the women (a feminist's anathema).

 Q2:228 spells out that; “however, no honor comes without a
responsibility. Man is different in many ways, in his body, voice,
strength, toughness and roughness and he is responsible for his

 The beloved Prophet of Islam (may the peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) said: "I urge you to treat women well." Bukhari (331);
Muslim (1468).

Sadly, the earth cries out in anguish that ummah(societies and
communities) no longer have men that live up to this sacred task.

 Whereas Allaah says to the men: "And live with them (wives) honorably." Q4:19

 The failure of men to live honourably with their wives has weaken the
fabric of marital bond and this has inadvertently contributed to the
growing number of Muslim feminists.

  Excerpts from Q16:58 and 81:8, express as follow: Oh Muslim
Feminist! Are you aware that prior to Islam, women were not only
denied inheritance but were themselves inherited by the sons of their
deceased husbands?

 Are you also aware that prior to Islam, the female child that will
eventually grow up to be a woman was buried alive because it was
considered a shame to have a female child?

Furthermore, are you also aware that the French held a conference in 586 CE to discuss whether women had souls or not, and if they had souls, were these souls animals or human? In the end, they decided that they were human! But were created to serve men only?

‎ The rights of every woman have been meticulously catered for in the flawless Shari'ah of Allaah, and it is not wrong for any woman to be
educated for the right reasons; but just that today's Muslim women
want to learn and earn career competing with men, making them
indifferent to marriage and wittingly or unwittingly making them
choose career over marriage and homemaking.

 Conclusively, a woman has the right to be raised morally by her
parents or guardians; she equally has the right to express herself;
and once to decide who to marry as long as the man is qualified to be her husband in the Shariah except marriage to a non-Muslim.

 She also has the right to give sincere advice including Da'awah,
right to buy and sell, own property and the ones to inherit and also
not to be oppressed.

 The danger now lies in a muslim woman championing a noble slogan with
sinister agenda because feminism is not our culture (Islamic culture),
and if that continues on this slippery slope, she may soon challenge
Allaah on why He created two different sexes.




Arc. Abdullah Musa Abdul
is an Islamic spiritual writer.