A Trial of Women Liberation and Freedom, By Maulana Syed Muhammad Yusuf Banuri

Compiled By: Mufti Umar Anwar Badakhshani

Honor and respect for women and Islam

Another cause of anxiety and mental anguish for the new generation is linked to the fairer sex is their insistence on an incorrect course of action. The honor and respect afforded to women have not been given to them either by any ancient civilization nor has any modem, progressive-ism even got wind thereof. Islam has delivered all their rights to them. It has honored them with the titles of mother, sister, and daughter. Islam has established a pure relationship between spouses wherein the guarantee of a life of peace and harmony has been made for both of them. The fulfillment of all the woman’s rights and maintenance has been placed on the shoulders of the husband. She has been made the queen of the household whereby she has complete control of the affairs of running the home. She has been presented as an excellent mentor to her children. The different functions and responsibilities of men and women have been demarcated. A just balance has been set up for both of them so that on a psychological level, they can both become the embodiment of love and sincerity. The affairs of the home have been handed to the woman so that thereby, the man can be at ease with respect to the home front. All the responsibilities outside the home are those of the man whereby the woman is set free from all those concerns. In this way, mutual appreciation and doing favors for each other will be at its climax.

A misleading slogan “Freedom of Women”

The new culture has destroyed all these expediencies and divine secrets by bandying the misleading slogan, “Freedom for women”. They have removed the fairer sex from the home and disgraced her in the streets and alleys along with forcing her to walk side by side with men in the valley of thorns. The responsibilities which rested on the shoulders of men has been forced upon women. This was followed by the sorcery of “education for women” which cast women in the mold of modern education and culture as a result of which, higher education for women has become a fashion now. After acquiring degrees, it is now necessary for them to be given equality in employment opportunities. Initially, it was a question of placing men in positions of employ, now positions for women have been added to this.

We know very well the thought pattern which the modern mind has become habituated to due to which we do not have any hope of them listening to any advice furnished by an affectionate advisor after they have been caught up in the quagmire of tribulation. It will not be incorrect to say that modern culture has played a bizarre joke on women by discounting the value of their humanity.  

Hijab is the natural right of women

Hijab is the natural right of women. Whether women are at home or in the marketplace, whether they be in college or university, whether they be in the office or the courts of law, they are helpless in changing their natures. Immaterial where they are, their inner voice of conscience will force them to make Hijab. It is no cause for wonder if that irreligious nation which is blind to the nature of women and in the dark about the commands of the Creator of nature commits the crime of ripping off the Hijab of women, but for a Muslim before whom are the commands of Allah and His beloved Messenger ﷺ as well as the brilliant past of their pious predecessors, it is indeed an evil for their conscience to bear the removal of their daughters and daughters in law form Hijab. The very structure of women and their behavior, their habits and characteristics, their speech and actions all cry out that she is a hidden gem and to bring this beautiful gem out in the open for one and all to see is indeed an act of great oppression.

Modern culture and women

It is the limit of ingenious irony that women who are the epitome of chastity and purity and from whose chastity and decency even the moon is abashed, are brought out of Hijab and made the targets of filthy gazes deriving peaceful pleasure from them and they are made to fulfill the work of being the playthings and pastime of unchaste bodies. In this new culture, women are not a house of beauty but the lamp of gatherings. Every nuance of her love and sincerity are no longer sacrificed for her husband and children. In fact, her dressing and beautification have become a means of entertainment for the entire world’s pleasure. She no longer remains a sign of chastity and purity before whom the eyes of strange men are immediately lowered in her honor and respect. She has in fact become the glittering light of the marketplaces. The situation is such that even an item that is worth two cents cannot be sold without it first being advertised with a woman’s picture. What can be more of a disgrace and defamation to womanhood? Is this the position given to women in Islam? Is this the favor served to women by modern culture? Is this the sum total of freedom for women which was called out so loud] y that the throats of the callers became hoarse in the process?

Oppression of women or a favor?

In the sight of Islam, a woman are is such a flower that immediately withers by the hot gazes of strange men. To bring her out of Hijab is an insult and disgrace to her nature. On the one side, women came out of Hijab, and on the other side, she was strapped to the yoke of worldly chattel. Be it in business, there are women, be it in the courts there are women, if one venture into journalism, women once more, seated on the chairs of law are women, go to the assembly and you will find women. In short, what burdensome load has not been thrust upon the frail shoulders of women in the departments of trade and commerce? The question that arises is that since all this has fallen to a lot of women, what purpose does man serve. Islam has placed all the responsibilities of earning and proving food and shelter on the shoulders of man but this cowardly man has in the imitation of the west, loaded this burden on the shoulders of women. Is there no one to ask the proclaimers of modern culture whether this is a favor done to women or gross oppression? Women still have to see to the home, the care and nurturing of children, serve and take care of their husbands along with which she still has to grind the mill of earning a living. It is evident that the delicate nature of women is unable to bear such a strenuous load. As a result, the responsibilities of hearth and home have been delegated to nannies and housekeepers. Food is purchased from restaurants as a result of which the whole system of the home has degenerated and in spite of this, women are unable to fulfill the task of earning with total peace of mind nor can they do so.

Then again, the intermingling of sexes and being exposed to the lustful glances of wanton males has set in motion a storm of such social ills which even the pen is ashamed to jot down. This is the reality of the false and misleading slogans of freedom for women and education for women which has turned the social fabric topsy turvy giving rise to anxiety and mental anguish.

The cause of women venturing from their homes

A major cause of this anxiety and commotion is the fact that the youth have disinclined from and feel ashamed to take up some trade, craftsmanship and working with their hands, it is considered beyond their dignity to accept anything but the top positions of employment and this is nothing but pride, remaining without a source of income, a condition of weakness and mental disquietude. To consider any permissible means of earning as lowly is a sure sign of lack of courage. Form the Islamic perspective, no form of permissible earning is worthy of being looked down upon as disgraceful. It appears in the Hadith:

ما أکل أحد طعاما قط خیرا من أن یأکل من عمل یدیہ ، وإن نبی اللہ داود علیہ السلام کان یأکل من عمل یدیہ

Translation: “There is no food eaten by a person better than that which he earned with his hand. Allah’s Nabi Hadhrat Dawood (in spite of his great kingdom) used to earn with his hands and eat.”

It appears in another Hadith that Hadhrat Zakriyya was a carpenter. In short, .on the one hand trade and craftsmanship is looked down upon as lowly and meanwhile, on the other hand, no attention has been paid to any project or scheme whereby means of earning can be established for the youth. As a result, the tide of idleness and unemployment has descended and the case of the modern educated youth has become a cause of concern and vexation.

Few suggestions for a sound solution

If we are to find salvation from this deplorable and problematic situation, then we have to:

  • Firstly: We will have to make arrangements for Islamic education and nurturing of all levels of society, particularly the youth. For this, it is necessary to create a purely Islamic atmosphere in all institutions of learning. The connection of the Muslim Ummah must be forged with the Masjid and they must be linked to the centers of Tabligh.
  • Secondly: The Un-Islamic mindset and propagation will have to be put to an immediate halt. If that nation who has the way of life taught and brought by Prophet ﷺ and is still unable to solve its problems, then Allah will never solve any of their problems. Our brothers who are in positions of power and responsibility should remember well that leaving the shirttail of Prophet ﷺ and adopting the teachings and of guidance of Lenin and Mao will result in nothing but disgrace and dishonor:

ضربت علیھم الذلۃ والمسکنۃ وباءوا بغضب من اللہ

Translation: “Unleashed upon them is disgrace and loneliness and they are engulfed by the anger of Allah”.

  • Thirdly: An end will have to be put to the lack of Hijab, nudity, and disgraceful appearance of women in the marketplaces. Women should be educated to the extent of necessity while in Hijab and they should be absolved of all responsibilities linked to the outside. If it happens that there is no one to take responsibility for the upkeep of some women, it is firstly the responsibility of the nation to utilize the national treasury in order to see to their needs. If the nation’s negligence towards this is an obstacle, they should be taught some means of earning a livelihood through some home industry while in Hijab whereby they can earn a living.

In short, the responsibility of earning a living should be borne only by males, and if by chance which should be rare, it falls to the lot of a woman, and arrangements for this should be made behind Hijab. It is our thought that if the issue of women can be solved, half the anxiety and mental anguish will be alleviated then and there.

  • Fourthly: This mentality that education is purely in order to find a job will have to be given up and that certain occupations are mean and lowly. In fact, through sound and correct schemes and projects, the individual power of the youth will have to be put to good use. We beseech Allah to grant sound understanding.

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