This week was all about celebrating the existence of Woman. It is International Women’s Day tomorrow. In some places, we see celebratory events being organised to honour women, then there are fun-filled activities for women to enjoy a day of liberation, a day of freedom. Women get a day to rejoice the fact that they are in fact, God’s special creation. Its also a good time of business for jewellery outlets, marketing a new design of adornment which is ideally supposed to be the best gift a mother, sister, friend or lover can be given. Away from the glamour and frenzy of the whole day, is the real, darker question. Do women genuinely feel proud of being that, a woman? Do we feel we need to rejoice and celebrate the fact that we form the majority of human population and yet are the easy targets of society almost everywhere? This is not about one country. This is about the whole world. And its not just the crime of rape that is the worst issue, it’s the justification of rape which is more disgusting and intolerable. Rape is one most evident form of brutality against women but there are in fact many issues a women faces throughout her life which are not even considered as crimes. Exactly why do we then need to celebrate being a woman?
We are expected to be beautiful. We are expected to take care of the house. We are expected to withhold the family’s honour. We are expected to satisy a man. We are expected to give birth to and nurture children. We are expected to compromise. We are expected to understand. We are expected to obey. We are expected to be blind, mute and deaf.
We are not expected to question. We are not expected to oppose. We are not expected to demand. We are not expected to dream. We are not expected to expect.
You know whats worse? When women expect the same of women.
Then, should we celebrate? I don’t think so.
“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him will We give a new life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to their actions.” [Noble Quran 16:97, see also 4:124]
Woman according to the Quran is not blamed for Adam’s first mistake. Both were jointly wrong in their disobedience to God, both repented, and both were forgiven. [Noble Quran 2:36, 7:20-24]
“And when the female (infant) buried alive – is questioned, for what crime she was killed.” [Noble Quran 81:8-9]
“When news is brought to one of them, of (the Birth of) a female (child), his face darkens and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain her on (sufferance) and contempt, or bury her in the dust? Ah! What an evil (choice) they decide on?” [Noble Quran 16:58-59]
Whosoever has a daughter and he does not bury her alive, does not insult her, and does not favor his son over her, God will enter him into Paradise. [Ibn Hanbal, No. 1957]
The right of females to seek knowledge is not different from that of males. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim”. [Al-Bayhaqi]