Thursday, August 25, 2011

The exalted station of women


20th day or Ramadhan

In many parts of the world, women in the society are oppressed and don’t have any freedom to do what they feel is important. This condition is mainly due to the incorrect opinion (from both the women and men) that women are inferior in some ways. It was even more severe in some ancient cultures, where the father would bury their baby girls alive out of disgrace and humiliation. This was the practice of the ancient Arabs before Islam came to the Arabian Peninsula.

In truth, there’s nothing inferior about women. Men and women are just “different”. They are designed differently, have different strengths and weaknesses, and thus will inevitably have distinct roles in society. One will not exist without the other. Men and women complete each other and all of this is a mercy from God.

In fact, in the Islamic tradition, in many ways, women are much more exalted than men. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about whom one should honor after God and His Prophet, he replied, “Your mother.” The questioner asked who comes after that. The Prophet (pbuh) replied, “Your mother.” The question was repeated a third time, and the answer was also the same. At the fourth time, then he (pbuh) then answered, “Your father.” This shows how high the station of women is in reality.

And when we think deep upon it, why wouldn’t women be given a high station? It is through our mothers that we first received God’s mercy in the womb. She carried us for nine months, she was patient with our long hours of crying at night, she educated us in the truest sense, and she nurtured us and was always concerned about us, even after we’ve fully grown up, things that a man (like myself) would probably never be able to do adequately. Thus, isn’t it natural that women are exalted by God?

Noble women are the key to success of a community. Every successful man has behind them an amazing woman in his support. Whether it be his mother, his wife, sister, or grandmother. Even the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had his wife, Khadijah al Kubra (the great) as his number one supporter. Thus we should have high view of women, despite the effort of many who try to degrade them into merely objects of entertainment and pleasure.

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