Women’s rights [Archives:2006/929/Community]

March 16 2006

By: Barkatullah Marwat
[email protected]

For ages women have been insisting for their rights. At every forum one finds women asking for their rights, especially from men. It seems almost ridiculous of women asking for rights from men when they don't allow rights to their own gender.

When a girl becomes a wife, she snatches away the rights of her mother-in-law. When the mother becomes the mother-in-law at her son's wedding she doesn't bother to treat her son's wife in a decent manner. Instead the mother-n-law does everything to tease her daughter-in-law and will at times put the daughter-in-law in a position where she becomes the victim of an exploded stove. (Here I am not sure you mean the literal sense as in the “kitchen brides of India who are burned to death by their in-laws” or do you mean she is worked like a “horse ploughing the fields”).

Sisters show great enthusiasm with the marriage of their brother, but when the brother's wife enters their home, they start conspiracies against her. (“Or in some cases”) A wife sometimes doesn't let her husband live peacefully with his sisters and she always tries to create a distance between them.

Why don't women bring about changes in themselves? (Are our social constructs such that permit us to lash out against the very group we belong to?) If women sort out their problems, almost half of the problems of our society will be solved.(But are those problems based on family upbringing or are they based on peer pressure from women outside their own families? If the case is that it is a question of upbringing; then we must look to our Qur'an and Sunnah to find the solution to bringing up better mannered women in our families.

If the problems reside with peer pressure from the outside, then the question is how do we stop these trends from taking hold in our women.) While asking the men for rights, women should also think about the limits set by Islam on the freedom of a woman. (This freedom is to remember to be kind to one's family; to bring up our children with good, sound Adab; and to abstain from creating fitnah by virtue of our own tongues and actions.)

We live in an Islamic state and we have to make it an Islamic state. This can only be done if we succeed in proving ourselves as true Muslims. (This is where Islamic education is a key factor. We need to promote better education in the home for our women and promote good manners as the litmus test of our adherence to Islam.) Women should not exceed the boundaries set by Islam. They should be learning more about the rights of a woman within Islam, within her family and within women themselves). In wanting to share in the benefits they believe they will derive in the race with men, women have gone very far, but in its own way has created many new troubles in our society.

If we want to prosper in this world, we'll have to bring Islam back into our lives and the women should play their due part in it.