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Status of women in Islam and Sakshi Maharaj’s ‘foot wear statement’

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Every once in a while Sakshi Maharaj and his friends must do something to find a way out of their existential crisis. And creating a communal controversy turns out to be the time tested formula to prevent them from slipping into oblivion.

Maharaj claimed that Islam treats women like foot wear. In the process he boiled too many liters of Muslim blood and excited enough communal nerves. His comment has found resonance among the section of people who have unfortunately allowed themselves to be herded by the whim and fancy of the likes of Sakshi Maharaj.

What Maharaj deliberately ignored and his followers never bothered to find out was that Islam which apparently treats women like foot wear is the religion which says that paradise lies under the mother’s feet. It is also the religion that called daughters ‘barakah’ a blessing and forbade female infanticide 1400 years ago, something our progressive society is still struggling with. As wife Muslim woman completes half of her husband’s faith.

In Islam an act of rape is punishable by death. Anyone remembers the hue and cry raised post Nirbhaya incident to make rape punishable by death? Of course that demand was never fulfilled, nor will it ever be because in modern system of justice the rapist’s human rights are more important than the victim’s right to a satisfying closure.

No institution of the modern world is qualified to raise a finger on woman’s rights accorded by Islam.

Gender equality is explicit in the Holy Quran.

In Quran (33:35) Allah (SWT) mentions the equality of acts irrespective of gender.

“The submitting men, the submitting women, the believing men, the believing women, the obedient men, the obedient women, the truthful men, the truthful women, the steadfast men, the steadfast women, the reverent men, the reverent women, the charitable men, the charitable women, the fasting men, the fasting women, the chaste men, the chaste women, and the men who commemorate God frequently, and the commemorating women; God has prepared for them forgiveness and a great recompense.”

In chapter 40 verse 40 Allah says:

“Whoever commits a sin is requited for just that, and whoever works righteousness – male or female – while believing, these will enter Paradise wherein they receive provisions without any limits.”

In Islam the earnings of a woman belong to her. She is not required to support anyone financially while having full right of maintenance over her husband. In case of husband’s death or divorce there is no limit on the number of times she can remarry without ever having to bother about dowry.

Islam accorded property inheritance rights to women at a time when women were themselves inherited as property. As a Muslim woman she inherits from her father, her husband and in some instances from her son too.

Equlaity of husband and wife are explicit in chapter 2 verse 187 where Allah (SWT) says:

“They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them”

Contrary to popular belief polygamy was neither introduced by Islam nor is it encouraged in Islam. At a time when unlimited polygamy was the norm people having up to eight, nine even more wives, and there was no concept of justice to the wives Islam limited the number of wives to four and laid strict condition of just and equal treatment towards all the wives. Ignoring this condition entitles the husband to severe punishment in the here-after. Quran is the only religious text in the world which mentions ‘marry just one’ (if man fears he cannot be just to all wives) and encourages monogamy.

Men and women are mentioned equal number of times ( 23 times each) through out the text of the Quran. Considering that 23 chromosomes from each gender make the human DNA it is also one of the many mathematical miracles of the Quran.

Examples of empowered women are more pronounced in Islamic history than anywhere else. Ayesha (RA), Prophet’s (PBUH) youngest wife was not just a great scholar of Islam but also an army commander who led an army in the battle of Camel.

Khadija (RA) prophets first wife was an accomplished business woman of Mecca, who’s trade caravans dwarfed the caravans of her male counterparts.

If there are not enough Ayeshas and Khadijas in the Muslim society today it is not because Islam did not give its women enough rights but because Islam came under the influence of misogynist cultures world over and Islam’s followers did not bother to learn Islam for themselves and realize its true spirit.

As for Sakshi Maharaj, he is not expected to be educated about Islam but by all means he is liable to be aware of Indian laws.

Section 295A of Indian Penal Code says that ‘deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs.—Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of 273 [citizens of India], 274 [by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise], insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or with fine, or with both.’

Defying IPC so blatantly is nothing but sheer audacity and display of utter disregard for values that make India.
Courtesy: Muslim Mirror

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