10 things we can do for women in muslim countries

Allah (SWT) has created men and women so as to complement each other. As muslims, we are being taught to not only complement but watch out for one another, for the muslim ummah is like a complete body; when one part of it is injured or not in good condition, the whole body is also in a bad condition. Although we can try our best to do what we can for our muslim brothers in distress, that doesn’t mean its enough. Instead, we shouldn’t get tired but continue to apply our best efforts towards our women. This article digresses into ways in which muslims can assist muslim women living in muslim countries.

1.Dua

Verily, the power of Dua can never be underestimated, and as such most come first. Allah is the Creator of all. We ask Him for strength and seek protection in Him from the evil.

2.Educate yourself

Enlighten yourself by seeking knowledge about women; both their rights and responsibilities. A good way to start is one of the books on this topic “Gender Equity in Islam” by Jamal Badawi.

3.Make sure your personal behavior is in line with what Islam teaches

As we all know, there are three basic steps of faith- belief, seek knowledge and act on the knowledge. Practice is one fundamental part of islam as islam doesn’t just stress the need to seek knowledge, it emphasizes the need to apply this knowledge because that’s the only way it can benefit you. Remember that many a Muslim have inherited or accepted the cultural practices which may be oriental or western in its origin and not necessarily Islamic. If you act Islamically in your dealings with women, you could positively affect change in your family at least.

4.Do they practice Islam or “Men’s Islam”?

Men’s islam is one of those misconceptions about islam where cultural practices are fine tuned with islam. The practice only allows the men access to knowledge of the deen and prevents the women form such knowledge and morals, praying, no access to Quran or Sunnah and are exempted from participating in any Islamic activity. This is in contradiction to Islam, because Islam requires men and women to learn for themselves and practice it. Both are required to have a direct relationship with Allah. If such is the case, below are a number of suggestions: Establish salat (prayers) in that home when you visit If possible, establish a prayer room in the home Use that room for the collective study of the Quran as well Establish shura in that room to see what educational and Islamic activity women of that family can start Ask Imam and masjid committee to make room for women if it does not exist at this moment Invite Muslim women scholars, teachers, and other achievers to your home and Muslim events so girls have positive female role models. Refuse to participate in organizations which do not allow participation of women.

5.Speak out against injustice

UnIslamic cultural practices are usually not documented in any text. Rather, they are handed down over centuries and will take a long time and effort to change. This is why it’s very vital to remember proper etiquettes of enjoining good and forbidding evil. Use gentle, wise language and a well-thought out approach in speaking out against what is wrong. Do it in such a manner that it doesn’t seem disrespectful or intimidating but also be stern when speaking out against what is wrong in a number of practices related to women.

6.He who does not thank people does not thank Allah

We often get carried away and forget to acknowledge or recognize the work at home, whilst it’s a norm to be thankful for the work women perform at our various houses and in many societies around the world. Praising girls and women in Muslim countries for their household chores, whether it’s your aunt or your little cousin who washed your clothes while you were there, is a form of encouragement that goes a long way although considered a small gesture. And remember that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said that, ‘He who does not thank people does not thank Allah’ (Ahmad, Tirmidhi).

7.Appreciate the Islamicity of girls

Always endeavor to encourage and praise the young ones either your niece or cousins especially when they seem enthusiastic toward salat, reciting the Quran and try to practice Islam. They are on the right track, while so many other young people in Muslim societies are heading off track. Too often, the Islamicity of women is given little or no attention whereas all focus is placed on the male child. Your praise will not only serve as encouragement; it could also be incentive for others to become similarly Islamic-oriented.

8.Find a “woman friendly” Imam

An imam is someone who is knowledgeable and can freely lead to teach others about the religion. Find one who is willing and has the wisdom to speak or communicate with other women about women related issues. Introduce your family to him and encourage them to visit his mosque frequently. They should also assist him with materials concerning women issues and encourage him also to talk regularly about related topics.

9.Stop favoring boys over girls

Unlike China and India, in Muslim countries, female fetus is not aborted, although the birth of boys does get welcomed more enthusiastically. Confront this unIslamic situation. Always value girls and boys equally. Talk about how the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had daughters whom he loved and cared about deeply in a time when people would bury their daughters alive, and read them stories about male and female companions of the prophet (pbuh).

10.Defend them

Most importantly it is very true that women are the weaker body and prone to all levels of abuse, violence and intimidation. Consequently, they require protection, and its our duty as muslims to defend them against those who violate them or their rights and stand with them against violence and abuse of any kind either internally or externally.

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