In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful




[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]



Women are one of the finest creations of God on earth. Their physical frame, their temperament, their delicacies, their different talents and capacities and the objective for which she was created out of man must be before our mind when we discuss the position of the opposite gender in our midst. They have got their own identity to live and survive for the greater cause to console their counterpart, the man, struggling for the cause of human’s survival with dignity and justice for all and bear the children to continue the struggle for the survival of human specie. Using the womenfolk for the purpose other than the two would tantamount to misuse of her position on earth. It would be a fight against her nature. She needs proper education, freedom to move in her domain and sacred protection in the society to fulfill her natural obligations freely and undisturbed.


Qur’an pinpoints this position of women in Verse # 21 of Surah Al-Rome [30]:


“And of His signs is this: He created for you mates from your selves that ye might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are portents for folk who reflect.”  


As such, compatible to her position, Islam bountifully has given all the rights that help her in attaining her groom in full, enjoy her financial independence, use her political rights to vote and struggle for Allah’s Deen in her domain while maintaining or keeping her natural limitation in sight along with the demands to fulfill  her greatest responsibility of bearing, rearing and caring the new generation to continue the struggle towards establishing the authority of Allah on earth in a constant process. We have to review the current attempts of our sisters to enhance the role of Muslim women to heights beyond what Allah has ordained for them. These liberal minded men and women think that perhaps the Creator and Sustainer had no idea of the needs and urgency of twenty first century and hence they want to add new dimensions to what is permitted to the fair sex who are disparately moving earth and sky to get Ummah’s approval through mass agitation.


In fact our so-called “enlightened” sisters are suffering on two counts. At the Muslim front, they are not getting what Allah has ordained them to enjoy. The male dominant Muslim societies are denying them to enjoy the rights that Allah permits them to have. If they change their charter of demands in the Muslim countries and struggle in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah, all the Muslim men and women who believe in Allah and in His Prophet Muhammad (S) will come to their help in restoring their dignity and rightful place in the human society. Rather Muslims scholars and Muslim intelligentsia shall undertake their fight as their own. In that case justice will be restored to our sisters and they will live with honor and dignity.


But there is another side of this coin. Our sisters living in the west or who are influenced by the western propaganda against Islam and “condition” of Muslim women which is mainly due to non-practicing or non-enforcing of rights and privileges in the Muslim societies that Islam allows them or observe the liberal life style, free-for-all restrictions. In the West the womenfolk are now being “used” only as “instrument of sex and attraction” everywhere in trade, commercial ads, entertainment industry, social gatherings, factories and market places and even in prison houses as “women in uniform had been turned into sex workers at Guantanamo Bay” {Ref: NY Times July 15, 2005], Abu Ghraib and other places of torture where prisoners are being sexually abused routinely.


Our sisters living in the western societies, especially in the USA have first to decide as to whether they want to lead a dignified life with honor in the midst of their families and remain contented with what Allah has given them or to desire for a life-patter that is full of pitfalls. At present our sisters are divided and running on two extremes: One of ignorance and of denial of Islamic rights, the other is of sex exploitations and a mirage that gives nothing but takes away everything in the name of liberalism. It would complicate their issues more and they would get nothing.


Keeping the above in view, our activist sisters must fight for their legitimate rights within the natural bounds of Islam that are being denied to them by the conservative trends that are neither Islamic nor moderate. They should not transgress the limits that are prohibited by Islamic Shariah. A right that Allah does not allow, none on earth can give it. Equally, a right that Allah permits to our sisters none can snatch it away from them howsoever powerful it might be. The activist sisters are advised to mend their ways and program accordingly. It would give moderation to their life and movement both.


Now to ascertain what Allah permits and what not, they have to sit with the Muslim scholars both at National and global levels and prepare a Charter of Demand in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah and submit it to the Secretary General, urging him to promulgate it to the Muslim world for implementation on priority basis as a Charter of women’s Rights and discard what is being promulgated by UN as adopted by the Cairo and Beijing Women conferences in late nineties of the last century. It would be a real service to our sisters living both in the East and the West.  It would also put a mirror before the Feminist Movement of the west to mend their ways too, if they are really sincere to fight for women’s rights in the current millennium. Dignity with modesty of our women is more important than anything else in this world. West has no idea about its value, hence it has “lost” or is in the process of getting it lost. But Islam values it most. Hence it protects it and promotes it at all counts. Sisters have the choice to live with dignity in both the worlds or loose everywhere.


Shamim A Siddiqi

Dated: July 17, 2005