This is a guest post by Shaifila Ladhani. Shaifila lives in Delhi (India). Has lived with a misspelled name for ages and lives up to the meaning of her name 'The Invincible'. Talkative. Opinionated. Adamant. Wants to help people in any way possible. A good listener and good to talk to. Currently doing majors in psychology and a minor in Sociology. Wants to write to make a difference. The only aim in life is to have an identity that people don't forget after she's dead. Read her blog here and follow her on Instagram here.
The recent rise in movements like feminism is present because people have realized that everybody deserves to be equal. It is not just men but women, too, who are not willing to break the vicious cycle of oppression. But that is another matter. What I would further clarify in this article is how Islam doesn't want its women to be suppressed, Allah doesn't want the women to be secondary citizens.
Among the reasons for the peaceful and rapid spread of Islam was the simplicity of the doctrine. Islam asks people to believe in one God (Tawhid - Believing in oneness of God). It repeatedly instructs the people to use the power of their intelligence and observation. The Holy Quran says: "...And say: My Lord increase me in knowledge" [20:114]. Even Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said, "Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim" (All Tirmidhi, Hadith 74). Thus, seeking knowledge (i.e. education) is compulsory for every Muslim.
The image of the typical Muslim woman wearing the veil, denied education, and forbidden to dress up is too common for everybody. Some Muslim countries do have laws that oppress women, but it is not coming from Islam. Islam sees a woman as an individual with her own rights. The often used term 'modest' for dressing of women is used in the wrong sense. Quran asks the people (all the sexes) to dress modestly. Violence against women is also condemned in Islam. However, some women think wearing a veil is better. It is their choice. But forcing a woman to behave in a certain way in the name of religion is not advocated in Islam.
The basic rights of a human being are simply taken away in the name of a religion that doesn't even permit it. All this, simply because we complied. Simply because we wanted to believe that it made Allah happy. Well, it doesn't.
There is a story which is narrated by Abu Huraira. According to this lore, Allah forgave a prostitute for her sins because she was kind to a dog who was dying of thirst. Prostitution is obviously a sin in Islam. I don't think any religion advocates prostitution. However, some people believe that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) allowed the concept of "temporary marriage," Mut'a. According to this, a man and woman get married and have sex, they stay together for three days and then, if both agree, they can get a divorce. Other than that I don't know about any other concepts. But this is also highly criticized.
The point is, going to a prostitute is a "sin" as major as being a prostitute. Just because women are the "weaker" sex, we can't let only them be the sinners. Women are getting aware and they are standing up for themselves now. It is high time we stop putting them down in the name of religion.