I was blessed to have been given the opportunity to go to International Muslimah Empowerment (IMEC). I am a social science student and most of the things that I learn in class sometimes contradict to my beliefs.
I also did encounter Mrs Rozana Isa, a beautiful motherly lady from Sisters In Islam (SIS) who Alhamdulillah came to IMEC to hear our side of the story.
1. It has been a norm to hear that men are much superior to women in Islam, women are being oppressed. If you try to google Muslim Women: all you could see is that, women covering herself head to toe, beaten, she must stay at home etc etc.
Yet when we go back to the Sirah, we see Saidatina Khadijah, when she embraces Islam, she did not just stop her trading business, yet, she worked even harder and donate her earnings to help Islam.
They say, Islam is just so patriarchy as they only consider on the hearsay of men, yet, back then, we have Khawlah, an outspoken lady who gave a lot of opinions during the caliphate era – especially during Umar’s. And on that very day, majority of the presenters itself is career women/devoted wife/loving mother.
Yet their husbands never did chain them and lock them from presenting their wonderful papers. Has ever did Islam oppressed women then?
2. You do not have to be a feminist in order to empower women. In Islam, men and women have been given such equality that both men and women are liberated.
It is never air to see equality as to have rights for both at par (eg: he eats bread, she must eat bread too), yet equality is to give what is needed to each gender.
3. We have seen three major waves in the feminist movement, yet, when will it stops? Truth to be told, it might never will because unlike Islam, feminist never did own a major text or any major references, hence that is why we see different feminism all over the world.
4. The muslim feminist – as they say – will repeatedly say that they love Islam, yet…. they keep on questioning Islam. Even Aminah Wadud, the mother of all feminists in Malaysia I shall say is questioning the text itself and said to be as problematic.
They keep on repeating that Islam is just a male dominated enterprise and this deprived women on their rights! Al though it has always been explained that it is not the gender that we see, yet the intellect and the quality of the interpretation.
5. The so called Muslim Feminists group never did want to uphold Islam; never did they serve the interest of Islam.
We could see SIS daily provoke the Muslim Scholars, JAKIM, bash people who are saying the truths. Such feminist movements are just trying to marry Islam and Liberal together hence secularising Islam itself.
6. They also tried to reform back Islam to be a pro-feminist religion. You see, SIS always try to re interpreted the Quran on their own, as the scholar’s translations were just too outdated.
In truth, prior to understanding the Quran – as they say; they have come with a mind set to match any verse from any surah to fit Feminism itself – how ugly isn’t it? If there is never a right interpretation of Quran, is feminists’ valid?
7. Liberalist and ISIS is much of the same – TERRORIST. Why?
a. Use own interpretation of the Quran to support their agenda
b. Criticising each and every scholars that criticise them
8. My encounter with Sis Rozana has been blessed with a fruitful discussion albeit the different ideologies and beliefs. She suggested for both of the organizations to put aside differences and find a common ground that hence would lead to an empowerment of women.
I would totally agree with this suggestion if and ONLY if SIS would take the Quran and Sunnah as a whole like what Wanita ISMA practices and stop interpreting Quran on their own desires, dissecting and selectively choosing them to fit the so called feminist value.
We would if and ONLY if SIS stop scrutinizing the Ulama and learn to respect their scholarship, be it men or women as they are the ones who strived for the ummah to understand ad deen. Afterall, Islam is never a buffet where you can just pick and choose what you like.
9. You don’t have to be a feminist to issue women’s right, embrace Islam.
Islam has perfected our lives, guidelines were given in how to dress and act, Islam liberated women from being just a sex symbol, just the face of a beauty product .Islam liberated women from being objectified, yet why we still need feminism if you have Islam?
I have benefited a lot from IMEC.
Jazakumullah khairon jaza’!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of, and should not be attributed to, ISMA or ISMAweb.