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ماہنامہ دختران اسلام > اپریل 2009 ء > Significance of Shaykh-ul-Islam's Leadership for Women's Rights
ماہنامہ دختران اسلام : اپریل 2009 ء
> ماہنامہ دختران اسلام > اپریل 2009 ء > Significance of Shaykh-ul-Islam's Leadership for Women's Rights

Significance of Shaykh-ul-Islam's Leadership for Women's Rights

By Sumaira Rafaqat Kahloon Advocate. Nazima Women League

As people have lost awareness about this great blessing of Islam and the Western media in particular have been quite engaged in distorting the true face of this most just, moderate and peace-promoting system of life, we owe a great deal to Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri for his ardent love for mankind and global peace and security especially with regard to women rights. On the occasion of International Women Day (IWD) we the Minhaj-ul-Quran Women League feel proud of bringing to fore the global struggle of Dr Qadri for women's rights. This must serve as a glad tidings for all the governments of the world patronizing the women rights struggle, the non-governmental organizations, the UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women), and the UN Secretary-General (calling for Say NO to Violence against Women campaign) because Islam's programme for the restoration of women rights is zero-defect, time tested, genuine, moderate ensuring human dignity, justice and equality and guaranteeing love, integrity and prosperity of all the communities of the world.

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri's performance in the field of restoration of women rights is matchless and marvelous. He recognises that there is not a more oppressed segment of society than the womenfolk, particularly in Pakistan and sub-continent. Women in many areas have traditionally been seen as second-class citizens, devoid of rights and privileges, and completely subservient to men. Dr Qadri has been at the forefront of championing the rights of women and ensuring their complete participation and involvement in the social, material, technological and ethical progress of society. Through his teachings, publications and organized efforts he has made a significant contribution to the betterment of women's social and material standing in Pakistan.

Minhaj-ul-Qur'an International (MQI) is the first Islamic organisation in the world to formally permit the involvement of women and positively encourage their participation in all its activities. The Minhaj-ul-Quran Women League brings empowerment to the women of all age groups and organises activities with full confidence, providing opportunities to develop skills and abilities in order to take a full and active part in society. The Minhaj-ul-Qur'an Women League holds cultural, spiritual and educational events. The main themes of these events are : to build bridges between different communities and create peace and harmony between them, to educate women, especially of low socio-economic status, of their rights and inculcate in them self-respect, confidence and pride in the significant role they play in creating a peaceful and progressive society, and also to provide them with positive role models to follow. Women from Minhaj-ul-Qur'an are now taking part in welfare and humanitarian projects in Pakistan and abroad and are working for their rights, promoting religious moderation through spiritual endeavours, social and cultural projects, interfaith dialogue conferences as well as self-development and character building events and workshops.

According to Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri women enjoy the same rights as the men do in Islam. Islam believes in gender equality. Man is in no way justified to exploit, subdue or overshadow women in sphere of life. The women are a dignified community; they play a significant role in adding coherence, peace and prosperity to the human society. They rather perform better than men when assigned some responsibility may it be education, politics, economy or social welfare. Islamic Sharia provides them all their rights; the orthodox view in this connection cannot be regarded as the true spirit of Islam.

Dr Qadri pronounces that under Islamic law women have equal if not more rights than their husbands. His pronouncements have been transmitted via his TV lectures to millions of people all over the world. He denounces domestic violence and forced marriages openly and strongly and declares all such practices contrary to Islamic teachings and gross violation of human rights.

According to Dr Qadri women are half of humanity but are the most deprived and most wronged population of the earth. He has fought the case of women rights at all levels emphatically. They deserve peace and security more than any other creature on earth. They become most vulnerable when married and are at the mercy of their husbands. But Islam has clearly delineated the rights and duties of women as well as men with strict warning for men to desist from doing women any wrong. In his famous address on women's rights to a large gathering of 50,000 men and women observing Itikaf in the holy month of Ramzan 2008 he said :

I have seen people who are regular in performance of their religious obligations but are very cruel in their treatment of women and wives. What Sharia these cruel people believe in? This is not the Prophet's Sharia, The Prophet strictly forbade beating and oppressing women.

The women are made duty bound to stay at home in many parts of the world. They do all the domestic chores, maintain household and do all types of labour. But, according to Dr Qadri, the Holy Quran and Hadith reject all this and hold them upright, equal to the status of men. He said :

According to the Quran and the Prophetic Traditions it is not obligatory for women to cook food, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are not duty-bound to entertain our guests with lavish meals. Nor is it their duty to wash and iron your clothes, wash dishes, sweep and broom the house and clean wash rooms. I have gone through the Holy Quran and books on Hadith and I have not found a single such Hadith which makes it obligatory to perform these functions and accomplish the domestic chores from legal point of view as Sharia duty. You can consult experts about it.

Men do not have many rights to claim on women. More important than formal rights is the mutual love and care, respect and dignity and peace. Dr Qadri said :

As for the rights of a husband, a wife has to honour and respect him, obey all his lawful and permissible sayings, fulfil his conjugal demands if there is no hindrance from Shariah point of view, and safeguard his trust. A husband enjoys only these four rights and others are included in it. I have not seen any other right of husbands in the Quran and the books of Hadith. You pick up any book of Hadith and you will not get any more. If a wife does more than these four duties to her husband she would be entitled to rewards. It is her benevolence and if a husband returns the gesture, it would increase their mutual love and family life would go on well. But if a husband demands other than these four duties by way of coercion, it will be disobedience to Allah and His Messenger and will spoil the domestic environment as well. A husband must recognize her benevolence and pay it back by being generous to her and putting in her greater trust.

While addressing the same gathering he said that matters related to spending money, must be set straight. He enlightened his audience with the teachings of the Quran and Hadith on how men need to spend money on their families, what is the spiritual import of this spending and what exactly they owe to their wives.

According to a tradition narrated in Sahih Muslim reported by Hazrat Abu Abdulla, Abi Abdur Rehman Soban that the Holy Prophet said, "The best use of money whose reward is the maximum is to spend it on one's wife and children." Then there comes the turn of spending in the way of Allah.
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According to Hazrat Umme Salma (may Allah be well pleased with her) : "I asked the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) what would be the reward if I spend on Banu Salma, my family (her children). The Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) replied : "you would get a reward from Allah against every penny you would spend on them."
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(To Be Continued)

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