Prophet Muhammad ﷺ: a misconstrued luminary in women empowerment

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ : a misconstrued luminary in women empowerment

Women empowerment is the one and only topic which has been discussed by entire world and still no solutions and conclusions cannot be arrived. There are plenty of debates, discussions, campaign, etc are going on this issue. But still women are in the clutches of male domination.

At this point it is clear that we don’t want more confabulations and augmentations but we need changes and transitions as per the conclusions. We need advancement in thoughts, deeds, perspectives, and attitudes.

The culture and traditions are the real criminals which is making the ideologies and Outlooks more rigid and orthodox.

But the charge sheet is filed upon the religion and the whole community is blamed upon that.

Islam is a religion which is always placed under lot of misunderstandings and controversies.

The role of women in Islam is a war of words. Islam is portraited as a religion of women oppression and subjugation.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is considered as a misogynist and anti-feminist but when we are tracing the real fact it is obvious that all the accusations and allegations are fabricated and distorted.

Actually Muhammad ﷺ was a great feminist who stood for women’s upliftment and empowerment. He raised the status and value of women and gave back the deprived rights and dibs of women. His life reflected his teachings. He was very kind, generous, benevolent and lovable person. He vanished lot of atrocities and abominations against women and give her equal status of men in the society.

Misconceptions about Islam

‘A religion with full of oppression and suppression against women’. ‘A system which deny freedom and liberty to women’.  ‘An orthodox culture which wrap women in pardha  and burkha ‘ these are the common concept of people about Islam on women status but in real all these are mis concepts which rooted in the minds of people due to the misunderstanding of Islam and its values.

There is no any other religion which give more respect and reputation to women than Islam.

Status of Women Before Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

If we are going back to the history, the olden Arabian days from where Muhammad ﷺ started his propagation of Islam, it was a dark, uncivilized and uncultured society. The whole Arabian people led a barbarous life .

Women were only a sexual object and she was deprived of all rights and freedom. If a girl child was born she was buried alive. Girls were considered bane and whammy.

To this scenario Prophet Muhammadﷺ is coming and he became a social reformer and stood for women empowerment.

Many critics are blaming Islam on the issue of women. They are arguing that Islam is curtailing her freedom and crippling her with lot of laws.

But when we analyse the truth and how Islam treat women we will be astonished!

 Many of the negative stereotypes around women in Islam arise not from Islamic guidance or laws  but from the orthodox and conservative cultural practices which not only disparage the rights and sacrifice of women but also stand against the actual core of the teaching of Allah (SWT) and his prophet ﷺ. 

We can say that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is a great feminist. Who gave much respect and love to women.  He said that “Heaven lies under the feet of your mothers ” as mothers play a pivotal role in preparing the children and making them great assets to the both eternal and ephemeral world.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ loved girls children more than boys and gave more status to them. He said that “whosoever had a daughter and he does not burry her alive , does not insult her and does not favoured his son over her god will enter him into Paradise.” This was the way he treated women.

He respected his daughter Fathima (R)  and loved her very much. When the prophetﷺ see Fatima(R) approaching he will welcome her, stand up and kiss her and take her by the hand and sit her down in the place where he was sitting. He was teaching the world how to treat a woman and how to respect them.

It was the pagan period and the whole people considered women as inferior and subordinate creation. They were considered as slaves and the male society kept them under their complete control and power.

It was Prophet Muhammad ﷺ changed this horrendous situation and give women more respect and honour.

Once a man came to Prophet Muhammadﷺ and asked “Oh messenger of God ! who among the people most deserving of my fine treatment? “. He said “your mother“. He again asked “who next? “.The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ replied again “your mother“. He asked again  “next?” . He  said again “your mother” again he asked” then who? ” there upon the prophet  ﷺ said “then your father“.

So it is clear that women is in the superpower and men are considered after that.

Most often people consider girl children as a great burden  because of the expenses and other complications but Prophet ﷺ teaches that “whoever has three daughters or sisters or two daughters of two sisters and lives along with them in a good manner and has patience with them and fears Allah with regard to them will enter paradise“.

What a wonderful teaching it is ! is there any religion in this world gives such a privilege to women as like Islam gives ?
Marriages of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Marriages of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is always a subject of great controversy and he is terribly condemned as licentious, goatish, salacious, etc. But in sooth he was protecting the weak women and giving them life . The 7th century Arabia was the period of wars and clashes.

Many women lost their partners in the battles. After that their life was pretty miserable and downcast . There was nothing to safeguard them . In this situation prophet  ﷺ married  widows and protected them and  gave shelter to them .

Among his wives only Ayesha was virgin all others were Widows. A person like Muhammad  ﷺ who is most reputed and esteemed doesn’t want to marry widows or women from poor family.

Because the people of the Arabia was ready to marry their daughters with Muhammad ﷺ because of his good character and conduct.

But his intention was not mere lust and sex. It was sincere and honest. He wants to give asylum to the downtrodden and he want to be a sanctuary for the subdued.

Any of his wives didn’t complaint about him because he was such a dutiful and pliable person. Every women in Arabia wish to be his wife.

The atrocities against women and Subjugations she is facing is not the rule of Islam or it is not the teachings of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ . It was created by the people and culture.

We cannot blame Islam or prophet ﷺ for the fallacy of the Muslim named people. They are only Muslims in their names but in fact they are against the principles of the religion.

Presently many non-Muslims are very much interested in the issues of Muslim women. In the name of women empowerment and women freedom they are criticizing prophet ﷺ and Islam. They are questioning Islamic laws and rules but these so-called reformers want to understand that religion is not the criminal here but those who are following it in their own way is the culprits.

Prophet Muhammad  ﷺ was a great reformer and his actions speak louder than his words . He doesn’t make agitations, slogans, campaigns, etc for women empowerment. But through his Bonafide life he taught the very core of women empowerment.

If everybody follows his path and procedure surely there will not be any kind of exasperation and vexation. Women under Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his companions didn’t fight for their rights and they didn’t complaint any oppressions. They were absolutely enjoying and relishing their life.

Because the past was very horrible for them, they were subjected to many quells and quashes. But when Prophet ﷺ came, it was a transformation from all these enslavements and a new light of enlightenment and empowerment blew around the dunes of Arabia and women was started to enjoy the real meaning of life.

Islam never Stop from Educating Women

Khadija (Razi Allahu anha) wife of Prophet Muhammad ﷺwas a great entrepreneur. She helped prophet ﷺ in many ways. She was the source of his emotional and spiritual comfort. It  was Khadija (R) who believed in his religion first and foremost from the women community. she instilled confidence and comfort in him at the time of his first revelation.

She was a well-known business person and prophet ﷺ never resisted her from engaging in business instead of that he supported and moreover he also joined in her business.

Those people who are arguing that women should stay in home and they don’t have the right to work or earn should understand the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

How he encouraged her to work and earn and what is a stance of Islam in this case? So, Islam cannot be accused on this issue because Allah Subhanahu Ta’ala is allowing her to do whatever she likes (it should be Halal ) and it is the patriarchal, orthodox and narrow minded people who are depriving her all of this rights.

Ayesha (Razi Allahu anha) prophet’s most intelligent and insightful wife was a great scholar. She was a granary of knowledge. She reported many Ahadith from Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Many of his companions consulted her for clearing the doubts and found solution for religious issues. She played a major role in transmitting the messages of prophet ﷺ to the world and become a key reference point for Islamic tradition.

Prophet ﷺ invigorated her to accumulate knowledge. He taught her lot of information, facts, and skills. He never impeded or inhibited her from acquiring knowledge. So through this instance he was declaring the right of women to education.

Islam gives more importance to education and knowledge. It is not mean for one section of the society that is the male section but it is for both women and men but some people who are still under the veil of ignorance and dopiness are believing that educating women is useless and worthless. And they are charging the guilt upon the religion and religious teachings.

But the fact is that the male section fear women uprisal and in order to sustain their patriarchy they are making the religion scapegoat.

Fathima (Razi Allahu anha) prophet’s beloved daughter was really lucky to have such a wonderful father. Because the way he treated his daughters and the way he loved and cared them is very substantial.

People are always giving importance to their sons rather than daughters because they had a mis concept that boys only look after them at the time of their retirement and also boys will only earn money for them. So they are considering daughters inferior to sons.

But the prophet ﷺ gave more respect, love, dignity to daughters. He preferred his daughters upon his sons.

Prophet ﷺ said that “Fathima is part of me and she is my heart and soul which is between my two sides“.

 The prophetﷺ also said “when I long for the fragrance of Paradise I smell the neck of Fatima “. He loved Fatima(R) more than everything.  He gave ample respect, affection ,love and care to his daughter . This is a great lesson to the humanity how to deal with women . How to take care of them?

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ never fought for women’s rights or never raised slogans or banners for their emancipation. But he was teaching through his life how to deal with them and how to live with them.  He was an ardent supporter of women. At the time of War and Battle he usually advices and commands his companions to spare women and keep them safe. From his life it is very apparent that he cared women very much and he gave them significant status. The negative stereotypes and allegations are intentionally created by the Enemies of Islam to destroy the true spirit and light of the religion. Islam Or prophet cannot be alleged for the practices of people who belongs the religion.  They are not following the trait of Islam or prophet but they are advocating the male domination and self-oriented notions.

Prophet Muhammadﷺ is an epitome of modesty, sincerity, affection, love etc. We cannot see such a person in the history or in the coming future anymore.

Every religion is teaching virtues and rectitude. God created man and women and give them equal rights and powers. But when the time passes men took the power and potentialities and subjugated women.

For the justification of this dominance, he made the religion scapegoat. Islam is really is a scapegoat which is abused and tormented by the fundamentalists and zealots.

Women have equal rights of men in Islam but many of the Muslims (only in names) who are enjoying the power of patriarchy and want to continue the Supremacy are misinterpreting the religion and making advantage.

They are misconstruing the prophetic preaches and making the religion anti- feminist and sexist. The Prophet Muhammadﷺ the leader and propagator of Islam is severely attacked by many fallacies and faults.

He is depicted as sexist, male chauvinist and women- hater but he was fervent supporter of women and he also strived for women empowerment. It is the discontented envy people who fabricated lot of cooked up stories and mutilated the picture of Islam in front of the world.

They presented Prophet Muhammadﷺ as a misandrist and bigot. But we cannot burry the truth. It is in the pages of history and if we flip through that we can understand the truth. Prophet ﷺ was really a person who cannot be replaced by anyone and the whole world loves him and even those who didn’t see him also loves him. 

Because he never speaks what he never does. His deeds speaks louder than his words. His entire life journey was great lessons to the humanity.

A man of ethics, a man of modesty and a man of honesty. It will be unbelievable to the humankind to accept that such a person had lived in this earth because he was that much perfect and magnificent.

Risvana wafiyya
PG student
Banglore university

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