Can I be a Muslim feminist? Are Islam and feminism compatible? Liberal societies say they believe in freedom of religion; however, they constantly undermine Islam.
They sow the seeds of doubt in our minds by intentionally misrepresenting Islamic laws relating to Muslim women. Feminism is presented to us as an alternative viewpoint, it’s progressive, empowering and liberating whereas Islam is archaic, restrictive and authoritarian.
If you grew up in Liberal secular country you have been drip fed ideas such as freedom, equality and individualism. Without realising we became convinced they are universal truths and live by them. So, when we want to defend Islam’s record on women’s rights, we say, “Islam is a feminist religion” and “Islam does believe in equality” and before you know it, you’re declaring “I am a Muslim feminist” We use the principles of feminism to defend Islam. That doesn’t make sense. Let me explain.
Feminists say they want women to have the same rights as men i.e. political rights, property rights, inheritance rights, right to divorce. Muslims hear this and say, before Islam came to the Arabs of Mecca, women had very few rights and then Allah revealed ayahs of Quran to prophet Muhammad (saw), which gave women all of these rights so therefore, Prophet Muhammad (saw) was a feminist and Islam supports feminist ideals.
But this reasoning doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. If Islam really believes in equality, then why according to Quran and Sunnah. Is the husband the head of the household and it’s his duty to work and provide for the family? Whereas the wife is given the role of homemaker and has no obligation to spend her wealth on her family? This well-established Islamic view of family structure is the opposite of Feminism’s stance on equality. We can find many examples, and non-Muslims also point out Islamic rules that do not coincide with equality. For example
Why are there only male prophets?
Why can a woman not be the leader of an Islamic government, Caliph?
Why do women have to wear khimar and jilbab, men don’t?
Why do we have male imams leading salah in masjids and women have to pray behind men?
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