Islam – Elevation of Women’s Status

Islam, Elevation of Women's StatusLanguage: English | Pages: 10| Size: 846 KB | Author: Shaikh Ali Al-Timimi

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Islam- Elevation of Women’s Status.pdf

Assalaamu `Alaykum Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Barakaatuhu
Al hamdu lillaah was salaatu was salaamu `alaa rasoolillaah, `amma ba`d:
The topic that I was asked to discuss here at McGill University is the elevation of the status of women in Islam. Many, upon hearing the title of this lecture, might assume it to be an oxymoron because the prevalent idea – at least in the West – is that Islam does not elevate the status of women, but that Islam oppresses and suppresses women. So people might find the title in itself to be shocking or a curiosity at least.

In discussing this topic – since it appears to me that this is a mixed audience of Muslims and non-Muslims – I’d like to make my remarks and comments brief. I will take no more than thirty to forty five minutes, and then allow you an opportunity to ask your questions. Perhaps the question and answer session might be more fruitful in addressing specific accusations, understandings or misunderstandings regarding the status of women in Islam.

As we all know, in the world today, there are – for the overwhelming majority of humanity – basically two world views. These two views are often in conflict – not only on the personal level where individual human beings are making choices, but also on the international level in terms of the debate over the authenticity and correctness of these two world views.

The first world view, which I am sure most of us are aware of, is the Western liberal view. A view which claims to draw its roots from the Judeo-Christian tradition that probably, upon investigation, is more well rooted in the ideas that appeared after the reformation; ideas that are rooted in secularism and the world view that appeared thereafter during the ‘era of enlightenment’.

The second view is that of the Muslims – the Islamic world view, and this view says that its roots and ideas lie in the revelation given by God (or Allah in Arabic) to the prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam).

Those who proclaim this view say that it can be used by humanity during all ages and times, and that its relevance and benefit is not restricted to a certain period of time, geographic area or certain race of human beings. Likewise, the adherents of the first view, that of Western secularism and the liberal tradition, believe that their world view, ideas, culture and civilization are the best for humanity. Some of you might have read a book that came out a few years ago by an American author of Japanese decent (Francis Fukuyama) called “The End of Time”. He basically put forth the theory that human development in terms of its ideas has concluded with this final period of liberal secular thought and nothing more will come to humanity. However in his book he adds that that the only part of the world which has not adopted this secular human view is the Islamic world and proposes that there will be a conflict in terms of this ideology in the Islamic world………………

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