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Is Islam against Women empowerment?

The issue of Muslim women rights and their empowerment has always been a focal point of criticism and contentious area of discussions. Be it the Muslim world or the West, the issue always dominates the mainstream narrative which hovers around the victimized Muslim women, though in different ways. At one sphere many Muslims used appropriate Islamic text to justify discrimination against women and to impose social and legal restrictions on women’s rights and freedoms, while on the other hand, Western Islamophobic neo-orientalists use these popular yet traditional misogynistic readings of Islam to support their xenophobic claims against Islam and Muslims. The prevailing idea of a woman’s place in Islam is that women are deprived of freedom and equality. This is the result of either ignorance about Islam or the biased propaganda of anti-Islamic ideology and a prejudiced media. However, the fact is just the opposite. In contrast to these mainstream narratives and the popular traditional interpretations of Islamic text, a feminist Islamic perspective has emerged where Islamic jurisprudence female scholars provided contextual readings and alternative interpretations of Islamic text.

The issue of women in Islam is very intricate and requires a great level of theological, linguistic and historic expertise and skills to understand and analyze. There are number of verse and an entire Surah is dedicated to the women and their rights in holy Quran. In ancient times women did not get any inheritances when their relatives died. So Allah revealed a verse about inheritance, giving the right of it to women; in the end both sexes, male and female as well, have the rights to inherit what is left by a late relative. While in another verse of Surah al Nisa it is written that a man cannot inherit a woman against her will as well cannot mistreat her.

Islam did everything to elevate women, glorify them, giving them the full rights on everything, erase their misery and save them from adversity, abjection, ruction and lowness, discrimination, intimidation and all terrible things that had ever happened to them. Apart from the Quranic verses there are number of hadiths which clearly indicates that Islam is the only religion which emphasize on women empowerment as well facilitate women with all the social and fundamental rights. It is only the misinterpretation and conspiracy of the world that represent the religion in bad light. Contrary to the world’s interpretation of the Islam, the Quran & Hadees has clearly empowered women, however, the male chauvinistic society has made it hard for the Muslim women to claim their rights. This must be changed to shed the bad image associated with Islam.

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