Of women empowerment and justice in Islam

By Amira Syafiqa

GOMBAK, 8 March 2019 – In Islam, feminism is about justice for women that adheres to the basic principles of Islam against the concept in the west which is regarded as an ideology created on the desire for freedom and equality in terms of social, politics and economy.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shamrahayu Abd Aziz, a research fellow of IKIM (Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia) or the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia, who holds a major in Islamic and Constitutional laws, told a forum on women today that Islam and feminism are not equivalent but can be related.

She said, “Feminism is merely an ideology created by the west where they desire freedom and equality in terms of social, politics, and economy, whereas in Islam, feminism is about justice for women.”

She regarded feminism in the west as an extreme movement but highlighted that feminism in Islam adheres to the basic principles of Islam.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shamrahayu gave an inspiring talk to motivate women to be successful Muslimah who follow the principles of Islam in empowering themselves.

Meanwhile, Asst. Prof. Dr. Uzaimah Ibrahim, who is a committee member of International Muslim Women Union-Malaysia said, “In Quran, Allah stated that men and women are equal human being. The thing that distinguishes men and women from Allah is piety or taqwa.”

She continued, “During Jahiliah era, women were discriminated and Islam came to uplift women’s position and status as well as that of men. Hence, there are two Surah that are dedicated to women, the surah An-Nisa and surah Al-Talaq. These verses were created to defend the rights of women in Islam.”

The forum titled “Women Empowerment in the Light of Quran” was organised by the Dakwah Secretariat, Ma’ruf Club IIUM, in collaboration with i-Masjid and Pembina IIUM. It was held in conjunction with the International Women’s Day today.

This programme was held at the Main Hall of SHAS Mosque with the objective to enlighten IIUM students on how Islam values women and gives them rights according to Al Quran. It was attended by both male and female students.

The programme started at 8.15 a.m with the recitation of al-Kahfi together with all the audience. It ended at 11.00 a.m with questions from the audience. The moderator, Husna Zawani, an IRK student, asked several questions to seek clarifications from the speakers concerning how Islam upholds the status of women. ***

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