”When she is a daughter, she opens a door of Jannah for her father. When she is a wife, she completes half of the deen of her husband. When she is a mother, Jannah lies under her feet – If everyone knew the true status of a muslim women in Islaam, even the men would want to be women” – Shiekh Akram Nadawi
A few times this has been brought up to me. I’ve had feminists and Muslims tell me I can’t be a feminist for one reason or the other. They claim either that Islam is incompatible with feminism or that I, a hijabi/niqaabi, am incompatible with feminism. I’ll address these both separately.
“If you were really liberated, you wouldn’t cover”.
Well if that isn’t the most anti-feminist statement I’ve ever heard. Last time I checked, feminism is all about our right to choose. Choice: what we do with, put on, and think about our bodies is up to us, not society. If I want you to see only my hands and face – and sometimes as I see fit, my eyes, I get to be the one to make that decision, not someone else’s arbitrary definition of liberation. I AM free beneath my hijab. I AM free beneath my niqaab. My freedom is not related to how little – or how much – clothing I have on. It comes from myself.
“Islam and feminism are incompatible!”
Well if that isn’t the most anti-Islam statement I’ve ever heard. Islam is women’s liberation. It is women’s rights. It is protection of women. We are “equal halves of a pair”. The Prophet (saws) enforced women’s rights, not only in marriage but in business, property ownership, religious scholarship, and even, as Aisha (ra) showed us, military leadership. If that’s not feminism (and Islam), I’m not sure what definition you’re operating from.
“You don’t have to add the term feminism to Islam, it is complete as it is”.
Saying that Islam needs something extra to be complete or just is kufr, by any scholar’s definition. That most certainly is not what I’m doing – on the contrary. I’m simply stating that we as Muslims need to embrace and engage in the practices regarding women in the Quran. They are, by definition, feminist. Saying “Islamic Humanitarianism” is not met with the same reaction – why then is Islamic Feminism?