This week’s episode is inspired by Shazia Imam’s podcast, Feminine and Fulfilled, in which she spoke about the challenges that her mother and grandmother faced throughout their lives. The episode touched me, and I realized that this is something we should all acknowledge and talk about.
I started by discussing some misconceptions that Western people have about Muslim women, and how most of these are a part of the culture - not the religion. It’s hard to distinguish between the two because they’re interlinked, but my focus was exclusively on Islamic history.
Islam was the first religion that granted women rights. When Quran was being-revealed, God used the noun ‘he’ and many women came and questioned the Prophet (PBUH): Is your God only for men, because we don’t see any mention of women in this Holy Book. This shows how with the advent of Islam, women were able to come out and question the leaders of that time which is quite fascinating.
The verses revealed after this incident contained both ‘he’ and ‘she’, and they are proof of the fact that God doesn’t distinguish between the two genders. Even after this, women were comfortable to attend all Islamic meetings and ask questions about an array of topics, including their sexual life, without being shamed. All of this shows how Islam empowered women.
I also discussed some of the strongest women in Islam, with the first one being Hazrat Khadijah (RA), the first wife of Prophet (PBUH). She was a businesswoman at that time and proposed to Prophet (PBUH) herself because of his honesty and truthfulness. Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) accepted her proposal even though she was married twice previously and was 20 years older than him. These things may seem like a big deal to us, but they didn’t matter to our Prophet (PBUH).
Another example of strong women is Hazrat Aisha (RA), who led the first civil war in Islam against the Caliph, Hazrat Ali (AS). It doesn’t matter who won and what the situation was; what matters is that Hazrat Aisha (RA) took part in the war herself and fought courageously. During that period it was perfectly normal for women to do so. Yet it is most likely to be perceived as something out of the norm now.
I’ve also seen examples of such amazing women in my own family, including my great grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother, and have grown up looking up to them.
Final Note:The purpose of this podcast is to acknowledge the strong women in our lives. To let you guys know that being a powerful woman should not be seen as something out of our grasp. Women can do anything and everything that they put focus and energy on.Remember that we come from a strong ancestral background and nothing is too hard for us.