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  1. #1
    selfbanned4indefinitetime abdulhakeem's Avatar
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    Woman Education in Islam-I

    She has a right to learn and Islam grants that right to her. Educate her and the society will be all progress and emancipation, writes
    SAMINA YAQOOB

    FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2005

    The poet of the Nile, Hafiz Ibrahim said: Mother is a school, if well prepared; An entire healthy society is prepared.

    Islam has made it a duty on every Muslim male and female to gain knowledge, which is considered to be a superior act of worship in Islam. Preventing a Muslim woman from gaining an education is therefore an un-Islamic act.

    The Qurân and the Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) both obligate Muslim men and women to acquire knowledge and education. It is a duty for every Muslim. For example, concerning knowledge and education Prophet Muhammad (saws) said: “The search for knowledge is a duty for every Muslim (male or female)”. “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave”.

    “Knowledge” for a Muslim is not divided into sacred and secular, and the implication of these sayings of the Prophet, in modern terms, is that every Muslim boy or girl, man or woman, should pursue his or her education as far as it is possible, bearing in mind the words of Allah in the Qur’an: “Only those of His Servants who are learned truly, fear Allah” (Al-Qurân, 35:28).

    Another Hadith states that, “The Father, if he educates his daughter well, will enter Paradise”. Yet another Hadith states that, “A mother is a school. If she is educated, then a whole people are educated”.

    In Islam, therefore, both men and women are credited with the capacity for learning and understanding and teaching, and one of the aims of acquiring knowledge is that of becoming more conscious of Allah. It is considered in Islam that the more a person, male or female, studies the creation and observes its working, the more he or she becomes conscious of the Creator, the Power who made and sustains the Creation.

    The primary objectives of woman’s education is to prepare them for the biological and emotional aspects of their roles as daughters, sisters, wives and mothers. So they need a different type of education. Women need to transmit culture to the next generation (both boys and girls). As some one has rightly said: “When you teach a man, you only taught a person; when you teach a child, you taught a family; but when you teach a woman, you taught the whole nation”.

    The woman’s role within the family is a crucial one, because it is in the family that the next generation of Muslims are raised. The woman as the mother has the crucial role as the early socializer and educators of the children. This role has a long lasting effect on the behaviour, character and attitudes of the future generation of Muslims.

    Women have played a significant role in the cultural and intellectual advancement of Islam. Many Muslim women attained eminent ranks in the scientific and literary profession. History is a witness to this all.

    The role of women scholars of hadith is unique in the human history, prior to our modern times. There is simply no parallel to this special and valuable role played by women scholars in the development, preservation and dissemination of Islamic knowledge.

    In early of Islamic history there were many women scholars who had very significant roles in the Islamic world. For example ‘‘A’isha (r.a.), the Prophet’s (saws) wife was one of the most famous Muslim scholars. Not only was she very intelligent, she had an exceptional memory. That is why she was considered one of the most important sources of Hadith. It has been stated in some Islamic reports that the Prophet (saws) told the Muslims to go to ‘Aisha (r.a.) for guidance and learning of religious duties. The Prophet (saws) also told the Muslims to trust ‘Aisha’s (r.a.) teaching and guidance.

    A woman named Nafisa who was related to Ali (r.a.), the fourth Caliph, had a vast knowledge of and was an expert on the Hadiths of the Prophet (saws). Many famous Muslim scholars of the time, such as Imam Shafi-ai would participate in Nafisa’s scholarly discourse and learn from her.

    Muslims are generally familiar with a handful of female luminaries from the time of the Prophet (saws). However, they are generally unfamiliar with is a large number of women scholars over many centuries after the first generation. This is an unforgivable lapse for the Ummah.

    Just to mention a few, hopefully would spark our interest in learning about this neglected dimension of our remarkable history.

    Umma al-Darda (d. 81 A.H. / 700 C.E.) was regarded as “superior to all other traditionalists of the period”.

    Zaynab bint Sulayman (d. 142 A.H. / 759 C.E.) gained a reputation as one of the most distinguished traditionalists of the time.

    Fatima bint Muhammad (d. 539 A.H. / 1144 C.E.) received from her contemporary hadith specialists the proud title of “Musnida Isfahan” (the great hadith authority of Isfahan), Shuhda, the Writer, (d. 574 A.H. / 1178 C.E.) was a famous calligrapher and a traditionalist of great repute.

    One may also mention that one of the most famous mystics in Islam, Rabia al-Adawiyya (Basri), was a woman.

    ‘Amra was specially recognized for her authority on traditions related by A‘isha (r.a.) and among her many notable students was Abu Bakr ibn Hazm, the celebrated judge of Medina, who was ordered by none other than the caliph Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz himself to write down all the traditions known on her authority.

    There were women scholars whose field of expertise went far beyond hadith. Umm Hani Maryam (778 A.H. - 871 A.H. / 1376 C.E. - 1466 C.E.), for instance, learnt the Qurân by heart when still a child, acquired all the Islamic sciences then being taught, including theology, law, history and grammar.

    Although one can’t draw a superficial connection between the decline of the Islamic civilization and the gradual disappearance of the women scholarship and participation, the reality is that our collective foundation of knowledge and heritage is based on the proud and noble contribution of scholarship of both men and women, as students and teachers, and there must have been substantive consequence from this loss of women scholarship.

    The absence of women scholars has caused a great imbalance in our Islamic discourse in general and Islamic law (fiqh) in particular. In our contemporary time, there are Muslim women, particularly educated in the west or in the western tradition, who are establishing themselves as scholars of Islam. This is very encouraging development towards quality scholarship.

    --To be concluded
    (The columnist is a Ph.D scholar and can be mailed at samina@bigsteponline.com)

    http://www.greaterkashmir.com/full_s...mID=856&cat=11

  2. #2
    selfbanned4indefinitetime abdulhakeem's Avatar
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    Woman Education in Islam-II

    SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2005

    There were women scholars whose field of expertise went far beyond hadith. Umm Hani Maryam (778 A.H. - 871 A.H. / 1376 C.E. - 1466 C.E.), for instance, learnt the Qurân by heart when still a child, acquired all the Islamic sciences then being taught, including theology, law, history and grammar.

    Although one can’t draw a superficial connection between the decline of the Islamic civilization and the gradual disappearance of the women scholarship and participation, the reality is that our collective foundation of knowledge and heritage is based on the proud and noble contribution of scholarship of both men and women, as students and teachers, and there must have been substantive consequence from this loss of women scholarship.

    The absence of women scholars has caused a great imbalance in our Islamic discourse in general and Islamic law (fiqh) in particular. In our contemporary time, there are Muslim women, particularly educated in the west or in the western tradition, who are establishing themselves as scholars of Islam. This is very encouraging development towards quality scholarship.

    Women need to fully and equally participate in our society, beginning with education and scholarship. Women need to take interest in and all come forward to facilitate women’s development in the field of education and scholarship.

    Islam needs women in all fields of Islamic and other studies but within the pursuit of the Qurân and sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). Islam needs women scholars back. THEY MUST BLOOM AGAIN. This does not require no less than a revolutionary change, but it is an Islamic must.

    In modern times, the education of women is becoming a universal value. The more women are educated, the more they demand, in terms of career opportunities, respect, and influence on family matters. This is almost universal. So nowadays, even conservative Muslims, make allowance for this reality. It is an undeniable fact that education is one of the most important cornerstones of all human societies.

    The way a society regards raising the next generation is reflected first and foremost in its educational system.

    The literary rate is already poor in the Muslim countries and the rate for women is disproportionately lower. The existing laws, values, customs and power structures in combination - make and keep women weak, vulnerable, marginalized, and even oppressed.

    Allah restored women their status through Islam and formulated their entities and independence. Islam had given Muslim women rights that have not enjoyed by the European women at a time when women around the world were suffering prosecution and slavery.

    The Qurân has much to say both ABOUT women, and TO women. One Surah is called ‘Women’ (Al-Nisa), another is named after Maryam the mother of ‘Isa (pbuh). Women appear in many other parts.

    Knowledge is not only limited to the religious knowledge but includes all forms of knowledge. Acquiring knowledge enables Muslims to get a better perception and understanding of the world around us and make us more conscious of Allah. Prophet (saws) had put so much effort into reviving the ummah during that time. He began the process by tackling individuals, then the family and finally society. This is the point where the Muslim women play the role as the backbone and vital elements in the establishment of the society.

    It is clear that the improper worldly knowledge will not cause the person to enter Paradise. So everything we seek knowledge for, better be for good cause to humanity.

    A Muslim woman as in this verse has to participate in Islamic dawah. Evidences from the Seerah of the Prophet proved that the Sahabiat (Muslim women at the prophet’s (saws) time) were not ignored in the Islamic movement. Women must be given the opportunity to work for Islam.

    According to Yusuf Al-Qaradawy: “One of the important social sectors which much be reached by the Islamic awakening is the sector of women. Islam is not a man’s religion but it is a religion for all men and women. In terms of number, women constitute more than half of the society.

    Hence, the voice of Islamic dawah must reach Muslim women. Women must be involved in Islamic work, even at leadership levels among women. Sisters can play a vital role in the Islamic organisation and Islamic society”.

    The modern world may apparently be much concerned about women and make very fair promises to them. It promises them freedom from slavery, from male-domination, even from the established institution of marriage, from the boredom of being a housewife to a much more glamorous world. It promises them freedom from the burden of birth pangs, and the pains of rearing a family. But instead, what does it actually have in store?

    Nothing but exploitation, injustice, oppression, aggression, harassment, neurosis and indignity. In the name of emancipation, women today have to bear with rape, mutilation, abuse, inequality, discrimination and harassment.

    In our times, education is available but the system is in need of reformation and expansion. In our society, females gain knowledge and they are prepared for so. But mostly behind that acquiring of knowledge, with a few exceptional cases, is their materialistic approach, which makes them learn only upto either they get employed or married.

    Education is attained for getting degree and that education contributes nothing to the society.

    More simply, mostly Muslim women are taught Qurân to recite it in front of her in-laws to receive gifts of various kinds. Parents at this time need to wake up and revive their understanding about education of all kinds.

    Islam needs women as scientists, doctors, engineers, journalists, teachers, scholars, pilots but before that they need to be Muslims in the real sense.

    --Concluded
    (The columnist is a Ph.D scholar and can be mailed at samina@bigsteponline.com)

    http://www.greaterkashmir.com/full_s...mID=907&cat=11

  3. #3
    selfbanned4indefinitetime abdulhakeem's Avatar
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    History Shows the Importance of Women in Muslim Life



    Muslims Weekly , Commentary,
    Jawed Anwar, Apr 04, 2005

    NEW YORK – The Qur'an and the Hadith (teachings of the Prophet) inspires every man and woman to seek knowledge, and women have made significant contributions in education and other fields.

    Foremost among these women was Hazrat Aisha, the youngest wife of Prophet Muhammad and the most learned lady of her time. The Prophet married Aisha in her youth while she was receptive to the values needed to lead and influence the sisterhood of Muslim women. Aisha had an outstanding quality of intelligence and memory and, by virtue of these qualities, is considered to be one of the most reliable sources and teacher of Hadith. She had expertise in the Qur'an, shares of inheritance, lawful and unlawful matters, poetry, Arabic literature, Arab history, genealogy, and general medicine.

    The first madrasa for women and with a female teacher was established in the home of Aisha, the mother of Muslims.With a curtain separating the men from the women, men also attended Aisha's classes.

    The Prophet even commanded that the slave girls be educated, and he asked Shifa bint Abdullah to instruct his wife Hafsah bint Umar. Both men and women attended lectures of the Prophet, and by the time of the Prophet's death, there were many women scholars.

    Aisha’s student and close friend, Amra bint Abdur Rehman, was an outstanding scholar whose views overrode the views of other authorities. In the Muwatta she is taken as the primary authority of three legal issues: the prohibition against digging up graves; the ban on selling unripe fruit; and the effect of crop damage on the sale of agricultural produce.

    In the long list of scholars in the early centuries of Islam, one was Nafisa bint al-Hasan, a female teacher of Imam Shafi'i, one of the five most famous Imams (founders of a school of opinion). The Imam sat in Nafisa's circle in al-Fustat at the height of his fame in Egypt.

    In his History of Damascus, Hafiz Ibn Asakar (1175) mentioned the names of eighty women from whom he studied the knowledge of Hadith. The Imam of tasawwuf, Hafiz Ibn-e Asakar, was the student of Shuhda bint Abi Nasr), one of the best scholars of her age. She lectured publicly in one of the main mosques of Baghdad on various topics.

    Women of Islam took great interest in spreading mass education in different parts of the world. The sister of Ghazi Slahuddin Ayyubi (1193), Zammurd, and niece Uzra, founded two separate madrasas. A Muslim woman Fatima bint Muhammad al-Fihri is the founder of the oldest living university of the time (much older than Oxford and Al-Azhar), the University of Qarawiyyin in Fes, Morocco. Her father was a rich businessman, and she spent all her inheritance money to build and decorate the university. To become closer to Allah, she fasted continuously during the construction of the university. The university building is along the finest standard of architect. Within the university is a masjid in which thirteen thousand people can pray at one time, and there is a huge, unique library. Students from Algeria, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, and other African nations go there to seek knowledge and higher education.

    Razia Begum (637H/1240A), the third ruler of Muslim India, established two madrasas in Delhi, Moazzia and Naseriya. In the period of Sultan Muhammad Shah Tughlaq (d.752H/1351A) there were one thousand madrasas in Delhi, and several of them were for women.

    Professor Muhammad Saleem offers many examples of women who made significant contributions to education and learning. Women were lawyers, calligraphers, poets, mathematicians, doctors and even warriors.

    A lady servant of Emperor Akbar founded Madrasa Maham Anga. Fatima Sughra Begum from Bihar left a huge property as a trust called "Sughra Waqf State" for education. A learned woman from Calcutta, Saulat un Nisa, presented a huge amount of thirty thousand rupees to Maulana Rahmatullah Muhajir. Maulana built a madrasa in Haram, Macca named Madrasa Saulatia in the name of the donor. This madrasa is still alive.

    Women's education must have a system to fulfill the three basic responsibilities of women as defined in the Qur'an and Hadith: 1. the bearing of children, 2. the evolving, maturing, and training of young people, and 3. the providing of comfort and peace in the home.

    In the Western civilization, a woman is a commodity, an advertisement tool, a material producer, and a sex idol, and family life is optional. But in the Islamic civilization, a woman is a wife, a mother, a sister, and a daughter, and family life is obligatory. Women are exalted spiritually because of her contribution in the natural reproduction of the best creature on this earth, human beings. Population growth has decreased dangerously low in all Western and Western-influenced countries, but reproduction is necessary to continue the human race. Nurturing and training young boys and girls is the woman's primary job, and this is the best job in the eyes of the Creator. Earning an income for livelihood is an inferior job and is a responsibility solely assigned to men.

    The kindergarten of even an uneducated and untrained woman's lap is better than the public kindergarten. A woman of slight or no knowledge is the best educator for her child. Through providing milk, singing, and telling stories, a mother can teach love, respect, sympathy, sacrifice, attachment, and other moral qualities. By sending children to pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, or day care centers operated by secular teachers or to secular baby sitters, parents morally slaughter and bury their children. All the most noble, respectable, and highly moral and spiritual people were trained in the laps of good women of high character. In Islam, there is a strong tradition of home schooling.

    Biographies and articles of Khaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki (d.1235), Khawja Nizamuddin Mahboob Ilahi (d.1225) of medieval India, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (1818-1898), Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar (1873-1931), and Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (1873-1931) of modern India who did great services to Ummah (community), confirmed that they were the products of wonderful mothers. On the other hand, the kindergartens of broken and disturbed families produce evil and revengeful personalities, as confirmed by the biographies of Hitler and Mussolini.

    http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_...dc1e90ff7cfb62


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