What do you think – has Muslim/Islamic Feminism been exhausted? Have we done all the research possible into the subject; whatever we had to know/learn has been learned?
I think no topic is ever really exhausted, but that is a personal opinion. However, that opinion is based on some facts, take for example feminist Quranic interpretation. Just when we thought we have read the Quran in whatever manner possible we had the recent study that a kasra has the power to incarcerate women in their houses. Just when Muslim Feminists were beginning to accept that hijab is something a woman must be proud of Sheikh Hamza Yusuf shot back with,
“And the truth is in an Islamic system, in the traditional Islam in Medina there were women walking around bare breasted. This is a fact, a historical fact. You can read it; look it up in a book. Syedna Omar (ra) did not allow the amaah to wear hijab so there were uncovered women in Medina. That is a fact, a historical fact. So Muslims should get out of this obsession with women. It’s a sickness in our own hearts. Just lower your gaze! We’re living in a society where people are walking around naked and we’re worried about a girl not wearing a scarf on her head…The reason why a lot of women are leaving Islam is because we’re chasing them out of Islam!”
reminding men and women that “we should know the time we’re living in!” and bringing to light a very little known “fact… a historical fact.”
Similarly, for fourteen hundred years of Islamic history we have been repeatedly told by men as well as Muslim Feminists that the condition of women in pre-Islamic Arabia (as well as in other parts of the world) was “pathetic” with rampant female infanticide, rape, divorce, adultery etc. Islam gave women rights that were unimaginable and unheard of before. Then came along the bold and extremely brave Dr. Hatoon Al Fassi from Mecca, Saudi Arabia who proved through her detailed study of archeological evidence found in Hegra, modern Saudi Arabia that women in pre-Islamic Arabia in fact enjoyed an “exceptionally high status.”
So why is it that I am told often by people that there is nothing new to learn in/from Islamic/Muslim Feminism?