Has Muslim Feminism been exhausted?

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?


13 thoughts on “Has Muslim Feminism been exhausted?

  1. unsettledsoul says:

    I don’t know who told you that lie, but I think it has only just begun. There is so much to learn, and so much to do, and so much to stand for together. There is no such thing as exhaustion, as long as there are Muslim women there is something to learn from Muslim feminism.

    • Metis says:

      Phew! Thank God 🙂 Often when I discuss my research with people some of them claim that there is nothing new to explore in MF although I feel that my own topic has never been explored!

  2. LK says:

    I think women in general have a lot to learn from Muslim feminism. The paragraph you sited really touched me. I feel very much like the author. If there wasn’t such a focus on what women are up to in such a negative way I might still be studying in hopes of converting. I still feel “chased out of Islam” myself.

  3. Mezba says:

    I don’t think Islam needs much Muslim feminism – all it needs is for women to just actively take part in religion and world affairs rather than just be content to sit at home and watch TV serials!

    • Metis says:

      Spoken like a true man, brother 😀

      • Lat says:

        Hey,that’s not fair 😀 There’s a lot more going and sitting down to watch serials is only a small part in most of the lives of serialwatching women 🙂 Believe it or not,serials do teach a few lessons….Even working women watch serials 🙂

  4. Sara says:

    I agree with Sarah – it has only just begun!

  5. Becky says:

    I don’t know who told you that lie either! I agree with LK and Sara, it’s only just begun. The topic is FAR from exhausted. And thank you for the passage, it really touched me as well.

  6. susanne430 says:

    I remember once when I was trying to discuss Muslim women’s issues with a Palestinian friend I call Jake. He dismissed me right away, “I don’t want to talk about women-are-oppressed stuff. They aren’t.” was his basic reply without even hearing what I had to say. Maybe not so much in Syria, but I think they are a lot in the Arab world. I was irritated at him for the way he dismissed it so completely. Now another Arab male friend will gladly listen and he agrees with me 95% of the time. He tells me “You shouldn’t accept that, Susie. You need to fight that kind of attitude. You need to fight for your people [he means women].”

    I love the paragraph you quoted.

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