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The Role of Women in the Islamic Movements

the role of women in the islamic movements

Where were the Egyptian women?

There have been a lot of comments on the revolution of the people of Egypt. The recent Islamic movements, similar to all other important issues, have its supporters and opponents. And even much further from that, one can argue, the recent Islamic movements in the region are the most important topics in the political world. One can easily recognize that the comments on this topic are highly polarized between the supporters and the opponents on the spectrum.

Similarly, about the Egyptian women there have been many comments too. Photographs, reports and interviews show the hopefulness and the concerns of the Egyptian women. On the other hand, in the western media, they even went forward to deny the presence of women in the revolution, sometimes in order to promote their favorite stereotype of "Islam is against the women's share" that depicts the Islamic life as a way of life in which the women are absent.

Where were they? Should we acknowledge their claim, or is their image demonstrably false? Why they cannot recognize that women can be as opposed to secular life as some men? The presence of women in the spiritual centers is its yoga, meditation workshops, churches or Mosques, is often visibly more than that of the men. Women are much more inclined toward spiritual life, and this inclination should make us ready to accept that the women are highly liable of being a critic of secular life. Even if demonstrating in the streets counts as the only evidence of being active in the revolution, one wonders if it is forgotten that these revolutionaries are born from mothers.

In the winter the springs came

Man returned from the underneath of the eras

The smell of the generation of roses came

The smell of the scents of the martyrs came

The role of women is to offer their most dear thing in life, the generation of roses. When the mothers offer to Islam their most dear, their real share in the revolution becomes clearer. These faithful mothers show the apex of the faith of the women in God.

The verse was part of an Iranian revolutionary song; however, the message of other women Muslims across the world is the same. Here is a passage from an interview with a female Islamic figure from Kenya, Ms. Kolsum Dosa, explaining her reason for working on the Islamic revolution of Iran:

"To make the women aware of the fact that the state should not accept any power except the power and the rules of God".

She does not limit her message to the Muslim women, but to the Muslim women in the general sense. Furthermore, her message to the women should be regarded as having two important components. One is that she is providing a spiritual answer to the human problem, and that answer lies in the concept of God. The hypothesis of recourse and believing in God has turned out to be one of the most sophisticated academic diagnoses made on the human problem, specifically the modem human problem. Secondly, for the source of the problem she is vocalizing a particular political solution. She is implying in her message that our human-world's problem is related to accepting the powers and rules of others instead of God. She continues:

“We do not want a power like the United States to destroy Islam. We having the best culture, i.e. the culture of Islam, do not want the people to obey the West, and be influenced by its culture and imitate it."

There is a cultural concern. That concern is felt when one considers the secular way of life which is imposed by the West both culturally and politically. The West does not hide its forceful political behavior of imposing secular regimes. Therefore, one can claim the issue here is that the cultural concern is what connects the Muslim women to the political problem. It is not the case that the only revolutionary action is suggested by her. She rather regards it as a 24 hour effort to pursue the solution:

"The solution for the challenges is 24-hour working according to the way that Imam Khomeini showed when he said l need an army from your children (to be raised by you), [and] to change the ideology of the young people. We consider the importance of the young people."

The women not only offer their most dear thing in life, but also they consider their difficult task of raising the generation, and furthermore training them to become fighters for justice. This is their highest devotion. No doubt that this great devotion ranks equal to the loftiness of the solution offered.

She continues:

"Imam Khomeini saved the people by showing that the real super power is Allah. However, it was the Iranian women that followed the way of Hazrat Fatima (S.A), Hazrat Khadijah (S.A) and Hazrat Zeinab (S.A) with the counsels of Imam Khomeini. It was by this way that the Islamic Revolution was exported to us. We pray to the Almighty God to make us successful in being guided and having the power to work for the Islamic Revolution until the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (A.J)."

Some might doubt that opinions like the above are not very common among the Muslim women. However, many other vocalizations have the same content, if not the same tone. Dr. Pakinam Rashad Hassan Khalil al-Sharghawi from Egypt, holding the doctoral degree of political science from the Cairo University, explains the reason for her interest in the Islamic Revolution. If we analyze her vision, it will become clear that the same message is being forwarded:

My main reason for being interested in the Islamic Revolution and my focus on its issues is the explanation and analysis of a modem Islamic model, a model that encompasses the Islamic solutions regarding different problems and difficulties. The Islamic world is generally living in despair and needs solutions to leave behind its crisis. However, it is better if this solution be in harmony with its norms and value System. Although the Iranian model is not the only Islamic viewpoint, it is still an important attempt for finding an original answer for the problem of the Muslims. Therefore, studying the political System of Iran and examining the amount of its success and the problems it faces is very interesting for me.

“As she explains in her interview, Ms. Sharghawi’s academic career is searching to find a solution for a cultural crisis. She adds that this solution should and can only be in harmony with the norms and value System of the nation. These are the concerns of the Muslim women, and their role in the revolution is visible in their cultural activities, which makes them equal to men regarding the revolution. However, if we have a deeper look, we are less likely to forget their other great contribution, i.e. the generation that moves for the Islamic aspiration, which makes them far more praise-worthy than men.

Source:  Mahjubah Magezine

Other links:

What is the meaning of Islamic Awakening?

Islamic Awakening since the beginning until today

Spring Always Follows Winter


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