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Fight against “oppression of women” – Illusion or reality

April 1, 2014 Leave a comment

No country is doing any better on “fight against oppression of women” because everyone has changed the definition of “an oppressed woman” to suit their needs. And this has nothing to do with religion… Anyone who attributes such oppression to religion is either speaking out of ignorance or intentionally playing a communal card. Either ways, you are not doing any bit to solve this problem.

So, what we need is a radically new social system which ensures that everyone in society continues to view and treat women as the honor of society and nothing less – at home, at work, at school, and everywhere.

Now the next logical question is what should this social system look like… I anchor this future state system on three key principles:
_ One thing is very clear that self-enforced discipline has not got us anywhere so there has to be some kind of mechanism to drive desired behavior… more like guard rails than being too prescriptive.
_ There is a need to move away from providing band-aid solutions to different symptoms and starting with a clear definition of “what is the role of women (and men) in society”
_ Almost all of us have women in our life who we care about… and so whatever we define as “women rights” should pass the test on our family.

A woman has both a familial and societal role:
_ Within family, she has the role of a wife, mother, daughter, and sister which comes with its own rights and responsibilities (overarching principle in these relationships is to treat the other the way you would want to be treated)
_ Within society, she has the right to pursue education, take up employment (and equal opportunities to excel in her areas of expertise), even run her own business, exercise her vote, and engage in politics (and affairs of society)

By nature, men have been created as physically strong while women have been created as delicate humans who need to be respected and honored in the right way. In fact, I see it as the responsibility of men to protect the rights of women.

As I look at it from a muslim perspective, it is clear that the misconceptions surrounding the treatment of Muslim women arise from two sources:
1. From Muslims who may justify their oppression and mistreatment of women on the basis of Islam
2. From non- Muslims who have an agenda to take the Islamic teachings and want to depict Islamic civilisation as backward and oppressive
Even though the actions we read about are not from Islam, the western media have linked this crime to Islam.

In fact, this is what’s mentioned in the Quran – “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more strength than the other, and because they support them from their means. . .” I am yet to find any contrary teaching to this in the Quran.

External article: What RBS and the banks can learn from early Islam

April 15, 2013 1 comment

I recently came across a short article about the economic benefits of an Islamic economic system. This was in Money Week and authored by Dr. Peter Frankopan titled “What RBS and the banks can learn from early Islam“.

It unfortunately takes a non-muslim Historian to point out the benefits of Islamic economics void of overburdening income taxes and interest/debt overhang that drag economies into the abyss.

The disastrous results released by RBS earlier this year were bad from a financial perspective – a loss of £5.2bn in 12 months. But they were even worse morally.

Contained in the 318-page report, and listed in the unfortunately named section “Highlights”, are a catalogue of sins, including fines for fixing Libor, for mis-selling “structured collar products by the cartload and the systemised scandal of PPI [payment protection insurance]”.

If the sentence that follows is not meant as a joke, it is certainly a brave one: “RBS is committed to serving its customers well and helping them realise their ambitions.” Who knew that those ambitions included being ripped off?

Nevertheless, the report does try to seek penance for past deeds. This been a chastening year, it says. A time “to put right past mistakes.” RBS is lucky it was not in the banking business around the time of the birth of Islam – or it would have found things much more uncomfortable than a light grilling by the Financial Services Authority and the series of humiliating fines and provisions. The bankers would not have been losing their bonuses; they’d have been losing their hands.

One of the great secrets of early Islam was the store that was set by justice and on fairness in commerce. It was significant that the spiritual revelations delivered to Muhammad promised a new way of doing things, a way that protected private individuals as well as businesses from being exploited by those with access to credit. Of particular concern was the issue of the principles of lending money – a topic that appears repeatedly in the Koran.

The customers of RBS and the other banks implicated in the current scandals would recognise the sins that Islam’s holy book warns about. Those who set out to exploit their customers by excessive borrowing charges are no different to “those controlled by the devil”, records the Koran.

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The last sermon of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

November 27, 2011 3 comments

This is the English translation of the last sermon of Prophet Muhammad (May Peace Be Upon Him)… taken from Huda website.

This sermon was delivered on the Ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah, 10 A.H. (623AD) in the Uranah valley of Mount Arafat in Mecca. It was the occasion of annual rites of Hajj. It is also known as the Farewell Pilgrimage. After praising and thanking Allah the Prophet Muhammad (May the Peace be upon him) began with the words:

O People! Lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore, listen carefully to what I am saying and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

O People! Just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that he will indeed reckon your deeds.

Allah has forbidden you to take usury; therefore all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital is yours to keep .You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequality. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all interest due to Abbas Ibn ‘Aal-Muttalib be waived.

Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabiah ibn al-Harithiah.

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