I try to stay away from controversies among Muslims especially when both sides had valid opinions but this is one controversy I am willing to indulge in wholeheartedly.
I never liked feminism from day one. High-school, junior high, even elementary (probably as far back as 4th grade). It was always disturbed me and my various readings on the topic of women and feminism all helped me to increase my stance. As for Islamic Feminism, it’s an oxymoron because not only does it advocate wrong ideals and beliefs but it also shows how Muslims have tried to adjust Islam to make it compliant with Westernism.
Essence of Islam
Firstly, Islam is a not just a religion. It is a way of life which is practical and withstands the test of time. In other words, one cannot say that Islam cannot be practiced in a certain age or time or that Islam does not cover a certain aspect of life. Secondly, Islam is a religion not based upon what people want or believe to be good rather it is what Allah (SWT) says is righteous and true. Unfortunately throughout time, Islam has been adjusted to serve the beliefs and ways of people, many Muslim, many not. There are multiple examples of how Islam was adjusted under various Caliphs to meet their interests and there are even more numerous examples of how Islam has been adjusted to meet the interests of non-Muslim leaders, cultures and nations. Because of this, if one really wants to practice Islam purely, he or she must look back into the life and practice of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as an example and if one cannot find answers there, then look into the lives of the various companions of the blessed Prophet (SAW). By the grace of Allah (SWT), both these examples have been preserved for us through the work of hundreds, maybe thousands of Ulemah (scholars).
Keeping this in mind, a person should realize that true Islam is not and can not be influenced by other’s views. Islam is wholesome and unchangeable, not dependent on what or how these people or this person thinks or acts. Likewise, the status of woman in Islam is unchangeable and cannot be manipulated by others.
Islam is never influenced by a society. Yes, it can influence a society and change people’s views but it can never be influenced itself. It is like a diamond which can scratch other rocks but cannot be scratched itself.
Equality of Woman
In Islam, men and women are equal. Though this view seems to be similar to the views of feminists and many Western societies, it is not. An excellent lecture on this topic is by Yasir Qadhi titled Perfect Justice-Debunking the Male Bias Myth. In this lecture, Yasir Qadhi states that men are not to be compared with woman in materialistic ways. Comparing men and women with each other is like comparing apples with oranges. The only way that men and women can be equal is the way that truly matters: in terms of Taqwa(fear of Allah). On the Day of Judgement, Allah (SWT) will judge every individual on his level of Taqwa, not if they had money or not, if he or she had certain rights or not, or had the permission to do different things. Allah (SWT)’s justice is unlike any other and it is PERFECT. It is one thing to eat to apples and tell which one is better but it is a totally different thing to eat an apple and an orange and then tell which one is the better of the two.
The problem with feminists is that they believe both men and women are apples and can be compared with each other. They believe that not only are men and women equal but they are also the same as well. This belief causes them to undermine the roles of women and causes them to define equality as similitude.