Monday, November 30, 2015

...And the male is not like the female.

The ayah "And the male is not like the female" is so often used to tell women to shut up - to tell them not to question injustices committed against them, to remain silent when their Shar'i rights are stripped from them, to accept ill treatment & flimsy excuses instead of legitimate explanations for 'scholarly' sayings & rulings issued that only harm women.
In truth, the Divine words '& the male is not like the female' is meant to emphasize that the differences between male & female shouldn't be viewed as some kind of validation for the marginalization of women, but to celebrate the fact that men & women alike were created uniquely.
These differences are to be appreciated, not mocked; these differences are meant to be used in tandem with each other so that the genders can complement each other & support each other to build a beautiful, holistic environment wherein *everyone* benefits - not just one group.
Wa laysath-thaka ka'l untha: Female input is required in all spheres of life because we have insights that men may never be able to come up, yet for women, they are clear and obvious, a part of our everyday lives. There is wisdom & benefit in our differences.
Allah mentions our differences to remind us that we need each other - not that we must work against each other. We are meant to appreciate each other and grow in love for each other.
It is heartbreaking to see the ayah used so often to shut women up - whether about poly, inheritance, Jannah, or anything else, we aren't given thoughtful answers & explanations, but expected to fall silent & accept attitudes & authority that are clearly incorrect.
Though the words were said by Maryam's mother in anguish & worry over not being able to fulfill her oath, Allah gave those words a greater meaning: that Maryam, a female, was not like a male - if Himnah had had a son instead of a daughter, then history would have been very, very different.
Yet those words, which should remind us of the greatness of women & our role in our Deen, are used instead to humiliate us & marginalize us on an almost daily basis.
The 'fitnah' that men face is claimed to be greater than any oppression, injustice, or temptation that women face - bc 'we aren't the same.' Why not pause for a moment and think about how indeed, we aren't the same - in so many ways, the fitnah women face is so much greater.
Sex? Money? Power? Women suffer in so many ways because of them, yet we are consistently told that our desires don't matter; our access to finances is unnecessary, & we have no authority outside the domestic sphere; to seek any of the above is to 'try & be like men.'
The idea that we are merely trying to be seen as full-fledged humans with all the needs & necessities associated, appears alien to so many of our men - even the 'good' ones, the ones who don't intend us harm, the ones who don't intend injustice, yet who have heard 'the male is not like the female' for so long and in all the wrong ways, that they refuse to believe women when we beseech them to understand how indeed, the way we are not like them is because we are hurt so much more than them.
It grieves me, and it infuriates me, that to be a Muslim woman today who seeks to live in accordance to her Lord's words, according to a standard of justice and excellence, is to be accused of corrupting the Divine faith itself. God forbid that we point out how others have done a far more potent job at corrupting the Deen, with disastrous consequences for half the Ummah.
But no...the male is not like the female & so, the female must suffer for the corrupted power that the male wields not only over her, but over all of society.

1 comment:

Michael Pietrzak said...

Great post very informative