By 𝗙𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗔 𝗕𝗔𝗡𝗢, Word For Peace
People of the so-called ‘Modern Society’ often perceive that Muslim women don’t have rights and freedom. However, the fact is that Islam has granted all essential rights to women 1400 years ago, while they were denied the basic human rights in many other societies.
Such rights are: Right to vote, Right to marry someone of their choice, Right to Education, Right to Empowerment, Right to retain their identity after marriage, Right to divorce, Right to work, Right to own property, Right to seek protection by the law and Right to participate in civic and political engagement. These are the most important rights which were well enshrined in the Constitution of the Prophetic State in Madina.
Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad [Peace be upon him] made education compulsory for every Muslim man and woman. Of course, these rights and freedoms are not protected now in many Muslim societies. Especially in South Asian Countries (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), women’s rights are brazenly violated because in these countries, Islam is woven with regional customs, rigid traditions and myths.
If Indian Muslim women are suffering from illiteracy and exploitation today, they are actually suffering due to local and regional myths not because of Islam. In the eyes of Allah, men and women have equal worth.
The main reason behind the marriages of Prophet Muhammad [Peace be upon him] was to provide social security and dignity to women. In Pre-Islamic Arabia, women were viewed as commodities, burying infant girls alive was common, and the conditions of widows and divorced women were pathetic. Prophet Muhammad first got married to Hazrat Khadija at the age of 25, while at that time she was a 40-year old widow. After the demise of Hazrat Khadija, Prophet Muhammad got married to widows and divorced women except Hazrat Aisha (R.A).
Marrying Hazrat Aisha was a divine decree as we learn from the primary Islamic sources. Before marrying Hazrat Aisha, the Prophet (S.A.W) saw Hazrat Aisha twice in his dreams. Each time he was told she was supposed to be his wife.
Despite the age difference, love perfectly blossomed between Prophet Muhammad and Hazrat Aisha. The age of Hazrat Aisha at time of her marriage remains a point of debate among scholars as Hazrat Aisha was much younger than Prophet Muhammad. However, we cannot bound love in worldly realms such as age, wealth, poverty when they had already acquired pious love. We cannot compare and understand their depth of love and mutual understanding in our measurements.
These days, people search for romantic love along with worldly love [wealth, fame, status] and not the divine love. Most marriages today are based on men’s salary, property, assets and women’s physical beauty and family status, rather than on SAKINAH [tranquility], MAWADDAH [love] and RAHMA [mercy]. These foundations stones had been prescribed by Holy Prophet Muhammad [Peace be upon him] for a successful marriage.
The love bond and mental intimacy between the holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Aisha (R.A) had another glorious aspect in Islamic philosophy. They shared a student-teacher relationship as well. Hazrat Aisha being younger than Prophet Muhammad but having rich intellectual capacity to understand Islamic wisdom and philosophy more profoundly than any other wives made a great impression on Prophet’s heart and mind. In addition to the Hadith comprehension, she possessed wonderful oratory skills and wonderful expressive tongue.
After the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Hazrat Aisha exerted all her efforts and intellectual capacity to preach Islam. Her contribution is immense. She narrated around 2,210 hadiths not just on matters related to Prophet Muhammad’s private life but also on topics such as inheritance, pilgrimage, eschatology. Her intellect and knowledge in various subjects including poetry and medicine were praised by early luminaries such as Al-Zuhri and her student Urwa Bin Zubair. As a whole, their divine marriage had a divine purpose.
In fact, it is completely wrong to think or assume that Islam does not support the power of feminine love in spiritual growth. Rather they both are integral part of Islam. Indeed, it differs from the prevailing feminism and the existing forms of romantic love. Islamic feminism is all about spiritual intellect, equality and equity whereas prevailing feminism becomes hostile towards men instead of creating balance between both the genders. The prevailing notion of love pulls us towards insecurities, shamelessness, while the divine love as created and commanded by Al-Wadud (The Most Loving) pulls men and women towards mutual respect, unconditional love and integrity. Thus, the divine marriage forms the beautiful constructive relationship not the destructive ones.
Author of this article is a History graduate, and a theophile who seeks to bound humanity with its core elements.