Quarterly: Issue No 85
MUSLIM FEMINISM – LEADING TOWARDS KUFR
On a daily basis, we hear about domestic abuse against women. We rightfully feel a strong desire to fight against such abuse and prevent women from being hurt, emotionally and physically. We also rightfully desire to work towards a world where women and young girls live with respect, kindness, love, support and the full measure of God-given rights they really deserve.
In our modern age, Feminism (a feminist philosophy) seems to be the best path towards that world, but this is definitely not the right solution for a Muslim. In fact, it has now become part of a much larger problem. From its very inception, Modern Feminism began as an anti-religious, anti-family movement. It is not merely one strand of Feminism that is corrosive to our Imaan. But it is all branches of Modern Feminism that is dangerous to our Imaan. To see this, simply read the writings of all the most notable feminist theorists in history, and this conclusion cannot be denied.
Modern Secularism is a cancer. Look at the great religions of the past such as Judaism and Christianity. In today's world, these religions are shells of what they used to be, because they had unfortunately succumbed to Modernity and Secularism. The Renaissance brought about philosophies such as Secularism, Humanism, Relativism and Individualism which completely removed religion from the public and private lives of people. Now Islam stands as the last defender, a religion purely rooted in its tradition and not succumbed to the misfortunes of modern nihilism (emptiness) and secular beliefs. But an effort is also being made to uproot this religion from its tradition and modernize it. “Muslim” Feminism comes with that hidden agenda.
It all starts off with legitimate grievances about the way that some Muslim men treat their women. There is domestic abuse in our community of the physical and emotional varieties. There are masjids and Muslim institutions that ignore the needs and concerns of women. In some of our cultures around the world, girls are subjected to criminally unjust double standards. And that sometimes, the responsible parties selfishly and ignorantly attempt to justify their practices of abuse and outright neglect by citing the Qur’an and Hadith.
The solution to these problems is not Feminism – but correcting our ignorance with Islamic knowledge in its pristine purity. And this knowledge only comes from true scholars (Ulama), namely scholars not under the suffocating influence of Modernism, Liberalism or Feminism itself. Unfortunately, this true knowledge is hard to find, so Muslim women (and some men) have turned to Feminism as a vehicle for expressing their frustration and trauma. This is how Muslims enter the Feminist path. And the results have become an absolute disaster.
If the abuse of women is a disease, then Islamic precepts and ethics are the natural “organic” wholesome cure, whereas Feminism is a harsh toxic chemical treatment, which might get rid of the disease, but only by nearly killing the patient while creating ten more diseases in its place.
Do you know how Feminism conceptualize domestic abuse, masjid neglect, etc.? Simply by shouting: “Patriarchy”’. Patriarchy is a system of society in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. Feminists say it is men - as a category - who are the problem (as well as those women who have “internalized” patriarchy). It is men - as a category – they say, who inherently desire to dominate women, to abuse them, to take advantage of them. This is the illegitimate language used to address a legitimate issue.
The Noble Qur’an contradicts the core tenets of Feminism. “Muslim” Feminists tap-dance around this by reading into the Qur’an and are trying to redefine it with Feminist ideologies. Let us reflect on this issue. Are Islamic teachings on gender compatible with Feminism? Ask any non-Muslim Feminist if the Islamic legal and moral obligations on gender issues are compatible with Feminism. Even Non-Muslim Feminists will tell “Muslim” Feminists: “You are all stupid blockheads.” Let us look as some of the basic principles outlined in the Qur’an:
Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand. (Al-Qur’an: 4:34)
Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want reconciliation. And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (Al-Qur’an: 2:228)
And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her. (Al-Qur’an: 2:282)
This now puts the “Muslim” Feminist in an awkward position. She is a deviant from the perspective of both Islam and Feminism. When she is closer to Feminism, the more religiously deviant she is as a Muslim. When she is closer to Islam, the more ideologically deviant she is as a Feminist. There is nothing to get out of this dilemma unless you redefine the meaning of the words ‘Feminism’ and ‘Feminist.’ Some do it by appealing to ‘intersectionality’, which has its origins in post-modernism. Intersectionality is the modern ideology of multiple identities intersecting to create a whole new identity that is different from its component identities.
Firstly, by accepting this principle, the “Muslim” Feminists accept the validity of all other beliefs and ideologies. But Muslims believe that the only religion and way of life acceptable to Allah is Islam. (Qur’an 3:19) A “Muslim” Feminist can’t believe in the singular validity of Islam and Intersectional Feminism at the same time. This is against the Law of Non-contradiction. In classical logic, the law of non-contradiction (LNC) is the second of the three classic laws of thought. It states that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e.g. the two propositions "A is B" and "A is not B" are mutually exclusive.
Secondly, we don’t let Ahmadis or other deviant sects to define Islam. Similarly, fringe minorities cannot define Feminism. Therefore, let us stick to the mainstream definition of Feminism.
Now put into this logical corner, the “Muslim” Feminist will contend that her opponent is arguing semantics. She then says: “It doesn’t matter what we call ourselves. Focus on the real issues.” We Muslims believe that the means never justify the ends. A well-known Islamic maxim states: “What is based on falsehood is necessarily false.” Muslim Feminists making the above argument ignore that:
- their identity is based on a false premise (Feminism)
- this identity is not guaranteed to achieve their ends
Furthermore, if Muslim Feminists’ intent is the welfare of Muslim women, it is false to assume Feminism will get them there. Feminism is a failed ideology. Just look at its results in the West.
Modern Feminism turns adult women into helpless children. And feminists call this “empowerment”. When Feminists can’t defend their beliefs on their own they cry for help from that same “Patriarchy”. This is also true of Muslim Feminists. The most recent manifestation is their fascination with Islamic scholar Dr. Akram Nadwi, an Indian-born Muslim Scholar based outside of Oxford, where he runs an Islamic seminary. Finally, they now have access to an Islamic Scholar sympathetic to the plight of “Muslim” Feminists who they can pretend to follow in a marriage of convenience. However, Dr. Akram never actually says it’s OK to be a Feminist. Nevertheless, he does have a soft spot for women’s issues. His opinions on women’s obligations and responsibilities are strictly Quranic. They are certainly NOT compatible with any interpretation of Modern Feminism.
In reality, Feminist regard for Islamic Scholarship is just a lip service. Scholars that openly disagree with Feminists in any significant way are always mocked and ridiculed. Recently another Islamic scholar, Dr. Abdul Hakim Murad, dared to question the feminist narrative in the mainstream. Dr. Murad was very clear that Feminism and Islam are incompatible. He said:
“Those who are desperately trying to find 2nd wave Feminism in the pages of the Quran and Hadith…they will be disappointed sooner or later, because it is just not there.” His efforts were met with backlash and hatred from “Muslim” Feminists when his video made the rounds on the internet, youtube and facebook.
To summarise, it is very clear that “Muslim” Feminists:
- read their modern irreligious ideas into Islamic teachings
- cannot validate their claims of “Islamic” Feminism through the Qur’an and Sunnah,
or even via pure logic
- are wobbling on the edge of polytheism (shir-k) and unbelief (kufr)
The only solution to modern day women issues is the complete implementation of Islam via the Noble Qur’an and Sunnah - applicable to both men and women. Let us all go back to our grass roots.
Muslim women who adopt Feminism to search for their God-granted rights are cutting off their nose to spite their face. Allah alone is our Guide and Protector.
May Allah guide us all to follow what Allah has commanded us in His Kalaam (Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem) with regards to gender equalities. Ameen!
May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad, the WITNESS to all of Mankind. Ameen.
O Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in Your Mercy than in my own deeds.
Requesting your duas!
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir
Kyalami Glen, Gauteng
Johannesburg, South Africa