Thursday, December 16, 2010

Women and Education..

Women were inspired to study the Qur’an and the Sunnah and the Arabic language in the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. 'A'isha radi Allahu anha said, “In the time of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, whenever any verse was revealed, we used to memorize the lawful and the unlawful contained in it even if we did not memorize its exact words.” (al ’iqd al-farid vol. 1 p 276) This fact may seem small, but it has great bearing on the Muslim Ummah as well as to the rest of the world, for we become bearers of the Truth, al haq.

As Muslims, our definition of education is to increase in knowledge in Islam in order that we may strengthen our faith and understanding of our purpose in this life. Education begins at the breast. It is the only way it could begin. Allah said in the Qur’an: “And we have enjoined on man to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years-- give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” 31:14
“The carrying of the child to his weaning is a period of thirty months.” 46:15
These verses indicate the importance of the role and function of the mother in Islam. The following may shed some light on the verses. While nursing, the infant is held close, talked to or sang to. All five senses in the infant come alive simultaneously. As the baby remains attached to his/her first teacher, the learning process affects not just the baby’s future ability to speak, but in its potential to listen in a rhythmical way as a result of the mother’s heartbeat and breathing. These are ingrained on the infant’s consciousness.

Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam made it a duty for every father and mother to make sure that their daughters did not remain ignorant of Islam knowing that after marriage they would have to play important roles as housewives and as mothers of Muslim children. In case the parents had failed to give such knowledge to their daughters, it was compulsory upon husbands to teach their wives the basic principles so that they would lead their lives according to the teachings of Islam.
Ibn al hajj said, “If a woman demands her right to religious education from her husband and brings the issue to a judge, she is justified in demanding this right. It is her right that either her husband should teach her or allow her to go elsewhere to acquire education in Islam. The judge must compel the husband to fulfill her demand in the same way that he would in the matter of her worldly rights since her right in matters of religion are most essential and important.” (al mudkhal vol.2 p 277)
The women of Arabia, who until the advent of Islam had been completely unaware of learning and literature, became the protectors of learning and offered guidance to others in this respect. The following are only a handful of the many hundreds if not thousands of women scholars in Islam. They are examples of women who placed their religious obligations first before any material aspirations in this life.

                                                                         Posted by : Quzaitul Izzati bt Hisham 
"Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers."
From the last sermon of Prophet Mohammed

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