Monday, 24 September 2007

Who is really in control?

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said that women totally dominate men of intellect and possessors of hearts.
But ignorant men dominate women, for they are shackled by an animal ferocity.
They have no kindness, gentleness or love, since animality dominates their nature.
Love and kindness are human attributes; anger and sensuality belong to the animals.
She is the radiance of God; she is not your beloved.
- Jalal Al-Din Rumi
Despite endless messages conveyed by Allah Ta'ala through His Apostle (peace and blessings upon him), blatant sexism exists in today's modern society, regardless of culture, traditions and religion. No matter how developed a nation's mentality can be, the continuous plight of differences and disagreements between Mars and Venue persevere and often cause more disruption than the mere commotion.
There are plenty of ayahs in the Qur'an calling for men and women to work together to form a progressive ummah. Treated equally but differently, men and women are made to complement one another.
The believers, males and females, are partners of one another; they shall jointly enjoin all that is good and counsel against all that is evil. (At-Tawbah 9: 71)
But women are not identical twins of men.
Possibly, this is where all the confusion begins. There is always talk of superiority and inferiority; passivemess and submission; leadership and even possible prostration. Most of the time, statements are made out of context and with an absence of understanding.
As Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him), this is obviously a concoction of the ignorant man!
In tow of modernity and female liberation in vogue, it is hardly news that Islam comes under fire when speaking of the status of women. Due to improper conduct of Muslim men and women, media hype capitalises in a few examples of animalistic capacity, as described by Jalal al-din Rumi.
It is unfortunate that men and women who fall into this category lack the understanding of Islam and its practices.
On the flip-side though, the non-Muslim world is not spared. Female liberation and progression that boasts freedom over and above the Hijab only provides avenues for women to be stuck in a rut of living up to expectations - and in general - the expectations of men.
It ranges from clambering up and down the corporate ladder, with a huge a compromise of values for many female employees; slaving to the latest skin deep trends and fashion faux-pas; being forced to contribute to the household income on a 50-50 basis and wake up for night feeds; or even having to forgo children all together.
Who possesses who? Who controls who?
Does nakedness of human society represent power or poverty. I guess it depends on which part of the world you dwell in - and if the answer is power, it is only skin deep. After all, sexism exists in the non-Muslim world too.

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