Role of Muslim Women in Pakistan Movement

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Role of Muslim Women in Pakistan Movement

By | November 2012
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The role of women in the society is an age old issue, as far as Islamic literature is concerned. It has attracted much debate and controversy over the years. Personally, I have the following observations to make in this regard: 1. The Shari‘ah revealed by the Almighty is very brief and succinct. The thesis is that human intellect can itself discover the way out in most affairs. It is only at the crossroads where it is bound to falter that Islam interferes to guide it. In the sphere of gender and social interaction -- the sphere which one comes across so often -- too only certain guiding points have been given. In this regard, as far as the Shari‘ah is concerned, broadly speaking, Islam has given principle guidelines in matters such as the formation and dissolution of a family; its organization under a head and the dress code and behavioral conduct in social contact. 2. Besides this Shari‘ah, there is another general directive which the Qur’an gives in this issue in its lofty style, the brevity of which touches sublimity. It says:

Women have rights just as they have responsibilities according to the good conventions [of a society]. (2:228)

This divine directive -- a mere few words -- covers a world of wisdom and sagacity in it. In my opinion, it puts to an end once and for all the debate regarding the role of women. What is implied is very clear: it is the sound conventions and traditions of a society which govern the responsibilities and rights of women. In other words, it is the collective conscience of a society that determines them. Also, since the conventions and customs of different societies can be different, these rights and responsibilities can be different in different societies. Who should raise and look after children, who should cook the food, who should clean the house are all matters in which we must look towards traditions and customs of a society. If they do not contradict the Shari‘ah and are also not against the universal...

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