Stands >2006 Stands >The Stand of  Safar 14 1427H /March 14, 2006 A.D.

Women’s  rights and freedom in Islam 

Sayyed Fadlullah: We want a free sovereign country that is free form any dependency to any party whether in the region or in the world. But this does not mean that we should neglect the causes of our nation, since the freedom of Lebanon cannot be separated from the nation’s freedom, pride and independence.

Asked in his weekly seminar the following question: What is the Islamic view regarding the issue of women

The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said” The issue of women represents one of the issues that continue to impose themselves both on the local and international fronts. In addition to being important by itself, it is one of the issues used in the context of targeting Islam so as to try it in absentia, relying on a wrong understanding of certain texts. Such a campaign aims at considering Islam responsible for the backwardness of the nation.

In fact, women in Islam hold a very high position. The Messenger (p.) called for respecting women and taking care of them as we take care of orphans, being historically wronged. The Messenger(p.) considered motherhood to be of a level higher than paradise itself: paradise is under the feet of mothers. Nevertheless, Islam continued to face false accusations regarding mothers, wives, sisters… etc.

Since the very beginning, Islam has sought to take women out of the state of oppression and backwardness they faced, and present them as equal human beings, just like men. The Quran commissions both men and women with the same task of enjoining good and forbidding evil, and in return, Islam held each woman responsible for her mistakes to be rewarded and punished just like men, as they share the same responsibilities.

The reasons behind the oppression and persecution women faced in our societies is backwardness on the one hand and violating Islamic laws that prohibit any physical or psychological abuse and consider such actions a crime that calls for the interference of the religious authority or other relevant authorities to prevent them. If some believe that the Sharia regulations does not enable law enforcers to stop such crimes, we assert that this is not true, since the Sharia is very decisive in this respect. Nevertheless, we call on all women to acquire intellectual and cultural strength to defend them. We also call on them to learn martial arts (within the limits of Islamic restrictions) to acquire physical strength to defend herself against any aggression whether by men or women.

We also call on women to be confident in their potentials, to face all pressures that aim to weaken them or turn them into a touristic commodity that is exploited by commercial or even political powerhouses.

Moreover, as we emphasize the necessity of the women taking their full rights sexually, of course within the limits of the moral and legal code of Islam, we call on women to embrace the virtue of chastity, and to adhere to the Islamic morals that open up on the contemporary issues. We want women to carry the weapon of awareness, creativity and culture to confront the thieves of vice and the promoters of sexual slavery. That is why we rely in the first place on young and conscience women who promise to become role models and pioneer writers in various fields of knowledge. We also hope that these Islamic women will penetrate the political and even the jurisprudent spheres.

Islam considers women as independent political and social entities who have their own views that the husband the father or the brother could not pressure them to change. Men ought to know their limits in these domains, and they have to fear Allah, the most Exalted, and not impose their backwardness in the name of Islam.

As we look forward for the independence of women, we also look forward for the independence of the nation. And we find that there is a close interrelation between an independent nation and individual independence within the nation. The nation which believes in the independence of its members and that accepts no wrong whether from the strong on the weak, or form men on women is the nation that is qualified to advance economically scientifically, politically and socially.

We want the nation to revolt against internal persecution, to build its internal force against external persecution, especially in this stage that is marked by a cultural campaigns that aim at pulling up its cultural roots to facilitate its political and security domination and turn it into a dead nation that is politically, culturally and ideologically dependent on the arrogant powers.

On these bases, we do not want Lebanon to be either a passage or a base for the arrogant powers. And we want the Lebanese that yean for real independence not to give the arrogant powers a chance to interfere in the Lebanese national dialogue. Our problem in this country has always been that we have always thought about the priorities and even fears of the others at the expense of our own. We want a free sovereign country that is free form any dependency to any party in the region and in the world. But this does not mean that we should neglect the issues of our nation, since the freedom of Lebanon cannot be separated from the nation’s freedom, pride and independence.