Project #5: Gender Equality Quote

A common misconception of Islam is that women are treated poorly and are considered less than a man. With “Islamic” countries like Saudia Arabia leading the way in depriving women of their fully deserved rights, people tend to equate the religion Islam with oppression of women. These examples of countries always made me question what Islam truly says about gender equality, given that they consider themselves to be the perfect representation of how the religion should be practiced. During our lecture about Islamic reform movements on November 7th, I gained insight on this complicated topic.

The mistreatment of women in Islamic countries comes largely as a result of cultural influence and ideas during the Islamic reform movements, not from the religion itself. As Professor Asani continually states, Islam does not “tell” anyone to do anything; people do things in the name of Islam. These reform movements sought to make women “good Muslims” because after all, they would be the ones to teach their children and carry on the beliefs of the religion. These ideas, along with wanting to go against the “liberation of Muslim women” goals of the colonial enterprise, are what ultimately led to a huge shift in the behavior towards women. 

After learning about the origins of these misconceptions, I hoped to learn more about what Islam actually preaches about this regard. For my third project, I hoped to focus in on this newly acquired information and, with the help of a friend, drew out the words from the Quran verse 3:195 in Arabic calligraphy. This verse, as translated by Sahih International, means “And their Lord responded to them, ‘Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another.’” I chose this verse in specific because it highlighted the stress on equality in the Quran. These words of God are stating that regardless of gender, Allah will reward all good-doers as in his eyes, they are each the same and will be each judged in the same manner. A follower of Islam is a Muslim; it doesn’t matter what gender they identify with. This quote so beautifully illustrated the equality of men and women in Islam and proved that oppression of women is in no way permissible in this religion.


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