Friday, December 30, 2022

Unless A Modern Scientific Exegesis Of The Quran Is Written, The Taliban Will Not Change Their Attitude Towards Education And Women

Before The Ascent Of the Taliban, 40 Percent Of Doctors In Afghanistan Were Women Main Points: 1. 70 percent of school teachers were women. 2. 60 percent of university professors were women. 3. 25 percent of the members of parliament were women. 4. 6.2 percent of ministers were women. ---- By New Age Islam Staff Writer 29 December 2022 UNAMA/Fraidoon Poya Women’s rights advocates engage in awareness-raising activities in Herat, Afghanistan. (file) ----- In his article, Mr. Faizan Mustafa takes a comparative look at the educational and political state of women in Afghanistan before and after the ascent of the Taliban in Afghanistan. He writes that during the US occupation, women were given the freedom to receive education and impart education. They also had political rights and were allowed to work in the media, medical field, educational institutions, and as entrepreneurs. But after the Taliban came to power, it banned women's education. It first banned secondary education, and then university education for women. This was totally against the teachings of the Quran and Hadiths. The Quran stresses receiving education and mentions the virtues of knowledge and learning. There are a number of the sayings of the holy prophet pbuh in which knowledge has been glorified and receiving it has been encouraging. In the Quran, knowledge has been described as a blessing and a virtue of God's chosen people. During the prophet's time, Hadhrat Ayesha r.a. had acquired the knowledge of jurisprudence and after the demise of the prophet pbuh she was consulted by the Muslims on important issues. In later periods, many Muslim women in Arab and Africa contributed immensely to the promotion of learning among men and women. They established schools and universities. Many women became rulers and in the modern age, many women politicians are active in politics, arts, and philanthropic activities. In Afghanistan, King Amanullah's wife Suraiya was a strong advocate of women's education. She opened many schools for girls. In Pakistan and Bangladesh, women have been prime ministers and ministers, scientists, teachers, professors, athletes, singers, and pilots. They have been given total freedom to develop their intellectual faculties and contribute to the development of their community and nation. Allowing women to work and serve the society and community is not only a privilege given to them but a right guaranteed to them by the Quran and hadith. Society needs them because it is constituted of both men and women. Women are needed in nearly all walks of life because mrn' s prejudice and chauvinistic tendencies most of the time do injustice to women. Women need the support of women in many cases. In modern society, the importance of the participation of women has been recognised by governments. Representation of women is ensured in the legislature so that women 's issues can be properly highlighted and attended to. In the medical field, the presence of women is all the more necessary. But by barring women from studying medicine, the Taliban have left women patients at the mercy of male doctors though they advocate gender segregation. Here they violate their policy. In the future, they will have to hire lady doctors and medical professionals from Europe or other countries. But the fact is that giving examples from the Quran and Hadiths may not be convincing to the Taliban. The Quran and hadiths stress knowledge but during the prophet's time or during the time of the caliphate, knowledge meant Islamic knowledge or jurisprudence. The Taliban may have their definition of knowledge. By knowledge, they mean the knowledge of the Quran, hadith, and Islamic jurisprudence. They may allow girls to study in madrasas to receive basic knowledge of the Quran, hadith, and Islamic jurisprudence. The Quran time again asks Muslims to ponder and reflect on the creations of God. It asks Muslims to ponder over the anatomy of camels and their bodies. It asks Muslims to reflect on the universe and space, on the oceans, on the bees, and on the animals and vegetation. It asks Muslims to ponder on different kinds of rocks. It tells Muslims that they can go out of the spheres of the earth with the help of a “sultan"(a special scientific and technological device). (La Tanfudhuna Illa Bisultan). It gives an account of the different phases of the evolution of the foetus in the womb till its birth as a child. Then the Quran hints at archaeology, tourism, and philanthropic activities (welfare of orphans, feeding the poor, and reform movements). Therefore, the Quran stresses scientific knowledge and learning. But the Taliban don't believe the scientific and technological knowledge as part of Deen because our exegetes have not explained and interpreted those verses from the scientific point of view and have not issued fatwas mandating the science and technology. Our Ulema has always categorised knowledge as Uloom-E-Diniya and Uloom-E- Mufidah and excluded science and technology from the syllabus of madrasas. Therefore, giving examples from the lives of the wives of the prophet pbuh or citing hadiths on the importance of knowledge will not convince the Taliban because they interpret or understand knowledge from a purely religious point of view. Unless a modern scientific exegesis of the Quran is not written, the Taliban and the like will not change their attitude toward education and women. ------ In Banning Women From Universities, The Taliban Is Being Un-Islamic By Faizan Mustafa December 28, 2022 By the 1990s, 40 per cent of doctors in Afghanistan were women. Women also constituted 70 per cent of school teachers, 60 per cent of university professors and almost half of university students. All this has now changed for the worse. Women literacy today is at a meagre 14 per cent. The Taliban has proved us right by continuing with the highly regressive policies of the past regime (1996-2001). Their Jim Crow-like decrees have not come as a surprise. Our worst fears regarding the US’s sudden withdrawal from Afghanistan have come true. Their promises during the Doha deal of respecting human rights in general and women rights in particular have proved to be just empty words. The pretence is gone and the reality as anticipated by the Taliban’s critics is now setting in. Afghan women participate in a protest against the university education ban for women, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022. (AP) ----- The western world led by the United States too has to be blamed for first handing over to the Taliban highly sophisticated weapons to fight the Russians. After staying in Afghanistan for almost two decades, the United States meekly handed over power to the Taliban leaving Afghan women high and dry. Women who occupied one-fourth of parliamentary seats and 6.5 per cent of ministerial positions in 2021 have been completely excluded from the interim government of Taliban. Women, once again, cannot go out and work in most sectors. They are forced to cover their faces and must be accompanied by a male guardian. In November, Afghan women were denied access to public parks. The Afghan women are the worst victims of the Taliban regime. The recent dictates from the totalitarian and arbitrary Taliban regime must have shocked the conscience of the world. Last week, the Taliban cabinet took the indefensible and discriminatory decision of banning women from universities. For a pleasant change, not only the western world but even Islamic countries reacted sharply to it. The United States’ spokesperson explicitly said that such decisions will further alienate the Taliban from the international community and deny them much-needed legitimacy in the comity of nations. Even the closure of secondary schools in March had a significant impact on American engagement with the Taliban. Since the Taliban have no respect for the modern human rights covenants, they must be challenged on the basis of Islamic theology itself. The period prior to the advent of Islam in Arab history is called the period of ignorance. The Arabic word for knowledge is ilm which means knowledge. This root word has been used in the Quran 854 times — 397 times as a noun, 425 times as a verb and remaining times as an adjective. The first words of divine revelation in the Quran asked the Prophet to read: “Read in the name of your Lord who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the most generous. Who has taught (writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.” (Quran 96:1-5). For Muslims, Islam was truly a knowledge revolution. The Prophet himself had reportedly said that “seeking knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim male and female” (Al-Tirmidhi). The Prophet had also said that “the excellence of a scholar over another (ordinary) worshipper is like the excellence of the full moon over the rest of the heavenly bodies” (Abu Dawood). He in fact described himself as the city of knowledge and Ali (his son-in-law) as the door of this city. As per Islamic beliefs, even Adam’s superiority over other angels, including Satan (the Devil) was determined by conducting a test of knowledge. He also said that “whoever takes a path in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to walk on one of the paths of paradise. Indeed, the angels will lower their wings in great pleasure with the one who seeks knowledge.” He also said that “whoever goes out seeking knowledge, then he is in Allah’s cause until he returns” (Tirmidhi) The Taliban should at least pay heed to Quranic injunctions. The Quran itself is explicit in asking humanity to explore the signs of God. The Quran says that “God will raise up, by many degrees, those of you who believe and those who have been given knowledge. He is fully aware of what you do” (Quran 58:11). Knowledge involves reflection. God says in the Quran that “He has subjected all that is in the heavens and the earth for your benefit, as a gift from Him. There truly are signs in this for those who reflect” (Quran 45:13). The Quran also tells us what to ask God — “And say: My Lord, increase my knowledge” (Quran 20:114). The Taliban, therefore, have scant regard for the Quran. Their decrees cannot and should not be allowed to have greater weight than the divine commandments by which they swear to justify their arbitrary decisions. There is not a single verse in the Quran or the Hadith that prohibits women from acquiring knowledge. The Taliban seem to be ignorant of even the history of Islamic civilisation. The Prophet’s own wife Ayesha was a great scholar and people used to consult her on theological matters. She was the most prominent and leading narrator of Hadith. In fact, it is impossible to talk of Islam without referring to her. Nafisa, a close relative of Ali, too used to be consulted by the people and even scholars including Imam Shafii. Other prominent women scholars were Shahda, Hujaimah, Asma, Masuda and Shanoun. The Taliban leadership may not know, but one of the world’s earliest modern universities was founded by an Arab woman: The University of Al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco was founded in 859 by Fatima Bint Muhammad al-Fihri. Her family was originally from the city of Kairouan in Tunisia. Princess Fatima Bint Khedive had immensely contributed to the establishment of Cairo University. Similarly, in the 12th century, another prominent woman, Sitt al-Sham Zumurrud Khatun, sister of Saladin, established schools in Damascus. In the thirteenth century, Razia Sultan even ruled over Delhi when Turkan- i-Chahalgani (Council of Forty Nobles) was extremely powerful. She also built several schools. The first Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University in 1920 was Mumtaz Jahan Begum of Bhopal. Even in Saudi Arabia, Turkish born Queen Iffat al Thunayan, wife of King Faisal, was responsible for the establishment of Dar al Hanan schools for girls in 1955. In neighbouring Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto was Prime Minister and another Muslim country Bangladesh has been ruled by Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina for the most part of its 50 year history. Even in Afghanistan in 1880, Malalai had demonstrated her courage and bravery in the battle of Maiwand. In 2005, Habiba Sarabi was appointed as governor, and a few years later, Azra Jafari became the first female mayor. Thus, what the Taliban are doing to women is absolutely un-Islamic. Their version of Islam had not only closed the doors of universities for the women but even the mosques. Their Islam is different from the Islam that was brought by the Prophet. The Taliban is undoing the Islamic revolution of enlightenment and pushing Afghanistan back into a period of ignorance. But they must remember this blatant discrimination cannot last forever. They should take lessons from the recent protests by Iranian women. The international community must also understand that mere non-recognition of the Taliban regime would not help the Afghan women’s cause. The United States’ mere condemnations of such decisions would do no good to Afghan women. In 2019, India had enacted CAA to help the persecuted religious minorities of Afghanistan. As moral leaders of the world do we not owe anything to the women of Afghanistan? Let India under the Prime Minister’s presidency of G20 use his international stature and influence to force the Taliban to honour the Doha commitments. Let India become the most vocal advocate of women empowerment in the world. ---- Faizan Mustafais an expert of constitutional law. The views are personal Source: In Banning Women From Universities, The Taliban Is Being Un-Islamic URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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