- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Happy Women's Day
The Role Of Women In Islam
Today’s day is called International Women’s Day .
There is a very common saying: ‘There’s a woman at the beginning of all great things.’ This saying is attributed to a French writer Lamartine. But I believe that this title should be given to Hazrat Hajra. How is this so?
In this world, an evil had become prevalent. This has been mentioned by Arnold Toynbee. It was the evil of worship of the sun and the moon. When man was born and settled on this planet, he felt that the sun, moon and stars were most glorious. This was stated by Hazrat Abraham in these words in the Quran: “My Lord, they have misled the mankind.” When man saw that the most glorious entities in the sky were sun, moon and stars, then ancient man began to think that these were indeed gods (mabud), to be worshipped. The historian Arnold Toynbee has asked the question why the development of science happened much later in history? Toynbee remarks that people had given the sun and moon the status of gods and made them objects of worship. And something which a person makes an object of worship cannot become an object of investigation at the same time. One would only worship something which one has raised to the status of divinity.
Who did the task of removing these objects from the status of gods? The hero of this task was Hazrat Hajra. Hazrat Ibrahim had settled his wife and son in the desert of Arabia, to raise a new generation. Throughout the world in that period, there was a lot of evil prevalent. This is why a new generation was required which was totally unconditioned. This generation was raised through the sacrifices of Hazrat Hajra. She settled in the desert area where there was no environmental conditioning. Then through a process of desert therapy, a new generation was raised which was completely free of conditioning. This generation is called Banu Ismail. It was in this generation that Hazrat Muhammad peace be upon him was born. Then the Prophet formed a group of monotheists. It was this group which for the first time in history took the world out from the age of sun-worship and moon-worship. Then it became possible for humans to explore nature and to remove nature from the status of divinity. Then after a long process, the age of science came to the world. From this perspective I believe that the title ‘there’s a woman at the beginning of all great things’ should be first of all given to Hajra.
Among the teachings given by Islam, one is that women should understand their role. They must discover their revolutionary role. In the previous age, Hajra’s generation had taken humans out from nature-worship. Now in this age, the role of women is to take human beings out from the mindset of worship of materialism. It is the role of women to change this mindset of materialism and make people God-oriented. If you study history in an objective way, you will receive this message.
In the Muslim world, the women were told to stay inside their houses wearing burqahs. All books spoke in this way. In our mission, the concept given to women members was to make alive once again the model of Hajra. They were told to take human beings out from materialism and the worship of materialism and bring them to the path of God. Women in our mission are performing this role. Throughout the world women of our mission are engaged in this task. I pray for the women of our mission so that God helps them in this noble task and so that they can bring a new age to the world. The world was earlier taken out from the mindset of nature worship. Now women need to take people out of the mindset of materialism.
I hope that women can perform this great role once again. In the previous age, women had taken people out of the age of nature worship and helped them enter the scientific age. Now God-willing, women will take people out from the age of materialism and take them towards God. May God help them in this task so that they can play their role in this age.