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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Gender Roles In Islam

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Salaam alaikum ! (again)

I have a recently converted friend, Al hamduillah, who has found Islam, and has been converted for a little over a month or so. She is a "feminist" who advocates for the equality of all and for women to choose their roles regardless of their gender. Therefore, I was recently speaking to her in a group chat with other sisters in which we were discussing how our husbands (she is unmarried) have domain over the majority of the affairs, and we were just talking about whether or not or husbands can decide how to dress. Needless to say she privately messaged me and said that she does not necessarily agree with that (men being the protectors and maintainers of their wives) and I found myself in a difficult discussion because while I believe we are asked by Allah swt to follow the roles He has established for us, I did not want to turn her away from Islam (because she is a pretty staunch feminist). So I was wondering if there was any way to appropriately tell her (I mean it is in the Quran after all) and I was also just wondering if she is permitted to not follow the prescribed gender roles. I know Allah swt has profound knowledge regarding His creations and so naturally He had given us roles which are naturally and easy for us to follow, and which provide a sound framework for life; however, I do not want her to think Islam is a religion in which women are oppressed by their husbands. Is a woman permitted to not prescribe to her mandated roles, or if she does not, will there be consequences?

Both brothers and sisters are welcome to answer

Thank you and salaam (:

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If there is something evident God has given us, that is freedom. Regardless of gender roles, it is up to her to follow them or not.

Anyway, feminism ideology is not going to change with some spiritual words. Requires some sort of life experience to make her reflect upon it and come to her own conclusions. If she ends up finding the stablished islamic gender roles reasonable, then that's what she will believe. Quoting sources or whatever will change nothing. As your friend, I know about these strict gender roles and understand their advantages in certain cases and societies, but I firmly believe right now that not all women have to necessarily fit that specific role. It highly depends on how you are educated and what you have been prepared for to face in your life.

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Islam is not only a religion but an ideology also. Previous 'Shariats' before Islam were divine guidelines for each nation, that was 'upgraded' to an ideology with Islam.


So what is this ideology in the context of male/female?


Firstly, male and female are equal, either of them can be closer to Allah, it's not that Male being assigned certain preferences makes him favourable to God over females, preferences like permissible marrying multiple wives etc...


Purpose of gender is for management of life, that's all it is. Both have rights over each other, what we need to understand and get familiar with rights of males (husband, father, brother) over (wife, daughter, sister, mother etc..)


There cultural aspects that are mixed with religion, certain traditions and culture that makes man 'macho' treat women as submissive and unfair, but that's culture not to be confused with religion.


E.g south asian countries, in general with exceptions, concept of appreciating and complimenting is less compared to west, it's cultural thing to tell wife how to dress or what to do.


Culture and traditions tht are mixed with religion is called 'Tahajjur', just like water mixed with lemon/sugar and pepper to make a soda, it's no longer water, drink is transformed into something else, that's what happened to Islam.


feminism or liberalism are new ideologies, not compatible with islamic ideology, just like cultural mixed with religion, feminism should not be adopted as source of inspiration or code of living.

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In fact in Islam we don't believe in equality between man and woman rights ,requirements and responsibilities in every single aspect of life ,in some cases men have more rights/requirements /responsibilities and in some cases women. What Islam is pursuing is Justice (عدالت) meaning every thing in its proper place .Surely Almighty God Himself knows what is the best for His creatures which you yourself mentioned it .


But ,Just tell her how a religion (in this case Shia Islam ) regards a woman (Lady Fatima ) as the cause of world creation(we have hadith about it ) ,a exemplar for the savior they believe in (Imam Mahdi : Daughter of prophet Mohammad is my exemplar ) and so on ,and at the same time this religion denies women rights ?





Now probably some of our dear fellow Muslims will quote this post and call it :kofr ,shirk ,beda ,so on and so forth .Well If loving Prophet Ahlulbayt in a way God ordered us is kofr ,You can call me Kafir .That's the only worthy thing I can present before God in the hereafter .



The Middle East definitely needs feminist, women there are treated as house servants - not wives.

I cant disagree with the general idea you are trying to say.But seems some other parts of the world should be blamed more concerning women rights :



Edited by kamyar

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Salaam alaikum ! (again)





This is that women are going to be responsible of child care or do house keeping is not what prescribed by Islam and they have to do, however, this is the natural preference admitted by Islam.



I think this article would help you out.



The Significance of Family in Islam


The change of division of labor at home is a controversial topic. Most traditional  societies hold the view of man as the breadwinner and woman as the homemaker. But from the birth of modernity and especially with the emergence of women’s liberation movement, this view started to lose its prominence (or dominance). These phenomena were  concerned with women’s independence, gender equality issues, and the right to paid jobs (or occupations).

In order to make more money, big and multinational corporations found this  a good opportunity  to call for female labor, since they were likely to work for rates  lower than those sought by men.  Therefore, they began to occupy the jobs and careers. This event affected the family structure in the industrial countries in terms of the division of housework and child care. Soon enough, the next generation -- which had less experience with moms  than with kindergarten teachers -- felt reluctant to get married early, to have multiple children, and to spend their time in raising children.

 But Islam, giving a high significance to the family, demands men to function as breadwinners and women as homemaker, as this corresponds to their nature and effectively meets  the family needs. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) was asked by his daughter to  divide the household tasks between her and Imam Ali, he assigned breadwinning to Ali  and housekeeping to Lady Fatima.  Islam encourages families  in numerous traditions, such as the one mentioned above, to  adopt the same task arrangements as the Prophet defined for Imam Ali and Lady Fatima, since this would be in line with their nature.

                 Although in  today’s world we hear a lot (or a great deal) about gender equality and women’s rights and there occur feministic campaigns against gender inequality regularly, the reality, however, is vice versa. Even those whose slogans are in  defense of human rights do not observe what they claim. Islam declares equality between men and women in terms of spirituality,  potential for perfection, and the position they have before God. The Quran says, “We shall let anyone who acts honorably, whether it is a man or a woman, provided he is a believer, live a happy life and shall reward them with their earnings for the finest deeds they have done”  (16:97). But it clearly refutes their equality in creation, physically and emotionally. While sexual differences play a fundamental role as one set of biological variables in scientific researches, some, however, try to deny this fact. But regardless of the scientific researches, there are very simple  facts that bear out gender inequality.  A few examples follow. One may ask why does anyone not  advocate for football matches with male and female players? What about wrestling, boxing, and so on? Why would people  call  such competitions unfair? One may ask why do people prefer  women to work at nurseries?

                What Imam Ali (peace be upon him) says regarding sexual differences reveals  Islam’s viewpoint  on (or regarding) women’s function in the family: “Woman is like a delicate and sweet-smelling flower, not like a harsh and bulky warrior.”  Islam considers the family as a small sample of society.  As such, it requires peace, tranquility, mental health, appropriate circumstances for child upbringing, and financial support. None of these may be ignored. When Islam defines men as the breadwinners, it is not to underestimate the function of women in the family structure; it is, rather, to honor them by elevating them to the status of peace-givers to all members  of the family.

                As mentioned above, the Islamic viewpoint  on (or regarding) the division of labor at home is what matches the nature of men and women. And in addition, abiding by Islam’s instructions concerning the household division of labor would help them with the different responsibilities they have to carry out  to achieve a prosperous life. Nevertheless, man has no right to require his wife to do such house activities as  washing dishes, preparing  food, and cleaning the house, as if she were a servant.  It is very likely that such unwarranted  obligations  imposed upon women throughout the history of humankind caused women to ignore their real function in the family structure,  leading to transformation of the household division of labor.

Edited by mahdi servant.01

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