Feminism and Islam, are they compatible?

Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes.

Well that’s what it seems on the surface, however, the movement and the ideology has affected the minds of many in a way that it looses the moral and social compass. Here is Daniel Haqiqatijou putting more light on the issue.

I am committed to explaining why Feminism is contrary to Islam in as many ways as possible so that more and more Muslims will recognize this poison.

So here is another argument:

1. One cannot be committed to Feminism without accepting the Patriarchal Thesis, i.e., the thesis that there exists a social structure perpetuated by men designed to subjugate and oppress women that has existed since the dawn of civilization.

2. The Patriarchal Thesis is anathema to Islam.

3. Therefore, Feminism is anathema to Islam.

Why is the Patriarchal Thesis (PT) so noxious as far as Islam is concerned?

First of all, PT undermines the very notion of nubuwwa. All anbiya were men (yes, yes, I know Ibn Hazm and a couple of other scholars said some women also received wahy, but nonetheless, the vast majority of prophets were men). Were all these anbiya part of the patriarchal structure used to dominate women?

PT also undermines the scholarly tradition. The vast majority of ulama in our tradition were men, and the most influential and prolific of them were men. And all of them, literally all of them, espoused a plethora of views that modern feminists consider toxic masculine misogynist drivel of the worst kind. Were all these men part of the patriarchal system used to oppress women?

PT undermines Islamic theology itself. If the patriarchy is this entrenched, destructive force plaguing humanity and inflicting so much pain and suffering, why doesn’t the Qur’an address it? Why didn’t the Prophet (peace be upon him) address it? Can the Qur’an and Sunna be considered complete guidance when they do not call out this systematic oppression?

Feminists maintain that patriarchy is among the greatest forces of evil in all human history, yet there is not even a word for it in Arabic. Not a single verse or hadith dedicated to sounding the alarm bells, warning humanity of this terrible oppression. Why?

These are the logical considerations feminists make with respect to Islam and that is why Muslim feminists go through phases of disillusion with Islam and many end up leaving. They start by throwing the scholars of our tradition under the bus for having “evil” patriarchal views of women. Then they graduate to attacking the prophets (remember Amina “deadbeat” Wadud?). Then they graduate to criticizing the Quran. Why did Allah use masculine pronouns to refer to Himself? Why did Allah create Adam, a man, first? Why did Allah reveal verse 4:34? etc.

The is the inherent theological tension created by the Patriarchal Thesis. And it leads many Muslim feminists to adopt increasingly deviant views and even apostatize.

So those who want to claim that Feminism and Islam are compatible, confront the 1-2-3 argument above. You have limited options. I’ll make it easy and lay it out:

1. You can either argue that one CAN be a feminist and NOT accept PT, i.e., the idea of ever-present patriarchy subjugating women since time immemorial.

2. Or you can argue that PT does not undermine Islam.

Which one is it?

Those who are fine with throwing the male-dominated scholarly tradition under the bus (the “reform,” “progressive” type as well as “Quranists,” et al.) will take option 2. But normal Muslims with correct aqida recognize that without the male-dominated scholarly tradition, the Quran would not have reached us, the Sunna would not have reached us, Islam wouldn’t have been preserved, etc.

If you throw the ulama out, you throw Islam out. The scholars are the inheritors of the prophets.

Anyone who wants to claim that the scholars were systematically biased on a global scale and unjust against women is undermining the morality of the ulama and is therefore undermining Islam itself.

In any case, I maintain that this is a logical assessment. Those who disagree are free to provide logical rebuttals. Spare me the emotional appeals, ad hominem whining, and white knight histrionics.

NB: Let me provide some disambiguation. Of course, the patriarchy does exist. Islam is a patriarchal religion in the anthropological sense. According to Islamic Law, lineage is patrilineal and social and family structures have authority flowing through the patriarch and other males figures. But patriarchy in the Feminist sense is different in that it ascribes maliciousness to these structures.

The Feminist claim is that these patriarchal institutions are designed by men with the evil intention to frustrate the interests of women for the benefit of men. In other words, an evil cabal of men are perpetually conspiring to sabotage poor, innocent, naive women at every turn and the brave feminists have discovered this dastardly plot only in the past few decades and are fighting the good fight to abolish it. Yeah, it sounds crazy because it is.

Written by Adeel Malik

Born in Hong Kong, grew up in Scotland and ethnically Pakistani, Adeel primes himself to be a multicultural individual who is an advent social media user for the purpose of learning and propagating Islam while is also a sports fan. Being an English teacher himself, he envisions a bright future for Muslims which he strongly believes can only be done with education.

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