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What Role Can I Play in Society?

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Nouman Ali Khan

Channel: Nouman Ali Khan

Episode Notes

Pakistani Youth Asks

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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So coming back from nust, lots of students wrote written questions, and I got a few of them later. So I'm gonna read one to you. This is written by a young lady, what is the right role of women in leadership positions and community? For me, I have been a very vocal and outgoing personality passionate to make an impact. In my various roles, I have had tons of people centric engagement. I someday want to be a civil servant, too. But all along, I have been told that Leadership isn't for women. How do I contribute if I'm made to feel small? Here, there's an organization for Islamic teaching some name she mentioned, they keep their women behind the scenes, they have no social media

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presence, as if they have nothing good to give. Similarly, women are told to be hidden off in a way, as set by and she mentioned some speakers. What do I do with my influence? I never want to use it for my own fame, etc. I avoid it. But I am brought to position somehow by God's will, how best can I use my ability, especially in the digital age, and when I'm fully hijabi, and fully according to Islamic attire. So this is actually a kind of a renegotiation and a rethinking of some of the assumptions we have about the role of women in the OMA. And one of the best places we can try to understand this is

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in our history. So there's two ways to answer this. First, obviously, being a student of Quran, when somebody brings up an issue, I think about the Quran and I think about how would somebody who's navigated and scanned the entire book of Allah, how would they respond to this? The second place you'd go is like the seer of the Prophet SAW Selim, and say, how were women in the Prophet's life? What roles were they playing? How are they participating? The third place you'd go is we have a very vast history in Islam, right? We are not just one continent, or one culture, one nation, one language, we spend every continent, and we have a rich history in every continent, how were Muslims

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that were committed to their religion, men and women playing their roles in all these different places throughout history. And if you scan all three, and you would exceptions here and there. Within the Quran, for example, there is no place where women are not being given or being put in a certain kind of cage in the family. Allah did make men the head of the household, that is a leadership responsibility. Allah gave men which is why they are called Kawan caretakers, and so they are responsible and that's why they have to be financially responsible. So there's a leadership role there. But then there are other places in which women are taking leadership roles, like at a very

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micro level, when Musa mother lost Musa alayhis salaam in the water.

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She also had Haroon Harun is the brother but she sent the sister to go because he was the older brother, so he already exists. But she sends a sister to go and she takes the lead and goes and all the way follows Mousavi salaam to the castle and then, you know even recommends that they bring the mother back. So the entire story rests on the intelligence of this little girl who he resigned about a social causes. There are small examples glimpses like this in the Quran, where women are outspoken, where women express themselves, like the angels came to talk to Ibrahima. They said I'm right. And they said she's going to he's going to have a child, but his wife was in shock. So she

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started screaming and almost yelling at the angels. And now the angels who came to speak to Ibrahim are now speaking to the wife of Rahim Ali Salaam. Right? And it's remarkable that Quran recorded that that, that the carriers of ye are now actually having a direct conversation with this old woman, you know, and they're consoling her. There are times where women have to step up and play a role. What are the principles? The principle is Islam Allah did not say women should, you know, remain hidden. In fact, even the Iowa Karna few BeautyCon sola hisab is talking about Muhammad minutes talking about the Mothers of the Believers. And that's there's a reason for that because

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they are considered our mothers forever. There's a reason they were given special instructions in that same surah Allah says

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A student had a minute Lisa, you're not like any other women. That's why they had no other woman will always be considered the entire almost mother. They cannot marry any other man after them. If they just walk around outside, even if they're fully covered, and some man says, I wonder if she's married. He's having a thought about his mother. Allah wants to prevent that completely from even happening ever. So he tells them what kind of people you will take on. So even when the Sahaba come to meet with Aisha Radi Allahu Allah minhwa, hijab, they actually just to meet them from behind the curtain. She can't he's not seeing anybody. So they were given special instructions, but the

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instructions for the rest of the modern saluto news. So this special status of the women, the wives of the prophet Isaiah them, by and large, that's disgusting. So utiliza so what we've done is we've kind of conflated these things and made them into using that to generalize women are supposed to stay inside, but they didn't stay inside. There's enough evidence that women even joined the Sahaba in battle. There's enough evidence that they were interacting with demand. There's enough evidence they were traveling together, they were naming the Hajj ritual itself itself breaks, this is the most sacred ritual. Shouldn't there be a women's section for tohave? Why was there never one because

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they were a part of society. And the thing is that Allah gave us this Deen based on fitrah. There's some natural things we're supposed to be inclined towards, like decency, the way the way a person dresses, Allah gave him out to the women, not because it protects them from the they're protected from the eyes of men. But actually, they're protected from their own desire to show off, actually, if you study so to know that that's what it's talking about. So once they observe these principles of hair of modesty of engagement, like the Sisters of are the two sisters in Medan who are getting the water from the well. They're engaged in a hostile non Muslim environment and they're working.

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Right. So women being in a public space women fulfilling a certain role that normally is associated with men, the Quran never condemned it. The Quran never spoke against it, and how somehow we think this is a modern idea. It's not a modern idea. It's a classical idea. And if you actually study Islamic history, you'll see throughout our tradition, that this was a non issue. And even in contemporary life I like I like examples like Malaysia and Indonesia. I like these examples, because these are very vibrant, very committed very educated Muslim societies, where women play a great role in the society while holding on to their Islam and their Islamic principles. It's a beautiful thing

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to see. And there's no reason for someone to think that's not supposed to be the case. Or you're not supposed to be in Oh, women are meant to be Oh, doctors and teachers and nothing else. No, you can be a civil servant. Why not? What's wrong with you being civil? What's wrong with you being a lawyer? What's wrong with you being a professor, what's wrong with you, being a research scientist, is nothing preventing you from any of it. And this is the same advice I would give my own daughters pursue whatever it is that you Allah has given you. And if we don't do this, we're taking more than 50% of our talent pool. And we're basically telling them all your education, all your mind, all your

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potential is useless. It has, there's nothing you can do with it. You know? And then the next argument people give us well, if they if they do these things, how will they be good mothers, the same way you're doing all these things, and you're still supposed to be a good father. This is a non argument. There are plenty of people that used to work, women used to work in the farms and get water from wells and all this other stuff, while they were still mothers, they were doing trade husband died, they have to do trade, they have to make a living, you think every situation is normal, every situation is standard. There are plenty of single women divorced women, that have to

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take care of their children and to make ends meet and worked hard, and raise their kids. So this idea that somehow they are lesser mothers, or they're too busy with their career, therefore they can't be mothers. I think that idea is silly. And the people who make that idea don't even know what it means to be a father, really, because they don't understand what kind of partnership it takes to raise a child. They just think, Oh, that's a mother's responsibility. You know, the personality of a child is as dependent on the mother, as it is on the nourishment of a father, you need both. So a lot of times the arguments that are presented to make such a case, are very problematic. This young

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lady even says, I'm made to feel small, right? And that's exactly the feeling, why am I being made to feel that because of my gender, I can contribute, I have nothing to offer, or the role in which I can offer something is very limited. No, so long as you're following the principles of this Dean, then the area in which you can serve the scope in which you can serve is completely an open playing field. It's completely open to you and I would encourage you to pursue it. And I would encourage you to even study your deen deeper and look at the arguments and look at the counter arguments. And don't just listen to what I'm saying. Look at the evidences yourself. Study the history yourself.

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And you'll be amazed and empowered. And how many women on the backs of how many women just like men, this Dean has been carried. It didn't

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reaches just because of the contributions of men and reached us because of the contributions of men and women. So those are my few thoughts on this issue. I pray that our daughters really feel the sense of empowerment they've always felt throughout our history. And somehow they've lost that. You know, last last comment about this. They say, Oh, you're you're abandoning traditional values, people who say you're abandoning traditional values. I would counter argue, maybe you should study the tradition a little better yourself before you can before you represent traditional values, because if you actually studied our history, this is not what you would be saying. So those are just

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some thoughts. Allahu Taala them but I hope that helps.