March 3, 2010

Women and Knowledge

Has anybody else noticed how 'education' is sometimes seen by some people as a bad thing? i think that its because education and knowledge has gotten mixed up with terms like modernity and feminism. Ok so seriously let me clarify, females getting education is NOT a modern thing!!! I probably don't need to go back into the history of Islam and relay the stories of all the wonderful, knowledgeable and educated females; scholars of fiqh, hadith and Quraan. So where has this idea come from, you know- the idea that if you're educated then you must be one of those 'modern girls'? Its like people automatically think that if you have a university degree then you probably don't know how to be a good wife. I understand that people may feel that after gaining an education you might be a little too preoccupied with a high-powered career; but that's a generalization- don't you think?

Personally, i don't belong to any stereotypes out there. I'm an educated woman who has chosen not to pursue a career and decided to stay at home. So as for the stereotype of the 'educated working woman'- i just don't belong. And while i am capable (insha-Allah) of being a home-maker, i also happen to have knowledge and a valuable opinion. So as for the stereotype of the simple minded housewife - i don't fit in either. You see this is the beauty of Womanhood and the beauty of Islam. It doesn't ask me to belong to any stereotypes- I can just simply be me. It is only other people who come along and try to fit us into boxes.
Ok, so let me get back to my point of education then. Knowledge and the pursuit thereof is important in Islam- and yes this applies to women too. We should constantly try to seek knowledge; knowledge of Quraan, knowledge of our deen and even knowledge of the world around us. Knowledge doesn't mean a 9 to 5 job with weekends off. Knowledge also doesn't mean a university degree. Knowledge can be gained from the comfort of your house, or from the houses of others. With all the books and resources we have available at our fingertips, and with the most Glorious Quraan in each of our homes- we really have no excuse not to constantly be engaged in the pursuit of knowledge. So here's hoping that we can all be a generation and an Ummah of beautifully knowledgeable and capable young women!!!

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim." - Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 74

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