Oppression. That word is so commonly associated with women, especially Muslim women. But we are anything but that. With the way mass media has been portraying Muslim women for the past century, we are of the most demonized and verbally oppressed. Many claim that Muslim women have no rights; other than that of which concerns the home. Anyone who truly believes this doesn’t really know Islam, let alone the women who have been the foundation of it since the very beginning. Khadijah (RA) was our first example to debunk that myth and today we want to tell you about Aisha (RA).
Aisha (RA) was a women, who wanted to marry the prophet (SAW) so she could learn about Islam and gain knowledge that she would pass along for generations to come. She held the message of the prophet (SAW) close to her heart and advised and guided Muslims after his passing. Anyone who makes an irrational, ignorant statement about how Islam oppresses women doesn’t know the greatness of Aisha (RA).
Often times when we compliment or praise women in this age, one of the first statements we hear is about her appearance. People have gained notoriety and an influence on society because they are conventionally “beautiful.” It’s becoming less common to initially comment on how knowledgeable a woman is. We’re more likely to hear comments on her cooking or “beauty” far before we hear about her character or intelligence. Many people know Aisha (RA) as prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) beloved wife, but her legacy has even more depth than that. Aisha (RA) was an assertive woman, unafraid to speak her mind on what’s right. She proved that women could have a prominent place in society while still maintaining her modesty. She was very knowledgeable in so many different subjects. Her knowledge surpassed the knowledge of most in a number of matters. She was the shaykah that everyone would go to with inquiries and she would share her sound knowledge. The amount of respect and trust Aisha (RA) had amongst the people of her time is something to truly admire. What was she so widely respected and trusted for? Her knowledge and character. She is viewed as a role model because she was a leader and a fighter for what she knew to be true and just.
“Anyone who makes an irrational, ignorant statement about how Islam oppresses women doesn’t know the greatness of Aisha (RA).”
It’s so inspiring when we study the strong women in Islamic history. Not only does studying their life and characteristics motivate me to become a better Muslim woman, but it makes me really reflect on how cultural expectations have completely distorted the view on women’s rights globally, but specifically when it comes to Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) never stopped Aisha (RA) from gaining knowledge or being a prominent voice in the social and political spheres. He was supportive of her just as she was of him. We should learn from this and encourage or at least support everyone to seek out knowledge.
“She proved that women could have a prominent place in society while still maintaining her modesty.”
We are not disposable and timid people even though that is how the media has portrayed us for years. When you read about Muslim women in history it’s easy to understand that we have always had rights and that we are equal to men. There is a wide range of women you will find in Islam. From feminists and humanitarians to mathematicians and scientists to political leaders and educators, we have always