imagine if muslim women gave as good as they got

this article was published in Muftah, July 2015


12 thoughts on “imagine if muslim women gave as good as they got

  1. I totally love the article, but just one tiny phrasing quibble- “non-economic contributions” – but all the contributions you’ve listed are actually economic or have at least an economic dimension, just not in the artificially narrow financial sense!

  2. Really enjoyed the article, but just to make a minor correction: The verse actually means that men get double of what women receive. Put differently, women get half the share of a man. The difference this number makes is between 33% and 50%. That doesn’t negate the importance of your points, of course, but I think it’s an important distinction to remember.

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      I only quoted the verse that was the most general 2:1 reference. There are other verses which go into more detail (eg, where there is more than one daughter) but I didn’t want to do that and have to have a discussion that was more math than the points I was trying to make. That’s why I make reference only to one-third. Does that make sense?



  3. This is incredibly insightful (it has never occurred to me that Khadija’s story somehow belies theory that women were much worse off during the jahilya).
    Great courage and wit, congratulations. Please let me know if you have a twitter account – I’d follow you.
    all the best

    • Thank you Paula. I believe we’re fed quite a bit of myth as regards the before- and after-Islam, especially in defense of the limited rights of women. The argument that things improved significantly is also insufficient when we need absolute equality for women – not what was considered an improvement in seventh century Arabia.

      My twitter handle is dahlia_eissa and it would be great to stay in touch.



  4. I’ve pointed out the contradiction between Khadijha’s life and wealth especially her inheritance of her husbands wealth and the post-revelations rules to people earlier,only to have my objections brushed aside.I’m glad to find an article that agrees with me.

    • Hi Sristi,

      Brushing aside objections is easy and convenient in a patriarchal society. Shifting one’s thoughts to consider alternatives is a challenge when you have to let go of your privilege, which many men are not prepared to do. And many women who believe they are “protected” by such men are also not prepared to do. But you must never stay quiet or feel intimidated. Your voice and your opinions matter.



  5. Actually I don’t know where to start; it’s very insightful piece especially the part regarding the prophet’s wife case which proves we have been fed misinformation about the pre Islamic period. Yes there even were women rolled Arabian communities such as queen Zenobia; the queen of Palmyra of Syria, Arabic: Tadmor; who rebelled against Rome and began invading its eastern provinces, but both of the two example neither khadja nor Zenobia can deny the fact that women back then assumingly in every corner of the world were deeply aggrieved don’t you think and Islam came to take that burden off the women’s shoulder gradually but the culture of macho didn’t understand the true essence of that except some Malkia doctrine’s scholars in Morocco who did the exact same thing you’re struggling for in the case of heritage.

    • Hi Mahmoud,

      I used to subscribe to the doctrine that Islam was the beginning of a process to establish equality and humanism, but unfortunately the more I studied Islam the more I came to believe that their is no indication in any of the texts (qur’an or sunnah) that absolute equality is the ultimate goal of Islam. What appears to be the goal is justice, and justice according to your gender. So the equal but different based on different needs doctrine is what I believe Islam claims. But even then, when you introduce difference, you by definition introduce injustice.

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