I recently attended a Zakaah course in Johannesburg, the presenter made a striking comment in that he said something to the effect: times have changed and while Zakaah was only payable on a few items in the Prophet (S.A.W’s time, it is now payable on many more items. The reason for this was these items were not common in the Prophet (S.A.W)’s time. An example of such an item would be shares. This is a perfect example of Islam adapting to a new era.
A stigma that has plagued our society for some time now is the status of women in Islam. The west is of the opinion that we are oppressed and our own community does not make this any easier for us. Many Muslims are against sisters gaining an education and starting some sort of career for herself which basically leaves us stuck between a rock and a hard place.
We, as Muslims, need to realize that Allah has instructed us to gain knowledge from the cradle to the grave. It is thus our responsibility to acquire knowledge but in doing so we should have a clear intention and uphold the practises of Islam. We should always be Allah fearing in everything that we do.
Also, being a businesswoman is not a new phenomenon, if we look back at history; Khadija (R.A) was a businesswoman. Nabi (S.A.W) used to conduct business on her behalf and she later became his wife.
Nowadays we get the Lion King theory, in that man wants to be seen as the sole provider for his wife and family. Once again, if we look back at Khadija (R.A’s relationship with Nabi (S.A.W) prior to marriage, he was her employee. He did not feel intimidated by her and he had a great amount of respect and love for her. A mother is seen as a child’s first teacher and thus would it not be beneficial for any family to be taught by an educated mother? I am by no means suggesting that sister’s usurp the power of the husband and run the household but brothers, would it not be a great benefit to have a wife who could manage the finances of the home so that you break even or even in such a manner that the household allowances get carried over to the next month?
In conclusion, I think like everything in life, we need a compromise; sisters remember to seek knowledge but never forget that you are a Muslim and do not get so caught up in the power driven corporate ladder that you neglect the Sunnah of marriage and your family. Brothers encourage the sisters to get an education so that they positively affect your home and they can utilise this knowledge to benefit your children and even you.
Sister Sadiyya Mosam