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Muslim Traditions in Female Education

Education is important to everyone in the world. It is a right of passage every individual should be privy to except you chose otherwise. Education is beyond the four walls of a classroom or lecture theatre, it is a way of life. It is the process of gathering knowledge. Education aids in human development and nation building. How knowledgeable the people are determined how great their nation may be whether male or female. It affects change and transformation.

All over the world, the Issue of Female education is one of the most widely discussed topics. And Islam does not escape these discussions. Female Education in Islam serves a means to accentuate the importance of human equality and equity among men and women. In truth, Islam is not against the acquisition of Knowledge as The Qur’an actually commands its followers to apply themselves to gaining knowledge disregarding gender as exemplified in Sūrat al-Aḥzāb (33:35). However, this is not what is really in practice due to some factors:

1. Premature Marriages
There is no restriction on what a woman can do. The image of being the weaker vessel is just farce. Although the Qur’an actually specifies gender roles and duties. It was not meant to place restrictions on the career path and dreams of the female Child. A female can own a custom writing service agency or even become a president. However, one of the deterring factors of education is early marriages.

This Specification of gender roles has now been taken to the extreme such that priority is given to training the female child to be the perfect homemaker, i.e. mothers and wives rather than formal education. They refuse to see the importance of education and Young Muslim girls who are given out in early marriage die with their dreams and goal because they are not allowed to explore the possibilities of their creative minds and intelligence.

In the rural areas of some dominant Muslim countries, Basic education, i.e. reading and writing can be said to reach over 50% of the females. However, in counties like Pakistan and Afghanistan, women are still restricted from getting even basic education talk more of a degree.

2. The Myth of Female to Female education.
This Muslim Tradition places a restriction on females getting access to learning opportunity without it coming another female. The argument is hinged on the fact that society is largely patriarchal. However, Prophet Muhammed actually encouraged learning for not just the males but also females. He was of the opinion that women had a religious and moral duty to pursue knowledge, groom her intellect and talents, using this potential to influence her immediate environment and the world at large.

Prophet Muhammed did not restrict his teaching to males or females as his teaching was widely sought after by different classes of people in society. History has it that Muhammed 7-9 wives (depending on account of history), but special attention was given his wife Aisha (the mother of believers) because she was a phenomenal woman. She was quite knowledgeable because a lot of Muhammed’s followers and companions learned The Qur’an, Fiqh and Hadith from her.

Forgetting this history, extremist has restricted Women to just teaching and being taught by women themselves. Summarily this means that only woman can teach a woman. Although some Muslim societies allow a female is wearing Hijab to be taught by a man, they are very few.

3. The fear of Victimization
In our word equality of education is paramount but you begin to wonder “why are the Taliban against female education?” Some associations are wary of female education because they have labelled it a recipe and introduction to social chaos. This is. Hence, women face a lot of struggles in acquiring the right to education. Some of these associations go as far as killing and punishing these women and their communities as a whole. The instigate wars and terrorist situations based on this fear, forgetting that eastern education cannot be compared to that of western society.

The eastern education does not disregard or separate religion from life and education hence culture and values are still held to be sacred. Prophet Muhammed’s First wife Khadeeja, a highly educated, successful and sophisticated business mogul and Princess Fatima Al-Fihri, the founder of the University of Al Karaouine in Morocco 859 CE are indicators of the immense possibilities associated with the female gender.

Due to this fear of being victimized, Muslim women have chosen to bury their head in Hijabs and chosen to be ignorant, and those that chose to question the status quo face great struggles. They are forced to chase after western education which sometimes contradicts their faith.

4. Time of Prayer
In a bid to find an alternative, Muslim Women have to opt for western education which they have to adjust to. While attending Wester Universities or other forms of academic establishments, the schedules and timings of classes and exams are arranged without taking cognizance of their peculiarities. The act of prayer is a compulsory activity in the Muslim faith, and so female Muslims have to adjust to this and compromise, so they don’t destroy their faith

5. Dressing
In a society driven by western cultures, educational institutions tend to follow the trend. Knowing fully well how different the Muslim traditions are, the Females struggle with fitting in or following school regulations especially in universities where there are rules for dressing.

Wearing the Hijab (head Covering) is a salient prescription in Islam. It is hinged on the doctrine of Haya (modesty). Hence it is prescribed that the women cover parts of her body like her Neck, ankles and below the elbow and this may pose serious problems in the western environment. However, for women who aim at becoming better and influencing their world, it's a price they have to pay.

Being born Female transcends homemaking and childbearing and Islamic scholars in time past recognized it hence their more progressive societies. However today, this extremist chauvinistic view has clouded and sidelined years of progress in order to regulate women to the background making education difficult. The burden, therefore, is on women and men who see things differently to effect change and encourage female education. Today’s Feminism struggles should also include advocacy for the empowerment of the Muslim Female child to acquire any type of knowledge in any field they are interested in and make the world a better place.

Author’s Bio
William Stewart is a stellar Travel writer, content developer and blogger. With over 5 years of experience in writing and travelling experience, he has quite a broad perspective to several social and political issues. He makes it a goal to broaden his knowledge using this to make the world a better place. He is a passionate and exceptional award-winning writer who spends his leisure time hiking or bungee jumping.

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Muslim Traditions in Female Education

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