Is­lam not averse to girls’ ed­u­ca­tion

The Star Early Edition - - LET­TERS - Shaista Mia

THE ar­gu­ment that Is­lam pro­hibits the ed­u­ca­tion of women is lame be­cause there is not a sin­gle verse in the Qur’an to sup­port this claim.

Prophet Muham­mad, peace be upon him, came at a time when the Arab so­ci­ety, like so many pa­tri­ar­chal so­ci­eties at that time, was rife with ab­hor­rent prac­tices against girls. He preached Is­lam, lib­er­at­ing women and girls in ev­ery walk of life, ed­u­ca­tion be­ing a prime as­pect. In mod­ern times, those who dis­ap­prove of girls’ ed­u­ca­tion are not speak­ing from a sound re­li­gious per­spec­tive, but rather a lim­ited and ex­treme po­lit­i­cal view that does not rep­re­sent all Mus­lims and in no way rep­re­sents the po­si­tion of Is­lam it­self.

The me­dia of­ten shows a poor vil­lage in a Mus­lim coun­try, where girls are not al­lowed to seek ed­u­ca­tion. Then, they con­nect it to Is­lam. Crit­ics need to stop mix­ing cul­ture and re­li­gion.

In Is­lam we were taught that if you ed­u­cate a man you ed­u­cate an in­di­vid­ual and if you ed­u­cate a woman you ed­u­cate an en­tire na­tion. Ba­si­cally, the ex­is­tence of a woman is solely de­pen­dent on ed­u­ca­tion from the cra­dle to the grave. Seek­ing ed­u­ca­tion is a re­spon­si­bil­ity to ev­ery Mus­lim, male or fe­male. Thus, seek­ing knowl­edge is a fun­da­men­tal right for ev­ery Mus­lim woman.

For the Mus­lim woman, ed­u­ca­tion is em­pow­er­ing. It re­moves the shack­les of ig­no­rance. It builds self-es­teem and con­fi­dence. Ed­u­ca­tion is the gift that keeps on giv­ing. Morn­ing­side, Dur­ban

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