Out­rage at blog ‘sup­press­ing’ women


MUS­LIM women have taken um­brage to a blog posted on the Jamiatul Ulama (Coun­cil of Mus­lim The­olo­gians) KZN web­site, ques­tion­ing the need for them to at­tend uni­ver­sity, which was de­scribed as a breed­ing ground for sin.

The anony­mously writ­ten blog, en­ti­tled “Should Mus­lim Fe­males at­tend Uni­ver­sity?”, and shared on its Face­book page, went on to ar­gue that be­ing a home­maker was a pro­gres­sive ca­reer.

The blog, writ­ten by Anony­mous Sis­ter, a “uni­ver­sity grad­u­ate who per­son­ally ex­pe­ri­enced cam­pus life”, went vi­ral last week, evok­ing the wrath of women.

The writer de­scribes the en­vi­ron­ment at uni­ver­si­ties to be ex­tremely “im­moral” and that women should place more focus on “homemak­ing”.

“Cam­puses are breed­ing grounds of sin where free mix­ing be­tween the gen­ders, im­moral re­la­tion­ships, im­proper be­hav­iour, foul lan­guage and im­mod­est dress­ing can­not be avoided. And peer pres­sure strongly en­cour­ages to­wards these wrongs.

“It is naive to as­sume that a Mus­lim fe­male who is daily ex­posed to such an im­moral cam­pus en­vi­ron­ment will not be en­ticed to­wards sin. It is like plac­ing but­ter next to a fire and hop­ing that it will not melt .... ”

The writer went on to say that homemak­ing was the way of the Sa­habiyaat (women as­so­ci­ated with Prophet Muham­mad) and pi­ous women through­out the his­tory of Is­lam, and that work­ing-class women who rub shoul­ders with men in their work­places gen­er­ate ten­sion in their homes.

“The amount of Mus­lim mar­riages that run into prob­lems be­cause of ex­tra-mar­i­tal af­fairs in the work­place can­not be ig­nored. In ad­di­tion, a home where the mother is ab­sent from 9-5 is clearly harm­ful to her fam­ily, es­pe­cially her chil­dren.”

How­ever, many Mus­lim women have taken um­brage to the blog.

Char­tered ac­coun­tant Safiyyah Su­jee com­mented on Face­book, say­ing Mus­lim men should be first taught to stop drink­ing, do­ing ca­sual drugs and sex at cam­pus.

“Tell them to stop abus­ing their wives at home, to get proper jobs and then come and tell me why we must be de­prived of knowl­edge and be­come de­pen­dent on a gen­er­a­tion of morally di­lap­i­dated in­di­vid­u­als.”

In another post, she said: “The prob­lem with some of the Mus­lim com­mu­nity is that they re­vert to what their grand­par­ents and par­ents taught to them, it sits in stone. There’s never the ef­fort to go out and val­i­date knowl­edge, re­search and think beyond our noses…”

Ac­tivist, at­tor­ney and em­pow­er­ment speaker Shab­num Palesa Mo­hamed said: “I am not sur­prised that the KZN Jamiat and its anony­mous con­trib­u­tors even in 2018 are yet again try­ing to sup­press women’s rights to be ed­u­cated and eco­nom­i­cally em­pow­ered. Af­ter all, it is pa­tri­ar­chal supremacy that gov­erns many self-ap­pointed in­sti­tu­tions, across faiths and cul­tures.

“A woman’s right to equal­ity, to be ed­u­cated and to be eco­nom­i­cally em­pow­ered are un­equiv­o­cally en­shrined in the Qur’an.”

Med­i­cal doc­tor Raeesa Aboobaker added: “Be it Is­lamic or sec­u­lar study, its value in the devel­op­ment of a per­son, the fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties around them can only be ben­e­fi­cial. As an adult, you are solely re­spon­si­ble for your ac­tions.”

She said she mar­ried her hus­band in her ma­tric year to ab­stain from zina (un­law­ful sex­ual re­la­tions).

“I at­tended uni­ver­sity in full hi­jab, prac­tised home­opa­thy medicine at ru­ral clin­ics and per­formed hospi­tal vis­its in full Is­lamic dress.

“My Is­lamic knowl­edge guided me in the way a young Mus­lim fe­male should be­have. Not all women are choos­ing a ca­reer path, bank­ing on get­ting divorced, los­ing their hus­band, or plan­ning for any fu­ture tragedy.

“Some have cho­sen to study out of the de­sire to seek knowl­edge from the cra­dle to the grave, with good in­ten­tions, and nobly as­sist their hus­bands in pro­vid­ing for their fam­i­lies in a Third World coun­try where our chil­dren and fam­i­lies may re­quire ex­tra med­i­cal care, se­cu­rity and sta­ble school­ing en­vi­ron­ments.”

Life coach and au­thor Naadira Ch­hipa said the uni­ver­si­ties and the ac­tiv­i­ties the writer men­tioned was not the rea­son or cat­a­lyst to the so­cial evils that de­stroy the mod­esty, mar­riage and morals of a young Mus­lim fe­male.

“It is ar­ti­cles such as these that spread dark­ness. Ig­no­rance sinks us into the depths of de­spair. How­ever, knowl­edge il­lu­mi­nates our lives, the world and the gen­er­a­tions to fol­low. Women in Is­lam have been, are, and al­ways will be, seek­ing knowl­edge from the cra­dle, to school, madrasa, uni­ver­sity, through life ex­pe­ri­ences and to the grave.

“The writer has clearly lost the plot and needs to in­tro­spect.”

The chair­man of the South African Mus­lim Net­work, Dr Faisal Suli­man, said the writer did not rep­re­sent the con­sen­sus view of the ma­jor­ity of Mus­lim schol­ars.

The Jamiatul Ulama did not com­ment at the time of pub­li­ca­tion.


A screen- shot of the blog en­ti­tled ‘Should Mus­lim Fe­males at­tend Uni­ver­sity?’ on the Jamiatul Ulama KZN web­site, which has sparked de­bate.

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