In the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
Having the knowledge of the exact meaning and the correct perception of words and/or phrases is indeed considered a fundamental in road to minimizing or eliminating differences of opinions.
The great scholar of Islam- Abul Abbas Ibn Taymiyah said in his famous compendium of Religious verdicts (Al-Fataawa vol. 12 pg. 114) that many of the disputes among people are due to unclear words and ambiguous meanings.
He also argued that the meaning of words could be understood from three sources; from the Shari'ah (Qur'an and Sunnah); from the Lugah (the language; Arabic); from the 'urf (custom of the people).....and if the meaning is not found there, then we have to refer back to the people who first used it.
But before we dissect what feminism is, it will be wise to establish some fundamentals of the Deen.
As Muslims, our loyalty undoubtedly is and must be to Allaah and we must strive our utmost at all times to preserve this sacred trust.
We must refresh our minds with the fact that Allaah has long perfected this religion (al-Islam) and has completed His favors upon us 1400 years ago, (in reference to Q5:3) hence what was not considered legitimate 1400 years ago can never be legitimate during this pathetic and appalling civilization.
We must also be convinced inwardly that Allaah is the Lord of Perfection and not the Lord of confusion, He is the Most-Knowledgeable and Most-Wise. Whatever He has systematically decided and chosen for us out of His Absolute flawless Divine Wisdom has to be perfect and just, whether we understand this or not.
In Qur'an 33:36; Allaah says: "It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error."
Now back to the gist at hand...the word 'feminism' first appeared in France and in the Netherlands in 1878 approximately 143 years ago and it was believed to have been coined 35 years earlier by a french philosopher Charles Fourier.
Later on, it was identified to be "a set of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish and achieve political, economic, cultural, personal and social rights for women"......Beasley, Chris. (1999).
Well, this isn't an article on history but rather a humble endeavor to bring to light what Islam has long settled on 1293 years before the inception of the so called "feminist movement".
Notably, there's not a single letter in the Qur'an that enjoins equality, rather we have verses that enjoin justice.
Q4:135; Q5:8; Q5:42; Q7:29; Q7:181; Q10:47; Q42:15; Q57:25; Q60:8-9....and many more.
In the matter concerning polygamy...Allaah didn't use the word "Equal" when it comes to dealing with multiple wives rather Allaah says: "...but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then marry (only one)....Q4:3..
Qur'an is the only religious book on the face of earth that has this inscription to marry only one wife if we fear injustice in our dealings with multiple wives.
The word equality as opposed to equity means having the same quantity, measure or value as other while equity is the quality of being fair or impartial. Islam calls for the later while feminism calls for the former.
Here the proponents of feminism want women to be treated equally as men not equitably.
Is it then possible for men and women to be treated equally?
Is it possible for men to bear the pains of childbirth?
Is it possible for men to experience monthly menstrual cycle (not the sick and confused trans woman who claim to have gender dysphoria)?
Is it possible for men to carry the burden of pregnancy?
Is it consistent with out intellect for a woman to have four husbands?
Is it possible Islamically for men to wear silk and gold when this has been allowed for women only?
If the answers to the above questions are not in the affirmative, then what equality are the proponents of feminism advocating for?
Allaah says: "And the male is not like the female." Q3:36
We share in the sentiments of those shouting the slogan of women's right but we systematically differ in our methodology.
For them, it is a noble slogan with an evil agenda.
Oh my Muslim sister, Islam has long liberated you from the shackles of mental colonialism and slavery and has raised your status from the position of denigration and lowliness to that of a Queen and a homemaker.
When a Muslim lady champions the course of feminism, it makes us cry and realize how remotely detached we are from our rich legacies.
We are always reading but sadly, where we are reading (movies, magazines, websites promoting feminism and gender equality) the solutions are not there and where we have the solutions (Qur'an and Sunnah and our rich legacy) we are not reading.
Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) in Sharh al-Aqeedah al-Waasatiah vol. 1 pg 181 said: "We should be aware that there are some people who are vocal about equality instead of justice, and this is a mistake. We should not say equality, because equality implies no differentiation between the two. Because of this injustice, they started to ask what is the difference between male and female?"
Islam did not only give women rights but also gave them heights.
A woman is held in high esteem in Islam, as a mother, she has more right than the father.
As a wife, man is obliged to be kind and dutiful to her....though he enjoins a degree of honor above her (a feminist's anathema)...
Q2:228 spells this out..however, no honor comes without a responsibility. Man is different in many ways, in his body, voice, strength, toughness and roughness and he is responsible for his family.
The Prophet of Islam (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "I urge you to treat women well." Bukhari (331); Muslim (1468).
Sadly, the earth cries out in anguish that we no longer have men that live up to this sacred task.
Allaah says to the men: "And live with them (wives) honorably." Q4:19
The failure of men to live honorably with their wives has weaken the fabric of marital bond and this has inadvertently contributed to the growing number of Muslim feminists.
Oh Muslim Feminist! Are you aware that prior to Islam, women were not only denied inheritance but were themselves inherited by the sons of their deceased husbands?
Are you also aware that prior to Islam, the female child that will eventually grow up to be a woman was buried alive because it was considered a shame to have a female child? Q16:58; Q81:8.
Are you also aware that the French held a conference in 586 CE to discuss whether women had souls or not, and if they had souls, were these souls animals or human? In the end, they decided that they were human! But were created to serve men only?
Your rights as a woman have been meticulously catered for in the flawless Shari'ah of Allaah.
You have the right to be educated for the right reasons (today's Muslim woman wants to learn and to earn a career competing with men, making her indifferent to marriage and wittingly or unwittingly making her choose career over marriage and homemaking).
You have the right to be raised morally by your parents or guardians.
You have the right to express yourself.
You have the right to decide who to marry as long as he's qualified to be your husband in the Shariah (you can't marry a non-Muslim).
You have the right to give sincere advice.
You have the right to own a property.
You have the right to give Da'awah.
You have the right to buy and sell.
You have the right to inherit.
You have the right not to be oppressed.
The danger now lies in you championing a noble slogan with an evil agenda because feminism is not our culture (Islamic culture) and if you continue on this slippery slope you will soon challenge Allaah on why He created two different sexes.
There's much more to write but this window won't permit that. I pray Allaah (SWT) guides us to the right path. I pray Allaah changes our twisted passion to that which will earn us His Pleasure. I pray Allaah forgive us our shortcomings. I pray Allaah unite us in Jannatul Firdaus.
I've written what I've written and I seek for Allaah's forgiveness for myself and you.