Few days ago, we witnessed an outrage on social media regarding an intelligent and industrious Muslimah in niqab, Aminah Adegoke, who only did not show the world that the Islamic veil is of great importance but also depicted the true character of the Muslim women of the past.
Interviewed by BBC Yoruba, in an already viral video, she said “I want to let the world know that Muslim women in niqab are intelligent and skillful.”
Unknown to her, this attracted many reactions from critics on social media. For some, undue emotional outburst, and for others, ignorance or an act of unavoidable criticism as always.
For the ambitious Muslimah, the best way to navigate similar situation in the future is to be guided by balanced Islamic scholars about your endeavors and continue to be respectful to your husband as before.
Islam does not in anyway kick against females engaging in trades, owning businesses and properties or directing financial transactions. In reality, it balances between staying at home and being actively involved when societal needs require the participation of women.
Critics have cited several reasons regarding the subject of a Muslimah’s participation in trade outside her home. “How can she be a shoemaker? Her hands are exposed, she was twisting her body” among others, were the points raised. Another one said, while advising the brothers “Hustle ooo, so your wife won’t be a shoemaker.”
Oh sisters, even if you lie flat in this world of ours for people to walk on you, critics will complain about you not being flat enough. So instead of seeing positivism and rewriting of bad stereotypes against the hijab, niqab and Islam, critics will rather see her dancing reggae music. This is how bad our interactions have degenerated.
Looking back to the Quranic generation, history has it that our beloved Prophet (SAW) had numerous examples of Muslim women who were leaders, jurists and teachers of all, men inclusive.
Shifa bint Abdullah was one of Prophet Muhammad’s Sahabiyyah (female companion). She was adequately skilled and taught other companions. She was commissioned by the Prophet (SAW) himself to teach his wife, Hafsah bint ‘Umar, how to read and write. Likewise, she undertook a vocational training with Hafsah on skin treatment and illness which, on the basis of it’s description, appeared to be eczema.
Shifa was well-groomed in medicine. During the reign of Umar bn Khattab, Radiyallahu ‘anhu, he entrusted her with a leadership role in monitoring and supervising commercial transactions in the entire marketplace of Madinah, the first capital of the Islamic empire, that had thousands of people including men.
She was responsible for ensuring that business transactions were carried out according to the shariah. Her responsibilities included, market patrol, and making sure that proper business conducts were in place. No tricks, no cheating and total conformation to Islamic dictates was her working focus.
Umar recognised Shifa’s knowledge and understanding of Islam and advised traders to consult her on matters pertaining to the legality of transactions.
The appointment of Shifa was successful that the Khalifah appointed another woman, Samra bint Nuhayk, as the market controller in Makkah.
Had the markets and shops been men’s alone, they would have found it difficult to discharge such responsibilities. No one interpreted what she wanted to say on her behalf. Not her husband or relatives.
Aisha Abu-Bakr (Radiyallahu ‘anha) the Prophet’s wife, was another famous female scholar in Islamic history. She narrated several ahaadith and was recognised as the great scholar in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) during the early rise of Islam. Her gathering always attracted large crowds consisting of both men and women. Was she not the wife of the Prophet and mother of the Umahaatul Muhmineen?
What about Amrah bint AbdurRahman, another female jurist and also a student of Aisha (May Allah be pleased with them).
The Shari’ah is clear about the permissibility of women taking off their niqab or gloves particularly when it’s a matter of difference of opinion. So, this should not be a basis for castigation.
In conclusion, Muslims should stop the habit of playing holier than the prophet and the companions. It’s important to learn that on social media are Muslims with varying levels of understanding and exposure. Running your option on people’s personality should be carefully watched. Selling a perception of negativity goes back to hunt Islam and the Muslims more.