Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Kerala added a feather to its cap on January 24 when its women’s wing organised its first ever one-day conference on “Women Empowerment for social Revolution” on the bank of the 209kms-long River Nila, at Kuttippuram in Malappuram district of Kerala.
More than one lakh burqa-clad women from different parts of the State gathered at the venue and witnessed the auspicious day in Jamaat’s history.
The conference tried to give an opportunity for the plural society to get acquainted with Islam, to awake the conscience of society and make it aware of the status and right of women in Islam, to give right direction in issues like women’s liberation and empowerment, to resist the capitalistic agenda of destroying family system, to redirect the women power towards welfare of the people, etc.
London-based renowned journalist and peace activist Yvonne Ridley in her speech through video conference regretted that she was not given visa to attend the JIH Conference, and took it as a conspiracy. She even cited that her struggle for Palestine might be the reason behind not issuing her visa. According to her, the whole Gaza is an open jail for the poor native. Even after one year of the Zionist attack not even a single brick or sack of cement is imported in Gaza. She felt ashamed the way Egypt is treating its fellow Muslims. She showed some clippings of Egyptian troops beating up the peace activists on their way to Gaza.
She reminded that it is the historic resistance of Palestinians that has stopped Zionists from occupying Masjid al-Aqsa. She recollected the stories of Khadija and Nusaiba (peace be to them). While one was an international business woman the other took part in a war with Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless and greet him). She called on the gathering to follow the footprints of these great women. She reminded everyone of their collective responsibility to portray Islam in the right light and convince the world that they have nothing to fear from Islam. She said everyone can join the fight by raising funds, writing, protesting on the streets, etc.
All India Organiser of JIH Women’s Wing Atiya Siddiqui turned the pages of history to remind that there was no social security and status of women before the advent of Islam. Earlier, the right to grow, educate, inheritance, modesty and women’s marital rights were violated deliberately. But Islam gave women equal right and status as men. She recalled that Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless and greet him) during his lifetime used to seek opinions from women and sometimes accepted them. History is evident that women earlier worked with Muslim army. She gave examples of Aisha and Safia (peace be to them) how they strived for the betterment of society in their respective lives. She said woman can prevail if given the opportunity. She said during Prophet Muhammad’s time women were not confined to their homes.
Ameer JIH Kerala Zone T. Arifali said, “We have started a movement for women empowerment and will continue it till they get the equal right and status in the plural society.
“Family is the smallest unit in society. It develops through individuals. Family will not prosper if individuals are not good. Family plays a pivotal role in moulding individuals. The centre point is the Mother. Mother is the first teacher of a child and hence only a good mother can raise a good child.
“There are many great women who shone like diamonds in history. Then how is it possible that their descendents have become weak. Hawa was created from the same element as Adam. No difference was defined in their status and honour. But where are we now? We have lost not only our right to live but also our right to be born.”
A message was conveyed through the conference that we are independent today. But what we have achieved now is only technical skills to kill a girl in the darkness of her mother’s womb, instead of burying her alive. Why are we silent? We should not be afraid when we have the declaration of Quran: “the believing men and women are to enjoin good each other….”
Allah has sent men and women to the earth with no supremacy over anyone.
The revolutionary change of any social setup is possible only through the co-ordination of men and women.
The conference said the women will fight for the real social revolution with knowledge as their weapon. They will work to achieve the skills to develop worldly and spiritually both.
A speaker said: As citizens, we must analyse what we can do to change this political scenario. We should not remain as vote banks but must be aware of our rights and duties. We do not propagate feminism that considers men their rival, but we must go forward by holding the family together.
The conference resolved to eradicate the customs and superstitions imposed by priesthood, and chaos and shamelessness created by modernity.
The conference said women’s reservation is a strong step in this direction. In panchayatraj institutions reservation has been increased from 33% to 50%. The bill to provide reservation for women in parliament and legislative assembly is pending before the parliament.
Though women account for half of the total population yet they are neglected in India.
The conference strongly demanded from the Government to implement Recommendations of Ranganath Commission that had studied the problems of minorities, Sachar Committee that studied social and educational issues of Muslims and Paloli Commission.
It also laid stress on resolution of civil cases of Muslims under the Muslim Personal Law. Various practices that are against the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless and greet him) have been given permission under the personal law. This is more evident in issues like marriage, divorce, etc. This should come to an end.
The conference called for the restructuring of personal law board in the light of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah.
Muslim scholars should come forward to solve various complexities involved and place them before the government.
The conference also resolved to fight against the ill practice of dowry. The practice of dowry degrades women into a business commodity. Pompous and lavish wedding ceremonies are nightmare for our sisters. A number of unwedded girls pass their wedding age, while the number of divorced and separated women is on the rise. These reveal the degradation of the society as a whole.
It also resolved to reclaim ethical and moral values. Ethics is the basis of human culture. It is this ethics that separates humans from animals. Today lewdness and shamelessness are on a rise. Even homosexuality is being given ideological backing. Alcoholism which is the main cause of the destruction of families is being encouraged by the government. The only way out of this is turning back to religious values and teachings.
The conference aspired that it would be a milestone in the resurgence of women in Kerala.
Even after more than six decades of independence human rights have not been defined. Women security can be assumed only if there is equality at all levels. Girls should not only get educated but also attain the ability to behave in a wise manner. In spite of the existence of several women’s movements, women are still being ill-treated at a large scale. Women in Kerala have the great history of playing a leading role in paving the way for revolutionary changes in society. Women’s empowerment is essential for the proper functioning of society and democracy.
Among other dignities who attended the conference are State Secretary JIH Women Wing R.C. Sabira, State President JIH Women Wing K.K. Fatima Zuhra, State Vice President JIH Women Wing P.V. Rahmabi, Health Minister Kerala P.K. Shrimathi, Girls Islamic Organisation Kerala President, Raheena K.K, State Committee Member JIH Women Wing K.K. Safiya Sharafiya, etc.