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Published On:16 June 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Why Muslims Educate their Daughters

By Nisaar Nadiadwala

Two years back I was addressing an audience of Muslims and non-Muslims after an Iftar, when a lady journalist from the Times of India threw a question at me, "Why don’t you Muslims educate your daughters?" I promptly replied" Your question is wrong, it should have been,'why do you Muslims educate your daughters?' The reasons for educating females differ from country to country and culture to culture, some reasons may be same globally but some reasons are terribly different.

Let me put my points: In US alone more than 45 percent of working women are those who are deserted by their boyfriends, husbands or unmarried. A majority of these women have atleast two kids to raise up, so their educational qualifications help them earn a livelyhoood. The radical liberation of the west that leads to enjoy marital lfe without getting married has caused many parents to make their daughters financially secured by giving her formal education.

One of my non-Muslim friends has two daughters and they are brilliant in studies, one day I asked my friend,"What do you want your daughters to do in the college?" He replied "Engineering or MBA" I stretched my question, "Is that the purpose of education?" He said " Look if my daughters are highly qualified, then it saves my money in dowry and if they are divorced in future they can stand on their own feet ". These are the reasons why many Indians educate their daughters.

In some Indian communities (include some Muslims too) an educated girls stand more chance to get a good earning husband because many educated boys have spent Lacs of Rupees to become a doctor or an engineer, many take educational loans and now if they have a wife who is too educated then there are two members who are earning making it easy to repay the loans. A good degree, for many, is a financial assurance in case of broken marriage. In the western countries the working women have to toil in the offices, back at home they have to cook, follow up with the studies of their kids while their husbands relax in coffee houses or on carrom board tables, or swimmng pools.

These are not the reasons why a Muslim gets his daughter educated, because the Qur'an has asked the male to run the house and provide maintainance to women, be she his daughter or wife or old mother or divroced or widow sister. Read the translation of the 34th verse of Suran an Nisa' with the help of Mawrid (Arabic Thesaurus): Ar rijaal qawwamun ala an nisa'... men are qawwam upon women... The word 'qawwam' means to stand up as the Qur'an uses the same word in the same Surah 100 verses later,i.e verse 135, ' yaa ayyul lazina aamanoo, konoo qawwamin bil kisti shuahada a lillahi.... O you who have believed! Stand out firmly for justice as witness.... so Qawwam also means to provide maintainance for women even if she is educated, yet she should not be exposed to the threats of immodesty prevailing in workplaces today

Yet a female has to be educated in a Muslims society but the reasons are different. We require lady doctors, we require lady teachers and nurses to maintain the modesty during medical requirements as well. A educated female will bring up her children in a cultured manner if she has the education in deen as well, an educated Muslim lady can read books on Islam, biographies of the great Muslims and thus this knowledge can be passed on to ther children... A good Muslims lady is very practical in choosing a career. She would not consider those careers which can be danger to her modesty even if she pursues her career wearing a hijab. After all education is to set you free from and not to make you a slave...

[Nisaar Nadiadwala speaks and writes from Islamic viewpoint. He can be reached at nisaar_yusuf@yahoo.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on June 16, 2011. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on June 16, 2011. Filed under , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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