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Speaker: Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi
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With regards to the western society and culture, self-respect and self-worth is a combination of factors; your degree, your education, your status, material status, your ability to be promoted in a job, your ability to get the job in the first place. If I can't get this particular job, that means that you're not respecting me to the proper level. If you prohibit me from doing this particular thing that you have allowed to this gender, then I'm not worthy of respect. It's being disrespectful. For us no, not at all. Not at all.
Respect is based upon taqwa (piety). Not upon gender roles. Honor in the sight of Allah is based upon taqwa (piety), not upon what a man has to do and what a woman has to do. And this goes back for example to the concept of equality between men and women. For the western world, equality means equality in the minutia of daily life. In terms of work, in terms of job, in terms of this and that. For us equality is religious and spiritual. There can be no equality in the fiqh or in the roles of men and women because men and women are not the same. As Allah says in the quran, "The male is not like the female." So you cannot compare apples and oranges. You cannot compare two species if you like (we're the same species), but two genders who have different roles.
We are different biologically, we are different intellectually,
we are different physiologically, we are different emotionally. Don't compare. It's a mistake in the first place to compare. You cannot compare, no. We have certain roles and women have their roles.
Neither of these two roles is inherently better or worse than the other. No. Allah SWT gave men a role that they are more capable of doing and He gave women a role they are more capable of doing. Neither of these two roles is looked down upon in islam.
Whereas, western civilization looks down upon many of the things which are inherently women's such as, child-bearing. Such as taking care of children. They call it a derogatory term "housewife". When you say the word housewife, honestly, and I say this with all honesty, most men and women, they feel a bit insulted. "Housewife." "I'm not a housewife."
Where did this insulting feeling come from? It has been ingrained in us because we have grown up in this society and culture.
In reality subhanAllah, my dear sisters, I talk to you directly, can there be any job that is more noble in the sight of Allah than taking
care of living beings. Can you compare an engineer? Can you compare a physicist with a mother? Can you seriously? If you invent an equation or solve a problem, can you compare this with taking care of a beautiful and innocent child that Allah SWT has blessed you with? Being in charge of it. Why do we look down at these roles? Allah SWT has assigned men their roles and women their roles. You want to be successful? Earn it by pleasing Allah SWT entering jannah (paradise).
My dear sisters, this is equality! If I do a good deed and you do a good deed, Allah will reward both of those good deeds independent of other factors], same! Just because I am a man, I am not going to get more reward than you. This is real equality.
Allah SWT will judge you based upon your conditions and your worship, not based upon your gender. And this is equality islam openly promotes. Spiritually, men and women are equal. Allah SWT says in the quran that, "the one who has the most piety is the one who is the most noble." Irrelevant of whether he is male or female.
With regards to nobility and being worthwhile and fulfilling my role as a human being, the judgement is based upon taqwa (piety).
Not upon gender, not upon class, not upon anything.