Photo by Shu Yu Lin

Students from the Muslim Student Association participate in a panel focused on modern Islamic women's issues and more.


March 29, 2016

International Women's Day features Islamic women's issues

The Muslim Student Association, Arab Student Union and Student Feminist Coalition at Cleveland State University presented a panel on the topic of differences between cultural and religious practices for International Women’s Day on March 10.

The Muslim Student Association discussed the rights of women in Islam and the true teachings of Islam.

“Some Muslim countries have restrictions placed that are cultural and not religious,” Sarah Mohammad, vice president of the Muslim Student Association at Cleveland State, said. “For example, in Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive. Not because Islam permits those types of restriction, but because of the structure of their society, which is primarily split up amongst the men and women.”

They also discussed the issue of income equality and reproductive rights for women and Islam.

“If a women is completing the same job as a man, then it is her right to be paid just as much as he is here in the United States,” Mohammad said. “But just to clarify, when it comes to marriage, men have obligations to fulfill. This includes fully providing for his wife and children. He is responsible for paying the bills and providing the necessities for the family.”

“If the woman were to work, then it is her money to keep and she can do what she chooses with her money,” she added. “She does not have to give it to her husband (unless she wanted to).”

The panel also talked about the use of contraceptives and abortion in Islam.

“The contraceptive pills should be harmless to the woman as the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said, ‘there should be no harm nor reciprocal harm.’” Mohammad said. “There should be mutual agreement between the wife and her husband to use contraceptives and there should be a necessity for applying such methods such as the weakness of the woman, her fatigue, etc.”

According to The Muslim Student Association, abortion is not a very large issue in the Muslim community considering the fact that everyone is supposed to practice abstinence.

“Abortion in such a case, without a bit of difference among scholars of Islam, is completely Haram (forbidden), except if the pregnancy, according to reliable doctors of medicine, will cause certain harm to the mother and/or if the fetus, according to reliable doctors, died in the mother's womb,” Mohammad explained.

Mohammad said she thought that the government should not have the authority to decide whether a woman wants an abortion.

She said she thinks it is unfortunate that some women face problems that lead them into wanting to keep their baby.

The Women’s Day Panel introduced some of the true practices of Islam to Cleveland State students and allowed them to further their knowledge of women’s rights.


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