Asma Murabit, a woman born in Rabat in 1959, is one of a great number of activists and woman’s intellectual being the most famous in the world. Although she is a physician and doctor, yet she understands religious texts greatly enough. She has written some books about Islam and womn, “Al-Qur’an wa Al-Nisa, Qiraat Li al-Taharrur” and “Al-Nisa wa Al-Rijal fi al-Qur’an: “Verse of Musawseah” and “Al-Thariq al-Tsalits.” She is also director of Islamic Studies and Women for a long time and she occupies other prestigious positions.
Asma Murabit looks directly at social realities where discrimination takes place for women rights in the world, especially Muslim women until now. She is worried about such realities. Her take is interesting in saying:
إن وضع المرأة في كل البلدان العربية والإسلامية مأساوي ومحزن
“The situation of women in Arab and Islam is saddening and depressing”.
Following that, she says:
“نحن نحتاج إلى المزيد من احترام المرأة في الإسلام وتقديرها. فهذا يعني أنَّه لا بد من إعادة قراءة النصوص من جديد”، ووصفت التفسيرات السائدة حتى الآن بصفتها ذكورية وأبوية.
“We are demanded more giving homage and high appreciation to women. This means that we are required to do reinterpretation of religious texts. Intellectual products (Tafsir) progressing all the time under influence by patriarchy ideology. It is merely a point of view and interest of men.”
Asma’s perspectives are solid. Furthermore, they concern on superiority of men, subordination and inferiority of women whose statements are claimed as God’s decision.
There are many preceding activists before Murabit, such as Nabawiyah Musa (Egypt), Nazhirah Zainuddin (Aleppo, Iraq), Fatima Mernissi (Morocco), Layla Ahmad (Egypt), Amina Wadood Muhsin (United States), Asma Barlas (Pakistan), Taher Haddad (Tunisia), and so forth.
Like the preceding activists, Asma Murabit insists on and criticizes many conventional religious opinions or conservative minds which discriminate women like written in the Holy Books, not only Tafsir but also Fiqh. She demands fiqh interpreters to stop patronizing women liberation. She draws them back to Al-Qur’an and Islam vision. The Holy Qur’an does not put women as secondary after men and vice versa only due to gender and identity.
There are interesting points when Asma’ discusses distinctly about two essential topics and key words being a major problem of unequal relationship between men and women called “Qiyamah” and “Wilayah”. She has said those interpreters still defend their opinion that men must be patriarch as mentioned explicitly by Al-Qur’an, Surah Al-Nisa, 34.
This is opinion whom Asma’ says that it contradicts other Quranic texts about the equality of men and women like Quranic verses under Q.S. Al-Hujurat: 13, Al-Nisa: 1, Al-A’raf: 189 and many more. Subsequently, it contradicts religion’s principles and idea of justice.
Many people in her country oppose Asma’s views now since her books are critical, progressive, transformative; as well as, her books have made controversy among Muslim theologians in her country. They denote Asma’ as liberal. She suffers lots of stigmatization and psychological pressure. Despite such accusation, she receives praise from the majority of the people and obtains appreciation as Women’s Arab social activist in 2013.
Translated from original article in Islami.co written by KH. Husein Muhammad https://islami.co/jalan-panjang-asma-murabit-memperjuangkan-kesetaraan-perempuan/