The Day the Muslim Woman Lost Her Shield
Dear Sisters, what does the 3rd of March 1924 mean to you? Is it just an ordinary date buried in the books of history? To me, it is the date that brings tears to my eyes and burns the heart – for this is the day 90 years ago that the Muslim woman lost her shield, her guardian, her protector – the Khilafah.
She lost her Islamic leadership that fought wars to guard her dignity, mobilising armies without hesitation to liberate her from oppressors. She lost rulers who shouldered her economic burdens, ensuring that she and her family were always provided for – leaders of taqwa who were servants to her needs, shedding tears out of concern for her welfare and over their great responsibilities towards her. They would carry food to her with their own hands when she was hungry and would refuse food for themselves until she was fed.
She lost her Islamic system under which she enjoyed the status of being the centre of attention with respect to care and protection, where her dignity was viewed as more precious than all the treasures of the world and men feared to utter a single word against her honour. It was a system that created prosperity in her land; a system under which she could elect her ruler and account him openly without fear of repercussion; a system which generated thousands of female scholars and pioneered the world in women’s education; a system under which the slave-girl became the mother of sultans; and a system where the Khalifah, judiciary and Qadi stood as guardians of her rights, protecting her from exploitation or abuse, and exerting all efforts to ensure that justice was hers as obliged by her Deen.
She lost her Islamic state which raised her status as a wife and mother, making the woman the cherished cornerstone of the family, bestowing upon her great worth, lifting from her the heavy burden of providing for herself, and commanding unconditional respect towards her as the nurturer and educator of the future generations. She lost a society in which her children were surrounded by the pure Islamic values and laws, and educated in Islamic homes and schools, creating youth of distinguished Islamic personalities who exemplified noble behavior and akhlaq (ethics). They were the devoted servants of Allah (swt), heroes of Islam, upright citizens of their state shouldering the burdens of their community and Ummah, carriers of the dawah and fierce adversaries to corruption and oppression, embodying the characteristics of leaders of humanity.
It was a state in which her status, rights, and good treatment became the envy of the women of the world.
And what did she gain over the last 9 decades in exchange for all this from the loss of her shield? Her life became one marred by death and destruction, poverty, indignity, destitution, and desperation. She came to be ruled by oppressive dictatorships which stole her wealth, ruled through terror, and imprisoned and killed her people for speaking the truth. She was forced to beg on streets, sell her body, or abandon her children to seek work in foreign states to feed herself and her family. She rummaged through bins for scraps of food and watched her children die from starvation. She became a tool to generate wealth for corporations and governments, the victim of traffickers, and the target of capitalists and criminals who exploited her dignity for profit. And her society became one plagued with insecurity, lawlessness, and violence, ruled by systems that cared nothing for her welfare, deprived her of her rights, and denied her justice.
Her land became occupied by foreign governments who destroyed her properties and slaughtered her family with impunity. She witnessed her children being butchered in front of her eyes by those harbouring hatred towards Islam. They violated her dignity and chased her from her home, while no army came to her rescue and no state provided her with a good life in a safe sanctuary. She became vilified and attacked for her Islamic dress and persecuted, imprisoned and tortured for speaking the Haq against her ruler under leaderships that criminalized the call to Islam.
And her role as a wife and mother became disregarded, devalued and undermined. Her children became exposed to the lewdness, immorality, and corruption of poisonous Western capitalist and liberal values imported freely, implemented and promoted by secular governments. Consequently, they became affected by the same scourge of individualism and materialism that afflicts Western societies and breeds disobedience and disrespect towards parents and elders. They became drawn to the Western identity and dress, embracing the destructive self-gratifying culture and lifestyle promoted by liberal personal and sexual freedoms, enticing many to a life of alcohol, drugs and harmful elicit relationships. The sanctity of the Islamic family unit became violated with the rise of adultery and divorce, leading to heartbreak for men, women and children alike.
Dear sisters, this is the painful, devastating aftermath of the events of the 3rd of March 1924, that fateful day when we lost our shield, our guardian, our protector. It should not be an insignificant date in history but one that is firmly etched in our minds. It is a date surrounded by sadness, and regret – one that should serve as a great reminder of just how much we lost as Muslim women when the System of Allah (swt), the Khilafah was removed from our lands.
Nine long dark years of unbearable suffering, indignity, and misery for the daughters of this Ummah is surely enough! It breaks the heart to reflect on the mercy, privileges, and countless blessings that Allah (swt) bestowed upon the Muslim woman under the shade of His System that have been resigned to the pages of history books or lie dormant in Islamic texts rather than gracing our lives. But now there is great hope that our shield is again rising from the ashes of its destruction to enlighten this world with its justice and sublime values as it once did. We witness the cool breeze of change as the Raya flag is raised from land to land across the globe and men and women alike take up its call.
Dear beloved sisters, we call you to be part of this great, momentous change of re-establishing this glorious Khilafah that will resume the magnificence of our Deen within our Muslim lands and with it return dignity, justice and protection to the daughters of Islam. We call you to be part of this work to give life to a state which taught the world the high status that a woman deserves and the great respect by which she should be treated. We call you to join your sisters of Hizb ut Tahrir in exerting all your efforts to fulfil this most vital of Islamic obligations of establishing the System of Allah upon this earth which will secure for you, Insha Allah, a high station and unimaginable rewards in the Hereafter.
Let these long, dark, painful decades that the daughters of this Ummah have endured in the absence of their shield be one that is confined to the books of history and the dawn of a new life take root that is full of honour and tranquillity under the shade of the noble Khilafah.
﴿فَإِمَّا يَأۡتِيَنَّڪُم مِّنِّى هُدً۬ى فَمَنِ ٱتَّبَعَ هُدَاىَ فَلَا يَضِلُّ وَلَا يَشۡقَىٰ وَمَنۡ أَعۡرَضَ عَن ذِڪۡرِى فَإِنَّ لَهُۥ مَعِيشَةً۬ ضَنكً۬ا وَنَحۡشُرُهُۥ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ أَعۡمَىٰ﴾
“Whoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray, nor fall into distress and misery. But whoever turns away from My Reminder (That is, neither believes in the Qur’an nor acts on its orders) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.” [TMQ Ta-Ha: 123-124]
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir