in Islam, and its Influence on Women and Children
Copyright 2005 By
Nadine Sultana d’Osman Han
First: What is Spirituality? As
you know we are one of the species on this planet. However, of all the species,
humans are the only ones who have the ability to improve themselves
independently from basic survival instinct.
is the truth of our conscience without shields of justification for aggressive
behavior or violence.
is also the awareness of the miracle of life itself. Do you realize that in a
tiny dot invisible to the naked eye, there are millions of cells enclosed
within it. It is this invisible dot that shall develop into a fully formed baby
in a Mother. This is truly a wonder of life that can be only understood through
the Divine, for our perception of this miracle cannot be otherwise explained.
is not in contradiction with science that can explain only the physical
evidence known to man, but not unexplained miracles.
Second: Spirituality is a journey
on earth toward our reaching of the Divine. Spirituality can exist outside
religions. However, like any journey, travelers may need maps in order to reach
their destination without too many detours. In spirituality, these road maps
are called religions.
can only be one Spirituality, and thus only one Creator. However, like maps, we
may have several religions depending on cultures and their makers. . Maps are
always improved for a shorter route, as new roads are being built. In the same
way religions are expanded and improved with each new Prophet to meet mankind’s
evolution. Thus, each Prophet does not necessarily replace each other but
improves upon each other for the transmission of the Words from the Divine. We
can say that religions are a communicating tool similar to languages and as
have always come at a time when humans lost their ways so totally that they
cannot return to true Spirituality without help.
the case of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lived in a society that had gone astray
creatures on earth prey on the weak. While in the animal kingdom this is a
survival necessity, with humans it is the result of greed and the power urges
to dominate the weakest. In the kingdom
of Arabia, men’s prey
were the women and children who were abused and discarded at will. Thus, the
Divine sent a new Prophet. Muhammad (PBUH), to bring mankind back to
spirituality and the respect of life of which motherhood and children are its
Islam protects the rights of women and children by enforcing a code of tolerant
behavior and just rules toward women, children and the vulnerable in general.
there is a tendency to confuse Islam and cultural traditions. Islam gave back
to women the right to dignity and economic independence. Thus, women were not
to be treated as disposable human beings and they were by Islamic law entitled
to ownership with full control of their material assets.
were protected from illegitimacy and the injustices associated with it both on
an economical and emotional level.
is inordinately indulgent with small children, who can roam freely in the
Mosques while absorbing at the same time the discipline exhibited by their
elders as they pray in an orderly and quiet manner. There are no better
teachers in life than the ones setting an example of themselves.
our modern world, spirituality is more important than ever to redress the
abuses that our materialistic societies demand. Women have become over-burdened
by a work culture that imposes on them the neglect of children.
as practiced today is not perfect, for mankind has flaws, and thus, these are
reflected in their practices and misinterpretation of Islam. This is inevitable
because religions are the word of man based on his limited understanding of the
Divine. Nonetheless, Islam when adhered to in its original conception tries to
bring a balance between the realities of life and its spirituality.
Islam, women are encouraged to set their priorities with the nurturing of
children. Proper motherhood is essential for the development of children that
shall permit them to grow into a stable future generation of human beings.
Islam encourages men to take pride by allowing them to protect the family unit,
showing tolerance and compassion toward the developing element of society. The
basis of Islam is to combat any excesses and abuses in societies. Islam does
promote integrity, indulgence in the inter-relations between human beings that
are reflected in politics of good will and peace, as opposed to uncontrollable
violence and wars under dubious shields of righteousness.
like any other religion is a spiritual map to spirituality to guide mankind
toward its final destination with the least of mishaps on the way. Because
Islam is the result of the latest Prophet, it is assumed to be the more
up-to-date, but by no means the only spiritual map available to humans. Each
one of us must choose our path according to our best understanding for
accomplishing our goals of reunion with the Divine and bringing with us as
baggage as few flaws as possible.
was never meant to be imposed, but to encourage an awareness in humans to the
need of continuous self-improvement so as to attain the inner-peace of
spirituality. Without it the human race might eventually self-destruct.
must be made a part of our daily lives in which both parents and lawmakers do
not enforce rules by disciplinary intolerance, but by irreproachable example of
themselves as they inter-act with others.
then, we will have a society that can be proud of itself and the recipient of
spirituality as a gift from our Creator.