Govt, NSCIA must champion education on Muslim women right


By Mumini AbdulKareem

Government and particularly the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) have been urged to champion massive education of the general public on the right of women in Islam.
This is coming just as the setting up of a special body has equally been advocated to promote and defend the right of women especially for those that cannot afford the cost of litigation in the Shar’iah courts across the country.
A professor of Islamic law, University of Ilorin, Abdulrafi Oyewumi Omotosho, made the observation while delivering the 191th inaugural lecture of the university held on Thursday at the school auditorium.
Omotosho who spoke on the topic, “she has a lion share under Islamic law” explained that Islam is the only religion in the world that elevated the womenfolk by recognising their right and freedom to live and aspire as their male counterparts to the zenith of their captivity in any field of human endeavours unlike the servitude and slavery they were subjected to in the past.
While quoting copiously from the Glorious Qur’an and traditions of the Prophet (SAW), Omotosho further clarified that “She” in the lecture refereed to mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and female slaves which are the five different statuses in which Islamic law regulated the affairs of women.
According to him, Islamic laws through the Qur’an outlaws forcible marriage, kidnapping, sale of women, automatic inheritance of married women (widows) as part of efforts to free women from the oppressive conditions imposed upon them by those who are supposed to be their partners in life.
He said bridal gift (dowry) is meant for the women or wife and not to be collected by their parents as some parents sometimes do.
“Under the Islamic law, women can inherit in five different statuses as a mother, daughter, sister, and wife. Even a slave freed by her master may inherit him if the situation arises.
“The government, NSCIA, and indeed the rest of the Muslim community should embark on massive education of the general public (Muslims and none-Muslims) on the rights of women in Islam. I am mindful of the sensitivity of including non-Muslims in the knowledge of Islamic law. At the same time, I am one of those who believe that until Muslims, Christians and other faiths in the country learn about one another traditions and cultures, we may never be able to respect ourselves and speculation and suspicion will continue.
“Muslim women and organisation should take proactive action to ensure they are familiar with their rights to be able to demand for it. Women should be courageous and fearless in demanding for their rights like early generation of Muslim women have done and men should educate themselves about the rights of women around them and be courageous enough to respect the right of women”, he added.

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