There are examples immortalised in history that we cherish, we love them and aspire to be like them. Then there are examples that have been maligned and seen as a means of deception, one of these characters is a woman by the name of Hawaa . We love her, we know of her, but we don’t know enough, rarely is she spoken of. Unfortunately there are many Muslims who have adopted the Christian interpretation of Hawaa and this historical moment is one of the many reasons which have contributed to the way women have been mistreated throughout time.
Have you been deceived?
Sadly, there are those who support the biblical myth of Hawaa , they believe Hawaa was the cause of the expulsion of Adam , even if they don’t believe it, they hold women to be the cause of man’s demise. We can call them misogynists, who use weak and false narrations to support their views. I don’t say this lightly, however it must be acknowledged as it does exist, as several Scholars have also observed.
Your values make or break you!
The rape case in Delhi was a great example of the poor, if not disgusting treatment of women; it gives an indication of a sad paradox. On one side we witnessed a group of men who perceived this woman as a mere sexual object and on the other side, was a group of men championing the rights of women to roam freely without fearing sexual molestation. Both of these groups have grown up on values which have contributed to their perceptions, they weren’t struck overnight by desire, it was due to the values they have grown up with, especially when it comes to the perception of women which led to their actions.
Iblees (Satan) knew that a woman is the cornerstone of any society; for this reason he knew exactly how to destroy the community, which was from the inside. He achieved his mission of causing Hawaa to be seen in a negative light and in turn all the women who would come after her.
So let’s set the record straight once and for all. Allah stated that Adam was solely responsible for his mistake and Hawaa was responsible for hers.
“And We had already taken a promise from Adam before, but he forgot; and We found not in him determination.” [1. Qur’an: Taha: 20:115]
Then Allah went further and specifically mentioned Adam .
“And Adam and his wife ate of it, and their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred.” [2. Qur’an: Taha: 20:121-122]
However, this being said, they didn’t fall into the blame game, rather they understood the severity of their mistake and moved onto the next step which was repentance. This wasn’t about gender for them, they had a greater goal and this was the worship of Allah .
Therefore we learn, there is nothing in history which holds Hawaa responsible for the mistake of Adam , but sadly misogyny does exist which has lead our societies to mistreat women, even though it was Islam that liberated them. It was Islam that honoured and empowered women in all aspects of life, at home, in society, but a level of oppression does exist. And it is only by going back to the sources we can truly appreciate women and the contribution they made and can make in society.
We were liberated by the Messenger of Allah , as women we were given roles, duties and responsibilities that many women don’t enjoy today, even in the most advanced societies. We were created differently, but equally in the sight of Allah so let us go back to the sunnah of how women were perceived and should be treated.
You were born free
Thus I introduce to you phase number one, knowing that you were created for a great purpose, a purpose of companionship and completion to achieve great things. You were created to protect and be protected, to love and be loved, to care and be cared for. You were created differently, but beautifully. You were not born out of sin, nor do you come from a history of deception. You come from a righteous mother, a mother who had a deep and powerful connection with Allah , so cherish her and Adam because they have taught you and I that nothing is lost. And even after being held by the deepest shackles of lies we can rise once again, together inshaAllah, just like them.
This leads me to a question; do you think this misogamy exists in the Muslim community? If so, why do you think that is?
Alima Ashfaq is the founder of I am Alima and hopes to transform it into the forefront of assisting women come closer to Allah (swt). She is the author of a number of publications, most notably Du’as of the Superstars.