Promoting an understanding of Islam that recognises the principles of
justice, equality, freedom, and dignity within a democratic nation state

Speech by Hanis Hussein (Daughter of Former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn)
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Bismillahirahman nir raheem. Assalamualaikum. Islam is a beautiful religion. Its principles hold true for both believing men and women. It is a religion of peace, love, justice and fairness. According to a hadith, the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w once said, a Muslim is a person whose tongue and hands do not harm other Muslims. He also said, a believer is one whom others trust with their blood and wealth. Islam places women in a position of great respect and high esteem and instructs men to live with them honourably, with affection and mercy.

In the Qur'an, Surah An-Nisa verse 187 describes Muslim men and women as each other's garment. This means Allah created both men and women to provide mutual support, comfort and protection, fitting each other as a garment fits the body.

In Surah Ali Imran verse 195, Allah s.w.t. said Be you, male or female, you are members, one to another. Some women even fought alongside men during the Islamic struggle including hijrah and jihad and equal rewards await both of them.

When other women complained that they could not join in the holy war because they had to look after their home, children and aged parents, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said, That is also jihad.

In Surah At-Tauba verse 71, Allah s.w.t said: The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another, they enjoin right and forbid what is wrong, they establish worship, pay the poor-due and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy. Lo Allah is Mighty, Wise.

The Prophet s.a.w. also said: The best of you is the one who is best with his family and I am the best of you to his family.

These are my favourite quotes from the Qur'an and Hadith. It is very clear that if we uphold these principles, our lives will be blessed in this world and in the hereafter, Insya Allah.

I conclude, that throughout Islamic history, there were great examples of Muslim women whose lives and accomplishments have been largely overlooked.

Siti Khadijah, Aishah and Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with them) and many others were far from being pitiable, suppressed women with no history of self-determination. The general Western public still sees Muslim women as despised, subservient and second-class property of fathers, husbands, brothers and other male members of their families without a soul of their own!

I beg to differ. A Muslim woman is like a veil and a sword, she is soft, gentle and modest yet also strong, resilient and courageous.

Wabillahi tawfik walhidayah. Wassalamualaikum.

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