Western, Failed, Corrupt Liberal Values Must Not be Imported as If They are Solutions to our Problems
Pakistan’s rulers have imported Western liberal values into our society under the guise of ‘modernization’, specifically targeting the youth. What this has meant for our society and our youth, men and women, is a concerted campaign to introduce the concepts of personal freedom and individualism as a basis for our actions. These ideas are Western in their origin and are alien to us. They are the product of the Western historical experience with religion and are a reaction to the oppression of the Christian Church. Capitalism built its laws on the four freedoms which include personal freedom. This affects their laws regulating the relationship between men and women, as well as their own respective roles. Under Capitalism the relationship between men and women has come to be dominated by its physically intimate aspect. Moreover, the roles of men and women have come to be dominated by individualism. This is as opposed to the honor, respect and co-operation which Islam promotes.
The drive by our rulers to promote Western liberal values is dangerous for any Muslim society which seeks to build the Islamic values and good relations between men and women. Western liberalization ensures the view of men and women towards each other is dominated by the physically intimate one. As well as the promotion of free mixing between men and women as well as explicit degrading images in advertising and dramas, films and magazines. The rulers are creating opportunities for zina in our society through the introduction of free mixing between men and women which exacerbates the attraction felt by men and women towards each other. This is being promoted in schools and colleges, through the coffee shop culture, festivals and music concerts. Personal freedom has eroded the cooperation between men and women in western society, as individualism has replaced co-operation with a “battle of the sexes.” This incorrect view has created great instability and unhappiness in society, effecting men women and children and destroying the traditional family unit of mother, father, children and extended family relations and support.
The correct view of man and woman and their roles in respect to each other within the family and society is essential for the building of a strong and stable society. The related laws cannot come from the West or from existing un-Islamic Eastern traditions in our society. Our rulers, as in all matters, slavishly imitate the west, ignoring the fact that western society has failed to protect the women, the child or the family unit and has failed to build cooperation between men and women. The imposition of these failed concepts into Pakistan has complicated problems already faced by Muslims due to corrupt cultural practices not based on Islam. The traditional problems between parents and children, husbands and wives, wives and in laws have worsened. In addition, now, women and men are being influenced by the concept of personal freedom and individualism that is being passed to them. The results include a rise in divorce, as indicated by the Islamabad Arbitration Council divorce registers which indicate a sharp rise in recent years. There is also a strain on the relationship between parents and children as the media promote individualism and undermine the traditional values of respecting elders and being merciful to the young.
Societies Ravaged by Corrupt Values
Men and women have similarities in their nature in their capacity as human-beings. At the same time Allah (swt) has created within each qualities, that distinguish them from each other. Allah (swt) said,
((أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ))
“Should not He Who has created know And He is the Most Kind and Courteous, All-Aware.” [Surah Al-Mulk 67:14]. So there must be laws governing that which are common to them and laws that govern their differences. The capitalist belief does not recognise this obvious reality as important, and therefore does not legislate accordingly.
The view of the role of the woman in the West has become judged on based on her appearance and economic contribution as opposed to valuing her role as a woman. The woman naturally is a wife and a mother. Both roles are valuable to society and essential for a functioning family. Both roles require mental and physical capabilities and should not be undermined, belittled or scorned. This undermining is devastating, as the Western societies demonstrate clearly, with rising rates of juvenile crime and child mental and health problems. In Pakistan, a woman can still receive respect for her proficiency as a wife and a mother. This is deeply rooted within our society. However, the change is being felt as the value of women is becoming judged almost exclusively with regards to her appearance, level of education, her work and career, undermining the value of her fulfilling her primary role.
The role of the man and woman in society and their relationship can never be solved with personal freedom as its basis, as the whims and desires of men or women do not lead to truth, agreement and cooperation, but discord, oppression and injustice. The influx of these corrupt Western values are only adding to problems that already exist in our society which are caused by corrupt local traditions that have no resemblance to Islam. Problems arise in any society when the whims and desires of men and women in the parliamentary assemblies are the source of law, values and traditions, this must be replaced with Allah (swt) sovereignty.Allah (swt) said,
((وَأَنِ احْكُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَنْ يَفْتِنُوكَ عَنْ بَعْضِ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ))
“And judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their desires, and beware (O Muhammad) that they might seduce you from some of what Allah has sent down to you.” [Surah Al-Maaida 5:49].
Nurturing the Role of Men and Women by Islam
The relationship between man and woman is based on their view of each other as humans, not one where the physically intimate aspect of the relationship is dominant. Islam views the woman as an honour, as stated in Hizb ut Tahrir’s Introduction to the Constitution, in Article 112, “The primary role of women is that she is a mother and responsible over the household and she is an honour that must be protected.” Moreover, in Article 119, the Hizb has adopted, “It is prohibited for any man or woman to undertake any work which could undermine the morals, or causes corruption in the society.”
In Islam, man and woman’s physical attraction and their need for each other, is addressed through marriage. Marriage removes the need for people to commit zina and is encouraged at a young age. Zina leads to corruption in society, as well as the oppression of men, women and any offspring, as it does not carry legal obligations and many children do not know their paternity. In its Introduction to the Constitution, the Hizb has stated in Article 120 that, “Marital life is one of tranquillity; and the couple should live together as companions. The guardianship (qawwamah) of the husband over the wife is a guardianship of care and not ruling. It has been made obligatory for her to obey him (in his rights over her), and obligatory upon him to financially support her according to the expected standard of living of one like her.” The wife and husband in Islam enter into a legal contract where their obligations and rights on each other are defined not by their whims and desires, but by Islam. The husband and wife build their compassion and respect for each other through injunctions, such as the mandoub of making oneself look attractive for their spouse.
The role of the man and the woman is defined by Allah (swt) related to the fitra of the man and the woman, in accordance to the Ahkam ash-Shariah to build a cooperative family with love and compassion. It is stated in Article 121 of the Introduction to the Constitution, “The married couple must fully assist each other in the housework, and the husband must carry out all the work which is usually undertaken outside the house, while the wife carries out all the work which is usually undertaken inside the house, according to her capability. He must provide her with a servant as required to assist with the tasks that she is unable to carry out alone.” The roles are defined by Islam. However, this is supported by the mandoub of helping each other. So a man is rewarded for helping his wife in the house and with the children, if she is unwell or if is she is busy with another task. Similarly, a woman is also rewarded is she helps her husband with the shopping if he is unwell or busy in another task. However, the cooperation and respect is built when each person fulfils their responsibility and shows appreciation for any additional help given by their spouse.
The Islamic Khilafah State Does Not Restrict the Woman to the Home and the Work of Wife and Mother
The woman is a fully participating member of society, she has full access to be educated and to work and carry out political activity. In its Introduction to the Constitution, Hizb ut-Tahrir has adopted in Article 114, “The woman has been given the same rights as man, and whatever was obliged upon man is also obliged upon the woman, except that which was specified for her or him by the Shari’ah evidences. Accordingly, she has the right to partake in trade, agriculture and industry, and to undertake contracts and transactions, to possess all forms of property, to invest her wealth whether personally or through proxy, and to personally carry out all worldly affairs.” And in Article 115 in its Introduction to the Constitution, the Hizb has stated, “It is permitted for a woman to be appointed in civil service and positions in the judiciary apart from the Court of Injustices. She can elect members of the Ummah’s Council, and be a member herself, and she can participate in the election of the Head of State and in giving him the pledge of allegiance.” Islam’s history is full of examples of women who were active in taking care of the Ummah’s affairs, and their restrictions came only when the Khilafah was destroyed and replaced by secular Nation States ruled by oppressive rulers, whether in democracies, dictatorships or monarchies.