“True empowerment begins with empowering one’s self.” Powerful article on lessons of female empowerment from the Quran derived from our Islam and Public Health toolkit from former GO Asia Programme Manager, Aleena Khan.
Putting Faith in Empowerment
One of the most commonly used proverbs, which can also be derived from the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is “charity begins at home”. Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “The best alms is that which you give when you are rich, and you should support your dependants first.” (Sahih Bukhari)
While many non-profit organisations rightly focus on development projects abroad, it is also vitally important to work within our local communities here in the UK. There are so many issues, particularly around women’s issues and mental health, which are left ignored even within developed countries. In light of this, Global One hosted the Empowering Women series, a series of events in London focusing on women empowerment and therapeutic healing from the Quran and Sunnah. At these events, women learned about the importance of looking after their own health needs, both physical and mental so that they are empowered to play an active and positive role in their family and community.
The underlying principle is that faith is an important part of the lives of many, and can be used as a positive force to bring about behavioural and societal change. The “faith-based” or “faith-inspired” approach is becoming increasingly popular among Muslim NGOs in their programs. Yet we often shy away from using it for women’s empowerment because of the narrative that has been portrayed about Islam and the treatment of women.
While working with Global One on an Islam and Public Health toolkit that focuses on self empowerment for the benefit of women’s and children’s health, I realised that we don’t need to look any further than the Quran to find inspiration for female empowerment.
Read the rest of the article here