There are many extremes in this. For example, some people believe that women should not be educated at all; that they should be kept completely ignorant so that they don’t know anything beyond the basics of their faith. This is completely rejected by our deen. Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi, for example, compiled the famous work Bahishti Zewar and aimed it particularly toward women. The comprehensiveness of the book suggests it is a work that ought to live on the bookshelf of every home and used as a guidance for every aspect of a woman’s (and indeed her family’s) life. Indeed, such is the usefulness of the book that it is not uncommon to find muftis using Bahishti Zewar as a reference point nowadays.
Today people think that women are liberated in the West and that the Women’s liberation movement began in the 20th century. Actually, the women’s liberation movement was not begun by women, but was revealed by God to a man in the seventh century by the name of Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, the last Prophet of God. The Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet are the sources from which every Muslim woman derives her rights and duties.
For some individuals, the number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ are a stamp of approval of their own existential value and self-esteem. After all, an online profile implicitly demands recognition. But, unlike in conventional advertising where we have independent regulators with teeth (like the Advertising Standards Agency and Ofcom in the UK), there isn’t anything like it for social media. Cue the scourge of ‘fake news.’ The click bait culture, that fuels online populism is a well orchestrated money-making scheme.
“Preserving peace” to the khadim is about finding ways to reconcile between people and a discourse of justice, diplomacy and healing for those wronged or downtrodden. “Improving conditions” is to be a source of ease for others and helping them to meet their needs or overcoming predicaments and struggles – whatever they may be. “Holding people to account” is to offer well-reasoned and unassuming honest words. Truth, though necessary at times, can often be a bitter pill to swallow. But the khadim has a graceful manner (adab) and insight (hikmah) into the right time and place for things that makes truth a little easier to absorb.