From Issue: 520 [Read full issue]
Although homemaking, childbearing and childrearing are a universal career, it remains true that it does not exhaust the energies of a woman throughout her life. Her membership in the extended family, whether on her side or on that of her husband, will provide her with assistants and therefore with more leisure. Her childbearing cares may not last beyond two or three decades at the longest. Her life may be three whole decades longer. Is it right that Muslim women waste this valuable time on family gossip when they could be helping the ummah with their talents and energies? There are women equally who may not be fortunate enough to marry at all, or to have children or even to live in an extended family. How does Islam perceive their life to be?
Every woman, like every man, must carry the burden of serving Allah and benefitting the ummah, according to his or her talents and best disposition. This task is doubly imperative today because of the decay and dormancy of the ummah. Nobody can and should be spared. Our present circumstances demand that every woman be a career woman at least during some portion of her life. This could be during her student days, or during her motherhood period if she lives in a large extended family, or after her motherhood period.
Her first task is to undergo training as an Islamic worker, to awaken her mind and to nourish it with Islamic wisdom, to discipline and exercise herself in Islamic work. She ought to have acquired the skills to awaken and teach other Muslims, and to mobilize them in service to the divine cause. Practically every field of activity is open to and needs her. There are whole professions which she can monopolize.
"Al Tawhid: Its Implications for Thought and Life" - Ismail Raji al Faruqi, pp. 138, 139