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13.05.2008 Religion

Muslim Women Urged To Take Up Leadership Roles

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Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister for Women and Children's Affairs, yesterday challenged Muslim women to take up leadership roles in the nation because Allah had encouraged the participation of both men and women in governance.

She said: 'Political involvement of both men and women is a means to fulfil one's obligation in his or her society…. The evolution of Islamic history is full of precedents on each of these roles played by women in the past and present.'

Hajia Mahama was speaking at a half-day seminar organized for Muslim women by the Ministry in collaboration with the Federation of Muslim Women's Association.

She stressed that Allah recommended both men and women to prepare themselves to assume social and political responsibilities.

'It should be noted that Islamic laws do not make it mandatory for women
to remain confined to household duties,' the Minister said, and cited Sayyidah Khadijah, the first wife of the Prophet Mohammed, as an example of a Muslim woman who was engaged in business.

Giving another example, Hajia Mahama also mentioned Shifa Bint Abdallah,
a female companion of the Prophet Mohammed, who was appointed as a controller
of the markets in the government at Madina.

Hajia Mahama urged the women to aspire to get to the top and not think
that they were not capable of climbing the social ladder.

Hajia Fatimatu Sulemana, a Muslim educationalist, who spoke on the importance of Islamic women attaining higher levels in education, bemoaned
the state of some Muslims involved in social vices.

She attributed such bad behaviour to lack of education, saying that many
of them dropped out of school after the Junior High School.

'The most important thing is that you train your children to understand
the tenets of the Islamic religion and no matter where they find themselves
they will uphold the Islamic religion,' she said.

Ms Sheminah Muslim, an Ahammadyia Muslim, said there were no cultural barriers to becoming a leader as an Islamic woman.

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