Saudi Women Take Over Council

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30 Women in Saudi Shura
saudi women_takeover

WOW! - I can't believe it! - brother from USA
We Love It! It really is fantastic! - Father of 5 in American
At LAST! We waited so long...
- sisters in Saudi
Finally! This is so great . . . - brothers in Europe
Bravo! Keep it up ladies . . - Convert to Islam in Gulf

Saudi women_councilCongratulations Ladies!

These are just some of the many comments and sentiments being expressed by folks around the world, both the Muslims and Non-Muslims have quite a lot to comment on this recent turn of events.

But what do you say? (comment at end of this article please)

From The International Herald Tribune - February 20, 2013


Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Tuesday (February 18, 2013) swore in the country’s first female members of the Shura Council, an appointed body that advises on new laws..

The article indicated the move has caused deep concern amongst some of the more conservative imams (clerics) in the Kingdom.

King Abdullah who has not been shown on TV since his back surgery in November, came out in his full capacity on state television, sitting in the palace chamber to give a brief talk of appreciation and full approval, as he swore in the thirty new council members.

His Majesty has moved forward cautiously to insure the advancement for women in the kingdon would be seen in the most positive light by all concerned and to further insure it would continue with the least demonstration from oppositions within the country.

Regarding the health of King Abdullah, who is about to turn 90 years old this year, the article continues -

.. (his health) is closely watched in the world’s top oil exporter because he has the final say on policy.

Major speeches in recent months have been made on Abdullah’s behalf by his heir, Crown Prince Salman.

State media have also listed Salman as chairing the weekly cabinet sessions in place of the king.

The address to the new lady council members as representatives of the society went something like this:

“Your place in the Shura Council is not as those who have been honoured, but as those who have been charged with a duty, as you represent part of society”

The 30 new female members of the 160 member cabinet sat along with their male counterparts listening attentively as they were being sworn him by the king.

The decision to appoint women to the body, which functions in place of an elected parliament, was announced back in 2011 - Names were being withheld from the public until last month.

The Shura Council is remodelling parts of its chamber to ensure privacy and protection as well as put strict segregation between male and female members.

Saudi Arabia’s government is appointed by the ruling king, who is also Saudi's prime minister. The country’s elections are for half the seats on municipal councils that have certain limits and powers.

More good news for the ladies: Women now have the right to vote and stand for office in the next municipal ballot, King Abdullah said back in 2011.

This decision to appoint women to the Shura Council did prompt a protest by opposition conservative clerics outside the royal court in January.

Their complaint was that the move, and other reforms aimed at making it easier for women to work, went against Islam law (Shari'ah).

However, a majority of other scholars produced numerous evidences from the Quran and the traditions (hadith) of the prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him, indicating the stronger opinion in favor of women having their own say-so in these matters.

Previously under former rulers in this religiously conservative kingdom, the women were not allowed to drive automobiles and even required consent from their male 'guardians' to be alone when going abroad, or to work or even to conduct their own banking business, except by similar consent.

Speculation has it, that since so many women from other countries are coming to work in the kingdon, this may have inspired the forward thinkers in the country to reconsider their position and to look deeper into the meanings behind pervious rulings, based on the Quran and the sunnah (traditions) of he prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

In any case, the world is watching and applauding the efforts of the Saudi people and their ruler as progress brings about more positive changes.

Congratulations to the women there - and to all there who are working to bring about better understandings and practices under the Shari'ah (Islamic Law).

Well, What Are You Waiting For?
Let's Tell the World (email, texting, SMS, phone calls)



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#28 sk 2013-02-26 13:52
nice to see the women are moving up. maybe they will be able 2 drive one day.__nowhere in he quran or the sunnah does it say that the home is only place for women. women in the prophet's time used to work, including his wives. the prophet's first wife was a business woman. she did not give up her job after accepting islam. women also went to war to heal the wounded. aren't women doctors, teachers needed? the hadith says a woman can go to man doctor if there are no women doctors. this means there must be women doctors.__if women are separated from men, and they're not shaking hands with men and following the shariah, then what's the problem? if people don't want to see a strange woman, then stop watching tv.__when will american women get their rights by receiving equal pay as men
#27 Danial Al-Azmi 2013-02-22 06:56
This article would probably attract the muslims in great quantity.Women have their own rights.This article did not say that women is ruling but they are taking part for the sides of the women,which is extremely great.Sometimes the men did not understand the women's problem wether in shariah or anything else but women are more familiar with their problems.Just sharing ad hope to learn more!!
#26 Alina Mirza 2013-02-21 15:45
Mr hasan jafar ....

Please don't give Islam a bad name...

Did you know that muslim women are not fully required
To even cook for their husbands? We do so much tht we r not required to do under the Shariah....

Knowledge sets you free and it is farz upon
Everyone to seek it.
#25 shifa nazeer 2013-02-21 07:51
Subhanallah! this is soooo gud.It used to hurt when they put down Saudi Arabia in my civics text buk as they denied women right to vote.Now they'l have to reprint that text :-).I'm so happy.Now that Saudi women not only cn generte future leaders at home but also be leaders themselves.
#24 Hussein ibn Ali 2013-02-21 01:37
If Bani Hashim rules this country, this place will be a better place to live and women have all the rights like the women during the Prophet Muhammad's time had. Glad that something has improved, at least.
#23 Abdul 2013-02-20 07:08
asalamu alaikum,____wha t the first commentor said i totally disagree, its because people like him are the ones who giving Islam a bad name. that is a backward mentality from jahiliya, nothing to do with Islam. people who are from Asia, its their normal culture and tradition for the women to work like a housemaid. ____remember the first wife of Muhammad(pbuh) his wife khadija(ra) was not only a business women but the employer of the prophet(pbuh). ____remember one thing, if you think men are better, and you look down on women thinking they are useless etc because of ego, ARROGANCE etc? its a very dangerous matter. ARROGANCE can lead a person to HELL. even if you have a grain of arrogance in your heart you wont even smell jannah.____may allah save all the muslim and me from arrogance. ameen.____ma salama
#22 mim mokhtar 2013-02-20 05:42
Salaam, i am a muslim lady and i make comments based on my understanding of Islam as the first religion to promote women\'s equality to men in almost all aspects. Did not Rasulullah saw enjoined women to partake in protecting their country, otherwise he would not have sanctioned Fatimah ra, Nusaybah and other lady warriors to ride into war and tend to injured muslims. Did not Rasulullah saw himself help to cook and sew for his wives, therefore indicating that MEN too should not be shy to take their place in the kitchen. Remember that Khadijah ra herself was a renown international businesswoman who helped Rasulullah saw in his da\'wah. For sure there are sectors that women cannot be a head eg imam, qadhi, judge delivering final judgement, or partake openly eg sports with revealing attires. It will only be a step backwards to jahilliyah\'s time if women are relegated only to please men because based on various stories/hadiths , there had been active female participation during Rasulullah\'s time. In case you\'re wondering, I am not a feminist who demands women MUST be on the same level as men at any cost. There is time and place for everything. I believe that when a woman is at home, she must respect and obey her husband in all matters EXCCEPT those that transgress the religion, and when she goes out to her acceptable work, she must do so within Islamic guidelines eg her manners and behaviour, her clothing etc. But most importantly, as already exemplified by Rasulullah saw, she is NOT his servant. I believe that women have an important place and are partners to men in building society (for Allah swt created Hawa\' from the ribs of Adam to be beside him, not from his feet to be under him). Pls correct me if I\'m wrong as I\'m not from Saudia but to my understanding, the role of Syura is to advise anyway, not MAKE decision, ie the decisionmaker is still a man. As such, having women in the Syura council would be really relevant in decision making for women\'s issues because how can men make decision about matters they don\'t understand? I strongly urge you to read a lot on women\'s role during Rasulullah\'s time as Allah swt has instructed us all to
#21 aliya mahar 2013-02-20 05:00
This is a great change in the policies of a country so conservative that women cannot even drive. I pray this will prove to be a turning point for women in Saudia to use their intelect and prove wrong the pompous self righteous clerics,
#20 layla 2013-02-20 03:25
Excuse me Mr Hasan jaffar, but women ARE half of society and we raise the other half.

If you are a Muslim you need to follow the words of our dear prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him. Women are allowed to work if you need your house cleaned do it yourself the prophet did clean and sew his own clothes.

It is Muslims like you that give Islam a bad name.
#19 Mansoor 2013-02-20 03:15
Dear Brother Hasan - Assalam

Allah made men and women as partners and not as servants (chapter 9 verse 71, Chapter 30 verse 21), it is the duty of the men to protect the women and their dignity by not calling them servants,
We see many Hadidths were women have taken part in discussions with Rasoolullah (PBUH) on daily affairs and on Islam - we need to welcome this as far as they follow the guidelines of Islamic behavior in public.

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