The Covid-19 pandemic has made inequality — particularly among minorities, people of color and especially women — very apparent. The lockdown emphasizes the existing tensions regarding women’s professional and financial progress while resetting the advancements women have made over the past decades. Last month, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Silicon Valley held an interactive discussion about the rights of women in Islam and their relevance amidst the ever-evolving pandemic.
“Our objective of the event was to educate our public officials the right and staus of women in Islam, to help them understand the true Islamic Teachings and what Ahmadis are doing,” said Saadia Ahmed, the Director of Public Affairs for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women Auxiliary in Silicon Valley. The event was attended by several Milpitas public officials, including Vice Mayor Carmen Montano, Councilmember Evelyn Chua, and Councilmember Karina Dominguez.
“It was heartwarming to the see the commitment shared by all public officials regarding the rights of women and creating more just and learning about how these rights are given by Islam,” Ahmed added.
The event started with refreshments and a presentation lead by Rabia Chaudhry, the President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Women Auxiliary in Silicon Valley. Leveraging excerpts from The Holy Quran, the central religious text of Islam, the discussion touched on several areas of women’s rights, ranging from child support, status, intellectual and spiritual equality. One of the most well-received observations was the fact that where the Holy Qur’an mentions “believing men,” it also mentions “believing women.”
During the interactive Q&A, the guests shared their predetermined notions of women’s rights in Islam and questions about specific areas that are often misunderstood, like the observance of modesty and the headscarf. “We got very positive feedback from the participants that they were able to learn about a topic that they previously did not have any knowledge about or had stereotypes of muslims and especially muslim women,” noted Ahmed, who added that “our aim to to meet with our local female public officials and introduce them to our local community, in the context of rights and staus of women in Islam.”
In the context of the pandemic, the event shed light on the fact that working mothers shoulder the majority of family caregiving responsibilities and that it is important, now more than ever, for women to reclaim the significance of their vital contributions.
The Ahmadiyya Community’s next interfaith event focuses on the holy month of Ramadan, which started on April 3rd, when Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink from dawn to sunset. This is done to strengthen our relationship with God by increasing focus on worship, discipline, charity and human welfare.
The meal at sunset to break the fast is called “iftar,” and you can join an interfaith dinner on April 9th by RSVPing HERE. It’s an opportunity for our Milpitas community to come together and reflect upon the essential messages of Ramadan — compassion, humanity and humility.