Is the Aurat March un-Islamic & should perhaps be banned?


Recently, Minister for Religious Affairs, Noor ul Haq Qadari has requested the Prime Minister to ban the Aurat March because he believed that it is unislamic and unconstitutional. Lets investigate his claim whether or not it is unislamic and unconstitutional. 1) The vision of Aurat March is deeply rooted in liberalism and feminism, particularly on the fundamental liberal principle of “Liberty”. 2) What is liberty anyways? Lets look into the scholarly work of liberals like- John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham and Epicurean. Now, Stuart Mill wrote a book on defining Liberty by the name of “On Liberty”, he was a also student of Jeremy Bentham. Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, identified the good with pleasure, so, like Epicurus, were hedonists about value. Jeremy Bentham proposed that “Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do…They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it.” He further argued that “it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.” According to Benthem, what is morally right or wrong is dependent on whether one obtains pleasure or pain from it respectively and that these (pain and pleasure) are the sovereign that should govern a human being and not any particular deity or God. (Reference: Comment on the Commentaries and A Fragment on Government, ed. J. H. Burns and H. L. A. Hart, in The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham (London, 1977), p. 11). Moreover, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in her book, “Why Should All Be Feminist”, further extend the argument of liberty and says that, “We teach girls shame. Close your legs.Cover yourself. We make them feel as though by being born female, they are already guilty of something. And so girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. Who silence themselves. Who cannot say what they truly think. Who have turned pretence into an art form.” 4) ) In other words, “Liberty” is the entitlement of every human being to have the fundamental right to live the life according to what s/he desires for worldly pleasures, irrespective of whether that is contrary to Divine commandments or not, as long as s/he doesn’t cause any harm to anyone else. 5) This basically means that many of things that have been categorised forbidden in most religions, their pursuit is totally legitimate under the pretext of Liberty. In other words, things like homosexuality, adultery, drugs, drinking alcohol, incest, Riba/interest, not doing Hijab or staring at the opposite gender and every other thing that comes under the sphere of “Haqooq Allah”, its violation becomes Halal, permissible and legitimate under the pretext of “liberty” and further under “women rights” or “human rights”. Though, all of these practices have been condemned and forbidden in most of religions, including Islam, Judaism and Christianity. 5) For what it is the explanation of “Liberty” in liberalism & feminism, though it is not much different from narcissism, however, it is exactly the same explanation of “Nafs-Parasti” in Islam. How? Because, Liberalism/Feminism advocates prioritising individualistic desires over Divine commandments. Mathematically equation of it is Desires > Divine. On which Islam refutes this whole argument and states, “So, have you seen him who has taken his desires as his god, and Allah has let him go astray, despite having knowledge, and has sealed his ear and his heart, and put a cover on his eye? Now who will guide him after Allah? Still, do you not take lesson?” Quran (Al-Jathiya, Ayah 23) Molana Mawdudi provides an accurate explanation of this ayah and says, “Desire his god” implies that one should become a slave of his lusts and desires. He should do whatever he likes whether God has forbidden it, and should not do what he dislikes, whether God has made it obligatory. When a man starts obeying somebody like this, it means that his deity is not God but the one whom he is obeying without question, no matter whether he calls him his lord (with the tongue) or not, and carves out an image of him and worship him or not. For when he has worshiped him directly without question, it is enough to make him a deity and after this practical shirk one cannot be absolved from the guilt of shirk only because he did not call the object of his worship as his deity with the tongue, nor prostrated himself before it.” Similarly notions to control worldly desires has been mentioned in bible as well, Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:12-15). Thereby, If anyone wants true representation of women to advocate for their rights, it has distance itself from narcissism of feminism and advocates for the women rights as per teachings of Shariah.