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posted: 3/15/2013 4:40 AM

Educated mother and a Muslim

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Educated mother and a Muslim

As we celebrate the Women's History Month I am reminded of how I have an excellent role model in my mother. On Sept. 23 2011, tragedy hit my family. My father suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage resulting from a weak brain artery at age 47.

However, this untimely tragedy did not deter my mother who was raised with a strong faith to push herself to complete her interpreter certification on top of her existing masters in science degree.

My mother continued with her education which helped her in her role as the primary provider for the family. Prior to his death, my father also ensured that I enrolled in college as a speech language pathologist, encouraging me to obtain a higher education.

Despite abounding misconceptions about Muslim women and their status in Islam, the religion actually highly encourages both men and women to pursue education. My family history includes women, and Islamic history definitely includes women, reminding me -- to learn is a duty. There are several examples in the history of Islam where Muslim women were learned and took part in many aspects of the society. Prophet Muhammad's (peace and blessings be on him) wife Aishah was so learned that she was considered to be an authority on religious jurisprudence.

Urwah bin Zubair relates, "I have not seen a greater scholar than Aishah" regarding Islamic matters.

To know that Islam gave women rights to education and that it raised the status of women fills me with great joy.

I am an educated mother and a Muslim.

Rabia Salim

Plainfield

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