Know your right before demanding it, Omotosho charges Muslim women
Professor AbdulRafi Omotosho of the department of Islamic Law, University of Ilorin, has charged Muslim women to seek for knowledge concerning their rights under the Islamic law as doing so would enable them demand for it when it is being trampled upon.
Omotosho stated this yesterday while delivering the 191st lecture in the series of the University’s Inaugural Lectures. The lecture titled “She has the lion share under the Islamic Law”, according to him, bordered on “holistic review” of the misconceptions surrounding women’s socio-marital and economic rights.
According to him, the reason for incessant debate on the social and economic rights of women are due to the paucity of knowledge in the part of the general public and lack of adequate education of women on the rights bestowed on them in the view of Islamic law.
“The reason some of the initiatives of Islamic law are still being debated till now is due to the failure of Muslims authorities…and failure of Muslims women to educate themselves about their rights under Islamic Law.”.
To address the issue, Professor Omotosho whose area of specialisation is Islamic Jurisprudence and Family Law, however recommended a number of procedural actions which to him are “very important”. Amongst these actions are calls on the women — in their unit and in their groups — to be “courageous and fearless” in demanding for their rights like early generation of Muslim women.
“Women should be courageous and fearless in demanding their rights like the early generation of Muslim women have done”, he stated.
Other steps recommended are “massive” awareness and sensitisation of the general public — both Muslims and non-Muslims alike; Men at all levels — on the rights of women in Islam. This, to him, should be embarked upon by the concerned authorities namely, the government, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), and Faith-based organisations.
However, considering the financial implications that could mount as impedance to getting justice, Professor Omotosho who started his Law education (LL.B) from the University of Medinah, Saudi Arabia in 1978, stretched that a promotional efforts in defending the rights of Muslim women in the society should be carried out by a special body who in addition should be empowered to serve as a first step alternative dispute resolution for those incapacitated, financially.
“A special body should be set up to promote and defend the rights of women, and the body should be empowered to serve as a first step alternative dispute resolution for those who cannot afford the cost of litigation in the Shari’ah courts.”, he recommended.