From the very beginning of the Islamic history, Muslim women have played vital roles in the propagation of the Divine Message (Islam). From the sacrifices of Sumayyah to the collected Ahadeeth [narrations of the Prophet –peace be upon him] of 'Aa'ishah women have been instrumental in the flourishing and spreading of this religion, the process which is called "Da'wah" in Arabic.
Unfortunately, during our present times, the Islamic revival suffers from weaknesses in its properly qualified personnel, which limits its spreading and restricts the Da'wah work to an elite group of activists, with finite and limited efforts of Da'wah and Tarbiyah (education) being focused on women.
Da'wah amongst women most especially in Europe deserves, and should get, far more attention than it does. So far, except in a few instances, women have been distanced from the field of Da'wah work. Although, there are many muslim women praechers in Europe play important contributions in propagating Islam, among them;
1 - Dr. 'Aa'ishah Hamdaan, Director of the Islamic Education Foundation (IEF), based in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA). She has a Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialty in child and family issues. She teaches at a private university in the Twin Cities. The main goal of the IEF is to increase the level of awareness and provide training in giving Da'wah amongst Muslim women and men.
2 - Nazma Khan, who came up with the idea of World Hijaab Day . She is from Bangladesh and migrated to the US when she was eleven years old, and she faced all kinds of harassment and pressure because of her hijab, which made think of a way to put a stop to this discrimination against the hijab.
Hijab is a well-established obligation that Allah, may He be glorified, has prescribed for believing women. It is a symbol of chastity and a sign of dignity and piety. Muslim scholars, preachers and individuals must do their utmost to call people to it and encourage it, but despite that the methods used to achieve this aim must be methods that are prescribed in Islam, because the means of pursuing praiseworthy goals should be in accordance with Islamic teaching. As for designating a particular day in the year, that is repeated every year and is called World Hijab Day, that is not permissible, for the following reasons among of which:
1 - This involves imitating the traditions of the disbelievers who are enemies to Allah, may He be glorified, and are enemies to His Messengers. It is they who introduced such ideas, and allocated for every issue that they want to promote and disseminate an occasion to celebrate it, that is repeated every year, such as the International Day of the Child and many other examples of such innovations and evil practices for which Allah has not sent down any authority.
2- The celebrations that happen on this day involve entertainment, exuberance and foolishness that are contrary to the purpose behind the prescription of the hijab. Based on that, celebrating so-called World Hijab Day is not permissible, even if the intention of the people behind it is good and sincere. However sincere intention alone is not sufficient; rather it is essential that the methods used should be in accordance with Islamic teachings, and not involve anything that is contrary to the command of Allah, may He be glorified.
3 – Amina Wadud professor of Islamic Studies who led the Friday sermon to a mixed gender congregation and consequently led the same congregation in Friday prayer in New York City. The purpose of the initiative is to show solidarity amongst various religious groups by encouraging all Muslim women. As stated earlier, sincere intention alone is not sufficient; rather it is essential that the methods used should be in accordance with Islamic teachings.
Many obstacles and restraints have been the causes behind the weakness and neglect of Da'wah work amongst women. Once they have been recognized and analyzed, viable solutions can be sought and implemented.
1 - Women's Da'wah programs, as well as overall Da'wah programs and institutions are rare and not well organized.
2 - Most women do not possess a proper understanding of the role of Da'wah made incumbent on their husbands. Because of this, they may not understand the importance of time given to projects outside the home, which in turn, may become a source of tension within the home.
3 - The level of general Islamic knowledge among most women is low.
4 - Absence of adequate education and the lack of fundamental Islamic knowledge in the Daa'iyaat (female callers) in the field of Da'wah. Only a few of the wives and daughters of Du'aat (male callers) have any worthwhile Islamic knowledge.
5 - A neglect or omission of women's issues in the planning of Islamic Da'wah.