For Women: Why Don’t We Stop Judging Each Other?

A Validation Revolution

There were many, many amazing sisters who helped me out and had my back, but the minority, the judgmental voices, seemed glaringly loud. And I found myself judging others as a way to lash out in frustration.

I was doing the very thing others had done to me and so the cycle of condescension, judgment, and rejection continued. Then I had a realization that changed my life and the way that I live it. I realized that some people only criticize others out of a desire to be validated.

We all want to be validated. So we look to others who have made the same life choices as we have. And those who have different paths, we see them as a threat to our validation. So we cling to people of the same background, career, etc. and criticize those who aren’t like us.

It is all too common, and happens among men and women, and peoples of all faiths.

But we all have different paths to take. Where in the Quran or sunnah does it specify that everyone should fit into a certain mold?

Where do we read Allah (SWT) telling women that they cannot work? Where does the messenger (PBUH) say that we are obligated to have children? Where in the Quran does it say a women shouldn’t seek knowledge?

Women in Islam

Looking at our Islamic history, I realized that there was an array of celebrated women who played many different roles in society. Aisha was an educator, childless, but mother to all. Khadija was a business women and mother, the first believer. Assiyah was a foster mother to Musa (AS) and a housewife. Bilqis was a wise and powerful ruler.

So who was I to look down on others for taking a path other than the one I was on? Those people I looked down on, only needed Allah’s approval and validation. That was all I needed too. And seeking it from others was so tiresome and even impossible.

I made a conscious decision to stop the cycle of rejection. And I decided to start a validation revolution in my own life and hoped that it would spread to other women.

My path to a validation revolution took many steps. First, I made sure to remind myself to purify my intentions, to do things only to gain the pleasure of Allah (SWT).

Then, I stopped letting negative thoughts take over my internal narrative. I stopped letting negative people have any impact on me. I studied Islam and learned that my fore-mothers in broke barriers in all fields of study, were housewives, religious scholars, warriors, stay-at-home moms, career women, and so much more.

And finally, I started encouraging myself and my sisters. I tried to say only positive things about mine and my sisters’ endeavors. I stopped judging other women by my own personal standards. And I started to realize that everyone is doing the best they can for their own situation.

As Muslim women, we have enough people—both inside and outside of the ummah—trying to tell us what to do and what is “best for us”. We have to start a validation revolution and it must begin from within. We should seek validation only from Allah and be supportive for each other rather than critical of each other.

First Published: October 2015

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