Federal Minister for Planning and Development (MoPD&SI) Prof Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan can’t progress and compete with the world without the active participation of women, which are around 50 percent of the total population, in the social and economic system. He was addressing the 4th International Seerat Conference on the theme of ‘Social Responsibilities of Women and Seerat-e-Tayyaba’ organized by the Punjab University (PU) Institute of Islamic Studies at Sheik Zayed Islamic Centre Auditorium.

Dean Faculty of Islamic Studies Prof Dr Hammad Lakhvi, Director IIS Dr Shahida Parveen, faculty members, and students participated on this occasion. Addressing the conference, Prof Ahsan Iqbal said that the emergence of the industrial revolution and knowledge economy had transformed the concept of distribution of labor among males and females. He said that the distribution of labor between women and men was separate in the agricultural era while in the industrial revolution and afterward, mental abilities and knowledge became the means of development of the country.

He said that when Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) presented Islamic teachings, women were buried alive. He said that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not treat women as inferior to men, but gave women superiority over men in many places. He said that the guiding principles of Islam regarding women spread the light that benefited the whole world. He said that women’s mental abilities are as useful and effective as men’s.

Ahsan Iqbal said that we have to change our thinking about the role of women in society because they are not less than men in any respect. He said that no country could afford to keep women away from the development process. He said that we should get into a proactive mode and prepare people for intellectual leadership. He said that we have to find solutions to the challenges of the present day, and if not, we would not be able to satisfy the young generation.

Mr Iqbal stated that Seerat-e-Tayyaba is a beacon of light and when we adopted Islamic principles, we became the greatest power in the world. He said that non-Muslims had also carefully studied Islamic teachings and adopted many of its principles. He said that the Islamic system of social justice was unmatched in any human civilization of that era and that system attracted every non-Muslim towards our religion. He said that it is the fault of the Muslim Ummah that it believes in these principles but does not act upon them. He said that after Halaku Khan attacked Baghdad, our knowledge and leadership suffered a great blow. He said that we also have a problem in that we always reject innovation at the beginning.

Dr Hammad Lakhvi said that it was the right of women to move forward which was given to them by Islam. He said that even on some occasions Allah and Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) have given more respect to women.

Dr Shahida Parveen said that Hazrat Khadija encouraged Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) when the revelation was revealed to Him. She said that women should be equipped with social consciousness. She said that in the light of his teachings, women were seen working in all fields. She said that women were playing a dynamic role in creating a successful and excellent society.

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