glad tidings to the strangers
‘In the Muslim community, a black man called the believers to prayer, and a slave’s son commanded the army; faith had freed the believers from judgements based on deceptive appearances (linked to origin and social status) that stimulate unwise passions and dehumanise them.
He had listened to women in his society, who often experienced denial of their rights, exclusion, and ill-treatment… The Messenger conveyed to women the twofold requirement of spiritual training and of asserting a femininity that is not imprisoned in the mirror of men’s gaze or alienated within unhealthy relationships of power or seduction. Their presence in society, in public space and in social, political, economic, and even military action, was an objective fact that the Prophet not only never denied or rejected but clearly encouraged. In the light of spiritual teachings, he guided them to assert themselves, be present, express themselves, and claim the real freedom of heart and conscience.’
– extract from Tariq Ramadan’s ‘The Messenger’ on some of the achievements and practices of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)