From President Trump’s travel ban to the tragic Canadian mosque shooting, there seem to be more questions about Islam than ever before, even among those practicing the religion. Which is exactly why, for the past eight years, four Muslim female scholars in the United Arab Emirates have devoted their time to educating women about their rights via a Middle Eastern fatwa (i.e. religious ruling) hotline.
Funded by the UAE government, the hotline is located in Abu Dhabi and aims to answer any and all questions Muslim women might have, ranging from sex (a topic often considered too taboo to discuss) to the desire to pursue a career without breaking religious laws to whether or not a female can play sports without her hijab.
The hotline is staffed by four full-time female employees (and yes, they’re paid) who are highly educated Islamic experts who answer a whopping 200 calls a day, offering advice based on the “genuine rules of Islam,” reports Marie Claire.
“There are many conflicting beliefs about what women can and cannot do due to religious hard-liners who want to restrict women’s freedoms,” Sheikha Radia, one of the hotline’s workers, told the magazine. “We give advice based on the direct teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, which are based on fairness to women, so they can avoid fear and confusion.”
“Nothing is taboo for us, because we understand women’s issues,” she adds. “Our basic message to Muslim women is that they often have much more power and freedom than they think.” In fact, according to Muslim Girl, “these fatwa aficionados have gotten such a great reputation on their demeanor and knowledge, that even the men are calling them for advice.” Wow!
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(h/t Marie Claire, photo via Jessica McGowan/Getty)