‘Muslim women need to find balance between modernity and traditions’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEIAN women have achieved a higher status at all levels of society while trying to strike a balance between modernity and traditions, said a Universiti Brunei Darussalam lecturer.
During the recent International Islamic Conference for Women organised by the Women Graduate Association, Pg Dr Hjh Nur-Ashikin Pg Hj Petra, in her working paper, “Identiti Wanita Melayu Islam Dikurun 21M: Antara Tradisi dan Modernisasi” (Malay Muslim Women Identity in the 21st Century: Of Tradition and Modernisation), said that women of today are facing a constant struggle in trying to adopt modernity while upholding their traditional values.
“It cannot be denied that there is a constant struggle among Bruneian Muslim women while maintaining traditions and trying to adopt modern traits. This has created further implications but they should use their wisdom while balancing the two so that it does not go against our religious teachings,” said Pg Dr Hjh Nur-Ashikin.
There are differences of opinion about what they should wear and how they conduct themselves keeping in mind their self-esteem, self-respect, educational and professional achievements, said the UBD lecturer.
“It is evident that the lifestyle of Bruneian Muslim women has undergone a sea-change from the early days and this has created a conflict of sorts between our traditions and the needs of modernisation,” said Pg Dr Hjh Nur-Ashikin.
The greed for material needs can lead a person to neglect duties towards Allah (SWT), explained the UBD lecturer, adding that the ideal woman is one who finds a balance between worldly desires and religious beliefs.
She said that while more emphasis is placed on living a modern life, maintaining and following traditions has its own value.
“Being a modern Bruneian Muslim woman means that they should be intelligent, confident and must possess a good character which can be an example for others,” said Pg Dr Hjh Nur-Ashikin.
“In short, the identity of a Bruneian Muslim woman is unique as she has to juggle many roles while remaining faithful to Allah (SWT),” said the lecturer.
The Brunei Times