EP 31: The Role of Muslim Women in Islam & Society (feat Alima Ashfaq & Hafiz Zahid)

In this episode we’re joined by teacher, speaker, author and recently the founder of the Muslimah’s RenaissanceUstadha Alima Ashfaq and her husband, Hafiz Zahid Minhas.

With a passion for reviving a balanced narrative on the role of Muslim women, Ustadha Alima launched the Muslimah’s Renaissance – a movement to rediscover the spirit of the prophetic and Qur’anic narrative in respect to gender.

Its ethos believes that if we cultivate communities where men and women are allies, we can decrease the rates of domestic violence, youth related crimes and gender based violence.

This is based on the verse:

“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” Sūrah At-Tawbah, 9:71

The project also aims to empower men to appreciate their roles and play a role in nurturing a healthy society with women as their allies in the truest sense; as an empowered, educated and spiritually aware woman can have a positive impact in society.


In this episode, we cover the following:

  • Who is Alima Ashfaq and what does she do?
  • Who is Zahid Minhas and what does he do?
  • Why is the conversation around Muslim women such a hot topic these days?
  • How does Zahid support his wife Alima as she carries out her work, and why?
  • Do we really need more education on the topic of gender roles in Islam and our society?
  • How are women treated in today’s society, and how does this differ to the time of the Prophet (pbuh)?
  • How have some cultural beliefs and practices belittled the rights of women?
  • Some people believe Islamic is a misogynistic religion. Is this true, and why do they believe this?
  • Why are Islamic events so male dominated. Shouldn’t women be allowed to speak publicly?
  • What do the Qur’an and Sunnah really say about gender roles in Islam and society?
  • What about the idea of feminism?
  • Is there a lack of female scholarship among our communities today?
  • Who are some examples of powerful women in our history?
  • And some random facts about Alima & Zahid during our rapid fire round!

In partnership with Scottish Annual Conference – www.scotcon.co.uk


The project aims to serve the community with beneficial conferences and help reputable charities to fundraise for their aid projects. Each year the Scottish Annual Conference also hosts a community award ceremony to recognise the rising stars and those making a difference.

About Alima Ashfaq

Alima Ashfaq is a teacher by profession, a member of the Diplomas Department at the Islamic Online University and a tutor for Ilmspire. She has been studying Islamic studies with various Islamic Institutes and teachers for the past fifteen years and has actively been involved in the community working with several prominent organisations. 

She currently lectures nationally and internationally focusing on the topic of gender, faith and spirituality. She is also the Founder of TheMuslimahsRenaissance.org and Women of Ilm, two organisations aimed at helping women find purpose and spirituality. 

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