In the book, "Women in Indian Religions," author Sheila McDonough writes about the lives of Muslim women in India. She articulates in an organized fashion the Muslim woman's struggle for equality of gender over the centuries through both historical and political lenses. .
In quoting Leila Ahmed, author of "Gender and Women in Islam", "Muslim women should think differently about Muslim history,"" is to appeal to the historicity of Islam from its beginnings prior to the Muslim expansion into India, and to trigger the inner strength, mind, and hearts of Muslim women in India that perhaps feel that they have been treated like second class citizens. In McDonough's discourse she gives descriptive changes in the religion from historical significant women figures of Islam such as the Prophet Muhammad's wife Khadija and his sister Aisha who were strong Muslim women that had strength and commitment in practicing the faith in Islam within their lives. Khadija and Aisha should be view as an asset to how women in this modern era should see themselves today.
The author seems to suggest that since slavery was accepted by Muslim leaders specifically in the thirteenth century during the reign of the Abbasid Empire, that the mindset of most Muslim leaders and scholars today are still oriented to women as second class citizens, servants or slaves. As Islam expanded a second wave of Muslims rolled into India in the thirteen century. The Abbasid Empire had, "many slave women as concubines, and in which the purchase of female slaves, taken from those conquered in war, was a normal part of the life of the wealthier classes"" (171). .
Comparing today's female Muslims, to slavery of the past is perhaps a political and social plea stating that Muslim women living not just in India but in every society to educate themselves together with the Qur'an as a mean to achieve how to live in the every changing society and environment in which they live.