The Role of Women in Islam

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Lomonosov Moscow State University
Business School

The Analysis of the Role of Women in Islamic Culture
by
...

May 24, 2012

Abstract
My paper is written in purpose to cover the issue of the role of women in Islamic culture. My first part is devoted to the status of women according religious texts of Islam, Quran and Sunna. The first factor that determines the role of Muslim women is spirituality. In this regard women are equal to men; they all play the role of “vicegerents”. Women are allowed to take part in Friday prayers and other religious activities as well as they may be present at war. The second criterion evaluating the role of women is their status within the family, namely their rights and duties in terms of marriage, divorce, motherhood and widowhood. Then the economic and political rights of women take place.

The second part is aimed at the implementations of the Muslim laws in Islamic countries: how women are treated in families and problems they face; to what extent they participate in the social life, economically and politically. The analysis of these factors may show us the real role of women and bring us to some conclusions.

The Analysis of the Role of Women in Islamic Culture
According to the statistics conducted by Pew Research Center, in 2010 1,618,143,000 people which accounts for 23.4% of the world population professed Islam. Now imagine that about a half of them are females - Muslim women who differ from the rest of all by their culture, role in society and even by their outfits.

Comprehending the role of women is crucial as the number of Muslim women in our society is steadily increasing within the fast growth of Islam. More and more Muslim women participate in social life and more and more knowledge is required to communicate and cooperate effectively and tolerantly with them taking into account their principals and customs.

Role of women can be observed from different aspects of life opposed to men’s, beginning with the spiritual role, position in terms of the family, as well as economical and political activity.
In my course paper the topic of women in Islam will be covered from the point of religious sources: Quran, the holy scripture of Islam, and Sunna, the practice and sayings of the last prophet Muhammad, and fulfilled by the data showing how these Islamic commandments are practiced in some Islamic countries such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Mali and others. 1. Role of women according to Quran and Sunna

Spiritual Role of Women
When it comes to the role of women in Islam, the first issue that is being raised is spirituality. It highlights that the woman’s soul is as important as the man’s. Muslim Women’s League [MWL], a non-profit Muslim American organization, basing on the Quran highlights the gender equality:”I shall not lose sight of the labor of any of you who labors in My way, be it man or woman; each of you is equal to the other” (3:195).

According to Women’s League (1995), the best example of equality in spirituality in Islam is the interpretation of Adam and Eve’s story (“Gender Equality in the Quran”, para.1). In contrast to the Bible (Genesis 2:18), woman was not made from the man’s rib, also there is no clarifying whether Adam or Eve was first created. Besides, it is described in Quran (4:1) how the first couple failed to stay away from the tree with forbidden fruit and were both equally guilty of the sin while the Bible states that “Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed” (1 Timothy 2:14).

Every woman is responsible for her deeds as “whatever wrong any human being commits rests upon himself...
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