Women in Islam

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 Status of Women in Other civilizations And in Islam

Outline
i) Introduction
ii) Status women in other civilizations
A. Status of women in Hinduism
1. Misanthropic practices in Hinduism
a. Sati
b. Polyandry

B. Status of women in the Athenian civilization
C. Status of women in the Roman civilization
D. Status of women in Judaism
E. Status of women in Christianity
iii) Status of women in Islam
A. The spiritual aspect of Islam
a. Equality
B. The social aspect of women in Islam
a. As a child and adolescent
• Prohibition of infanticide
• Promotion of respect and dignity for women
b. As a wife
• Right of consent in marriage
• Right of Haq-mahr
• Right of consultation in matters
• Right of divorce
c. As a mother
D. The economic aspect of women in Islam
a. Right of ownership of property
b. Right of employment
c. right of inheritance
D. political aspect
iv). Conclusion
Before the advent of Islam, different civilizations assigned different status to women. Some civilizations considered her as a gate way to devil; some viewed her as a devil incarnate; some deemed her brainless or worthless; and some even believed that all evils plagued to mankind were because of women. IN contrast to other civilizations, Islam has given better status to women in society. She is deemed as an angel of house, not an evil. In other words, Islam treats women as she should be in society with its various spiritual, social, economic and political aspects.

As mentioned above, there are different religions or civilizations which treat women differently. To begin with, one of the oldest religions is Hinduism which describes women in this way:” A women, whose mind, speech and body kept in subjugation, acquires higher renown in this world and the next with her husband.”(David and Vera, Marriage East and West) From this, it is clear that a subjugated woman is the best women who not only get honor and renown in this world, but also in the heavens. This element of enslavement of a Hindu woman is highlighted in various Hindu practices. There are many inhuman Hindu practices which underscore the lackey status of women in Hinduism but the two are outstanding. The first was the practice of Sati. In Sati ritual, a Hindu widow was burnt alive on the funeral pyres of her husband. This ceremony symbolizes that she is a permanent servant of her husband not only in this mundane world, but also in the real one. Therefore, she is bounded with her husband who, whether alive or dead, takes her along with him. Another such a misogynist practice supported by the Hindu scriptures was the practice of polyandry. In this, a woman can have as many sexual partners as she can. In this connection, there is an example in the epic story of Mahabharta, in which Dhrupati had five Pandu husbands. Fortunately, the practice of Sati was outlawed by Lord William Bentick in 1829, but unfortunately the evil practice of polyandry is still found in some backward areas of shining in India! Like Hinduism, the status of the Athenian and Roman women was no different from Hinduism. The Athenian women were treated like source of all evils and consider as minors.According to Greek methodology, Pandora, the first women on the earth, was the source of all problems and evils plaguing to mankind. This story was deliberately concocted to degrade the Athenian women who brought all sufferings in this world. Also, Allen E.A, the author of History of Civilization, says:” The Athenian women were minor, subject to her male- to father, to brother, or to some kin.” Similar to the Athenian civilization, the Roman civilization considered to women as a worthless creature or chattel. For instance, Allen E.A says:” She is a babe, a minor, a ward, a person incapable of doing or acting on her own individual taste…” In addition to this, the Roman women were deemed as chattel. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “if married she and her property passed into the power of her husband.”...
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