Role of Women in Islam Past and Present

Powerful Essays
Mariam Abrar,
GEND 341,
Paula Humfrey,
May 25, 2006.
My selected topic is: Role of Women in Islam Past and Present
In this paper I will argue that the position of women in Islam according to the Qur 'an and Hadiths (tradition) of the Prophet differs vastly from Islam in practice, currentely. It is not the Islamic ideologies that determine the position of women in the Islamic societies; it is rather the pre-Islamic patriarchal ideologies existing in a particular society, combined with the lack of education and ignorance, which construct the Muslim women 's position. In the early days of Islam, women enjoyed more freedom than many Muslim women today. Women were protected by laws concerning such areas as inheritance, divorce, and property. Also, women and men were considered religiously equal, according to one interpretation of the Qu 'ran, the Islamic holy book. As Islam spread from Arabia into Northern Africa, Southern Europe, and farther east into the Indian subcontinent, it began taking on cultural aspects of those areas, through the normal process of diffusion. Examples of this are the seclusion of women and the covering of a woman 's face in public. The role of Islamic women began to be relegated to the order of the household, while men handled all public affairs. Many of these practices remain in varying degrees throughout the modern Islamic world.
Working Women:
Islamic law makes no demand that women should confine themselves to household duties. In fact the early Muslim women were found in all walks of life. The first wife of the Prophet, mother of all his surviving children, was a businesswoman who hired him as an employee, and proposed marriage to him through a third party. . Women traded in the marketplace, and the Khalifah Umar, not normally noted for his liberal attitude to women, appointed a woman, Shaff 'a Bint Abdullah, to supervise the market. Other women, like Laila al-Ghifariah, took part in battles, carrying water and nursing the



References: Husain Shujaat, Womens 's Role under Islam: Anmol Publications New Delhi, 2004. In this book the writer wants to accomplish the fact that under Islam women are given equal rights in every aspect of life. Mahnaz Afkhami, Faith and Freedom: Women 's Human Rights in the Muslim World; Syracuse University Press, 1995.In this book the writer is emphasizing that one must first separate the religion from the cultural norms and style of a society. E.g. Forced marriages may still take place in certain Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, but, Islam insists on the free consent of both bride and groom, so such marriages could even be deemed illegal under religious law. Smith, Margaret, Muslim Women Mystics: the Life and Work of Rabia and Other Women Mystics in Islam; One world Publications; 2001This book revolves around the life of Rabi 'a of Basra a great and well known personality in Muslim world. The Holy, Qur 'an: Translation of verses is heavily based on A. Yusuf Ali 's translation, The Glorious Qur 'an, text translation, and Commentary, The American Trust Publication, Plainfield, IN 46168, 1979. Whenever necessary, slight modifications of this translation were made by the author of this work in the interest of improved clarity and accuracy. http://www.islamfortoday.com/ruqaiyyah.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Islam Women in Pakistan and other Islamic countries: a selected bibliography with annotations / researched and annotated by Nighat Ayub; edited by Aban Marker. [Karachi]: Women Resource Centre, 1978.

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