Status Of Women In Islam Essay, Research Paper
The Status of Woman in IslamThe position of adult female in Islam constitutes no job. The attitude of the Qur ’ an and the early Muslims bear informant to the fact that adult female is, at least, as vital to life as adult male himself, and that she is non inferior to him nor is she one of the lower species. Had it non been for the impact of foreign civilizations and foreign influences, this inquiry would hold ne’er arisen among the Muslims.
The position of adult female was taken for granted to be equal to that of adult male. It was a affair of class, a affair of fact, and no 1, so, considered it as a job at all. In order to understand what Islam has established for adult female, there is no demand to deplore her predicament in the pre-Islamic epoch or in the modern would of today. Islam has given adult female rights and privileges which she has ne’er enjoyed under other spiritual or constitutional systems.
This can be understood when the affair is studied as a whole in a comparative mode, instead than partly. The rights and duties of a adult female are equal to those of a adult male but they are non needfully indistinguishable with them. Equality and sameness are two rather different things. This difference is apprehensible because adult male and adult female are non indistinguishable but they are created peers. With this differentiation in head, There is no job. It is about impossible to happen even two indistinguishable work forces or adult females. This differentiation between equality and sameness is of paramount importance. Equality is desirable, merely, just ; but sameness is non. Peoples are non created indistinguishable but they are created peers. With this differentiation in head, there is no room to conceive of that adult female is inferior to adult male. There is no land to presume that she is less of import than he merely because her rights are non identically the same as his. Had her position been indistinguishable with his, she would hold been merely a extra of him, which she is non. The fact that Islam gives her equal rights – but non indistinguishable – shows that it takes her into due consideration, acknowledges her, and recognizes her independent personality. It is non the tone of Islam that brands adult female as the merchandise of the Satan or the seed of immorality. Nor does the Qur ’ an topographic point adult male as the dominant Godhead of adult female who has no pick but to give up to his laterality. Nor was it Islam that introduced the inquiry of whether or non adult female has any psyche in her. Never in the history of Islam has any Muslim doubted the human position of adult female or her ownership of psyche and other all right religious qualities. Unlike other popular beliefs, Islam does non fault Eve entirely for the First Sin. The Qur ’ an makes it really clear that both Adam and Eve were tempted ; that they both sinned ; that God ’ s forgiveness was granted to both after their penitence ; and that God addressed them jointly. ( 2:35-36 ; 7:19, 27 ; 20:117-123 ) . In fact the Qur ’ an gives the feeling that Adam was more to fault for that First Sin from which emerged bias against adult female and intuition of her workss. But Islam does non warrant such bias or intuition because both Adam and Eve were every bit in mistake, and if we are to fault Eve we should fault Adam as much or even more. The position of adult female in Islam is something alone, something novel, something that has no similarity in any other system. If we look to the Eastern Communist universe or to the democratic states, we find that adult female is non truly in a happy place. Her position is non enviable. She has to work so difficult to populate, and sometimes she may be making the same occupation that a adult male does but her pay is less than his. She enjoys a sort of autonomy which in some instances sums to libertinism. To acquire to where she is today, adult female struggled hard for decennaries and centuries. To derive the right of larning and the freedom of work and earning, she had to offer painful forfeits and give up many of her natural rights. To set up her position as a human being possessing a psyche, she paid to a great extent. Yet in malice of all these dearly-won forfeits and painful battles, she has non acquired what Islam has established by a Divine edict for the Muslim adult female. The rights of adult female of modern times were non granted voluntarily or out of kindness to the female. Modern adult female reached her present place by force, and non through natural procedures or common consent or Divine instructions. She had to coerce her manner, and assorted fortunes came to her assistance. Deficit of work force during wars, force per unit area of economic demands and demands of industrial developments forced adult female to acquire out of her place – to work, to larn, to fight for her support, to look as an equal to adult male, to run her race in the class of life side by side with him. She was forced by fortunes and in bend she forced herself through and acquired her new position. Whether all adult females were pleased with these fortunes being on their side, and whether they are happy and satisfied with the consequences of this class is a different affair. But the fact remains that whatever rights modern adult female enjoys fall short of those of her Muslim opposite number. What Islam has established for adult female is that which suits her nature, gives her full security and protects her against scandalous fortunes and unsure channels of life. We do non necessitate here to lucubrate on the position of modern adult female and the hazards she runs to do her life or set up herself. We do non even necessitate to research the wretchednesss and reverses that encircle her as a consequence of the alleged rights of adult female. Nor do we mean to pull strings the state of affairs of many unhappy places which break because of the very “ freedom ” and “ rights ” of which modern adult female is proud. Most adult females today exercise the right of freedom to travel out independently, to work and gain, to feign to be equal to adult male, but this, unhappily plenty, is at the disbursal of their households. This all known and obvious. What is non known is the position of adult female in Islam. An effort will be made in the undermentioned transitions to sum up the attitude of Islam with respect to adult female. 1.Woman is recognized by Islam as a full and equal spouse of adult male in the reproduction of world. He is the male parent ; she is the female parent, and both are indispensable for life. Her function is non less critical than his. By this partnership she has an equal portion in every facet ; she is entitled to be rights ; she undertakes equal duties, and in her there are as many qualities and every bit much humanity as there are in her spouse. To this equal partnership in the reproduction of human sort God says: O world! Verily We have created your from a individual ( brace ) of a male and a female, m and made you into states and folks that you may cognize each other … ( Qur ’ an, 49:13 ; californium. 4:1 ) . 2.She is equal to adult male in bearing personal and common duties and in having wagess for her workss. She is acknowl-edged as an independent personality, in ownership of human qualities and worthy of religious aspirations. Her human nature is neither inferior to nor aberrant from that of adult male. Both are members of one another. God says: And their Lord has accepted ( their supplications ) and answered them ( stating ) : ‘ Never will I do to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female ; you are members, one of another … ( 3:195 ; californium 9:71 ; 33:35-36 ; 66:19-21 ) . 3.She is equal to adult male in the chase of instruction and cognition. When Islam enjoins the seeking of cognition upon Muslims, it makes no differentiation between adult male and adult female. Almost 14 centuries ago, Muhammad declared that the chase of cognition is incumbent on every Muslim male and female. This declaration was really clear and was implemented by Moslems throughout history. 4.She is entitled to freedom of look every bit much as adult male is. Her sound sentiments are taken into consideration and can non be disregarded merely because she happen to belong to the female sex. It is reported in the Qur ’ an and history that adult female non merely expressed her sentiment freely but besides argued and participated in serious treatments with the Prophet himself every bit good as with other Muslim leaders ( Qur ’ an, 58:1-4 ; 60:10-12 ) . Besides there were occasions when Muslim adult females expressed their positions on legislative affairs of public involvement, and stood in resistance to the Caliphs, who so accepted the sound statements of these adult females. A specific illustration took topographic point during the Califate of Umar Ibn al-Khattab. 5.Historical records show that adult females participated in public life with the early Muslims, particularly in times of exigencies. Womans used to attach to the Muslim ground forcess engaged in conflicts to nurse the hurt, prepare supplies, serve the warriors, and so on. They were non shut behind Fe bars or considered worthless animals and deprived of psyches. 6.Islam grants adult female equal rights to contract, to enterprise, to gain and possess independently. Her life, her belongings, her award are every bit sacred as those of adult male. If she commits any discourtesy, her punishment is no less or more than of adult male ’ s in a similar instance. If she is wronged or harmed, she gets due compensations equal to what a adult male in her place would acquire ( 2:178 ; 4:45, 92-93 ) . 7.Islam does non province these rights in a statistical signifier and so loosen up. It has taken all steps to safeguard them and set them into pattern as built-in articles of Faith. It ne’er tolerates those who are inclined to prejudice against adult female or favoritism between adult male and adult female. Time and once more, the Qur ’ an reproaches those who used to believe adult female to be inferior to adult male ( 16:57-59, 62 ; 42:47-59 ; 43:15-19 ; 53:21-23 ) . 8.Apart from acknowledgment of adult female as an independent human being acknowledged as every bit indispensable for the endurance of humanity, Islam has given her a portion of heritage. Before Islam, she was non merely deprived of that portion but was herself considered as belongings to be inherited by adult male. Out of that movable belongings Islam made an inheritor, admiting the built-in human qualifies in adult female. Whether she is a married woman or female parent, a sister or girl, she receives a certain portion of the asleep kin ’ s belongings, a portion which depends on her grade of relationship to the deceased and the figure of inheritors. This portion is hers, and no 1 can take it off or disown her. Even if the asleep wants to strip her by doing a will to other dealingss or in favour of any other cause, the Law will non let him to make so. Any owner is permitted to do his will within the bound of tierce of his belongings, so he may non impact the rights of his inheritors, work forces and adult females. In the instance of heritage, the inquiry of quality and sameness is to the full applicable. In rule, both adult male
and woman are equally entitled to inherit the property of the deceased relations but the portions they get may vary. In some instances man receives two shares whereas woman gets one only. This no sign of giving preference or supremacy to man over woman.The reasons why man gets more in these particular instances may be classified as follows: oFirst man, is the person solely responsible for the complete maintenance of his wife, his family and any other needy relations. It is his duty by Law to assume all financial responsibilities and maintain his dependents adequately. It is also his duty to contribute financially to all good causes in his society. All financial burdens are borne by him alone. oSecondly, in contrast, woman has no financial responsibilities whatsoever except very little of her personal expenses, the high luxurious things that she likes to have. She is financially secure and provided for. If she is a wife, her husband is the provider; if she is a mother, it is the son; if she is a daughter, it is the father; if she is a sister; it is the brother, and so on. If she has no relations on whom she can depend, then there is no question of inheritance because there is nothing to inherit and there is no one to bequeath anything to her. However, she will not be left to starve, maintenance of such a woman is the responsibility of the society as a whole, the state. She may be given aid or a job to earn her living, and whatever money she makes will be hers. She is not responsible for the maintenance of anybody else besides herself. If there is a man in her position, he would still be responsible for his family and possibly any of his relations who need his help. So, in the hardest situation her financial responsi-bility is limited, while his is unlimited. oThirdly, when a woman gets less than a man does, she is not actually deprived of anything that she has worked for. The property inherited is not the result of her earning or her endeavors. It is something coming to them from a neutral source, something addition-al or extra. It is something that neither man or woman struggled for. It is a sort of aid, and any aid has to be distributed according to the urgent needs and responsibilities especially when the distribution is regulated by the Law of God. oNow, we have a male heir, on one side, burdened with all kinds of financial responsibilities and liabilities. We have, on the other side, a female heir with no financial responsibilities at all or at most with very little of it. In between we have some property and aid to redistribute by way of inheritance. If we deprive the female completely, it would be unjust to her because she is related to the deceased. Likewise, if we always give her a share equal to the man’s, it would be unjust to him. So, instead of doing injustice to either side, Islam gives the man a larger portion of the inherited property to help him to meet his family needs and social responsibilities. At the same time, Islam has not forgotten her altogether, but has given her a portion to satisfy her very personal needs. In fact, Islam in this respect is being more kind to her than to him. Here we can say that when taken as a whole the rights of woman are equal to those of man although not necessarily identical (see Qur’an, 4:11-14, 176). 9.In some instances of bearing witness to certain civil con-tracts, two men are required or one man and two women. Again, this is no indication of the woman being inferior to man. It is a measure of securing the rights of the contracting parties, because woman as a rule, is not so experienced in practical life as man. This lack of experience may cause a loss to any party in a given contract. So the Law requires that at least two women should bear witness with one man. if a woman of the witness forgets something, the other one would remind her. Or if she makes an error, due to lack of experience, the other would help to correct her. This is a precautionary measure to guarantee honest transactions and proper dealings between people. In fact, it gives woman a role to play in civil life and helps to establish justice. At any rate, lack of experience in civil life does not necessarily mean that women is inferior to man in her status. Every human being lacks one thing or another, yet no one questions their human status (2:282). 10.Woman enjoys certain privileges of which man is deprived. She is exempt from some religious duties, i.e., prayers and fasting, in her regular periods and at times of confinement. She is exempt from all financial liabilities. As a mother, she enjoys more recognition and higher honor in the sight of God (31:14-15;46:15). The Prophet acknowledged this honor when he declared that Paradise is under the feet of the mothers. She is entitled to three-fourths of the son’s love and kindness with one-fourth left for their father. As a wife she is entitled to demand of her prospective husband a suitable dowry that will be her own. She is entitled to complete provision and total maintenance by the husband. She does not have to work or share with her husband the family expenses. She is free to retain, after marriage, whatever she possessed before it, and the husband has no right whatsoever to any of her belongings. As a daughter or sister she is entitled to security and provision by the father and brother respectively. That is her privilege. If she wishes to work or be self-supporting and participate in handling the family responsibilities, she is quite free to do so, provided her integrity and honor are safeguarded. 11.The standing of woman in prayers behind man does not indicate in any sense that she is inferior to him. Woman, as already mentioned, is exempt from attending congregational prayers which are obligatory on man. But if she does attend she stands in separate lines made up of women exclusively . This is a regulation of discipline in prayers, and not a classification of importance. In men’s rows the head of state stands shoulder to shoulder to the pauper. Men of the highest ranks in society stand in prayer side by side with other men of the lowest ranks. The order of lines in prayers is introduced to help every one to concentrate in his meditation. It is very important because Muslim prayers are not simply chanting or the sing-a-song type. They involve actions, motions, standing, bowing, prostration, etc. So if men mix with women in the same lines, it is possible that something disturbing or distracting may happen. The mind will become occupied by something alien to prayer and derailed from the clear path of mediation. The result will be a loss of the purpose of prayers, besides an offense of adultery committed by the eye, because the eye-by looking at forbidden things – can be guilty of adultery as much as the heart itself. Moreover, no Muslim man or woman is allowed during prayers to touch the body of another person of the opposite sex. If men and women stand side by side in prayer they cannot avoid touching each other. Furthermore, when a woman is praying in front of a man or beside him, it is very likely that any part of her dressed body may become uncovered after a certain motion of bowing or prostrating. The man’s eye may happen to be looking at the uncovered part, with the result that she will be embarrassed and he will be exposed to distraction or possibly evil thoughts. So, to avoid any embarrassment and distraction to help concentrate on mediation and pure thoughts, to maintain harmony and order among worshippers, to fulfill the true purposes of prayers, Islam has ordained the organization of rows, whereby men stand in front lines, and women behind the children. Anyone with some knowledge of the nature and purpose of Muslim prayers can readily understand the wisdom of organizing the lines of worshippers in this manner. 12.The Muslim woman is always associated with an old tradition known as the “veil”. It is Islamic that the woman should beautify herself with the veil of honor, dignity, chastity, purity and integrity. She should refrain from all deeds and gestures that might stir the passions of people other than her legitimate husband or cause evil suspicion of her morality. She is warned not to display her charms or expose her physical attractions before strangers. The veil which she must put on is one that can save her soul from weakness, her mind from indulgence, her eyes from lustful looks, and her personality from demoralization. Islam is most concerned with the integrity of woman, with the safeguarding of her morals and morale and with the protection of her character and personality (cf. Qur’an, 24:30-31). 13.By now it is clear that the status of woman in Islam is unprecedentedly high and realistically suitable to her nature. Her rights and duties are equal to those of man but not necessarily or absolutely identical with them. If she is deprived of one thing in some aspect, she is fully compensated for it with more things in many other aspects. The fact that she belongs to the female sex has no bearing on her human status or independent personality, and it is no basis for justification of prejudice against her or injustice to her person. Islam gives her as much as is required of her. Her rights match beautifully with her duties. The balance between rights and duties is maintained, and no side overweighs the other. The whole status of woman is given clearly in the Qur’anic verse which may be translated as follows: And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but man have a degree (of advantage as in some cases of inheritance) over them (2:228). This degree is not a title of supremacy or an authorization of dominance over her. It is to correspond with the extra responsibilities of man and give him some compensation for his unlimited liabilities. The above mentioned verse is always interpreted in the light of another (4:34). It is these extra responsibilities that give man a degree over woman in some economic aspects. It is not a higher degree in humanity or in character. Nor is it a dominance of one over the other or suppression of one by the other. It is a distribution of God’s abundance according to the needs of the nature of which God is the Maker. And He knows best what is good for woman and what is good for man. God is absolutely true when He declares: mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, Who created you from a single person, and created of like nature his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women (4:1).
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