Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Women in Islam


The West mocks Islam for cloaking their women from head to toe and restricting them to mere household chores and giving birth to and raising children. In fact a very bleak picture is painted of the plight of women in Islam and her wearing a hijab has become a matter of severe criticism. Some even pity the state and 'plight' of women in Islam.

This is one view. The other view is that of non Muslim women, living in a state of openness, individual freedom and free from any bonds to choose the living they wanted, still converting to Islam. This is the answer to those who pity women in Islam as women who were apparent free still chose to be women of Islam. Thus therefore, there must be something that still attracts women to Islam, beside men, and live a life altogether different of their forefathers, families and friends.

This subject will be not restricted to just one post, but many other to follow to explain the privilege and special position and status Islam reserves for the women.

The status of women in great Empires like the Roman Empire and other has been rather derogatory, unequal and for lustful needs of the men with no independent and individual status. For example in the Roman Civilization, If married she and her property passed into the power of her husband... the wife was the purchased property of her husband, and like a slave acquired only for his benefit. A woman could not exercise any civil or public office, could not be a witness, surety, tutor, or curator; she could not adopt or be adopted, or make will or contract. Among the Scandinavian races women were: under perpetual tutelage, whether married or unmarried. As late as the Code of Christian V, at the end of the 17th Century, it was enacted that if a woman married without the consent of her tutor he might have, if he wished, administration and usufruct of her goods during her life.

As per the Common English Law: ...all real property which a wife held at the time of a marriage became a possession of her husband. He was entitled to the rent from the land and to any profit which might be made from operating the estate during the joint life of the spouses. As time passed, the English courts devised means to forbid a husband's transferring real property without the consent of his wife, but he still retained the right to manage it and to receive the money which it produced. As to a wife's personal property, the husband's power was complete. He had the right to spend it as he saw fit.

But Islam right from the outset set clear instructions as regard to status of woen when revelaed in the 7th century AD. It was only by late 19th century did the Church and Christian world started to relaise the status of women and granted them a semblance of equalness.

Before the reveleation of Islam, the Arabs in Arabia would bury the newly born baby girls as it was a matter of shame for a MAN to bear a girl. Quran makes a special mention of this ritual:
"When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain her on (sufferance) and contempt, or bury her in the dust? Ah! What an evil (choice) they decide on?" [Quran 16:58-59]
And it was one of the very commandments from Allah to stop this inhuman treatment meted out to women and spelt to some rejoicing status and role for women under the fold of Islam. In fact one complete chapter in Quran, Surah Al Nisah' is reserved for the affairs related to women in Islam.

Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) thus says: "Whosoever has a daughter and he does not bury her alive, does not insult her, and does not favor his son over her, Allah will enter him into Paradise. "

At another place the Prophet is quoted as saying: "Whosoever supports two daughters till they mature, he and I will come in the Day of Judgment as this (and he pointed with his two fingers held together). " As against many misconceptions about imparting of education, the Prophet categorically asserted, "The right of females to seek knowledge is not different from that of males as seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim."

We will continue to be more specific as to the status and rights of women in Islam to quell many a misnomer about life of women in Islam.

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