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Pre-Islamic Era Period - Essay Example

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Pre-Islamic Period The period before the spread of Islam, otherwise known as pre-Islamic period was very different from the society we have today. Some of the ways of life in pre-Islamic period demonstrated high degree of gender, social discrimination, and immaturity…
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This essay will also investigate the reasons for infanticide and discrimination against women in the Arabian Peninsula. Killing of infants was a common practice in Arabia before the spread of Islamic religion. Infanticide in Arabia was practiced as a cultural practice and as a measure to prevent economic hardship. Families used to kill their newborn children as a way to save themselves and society from starvation. Economic hardship was not the only reason why infanticide was widely practiced in the Arabian Peninsula. Infanticide was also practiced as a cultural practice and it was considered as the best way to eliminate unwanted people from the society (Andag web). The Arabian society considered itself an upright society and therefore imperfect people were unwanted. Children born with abnormalities were considered as a bad omen and hence they were eliminated through infanticide. Children born from illegitimate relationship were also considered for elimination through infanticide. However, women were the primary reason for infanticide. The role of women was of little significance as people valued masculine people who could protect the society against enemies. Therefore, most of the children born as females were eliminated through infanticide. However, this practice changed with the introduction of Islam. “Qalt al-awlad” (Infanticide) for any reason is a pagan practice and hence its practice provoked and contributed to the spread of Islam. Women and women issues have always raised controversies in most Islamic societies especially the Arabian society. The position of women in the society has taken from the pre-Islamic Arabia as opposed to most people’s beliefs. Although women did not gain same freedom and equality with men after the spread of Islam, their position in the society was much worse during the pre-Islamic period. Women in pre-Islamic Arabia suffered many injustices and humiliation before the spread of the prophet’s message. Women were considered as material property of the society that could be gained and disposed at will (Ankerberg, and Caner 56). Women had limited rights and they depended on their male guardians for crucial decisions in life. The dependency to their male guardians for crucial life decisions went beyond the ordinary life. Men in the society had the choice to decide the gender of the child they wanted from their wives. In most cases, male children were preferred over the female. News of the birth of a female child meant grief to a father and most men ordered their wives to get rid of the child. However, this came to change with the introduction of Islam. Indeed, it is claimed that the first person to accept Islam was a woman named Khadija. Women received better treatment thereafter. Although most of the Arabian regions are Islam dominated, the regions did practice religion even before the spread of Islam. Some of the Arabian region practiced what can be termed as mild forms of Christianity and Judaism. However, worship of idols and demigods was the most prevalent form of religion. The three goddesses namely Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat were the most widely worshiped goddesses of pre-Islamic period in the Arabian region. The greatest god was referred to as Hubal and his statute was situated in Mecca. The Arabians believed in spirits, which were believed to control good and evil, and therefore control human nature. However, most of these religious ideologies changed with the introduc Read More
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