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Status of Women in Islam - Essay Example

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When Islam was founded in the seventh century, women in the East were freed from oppression and injustice and given their due rights. During the course of history woman has long been the oppressed section of the society. She had been exploited in Greece, Rome (Byzantine empire), Egypt, Iraq, India, China and Arabia…
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Status of Women in Islam
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"Status of Women in Islam"

Download file to see previous pages In India the widow was consigned to flames at the funeral pyre of her dead husband.
The religious faiths given to asceticism regarded her as the source of sin, the door leading to transgression and contact with her was considered an impediment in spiritual development and salvation. In most civilizations of the world she enjoyed no place in society. [1] She was contemptible and despised in their estimate. She had no social and political rights. She could not exercise her own free will in any financial deal. She was under the tutelage of her father, later under the oppressive rule of the tyrant of a husband and lastly under the patronizing care of the male offspring. She was not permitted by long standing conventions to challenge their authority and she had no course of justice to appeal to by way of escape from tyranny and excesses--not even a breath of complaint.
Undoubtedly she has at times been in the seat of authority in some parts of the world. And it is also on record in the world history that empires and governments have danced to her tune, even tantrums, and it has been a common occurrence that she has had ascendancy in familial, tribal and monarchial activities. In some uncivilized tribes she had enjoyed superiority and rule and there are remnants of it still to be seen. [2] Yet as female of the human species, there was little change in her status and she suffered in silence through the course of history and remained deprived of her due rights as usual.

Role of Women in Religion
Muslims seek guidance from Allah through His book, the Qur'an, and His messenger Mohammed. Muslims believe that the word of Allah is supreme and takes precedence over all traditions cultures. Muslim women were expected to participate in the prayer sessions as the Mosque along with that of the men. Not only were women granted equality like the men, the women were given the same spiritual status as men.
"Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, Verily, to him will We give new Life, and life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions." (Koran, Sura 16, Verse 97) [3].
As the Islamic state and religion expanded, interpretations of the gender roles laid out in the Quran varied with different cultures. [4]
In modern contemporary times, some Muslim women, as well as men, have rejected the limitations put on them and have begun to re-interpret the Qur'an.
"I shall not lose sight of the labor of any of you who labors in My way, be it man or woman; each of you is equal to the other (3:195)" [5]
"Spiritual equality, responsibility and accountability for both men and women is a well developed theme in the Quran. Understanding the spiritual equality of women in Islam is to understand that equality between men and women in the sight of God is not limited to purely spiritual, religious issues, but is the basis for equality in all temporal aspects of human life." [6]

Independence and Freedom of Choice
As for what Muslim feminists argue women should wear to conform to Islamic ideals: unlike Islamists, who maintain that the hijab stands as the very symbol of Muslim piety; the most important element for Muslim feminists appears to be the element of freedom of choice in interpreting the Islamic dress code. Mai ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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