islamwomen

islamwomen - Women in Islam: A Return to Emancipation...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Women in Islam: A Return to Emancipation Presented by Urzala Weiss 260167378 April 5 th , 2008 For Religion 370 The Human Condition Elizabeth Morton
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
The status of women in the world’s second largest practiced religion, Islam, has been a subject of much debate in modernity. Prior to the religion’s emergence in the 6 th century CE, women were regularly treated in ways we can only understand as grotesque human rights abuses. With Islam came a wave of progressiveness and promise for the amelioration of women’s role in society. For the next few centuries it successfully accomplished precisely that; an elevation in the status of women who could now enjoy rights and respects in a manner unforeseen. However, as the rest of the world went through rapid modernization experiences, with an emphasis on the rights and liberties of individuals, women in Islam were sluggish in catching up. This can be attested to the patriarchal oppressiveness they were subjected to. With the spread of fundamentalist Islam in the 20 th century, and the subsequent ambiance of a clash of civilizations, the role of women and its lack of evolution in over a millennium, is finally attracting global attention. Particularly amongst feminist Islamic scholars today, there is a growing trend in understanding Islam and it’s sacred writings as being emancipatory, comparable to its original achievement. HISTORICAL CONTEXT Islam emerged amongst Arabian city-dwellers and merchants in the Middle East. Before Mohammed was receiving messages from God that were later compiled into the Qur’an, the situation in that area of the world was marked by a total disregard for women as anything more than slaves or property. Female infanticide was an acceptable and common practice, as was selling women into slavery or acquiring them as war booty
Background image of page 2
(themuslimwoman.com, 2008). Because of this historical context Islam was deemed very progressive, not only in this region of the Middle East but also given the sub-species categorization of women in India and Europe at the time. Islam prohibited the practice of female infanticide, which often appeared in brutal forms, including burying live babies in the sand. With Islam, women were given some inheritance rights, encouraged to pursue an education and/or employment (so long as it was consistent with the family’s wishes), and were recognized as spiritual equals to men in front of God. Islam stressed the sanctity in respectful relationships between the sexes, and called for a far superior treatment of women. In [4.19] of the Qur’an it says, “O you who believe! it is not lawful for you that you should take women as heritage against (their) will, and do not straiten them in order that you may take part of what you have given them, unless they are guilty of manifest indecency, and treat them kindly; then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it” (Shakir, 1983) Because of these progressive developments women’s rights in Islam were not challenged until much later. With the modernization experiences in the rest of the world, marked by
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 13

islamwomen - Women in Islam: A Return to Emancipation...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online