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History of Islamic Women

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Madison Chandler

1st block World History

The rise and expansion of Islam has undeniably had an impact on the role and rights of women throughout history. Since the seventh century up until now, the Muslim faith has restricted women’s rights. The rights and status of Islamic women often remained the same or became worse for women as Islam spread to other countries becoming a world religion.

Although at beginning of Islam, women were partially considered equal. As stated in the Quran, both women and men are both believers in Allah, regardless of gender, but they should also be protected always. Muhammad also shared equal views of men and women. Views similar to the views of women in Egypt. This was due to the many strong women involved in the development of Islam during his time. One of these women include his wife. However men were still seen as superior to women. Men were seen as the head of household and had full control over their wives.

As the Muslim empire continued to expand and develop, the role of women fluctuated and changed as well. The varying rights of women in different social classes can be seen in an Abbasid painting where slave girls in the harem demonstrate the seclusion of women they are unveiled show that there still is some freedom in the dress of lower-class women

According an Islamic leader, the sight of women is so alluring that it can be corrupting and distracting to men. This is where the Islamic established the belief in veiling, in order alleviate temptation and maintain organized social behavior.

Today traditional Muslims still dress completely covered and veiled in some Islamic states, like in Afghanistan, women wear burqas, a bulky garments that cover most of their bodies and are not allowed to associate with unveiled women and men other than their husbands. This shows that even today, Islamic women are still not treated equal and are considered subordinate to their husbands.

The overall fluctuating status of Islamic women shows that while Islam has been one of the most changing religions in the world, the restriction of women’s rights has become more strict and controlling during the development, rise, and expansion of the Islamic faith.



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