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Women in Islam

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The Women of Islam

Society in western civilization sees Islam's treatment of women as heinous, unfair, and typically cruel. How can one respect a religion and culture that makes their women cover themselves from head to toe in 100 degree weather, walk behind her spouse, enter separate doors of the mosque (if they are even allowed to enter), pray in an closed off area separate from the men, marry complete strangers, and receive little to no education. These few examples and a lot more can surely discourage anyone from even wanting to become a Muslim, especially women. These problems are particularly ironic due to the fact that Islam was the first religion to try to equalize men and women, which is truly hard to believe being that Muslim countries by far treat their women the most unjust. This paper will discuss certain hardships of the women of Islam and further discuss if this is truly a religion that discriminates women and if not where the problem exists. The topics that will be discussed are the problems for women in mosques, and common misinterpretations of rights of Muslim women vs. the laws they actually have.

There is plenty of controversy whether women should be allowed to pray in the same room as men. Men have even taken it as far as banishing women to basements, using barriers like curtains, walls, and partitions, and even banning women from the mosque entirely! With this kind of inequality and preferential treatment one can understand how shocked and amazed that this continues to go on. The questions society ponders about is, is this part of the religion? Is this what the Qu'ran promotes? Are women not good enough to worship in the same room as men? The answer to all three of these questions is no. According to Islam For Today, Yahya M. quotes "The prophet said: If any among your women asks permission to go into the mosque, don't stop her from going" (M, Yahya, Islam For Today, pg1). So with this verse being said one would think that a woman should be able to go to the mosque and worship whenever she pleases. Also, there is nothing in the Qu'ran that states that women should be separate from the men during worship or prayer; it even says in the Shari'ah that partitions or barriers of any sort are not required. This definantly was not a tradition of the prophet. According to Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi "When men and women pray together in the Masjid then we should have first men's lines behind the Imam, then children and then women. This is the way Muslims used to pray behind the Prophet" (Siddiqi, Islam For Today, pg1). So this was not something that was started by the prophet Mohammed because once again he spoke on equality of both men and women. So if separation between genders aren't in the Qu'ran, Mohammed preached equality for women and men, and this isn't a tradition of the religion then why is it still going on? Some ideas were that maybe women came to the mosque without proper clothing attire or that men just wanted the upper hand and ultimate control no matter what it is this idea of separation is not a requirement of Islam nor is it anywhere in the Qu'ran.

Society today views women of Islam as having no rights, having no freedom, a mere puppet to her husband to do nothing but act as a "baby making machine" and await his next command. Women in some Muslim society are viewed as unequal and second-class to men, women are unable to divorce their husband, and conduct business. This seems kind of contrary when compared to the liberating treatment of women pioneered by Muhammad himself. Is this how Islam perceived its women and if so what happened to what the prophet Muhammad said? According to the Qu'ran this is not true. In 33:35, of the Qu'ran is states "for Muslim men and women-for believing in men and women, for devout mean and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in gods praise-for them has god prepared forgiveness and great reward" (Islamic.Org, 2005, pg 4). According the this verse men and women are viewed as equals both measured on the same merit of good and bad and if equally good both will be rewarded from Allah. Another misinterpretation is women cannot conduct business because her duty is as a homemaker. This is also untrue according to " Islam law makes no demand that women should confine themselves to household duties" (Islamic.Org, 2005, pg 5). In fact in the early days of Muhammad women conducted businesses, for example Khadijah, Muhammad's first wife was a businesswoman, as a matter of fact she hired him and proposed to him! Women of Islam participated in trading in the marketplace, supervising marketplaces, even fighting in battles. So basically, woman can work like men but they don't have to. It is a man's duty to take care of the household but if a woman wants to participate also it is ok as long as she remains thoroughly involved in motherhood and the duties of marriage. Another misinterpretation that the western society sees in Islam is that women are not allowed to divorce their husbands, and only the husbands have that right. This is not true according to Islam.Org, which states "If the husband willfully fails to maintain his wife, she has the right to divorce him in court" (, 2005, pg 8). Another misinterpretation is that women have no right to an education. This, ironically, also comes up as incorrect. Both women and men can be taught by each other. According to Islam .org the prophet Muhammad stated, " Return home to your wives and children and stay with them. Teach them (what you have learned) and ask them to act upon it" (Islamic.Org,



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