Gender roles in Islam - Wikipedia
Islamic scholars have grouped these broadly into two halves, male and female, and any comprehensive understanding and connection to the. In nearly all countries surveyed, a majority of Muslims say that a wife should always obey her husband. women are more supportive of women's rights than are Muslim men. This view is especially prevalent in Southern and Eastern Europe, . Chapter 5: Relations Among Muslims · Chapter 6: Interfaith. Islam regards women as spiritual and intellectual equals of men. There is no difference between men and women as far as their relationship to God is.
By no means, however, does this reflect acceptance of the channelling of this energy in the wrong direction, that is, outside divinely-sanctioned marriage which forms the basis of the family.
Thus Islam, as do all other revealed religions, prohibits adultery as well as all forms of licentiousness whether they be visible or invisible. Islam has filled in all the gaps that could lead to these acts, thus providing protection for men and women from all factors of seduction and lust. On the basis of the instinctive nature of the woman and the need for a healthy and proper atmosphere for her relationship with the man, Islam has set its codes for the woman as well as all the other relevant codes, instructions and rules.
To guard her femininity and acknowledge its needs so as not to repress it, is what Islam is after. It tries to create a barrier between the woman and degradation, to protect her from the human wolves and predators who chase her into their lairs, devour her and discard the despoiled remains.
We can give a rough summation of Islam's attitude to femininity as follows: For this reason some of the things that men are forbidden to do are permissible for women. So the woman can wear gold and pure silk; hence the Hadith, "These two substances are prohibited for the men of my nation and allowed for its women". A woman is not to wear a man's garment; a man is not to wear a woman's garment.
The Prophet blessings and peace be upon him says: Again the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him says, "Three kinds of people do not enter Paradise and do not enjoy Allah's gaze upon them on Judgement Day: Whether under the guardian care of her father, her husband, her son or her brother, she will be provided for by them as an obligation under the shar'a.
No basic need should compel her then to wade in the unexplored stretches of life with its conflicts, within the hustle of competitive men to win her bread-something that has befallen the Western woman under severe necessity in which neither father, brother, son or uncle look after her. The result is that she has to accept any kind of work for whatever payment in order to survive.
In order to achieve these noble objectives, Islam makes it incumbent on the woman to lower the eyes and preserve chastity and purity.
The flexibility of Islam allows the woman the option of covering her face or not. She is commanded in the Quran to speak in good faith. This showiness contradicts the conduct of a decent woman.
The Prophet blessings and peace be upon him says, "No man should be in seclusion with a woman and no woman should travel except with a non-marriageable relation," or her husband of course. Attending the congregational prayers in the mosque, seeking learning, co-operation in charity and promotion of piety are fields in which a woman's presence with men is accepted so that she will not be deprived of her right to participate in serving her community, and only on condition that she observes the limits of the Islamic code on social life.
With these directions and regulations, Islam provides safety for the woman and her femininity from impious tongues; it preserves her decency and chastity by distancing her from all factors of deviation. Islam guards her honour against the slurs of slanderers and spreaders of calumny.
Above all, it protects her soul and calms her nerves against the tension, instability and trepidation that spring from wild imaginations or obsessed hear torn between the factors of agitation and excitement. At the same time, islam protects the man from anxiety and aberration, the family from disintegration, and the society from collapse and decay. Legitimate Mixing Between Men and Women Some words which have existed in the language for a long time have acquired new significance and even weight.
Among these is the term "mixing or mingling ", which refers to mixing of men and women in one place.
During the Age of the Prophet blessings and peace he upon himthe Age of the Companions which succeeded it, and the age of their followers, Muslim men and women met at different gatherings, religious or otherwise, and this was not forbidden at all. Under the right circumstances and for good reasons, it was legitimate and natural for them to meet.
Nor was it called "mixing" then. In our age, however, the word has become very common. Nor do I know when it came into use with the new connotations unsavoury for Muslim men and women, since mixing one thing with another suggests a dissolution, the way sugar or salt is dissolved in water, a metaphor that would have unpleasant suggestions if applied to male-female relations.
Anyway, the purpose is to point out that not every kind of socialisation is prohibited as some may imagine and as other hard-liners argue. On the other hand, not all forms of mixing are acceptable as propagators of Westernization claim.
In the second volume of my book Contemporary Legal Opinions Fataawa Mu'aserahI answer questions on this and several other related matters such as greeting women, handshaking, treatment of women by male doctors and the reverse, in addition to other questions. A careful Muslim should refer to these legal opinions if he or she wants to learn about the rules of the Islamic teachings shar'a.
Here, nevertheless, I would like to make the point that it is our duty to adhere to the best guidance which is that of the Prophet Mohammed blessings and peace be upon himhis righteous successors and enlightened Companions whose pious paths he recommends sticking to, avoiding the two extreme routes of Western permissiveness and severe Eastern asceticism.
By examining this guidance of the Prophet blessings and peace be upon himwe find that the woman was not caged or isolated as happened later during the age of Muslim abatement. The women attended the major congregational prayers on Fridays at the Prophet's mosque, including the night Al-Esha and dawn Al-Fajr prayers. The Prophet blessings and peace be upon him would direct them to form rows behind the men rows, and the more to the back the better so that they would not see the sensitive parts of men's bodies that might have shown due to the fact that only a few were familiar with trousers and underwear, and there was no partition between the men and women.
Moreover, in the early stages of congregating for prayer, men and women would go through the same entrance where crowding would occur. The Prophet blessings and peace be upon him said, "If only we left this entrance to the women". They also attended the two Bairam a religious celebration congregations and took part in these big Islamic celebrations that involved all people, old and young, male and female, in the open outskirts where they would chant the name of Allah.
The women menstruating would stay away from prayer and witness the good of the day and Muslim's prayer to Allah. Some, however, such as the devotional retreat in the last ten days of Ramadan and the attendance of the Bairam congregation by women, are in the process of coming back to life through the efforts of the youth of the modern Islamic awakening.
Women always attended the teaching sessions of the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him. They would address aisha with the questions they found awkward or too bold to ask. The Prophet's wife, aisha may Allah be pleased with herpraised the women of the Ansar whose shyness did not prevent them from seeking knowledge of the religion and asking questions about major issues such as impurity full sex or ejaculation preventing one from performing some forms of worshipnight ejaculation, washing from impurity, menstruation and other such matters.
This, however, was not enough for them compared to the men's completely enfolding the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him ; so they demanded a special day of teaching be allocated to them without vying with a crowd of men, and said openly, "Messenger of Allah, the men have taken complete possession of your company, so devote one of your days to us.
Realistically speaking, this defies logic as such work would be unduly onerous for the aged when considering the physical and psychological exigencies of war. Eventually, the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him allocated shares in the spoils to them. They were also keen to take part in the Muslim conquests of distant lands to help disseminate the message of Islam.
Anas narrated, "One day, the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him took his siesta in the house of Urn Hiram. When he woke up, he laughed. There were kings seated on their thrones. A whole section is devoted to highlighting woman's roles in the battles and military expeditions. In the sphere of social life, the Muslim woman played her part, preaching of good deeds, enjoining what is right and forbidding evil, in conformity with Allah's statement: Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to doand forbid people from Al-Munkar i.
His comment on this was "everybody's knowledge is better than mine". By examining the Qur'an's discourse on woman's affairs and by looking onto the lives of the Prophets, we hardly find such an iron curtain, as is drawn by some people, between men and women. Thus in the prime of his youth, Prophet Moses peace be upon him is depicted talking to the two daughters of the old man of Madyan. He asks them questions and gets their answers without any particular feeling of guilt or embarrassment and magnanimously helps them.
One of them returns soon after with an invitation from her father for Moses to come to their house. One of them even suggests her father hire Moses, as he is a strong and honest man.
This is how the Qurtan puts it: He said, "What is the matter with you? And our father is a very old man. Truly, lam in need of whatever good you bestow upon me! You have escaped from the people who are Zalimun polytheists, disbelievers, and wrongdoers. Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy. From where have you got this? Advise me in this case of mine. I decide no case till you are present with me. Kings, when they enter a town countrythey despoil it, and make the most honourable amongst its people low.
And thus they do. It was said to her: Hence the correctness of the claim that the revealed code of preceding nations which is given in the Qur'an and the Sunna traditions of the Prophet Mohammed is also a code for us as long as no code of ours renders it null.
Allah said to his Messenger: So follow their guidance". Later, of course, the punishment changed to flogging for the unmarried couple who commit adultery and stoning to death for the married ones In summation, the encounter of men and women is not prohibited in itself.
Quite the contrary, it is allowable or even required if done in pursuit of a noble cause like gaining knowledge or performing good acts in which the joint efforts of both men and women are necessary. Pseudo-arguments for unrestricted mixing This is the position of Islam on man-woman relations, and their common involvement on charitable and righteous lines is what we call legitimate mixing; yet "intellectual imperialism" has managed to create in our countries people who turn a deaf ear to the ruling of Allah and His Messenger.
These people call on us to give the woman free rein to assert herself, promote her personality, enjoy her life and her femininity. They want her to mix with men freely, experience them closely where they would be together and alone, travel with them, go to cinemas or dance till midnight together. She is supposed to find the "right man" from all those she has known. In this way, it is said, life is supposed to be more secure and have greater stability in the face adversity.
These people who may well be thinking of themselves as unblemished seraphs, tell us not to worry about the man or woman as a result of this "decent" communication, innocent friendship and upright contact. The frequency of their contact will pacify desire. The two sexes will supposedly find satisfaction in the mere look, conversation or, in the extreme, dancing together, which is only a form of elevating artistic impression.
Sensual pleasure would have no place. It is a clean vent for energy, nothing more. This is said to be what the advanced West did after they rid themselves of complexes and privation. Pseudo-arguments disproved In answer to this line of thinking, we must say that we are Muslims first and foremost. We do not sell our religion in imitation of the vagaries of Westerners or Easterners.
Our religion forbids us from promiscuous mixing with its showiness and seductiveness: So follow you that Islamic Monotheism and its lawsand follow not the desires of those who know not. Verily, they can avail you nothing against Allah if He wants to punish you. In the United States, in Sweden, and in other countries where sexual freedom is the norm, statistics show that feverish lust is not alleviated by freedom of talk and contact, nor by whatever may follow that. On the contrary, the more people taste, the thirstier they become.
Shelina Zahra Janmohamed: Men and women are created from a single soul | Opinion | The Guardian
It would be better if we studied the consequences of this freedom or what may as well be termed looseness and abandonment of virtues and traditions in modern civilised Western societies. Effects of promiscuous mixing Numbers and events that fill statistics and reports provide a more convincing indictment of this point.
Sexual freedom and the sexual revolution has borne its bitter fruit with the dissolution of the barriers separating men and women and the resultant effects are set forth as follows. Moral decay The consequences of sexual promiscuity have been the disintegration of morality characterised by the tyranny of desire and the triumph of bestiality over humanity, the loss of sense of chastity and any sense of shyness and reserve by both men and women giving rise to an internally disturbed society.
In a famous speech inPresident Kennedy said that American young people were loose, indulgent and decadent; six out of seven young men were not fit to join the army because they were up to their ears in lustfulness. He warned against the ills of such youth leading the country. In a book by the Harvard Research Centre director, entitled The Sexual Revolution, the author firmly states the United States is heading towards a catastrophic situation of sexual anarchy, akin to that of the Romans and Greeks.
He adds that Americans are beset the by dangers of sexual intemperance that would overwhelm their culture and all aspects of their life. While the communists were more reticent on these matters, and general restrictions existed on media coverage, inKhrushchev declared that the Soviet youth had deviated and had been spoilt by luxury.
He threatened to open concentration camps in Siberia to rid the society of the decadent youth that posed a threat to the future of the Soviet Union. Illegitimate children The rapid increase in the numbers of illegitimate children is directly related to the unlimited rein given to desire and the removal of barriers between young men and women. Statistics on the ratio of pregnant school girls in the United States revealed dreadful dimension.
In a newspaper report, one third of the infants born in were illegitimate. Most of them were born to young women under nineteen.
Drops in Marriage Rates The availability of sex without any liability of marriage and family has led youth take the route of spending their youth between different partners, enjoying change without commitment to a "monotonous life" and without having to provide the costs of a responsible married life and the liabilities of fatherhood.
Thus a huge number of young women are deprived of the opportunity to have a husband, and settle with a modicum of peace and security, because of the illicit yearnings of easy relationships.
Similarly, there are a lot of young men who are also deprived of a peaceful life. Statistics published in the United States show, for the first time since the beginning of the century, the majority of the inhabitants of San Francisco are celibate; fifty-three per cent are not married. For Bruce Chapman, who announced the findings, this was probably an indication of the obsolescence of the traditional family pattern. He added that these social changes were good for the welfare of the city which had witnesses a forty per cent increase in the number of youth between twenty-five and thirty-four during the previous ten years.
This, however, did not include the homosexuals of the city who constitute fifteen per cent of the population. In the face of the sexual degradation which is a predominant social phenomena on the Western world, it was natural for Swedish women to stage a ,woman demonstration in protest against unlimited sexual freedom.
It must have been woman's institutes and awareness of their future life and where their interests lie that motivated them to organise such a huge protest. High Divorce Rates and Destruction of the Family Not only is marriage beset by many obstacles, it is also unsafe after its accomplishment. The family collapses and bonds break with occurrence of the slightest problem. In all Western countries, divorce rates are skyrocketing. Spread of Lethal Diseases The outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as neurotic, mental and psychological diseases, the spread of complexes and disturbances that claim hundreds of thousands of patients are among the acknowledged effects of sexual promiscuity.
This virus is responsible for the body's loss of immunity leaving it vulnerable to all factors of decay Millions of people have succumbed to this menace, a fact that provides a modern piece of evidence for the words of the Prophet Mohammed blessings and peace be upon him that, "Lechery never appears in a community, but with its proclamation, plague and affliction appear throughout, which did not exist in bygone generations".
Freud and his followers in psychoanalysis argued that the lifting traditional restrictions on sexual instincts would relieve the nerves and consciousness, undo complexes and give souls a sense of comfort and ease.
The restrictions have been lifted, the desires have been released and the complicated souls are only worse off; nerves are tenser and anxiety is the disease of the age.
Not even the opening of a million clinics have helped. It is hard to believe this is the picture the proponents of unrestricted mixing would like to see of us when Allah has protected us against its evils. Or is it only that they do not know?
Inheritance Rights for Women In 12 of the 23 countries where the question was asked, at least half of Muslims say that sons and daughters should have equal inheritance rights. In South Asia and Southeast Asia, opinion differs widely by country.
Across the Middle East and North Africa, fewer than half of Muslims say sons and daughters should receive the same inheritance shares.
Created from a single soul
National Context and Gender Attitudes Attitudes toward gender issues may be influenced by the social and political context in which Muslims live. For instance, levels of support for equal inheritance by sons and daughters is often more widespread in countries where laws do not specify that sons should receive greater shares.
Indeed, in most countries where laws do not mandate unequal inheritance for sons and daughters, a majority of Muslims support equal inheritance. In the remaining 11 countries, opinions of women and men do not differ significantly on this question. Similarly, when it comes to the issue of equal inheritance for sons and daughters, Muslim women in nine countries are more likely than Muslim men to support it.
But in the 14 other countries where the question was asked, the views of women and men are not significantly different. Attitudes of both Muslim women and men may reflect the prevailing cultural and legal norms of their society.
Differences between those who want sharia to be the official law and those who do not are most pronounced when it comes to the role of wives. In 10 of the 23 countries where the question was asked, supporters of sharia as official law are more likely to say wives must always obey their husbands.
Another Qur'anic verse says, "When you divorce your wives, lodge them where you dwell according to your wealth, and do not pressure them to leave through harassment.
And if they are with child, give them their expenses until they give birth to their child. After you cut your relationship with them, if they continue to suckle your children, give them their due payment. Resolve the issue of payment due with kindness amongst yourselves according to your legal customs.
If the mother of the child, by not suckling the child causes problems, the father should pay for another woman to suckle his child. Those who are wealthy should give according to their wealth.
Are men and women considered equal?
Those who have limited income, let them give according to their wealth from what God has given them. God makes people responsible only according to their capacity. God bestows ease after difficulty" Thus, the Qur'an, as in many cases in this matter, in addition to reminding spouses about their duties towards one another, emphasizes the main principles of human morality, and invites individuals to be respectful to God and virtuous towards each other.
Such an atmosphere of respect is necessary for the continuation of humane and legal relations. That is because institutions such as marriage with a unique aspect of privacy can hardly be controlled by outsiders.
As a matter of fact, it is a considerable issue to refer to a judge or a referee in the case of disagreement between spouses. Yet, the fundamental issue is to prevent the problems from the very beginning, or to solve them at the very time of occurrence. This is in great part related to the personality, ethics, and characteristics of the two parties. It is highly difficult to keep the harmony of married life through various philosophical and legal orders without putting the faith of God in the heart without a sense of self-criticism and respect for people.
The Qur'an, in various places, draws attention via emphasis on the warm atmosphere of the home "And one of the signs of His existence and power is this: He has created for you helpmates in order to make you feel comfortable with one another, and He ordained between you love and mercy. There are lessons in this sign for those who reflect" Islam addresses women and men equally and raises women, with its remarkable breath, to a blessed position.
It has taken women from being objects for men to the level that paradise lay under their feet. After the emergence of Islam, no one could force such gentle creatures to adultery, whoredom, and impurity.
She would not be treated as property; she could not be accused of impurity. Such an accusation would result in a severe punishment on the part of the accuser. Save those who afterward repent and make amends.
Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. As for those who accuse their wives but have no witnesses except themselves; let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies, swearing by Allah that he is of those who speak the truth; And yet a fifth, invoking the curse of Allah on him if he is of those who lie"