Muslim Women Essay

1980 words - 8 pages

'Some westerns think Muslim women do not receive equal treatment with men. In fact, the aim of Islam is quite the opposite.' Examine and comment on this claim in the context of a multicultural society.

It would be correct to say that, today, western society portrays Muslim women as oppressed, secluded, ill-treated, and unequal to men. However, Islam is quite the opposite and in order to show this, women in all aspects of society and every day life shall be examined. Furthermore, reference from the Quran and Hadith will be closely looked at along side views from Islamic scholars in context of a multicultural society.

Westerners, today, have a much prescribed view towards Muslim women. This ...view middle of the document...

His khutba, as mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Islamic Hadith book, it is narrated by Aisha, wife of the Prophet Muhammad:

"Fear Allah regarding women. Verily you have married them with the trust of ALLAH, and made their bodies lawful with the word of Allah. You have got rights over them, and they have got rights over you in respect of their food and clothing according to your means". (Sahih Bukhari)

The misconception westerners have about ill-treatment of women is further proved wrong by the Quranic verse saying:

"O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness..." (4:19)

Not only does this verse rebuke ill-treatment towards women but also talks about inheriting them without their will. This inheritance, according to Ibn-e-Kathir, a scholar of Islam who has written explanation of the Quran in detail, is marriage. This clearly shows how Islam does not promote or encourage forced marriages. In fact Allah has created men and women as company for one another, and so that they can procreate and live in peace and tranquillity and according to the commandments of Allah:

"...He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them..." (30:21)

This verse of the Quran clearly shows that in contrast to what the western society, which thinks Islam belittles women, Islam considers marriage as one of the most virtues and approved institution and men don't own women and vice versa. Another misconception the westerners have is that, a woman has no consent in her marriage. In response to that the Quran says:

"Do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree between themselves in a lawful manner" (2:232)

This clearly shows how the consent of both the man and the women is as essential element of marriage and the Quran gives women a substantial rile in choosing their own life partners.

One of the main questions asked by westerners, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, is why do Muslim women have to cover their heads and doesn't it seclude them and oppresses them? The question of 'hijab', Islamic covering, for a Muslim woman, has been a controversy for centuries and will probably continue for many more. Some learned people do not consider the subject open to discussion and consider that covering the face is required, while a majority are of the opinion that it is not required. The hijab is the modest covering of a Muslim woman. When Muslim women are asked as to why they wear the hijab? They reply, because it is a command of Allah. The Quran says:

Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils...

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