Muslim Views on Women in Society
The role of the women in Islam is oftentimes misunderstood because of the stereotypes that society has placed on the Muslim community. The real roles may . Muslims in most countries surveyed say that a wife should always obey her husband. In 20 of the 23 countries where the. Naturally, a major issue such as the role of “women” and “the social status of Overall, the original religious texts describe women in Islam as innocent and pure .
Moroccan sociologist Fatima Mernissi raised questions about the authority and authenticity of certain hadith typically used to justify a subordinate position for women, noting that they were often given privileged status over hadith with a stronger chain of transmission isnad that tended to be more favorable toward women.
Her conclusion that the end result, a lesser status for women, was a consequence of male privilege in interpretational issues, has sparked additional research.
Gender Inclusiveness in Public Worship Some Muslim women have challenged the male prerogative in the mosque, not only by asserting their right to pray in the mosque in the same room as men, but also by claiming their historic right to lead prayers in a mixed-gender setting. South African Muslim women had tied the issue of gender equality to the end of oppression and discrimination of all sorts-racial, gender, and religious-that was ushered in with the end of apartheid in the s. South African Islamic liberation theology deliberately embraced the inclusion of women in leadership roles in public worship as evidence of its sincerity in ending discrimination.
As early as the s, women led mixed-gender prayers and delivered the khutbah Friday sermonciting the example of Umm Waraqah, who was appointed by the Prophet Muhammad as imamah female prayer leader over her own mixed-gender household. Women also asserted their right to pray alongside men in shared common space in the mosque.
Women in Islam
Having performed the functions of imamah prayer leader and khatibah preacher of the Friday sermon in South Africa inAmerican Muslim scholar Amina Wadud declared her spiritual fitness to do the same in an American setting, which she did in New York City in Since then, others have done the same, including Asra Nomani in Boston in A step further was taken by Kecia Ali in when she officiated at a Muslim wedding, giving the sermon and administering the vows.
While these women are the vanguard of self-designated "progressive" Islam, other American Muslim women leaders have chosen to maintain male privilege in certain activities, particularly leadership of mixed-gender prayers. Ingrid Mattson, the first woman to head the largest Muslim organization in North America, the Islamic Society of North America, supports male privilege in leading prayers, based on her understanding of the Sunnah Muhammad's example In Morocco and Turkey, the question of female imams took the national stage.
The Moroccan Ministry of Islamic Affairs awarded diplomas to fifty female imams in That same year, the Directorate of Religious Affairs Diyanet in Turkey appointed two hundred female imams as state employees and announced that passages discriminating against women or subordinating them to men would be deleted from the hadith. Interpreting Islamic Law The interpretation of Islamic law shariah is one of the most contentious issues for Muslim women today, as changes to the law are viewed as critical to the expansion of women's practical rights.
Because the roles of mufti person issuing a legal opinion, or fatwa and judge are restricted to men, some women seek to acquire these roles in order to have a voice in the deliberations. For example, inthe American Society for Muslim Advancement organized a conference on Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity that resulted in the formation of a women's shura advisory council to provide alternative opinions and claim a voice for women's rights in the field of Islamic law.
A select core group of women scholars will examine certain legal issues, but then return the proposed position to the collective group to vote on each recommended position. The majority opinion would ultimately be distributed globally. Anticipated topics to be addressed include dress, equality in the mosque, female imams, honor killings, and the hudud ordinances on the books in countries like Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and parts of Nigeria.
These ordinances prescribe the death penalty for zina sexual activity outside of marriageand often include rape in the category of zina. Another American-based organization, Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, founded in by Egyptian-American scholar Azizah al-Hibri, is also working to change the practice of shariah in countries where the shariah is not implemented in a balanced way.
Noting a tendency of bias and discrimination toward women, this organization has established an international network of Muslim women jurists to support the rights of Muslim women both domestically and globally by developing gender-equitable Islamic jurisprudence based on the foundational and classical sources. Membership includes both academics and lawyers who are demanding a reinterpretation of gender-biased laws. SinceKaramah has addressed core issues and legal realities affecting Muslim women's lives, such as marriage and divorce laws, child custody, education, political participation, domestic violence, economic, and inheritance rights.
Even countries as conservative as Saudi Arabia and Iran have expanded the public roles of women in the Islamic court system. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot serve as judges; however, female representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs attend all hearings and court cases related to children as advisors to the male judges to assure that the mother's concerns are included in the deliberations. Although the law generally assigns custody of a boy over the age of seven and a girl over the age of nine to the father, Saudi women have challenged this practice by asserting the broader Qur'anic value of preservation of human life and child welfare and safety in cases where the husband has a history of domestic violence or has a lifestyle involving drug or alcohol abuse that could potentially harm the child or the child's development.
Women have also expanded the grounds on which they may file for divorce while keeping their financial rights intact. Similarly, in post-revolutionary Iran, women are no longer permitted to work as judges, but maintain a presence in the court system as employees, advisors, and lawyers, such as former judge and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi.
Women in Islam - Wikipedia
The presence of women in these domains has been bolstered by the creation of a theological college for women, Jame'at al-Zahra, where women can study Shi'i jurisprudence. Iran is home to multiple women's movements, some secular and some self-consciously Islamic, that have found ways to work together toward common goals, including lobbying for changes to Islamically-based marriage and divorce laws, to expand women's rights.
As with other organizations and interpreters, care has been given to frame the reforms in terms of Qur'anic values and principles. Assessment Although significant strides have been made in the insertion of women's voices into Islamic debates, challenges clearly remain, particularly in widely-accepted conservative interpretations that appear to be supported by Qur'anic texts.
Muslim women have successfully networked and engaged in dialogue and cooperation with other Muslim women globally; however, the ultimate success of joining women's voices to the interpretation of Islam requires their acceptance as equally capable interpreters alongside their male colleagues.On Treating Women in Islam - Khutbah by Nouman Ali Khan
Many Muslim men support and encourage this dialogue within Islam, as critical to the development of Islam in the twenty-first century. Suggested Further Reading Bakhtiar, Laleh. Woman's Identity and the Qur'an: University Press of Florida, Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an.
University of Texas Press, Muslim Builders of World Civilization and Culture. Qur'an, Liberation and Pluralism: Women in Muslim Family Law, rev. Syracuse University Press, Debating form and function in Muslim women's leadership. The Religious Debate in Contemporary Iran. Princeton University Press, Included in secondary sources are fatwaswhich are often widely distributed, orally or in writing by Muslim clerics, to the masses, in local language and describe behavior, roles and rights of women that conforms with religious requirements.
Fatwas are theoretically non-binding, but seriously considered and have often been practiced by most Muslim believers.
The secondary sources typically fall into five types of influence: There is considerable controversy, change over time, and conflict between the secondary sources. Verily, men who surrender unto God, and women who surrender, and men who believe and women who believe, and men who obey and women who obey, and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth Moreover, it is important to recognise that in Islam, home and family are firmly situated at the centre of life in this world and of society: Lindsay said that Islam encouraged religious education of Muslim women.
He writes that women could study, earn ijazah s religious degrees and qualify as ulama and Islamic teachers. Her foundation — established in — is developing a number of education programmes, including online learning platform Edraak.
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Between andAlbania saw consistent and substantial improvements in all three PISA subjects. The World Economic Forum annual gender gap study finds the 17 out of 18 worst performing nations, out of a total of nations, are the following members of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation OIC: Qatar leads the world in this respect, having 6.
Islamic economics in the world Some scholars   refer to verse