Women And Gender In Islam

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Women, Gender and IslamAziza Shanazarova2018 Stanford Institute on IslamAugust 8, 2018

Sources of Sharīa’/Islamic LawThe primary sources, accepted universally by allMuslims, are:1. The Qur’ān revelation from God holy book of Muslims 114 suras2. Sunna and Ḥadīth traditions and practices ofMuḥammad model to be followed byMuslims Muḥammad – the bestexemplar for Muslims

The secondary sources of Islamic law:3. Ijmā’ consensus amongst Muslimjurists on a particular legal issue “My followers will neveragree upon an error or what iswrong”4. Ijtihād independent interpretation ofproblems not precisely covered bythe Qur’ān, Ḥadīth and ijmā’based on ra’y (personal judgment)and qiyās (analogical reasoning) at the end of the 3rd/10thcentury “gates of ijtihād” wereclosed

Veiling in Islam ار ِّه َّن ِّ َوقُل ِّل ْل ُمؤْ ِّمنَا ُ ت يَ ْغ َ ضض َْن ِّم ْن أ َ ْب ِّ ص ْ َ َويَ ْحف ين ِّزينَت َ ُه َّن ِّإ ََّل َما َ ظ َن فُ ُرو َج ُه َّن َو ََل يُ ْب ِّد َۖ علَ ٰى ُجيُو ِّب ِّه َّن َ ظ َه َر ِّم ْن َها ۖ َو ْليَض ِّْرب َْن ِّب ُخ ُم ِّر ِّه َّن ين ِّزينَت َ ُه َّن ِّإ ََّل ِّلبُعُولَتِّ ِّه َّن أ َ ْو آبَائِّ ِّه َّن أ َ ْو َ َو ََل يُ ْب ِّد َاء بُعُولَ ِّت ِّه َّن أ َ ْو ِّ اء بُعُولَ ِّت ِّه َّن أ َ ْو أ َ ْبنَا ِّئ ِّه َّن أ َ ْو أ َ ْبن ِّ َ آب ِّإ ْخ َوا ِّن ِّه َّن أ َ ْو بَ ِّني ِّإ ْخ َوا ِّن ِّه َّن أ َ ْو بَ ِّني أَخ ََوا ِّت ِّه َّن أ َ ْو ْ سا ِّئ ِّه َّن أ َ ْو َما َملَ َك َ ين غي ِّْر َ ت أ َ ْي َمانُ ُه َّن أ َ ِّو التَّا ِّب ِّع َُ ِّن ين لَ ْم َ الط ْف ِّل الَّ ِّذ ِّ الر َجا ِّل أ َ ِّو ِّ اْل ْربَ ِّة ِّم َن ِّ ْ أو ْ ِّلي اء ۖ َو ََل يَض ِّْرب َْن ِّ ع ْو َرا ِّ س َ علَ ٰى َ يَظ َه ُروا َ ِّ ت الن ين ِّمن ِّزينَتِّ ِّه َّن ۚ َوتُوبُوا َ ِّبأ َ ْر ُج ِّل ِّه َّن ِّليُ ْعلَ َم َما يُ ْخ ِّف ِّ َّ ِّإلَى – ون َ ون لَعَلَّ ُك ْم ت ُ ْف ِّل ُح َ ُ َّللا َج ِّميعًا أَيُّهَ ْال ُمؤْ ِّمن Sura al-Nur 31“ And tell the believing women to reduce[some] of their vision and guard theirprivate parts and not expose their adornmentexcept that which [necessarily] appearsthereof; that they should draw their khimārover their breasts and not expose theiradornment except to their husbands, theirfathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons,their husbands' sons, their brothers, theirbrothers' sons, their sisters' sons, theirwomen, that which their right handspossess, or those male attendants having nophysical desire, or children who are not yetaware of the private aspects of women. Andlet them not stamp their feet to make knownwhat they conceal of their adornment. Andturn to Allah in repentance, all of you, Obelievers, that you might succeed.”

وت النَّ ِّبي ِّ ِّإ ََّل َ يَا أَيُّ َها الَّ ِّذ َ ُ ين آ َمنُوا ََل ت َ ْد ُخلُوا بُي َ أَن يُؤْ َذ َن لَ ُك ْم ِّإلَ ٰى َ طعَ ٍام َ َاظ ِّر ِّ غي َْر ن ُ ين ِّإنَاه َ َو ٰلَ ِّك ْن ِّإ َذا ُد ِّعيت ُ ْم فَا ْد ُخلُوا فَإ ِّ َذا ط ِّع ْمت ُ ْم فَانت َ ِّش ُروا ٍ ين ِّل َح ِّدي ان يُؤْ ِّذي َ ث ۚ ِّإ َّن ٰ َذ ِّل ُك ْم َك َ َو ََل ُم ْستَأ ْ ِّن ِّس َّللاُ ََل يَ ْست َ ْح ِّيي ِّم َن َّ ي فَيَ ْست َ ْح ِّيي ِّمن ُك ْم ۖ َو َّ النَّ ِّب عا فَا ْسأَلُو ُه َّن ِّمن ْال َح ً سأ َ ْلت ُ ُمو ُه َّن َمتَا َ ق ۚ َو ِّإ َذا ِّْ َ ب ۚ ٰ َذ ِّل ُك ْم أ ۚ ط َه ُر ِّلقُلُوبِّ ُك ْم َوقُلُوبِّ ِّه َّن ٍ َو َر ِّاء ِّح َجا ِّ َّ سو َل َّللا َو ََل أَن َ َو َما َك ُ ان لَ ُك ْم أَن تُؤْ ذُوا َر ان َ تَن ِّك ُحوا أ َ ْز َوا َجهُ ِّمن بَ ْع ِّد ِّه أَبَدًا ۚ ِّإ َّن ٰ َذ ِّل ُك ْم َك ِّ َّ ِّعن َد – ع ِّظي ًما َ َّللا O believers! Do not enter the houses of theProphet except when you are permitted for ameal, without awaiting its readiness. Butwhen you are invited, then enter; and whenyou have eaten, disperse without seeking toremain for conversation. Indeed, that[behavior] troubles the Prophet, and he isshy of [dismissing] you. But God is not shyof telling truth. When you ask [his wives]for something, ask them from behind acurtain (hijāb). That is purer for your heartsand their hearts; and it is not allowed foryou to hurt the Messenger or to marry hiswives after him, ever. Indeed, that would beSura al-Ahzab 53in God’s sight an enormity.O Prophet, tell your wives and yourَ اء ْال ُمؤْ ِمنِين ِ س َ ِ اج َك َوبَنَا َٰتِ َك َون ِ ي قُل ِّل َ ْز َو ُّ يا أَيُّ َها النَّ ِب daughters and the women of the believers toَ يُ ْد ِنينَ َعلَ ْي ِه َّن ِمن َج ََل ِبي ِب ِه َّن ۚ ذَ ِل َك أ َ ْدن ََٰى أَن يُ ْع َر ْفن bring down over themselves [part] of theirouter garments. That is more suitable thatَّ َ فَ ََل يُؤْ ذَيْنَ ۗ َو َكان – ورا َّر ِحي ًما ً ُ َّللاُ َغف they will be known and not be abused. Andever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.Sura al-Ahzab 59

Veiling in non-Muslimreligions Assyrian, Greek and Persian laws required freeand high class women to cover their heads inpublic; slaves and prostitutes were prohibitedfrom veiling. The veiling of women’s hair is part of Jewishlaws on modesty: women’s hair was consideredtoo sexy. Apostle Paul ordered Christian women to veil:“For if a woman does not have her head veiled,she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it isshameful for a woman to have her hair cut off orher head shaved, then she should wear a veil.” Wedding veils

Iran before the 1979 Revolution

Post-Taliban AfghanWomenPre-Taliban Afghanistan

The Egalitarian Conception of Gender ين َ ت َو ْال ُمؤْ ِم ِن ِ ين َو ْال ُم ْس ِل َما َ إ َّن ْال ُم ْس ِل ِم ت ِ ين َو ْالقَانِتَا َ ِ ت َو ْالقَانِت ِ َو ْال ُمؤْ ِمنَا ين َ صا ِب ِر ِ صا ِدقَا َ صا ِد ِق َّ ت َوال َّ ين َوال َّ َوال ت ِ ين َو ْالخَا ِشعَا َ ت َو ْالخَا ِش ِع ِ صا ِب َرا َّ َوال ََِْْ ت ت م ال و ين ق د ص ت م ال َو ِ صدِقَا ََُُِ ْ ََ ت َوال َحافِ ِظي َن ِ صائِ َما َ صائِ ِم َّ ين َوال َّ َوال َ فُ ُرو َج ُه ْم َو ْال َحا ِف َّ ين َ ت َوالذَّا ِك ِر ِ ظا َ َّللا ً َّللاُ لَ ُهم َّم ْغ ِف َرة َّ َّ عد ِ يرا َوالذَّا ِك َرا ً ِ َكث َ َ ت أ – ظي ًما ِ ع َ َوأ َ ْج ًرا Sura al-Ahzab 35Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslimwomen, the believing men and believingwomen, the obedient men and obedientwomen, the truthful men and truthfulwomen, the patient men and patientwomen, the humble men and humblewomen, the charitable men andcharitable women, the fasting men andfasting women, the men who guard theirprivate parts and the women who do so,and the men who remember Allah oftenand the women who do so - for themAllah has prepared forgiveness and agreat reward.

In Women and Gender in Islam, Leila Ahmed argues:“I contend, first, that the practices sanctioned by Muhammad within the first Muslimsociety were enunciated in the context of far more positive attitudes towards womenthan the later Abbasid society was to have, a context that consequently tempered theandrocentric tendencies of Islamic practices. Second, I argue that the decision to regard androcentric positions on marriage asintended to be binding for all time was itself an interpretive decision, reflecting theinterests and perspective of those in power during the age that transposed andinterpreted the Islamic message into the textual edifice of Islam.Finally, I argue that the social context in which this textual edifice was created wasfar more negative for women than that in Arabia, so the spiritually egalitarian voiceof the religion would have been exceedingly difficult to hear.The practices and living arrangements of the dominant classes of the Abbasid erawere such that at an implicit and often an explicit level, the words woman, andslave, and object for sexual use came close to being indistinguishably fused. Suchpractices, and the conceptions they gave rise to, informed the dominant ideology andaffected how Islam was heard and interpreted in this period and how its ideas wererendered into law.” (Ahmed, p. 67)

The Noble Struggle of Amina Wadud mins: 12-17

Fatima Mernissi: Active Female SexualityMain argument: the Islamic view of women asactive sexual beings resulted in stricterregulation and control of women's sexuality Women are destructive to the social orderbecause they are sexually active Women is fitna/temptation; Sexuality per se isnot a danger; Women are a danger to the social order;Women symbol of disorder Love should be exclusively devoted to GodMernissi’s reading of al-Ghazzali:“Women are dangerous distraction thatmust be used for the specific purpose ofproviding the Muslim nation with offspringand quenching the tensions of the sexualinstinct. But in no way should women be anobject of emotional investment or the focusof attention; which should be devoted toAllah alone in the form of knowledgeseeking, meditation, and prayer.” (Mernissi,p. 45)https://charlierose.com/videos/3241

Polygamy in Islamُ َو ِّإ ْن ِّخ ْفت ُ ْم أ َ ََّل ت ُ ْق ِّس طوا فِّي ْاليَتَا َم ٰى فَان ِّك ُحوا َما ََ اء َمثْن َٰى َوث ُ ََل ع ۖ فَإ ِّ ْن ِّ س َ ث َو ُربَا َ ط َ ِّ اب لَ ُكم ِّم َن الن ْ اح َدة ً أ َ ْو َما َملَ َك ۚ ت أ َ ْي َمانُ ُك ْم ِّ ِّخ ْفت ُ ْم أ َ ََّل ت َ ْع ِّدلُوا فَ َو – ٰ َذ ِّل َك أ َ ْدن َٰى أ َ ََّل تَعُولُوا Sura al-Nisa 3 اء َولَ ْو ِ س َ ِ َولَن ت َ ْست َ ِطيعُوا أَن ت َ ْع ِدلُوا بَي َْن الن صت ُ ْم ۖ فَ ََل ت َ ِميلُوا ُك َّل ْال َم ْي ِل فَتَذَ ُرو َها ْ َح َر َّ ص ِل ُحوا َوتَتَّقُوا فَإ ِ َّن ان َ َّللاَ َك ْ ُ َك ْال ُمعَلَّقَ ِة ۚ َو ِإن ت َ– ورا َّر ِحي ًما ً ُ غف Sura al-Nisa 129 Qur’ān 4:3: “And if you fear that you willnot deal justly with the orphan girls, thenmarry those that please you of [other]women, two or three or four. But if youfear that you will not be just, then [marryonly] one or those your right handpossesses. That is more suitable that youmay not incline [to injustice].” Qur’ān 4:129: “And you will never beable to be equal [in feeling] betweenwives, even if you should strive [to doso].”

Marriage and Sex in Islam Marriage is highly recommended: act of virtue and Temporary marriage (mut'a): forbidden bySunnis and allowed by Shiis.God’s blessing; Interfaith marriage: Muslim males may marryCelibacy is forbidden;a non-Muslim female; conversion is optionalfor women; Muslim women are forbiddenSexual urge is a creative command of God placed infrom marrying non-Muslims.human nature; no sexual suppression; notassociated with sin and guilt; Arranged and forced marriages. Mahr: a mandatory gift (money, jewelry,Marriage is a helping factor in attaining spiritualviable business) given by the groom to theperfection; it prevents Muslims from committingbride.sins. Islamic marriage contract: legal agreement inPre-marital sex is forbidden in Islam; fornicationwhich either partner is free to include(zina).conditions. Violation of the contract is a basisfor the partner to seek divorce.

Birth Control in Islam Muslim sexual ethics forbid sex outside marriage, so its teachings about birthcontrol should be understood within the context of husband and wife. Allowed according to the Islamic law. Contraception with the aim of having a permanently child-free marriage is notaccepted. Video: The imams, the Taliban and the condoms Central Asian government policy re birth control.

Abortion in Islam All schools of Muslim law accept that abortion is permitted if continuing thepregnancy would put the mother's life in danger. Some schools of Muslim law permit abortion in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy,while others only permit it in the first 7 weeks. Abortion within the first 120 days would be permitted, if:1. a child would be born with a physical or mental deformity;2. the mother is the victim of rape; Abortion is forbidden after a soul or “Ruh” is given to the fetus. The three main opinions are: at 120 days; at 40 days; when there is voluntary movement ofthe fetus.

Divorce in Islam Divorce is allowed in Islam, althoughit is regarded as a last resort. Either a man or woman can initiate adivorce. Divorce: husband pronounces thephrase “ṭalāq” to his wife three times. A husband who divorces his wife 3times cannot remarry her until she hasmarried another man and he also hasdivorced her. Husband may be required to provide amonthly maintenance support for thechildren.Categories: Mutual consent; By the will of the husband; By the initiation of the wife; Breach of marriage contact; Nullifications of the marriage byqazi/judge without obtaining divorce.Acceptable Reasons:immoral behavior, adultery, apostasy,dishonesty prior to marriage, impotency,cruelty, man’s inability or refusal tosupport his wife, wife's refusal to livewith her husband or be with him, onespouse feels repulsion towards the other

Main argument: the Islamic view of women as active sexual beings resulted in stricter regulation and control of women's sexuality Women are destructive to the social order because they are sexually active Women is fitna/temptation; Sexuality per se is not a danger; Women are a danger to th