Sunday, February 25, 2007

Three Views of Women in Islam

The first is Arab women in Israel finally speaking out against their menfolk, after the 8th woman in the extended family was murdered:
The perpetrators of most honor killings in the Arab community are not apprehended. Hamda's murder, however, was one too many for the women in the Abu-Ghanem family. She was the eighth woman to be murdered in the extended family in the last six and a half years. All her predecessors also lost their lives in "honor killings."

This time, instead of keeping mum when the police questioned them, the Abu- Ghanem women gave detailed testimonies of everything they knew. One said she had seen Rashad enter the house where Hamda was. Shortly afterward she heard shots and seconds later saw Rashad, the key suspect, fleeing from the building.

The victim's mother told the police that Rashad had forbidden his sister to leave the house after some men had called her a "prostitute."

"It was a women's revolt against the men of the family. While the men refused to cooperate with the police and forbade the women to speak, the women revealed all. They decided to put an end to the bloody circle of silence," Chief Inspector Haim Shreibhand, who was in charge of the investigation, told Haaretz.
Next we have a Memri translation of an Arab show on the proper way of conducting wife beating:



The male keeps instructing the women in the show with him that to beat the wife lightly, in order to train her to obey him, so she won't be lazy, so she does his bidding immediately, is the proper way to go about family life, as the husband is the master of the home.

One of the women on the shows points out to the audience that, according to the research she has done, she has found men around the Muslim world beating their women with heavy electrical cords.

Finally, we have an historical view of Islam, that shows us that perhaps Islam was not always the way it is today, with regards to women. There was a time in the past when women, too, were noted scholars, who issued fatwas made legal rulings and prayed with men, and sat and conversed with them on Islam.
Mohammad Akram Nadwi, a 43-year-old Sunni alim, or religious scholar, has rediscovered a long-lost tradition of Muslim women teaching the Koran, transmitting hadith (deeds and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) and even making Islamic law as jurists.

Akram embarked eight years ago on a single-volume biographical dictionary of female hadith scholars, a project that took him trawling through biographical dictionaries, classical texts, madrasa chronicles and letters for relevant citations. “I thought I’d find maybe 20 or 30 women,” he says. To date, he has found 8,000 of them, dating back 1,400 years, and his dictionary now fills 40 volumes. It’s so long that his usual publishers, in Damascus and Beirut, have balked at the project, though an English translation of his preface — itself almost 400 pages long — will come out in England this summer.

The dictionary’s diverse entries include a 10th-century Baghdad-born jurist who traveled through Syria and Egypt, teaching other women; a female scholar — or muhaddithat — in 12th-century Egypt whose male students marveled at her mastery of a “camel load” of texts; and a 15th-century woman who taught hadith at the Prophet’s grave in Medina, one of the most important spots in Islam. One seventh-century Medina woman who reached the academic rank of jurist issued key fatwas on hajj rituals and commerce; another female jurist living in medieval Aleppo not only issued fatwas but also advised her far more famous husband on how to issue his.
Mohammad Akram Nadwi notes that the repressive attitude towards women in current Islamic culture is based on its current insecurity. And failing to educate a woman is like the pagan religions burying women alive.

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1 Comments:

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Eugene Gershin said...

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