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Women's Liberation PDF Print E-mail

Liberation
Liberation
Islam is a perfect religion taking into account every nuance of human nature.


On the one extreme is total oppression of women as was prevalent in the world before Islam. On the other end is a total absence of laws like current thinking would have us adopt.



Islam is the ideal medium: laying down laws for the good of its adherents; avoiding the pitfalls of man-made ideologies like women's’ lib.


This article wishes, in brief, to show the oppression that women suffered before Islam, and after, under Judaism and Christianity. Then one can truly appreciate the liberating effect of Islam 1400 years ago.

 

To this day, orthodox Jewish men recite in their daily prayers: "Blessed be God King of the universe that Thou has not made me a woman."


Augustine, a saint to Christians, wrote: I fail to see what use woman can be to man. Martin Luther added: If (women) become tired or even die, that does not matter (as long as they bring as many children as possible into the world). (The Gospel According to Woman, K Amstrong, P 52-62)

The Noble Qur'aan says: "And their Lord answered them: Truly I will never cause to be lost the work of any of you, Be you male or female, you are members one of another." (3:195)


In Islam the woman’s role on earth, like man’s, is to do as many good deeds as she can. The Qur’aan instructs all believers, male and female, to follow the ideal women like Maryam (alaihas salaam) and Pharaoh's wife. (66:11-13)


The Bible says: "The birth of a daughter is a loss" (Ecclesiasticus 22:3)


The Qur’aan, though, mentions the birth of a female first: "He (Allah) bestows female children to whomever He wills and bestows male children to whomever He wills" (42:49)


Bringing up daughters kindly is a means of tremendous reward as promised in the Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim.

UNCLEAN?
The Old Testament regards a menstruating women to be so impure that she infects others as well: "...anyone who touches her will be unclean till morning." Anything she touches is impure for a day. (Lev. 15:19-23)


Contrast this with the fact that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) is reported to have drank from the same part of a utensil used by his menstruating wife, setting an excellent example.

BEARING WITNESS
Islam instructs that either two male witnesses or one male and two female bear witness to certain transactions.


On the other hand, women were not allowed to bear witness in early Jewish society. In Israel, women are not allowed to give evidence in Rabbinical courts.


In Christian West, both religious and civil law barred women from giving testimony until the late 19th century (while, for centuries, Muslim women had this privilege).

PROPERTY
Jewish law in the Talmud does not allow a married woman to own property or wealth. Everything belongs to her husband. (San. 71a, Git. 62a)


English law of 1632 lists: "That which the husband hath is his own. That which the wife hath is the husband’s." (Women in Stuart England and America, R Thompson, p162)


A Muslim woman’s earnings and property are under her full control. No matter how rich the wife may be, she is under no obligation to be a co-provider for the family.

INHERITANCE
Rabbi Epstein states the Jewish position that women do not inherit from the family estate. (The Jewish Marriage Contract, L Epstein, p175)


According to the Bible, the wife inherits nothing from her husband and daughters inherit nothing if there are male heirs. These laws existed in Europe until the late 1800s.


Muslim females received inheritance rights thirteen hundred years before Europe even deigned to recognize them.

THE VEIL
Rabbi Brayer writes in The Jewish Woman in Rabbinic Literature p239, that it was the custom of Jewish women to go out in public with a head covering which sometimes covered the whole face.


Paul of Christianity considers it a dishonour for women to pray with heads uncovered. (I Corinthians, 11:3-10)


Islam endorses the head cover and veil.

Islam liberated women and still offers the only avenue of dignity, respect and protection in all aspects and at all stages of her life. The rate of female converts in America and Europe far outnumbers the male. What have they seen in Islam?

 
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