Women and the Rise of Islam by Leila Ahmed
Leila Ahmed’s book is an example of what scholarly research should resemble. At no time did I feel that she was being bias or subjective towards any side on this highly discussed and sensitive topic. Nowhere does Ahmed specifically go about attempting to correct misconceptions or often misquoted passages; but rather, she goes about a proper chronological historical understanding of the treatment of women before, during, and after the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This, I feel, is the main theme of the 3 chapters we read: Comparing and contrasting the treatment of women in the social, domestic, and political realms before, during, and after Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) life.
To compare and contrast the different time periods of Islam’s emergence to the previous time period, Leila makes solid statements concerning the lack of unanimity in Arabia. The mentions how there were multiple times of wedding formats, and different feelings on women. Some areas of Arabia were more accepting of the role of women in society, and others more misogynistic. This relates to our previous understanding of the significance of the tribe, and how each tribe was united together. Each tribe had its own set of mores, rather than Arabia as a whole. This also explains the mixed response of women after Muhammad’s (pbuh) passing.
Tied in with this major theme is the theme of bringing previous mores back after Muhammad’s (pbuh) life, and the impact of Persian and Arab influence on Islamic Law. Ahmed writes “The practices and attitudes of the Sasanian nobility were adopted by Abbasid nobles. Keeping enormous harems and wives and concubines guarded by enuchs became accepted practice” (83). Here we see a direct return to the Sasanian culture. Ahmed then writes, “An emphasis on virginity and disgust at the idea of remarriage for women-ideas paralleled in Zoroastrianism, which formally designated wives as belonging to their first...
...WOMEN IN ISLAMIC SOCIETY DURING THE MIDDLE AGES
The rise and expansion of Islam, after the foundation by Mohammed, is an amazing story. Ultimately, the Muslims, as the believers of Islam are called, started a world-wide faith that today makes up the world’s second largest religious group after Christians. The role and status of women within Islam is one of essential contribution to its origins and continuation, but ever-changing roles.
Mohammed could not have founded Islam alone. Marriage to his employer, the wealthy widow Khadija, allowed him the leisure and financial backing to pursue his new religious journey. Born in Mecca, Mohammed was raised by his grandfather and uncle when his parents died. At the age of twenty-five he married Khadija. Mecca was an important trading center for caravan trade between Medina, the Near East and India. An integral part of this caravan and commercial trade was raiding, and the Arabs were excellent warriors. These characteristics facilitated Islam to spread via the Muslim’s holy war or Jihad within a few decades beyond the Arabian Peninsula, first to the Near East, and then Northern Africa and parts of southern Europe, including Spain. As Islam came in contact with other societies, both monotheistic and polytheistic, there was much cultural integration. Consequentially, there was room for confusion and...
...The Rise of Islam and Its Contributions to World History
Islam has made many contributions to world history, both in its rise and development of a bright and complex culture. More specifically Islam has contributed to the world of modern science, medicine, literature and visual arts, greatly influencing other cultures along the way. Along with contributions to science and intellect, Islam has also contributed to world trade. Each contribution from the Islamic nation has helped shape the world today, moreover Islam has helped advance existing ideas and also created new ones necessary for understand the world. Islam has greatly assisted in shaping modern ideas, and has been rich and sturdy enough to be still a great influence today, making it a key contributor to world history.
Islam is the Muslim religion that believes in the prophecies of Muhammad, the messenger of Allah. The rise of the religion of Islam happened over the period 600 – 900 CE., where “two Arab dynasties, the Umayyads succeeded by the Abbasids, built a vast empire stretching thousands of miles”1. The vastness of their empire encouraged many states to share a single religion, which was Islamic. As the Islamic religious civilization developed it found “influences from Christian theology, Roman and Jewish law, Greek philosophy, as well as Persian and...
...considered women as no better than children or even slaves, with no rights whatsoever, Islam acknowledged women's equality with men in a great many respects. The Quran states:
"And among His signs is this: that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest and peace of mind in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Certainly, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect." [Noble Quran 30:21]
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
"The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manners and kindest to his wife." [Abu Dawud]
Muslims believe that Adam and Eve were created from the same soul. Both were equally guilty of their sin and fall from grace, and Allah forgave both. Many women in Islam have had high status; consider the fact that the first person to convert to Islam was Khadijah, the wife of Muhammad, whom he both loved and respected. His favorite wife after Khadijah's death, Ayshah, became renowned as a scholar and one of the greatest sources of Hadith literature. Many of the female Companions accomplished great deeds and achieved fame, and throughout Islamic history there have been famous and influential scholars and jurists.
We might also mention that while many in the West criticize Islam with regard to the treatment of women, in fact a number of Muslim countries have had...
... Status of Women in Other civilizations And in Islam
ii) Status women in other civilizations
A. Status of women in Hinduism
1. Misanthropic practices in Hinduism
B. Status of women in the Athenian civilization
C. Status of women in the Roman civilization
D. Status of women in Judaism
E. Status of women in Christianity
iii) Status of women in Islam
A. The spiritual aspect of Islam
B. The social aspect of women in Islam
a. As a child and adolescent
• Prohibition of infanticide
• Promotion of respect and dignity for women
b. As a wife
• Right of consent in marriage
• Right of Haq-mahr
• Right of consultation in matters
• Right of divorce
c. As a mother
D. The economic aspect of women in Islam
a. Right of ownership of property
b. Right of employment
c. right of inheritance
D. political aspect
Before the advent of Islam, different civilizations assigned different status to women. Some civilizations considered her as a gate way to devil; some viewed her as a devil incarnate; some deemed her brainless or worthless; and some even believed that all evils plagued to mankind were because of women. IN contrast to...
...ISLAM, WOMEN AND GENDER JUSTICE
Asghar Ali Engineer
It is generally thought that Islam treats women unfairly and gender justice is not possible within Islamic law known as the Shari‘ah law. This assertion is partly true and partly untrue. True as far as the existing shari‘ah laws are concerned. Untrue, as the existing laws were codified during 2nd and 3rd centuries of Islam when general perspective of women’s rights was very different from today’s perspective. The Qur’anic verses which are quite fundamental to the Islamic law, were interpreted so as to be in conformity with the views about gender rights prevailing then.
It is important to note that scriptural injunctions are always mediated through prevailing social ethos. Also, and it is more fundamental to framing of laws based on scriptures, scriptures both reflect the given situation and also transcend it. There cannot be any scripture - revealed or otherwise - which is uni-dimensional i.e. it reflects only given situation. Every scripture tries to go beyond what is given and it faces stiff opposition from those who loose out if the transcendental perspectives are spelled out and enforced. The scriptures condemn prevailing social malaise and provide a new vision. Those who benefit from the new vision embrace the new faith. Those who loose oppose it tooth and nail. But, the vested interests and those who want to perpetuate the old order have...
Ms. K Meeks
March 10, 2011
Islam and Christianity
Christianity and Islam are two of the most significant religions in the world today. Both religions are very similar with only some of the beliefs and teachings being different. Christianity started about 2000 years ago in Judea with Jesus Christ and his faithful group of disciples. It has grown into one of the major religions, impacting all other faiths and changing the course of human history. Its sacred scripture is the Bible, particularly the New Testament. Its principal beliefs are that Jesus is the Son of God (the second person of the Holy Trinity), that God’s love for the world is the essential component of his being, and that Jesus died to redeem humankind. Christianity means “one who is crystallized into one.” Islam means "entire submission to the Will of Allah" in Arabic, and a Muslim is one who submits to the will of Allah (God).
Islam’s primary significance is the making of peace first within one‘s self, and then for humanity as a whole. The author of Islam is Allah (God). The book of Islam is the Holy Qur’an, and the scriptures that were taught to the prophets. Islam has five beautiful fundamental principles of belief. Belief in Allah and his Apostle, Belief in Zakat (spending in the cause of truth), Belief in Fasting, Belief in Pilgrimage, Belief in Prayer(5 times daily)....
...Muhammad is the founder the religion of Islam. Muhammad is also the last prophet of the religion of Islam. He became a prophet through the angel Gabriel, who expressed God's will to Muhammad. Muhammad taught people that there is only one God and that Allah. Many people became followers of Muhammad's teachings and prayers, they became know as Muslims. Muhammad left his homeland Mecca and made a pilgrimage to Medina. On is way to Median, he attracted many followers of Islam. This journey became known as the Hijrah. Muhammad's teachings and prayers were all compiled into the holy book of Islam called the Qu'ran. The Five Pillars are the major beliefs of Islam. The Five Pillars include faith (faith in one god, Allah), prayer, Alms (give to charity), fasting, and pilgrimage to Mecca. Muhammad's good examples became known as the Sunna and the Shari'a is the body of law for all Muslims.
After Muhammad's death, the spread of Islam reached new heights. Muhammad died in 632 A.D. Abu-Bakr became the Muslim ruler, or caliph, after Muhammad's death. The next three caliphs were Umar, Uthman, and Ali. The caliphs helped spread Islam by expanding the Muslim territory. They conquered Syria, lower Egypt, parts of Persia, etc. They built a strong Muslim military. After the death of the last caliph, Ali, the Umayyad dynasty came into power. The Umayyad dynasty didn't do much to spread...
...One of the greatest cultural spread experience in world history was the rise of Islam. Beginning in the Arabian peninsula and Middle east, it ruled over areas of Asia, Africa, and Europe. Islam was appealing to people in many different varieties of communities. It brought valuable changes as an outcome of correspondence while frequent in regards affiliating with orthodox local belief structure. Muslims urged new cultural proximities for hundreds of years, beginning at around 700 CE. There were many conquests, far outstretched trade, and extended missionary movement. The geographical aspects of the Muslim people were fairly well accustomed by 1450 CE, which was the end of the post-classical period. Islam’s spread was progressive though remarkably sudden given the substantial geography and assorted regions concerned in. So what really provoked Islam to distribute their culture throughout the globe? How did the intensity of Islam become so surreal? The answer is military conquest, wide spread trade, political domination and religious ideas.
A supporter of the spread of Islam was its religious attractiveness. Islam represented the truth. They had many fastened rules and laws. People were tempted by Islam due to peace, comfort, and security they distinguish in it. It also appealed to people that there was only one God (Allah), whom had no partner, son, companion or...