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March 19, 2016 | Author: | Posted in religion and theology


Most of our knowledge on the Arabian Peninsula derives from numerous inscriptions found in South Arabia and its vicinity . The inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula during the centuries before the rise of Islam were Bedouin nomads , farmers and merchants . The Bedouins dominated the Arabian populace . The modern age has had a severe impact upon the social system of Islam . At the same time , the place of the family within that social system remains central to much of the sense of Muslim identity Not surprisingly , therefore , issues of women in the context [banner_entry_middle]

of the family receive what might be considered a disproportionate amount of attention in the discussions of Islam in the modern context (Rippin 1990 ,

. 117

Gender and Sexual Issues in Islam

By far , the greatest Islamic gender issue is the societal position and role of women . Misperceptions abound . Some Western observers see Islamic views on women as restrictive , disrespectful , and promoting sexual inequality . Others admire the modest practice of women (traditional positions of women in the home and society ) fostered by many Islamic societies . To understand Islamic women ‘s issues , five viewpoints help put the subject in perspective

Variety While the Qur ‘an , Ahadith , and Sharia give distinct instruction concerning a woman ‘s role and position , there is diversity when implementing this guidance within the Muslim circles . Customs vary concerning women ‘s dress . Some fundamentalist extremists seek to impose strict Islamic social codes requiring head-to-foot shrouds . They would restrict women to the practice of nursing or medicine alone . Progressive women seek reform in restrictive clothing practices , and in economic education , and decision-making policies . No single Muslim position on women ‘s dress code exists

Western Media Negativity Our media often portrays Muslim women as victims of Islamic resurgence . Negative treatments of polygamy , divorce by simple repudiation , veil wearing , segregation of the sexes imprisonment in household tasks , dependence on the husband and lack of legal rights focus most of our media attention . The positive , stability enhancing

personally fulfilling dimensions of the discussion are often overlooked

For most Arabs , women ‘s traditional dress is not seen as repressive rather it performs a protective role . Most Arab women feel satisfied that the present social system provides them with security , protection and respect (Nydell , 1987 ,

.55 . Another dimension of these complementary roles deals with male and female space . Muslim sexuality is a territorial one . Women in male spaces are considered provocative and offensive . If a woman enters a male space , she is upsetting the male ‘s and his peace of mind . She is actually committing an act of aggression against him merely by being present where she should not be . If the woman is unveiled , the situation is aggravated

The fourth perspective is the assumption of male /female emotional and physical differences . Most interpreters of the Qur ‘an accept the notion of radical , distinct emotional as

well as physical differences between the sexes . Dr . Gamal Badawi (1976 interprets the Qur ‘an as And they (women ) have rights similar to those… [banner_entry_footer]

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