Some Western Misconceptions about Islam

آخـــر الـــمـــشـــاركــــات


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شبكة الفرقان الإسلامية شبكة سبيل الإسلام شبكة كلمة سواء الدعوية منتديات حراس العقيدة
البشارة الإسلامية منتديات طريق الإيمان منتدى التوحيد مكتبة المهتدون
موقع الشيخ احمد ديدات تليفزيون الحقيقة شبكة برسوميات شبكة المسيح كلمة الله
غرفة الحوار الإسلامي المسيحي مكافح الشبهات شبكة الحقيقة الإسلامية موقع بشارة المسيح
شبكة البهائية فى الميزان شبكة الأحمدية فى الميزان مركز براهين شبكة ضد الإلحاد

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Some Western Misconceptions about Islam

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  1. #11
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    Part Four: Women in the Islamic World


    I. Development of the Islamic Law

    These are the main ideas that govern the status of women in the primary sources of Islam: The Quran, the Word of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and the Sunnah, the sayings and deeds of the Prophet. These sayings and deeds, when proven to be authentic and soundly transmitted directly from the Prophet to those who wrote them down and are examined through scientific procedures by the scholars, are what the Sunnah means.
    These two sources of Islamic laws were interpreted and applied in socio-historical contexts by human beings.
    The Quran is not a law book. It does however provide principles and guidelines, as we have seen, that were incorporated into Islamic law through selection and interpretation.
    Using reason and influenced by diverse geographic locations and customs, early jurists developed a body of laws which, while somewhat uniform in their essentials reflected the differences of juristic reasoning and social customs of a patriarchal and a male dominated society. Islamic law is thus the product of divine laws as understood and interpreted by male religious scholars in the past and handed down to their successors who were using them as legal texts. These texts were given a sacrosanct character and believed to be the only sound interpretations of the primary sources. These interpretations reflect not only local customs but also a patriarchal mind, which is of the utmost importance for the issue concerning the status of women in Islam. Moreover, in practical life, these interpretations were understood and applied in a more patriarchal sense. This explains the gap between the real principles and the real situation of the majority of Muslim women.
    The dynamic legal development of the Islamic law in the first three or four centuries after the Prophet came to be stifled. There were different factors: On top of them were the debates between the jurists about whether or not the door of “Ijtihad” (personal reasoning or interpretation) was closed on the basis that the elaboration of the law was essentially complete. Jurists were then encouraged to follow and imitate (taqlid) the established authoritative doctrines rather than practice “ijtihad” - new interpretation - which came even to be denied. Other factors contributing to stop the creative legal activity were the growing political fragmentation and decay, the assimilated customs contrary to the Quranic spirit, and finally the Mongols invasions of the thirteenth century which destroyed the cultural centers and the scholars of the eastern Muslim world, including mosques, universities and libraries, and killed hundreds of thousands of the region’s inhabitants. The response of the Muslim community amid this collapse was a withdrawal into conservatism and resistance to change. Unfortunately, many of the practices of the time, which had resulted from the acculturation of foreign customs and pre-Islamic traditions that were contrary to Quranic values, were already associated with religion, and thus were preserved. This conservative reaction, coupled with the claim that the “door to ijtihad” (new interpretation) had been closed in legal matters in favor of “taqlid” (imitation), resulted in the relative stagnation of the Muslim community and its jurisprudence. These sources of conservatism contributed to the rather static character of Muslim society and law in the medieval period, a situation that persisted up to the eighteenth century, when calls began for the revival, renewal, and reform of Islam, particularly the radical rejection of taqlid (imitation) in favor of (Ijtihad) new interpretation. This perspective gave rise to debates about the compatibility between Islam and modernity in the nineteenth century, culminating in further calls in the twentieth century for Islamic reform and the revival of the dynamism of Islamic law, with particular emphasis on modern social conditions, public interest, and focusing on the spirit, rather then the letter, of the law.
    II. The Principles and the Practice

    The Quran reformed Arabian patriarchal society but this society, as well as the larger community of all the new Muslim people, were not able to get rid of all their own patriarchal mentality, the universal mentality of the time. The new Muslim converts didn’t get enough education on the issue of women’s status to be ready to leave all the old ideas for the new ones on this subject.
    Historically, women’s role in society was determined as much by social and economical factors as by religious prescriptions. Social customs, poverty and illiteracy often eroded or subverted Quranic intent. While Islamic law did provide the parameters for behavior regarding marriage, divorce and inheritance, the actual rules in practice – whether or not men took more than one wife, or whether divorce was common, or how modesty expressed itself in terms of women’s dress or participation in the work force – were the result of local conditions and social class, which often differed from urban to rural settings and from one country or region to another. Women in Africa and Southeast Asia were never as secluded nor covered as their sisters in Saudi Arabia or in the Indian subcontinent. Islamic laws that protected women’s right to inherit were often circumvented by families who sought to protect the property of the patriarchal family. Historically, the role of women in religious observances and education was similarly restricted. In the centuries after the death of the Prophet, men increasingly cited a variety of reasons, from moral degeneration in society to women’s tendency to be a source of temptation and social discord, to restrict both her presence in public life and in the mosque.
    As in all the world’s major religious traditions in pre-modern societies and cultures, in Islam both the reassertion of tribal custom and historical interpretations and practices often undermined Quranic reforms and reaffirmed a male dominance that perpetuated the inequality of women.
    نقره لتكبير أو تصغير الصورة ونقرتين لعرض الصورة في صفحة مستقلة بحجمها الطبيعي

    تحمَّلتُ وحديَ مـا لا أُطيـقْ من الإغترابِ وهَـمِّ الطريـقْ
    اللهم اني اسالك في هذه الساعة ان كانت جوليان في سرور فزدها في سرورها ومن نعيمك عليها . وان كانت جوليان في عذاب فنجها من عذابك وانت الغني الحميد برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين

  2. #12
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    III. Historical Interaction with Other Civilizations
    The status of women in Islam was profoundly influenced by the fact that the original Islamic life interacted with and was informed very rapidly by diverse cultures, all male dominated.
    The rapid Arab conquests have put the Muslims in contact with other ways of living and thinking which were adopted quite easily. Among other customs, was the veiling of women and their seclusion, the denial of their rights, the negative attitudes towards women. These were not parts of the Islamic teaching. They were acquired through history by way of assimilation of the very diverse civilizations existing in the countries conquered by the Arabs. Let us have a rapid look at the first Christian centuries, where the notion of women’s seclusion – architecturally realized as a building or area for women in the residence (gynoecia) guarded by eunuchs – together with veiling attitudes about the proper invisibility of women, became features of upper-class life in the Mediterranean Middle East, Iraq and Persia. Such attitudes and practices were found before the Christian era on the northern shores of the Mediterranean as on the southern shores. They seemed to represent a coalescence of similar attitudes and practices originating from within the various patriarchal cultures of the region: Mesopotamian, Persian, Hellenic, Judaic and Christian cultures, each contributed practices that both controlled and diminished women, and each also apparently borrowed the controlling and reductive practices of its neighbors. Nothing for example was borrowed from the very egalitarian ancient Egyptian society of the Middle Empire (2000 B.C.). Cultural exchanges seem to have led above all to the pooling and reinforcement of such ideas and to the triumphant endorsement throughout the region of a notion of a woman in which humanity was submerged and who was considered as being essentially and even exclusively biological, sexual and reproductive creature.
    The Arabs in their early and rapid conquests encountered all these practices and ideas, and moreover, the people themselves who were living in these systems embraced Islam and became active members of the new communities. Obviously, and naturally, they didn’t change totally and the invaders and the invaded assimilated and their systems intermixed. The reality was stronger than the principles. The new and still man dominated civilization couldn’t go through all the changes and transformations brought by the Prophet Muhammad. The women’s status in these Muslim societies was not as good as the Quran wanted it to be. Surely, this issue was not the only one neglected or changed by the practice of the Muslim people. They neglected others.
    IV. The Modernization of the Islamic World

    With the beginning of the 19th century, the Muslim world was going through a process of modernization to meet the challenge of the European colonization and the impact of the West. At that time, modernization meant importing techniques and reforms in all areas of life: Education, urbanism, engineering, techniques, armament, science, economics and social life.
    In Egypt, by the beginning of the 20th century, the Muslim family law and the status of women were on the agenda of the Islamist modernists, like Mohammed Abduh. Kassem Amin opened the door to the feminist movement and he was soon followed by the first feminist women: Malak Hifni, Nabawiya Mussa, Hoda Shaarawy, Cesa Nabarawy, Dorreyah Shafiq who demanded their Islamic rights. Women had a long way to go. Significant changes occurred in the lives of Muslim women. Influenced by the Western ideas and by Islamic and secular modernism, legal reforms, voting rights, educational and employment opportunities altered and broadened women’s role in society. In addition to being wives and mothers, women entered many areas of public life, ranging from politics to the professions.
    V. Socio-Economic Changes and Women

    Thus, universal education, open government employment, and family reforms were introduced by governments and implemented from the top down, rationalized and legitimated in the name of Islam, by using or manipulating Islamic principles and legal techniques.
    Since the seventies, several new factors, internal and external, intensified and influenced the process of change. These include the dramatic economic fluctuations of the seventies and the eighties; the increase in labor migration; women’s participation in salaried work, state ideology and politics; feminists recommendations; the awareness of Western distaste for and criticism of Islamic family institutions; International pressure through agencies such as the United Nations, the Agency for International Development and the International Monetary Fund; the reality transforming the lives of Western women; a backlash against radical feminism in the West.
    نقره لتكبير أو تصغير الصورة ونقرتين لعرض الصورة في صفحة مستقلة بحجمها الطبيعي

    تحمَّلتُ وحديَ مـا لا أُطيـقْ من الإغترابِ وهَـمِّ الطريـقْ
    اللهم اني اسالك في هذه الساعة ان كانت جوليان في سرور فزدها في سرورها ومن نعيمك عليها . وان كانت جوليان في عذاب فنجها من عذابك وانت الغني الحميد برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين

  3. #13
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    نقره لتكبير أو تصغير الصورة ونقرتين لعرض الصورة في صفحة مستقلة بحجمها الطبيعي

    تحمَّلتُ وحديَ مـا لا أُطيـقْ من الإغترابِ وهَـمِّ الطريـقْ
    اللهم اني اسالك في هذه الساعة ان كانت جوليان في سرور فزدها في سرورها ومن نعيمك عليها . وان كانت جوليان في عذاب فنجها من عذابك وانت الغني الحميد برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين

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Some Western Misconceptions about Islam

Some Western Misconceptions about Islam