What Women and Islam Have in Common

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What Women and Islam Have in Common What do women and Islam have in common? Besides the stereotyped images that each suffers from individually, the status of women in Islam is one of the most extremely misunderstood and incorrectly portrayed things in western society. We can investigate why this is so later. First, a brief introduction to the actual status of women in Islam is in order. Before discussing issues pertinent to the social status of women, consider the original creation of the woman as portrayed by the Quoran (the Islamic holy book) which does not subscribe to the view that Eve was created from the crooked rib of Adam and thus is of inferior status: "O humankind, be conscious of your Sustainer who has created you out of one living entity, and out of it created its mate, and out of the two spread abroad a multitude of men and women." Instead, the verse of the Quoran shows that there is no superiority for one sex over the other. This sets the tone for the status of women in Islam. The concept of gender equality in Islam is stressed by the non-superiority of either sex over the other. It came at a time when it was necessary to elevate the demeaned status of women and grant them rights equal to those of men. The equality of women in Islam is evident by the unprecedented legal rights given to them under a monotheistic religion as defined in the Quoran. As one of many examples, consider the rights of women in marriage and divorce. Both men and women have equal rights to contract a marriage as well as to dissolve it. The precondition of marriage is merely the mutual agreement by both parties. And unlike Christianity, a woman in Islam can divorce her husband at any time if she feels that she has been dealt with un... ... middle of paper ... ...y an invention of the Saudi monarchy. This horrific rule as well as a host of others are residues of old pre-Islamic tribal traditions where women were not entitled to the same rights as men. As another example, in some "Islamic" countries, many civil laws remain those that were imposed upon them during European colonization. Much of the civil law that legislates personal and family matters in Egypt, for example, is directly based on old French law. As a result, an Egyptian man can divorce his wife much more easily than the reverse. Consequently, women often have to suffer long and expensive court procedures and have to prove that they were mistreated by their husbands before being granted a divorce. Often times, laws in Middle Eastern countries, which are legislated and enforced by men, only take bits and pieces of Islamic law and combine them with their own bias..

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