Women in Islam
Islam is among the largest religions globally by numbers, and it follows Christianity. It has a huge following worldwide, with most of its followers in Asia as well as vast parts of Northern Africa. Arabs are the largest Muslim populace in Asia, making up more than 20% of the world’s Muslim population. Like other religions, dress code is a core facet of consideration when it comes to both men and women. Dress code in Islam is certainly explicit on how women should dress, a custom that goes back to the time of the religions forefather and also prophet, Muhammad. These incorporate the burqa and hijab dressings that were intended for prophet’s spouses. The dress code for Islamic women has nevertheless been cherished in the Quran, Islamic holy book. Concisely, the Qur’an asserts of the hijab: O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw closely over themselves their jilbāb… (33:59)
Of certain significance of female’s dress code is the hijab acquainted with Muhammad’s spouses as a distinctive facet amongst his spouses and other females. The hijab was thus a mark of decency for prophet’s spouses who he married following the demise of the first wife Khadija. Cherished as Mothers of Believers, a title designated to Khadija, it was a necessity for the prophet’s wives to show unique personality as well as dressing, and thus the desire to cover their decorations from hair, chin, hands and neck (Schimmel 27).
The unique depiction in personality as well as dress code was a necessity in order not to put much focus on their beauty. Therefore, it is inferred in the Qur’an of the Muhammad’s wives: O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women: if you are wary (of Allah), then do not be complaisant in your speech, lest he in whose heart is a sickness should aspire, and speak honorable words (33:32). On the other hand, majority of Muhammad’s wives had, Khadija, the first wife was the most imperative not only to the prophet, but to the religion also.
She was the first Muhammad’s staff. The prophet was a merchant hired by the twice widowed woman, who at last proposed to him and they later wedded. Their marriage was a great partnership which made it easy for Muhammad to establish Islam. Khadija was rich, and accommodated Muhammad has his cousin, as well as backed him via meditation and divine visions that were the words of Allah to the world. Hence, Islam was established by Muhammad and Khadija, who via inspiration and backing particularly in the course of time of doubt, aided him establish what is these days referred to as Islam (Helminski, 1). Bit of this inspiration from Muhammad’s first wife Khadija was the solace and belief of the prophet to the fact that “the revelations he experienced in the cave at Mount Hira during his meditations were not of demonic but rather of divine origin” (Schimmel 26).
Khadija as well was influential in establishment of a vast comprehension as well as interaction with divine world, a portion of Islam known as Sufism. This part utilizes individual exposure with the divine via love, depicted by the incident of Khadija and Muhammad, a verity depicted by their daughter Fatima.
Certainly, Rubi’a al-Adawiyya a significant person in the account of Sufism, is a woman who completely articulated human relationship with the divine being in the Sufic language conveying the features of God, and also the partnership between male and female. The Qur’an contends of a woman as the shadow of a man, a balance to the deeds of a man. Via the account of Sufism, women are seen as tutors, trainers and fans of men, in undertaking the love of mystism that signifies Sufism. As a result, in Sufism, both man and woman took part in rituals, whereas in some instances there was distinct reverence between them. Certainly, a number of females absolutely surrendered themselves to mysticism in the community, for instance Rubia, whereas others acted as supporters, nurturing study and worship (Helminski 1).
Rubia was sired by a poor father, a righteous man who dedicated his life to working for Allah. Poverty aided Rubia to dedicate her life to Allah, having to serve as a slave to a master. She avoided marriage to work for Allah, as he spoke to her and thus married him. Rubia was beautiful and every man desired to marry her, but she stayed dedicated to her higher mission, hence attracting many followers.
One fact is that Rubia had the mark of honesty as well as walked virtuously in her great body hence connects to the idea that females bodies are not misleading as numerous Muslims contend. Even in her mortal body, Rubia could command a vast fan base of both women and men, in the same time not getting direction from a Shaykh. Hence the background of Sufism, as it was built by Muhammad and Khadija and observed by Rubia, who depicted dedication to Allah and lack of desire for valuable things, despite a woman in Islam depicting that the female body is not misleading as it is claimed by majority of Muslims, whether one is covered or not.
As stated though, the Qur’an remains certain on the utilization of the hijab by female Muslims. The holy book certainly cautioned Muhammad’s spouses to cover their decorations, as a distinguishable facet amongst these reputable spouses and other females not married to Muhammad (Schimmel 27). The hijab was therefore a depiction of honor, which only turned out to be stringent after societal variation and thus seclusion regulations.
The nature of the hijab, having changed with time from its first symbol of honor these days signifies diverse things. The Muslim custom perceives the covering as the virtue of the women, as the nature of their body is misleading or ethically corrupt, hence the need for a veil. Besides safeguarding males from the lure of the female, the veil, helps depict woman’s feminity, which she ought to don pompously, along with identifying them to non-Muslim men (Barlas 4).
Faultfinders of Islamist systems have in contrast perceived hijab as a mark of tyranny against the females in these nations (Diffendal 129). Then again, Muslim women have pompously worn the hijab, a number of them embracing it as a symbol of resistance against state policies. Whereas this may look like a good mark, for females to declare their freedom as they wear the hijab, the statement in line with Diffendal, only takes place in a men-dominated environment and may not depict that much significance on the independence of the females (130).
The discussion on the individuality of women originates from the idea that in majority of Islamic countries, females are not only not permitted to work, but also to walk out of sight of a man or even permitted to drive. This is with respect to the holy book lesson to females that: And abide quietly in your homes, and do not flaunt your charms as they used to flaunt them in the old days of pagan ignorance (33:33). This is evident in times when Muhammad’s spouses, for instance Khadija were imperative in the prophet’s life, backing him in his missions devoid of constraints and shyness of remaining in the homestead as house wives. Majority of Islamic females thus follow the example of Muhammad’ spouses who were free to contribute to their spouse’s lives. Khadija was certainly into business and hired Muhammad, and even in the course of his meditation as well as journey, and this was against the recent state where they are anticipated to only be housewives, following the lessons of the holy book, the Qur’an.
Muslim women, at the base of the religion, were significant in pressing forward the course of religion as perceived by these phenomenal women as Khadija as well as Rubia. Adjustments in the societal fabric have nevertheless downgraded the females as housewives and nothing more. While the Muslim purist contend that females bodies are wicked, and that males have uncontrollable sexual desire and ought to be tamed by covering their bodies, a lot is left behind to be desired as these females like Rubia and Khadija developed Islam.
Al-Arfaj, Muhammad bin Ali. What must Be Known About Islam. Riyadh: Darussalam, 2002
Barlas, Asma. Islam and Body Politics: Inscribing (Im)morality. Conference on Religion and Politics of the Body. University of Iceland, 2009
Diffendal, Chelsea. “The Modern Hijab: Tool of Agency, Tool of Oppression.” Chrestomathy, 5 (2006): 129-136.
Helminski, Camille, Adams. “Woman and Sufism.” Women of Sufism, A Hidden Treasure, Writings and Stories of Mystic Poets, Scholars and Saints. Shambhala Publications, 2003
Schimmel, Annemarie. My Soul Is a Woman: The Feminine in Islam. Bloomsbury Academic, 2003