Response and Expectations of Muslim Women
Most people have thought that the Muslim women are subjugated by their religion (Islam). Most people say that the Muslim women are forced to cover their bodies entirely, deprived the right of education and fundamental requirements. This might be true or wrong, fact or fiction depending on the opinion and perception of the term “women rights” in Muslims. It is a fact that over the past, these Muslim women have fought for the so called right and struggled against restraining practices in schooling, discrimination among other rights that are fought by similar women. However, most of these vices do not have origin from the Muslim culture but some emerge from the local practices and laws.
One should imagine the variances amid culture and education and try to ask if the high domestic violence rate in United States (where Muslim are handful and majority Christians) and the rest of the world is connected to Christianity, the biggest religion (Belle, 2003: 45-46). There are high domestic violence rates in many non-Muslim countries than Muslim countries. A great number of rights are provided by the Islam religion. An example was seen in England where properties were retained by these Muslim women, even after they were married while the other women (from other religions) had to surrender their belongings to their husbands. The Muslim women, as if not enough, had all the authority to specify circumstances in their marriage treaties, like they had the right to divorce in case all did not go well. This is undue authority as every Christian would view. They went further and even were keeping their last names after they were engaged or married. However, with all these freedoms and opportunities Muslim women are held by numerous bonds and this has designed their life styles over the decades. Various things are expected of them and their rights defined by their religion (Islam) (Curra, 2003: 22). The paper hence illustrates the expectations and the rights of Muslim women as per the Muslim laws.
The laws and expectations are defined in Quran though it explicitly illustrates that in the face of Allah, all are not equal. It however protects women. Quran does not allow female infanticide. The law however is mostly adopted in heavily influenced Muslim populated regions (Belle, 2003: 49).
Quran has numerous discriminations against women. There lacks equality in its teachings. The ideology that women and men should have equal rights does not future nor in the vocabulary of Quran. This is a norm according to Quran. Women are supposed to be subjected and secondary to men. The law has remained unchanged since the formation of the Muslim religion. The women are therefore expected to obey their husbands. They do not even have authority to travel minus being permitted by their husbands or elder (father for example) or even a brother. On the other hand, men do not require any permit or permission to move out, do whatever they want and pop in any time they feel. Women are even to escorted by men when going to far places.
It is the right and obligation of every Muslim woman to respect and follow her husband’s desires. Women are considered as field for men to plow. Their (women’s) privileges are supposed to be enjoyed the way their men (husbands) like without objection or complain. They are taken as tithes for men. Used when and how their men wants. In this, we infer that women are properties for sex of their males who owns them. Contrary, they have the right to reject the people they do not love from marrying them and even divorce in extreme cases. They are not to make any contribution in decision making. They are inferior and should go as per their husbands’ wishes (Andersen, 2005: 66).
Muslim marriage is unique in a way. Women in Muslim society are not allowed to get married to men who are not Muslims unless they change and became Muslims. Men however, can marry the people they want be it Muslim, Jew or Christian. Muslim men are also allowed to marry any number of women their desire but women one and only one. The men are supposed to be responsible for their women and in case their existed any doubt then the man is not to marry. He becomes responsible regardless of the condition of that particular woman, whether rich or poor, able or not (Curra, 2003: 29). This leaves the women with little responsibility and chances of having less responsibilities in the family set-up. All the food, clothing and others are counted towards men. The expectation favors women to some extent. It also keeps them inferior and at time irresponsible. Regarding responsibilities, women are left at worse conditions in case when something takes place and affects man example when the man dies. They are only to perform their duties devotedly as women. They are however to be shown kindness and love even when the husband have another wife (Magarey, 1999: 21).
The women do have the right to poses properties only if her husband is diseased. They are not permitted to own a concubine. The children belonged to the husband and the wife was supposed to take care of the child up to seven years. The child has to follow the father’s religion but not mothers in all circumstances. The male chauvinist practice contributes to society that limits women’s space and enhances inequality amid the sexes. Even in school, though allowed to study but some given subjects are not to be taken by Muslim women, example being engineering and law. The consent of the girl is needless and its essentiality is not mentioned in the Muslim Law. In voting or travel, she has to get permission for their husbands or fathers in case the woman is not married. The law is most common in such Saudi Arabian. The women are not allowed even to work away from their homes or treated by male doctors in the hospital. This can only take place when they are accompanied and monitor by men (husbands or fathers). This is what triggered their fight for rights in Saudi Arabian in 1959 (Kaplan, 2007: 66).
The use of veils is mandatory for all Muslim women. Veil is as a sign of women’s secondary position in the community though the meaning changes from one society to the other. It also differs from one country to another. They have to be worn whether they are in the presence of their families or in public. Their bodies are meant for their husbands and only the husbands have the authority to see or have access to. This is a great expectation but have been managed by them.
The other law and expectation is also seen when the women are attending their periods. They are not permitted to touch Quran, should not do the five daily prayers and cannot even fast. They are considered impure during these periods and that their prayers cannot be heard by Allah (Belle, 2003: 46). Their prayers are considered invalid and they have to recoup for their unclean days ones Ramadan is over. The men are not expected as well to be in contact with their women during these days and can touch them with gloves in name of remaining impure. They can only touch their hands but not any part of the body. The women who divorces have to be patient till three menstruations pass; furthermore they are not permitted to kill anything in their wombs.
Most religions permit celibacy like women can choose to be nun and priests. In Islam, there are no such authorities and options. They are strongly to be married and no otherwise. Marriage is regarded as a religious obligation and therefore a moral defense and acted as a requirement. Their prophet also quoted that and any women who will keep away from it is not of the Muslim religion (Andersen, 2005: 70). Marriage performs as remedy for sexual desires and so one can overcome his/her body through marriage. This law is profitable to some extent. It reduces the number of prostitutes in the Muslim society. Ones a woman choose a husband, that man remains her husband for her entire life. No re-marriage tolerated or accepted. The marriage is to be made public for all Muslims. All women are to be married and subjected to their husbands’ laws. Marriage is mandatory in Muslim society. The women are supposed to make themselves sexuality attractive to their men at all times and are not to refuse to have sex at any time their husbands are in need of it. This is regarded as obedience (Curra, 2003: 26).
The other profitable expectation that women obtain is the right to choose their spouses. They are given time to select any person their think they can live with and they are not chosen for them. It is only in few countries where the reverse takes place. The women are chosen for by their fathers whom they have to respect.
However, even with their spouses they are not allowed to move together or be in private places without being legally married. Muslims believe that ones two close related people are together there is always another third party called shaitan (Satan according to Christians and normal men) that can tempt them and cause the pre-engagement before they become married. Hence women are not expected to move with men unless they are legally married and confirmed in the Mosque. They are not expected to have courtship as other religions have. Dating is not permitted. No sex before married and so forth. They are to remain virgins till the day they get married and after that they are to be committed to their husbands and that remains the normal routine in their societies. It is a fact as they argue that love and Romans fade away fast when the actual world is considered before the marriage takes place (Belle, 2003: 45-46).
The other duty and expectation of Muslim women is that they should be responsible and accounted for in the blissfulness and success of the family. They have to be dutiful, and respond to her husband’s desires and wishes. This is according to the Quran which says that women are given to men to be “apples of their eyes” and acts as guide that enable men to attain righteousness. They are to trustworthy, faithful and honest to their husbands. They are not expected to cheat on their husbands by deliberately refusing to conceive. All the husband right must be maintained and should not allow anybody to have access to her body before or after marriage. They are not expected to be alone with anyone they are not familiar with and even they are to refuse any token that these men offer them. In case the gifts are to be offered, then the husband or father must be aware and prove it. This is intended at minimizing the chances of suspicion, gossip and jealousy among men (Andersen, 2005: 68).
In conclusion, though much is expected of the Muslim women but much is also given. Their behaviors and actions are guided by the Muslim laws and their husbands. Their actions and roles are dictated and they are to be subject to the senior males in the community. This leaves them with little opportunity to express their feeling, air their views or pursue their dreams. However, the expectations that are required of them have both merits and demerits. The law gives men opportunity to rule over them but at the same time the law affirms that they are protected and cared for. Hence we cannot say that their rights are deprived as the law is two sided. It is in this religion-Muslim-where men are men and women are women. There is a bold boundary that exists between the males and females. This is not seen in other religions. The laws and expectations are biased and favor men more than women (Belle, 2003: 45-46).
Right and duty can be perceived variously according to the viewer. One can consider something right but the other denies. This is common in areas where there are no laws taught. Right might be religion or self-based in some regions and religions. This is the case of Muslim women. Their rights, duties and expectations are based on Quran. It dictates that they are supposed to do, the time and how. The best example is the use of veils. The way they should be put on has been defined. Just like the Muslims, the Christian have more freedom and less expectation. They somehow dictate their own lives, duties and roles in the society and family set up. This is not the case with the Muslim women. We cannot conclude that they are suffering or feeling relaxed with the Muslim laws. It can be fiction or fact and so greater view should be taken in the topic. The word freedom and rights might be different according to them. They consider that their right. If so becomes the case, then the movements will yield not as they are satisfied and comfortable with them. It can be justice or injustice. Belle 2005 says that there should be the freedom of thought and the liberty of the conscience, there should be the freedom of association and political liberties. And also the liberties and the rights are to be covered by the law and so the Muslim laws. However, ethics should be upheld at all times. We are supposed to be fair, just, good to other people in our judgments and relationships as they would have judged us. This is what Kaplan 2007 had to support. It comprises on the conception of the value in the lives of all human beings. It also comprises the ideals of the friendship and familiar associational dealings. Religions are religions and their laws at time becomes very difficult to alter and so the Muslim. Let the Muslim women be contented with what they have and poses.
Andersen, F. “Muslim laws and Muslim women” 2th Edition, 2nd volume. Cengage Publishers, 2005: 68- 98
Belle, L. “Social relations: Rights and obligations,” Sage Publishers- 2003: 45-46
Curra, J. “The rights of human beings: Women obligations and right” Delmont Publishers, 2005: 23- 36
Kaplan, J. “Laws of Allah: Muslim women”: Springer publishers, 2007: 65- 69
Magarey, F. “The paths to happy marriage: Muslim laws and women” Prentice-Hall Publishers, 1999: 18-22.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH GRADE VALLEY TODAY AND GET AN AMAZING DISCOUNT