Active TopicsActive Topics  Display List of Forum MembersMemberlist  CalendarCalendar  Search The ForumSearch  HelpHelp
  RegisterRegister  LoginLogin  Old ForumOld Forum  Twitter  Facebook
Advertisement:
         

General Discussion
 IslamiCity Forum - Islamic Discussion Forum : General : General Discussion
Message Icon Topic: Purdah and the Woman Post Reply Post New Topic
<< Prev Page  of 19 Next >>
Author Message
Alwardah
 
Senior Member
Senior  Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 March 2005
Location: South Africa
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 980
Quote Alwardah Replybullet Posted: 14 December 2005 at 4:07am

Hi Angela

 

I am not sure about the situation in Afghanistan or else. I am one of those who does not pay much attention to the media.

 

About ten years back, when I went to perform Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) – meaning I went to Saudi Arabia, I found the situation there completely different to what is portrayed in the media. There are problems in every country, every society and every religion but I feel that where Islam and Muslim women are concerned things are blown out of proportion, so personally I think most of us just ignore what the media presents.

 

I could not connect to the link you posted, I will try again later.

 

Take care

 

“Verily your Lord is quick in punishment; yet He is indeed Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful (Surah Al-An’am 6:165)
"Indeed, we belong to Allah and to Him is our return" (Surah Baqarah 2: 155)
IP IP Logged
free
 
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 12 December 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 33
Quote free Replybullet Posted: 14 December 2005 at 5:15am

Peace be upon you, and the mercy of Allah


Thank you for raising the topic Angela, Alhamdulilah

I agree with most if not all of what has been said, increasingly (in modern society) women play more of a vital role within the workplace, and I cannot see anything wrong with this as long as the correct precautions are taken (ie dressing moderately – Hijab would be better, but not showing ones figure, and avoiding been alone with males).

I agree with what has been said with regards to the type of role a woman should seek, in that I cannot see the reason why a woman would want to mix it in a man’s profession (the example of the doctors was a good one). I would also tend not to be in favour of women working full time hours…. As a result of the stress that it might incur.

As Alwardah has said:
”But these women need to be super women because they work at a career, then their homes and also need to take care of their children and not forgetting the husband, fulfilling his needs as well. Masha Allah many women have succeeded in accomplishing all these duties.”   


With regards to the locking up of women issue, I also agree that this is not advisable…

Alwardah stated: No Muslim who really understands the teaching of Islam will "lock his wife" at home. But it is better for the women to remain indoors if there is no immediate/urgent need for her to go out.

…..but I do agree that if a person, whether man or woman, goes outside just to wonder about and kill time then they are asking for trouble (I am not denying that out of a thousands times of going out, nothing will happen, but I am referring to that one occasion that you cannot foresee). I say this as if there is no purpose to a person’s excursion; they are open pray to those whom are predators of the day.   


IP IP Logged
Angela
 Christian
Senior Member
Senior  Member
Avatar

Joined: 11 July 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2555
Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 14 December 2005 at 8:13am
Originally posted by free


With regards to the locking up of women issue, I also agree that this is not advisable…

Alwardah stated: No Muslim who really understands the teaching of Islam will "lock his wife" at home. But it is better for the women to remain indoors if there is no immediate/urgent need for her to go out.

…..but I do agree that if a person, whether man or woman, goes outside just to wonder about and kill time then they are asking for trouble (I am not denying that out of a thousands times of going out, nothing will happen, but I am referring to that one occasion that you cannot foresee). I say this as if there is no purpose to a person’s excursion; they are open pray to those whom are predators of the day.   


 
 
Oh, I agree, going outside the house can be dangerous.  There is a psychological disorder surrounding this that causes people to fear leaving their house.  But, its equally dangerous for Men and women.  I know several widows of men killed in drunk driving accidents where they were not the drunk driver.  I know a woman who's husband was shot dead in a robbery.  So, it is not just women who are in danger when they step out that door.  Leaving the house to participate in a hobby or cultural event can be considered "killing time" under different peoples view points.  But these activities can play a vital role in the development of the human identity.  I love multicultural faires and art shows.  Why do I go?  Sometimes, its just to have something to do, but I always walk away a little better than I went in. 
 
Life is an experience.  One of the greatest memories I have is of my Mother loading us up into a car and driving 4 hours and three states away to an Art Museum in Dover, Delaware.  There I was able to see in person, Greek Statues, Egyptian Sarcophagi, Baroque paintings and Chinese terracotta statues.  If my mother had been denied the ability to do that, we would have never gone.  My father does not value cultural and artistic learning.  He would have never taken us. 
 
Women who are raised properly and with love and encouragement don't go out partying and throw caution to the wind.  I feel the focus should be less on confine ment and more on instilling the values of morality and education.  If a girl respects herself and her God, then no one can take that from her.  She will make the right choices and she will be a better mother and wife because of it.
 
 
IP IP Logged
mohammad
 
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 15 September 2005
Location: Pakistan
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 385
Quote mohammad Replybullet Posted: 15 December 2005 at 12:46am

Regarding of Purdah Almighty Allah gives us a very clear direction or instructions in the Holy Quran as mentioned below.

 

Ch# 24 (Surah Al- Nur) Verse 31

 

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says “ and tell the believing women to lower their gaze ((from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts and not show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of the hand or eyes for necessity to see the way etc.) and to draw their veils all over juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, neck and bosoms etc) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husband, their father, their husband father, their sons, their husband sons, their brothers or their brother sons or their sister sons or their (Muslim) women) or the (female) slaves whom their rights hand possess or old male servants who lack vigor, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to for give you all, Oh believers that you may be successful”

 

Purdah is not only for women it also for important for the men as if we see the just previous of the above mentioned verse Almighty Allah passes the same direction for the men in which Allah says.

 

Ch# 24 (Surah Al- Nur) Verse 30

 

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts. That is purer for them. Certainly Allah is all-aware of what they do”.
IP IP Logged
mohammad
 
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 15 September 2005
Location: Pakistan
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 385
Quote mohammad Replybullet Posted: 15 December 2005 at 12:56am

ummziba wrote)
Sorry, I was a little slow in getting the right story .  So, of course she should marry him and ignore the silly misogynist friend with the bad advice!

The basis for "purdah" doesn not come from Islam, it comes from culture.  A bad (and sad) attempt by some misguided men to control their women.  How do they justify it?  Beats me, but I am sure they think they are correct, just as many wrongdoers justify things to themselves to make it seem right in their minds.

Sister ummziba  I think now your misconception regarding of Pardah should remove, as Allah gives us the clear instruction in the Quran which I posted on the above. It means Purdah was not come from culture nor this was a attempt by the men to control their women.

Another point that this is also a wrong concept towards Islam that Islam restricted the women in side the home, not at all, if we see the Islamic history we will find that in each era the women play a very vital role. Even that in the life of Hazrat Muhammad (p.b.u.h) women help their men in the wars ( as they were treated the wounded soldiers, providing the water to soldiers in the battle fields).

As in my conclusion if the women work out side with the described way of Islam, it is not forbidden, but this is the best that they stay at home and educate their children, this will be a great service from the women, if they educate their children rightly being a mom & as I mentioned the children mostly adopted the mother habits because their most of the initial time they passed under the umbrella of the Mother.

 

 

 

 

IP IP Logged
ummziba
Female  Islam
Senior Member
Senior  Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 March 2005
Location: Canada
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1158
Quote ummziba Replybullet Posted: 15 December 2005 at 5:20am

Assalamu alaikum,

Brother Mohammad, I think the mix up here is stemming from the use of an Urdu word, purdah, for an Arabic word, hijab.  Most people do not understand the same meaning from these two words.  Of course hijab is prescribed by Allah in the Qur'an, no arguement there at all.

To most people (in the english speaking world at least) purdah means making a woman stay at home, this is not prescribed in the Qur'an, as you point out when you say Islam does not restrict women staying home.  The confusion is in the words used: purdah does not equal hijab in the understanding of most people.

So let's just try and clear this all up: covering the body and head (which most call hijab) is absolutely the correct Islamic thing to do.  Forcing women to stay at home (which most refer to as purdah) is not.  So, when you say purdah, you may understand it to mean the same as hijab, but most people do not.

Is this helpful, or more confusing?  (By the way, Brother, I wear hijab.)  Have a nice day.

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
IP IP Logged
Khadija1021
 
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 30 June 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 530
Quote Khadija1021 Replybullet Posted: 15 December 2005 at 6:14am

Assalamu Alaikum

 

First of all, Brother Mohammad, the question about Purdah is not simply about the ayats you quote as Sister Ummziba pointed out.  The question about Prudah Sister Angela brings forth is about a book called Purdah and The Status of Woman in ISLAM which was written by Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi and was originally published in 1939. 

 

As I see it, the problem with Purdah (the book) is this.  The author starts out by setting up a very negative image of the world.  No just the non-Muslim world, but all of it.  He believes that not only non-Muslims but also Muslims were living a life away from Allah.  But in setting up his argument, he argues that humans as being created by NATURE and that we are created by natures just like other animals (his worlds) and then he goes on to create a picture of humans that reduces them to not much more than lustful animals.  Of course he gives lots of examples when would lead one to agree with him.  He uses examples of nude beaches and such.  Another step in his argument is that he claims that all societies throughout history that have allowed women to work or interact outside of the home have done so for the benefit of enhancing males sexual desires.  In other word, they have oppressed and devalued women and turned them into little more than sex objects.  He also builds an argument that women are physically weaker than women but no just do to lack of muscle mass.  But the fact that they give birth and have monthly cycle makes them “very nearly sick.”  His research is no well documented and medical information is from 1909.   One such statement from a Professor Lapin Sky in his book The Development of Persoanlity in Women is as follows:

 

“…during menstruation a woman is deprived of her freedom of action; she becomes a slave to involuntary behavior and her capacity to do anything at will is considerably reducted.”

 

Maududi goes on to say in Purdah “There is evidence to show that a woman loses her mental balance during this period.  She becomes easily irritable and furious, behaves at times in a silly and wild manner, and may even commit suicide.” 

 

If that is not enough to want men to not only lock women away but to put in insane asylums, take a look at what he says about pregnancy.  “She turns mentally deranged; all her mental and psychic energies remain upset; and a little carelessness can cause her serious illness.”  After pregnancy, things do look much better, in fact, he says that it takes “about a year” for her to get out of this “sick or nearly sick condition.”  And while she is in this condition, “her general efficiency is reduced to half, even to less than half.”  I think someone needed to show this many studies about women in some cultures who give birth and within a matter of a couple of hours are back working the fields with baby strapped on her back.  If what he said were true about women, why would we even risk having children or allowing women to care for them?  With respect to breast feeding, which he argues is a must for a mother to do; he states “The best of her body is turned into milk for the baby.”  What does that even mean?  He goes as far as to say that during the time a mother is beast feeding, what she intakes all goes to the production of milk except for “just that much as can keep her alive.”

I guess if we that human creation to be the result of NATURE, this might be turn; however, Allah didn’t fall short on insight when creating women.  Women are not creatures who are some how rendered emotionally or even physically crippled by virtue of any aspect of their child bearing capacity.  Although there may be some cases where women have had problems with their reproductive cycle, that is by far not the norm.  We don’t need to do research to know this.  All we have to do is look at the current world population and the fact that approximated ˝ of the world population continues to be female.  If Maududi’s argument were correct, the world population would be far less and there would be far fewer women, if for no other reason than from deaths due to suicide and deaths related to child birth.

 

In all fairness to Maududi, maybe he was simply going on the best research at the time; however given that we are living almost 70 past the time when Purdah was originally published, does it not make sense to update the data?  Why hasn’t someone done that?  Is it possible that his argument would not hold up so well if it were updated?

 

Now that I’ve pointed out a few problems, let me turn to what he claims “Purdah” is.  Maududi states that “Purdah” is “a title for a set of injunctions, which constitute the most important part of the Islamic system of community life.”  He goes on to say that anyone “who has not wholly lost his powers of discernment” will see that what he say is true.  And that if “this system” works, “the whole woe-stricken world will rush towards this fountainhead of peace and security and seek its help in curing its social maladies.”  I have a problem with this.  His clam in the book is that the Ummah is sick.  He says, “he himself [the Muslim] has got lost and is running after the other blind people in search of light and truth.”  If this is the case, why is he giving us something new?  Why isn’t he just pointing us back to Islam?  What is “this system”, this “set of injunctions”?  Does he think he can do something that the Noble Qur’an could not?  This fountainhead we will be rushing towards.  Is that Islam or his “Purdah”?

 

I know I’m being long winded here but the book is 152 pages long and he weaves a rather lengthy (and at moments plausible) argument in trying to get his audience to buy his view.  But I’m not ready to leave yet.  The most interesting part of the story is yet to come.

 

Once he finally gets around to actually discussing the Qur’an, we have read 90 pages of his book.  He first quotes the Qur’an for purposed of his subject in Chapter 10 which begins on page 91.   All I can say is that I was shocked.  It truly appeared to me that the ayats he quoted and the way he translated them were for the sole purpose of justifying his view and not as a means to see if his view held up under Islamic scrutiny.  I have never seen ayats so misquoted before.    

 

First, he tried to show that the Qur’an agrees with his position that humans were created just like animals.  He quotes Sura 42, Ayat 11 as such

 

“He has given you wives from among yourselves to multiply you, and cattle male and female.”

 

when Sura 42, Ayat 11 actually is as follows:

 

Yusuf Ali Translation: (He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing whatever like unto Him and He is the One that hears and sees (all things).

Allah is not saying that he created humans and animals the same no more than he is saying he created heaven and earth the same.  It is a quote about “Creation” and definitely not about “NATURE.” 

 

To make matter worse, right after that he quotes Sura 2, Ayat 223 this way

 

“Your wives are your farms.”

 

when that ayat is as follows:

 

Yusuf Ali Translation: Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will. But do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah and know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter) and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.

I guess Maududi believes that women are like animals and that  their purpose is basically as a breeding machine.  It interesting that he doesn’t make this same claim about men.  Somehow men are the farmers and women are the farm.  That doesn’t sound like two apples but more like apples and hay.  Why didn’t he see in this ayat that since Allah created woman to be man’s partner, he did so in a manner that was fitted to him (i.e., the reason for the use of the word “tilth”…Allah cultivated, created, women as a fitting mate for man).  Well, if we go a bit further in his book, we will see why he needs to set up with distinction between men and women.

 

In the next chapter, 11, Maududi makes this statement, “…men being the active partner has been justly regarded by Islam as superior to women” and he quote the Qur’an in justifying that claim but he makes the same mistake as before.  That is, he misquotes.  He writes Sura 2, Ayat 228 this way

 

“Of coarse, men are a degree above them (women).”

 

when that ayat actually is as follows:

 

Yusuf Ali Translation: Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods nor is it lawful for them to hide what Allah hath created in their wombs if they have faith in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period if they wish for reconciliation. And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them and Allah is Exalted in Power Wise.

The degree that men have over women in his case is a matter regarding divorce.  It has nothing to do with men being superior to women.  In act, it says in this ayat that “women shall have rights similar to the rights against them” but that “men have a degree (of advantage) over them.”  Advantage over what?  In this case, divorce.  How in the world does that mean men are superior?

In the very next section, Man as Provider, of Chapter 11, not even two whole paragraphs later, Maududi, again asserts the superiority of men over women and once again, he misquotes an ayat from the Qur’an.  He does so with Sura 4, Ayat 34 this time.  He translates it in the following way

“Men are the governors of the affairs of women because Allah has made man superior to women and because men spend of their wealth on them.”

when it should be as follows:

Yusuf Ali Translation: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct admonish them (first) (next) refuse to share their beds (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience seek not against them means (of annoyance): for Allah is Most High Great (above you all).

There is nothing here about superiority but rather a division of duties based upon the distinction Allah in His All-Knowing wisdom knows is best for men and women.  If man has a “degree” over women it’s because they work and support the family and are given the duty of being the protector, maintainer and spiritual leader of not only their wife but of their family.  This allows women to be free to do her duties of taking care of the home and raising their offspring if they have any.

I am going to stop quoting at this point because I think it is clear that something is not quite right about the book.  And trust me, it doesn’t get better.  In fact, he goes from men being superior to a full fledged war on why women.  Although women are given the okay by both Allah and the Prophet (pbuh) to work outside the home, to go to the mosque to pay, to have careers of their own, and the right to gain economically from their labor, Maududi had a reason for denying all of those things to women.  He does so in a very subtle way.  He says that women can have those things but solely for the purpose to make betterment of men.  Or has he would say for the “ruler.”  That is, women are to be educated but only insofar as that makes them better wives and mothers.  So they can talk classes on cooking and childcare. They can pray but only in their closets.  They don’t need a career because Allah gave them their only careers, i.e., serving their husband (which includes bearing raising his children); and because they inherit and receive marriage dowry on top of having their husband support them, well, they (women) more often than not end up “economically better off than the husband.”  In other words, women are not to have any ambitions whatsoever outside of their married life.  Ambition is for men and men alone.

And then the rest of the book goes into detail as to how a woman should be in order to be considered virtuous, what the punishment is if she doesn’t act virtuous and how to prevent her from not being virtuous.  Although there are snippets here and there as to the behavior of men, it is usually included as a means to make a point that that is for men but more or something different is expect of women.  Oddly enough, at one point in the book, the author says that men should treat their wives in such a way as to preserve the relationship between “ruler and ruled” and not put it at the level of “master and slave”; however, although “ruler and ruled” is even taken the Qur’an way too far, his book does nothing short of putting the marriage relationship as one of “master and salve”.

Never does he clearly states what the “set of injunctions, which constitute the most important part of the Islamic system of community life”, which he said early on in the book that he was going to put forth, are.  By his own definition of the state of the Ummah and a need for a cure for its “social maladies”, this book should be equally address to the problems of both men and women; however, it is obvious by the book that he feels the entire problem can be simply solved by secluding women from the rest of society.  It is interesting that he comes close to pointing out some problems that men have attributed to the Ummah but he never quite goes there.  I will give you one example.  In discussing “Human Nature and its Demands”, he quotes Sura 3, Ayat 14 this way

“Men are tempted by the lure of women and offspring.”

when the ayat should be as follows:

Yusuf Ali Translation: Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: women and sons; heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (to return to).

He was trying to use this ayat to show that man has a natural desire to be married and have children; however, if we consider the full ayat it appears that man has a desire for many things and not just a natural desire to get married and have kids.  In fact, this ayat is about man’s desire for this world and a warning about what the true goal is. 

If man is so inclined to desire this world, why is he free to roam the streets while women are locked away in their homes?  There is no warning that he should be at home if he is not at work.  Does he really think that by secluding women that all of the worlds “woes” will simply disappear?  There are more maladies to this world than sex...there are alcohol, drugs, and gambling for starters.  This is supposed to be a book to help solve the “woes” of the Ummah.  Why is there not more advice and instructions to help men deal with issues they have that keep them off the right path?

Bottom line for me is this book gives rise to more questions and concerns than anything.  It is based upon poor and/or outdated research.  It uses arguments that are Islamically unfitting at times…such as the statement and arguments regarding humans as being a product of nature and are created in the same manner as animals.  It never clearly states what the “set of injunctions” for correcting the woes of the world are and at the same time, it actually distorts and at times even eradicates some of the base commands of both the Noble Qur’an and the Hadith. 

Okay, you probably got more than you wanted but there is my short, but long winded, version of the book.  If anyone would like an e-copy of it, I would be glad to send it to you.  It is an Adobe Reader file.  If you want a copy, just send me you e-mail address through a PM and I will make sure you get it.

Allah Hafiz

PAZ, Khadija

Say: 'My prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds. (Qur'an, 6:162)
IP IP Logged
Angela
 Christian
Senior Member
Senior  Member
Avatar

Joined: 11 July 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2555
Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 15 December 2005 at 7:33am

That's the book I posted that doesn't seem to be working when you click on the link.

Mohammed.

I support the HIJAB.  I'm all for it.  If a woman wants a Niqab or Burqah....more power to her. 

I'm more concerned with the idea that the Quran tell's men to lock up their wives.  I've been reading the Quran for the first time and I have yet to see this.  The only example is Mary and it seems from the way it was narrated that when she puts a screen between herself and her family, that its supposed to be an unusual thing...a tremendous act of pioty, not a requirement.

IP IP Logged
<< Prev Page  of 19 Next >>
Post Reply Post New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Disclaimer:
The opinions expressed herein contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. This forum is offered to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization.
If there is any issue with any of the postings please email to icforum at islamicity.com or if you are a forum's member you can use the report button.

Note: The 99 names of Allah avatars are courtesy of www.arthafez.com

Advertisement:



Sponsored by:
Islamicity Membership Program:
IslamiCity Donation Program  http://www.islamicity.com/Donate
IslamiCity Arabic eLearning http://www.islamiCity.com/ArabAcademy
Complete Domain & Hosting Solutions www.icDomain.com
Home for Muslim Tunes www.icTunes.com
Islamic Video Collections www.islamiTV.com
IslamiCity Marriage Site www.icMarriage.com