I am writing a essay paper about women in Islam. I want to know do women really have to wear the hijab and what are their roles within thier families?

asked 22 Dosa32's gravatar image

Ok.. the Qoran states that both men and women are equal. For example is sura 4:1 (that's the chapter and the verse) it says that both women and men were created ouf of one soul. Pretty much the same thing as the other two Abrahamic religions. Don't forget Islam is only a continuation of these two.

On the other side, we read in 4:34 that "mean are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made tone of them to excel the other, and because they spend from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard".

That may sound a bit awkward, but I guess it depends on the character of the man finally on which sura he will put emphasis on, or how he will interprete it. If he's a bastard he will claim the Qoran states women are not equal. If he is normal though he will stick with the fact that both were created from one soul, as both have equal rights and obligations before God.

There is one thing that to me it seems to be confusing. The matter of the different gender roles. Such does not apply in the Muslim societies only and it has nothing to do with gender discrimination. It happens that most of our societies are patriarchal. And how could it not be up to a certain extent? It is men to by physically stronger, go haunt and bring the food at home. The woman would stay behind to do whatever it is she was doing. Same with wars. Men would go in the battle, women would stay back, no? And anyway, I really don't see how men could breastfeed. But certainly neither the Qoran nor the hadith mention that women should stay at home. They are not prevented to go to work.

After all, don't forget that Islam really gave some rights to women that didn't exist before. Like the right to property and inheritance.

Now, these may differ from country to country as I stated already in my first answer. Is it because there is a different Qoran in each place or is it because people tend to see things over the prism that suits them best? Perhaps the Qoran itself allows for different interpretations, but when it allows for both good and bad, then it is people to blame when they pick up the ugly side. You go to Sudan and they will base their practice of stoning on islamic teachings. Go to some other Muslim country and they will tell you such an act in unacceptable.

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answered 791210 jenny_'s gravatar image

I am a christian, but from what I have read and been told about Islam - the q'uran places women at the center of the family and sees her as treasured and precious to her husband. I also read somewhere, that in Islam, women were allowed to practice medicine as doctors, many hundreds of years before the western (and perceived therefore as christian) world allowed their women to do so. I was also told that a Muslim wife can go to work - but that if she does, her husband must support her, and she gets to keep all her earnings as her own.

So it seems to me that the role of women in Islam, has been corrupted, in much the same way as there have been so-called Christians in history, twisting the word of the bible and god and claiming that it was in gods name they were going to war, or persecuting and torturing people, or committing genocide, or burning people at the stake as witches. The bible makes it clear that any person who intentionally perverts the word of god for their own purposes will be severely punished for it on judgement day.

I imagine the q'uran has a similar warning??

Though I am a christian, I don't believe the Islamic faith, if followed as per the q'uran, holds women in any higher or lower esteem than it does men. I think that it - like the bible, recognizes them as different, but equally important, partners. Unfortunately it seems there are many places these days where people have intentionally misintepreted the q'uran, and claimed it as an excuse to belittle, control, and mistreat women. I feel almost as sorry for the men who do this as the women. What kind of life can they have when they deny themselves the fulfillment of a true partnership in their marriage? - and when they reduce their wife to an impersonal servant?

As far as dress and hijab goes - it seems to me that this is a topic that there are many different opinions on, from people who dont believe that the woman needs to wear hijab - that the reference to covering her hari and bosum etc, with a scarf should be taken in the context of the fashions and dress code of the day (when that was what women wore) - and who say that nowadays it simply means to dress modestly (and then there seems to be debate about that too - ie skirt length, sleeve length, whether modest trousers are permissible etc etc). In Christianity, there are also differences of opinion on dress (not to the hijab/abaya vs street clothing - but on things like makeup, length of skirt, and whether it is provocative)

I have to say, that to me it seems, there is no point in forcing a woman to wear hijab or abaya if she does not want to - surely if she does not wish to wear it, then it is meaningless in gods eyes anyway (I am referring here to women in countries where there is no legal requirement to veil - obviously in some countries there is no option due to the law). Anyway it seems pointless to me to make someone who does not want to, wear hijab or abaya.... surely god knows what they are thinking anyway so whats the point?

I also have to question the logic behind it being to cover a woman to stop men being tempted etc. From what I have been told and read, in countries where women must always wear hijab and abaya or similar, the men seem to be more aroused by all the covering up, not less. I also had a Muslim guy tell me once that something about when a woman veiled, suddenly made her more sexually alluring - that a girl who was not veiling, could be just a kid of no importance one day to her male peers - and then a day later when she starts to veil, she is transformed from a skinny kid that they would play in the street with, to a sexual creature, tempting and desirable - that putting on the abaya/veil, normally seems to result in the men being likely to think more about the woman sexually - or more likely to imagine he is intimate with her, not less....

Possibly someone who has lived in both western countries and a country where it is usual for women to be covered - can comment on this better - as I have not - but i have heard this from women who have lived in places like saudi and found its men much more sexually intimidating than any westerners

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answered 152 foundit's gravatar image

Thanks so much for your help guys. I am a 17 year old muslim girl and whenever I ask this question I get many different answers. I wear my scarf because I strongly believe in it, but I wanted to see the different answers I get before I finish writing my essay.

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answered 22 Dosa32's gravatar image

I am a Saudi and a Muslim girl .. I'll tell you about the types of veils: 1 - some women do not wear the hijab does not believe in it but they say they are Muslim. 2 - and some of them wearing only a scarf and wear short or tight in front of men and say they are Muslim. 3 - and some of them wearing the mantle with Abaya and Abaya is worn on the body as a whole and say they are Muslim. 4 - and the latter type are wearing abaya and wearing scarf and covering their faces, but they can show their eyes. And say they are Muslim. Do you think of Muslim women are Alhakiqiat?? Before saying you think I will tell you why hurry to wear the veil of Islam and what are its causes .. God says in the Quran that women's greatest dissension on the ground even if it were not Women Being beautiful women are desirable in men. I do not know that you are a man or woman but to say you are a man walk next to your wife by your side a group of men went through and looked at your wife and think beautiful hair because it bother you? Consider the nose or lips and Allen that angers you? Or looked at her body and her legs and possibly her thighs and her breasts Allen angers you their disposal, but will not be able to do something because it is their eyes and see what they like, but you can prevent them from looking at it (because it is your wife, and reflect on her body from your right you only) makes it that wearing a veil that hides the charms her wonderful But you do not mix things only women wearing the veil only in men, either in a women wearing what they want of the dress so hurry Islam wear the veil. There are many reasons to wear the hijab I can not mention here, but what I mentioned earlier was the greatest reason to wear a veil in order not to quarrel over the other people in hopes that the other girl .. And not for men only, but may haunt jealousy when you see the woman her husband looks at another woman even if it were not beautiful it instinct of them women. I hope to be helped and Excuse me that there were mistakes My language is not good .. Thank you What do you think of now are the types of four Muslim women who follow the true Islam?? That you want to know what is the veil I'm kind of the fourth .. I hope to communicate with me on the e-mail: sh-m-l@hotmail.com

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answered 2 shehanah's gravatar image

Please read Sura Ahzab in English (www.tanzil.info) where Allah says: O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.

And in Sura Noor Allah says in first sentence: "This is a surah which We have sent down and made obligatory and revealed therein verses of clear evidence that you might remember" and then in the chapter He says: "And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed. (31)"

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answered 18124 Fam's gravatar image

depends on where one lives actually.

There are Muslim women who may only wear a scarf, like in Turkey. Others may wear normal clothes only - some do so in Dubai for example. If you are in Saudi Arabia, as you know, not only you need to cover up totally but are not allowed to do several things, like driving. And then don't forget Virgin Mary is wearing a scarf also in the icons.

As far as I know, I am not a Muslim myself, the core unit of the society is considered to be the family. Thus, the role of the woman within the family is very strong. Working or not, she has the responsibility to offer what's best to her children and husband, much like in the rest of the world.

Whether or not she is treated equally, I want to believe that it depends on her personal relationship with her husband. Again, much like in the rest of the world.

You may find some verses in the Qoran to be humiliating against women, but Muslims will bring up a thousand restrictions before you proceed with these. It doesn't differ much from the other scriptures (Judaism and Christianity).

It's very easy to write all the negatives we find in the conservative Muslim societies, but with a bit of research you will see things are not as bad as we may think, at least not everywhere. I will try find some things for you (references etc) but as I said, I am not a Muslim myself. My experience though tells me that most Muslims will give you their own personal perspective according to how they themselves perceive Islam. For example, some may tell you "covering up is not mandatory" (I mean wearing a hijab) but others will speak about it as if it is the biggest sin ever.

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answered 791210 jenny_'s gravatar image
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Asked: Feb 28 '12 at 20:20

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Last updated: Jun 02 '13 at 15:56


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