6 years ago
Position of Women before Islam:
The relation between man and women over the span of history had remained deprived of justice among many successive generations.;She was disdainfully treated, browbeaten and didn't have the right to choose for herself, neither did she have the right to lead her own life and history bears witness unimpeachably towhat she suffered at the hands of man in many societies though these were civilized and of high intellect orientation. Likewise, in the pre-Islamic paganism, woman was subject to man and not endowed with a free will.
As for marriage, women had no power of free choice about whom to marry; the father or any other male guardian had the absolute decision in this regard. Dowry was to be given to him, not to the girl. She was dealt as a mere chattel; marriage was just like a sale or a deal, not a human relationship based on mutual rights and respect. They used to be an object of sex, persecution and exploitation. Marriage was usually considered a means for satisfying men’s lust, not for raising families.
In his noteworthy study about the etymology of the Arabic word "Ba'l," Dr. Jawad Ali traced them back far into the history of the south peninsula; he found that the old Arabic texts called the husband “Ba'el" which, at the time, meant "the Master" and called the wife "Ba'elah" which literary meant "the women in the possession of the Husband." That is why she was dealt as a bequest. Therefore, according to ancient Hebrews, a brother had the right to take his brother's wife once he died, leaving no children, as the brother was the legitimate heir to his brother’s property that included his wife. The same tradition was adopted by pagan Arabs before Islam; the nephew inherited this right from his father.
This is the same concept that gave the relatives of the deceased, in case he died leaving no children behind, the absolute right to marry his widow, In other words, his son or relatives had the top priority over others in the regard; he can marry her or prevent her form marrying until death.
When Islam downed, it abolished considering woman as a property that could be inherited, giving widows the choice whether to marry or not and whom to marry after Iddah (period of waiting before remarrying). God says in this regard what means:
Islam strictly forbids a man to treat his wife with harshness or put pressure on her until she gives up some of the dowry or until she dies to inherit her property, a custom which some pre-Islamic pagan Arabs used to. God says in this regard what means:
Also Islam strictly prohibits marrying stepmothers, God says in the Holy Quran in this regard what means:
Therefore, Qur’an establishes these three provisions to abolish the pre-Islamic custom of inheriting widows and its consequents.
Among the many grievances that woman suffered before the advent of Islam is the unrestrainedly repetitive divorce, which gave blind eyes to women feelings, their rights and their interests, it was a divorce that was exercised by man according to his temper. So Islam, in Sura Al-Bakra, has codified some laws to stop this manipulation on the part of man and has limited the number of divorces to only two times after which man has no right to take her back. God says what means:
As for inheritance, pre-Islamic pagan Arabs had the right to distribute their properties just as they pleased. The only main rule was that neither women nor even male relatives of the mother were entitled to inherit; only mature male relatives of the dead were allowed to inherit. Islam has annulled all these injustices, giving women definite considerable shares of inheritance that, we can say for the sake of brevity, has put her on equal respectful footing with man.
Furthermore, in the pre-Islamic period, female infanticide was the norm, and hatred for women was the prevailing attitude.
Islam condemns female infanticide and acknowledges females’ right to life:
Among the many forms of humiliating females was the custom of burying female children alive for fear that they should incur shame and poverty on their fathers, a custom that could not go uncritical but strongly condemnedand suppressed by Islam, that came to extricate those pagans form the quagmire of paganism. The Holy Quran says about this abomination what means:
Disposing of female infant babies was something stupefying and heart breaking as these females babies were buried alive, there were various ways: A girl might be left until she culminated six years- an age of doom because it was their custom to bury children at this age. A father, in order to conceal their malicious intent, used to invent lies saying to their women: "perfume the child and dress her up because I am going to take her to visit our relatives."
Once they reached a well that he had already prepared, he allured the helpless miserable child saying: “Look inside it!” Then, he pushed her to fall into the well, heaping on her earth. Others made a woman give birth on the brink of a hole so that if the born was a girl, they would throw it into the hole piling up sand on her. Even those who did not practise female infanticide, used to give her abject humiliating life until she was strong enough to graze their animals; they thendressed her down and sent her to pasture their camels. There were many other forms of female humiliations and injustices.
That was the pagan Arabs’ perspective of women status untill Islam budded into life to close this chapter, Islam denouncedsuch customs and prohibited female infanticide for which man will stand accountable and severe punishment will be meted out on Judgment Day.
So, Islam treats men and women equally, giving all of them the right to life; it considers violating this right a great sin conflicting with God’s will and His Dispensation to honour mankind.
Contrary to the then prevailing concept of preferring to beget males because they could share in wars and earn money, Islam insists of the great advantages of having daughters.
The Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) says:
Also, Abu-Hurriyra, one of the most famous Hadith narrators, narrates that the Prophet says:
Also Ana's narrated the prophet says:
So, as shown above, Islam has brought laws that rectified the unjust treatment that women suffered and determined for her the correct status in society vis-à-vis man's and equated between them as regard the right to honourabl life that God has chosen for the human race including man and woman. God says (what means):