Women and their Presence in the Middle Eastern Civilization

East is a continuously developing group of cultures that have enacted a variety of cultural exchanges in the Afro-Eurasian vicinity; that of which includes treatment towards women and their evolving, individual rights. Significant factors that contributed to the change in women’s rights include those caused by regional and cultural exchange such as the constant trade with neighboring societies, migrating families, and the ever-lasting presence of philosophers and religious influencers.  In reality, women’s rights are the political, religious, and conservative product that changes due to its determining factors; likewise, they significantly affect their surroundings and ascertain the political structure of their societies..

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The heart of Middle-Eastern culture began with the Islamic-Bedouin revolution where Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, returned from his forced exile to promote, induce, and ultimately uproot the Bedouin Shaykhs from Mecca. This act, in turn,  sparked the spread of the Muslim religion and directly affected the indifferences between man and woman in Arabic culture forever. Before the strike, however, men and women shared valued roles in their communities. Women were also relatively free in their societies and maintained a close enough position in the stratified Bedouin culture. Of course, Muhammad considerably changed these terms and even helped engage monogamous practices towards a more ideal, clean lifestyle approved by “Allah.”  The Islamic religion opened a spectrum of gender-specific treatment that is mainly present its debut; for example, the Quran requires women to dress as stated:

” Allah is aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower  their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that  which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to [those relatives who fall within bounds of close relationship explained in the Qur’an]…” Sura, Chapter 24, Verses 30-31.

A variety of adaptations refer to woman’s clothing and explicitly suggest what they consider is “modest,” and while this may not seem like such a big deal, woman, in turn, are stripped of some freedoms and sometimes treated terribly by their male counterparts because of the “divine” justification that the Quran sets. Most times women were also punished incomparably to that of men, were used as scapegoats, and subjected to “womanly” roles (like birth-givers and housekeepers). This turn of history indeed manufactured indecent roles for women, however, their roles, although demonizing, were critical in the growth of Islamic culture.

While there are some cons to the Islamic religion that undeviatingly affects their rights, some may argue that it gives them more privileges and leisure to accomplish their goals. Like other religions and practices, Islam gives women spiritual tranquility acquired by daily prayer and worship to Allah. Umayyad tradition contributed and stressed better treatment towards women due to their importance in Islamic history. The Umayyad’s taught Muhammud’s fundamental teachings of a woman’s “property, inheritance, divorce, and remarriage rights”  152 Stearns that contributed to the widespread and interest of Muslim religion. Muhammud allowed all of his daughters to chose whom they wanted to marry, therefore, setting a precedent for the following generations of Islamic practitioners and because Islam was such a continuously expanding nation, many female warriors died presumably for their country and religion. Women also established relevant laws and codes in the Hadith; similarly, Muhammad’s daughters contributed to the creation of the Quran. A famous story preceding the vast history of Islamic culture also cultivates the woman’s role in Middle-Eastern as mentioned in the Stearns book:

“When chided about going about without the veil, she replied that Allah in his wisdom   had chosen to give her a beautiful face and she intended to make sure that it was seen in  public so that all may appreciate its grace.” 151 Stearns

On another scope of Islamic culture, woman’s rights are very considerate to some degree, while other’s may not think so, there are some positive aspects to women’s treatment in the Middle-East.

Women and their rights will always withhold an essential value in Middle-Eastern society because of the political and religious importance they have. This essay reviewed the pros and cons of women treatment across Bedouin, Arabian Islamic, and Umayyad Islamic cultures; while some aspects vary in their viewpoint among these societies, women are very much a particular piece of the Middle-Eastern foundation -from woman warriors to woman Hadith scribes. By all means, women in the Middle-East still make an incredibly big impact today in their society similar to their Postclassical counterparts more than 1000 years ago.

Historiography

  • HIJAB – ISLAMIC – LAWS. http://www.islamic-laws.com/hijab.htm
  • The kindness and concern the prophet displayed for his own …. https://www.coursehero.com/file/p4e75oo/The-kindness-and-concern-the-prophet-displayed-for-his-own-wives-and-daughters/
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