Women + Family

Teachings on Women + Family

  • The family is irreplacable - considered the fount of the human race, it's culture, society and civilisation, the stability of any civilisation hinges on healthy families
  • Islamic law priviledges family law over other institutins - no longer a reliable guide to social practice
  • Harim = part of the household reserved for women
  • Mahram = The kinship group women are forbidden sexually by law but are free to associate with
  • Because woman can bare children, they have primary responsibility over home and family - mean have the duty to share such burdens and set an example of manhood
  • Role of Children - obey parents
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Teachings on Women + Family 2

  • Women have a symbolic role - seen as the heart of the religion
  • Parents must nuture children
  • Idea of maintaining Izzat - honour and prestige
  • Family members = distinct roles, husband supports financially, wife maintains and supports religious tradition - women must keep a halal home
  • A muslim woman can disobey her husband if he orders her to do something against the will of God - e.g. cruel, nasty, selfish or dishonest
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Women + Shar'iah

  • The importance of a woman's rights and responsibilities is in the Qur'an and Hadiths
  • A sister only shares half the proportion of her brothers inheritance, men are the protectors of woman and this is to provide for them
  • In certain legal proceedings, a woman's testimony is worth half of a man's
  • Muhammad greatly improved the position of women of his time - guaranteeing them basic rights of marriage and inheritance, a husband was obliged to proved for his wife/wives - whom he had to treat equally
  • 'Marry such women as seem good to you, 2, 3, 4; but if you fear you will not be equitable, then only one, or what your right hands own (i.e. slave girls)' Qur'an 4:3
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Marriage + Divorce

  • The marriage contract - Nikah is a legal contract sanctioned by divine law - it is not a sacrament (to be under the influence of love is considered a state of intoxication which clouds judgement) but a social contract which brings rights to ordinary men and women - it is only successful when they are mutually respected and cherished
  • Marriage was recommended by Muhammad
  • Forced marriages: parents forbidden to force their children to marry (HARAM), if they tricked/forced the marriage it is invalid under Shar'iah law
  • Arranged marriage: it is usually done for 1st marriages, Muslims have the right to refuse to be married off and it is a cultural practice (inc. non Muslim cultures)
  • A marriage is a 'mithaq' - a firm contract between 2 adults (of sound body and mind) to which everyone is accountable for thei own deeds and actions
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Marriage + Divorce 2

  • 'Whoever has married has completed half of his faith' (Bayhaqi)
  • 'Shighar' marriage is where one bride and her dowry is exchanged for another bride and her dowry (therefore dowrys don't have to be paid - not legal)
  • Marriage = widely publicised
  • Nikah Mutah -  a marital agreement with a set time limit (a few years or a few minutes), a way of fulfilling sexual and emotional needs without comitting adultery - FORBIDDEN for Sunni Muslims
  • Dowry/Mahr is a symbolic understanding of economic responsibilities, it is an agreed settlement the man is obliged to pay upon marriage
  • Only the Shi'a view the woman as a 'full legal entity coequal with her male counterpoint'
  • Wale = a supervising guardian who assists someone in need of a spouse
  • Wedding = very simple, the bride doesn't have to attend (she can have two winesses to her agreement) - what she wears is cultural
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Marriage + Divorce 3

  • Divorce is allowed but frowned upon, it is accepted in behaviour (becoming cruel, abusive, unfaithful etc.) or morality and ethics (concealing information, husband = sterile, insanity, desertion)
  • Both parties must be conscious, sane, have no pressure/influences and not be overly angry
  • A Khul divorce is when a woman wants a divorce without the above grounds and the husband doesn't wish it
  • Talaq = divorce, the couple must wait 3 months (try and reconcile) and after this period, the divorce is valid
    • If she is preganant, she has the right to stay in the house and be treated well until the child is up to 2 years
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