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Women’s Rights in Islam Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin Center for Women’s Studies State Islamic University Yogyakarta-Indonesia Women’s Rights in Islam • Islamic mission is universal: applicable to different cultures in the changing time, space and circumstances. • Islamic sources (Qur‟an & Hadist (sunnah) consist of two principles: universal („aam) and temporary & Specific principle (khosh). • The „aam principles consist of supreme values: the goals of Syariah (Maqasid- Syariyah): Obedience to the order of God through the ibadah ( worship to God) and upholding the huminity . • The khosh indicated practical and technical guidance. Exclusivist & Textualist: ahl hadist • the universal principles can be best explained by the specific verses or the prophet interpretation. • The ijtihad should be carefully undertaken by distinctive ulama that meet the requirements set up by the great ulama. The use of ratio is forbidden to understand Islam as it possibly interfered by nafsu (individual interest). Inclusive & Progresive: • The khosh (temporary principles): can be applied only if not substantially contradict the aam principles. • Muslim can ignore the temporary principles to achieve the maqasid-Syariah) by ijtihad ( strong effort to find the valid reasons to ignore the temporary principle). Those who take this stance are categorized as the ahli ra‟yi (the People of Ratio) Political Rivalry in Islamic Thought • Constant rivalry and political collusion of the two main school of thoughts • The exclusivist & textualist seems to be more attractive for the political power: both of them enjoy the status quo in using Islam as the source of legitimacy. • The critical moment of this rivalry was in the time of the lateAbbasiyah regime where the conservative was strongly affiliated to the Sultan. In order to secure the crown from the ahli ra‟yi, the supreme judge who was also the prominent ulama of the ahli hadist declared the closure of the ijtihad for the fear of the ample deviation of Islam from the original teachings. • Intimidation, corporal punishment and even death penalty imposed to the ahli ra‟yi had curtailed Islam as a rigid and stagnant religion. • Ever since the Islamic discourse is limited to the classical literature written prior to the closure of the ijtihad and preserved as the authentic Islamic science. • The hegemony of the ahl hadist through the Monarchy regime held accountable for the exclusionary stance of the majority of the Muslim. • Detach the Muslim from the maqa‟sid as Syariah) and disengage them from the rapid social changes toward modernity. Women’s Right in Islam • Issue of Creation – Q, arct 4:1:….Who created you from a one nafs and created his partner from it. – Conservative: woman is created from “Adam” based on the hadist: eve was created from the lost left rib of Adam. – Progressive: Adam & Eve were created from one substance. Scientifically invalid. The Prophet used as the metaphor that woman and men are created from the ribs not from the feet in order to bee respected. Women in Ibadah • Men and women are equally obliged to perform the Ibadah: bearing witness (syahada), praying, fasting, pilgrimage. – Men are leaders in religious services: • The conservative &textualist: • No qur‟ anic verse; hadist ahad: it is inappropriate for women to lead the communal prayer. • Women are naturally inferior and culturally subordiate. • Women have lesser reward from God: menstruation which prevent them to perform ibadah. • The inclusive & Contextualist – Hadist: um waraqah lead prayer for her family members which included the male servants/ slave: hadist more valid (muttawatir). • Munstruation prevent the formal ibadah but not theological degraded women as they can perform other ibadah. Political leadership • Qur’anic: Men are the leader of women. leaders. • Role model of Queen of Sheeba in Qur’an. • Hadist: prevent women to lead the country: refered to the queen of Persia. • Example from The wife of the prophet. • Convervative: – It is religiously invalid: Women ruled the country: president & head of parliament. • The Qur‟an art 4: 34: men are leaders of women. • The hadist: a nation will not meet welfare & prosparity in the hand of the woman. • Misogyny : women has less ratio and dominated by emotion: False hadist: – Women have only one artio and 99 emotion. • Inclusive and Progressive: – Q, art 4:34: specific to domestic affairs. – Women political leadership is valid through the example of queen of Sheba – The Hadist is “khosh” and specific to Persia, can not be generalized to other places – Aisyah (wife of the prophet) Led the army in the battle field. Women’s Rights in Family Convervative: – The role and status of men and women are God given and naturally valid. – Men and women equal before God but have different responsibilities and duties. – Men is leaders, educator& main family provider: – Women „s duties: • Obeying husband‟s orders • Providing sexual services • Performing household affairs. • Educating and caring children. Inclusive and progressive • Q, art 2: consist of more universal values and gender relation in Islam: – Your wives are your garment & you are the garment of your wives. – Treat your wives fairly and respectfully. • Q. 4: 34: khosh and specific to the case of domestic violence. Men are the guardians and provider of women. • Wives of the prophet were economically independence. • Wive & husband are the sexual partner. • The ideal family relation is the prophet family. Divorce & Inheritance • Conservative: – Divorce is in the hand of husband. – Men can remarry without „waiting period” (women have to wait three months). – Men are providing the maintainance for the children & the wife until she remarry – Inheritance: boys entitled for twice as much as girl get in any circumstance. • Inclusive & Progressive: – Women are granted to divorce their husbands. – “waiting period” is not required in modern time because prgnancy can be dictated immediately by modern technology. – Maintanance can be discussed by both parties – Inheritance can be divided equally or vice versa to the Qur‟anic dictum upon the agreement of the family. Polygamy • Conservative: – Men are granted to have four wives in one time so long as they are able to treat the wives equally. • Based on the Qur‟an • Based on the prophet practise. • Inclusive: – Q.4:3 : is specific on the issue of abusing orphan girls in the time of the prophet. – Uncomplete reading of verse on polygamy – Islam tends to regulate rather than stipulate polygamy. – Polygamy can be outlawed if contradict the core value of Islam non justice and equality.
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