This is especially due to the rise of women’s rights awareness throughout the world. However, what is neglected when feminist related issues are discussed regarding Islamic oppression of women is the situation of women throughout the world in contemporary times which led to the need for a separate feminist movement. Simultaneously, the situation of women in the past and in the pre-Islamic era also needs to be given sufficient weightage in order to understand the notions of modern day feminism and the teachings of Islam.
Firstly, let us take a look at the situation of women in Pre-Islamic Arabia. The women at the time were not considered a part of society. Rather they were considered assets, possessions and ornaments to embellish, use and discard as a source of masculine power. The culture which was largely prevalent at the time was a tribal. But not a kind of tribal culture which is visible in our current day world situation, as for instance, in war-torn Afghanistan. The tribal culture’s motto was to put first, and foremost, the unity and brotherhood of the tribe. The tribe was an entity in its own right. However, it did not have the infrastructure that any highly developed society of modern times would have. Individual rights and properties were not maintained rigidly since the clan consisted of all blood relatives. The property, which included women, remained within the bonds of the tribe and its authority figures who were known as the ‘sheikhs’.
Female infanticide was a common practice of the time. Female children were considered disgraceful and unwanted. Male children represented a form of power, wealth, and richness in fertility. As the sole heir of the family they were given full property rights as daughters were being swiped off from the face of the earth. But the main reasons behind killing female infants were relevant to poverty, pride, and the avoidance of