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Role of Women in Shi'a Islam - Research Paper Example

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Role of Women in Shi'a Islam

There were two new major Islamic societies that emerged after Muhammad died, the Shi’a and Sunni. These societies are also Islamic in nature. It is difficult to identify a Shi’ite from a Sunni because they are almost the same in practice. More of their differences lie on the interpretation of some passages in the Quran that’s why there are some slight differences in their Islamic traditions (“The Legitimacy…”). Quran is the holy book of Islam religion. The Islamic societies strictly follow what is written in the book. Their way of living, principles in life, worship to God and allocation of roles are guided by the book (“The Legitimacy…”).Some passages in the book are not literal in nature that’s why there is difficulty in interpretation. This difficulty in interpretation resulted in differences of interpretation between Sunni and Shi’a. One of the differences is the interpretation of the role of women in the society. The role of women in society mostly circles in the marriage. There is a tradition called Mut’a wherein a woman is married to a man for pleasure in a certain agreed time. Also the man pays the woman according to the agreed payment (“The Legitimacy…”). This tradition was from one of the passages of Quran. Perceiving this tradition from a 21st century perspective, Islamic women are treated like prostitutes except that there was an actual marriage that happened between the woman and man. Analyzing the tradition of Mut’a, women can be married several times because the marriage is only under a contract. A marriage under contract may or may not be because of love. The main reason of this marriage is said to be for pleasure of the men. Another tradition in Shi’a Islam is the business of marrying a family member’s wife and taking over of the financial responsibilities. Women may be passed down within the family as long as they are not related in blood. Most of the time, the dowry plays a big role in marriage (“The Legitimacy…”). This kind of tradition shows that women are treated like possessions and not as free people. It is also observable in Islam tradition the marrying of women in an early age. Women are being married right after reaching their puberty. This may range as early as below 10 years old as long as the girl started having puberty. It is being done to maximize the child-bearing capabilities of women for the men. Looking closer to this situation, women in Islamic societies are also treated like goods being taken care of for marriage. Women’s role, as can be viewed from their tradition, primarily concerns the pleasure of their husbands and child-bearing. However, women might not receive the exclusivity of their husbands because men in Islamic societies are polygamous. Also the sons and daughters in the family are primarily owned by the father (Offenhauer 57). The culture of Islam also indicates the role of women in their society. Women are expected to wear long veils. This is a sign of protecting the purity of women. The men are expected to protect their wives and they are given the rights to limit the actions of their wives especially in public. One example of these is the establishment of partition between men and women (Offenhauer57). This practice shows the domination of men over women. The men being the protector of women imply that women are weaker. This limits the opportunity of women in the society. Another consequence form the early marriage of women in Islam society is ...Show more


Name: Kurk Craig PHL 201 Major World Religion Date: 29 November 2013 Gender Role Movement of Shi’ite Women Specifying the gender roles within a society or a religion is important. In this way, responsibilities within the family and the whole society will be established…
Author : collinspedro
Role of Women in Shia Islam essay example
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