SOCIAL LIFE IN ISLAM

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muhammadmohsinali
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SOCIAL LIFE IN ISLAM

Post by muhammadmohsinali » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:46 pm

Islam is a practical way of life. It has responded to reality and necessity. It has also put a check on human tendencies and ensured balance. The system is full of wisdom and is perfectly scientific, completely logical.Allah, the All-knowing, has prescribed what is best for us. We should not be apologetic in our approach.Islam provides the best answer to all problems. We cannot blame Islam if we do not know it or fail to understand it. We need to look at Islam as a whole, not only at a part of it. This is because Islam views life as a whole and does not divide it.Family Life in Islam FAMILY life is the basis of the Islamic society. Its origin goes back to the beginning of the creation of man and women-- Adam and Eve. So, it's an institution founded by Allah's will. Allah says in the Quran: "O mankind, be mindful of your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from the two created many men and women."(Qur'an 4:1) Marriage is the basis of the Islamic family. A good and sound society can only grow if a man and woman are bound in a solid relationship through the sacred contract of marriage. Marriage develops love, care and co-operation between the husband and wife. It gives peace of mind and provides a secure atmosphere for the growth and progress of the whole human race. Without marriage, the human race would come to a standstill. Marriage was the practice of most of the prophets including Muhammad (pbuh). Marriage is a sacred social contract between a bridegroom and a bride. A great deal of thought is necessary therefore before the couple decide to marry. Piety should come before all other considerations. AIIah's prophet said, "Don't marry only for the sake of beauty, maybe the beauty becomes the cause of moral decline. Do not marry even for the sake of wealth; maybe the wealth becomes the reason of disobedience; marry rather on the grounds of religious devotion." A Muslim is expected to marry a Muslim although in some cases chaste Jewish and Christian women can be married. However, a Muslim woman is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man. In Islam, marriage is a religious and social institution and not simply a sexual relationship. Muslim marriages are traditionally arranged by parents but the final say lies with the boy and the girl. Islam does not allow free mixing of grown-up boys and girls, nor does it allow sex outside marriage. The Islamic way of life does not approve of the boy-friend/girl-friend system, or mixed parties of grown-ups and the like. Islamic society is based on submission and obedience to the will of Allah. Husband and wife, bound by marriage, are Allah's servants and representatives (Khalifah). Marriage must not conflict with the purpose of life (seeking Allah's pleasure), rather it should lead towards its achievement. Divorce is allowed but is regarded as the least desirable of all lawful acts. Islam encourages adjustment and happiness but when living together is impossible, Islamic low does not stand in the way of divorce. Status of women in IslamWomen have a very important place in Islamic society. Unlike number of other religions, Islam holds women in high esteem. Her importance as another and a wife has been clearly stated by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).The prophet said, "Paradise lies at the feet of your mothers." Once a person asked the Prophet, "Who deserves the best care from me?" The Prophet replied, "Your mother (he repeated this three times), then your father and then your nearest relatives." In his farewell speech at 'Arafat in the tenth year of the Hijrah, the Prophet said,"O people, your wives have certain rights over you and you have certain rights over them. Treat them well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers." The Prophet also said, "The best among you is the one who is the best towards his wife." These sayings clearly prove the important position given to women in Islam but there is still people, especially in the West, who have misgivings about the status of women in Islam. To these people, the Muslim women is seen as 'Prisoner in the four walls of the house', a non-person', and 'someone who has no rights and is living always under the domination of a man’. These notions are totally wrong and are based on ignorance rather than knowledge of Islam. One of the rites of Hajj is the fast walk between As-Safa and Al-Marwah, which is observed to remember the event of Hajar (Hagar), mother of Prophet Ismail, who ran between these two hills to find water. This is another proof of the importance given to women by Islam. In order to Judge these false ideas held by western people, it would be useful to survey the attitudes to women in different societies in the past. During the Roman civilization, for example, a woman was regarded as a slave. The Greeks considered her a commodity to be bought and sold. Early Christianity regarded women as temptresses, responsible for the fall of Adam. In India, the Hindus until recently, considered their women worse then death, pests, serpents or even Hell. A wife's life ended with the death of her husband. In the past, a widow had to jump into the flames of her husband's funeral pyre. In the pre-Islamic state of Arabia, a woman was regarded is a cause for grief and unhappiness and baby girls were sometimes buried alive after birth. In France, in 587 CE, a meeting was held to study the status of women and to determine whether a woman could truly be considered human being or not!. Henry VIII in England forbade the reading of the Bible by women and throughout the Middle Ages the Catholic Church treated women as second-class citizens. In the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, male and female students were not given the same rights until 1964. Before 1850, women were not counted as citizens in England and English women had no personal rights until 1882'. If we keep this picture in mind and look into the position of the women in Islam, we must conclude that Islam liberated women from the dark age of obscurity fourteen hundred years ago! Islam is a religion of common sense and is in line with human nature. Misrecognises the realities of life. This does not mean it has recognized equality of man and woman in every respect. Rather, it has defined their duties in keeping with their different biological make-up (2:228). Allah hasn't made man and woman identical, so it would be against nature to try to have total equality between a man and a woman. That would destroy the social balance. Society would not prosper but would instead have insoluble problems such as broken marriages, illegitimate children and the break-up of family life. These problems are already rife in western society. Schoolgirl pregnancies, an increase in abortions, divorce and many other problems have cropped up because of a permissive outlook and the so-called freedom of women. Rights of Women in Islam Allah has created every living being in pairs - male and female (51:49) -including mankind. Allah has honored the children of Adam - both male and female (17:70). Men and women who believe are protectors of one another (9:71). Allah will reward both men and women in the life after death (3:195). In Islam a woman has a distinct and separate identity. Islam has given her the right to own property. She is the owner of her earnings. No-one (father, husband or brother) has a right over them. She can dispose of her earnings and property as she wishes, within the bounds of Halal (lawful) and Haram (unlawful). Islam has given women a right to inheritance. She has a claim on the property of her dead father, husband or childless brother (4:7, 32,176). A woman has the right to choose her husband. No-one can impose a decision on her against her will. She has a right to seek separation (Khula') from her husband if their marriage becomes impossible to sustain. If any man falsely questions a woman's chastity, that man is declared unfit forgiving evidence (24:4). This shows how a woman's honor is safeguarded from false accusations. The Quran asks the Muslims to treat women kindly (4:19). It makes Muslim husbands responsible for their wife's maintenance. The women in return, are expected to remain obedient and chaste (4:34). A woman has a right to develop her talents and to work within the Limits of slam. Islam allows a non-Muslim married woman to retain their religion and her husband cannot interfere in this freedom. This applies to Christian and Jewish women with Muslim husbands. Duties of a woman in Islam Islam is a fair and balanced system of life. While it specifies the rights of women it also lays down duties. A Muslim is expected to observe the following: 1. Belief in Tawhid and the practice of Islam come first. Muslim women must perform her Salah, observe Sawm, pay Zakah on her own wealth (If it is applicable) and go on Hajj if she can afford it. She is exempted from Salahand can defer Sawm during her period, but she must make up the days lost afterwards. Friday prayer (Jumu'ah) is optional for women. 2. She is required to maintain her chastity all the time. She must not have any extra-marital relationships. The same is the case with men. 3. It is her duty to bring up children according to the needs of Islam. Shehas to look after the family and has almost absolute control over domestic affairs, although the family is run by mutual consultation and co-operation. She is the queen of the family and in charge of domestic life. 4. She should dress modestly and should put on Hijab (covering cloak) while going out and meeting adult males beyond her close relatives (33:59,24:30-31). She should not wear man's clothing. 5. She is her husband's help-mate. A faithful wife is like a garment, a Source of peace, happiness and contentment for her husband (30:21,2:187). 6. If she is asked to go against the commands of Allah, she must defy even her husband, father or brother. 7. She is expected to protect her husband's property and belongings in his absence. Islam views a husband and wife as complementary to each other. Neither dominates the other. Each has his or her own individual rights and duties - together they form a peaceful and happy family which is the basis for a sound and prosperous society. Man and woman are not exactly equal in Islam. They have different physical and biological features. Islam recognizes the leadership of a man over a woman(4:34, 2:228) but that does not mean domination. An average man is stronger, heavier, harder in muscles and taller than an average woman. Women can become pregnant and bear children but men cannot. Women tend to be sensitive, emotional and tender while man is comparatively less emotional and more practical. Throughout history, men and women have never been treated the same. Islam has given women the right position and has not attempted to violate divine laws. Other religions and philosophies have been unable to visualize the exact and right role of women. In the West, women have been reduced almost to a commodity of enjoyment and fancy. Women have tended to degrade themselves unwittingly in modern times for, in the name of equality, they have become the objects of exploitation by men and the slogans of liberty and equality have virtually reduced them to playful commodities. They haven either gained liberty or achieved equality; rather they have lost their natural place in the home. Polygamy In IslamIslam is a practical religion. It can answer all human problems. Islam allows restricted polygamy --marriage to more then one women--with a maximum of four. The normal Muslim practice is monogamy --one man married to one wife; polygamy is the exception. The Quran has imposed strict conditions for marrying several wives."And if you fear that you will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if you fear that you cannot be fair to so many, then one only or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that you will not do injustice."(4:3)This verse says that in order to marry more than one women, a man must be able to be fair and just to each of them. If he is not able to be so, he should marry only one wife. Another verse of the Quran says,"You will not be able to deal fairly between your wives, however much you wish. Yet do not turn completely aside (from one) so that you leave another in suspense, if you maintain proper conduct and do your duty, Allah is ever forgiving and Merciful."(4:129)This further emphasizes fair treatment. But, in special circumstances Islam allows polygamy. These situations are: 1. When a wife is barren and cannot bear children but the husband wants children. It is better to have a second wife than to divorce the barren one. However, a barren wife has the option to seek separation from her husband if she wishes, on the grounds of the second marriage of her husband. 2. If the first wife is chronically ill and she is unable to carry out her marital and household duties, the husband may marry another woman and so help restore family stability’s>3. Polygamy may be the solution to the problems of a society which has more women then men. This happens especially after war. The verse in the Quran allowing more than one wife was revealed after the battle of Uhud in which many Muslim men were martyred. The proportion of women to men increased considerably in the countries which took part in the First and Second World Wars. A solution to such a situation is marriage to more than one woman by those men who are able to and can be fair to each wife. This is better than leaving a large number of unmarried women. Islam strictly forbids any sexual relationships outside marriage. There is no such thing as a mistress in Islamic society. Islam has given dignity to women by marriage and has protected them from the exploitation of greedy and selfish men. Having more than one wife is better and more dignified than having a number of mistresses. Islam holds you responsible for your actions. You cannot just enjoy women and yet have no responsibilities of fatherhood. This is inhuman and unjust. There can be no one-parent family or illegitimate child in an Islamic society. It is only possible in a cultural climate of irresponsible permissiveness. A woman who is going to be a second wife can refuse to marry the man on the grounds that he already has a wife. But if a woman happily consents to her husband marrying again and the second wire grass, why should anyone else object to it? The overwhelming majority of Muslims are monogamous --they have only one wife. The fact that a few Muslims have more than one wife has become a matter for propaganda against Islam and such propaganda can give a misleading impression of the Islamic way of life. This is especially so when it is non-practicing Muslims who are highlighted on the issue of being married to more than one wife. As opposed to polygamy, the case of polyandry (a women having more than one husband) may be raised. The case of polyandry is impractical and it creates problems rather than solves them. How wills paternity by decided? Which husband would claim the fatherhood of the child? How would inheritance be decided? Such questions have no answer in polyandry. Furthermore, it is possible for man to live with more than one wife and have children from all of them, but for a woman to please more than one husband seems almost impossible. A woman can bear children from only one husband at a time. Polyandry is forbidden in Islam. Islam is a practical way of life. It has responded to reality and necessity. It has also put a check on human tendencies and ensured balance. The system is full of wisdom and is perfectly scientific, completely logical. Allah, the All-knowing, has prescribed what is best for us. We should not be apologetic in our approach. Islam provides the best answer to all problems. We cannot blame Islam if we do not know it or fail to understand it. We need to look at Islam as a whole, not only at a part of it. This is because Islam views life as a whole and does not divide it.


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