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Intro to Islam: Lecture on Women in Islam (Nov. 12)

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McMaster University
Religious Studies
Liyakat Takim

Started on: 11/12/2013 4:01:00 PM C LASS N OTES FOR : R ELIGIOUS S TUDIES 2Q03 McMaster University, Fall 2013 T UESDAY , NOVEMBER 12, 2013 B EFORE SLAM : TWO TYPES OF MARRIAGE 1. Permanent a. Everyone (Both Shia and Sunni accepted permanent marriages) b. Tribal; political convenience c. To allow Islam survive – created alliances; Marriage of political convenience at the time; tribal rivalries; tribal financial deals, etc Alliances and the way that tribes survived was through Need to look at things through contexts; Ignoring the problem of historical nuance; cultural relativism; Marriages are the essence of political alliances: Prophet Muhammad @ 25 Married women from different tribes (from Mecca) The Prophet was living in Medina Tribal alliances being formed through marriages PERMANENT To Khadija (15 years older than him) – Married in a mono relationship. When Khadija died the prophet was single, then he married again - (1) Sawda – Older than the prophet Muhammad 3 yrs older than him with children (WIDOW) 2. Temporary (Mut’a) a. Shi’a accept temporary marriage b. Was banned by the Sunnis c. With the Shia it was still controversial in terms of practice; d. Waiting period between marriages; liable to responsibilities; POLYGAMY – M ULTIPLE SPOUSES Two kinds of practices A. Polyandry a. Woman having multiple husbands b. When Islam came, it was eliminated B. Polygyny a. Man having multiple wives b. What was the difference before and after? c. Before Islam there was no limit to the women being married, amount etc. d. Limit goes to four e. The kind of women being married is different f. No inheritance of wives C HANGES THAT TOOK PLACE IN ISLAMIC LAW (PERMANENT M ARRIAGE ) Historical nuance is important! Islamic law developed over centuries A. Four schools of Law in Sunni Islam - In marriage there are certain responsibilities; man has to provide maintenance - Men are the maintainers (whatever he makes in terms of money, it belongs to his wife and him, but whatever money the wife makes she is not obligated to spend it on anyone else, but on herself) Angie © McMaster University 1 Fall 2013 Started on: 11/12/2013 4:01:00 PM - Historical – During the Ottoman period, many women worked from home making clothes, and selling these in the market. Average wealth of women in the Ottoman Empire was significantly higher than European men. All of this change, because of one thing (the industrial revolution) – Machines making tons of clothes. The British after attacking the Ottoman; weaken and pressure the ottomans to open up fully and flood the markets with cheap clothing. The women that were making clothes loose a significant source of income and become highly dependent on men. Interference of French and British. o Changes in land – commercially administered; o Poverty – economic policies; a. E.G MALIKI – A man was responsible to providing his wife cosmetics: make-up, shampoo, etc. If wife requested he had to pay for it. Wife not responsible for make up expenses. i. Does not have to pay for medical treatment; however this should be examined from a historical perspective; medicine was not the same as it’s now; very few specialists existed; medicine was relatively dangerous and it was not recommended; ii. Objectifying women? iii. NOW in the 21 century – the Maliki say that the man should provide the wife medical AND cosmetics because the medicine has changed; 1. Law is not static; a lot of principles go about B. For Shi’a a. Jaffari school of Law G ENERAL M ARRIAGE - NAFAQAH: What the husband provides o Food, shelter, etc. o A cup of water if it’s important for her to be brought the cup of water, the man should do this; o A man has to cook! And if he can afford it, he has to hire o Same with cleaning… if he can, he should hire a maid o The husband has to be nice as well; o Clean, shower, etc. o Obligatory for both spouses; o To be good mannered, not to be foul mouth o What if the husband is not fulfilling his duties? – Beco
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