Week 8: Status of the Arab Women After Midterm 1. Arab Women in preIslamic Period: Majority of Arabs are islam, then christianity PreIslamic Arab women were merchants, example: Khadija mint Khuwaylid the wife of Mohamed or queens with full powers and waging wars: Zenobia the queen of Palmyra (city of Tadmur in Syria) Balqis queen of Saba (Sheba) in Yemen or could be important religious gures: Mary mother of Jesus in Palestine: the Quran also considers Mary as First Lady among women of the world some of the greatest preislamic Arab poets are women, such as alKhansaa 2. however, there was also an oppression of women in preIslamic Period. A father expect a son, and his wife has a baby girl, the father and males in the family could bury the baby alive with no punishment to the perpetrator. men could marry as many women as they desired slavery was legal, allowing ownership of young female slaves as concubines; many wives and concubines were harem, property of one male owner 2. Arab women under Islam Under islam, men were still in charge of women, but there was an improvement over the preIslamic period: the Quran assets in clear terms the authority of men over women, but it did improve womens conditions in Arabia, especially in the laws of marriage and inheritance Islam ended multiple marriages and concubines. The number of women a man could marry is limited to 4, as long as the man can provide a just nancial support and uninterrupted company to more than one woman. Few men could do that under Islam. Women should be treated with equality and kindness men could still divorce a wife at will, but men cannot remarry immediately.