Another Look at History Regarding Women’s Life and Status
- :Husayn Ansarian
The men of the Age of Ignorance were terribly brutal to women. They lived in ignorance of God's logic, illumination and revelation and condemned women to be a means for man's life of capricious desires. They viewed women as being the main factor for supplying all of their lustful pleasures. These men thought reading and writing to be dangerous for women and would not let them leave the house to carry out daily affairs or visit relatives. Men restricted the woman's place for living to the four walls of her home, and considered her to be a creature lacking any will as opposed to men who could do anything they wanted.
In the Christian neighborhood where the people were completely deviated from God's religion, it was said:
The mouth of a woman should be muffled just as that of a dog.
Those Christians doubted whether the woman had the spirit of a human or of an animal.
In Africa woman was considered to be goods and wealth and the Africans did not consider her any better in worth than a cow or sheep. Whoever had more numbers of women was known to be the wealthiest. It was a normal affair to buy and sell women and use them in ploughing the land.
In Chaldea and Babylon women were sold just as all other goods were. Every year a bazaar was set up so as to sell the young girls who had reached the age of marriage.
In India, girls were married off at the age of five and no rights were due to them. They considered a woman's life subject to the man's. Woman was thought to be an uninvited guest for the man. When her husband died, she was incinerated with him. No creature was thought to be inferior to a widow.
Nowadays as it is written in the newspapers, many Indians kill their daughters in childhood since they are afraid they cannot buy their trousseaux.
In China and Tibet women had no other right except to do housework at home. So as to keep a woman from walking normally, her feet were bound in a metal frame after birth. Upon reaching fifteen years of age the frame was removed.
In Greece the center of knowledge and philosophy, it was thought to be a crime for a woman to bear a female baby. The second time she bore a girl she was prosecuted in court and condemned to pay a fine and the third time she was sentenced to death.
As the Glorious Quran states, burying girls alive in Arabia was a normal case:
When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) in contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! What an evil (choice) they decide on! [Holy Quran: Nahl 16:58-59]
The above descriptions are only some of the crimes which ignorant and stupid men allowed to commit in regards to women. Details of these matters have been registered in books on the subject of women's lives and you may refer to these sources.
Also you have read about the opinion of the Divine Religion Islam about women in the ten points mentioned above. Let's take a look at how the Quran and religious traditions treat the subject of woman in the following categories:
MOTHER (Umm): the source of everything - mother [Holy Quran: Qasas 28:7]
TILTH (Harath): the means by which the human race survives [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:23]
Garments (Lebas): the garment for life [Holy Quran: Baqara 2:187]
Pacifier (Taskeen): the cause for peace of mind [Holy Quran: Rum 30:21]
Sweet Basil (Rayhaneh): an elegant sweet-smelling flower [Traditions quoted in Vasa'il-al-Shia, chapter on offspring]
Blessing (Ne'mat): God's favor [Ibid]
Men and youth, whether they be married or intend to get married, must pay more attention to the spiritual status and benefits of the existence of this beautiful and beneficial creation of God. They must know that chaste women have borne the Prophets, the Imams, the Saints, the sages, the mystics, the judges, the writers, the great jurisprudents and the good-doers among God's servants. Women are the source of all goodness and blessings in people's lives.
Dear fathers and mothers must be very careful to polish the characters of their daughters and devotedly train their children divinely and humanly as much as possible. Husbands must respect all the rights of their spouses with dignity andmanners. Thus, women become ready to raise the next generation properly after being raised properly by their parents and their rights being observed by their husbands. Thus, human society will be spiritually fed in the best way.
Is it not true that a young Christian woman who was captured in war finally arrived at Imam Hady's house? Did she not give birth to the 12th Imam (who shall spread universal justice), after receiving divine training by the 10th Imam and Hazrat Hakimeh Khatoon?
Women are the source of all perfection and potential truths which will be realized upon receiving the light of guidance, revelations and having a good instructor. And they will become the source of everlasting feats and eternal resources.
Belittling a woman, attacking her personality, enforcing limits upon her beyond the wise religious decrees and torturing her are all disapproved of by the religion: these deeds are considered to be some sort of disgusting and terrible oppression. The same is true for not allowing her to visit her parents and relations, facing with her with a sour face, bringing home the husband’s daily tiredness and work problems and not fulfilling her instincts, especially her sexual ones.
If you want to base your lives upon love and kindness, respect the woman's personality, tell her you love her, ask her about herself, assist her in house duties, avoid bothering her and forgive some of her actions which result from her tiresome housework and her physical limitations. This way you can experience the sweetness of life and you have really worshipped God the Benevolent in the best way.
Woman is the source of all goodness and the field for cultivating humanity. She is your garment in life, the source of peace of mind, the delicate flower in the rose garden of Creation. You have beside you one of God's blessings. The Noble Prophet of Islam (Pbuh) compared the love for women to the love for sweet smells and prayer:
What I love in the world is woman and sweet smells. And the apple of my eye is prayer. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.218]
If one observes the rights of woman, respects her personality and brings forth praiseworthy offspring, then his file of good deeds does not come to an end - even after his death. He will benefit from the good deeds of his well-behaved children after his death.
The Prophet (Pbuh) stated:
When an individual dies, his/her actions come to an end unless three things take place:
1) He/she has committed some beneficial actions which will last forever.
2) He/she has taught others some knowledge which they would benefit from.
3) He/she has raised exemplary children who pray for him/her.
Therefore, mothers and fathers must realize the worth of their daughters. Men must appreciate their pure and praiseworthy spouses. Taking care of female children and wives is a source of benefit in this world and in the Hereafter for men.
Adopted from the book: "The Islamic Family Structure" by: "Husayn Ansarian"
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