Role of Women in Judaism, Christianity Research Proposal

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¶ … Role of Women in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

There is a general agreement among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam that God created both man and woman however, the agreement ends there as there is a disagreement regarding the precise order that man and woman were created in that Christianity blames Eve for the fall and ultimate banishment from the Garden of Eden due to having disobeyed God however, in Islam both Adam and Eve are equally to blame and equally punished by God.

IN the BEGINNING

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The work of Dr. Sherif Abdel Azeem entitled: "Women in Islam vs. Women in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition: The Myth and Reality" states that the image of Eve "as temptress in the Bible has resulted in an extremely negative impact on women throughout the Judaeo-Christian tradition." (1995) Because all women were believed to have inherited some type of innate and inherent evil nature from "their mother, the Biblical Eve, both her guilt and her guile...Consequently they were all untrustworthy, morally inferior, and wicked." (Azeem, 1995) Azeem relates that within the orthodox Jewish religious "...men in their daily morning prayer recite "Blessed b God King of the universe that Thou has not made me a woman." (1995) Within Christianity, the Biblical Eve is stated to have "played a far bigger role in Christianity than in Judaism. Her sin has been pivotal to the whole Christian faith because the Christian conception of the reason for the mission of Jesus Christ on Earth stems from Eve's disobedience to God. She had sinned and then seduced Adam to follow her suit. Consequently, God expelled both of them from Heaven to Earth, which had been cursed because of them. They bequeathed their sin, which had not been forgiven by God, to all their descendants and, thus, all humans are born in sin. In order to purify human beings from their 'original sin', God had to sacrifice Jesus, who is considered to be the Son of God, on the cross." (Azeem, 1995)

II. ROLE of WOMEN in the CHURCH

Research Proposal on Role of Women in Judaism, Christianity and Assignment

In the Biblical book of I Timothy 2: 11-14 St. Paul states severely: "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I don't permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." (Azeem, 1995)

The Quran states as follows:

For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise-- for them all has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward" (33:35).

The believers, men and women, are protectors, one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil, they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His Mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise" (9:71).

And their Lord answered them: Truly I will never cause to be lost the work of any of you, Be you a male or female, you are members one of another" (3:195).

Whoever works evil will not be requited but by the like thereof, and whoever works a righteous deed -whether man or woman- and is a believer- such will enter the Garden of bliss" (40:40).

Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him/her we will give a new life that is good and pure, and we will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions" (16:97).

From this, one can easily disseminate that the view of women in Islam is "...no different than that of men. The attitude of the Quran toward the birth of the female child and in the Bible it is held that the mother's period of "ritual impurity is twice as long if a girl is born than if a boy is." (Lev. 12:205) in fact, the birth of a daughter is seen as a "potential source of shame to her father." (Azeem, 1995) in Islam, at one time, infanticide was practiced when female children were born however, Muhammad made a promise that those who "were blessed with daughters" would be on the receiving end of a "great reward if they would bring them up kindly." (Azeem, 1995)

III. EDUCATION and the WOMAN

In relation to the education of women it is stated by Azeem that within Judaism, the Torah is the law and the Talmud exempts women from the study of the Torah and it is related that it has even been "firmly declared" by some Jewish Rabbits: "Let the words of Torah rather be destroyed by fire than imparted to women," and "Whoever teaches his daughter Torah is as though he taught her obscenity." (Azeem, 1995) Azeem states that St. Paul's attitude in the New Testament "is not brighter: 'As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:34-35; as cited in Azeem, 1995)

IV. ALMUJADILAH or 'THE MAN WHO IS ARGUING

The position of the Quran is different and it is related in one situation when a woman sought the Prophet of Islam's opinion she argued and debated with the Prophet and there is a full chapter of the Quran titled "Almujadilah' or 'The woman who is arguing' and stated is: "Allah has heard and accepted the statement of the woman who pleads with you (the Prophet) concerning her husband and carries her complaint to Allah, and Allah hears the arguments between both of you for Allah hears and sees all things...." (58:1). From this view is appears that within the framework of the Quranic view a woman "has the right to argue even with the Prophet of Islam himself. No one has the right to instruct her to be silent. She is under no obligation to consider her husband the one and only reference in maters of law and religion." (Azeem, 1995)

V. WOMEN and BEARING WITNESS

The Bible and the Quran are in disagreement on the subject of women bearing witness. The Quran accepts the testimony of a woman and holds it as equal to the testimony of a man and moreover, the testimony of a woman can even serve to invalidate the man's witness. However, in the Jewish religion, women were not allowed to bear witness and in fact, if a man accuses his wife of not being a virgin "The accused wife has to be subjected to a trial by ordeal. In this trial the wife faces a complex and humiliating ritual which was supposed to prove her guilt or innocence." (Azeem, 1995) in the even the woman's innocence is not proven she is stoned to death however, in the event she is innocent and falsely accused by the husband he is held to have committed not wrongdoing.

The reason that a woman's vow is not considered binding from the view of the Bible is because the woman is not her own person but is instead owned by first her father and then her husband. Within Islam, the vows of every Muslim, both men and women is considered binding upon the individual. Azeem (1995) states that in Islam "No one has the power to repudiate the pledges of anyone else. Failure to keep a solemn oath, made by a man or a woman, has to be expiated as indicated in the Quran: "He [God] will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths you have sworn. But keep your oaths" (as cited in Azeem, 1995)

Women as well as men present an oath to the Prophet Muhammad which was one of allegiance and is stated by Azeem (1995) to be as follows: "O Prophet, When believing women come to you to make a covenant with you that they will not associate in worship anything with God, nor steal, nor fornicate, nor kill their own children, nor slander anyone, nor disobey you in any just matter, then make a covenant with them and pray to God for the forgiveness of their sins. Indeed God is Forgiving and most Merciful" (60:12)." (Azeem, 1995) Therefore, it can be understood that it was… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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