Page 146 - Islam In Focus

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introduced to help every one to concentrate in his meditation. It is very important
because Muslim prayers are not simply chanting or the sing-a-song type. They
involve actions, motions, standing, bowing, prostration, etc. So if men mix with
women in the same lines, it is possible that something disturbing or distracting may
happen. The mind will become occupied by something alien to prayer and derailed
from the clear path of meditation. The result will be a loss of the purpose of prayers,
besides an offense of adultery committed by the eye, because the eye - by looking at
forbidden things - can be guilty of adultery as much as the heart itself. Moreover, no
Muslim man or woman is allowed during prayers to touch the body of another person
of the opposite sex. If men and women stand side by side in prayer they cannot avoid
touching each other. Furthermore, when a woman is praying in front of a man or
beside him, it is very likely that any part of her dressed body may become uncovered
after a certain motion of bowing or prostrating. The man’s eye may happen to be
looking at the uncovered part, with the result that she will be embarrassed and he will
be exposed to distraction or possibly evil thoughts. So, to avoid any embarrassment
and distraction, to help concentrate on meditation and pure thoughts, to maintain
harmony and order among worshippers, to fulfill the true purposes of prayers, Islam
has ordained the organization of rows, whereby men stand in front lines, children
behind them, and women behind the children. Anyone with some knowledge of the
nature and purpose of Muslim prayers can readily understand the wisdom of
organizing the lines of worshippers in this manner
12. The Muslim woman is always associated with an old tradition known as the
"veil". It is Islamic that the woman should beautify herself with the veil of honor,
dignity, chastity, purity and integrity. She should refrain from all deeds and gestures
that might stir the passions of people other than her legitimate husband or cause evil
suspicion of her morality. She is warned not to display her charms or expose her
physical attractions before strangers. The veil which she must put on is one that can
save her soul from weakness, her mind from indulgence, her eyes from lustful looks,
and her personality from demoralization. Islam is most concerned with the integrity of
woman, with the safeguarding of her morals and morale and with the protection of her
character and personality (cf. Qur’an. 24:30-31)
13. By now it is clear that the status of woman in Islam is unprecedentedly high and
realistically suitable to her nature. Her rights and duties are equal to those of man but
not necessarily or absolutely identical with them. If she is deprived of one thing in
some aspect, she is fully compensated for it with more things in many other aspects.
The fact that she belongs to the female sex has no bearing on her human status or
independent personality, and it is no basis for justification of prejudice against her or
injustice to her person. Islam gives her as much as is required of her. Her rights match
beautifully with her duties. The balance between rights and duties is maintained, and
no side overweighs the other. The whole status of woman is given clearly in the
Qur’anic verse which may be translated as follows:
And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is
equitable; but man have a degree (of advantage as in some cases of inheritance) over
them (2:228)
This degree is not a title of supremacy or an authorization of dominance over her. It is
to correspond with the extra responsibilities of man and give him some compensation
for his unlimited liabilities. The above-mentioned verse is always interpreted in the