Status of Women in Arab Culture, an interview with Latifah



Course Instructor


Status of Women in Arab Culture

I conducted an interview with Latifah (pseudonym) for fifteen minutes. Latifah is a student at the university pursuing a degree in Business Administration. I asked her about her Islamic practice.

Latifah said that as a Muslim she believes in the morals that are taught in the sharia law because they are characteristics that Allah requires Muslims to abide by. The morals control different actions of Muslims such as acts of worship, transactions in business and any act towards fellow Muslim. Latifah insisted that she is controlled and restricted by sharia since Quran does not allow her to dispute or do anything inconsistent with sharia. She said that every action that is not commendable or is not as per Allah’s commands and teachings may make subject a Muslim to trouble in the Day of Judgment. It is therefore required of her, as a Muslim to abstain from committing sin or getting involved in any form of undesirable act.

As a Muslim, Latifah said that she is obliged to humble herself in prayer and show gentleness while debating with people. She also added that she is expected to shoo patience and perseverance while undergoing persecution or even oppression while facing the enemy as per Allah’s instructions and commands. Additionally, she confirmed to me that she is forced to adhere to the Islamic morals whether she benefits or not from them without caring what non-Muslims think about her. She said that everything she does ranging from her talks to her style of clothing is purely based on morality and the general moral health of a society.

Latifah said that the notion that a Muslim woman is uncontrollably oppressed by the culture, which is profoundly ingrained in the society, is very wrong and misleading. She said that Islamic culture and morals have to the highest degree contributed to the coercion of a Muslim woman as keenly explained in this piece of writing.The patriarchal domination has sharply developed the foundation in which a Muslim woman’s status is discriminated. The administrations, for instance, in Iran and Saudi Arabia have upheld their status quo regarding the women’s place in the society simply because the Quran requires them to.

As a Muslim woman, Latifah said that sharia law requires her social status to remain low right from her residence, learning institutions and as a final point in matrimony. It all over again begins from marriage flipside to the social order. She said that what others call discrimination and male chauvinism in Islamic world has saved marriages and maintained a strong societal values. However, she asserts that her right as a Muslim woman has not been infringed in any way.

According to the Islamic culture, men are reputed to be superior to their female matching part. However, Quran defines women as a mother whom her feet, paradise lies. A woman is also regarded as a daughter, sister of men and a wife who acts as a source of comfort for their husbands. There is therefore sense of gender equality as per Allah’s teachings that greatly differ from the popular assumption that a Muslim woman is oppressed. Women are considered important in the society because they are responsible for nurturing, reformation and infusion of principles and faith into the souls of both men and women. Nevertheless, she pointed out that there are some cultures and beliefs that are not Islamic that seem to oppress women in the society. Latifah gave an example of lack of proper education amongst women to be contributed by the society’s culture and traditions but not a Quran requirement.

Muslim women are not stripped of their morality and chastity as women in other parts of the world who are depicted badly or rather immorally in the media and even in the society. Latifah said that their dressing style is very respectful and does not expose her body parts for the public to see. She said that contradicting the Sharia and its morals may land someone to immoral behaviors that some people call civilization. She believes that dressing in hijabs shows great virtue and responsibility to the society and the future generation.

Latifah is convinced that Islamic law provides the best moral and legal guidance for almost every aspect of life ranging from marriage, divorce and even prohibition of certain behavior such as alcohol consumption and homosexuality. The most important moral amongst Muslims believes in Allah. Believing in Allah is enough to expose an individual’s virtue regardless of her sex or ethnicity. According to Latifah, Allah’s commands and instructions are the best principles that can be applied in the world.

Rough conversation notes

Muslim moral is defined by the Allah’s teachings which are incorporated in the sharia law.

Muslims behaviors and actions are geared towards doing good both to the society and individuals.

Every Muslim looks forward to the Day of Judgment

It is good for Muslims to humble themselves in prayer and be patience while dealing with others

Muslims do not care what others think about them provided they are doing as per the sharia law and Allah’s commands.

Regardless of the notion that Muslim women are oppressed, they are doing the right thing and are always consistent with the Quran teachings

Muslim women are morally upright and do not expose their bodies by wearing hijabs

Muslim women play an important role in shaping the society regardless by infusing moral virtues amongst males and females

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