Role of Christian and Islamic Womenby Rit Nosotro
Compare the role of women in two different belief systems: Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Confucianism
Throughout history, men have been viewed as superior to women in many diverse religions. Is this conception true in the Christian and Islamic religions? In the Christian religion, a women's role is of equal importance to a man. The apostle Paul says that "in Christ their is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek " All are equal in Christ.
In both the lives of a Christian woman and an Islamic woman, worship is an important part of their role, though their reasons differ. Islamic women worship by following a schedule of fasting and prayer, so when they pass away, their good works and keeping the laws, will allow them to enter "Paradise". While men in the Islamic Paradise are promised the company of many virgins for their pleasure, not much is offered in the Koran for the women who earn their way in.
Christian women, on the other hand, love God because He first loved them. Jesus died and rose for sinners who could never earn any of God's grace. Christian women also worship God through prayer or fasting, but it is done as a response to God's favor, and not an obligation to earn God's favor. A Christian woman knows the awesome simplicity of receiving God's gift. As Jesus said, "whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Whereas Islam obligates five prayers per day toward Mecca, Christians are encouraged to "pray without ceasing" to the loving Father. Islamic women are encouraged only to worship and offer their prayers to Allah inside their own home. They are discouraged from attended the mosques, for according to the Prophet Muhammad, "The best mosques for women are the inner parts of their houses." Christian women, however, are encouraged to fellowship with their other believers and worship God together as a church family. They may become involved in the ministry if it is their desire to do so. There are many roles women can take in the church, whether it is leading a women's group or simply praying for the leaders and people of the church. Both are equally important roles for women in the Christian religion.
In society, Christian and Islamic women have rules and laws to abide by. Christian women are instructed by God to conduct themselves modestly, as a witness of God to unbelievers. "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of the gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God sight." (1 Peter 3:3-4). Christians do not try to earn merit in order that there good deeds may outweigh their bad " for it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph 2:8-9). It is impossible to enter Heaven by works. In contrast, Muslims have established laws that earn merit when followed in order to enter "Paradise".
Islamic women are instructed by the Koran to conduct and dress themselves modestly, and are given specific laws that explain how to do so. According to the Prophet Mohammed, they must follow these rules so they will not be considered the, "type of women that constitute one of the categories of the dwellers of hell." Acts which are considered immodest by the Islams include, walking like a flirt, adorning their heads with any type of hair piece (including wigs), women who are or have become tattooed, sharpened their teeth, or even plucked their hair to make themselves appear more attractive. They are also not permitted to stamp the ground when walking, in case their hidden jewelry is heard and draws attention from the people passing by. It is no wonder Muhammad proclaimed in the Koran:
"Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart; and scourge (beat) them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great." (Sura 4:34)
Christian women have the freedom in society to become employed and earn money. (Prov.31) If she is a mother, she must remember God says family and the home should be the first priority in her life. (Titus 2:4,5) Opportunities for Islamic women depend on the extent of fundamentalism practiced in their country and family. Often job opportunities and personal freedoms for Islamic women are very limited.
Naturally, the Internet sites and books written by Muslims will say that women are respected, treated well, and have just as important roles as men in their society. Most western media displays this as false. Along the same lines, media sources control by Muslims, tend to generalize the promiscuity of American women as being stereotypical of Christian women. While the underlying animosity between Christians and Muslims may be promoted through misinformation and propaganda, the contrasts have caused swords to rattle ever sense the Islamic invasions into Christian Spain well over a millennium ago.
The differences between Christian and Islamic women are as a reconcilable as the differences between Abraham's wife, Sarah, and his maidservant, Hagar (Gen.16,17, 21). Although Muslims confuse the names of Abraham's offspring, Isaac and Ishmael, they err on a much grander scale by missing the importance that Abraham was declared righteous by his faith, not his merit. Islamic women have borne the brunt of that error since the time of Mohammed's declarations.
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