Nashat reveals that women, such as Hind bint ‘Utbah, did hold prominent positions and following conversion were readily accepted by Meccans inspire of prior animosity. The author indicates that stories of such women were obtained via poetic works and literature. But she does not indicate that these stories were truly subjective and probably melodramatic in nature. Such works are indicators of societal treatment of women but not true documentary or historic works which can arbitrarily be accepted by historians.
Critics would point out that using such works brings rise to the question of legitimacy or historical relevance due to this level of subjectivity. Structurally, Nashat’s work comprehensively glides into the role of women after the advent of Islam. Initially, she does not distinguish any changes in mannerisms or behavioral alterations, but she does tie in the Meccan sexual mores changes and Mohammad’s mannerisms. At this point, she is using this information as the foundation for understanding how men and cultures of the time were being adjusted.
She is clear to show that people of the time did not have to drastically modify their behavior, they were being shown that Mohammad was also a role model. The time of Mohammad led to the banning of murdering infant girls and the amending of how people looked at and treated their family life. For instance, Nashat presents many examples including how adultery was banned and how marriage was strongly encouraged. In addition, this message had the blanket teaching that women were to be treated fairly and equally.
Another example, that Nashat points out is that for the first time women were given the right to have inheritance, and that men had to support their ex-wives through any pregnancies versus ignoring the situation. In addition, “with respect to religious duties and obligations, women and men are treated equally in the Qur’an. ” (Nashat 42-43) This religious mind frame, and not the legal technicalities, was the mind set of the time.
The textbook appears to have harsher analysis of the times mannerisms and states that “the pre-modern /cities also assumed the dominance of men over women and public deference of women to the authority of men. In extended families and lineages women were subject to the authority of fathers, brothers, husbands, and husbands’ male kin. ” and fails to convey a historical reference material to this assertion (Lapidus 851-872). In fact, Nashat’s work refers directly to the Quran to show the text’s reference to attitude of women.
In addition, she points out that in comparison to the bible humans didn’t fall from grace at the time of Eve and Adam’s eating of the apple. In fact, men and women were portrayed as having acquired knowledge, choice, and responsibility. She also points out in many instances from the Quran at this point and hadiths which were translated or memorized by many women of the time. This shows that the Quran teachings believe that women should acquire knowledge as much as a man, and have religious obligations equal to a man.
The textbook does not appear to refer to the Quran’s internal message as it provides information. From a readers perspective, Nashat is focused at this point on the central text to be analyzed, the Qur’an, the textbook makes itself the prime source of authority. Underlying Nashat’s message is the idea that women share the same rights as men and at the time of Islam’s beginning women were not veiling or secluding themselves from society. These women were positively reinforced both in the Qur’anic verses as well as in Mohammad’s treatment of women.
Mohammad had several daughters who were asked for their consent prior to marriage, and did not need a man’s consent to manage any of their property or assets. In odds to these statements, the textbook insists that “male dominance was strongly supported by legal and social structures. Marriages were commonly arranged by families; a bride’s male guardians were ultimately responsible for her welfare. ” This strong statement appears to limit the authority and responsibility that Muslim women in fact have and had in Mohammad’s time.