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A Reflection On Women's Piety In The Quran From The Writings Of Barbara Stowasser

745 words - 3 pages

The readings of this past week discussed women’s piety and roles as defined by Islam and the Quran. The writings of Barbara Stowasser discussed Hadith and Quranic histories which featured exemplary Muslim women. These scriptures are significant because the Quran and its histories are used to extrapolate laws and codes of conduct for men and women alike. The role of Eve in the Garden of Eden as revealed in revelation by Mohammed differs slightly from the Christian narrative of the same story. This seems to be a small change with much larger implications. The role of Mary in the Quran is interesting as her story is suggested as something for Muslim women to aspire to but at the same time Mary’s example is considered beyond human and divinely perfect. Lastly, the interactions between Mohammed and his wives, in Hadith and in scripture, play a pivotal role in judging what is acceptable and proper in the domestic sphere. These three examples influence women’s roles both positively and negatively depending on how well they mesh with modern sensibilities. One persons piety is another person oppression.
The Quran in its telling of how Adam was tempted by Satan does not name Adam’s wife and she lacks the corruptive agency in comparison to how she is portrayed in the Christian narrative. Eve, in Mohammed’s revelation, is tempted and deceived by Satan in a manner equal to Adam and is not tempted first only to go on to tempt her husband, as it is recalled in the Christian version. Mohammed’s revelation on its own gives no higher meaning to this story in relation to Eve’s role and rationality. Later Islam though followed suit with the Christian ideal and uses this story to demean the intellect of Eve and all women by extension. The Quran may be more progressive in its telling of mans origins but this is ultimately corrupted over the course of human history like many of Mohammed’s other good intentions.
Mary is a very interesting character because of how much more significant her story is to the Quran as opposed to the Bible. In the Bible she is simply the human vessel to which God entrusts his son, the important aspect being...

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