Sunday, 19 April 2009

What was the Situation of Women in the Pre-Islamic Era?

Not as normally presented

Scholar Hatoon al-Fassi in her study, "
Women In Pre-Islamic Arabia" states:

Women in the pre-Islamic period enjoyed considerable rights in the Nabataean state, an urban Arabian kingdom centred in modern Jordan, south Syria and northwest KSA (Kingdom of Saudia Arabia) during the Roman empire. Women in Nabataea were free to conduct legal contracts in their own name with no male guardian, unlike in Greek and Roman law, and in KSA where the guardian is central to the clerics' idea of a moral public sphere. "I found that with Nabataean women the legal status and self representation was stronger and more evident than with Greek women who needed always a 'tutor', or representative, in order to conclude any contract," Fassi said "An adaptation of Greek and Roman laws was inserted in Islamic law," she said, referring to guardianship. "I would insist that it's an ancient adaptation, that (Muslim) scholars are not aware of, and they would really be shocked." The last of the Middle East states to fall to direct Roman rule in 106 AD, the Nabataean confederation's power was based on desert trade routes from Yemen to Greece and Rome. Nabataean queens had coins struck in their name and showing their face, with light hair-covering veils. Source


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