Crash Course in Islam — Women
>>STEVE ST. GEORGE: Hi. I'm Steve St. George. And this is your crash course in Islam. One issue that comes up quite often in discussions about Islam is the role of women in the faith with many non-Muslims wondering if women are seen as second class citizens in the religion. While it's true there are some Muslim countries where women have very little if any rights, that can also be said of some non muslim countries. Within the Islamic tradition women often had important roles to play. In fact it was Mohammed's first wife Khadija who encouraged the prophet to do Allah's work. She was in many ways the first Muslim during the Prophet's time. Women also fought on the battlefield alongside men and took part in commercial transactions. Mohamed's wife Aisha is considered one of the most important transmitters of the Hadith or sayings of the prophet and one school of Islamic law even says women can serve as judges. There are versus in the Quran which if taken literally or out of context can be seen as portraying women as less than men. But there are other verses that give women's status equal to that of men. When it comes to marriage, Muslim women do not take the name of their husbands. So the identity they come into the marriage with is the one they retain. For Crash Course in Islam, I'm Steve St. George.