MUSLIM WOMEN AND THEIR SEXUALITYIntroductionApproximately one million Muslims live in almost very continent of the world today in conditions of diverse religious, cultural, political and social backgrounds. Against a backdrop of harsh religious beliefs, Muslim women endure similar forms of indiscrimination and sexual inequality most of which range from psychological attitudes and cultural mores that condone violence, to denial of active participation in economic or political activities. With advancement in technology, globalization and modernization, women sexuality is becoming a source of conflict among the present generation. Religious political forces are continuing to believe that it is time to disregard old traditional and religious practices that deny women their sexual rights.
Women rights groups and other activists fiercely fight for the elimination of religious and traditional mechanisms that had been designed to deny women their personal control over their own sexuality. Women sexuality is an important aspect of life today which ultimately is tied to personal adjustment and relationships. It serves numerous functions ranging from the psychological fulfillment to other personal desires. Islam has however complicated this aspect of life through its religion on the whole issue of sexuality and is believed to be the main debate that Muslim scholars are currently discussing.
Although no solution has been reached, important progress is being made on the matter. Sexuality in Islam is considered part of human being’s identity which God distinguished from that of animals during the creation of mankind. Based on the understanding of the Koran, Muslims confine marriage to an affair between a husband and a wife legally united through marriage. Although there is that natural attraction between individuals which is needed to initiate a relationship, sexual relations outside marriage is not allowed outside marriage. Previous research and public outcry in the recent past show that Muslim women are suffering in silence being victims of their religious beliefs this paper therefore intends to discuss all issues pertaining Muslim women and their sexuality especially in terms of family honor.
It will also look at what the Koran and specifically Prophet Muhammad says about women sacrificing their sexuality at the expense of the bringing honor to their families. Finally, it wills at issues like honor killing, family views, judicial point of views etc.
History of Muslim women sexualityThe initial roots of controversy in this issue of Muslim women sexuality can be traced back to the Koran writings. Muslim researchers have pointed out the fact that there has been a contradiction between male perception and female sexuality based primarily on patriarchal misinterpretation of the Koran by religious male authorities. There has been a visible contradiction of the views of both classical figh texts and other revelations by the wahy concerning the same. Both of them had placed logical considerations on the fact that women even in the days of Adam and Eve had betrayed the men and they should suffer from that cause.
The latter however, argues that social order and cultural pragmatisms should be the basis within which sexuality should be viewed. In that context, most legal authorities have interpreted the texts and found women guilty of misappropriating their bodies in the pretext of sexual satisfaction and equality hence the need for some kind of limitations.