REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN STATUS IN TRADITIONAL MUSLIM SOCIETY
By: Eneng Elis Aisah
(A Critical Discourse Analysis of “Uqudullizain”)
This research aims to investigate the women status in traditional Muslim society represented in Uqudulizain, a textbook written by Syeh Muhammad ibn Umar Nawawi, well-known as Syeh Nawawi Albantani at Rajab 1375 hijraa or similar at 1954. This text has been chosen because Islamic informal educational institution, such as pesantren, madrasah and majlis ta’lim in Java, particularly in Sunda used this textbook as one of references in teaching the obligation of couples in marriage. This study employed a critical discourse analysis (CDA) in qualitative case study design. The text was analyzed using systemic functional linguistics (SFL). Data was gained through analyzing field, tenor and mode of the clauses. It revealed that women in traditional Muslim society were generally constructed in the text as member of lower class who were placed as men’s properties and had no right to express their feeling. This situation finally created and influenced the social perception of women status in traditional Muslim society which was absolutely contradicted with Islamic teaching.
This paper attempts to investigate status of woman in traditional Muslim society through analyzing discourse representation in Uqudulizain. In Islam, women places respectful position. Al-Qur’an, as own primary sources of Islamic teaching, never distinguishes man and woman (Qur’an: 2:228). Both have same equality in fulfilling religious duty, and are adequate for punishment and reward (Qur’an 33:35). Moreover, Al-Qur’an also provides women with the right of divorce, inheritance, independent property and the right to testify in court (Qur’an 4:19)
In period of Prophet Muhammad and Khulafa Ar-Rasyidin, women still held crucial in the spreading of Islamic teaching. The most famous women in Islamic history are respectively Khadijah, Fatimah and Aisyah. Firstly, Khadijah, the first wife of Prophet Muhammad, was well-known as the rich woman who spent all her wealth in helping her husband. She was also the first woman who believed in Allah and His messenger. Secondly, Fatimah, the youngest daughter of Prophet Muhammad, had become his father savior and support from the time she was a little girl until her death. Fatimah always became his favorite daughter. Prophet Muhammad called her as Ummu Abuha, the mother of her father. Lastly, Aisyah, his wife after the death of Khadijah, was well-known as the first female Islamic scholar. She was the only woman who narrated valid hadits after Bukari and Muslim. The prophet ever said that Muslim should learn half of religion from her. Aisyah had been a leader in Battle of Camel in 670s after the death of Caliph Ustman ibn Affan. Therefore, Islam never positions women differently with men.
However, the image of Islam in western point of view, particularly regarding to women status is not quite good. Most western countries see Islam from the practices of Muslim which finally leads to misinterpretation of viewing women status in Islam. The latest issues in Islamic world are Acid terror to Afghan girls who involve School (The New York Times online January 14, 2009) and the video of The Taliban flogged of a teenage girl in front of a crowd because of leaving her house alone in Pakistan (The New York Times online, April 14, 2009). Moreover, Western regards the concepts of veil of women in Islam as the barrier for Muslimah, a called for woman who believe in Islam and conduct Islamic tenets, and the imposing of Syariah law is considered as legalization of dictatorship of authority, in which usually men, as practice in Afghanistan and Pakistan (Wadud 2002, at http://newint.org/features/2002/05/01/aishahs-legacy/); The New York Times online, April 14, 2009).
Stereotype of war, terrorism, gender inequality, against human right and poor has been bench marks of Islam as religion which is brought by Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, the needs of context sensibility in interpreting Al-Qur’an by Muslim scholar and proselytizers were emerged in an International conference in University of Notre Dame at mid April 2009 in Islamic reformation particularly in carrying strong message of social justice and women’s rights (Kristof 2009). Hence, the critical analysis of classic Islamic textbooks which are always studied in Muslim society is necessary in order to build up a society which is based on social justices and human right as mention in Al-Qur’an.
Uqudulizain is one of classic Islamic textbooks, kuutub, mostly studied in majlis ta’lim, madrasah and Islamic boarding school, Pesantren, in Indonesia, particularly in Java. This kitab was written by Syeh Muhammad ibn Umar Nawawi, well-known as Syeh Nawawi Albantani, in Arabic language at Rajab 1375 hijraa or similar at 1954. It contains the right of husband and wife (Zaujaeni). It consists of four chapters. The first chapter is concerned with the obligation of husband to wife. The second discusses the obligation of wife to. The third deliberates the decency of prayer for woman. The last elaborates the way of man staring at woman. However, for the research site, the first and the second chapters are chosen and compared
Representation Of Women Status In Traditional Muslim Society (By Eneng Elis Aisah) Alumni
(Critical Discourse Analysis Of “Uquduluzzain)