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The legal and social status of women in the Hadith literature

By Salma Saad


This thesis covers the status of, and attitude to, the woman in Islam, as reflected by the literature of the Hadith. All previous works which have dealt with the status of the woman in Islam have attempted to cover vast areas and aspect ranging from the pre-Islamic era to our present time. However, no single work has ever been devoted to\ud the position of woman as depicted in Muslim tradition.\ud \ud Since the amount of material collected is so vast, it seems to the author that even a general survey of the status of woman from pre-Isalmic times to our present day, is\ud beyond the scope of this research, especially that this subject has already been discussed by many scholars. The literature of the hadith, however, has never been the sole corpus for this subject and hence is the major source for the present research.\ud \ud The status of women is examined in this work following the different "stages" in the life of the woman. Hence the following aspects have been considered;\ud \ud a. the baby girl\ud b. the young girl\ud c. the married woman and the mother\ud d. the divorced woman\ud e. the widow\ud f. the slave woman.\ud \ud The six major books of Hadiths, and the books of Sunni, contain an enormous number of references to woman noted by the Prophet and his companions. These references usually refer to the status and legal position of women from birth to death, mainly based on actual facts which were brought to the attention of the Prophet.\ud \ud In order to collect all the relevant references; all six books of the Hadith, were carefully examined, registered and classified. In addition, all relevant works available\ud were read so that a sound background for the research can be established. Experts in the field of Islamic law were consulted on various aspect of this topic and were also to\ud lesser extent relied on traditions and customs known to the author and her family.\ud \ud Having dealt with a most sensitive subject which has been neglected up till now. The author aware of the incompleteness of this work, nevertheless, the author feel that the amount of materials examined and methods of analysis which were employed should give the reader on authentic insight into the life and position of the Muslim woman as depicted in the Hadith

Publisher: Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies (Leeds)
Year: 1990
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