Religion is known to have varying effects on different cultures throughout the world. Cultures cause changes in the way religion is practiced and viewed throughout different countries. Culture specifically causes inconsistences in monotheistic religions, and when they are compared between western countries and eastern countries. The manifestation of Islam in different countries changes socially and economically, so because of their varying cultures, Iran, the US, Indonesia, Brazil and South Africas’ Muslim populations have extensive differences in the way they practice Islam, specifically in their Gender roles and Religious Rituals.
Iran, or the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a Middle Eastern country bordering Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Islam is practiced by the majority of the population of Iran and effects their everyday lives, including their politics, economics and legality of the country. Their country is based on a lunar Islamic calendar and the official work days are from Saturday to Wednesday. Because their culture is based so consciously on Islam, their everyday lives are based on the original aspects of the religion including their strict gender roles and religious rituals.
Family in Iran is important because the responsibilities of every family member are outlined in the Quran, especially women’s roles of the family. Women are to be taken care of and protected and it is inappropriate for men to speak of their wives and other female family members to other people. Gender inequality is still a large issue in Islam, most likely due to the significant changes of the socio-economic and political structures of Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
The laws of Iran are now more structured towards the written words of the Quran, resulting in their culture influencing a stronger gender role bias toward their population. While they may not be genuine Islamic principles the country had declined in its progression of women’s’ rights. Social factors also cause change for women’s roles in Islam. According to a study in 1991, 2. 2% of girls in Iran could not continue their education because they were already engaged or married, again while this is not a direct influence of true Islamic principles, it is still a problem in Iran.
While another study in 2002 reported that around 50% of girls were married before the age of 19, this not only doesn’t allow those girls to be fully educated but also the children they have as well. Due to this lack of education in some women in Iran, their employment when not working in the home is directly based on the education. Many women do not tend to hold professional careers. In most instances when a women is properly educated she still must take a job lower on behalf of a man who is also applying for the same job.
Because of Iran’s government being a theocracy that many would say is oppressive these gender roles based on Islam in Iran are specifically more extremist and do not accurately portray the views of Islam correctly. Many women are required by men to do things such as in some cases preserve their modesty, or have more children. Men in Iran are viewed as the person intended to take care of the family and provide for them. Men are allowed to practice polygamy but yet it forbidden for women to.
Religious Rituals in Iran are practiced strictly. Iranian religious practices are dependent on shrines of Islamic Saints. One part of the 5 pillars, Hajj, meaning pilgrimage is an important aspect of Iranian Islamic culture. Whether the pilgrimage Is to local shrines or larger pilgrimages they are both well respected. In most Iranian schools and occupations, there is set aside time to pray during the work hours, which is part of the 5 pillars, Salat. This is a crucial aspect to the religion in Islam and a normality in Iranian culture.
Many Islamic holidays are off days for students and workers, to give the people time to celebrate the culture. In fact, many holidays in Iran are of religious nature, including: the Iranian New Year, Islamic Republic day and Iran winter Solace. The Islamic culture of Iran is based off of their state religion, Islam. Sharia law is practiced in Iran, which according to the alliance of faith is,” Within Islam, there are four principle sources of Sharia, which are accepted by consensus.
They are (1) the Qur’an, Islamic sacred scripture, which Muslims believe God revealed to humanity through the Prophet Muhammad, (2) the Sunna (or Prophetic model of behavior recorded in a literature called the Hadith), (3) the consensus of religious scholars, and (4) analogy. Many regional and local customs are also accepted as a source of the Sharia when they are consistent with the general good. ” Islam in the United States is statistically very different in the way it is practiced in both gender roles and religious rituals. Gender roles in the United States are further progressed than in Iran on many levels.
Due to the fact that the United States’ national religion is not Islam, laws and regulations are not based on the religion, which in turn causes some people to practice the religion in a loosely based manner. Because there is not a law or a particular Islamic culture that is followed by the mass population of the United States many people believe that Muslims can follow their own idea of the religion, and choose what they want to believe in. Not to say there are not strict Muslims who follow the Quran rigorously in the United States, they are just allowed more freedom of oppression when not living In a theocratic government.
According to a Muslim American teacher, “There’s one more major difference: The code of conduct for a Muslim population in a non-Muslim country is a little different than Muslims in a Muslim country. For Muslim minorities, we are required to be peaceful and abide strictly by the laws of the land (for example, adhering to monogamy laws, not driving under the age of 16) as long as they aren’t forcing us to sin. It also allows Muslim minorities to renounce their faith in Islam, at least on the surface, if they are under eminent threat of death. ” Many Muslims in the United States do not follow rigid gender rules, but to some extent they do.
Many people in not only Islam but also religions such as Christianity and Judaism follow the rules of the holy text which originally say that women are to follow men because they are their superiors. If were in a Muslim country, and there was a certain public dress code (as it is here in America for no nudity, and it is considered inappropriate to walk in regular public places in a bikini) then yes, she would be asked to cover up and she should do it, on the basis of following the law. So this interpretation of Islam and , gender roles have a lot of reliance on the public law of the country.
According to a scholar on the Quran, “As the Islamic state and religion expanded, interpretations of the gender roles laid out in the Quran varied with different cultures. For example, some religious scholars in ninth- and 10th-century Iraq were prescribing more restrictive roles for women, while elite women in Islamic Spain were sometimes able to bend these rules and mix quite freely with men (see Walladah bint Mustakfi below). Some contemporary women — and men as well — reject the limitations put on women and are reinterpreting the Quran from this perspective. Gender roles are based on how loosely one may interpret the Quran, which is also correlated to the geography of where a person might be.
So, to say gender roles in the United States are more loosely based in the Muslim communities than they are in other countries, can for the majority be correct, but of course there are also people who follow stricter rules. While the Quran does state that men and women are the same In the eyes of God, some cultural differnces and interpretations allow for this to be misconstrued throughout the religion. IN America, according to KARIN VAN NIEUWKERK, Employment: Women are more involved in American society.
According to The Washington Times, there are 59 percent of Muslim American women work. Traditionally, women are supposed to stay at home, and take care of the family. However, Muslim women in the U. S. have more job opportunities, and they are willing to engage in the communities. “Fifty-nine percent of Muslim-American women work; a greater percentage than women in other faiths, according to “Muslim Americans: A National Portrait. ” Gender Roles are different in the U. S that women are more engage in the society, and social activities: Here is one Muslim women sharing her experience in the U. S. I had a lot of dreams in Iraq, but I never had a chance to make something of my dreams.
When I came here to the United States, the first day I had a chance to do things. This is the difference between my country and America,” said Shati, 47, who graduated from university in Iraq but stayed home to raise her three sons. “”Shati also likes that in America, Muslim women attend mosque more often than in Iraq and other Muslim countries. In Islam, men are required to attend Friday prayers, but women are not. ” Furthermore, 48% of all Muslim Americans say that when praying at a mosque women and men should be separated.
This is a fundamental and orthodox idea in Islam. Also, about 36% of Muslim American women believe that women should wear a Hijab when in public, because this is not a national law and a religious decision. Religious rituals in the United States are different for Muslim communities than they are in countries where the majority of the country practices Islam. The five pillars, Shahada, Salat, Hajj, Zakat and Sawm are followed on a personal basis and community basis not a national basis. For example, in countries where Islam is the national religion there is set aside time to pray 5 times a day to practice Salat, in America, there is not.
This causes some Muslim Americans to pray less so they can pray in the privacy of their homes, and if they do choose to do so at work and school, it is not always an easy task. An except from on article written by the Huffington posts outlines the problems with school time and work time prayer, “Ten-year-old Eman trembled as she raised her hand. She had a pit in her stomach, the same pit she got every day after lunch when she had to ask her teacher if she could be excused to say her afternoon prayers. Her public grade school in Columbia, Mo. , did not have an official policy on religious accommodations.
Sometimes her teacher let her leave, and other times she made her stay in class… There are more than 2. 75 million Muslims in America, and the number is growing rapidly, according to recent Census data. One result of the growth is that public school districts around the country must grapple with questions of how to accommodate Muslim students. Issues include whether to provide places for prayer, halal food in cafeterias and scheduling around important Muslim holidays. ” Many Muslim Americans say that Islam and religion is an important aspect of their lives, and many of their religious beleifs tend to be orthodox.
However, many of them say that different interpretations are true and can lead to internal salvation and hereafter. According to a survey, “Nearly two-thirds of U. S. Muslims (65%) say they pray the salah every day. About half of American Muslims (48%) report making the five salah prayers daily, one of the Five Pillars of Islam. An additional 18% say they pray daily, but not all five times. One-quarter (25%) of U. S. Muslims pray some of the salah occasionally or only make Eid prayers, while 8% say they never pray. ”