Women in Islam. Tradition and modernity
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It should be stated at the beginning that the contemporary family in the Islamic World is basically patriarchal, characterized by the domination of the father — head of the family—followed by adult male members in accordance with their seniority. This very feature is strangely analogical to the early pre-Islamic tribal model of family and social hierarchy. Likewise, women perform now—as in the past dependent inferior roles. Women are, furthermore, isolated from the male society—also through the imposition of the ḥiǧāb (veil) and subjection to living (though, sometimes, and not as a rule) within polygamous family. To trace the source of this phenomenon, in an objective manner, we have to return to both the pre-Islamic tribal society and to early Islam. The political history of the time is assumed to be known and will not be the subject of interest of the present paper.