Divan Center

Panel : Historical and Contemporary Role of Women in Islam

March 24, 2019 Divan Cultural Center had a guest lecturer from New Jersey, Nuray Yurt. Dr. Nuray Yurt is the President of the board for Peace Islands Institute in New Jersey where she partners with interfaith organizations to improve local peace within the NJ community.

Dr. Yurt took us to a journey into the history where until the 7th century that in Arabia Peninsula, Europe, Roman Civilization, Athens and England women could not buy or sell, could not marry by their freewill, could not vote, teach or tutor totally dependent on their father or husband. But after the arrival of Islam women were acknowledged with men in Quran. They were given the right to decide on their marriage, education, family, kids. They gained right to own property and wealth.

And their Lord responded to them, “Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another. So those who emigrated or were evicted from their homes or were harmed in My cause or fought or were killed – I will surely remove from them their misdeeds, and I will surely admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow as reward from Allah, and Allah has with Him the best reward.” Qur’an 3:195

Later on she brought us back to the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century when women were declared as persons.

She addressed misconceptions about Muslim women by answering three main questions:
• Do Muslim women feel oppressed because of religion?
• Is there inequality between men and women in Islam?
• How can we explain different verses from Qur’an that appears to place women in an inferior position?

In Islam, women are equal to men in bearing personal and common responsibilities, receiving rewards for her deeds, the pursuing education and knowledge. Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) don’t take women and men as separate creatures. They are equal before God. Qur’an describes man and woman as complementary to each other.

It was a wonderful journey throughout the history to find out myths and facts about women with Dr. Yurt.