Leila Ahmed confirmed that the participation and autonomy of women were curtailed with the establishment of Islam, but finally, it was declined in the Islamic period. But we know from the history, that there were often some problems with the status of women in different countries. In addition, Homa Hoodfar alluded that for their own empowerment Muslim women could employ ceiling, what is the symbol of oppression. But the question is how to understand these opposing arguments of these two Muslim feminists? Or is there something common concerning the grounds of their discourse about the status of women in Islam? How can these approaches be so significant for the Muslim women for challenging the oppressive practices and structures?
As for the main argument of Leila Ahmed, it surrounds the issues and topics about the status of females in Islam and the increasing and development of the oppressive society that leaves women with no right to live by. Leila argues that it is the issue of the oppressive practices and male dominance that are due to the commonness of the patriarchal interpretations and explanations of the religion aspects. Leila decides to compare the changing time to the era of pre-Islamic, when women were free and had liberty for fulfilling their wishes rather than being dominantly put down by the males from their society. During this mentioned era, specific marriages were met much more in practice that the clear claims which proved the difference between the status of men and women. These marriages were done upon the agreement of husbands, who lived with the wives in the houses of their fathers and gave their surnames to wives and the future generations.
In addition, the polyandry was so common and it was practiced openly. There was the place where women could be allowed to take even more than two husbands. The different traditions and cultures also allowed men to get and have more than a couple of young wives at the same time. The time has been passed, and everything was changed. It means that misogyny began to come into practice where females were disliked, disrespected and hated. During that period of time, females’ infanticide was regarded normal. It is explained that during the time of existence of pre-Islamic Arabia, there was not the fixed institution of marriage. The patriarchal and patrilineal marriages were not only the legitimate forms of the marriages which were practiced in that period of time.
Leila Ahmed confirmed that the participation and autonomy of women were curtailed with the establishment of Islam, but finally, it was declined in the Islamic period. But we know from the history, that there were often some problems with the status of women in different countries.