Woman and Islam
Islamic religion has its established guiding teachings and principles that ensure its followers submit totally to the will of Allah for all the adherents. In effect, Islamic religion recognizes the fact that people and things around them affect their survival irrespective of their age, community, families, and the nation. The quality of life of the Muslims invariably affects the existence of the Islamic nations and religion as a whole. Muslim women are highly vulnerable to various health problems due to the strict religious ideation of most of the conditions that affect them. Islamic women as most of the women from other contemporary communities face numerous health challenges, including reproductive health problems such as increased cases of maternal death, destitution, poor access to maternal health services, and social violation of their human rights. As such, the health challenges make it necessary for the adoption of policies that recognize their critical value in the society. In addition, it necessitates the need for the adoption of social-cultural values, beliefs, and practices that recognize sustainability of the health of the Muslim woman (Suad and Najmabadi 54).
Structure of the research paper
This research paper analyzes different health issues that affect the health of the Islamic women from a religious perspective. In specific, the analysis focuses on the ways in which Islamic religious and cultural practices affect negatively the health of the Islamic woman. The essay also discusses the perception of the Muslims towards medication. The paper extends to analyze the various health issues affecting the Islamic woman and having a strong relationship with Islamic religion. The health issues analyzed include obesity and diabetes, vitamin D deficiency, and acts such as abortion and their influence on different Islamic doctrines. The analysis also provides ways in which people respond to these health challenges and religious solutions alongside the ways in which the U.S. health care system can be transformed to gather the needs of the Muslim standards to their expected level (Cortese and Calderini 67).
How Islamic religious and cultural practices affect negatively the female health
Religious and traditional practices reflect the values held by the members of the community for the duration that span generations. Muslims have specific religious and cultural practices that influence the health outcomes of the people in the society including the women. Harmful traditional practices of the Islamic religion that affect the health of the women negatively include female genital mutilation (FGM), early marriages, restriction from using reproductive health methods to control birth, and early pregnancies. The cultural values and beliefs affect their health outcomes in a variety of ways. It increases their risks of infections (FGM), maternal morbidity, maternal mortality, and lack of self-expression in the society. Similarly, the above stated cultural practices signify the violation of their human rights and freedom of speech, expression, and decision. The inequality caused by the unfair treatment of the Islamic women in the society increases their vulnerability to various health factors that affect their well-being (Weigl 65).
Islamic religious beliefs also influence the health of the Islamic women. Islamic religious holy days such as Id al-Fitr and Id al-Adha provide the Muslim women and the society opportunities to re-unite, promoting their mental well-being. Islamic religion recognizes that life begins 120 days of gestation. It prohibits abortion of the fetus after this period. However, the fact that it allows abortion before the above days puts the health of the Islamic women at risk. In addition, Islamic religion restricts the use of birth control methods by its women. The restriction makes them play a little role in making decisions related to their reproductive life; hence, their vulnerability to maternal mortality and morbidity....
The Islamic religious belief that allows men to marry up to four wives also makes the health of the Islamic woman vulnerable. The belief places the women at risk of health problems such as sexually transmitted infections due to the polygamous nature of their families (Suad and Najmabadi 84).
What do Muslims think of Medication?
The Islamic religion is opposed to its followers using any drugs apart from those prescribed for medical purposes. For example, Prophet Muhammed said, "all intoxicant is Khamir (alcohol) and all Khamr are Haram (not permitted by the doctrines of the religion). In addition, Islamic religion recognizes that Muslim should seek medical attention since Allah did not let any disease exist without giving its cure. As such, it shows that the religion recognizes the importance of medication for treating health problems except in cases of diseases associated with old age (Piedmont and Village 102).
Obesity and diabetes
According to Islam, health is the greatest gift from God to humankind. Human beings should express the gratitude of giving them health by taking care of it. The religion also recognizes that God will hold the Muslims accountable for the ways in which they looked after and utilized their bodies. Obesity and diabetes are majorly lifestyle diseases. Islamic religion has no unique perception on the condition, but some consider as a violation of the God's laws. For example, religious analysis shows that obesity and diabetes signify the violation of the Islamic doctrine "do not cast yourselves into destroying your bodies by your own hands (2:195)" (Siddiqi and Zuberi 24).
Obesity and diabetes have a significant effect on the health of the Muslim women. Islamic religion recognizes that human behaviors have consequences to their health as shown by obesity and diabetes. Significant evidence shows that the obesity alters the body image of the Islamic women affecting their mental well-being. However, wearing hijab has been shown to improve the confidence of the Islamic women towards their bodies (Cortese and Calderini 38). Women who wear hijab have a more positive image in situations where the society and the religion consider ideals of the body such as beauty and appearance. Similarly, wearing hijab has health implications, including obesity and diabetes. Empirical evidence shows that Muslim countries lead in the rates of obesity with women being the highly affected. Hijab discourages the performance of activities including practical and psychological exercises that contribute to their well-being (Booth et al. 119).
Conservative Muslim countries often ban their women from engaging in exercises that promote their well-being by reducing lifestyle related conditions. The burka also plays a role in contributing to constraining the Muslim women to a variety of exercises that affect their health and well-being negatively. Cultural restrictions against women activity compound to the risk factors that cause high rates of obesity and diabetes among the Muslim women. Islamic culture takes that physical activity of the Islamic women results in the loss of the hymen; hence, the loss of their purity. In addition, the cultural belief that a woman should not participate in any physical activity, in the presence of the men complexes the factors that predispose the women to obesity and diabetes among them. The decision to introduce the single-sex gym increases the risk by predisposing the Islamic women to psychological inactivity that contributes indirectly to the health challenges. Therefore, combining these religious and cultural factors make an Islamic woman more vulnerable to obesity and diabetes (Weigl, Constanze 65).
Vitamin D deficiency
The adherence to wearing hijab prevents Islamic women from acquiring adequate vitamin D Lack of an adequate supply of vitamin D results in various health effects that affect their life outcomes negatively. Among the health, the effects brought by inadequate production of Vitamin D include misshapen, weak, and brittle bones vulnerable to breakage, osteoporosis in old age, cardiovascular diseases, and type 1-diabetes. As such, these effects raise concerns on the health status of Islamic women who abide by this law alongside the health of the children born to a mother deficient of vitamin D (Booth et al. 26). If the children born to these mothers observe hijab in their childhood, the risk of them failing to reach the desired body height in their adulthood becomes high. Therefore, a significant proportion of the Muslim women face the challenge of vitamin D deficiency and its associated health complications. The health effects brought by wearing of the full hijab by Muslim women create significant implications to the Islamic religion. Many consider Islam as the perfect way of life for the human beings. However, if Allah mandated the Muslim women to observe hijab, he could not have come up with the creation that depends on sunlight for Vitamin D (Siddiqi and Zuberi 55).
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