Guardianship of Muslim women by men of a particular relative status is an important part of Islamic culture. I'm confused over this because on the one hand the word guardian implies the protection of women, yet in the West especially, it seems to be viewed very negatively as men deliberately trying to oppress women.

In particular: does guardianship in the Middle-East predate Islam? If not, what motivated its development?

  • The view in the West may be due to two reasons: 1) incidents of abuses of guardianship and twisting of it (which Islam itself would condemn and forbid) or 2) objection to the very notion that women need special guardianship different from men i.e. from feminism/equality (and clearly Islam says they do need it; that is why the system is there).
    – The Z
    Oct 13 at 3:46
  • 1
    You are asking about guardianship over marriage? That predates Islam, as the Quran narrates regarding the interaction between Moses عليه السلام and Jethro عليه السلام in verse 28:27-28.
    – UmH
    Oct 13 at 12:59
  • Guardianship was known long before Islam and was practiced in almost (if not) all other religions until not even long ago. Maybe asking your grand parents will already give you an answer.
    – Sassir
    Oct 14 at 23:33

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