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Forum Lockedwhat is a "harem"?

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charles brough View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 15:59

Last year I had an interesting discussion with a Muslim scholar on whether or not women had more liberty in 12th century Islam than they do now.  The subject changed to "Harem" and their idea of a harem is far different than that of a Christian!  We tend to think of it as a walled off area where the various women of a rich Muslem are kept secluded.  They see it, instead, as merely part of the house were the wife or wives (if you are rich) live with the remale children and babies and where they have much deserved privacy. 

The reason for the discussion was that I had read about a specific word that was stated the 12th century Muslims used in reference to the then "women's movement" (all civilizations have had women's liberation movements in case you did not know that).  I forgot the exact word but the point is, he looked it up and we concluded that it meant something like "troublesome womens' misbehavior."

He did give me the impression that women then did achieve considerable freedom---although not as much as in such secularized Muslim nations now as pre-war Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Libya.  Of course, when religious reaction came, then women's rights suffered as they always have.  Under the Ottomans, for example, there was not the freedom they had in Bagdad and Egypt.

Anyway, a harem is literally only a place where the women stay.  That means that if your wife and daughter have their own work room, that is your family harem!

charles,   http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mortaza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 16:08

They see it, instead, as merely part of the house were the wife or wives (if you are rich) live with the remale children and babies and where they have much deserved privacy. 

This is true.

and there is another place for mans.(Selam,Salem, or whatever)

It is not supression of woman or jailing woman but It just divide man and woman. Of course This is for rich people, womans can go out side of their house.

For poor people, there is not even harem, just one room

For exp: In coast of blacksea, womans are working out side of home, and I know woman and mans were singing each other.(love song))

I also heard , at ottomans there were some house with two ring, one is for woman second is for man.

Woman use ring for woman, and another woman open door.Same for man.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morticia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 16:39
Good Day Charles & Mortaza.

With regard to the Muslim's traditions, I know that men worship together. But, what about women. When and where do they worship, if at all?

With regard to the "harem", how many wives are Muslims permitted to have..or it is unlimited? And do they all congregate together in one "harem"? Are most marriage pre-arranged?

What is the main role of a Muslim woman? Is she just for procreation purposes?

Thank you for whatever information you can supply me with.

Morty
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mortaza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 17:08

uh much question, I will try my best.

With regard to the Muslim's traditions, I know that men worship together. But, what about women. When and where do they worship, if at all?

In fact, acording to islam there is not different between man and woman about worshiping together. But at past, as we know, Womans are living at their homes.

But know, In Turkey a woman can go a mosque and worship like mans. Almost all big mosques have place for woman pray . They can go there and worship as they wish. I dont know what is stiation at other countries, but I think It is not much different.

Also Both man and woman can worship at their house. Mosque is not a must for praying or praying together.

With regard to the "harem", how many wives are Muslims permitted to have..or it is unlimited?

Well number is 4 for teorically, but praticaly taking than one woman is almost imposible.(Of course If you follow islam)

I think you should treat all woman same.(This is almost imposible) And also woman who married first should also permit second woman.(I think this is not much different than west) But ofcourse there would be people abuse it.

And do they all congregate together in one "harem"?

Well in turkey, we have no harem. It mostly mean some room of house and at Ottomans marrying more than one woman is not used widely. Some richs(I cant say royal, because there is not royal like at Europea) did it.

Are most marriage pre-arranged?

For pre-arranged marriage,I think It is mostly related with culture. In turkey there are not much pre-arrenged marriage(They are mostly at the easter side of turkey), but Families help adults for knowing other people. It is adult decision to marry or not.

But as I said, This is related with culture, not islam. So I dont know what is situation of other countries.

What is the main role of a Muslim woman?

Theoretically, She can do what she want. She can work at a job, she can become a trader, she can become a poet or craftsman.But of course This is not pratical situation. Most of muslim community is still traditional, but again this is not related with Islam but culture. For ex: In turkey there are a lot religous woman who work out side of home.Poets and writers.

For one exception, I think they cannot become Ruler of a Country, but not sure.

Is she just for procreation purposes?
No, Of course not.

 

This is what I know, when I am speaking about religion, I can become sure. But most probably All of this is true.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 17:41
Quote For one exception, I think they cannot become Ruler of a Country, but not sure.


You had a female Prime Minister not long ago... I can't recall her name

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 18:04

Tansu Ciller.

Since we arent an Islamic state, that's natural. We arent ruled by Sheriah in Turkey, we are secular. Thanks to Ataturk for sure.

"Harem" comes from the Arabic word "Mahram", meaning secret, or private. Or forbidden. Harem was the secret place of women, and forbidden for men. Altough Harems have a bad reputation, its origins are places were women didnt only stay, but also educated.

Quote Under the Ottomans, for example, there was not the freedom they had in Bagdad and Egypt.

No. In fact, Ottoman Empire was an Islamic one, but its high sociolevel were always distinct from the regular Muslim ummet. Regular religious people were oppressing their women for sure, but the Istanbul society was always seperate from them. With the "Lale Period" after 1730s, Ottoman society was becomming heavily westernized.

So dont imagine the Ottoman society and Islam simlar with views from today's Saudi Arabia or Iran. Turks always had their own way of Islam, you can even see it from our lifestyles and even from our flags from Turkey to Uyguristan, with religiously forbidden symbols. We still name our children with traditional names but most Islamic societies dont.

Quote With regard to the Muslim's traditions, I know that men worship together. But, what about women. When and where do they worship, if at all?

They do. In Turkey, we have women areas in mosques. Dont imagine Turkey similar to Islamic states. We are west for an Easter, and we are East for a Wester. You got what I mean?

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote erci Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 21:49
Originally posted by Mortaza Mortaza wrote:

For one exception, I think they cannot become Ruler of a Country, but not sure.



 i guess you meant islamic countries, not Turkey

mortaza, I appreciate your efforts on your posts and I really enjoy some of them but use of language is also very important.so, let's be more clear on explanations


Edited by erci
"When one hears such music, what can one say, but .... Salieri?"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mortaza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 02:59
Well, I  think all people know Turkey is a secular country.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote azimuth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 04:50

 

Harim was a Islamic Turkish thing , Not Arabic.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jagatai Khan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 05:01

Quote For one exception, I think they cannot become Ruler of a Country, but not sure.

Murtaza do not you live in Turkey?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mortaza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 05:08

Jagatai Khan

we are a secular country, not islamic one, how many time I should say  this?  this is realy becoming  boring.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 09:32
Quote

Harim was a Islamic Turkish thing , Not Arabic.

In fact it is neither Turkish nor Arabic. It is Babylonian like most of the Middle Eastern common traditions, heritage.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kenaney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 10:16
Harem is also used for other definitions, like we say in Afyonkarahisar in Turkey Harim for places where everything you need is. Like in the village where my father is from, there is a big open place where all stores, restaurants and cafe's are -They call this place Harim.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morticia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 13:06
Good Day to all:

Thanks to everyone for your input. I find it all very interesting. I am assuming that all who responded are males. Please correct me if I am wrong. I would love to hear from a muslim female to get her perspective on these issues. Are there any that post here? Are muslim women vocal in politics, economics,etc.? or do they pretty much take care of the homefront, the children, etc.? As you can see, I am pretty much a novice in this sector, but am curious as to women's issues and participation abroad. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Morty
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote erci Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 13:18
I like the sound of a Turkish female member here.That could be interesting

but none of the Turkish girls I know are into history is this a common thing?
"When one hears such music, what can one say, but .... Salieri?"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hak-Khan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2005 at 23:50
i heard about harems ware the projects about creating super-generation people(high intelligent womans were collecting from all over the (known)world for creating smart childrens,by )

but its not prooved yet, but all in fact it was not a good idea of course

in other hand, Ottoman Padisahs were not real Turk actually, becouse most of them have an harem mom


Tanrı Türk'ü Korusun, Yüceltsin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Artaxiad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2005 at 01:53

Ancient Greeks also separated the men from the women. The women always stayed in a separate room called the ''gynécée'' (in French). A woman was not allowed to sit with the men, unless she had an important role in the society...

Usually when we go visit our relatives, most of the women gradually leave the living room and go sit in the kitchen, probably because the men are too loud, or they talk about topics that aren't interesting for them.  As you see, the non-forceful seperation of men and women is very normal.

But this has nothing to do with the traditionnal meaning of a harem.  I've heard that Ottoman sultans literally had hundreds of children!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2005 at 04:32
Unlike Romans and Greeks (who were at least as Patriarchal or more as modern Muslims), Etruscans shered their meals and life with their women. The position of women in Etruscan life was so egalitarian that Greco-Romans had the impression they were libertine.

The separation of men and women is not natural. In my enviroment doesn't happen... women don't move silently to the kitchen as Artaxiad suggests.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2005 at 05:41
Originally posted by Artaxiad Artaxiad wrote:

Usually when we go visit our relatives, most of the women gradually leave the living room and go sit in the kitchen, probably because the men are too loud, or they talk about topics that aren't interesting for them.  As you see, the non-forceful seperation of men and women is very normal.

But this has nothing to do with the traditionnal meaning of a harem.  I've heard that Ottoman sultans literally had hundreds of children!

I guess these are still general in traditional societies, not only Muslim ones. Eastern societies, which are isolated from the western world and globalism are more traditional and concentrated on such traditions, or general behavior. I've witnessed it on Circassians in Turkey, they arent fine Muslims at all, but when a woman comes inside a room full of men, she doesnt look their faces. Men doesnt lie or put her legs on each other in front of an elder, just like in the Turkish, Syrian or traditional Armenian societies.

Some had, but generally, they had a "gözde", favourite, picked up from the harem, and lived as a sultan. If she cant give a son to the padishah,  a new gozde is necessary.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Makros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2005 at 00:13

Is it true that if you could afford the number wives it is allowed? and what if you were a billionare? could you have limitless wives?

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