As for the woman status in civilizations prior to Islam, we shall not find a complete and brief description more truthful than the saying of `Abbas Mahmoud Al `Aqqad:
The law of Mapu in India did not recognize a right for women separate from their fathers, husbands, and sons. In case of the death of their fathers and husbands, they should marry a male from the relatives of her husband and she shall never be separated by herself under any condition. The most deniable act is to live after the death of her husband. She shall die in the same day when her husband dies and is burnt with him in one oven.
The law of Hamurabi by which Babel was known for considering women as the owned cattle. They estimated the woman aggressively to the extent that when a person killed a girl, the father of the girl would take the daughter of the murderer either to kill or pardon her.
Women at the ancients Greeks were of stolen freedom and prestige in terms of their legitimate rights. In big houses, they used to isolate women in rooms away from the roads, of few windows, and with guarded doors. Clubs of prostitutions spread in the urban cities of Greek because of the negligence of wives and mothers to their houses, and the scarcity of allowing them to accompany men in clubs and celebrations. Moreover, sessions of philosophers were free of women and no one of them was famous for her genius as prostitutions were.
The doctrine of ancient Romans was the same of ancient Indians in judging a woman as deficient, where her relationships were confined to fathers, husbands, or sons, and their motto, which they circulated, that the chain of women cannot be cut. Of this doctrine is the famous saying of "Kato": "Nunquan Exvituv Sevvius Muliebvis."
Al `Aqqad said in another book :
Women had a chance of dignity in the Ancient Egyptian Civilization where they were allowed to ascend the throne and give her the focus of attention in the family. However, the Egyptian nation was among the nations in which the wrong creeds prevailed after the birth of the Christ and it was known that women are the cause of original sin, the vicegerent of Satan, the trap of temptations and vice, and there is no salvation for the soul except by escaping them."
As for the status of women in divine religions prior to Islam, Al `Aqqad spoke about that status in Torah saying :
The rule laid down in the right of inheritance is to deprive girls unless the descendants of males are interrupted, and it is not permissible for the girl who inherits to marry from another tribe, and it is not permissible for her to transfer her inheritance to another tribe. That ruling was expressed clearly in more than one position in the Torah. It was reported in chapter twenty-seventh of the book of Numbers that the daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher: "And they stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the princes and the entire community at the door of the Tent of Meeting with the following petition: "Our father died in the desert...without leaving any sons. Why should our father's name be disadvantaged in his family merely because he had no son? Give to us a portion of land along with our father's brothers."
Moses brought their case before God.
God spoke to Moses saying: "The daughters of Zelophehad speak rightly. Give them a hereditary portion of land alongside their father's brothers. Let their father's hereditary property thus pass over to them."
It was reported in chapter thirty-sixth: "And every daughter that inheriteth any possession out of any tribe of the children of Israel, shall become the wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father; in order that the children of Israel may inherit every one the inheritance of his fathers. And no inheritance shall pass from one tribe to another tribe; but the tribes of the children of Israel shall adhere, every one, to his own inheritance. Even as the Lord had commanded Moses."
As for the position of the Bible against women, it was reported in the book of Corinthians II :
"But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ." It was reported in Thimothy, chapter 2 : "And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner."
As for the position of communities against women before the advent of Islam, we will only mention the status of women in the Pre-Islamic Period in which the light of Islam has spread so as to make the comparison complete and clearer.
Indeed, a researcher is in chaos because of the conflicting narrations that determine the status of women in that society; therefore researchers had different attitudes, some of them said :
"The former Arabs did not recognize the humanity of women, therefore, they shared wives as they shared money and goods as the Greek geographer (Strabo) said. The clearest evidence to that is the survival of certain abnormal traditions in marriage until the advent of Islam; such as a group marry one woman and Al Istibda` Marriage in which a man sends his wife to a prince or rich person to make her pregnant for the sake of children...".
However, others say : "Arab women were of high and fine status in the Arab environment, poets draw near to them, men were encouraged and honored to please them, heroes made them witnesses for their afflictions, and Arabs compared them to men as Juthamah ibn `Aqil ibn `Alafah did: They are and men are brethren.
In their proverbs: "Women are the brethren of men," the meaning of the proverb is women have the same rights of men and on them the same duties.
Different views as a result of different narrations. Al `Aqqad tried to explain that difference and referred it to one source, he said : "Arabs looked at women in a natural way which means regardless beliefs or Shari`ah, but they acted with them according to the necessity of the time and environment and vary according to these necessities."
Until he said : "The reference for all those people is the conditions of the Arabian Peninsula, and the conclusion is: There were serious conditions because of the dangerous disputes for pasture and water resources because of the lack of pasture and water, and the many people who wanted them. That serious conflict made it obligatory to protect everything which made women a heavy burden on men to protect because they exhausted livelihood and did not participate in protection.
And that explains a lot of contradictions in the Arabic literature because when resorting to its reasons, they will not be contradictions because they will remain close and similar in origins.
For instance, war had lasted 40 years between Banu Bakr and Banu Taghlib because Al Basus, the daughter of Munqidh entertained a man, then Kulayb hit the she camel of that man while he was in the entertainment of Al Basus. Her nephew Gassas swore to her to kill a camel of their tribe, then he killed Kulayb the master of Banu Taghlib for that she camel or for the dignity of a woman.
Moreover, the reader should know that the tribes of Arabs used to bury their daughters during their childhood to escape shame or for fear of their expenses.
It seems that they are contradictions but the truth they are not contradictory because environment which called for one of the two qualities called for the other quality according to time and circumstances.
The ethics of protection made women more deserving of protection because they were more important than grazing land, the water of a well, and than camels and she camels, so whoever left the protection of one of those things would not be able to protect anything else.
Hence, we find excessive jealousy on the honor and preferring death to women rather than shame.
If we go back to the origin of "the Ethics of Protection," which is the intensified dispute for water and food, we find it sufficient to intensify harshness and exhorts the needy in times of famine to get rid of those who control livelihood or prevent the people to have it, such as getting rid of women and girls because they are of no good to the tribe."
I think the view of Al `Aqqad is honest to some extent because Arabs in their Pre-Islamic Period did not treat women according to an organized code, a codified constitution, or an inner motivation that did not subject to the needs and necessities of the environment.
It seems to me that Dr. Muhammad Hussein Heikal inclined to that view and believed that Arab women were treated naturally, or in other words: In good treatment.
He says : "The links between men and women in that Arabian environment were not -by the words of the Qur'an- but mere relations of males and females with slight difference in the ranks of clans. Therefore, women used to display their adornment to other than their husbands and used to go out individually and in groups to relieve themselves, and then men and youth see them but they did not care to have chat with them or exchange looks. Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan did not find any harm to say in the severest situations, while she was urging Quraysh to fight in Uhud:
If you go to war, we shall kiss you
and prepare beds for you
and if you depart, we shall not obey you and will not prepare beds for you.
 Women in the Glorious Qur'an "Kitab Al Hilal", No. 103, p. 84-86.
 "Facts of Islam and the untruths of opponents," Publications of the Islamic Conference 1st edition - of 172.
 Women in the Qur'an, p. 89-90.
 Quoted from the book of "Women in the Qur'an," p. 38.
 Quoted from the book of "Women in the Qur'an," p. 38.
 Quoted from the book of "Islam is a start and not rigidity" by Dr. Mustafa Ar-Rafi`y, Judge of Beirut and the Lebanese university professors, p. 185.
 Quoted from the book of "Flirt in the Pre-Islamic Era," Dr. Ahmed Muhammad Al Hufy, 2nd edition p. 163.
 See "As-Siddiqah, the daughter of As-Siddiq" from the series of "Read" Issue 125 p. 5.
 Ibid, p. 6-8.
 See the book of "The Life of Muhammad", p. 312.
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