Islamic discourse in Sachiko Murata is a balanced view of the relation of two things different but interlocked, such as: day and night; country-folk, female-male, and man-nature. While the civilization of modern enlightenment emphasis on humans as a central position over all, and individual liberty as a foundation and outlook on the world. Natural resources, in this view, regarded as a resource to be exploited to meet human needs and satisfaction. The relationship between West and East, the developed and developing countries, men and women in this modern enlightened civilization is based on the coronation as one certain position from the other central position in the relationship should be reciprocal and balanced.
A patriarchy system that focus on male as the central axis views of cultural, social, and political, then answered by feminism that focuses on women’s central position opposite of patriarchy, not associated with a discourse of balance relations. However, the terminology of gender in feminist movements later, recalling the discourse of the balance of relations in which women’s issues can not be separated completely from the issue of men, and vice versa.
In this context, the discourse of ‘Reproductive Health’ should be presented as a counterweight, from or to the discourse of reproductive issues and domestic women, who in the view of conventional Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) more leads on the ‘discourse of obligation’ rather than ‘discourse rights’. Discourse obligations will further strengthen the axis of male and female weaken, while the discourse is assumed to strengthen women’s rights so that the relationships that formed led to the balance and equality. The problem is the issue of reproduction in the foundations of our culture over the years, disproportionately discourse in which he emphasized as a liability rather than the rights that should be enjoyed by women.
Between Rights and Obligations
In the social order subordinating to women, communities often impose the norms and values which advocates against women, so many of those who can not play a role as a healthy and responsible mother. Being a mother, is often regarded as the nature and obligations that must be run to every woman. This requirement has neglected society to create ‘social responsibility’ to the health of the mother.
In the social context of this omission, women will be abandoned all alone in carrying out its role as a mother; for pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting. Reproductive health issues is also not a major concern components of society, and even tend submitted as an issue of women alone. Not infrequently, in fact, women are more ‘required’ to take care of and manage their own reproductive health issues, among domestic obligations, including obligations to married couples and receive options.
Perhaps the cases of women who arranged marriage is no longer as many times before, but to become a healthy mother, decided to appropriate levels of health of pregnant, giving birth and raising children with flexibility for the health of his body is still a distant dream for most women. This analysis can be seen clearly in cases of abortion that fall to women. Hearing the word abortion only, the community has been reflexively blamed women as mothers who are not responsible. Usually, women that have the aborted fetus would be blamed first, without seeing the background of the problem.
Abortion is perhaps the most extreme circumstances, where not all women experience it. Under normal circumstances, the attention of governments, communities, and families against women’s reproductive health issues, more specifically on the condition of pregnant women, has increased significantly. But the cultural view that women are obliged to get married, pregnant, taking care of children and families are still embedded in the minds of many people.
This view is still a bit much be felt by women, so they are often neglected when running reproductive roles. Attention is obtained either from the state, communities and families often have not merged as awareness that it is women’s reproductive rights, but rather to enable them to continue the pregnancy and gave birth to a fetus that was conceived with the survivors.
In a growing culture discourse, women are obliged, not entitled to pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, concern on the reproductive health of women are given more because of the obligations factor that should be done by, not because it is the inherent right of every woman. For women who do not run, or reluctant to, or are no longer able to carry a pregnancy, usually will experience discrimination in matters related to reproductive rights as women.
All you need do then is to bring the issue of reproduction as women’s rights, not as an obligation that must be executed. In the discourse of reproduction as women’s rights, could be interpreted as the freedom of women to run the biological reproductive function properly and safely: both physically, mentally, and socially.
More broadly, reproductive rights could be associated with power and resources. That is, the power to decide all things related to fertility, pregnancy, caring children, health gynecologist, sexual activity, as well as resources to implement decisions safely and effectively. Marriage and divorce also has a direct relationship with the sustainability of reproductive functions of women, because women who are forced to marry, for instance, will experience psychological pressure when she has to pregnant. When basic rights are met, then the quality of women would be guaranteed, they can be healthy and happy in running the reproductive process, and naturally the people who were born from her, educated from her care, and accompanied by the togetherness will be healthy too and in terms of both capability and quality.
There are many things to be done related to the strengthening of women’s reproductive rights, at least on the individual self begins each of us to reconstruct our cultural perspective on this issue. There are two things that can be discussed here in connection with a religious perspective, especially related to the interpretation of hadith texts. First, looking at nature of the issue as a fundamental issue of health. And second, ensuring equality of women’s existence and identity.
Basic Health Issues
The rejection of Muslim component of women’s reproductive health issues, should be viewed from the side of political identity, and not on basic health issues. Because in Islam, health issues including the basic issue has been discussed in the early issue of worship. Taharah-nazhafah, or purity and cleanliness is a central issue and become an initial discussion in almost every books of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) or Islamic law. The command to keep themselves and purification of dirt and unclean, also clean themselves with wudlu and bath, is the basic teachings of Islam. This doctrine has been placed as the beginning of awareness of Islam on the base of health problems, namely cleanliness. From this base, and concern on other issues related to physical health should be directed and enhanced, including women’s reproductive health issues.
On several occasions, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. always reminds, “ath-thahûru syathr al-Iman wal sharee’ah tamla ‘al-Mizan,” (purification is part of faith and an expression of gratitude to God will weigh scales charity). (Hadith Imam Muslim History in Sahih Muslim, no. Hadith: 556, chapter Fadhl al-wudu, juz 2, pg. 167). Hadith text above is a confirmation on all matters related to the cleanliness of the body as a charitable faith, the beginning of all pure worship, and of course is the base of health.
Abu Bakr as-Siddiq ra., In the hadith narrated by Imam at-Turmudzi, told that that Prophet Muhammad PBUH. once called, “Ask forgiveness and health from Allah swt, because there is no good deeds granted after health. “(Ibn al-Athir, Jami ‘al-usul, juz 4, no. hadith: 2358).
A pray of the Prophet’s wife A’ishah which is heard by the Prophet Muhammad PBUH:
“Alluhmmâ âfinî jasadî fi, wa ‘wa basharî sam’î âfinî fi, al-wâritsa waj’alhumâ Minni, la ilaha illallah al-Halim al-Karim, subhanallahu rabbil’ arsh al-‘azhîm, wal hamdu lillahi rabbil ‘alamin, “(Oh God, give me health in my body, hearing and eyesight, make my hearing and eyesight as the deceased (who spread the good) to me, there is no god but Allah, the most gentle and affection, all-holy God’s kingdom Owner the Great, and all praise be to Allah guard the whole of nature). (Reported by Imam Turmudzi, see: Ibn al-Athir, Jami ‘al-usul, juz 4, no. Hadith: 2367).
Among the prayers that we prayed and we often read when sitting tasyahhud is: “rabbighfirlî, warhamnî, warzuqnî, wa’âfinî, wa’fu’annî,” (My Lord, forgive my sins, dear me, fortune me, give me health, and forgive me). This prayer teaches how abundance of sustenance would be better if linked to the lot of love, health, and also forgiveness. In prayer qunut, which are read every morning prayer, health petition also become one of prayer that were offered at between requests for guidance or direction, love, and others. As the basic issues of health, reproductive health issues become an integral part of Islamic social ideals, which always were offered in the Muslim holy prayers.
Existence and Identity Issues
One of the wedge issues in an effort to strengthen women’s reproductive rights is a religious interpretation stating that the role of women is nothing more than the domestic sphere. Standardization of this role makes women in difficulty to access health information and services, which is all that in the public sphere, while they (women) are in the domestic sphere. When conditions require them to take part in the public domain, this pattern of gender standardization discriminate against women because they are not properly appreciated in public areas, and at the same time still required completing domestic work.
With this double burden, women’s reproductive health function may not be optimal. In fact, a cultural and social norm requires them to be optimal. Imbalance between the demands that are directed and acquired rights has made women in a dilemma, difficult, and prone to have all reproductive health problems of their bodies.
Jihad women in the domestic sphere as narrated ath-Thabrani and al-Bazzar, should have been refuted by studies Hadith scholar who said that the text is weak and can not be used as a reference. Moreover, in a domestic context, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH also did domestic work as narrated by Imam al-Bukhari. (See: Sahih Bukhari, book: an-Nafaqât, chapter: solemn ar-li Rajuli ahlihi, no. Hadith: 4944). At the same time also a lot of history that says that women can be in the form of jihad hajj, and also the war as men. Thus, the role of women can not be imposed and standardized only in the domestic sphere, and men in the public domain.
Text hadith that says that we must respect to the mother three times more than to the father (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim. See: Jami ‘al-usul, juz I, p.. 333), should also be understood as an appreciation of the Prophet on reproductive function of women as mothers. And, not as a standardization that the women should be mothers, by requiring their marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, and caring of children.
Woman is a free human, as man, which can not be imposed and not legally to be forced into marriage like in Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) role and become someone’s wife and a mother who take care of the children at birth. Women should be given the opportunity to obtain information and options, as a free man. Women are also entitled to services related to its relation to the obligations upon her, if even then must be bound in relation agreement obligations and rights with men (marriage).
The most fundamental principle in the relation of women and men are the equality and equity. With this principle, we must reject hadith texts that undermine the existence and identity of women, which is usually associated with reproductive function or who owned her body.
As a fairly well-known hadith text that women are less religious (nâqishât ad-Din) simply because of problems they experienced menstruation every month. If you also have to accept the hadith text like this, we must interprete so as not to conflict with the principle of equality of human existence in Islam.
Abu Said al-Khudriyy recalled: The Messenger of Allah. a time out on the day of the Masjid Raya Al-Adha, when passing through the gathering of women, he said, “O women, give alms! I have shown that most of you include to the hell. “The women asked,” Why Rasulullah? “The Prophet replied,” Because you curse a lot (praying for ugliness) and deny the good of the family, no women who have less intelligence less religious knowledge could compete the most steadfast man, unless you all. “They asked,” Why are we less intelligence and less religious knowledge ya Rasulullah? “The Prophet replied,” does the female testimony versus half of the male testimony? “” Yes, “they replied. “do women menstruate and not fasting?” “Yes,” they replied. “That is why women’s lack of religion,” replied the Prophet. Abu Said added, “And at that time, many women gave alms.” (Reported by al-Bukhari, Muslim, and an-Nasa’i. See: Ibn al-Athir, Jami ‘al-usul, juz 6 , no. hadith: 4242).
If we reject the text of this hadith, it does not mean that we do not accept the teachings of Rasulullah., But doubted the text narration of this tradition is because it is contrary to the principle of human equality. A person can not become residents of hell just because she is female, and is also considered to be “less religious” just because she was menstruating.
In the theory of knowledge hadith, a narration text of a hadits can not be accepted if deemed contrary to Islamic principles. As A’ishah rejected the report of Abu Hurairah ra. in Sahih Bukhari that says that the Prophet never say women as a source of misfortune. So even many scholars who reject history text in Sahih Muslim Hadith which states that the request for forgiveness for the mother of the Prophet Siti Aminah not granted God Almighty. The second rejection of the text, based on the basic principles of Islam which states that no bad luck attached to someone, and someone is not considered guilty for what she did in the period before Islam.
Even if the text above should be accepted, then there must be tailored to the interpretation of the equality principle. Women go to hell not because she was female, but because the behavior curse and deny the goodness, so that men are also good crab and heretics go to hell. Half the women’s testimony is also not because she was female, but because she is less experienced, so when she gains experience and knowledge, her testimony the same as men. The expression of lack of sense in this text, it should be understood as a form of growing the awareness for not much demand ‘rationality’ and did not demand ‘religious duty’ when women menstruate.
Morality of this hadith text only to emphasize the importance of respect for the people who are weak and lacking, but it does not mean they should continue to be enforced in the weaknesses and shortcomings. A woman who left the prayer because her menstrual periods are equal status with those who run a prayer, both men and women who are not menstruating. The one left because ordered to leave, while others run as well as ordered to run. In essence, they are the same status, that is running the command.
By basing on the principle of equality of human existence, a menstrual problem experienced by every woman does not reduce the position of their religion and rationality. Deficiencies cited in the text, no more than a tribute and memorial service when the ‘shortage’ is going on and experienced by women. In the ‘conditions of shortage’, women can not be imposed with certain obligations. They then can replace it with another: such wirid, remembrance, blessings, good advice, or do good to others.
Thus the discourse of women’s reproductive health were presented to emphasize the importance of the rights of women should be obtained on the context in which social discourse of culture, including religion, which developed more emphasis on the obligations of women. The discourse of women’s reproductive rights, with the balance based on discourse relations in Islam, also can not be based on individual freedom of women who filled without considering its relation with a partner, as voiced by some schools of Western feminism.
Individuals in a relationship, in Islam, have the right to fulfill obligations. And obligations can only be done in a relationship where the rights have been fulfilled. Text Hadith narrated by Aisha ra., That the Holy Prophet. said: “Yes, women equal partners of men.” (Reported by Abu Dawud and at-Turmudzi, see: Ibn al-Athir, Jami ‘al-usul, VIII/164, no. hadith: 3504), emphasized the relation of balance relations and equality between women and men. a’alm Allaah.