Women in Old Russia: Closer to Muslims than to Modern Christians
(Translated from http://islamdag.ru/musulmanka/46342)
As we know from the Quran, Islam — this is the only true guidance in life for humankind, and it encompasses our activities in all their aspects. And it was always so, from the time of the first man on earth, Prophet Adam PBUH. However, only the community of Muhammad ﷺ, by the will of Allah, has preserved His religion in its primordial form, such as it was revealed by Allah the Most High.
For the people who lived before the emergence of Islam, the truth was distorted over the course of time. But not every commandment of the Most High was distorted, and some remained untouched or mostly untouched. One can confirm this by studying the histories, customs and traditions of diverse peoples. I would like to share some of them with you.
What women never did in Russia
The life of a woman in Russia was based, first of all, on the Christian canon, and secondly on the traditional system. Some things were considered as humiliating for Russian women or used as a punishment for some sin.
The most important thing for women in that time, and that which offered them real benefit — successful marriages. There were injunctions for the management of the home, which women were not to leave under any circumstance. And here is where things get interesting:
1. Walking about with an uncovered head
Headscarves have served throughout the ages as an embodiment of purity, morality, and modesty, and even to emphasize the social status of the owner.
The Orthodox tradition always demanded that the headscarf must necessarily cover the heads of women when they appear before people. When women appeared before people with their hair uncovered for any reason it was a true indecency. It was considered a dishonor to herself, her husband and her family, who did not instill morality in her.
For this she could even be beaten, which in general in Russia appears to have been the norm. By the way, tearing off a married woman’s head-covering appears to have been a horrible insult. That is how they treated women when they wanted to shame them. This is where we get the expression “oprostovolositsya” (meaning to blunder, etc.) — from “opozoritsya” (meaning to shame or dishonor).
2. Contact with strange men
Moral ideas in Russia fortunately used to be very different from today. Special meaning was given to the morality of women, precisely inasmuch as they were heiresses and spiritual supports of their families. Although the educational role of men in the raising of the next generation was no less important.
Until marriage, girls were considered to be practically children, and they were expected to obey their mother and father. Obedience and mildness — these were principal duties which were presented in potential brides. If a girl behaved provocatively– say, being needlessly rowdy and boisterously laughing, bringing attention upon herself, talking a lot with strange men, failing to shyly lower her gaze when smiled at – she was considered shameless. Nobody wanted to marry such a girl.
A woman had to be totally and completely submitted to her husband. She had the right to leave the home only if the husband gave her permission. The wife did not dare to have any secret conversations or dealings with strange people, accept gifts from them or give them something without her husband’s permission.
And finally, the wife never played, chattered or exchanged jokes with strange men. This was equivalent to physical betrayal and was severely punished. Women in Russia were completely immersed in domestic life, the education and upbringing of children, running the household and pleasing the husband.
3. The loss of chastity in Russia
Chastity was valued very highly. Even in the distant past it was a well-known fact that it is precisely on the chastity of a virgin that the health of the future descendants depends. Taking a girl’s virginity against her will was punished by death. Parents did not permit their sons to marry girls who had lost their virginity, because morally fallen girls were considered ruined, unworthy of marriage, and were severely punished. Also, chastity was considered a guarantee that the woman would be faithful in marriage.
P.S. Lastly, reading this article, someone might think that women in Russia had no rights and were merely shadows of their husbands.
Yes, in comparison with the position of women in modern society they do appear that way. But the point is that women back then received from their birth a proper education and were subconsciously prepared for family life, and the “difficulties” of family life were well put in order for her, and she was happy in her marriage.
But today in Russia, thanks to the single-minded work of mass-media and other interested organisations, women with the moral-ethical principles described in this article are nowhere to be found.
Now strutting one’s stuff and wantonness are in fashion, which are somehow considered as being “advanced”.
All this would be of no consequence if, “undressing” themselves, these “advanced” people did not rush to undress Muslim women, who just to preserve their own existence must prove to everyone, that happiness can be found while maintaining chastity, guarding their families, and rearing and educating their children. I hope that they are never reached by such people!
(Translated from http://islamdag.ru/musulmanka/46342. Translated by yours truly. I am not nearly fluent in Russian.)