Aysha A. Hidayatullah offers the first comprehensive examination of contemporary feminist Qur'anic interpretation, exploring its dynamic challenges to Islamic tradition and contemporary Muslim views of the Qur'an. She analyzes major feminist readings of the Qur'an beginning in the latetwentieth century, synthesizing their common concepts and methods and revealing their vital part in the development of the nascent field of Qur'anic tafsir (exegesis). Hidayatullah contributes her own critical assessment of feminist ''impasses'' in the Qur'anic text and the field's appeals to the principles of equality and justice. She expands these observations into a radical critique of feminist approaches to the Qur'an, arguing that the feminist exegeticalendeavor has reached a point of irresolvable contradiction by making claims about the Qur'an that are not fully supported by the text. Hidayatullah outlines major challenges to the authority of feminist interpretations of the Qur'an and interrogates the feminist premises on which they have relied,questioning the viability of current strands of feminist Qur'anic interpretation and proposing a major revision of its exegetical positions. An innovative work of Muslim feminist theology, this volume offers an essential contribution to conversations about feminist tafsir and asking bold questions at the ''edge'' of Qur'anic interpretation.
Islam has long been a part of the West in terms of religion, culture, politics and society. Discussing this interaction from al-Andalus to the present, this Handbook explores the influence Islam has had, and continues to exert; particularly its impact on host societies, culture and politics. Highlighting specific themes and topics in history and culture, chapters cover: European paradigms Muslims in the Americas Cultural interactions Islamic cultural contributions to the Western world Western contributions to Islam Providing a sound historical background, from which a nuanced overview of Islam and Western society can be built, the Routledge Handbook of Islam in the West brings to the fore specific themes and topics that have generated both reciprocal influence, and conflict. Presenting readers with a range of perspectives from scholars based in Europe, the US, and the Middle East, this Handbook challenges perceptions on both western and Muslim sides and will be an invaluable resource for policymakers and academics with an interest in the History of Islam, Religion and the contemporary relationship between Islam and the West.
Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective
Author: Amina Wadud
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Social Science
Fourteen centuries of Islamic thought have produced a legacy of interpretive readings of the Qu'ran written almost entirely by men. Now, with Qu'ran and Woman, Amina Wadud provides a first interpretive reading by a woman, a reading which validates the female voice in the Qu'ran and brings it out of the shadows. Muslim progressives have long argued that it is not the religion but patriarchal interpretation and implementation of the Qu'ran that have kept women oppressed. For many, the way to reform is the reexamination and reinterpretation of religious texts. Qu'ran and Woman contributes a gender inclusive reading to one of the most fundamental disciplines in Islamic thought, Qu'ranic exegesis. Wadud breaks down specific texts and key words which have been used to limit women's public and private role, even to justify violence toward Muslim women, revealing that their original meaning and context defy such interpretations. What her analysis clarifies is the lack of gender bias, precedence, or prejudice in the essential language of the Qur'an. Despite much Qu'ranic evidence about the significance of women, gender reform in Muslim society has been stubbornly resisted. Wadud's reading of the Qu'ran confirms women's equality and constitutes legitimate grounds for contesting the unequal treatment that women have experienced historically and continue to experience legally in Muslim communities. The Qu'ran does not prescribe one timeless and unchanging social structure for men and women, Wadud argues lucidly, affirming that the Qu'ran holds greater possibilities for guiding human society to a more fulfilling and productive mutual collaboration between men and women than as yet attained by Muslims or non-Muslims.
This book presents a detailed critical analysis of the work of Fatima Mernissi. Mernissi is considered to be one of the major figures in Feminist thought for both Morocco and Muslim society in general. This work discusses Mernissi's intellectual trajectory from 'secular' to 'Islamic' feminism in order to trace the evolution of so-called Islamic feminist theory. The book also engages critically with the work of other Muslim feminists, using frameworks and approaches developed in the works of Muslim reformist thinkers, namely Mohammed Arkoun and Nasr Abu Zaid, with the aim of engaging the theorization of this emerging Feminism.
A highly controversial intervention into the debate on postmodernism and feminism, this book looks at what happens when these modes of analysis are jointly employed to illuminate the sexual politics of Islam.As a religion, Islam has been demonized for its gender practices like no other. This book analyzes that Orientalism, with particular reference to representations of Muslim women and describes the real sexual politics of Islam. The author goes on to describe the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the West's response to it. She argues that regardless of the sophisticated argument of postmodernists and their suspicion of power, as an intellectual and political movement postmodernism has put itself in the service of power and the status quo. Moghissi brilliantly demonstrates how this trend has given rise to a neo-conservative feminism.A major feminist critique of Islamic fundamentalism, this book asks some hard questions of those who, in denouncing the racism of Western feminism, have taken up an uncritical embrace of the Islamic identity of Muslim women. It is urgent reading for all those concerned about human rights, as well as for students and academics of women's studies, political science, social theory and religious studies.
Reinterprets divine injunctions from the Quran and traditional practices in Islam in light of the fundamental Islamic values of justice and equality on women's status. This work presents sociopolitical values and medieval social ethos as the origins of repressive practices, discussing controversial issues such as polygamy, and family planning.
When Muslim women from diverse national and cultural contexts meet one another through transnational dialogue and networking, what happens to their sense of identity and social agency? This is a compelling account of conversations that are bringing new energy and dynamism into women's activism in a world of collapsing distances.
Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject Orientalism / Sinology - Islamic Studies, grade: 1,0, University of Erfurt, 16 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The paper introduces the North-American Muslim scholar and feminist Amina Wadud. Her work is focused on finding ways to produce a gender-conscious tafsir of the Qur’an based on hermeneutic methodology. She wants to show how the egalitarian quranic principles concerning women have been distorted through the history of exegesis. Those principles have to be re-examined to achieve an understanding of the revelation that is appropriate for modern times. Her perspective is related to general Islamic feminist discourse and its opinion concerning quranic exegesis. The methodological approach used by Wadud concentrates on four points: the reader as subject, the Arabic language as barrier to interpretation, historical contextualization and gender as interpretive category. Her own exegesis arrives at a egalitarian interpretation of the Qur'an that contradicts tafsir tradition and caused heated discussions in the global Muslim community in recent years.
The author investigates the configurations of power implicated in the production of the discourses on the 'muslim woman' in the West and North Africa. She argues that as a single category, the 'muslim woman' is an 'invention', whether in the Western discourses of Orientalism (Isabelle Eberhardt) and psychoanalytic feminism (De Beauvoir, Irigaray, Cixous and Lacan), or in the discourses of islamic feminism (Djebar and Mernissi) and Maghrebian nationalism (Habib Bourguiba and Tahar al Haddad).