Sexual Ethics and Islam

Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith and Jurisprudence
Author: Kecia Ali
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780748531
Category: Religion
Page: 320
View: 834

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Whether exploring the thorny issues of wives’ sexual duties, divorce, homosexuality, or sex outside marriage, discussions of sexual ethics and Islam often spark heated conflict rather than reasoned argument. In this groundbreaking, lucid, and carefully constructed work, feminist Muslim scholar Dr Kecia Ali asks how one can determine what makes sex lawful and ethical in the sight of God. Drawing on both revealed and interpretative Muslim texts, Ali critiques medieval and contemporary commentators alike to produce a balanced and comprehensive study of a subject both sensitive and urgent, making this an invaluable resource for students, scholars, and interested readers.

Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam


Author: Kecia Ali
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674050592
Category: History
Page: 262
View: 2135

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A remarkable research accomplishment. Ali leads us through three strands of early Islamic jurisprudence with careful attention to the nuances and details of the arguments.

Qur'an and Woman

Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective
Author: Amina Wadud
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198029434
Category: Social Science
Page: 144
View: 4037

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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.

Homosexuality in Islam

Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims
Author: Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 178074028X
Category: Religion
Page: 344
View: 4103

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Homosexuality is anathema to Islam – or so the majority of both believers and non-believers suppose. Throughout the Muslim world, it is met with hostility, where state punishments range from hefty fines to the death penalty. Likewise, numerous scholars and commentators maintain that the Qur’an and Hadith rule unambiguously against same-sex relations. This pioneering study argues that there is far more nuance to the matter than most believe. In its narrative of Lot, the Qur’an could be interpreted as condemning lust rather homosexuality. While some Hadith are fiercely critical of homosexuality, some are far more equivocal. One even appears to actively endorse love between men. This is the first book length treatment to offer a detailed analysis of how Islamic scripture, jurisprudence, and Hadith, can not only accommodate a sexually sensitive Islam, but actively endorse it. Scott Kugle is the first Muslim to publish widely on the issue of homosexuality and Islam. An independent research scholar in Islamic studies, he has previously held positions at Duke University, the University of Cape Town, and Swarthmore College.

Feminist Edges of the Qur'an


Author: Aysha A. Hidayatullah
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199359598
Category: Religion
Page: 288
View: 7305

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Aysha Hidayatullah presents the first comprehensive analysis of contemporary feminist interpretations of the Qur'an. Synthesizing prominent feminist readings of the Qur'an in the United States since the late twentieth century, she provides an essential introduction to this nascent field of Qur'anic scholarship and engages in a deep investigation-as well as a radical critique-of its methods and approaches. With a particular focus on feminist "impasses" in the Qur'anic text, she argues that many feminist interpretations rely on claims about feminist justice that are not fully supported by the text, and she proposes a major revision to their exegetical foundations. A provocative work of Muslim feminist theology, Feminist Edges of the Qur'an is a vital intervention in urgent conversations about women and the Qur'an.

Rethinking Tradition in Modern Islamic Thought


Author: Daniel W. Brown
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521653947
Category: History
Page: 185
View: 2921

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Questions about the authenticity and authority of sunna have long been of central importance to the study of Islam, especially to those concerned with Islamic law. In this fascinating study, Daniel Brown traces the emergence of modern debates over sunna, focusing in particular on Egypt and Pakistan where these controversies have raged most fiercely, and assesses the implications of new approaches to the law on contemporary movements of Islamic revival. Using the case of modern Islam as a starting-point, the author considers how adherents of any great tradition deal with change.

Women in the Qur'an, Traditions, and Interpretation


Author: Barbara Freyer Stowasser
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199761833
Category: Religion
Page: 216
View: 1271

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Islamic ideas about women and their role in society spark considerable debate both in the Western world and in the Islamic world itself. Despite the popular attention surrounding Middle Eastern attitudes toward women, there has been little systematic study of the statements regarding women in the Qur'an. Stowasser fills the void with this study on the women of Islamic sacred history. By telling their stories in Qur'an and interpretation, she introduces Islamic doctrine and its past and present socio-economic and political applications. Stowasser establishes the link between the female figure as cultural symbol, and Islamic self-perceptions from the beginning to the present time.

The Lives of Muhammad


Author: Kecia Ali
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674050606
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 342
View: 652

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Kecia Ali delves into the many ways the Prophet’s life story has been told from the earliest days of Islam to the present, by both Muslims and non-Muslims. Emphasizing the major transformations since the nineteenth century, she shows that far from being mutually opposed, these various perspectives have become increasingly interdependent.

Believing Women in Islam

Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an
Author: Asma Barlas
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292782888
Category: Religion
Page: 272
View: 1220

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Does Islam call for the oppression of women? Non-Muslims point to the subjugation of women that occurs in many Muslim countries, especially those that claim to be "Islamic," while many Muslims read the Qur'an in ways that seem to justify sexual oppression, inequality, and patriarchy. Taking a wholly different view, Asma Barlas develops a believer's reading of the Qur'an that demonstrates the radically egalitarian and antipatriarchal nature of its teachings. Beginning with a historical analysis of religious authority and knowledge, Barlas shows how Muslims came to read inequality and patriarchy into the Qur'an to justify existing religious and social structures and demonstrates that the patriarchal meanings ascribed to the Qur'an are a function of who has read it, how, and in what contexts. She goes on to reread the Qur'an's position on a variety of issues in order to argue that its teachings do not support patriarchy. To the contrary, Barlas convincingly asserts that the Qur'an affirms the complete equality of the sexes, thereby offering an opportunity to theorize radical sexual equality from within the framework of its teachings. This new view takes readers into the heart of Islamic teachings on women, gender, and patriarchy, allowing them to understand Islam through its most sacred scripture, rather than through Muslim cultural practices or Western media stereotypes.

Feminism in Islam

Secular and Religious Convergences
Author: Margot Badran
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780744471
Category: Religion
Page: 368
View: 5416

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While many in the West regard feminism and Islam as a contradiction in terms, many Muslims in the East have perceived Western feminist forces in their midst as an assault upon their culture. In this career-spanning collection of influential essays, Margot Badran presents the feminisms that Muslim women have created, and examines Islamic and secular feminist ideologies side by side. Borne out of over two decades of work, this important volume combines essays from a variety of sources, ranging from those which originated as conference papers to those published in the popular press. Also including original material written specifically for this book, Feminism and Islam provides a unique and wide-ranging contribution to the field of Islam and gender studies. Margot Badran is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, US. She is currently Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Religion, Northwestern University, US. She is the author of Feminists, Islam and Nation: Gender and the Making of Modern Egypt

Men in Charge?

Rethinking Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition
Author: Ziba Mir-Hosseini,Mulki Al-Sharmani,Jana Rumminger
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780747179
Category: Religion
Page: 320
View: 5851

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Both Muslims and non-Muslims see women in most Muslim countries as suffering from social, economic and political discrimination, treated by law and society as second-class citizens subject to male authority. This discrimination is attributed to Islam and Islamic law, though it varies considerably in its impact, according to both class and region. Since the late 19th century there has been a mass of literature tackling this issue, some from a feminist or human rights perspective, some taking the form of an apology for Islamic law. Recently, exciting new feminist research has been challenging gender discrimination and male authority from within Islamic legal tradition, and this book presents some important results from that research. The contributors all engage critically with two central juristic concepts, rooted in the Qur’an, that lie at the basis of this discrimination, concepts which place women under male authority. One refers to a husband’s authority over his wife, his financial responsibility towards her, and his superior status and rights. The other is male family members’ right and duty of guardianship over female members (e.g., fathers over daughters when entering into marriage contracts) and the privileging of fathers over mothers in guardianship rights over their children. The contributors, scholars from different disciplines and backgrounds, were brought together by Musawah (Arabic for equality), a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family, launched in 2009. Musawah aims at producing new knowledge to help build grass-roots movements and to mobilize for change.

Imam Shafi'i

Scholar and Saint
Author: Kecia Ali
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780740042
Category: Religion
Page: 160
View: 5207

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In this innovative study, Kecia Ali examines the forefather of the second largest of the four principal Sunni schools of jurisprudence, the Shafi‘i. Gifted poet and outstanding Islamic Scholar, Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi'i (767-820) firmly rejected the use of common sense in Islamic legal rulings, arguing that the only valid sunnah (or prophetic religious traditions) were directly handed down from Muhammad by Hadith. Kecia Ali is Assistant Professor of Religion at Boston University. She is a world authority on Islamic jurisprudence, and author of Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith and Jurisprudence.

Moral Agents and Their Deserts

The Character of Mu'tazilite Ethics
Author: Sophia Vasalou
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400824526
Category: Social Science
Page: 272
View: 9774

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Must good deeds be rewarded and wrongdoers punished? Would God be unjust if He failed to punish and reward? And what is it about good or evil actions and moral identity that might generate such necessities? These were some of the vital religious and philosophical questions that eighth- and ninth-century Mu'tazilite theologians and their sophisticated successors attempted to answer, giving rise to a distinctive ethical position and one of the most prominent and controversial intellectual trends in medieval Islam. The Mu'tazilites developed a view of ethics whose distinguishing features were its austere moral objectivism and the crucial role it assigned to reason in the knowledge of moral truths. Central to this ethical vision was the notion of moral desert, and of the good and evil consequences--reward or punishment--deserved through a person's acts. Moral Agents and Their Deserts is the first book-length study of this central theme in Mu'tazilite ethics, and an attempt to grapple with the philosophical questions it raises. At the same time, it is a bid to question the ways in which modern readers, coming to medieval Islamic thought with a philosophical interest, seek to read and converse with Mu'tazilite theology. Moral Agents and Their Deserts tracks the challenges and rewards involved in the pursuit of the right conversation at the seams between modern and medieval concerns.

Humanizing the Sacred

Sisters in Islam and the Struggle for Gender Justice in Malaysia
Author: Azza Basarudin
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 0295806346
Category: Social Science
Page: 352
View: 5635

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In recent years, global attention has focused on how women in communities of Muslims are revitalizing Islam by linking interpretation of religious ideas to the protection of rights and freedoms. Humanizing the Sacred demonstrates how Sunni women activists in Malaysia are fracturing institutionalized Islamic authority by generating new understandings of rights and redefining the moral obligations of their community. Based on ethnographic research of Sisters in Islam (SIS), a nongovernmental organization of professional women promoting justice and equality, Basarudin examines SIS members' involvement in the production and transmission of Islamic knowledge to reformulate legal codes and reconceptualize gender discourses. By weaving together women's lived realities, feminist interpretations of Islamic texts, and Malaysian cultural politics, this book illuminates how a localized struggle of claiming rights takes shape within a transnational landscape. It provides a vital understanding of how women "live" Islam through the integration of piety and reason and the implications of women's political activism for the transformation of Islamic tradition itself.

Women and Gender in Islam

Historical Roots of a Modern Debate
Author: Leila Ahmed
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300055832
Category: History
Page: 296
View: 3023

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Explores the historical roots of the debate about women in Islamic societies by tracing the developments in Islamic discourses on women and gender up to the present. The book describes the gender systems in place in the Middle East both before and after the rise of Islam.

Qur'an of the Oppressed

Liberation Theology and Gender Justice in Islam
Author: Shadaab Rahemtulla
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192516507
Category: Religion
Page: 248
View: 1585

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This study analyses the commentaries of four Muslim intellectuals who have turned to scripture as a liberating text to confront an array of problems, from patriarchy, racism, and empire to poverty and interreligious communal violence. Shadaab Rahemtulla considers the exegeses of the South African Farid Esack (b. 1956), the Indian Asghar Ali Engineer (1939-2013), the African American Amina Wadud (b. 1952), and the Pakistani-American Asma Barlas (b. 1950). The authors considered all proritise the Qur'an over the hadith. Rahemtulla considers this an essential move for a Muslim liberation theology and concludes with proposals with a new construal of what a politically radical Islam might mean, sharply differentitated from Islamism. This work provides a rich analysis of the thought-ways of specific Muslim intellectuals, it substantiates a broadly framed school of thought. Rahemtulla draws out their specific and general importance without displaying an uncritical sympathy. He sheds light on the impact of modern exegetical commentary which is more self-conciously concerned with historical context and present realities. In a mutally reinforcing way, this work thus illuminates both the role of agency and heremnetucal approaches in Modern Islamic thought.

Islam: The Key Concepts

Islam: The Key Concepts
Author: Kecia Ali,Oliver Leaman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134155506
Category: Religion
Page: 200
View: 8888

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Islam: The Key Concepts is a clear and concise guide to the religion and culture of Islam. Kecia Ali and Oliver Leaman explore this highly topical subject focusing on key issues including: the Qur’an, faith, theology, gender, fundamentalism, martyrdom, Jihad, Islam in America, Islam in Europe and Islamic Law. This is the ideal study resource and includes: a comprehensive introduction, an alphabetical list of relevant terms (fully cross-referenced), a short bibliographical guide, bibliography, and index. A glossary of all non-English terms is also provided.

Women in the Mosque

A History of Legal Thought and Social Practice
Author: Marion Katz
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231537875
Category: Religion
Page: 432
View: 4997

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Juxtaposing Muslim scholars' debates over women's attendance in mosques with historical descriptions of women's activities within Middle Eastern and North African mosques, Marion Holmes Katz shows how over the centuries legal scholars' arguments have often reacted to rather than dictated Muslim women's behavior. Tracing Sunni legal positions on women in mosques from the second century of the Islamic calendar to the modern period, Katz connects shifts in scholarly terminology and argumentation to changing constructions of gender. Over time, assumptions about women's changing behavior through the lifecycle gave way to a global preoccupation with sexual temptation, which then became the central rationale for limits on women's mosque access. At the same time, travel narratives, biographical dictionaries, and religious polemics suggest that women's usage of mosque space often diverged in both timing and content from the ritual models constructed by scholars. Katz demonstrates both the concrete social and political implications of Islamic legal discourse and the autonomy of women's mosque-based activities. She also examines women's mosque access as a trope in Western travelers' narratives and the evolving significance of women's mosque attendance among different Islamic currents in the twentieth century.

Sufi Narratives of Intimacy

Ibn 'Arabī, Gender, and Sexuality
Author: Sa'diyya Shaikh
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807869864
Category: Religion
Page: 304
View: 9849

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Thirteenth-century Sufi poet, mystic, and legal scholar Muhyi al-Din ibn al-'Arabi gave deep and sustained attention to gender as integral to questions of human existence and moral personhood. Reading his works through a critical feminist lens, Sa'diyya Shaikh opens fertile spaces in which new and creative encounters with gender justice in Islam can take place. Grounding her work in Islamic epistemology, Shaikh attends to the ways in which Sufi metaphysics and theology might allow for fundamental shifts in Islamic gender ethics and legal formulations, addressing wide-ranging contemporary challenges including questions of women's rights in marriage and divorce, the politics of veiling, and women's leadership of ritual prayer. Shaikh deftly deconstructs traditional binaries between the spiritual and the political, private conceptions of spiritual development and public notions of social justice, and the realms of inner refinement and those of communal virtue. Drawing on the treasured works of Sufism, Shaikh raises a number of critical questions about the nature of selfhood, subjectivity, spirituality, and society to contribute richly to the prospects of Islamic feminism as well as feminist ethics more broadly.

The Koran in English

A Biography
Author: Bruce B. Lawrence
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400887798
Category: Religion
Page: 280
View: 1544

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The untold story of how the Arabic Qur'an became the English Koran For millions of Muslims, the Qur'an is sacred only in Arabic, the original Arabic in which it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century; to many Arab and non-Arab believers alike, the book literally defies translation. Yet English translations exist and are growing, in both number and importance. Bruce Lawrence tells the remarkable story of the ongoing struggle to render the Qur'an's lyrical verses into English—and to make English itself an Islamic language. The "Koran" in English revisits the life of Muhammad and the origins of the Qur'an before recounting the first translation of the book into Latin by a non-Muslim: Robert of Ketton's twelfth-century version paved the way for later ones in German and French, but it was not until the eighteenth century that George Sale's influential English version appeared. Lawrence explains how many of these early translations, while part of a Christian agenda to "know the enemy," often revealed grudging respect for their Abrahamic rival. British expansion in the modern era produced an anomaly: fresh English translations—from the original Arabic—not by Arabs or non-Muslims but by South Asian Muslim scholars. The first book to explore the complexities of this translation saga, The "Koran" in English also looks at cyber Korans, versions by feminist translators, and now a graphic Koran, the American Qur'an created by the acclaimed visual artist Sandow Birk.