By Asma Barlas
This is often an unique and, every now and then, groundbreaking piece of scholarship. --John L. Esposito, college Professor and Director of the guts for Muslim-Christian knowing, Georgetown collage Does Islam demand the oppression of ladies? Non-Muslims element to the subjugation of ladies that happens in lots of Muslim nations, specially those who declare to be ''Islamic,'' whereas many Muslims learn the Qur'an in ways in which appear to justify sexual oppression, inequality, and patriarchy. Taking a totally varied view, Asma Barlas develops a believer's studying of the Qur'an that demonstrates the significantly egalitarian and antipatriarchal nature of its teachings. starting with a historic research of non secular authority and data, Barlas exhibits how Muslims got here to learn inequality and patriarchy into the Qur'an to justify current spiritual and social buildings and demonstrates that the patriarchal meanings ascribed to the Qur'an are a functionality of who has learn it, how, and in what contexts. She is going directly to reread the Qur'an's place on various concerns to be able to argue that its teachings don't aid patriarchy. on the contrary, Barlas convincingly asserts that the Qur'an affirms the entire equality of the sexes, thereby providing a chance to theorize radical sexual equality from in the framework of its teachings. This new view takes readers into the guts of Islamic teachings on ladies, gender, and patriarchy, letting them comprehend Islam via its such a lot sacred scripture, instead of via Muslim cultural practices or Western media stereotypes.
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Additional resources for Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an
This ‘‘culturalization of nature and the naturalization of culture’’ 45 manifests itself in three claims (as the conservative Muslim position summarized above reveals): that there are essential ontological and ethical-moral diﬀerences between women and men, that these diﬀerences are a function of nature/biology, and that the Qur’ān’s diﬀerent, hence unequal, treatment of women and men aﬃrms their inherent inequality (in a series of steps, diﬀerence is thus transformed into inequality). In reading the Qur’ān in light of this deﬁnition of patriarchy, my aim is to see whether it endorses the ideas of sex/gender diﬀerentiation, dualisms, and inequalities that are implicit in these claims.
Here I consider how deﬁnitions of the canon, and of knowledge itself, shaped Qur’ānic exegesis. I also examine the roles of the state and of interpretive communities in the early stages of Muslim history in inﬂuencing the processes by which method, meaning, and memory were constructed. In this context, I focus in particular on how exegetical communities came to link their own commentarial practices to those ascribed to the Prophet and, in time, to elevate their commentaries over revelation itself, a method that has put a closure on how Muslims can ‘‘legitimately’’ read the Qur’ān today.
Even if we do not agree with these ideas, we need to take them seriously if we wish to argue against them. This is another way of saying that dissent, to be meaningful, must contend seriously with the discursive and moral-ethical frameworks it seeks to challenge in order to demonstrate its own value. That is partly what has prompted my own engagement with Western/feminist theories, many of which serve as helpful points of departure, that is, as ‘‘a starting point and an act of divergence, of moving away’’ 65 for my work.
Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an by Asma Barlas