Ahmad Zidan's Rightly Guided Caliphs PDF

By Ahmad Zidan

ISBN-10: 0951811525

ISBN-13: 9780951811528

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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.

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Rightly Guided Caliphs by Ahmad Zidan

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