''Believing Women'' in Islam - Unreading Patriarchal by Asma Barlas

By Asma Barlas

"This is an unique and, every now and then, groundbreaking piece of scholarship." --John L. Esposito, collage Professor and Director of the heart for Muslim-Christian knowing, Georgetown college Does Islam demand the oppression of girls? Non-Muslims element to the subjugation of ladies that happens in lots of Muslim international locations, in particular 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 unconditionally assorted view, Asma Barlas develops a believer's analyzing of the Qur'an that demonstrates the extensively egalitarian and antipatriarchal nature of its teachings. starting with a old research of spiritual authority and information, Barlas indicates how Muslims got here to learn inequality and patriarchy into the Qur'an to justify latest non secular and social constructions 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 a number of matters in an effort to argue that its teachings don't aid patriarchy. on the contrary, Barlas convincingly asserts that the Qur'an affirms the whole equality of the sexes, thereby delivering 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 girls, gender, and patriarchy, permitting them to comprehend Islam via its such a lot sacred scripture, instead of via Muslim cultural practices or Western media stereotypes.

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Additional info for ''Believing Women'' in Islam - Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an

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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. ’’ Part II comprises Chapters  through .

My reading shows that not only do the Qur’ān’s teachings have nothing in common with either model but also that the Qur’ān treats issues of sexual sameness and difference in a totally different way than the two models do. I end by discussing the Qur’ān’s attitude to sexuality and show that it does not distinguish between men and women based on their sexual identities. In fact, I argue that the Qur’ān assumes that men and women have similar sexual natures and needs and that its precepts about sexual modesty and morality apply equally to both.

However, applying new insights to read the Qur’ān is both unavoidable and justified. It is unavoidable because one always reads in and from the present; it thus is impossible not to bring to one’s reading sensibilities shaped by existing ideas, debates, concerns, and anxieties. Indeed, if we are to read before the text (recontextualize it for each new generation of Muslims), we must bring new insights to our reading. Interpreting the Qur’ān in light of new insights is also legitimate inasmuch as Islam is not bound by space, time, or context; it should thus be possible to ask if, and how, the Qur’ān’s teachings address or accommodate ideas we find to be true or compelling today.

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