By Asma Barlas
"This is an unique and, from time to time, groundbreaking piece of scholarship." --John L. Esposito, college Professor and Director of the guts for Muslim-Christian figuring out, Georgetown collage Does Islam demand the oppression of ladies? Non-Muslims aspect 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 assorted view, Asma Barlas develops a believer's examining of the Qur'an that demonstrates the substantially 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 current 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 numerous matters to be able to argue that its teachings don't help patriarchy. on the contrary, Barlas convincingly asserts that the Qur'an affirms the total 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, permitting them to comprehend Islam via its so much sacred scripture, instead of via Muslim cultural practices or Western media stereotypes.
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Extra resources for ''Believing Women'' in Islam - Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an
What seems signiﬁcant is not so much the language in which the Qur’ān’s teachings are conveyed as the need for us ‘‘to discover’’ its meanings by exercising our own reason and intellect (Hourani ; his emphasis). Ziauddin Sardar (, ) points out that, compared to Āyāt on legislative issues, there are some that instruct believers to ‘‘reﬂect [and] make the best use of reason’’ in trying to decipher the Qur’ān’s polyvalent semiotic universe. ’’ 53 However, the Qur’ān also ‘‘clearly enjoins an understanding of itself which makes ‘contextuality’ central and fundamental, both to its existence and its relevance’’ (Cragg , ).
Rather, argues Izutsu (, ), the Qur’ānic view of the Arabic language is based in The Qur’a ¯n and Muslim Women the very clear cultural consciousness that each nation has its own language, and Arabic is the language of the Arabs, and it is, in this capacity, only one of many languages. If God chose this language, it was not for its intrinsic value as a language but simply for its usefulness, that is because the message was addressed primarily to the Arabic speaking people. What seems signiﬁcant is not so much the language in which the Qur’ān’s teachings are conveyed as the need for us ‘‘to discover’’ its meanings by exercising our own reason and intellect (Hourani ; his emphasis).
Thus, I do not adhere to a deterministic view of the relationship between sex/gender and reading. This may sound counterintuitive, given the example of Umm Salama I have just cited, and it certainly is an unstylish view to hold at a time when we are becoming ever more aware of the phallocratic nature of language and its role in constituting gendered subjectivities. However, the very fact that men’s exegesis inﬂuences women’s understanding of religion, as also the fact that language allows for its own contestation, testiﬁes to the autonomy of meanings and language from sex/gender.
''Believing Women'' in Islam - Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an by Asma Barlas