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.
reflects on one of the most dominant approaches to interpretation in the pre-modern period, textualism, and the reaction to that in Muslim feminist readings of the Qur’an today.
covers issues such as identifying the hierarchical nature of Qur’anic values, the criteria for the use of hadith in interpretation, fluidity of meaning and ways of ensuring a degree of stability in interpretation.
examines key Qur'anic passages and compares pre-modern and modern interpretations to show the evolving nature of interpretation. Examples discussed include: the authority of men over women, the death of Jesus, shura and democracy, and riba and interest.
Abdullah Saeed provides a practical guide for interpretation and presents the principal ideas of a contextualist approach, which situates the original message of the Qur’an in its wider social, political, cultural, economic and intellectual context. He advocates a more flexible method of interpretation that gives due recognition to earlier interpretations of the Qur’an while also being aware of changing conditions and the need to approach the Qur’an afresh today.
In this informative and clear introduction to the world of Islam, Seyyed Hossein Nasr explores the following topics in depth:
•What Is Islam?
•The Doctrines and Beliefs of Islam
•Islamic Practices and Institutions
•The History of Islam
•Schools of Islamic Thought
•Islam in the Contemporary World
•Islam and Other Religions
•The Spiritual and Religious Significance of Islam