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Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective Paperback – Apr 1 1999


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Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective + Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate + Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195128362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195128369
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 1.3 x 13.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Excellent study. Important for cross-cultural women's studies."--Sr.Martha Ann Kirk, University of the Incarnate Word

About the Author

Amina Wadud is an Islamic Studies Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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HOW does the Qur'an describe the creation of woman? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "avaliante" on April 27 2004
Format: Paperback
"Qur'an and Woman" offers one of, if not the, first views on the Qur'an through a woman's perspective. Seeing as how one of the main criticisms of Islam and its followers is that it does not respect nor treat women with the same equality that it does with men, hearing how a woman herself views these ideas is very interesting.
I liked how Wadud offered readers of the text new interpretations of certain passages, such as the one which declares that a woman must wait 3 months before sleeping with a new man after a divorce, but the husband may immediately. While some may see this as discriminatory, Wadud says that it is only to help the woman, so if it turns out that she is pregnant with her ex-husband's child, she will be able prove it is his without any challanges or confusion concerning new partners.
I thought that sometimes though, she explained too much of the text away from what it could be clearly stating. Her whole process of "saying no" allows one to reject parts of the text that they do not feel fits what they want it to fit, and include parts that do. I think that that process is a little iffy.
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Format: Paperback
I give this book 5 stars because as I was reading it I wished every Muslim woman (and man) would read it. The book is written by a professor of Islamic studies who (as she writes in the preface)" approached this research as if my life depended on the understandings I gained from studying the Quran". The book is aimed at proving the equality of men and women in the religion of Islam by going to the source: the Qur'an. It challenges the false concepts held by many Muslims (concepts that do not reflect Quran and Islam) such as:" men are superior to women", men are in charge of women", "men are natural leaders", " men rule the family and should get obedience from women", " women should not leave the house unless it is necessary"," woman's voice is taboo", etc. The author breaks down specific verses and key words that have been used to oppress and limit women, to show that their real meaning defies such oppression and limitation.
The book covers many aspects of equality manifested in the story of creation and the events in the Garden, the Quranic view of woman in the world with discussion of distinctive female characters in the Quran, the Hereafter including companions in the Hereafter e.g. "the virgins of paradise". The book also discusses controversies around the rights and roles of women and the relationship between men and women: male authority: polygamy, marital disharmony, divorce, inheritance, women as witness, etc. I think the author should have discussed two other important topics: veiling and segregation.
Although the book is only 118 pages, and is well organized into chapters and subtitles, it was a little difficult to get through: the writing style is somewhat academic, some concepts I think needed more elaboration to be clear, and I had to open my dictionary several times.
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By Wael Debsy on Feb. 15 2002
Format: Paperback
I did like Dr. Wadud's book and I think it is a must read for Muslim women along with Fatima Mernissi's books. But injustice against women is part of a bigger crisis caused by rigid exegesis of the Quran in the Bedouin countries of Islam and by political Islam.
The whole picture is analyzed by another courageous, progressive, Muslim thinker and that is Judge Said al-Ashmawy. Along with Mernissi, I recommend two of his books for starters: "Against Islamic Extremism" in English and "The Truth About Hijab" in Arabic. "The Truth About Hijab" relates the public confrontations he had with Azhar scholars in 1994. He defended women's right to free themselves from Hijab tradition since Muslim men no longer posses or need to distinguish their women slaves ("your right hand possession") from free women ("thus be recognized and not molested"). Hence, there is no need now to distinguish free Muslim women from slave Muslim women since slavery was abolished all over the world over 100 years ago except in Saudi Arabia. The later started to abolish it gradually under international pressure in 1962 as they believed that is halal in their Bedouin version of Islam (Read al-Ashmawy, Iqbal Baraka, Mohamed Shahrour and Mernissi's books).
The Quran recommends decency in women's clothing, covering "Faraj", "Jaib" or sexual area but states nothing about women covering their heads. The Holy Quran has new regulation for these naked Bedouins in hot Arabia and it is for them specifically: "O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury.".These Bedouins needed to learn these new Islamic customs: 1. garments are not vanity and nakedness is not humility. 2. Free women need to identity themselves from slave concubines.
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By A Customer on July 22 2002
Format: Paperback
Few people, including many celebrated authors, and indeed many (of us) Muslims indeed, have ever taken the time to systematically read the Qur'an. To read for understanding, and take note of the religious laws stated therein. Compound that with the fact that each translation into English of the Qur'an is different, and it is hard to know exactly what the Qur'an actually says about women, unless one is an Arabic reader.
This book goes a long ways in debunking the popular myth and stereotype that are perpetuated by both "Orientalists" and the large mass of ignorant Muslims (who have never learned to seek knowledge for themselves).
So for those who really want to learn what the Qur'an teaches about women, if you dare to shatter your valued stereotypes...read this slim volume.
If you are willing to wade even deeper, read Stowasser's Women in the Quran, Traditions, and Interpretations.
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