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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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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: 21 x 13.9 x 1.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alford on Jan. 20 2003
Format: Paperback
Amina Wadud's book contains a lot of useful information that is good for the general reader to know, but its so-called "woman's perspective" on statements in the Qur'an sometimes presents a distortion of what the Islamic scripture actually says about women.
While it's quite true that rights granted to women by the Qur'an were in some cases taken away by later schools of Islamic law, and while it's true that many Muslim women throughout the world do not receive even the rights (for instance, inheritance) that are granted by traditional Islamic law, the important task of understanding Islam and its scripture is made more difficult when beliefs that arose in modern times are "read back into the Qur'an", as Amina Wadud frequently does in this book.
A much sounder method of interpreting the Qur'an would be to accept its statements at face value, recognize that some statements regarding women reflect the customs of the time of Prophet Muhammad, and then "translate" or "apply" the general principles of the Qur'an regarding women in ways that are consistent with modern views -- or the views of the author.
Certain statements in the Qur'an present women in an unfavorable light. Rather than ignore these statements or claim that they say something other than their clear, literal meaning, why do modern Muslim women such as Amina Wadud not simply admit that these statements occur in the Qur'an, and then make the argument that they refer to specific incidents in the life of the Prophet, or to conditions of the Prophet's time that no longer exist or are inconsistent with modern views on the equality of men and women?
One example involves concubinage, a common practice in the Arabian peninsula during the time of Prophet Muhammad.
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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
Amina Wadud's contrapuntal reading of the Qur'an from a woman's perspective is not only interesting, but enlightening. Wadud argues that the Qur'an does not suggest that women should be treated as second class citizens, rather it has been the male reading of the Qur'an that has created idea. To combat this Wadud evaluates the text as a whole and certain passages. She shows that the Qur'an places women as equals, and even sometimes shows them to be more admirable than men. Wadud does encounter a problem with some passages, which she responds to by saying "no" to them. For anybody looking for a female perspective on the Qur'an this is a very good. Wadud confronts those issues facing Muslim women today, and gives textual support for equality.
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By "aarif1" on March 27 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic! Wadud opens your eyes to a new way of looking at and understanding the Quran! Another good way to topple the idiotic patriarchy that is currently in charge.
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By A Customer on March 13 2004
Format: Paperback
The book is wonderful. Wadud's scholarship is excellent. How surprising, then, to find an error in the Arabic quotation on the important question of "The Origins of Humankind" (p. 17):
The verse that opens the section is romanized and translated as being chapter 4, verse 1. This is the famous "created from one soul" idea that can be seen to counter the idea that Adam/man is superior by virtue of being created first. But Wadud has conflated a portion of Qur'an 30:21 with 4:1. The real verse she intends (I think) to be discussing here begins by describing God as being "the One Who created you from one soul" not "and among His signs (is this)..."
People are literal about the Qur'an and they are careful about every word and vowel being correct. I wonder what happened here?
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By A Customer on June 15 2003
Format: Paperback
Very interesting book that gives a fresh perspective and understanding of the Holy Book. I may not agree with everything that is said but the scholarly approach lets me know that there are various interpretations that are as valable as the more classic ones. I highly recommend it.
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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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