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Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective Paperback – Jun 10 1999
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"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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Amina Wadud's contrapuntal reading of the Qur'an from a woman's perspective is not only interesting, but enlightening. Read morePublished on April 27 2004 by Jonas Bender-Nash
This book is fantastic! Wadud opens your eyes to a new way of looking at and understanding the Quran! Read morePublished on March 27 2004
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... Read morePublished on March 13 2004
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... Read morePublished on June 15 2003
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... Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2003 by Alford
I purchased Wadud-Muhsin's book several years ago when I found it in a local bookstore in Malaysia. For a while, I left it sitting on my bookshelf along with the many piles of... Read morePublished on Oct. 15 2001 by Nina Simpson
Wadud's "Qur'an and Woman" was a joy to read. Clearly, Wadud knows her stuff. The information presented is very accurate, and the book is nicely organized. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2001
A book in which the TRUTH of the Qur'an shines through. After centuries of misreadings and forged lies, the truth that the Qur'an is a modern and vibrant law-book shows through. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2001 by Jagersky
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