Whether exploring the thorny issues of wives’ sexual duties, divorce, homosexuality, or sex outside marriage, discussions of sexual ethics and Islam often spark heated conflict rather than reasoned argument. In this groundbreaking, lucid, and carefully constructed work, feminist Muslim scholar Dr Kecia Ali asks how one can determine what makes sex lawful and ethical in the sight of God. Drawing on both revealed and interpretative Muslim texts, Ali critiques medieval and contemporary commentators alike to produce a balanced and comprehensive study of a subject both sensitive and urgent, making this an invaluable resource for students, scholars, and interested readers.
Homosexuality is anathema to Islam – or so the majority of both believers and non-believers suppose. Throughout the Muslim world, it is met with hostility, where state punishments range from hefty fines to the death penalty. Likewise, numerous scholars and commentators maintain that the Qur’an and Hadith rule unambiguously against same-sex relations. This pioneering study argues that there is far more nuance to the matter than most believe. In its narrative of Lot, the Qur’an could be interpreted as condemning lust rather homosexuality. While some Hadith are fiercely critical of homosexuality, some are far more equivocal. One even appears to actively endorse love between men. This is the first book length treatment to offer a detailed analysis of how Islamic scripture, jurisprudence, and Hadith, can not only accommodate a sexually sensitive Islam, but actively endorse it. Scott Kugle is the first Muslim to publish widely on the issue of homosexuality and Islam. An independent research scholar in Islamic studies, he has previously held positions at Duke University, the University of Cape Town, and Swarthmore College.
Author: Aysha A. Hidayatullah
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2014-04-01
Aysha Hidayatullah presents the first comprehensive analysis of contemporary feminist interpretations of the Qur'an. Synthesizing prominent feminist readings of the Qur'an in the United States since the late twentieth century, she provides an essential introduction to this nascent field of Qur'anic scholarship and engages in a deep investigation-as well as a radical critique-of its methods and approaches. With a particular focus on feminist "impasses" in the Qur'anic text, she argues that many feminist interpretations rely on claims about feminist justice that are not fully supported by the text, and she proposes a major revision to their exegetical foundations. A provocative work of Muslim feminist theology, Feminist Edges of the Qur'an is a vital intervention in urgent conversations about women and the Qur'an.
Author: Barbara Freyer Stowasser
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1996-08-22
Islamic ideas about women and their role in society spark considerable debate both in the Western world and in the Islamic world itself. Despite the popular attention surrounding Middle Eastern attitudes toward women, there has been little systematic study of the statements regarding women in the Qur'an. Stowasser fills the void with this study on the women of Islamic sacred history. By telling their stories in Qur'an and interpretation, she introduces Islamic doctrine and its past and present socio-economic and political applications. Stowasser establishes the link between the female figure as cultural symbol, and Islamic self-perceptions from the beginning to the present time.
Author: Kecia Ali
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2014-10-07
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Kecia Ali delves into the many ways the Prophet’s life story has been told from the earliest days of Islam to the present, by both Muslims and non-Muslims. Emphasizing the major transformations since the nineteenth century, she shows that far from being mutually opposed, these various perspectives have become increasingly interdependent.
Author: John Piderit
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-11-03
Informal customs have become the norm for most young adults in matters of sexual intimacy. Unfortunately, the sexual revolution has not proven to be as beneficial to women as was hoped, and society offers young men little preparation for future roles as husbands and fathers. In this book, Father Piderit argues that a natural law approach to morality provides a grounded pathway toward marriage, and shows why these fairly traditional practices help young people find a partner whom they can realistically promise to love until death do them part. Offering theory but focusing on practice, this book helps young adults understand why sexual intimacy should be reserved for marriage. The first two sections develop the natural law basis for behavior. Father Piderit points out that natural law relies primarily on reason, not religion, and his explanation provides a way to understand a Christian approach to morality as grounded in nature. The final third of the book explores what religious practice and membership in a Christian denomination adds to the natural law approach. Father Piderit uses clear, practical examples to show that positive goals are what motivate human beings. By breaking down the potentially abstract concept of morality into a set of intuitive practices guided by natural law, Father Piderit provides young people and students with the tools to create a positive courtship and, ultimately, a solid marriage based on strong, shared values and mutual respect.
This study analyses the commentaries of four Muslim intellectuals who have turned to scripture as a liberating text to confront an array of problems, from patriarchy, racism, and empire to poverty and interreligious communal violence. Shadaab Rahemtulla considers the exegeses of the South African Farid Esack (b. 1956), the Indian Asghar Ali Engineer (1939-2013), the African American Amina Wadud (b. 1952), and the Pakistani-American Asma Barlas (b. 1950). The authors considered all proritise the Qur'an over the hadith. Rahemtulla considers this an essential move for a Muslim liberation theology and concludes with proposals with a new construal of what a politically radical Islam might mean, sharply differentitated from Islamism. This work provides a rich analysis of the thought-ways of specific Muslim intellectuals, it substantiates a broadly framed school of thought. Rahemtulla draws out their specific and general importance without displaying an uncritical sympathy. He sheds light on the impact of modern exegetical commentary which is more self-conciously concerned with historical context and present realities. In a mutally reinforcing way, this work thus illuminates both the role of agency and heremnetucal approaches in Modern Islamic thought.
Originally published in 1985. Beginning with the Qur’an, Abdelwahab Bouhdiba confronts the question of male supremacy in Islam, and the strict separation of the masculine and the feminine. He gives an account of purification practices, of Islamic attitudes towards homosexuality, concubinage, legal marriage and of the sexual taboos laid down by the Qur’an. He assesses present-day sexual practice, including eroticism, misogyny and mysticism and concludes that the sexual alienation – and even oppression – of modern Muslim women is the result not of the Islamic vision of sexuality, but of social and economic pressures.
This provocative collection addresses the ways in which Arab women writers are using Islam to empower themselves, and theorizes the conditions that have made the appearance of these new voices possible.
Author: Daniel W. Brown
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1999-03-04
Questions about the authenticity and authority of sunna have long been of central importance to the study of Islam, especially to those concerned with Islamic law. In this fascinating study, Daniel Brown traces the emergence of modern debates over sunna, focusing in particular on Egypt and Pakistan where these controversies have raged most fiercely, and assesses the implications of new approaches to the law on contemporary movements of Islamic revival. Using the case of modern Islam as a starting-point, the author considers how adherents of any great tradition deal with change.
In this innovative study, Kecia Ali examines the forefather of the second largest of the four principal Sunni schools of jurisprudence, the Shafi‘i. Gifted poet and outstanding Islamic Scholar, Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi'i (767-820) firmly rejected the use of common sense in Islamic legal rulings, arguing that the only valid sunnah (or prophetic religious traditions) were directly handed down from Muhammad by Hadith. Kecia Ali is Assistant Professor of Religion at Boston University. She is a world authority on Islamic jurisprudence, and author of Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith and Jurisprudence.
While many in the West regard feminism and Islam as a contradiction in terms, many Muslims in the East have perceived Western feminist forces in their midst as an assault upon their culture. In this career-spanning collection of influential essays, Margot Badran presents the feminisms that Muslim women have created, and examines Islamic and secular feminist ideologies side by side. Borne out of over two decades of work, this important volume combines essays from a variety of sources, ranging from those which originated as conference papers to those published in the popular press. Also including original material written specifically for this book, Feminism and Islam provides a unique and wide-ranging contribution to the field of Islam and gender studies. Margot Badran is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, US. She is currently Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Religion, Northwestern University, US. She is the author of Feminists, Islam and Nation: Gender and the Making of Modern Egypt
Author: Asma Barlas
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2009-09-15
Does Islam call for the oppression of women? Non-Muslims point to the subjugation of women that occurs in many Muslim countries, especially those that claim to be "Islamic," while many Muslims read the Qur'an in ways that seem to justify sexual oppression, inequality, and patriarchy. Taking a wholly different view, Asma Barlas develops a believer's reading of the Qur'an that demonstrates the radically egalitarian and antipatriarchal nature of its teachings. Beginning with a historical analysis of religious authority and knowledge, Barlas shows how Muslims came to read inequality and patriarchy into the Qur'an to justify existing religious and social structures and demonstrates that the patriarchal meanings ascribed to the Qur'an are a function of who has read it, how, and in what contexts. She goes on to reread the Qur'an's position on a variety of issues in order to argue that its teachings do not support patriarchy. To the contrary, Barlas convincingly asserts that the Qur'an affirms the complete equality of the sexes, thereby offering an opportunity to theorize radical sexual equality from within the framework of its teachings. This new view takes readers into the heart of Islamic teachings on women, gender, and patriarchy, allowing them to understand Islam through its most sacred scripture, rather than through Muslim cultural practices or Western media stereotypes.