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Qur’an and Women: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Women’s Perspective by Amina Wadud


AW2Fourteen centuries of Islamic thought have produced a legacy of interpretive readings of the Qu'ran written almost entirely by men. Now, with Qu'ran and Woman, Amina Wadud provides a first interpretive reading by a woman, a reading which validates the female voice in the Qu'ran and brings it out of the shadows. Muslim progressives have long argued that it is not the religion but patriarchal interpretation and implementation of the Qu'ran that have kept women oppressed. For many, the way to reform is the reexamination and reinterpretation of religious texts.
Qu'ran and Woman contributes a gender inclusive reading to one of the most fundamental disciplines in Islamic thought, Qu'ranic exegesis. Wadud breaks down specific texts and key words which have been used to limit women's public and private role, even to justify violence toward Muslim women, revealing that their original meaning and context defy such interpretations. What her analysis clarifies is the lack of gender bias, precedence, or prejudice in the essential language of the Qur'an.
Despite much Qu'ranic evidence about the significance of women, gender reform in Muslim society has been stubbornly resisted. Wadud's reading of the Qu'ran confirms women's equality and constitutes legitimate grounds for contesting the unequal treatment that women have experienced historically and continue to experience legally in Muslim communities. The Qu'ran does not prescribe one timeless and unchanging social structure for men and women, Wadud argues lucidly, affirming that the Qu'ran holds greater possibilities for guiding human society to a more fulfilling and productive mutual collaboration between men and women than as yet attained by Muslims or non-Muslims.

Qur’an and Woman Reareading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective. The Qur’an does not talk by itself, it is humans who make it talk. Amina Wadud’s book summarizes this insight which is both complex and sensitive. Scholar of Qur’anic studies and Muslim theologian, Amina Wadud also embodies a reference within the Islamic feminist movement, Sisters in Islam. In the preface, we can notice a dedication to this movement. According to her, women in Muslim countries or in Muslim communities are relegated to the role of subject without agency. This relegation is mainly due to the androcentric reading of the Qur’an. She proposes to “make a ‘reading’ of the Qur’an that would be meaningful to women living in the modern era” (p.1).
Amina Wadud’s aim in this book concerns two distinct issues. On the one hand, she will ask how much a reading is central to comprehensive Qur’anic analysis. On the other hand, she will focus on the interpretation of the Qur’an. Many ways of reading the Qur’an exist; however, Wadud seeks above all to give attention to the female voice. As a result, she develops a key concept: female-centered or female-inclusive reading. She sees that focusing on methods of Qur’an exegesis are relevant to the issues of women. Especially, through “languaging”, genders marks, and grammatical constructs. Furthermore, Wadud’s method is in accordance with her research. Indeed, her method was placed “in the third category of Qur’anic interpretation which reconsiders the whole method of Qur’anic exegesis with regard to […] the issue of women.” (p.3)
Amina Wadud has a considerable bibliography including Qur’anic sources, Translations, Dictionaries, Grammars, Arabic Sources, and Non-Arabic sources. Translations of the Qur’an come mostly from academic works. However, she prefers to offer her own translation; using more modern vocabulary. Wadud’s book also inserts references from eminent scholars of Islamic studies such as Fazlur Rahman who is often mentioned, and well-known Muslim thinkers.
Wadud’s argument about the concept of humanity and the process of human creation in the Qur’an are of considerable interest. In Chapter One, she thinks that humankind originated from the male/female pair. Grammatically this pair is masculine; whereas conceptually it is neither masculine nor feminine. Therefore, no specific roles were defined to man and woman at the beginning of creation. Other alternative means are used, such as the significance of particular female characters mentioned in the Qur’an, and the interpretation of Qur’anic social reforms for women. Generally, her ideas get organized; the book’s structure is meticulous. Wadud is an involved scholar as can be understood within the framework of her interpretation “I explicitly challenge the arrogance of those men.” (p. 96), and “I was particularly concerned with the consequences on women.” (p. 97).

Though the book’s subject is narrow, Wadud challenges us through its form – including glossary, index, appendix, and bibliography. When she speaks of the necessity to “challenge patriarchy, not for matriarchy” (p. 103) she strongly supports an “efficient egalitarian system” (p. 103), but not at all a sort of revenge against men. Rethinking the Qur’an from a woman’s perspective seems to be a bold project. Indeed, in our mainly patriarchal societies – Muslim or not – she represents a minority. As a woman, as well as a woman theologian, she is, in a way, invisible. According to Amina Wadud, the superiority of man is due to the misreading and misunderstanding of the Qur’an. However, in Muslim societies and within Muslim communities, are social relations exclusively based on the Qur’an or, more widely, on Islam?

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Wadud Amina Qur'an and Women.pdf - Weldd

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Wadud, Amina. Qur 'an and woman : rereading the sacred text from a woman's perspective / Amina Wadud.

Quran Women Amina Wadud | Quran | Women In Islam - Scribd

List price: $0.00. Download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd ..... Virginia AMINA WADUD"Despite women's gains in many fields in the last twenty years.
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