Today, the issue of Muslim women is held hostage between two perceptions: an ultra-conservative Islamic approach and a liberal Western approach. At the heart of this debate Muslim women are finding their voices and calling for the rejuvenation of the Islamic spirit of equality and liberation that is at the heart of the Qur’an.
However, with few female commentators on the meaning of the Qur’an and an overreliance on the readings of the Qur’an compiled centuries ago in different circumstances to today, this message is often lost.
By acknowledging the systemic injustice frequently experienced by Muslim women in today’s societies in the name of religion; and also rejecting a perspective that seeks to promote Western values as the only means of liberating them, the author is able to define a third way. One in which their refusal to remain silent in the face of injustice is an act of devotion and their demand for reform, within the guidelines laid out by God, will lead to liberation.
WINNER ENGLISH PEN AWARD
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Table of contents
– Introducing the author
– A meeting with very different Muslim women…
– What kind of liberation are we speaking off?
– In the very beginning…
First part – When the Qur’an speaks of women
– A story of all women
– Balkis, Queen of Sheba, a democratic queen
– Sarah and Hagar, emblems of monotheism
– Zulaykha or forbidden love
– Umm Musa and Asiah, free women
– The daughter of Shu’ayb and the meeting with Musa?
– Maryam, the favourite
– Maryam, a link between Christians and Muslims
– The birth of Maryam
– Maryam’s spiritual retreat
– Revelation and annunciation
– The birth of ‘Isa and all the struggles
– Maryam and her son, a ‘sign’ for the worlds
Second part – When the Quran speaks to women
– The language of the Quran, a masculine language?
– When the Quran responds to female demands
– The mubahalah or when the Quran encourages women to social participation
– The muhajirat or the female political refugees
– The mubayi’at or women’s political engagement
– Al-Mujadilah, when God listens to women’s concerns
– And the other verses?
– Hit them…?