Women in the Qur’an: An Emancipatory Reading

Written by Rufeedah Cara on . Posted in


A Muslim woman calls for the equality at the heart of the Qur’an in this bold new book.


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.



Each year, a dedicated committee of professionals selects books that are translated into English from a wide variety of foreign languages. ENGLISH PEN’s aim is to celebrate books of outstanding literary quality, which have a clear link to the PEN charter and promote free speech and intercultural understanding.


Table of contents

– Introducing the author
– Foreword
– A meeting with very different Muslim women…
– Thanks


– 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?
   – Polygamy
– Testimony
– Inheritance
– Hit them…?


– Bibliography

Additional information

Weight 0.300 kg






Myriam Francois-Cerrah





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Comments (6)

  • Ro


    “Lamrabet goes further than the work of previous Islamic feminists by drawing upon the women in the Quran and deftly identifying archetypes such as: The Mother, The Governor, The Passionate Woman, The Spiritual, and The Sacrificial.

    Do you bring Islam to your feminism, or do you bring feminism to your Islam?” Sister-hood, Find out more…


  • Ro


    “Within its pages, it is trying to shift the conversation by going back to the 1,400-year-old source, the Qur’an, instead of rephrasing watered-down interpretations from extremists.” Nieman Storyboard,… Read more


  • Ro


    “The book is definitely an interesting contribution to scholarship on women in Islam, and i found it quite digestible and enjoyable.” Muslimah Media Watch, Read the full review…


  • Ro


    “Lamrabet remains true to past Islamic scholarship while drawing our attention to the many facets of femininity showcased in the Qur’an. It is here that Lamrabet’s approach really shines. Lamrabet reassures readers that to question and seek a better understanding of Islamic texts is not some new, deviant phenomenon, but rather a continuation of our historical Islamic legacy of women who were neither afraid to speak up nor castigated for their critical thinking skills” Al-Jumuah, Read more…


  • Ro


    “Lamrabet’s work is an outstanding, easy to read and understand. It is a detailed discussion of The Quran, Sunnah and the stories of Muslim women to whom Allah (SWT) blessed in the Qur’an.” Kashmir Reader


  • Ro


    “Lamrabet’s work does an immense job for women who are unaware of their rights and became victims of patriarchy and Islamophobes.” Kashmir Pen


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