Fadoua's Reviews > "Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an

"Believing Women" in Islam by Asma Barlas
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it was amazing

Interpreting religious texts, in particular the Qur'an, has been the work of men for centuries. Women are excluded from contributing to the Tafsir. Although, women participated actively in the creation of religious knowledge in the early decades of Islam (the prophet's wife Aisha as example), their opinions have been excluded for a long time.

What are the consequences of the absence of women's voices? Isn't it one important reason of the patriarchal reading of the Qur'an? Isn't it a reason of the understandings of Qur'an that teach sexual inequality and segregation? What if women participate in Tafsir communities? Won't this suggest a balanced reading and understanding of the Qur'an and avoidance of misreadings the verses related to women?

In her book “Believing women in Islam”, Prof. Asma Barlas explains how Qur'an is read in ways that seem to justify sexual oppression, inequality, and patriarchy. She, first, discusses and criticizes the different traditional methods of generating the meanings from Qur'an. She introduces the concept of hermeneutics to observe Qur'an's interpretation. Hermeneutics is a theory that deals with interpretation of religious scriptures and advocates that “it is not enough to ask what we know about religion, but equal attention must be paid to how we come to know what we know”. Besides, she re-reads for us the Qur'an position on a wide variety of issues that concern Muslim women, for instance, the relationships father/daughter and husband/wife. She shows that Qur'an can be read in different way that makes it a book of liberation for women.
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Reading Progress

January 17, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
July 13, 2009 – Finished Reading

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