This volume brings together the work of a group of Islamic studies scholars from across the globe. They discuss how past and present Muslim women have participated in the struggle for gender justice in Muslim communities and around the world.
The essays demonstrate a diversity of methodological approaches, religious and secular sources, and theoretical frameworks for understanding Muslim negotiations of gender norms and practices. Part I (Concepts) puts into conversation women scholars who define Muslima theology and Islamic feminism vis-à-vis secular notions of gender diversity and discuss the deployment of the oppression of Muslim women as a hegemonic imperialist strategy. The chapters in Part II (Sources) engage with the Qur’an, hadith, and sunna as religious sources to be examined and reinterpreted in the quest for gender justice as God’s will and the example of the Prophet Muhammad. In Part III (Histories), contributors search for Muslim women’s agency as scholars, thinkers, and activists from the early period of Islam to the present – from Southeast Asia to North America.
Representing a transnational and cross-generational conversation, this work will be a key resource to students and scholars interested in the history of Islamic feminism, Muslim women, gender justice, and Islam.
Table of Contents
Muslim Women and Gender Justice: An Introduction Juliane Hammer
Part I - Concepts: Muslima Theology, Islam and Feminism
1. Feminist Exegesis and Beyond: Trajectories in Muslima Theology Jerusha Tanner Rhodes
2. Islamic Feminism by Any Other Name Amina Wadud
3. Islam and Feminism: German and European Variations on a Global Theme Riem Spielhaus
4. Gender Equal Islamic Theology in Germany Irene Schneider Part II - Sources: Qur’an, Hadith, and History
5. Woman-Man Equality in Creation: Interpreting the Qur’an from a Nonpatriarchal Perspective Riffat Hassan
6. The Pair in the Qur’an as Sign of Divine Creation Dina El Omari
7. With ʿA’isha in Mind: Reading Surat al-Nur through the Qur’an’s Structural Unity Zainab Alwani
8. The Qur’anic Turn of Women’s Image: From Being the Object to the Subject of History Mouhanad Khorchide
9. Verse 4:34: Abjure Symbolic Violence, Rebuff Feminist Partiality, or Seek Another Hermeneutic? Celene Ibrahim
Part III - Histories: Knowledge, Authority, and Activism
10. Umm Salama’s Contributions: Qur’an, Hadith, and Early Muslim History as Sources for Gender Justice Yasmin Amin
11. Religious Educated Women in Early Islam: Conceptions of Women’s Images in Arab-Islamic Texts until the Tenth Century Doris Decker
12. Challenging the Authority of Religious Interpretation in Saudi Arabia: The Transformation of Suhaila Zain al-Abedin Hammad Hatoon Ajwad AL Fassi
13. Leading the Way: Women’s Activism, Theology, and Women’s Rights in Southeast Asia Susanne Schröter
Dina El Omari has been postdoctoral researcher in the research group "Theology of Mercy" at the Centre for Islamic Theology, University of Münster, since 2013, with a focus on "Feminist exegesis of the Qur`an." She earned her PhD in Islamic studies and Spanish philology at the University of Münster. She studied Islamic Studies, Spanish philology, and German philology at the University of Münster. She is the author of Das arabische Element in der spanischen Dichtung des 15. bis 17. Jahrhunderts am Beispiel der Schönheitsbeschreibung (2014) and Das Menschenpaar in der Schöpfung und Eschatologie unter Berücksichtigung der Geschlechterfrage (2020).
Juliane Hammer is Associate Professor and Kenan Rifai Scholar of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She specializes in the study of gender, sexuality, and race in Islam, contemporary Muslim thought and practice, and Sufism. She is the author of Palestinians Born in Exile: Diaspora and the Search for a Homeland (2005), American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism: More Than a Prayer (2012), and Peaceful Families: American Muslim Efforts against Domestic Violence (2019).
Mouhanad Khorchide studied Islamic theology and sociology in Beirut and Vienna. He has been Professor of Islamic Religious Education since 2010, head of the Center for Islamic Theology since 2011, and Investigator of the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics in the Cultures of the Modern and Modern" – all at the University of Münster. Amongst his latest publications are: God's Revelation in Human Word (2018) and God Believes in Man: With Islam to a New Humanism (2015).