Chapter

Rights and Roles of Woman

Amina Wadud

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
Rights and Roles of Woman

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An expert on the Quran and Islam, Amina Wadud was trained at the University of Michigan, taught at the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur, and is currently a professor of Islamic studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Amina Waduds purpose is to reinterpret Islamic tradition in accordance with the contemporary requirements of Muslims. In this piece from 1999, her topic is the role of women. The Qurnic verses bearing on this topic are reconsidered within the framework of contextual factors (asbab al-nuzul, literally circumstantial causes for scriptural revelations). Wadud generally holds that passages in the Qurn that appear to endorse male superiority were revealed to address the specific requirements for survival of the early Muslims. Because of this contingent quality, they should not be considered categorical imperatives meant to apply at all times and places. She believes that apparently discriminatory texts should be placed in the framework of the Qurns overall message of the emancipation of the human being from ignorance and the acknowledgment that God has created both men and women to be His trustees on earth. Within that framework, verses apparently diminishing the stature of women relative to menor enhancing the stature of men relative to womenmust be viewed as overridden by Gods overall design to make men and women prosper equally on earth. Any distinctions between them would thus be made in terms of their piety and not in terms of their sex.

Chapter.  6235 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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