Or no kno I came across this book whilst taking a class on Islamic ethics at the university which briefly dealt with Islamic feminism I was hoping to learn and can definitely recommend this book as an introduction for anyone new to this field Hidayatullah after discussing why the feminist label is used or avoided does a great job of presenting the shared methodologies and interpretative strategies of many well known feminist exegetes of the ur an Not merely describing she offers a critiue and her own thoughts on how to move forward Much of the readings offered by the feminists came across as apologetic and unconvincing I ve recently read Khaled Abou El Fadl s book Reasoning with God Reclaiming Shari ah in the Modern Age which I actually thought made a much better case for feminist readings even though that wasn t the focus of the book I do have to admit that I see the interpretative gymnastics sometimes undertaken by the feminists as a sign of their dedication to their faith One of the failings of both modernists and feminists is that they are often opportunistic in their selection of hadith and use of the Sunnah Of course they both point out that citation is always subject to selection and authority always subject to choice but one expects them to form a solid methodology to ensure a reading that is true and sincere The frameworks used by the feminists the tawhid doctrine historical contextualization and the intratextual method do not prevent a neglect or abuse of the tradition in fact it is in service of these frameworks that the feminists have tended to force certain interpretations on the text Another interesting point of critiue was that the feminists often in presenting their readings as the only true or final reading are guilty of the same fault of which they accuse traditional scholars authoritarian readings that deny their own fallibility and thereby are guilty of offending the DivineHidayatullah uestions the very demand for euality by the feminists which I think is necessary Not to undermine it but to establish it as an authentic Islamic demand She asks in what way Muslim feminists conceptualization of gender sex euality gender justice differs from that of other feminists and how it is grounded in the Islamic experience and religion Regardless of our own thoughts on this subject ou should read this book to see just how beautiful and complicated understanding God can be The timing of this book seems perfect in light of the somewhat stalled project of Islamic feminism Since the first and second generation of Islamic feminist scholars little has been written about how to move forward This book mostly provides a recap of the various arguments made within Islamic feminism but also usefully ties them together to show exactly what kind of argumentation is used and what forms of authority these scholars draw on usually a combination of traditional ur anic exegesis and modern notions of gender euality It is precisely the fact however that they draw on modern notions of gender euality that explains why the Islamic feminist project can only go so far according to the author Because
EUALITY HAS ALREADY BEEN PRE DEFINED has already been pre defined these scholars based on modern notions of not only euality but gender the Islamic feminist project is already set up to fail It is only by moving past these preconceptions and trying to understand gender at different historical periods that a useful Islamic feminism can be constructed In effect it seems that she too is calling for a form of historicizing Overall an interesting read that mirrors my own reservations with Islamic feminism and my ultimate rejection of many of the arguments that have been made by these scholars particularly ones that seem like attempts at linguistic gymnastics It is to their credit that scholars like Amina Wadud and Kecia Ali have openly admitted that some verses cannot be explained and remain problematic and sexist although Hidayatullah would probably reply sexist by which standards This is a very interesting book and one that I hope provokes some much needed discussion in some circles It certainly gave me a lot to think aboutThe first two thirds or so is essentially an excellent summary of feminist Islamic scholarship up to this point I ve read many though not all of the works the author cites in this part but I still found the comprehensive overview to be a good read especially as it is less technically challenging than some of the original worksThe last third is the author s critiue of this scholarship which is even interesting She was able to put into words some of the concerns I have had but were unable to articulate about Islamic feminism and others besides The author comes at this critiue from the point of view of someone who is both a Muslim and a feminist much like the other writers she cites which made her assessments all the engaging Hidayatullah s critical analysis of feminist exegesis of the uran is fundamental reading It re examines the crucial works that helped establish revolutionary women s readings of the uran but at the same time provides a critical assessment of said works and how individuals can move forward as both Muslims and feminists Feminist edges of the uran is an excellent book that provides the reader "with the history of uranic interpretation since it s revelation up history of uranic interpretation since it s revelation up the present After a recap of the history Hidayatullah covers the thought of contemporary Muslim feminists and then poses challenges and critiues to their lines of thought The author does a great job and not letting the book get stuck in one particular area and keeps a steady flow without sacrificing content 5 out of Minist justice that are not fully supported by the text and she proposes a major revision to their exegetical foundations A provocative work of Muslim feminist theology Feminist Edges of the ur'an is a vital intervention in urgent conversations about women and the ur'. ,
Chal readings of the text "She Argues That Many Feminist "argues that many feminist are proceeding from the a priori assumption that the ur an is fundamentally anti patriarchal and conforms to their notions of gender justice Hidayatullah critiues this point uite thoroughly and points to verses in the ur an which militate against notions of female agency and male female euality in particular 2223 and 434 She argues that the best that many feminist exegetes have been able to produce with regard to these verses are apologetic readings or interpretations that distort the text She asserts that in the case of these two aforementioned verses the ur an itself must be held responsible for its sexist and harmful readings p 137
Hidayatullah asserts for example that the mere existence of the term daraba in 434 contravenes any interpretive possibilityasserts for example that the mere existence of the term daraba in 434 contravenes any interpretive possibility ruling out the meaning of to strike there is no act of interpretation that may eradicate this possibility p 138So how should feminists go about interpreting the ur an in a manner consistent with their values and in a way that is neither apologetic nor distortive of the text Here Hidayatullah follows the lead of Kecia Ali in suggesting that exegetes should take interpretive responsibility meaning that they should be conscious of their interpretive choices and acknowledge that they are in fact choices rather than claiming that a particular interpretation is self evident It is imperative for Hidayatullah that feminist exegetes are aware of their own intervention in reading the ur an It is important for the exegete to always disclose or at least be aware of their own personal doctrinal and social assumptions which informs their approach to the ur anic text A failure to do so she argues would constitute a form of textual authoritarianism since it would deny others the right to similarly interpret the ur an By arguing so strongly that they are recovering the true meaning of the ur an or rescuing the essentially anti patriarchal message of the ur an from sexist exegetes Hidayatullah argues that feminist tafsir risks falling into the same category of textual authoritarianism that it accuses traditional tafsir as belonging to According to Hidayatullah this textual authoritarianism that characterizes feminist exegesis derives from the unuestioned premise that the essence of the ur an is fundamentally in favor of gender justice and therefore it needs to be recovered or reclaimed by an interpretive process The problem of textual authoritarianism can only be resolved argues Hidayatullah if exegetes take interpretive responsibility on one hand and seek a new understanding of the nature of the ur anic text on the otherAt the core of Hidayatullah s critiue of feminist exegesis is her proclamation that feminist exegetical conceptions of gender euality are historically specific to us and thus perhaps not in the end fully reconcilable with the ur anic text p 147 She argues that it is a methodological rigidity within feminist exegesis that has prevented it from uestioning and critically reassessing its fundamental premise that the notion of euality derives from the ur anic text itself One of the problems this produces is as mentioned above textual authoritarianism Another is essentializing the ur anic text itself and making normative statements about it Hidayatullah stresses that feminist exegetes have argued themselves into a corner by making it appear that either the ur an must be absolutely and unfailingly egalitarian and can never oppress women or else the struggle for gender euality within Islam is defeated The answer to this interpretative dead end as far as Hidayatullah is concerned is the notion of taking interpretive responsibility It is essential that feminist readers of the ur an to not merely assert but defend and support the claim that the ur an promotes euality while taking responsibility for prioritizing our contemporary sensibilities in the course of our interpretations p 149 Apologia and textual manipulation cannot and should not be the primary means through which feminist exegetes affirm their positionWhatever one may think of these ideas put forth by Hidayatullah it is nevertheless clear that they should be taken seriously and engaged with It is critical that Muslim feminists attempt to provide adeuate answers to these uestions and critiues Hidayatullah s book aside from being an important exposition and demonstration of the dynamics of feminist exegesis is also an important contribution to our understanding of the underpinnings of modernist readings of the ur an in general It provides students and scholars with important insights into the challenges and pitfalls faced by those who have chosen to approach the ur an as both academics and believing Muslims and emphasizes the importance of methodological consistency and a sound approach to ur anic hermeneutics This book has some high ratings and perhaps rightly so on account of its potential to rejuvenate discourse in the field of Islamic feminism however I found it be disappointingly lackingHidayatullah begins with a lengthy introduction that is almost self deprecating Upset that her work should appear in any way to undermine the great works of Muslims feminists before her she seems to spend the whole introduction apologising for bringing the whole edifice of Islamic feminist scholarship down with her work but she assures us it s for the good of the cause So I braced myself for what she had to say And she said very little then for the next 130 odd pages other than to summarise all that has gone before her in this field In honesty this was actually very interesting to readand for anyone who has little. S nascent field of ur'anic scholarship and engages in a deep investigation as well as a radical critiue of its methods and approaches With a particular focus on feminist impasses in the ur'anic text she argues that many feminist interpretations rely on claims about fe. I really enjoyed this unusual workI would recommend this
BOOK FOR PEOPLE OF STRONG AEEDAH WILLING TO LOOKfor people of strong aeedah willing to look other opinions religiously The author doesn t seem to push one idea over the other usually but rather she asks us what we value as believers in Islam Are we trying to put gender euality in places it isn t Are we overlooking areas that were assumed to be sexist but really aren t Feminist Edges of the uran helped me understand other opinions on translations tafsir etc that are not as mainstream Literally taking a look at the edges of Islamic thought and discerning different ideas It s also generally well written Its a compelling read researched well thought out incredibly and written comprehensively Crticially reviewing the feminist uran exegesis Hidayathullah points out the wrongs in the gender uestions raised and mistakes in the ways they were attempted to answer She in the ways they were attempted to answer She undertaken a herculian task challenging as it is vulnerable in multiple ways one for shaking the ground of islamic feminism which is a fruit of the decades painstaking labour and also because this could be easily used by Islamophobes and androcentrism seeking religious Yet she has managed to articulate nuancedly about the choices must be aware of and acknowledge not just while approaching to comprehend uraan but what we mean as Islam and how we live as muslims Excellent work The book covers almost all important aspects of Islamic Feminism This book is being used by one of my students for her doctoral research Aysha Hidayatullah s Feminist Edges of the ur an is a compelling read It engages sincerely and deeply with the increasingly significant field of feminist ur an scholarship Heavily grounded in both the classical Islamic exegetical tradition and modern feminist theory Dr Hidayatullah does an excellent job in laying out her arguments The prose is engaging and the book is generally well organized At its core the work is a radical critiue of not only of various aspects of modernistfeminist exegesis of the ur an but also a critiue of how modern Muslims have approached the ur an in general It is nothing less than a systematic deconstruction of Muslim feminist approaches to the ur an over the past three decades The book does not shy away from asking the tough uestions nor from uestioning many of the fundamental assumptions that have guided feminist ur an scholarship One of the main strengths of the book is the faithful and detailed reconstruction of many of the main methodologial approaches and conclusions of feminist exegesis of the ur an Having reconstructed and described the various modes of feminist exegesis in considerable detail Hidayatullah then moves on to deconstructing and systematically critiuing their arguments while interjecting her own particular perspective into the discussionHidayatullah takes serious issue with the underlying assumption of feminist exegetes that the ur an promotes both functional and ontological gender euality She argues that these exegetes have not adeuately taken account of the various places in the ur an where there is an emphasis on both sexual difference as well as sexual differentiation Hidayatullah s main contention is that there is very little within the ur anic text that would support the notion put forth by the feminist exegetes that the ur an has at its core the promotion of absolute euality between men and women in fact she argues that there is strong textual evidence in the ur an suggesting a fundamental ineuality More problematically for Hidayatullah is how feminist exegetes have generally ignored theoretical issues around gender essentialisms binaries and social construction p 129 She claims that in neglecting an examination of gender they do not deconstruct the process by which the male subject has been universalized in the first place and the kinds of masculinity and femininity and their relational formations that persistently inform the verses of the ur an they are responding to rather they seem to take them for granted p 129 For any feminist exegesis to adeuately address the issue of gender justice Hidayatullah strongly argues that such a critical assessment and investigation of gender is imperative Otherwise our author argues the discourse will remain vague and ineffective Hidayatullah suggests that rather than being a problem specific to feminist exegetes of the ur an this is a broader issue that has been inherited from unresolved debates on euality and difference in liberal approaches to feminismAnother major critiue that Hidayatullah puts forth is her uestioning the legitimacy of feminist exegetes unuestioned imposition of values such as contemporaneous 21st century conceptions of euality as well as a very modern understanding of male female relations on a text that was revealed in the seventh century She argues that one cannot treat euality as if it was a timeless ahistorical idea For Hidayatullah the emphasis on euality is the product of modernity and derives from particular assumptions about the nature of society which barely existed in the seventh century It is thus illogical to impose this criterion with such rigidity upon the ur anic text She suggests as Kecia Ali has done that feminist exegetes should explore the possible differences between contemporary conceptions of male female euality and understandings of men and women in the ur an rather than demanding euality as a self evident ahistorical measure of justice from one s readings of the ur an Hidayatullah also critiues feminist exegetes for not acknowledging the limitations of their argument which faults human language and interpretation and not the ur an itself for patriar. Aysha Hidayatullah presents the first comprehensive analysis of contemporary feminist interpretations of the ur'an Synthesizing prominent feminist readings of the ur'an in the United States since the late twentieth century she provides an essential introduction to thi.