Early Islam Was Kind of Feminist

Ramadan 2014 is nearing its end, and in honor I am reblogging a piece by a Muslim feminist who talks of the strong feminist strain contained in the Quran.

Here is a link to a related piece that I wrote years ago (Early Islam’s Feminist Air). And here is another by one of my students (Women’s Sexuality in Islam).

Enjoy!

the fatal feminist

Reverence
Your God
Who created you from a single person
Created, of similar nature,
its mate and from them twain
scattered like seeds
countless men and women;–
Reverence God,
through Whom ye demand
your mutual rights
And reverence the wombs that bore you,
for God ever watches over you. (Qur’an 4:1)

The work of Muslim feminists is revivalism rather than reform, because the Qur’an itself is not only egalitarian but decidedly anti-patriarchal, as is Islam as it was practiced by our Prophet, who was in many ways a feminist. Since the Qur’an was revealed to a patriarchy and has been interpreted mostly by adherents of patriarchy since its revelation, it is the readings of the Qur’an and the interpretations by patriarchal Muslims that appear to be oppressive–not the Qur’an itself, whose teachings are neither framed by nor concerned with patriarchy, as proven by its strongly egalitarian essence and…

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on July 25, 2014, in feminism, sexism, women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. This is great – thanks for reminding me that the Quran is on my list of things I want to read.

  2. I’ve read snippets of the quaran and I’m pretty sure that Allah was not a nice GOd and believed in rape and lashings of a disobedient woman in the text of quaran. Unless the original was revised and edited by men there to a patriarchal view..

    • Well, “kinda” feminist.

      Although, both men and women were subject to the lash for adultery, so they were on equal terms on that point.

      And you may be right on the second point, I don’t know. More feminist with regard to the in-group than the out-groups they were attacking.

  3. Seemed like women though were punished more and easier for adultery or disobedience or more severe.Seems to what I’ve read men are more forgiven or punish less severe than for women.

  1. Pingback: Nominations for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award | Cindy Grigg

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