BOOK REVIEW: THE STRUGGLE OF MUSLIM WOMEN

 READERS COMMENT:
An ageless book that is as relevant and hot read as was when it was first published “raising muslim women so high that the gardens of jannah lie at her feet”
BOOK REVIEW
By Salik
Format:Paperback
This is an unusual book that started others down the road of “Islamic Feminism”. From that standpoint it can be considered the mother source for later publications in this area. Later authors writing on this subject owe a significant debt to this book,and generally do not acknowledge it.
For example the author of the new translation of the Quran,Abdel Haleem, in his otherwise informative book, Understanding the Quran, appears to have used the same material in the discussion of nushuz and maruuf, however no reference is made to precedent setting work of Dr. Siddique in this area.

This slim book provides direct reference to Quranic and authentic Hadith sources that reveal a view of highly enlightened and mutually respectful relationship between genders in Islam.

Using those sources, the author hammers home his point. He argues that the Prophet of Islam taught that relationships are based on mutual consultation, respect, and that obedience is only to God, and obedience even to the Prophet was only in righteousness (maruuf).
Further, in the eyes of God stratification is based on taqwa (goodness) rather than gender or social status, etc. He points out the nature of gradual revelation of the Quran and that the final verses related to gender address both men and women directly and the desirable moral atributes for both genders are the same. No other divine scripture directly addresses men and women in this regard. Pointing this out is an original contribution of the author.Over all this book provides a hugely different picture from that painted in the media and in books by miso-lslamic orientalists, and by Islamophobes with political agenda, who put out propaganda pulp on current affairs, such as Emerson and Brodansky.

This book was published 20 years ago, much before Islam and Muslims were under the microscope, and is in need of revision, on account of some dated material. It also requires a more extensive discussion of some of the material and sources and differing opinions amongst interpreters. The binding and publication is not optimal.

The material in this book deserves 5 stars, but the binding and print detract from it, so I have rated it at 4 stars

COMMENT ON AMAZON .COM:  Natasha D. Almonor says:
I am an African American woman who never would have converted to Islam had I not been convinced of its just stance on gender equity. I read this book approximately twenty years ago and am considering bringing it to a Muslim women’s class I’ve just joined. I am so glad to learn of Abdel Haleem’s translation of the Quran. Still not fluent in Arabic, I often wonder about how gender bias might have influenced the translations and commentaries I read. Thanks for your review.
AVAILABLE FROM THE AUTHOR (hadithand women@gmail.com) AND AMAZON 

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About Kaukab Siddique PhD

Professor of English, World Literature and Journalism at Lincoln University. Research specialization in Women and Islam

3 responses to “BOOK REVIEW: THE STRUGGLE OF MUSLIM WOMEN”

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