Towards a Deconstruction of Patriarchal Misreadings of the Holy Quran and Hadith

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This paper, as the title suggests, revolves around the core theme of challenging some biased interpretations of some verses in the Quran that address women.  The retrospective chapter proceeds first by defining Islamic Feminism as a key concept in this article. This will be followed by reviewing, albeit succinctly, related literature, chiefly the main arguments put forward by prominent thinkers. The article concludes by summarizing key insights, underscoring the delimitations, and finally entailing future research for researchers interested in scrutinizing Islamic Moroccan Feminism.


Keywords: Al Jabri, Islamic Feminism, Quran, Interpretation, Bias.

  1. Islamic Moroccan Feminism:

The realization that women’s experiences and perceptions of their rights and status are to a large extent influenced by their location and context has led feminists like Spivak[i] – the renowned Feminist theorist, to advocate the use of different feminist perspectives in the analysis of gender. The diversity of women’s location, history, religion, culture, etc, has meant that feminists developed different strategies to overcome gender discrimination. This has led to the emergence of a plethora of feminist perspectives such as Marxist Feminism, Radical Feminism, Liberal Feminism, Islamic feminism, postcolonial feminism, postmodern feminism, “third world[ii]” or “developing world” feminism, and so on and so forth. For the purposes of this paper, I limit my investigation to “Moroccan feminisms,” the “s” denoting the multiplicity of feminisms in Morocco as it is an Islamic country, but at the same time, a country open to Western civilizations. Morocco has long been a ‘crossroads of civilizations due to its location between Europe and Africa.  It has terrestrial borders with Algeria (1, 350 km), Mauritania (650 km) and Spain (12 km) with Ceuta and Melilla’[iii]. Its strategic position makes of it a country open to different civilizations and cultures be they African or Western. Besides, as Morocco underwent colonization under the French protectorate for forty four years (from 1912 to 1952), the two countries (Morocco and France) have been geopolitically and culturally intertwined. Morocco’s legal system is an amalgam of Islamic law (‘sharia[iv]), some French civil law,   and international laws[v] (The World Factbook).   Islam plays a significant role not only in the culture of Morocco, but it also inspires much of the Moroccan legal laws system. Morocco is also considered a ‘developing[vi]’ country , a term used not only as a euphemism to the term ‘under-developed’ to avoid evoking offensive connotations of the latter term, but also to demonstrated that it is a country in the making; that is, in the process of achieving development in all domains. In this paper, I do not want to evoke the arbitrary “developed/ developing”, “third world/ first world”, and “we and they” divide. I will rather sweep such hierarchical categorizations and labels, rethink viewing ‘third world’ countries as homogeneous countries, focus on Morocco’s peculiarities in terms of context, goals, political and religious ideologies and histories and avoiding overgeneralising, exoticizing about Moroccans in general and women in particular[vii].


The term “Islamic feminism” is comprised of two words, the combination of which means “women’s rights within an Islamic framework”. This simple lexico-semantical analysis of this phrase reveals that the central word in the syntagm “Islamic feminism” is the word “Islamic”. Thus, Muslim feminists’ agenda includes finding a solution to women’s marginalization from within Islam as a religion and religiosity[viii] and not through Western intervention[ix]. Robin Wright (2011: 42) further reiterates that Islamic feminists endeavor “to rescue Islam’s central valuez²s from a small but violent minority[x]” whose misinterpretation and distortion of some verses in the holy Quran support women’s exclusion in the public spheres.       Within this vein, Smith (1979: 577) further posits that “Islam provides women a position of honor and respect, with clearly stated rights and obligations[xi]”. For example, Islamic law condemns many customs prevailing in the pre-Islamic era, like burying female newborns alive, and denying women their right to own and inherit property. In addition, it enhances the education of girls as a duty, to mention but a few examples.

According to the Gender Inequality Index (GII), ‘Morocco is achieving medium human development as it ranks 92 out of 149 countries in the 2013 index. Particularly striking, 11.0 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 20.1 percent of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education compared to 36.3 percent of their male counterparts. Female participation in the labor market is 26, 5 percent compared to 75, 8 for men’[xii]. Resistance to women’s status quo is not something new. It has given rise since the pre‐colonial period in 1946, when the first women’s organization Sisters of Purity Association (Akhawat as‐Safa) within the political party al‐Istiqlal (Party of Independence) founded by al‐Fassi- issued a plethora  of demands to improve women’s status, including, but not limited to,  the abolition of polygamy, full and equal political rights, and increased visibility of women in the public sphere[xiii]. Other organizations were created, afterwards, like the Democratic Association of Moroccan women founded in 1985, the Union of the Feminine Action founded in 1987, and the Moroccan Association of Women’s rights founded in 1992 to denounce women’s human rights violations and improve their status, by   eradicating women’s illiteracy, eliminating all forms of violence against women, etc.

Morocco’s government effort to expand women’s participation in society and empower them started earlier than 2004. For example, Morocco adopted the Plan of Action for the Integration of Women in Development (PAIWD 1993), set as ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW[xiv]), which aimed notably at improving education, reproductive health, the involvement of women in development, and empowerment through legal reforms and a strengthening of political power[xv].   The women in development (WID) approach to integrate women in development. Was then substituted by a “Gender and Development” (GAD) approach and Gender mainstreaming” strategy that emphasized eliminating gender discrimination and institutionalizing gender concerns.    The revised labor code of 2003 also criminalizes sexual harassment in the workplace[xvi].

The promulgation of the Moroccan family code ( Muduwana[xvii]) in 2004 is a step forward to implementing Islamic feminism, as it overwhelmingly centers on women and family issues by combining Sharia (religious law), ijtihad (juridicial reasoning) and internationally recognized women’s rights. It grants women some rights- notably those relating to marriagepolygamydivorceinheritance, and child custody. The following figure illustrates major rights granted to Moroccan women by the 2004 Moroccan family code:

Figure1- Main rights granted to Moroccan women by the Muduwana in 2004

Figure1: Main rights granted to Moroccan women by the Muduwana in 2004[xviii]


As the above figure illustrates, there have been main reforms to women’s rights within the family sphere. Women did not use to enjoy these rights before. In other words, before the Muduwana, women had no right to get married without the approval of a kin, dissolve marriage, have custody of their children, share property after divorce, and reject their husbands’ polygamous marriages.

The amendments of women rights and status are closely allied to the progress and democratization[xix] of Morocco.  That is to say, women are the sine qua non of development and modernization. Granting women more fundamental rights in the social, economic as well as political spheres is a prerequisite for a wave towards ‘democratization’ shift since ‘the measurement of democratic success is weighed in the treatment of women, their advancement in politics, media and social spaces and the ways in which women’s issues are defined and responded to[xx]’.

On the one hand, the reforms in Muduwana, of which we cited the most important above, have been praised by some people for exhibiting significant improvements in women’s rights.  But on the other hand, the reforms have been faced with stiff resistance from some modernists who are disappointed by the limited nature of the reforms and assert the need to re-conceptualize or re-vision the Muduwana. Within this vein, Leila Hanafi similarly remarks that the Moudawana focuses mainly on the rights of Moroccan women who are married, and fails short in dealing with the rights for single Moroccan women or foreign women who are married to Moroccan men, and vice-versa, which is high time the government addressed due to the increase of the number of multicultural marriages recently[xxi].

It should be added that there are still overwhelming obstacles to even implementing the new laws. Typically, prospects for women advancement can be gauged not only through passing legislative laws, but also for enforcing them. Within this vein, Ann M. Eisenberg distinguishes between written law and “living law”. An insightful book entitled “Law on the Books vs. Law in Action: Under-Enforcement of Morocco’s Reformed Family Law, the Moudawana” (2004), conveys the gap that exists between ideal laws as doctrines and laws in practice, mainly in rural areas[xxii]. She conducts a fieldwork in Azilal- a rural town in central Morocco, in the Atlas Mountains– on discrepancies between the laws in the Moroccan family code and their implementation. In so doing, she finds out that social practices and values, judicial corruption, poverty, illiteracy, perceptions of the law, and legislative gaps are social factors that hamper and undermine the implementation of the family code[xxiii]. She clarifies that women’s high illiteracy rate lead them to ignore the law, and hence not fully exercise their rights within the new legal system[xxiv]. To detect overt and covert forms of gender discrimination, she conducted qualitative research in which many interviewees shared stories of girls who have been married before reaching the age of 18, girls who can’t get married by themselves because this will affect the honor of that family[xxv], and women who rarely initiate divorce because they are financially dependent on their husbands[xxvi]. More striking, a recent report by Al-Arabiya reveals that 35,000 marriages under the age of 18 are performed in 2010[xxvii]. In what follows, we shed light on key thinkers who endeavor to reinvigorate and open new ways of thinking gender in Islam.

  1. Prominent Thinkers’ Concept of Islamic Feminism:

Among the Moroccan scholars who advocates women’s rights from an Islamic framework are M.A Al Jabri, Asmae Barlas, Amina Wadud , Anitta Kynilehto, Fatima Mernissi, Asma Lamrabet and Arkoun, to mention but a few. M.A. Al- Jabri’s is a distinguished philosopher well known chiefly by his intriguing three volumes book “A Critique of the Arab Reason[xxviii]. He is a leading figure who opts for Islamic feminism to advocate women’s rights and improve their status rather than secularism which separates Islam as a religion from politics. For Al-Jabri, such exalted and reasonable ideals as democracy, justice and equality ‘lose their justification and necessity when they are expressed through ambiguous slogans like that of secularism’[xxix]. He does not advocate the idea that ‘third world women’ need to conform to Western model of feminism if they are to achieve progress[xxx].  Instead, Al- Jabri advocates women’s rights from an Islamic framework by calling for adhering chiefly to the two following recommendations:

  • Deconstructing inherent patriarchal readings of the holy Quran that support women’s marginalization and unveiling clergy men’s misinterpretations and distortions of some verses in the holy Quran that tackles gender issues.
  • Reinterpreting the holy Quran by focusing on its fundamental teachings and values, the social and historical contexts of its revelation, and including women in this process.

Many books and articles have been published recently by other scholars. For instance, an influential work with regard to Islamic feminism is Believing Women’ in Islam: Un-reading Patriarchal Interpretations by Asmae Barlas[xxxi], in which she argues that it is not the religion of Islam per se, but its patriarchal interpretation that have made women subordinate to men and urges for the reexamination, reinterpretation and rescrutinizing egalitarian ideals in the Qu’ran[xxxii]. Another book entitled Qu’ran and Woman by Amina Wadud provides another plausible explanation of subordination of women in Islam. She provides a challenging[xxxiii] interpretive reading by a woman.   According to her, bias comes from women’s absence in the interpretation of the Quranic texts.  She observes that the use of al-Ijtihad is exclusively conducted by men while a number of passages in the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet recommend al-Ijtihad without referring to the sex of the one engaging in interpretation[xxxiv].


In a similar vein, other scholars like Anitta Kynilehto also wryly challenges patriarchal misreadings of the Qu’ran and the Hadith by demonstrating how it is not the texts themselves but rather their interpretations that have allowed for patriarchal traditions of abusing women to persist in the name of Islam[xxxv]’. Fatima Mernissi[xxxvi], Asma Lamrabet and Arkoun, follow up this concern. According to Arkoun, the Qur’ān ‘has been ripped from its historical, linguistic, literary, and psychological contexts and then been continually recontextualized in various cultures and according to the ideological needs of various actors’.  Fatima Mernissi also purports that the Qur’ān’s contents and contexts should be examined together by reading it intratextually but also with regard to the social and historical contexts of its revelation. She also wryly comments on readings the text in decontextualized fragments, focusing on one word, or phrase, or line, or Āyah, over its fundamental teachings as a whole.

In what follows are some misquoted and misunderstood verses from the Quran and Hadith (the sayings and actions of the prophet Mohamed peace be upon Him), along with their translation in English, respectively:


‘الرجال قوامون على النساء’
” فانكحوا ما طاب لكم من النساء مثنى وثلاث ورباع’
‘إن كيدهن عظيم’


‘مَا رَأَيْتُ مِنْ نَاقِصَاتِ عَقْلٍ وَدِينٍ’


‘Men are stronger than women’[xxxvii]

Marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four[xxxviii]

‘Their ( women) snares are great’[xxxix]

‘and beat them ( women)[xl]

‘I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you (women)[xli].’


However, the following phrases from the Quran and Hadith have been discarded:

‘يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِير’
‘واستوصوا بالنساء خيرا”
‘وعاشروهن بالمعروف’

‘فإن خفتم ألا تعدلوا فواحدة’ …ولن تستطيعوا أن تعدلوا بين النساء ولو حرصتم.’

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ’

-‘ O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted[xlii]”.

– ‘Be kind to women[xliii]’.

-“… and live with them honorably “.

– ‘But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one[xliv]…’You are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire[xlv]’.

-“Among His Signs is this, that he created for you mates from among yourselves, that they may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect[xlvi]“.

There are numerous verses in the Quran and Hadith to the same effect.

It has been made clear as straightforwardly testified in the verses above (b): that respecting women, taking good care of them and marrying only one wife have been recommended in the holy book. In Sura Four, l Nissa, (the Women), we know that a man can marry more than one wife ( up to four wives), but if we carry on reading the verse we observe that this entitlement for men is conditioned by the man treating his wives fairly, which is impossible for him to abide by. It is useful to stress here that equity here does not merely mean equal financial support of wives, but also equal kindness and love. Hence, polygamy is forbidden in Islam.


To conclude, it may be repeated for emphasis and remembrance, Al- Jabri and other prominent figures reiterate the need to  rethink and  deconstruct misinterpretation of gender in Islam and reconstruct new readings of some Quranic verses and Hadith by taking into consideration the context in which they are said and the general Islamic values underpinning them.  However, although many scholars and specialists in gender studies do not view Islamic feminism as an oxymoron as they try to challenge gender discrimination basing their arguments from religious texts, some people see that Islamic feminism is more radical than secular feminism[xlvii] and whoever tries to reinterpret the two religious sources (Quran and Hadith) are accused of indulging in blasphemies discourses.

This article is by no means exhaustive as it is delimited to Al- Jabri and other Moroccan thinkers who follow his line of thought with regard to women’s rights in Islam. Therefore, Future research could be conducted to scrutinize how and to what extent Moroccan women do appropriate social media, mainly Facebook, Youtube and Twitter, to speak out bias in interpreting the Quran and Hadith and posit their aspirations from the private sphere into the public sphere within an Islamic framework.  There are a plethora of changes afoot with regard to women agency; mainly that SNS’s provide an outlet of expression for repressed women.





[i][i] Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “A Literary Representation of the Subaltern: A Woman‟s Text from the Third World.” In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics. New York: Methuen, 1987. 241 – 268.

[ii] Morocco is considered as a ‘third world country’. I incarnate these ways of labeling Morocco within quotation marks so as to distantiate myself from conflicting definitions of these terms. In fact, ‘the term ‘third world’ originated during the cold war to define countries that remained non-aligned politically with either capitalism or communism. The United StatesWestern European nations and their allies represented the First World, while the Soviet UnionChinaCuba, and their allies represented the Second World. However, the term has been used in contemporary society, interchangeably with ‘the least developed countries’, ‘the underdeveloped nations of the world’and ‘developing nations’, especially of Asia and Africa to describe the non-industrialized countries and the least advanced economies and technology; while the term “ first world countries” stand for countries with advanced economies and technology. Chandra Mohanty, a US Third World feminist, states that the term “Third World” can be geographically as well as ethnically/culturally defined as the nation-states of Latin America, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, South and South-east Asia, China, South Africa, and Oceania, black, Latino, Asian, and indigenous peoples in the U.S., Europe, Australia, etc are regarded as third world peoples. Retrieved from: Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. “Introduction” and “Under Western Eyes.” Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism. Eds. Mohanty, Russo, Torres ( Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 1991)P:5.

[iii] Retrieved from:  http: // (last visit January 2nd, 2016).

[iv] The primary sources of ‘sharia’ law are the Qur’an and the Sunnah (the teachings of the Prophet Mohamed, Peace be Upon Him, and his works).

[v] Derived from: (last visit: December 6th, 2015).

[vi] The Human Development Index (HDI), which was developed in 1990 by Indian Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen, Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq, is a standard means of indicating whether a country is a developed, developing, or underdeveloped by measuring four essential points: notably life expectancy, literacy, education, and standard of living for countries worldwide. Derived from Shane Shartor. Spiritual Profit$: 3 Weeks to the Abundant Life, How to Overcome Your Fears While Changing the World in Just 21 Days! ( Canada: Capire Consulting INC, 2008)130.

[vii] See for example, Barbary holiday by Wrey Gardiner (1952), in Morocco by Edith Wharton (1920), Patience and power: women’s lives in a Moroccan village by susan Davis Schaefer (1983).

[viii] Religiosity and religion are different concepts. Religiosity designates the level of practice and commitment in the basic values and doctrines of the religion in their daily lives (Ghandour et al., 2009) while religion refers simply to affiliation in a faith.

[ix] Sidani, Y. (2001). Women, Work, and Islam in Arab societies. Women in Management Review, 20, 48.

[x] Wright, R. B. (2011). Rock the Casbah: Rage and rebellion across the Islamic world. New York: Simon and Schuster.

[xi] Smith, J. I. (1979). Women in Islam: Equity, equality, and the search for the natural order. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 47(4), 517- 537.

[xii] Human Development Report 2014 Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience Explanatory note on the 2014 Human Development Report composite indices Morocco HDI values and rank changes in the 2014 Human Development Report. Derived from (Last access December 13th, 2015).

[xiii] Akharbach & Rerhaye, 1992: 17‐26. For more details about studies that traces the inception and evolution of women’s movement in Morocco, see: Rabéa Naciri. The Womenís Movement and Political Discourse in Morocco. Occasional Paper 8, March 1998: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development United Nations Development Programme, and Fatima Sadiqi . (2008): The Central Role of the Family Law in the Moroccan Feminist Movement. In The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies Vol.35, no.3 (This article has been published as a book chapter (in both Spanish and English) in Di Marco, G. and Tabbush, C. (eds), Feminisms, Democratization, and Radical Democracy. Buenos Aires. Pp 117-133).

[xiv] CEDAW was adopted by Morocco in 1993. The Convention consists of a Preamble and 30 articles, which are divided into six parts. They are all concerned directly with prohibiting discrimination against women in all spheres and defining state obligations to ensure nondiscrimination against women, including taking ‘all appropriate measures, including legislation’ to ‘modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women’.

[xv] Retrieved from ( last access December 6th, 2015).

[xvi] Clare Castillejo and Tilley Helen. Women’s empowerment and political voice Case Study Report:The road to reform Women’s Political Voice in Morocco (London: Overseas Development Institute, April 2015)  p 12. Derived from: (Last access November 5th, 2015).

[xvii] The Mudawana is the short form for “mudawwanah al-aḥwāl al shakhṣiyyah”, the personal status code, also known as the family code. It first appeared as a series of decrees between November 1957 and March 1958. but the personal code of 2004 was a new version of the code as it includes many legal reforms. Retrieved from  Mounira M. Charrad. States and Women’s Rights:The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco(London , University of California Press Ltd: 2001) p: 162.    For readers who have a keen interest in getting details about the Moroccan family code, this book may provide useful information to them.

[xviii] Figure 1 is a graphical representation of some of the rights gained by Moroccan women after the implementation of the Muduwana in 2004. It draws this information, which can be found in linear text, from The MOROCCAN FAMILY CODE “MOUDAWANA”— 10 October 2012 Landmark Reform of the Status of Women. It is retrieved from (accessed on April 25th, 2014).It is noteworthy that this list is not exhaustive, and is limited to fundamental reforms. For more details about the major changes brought by the reform of Moudawana in 2004, see ROYAUME DU MAROC 2004: Presentation of the major innovations introduced in the new Family Law as compared to the previous Family code Moudawana. Cellule Integration de la femme au developpement. Direction de la Cooperation MultilatÈrale. MinistËre des Affaires Etrangeres et de la Cooperation.

[xix] It is important to clarify the distinction between democracy and democratization. Democratization can be viewed as the equivalent of the Arabic terms ‘Islah’ and ‘Tajdid’. Democratization can be viewed as a process towards democracy, rather than an end itself. Its policies’ measures include short term as well as long term reforms and improvements of system of government and human rights. Retrieved from Annak. J arstad and T imothyd. Sisk.eds. From War to Democracy.Dilemmas of Peacebuilding( New York, Cambridge University Press: 2008) p: 17.

[xx] Shazia Arshad The Arab Spring: What did it do for women? (Published in  Arches Quarterly, Volume 6, Edition 10: March 25th, 2013). Derived from ( last access December 3rd, 2015).

[xxi] LEILA HANAFI. THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MOROCCO’S 2004 FAMILY CODE MOUDAWANA: STOCK-TAKING & RECOMMENDATIONS NOVEMBER, 2013 p 10 This study was conducted as part of the Moroccan-Danish partnership project ‘Strengthening Women’s Rights and the Access to Justice in the Moroccan Legal System’, (2010-2013) under the aegis of the Ministry of Justice, Morocco, and KVINFO, the Danish Centre for Information on Gender, Equality and Diversity and funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its initiative the ‘Danish-Arab Partnership Programme’. Retrieved from: (Last access: November 2nd, 2015).


[xxii] The status of women in Morocco varies considerably across areas and social classes. The women rural/urban status divides are mainly due to deeper socioeconomic and literacy gaps.

[xxiii] Eisenberg, Ann Marie. Law on the Books vs. Law in Action: Under-Enforcement of Morocco’s Reformed 2004 Family Law, the Moudawana (Cornell International Law Journal, vol. 44, no. 3: Fall 2011). p:714.
Available at: (Last access January 5th, 2015). It is worth adding that this article was awarded the second place Cornell Law Library Prize for Exemplary Student Research in 2011.

[xxiv] Ibid,p 709.

[xxv] Ibid,  p: 716

[xxvi] Ibid, p: 720.

[xxvii] “Morocco eyes law on rape and child marriage”, Al-Arabiya, March 14th, 2013 Derived from: (Last access January 6th, 2016).

[xxviii] Critique de la Raison Arabe – 3 volumes, Beyrouth, 1982


[xxix] Religion, State and the Implementation of Religious Law, p. 113


[xxx] Other Moroccan feminists like Lamrabet and Yassine have introduced the concept  of “Third Way”  which calls attention to combining universal human rights and the ideals of Islam. Quoted from  The Place of Feminism in Religious Revival: Islam, Feminist Groups, and Changing Public Policy in Morocco. UCLA Center for the Study of Women: UCLA p 5 Publication Date: 06-18-2010 Series: Thinking Gender Papers Permalink:      Available online in: ile:///C:/Users/HP/Desktop/downloaaddddd/eScholarship%20UC%20item%205tz409sz.pdf

[xxxi] The vast literature regarding Islamic Feminism cannot be all reviewed herein. Examples of this literature are limited to insights of prominent Muslim progressive thinkers and scholars who have played an important role in establishing the now voluminous literature on this debate. See, for example,  Ait-Dada, A. & van Schaik, R. (2012). Political Islam and the Moroccan Arab Spring. Final Research Report. Minor Social Sciences. Rabat: Nederlands Instituut Marokko (NIMAR).

[xxxii] Barlas Asma. Believing Women’ in Islam: Un-reading Patriarchal Interpretations (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2006) 6.

[xxxiii] Her books are considered challenging because she was regarded as promoting Western/ feminist discourses.  She was condemned for uttering blasphemies.

[xxxiv] Women, Gender and Language in Morocco VOLUME 1by Fatima Sadiqi.

– Leiden ; Boston :Brill, 2003 (Woman and Gender. The Middle East and the Islamic World ; v. 1) Copyright 2003 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands p 34-35

[xxxv] Anitta Kynsilehto.Ed.  ISLAMIC FEMINISM: CURRENT PERSPECTIVES Tampere Peace Research Institute Occasional Paper Finland University of TampereNo. 96, 2008 9-10.


[xxxvi] One of the reasons why I chose Mernissi is that she is a renowned Moroccan scholar and pioneering figure in this filed who publishes Islamic feminist texts, beginning with Le Harem politique in 1987.

[xxxvii] Quran ( Women: 34).

[xxxviii] Quran ( Women: 3).

[xxxix] Quran ( Youssef : 28).

[xl] Qur’an, Sura  “An-Nisa” (“Women”: 4: 34)

[xli] Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 293.

[xlii] Quran Aya 13 in sura 49 sura AL- hujurat

[xliii]  Al-Bukhari and Muslim, 273.

[xliv] Quran ( Women : 3)

[xlv] Quran ( Women :129)


[xlvi] Noble Quran, sūrat l-rūm (The Romans) 30:21.

[xlvii] Margot Badran Al-Ahram 2002 from:

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