Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate

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Yale University Press, Mar 16, 2021 - Social Science - 312 pages
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A classic, pioneering account of the lives of women in Islamic history, republished for a new generation

This pioneering study of the social and political lives of Muslim women has shaped a whole generation of scholarship. In it, Leila Ahmed explores the historical roots of contemporary debates, ambitiously surveying Islamic discourse on women from Arabia during the period in which Islam was founded to Iraq during the classical age to Egypt during the modern era. The book is now reissued as a Veritas paperback, with a new foreword by Kecia Ali situating the text in its scholarly context and explaining its enduring influence.

“Ahmed’s book is a serious and independent-minded analysis of its subject, the best-informed, most sympathetic and reliable one that exists today.”—Edward W. Said

“Destined to become a classic. . . . It gives [Muslim women] back our rightful place, at the center of our histories.”—Rana Kabbani, The Guardian

 

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Essential for a nuanced, global understanding of feminism that includes Islam. Read full review

Contents

Foreword by Kecia
The Mediterranean Middle East
Founding Discourses
The Transitional
Elaboration of the Founding Discourses
Medieval Islam
New Discourses
The Discourse of the Veil
The First Feminists
Divergent Voices
The Struggle for the Future
Conclusion
Copyright

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About the author (2021)

Leila Ahmed is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. Her most recent book, A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America, won the Grawemeyer Award in Religion for 2012. Kecia Ali is a professor of religion at Boston University.

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