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Feminist Edges of the Qur’an$
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Aysha A. Hidayatullah

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199359561

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199359561.001.0001

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A Critical Reassessment

A Critical Reassessment

(p.146) 8 A Critical Reassessment
Feminist Edges of the Qur’an

Aysha A. Hidayatullah

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the problem of feminist Qur’anic interpretation’s inclination toward methodological rigidity and critically revisits its readings of the Qur’an. The author argues that feminist exegetical conceptions of equality are historically specific to contemporary norms and concludes that they are perhaps not fully reconcilable with the Qur’anic text. Distinguishing between “mutuality” and “hierarchy” verses of the Qur’an, she argues that in the Qur’an’s revelatory context, the coexistence of these two types of verses may not have produced a contradiction. The author outlines her disagreement with the position that the Qur’an does not prescribe gender roles and the assumption that mutuality rules out hierarchy. She notes instances in which the functional inequality of men and women in the Qur’an perhaps cannot exist except as an effect of ontological inequality between them, and calls for new ways of thinking about the nature of the Qur’an’s revelation.

Keywords:   Qur’an, interpretation, feminist, equality, mutuality, hierarchy, gender roles, functional, ontological, revelation

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