BOOK REVIEW: Women in the Qur’an: An Emancipatory Reading, by Asma Lamrabet*

“Although Lamrabet is not what one would consider a classically trained Islamic scholar or teacher (she is a pathologist by profession), she introduces her work by explaining what motivated her to undertake such a project. She notes the ways in which Muslim women have been labeled, used, and spoken over by both Western liberal secularists, and the so-called ‘Islamists’ of the conservative Muslim population. Lamrabet seeks to present a different view: a women-centric understanding of the way the Quran speaks of, and to, female believers.

Emphasizing that this work is not driven by the idea that one must work outside the religious framework, Lamrabet repeatedly states that the view being put forward is that of Muslim women who strongly believe in and practice Islam, without disregarding fourteen centuries of classical Islamic scholarship. Indeed, she makes a point of referencing well-known scholars such as Ibn Kathîr, Ibn Taymiyyah, Al-Qurṭubi and others when supporting her arguments, in addition to referring to more contemporary writers and thinkers.”

Divorce from the Muslim Male Perspective

5 Muslim men share their divorce experiences – of loss, the ongoing struggle, and redemption. Breaks a lot of stereotypes, definitely a must-read.

“Unfortunately, we are too used to assuming that all or most Muslim men involved in divorce are villains; while it is true that some Muslim men are, indeed, abusive (just as some non-Muslim men are), it is a fallacy to assume that every divorced Muslim man has a questionable background and should be viewed with suspicion. So too have we internalized, to our own detriment, the wrongful belief that men do not feel or should not express their vulnerabilities and emotions, and that a man’s strength is dependent upon his silence. Yet from the Sunnah of RasulAllah œ, we have ample evidence that even the greatest man in creation wept and smiled, grieved and celebrated, and sought comfort in times of turmoil.

Now more than ever, we as an Ummah must remember that the believers – men and women – are meant to be supportive of each other, ready to provide solace and encouragement, especially at our most difficult moments.”

Unbreakable: The Spirit of Hajar

“Today, the Muslim Ummah has many others like Hâjar, single mothers and single fathers alike; those who have found themselves unexpectedly on their own, stranded by fate in circumstances beyond their choosing, and left with only their trust in Allah and their own indomitability to help them traverse this unforeseen destiny.”

Unveiling the Hur Al-‘In Part 4: What Women Want

“The purpose of Jannah is reward and freedom from all obligations, responsibilities and duties; in Paradise, we are beholden to no other human beings, and there is no difference between the rulers of this world and their subjects, other than their reward in accordance to their taqwa and their deeds. While it is true that certain individuals, such as the Prophet œ and the other prophets, will be superior to others in terms of their reward and their position in Jannah, this does not mean that anyone will be in a position of authority over anyone else. There is no evidence whatsoever to say that men, as a whole, will be considered superior to or receive a greater reward in comparison to women as a whole. Again, the only difference between people will be based upon their righteousness and their deeds in this world.

What greater reward and freedom can there be for Muslim women than to be completely and utterly liberated from being under the authority of men in any way, shape, or form?

While there are those who no doubt would wish to argue this point, it can be said that the existence of the Ḥûr Al-¢În in and of itself is a proof that the human women of Jannah will be free from any obligation to men – for while we are expected to be sexually available for our husbands in this world, there is no such requirement in Jannah. Why else would there be so many Ḥûr allotted to each man, if not to fulfill his carnal desires while the human women experience a release from the obligation?”