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Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an

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“Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an” presents a groundbreaking perspective on the role of women in Islam, challenging prevailing patriarchal interpretations of the Qur’an and advocating for a more egalitarian understanding of Islamic teachings. Authored by Asma Barlas, this paradigm-shifting book addresses the widespread misconception that Islam inherently oppresses women, offering a nuanced analysis of the Qur’an’s stance on gender equality.

Barlas begins by examining the prevalent subjugation of women in many Muslim societies and the ways in which patriarchal interpretations of the Qur’an have been used to justify gender inequality. Drawing on her expertise in religious studies, Barlas argues that the Qur’an actually affirms the complete equality of the sexes, contrary to commonly held beliefs.

Through a historical analysis of religious authority and knowledge, Barlas demonstrates how interpretations of the Qur’an have been shaped by patriarchal assumptions and cultural biases. She challenges readers to reconsider their understanding of Islamic teachings on women, gender, and patriarchy, offering an alternative framework that prioritizes equality and justice.

In this revised edition, Barlas introduces two new chapters, a new preface, and updates throughout, further enriching the discussion and addressing contemporary issues. By delving into the heart of Islamic scripture, Barlas provides readers with a fresh perspective on women’s rights within Islam and encourages a reevaluation of traditional interpretations.

“Believing Women in Islam” is a seminal work that seeks to empower women and promote gender equality within the Muslim community and beyond. Through her insightful analysis and thought-provoking arguments, Barlas challenges readers to confront ingrained prejudices and embrace a more inclusive and egalitarian vision of Islam.