gender and sexuality

This is perhaps the hottest topic in Muslims communities in the 21st century is gender. How do Muslims maintain authenticity to tradition while coping with the challenges of modern society? Is Islam feminist? How did the Prophet respond to similar circumstances in his own time? These resources will support your learning.

Please note: these books, videos and resources do not necessarily reflect the opinion and position of members of the Muslim Collective. They are intended for exploration of ideas and not as position statements.

Books

Inside The Gender Jihad : Women's Reform in Islam (Amina Wudud)

In 2005, Amina Wadud made international headlines when she helped to promote new traditions by leading the Muslim Friday prayer in New York City. In her provocative new book, /Inside the Gender Jihad/, she brings a wealth of experience from the trenches of the jihad to make a passionate argument for gender inclusiveness in the Muslim world. Knitting together scrupulous scholarship with lessons drawn from her own experiences as a woman, she explores the array of issues facing Muslim women today, including social status, education, sexuality, and leadership. A major contribution to the debate on women and Islam, Amina Wadud's vision for changing the status of women within Islam is both revolutionary and urgent..

Beyond the Veil, Revised Edition : Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society (Fatima Mernissi)

Required reading... " -Elizabeth Fernea, The University of Texas at AustinIf a reader were to select only one book in order to gain insight into women's status and prospects in Islamic society, this study should be the one chosen for its clarity, honesty, depth of knowledge and thought-provoking qualities." -Arab Book WorldIn this expanded and updated edition, with a new introduction on Muslim women and fundamentalism, Mernissi argues that Islamic fundamentalism is in part a defense against recent changes in sex roles and perceptions of sexual identity.

Feminist Edges of the Qur'an (Aysha A. Hidayatullah)

Aysha Hidayatullah presents the first comprehensive analysis of contemporary feminist interpretations of the Quran. Synthesizing prominent feminist readings of the Quran in the United States since the late twentieth century, she provides an essential introduction to this nascent field of Qur'anic scholarship and engages in a deep investigationas well as a radical critiqueof its methods and approaches. With a particular focus on feminist impasses in the Quranic text, she argues that many feminist interpretations rely on claims about feminist justice that are not fully supported by the text, and she proposes a major revision to their exegetical foundations. A provocative work of Muslim feminist theology, Feminist Edges of the Quran is a vital intervention in urgent conversations about women and the Quran.

Sexual Ethics in Islam : Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence (KecIA ALI)

Whether exploring the thorny issues of wives' sexual duties, divorce, homosexuality, or sex outside marriage, discussions of sexual ethics and Islam often spark heated conflict rather than reasoned argument. In this ground-breaking, lucid, and carefully constructed work, feminist Muslim scholar Dr Kecia Ali asks how one can determine what makes sex lawful and ethical in the sight of God. Drawing on both revealed and interpretative Muslim texts, Ali critiques medieval and contemporary commentators alike to produce a balanced and comprehensive study of a subject both sensitive and urgent, making this an invaluable resource for students, scholars, and interested readers.

Homosexuality in Islam : Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims (SCOTT SIRAJ Al-Haqq Kugle)

Homosexuality is anathema to Islam - or so the majority of both believers and non-believers suppose. Throughout the Muslim world, it is met with hostility, where state punishments range from hefty fines to the death penalty. Likewise, numerous scholars and commentators maintain that the Qur'an and Hadith rule unambiguously against same-sex relations. This pioneering study argues that there is far more nuance to the matter than most believe. In its narrative of Lot, the Qur'an could be interpreted as condemning lust rather homosexuality. While some Hadith are fiercely critical of homosexuality, some are far more equivocal. This is the first book length treatment to offer a detailed analysis of how Islamic scripture, jurisprudence, and Hadith, can not only accommodate a sexually sensitive Islam, but actively endorse it.


VIDEOS

Samina Ali: In recent times, the resurgence of the hijab along with various countries’ enforcement of it has led many to believe that Muslim women are required by their faith to wear the hijab. In this informative talk, novelist Samina Ali takes us on a journey back to Prophet Muhammad's time to reveal what the term “hijab” really means -- and it's not the Muslim woman's veil! So what does “hijab” actually mean, if not the veil, and how have fundamentalists conflated the term to deny women their rights? This surprising and unprecedented idea will not only challenge your assumptions about hijab but will change the way you see Muslim women. Samina Ali is an award-winning author, activist and cultural commentator. Her debut novel, Madras on Rainy Days, won France’s prestigious Prix Premier Roman Etranger Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in Fiction. Ali’s work is driven by her belief in personal narrative as a force for achieving women’s individual and political freedom and in harnessing the power of media for social transformation. She is the curator of the groundbreaking, critically acclaimed virtual exhibition, Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art & Voices.

How Islam made me a feminist | Zena Agha | TEDxWarwickSalon (Women)

At 17 Zena was the youngest member of Operation Black Vote's MP Shadowing Scheme, Shadowing Fiona MacTaggart, as well as being elected Deputy Member of Youth Parliament for her borough Part of her extensive community work includes running poetry workshops, and she was shortlisted for the London Mayor's Young Person Peace Prize.

In an ongoing series for Women's History Month, Odyssey Networks speaks with Muslim scholar and feminist Amina Wadud on the role of women in Islam. Wadud sparked controversy in the mid-1990s and in 2005 when she led Friday prayers...

In this in-depth interview, South African self-described feminist Farid Esack discusses issues around justice and injustice, race and racism, gender inequality and equality. Esack is a renowned Muslim scholar and activist, recognized for his work to advance gender equality and end racism.

http://engagedscholarship.org/ Moderator: Nancy Khalek (Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Brown University) Imam Daayiee Abdullah (Imam and Religious Director, Masjid An-Nur Al-Isslaah) Amanullah De Sondy (Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Miami) Samar Habib (Research Associate, Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London) Scott Kugle (Associate Professor of South Asian and Islamic Studies, Emory University) 2015 Brown University Middle East Studies Engaged Scholarship Conference - Sexualities and Queer Imaginaries in the Middle East/North Africa.


There are some great books out there by people who are scholars of and in Islam. "Islamic Homosexualities" is a great read which discusses the way homosexuality was seen religiously, culturally, historically, philosophically, and poetically in the classical Islamic world. "Before Homosexuality" by Khaled El-Rouayheb focuses on the Arab and Ottoman-Islamic world between 1500-1800 and claims homosexuality was viewed quite differently than how our own contemporary culture does. "Homosexuality in Islam" is a liberating read, Scott Kugle rethinking the Qur'an, hadith, and fiqh as a means to make native Islamic values of diversity, equality, justice, and liberation from oppression relevant to Muslims who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. Last but not lease is Kecia Ali's book "Sexual Ethics in Islam" which takes a critical approach to issues sexual orientation, sexuality, women, marriage (and Aisha, the child bride, ra), and "what thy right hand possesses" (i.e. slavery). She comes from a place of both reverence to and struggle with Islamic texts.

A courageous coming out story from a gay Muslim Pakistani.


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