The Prophet Muhammad’s reported traditions have evolved significantly to affect the social, cultural, and political lives of all Muslims. Though centuries of scholarship were spent on the authentication and trustworthiness of the narrators, there has been less study focused on the contents of these narratives, known as Hadith or Sunnah, and their corroboration by the Qur`an.

In addition, there is an urgent need to re‐think the authority of the Hadith. This is a very sensitive subject for Muslims. However, given the facts that the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, himself strongly discouraged his companions from documenting in writing his sayings, and that after his death the four caliphs also forbade the writing of his sayings, we are required to address this issue. Clearly, the Qur`an is the only divine source of Islam.

Hence, this book is a first step in a comprehensive attempt to contrast Hadith with the Qur`an in order to uncover some of the unjust practices by Muslims concerning women and gender issues. Using specific examples the author helps the reader appreciate and understand the magnitude of the problem. It is argued that the human rights and the human development of Muslim women will not progress in a meaningful and sustainable manner until the Hadith is re‐examined in a fresh new approach from within the Islamic framework, shifting the discourse in understanding Islam from a dogmatic religious law to a religio‐moral rational worldview.

First Review: The author argues that such re‐examination requires the involvement of women in order to affirm their authority in exegetical and practical leadership within Muslim societies, and she encourages Muslim women to stand up for their rights to effect change in understanding the role of sunnah (his tradition) in their own life.

See Links to invited lectures about the book.

Recent Submissions

  • Woman’s Identity and the Reformation of Muslim Societies 

    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez (2016-10-05)
    Because the true message of Islam concerning women was rarely practiced throughout the past 14 centuries of Muslim history, women scholar‐activists who self‐identify with Islam have been taking it upon themselves to ...
  • Fatema Mernissi and the Hadith: Agent of Social Change 

    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez (2016-11-17)
    The overall goal of the eclectic and critical approach of Fatima Mernissi to gender and women’s rights seems to be overlooked. Scholars and activists attempt to analyze her work within one academic category or another. ...
  • Muslim Woman’s Identity and Reforming Muslim Societies 

    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez (2016-09-28)
    Because the true message of Islam concerning women was rarely practiced throughout the past 14 centuries of Muslim history, women scholar-activists who self-identify with Islam have been taking it upon themselves to ...
  • Why Muslim Women Are Reinterpreting the Qur`an and Rethinking Hadith: A Transformative Scholarship‐Activism 

    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez (2016-04-14)
    Because the true message of Islam concerning women was rarely practiced throughout the past 14 centuries of Muslim history, women scholar‐activists who self‐identify with Islam have been taking it upon themselves to ...
  • Qur'anic Shariah: Gender Justice in Islam 

    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez (2016-03-07)
    Dr. Barazangi will use examples from her recent book, Woman's Identity and Rethinking the Hadith, to argue that Islam is neither a law nor a dogma of submission. Rather, each individual Muslim, male or female, has the right ...

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