Book Review of: The Rights of Women in Islam by Asghar Ali Engineer
Barazangi, Nimat Hafez
Engineer's book though not unique in its purpose, the defense of women's rights in Islam, is different from other books that deal with the same subject in its approach to the "question of women." By attempting , in this book, "to separate what is contextual from what is normative" and to "recapture the original spirit of Qur'anic laws with regard to male-female relationship," the author hoped to equip Muslim feminists with a powerful weapon in their fight for equal status with men (p. vi). The author is to be commended for this unprecedented courage to contradict what has been the customary views on women's rights in Islam, whether by Muslims or non-Muslims. His documentation from the Qur'an, Hadith and early Islamic history of issues like sexual equality, marriage, divorce, and others that have been only presented from the Muqallidun's (those who follow the foot-steps of ancestors) points of view is a major step by a Muslim male scholar.
Copyright 1994, Journal of Islamic Studies, Oxford University Press. This is a pre-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in the edited publication Journal of Islamic Studies following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available through Oxford University Press: http://jis.oxfordjournals.org. See also: http://www.eself-learning-arabic.cornell.edu/publications.htm#6
Oxford University Press
The question of women; Contextual vs. normative; The spirit of Quranic Law; Male-female relationship
Previously Published As
Journal of Islamic Studies, Oxford, England. July 1994, pp. 326-328