Women’s Identity and Rethinking the Hadith

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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.

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.

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 in their own life.

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Preface; Introduction: woman’s identity and the Hadith: rethinking the sunnah; Muslim woman’s autonomous authority in the Qur’an: khilafa and imama; Corroborating Hadith by the Qur'an: self-identity, testimony, and witnessing; Qaran and talaq in Qur’an, Hadith, Tafseer, and in personal status code; Belief and knowledge, sexuality and slavery, inheritance and custody; Rereading the making of Hadith and rewriting a new perspective on sunnah; Conclusions: will conscientious self-identified Muslim women become active agents?; References; Index.

The Lecture at the Commonwealth Club of California: Barazangi discusses her work in Muslim and Arab women's education, identity development and belief studies as well as feminist and gender issues. She will sign her newest book, Woman’s Identity and Rethinking the Hadith. She describes this book as a first step in a comprehensive attempt to contrast Hadith with the Qur'an to uncover unjust practices concerning women and gender issues. - See more at:

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Ashgate | Routledge


Islam; Hadith; Woman's Identity; Gender; Law


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