Book Review of: The Rights of Women in Islam by Asghar Ali Engineer
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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.