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Authors

Zeenath Kausar

Abstract

It can be hardly disputed that woman’s status and rights in Islam in family and society is one of the most controversial topics in Islam. One of the important reasons behind this controversy seems to be the diverse interpretations of the Islamic texts which Muslim scholars offer on various issues of woman. This article deals with this issue. It is argued in the article that Muslim scholars often present diverse and sometimes even conflicting interpretations of the relevant verses of the Qur’an and the relevant Prophetic traditions on various issues of women. This has given rise to diverse trends of thinking and perspectives within contemporary Muslim thought.

In order to explicate this point, I have presented the diverse interpretations of the relevant Islamic texts offered by few Muslim scholars on the rights of economic and political participation of women. Since it is a very large issue and the list of Muslim scholars who participate directly or indirectly in the debate is too long, we have selected few scholars and few arguments only. For the convenience of the readers we have categorized Muslim scholars into two broad groups—rejectionists of the rights of women and the promoters of the rights of women. Scholars who discourage and reject the economic and political participation of women are categorized in the group of the rejectionists, whereas the scholars who stand firm for the rights of women are categorized in the group of the promoters of the rights of women. All care is taken in the article to show the stance taken by both the groups on the critical same issues that are dominant under the subject of the economic and political participation of women so that the readers may get the clear idea of the differences between the two groups in their interpretations of the relevant Islamic texts and their contentions. Complete citations of the books are provided in the article authored by the scholars who are discussed in the article.

Note on the Author

Zeenath Kausar , Assoc. Prof. (Former Teaching Staff, International Islamic University, Malaysia, IIUM)

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