Saturday, October 16, 2010

Important Texts for a Gender/Islam Course

I'm taking a class called Gender, Sexuality, and Islam. I want to post my ENTIRE syllabus here for that class! But I first need to ask my teacher's permission, I'd think.

Required Texts:

Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate (Yale University Press, 1992).

Ali, Kecia. Sexual Ethics in Islam (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2007).

Mernissi, Fatima. Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in Muslim Societies by Fatima Mernissi  (also titled The Veil And The Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation Of Women's Rights In Islam) (Perseus Books, 1991; originally in French, 1987).

Stowasser, Barbara. Women in the Qur'an, Traditions, and Interpretation (New York: Oxford U Press, 1994).

Wadud, Amina. Qur'an and Woman:Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective (Oxford University Press, 1999). 

Recommended Texts:

Barlas, Asma. Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an (University of Texas Press, 2002). 

Spellberg, D. A. Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of 'Aisha Bint Abi Bakr (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994).

Supplementary Texts:

Abou el-Fadl, Khaled. Speaking in God's Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women (Oxford: Oneworld, 2001).
Haeri, Shaela. The Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage in Iran (Syracuse University Press, 1989).

Hambly, Gavin (ed.), Women in the Medieval Islamic World (St. Martin's Press, 1999).

Musallam, Basim, Sex and Society in Islam: Birth Control before the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 1983). 

Safi, Omid (ed.), Progressive Muslims: On Gender, Justice, and Pluralism (Oxford: Oneworld, 2003).

Ruth Vanita (ed.), Queering India: Same-Sex Love and Eroticism in Indian Culture and Society (Routledge, 2002).

In the next blog post, I will share what our last three assignments have been about. They're really interesting and stimulating topics, and I hope that those who hear about them will try doing them on their own.


  1. Wow, there's a fair few books that I'll have to add to my list of books to read (though several are already on it). So far I've only read Women and Gender in Islam and Women in the Qur'an, Traditions and Interpretations.

  2. Just out of curiosity, were there any books written by Muslim scholars during the time of the Tabiyeen (the generation after the Sahaba)? Because I think it would be interesting to look at the point of view of women of that time? I understand that many of the women were scholars during that time..
    P.S. Sorry for commenting like crazy on your blogs..I am procrastinating on something else I should be working on..

  3. What a great question, Rukhpar Mor! It's a question to which I have yet to find the answer, and I'm still seeking the views/voices of Muslim women (scholars or ordinary ladies) of that time, but I've had no luck yet. I've been told, however, that they don't exist. But you never know--if we could discover the book "The Qadi and the Fortuneteller" (the diary of a Muslim judge written in 1843), discovered in a wall in a house in Yemen in the 1970s, then I'm sure we will some day discover the hidden or buried writings of women from the Prophet's or the Sahabahs' time as well! Never know :)


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