QUR'ĀNIC INTERPRETATION POLITICIZED: ASMA BARLAS’ TEXT REREADING

Authors

  • Ibrahim Ilyasu Adam

Abstract

This paper examines the role of Muslim feminist scholars in the
reinterpretation of the Qur'ān within the discourse of Islamic
feminism with particular reference to Asma Barlas, a controversial
'Qur'ān-only' feminist. In pursuance of their identity struggle, Muslim
feminists adopted new gender sensitive methodology of text rereading
to prove their worth. This is particularly true for Barlas who
concisely argues that traditional exegetes manipulated Quranic
interpretation in their favour to oppress women and to establish their
'male-centric' authority. In other words, classical methodology of
tafsir is patriarchal, misogynistic and anti-woman. Hence,
re-contextualization of the Qur'ān through adopting new gender
orientated methodology of interpretation is not only desirable, but
also necessary. For Barlas, this will ensure active participation of
women in tafsir and create a link between Quranic hermeneutics and
the project of gender equality. This paper critically analyses Barlas’s
views within the Islamic paradigm and examines to what extent she
did break with patriarchal tradition in tafsir. Furthermore, it
concludes that Barlas' rereading of text is nothing, but a biased
attempt to politicise Quranic interpretation and to provide
theological legitimacy to a secular orientated discourse, Islamic
feminism.

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Published

2016-06-01

How to Cite

Adam, Ibrahim Ilyasu. 2016. “QUR’ĀNIC INTERPRETATION POLITICIZED: ASMA BARLAS’ TEXT REREADING”. Al-Shajarah: Journal of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) 21 (1). https://journals.iium.edu.my/shajarah/index.php/shaj/article/view/402.

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Section

ARTICLES