Some of you know I’ve been working on a research project on Muslim women’s marriage to non-Muslims for the last some years. (It was a chapter in my dissertation and my favorite one, and I’ve written on it on my blog – see this one on interfaith marriage in the Qur’an and a follow-up reflection on the responses to that post.) I’m interested in both textual traditions and the application of those texts/scriptures, their interpretations, how humans negotiate with texts to find meaning in them and extract meaning from them. The first part of my project, ultimately a book, is therefore a textual/scriptural analysis. The second part is ethnographic, involving conversations and interviews with real, actual Muslim women who have been in interfaith marriages/romantic relationships. And this is where I need y’all’s help!
Hello, salaam, and welcome to #whatthepatriarchy?! where we are working to completely uproot the patriarchy from Islam. #inshaAllah #onebookatatime. One feminist book at a time.
Today, we’re continuing our discussion of Kecia Ali’s classic Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence. This is the 2016 edition. Originally published in 2006. I recommend the 2016 edition because it’s more updated and revised. You’ll recall, of course, that I promised to do a few episodes on this book instead of just one like we’ve been doing with the last few books that we’ve done so far. So in the last episode, we talked about the main points of the book, the Introduction, and Chapter 1, which was on all things marriage. In this episode, we’re going to cover chapter 2 on divorce and chapter 3, which is on slavery and slave concubinage or sexual slavery or just the idea of a man being allowed to sleep with a woman that he is enslaving, formerly known as “his female slave” but we don’t use that language anymore.
If you haven’t read it yet or heard about it yet, there’s an excellent book by Ayesha Chaudhry that just came out called The Colour of God. I had the complete joy of interviewing her for it for the New Books Network. It’s the only book I’ve ever read that I could connect so wholly with. It’s relatable in so many ways, and it was such a necessary read for me at a time when I’m working on healing from so much that’s happening in my short life. If you’re a Brown girl, Muslim, immigrant, religious person, a feminist, anti-white supremacy (or anti supremacy of any kind), justice-loving person, this book will speak to you. It’s so real, so unapologetic, packed with wisdom and brilliant insights on every page, answers to questions about how to live a feminist life, how to live a religious life.
Hello, pa khair [welcome in Pashto, my native tongue], and assalamu alaikum wr wb! Welcome to hashtag what the patriarchy where we strive to uproot the patriarchy from Islam. Thank you for being here. This is Shehnaz!
So today, we’re going to be talking about another classic book on Islam. It’s called Sexual Ethics & Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence by THE Kecia Ali. And when I was taking notes on this book for this vlog, I literally wrote like 30 plus pages and I refuse for them to go to waste, so we’re going to do separate episodes on just a couple chapters at a time for this book. We’ll be talking about the 2016 edition of the book. It was first published in 2006.
In this video, we talk about all things hijab/veil (the head-covering). This include Muslim men and women’s and non-Muslims’ conversations about it; its origins; why some Muslim women wear it; the problem with the word “choice” in whether Muslims wear it by choice; the hijab/veil in the Qur’an and hadiths (and how the head-covering isn’t fardh in the Qur’an, actually); and more. If my talking speed is too fast for you, I’m so sorry! I promise I’m still trying. I recognize that makes it inaccessible for some. You can read the script here:
If you’d rather listen to only specific parts, here’s some tips (take or give some seconds):
– Beginning until 5:50, intro to the video, outline of the discussion, the ways that Muslim women, Muslim men, and non-Muslims talk about the hijab, and definition of hijab. – until 7:11, why the hijab is worn. – 7:11- 8:20, my critique of the whole “identity” and “solidarity” explanation of the hijab. – 8:20 – on why the word “choice” is problematic and why it’s an invalid question to ask if someone wear the hijab by “choice”; on social pressure; and is the hijab a human rights issue? -13:50 –other people do it too! And the history and origin of the veil; relationship between status and covering; Muslim jurists on the awrah of the enslaved woman vs the free woman; some Muslim jurists didn’t even allow enslaved women to cover their hair during prayer! – ~23-ish: the Qur’an on the hijab. – ~29-ish: the whole point of this discussion on the hijab in the Qur’an (positionality, interpretive choices, no objective standards of modesty, what about male awrah, why weren’t women consulted during these interpretations, etc.) – ~end of 31: the “context” of the qur’anic verses on hijab/covering – ~35-ish: the bottom line – ~37ish: other hadiths on covering; let’s make men cover and stay at home so that they’re not causing fitnah, etc. And why don’t men wear the hijab (head-covering)? Not like they’re forbidden from doing so. – ~39: recap.
(Video and rough script below – may be off by some here and there.)
Bismillah irrahman irrahim. Hello, salaam, and welcome to What the Patriarchy, where we work to destroy the patriarchy – from its roots.
Hello, and welcome to #WhatThePatriarchy, where we are working to uproot the patriarchy! Thank you for being here with me.
This is Shehnaz.
Today I want to talk about the Prophet Muhammad – the prophet of Islam, objectively one of the most important humans to have ever lived, certainly the most important man in Islam.
I want to start the discussion itself with the recognition of Muhammad’s status as a mercy on humanity. I accept that and I do deeply believe that. But for me, as for many other Muslims, this doesn’t mean every single thing that Muhammad did is an act of mercy.
I’m pasting here the script to the video. I don’t think I departed much from it, so! ❤
Hello and assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu! Welcome to #WhatThePatriarchy, where we are working on destroying the patriarchy from its roots. Thank you for being here with me. This is Shehnaz.