For Ourselves – Women Reading the Qur'an

Publication Author: 
2004/Originally published: 1998
PDF Document9.88 MB
number of pages: 
Cover image

Discussions covered interpretation and jurisprudence, foundational myths, the process of Muslim jurisprudence relating to women in the family and women in society, and action and strategies. According to participants, the need for women to review the process of interpretation and claim their right to interpret arises out of the realities of women’s lives and the myth that there is one way of being in the Muslim world.

This is a myth that is invariably accompanied by the threat of exclusion for those who deviate from the discriminatory and imposed interpretation promoted by obscurantism. The publication includes an index and glossary of terms.

Introduction to the Reprint - 2004

Since the first printing of Women Living Under Muslim Laws For Ourselves: Women Reading the Qur'an in 1997, there has been a growing demand for this publication from women working within Muslim contexts as well as from those beyond. This reflects the determined survival of alternative and plural voices against global and national trends of rapidly shrinking spaces for dissent and discussion. We are delighted that this publication evidently contributes to strengthening women's struggle to preserve such spaces.

At the same time, we hope readers of the reprinted version will continue to see this publication and the diverse opinions it contains simply as a reflection of the many voices of women who interpret the Qur'an and engage with it in the context of their lived realities. As such it does not offer an alternative blueprint for a brighter future for women in Muslim countries and communities, but simply forms part of the many challenges to monolithic, often male-dominated interpretations of the Qur'an and Muslim laws.