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Islamic Political ThoughtAn Introduction$
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Gerhard Bowering

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164823

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164823.001.0001

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(p.263) Women
Islamic Political Thought

Ayesha S. Chaudhry

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the complex relationship between gender and Islamic political thought through a few snapshots: the Qur'an, female contemporaries of Muhammad, medieval Islamic scholarship, and modern Muslim women. Several women are mentioned in the Qur'an, some of whom demonstrate a strong independent spirit. They are held responsible for their own salvation, apart from their husbands or male relatives. The independent personalities of women who appear in the Qur'an are reflected in the stories of early Muslim women as recorded in Islamic history. Muhammad's wives played key political roles during the lifetime of Muhammad and the early generations of Islam. In the modern period, “Muslim women” as an abstract, essentialized entity has become a measuring stick for “progress” as well as an embodiment of “authentic” Islamic values.

Keywords:   gender, Islam, Muslim women, Islamic political thought, Muhammad, Islamic scholarship

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